The Nationals have come under criticism for their low attendance numbers despite the teams early season success.
To further complicate matters, local Philadelphia radio stations have been organizing annual bus rides to Washington, D.C. to take over Nats park during the series against the Phillies.
Currently mending from surgery to remove a bone spur in his right elbow, Nationals closer Drew Storen said that the invasion has frustrating over the last few years.
In an interview with Holden & Danny, Storen said that Phillies fans should just stay in Philly.
“Let them stay at their own place instead of coming down here and treating our home like it’s theres’,”said Storen. “That was always one of the most frustrating things the last couple years is when they come in you just have all these Phillies fans come down and you’re like, you know what, I’m in my own bullpen right now and I’m getting worn out.”
Storen compared the series to what he generally experiences in opposing ball parks.
“I can handle it when I’m on the road but if someone’s doing that in my own bullpen that’s when it’s really frustrating,” said Storen.
Low attendance was also an issue for the Washington’s hockey team, the Capitals but after five consecutive seasons with winning records and playoff births the team no longer has trouble filling their seats.
Storen said that the Nationals can follow the Caps lead by building their own following through success on the field.
“You’ve seen the Caps with the fan fare they’ve had, that’s an unbelievable experience to go to one of those games and obviously that’s something we’re shooting for and we want that fan experience when you see us play,” said Storen. “We know that takes time and the Caps have been winning for years, we’re certain to see that turn for us.”
In reference to his current injury, Storen said that he expects to return in early July. His 43 saves in 2011 ranked 6th in the majors.