Notes: Bush invited for inaugural pitch

Notes: Inaugural pitch could be presidential

WASHINGTON -- President George W. Bush has been invited to throw out the first pitch on Opening Day, and Nationals president Stan Kasten said on Tuesday that Bush would attend "if he is at all able."

Should Bush attend, the team has a suite that was built to handle presidential visits.

When general manager Jim Bowden was shown the room, he was told it was the President's Suite, and mistakenly thought the room was Kasten's. Kasten laughed when he told the story to reporters, and clarified that his ballpark seats are not as nice as the other president's.

Opening Day demand: Kasten said that tickets for Opening Day sold out in six minutes, comparing the demand to a Bruce Springsteen concert.

"The system worked perfectly," he said. "We're very proud we were able to do that. The public was instrumental in getting the stadium built, so we're glad we were able to offer tickets to the public."

About 4,000 tickets were available for purchase on Tuesday, with the rest going to full- and partial-plan season-ticket holders. Some seats remain reserved so that fans who purchase season tickets between now and Opening Day can get tickets to the game.

Single-game tickets remain available for all other games, though some price levels have sold out.

Street parking will be difficult: The Navy Yard Metro station, the stop located closest to the ballpark, will be open in time for Opening Day.

Metro will hold grand opening ceremonies when the construction is finished in the next couple weeks. Kasten urged fans to use the public transportation.

"It would be very foolish to come into this part of town and look for street parking," he said. "That's not going to happen."

The Navy Yard station will be able to handle 15,000 fans an hour. Metro officials said on Monday they would not be able to add additional trains to the track during rush hour -- because they already work at full capacity at that time -- but could adapt in post-game situations. The tracks will stay open past the normal closing time if games run late.

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"I think Metro has a great plan in place to accommodate the crowd that's going to be here," Kasten said. "They've been planning on this for months."

In addition, free parking will be available with a shuttle bus at RFK Stadium.

Ballpark tours: The team announced that during the season, tours of the ballpark would be given, similar to what other Major League teams do.

The tours will be scheduled at times the team is not playing, and will include a behind-the-scenes look at the stadium and all its features. There will be a fee for the tour.

Coming up: The cherry blossom trees are being planted beyond the outfield right now, and next week the team plans to unveil the outfield plaza with shops and a kid's area.

Michael Phillips is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.