Contract the Nationals!

Leave the stadium, though. It’s pretty nice. The wife and I went to the game last night. On the positive side, you have the stadium, Ben’s Chili Bowl, an organized and efficient Metro ride, my love of baseball, and an enjoyable evening with the wife. On the negative side, you have the weather, the game itself (And the six unearned runs the Nationals allowed), and the announced crowd of 20,400. First, the positives. The scoreboard is amazing The stadium is gorgeous. We sat in the first row of one of the 400 sections. It was roomy, with a pretty good view. The giant scoreboard in right center is amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it. It wasn’t working for the first half inning, but they’ll probably work that out as the season goes on. But the picture is incredible. When they’re showing replays, it looks like you’re actually seeing the players, not a video. Interestingly, there is no clock visible from where we sat. Maybe no clock in the whole stadium. Ben’s Chili Bowl was awesome, as expected. The line was long, but it moved quickly. My veggie chili cheese fries were cold before I finished them, but that was hardly their fault. They were still good. Metro took us 20 minutes to get in from Columbia Heights, and barely longer to get out. Might have been worse if there was actually a capacity crowd, but I can only judge my experience. There were a ton of Metro employees directing people. They’ve made a lane from the Metro directly to the stadium (Please, Nationals fans, DO NOT experience Southeast UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES until we can put on a fresh coat of paint). It actually reminded me a little bit of walking in to Fenway Park, although DC will need to do some work to build up the collection of businesses that surround Fenway. DSC_8476 Of course you know I’m a big baseball fan, as it’s all I’ve posted about since the season started. Don’t worry, I’ll get back to politics soon, and I’m sure I’ll have some new complaints once I start working again next week. Plus we have a vacation coming up that should be interesting. And of course I enjoyed my wife’s company, as usual. She was somewhat annoyed that she couldn’t have a beer at the ballpark due to that pesky baby she’s carrying, but $7.50 Bud Lights go a long way towards discouraging her. That, and the health of our unborn child. Although, as she said (joked?), you can probably drink a couple of Bud Lights before the baby even notices. Then there are the negatives. I won’t blame the team for the weather. They couldn’t help that it was cold. Allowing six unearned runs and three home runs (one of them to a backup shortstop I’ve never heard of. Robert Andino? He has 86 career at bats. Although he does have two bombs in 5 at bats this year off the bench, that’s pretty nice for him) isn’t cool, though. Stranding 11 runners is not a good technique for winning games. But you can’t win all 162, so I guess I can forgive them. Empty seats in the sixth inning What’s really bad, though, is that the second game in the history of the stadium drew 20,400 fans. I don’t know what capacity is, but it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 40,000. I know it was a cold Monday night when the NCAA basketball finals were on (Although we made it home for overtime), but the stadium was empty. Even the clowns right behind home plate, the ones with the $100+ tickets, didn’t bother showing up. And the fans that were there seemed pretty disinterested. Maybe they were into it and I just couldn’t hear them. But I’m used to going to sellouts at Camden Yards (Before Orioles fans were so beaten down by The Angelos Years that they stopped caring), and this was a far cry from a sellout. I don’t know what the city can do about this. Maybe it’s too early to worry and things will be fine when the weather warms up, but if I had a big financial stake in this team, I don’t think I would have slept last night. Anyway, I’ll definitely be back for more games. The upper deck is a fine place to watch the game, and for $10, that’s worth it for me. And I’m curious to see what businesses and attractions pop up around the stadium. They had ads up that we didn’t stop to look at, but there are clearly big plans for the area. Should be interesting.

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