A game with no end, and no rain check

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Let’s say you took Tuesday off work to attend the game at Nationals Park.

Let’s say you sat through the entire game, watched the Nationals blow not one, not two, but three leads against the Astros.

Let’s say it started to rain in the 11th inning with the score tied 10-10.

Let’s say you wait out an hour-long delay before they announced that the game has been suspended and will resume on July 9. In Houston. 

Bummer, right? In situations like these, teams will frequently allow fans to use their ticket stub to get a ticket to a future home game. They don’t have to do it, since the game is considered official after the game passes the 5th inning. But teams know when fans feel bummed out.

But in announcing that the game would be suspended, the Nationals simply provided this line: “Per Major League Baseball rules, this afternoon’s Nationals-Astros contest is considered a regulation game and therefore no rainchecks will be granted.”

Ok, fine. If you went to the game Tuesday, you got more than 10 innings of baseball and it was pretty exciting. Perhaps you got your money’s worth.

But you didn’t get a result.

It’s a very unique circumstance, but fans here are being denied an opportunity to see how the game ends. Imagine watching a football game but being forced to leave with the game tied 21-21 with two minutes to go. Or going to the Kentucky Derby and watching the entire race except for the final furlong. Or watching all of a NASCAR race except for the final few laps. 

I sent an email to Nationals President Stan Kasten inquiring about this issue and have not yet heard from him. But the Nationals, of all teams, should be more sensitive to fans in this situation. Attendance is way down, enthusiasm is low and cynicism is way up. And there is a lingering belief among fans that the team owners just don’t get it. 

If club officials were savvy, they’d offer all fans with tickets to Tuesday’s game the ability to come back for any non-premium weekday game. It would be the Nationals saying “sorry you missed the end. Thanks for putting up with the rain. Your support is important to us. Please come see another game, on us.” The club would lose very little. But it would gain a lot in the goodwill department.

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