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A disappointing evening at the ball park

I wimped out and wound up parking at First & Q Streets SW after a futile search for free parking north of Nationals Park, so it wasn't quite as long a walk to the ticket windows at the Left Field Gate on N Street. Still, by the time I finished circumnavigating the stadium to Section 231, I was tired and hungry and didn't bother stripping the buns from my Dollar Dogs before eating them, and so my weight bounced back up to 372 this morning. That was pretty much the only pleasure I got out of the game. As usual, the game experience verged on the unpleasant, with the constant noise and distraction of the between-innings "entertainment", which probably wouldn't have been so annoying if the Nationals hadn't been getting their clocks cleaned by the surprising Bucs, who jumped out to a 5-0 lead mostly thanks to Andrew McCutcheon's two dingers and Dan Haren's shitty pitching*. The Nationals' bats were limp for most of the game, though LaRoche and Werth jacked a couple into the seats to get the margin down to 5-3 at the end of the seventh. Which is when I left; I didn't want to be dragging home late on account of post-game traffic and waking up the landlady, and the neighborhood wasn't going to get less sketchy as the night wore on. So I bailed, and I was right to do so, as the Nationals eventually lost it 6-5.

I'm inclined to wonder if attendance is sharply down this year, what with the team struggling along three games under .500...what makes me wonder is that I'm getting all kinds of discount ticket offers in my mailbox from the Nationals. A BOGO offer as a reward for supporting Ian Desmond in the All-Star balloting. Buy one, get 40% off the second. Another discount offer in return for telling them why I haven't shown up since last year. I know one of the things that keeps me from showing up more often is the sheer ballbreaking expense and hassle of the whole thing. Taking the Metro is going to cost me at least $15 when you factor in parking at this end, taking the Toaster costs much the same if I want to park near the ballpark, and then we get to the ballpark itself. The concessions are all hideously expensive - they make hotel prices during conventions look reasonable by comparison. Bottled soda $4.25, water the same, fountain soda $4.75, and everything else is even worse. Anyone with more sense than money is going to eat before they go to the park unless they take advantage of the Harris Teeter Family Fun Pack, The Beltway Burger Pack, or Dollar Dog nights, and the last will require standing in line...ah, who am I kidding, pretty much all of the concession stands have lines. If I had any brains I'd just stay home, listen to the radio, and nosh on seeds while sipping a cold Diet Coke. But since I don't, I'll probably go downtown for a couple more games this season, hopefully with better results.

*Okay, to be fair, there were a decent number of attractive young women in my section.

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