Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Thar She Blows

Hey, I'm a terrible fan, but rarely have I left a game early, and then it's only been in the 8th or 9th inning. Tonight, I made an exception. Wow, what a stinker.

On a hot, miserably humid day, there wasn't anything to cheer, other than the sarcastic ones the fans let out when Simontacchi or Speigner stumbled into an out.

Face it. RFK is a feckin' dump, and on a night like tonight, it's a terribly unpleasant place to take in a ballgame. The damp, heavy DC air just hangs there in the stadium, trapped in by the enclosed bowl of the stadium. The moisture just lays there, coating the fans, and tonight, you could see the haze in the lights.

I got there a few minutes before 7, and figured I'd finally break down and buy one of those corned beef sandwiches that Nationals Power Joe always raves about. So when I get there to the stand on the 3rd-base side of the 100 level, they didn't have any. OK, I'll have a pastrami. Nope. Do they have any sandwiches? Nope. It'll be 15 minutes, they say. 15 minutes my ass. I don't want to pay $10 for a pile of loose meat anyway. Be damned if I'm coming back 15 minutes later. So I wander up, get a grilled hotdog -- usually a passable choice -- and proceed to regret that when my tummy starts rumbling 2 innings later.

Although, it's difficult to figure out whether it was the chopped-up pig anus or Simontacchi's pigshit pitching that caused it.

The bright side is that I'm finally able to cross "Starting Pitcher with 10 Earned Runs" off the list of accomplishments I've always wanted to see. (That's ranked much lower than the No-hitter I saw)

We're all going to run into stinkers from time to time. It's just the confluence of weather, bad stadium amenities and Ortiz-like pitching that've created the single worst game I've been to.

Oh well.... you're not reading this to listen to me whine...

  • Svrluga has the rundown of a flurry of moves:

    1) Robert Fick's mother passed away after her long battle with lung cancer. I can't imagine what that's like, and it certainly has to account for some of his terrible performance this year.

    Brandon Watson gets the callup while he's on the bereavement list, which gives the Nats a monopoly on fleet, slap-hitting centerfielders with little power.

    2) Jason Bergmann will likely be activated and start next Tuesday in Atlanta, the team he's owned this year. (I have faith that Bergmann's a different pitcher than he was last year, but I'm also selling now; I think he's going to come back to earth in the second half -- defining earth as a 4ish ERA)

    3) Luis Ayala is back Friday. Who goes down? Winny Abreu? Ray King? Billy Traber?

    4) Alex Escobar (AKA: Nook Logan's executioner) had another setback, a rolled ankle. ETA is two weeks more, but buck sez that turns into three months!

    5) some minor leaguer did something or is going somewhere. NFA'll be all over that, I bet.

    6) Not from Svrlgblg, but yesterday, Mike O'Connor was 'activated' from the DL, and optioned to AA. His rehab time had run out, but he wasn't quite ready for the majors. Of course you could make that argument about Speigner and Bacsik. Regardless, it'll likely be a while (or a few more injuries) til we see him again.

  • At the game, since I'm a sick, sadistic bastard, I was looking forward to how some of the other blogs (especially those who are much more optimistic than me!) would cover this game.

    Well, there's nobody more optimistic than the DC Optimist, and he doesn't disappoint. He really needs to hook me up with some of that happy gas!


    • Chris,

      I stayed until the 9th which seems to be more than Barry of the WP who is paid to attend. When I got home around 11:15 PM and checked the WP....his game story was writen and posted already with references to "last Night's Game....like he was working after midnight? No Quotes either.......nice work Barry.....

      By Blogger JayB, at 6/20/2007 12:10 AM  

    • I live in Australia, so I rely on Gameday for most of my Nats fix. Usually, I spend the first 3 hours of my work day glued to the screen, praying for red dots if we are pitching, blue dots if we are batting. I closed the window at 9.30am today. That's bad for so many reasons, the worst being I HAD TO WORK AT WORK!

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/20/2007 12:11 AM  

    • The first two moves are easy.

      Fick's return will mean - I hope - the end of the Nook regime.

      How long before: Patterson, Hill, Bergmann, Chico, Bowie? I don't think it happens this year. By the time one is ready, another will be hurt.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/20/2007 7:44 AM  

    • Barry's Game story is much improved with detail now....he also seemed to remove the lead reference to "last night".....Another game today....over under on runs? 13 for Tigers

      By Blogger JayB, at 6/20/2007 7:47 AM  

    • So I thought I'd take a look at Brandon Watson's MILB hitting stats given his awesome, historic hitting streak. His 2007 OPS: .739. That's good for, oh, fifth on the Clippers. Yikes.

      His batting average ain't that high (clearly there were a lot of 1-for-5 nights during the streak), he's walked only 11 times all year, and he's slugging for only .048 points higher than his batting average!

      I'll be relieved when Bowden finally buys a decent centerfielder so that he can stop messing with these inning-enders.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/20/2007 8:40 AM  

    • Jayb: You don't realize it when you flip open your paper in the morning, but beat writers probably write 3 or 4 versions of their story, updating it and revising it throughout the game because different versions of the paper have different deadlines.

      They can't wait until the game is over to start their final version either, and there's really no sense to it.

      What makes Barry so good as a writer is how he's typically able to weave thematic elements through his final version, giving it a storyline and flow, all while working up against a deadline. That's a skill you can't teach. Most people (me included!) have a hard enough time coming up with a coherent sentence or three!

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 6/20/2007 9:03 AM  

    • I actually stayed until the end, but we made it more interesting by sneaking down from the upper deck to section 208. Of course, one section over we saw an over-zealous usher tossing people for poaching seats, but our usher evidently didn't give a crap.

      By Blogger Carl the Big Fool, at 6/20/2007 9:05 AM  

    • Late in the game in a blowout, they need to call off the dogs. As long as people aren't obstructing someone else's view or being obnoxious, it should be fair game.

      Of course that's the beauty of the new stadium. The really good seats are actually isolated and separated from the riff-raff.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 6/20/2007 9:08 AM  

    • We gave them a little league chance -- when it got to a 15 run slaughter rule, we left. The good news is there is now a Sam Adams tap nearby. If I have to watch many games like that, I'll need some Sam's!

      The salt in the wound was the bad traffic on 395, but at least it didn't rain!

      By Anonymous Go Gnatz, at 6/20/2007 10:09 AM  

    • When I left, they were setting up construction on the bridge. I was glad that I didn't have to deal with that at the end of the game!

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 6/20/2007 10:11 AM  

    • Wow, good thing I picked Monday night rather than last night when I was choosing which game to attend in the Detroit series. I got to see an almost-miracle ninth-inning near-comeback loss, instead of the Nationals' worst loss ever in their three year history - although I do suppose there would be a bit of cachet for me in having been there for the worst loss ever, especially once The Plan finally pans out with some success. But as it happens, I was in RFK for the previous worst loss ever, a 14-1 drubbing by the Astros with Roger Clemens pitching on July 22, 2005. A look at the box score of that game shows that only three Nats who played that night are still on the team: Church, Schneider and Guzman. However, at the end of that drubbing the 2005 Nats were still tied for first in the NL East with the Braves, at 54-43. But if it's possible to gauge which way a team is heading when it loses so badly, I'd say that those 2005 Nats were headed down, whereas this year's team is still headed up - albeit gradually.

      And Chris, don't fret too much over having missed that corned beef. I've had that sandwich as well as a couple others from that stand, and while they're okay, they're really not all that - and you don't get a bag of chips, either. And the Aramark folks working that stand have to be the slowest ones in the stadium. The times I've been there, it was at least a half hour prior to game time, with no line, and it still took them five minutes to produce a sandwich. All they need to do is slice off some meat and stick it between a couple of pieces of bread. How hard is that? I shudder to think how slow that stand must be when there's a line! Maybe that's when they choose to "run out of sandwiches" rather than deal with it.

      Having been to almost as many games already this year as I attended in the first two seasons combined, I'm really starting to tire of the RFK food choices. Stan's favorite brisket is okay, as is the sausage wrap from that stand, but it's not all that filling for the price. The catfish and crabcake next door to that would be okay, except that you can't get them without the fries, which are terrible. (There are no decent fries anywhere in RFK, are there? If anyone knows of some, by all means let me know.) Haven't tried Red Hot and Blue yet, but maybe I'll give it a shot this Saturday. I've pretty much concluded that the best bet for food in RFK is the Dominic's Italian sausage. It's tasty enough and filling enough for the price, which I guess is about the best one can expect from stadium food. But I can't wait for next year in the new park - there's no way the choices can't be at least a little better than what we have in RFK...

      By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 6/20/2007 10:21 AM  

    • There's no polite way to say it: Aramark sucks donkey balls in just about every way imaginable. A lot of people are going to be pissed off if they're still the primary vendors next season.

      Oh, and after tonight, the Tigers may well be on a 1,000 run pace. That team can hit.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/20/2007 12:05 PM  

    • I never eat food at RFK, are you guys crazy? Last year at least you could get Hard Times chili. Eat early or bring food is my advice.

      And to know that I've attended both "worst games" in Nats history .. I did leave early last night, I was doing my "wicked witch of the west" imitation .. melting .. melting

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/20/2007 2:43 PM  

    • I cleaned my glasses twice last night thinking there was some sort of film on them before realizing that the fuzziness was just the haze of RFK.

      I don't mind the Boardwalk Fries with a dash of Old Bay when they are cooked properly, but sometimes they are prepared too soggy and greasy.

      I stayed till the very end.

      By Anonymous Shawn, at 6/20/2007 3:56 PM  

    • Shawn, so where is the stand that sells Boardwalk Fries? I don't think I've seen that one.

      By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 6/20/2007 5:10 PM  

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