May 21, 2008

Observations at a Minor League Baseball Game

Did I mention that Liz and I bought season tickets to the Potomac Nationals?  I think we got the 15 game package, but when you include all the freebies and such, it comes out to 21 games.  Add in the "dollar night" every Monday and it's conceivable that we might catch 30 games this year.  Oh yeah, field level box seats.  Third base side.  Closest to home plate, right next to the visitor's dugout.  Check it out.

Way up on top of the lights on the right field side, a hawk sat quietly and watched, as if waiting for some edible critter to panic and make himself known.  Or, more likely, he was looking at the people and wondering what kind of crazy creatures would behave that way.  Suddenly, the hawk was attacked by a sparrow or some such tiny bird, maybe a quarter of the hawk's size but absolutely fearless as he dived and twisted and drove the hawk away from what I presume was a nest.  Most of the crowd watched and cheered, and I was reminded of a Mig fighter going after a DC3 Gooney Bird.

In the several years that we've been going to P-Nats games, one constant has been a certain outfielder who shall remain nameless.  I posted last year about his poor choice of music when he came up to bat, because the loudspeakers invariably blasted out Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing".  He tries hard, but every play to his position is an adventure and potential disaster.  In fact, I'd go so far as to say that he's the Geronimo Berroa of the P-Nats, and if you watched American League baseball in the 90's you'll get the reference.

One of the between-inning events at the games is a race between a youngster or two and the team mascot, "Uncle Slam".  They start off at first base, round second and third and home plate is the finish line.  Uncle Slam has a record of 0-23 this year (as usual), but what's funny (to me anyway) is that they're now sponsored by the Baker Funeral Home.  I now refer to it as "The Race With Death".

A couple of games ago, the entire row behind us was occupied by a group of yuppie larvae who were attending the game so they could put another little checkmark on their list of "life experiences".  Not a one of them knew much about baseball, and it wasn't long before everyone else ignored them.  I could tolerate the cries of "foul tip" when the batter ripped one 200 feet down the right field line and into the bleachers there, and I rolled my eyes when they all jumped up and cheered for the "home run" when the runner at third scored on a wild pitch.  But I had to go for a walk when I heard them talking about Hurricane Katrina and how they all wished that they could've done more to help.  That part wasn't bad, but one actually confided that she'd checked to see if there were any federal programs that would pay her mortgage for a year or so while she volunteered in Louisiana.  She was deeply hurt that she couldn't feel good about herself on the taxpayer's dime.

She's lucky it wasn't souvenir bat night.

Posted by: Ted at 12:31 AM | category: Square Pegs
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1 Are you guys going to the games either Saturday night or Sunday? We're thinking of heading down for one, but not sure which...Erik Estrada could draw a huge crowd on Saturday. (I should go: "The evening will serve to educate youngsters on the dangers of surfing the Internet.") But then, Sunday is Dog Day. Decisions, decisions.

Posted by: nic at May 21, 2008 08:59 PM (yfGzI)

2 Saturday always has that kick-ass fireworks show, and it's a double-header that starts at 5:30ish.  Sunday would probably be less crowded.

Let us know which game you're coming for, and we've got an extra pair of tickets for the field box seats (from a past game we didn't use - can trade them in).  Dunno if there will be four together, but we can try.

Posted by: Ted at May 21, 2008 09:58 PM (yRolC)

3 Speaking of souvenir bat night, when's the next outing? I've been wanting to take the boy to a game. And he's five now, and has a lot more bat control.

Posted by: buckethead at May 22, 2008 07:18 PM (dEIRf)

4 More bat control? You're in trouble, Ted. ;-)

Looks like Sunday will be better for us (though we decided not to bring the dog. She'd embarrass us by cheering like the nitwits sitting behind you.)

Posted by: nic at May 22, 2008 10:30 PM (yfGzI)


ROFL. Perhaps the idiot should have saved some OF HER OWN money and used that to fund her 'needing to feel good about myself' trip. Some ppl just go on vacation to help the sea turtles. It probably would have left her with the same feeling. Sea turtles, people. I am sure in her mind she equates them to be the same.

As for the P-Nats, I was away for the holidays at a silly wedding, but a P-Nats game sounds like fun. I thought of you Ted while I was down at Kitty Hawk Memorial and we were talking about rockets.

Posted by: mapgirl at May 27, 2008 07:34 PM (Eb5nd)

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