June 8, 2006
On our way into Washington on Tuesday (when the Nationals were out of town, unfortunately), Jacqueline and I took a slight detour so as to gawk at the massive construction projects. First was the "mixing bowl" interchange on the Beltway at Springfield, and then the new Woodrow Wilson bridge, of which the southern span is scheduled to open in the next few days. Then we briefly entered Maryland and headed north along I-295, across the Frederick Douglass bridge, and stopped at the stadium construction site. What a change since the last time I was there! To my surprise, the demolition of existing buildings is almost complete, and excavation has begun in earnest. Perhaps they'll make that April 2008 target completion date after all!
Coincidentally, the new owners of the Nationals informed the D.C. government that they will not pay to have underground parking garages built on the north side of the new stadium, on the grounds that it is too late to complete such a structure by Opening Day 2008. See Washington Post. The planned above-ground garages would block the view of the U.S. Capitol except for the upper deck fans.
The Nats won two out of three games in Atlanta, and won the opening game of the four-game series against the Phillies at home in RFK Stadium tonight. Alfonso Soriano hit his 23rd homer of the year, and is now only two behind Albert Pujols. I'm tempted to say all is forgiven, after that little spat about whether he would play in left field before the season began. Since May 14, in only two games have the opponents scored more than five runs. In short, the team is finally hitting its stride, and even though they are still several games below .500, one cannot discount the possibility that they will sustain this momentum and live up to the potential of their many fine players. An intriguing thought...