Yesterday I made the trip to RFK to see the Nationals host the Hotlanta Braves. The weather was decidedly un-Hotlanta-esque. Nothing says baseball like 20mph winds and cold weather!
I love baseball unconditionally. I had a wonderful time. However, it is clear to me that the city isn't quite as enthusiastic. There were loads of empty seats. That's to be expected when you field a team that has the potential to be the worst in the history of baseball. That's not that big of a deal. No, I'm referring to the passion of my fellow spectators.
The Braves are in first in the National League East. The Nats, the Braves' divisional rivals, are in the cellar. So, you can imagine my excitement when the Nats were rallying from a three run deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning. Two runs had already scored and we had runners on first and second with no one out. The cherry on the sundae was that the heart of the Nationals was coming up. I, along with my compatriots, were standing and cheering.
In the middle of this rally, which, in true National fashion, failed to score another run, an usher approached us. She ordered us to sit down because we were blocking the view of the section behind us. We were told to sit down in the middle of a fucking baseball game. A baseball game! With the tying run in scoring position after the seventh inning stretch! We were not allowed to cheer and jump and will the home team to victory. Don't these people understand how baseball works?
(It's important to note that we weren't using obscenities or acting inappropriately. The harshest thing we were doing was chanting "Larrrrrrrrry" at Chipper Jones.)
With the combination of such a shitty team and an unenthusiastic fan base (there were more Braves fans than Nats fans at the game), I predict that baseball will fail in this city. When you're expected to sit down and be respectful in the middle of a late inning rally, it's clear to me that the city just doesn't get it. When the Nationals leave for Virginia, Portland, or Vegas, I think we should rename the (at least) $611,ooo,ooo.oo stadium the "Anthony Williams/Jack Evans Monument." After all, they were the ones who were so desperate to cement their legacy with a baseball team. Then we should shoot them out of a cannon in the direction of wherever the team decides to move.
Here's a game recap. The Nationals wore mismatching Virginia Tech hats in the field. It was a great tribute. Too bad hardly anyone was there to see it.