$%#$@^# Ryan Zimmerman . . .

People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.
— Rogers Hornsby

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Holy crap, you guys! The game was about 37 kinds of awesome! Nationals Park is gorgeous, the people who worked there were all super friendly, despite what must have been a very stressful day, our seats were better than I expected them to be, and Brian McCann, my baseball boyfriend, warmed up 10 yards from me! It doesn’t get any better than that!

Well, ok: it could have been better had it not been freezing, and had I not taken more crap from Nats fans for wearing my Braves cap than I’ve ever taken in Shea Stadium (which, for those of you who don’t know, is in New York, and is the home of the Mets), and had the Braves, you know, WON. But besides that . . . there was beer and hot dogs and Cracker Jacks, Take Me Out to the Ballgame and Sweet Caroline, home runs and pick offs. I don’t think you can ask for anything more.

And as a fan of the game, I appreciate what it means for the Nationals to win their first game in their new home and in such dramatic fashion. I mean, that’s the dream, isn’t it? Bottom of the ninth, tie ball game, two outs, and Ryan Zimmerman hits a walkoff home run – it’s a beautiful thing, really. (It’s probably my fault anyway, karma pushing back at me, telling me I’d gone too far with my mocking “Ryan, Ryan, he’s our man, if he can’t do it, nobody can!” chanting as he stepped in the batter’s box.)

On a side note, I’d like to address the fact that people booed the President when he took the mound to throw out the first pitch. No matter what you think of President Bush politically, I think it’s inappropriate to publicly disrespect him. A baseball game isn’t a political setting; he was there as a figurehead to serve a ceremonial purpose, and he should have, in my opinion, been shown much more respect inside the stadium (the protesters outside I have no problem with). Don’t clap if you don’t want to, but for crying out loud, don’t boo him. All it did was show the country how classless Nats fans can be, and I don’t think that’s quite what the organization had hoped for on a day when the eyes of the sporting world were all focused on the nation’s capital. That was the one disappointment for me in an otherwise great night.

Moving on, Nate and I had a blast; I heckled the Nats a bit (“Nick, be careful Nick – wouldn’t want to break the other leg!”) and got (mostly) good natured ribbing in return from the Nationals faithful; I shared high fives with a few renegade Braves fans after Francoeur evened the score in the top of the ninth on a passed ball; and I took a ton of pictures – you can go here for my complete album (with captions and commentary).

I cannot wait to go back again (twice) at the end of April, and then it will be a long summer until August when I have tickets again. I don’t know if I’ll be able to hold out that long; maybe Karen will come up one weekend and we’ll get grandstand tickets with the kids.

The rest of the league opened today, so it’s official – baseball season is underway! Go Braves!

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6 thoughts on “$%#$@^# Ryan Zimmerman . . .

  1. It sounds like a lot of fun! I used to be a big baseball fan, and the Braves were my team.

    Can you explain the Sweet Caroline thing? I thought it was just a Red Sox thing. What’s the deal?

    I hate booing of any form (unless you’re booing a bad call) at sporting events. I’m all about class and sportsmanship and hate when the opposing players are booed. I may not have booed the President, but I probably would have thrown some choice words at him that aren’t normally associated with class.

  2. Lydia, I didn’t know the origin right off, but Wiki says this:

    “Sweet Caroline is popular at sporting events. It has been the signature song played during Boston Red Sox games at Fenway Park. The tradition began when Fenway Park music director Amy Tobey had noticed that the song was used at other sporting events, and decided to try it out at Fenway. The team continued to play the song occasionally (usually in the middle of the 8th inning) when the team was winning. In 2002, new owner John W. Henry requested that the song be played at every home game, because he liked the response that it got from the crowd. In the karaoke and sing-along versions, the chorus has fans singing “Sweet Caroline…” with the fans imitating the music to “Oh, oh, oh! Good times never seemed so good” followed by the chant of “So good, so good, so good!” The next line goes “I’ve been inclined…” with the “Oh, oh, oh!” tag repeated.

    The song is also played at Auburn University, Boston College, Penn State, Ohio State, New York Giants, New York Mets, Washington Nationals, San Jose Giants, University of Mississippi and Vanderbilt University baseball games.”

    So there you go. Boston popularized it, but they stole it from someone else.

  3. While I totally respect and admire Baseball as a sport, I’m not the fan you are.
    I’ve been to several pro games and I believe it’s a must for people if they’ve
    never been.
    You just captured the excitement in this entry!
    Very cool.
    And I agree about the booing of Bushy. Not cool.

  4. Agree on booing of Bush — bad form there.

    While I wholeheartedly take part in “Sweet Caroline” at Fenway, I’m not particularly proud of it.

    Oh, and Dubya “called” Chipper’s HR, but it was quite possibly the worst HR call I’ve ever heard.

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