Happy Opening day!
Here’s my recurring “Opening Day” trivia/useless information post. Here was 2016’s version, 2015, 2014 and 2013. I also reference many Google XLS/Google Doc creations with historical data below, all of which have been updated for 2017.
Nats 2017 Opening day Payroll:
- $164,335,555 according to Cots
- $162,742,157 per USA Today and
- $146,922,929 per my personal calculations.
Why are these values different? Cots and USA today disagree on Strasburg’s 2017 salary to the tune of about $2M, and that’s about the difference between their two figures. My XLS counts all salaries in *current dollars* only, as opposed to the salary cap figures that USA Today and Cots do (Cots also splits out the signing bonuses prorated to each year of the contract). Plus I count in payments to former players (in our case, Petit and Norris). I believe this is a better representation of how the team and the Lerners see their payroll. Teams that have huge payments to former players (like the Dodgers and Padres) should absolutely have those “dead money” payments included. Roughly speaking, Strasburg and Scherzer both are getting $15M in current dollars but more than $40M combined in these claculations, which is a huge part of the delta between my XLS and Cots’.
Oh, by the way, the Nats now have $199 MILLION dollars of deferred payments on the books when adding in Blanton’s (mostly) deferred salary.
Opening Day Payroll; MLB wide
I’ve put both of these lists side by side into this little handy Payroll XLS to demonstrate how ridiculously bad the USA Today figures are. They’re off by $35M for the Padres and by $53M for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Thats because the USA Today figures don’t account for any salaries being paid for former players, which in the modern game has more and more become a standard. So, basically I ignore USA Today’s figures and always use Cot’s.
The Dodgers continue to lead the way (by either measure). The Brewers are now dead last, just ahead of the purposely tanking Padres. You may have seen posts that noted that Clayton Kershaw gets paid more this year than the Padres entire 25-man roster, and that’s true, but it ignores the $30M+ of dead money on their payroll.
The Nats are 9th on both lists. Imagine what we could spend with a market value RSN!!
Home Openers Information
Opening Day 2017 attendance was announced at 42,744 . That’s up more than a thousand from last year. Here’s all our home openers in order with attendance, time of game, weather:
- 2017: 42,744 (1:05 monday game, 66 and cloudy)
- 2016: 41,650 (4:05 thursday game, 60 and 1.5hr rain delay)
- 2015: 42,295 (4:05 monday game, 75 and gorgeous)
- 2014: 42,834 (1:05 friday game, 50s and overcast)
- 2013: 45,274 (1:05 monday game, 60 and beautiful)
- 2012: 40,907 (1:05 thursday game 56, partly cloudy)
- 2011: 39,055 (1:05 thursday game, 41 degrees and overcast)
- 2010: 41,290 (1pm game monday, beautiful weather 80s and sunny): Phillies invasion
- 2009: 40,386 (3pm game on a monday, chilly 53degr and overcast)
- 2008: 39,389 (season and stadium opener), 8pm sunday night, Braves, nat’l tv clear but cold.
- 2007: 40,389 (in rfk, 1pm game vs Florida, 72degrees
- 2006: 40,516 (in rfk, tuesday day game vs Mets, 72degr and sunny)
- 2005: 45,596 (in rfk, debut of entire franchise, 62degr and clear, evening game).
Here’s some attendance milestones for the franchise:
- Nats park capacity for 2017 somewhere between 41,506 and 41,546 depending on your source.
- 2013’s opening day attendance of 45,274 remains the regular season record attendance.
- All time record attendance? The ill-fated 2012 NLDS game 5: 45,966. No playoff games in 2014 or 2016 came close.
- The first game in franchise history; 2005 in RFK: 45,596, which stood until the 2012 NLDS record-setting game.
- The long-running regular season attendance record was the great Fathers day 2006 game in RFK against the Yankees: 45,157. That record stood for more than 6 years.
Home Openers Box Scores and Results
Nats are 5-8 in their home openers now since moving to Washington. Stephen Strasburg‘s 2017 start joins him with Livan Hernandez as the only two pitchers to throw more than one home opener for this team. When Livan gets elected to Cooperstown, I hope he’s wearing the curly W.
- 2017; mlb.com: Nats d Marlins 4-2. WP: Strasburg, LP Phelps (Starters: Strasburg and Volquez)
- 2016: mlb.com: Marlins d Nats 6-4. WP: David Phelps, LP Tanner Roark (Starters: Brian Conley and Roark).
- 2015: mlb.com: Mets d Nats 3-1. WP: Bartolo Colon. LP: Max Scherzer
- 2014: mlb.com or b-r.com. Braves d Nats 2-1. WP: Luis Avilan. LP: Tyler Clippard. (Starters: Jordan Zimmermann and David Hale).
- 2013: mlb.com or b-r.com. Nats d Marlins 2-0. WP: Stephen Strasburg. LP: Ricky Nolasco
- 2012: mlb.com. Nats d Reds 3-2. WP: Craig Stammen. LP: Alfredo Simon (Starters: Gio Gonzalez and Mat Latos)
- 2011: mlb.com. Braves d Nats 2-0. WP: Derek Lowe. LP: Livan Hernandez
- 2010: mlb.com. Phillies d Nats 11-1. WP: Roy Halladay. LP: John Lannan
- 2009: mlb.com. Phillies d Nats 9-8. WP: Jamie Moyer. LP: Saul Rivera (Nats Starter: Daniel Cabrera)
- 2008: mlb.com. Nats d Braves 3-2. WP: Jon Rauch. LP: Peter Moylan (Starters: Tim Hudson and Odalis Perez)
- 2007: mlb.com. Marlins d Nats 9-2. WP: Dontrelle Willis. LP: John Patterson
- 2006: mlb.com. Mets d Nats 7-1. WP: Brian Bannister. LP: Ramon Ortiz
- 2005: mlb.com. Nats beat Arizona 5-3. WP: Livan Hernandez. LP: Javier Vazquez
How about Season openers?
Record: 6-7. # times home/away: 7 home, 6 away.
The Nats managed to lose 6 of their first 7 season openers … only winning in 2008 when debuting their new stadium. And Jon Rauch did his darndest to blow that opener too, coughing up the lead in the 9th to give Ryan Zimmerman a chance at glory.
- 2017 home: Nats d Marlins 4-2. WP Strasburg, LP Phelps (starters Strasburg, Volquez)
- 2016: away: Nats d Braves 4-3. WP Treinen, LP O’Flarity (starters Scherzer, Teheran)
- 2015: home: Mets d Nats 3-1. WP: Bartolo Colon. LP: Max Scherzer
- 2014: away: Nats d Mets 9-7. WP Aaron Barrett, LP Familia (starters Strasburg, Dillon Gee)
- 2013: home: Nats d Marlins 2-0. WP: Stephen Strasburg. LP: Ricky Nolasco
- 2012: away: Nats d Cubs 2-1. WP Clippard, LP Marmol (starters: Strasburg and Ryan Dempster)
- 2011: home: Braves d Nats 2-0. WP: Derek Lowe. LP: Livan Hernandez
- 2010: home: Phillies d Nats 11-1. WP: Roy Halladay. LP: John Lannan
- 2009: away: Marlins d Nats 12-6. WP: Nolasco, LP; Lannan
- 2008: home: Nats d Braves 3-2. WP: Jon Rauch. LP: Peter Moylan (Starters: Tim Hudson and Odalis Perez)
- 2007: home: Marlins d Nats 9-2. WP: Dontrelle Willis. LP: John Patterson
- 2006: away: Mets d Nats 3-2. WP: Glavine, LP: Hernandez
- 2005: away: Phillies d Nats 8-4. WP: Lieber, LP: Hernandez
Opening Day Starter Trivia
Here’s my Opening Day starters worksheet in Google docs, updated for the 2017 slate. Here’s the answer to some fun Opening Day Starter trivia:
- Leader in Opening day starts: remains C.C. Sabathia with 11, though he’s not extending his record and will be caught next year.
- Leader in consecutive opening day starts: Felix Hernandez, making his 9th consecutive, 10th overall.
- Justin Verlander returned to Opening Day duties, getting his 9th career opening day start; he remains in 3rd place actively.
- Clayton Kershaw now has seven straight and may be in a position to challenge the all time records.
- For the Nats; Stephen Strasburg gets his fourth. Max Scherzer has two. John Lannan, now back as a submarining lefty in AAA, also has two.
- Twelve (12) pitchers made their first career opening day start in 2017, including (surprisingly) Yu Darvish.
- Edinson Volquez got his 5th career opening day start … on four different teams.
- The Mets have now used 7 different opening day starters in the last 7 seasons. But that pales in comparison to what’s going on in Texas: 9 straight different opening day starters there. Miami has used 6 different guys in a row and there’s a few other teams that have used 4 or 5 different guys over the last 4-5 seasons.
- The most ever? Tom Seaver with 16. The most consecutive? Jack Morris with 14.