Friday, April 18, 2008

Baseball, DC Style

In continuing with the "Idiots on Vacation" theme that the Russianator started earlier this week, I had the opportunity to spend time in our nation's capital this week. ChampFamily ventured south to visit ChampWife's sister, Cee Dubs, her brother and T3I poster D-Dubs, and our brother in law and fellow poster AJV.

Sunday our crew, accompanied by a good friend of AJV and his girlfriend decided to hit up a game at the new Nationals Stadium. National League baseball....yawn. However, a new stadium is a new stadium and I was definetely interested in checking out the scene.
We hopped the Metro to take us into DC. As our train got closer and closer to the ballpark it was really bizzare to see actual Nats fans getting on to the train. I mean, I own underwear that are older than this franchise. To see grown men wearing Nats jerseys and hats was just strange to me. Show me someone in their Tim Wallach Expos jersey and I'll say "now there's a fan."

After a change of trains, we were dropped off right at the ballpark. There wasn't much of a pre-game scene outside of the stadium. It certainly isn't a Camden Yards or Fenway Park feel . The re-development is on its way, or so we're told.

You enter the ballpark onto a concourse in center field. We followed the concourse to our seats, preceded of course with a stop at the beer stand. Thanks again AJV for that opening round. We had seats up top in right field. I swear it was 10 degrees cooler in Row X than it was in the concouse. I had dressed in shorts based on the previous day. Bad move.

I seriously considered buying a commemorative Nats stadium blanket. D-Dubs one-up'd us all by trying on some kids batting gloves at the merchandise stand. They did not fit.

Going into the game, I probably could name 2 Nats, Nick Johnson and Lastings Milledge. I'm just not a National League guy. I'll take watching washed up sluggers who can no longer field take cuts as a DH anyday over watching a pitcher try and lay down a bunt. And please spare me the "double switch, cat and mouse" National League nonsense. During lineup introductions I learned Aaron "Bleepin" Boone is now a National, my new favorite Nat.

Stadium fare, pretty standard. Well thought "fixins bars" were found throughout the concourses so Nats fans could load up their Nat Dogs with all the trimmings. Beers, well at $7.50 a pop I see how the Nats are paying for their new digs.

A couple of innings into the game the consensus of the group was that we were freezing. We had been eyeing the "Red Porch Pub" from our seats and decided it was time to make our way back towards the concourse. We passed a cool Playstation 3 setup for the kids, I was tempted to take a shot at some Guitar Hero, but decided against it.

We ended up in the Red Porch and actually found some great seats at the corner of the bar. My fellow Idiots can back me here, I'm really not good at much, however I have an innate sense of being able to sniff out good bar seats. We settled into prime real estate, featuring three plasma TV's showing the Nats, Masters and the Caps playoff game while having a view of the field of the actual game.

The Red Porch Pub, our oasis from the cold

As the temps dipped down action started to pick up in the Red Porch. We were fortunate to have a tremendous bartender waiting on us, Karen from Annapolis. She was great, taking care of us and never letting us go long without checking in. A sure-fire Top 10 bartender performance.

The Nats ended up holding off the Braves. After a metro ride home and quick stop into the 7-11 for some more beverages we settled in for a night of Yanks-Red Sox.
I'm a big fan of these new ammenities ballparks are now coming with. Give Nats stadium some time to develop a neighborhood scene and it could become something special. Huge points for the "bar overlooking the field" concept. The rest of the ballpark was your typical new stadium: wide concourses, lots of concessions, etc.
We had a great time, and a special thanks to AJV, D-Dubs and Cee Dubs for their hospitality.


Russianator said...

no body scores prime bar seats better than Champ - it's a gift from God.

Jason said...

ive only been to one game this year, but to me the best part about the stadium is the non-traditional food choices:

-Ben's Chili Bowl
-Five Guys
-Hard Times