WASHINGTON With more than half the seats empty, Game 2 at Nationals Park got off to a bit of a rough start.
The gigantic, high-definition scoreboard beyond the outfield at the Washington Nationals' new $611 million stadium was only partially working in the first inning Monday night, with no ball-strike count and no scoreline. Just a much-much-larger-than-life photo of the batter.
The ribbon boards were out completely in the first inning, meaning the spectators there for the beginning of the game against the Florida Marlins the announced paid attendance was 20,487 in the 41,888-capacity stadium had no way of knowing what the score was.
The out-of-town scoreboard on the wall in right-center? That was blank, too.
"Ten years from now," Nationals president Stan Kasten said, "you're going to have nights when stuff like that happens."
Also odd: Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green was invited to call out, "Washington, let's play ball!" before the first pitch, but the microphone didn't work. He was handed another mike and had no luck with that one, either.
Still, they did play ball, before a far smaller crowd than Game 1 at the new ballpark drew March 30. That opener, on a Sunday night, drew more than 39,000.
After that game, the Nationals played six games on the road, before returning home Monday.
"I'm very happy with tonight's crowd," Kasten said. "I mean, with the weather what it is, on a Monday night for Florida, second game of the year, cold weather, against an NCAA championship game."
The scoreboards were finally up and running by the game's fifth batter, not quite 10 minutes after the first pitch.
But there still were apparent kinks, including the pitch speed meter that showed Nationals right-hander Tim Redding striking out Hanley Ramirez on a 58 mph fastball.
JETER LEAVES GAME WITH INJURY: Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter left Monday night's game against the Tampa Bay Rays with a strained left quadriceps.
Morgan Ensberg came in to play first base before the third inning, and Wilson Betemit switched from first to shortstop to replace Jeter.
Jeter beat out a potential double-play grounder in the first inning and scored on Bobby Abreu's two-run homer.
SPIEZIO PLEADS GUILTY: Scott Spiezio pleaded guilty Monday to misdemeanor drunken driving and hit-and-run charges stemming from a December car crash in Orange County. Spiezio's lawyer entered the plea as part of a plea agreement, said Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman for county prosecutors. Spiezio was ordered to serve three years probation, undergo a three-month alcohol program, attend two Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and complete 80 hours of community service.
He must also pay about $1,700 in fines and restitution, including $839 in damages caused by the crash, she said.
Spiezio was cut by the St. Louis Cardinals in February after a warrant was issued for his arrest. Prosecutors said he crashed his car into a curb and fence in Irvine, then ran away. A neighbor told police Spiezio arrived at their condo complex appearing disheveled and apparently injured. The neighbor, identified in court papers as Michael P., alleged that Spiezio punched him, causing significant injuries.
Spiezio was charged with misdemeanor counts of aggravated assault, assault and battery in connection to the neighbor's claims, but prosecutors dropped those charges because he "was pleading guilty to two counts and had a relationship" with the neighbor, Emami said.
The 35-year-old Spiezio agreed March 31 to a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves.
BLUE JAYS' RYAN PITCHES IN MINORS: Toronto Blue Jays closer B.J. Ryan pitched one inning in his second rehab appearance for Class A Dunedin on Monday.
Two days after his first appearance in a minor league game, Ryan struck out one batter and threw 12 pitches, seven for strikes.
COLON PLACED ON MINOR-LEAGUE DL: Bartolo Colon had a setback in his attempt to return to the big leagues with the Boston Red Sox.
The 2005 Cy Young Award winner, who is pitching for Triple-A Pawtucket, strained his right side. He was placed on the seven-day disabled list Monday and will miss at least one start.
GUILLEN SUSPENSION WOULD START THURSDAY: Jose Guillen's 15-day suspension would start Thursday unless baseball players and owners agree on changes to their drug rules or the penalty is put on hold again. Major League Baseball and the players' union announced March 28 they were putting the suspensions of Guillen and Jay Gibbons on hold for 10 days, giving lawyers more time to reach an agreement that would toughen the drug policy.