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An historic day in an historic city: Nats host playoffs

Nationals Park

It’s been 79 years since the District of Columbia hosted playoff baseball, as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Division Series — but local fans are upset at how MLB is handling the game.

Washington last hosted a playoff fame on Oct. 7, 1933, when the New York Giants defeated the Washington Senators, 4-3, in the World Series. That began a long streak of futility for Washington fans; the Senators would move to Minnesota in 1961 and the second iteration of the Sens never really came close to winning a pennant before that team departed to Texas.

The game is scheduled to start at 1:07 p.m.

One comment: MLB has not handled this historic occasion very well. Scheduling today’s game as a matinee means for some unnecessary logistical issues for Nats fans (traffic will be a nightmare, especially when the game lets out), and with MLB Network exclusively carrying the game, you’ll have some great commentary (no one is better than Jim Kaat) on a network not nearly as widely distributed as TBS and TNT, especially in the Washington area. From the Washington Post:

“It’s the worst-case scenario,” said John Quinn, who had already purchased tickets for Wednesday’s game and immediately e-mailed his supervisor about taking a half-day. “Some of us actually have to work. It’s really upsetting. This is the first time we’ve had playoff baseball since 1933, and to get the 1 o’clock start time and the MLB Network just seems really unfair.”

Wednesday’s game will be just the second playoff game shown exclusively on MLB Network; Sunday’s game between the Oakland Athletics and Detroit Tigers was the highest-rated game in the network’s four-year history. The channel has 70 million subscribers, and is available on the cable or satellite systems of close to 100 million households.

But some casual viewers may discover that they don’t have the proper subscription package to receive the network. For RCN’s D.C. Metro subscribers, the MLB Network is part of the provider’s “Premiere” package. On the Web site for Comcast (now Xfinity), the MLB Network is listed as part of the Digital Premier and Digital Preferred packages, but not the Digital Starter package, which includes more than 80 channels.


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