Friday night I met up with cube buddy Stephanie, her husband, and a few other friends at Tortilla Coast for a margarita and some fortifying chips and salsa before heading out to the Nationals game. The Nats. At least now when I hear that I actually think of it as something short for "Nationals" rather than pesky little bugs. Oh, gnats. The team is somewhat terrible this year, but I'm not one of those people who get too caught up the baseball team's win-loss business. If you put a baseball game on TV, odds are I'll go to sleep - however, attending a game is something else entirely. You soak up the atmosphere, enjoy some good times and good ballpark fare with friends, and have a generally pleasant summer evening while men happen to swing bats at balls somewhere in the general vicinity.
You know how mascots walk around at the game, generally bringing joy to the crowd and posing for pictures with small children? At a Nats game, it's actually a little creepy to see an Abe Lincoln with a head the size of the rest of his body headed your way. You can spot him in the upper right-hand side of this one, and there's a picture on someone's camera of all of us hanging out with Abe - I'll share that one later. Oh, Washington. You can also meet Donna (on the left) and Stephanie (in the middle):
In addition to encountering the wandering Presidents, we were on the jumbotron during the 7th inning stretch, dancing away with Screech the Eagle. And when we found out his name was Screech, at least three of us turned to each other and made an exclamation about "Saved by the Bell." Ahh, childhood memories.
When the 9th ended in 1-1 tie and headed to extra innings, we headed over to the Bullpen for another beer, some live music, and the last two innings on TV rather than in the ball park. The Bullpen is a cool concept - kinda like tailgating for the baseball game, only since it's hard to tailgate when you ride the Metro in, they've set up a space to provide the festivities.
It's that baseball time of year, gang - grab some friends and head out to the ballpark for the cheap tickets and a good time. I actually prefer the ridiculous minor league between-innings entertainment to the MLB show, but it's definitely not a bad way to spend a Friday night or a weekend afternoon. I mean, for the MLB you have team-specific bottles of Bud Light - it's a trade-off.