After Single-A Potomac was rained out for the second night in a row - on a clear night in Northern Virginia - because conditions at Pfitzner Stadium weren’t suitable for the Nationals to play a doubleheader against Kinston, general manager Mike Rizzo issued a strongly-worded statement on the field conditions at the stadium.
The Nationals’ frustration with the field conditions at the stadium have been building for some time; Stephen Strasburg started his minor league stint at Double-A Harrisburg last year in part because of the field conditions, and Bryce Harper skipped Potomac in his recent promotion from Single-A Hagerstown to Harrisburg. Potomac had to move several home games to Single-A Frederick because of poor conditions earlier this year. And after last night’s rainout, the Nationals moved Chien-Ming Wang’s rehab start to Harrisburg.
Team sources have said the Nationals are upset with the ownership group at Potomac for not fixing the field, but sources have also said that Potomac owner Art Silber believes it is the responsibility of Prince William County to improve the playing conditions at the stadium. That impasse has probably cost Potomac two of its biggest draws in Strasburg and Harper, and Rizzo’s statement made it clear the Nationals are growing more frustrated with conditions there.
Here is the full statement:
“The Washington Nationals would never consider asking our players, or those of our opponents, to play on a field that we believe represents a safety threat. The Nationals have repeatedly requested that dangerous field conditions be addressed under the supervision of Major League Baseball. Recent unsupervised work has resulted in a field that is even more dangerous. We regret any inconvenience this may cause to fans of the Potomac Nationals, but we know they join us in wanting only the best for our players.”