Guess who has tickets to see the NL EAST CHAMPION Philadelphia Phillies play their first home playoff game in 14 years?
Me! I do.
A few items for your consideration before I slink off to watch baseball just about all weekend.
Be careful what you wish for: Illegal immigrants or not, they do spend money. Also, Rush Limbaugh talks about "phony soldiers," because of COURSE all good soldiers vote Republican and believe in the war 100%, and of COURSE he will get away with it.
I am highly surprised that Cookie doesn't lay an ass-whoopin' on these kids.
(At least of things that I saw there.)
Before baseball came back, I went to a lot of soccer games at RFK. Best of the lot: the US national team thrashing Mexico 4-0 in a friendly in 1995, Olympic matches in 1996, United-MetroStarts playoff game in 1996, US Jamaica WCQ in 1997, and the rain-soaked 1997 MLS Cup win.
I went to a couple of Redskins games there, and it was a far better place to see a game than the Big Jack. The best one was probably the game where Boomer Easiason threw for 522 yards, and nobody could kick a stupid field goal properly until the last minutes of overtime.
I had forgotten about this until Boswell's column jogged my memory: I saw U2 at RFK in 1987 on the Joshua Tree tour. This was the show where Bono fell down and hurt his shoulder while leaving the stage after the main set, leading to the longest wait for an encore ever while they put him in a sling.
When I told the four-year-old Little Fool that this would be our last trip to RFK, she burst into tears. I tried explaining to her that there would be a new stadium next year, but she said "I'll miss the old one," and asked if we could continue going to games at the old park. She doesn't handle change well. I assured her that if there were any baseball games at the old place, we'd go.
But the girls had a good time at the RFK finale nonetheless. After scoring a couple of those pastrami sandwiches I noticed last Tuesday, and some pizza for the kids, we made our way up to section 471, right by the right-field foul pole, and settled in for one last time. As has been duly noted, the old Senators were trotted out, some good signs were held up, the Nats came away with a win, and the fans were happy (except for the whole Teddy thing). The girls actually made it through the whole game, with the Littlest Fool napping on her mom's lap for two or three innings. We didn't stay for the post-game ceremonies, though; as much as I'd have liked to see the jersey giveaway and hear the players say thanks to the fans, the girls didn't figure to get much out of that, and we thought it best to get on home.
As in years past, I had that dual-loyalty conflict going on: if the home team doesn't win it's a shame, but the Phils are trying to make the playoffs here, so who do you cheer for? The Phillies lost this game when they removed Hamels after five. He was cruising, with no runs or hits since the first, and he only had 75 pitches to that point. Yeah, the Phils’ bullpen has been good lately, but they’re still the Phils’ bullpen. Yeah, Hamels is young and coming back from injury, but come on, at some point a guy's gotta pitch. I’d have liked their chances a lot better with 1 or 2 more IP out of Hamels and THEN turn it over to the ‘pen. Sure enough, Alfonseca coughed the lead right back up in the 6th, and El Pulpo was then angry when Manuel took him out. After the Nats tacked on a couple more runs in the 8th, I got over it, and cheered on Cordero to wrap it up in typically difficult fashion.
I will try to post some pictures later tonight, but for now, check out these which were taken one row behind us (you can see Catie sleeping on Mrs. Fool's lap here). I heard the guy behind us talking about interviewing Frank Howard, so I figured he was one of our many Nats bloggers--turned out to be Yurasko.
Tuesday night marked my last baseball game in Section 515, Row 4, Seats 7 and 8, and it was a worthy send-off. Yeah, it's only been three years at RFK, but I have a lot of good memories in that short period. As mentioned below, I'm one of the few who actually expects to miss RFK. Sure, the new ballpark will have better food, open concourses, and in all likelihood there won't be a mysterious puddle under the neighboring seats. But I still worry that we're in for a Baseball-Centric Maximized Entertainment Experience™, and what I've liked about RFK is that it's pretty much all about the game (and the Racing Presidents, natch).
This game was my shot at "Season Ticket Holder Appreciation Night," which meant getting in at 4:30 to watch the Nats take batting practice. We watched from the lower level as the Nats took hacks, and eventually migrated to the upper deck where we waited in vain for a mammoth home run. Then, with time to kill, we pretty much walked the whole stadium. Did you know there are stands on the lower level where you can get fried catfish, or a pastrami sandwich? I had no idea, and I'm kind of bummed about it, finding about these things so late.
As for the game, the Mets got four runs in the first, and it looked like another blowout. The Nats chipped away with a Kearns home run in the second and a Logan triple plus a FLopez sac fly in the third, but the pitchers kept giving the runs back. The Nats had two men on in the fourth when pinch-hitter Justin Maxwell hit a fly ball that looked like it had a shot but was caught on the warning track (noted on my scoresheet as "a loooong 7"), that would have sent the crowd into a frenzy if it had made it out. Finally the Nats put up five runs in the fifth, capped by Belliard's three-run homer which did in fact set off that frenzy. Cordero had to make it interesting in the 9th, giving up one run and loading the bases before getting the final out.
Odd scoring note: My scoresheet has Winston Abreu as the winning pitcher, as he was the pitcher o' record when the Nats took the lead, but the official scoring gave the W to Jesus Colome. Apparently Abreu didn't pitch "effectively" (he did make the hole deeper, giving up two runs), so no win for him.
I'll be at Sunday's finale, out in the far reaches of the upper deck, clutching my too-small free T-shirt and trying to get my kids to pay attention. Hopefully next year I'll be happy with my third base-side upper deck seats, and they won't be too high up. But even if the new ballpark is the Greatest Ballpark Ever, I suspect I'll always be nostalgic for this view.
Hey look! Some of that world-famous right-wing blogger civility we hear so much about! Similarly, I've had my share of discussions like this; my favorite was being told I wasn't "open to the marketplace of ideas when I demanded depth rather than just vigorous assertion.
And lastly, ewwwwww, just ew.
Wait, one more: Stop-motion Space Invaders (thanks to The Beast).
It's been a busy week at work, thanks in no small part to InstantBoss. As such I don't have a lot of link fodder for you.
Thie anniversary of 9/11 was this week, and Gary Kamiya's piece was the best I read on it.
The second letter in this Dear Prudence column gets on my nerves. Well, not the letter per se, but the overconcerned mother referred to. Somebody's been watching The Fear Show too much.
Tor sent an item on frightening desserts.
That's all I got. Comments are open if anyone else has anything.
A co-worker just brought this by. Another co-worker just got back from a trip to Southeast Asia, and brought this back for him as a present. It's some kind of booze. With snakes in it. Two of them. One's a cobra. It's biting the other one.
I realize this is very non-multi-cultural of me, and many people around the world would think me very strange indeed for enjoying something as artificial as Pop-Tarts. But, see, THERE ARE MOTHERFUCKING SNAKES IN THIS BOTTLE. And you're supposed to DRINK THIS STUFF.
You'd have to stack the cash pretty high before I'd do a shot with you.
Postponed due to my being in Las Vegas on Friday. Trip report forthcoming.
Thus, just a few links today. Interesting item on evolution vs. creationism, with a great quote. Ridiculous item on futzing with the Electoral College, and changing the rules whenever it suits you. A guy with a ratty old tie. And lastly, I am linking to this TBogg post primarily for the second video.