Leading Votes for Nationals Park Music – Last Chance!

As reported 2 weeks ago, the Nationals are giving fans a chance to choose the songs that will be played in Nationals Park in certain game situations.

I have to say after seeing the current leader board that I’m a little concerned. Remember, we may be living with these traditions for the rest of your life, so if you haven’t voted, now is the time to act!

Song to be played at the 7th inning stretch

The current leaders are a close race between “Shout” by Otis Day and the Knights and “Twist and Shout” by the Beatles.

The Nat Pack during the 7th Inning Stretch People, what are you thinking? These are fine dance songs, but they are tired and already over-used at every other stadium venue in the country. This song will be the focal point of the whole stadium during a break in action. Dancing is not required during the 7th inning stretch. Singing is. More importantly, this is a chance to create a unique Washington tradition. “You Gotta Have Heart” is uniquely Washington. Like “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” (which turns 100 this year, by the way), it’s sappy and old-fashioned, but it’s about baseball and it’s ours alone. It would become a unique fixture of Washington baseball that could never be co-opted by another team in another city. If you don’t know the song, you will learn it quickly enough, and before long, everybody will be singing along (no, they won’t play the verse about how we ain’t got hitters and pitchers). It’s not too late! Place your votes here. Vote now and vote often!

Song to be played after a home run

Current leaders are “Bustin Loose” by Chuck Brown, “Song 2 (Woo Hoo)” by Blur, and “”Off We Go” (the Air Force theme). Here again, my choice, “Because We Can” by Fatboy Slim is way behind in the voting, but the 2 leaders aren’t awful. Just please don’t pick the Air Force theme. Again, it’s not about which is the best song. It’s about which is most appropriate for the situation. Home runs don’t call for a sing-a-long. They call for a fast-paced, momentum-building rhythm that can whip the crowd into a frenzy. (Off We Go? Puh-lease!)

Song to be played after a victory
Current leaders are “Beautiful Day” by U2 and “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang. I’m not surprised at all. The choices in this category were all bad, and people are stuck between choosing a good song that’s inappropriate and an appropriate song that’s hackneyed and over-used. I can’t help you here.

You can listen to samples here, and then Place your votes at Nationals.com

Join the Nationals Ceremonial Ball Walk and Get Tickets to the First Game at Nationals Park

Washington Nationals flagship radio station WWWT (Washington Post Radio 1500 AM / 107.7 FM) is hosting a promotional event next Friday morning March 28 in which WWWT personality Nigel will be joined by a group of Nationals fans to walk the ceremonial first game baseball three miles from RFK Stadium to the new Nationals Park.

The station has announced that the first 100 people to register and complete the walk will get two tickets to the next day’s exhibition game against the Baltimore Orioles. Saturday’s game will be the first ever played by the team at Nationals Park, but tickets are not open to the general public.

This has made these somewhat of a hot commodity, though not impossible to get, having been selling on ebay in the range of $50 to $125 each.

The game against the Orioles was planned as both a “dry run” for the stadium crew and vendors, as well as a reward for the thousands of people who had a hand in building the new Nationals Park. Tickets were distributed to a limited number of guests, with the intention of only partially filling the stands.

The walk is scheduled to begin at (gulp) 7:00am on Friday. Tickets will be awarded to “the first 100 people to show up and register,” though completing the walk is a prerequisite for getting the tickets. It’s hard to say whether you’ll have to show up extra early to qualify. A lot depends on how much they plan to promote this on the radio in the next week (my guess is a lot). Details at 3WTRadio.com.

Goodbye John Patterson

John PattersonThe Washington Nationals surprised nobody but their own fans by releasing pitcher John Patterson today. I was surely not alone in being taken by surprise. A lot of us had hopes that he could still play the role of staff ace, having been mesmerized by his flashes of brilliance in 2005 and at the very beginning of the 2006 season, before arm trouble got the best of him.

But after failing to hit 90 mph in Spring Training, and stinking it up this week in his final spring training game in front of Nats owner Mark Lerner, the team clearly had seen enough.

The remarkable thing is that he wasn’t traded or waived. Patterson’s release means that general manager Jim Bowden couldn’t get a single bite on Patterson via trade. If no major league team was willing to take on Patterson’s $850,000 contract, then you know we’ve all been drinking the Kool Aid. Good luck John (just not against the Nats).

Presidents Race “Best On-Field Promotion of 2007″

GameOps.com, a web site focused on sports entertainment and promotions, recognized the Washington Nationals presidents race with its Golden Steagle award for best contest or on-field promotion of 2007.

Of course I couldn’t agree more, but this is a nice feather in the cap for Stan Kasten and the young Nationals marketing team, especially considering that Gameops.com covers teams across a spectrum of sports (including frequently more creative minor league teams).

Lastings Milledge in the Presidents Race?

Could Lastings Milledge don the Teddy Roosevelt costume?Presidents race watchers should take note to watch manager Manny Acta’s lineup card this season to see whether he’s given center fielder Lastings Milledge the day off.

In a video interview on Friday, Lastings Milledge tells the Washington Post that he plans to take the first opportunity to help Teddy win the presidents race.

“I’m gonna dress up as Roosevelt. I’m gonna win for him,” Milledge said. “If I get an off day I’m gonna ask Manny if I can dress up and win one.”

Milledge likens Teddy’s quest to win the presidents race to the Nationals’ pursuit of the NL East title. His advice to Teddy?

“Hang in there, man… You know, he’s just gettin’ a rap like how we get, everybody expecting him to lose, so he’s going to come out on top.”

Nationals Park Music – Place Your Votes Now!

Fans of letteddywin.com know that I promote Teddy’s quest to win the presidents race because it is inarguably the first fan tradition that Washington Nationals fans can truly call their own.

With the opening of our new Nationals Park this month, many of us have been screaming that the team needs to create more DC traditions, and stop borrowing from other clubs as the team so brazenly did at RFK stadium with chants of Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose and singing of Sweet Caroline.

Well, the Nationals have been listening! Today you can visit the Washington Nationals web site and vote for new songs to be played at Nationals Park.

The choices are varied, which is good. The problem is that the team doesn’t provide music samples for people who aren’t familiar with the choices. So without further adieu, I present your choices for songs, complete with links to sample audio. Sample below, then vote here.

When a Nationals Player Hits a Home Run
Because We Can by Fatboy Slim
Bustin’ Loose by Chuck Brown (go 30 seconds in)
Kernkraft 400 by Zombie Nation (not the best sample)
Off We Go (the Air Force Theme)
Song 2 by Blur (go 15 seconds in)
My vote goes to Because We Can, because I’m a firm believer in the capacity of stadium music to help energize a crowd and swing the momentum in a game. The home run song should be high-energy stuff.

During the 7th Inning Stretch
Build Me Up Buttercup by The Foundations
The Gambler by Kenny Rogers
Rock Me Gently by Andy Kim
September by Earth, Wind & Fire
Shout by Otis Day and the Knights
Twist and Shout by The Beatles
YMCA by The Village People
You Gotta Have Heart Damn Yankees, The Musical
This one is a no-brainer. It has to be You Gotta Have Heart. The song is sappy and sentimental, but it is about baseball and more importantly it uniquely belongs to Washington, DC. In time, when the fans have learned all the lyrics and are selling the place out for a winning team, this song will shake Nationals Park to its core at every 7th inning stretch.

When the Nationals Win The Game
Beautiful Day by U2
Celebration by Kool And The Gang
Dancing in the Streets by Martha Reeves and the Vandelas
How Do You Like Me Now by Toby Keith
Rock and Roll Part 2 by Gary Glitter
I don’t really like any of these choices. Three of them are too slow, and the other two (Celebration and Rock and Roll Part 2) are huge sports cliches at this point. Unfortunately I have to say I think I’d take a cliche over a bad song. Happy voting!

New Nationals Park Clubhouse Tour

Sorry it took me so long to share, but my tour of the new Nationals Park included some video as well. A lot of progress has of course been made in the short time since this was filmed.

As you can see, the views of the field from the main concourse are one of the best features of the new Nationals Park. It’s a great stadium for walking around.

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