I spent part of my Memorial Day weekend at the ballpark, thanks to fellow blogger Marco (seen with beer above), who wanted to see the Washington Nationals’ new home, and invited me to meet him there.
Marco, OMDQ and I all are part of the Channel Four News Team that once upon a time filled the pages of Awful Announcing with live-blogs to shake the very foundations of the earth. We’ve scattered a bit since then, but we all still maintain a bond, and work together whenever possible – OMDQ and I here, and Marco and I at Storming the Floor during basketball season.
Even though this was an MLB trip, I can say with some certainty that some or all of these Nats will be seen in Columbus or Harrisburg soon, because I have never seen such a concentration of low batting averages and high ERAs in one place. We watched Elijah Dukes get his average down to .102 and double-clutch at least one fielder’s choice, and wondered what the heck he was still doing in the majors. His mates aren’t much better.
The game was as sloppy as one might expect, with the Nats jumping out by six runs and then promptly giving them all back. Going into the ninth, Marco and I were trying to decide if we could stand extra innings, since we both had three-hour drives to get to our respective homes. Fortunately, the Nats did the only thing one can do in such a situation – they called in Dmitri Young to pinch-hit in the bottom of the ninth. Dukes had stopped swinging and walked himself to first base, and Da Meat Hook slapped a single that advanced the former Ray to third. Guillermo Mota uncorked a wild pitch that bounced high onto the backstop, and Dukes plated the winning run (Young was pulled for a pinch runner, which robbed us of the divine comedy of watching him try to get to second on the play).
One thing to know if you plan on going to Nationals Park any time soon: parking is scarce, and everything around the ballpark is under construction. The boarded up warehouses that made this area an eyesore in the past are being converted to million-dollar lofts now that the Nats have brought up the property values. We’ll keep an eye on Washington’s minor-league roster, since there will no doubt be room for some of the young guys later in the season.