Nationals Park's Game 2 draws crowd of just 20,487

Notes

April 08, 2008

With more than half the seats empty, Game 2 at Nationals Park got off to a bit of a rough start.

The gigantic, high-definition scoreboard beyond the outfield at the Washington Nationals' new $611 million stadium was only partially working in the first inning last night, with no ball-strike count and no scoreline. Just a much-much-larger-than-life photo of the batter.

The ribbon boards were out completely in the first inning, meaning the spectators there for the beginning of the game against the Florida Marlins - which the Nationals lost, 10-7, and for which the announced paid attendance was 20,487 in the 41,888-capacity stadium - had no way of knowing what the score was.

The out-of-town scoreboard on the wall in right-center? That was blank, too.

"Ten years from now," Nationals president Stan Kasten said, "you're going to have nights when stuff like that happens."

Game 1 at the new ballpark March 30, on a Sunday night, drew more than 39,000. After that game, the Nationals played six games on the road.

"I'm very happy with tonight's crowd," Kasten said. "I mean, with the weather what it is ... against an NCAA championship game."

The scoreboards were finally up and running by the game's fifth batter.

More Nationals -- Right-hander Shawn Hill, who is on the 15-day disabled list with right forearm pain, is slated to throw five innings and 80 pitches at Single-A Potomac today. He still hopes to make his 2008 regular-season debut for Washington on Sunday.

Diamondbacks -- Center fielder Chris Young and Arizona have agreed to terms on a five-year contract extension through 2013. The agreement, which includes a team option for 2014, was confirmed by a person familiar with the details who spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity. Young set rookie franchise highs in homers (32), runs (85) and steals (27) in 2007.

Yankees -- Shortstop Derek Jeter left New York's 6-1 victory over Tampa Bay before the third inning with a strained left quadriceps. Jeter beat out a potential double-play grounder in the first and scored on Bobby Abreu's two-run home run. "I thought it was a little cramp," Jeter said. "It turned out, obviously, to be a little more." Manager Joe Girardi said Jeter won't play today against Kansas City, but the club didn't have any plans to put him on the disabled list.

Rays -- Designated hitter Cliff Floyd was scratched from the lineup against the Yankees because of a sore right knee.

Red Sox -- Bartolo Colon had a setback in his attempt to return to the big leagues. The 2005 American League Cy Young Award winner, who is pitching for Triple-A Pawtucket, strained his right side. He was placed on the seven-day DL. Colon will be re-examined today in Boston.

Steroids -- Royals outfielder Jose Guillen's 15-day suspension would start Thursday unless baseball players and owners agree on changes to their drug rules or the penalty is put on hold again. The suspensions of Guillen and Jay Gibbons, who was released by the Orioles on March 30, were put on hold March 28. Guillen and Gibbons were suspended Dec. 6 by commissioner Bud Selig after media reports linked them to performance-enhancing drugs.

Blue Jays -- Closer B.J. Ryan, a former Oriole, pitched one inning in his second rehab appearance for Single-A Dunedin. Ryan, who had season-ending ligament replacement surgery May 10, struck out one batter and threw 12 pitches.

White Sox -- Manager Ozzie Guillen was ejected from Chicago's 7-4 victory over Minnesota after plate umpire Phil Cuzzi called a second strike against Paul Konerko during the third inning. Guillen quickly got tossed by Cuzzi after he popped out of the dugout to argue. He went nose to nose with the umpire.

Marlins -- The team purchased the contract of right-hander Burke Badenhop from Double-A Carolina before its game against the Nationals.

Reds-Diamondbacks -- Cincinnati traded left-handed reliever Jon Coutlangus to Arizona for minor league infielder Daniel Perales.

Jurisprudence -- Scott Spiezio pleaded guilty in Newport Beach, Calif., to misdemeanor drunken driving and hit-and-run charges stemming from a December car crash in Orange County. Spiezio was ordered to serve three years' probation. Spiezio, 35, agreed March 31 to a minor-league contract with the Braves.

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