Monday morning, the Nationals readily allowed authorities to use their Lot B parking garage on South Capitol and N Streets as an area for Navy Yard family members to reunite in the aftermath of the shootings. The team was “thrilled,” to be able do so, Nationals spokesman John Dever said.
“For us to do our part was easy,” Dever said.
The team did not postpone the game until just after 3 p.m., though, after most Nationals players and many Braves players and personnel had already arrived at the stadium. The decision took that long to make because of the complex nature of the issues involved and “the immense coordination that it takes to make these decisions with federal and local authorities,” Rizzo said. “It’s just a timely process.”
But the feeling of Nationals ownership, as more details about the tragedy continued to emerge, was always that playing any game would be inappropriate.
In a statement released by the team, the Nationals said the “safety of our fans is our utmost priority. … The Nationals security personnel will continue to work closely with all levels of law enforcement to reinforce the already high level of security in place at Nationals Park, and to ensure that our visitors always have a safe experience.”
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said postponing the game was the “right call.”
“You wouldn’t know you’re in the United States,” said Gonzalez. “Stuff like this shouldn’t happen in the United States, but it does. More and more.”
From a baseball standpoint, Haren will pitch in the first game of the doubleheader on Tuesday, against Mike Minor. Atlanta’s Freddy Garcia will face Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark in the nightcap.
“I know it’s really only a 15- or 16-hour delay in the game,” Haren said. “We’ll still be thinking about it tomorrow.
“But, this is our job and we’re going to have to try to come out and play and try to win a baseball game, as inconsequential as that may seem. We’re going to have to come out and do our jobs.”