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Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Norman Vincent Peale Department (also, my first game-bail of the season)

For the second day in a row, the Nationals lost to the Marlins. Yesterday, it was 9-2. Tonight it was 9-3. Since the team increased their scoring by a factor of 33% over the day before, I think that it is fair to say that the offense is improving! And, hey, we're only two games out of first place! (Thank you, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale)

Unfortunately for me, I missed the game.

I had to work until 7:00 (as usual) and couldn't get away any earlier. I finally left for the game at 7:33, and within 10 minutes, I was stuck in one of the most God-awful traffic jams I've ever experienced here, and I've lived here my entire life. I took Rock Creek Parkway down past the Kennedy Center, and suddenly traffic was at a dead stop. There was nowhere for me to go except to stay in my lane, and c-r-a-w-l along the river, past Memorial Bridge, down by the F.D.R. Memorial, ever so slowly towards Maine Avenue. I still have no idea why this happened, I saw no accidents or other causes (i.e. Presidential motorcade). The only thing I can think of was, the crush of last-minute cherry blossom peepers and tour buses around the Tidal Basin. I listened to Charlie and Dave call the game on the radio and groaned in disbelief at what I was hearing. The Nats in another hole early. My God, Shawn Hill threw 50 pitches in the first two innings?!? Yikes! By the time I got down to Maine Avenue, it was 8:44 and already the 6th inning had begun. Regretfully, I steered my car towards 395-South and the 14th Street Bridge, rather than North towards R.F.K. I hadn't eaten breakfast or lunch, so I was starving, the game seemed out of reach for the evening and, frankly, my bladder was starting to refocus my priorities in earnest. So I got home in the 7th inning and watched the remainder of the Marlins massacre of our Nats while I finally ate some dinner.

I also missed the President's Race again (!!!!!!) As if fate is cruelly toying with me!

What did I enjoy? Well, I got to see a little of Kory Casto play, and Chris Snelling. Lots of major-league debuts this week. I'm happy for these guys, even though it comes at the expense of Nook Logan, and Cristian Guzman.

By the way, I'm admittedly lousy with names, it will probably take me quite a while to get many of these new guy's names straight. It's just a block that I have. I can meet someone for the first time, shake their hand, and they can tell me their name and within a moment, I can forget what it is. Now you know my personal shame.

I hate missing a home game for such a stupid reason. I probably could have gotten into the parking lot for free if I'd continued onto R.F.K. but by that time it might have been too late for me to get anything decent to eat (I learned last year that the food stands tend to shut down during the 7th inning). I hate to say it, but my heart just wasn't into it at that point. I'm no fair-weather fan, I don't leave the games early no matter what the score, and the only games I've ever skipped due to inclement weather were games that I was convinced would be canceled. For me, though, showing up to a game so late when the Nats are in such a hole feels like showing up late to a funeral, but I further punish myself by believing that in my absence, there are foul-balls falling like rain near my seats

It was a rough night all around and, just as the Nats must, the best thing for me to do is just shake it off and regroup mentally tomorrow. For once, they are playing a day game on my regular day off (most weekday afternoon games seem to be on Thursdays, which vexes me).

There are a number of things for me to look forward to at tomorrow's game - tomorrow is Southwest Airlines Schedule-Magnet Day! Matt Chico is making his major league debut, and there will be another President's Race for me to watch (and I'm not missing this one for anything!)

By the way, am I the only one who has noticed that New York Mets closer Billy Wagner has, according to the Washington Post, joined the Nationals? (see photo caption)

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