Whatever year was Sutton's first in the booth, the Nats' caravan came to Richmond. Manny Acta and Ryan Zimmerman were along, as were a couple of others. My wife and I went - not as a fan but as a journalist (still at the paper then). I wanted to see what kind of interest there was in the Nats in this area.
The line went out the door. And stayed out the door for the entirety of the visit. I sat there and ate nachos and drank tea and waited for people to stop coming. They did not.
(in one of the great moments of journalistic stupidity, we planned to run a picture. Except someone, not me, typed the wrong YEAR on the photo assignment and it never got shot).
Richmond really isn't that far away. I don't know if too many of my townies are dumb enough to make the drive as often as I do but I bet there's an untapped market down here - a group that would make 5-6 visits or maybe more.
We checked with the Redskins for a story once and found out that five percent of the season-ticket base had a Richmond address. So clearly sports fans where will make a short drive even if the quality of the product isn't all that hot.
The Nats ain't exactly tearing it up at the turnstiles. You'd think they'd pitch this area a little harder. You'd think they would have done it last year when there was no baseball at all here. This year, our fair city is home to the Richmond Flying Squirrels - the AA team of the Giants. I'll go out when Harrisburg is in town. I'll get the rest of my baseball fix making that 125-mile trek up 95.
MASN is part of the local cable package so the Nats DO have a presence. I think one of the radio stations carries the games.
I'm disappointed the Nats didn't include a stop here in their caravan. It's a CARAVAN - that means get out on the road. There's about 1.1 million people in this Metro area. Plenty of them are as IQ-challenged as I am and could be cajoled into fandom at some level.
I come see you 30 times a year. Come see me, just once.