In the wake of this morning’s shootings at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., just blocks from Nationals Park, the Nationals have announced that tonight’s game against the Braves has been postponed.
It will be replayed tomorrow as part of a split doubleheader, with games at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The Nats released a statement, which reads as follows:
“All of us here in the Nationals organization were deeply saddened to learn of the tragic events that occurred this morning only a few blocks from Nationals Park. Our thoughts and prayers remain with our friends at the Navy Yard and those impacted by today’s incident.
“In light of the circumstances, we have decided to postpone tonight’s game against the Braves. Additional information will be distributed in the coming hours.
“The safety of our fans is our utmost priority. As we have throughout the day, the Nationals security personnel will continue to work closely with all levels of law enforcement to reinforce the already high level of security in place at Nationals Park and to ensure that our visitors always have a safe experience.”
The Nats and Braves were to kick off a three-game series tonight, their final meeting of the regular season. The first game of that series will now have to wait until tomorrow, after the tragic events at the Navy Yard today.
Update: Reporters just met with Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo outside the Nats’ clubhouse after the announcement that the Nats and Braves will postpone tonight’s game and play a split doubleheader tomorrow.
“It’s a very emotional day,” Rizzo said. “An extremely horrific act happened very near to the ballpark, our neighbors at the Navy Yard. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims over there and all the people affected by this. We felt that it was inappropriate to play a Major League Baseball game with such tragedy down the street. ...
“There’s a lot of demographics that go into canceling the game for these reasons. We have to be in contact with the federal authorities, the state and DC authorities to have a coordinated effort. And then whenever you cancel a game, obviously MLB is involved, and we have to go through the correct procedures with that.”
Postponing the game was a combined decision between Nationals officials and those in the Major League Baseball league office, Rizzo said. It took a little while for the postponement to finally be announced, but Rizzo said that was largely due to the fact that postponing a game under these circumstances is “a timely process”.
“As the information unfolded throughout the day, we felt that it would be inappropriate to play,” Rizzo said. “Early on, before we had all the information, we gathered here, made an informed decision, and that was the decision to make.”
The Nats allowed for Parking Lot B outside of Nationals Park to be used as a gathering area for families affected by today’s incident. Those leaving the Navy Yard were able to head over to the lot and meet up with family members in a secure location.
“We were thrilled to be able to help,” senior director of baseball information John Dever said. “For us to do our part, it was easy.”
The Nats will stick with their current pitching order tomorrow, having Dan Haren start the 1 p.m. game tomorrow, with Tanner Roark going in the nightcap. The Braves will have Mike Minor go in the day game, with Freddy Garcia starting the 7 p.m. game.