Monday, July 05, 2010

Strasmas, Dead Presidents, Agbayani and Me: My weekend in D.C.

Hi. Its been awhile. Since we last spoke I developed a love of lists. Here is a list of major league ballparks I had attended as of last Thursday.

1. Shea Stadium
2. Yankee Stadium (original)
3. Fenway Park
4. RFK Stadium
5. Comerica Park
6. Citi Field

My friend and loyal reader of the blog Flynn lives in Virginia and invited me down there to see the Steven Strasburg game in person. A few days after I accepted his invitation he gave me some "bad news": he had purchased tickets to Friday's game by accident. I found this dubious for the following reasons:

1. Flynn works with computers every single day
2. He has purchased baseball tickets online many times before
3. He figured out a month in advance the exact day when Strasburg would pitch
4. He is familiar with the days of the week

So I went down there set to go to my seventh ballpark not just on Strasmus but on Strasmus Eve. I figured I'd be satisfied if the Mets split those two games. I would be mistaken.

Friday July 2nd: Mets 5, Nationals 3

I'll cut to the chase: Nationals Park is an inferior replica of Citi Field. And Comerica Park. And probably every stadium built in the last ten years. It's perfectly...fine. To my reductive self these parks are just minor league stadiums on steroids. Of course, Nationals Park does have the presidential race.

If you're unfamiliar, the presidential race since 2005 has consisted of four grown human beings running around in comically large heads as Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Theodore Roosevelt. And Roosevelt never wins. Never ever ever. It's a funny conceit, having one of the four be the Washington Generals of the competition so to speak, but I was always curious as to why they picked Roosevelt to be the chump. The dude has been known as one of the greatest Presidents in American history. He died of Malaria to be mocked and depicted as a huge loser?

Anyway Thomas Jefferson won on Friday. He later took congratulations from some spectators.

A good time was had. I'd say three fourths of the stadium was filled and the Mets fans and Nationals fans got along. Then came the ninth inning when the Nats scored two runs and were threatening to take the game away from the Mets. With the count full to Met Killer Willie Harris* K-rod managed to pick off Roger Bernadina at second to end the game. Rodriguez got the save without getting a single batter out.

Strangest Endings To Games I've Attended

1. Mets at Nationals, 7/2/10

* I always refer to him as "Met Killer Willie Harris" as if it is his full name. It takes his Met killing power away. You're welcome.

So the Mets won in the first away game I had seen them play in person. Radical! Flynn and I had a long walk to the car so we didn't stay for the fireworks the Nationals always apparently blast ten minutes after every Friday night game. We drove for about fifteen minutes to a friend's party where we were asked how the game went. They knew the game had ended because they heard and saw the fireworks in the distance. The women living in the apartment always know when the Nationals game on Friday night ends.

Saturday July 3rd:(Fart noise)

Strasburg games are for now guaranteed sell outs. This couldn't have been any more apparent when Flynn and I had to wait for fifteen minutes and for two trains to uncomfortably squeeze inside one to get to the ballpark. As we walked to the front gate we saw two guys making a lot of money selling EXPERIENCE 37 shirts. We also saw the biggest loser that ever lived.

Yeah sure son, let me get a shot of you with the joke of the party. I wouldn't let any offspring of mine near the personification of awfulness, but hey, you have that #1 DAD mug at home so I'll shut up.

Strasburg had control issues but the Mets were only able to score a couple of runs off of him. Our seats as it turned out were near Gary Cohen's but we didn't see him. Instead Flynn and I dealt with sitting next to a drunken Met fan who has the innings went on started to pick fights with Phillies fans. No, I don't know why Phillie fans were there and I'll never understand why they responded to the Met fan's garbage, but it got unpleasant for awhile. K-Rod blew it, the Nationals won, and Flynn and I had to wear our Mets gear like they were scarlet letters in the D.C. subway system the rest of the evening. At least Flynn was wearing his Benny Agbayani jersey: more than one "BEN-NY!" chant took place from Met fans on that day. And I suppose it was cute when Flynn's Reds fan but casual Nationals fan co-worker celebrated the win by high fiving the gaggle of Asian teenage girls in Nationals shirts that were sitting behind us. But otherwise - ugh plus infinity.

Worst Baseball Game Experiences

1. Mets at Nationals, 7/3/10

Meeting up with other people who were not exposed to the horribleness or gave a shit about it that evening to see Toy Story 3 helped. On the way back from the theater (only $10.50 for a ticket! It's like it's the 1940's down there!) a clearly inebriated young man in a Nationals shirt was boisterously enjoying his subway ride. He spotted Flynn and his Agbayani gear. He didn't address him because he was talking to his bros, but when he got up to get off at his stop he told Flynn that he left the game early to get hammered. He then smiled. Then he spontaneously combusted, and it turned out he was entirely made of candy. I'm also a liar with a sweet tooth.

Here's your moment of zen: Screech the Nationals mascot (because obviously) about to eat a fan during Friday night's seventh inning stretch.

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