- The Washington Times - Monday, February 19, 2007

VIERA, Fla. — Washington Nationals single-game tickets will go on sale Saturday, and the team said it will offer discounts to college students and members of the military.

The box office at RFK Stadium will open at 9 a.m., with the team accepting sales of tickets for all regular season home games and the March 31 exhibition against the Baltimore Orioles.

Prices for regular tickets start at $5 for a seat in the upper deck of the outfield and climb to $45 for field box seats in the lower deck along each of the foul lines. Tickets for 14 “premium” games are slightly more expensive, with prices ranging from $9 to $55. The premium games include Opening Day on April 2 and certain contests against the Mets, Phillies, Orioles, Padres, Giants, Indians, Cubs and Cardinals.

From Monday through Thursday during the season, college students and members of the military will get $3 off any ticket priced at more than $10.

Buyers are not permitted to purchase tickets for more than 19 games at one time and can’t purchase more than 12 tickets a game at the RFK box office window.

All tickets located in the lower deck of the infield, also known as the “Field MVP” seats, are sold out, along with all seats in the PNC Diamond Club.

The Nationals also are selling season ticket packages for the 2007 season, including full season, 20-game or 41-game packages. All plans guarantee priority seating in the Nationals’ new ballpark, scheduled to open in 2008.

Ready for position players

For the last five days, Manny Acta has watched his pitchers and catchers perform on a stage all to themselves. Now, Acta’s ready to see his entire team in action.

The new manager will get his chance today, when 30 position players join the 42 pitchers and catchers for the first full-squad workout of spring training.

And not a moment too soon.

“It is, actually, kind of the real first day of spring training,” Acta said. “I don’t want to make the pitchers and catchers feel bad, but it is the real first day.”

As he did before Thursday’s first workout, Acta plans to hold a team meeting this morning. He will expound on his theme from last week’s gathering, encouraging his players not to believe predictions of a last-place finish.

“We are going to use that as a fuel because a lot of those guys in there have a lot to prove,” Acta said. “We still respect everybody’s opinion. But we’d rather be optimistic than realistic.”

Cordero heads west

Closer Chad Cordero left camp yesterday afternoon to fly to Arizona for today’s arbitration hearing against the Nationals. General manager Jim Bowden will depart early this morning and present the club’s case to a three-member panel.

Cordero, who has recorded 76 saves the last two seasons, is seeking a one-year contract worth $4.15 million. The Nationals have countered with a $3.65 million offer, still a sizeable raise from his $525,000 salary in 2006.

Cordero plans to take a red-eye flight back to Florida tonight, with Bowden returning tomorrow. A ruling is expected within one or two days.

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