When I choose my commuting bike of the day, I often consider whether I will be doing something in DC in the evening. This week is no exception because the Nats are playing seven home games in a row. If I am going to hang out in town, I pick either Little Nellie or The Mule. They both have toe clips and straps which allows me to wear walking shoes. Yesterday, I didn’t have any plans so I chose Big Nellie which has clipless pedals.
In the afternoon, I received a message from Ed to go to the Nats game that night. Clipless or not, I’m in!
I rode to Nats Park without incident until I got to First Street NE. There a driver moved into the bike lane without signalling as I was approaching. I yelled at him and he proceeded onward nearly running over a pedestrian in a cross walk. If his timing were a little better he could have killed two people in the space of 20 yards.
I parked at the Bike Valet and headed to my seat. It was Jason Werth Chia Pet night. Werth has a massive amount of facial hair so this made some sense. This and the Presidents’ race featuring a Chia Abe (he won) pretty much convinces me that the Nats promo department puts peyote buttons on their Nats Dogs. And, of course, nothing says family-friendly like celebrating the only player on the team who has been in jail during the past year.
I met Ed in section 305 and a ball game broke out. It was a slow contest, made slower by the Nationals creeping incompetence. The Arizonas (their DBACKS logo looks from a distance like WHACKS) tried to give the Nats the game in the early going but the hometown team would have none of it. The Nats’ starting pitcher gave up hits and walks like Chia Pets. After being allowed to bat to end an inning he gave up a hit to the first batter he faced and was removed from the game. 35,000 fans wondered why hit was not pinch hit for. Oh, well. What do we know? The Nats brought in another, more generous thrower who managed to turn a swinging bunt into a 2-run triple. A third pitcher balked in a run. It was like a clinic in how not to play major league baseball. For the first time in ten years of baseball in DC, the crowd booed. And booed. And booed. People in the stands were making all kinds of nasty remarks. The only real cheers came when the Nats, now down 11-2, threw in the towel and brought in their back up first baseman to pitch. (A move somewhat akin pulling the goalie in a lost cause hokey game) He quickly retired two batters, giving him an ERA of 0.00.
The only thing worse than the game were the undercooked vegan hot dogs I ate. They tasted flavorless and had the texture of a boiled doggie chew toy. Ack. It makes me wonder if bowls of steamed veggies and rice would sell at the ball park. Seriously. It would be way better than most of the crap, veggie or not, that they sell.
The game ran four hours. We left our seats and headed for home with the few thousand other fans who value depression over a good night’s sleep.
Ed and I rode down the I Street bike lane. As a stop light turned green two motorbikes did right hooks in front of me, nearly hitting me. Only 14 long, dark miles to go.
Actually, the rest of the ride home was nice. I know because Ed must have said “This ride is nice” at least 20 times. The Gnats weren’t even out so we could ride home without an involuntary protein snack.
I arrived home just before 1 am. In bed after 2, I awoke at 6 and rode to work.
By 3 pm I was in very strong disagreement with Chico Escuela.
I am hoping that Friday night’s game has a lot less suck.