The Washington Nationals' 2005 season was the first for the team formerly known as the Montreal Expos since moving to Washington, D. C. and 37th overall for the franchise. The team signed four key free agents during the off-season: Vinny Castilla, José Guillén, Cristian Guzmán and Esteban Loaiza. Although they recorded an 81-81 record, the Nationals nevertheless finished last for a second consecutive year although they were only nine games behind the NL East champion Atlanta Braves.
|2005 Washington Nationals|
|Major League affiliations|
|Owner(s)||Major League Baseball|
|General manager(s)||Jim Bowden|
WDCA (UPN 20)
WTTG (Fox 5)
(Mel Proctor, Ron Darling, Kenny Albert)
(Charlie Slowes, Dave Shea)
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On November 9, 2004, the Nationals traded Maicer Izturis and Juan Rivera to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for José Guillén. On November 24, 2004, the Nationals traded minor-leaguer Antonio Sucre to the Pittsburgh Pirates for J. J. Davis. On January 19, 2005, they signed Esteban Loaiza as a free agent. On February 7, 2005, they signed Melvin Nieves, also as a free agent. On February 13, 2005, the Nationals traded minor-leaguer Jerry Owens to the Chicago White Sox for Alex Escobar. On February 15, 2005, they traded Alejandro Machado to the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later; the Red Sox sent minor-leaguer Carlos Torres to the Nationals on March 28, 2005, to complete the trade. Meanwhile, on March 22, 2005, the Nationals traded minor-leaguer A. J. Wideman to the Toronto Blue Jays for Tyrell Godwin and on March 24, 2005, they traded Seth Greisinger to the Atlanta Braves as part of a conditional deal.
The Nationals' marketing slogan for the season was "Let Yourself Go." Nationals Vice President of Sales and Marketing David Cope explained that the slogan told "people to come to the game, to let themselves come out here [to Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium]. But then once you're here, have fun, let loose. We don't want it to feel like stuffy old D.C. -- and it doesn't."
Screech, the mascot of the Washington Nationals, made his debut near the beginning of the 2005 season. A bald eagle who wears the home cap and jersey of the team, he was "hatched" on April 17, 2005, at the "Kids Opening Day" promotion at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium during the third home game in Nationals history, a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. A nine-year-old fourth-grade student in Washington, Glenda Gutierrez, designed the mascot and won a contest sponsored by the team, explaining that Screech was "strong and eats almost everything." The first, chubby version of Screech appeared during the team's first four seasons in Washington; just before the start of the 2009 season, the Nationals replaced him with a thin version who debuted in March 2009, explaining that Screech had "grown up" and become a "teenager."
The Nationals' broadcasting deal for 2005 was put together at the last minute and led to difficulties for fans attempting to follow the team on radio or television. Its two flagship radio stations – FM-104.1 WWZZ in Waldorf, Maryland, and AM-1050 WFED in Silver Spring, Maryland – had weak signals and were not audible in many of Washington′s suburbs. On television, the Nationals′ network, the new Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), was carried on DirecTv, RCN Cable, and Verizon′s fiberoptic service and WTTG Channel 5 and WDCA Channel 20 broadcast 79 games, but the Washington area′s dominant cable television provider, Comcast, refused to carry MASN during the season because of an ongoing legal battle with MASN over broadcast rights to Baltimore Orioles games. The limitation of radio and television coverage forced may Nationals fans to rely on print media and in-person attendance at games to follow the team during 2005.
The Nationals had a terrific first half, as they had a 51-32 record by July 5 and were leading the Atlanta Braves by 4.5 games. However, the team struggled in its final 79 games, going 30-49 and scoring only 299 runs (3.78 per game). They were also shut out 7 times during that span. Nevertheless, the teams was able to finish the season at .500; this was only the fourth time in 10 years that the franchise had finished at or above .500.
|W: Lieber (1-0) L: Hernandez (0-1)|
|HRs: Terrmel Sledge, Kenny Lofton Attendance: 44,080.
Length of game: 3:19. Umpires: HP: Darling, 1B: Poncino, 2B: Wegner, 3B: Nauert
|New York Mets||83||79||0.512||7||48–33||35–46|
2005 National League Records
|Opening Day Starters|
|Brad Wilkerson||Center fielder|
|José Vidro||Second baseman|
|José Guillén||Right fielder|
|Nick Johnson||First baseman|
|Vinny Castilla||Third baseman|
|Termel Sledge||Left fielder|
|Liván Hernández||Starting pitcher|
The 2005 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft took place on June 7 and 8. With their first pick – the fourth pick overall – the Nationals selected third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who would advance through the minor leagues quickly and join the Nationals in September. Other notable players the Nationals selected were outfielder Justin Maxwell (fourth round, 114th overall), pitcher Marco Estrada (sixth round, 174th overall), pitcher John Lannan (11th round, 324th overall), pitcher Craig Stammen (12th round, 354th overall), pitcher Ryan Buchter (33rd round, 984th overall), first baseman Tyler Moore (41st round, 1,222nd overall), and pitcher Scott Barnes (43rd round, 1,280th overall). Moore and Barnes did not sign with the team.
|2005 Washington Nationals|
The Nationals drew 2,731,993 fans at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in 2005, placing them eighth in attendance for the season among the 16 National League teams.
Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; R = Runs scored; H = Hits; 2B = Doubles; 3B = Triples; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in; AVG = Batting average; SB = Stolen bases
Complete offensive statistics are available here.
|OF||J. J. Davis||14||26||0||6||0||0||0||2||.231||1|
|P||Tony Armas, Jr.||19||32||1||4||0||0||0||1||.125||0|
|P||T. J. Tucker||13||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||–||0|
|P||C. J. Nitkowski||7||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||–||0|
Note: Pos = Position; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; G = Games pitched; GS = Games started; SV = Saves; IP = Innings pitched; R = Runs allowed; ER = Earned runs allowed; BB = Walks allowed; K = Strikeouts
Complete pitching statistics are available here.
|SP||Tony Armas, Jr.||7||7||4.97||19||19||0||101.1||57||56||54||59|
|T. J. Tucker||1||0||6.39||13||0||0||12.2||9||9||2||5|
|C. J. Nitkowski||0||0||8.10||7||0||0||3.1||3||3||2||2|
|25 (10 with Nationals)|
|90 (43 with Nationals)|
|Stat||Player||Total||NL Rank||MLB Rank|
|OBP||Nick Johnson||.408||6||8 (tie)|
|2B||Brad Wilkerson||42||7 (tie)||11 (tie)|
|3B||Brad Wilkerson||7||7 (tie)||12 (tie)|
|Stat||Player||Total||NL Rank||MLB Rank|
|W||Liván Hernández||15||9 (tie)||16 (tie)|
|AAA||New Orleans Zephyrs||Pacific Coast League||Tim Foli|
|AA||Harrisburg Senators||Eastern League||Keith Bodie|
|A||Potomac Nationals||Carolina League||Bob Henley|
|A||Savannah Sand Gnats||South Atlantic League||Randy Knorr|
|A-Short Season||Vermont Expos||New York–Penn League||José Alguacil and Bobby Williams|
|Rookie||GCL Nationals||Gulf Coast League||Wendell Kim|
For the 1976 Summer Olympics, a total of twenty-seven sports venues were used. Several venues used had been in existence before Montreal made its first Olympic bid in the late 1930s. By the 1950s, Montreal's bid for the Olympics shifted from Winter to Summer before it was finally awarded the 1976 Summer Games in 1970. Strikes in 1974-5 affected construction of the Olympic Park, most notably the Stadium, Pool, and Velodrome, to the point where the FINA President threatened to not have the diving, swimming, and water polo events take place there for the games in early 1976 though all three venues were completed as best as possible prior to the 1976 Games. 27 swimming world records were set as a result. The oldest stadium, Molson Stadium at McGill University, would be converted into artificial turf for the field hockey tournaments while the sailing program in Kingston, Ontario would be held in freshwater, both for the first time in Summer Olympic history. Indoor track cycling took place at the Olympics for the first time at the velodrome. Once the Olympics finished, the Montreal Expos and Montreal Alouettes moved into Olympic Stadium, staying until 2004 and 1997, respectively. The Montreal Canadiens remained at the Montreal Forum until they moved to the Molson Centre in March 1996. In 1992, the velodrome was converted into an indoor zoo now known as the Montreal Biodôme. Île-Notre Dame hosted a canoe sprint world championships and two rowing world championships since the 1976 Games, but the area north of the basin on the island has been host to the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix on an almost annual basis since 1978.Venues of the 1996 Summer Olympics
For the 1996 Summer Olympics, a total of twenty-nine sports venues were used.
Several sports venues for the 1996 Olympics were built before the 1960s as college venues. The first professional teams in Atlanta came in 1966, when Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves moved from Milwaukee and the NFL added the Atlanta Falcons as an expansion team. In 1968, the NBA came to the city when the Atlanta Hawks arrived from St. Louis, and the NHL arrived four years later with the expansion Atlanta Flames.
The Braves and Falcons shared Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium from 1966 through 1991, after which the Falcons moved into the Georgia Dome, playing at that stadium from 1992 through 2016. The Braves would remain at the former stadium through the 1996 season. The Hawks initially played at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, now McCamish Pavilion, on the campus of Georgia Institute of Technology before the Omni Coliseum was completed in 1972 for both the Hawks and Flames. After the 1979–80 season, the Flames left for their current home of Calgary.
Bidding for the 1996 Games was held in 1990. Seventy-five percent of the venues used for the 1996 Games were owned by the state of Georgia. One of the new venues, the Georgia International Horse Park, had organization problems for the modern pentathlon event that included the competitors being forced to sit under an oak tree during the riding part of the event. The Georgia World Congress Center hosted the dramatic weightlifting 64 kg event that involved national tensions between Greece and Turkey.
After the Olympics, the Olympic Stadium, as intended from its construction, was converted into a baseball park known as Turner Field, which opened in 1997. That same year, both Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium and the Omni Coliseum were imploded within one week of one another. Philips Arena (since renamed State Farm Arena) was built upon the former Omni's footprint and opened in 1999, while the area where Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium stood is now a parking lot near Turner Field. The Braves vacated Turner Field after their 2016 season to move to a new ballpark, SunTrust Park, in Cobb County; Georgia State University acquired Turner Field and its surrounding parking lots in January 2017 and converted the former Olympic Stadium a second time into Georgia State Stadium to host their college football program.
2005 MLB season by team
|Culture and lore|
|Division titles (4)|
|Minor league affiliates|