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Weather permitting, the Nats will be at home this evening and tomorrow (April 1 and 2) for two exhibition games against the Minnesota Twins, before heading off to Atlanta for Opening Day 2016 on Monday, April 4. But they'll then return on Thursday, April 7, for their home opener at 4:05 pm against the Marlins.
If you're coming to the ballpark, here's what you'll see inside that's new, and what you'll see outside that's new, and my food map is available if you aren't quite remembering what's nearby.
My parking lot map is going to need some wandering on my part this weekend before it's considered fully active for 2016, but the big headline is that the Spooky Park lot at 1st and N will once again be available.
All of these links and more are available on my Visiting Nats Park page.
Note that, if you haven't been down to the neighborhood lately, you may want to familiarize yourself with the various traffic issues along Virginia Ave., SE, just south of the freeway, thanks to the tunnel reconstruction.
Tonight's exhibition is at 6:05 pm (with gates opening at 4:30 pm), and is a special event, with free tickets handed out to season ticket holders and "select members of the community," with seating limited to the lower bowl of the ballpark. Tickets are available while supplies last at the ballpark box office for a $10 donation to the Nationals Dream Foundation.
Saturday will be a "standard" exhibition game, with tickets on sale and gates opening at 10:30 am for a 12:05 pm first pitch.
The Bullpen at the Fairgrounds will be open for these two games, starting at 4 pm today and 10 am on Saturday, with live music, food, drinks, and of course cornhole.
There will be all manner of big happenings around the neighborhood tied to the April 7 home opener, but that's for another post.
If you see anything on the parking lots that would help me update the map (new lots open, old lots closed, prices, etc.), leave a comment here or tweet to @JDLand.
I can't believe this is the ninth season at this ballpark. Time flies.
Comments (16)
   
 
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202_cyclist says: (4/1/16 11:53 AM)
NATS! NATS! NATS! Woo!

Any prediction on how the Nationals will do this year? I think the person who guesses the closest should get a free JD Land t-shirt.


JD says: (4/1/16 11:59 AM)
Hmmm....



conngs0 says: (4/1/16 2:00 PM)
My (rosy) prediction is 91-71. NL East Champs. The bullpen will be shaky all year, but will get the job done against a very weak division. The Mets have more holes than people think, and even though they get Zach Wheeler back, Harvey and Syndergaard threw waaay too many innings last year. I see them imploding in the second half and the Marlins actually become the Nats' biggest threat (the opening series is going to be important).

On offense, I think that Harper will lose to Paul Goldsmidt in the 2016 MVP race, but actually posts a higher WAR than he did in 2015 (he also gets over 100RBI because he'll have better production in front of him and develops into being a better situational hitter. More importantly, he gets help from a healthy Rendon and Ramos (contract year). Zimmerman and Werth manage to play 120 games while getting effectively spelled by Clint Robinson and Michael A. Taylor. The Nats basically will replicate their offensive season from 2015 (4th in runs scored), but manage to score their runs in the big moments rather than just piling them on when the game is in hand while choking during the big games/situations. Aside from the inevitable defensive debacles of Daniel Murphy, they'll be fun to watch this year.

Scherzer and Strasburg (contract year) will prove to be the most dynamic one-two pitching punch in the game, and lead the Nats to an NLDS victory. They'll get crushed in the NLCS unless Rizzo can make a move or two before the trade deadline for bullpen arms and probably a starting pitcher to give the rotation a boost after Gio, Roark and Ross predictably hit a wall down the stretch.


202_cyclist says: (4/1/16 2:08 PM)
@conngs0:

I hope you're right but I think the Nats will finish 86 - 76, for second in the NL East. Other than Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer, I think the starting pitching is too uncertain at this point.


brothbart says: (4/1/16 3:21 PM)
Nats 94 Wins
Mets 86 Wins
Marlins 82 Wins
Phillies 63 Wins
Braves 62 Wins


323 says: (4/1/16 5:04 PM)
@202_cyclist -

Even a long suffering but now completely redeemed (and confused - did that really happen?) Royals fan, I'd take "other than stephen strasburg and max scherzer, I think the starting pitching is too uncertain at this point" in a heartbeat.


dude says: (4/1/16 7:00 PM)
Got my tickets for Monday the 11th. Hopefully that'll be the first of 15-20 games this year.


JD says: (4/2/16 3:06 PM)
I'll do a full post on it probably Wednesday, but after a stroll around the neighborhood during today's exhibition I've gotten the basic prices and info for the parking lots near the ballpark, and have updated my map:

link



JD says: (4/2/16 3:10 PM)
Also, there's now fence signage up officially proclaiming "ORE 82" as the name for the 82 I apartment building ("Debuting" Fall 2016), with a URL that isn't actually live yet, which is such an unforced error.

link
link
link




202_cyclist says: (4/2/16 7:53 PM)
Does anyone know what happened at McDonalds today around 7:15 PM? There were at least a dozen police cars and an ambulance.


BLT says: (4/3/16 8:30 PM)
The amount of plywood flying off of the top of 909 Half last night was scary.


walt says: (4/3/16 11:03 PM)
There were 2x4s dangling off the side of the building this afternoon. !


202_cyclist says: (4/4/16 4:28 PM)
Bryce Harper. SEE. YOU. LATER!

link


202_cyclist says: (4/14/16 6:23 PM)
If the Nats keep playing like this, I am not going to win my JD Land t-shirt.


JD says: (4/14/16 7:20 PM)
Putting aside the actual performance on the field (a surprise in and of itself), I think the best part of this season so far is not having an unmoving stone statue in the manager's spot in the dugout.



conngs0 says: (4/15/16 8:47 AM)
Totally agree, JD! I'd rather have Dusty than any previous Nats manager (even if he does accidentally put on a hit-and-run during the wrong situation on occasion!).

Also, fret not, 202. The Nats are feasting on some pretty low-hanging fruit right now. It's good news for sure because the first step to being a contender is to consistently beat teams with inferior talent. But we don't find out if the Nats are actually good until May (series against the Royals, Cubs, Tigers, Marlins, Mets, and Cardinals).

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