Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has been enjoying baseball and hockey of late. Lots of baseball in fact. Is there anything better than sitting (laying) on your comfy sofa and watching your team play a friendly game of baseball while enjoying the company of your family? Well… Yes there is… That is actually attending a game…

Your Maximum Leader went out to the new Nats ballpark last Tuesday night to see his beloved Nationals fall to the Philadelphia Phillies 1-0 in what was a rather compelling pitching duel. Allow your Maximum Leader to share with you a few of his thoughts on his experience…

First off, it was your Maximum Leader’s first trip to the new park. Nats park is great. The sightlines are great from everywhere. He was sitting in section 129 for the game (about 10 rows behind the Nats dugout). But he went up and visited with some friends sitting in section 318 on the upper deck. Those seats had a lot going for them. You could still see the game really well, and you could look out of the park and see the Capitol dome and Washington Monument. In some ways, your Maximum Leader prefered those seats. Of course, they are considerably cheaper - and that is a plus. And sitting up on the upper deck gave you more of a feeling of being part of the crowd and experience. On the proverbial other hand, the good seats are damned good. You can’t see anything outside of the park, but then again you are there for the game. The good seats seem to have much better access to food and concessions. Those are plusses.

As for the food and concessions… Your Maximum Leader didn’t partake of most of the “local favorites” available in the park. He did buy some Giffords Ice Cream - which was great. But he did not go to “Bens Chili Bowl.” There does seem to be a tremendous variety of food and drink available (at greatly inflated prices). Lines at all the concessions stands moved quickly and efficiently. The bathrooms were as clean as you could expect them to be (it is a stadium afterall). All in all the experience was very good.

Very good.

Not quite excellent.

Let your Maximum Leader be frank. The new Nats ballpark has a lot to commend it. If you exclude Wrigley Field and Fenway Park, for their historic character, how does the new Nats park compare to other newer parks? Alas, your Maximum Leader hasn’t visited many of the parks he’d like to go to in order to make a fair comparison. He’s seen games at Shea and Tampa, and the Nats park is much nicer than either of those. But Shea will be gone next year. He’s seen games at a number of other ballparks that are now gone (in Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Seattle, San Francisico and Cincinnati). The Nats park is better than those deceased parks. The Nats park is at least as good as Turner Field in Atlanta. But what gets your Maximum Leader’s goat is that the Nats park might not be as nice as Camden Yard in Baltimore. Perhaps it is the glass and limestone at the Nats park instead of the brick and iron at Camden Yard. Perhaps it is the warehouse at Camden Yard. Perhaps it is that little picnic area in left field at Camden Yard where you can buy (a horribly overpriced) crab feast. But the Nats park doesn’t give your Maximum Leader the same feeling as Camden Yard. From a purely architectural sense, Camden Yard fits it surroundings and its city well. Nationals Park seems like it was placed in a neighborhood. Admittedly there isn’t really a predominant architectural style to Washington DC. That statement isn’t fully true, we do have roman revival or 30s totalitarian gothic. But it was unlikely that the new ballpark was going to be designed to look like the Flavian Amphitheatre or the Nuremburg Olympic Stadium. Your Maximum Leader hopes that the neighborhood around the Nats park will grow up and develop a character that improves the look and feel of the park. It is likely to happen - but it will be some time off…

By the way… Your Maximum Leader and Villainette #1 will be back in section 129 on Sunday to watch the Nats take on the Brewers of Milwaukee. If you are going to be at the game let your Maximum Leader know… We’ll get together.

But before your Maximum Leader goes to see the Nats on Sunday, he will be watching the Detroit Red Wings take on the Pittsburgh Penguins in game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals…

Like our friend Card, your Maximum Leader will be rooting for the Red Wings. (NB to Card: Your Maximum Leader will be looking for you on the TV.) Your Maximum Leader cannot abide by any team in the East other than his much beloved Washington Capitals. Since the Caps are out, it has got to be the Western team. Detroit is one of the original six. Detroit is Hockeytown. And your Maximum Leader has seen the Red Wings win a Stanley Cup. (Yes. Live and in person. Your Maximum Leader saw the last two games of the Red Wings sweep of the Capitals back in 1998.) So he will be rooting for the Wings.

He may even buy some tako to eat while watching the game. Good octopus is too expensive to just throw on the ice…

Carry on.


ML, now that you mention it, I’m really digging on the idea of a totalitarian gothic baseball park. More than anything, it would fit the character of DC - especially as the average visitor to downtown would see it.

I’m thinking fake columns mounted to the exterior walls, heavy concrete construction, and lots of beefy socialist realist sculpture littering the grounds. Like the cheesy guy wrestling the horse outside that government building on Constitution just north of the National Gallery. I forget which one - maybe the Labor Department? Except, they’d all be baseball players. Wrestling mythological figures.

Perfect! I too would totally dig a totalitarian gothic ballpark!

Card said:

My Maximum Leader, all of Hockeytown is overwhelmed by your support. In your honor, we will all get drunk on scotch tonight and get busy designing your totalitarian gothic ballpark, annex and hockey arena. Cheers!

P.S. Perhaps a totalitarian gothic bar as well. Something in which bobgirl would feel comfortable wearing a leather skirt and her 4-inch spiked heel hockey skates while sipping a martini and nibbling a bacon swizzle stick.

Card said:

Did you see me last night? I waved several times and held up a sign that said “Wings Salute the Maximum Leader” when I thought the camera was aimed my way. (Unfortunately, the sign was a sort of last minute, make shift affair that got kind of smeared up when I spilled vodka on it. Oh well, it’s the thought that counts.)

Quite a satisfactory outcome for game one of the finals. And, as you know, that first goal was dedicated to Your Villainy.

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