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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Do I stay or do I go?

Despite major hassles getting parked, we got to Camden Yards today in plenty of time to get one of the free hats. So I have my first piece of Orioles gear. It's a nice cap, pretty sturdy. It's nowhere near as good as the hat the Nats gave out for Opening Day but much better than the blue one they gave out later.

So, if I want to switch allegiances I'm ready. Now comes the hard part, making that decision. Some talking points:

*Camden Yards is a better place to hang out. Sorry. I have no issues with Nationals Park. I enjoy watching games there. But Camden Yards is a gem. There's more to do there and a hell of a lot more to do in the area. Point Orioles.

*Nationals Park is 50 miles closer to my house. Point Nationals.

*The Orioles aren't going to win any pennants any time soon, especially playing in that division. One year, they may be better than the Nats and watch the Nats in the postseason. Not when I'm alive, of course. Years from now. But I think the O's have put together a better team. I like a lot of their players. Point Orioles.

*Despite that, Ryan Zimmerman doesn't play for the O's. Jordan Zimmermann doesn't play for the O's. Jesus Flores doesn't play for the O's (he doesn't play for the Nats right now either but you get my point). Stephen Strasburg was not drafted by the Os. I could go on. Multiple points Nationals.

*Parking at Nats game, 20 bucks. Parking at Orioles game, eight bucks. Point Orioles.

*Parking guy at Nats games knows my name and calls me, "Big guy." Says "Good to see you again Big Guy." Makes me feel like my car is secure. Parking people at Camden Yards are rude pricks. In fact, a lot of the help at Camden Yards fits that description. Not all, mind you. The ushers we encountered in the seating areas were great. But overall, the Nats are way ahead in the friendly help department. Point Nationals.

*While we're on stadium issues, how come all the food is so much cheaper in Baltimore? Pizza is eight bones at Nats Park and it is small and tastes like cardboard. I got two big and tasty pieces in Baltimore for 6.75. Beer is also 6.75 - but I don't drink ballpark beer. Point Orioles.

*The Nats are 4-17 with me in the house. The Os are 3-1 but I don't suppose if I became a fan I could count on them playing the Nats every night. So this one is a wash. I kill teams. I'd probably make the Dodgers lose.

*In one of those ask the players video things, the Nats do Star Trek vs. Star Wars. Seriously? Half the players roll their eyes. The Orioles do Dave Chappelle vs. Charlie Murphy and it is HIlarious. Most of the between-innings stuff is better there. The Old Bay crab with the ball beats the snot out of the Hats. Their KissCam is better, too (I was puckered up but they never came near me). HOWEVER, the Presidents Race simply owns that cartoon hot dog thing. And "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" as seventh-inning stretch song? That pretty much negates every advantage the Orioles have anywhere else. That song ought to be outlawed.

*We've already been over the didn't get a shirt thing (or did we)? I didn't get a shirt yesterday despite being in the park almost two hours before first pitch. So I figure to get a shirt on T-Shirt Tuesday there, I'd have to arrive Sunday night or Monday morning. With the Nats, you at least stand a decent chance of getting all the promised items and not having to deal with rude help (one young guy with glasses was exceptionally nice, though still unable to help). Point Nationals.

*Matt Wieters is becoming a legend (though I can't quite figure out why). I saw some very funny t-shirts this weekend. Sliced Bread is the greatest invention since Matt Wieters. That kind of thing. He also dropped a ball at home and threw one into the outfield. Plus, he's NOT Flo, though he is playing now and Flo isn't. Point Nationals.

*Because I'm nothing but a fair weather fool, let's look at recent standings. Since June 27: Nationals 1-0, Orioles 0-1.

So I guess I'll stick with what I know. Let's go Nats.


Ben said...

What kind of damn discussion is this? You can't just switch teams! What the hell? I used to like this blog.

MikeHarris said...

Well, I'm not switching.
I just thought about it!
C'mon, I was 3-17 when I was kicking this stuff around. 3-17! That'll test the faith of the strongest among us.

An Briosca Mor said...

"Parking at Nats game, 20 bucks. Parking at Orioles game, eight bucks. Point Orioles."

Parking at RFK Stadium is free. Easy in, easy out there. Straight off SE/SW Freeway, no lights. Just watch out for the speeding ticket cameras. Quick air-conditioned 10 minute bus ride back and forth to Nationals Park. Let me repeat: FREE. Advantage Nationals.

MikeHarris said...

We've done the free bus and have had no issues with it. But it adds another half hour to the trip, which adds up when you have a long drive. So we suck up the parking fees.

Mama B said...

Where did you park at the Orioles game? We were there Friday night and it cost us $20 bucks to park, same as the Nats.

BTW, Courtney is a great kid! She was tickled that someone read Dad's blog and asked for her. She couldn't have been nicer!

MikeHarris said...

Thanks much - she is a sweetie.

I parked over near the Ravens' stadium. Long walk, about the same as I make at Nats games.

Ryan said...

Take a bow, big guy. That is one fine blog post!

Not to beat a dead horse, but well, I'm going to beat the shit out of don't HAVE to pay to park for Nats games. Get. Out. Of. Your. Box.

Next time I buy food or drinks at Nats Park, I'm going to be bitter, thinking back to Camden Yards and its awesome prices.

MikeHarris said...

If you don't care where you leave your car, you can park for free anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Great post, by the way I am 0-13 in attendance this year.

Nats are 4-1 in the third game of series in which I attend the other two

MikeHarris said...

Well, hell. Start going to the third game!
0-13. Wow. I thought I was the King of Suck. I pass the honor to you.

Ben said...

My record in Olympic stadium was .650 record. And I'm 100% watching the Nat's (all be it I have not managed to get south to the new stadium.

Anyone wants to lend me ticket money, I'd be glad to accept.

Dave said...

In Baltimore on Sunday, I paid $10 to park in lot N, on the far side of the Ravens' stadium. I don't know where you got for $8, but I didn't find it yesterday.

I was sitting in the club level at Oriole Park. Couldn't hear about half of what the PA guy was saying.

From the Stars & Stripes club bars at Nats Park, you can look out onto the field and see the game. From the club level at OPACY you can see the parking lots.

In my opinion, Nats Park is a much nicer place to be. I have issues with things like the scoreboard operation in DC, but I very much prefer our stadium to the Orioles'.

(And I can still see a bit of the capitol dome from my Infield Gallery seats at Nats Park. At OPACY, though, the entire view of downtown is now obscured by a Hilton Hotel.)

Advantage: Nationals.

MikeHarris said...

Dave - that itty bitty road between the stadiums? Up and over some bridge, around to the left and into some odd-shaped lot by the train tracks. I just went where they pointed me. Tried to get into what was once a $10 pay lot and is now permit only. The one time I deserved to get yelled at and I did not.

Ryan said...

Dave: I parked in the same lot as you Sunday. The walk wasn't as bad as I had feared.

Despite a few mishaps with the Nats scoreboard, it's far and away better than the one in Bmore. Not even close.

As far as the area around the parks and having things to do, places to eat and drink....Bmore wins hands down obviously. The view from the seats at Nats Park suck. I much prefer Bmore in that respect. I've always said Camden Yards is my favorite park. Haven't changed my mind yet, even though there's a lot I like about Nats Park.

Dave said...

Ryan: "As far as the area around the parks and having things to do, places to eat and drink....Bmore wins hands down obviously."

Yeah, it's funny how 55 years of continuous existence of a big-league team in a town, or 18 years of a stadium in a neighborhood, will cause the area to become more interesting and attractive.

(He snarled bitterly...)

MikeHarris said...

I actually think the Inner Harbor was there first! They've done a nice job with that area.
Hell, the Nats have The Bullpen. There's a start.

I did mean to mention the scoreboard. Nats' actual scoreboard wins but Orioles win use of scoreboard (except for those stupid hot dogs).

An Briosca Mor said...

The Orioles have apparently upgraded their scoreboard from what it was the year of the famous 30-3 game and its accompanying photo seen round the world. Yet from my seat way up high behind the plate on Saturday night, I found that the only numbers I could actually read were balls, strikes and outs. Forget about the score line or any player info. Are my eyes really that bad? I don't have this problem at Nationals Park (from comparable distance), although I did on the itty-bitty soreboard at RFK. Advantage Nationals.

An Briosca Mor said...

One thing I did notice at OP@CY - late in the game a raucous cheer arose from the crowd although nothing was going on right then on the field. I wondered what the deal was, then I noticed the scoreboard was displaying GET LOUD. That never happens at Nationals Park. I guess Orioles fans are much better at following directions.

MikeHarris said...

If they don't, one of the gate pricks finds them and smacks them in the head.

My wife has become hooked on the "radar guns" and didn't like having to look for it in Baltimore.

She also notes Willie Harris doesn't play in Baltimore. He's supplanted Milledge as No. 1 in her heart.