A Local Perspective on the Nats’ Blunders

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[Editor's note: Uni Watch reader and Washington resident R. Scott Rogers recently offered a particularly sharp assessment of the Nationals' quality-control issues. Here are his thoughts, as transcribed from a Uni Watch interview.]

By R. Scott Rogers

Here’s what’s bothered me about the Nationals: Let’s take the uniform mistakes, like the misspelling of the team name. Now, that mistake didn’t originate with the team — the jerseys were shipped to them like that. But how many people throughout the organization saw that? Someone opened the box and either didn’t notice or didn’t care; someone was handed those jerseys and didn’t notice or didn’t care; someone put them in the players’ lockers and didn’t notice or didn’t care; the players put the jerseys on and didn’t notice or didn’t care; all the other players in the locker room — and the manager — didn’t notice or didn’t care. It’s that multiplicity of not noticing or not caring that’s bothersome.

Now, John Lannan’s name being misspelled on the scoreboard — that could be one person typing. Yeah, that person should spell it correctly — or, really, he shouldn’t even be typing it, he should probably just be copying and pasting it — but that’s still just one person, and we’ve all been there. I mean, I work for an organization that has “Washington” in its name, and I have misspelled the word “Washington.” It happens.

But for something like the poster with the 9-11 typo, surely that was copyedited. It was sent to a printer. And someone who is in charge of printing that probably saw it. In my experience working with printers, they work in an environment where they have to have a pretty good sense of what the customer wants and demands. If they know that the client is the type of client that will send the job back because of a mistake — even if the mistake originated with the client — they will let the client know. They’ll say, “Hey, are you sure this is how you want this to print?” And if the client isn’t demanding, they’ll say, “Ah, what the hell, this is what the client wanted — screw it.”

So apparently the Nationals are a “What the hell, screw it” client when it comes to this type of quality control. And that speaks to multiple levels of not knowing and not caring.