WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo credited “a timely process” per James Wagner of the Washington Post, as the team’s rationale for waiting more than seven hours after shots were fired at the Navy Yard, to postpone Monday’s game against the Braves.
First reports of the fatal shootings came in around 8:30 a.m, and by 10 a.m. it was clear Washington, D.C. was dealing with a tragedy.
Nationals Park, just blocks away from the massacre, still had players filing in at 1:30 p.m., still set to play a game that night, according to Wagner. Wagner did a superb job of mapping out the timeline of the day, as it related to the Nationals, which you can read about here.
The hours between the time the incident was first reported and the moment the postponement was announced left plenty of room for speculation, from both fans and pundits alike.
Howard Fineman (@howardfineman) September 16, 2013
Family members of Navy Yard employees are asked to meet at @Nationals Park & they haven't cancelled the game? C'mon Nats, time to postpone.—
Deana (@DeanaRM) September 16, 2013
Maybe it's just me but this seems like a good reason to postpone a baseball game. #Nats—
(@meredithrodkey) September 16, 2013
Pretty irresponsible of the Nats not to just come out and postpone tonight's game.—
Evan Lucy (@evanlucy) September 16, 2013
Thanks Chipper 10 (@ThanksChipper10) September 16, 2013
Manager Davey Johnson perhaps put it best, when he told Wagner, “It’s right across the street. To be able to hear cheering, and supposedly they’re using a parking lot for families — I don’t know. It should just be quiet for today.”
There were others who took umbrage with the organization’s delayed response, including 106.7 The Fan’s Holden Kushner.
“I need to get something off my chest,” Kushner said on Tuesday. “First of all, I did have some issue that it took the Nationals so long to cancel the game yesterday.”
“I think when you have a massacre four blocks from where you are, it’s up to ownership to come out and say ‘We’re not going to play today,’ and then you get in touch with Major League Baseball,” he added. “And if they don’t like it, well Bud Selig has some issues if they don’t like it.”
In defense of the team, Kushner would admit the Nats ultimately made the right call by pushing Monday’s game into Tuesday and forcing a doubleheader. He just felt they could have been a little more proactive about it, as opposed to waiting until 3:14 p.m. to give the final verdict.
Listen to Holden’s rant on the Nats below.