Washington politics as usual was pushed aside today, in favor of baseball, as DC celebrated its Nat’s victory in the World Series. Today in DC, it was Nats Day. People were lining up at ten for a two o’clock parade, as I headed towards my first museum. I was a bit of a piker today, compared to yesterday’s six, with only three museums. They were Air and Space, the National Art Gallery and its east wing, the I.M. Pei modern art building. My going in plan was that I would work my way up to the roof of the Pei building, which would afford me an excellent view of the parade. Unfortunately for me, ESPN had had the same idea first. I headed back down to the second floor, where I caught a view still above the street level throng. The crowd was bigger than last year in Boston and way bigger than back home, in 2011 Saint Louis. I guess 95 years will do that.
A reality check occurred last night during Game 5 of the World Series. In the third inning, images of honored vets were being flashed across the jumbotron, to the accompaniment of adoring cheers from the crowd. These cheers soon turned to boos when the camera shifted focus to the box where President Trump was seated. The boos soon turned into a chant of “Lock Him Up.” Echoing a similar chant that has been featured at many of his political rallies. A fan’s video captured a visibly crestfallen Trump, when he realized the crowd’s reaction to him. His day had begun so well too. The morning’s cheers over the killing of an ISIS terrorist leader had morphed into jeers, at the old ballgame. This was the first Major League Baseball game that he has attended, since being elected. What do you think are the chances that he’ll attend Game 6?
This incident of course rocketed to number one on Twitter. This morning, this story was goosed into a second life, when co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, tisk-tisked about the incident and all the while clutching their pearls exclaimed that real Americans don’t boo the president. Even though most of our recent presidents have also been booed at the ballpark. With impeachment looming imminently and the possibility of conviction no longer only a pipe dream, Trump finds himself cornered, with nowhere to run and no place left to hide.
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout,
But here is no joy in Mudville—the mighty Cardinals have struck out.
Skunked 0-4 by the Washington Nationals, the Redbirds were eliminated from playoff contention. I wish the Nats well next week in their World Series bid. It has been a long wait for DC. This outcome was foreshadowed twice this year, when we traveled to the South. First in Mississippi and then again in Virginia, we were plagued by what the locals called gnats. They are small flies that bite. Neither bug repellant or vanilla extract, which the locals swore by, deterred these pests. The NLCS makes trice that we have now been plagued by Nats.
The fallout continues from this week’s blowout 1st inning, in the Cardinals-Braves NLDS Game 5. Georgia Republicans are carping that the Braves organization’s decision to not distribute their trademark red foam tomahawks in that game, generated the “karma” that led to the Braves rout. Earlier in this series Saint Louis pitcher, Ryan Helsley, of Cherokee heritage, disparaged Atlanta’s Tomahawk Chop cheer, before Game 2 in Atlanta. “I think it’s a misrepresentation of the Cherokee people or Native Americans in general,” Helsley told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. His complaint led the Braves to not hand out their foam tomahawks when play returned to Georgia, but it took ten unanswered Redbird runs to silence Atlanta fans and halt their performance of the Tomahawk Chop, at least for a while. Later, while railing against political correctness, Georgia conservatives cried a Trail-of-Tears, big crocodile ones, claiming that they were actually just honoring their state’s Cherokee heritage.
Well, at least Atlanta distinguished itself better this time around. Not the least, Atlanta fans did not cause a lengthy game delay by throwing trash onto the field, unlike the last time the Cardinals and Braves met in postseason play. Looking forward, Saint Louis hosts the Washington Nationals tonight. This series is for the National League pennant. I’m hoping for a good series. The Nationals should let Washington take its mind off of politics for a while and give it a chance to shine. Unlike that other crosstown franchise, who shall not be named.
Let’s go, Cardinals!
Oh look, the Cardinals are trending on twitter. OMG, is that a typo? 10-0 in the top of the first! Ten runs on five hits, how do you even do that? The Cards went on to finish the game as newly crowned divisional champs, with a 13-1 final score against the Braves. That’s almost as many runs as they scored in all of the previous four games. I’ll be checking out the new Cardinal NLDS Champion T-shirts in the grocery store tomorrow. The Redbird’s prospects seemed especially dim on Monday night, when they were losing in late innings in a do-or-die game. Facing elimination, team hero Yadier Molina first tied the game and then went on to knock in the winning run in extra innings and keep Saint Louis alive.
Pundits, with 20-20 hindsight point to Molina’s performance as a turning point that precipitated this final game. I see it starting with Cardinals pitcher Ryan Helsley’s comments about the “disrespectful” Tomahawk Chop after game one of the series. The Tomahawk Chop cheer is an Atlanta Braves staple. Helsley’s mom is a full-blooded Cherokee. This complaint led the Braves to unilaterally disarm and halt distribution of their trademark foam tomahawks for game five, which again demonstrates that baseball is a more civilized game than football. Maybe disarming the fans did it or maybe it was the Braves post-season curse. I’d like to believe that the Cards are going all the way and the Braves just had the misfortune of getting in their way. Next up are the Washington Nationals.
We scored primo tickets, box seats behind home plate. Our broker of many years, sprang for them and decided to take us out to the old ball game. It was a beautiful night, Goldilocks weather, not too hot and not too cold and the rain held off. Unfortunately, the Redbirds did not perform very well, to say the least.
When we were in Nashville, I checked their standings and they had the best record in baseball and were leading the division. Since then, they’ve lost four games, after being swept by the Cubs and losing last night. Needless to say, they are no longer in first place. They gave up a grand slam, one of three that they’ve relinquished in their past four games. Normally, they only suffer three of these bases loaded homeruns in an entire season.
It’s hard to say what was the worse aspect of their play. The starter, Dakota Hudson, never really got started. After he was ejected, the bullpen wasn’t any better. The Cards’ fielding was sloppy, with two errors and their hitting was anemic at best, with four hits and one run. The final score was 11-1 Phillies.
Every cloud has a silver lining and last night was no exception. The seats were padded. Cardinal attendants checked tickets every time you entered the section. Sort of like a gated community that keeps the riff-raff out. The netting ensured that no foul balls could come screaming off the bat at us. Although, it did make photography more difficult. After the game, so many fans had already left that we were able to not only get on the first Metrolink train, but also scored seats.
The brightest spot in the Saint Louis sports scene occurred not at the ballpark, but a few blocks away at the arena. Later the Blues won their best of seven playoff round, defeating Dallas 2-1 after two overtimes. We were already home by then and when I recapped the Cardinal’s final score of eleven to one, Anne quipped, “Won? I’d hardly call that game a win.”
We also scored new 1st baseman Paul Goldschmidt t-shirts. Woo-Hoo!