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October baseball with the Nationals

By Ryan Korby

This weekend provides a unique opportunity for a Nationals expatriate in Hoboken, N.J. The Nats play the Mets in a virtually meaningless three-game series at Citi Field to close the season. Since I only visit the D.C. area a few times a year, I’m usually quick to jump at the opportunity to see the Nats play, and since both teams are out of contention, ticket resellers are giving away tickets for pennies on the dollar. For some reason, I can’t get excited to go.

An obnoxious Phillies fan that I work with says this makes no sense, because I’ve “watched the Nats all season when they haven’t had a chance to make the playoffs, what makes this weekend any different?” He’s right, even at my most optimistic point in Spring Training I was hoping for a .500 record and would take 75 wins as a pleasant surprise, as a sign that things were moving in the right direction.

I believe things are looking up for the Nats. They field one of the best bullpens in the National League no matter what statistical category you look at (4th in ERA, 4th in K/BB, 4th in WHIP, 4th in xFIP). The major league roster is full of young guys now who provide some hope for the future. Both are reasons to go to the game. I can show my appreciation for a unit that the front office did a great job of rebuilding after a horrendous 2009. I can also get a first glimpse at guys like Danny Espinosa and Wilson Ramos and be outrageously optimistic that those two can be staples in the lineup for the next decade.

So, I can find reasons to make the trek to Citi Field (Queens is much farther away from anything else than you think; no wonder nobody is a Mets fan). But finding someone else to subject to a game that doesn’t matter is the difficult part. As I mentioned before, the tickets will cost less than the subway pass to get there, but there aren’t many other Nats fans in the area and the few Mets fans who exist are even more disenchanted over this season than Nationals fans. I guess that’s understandable when you spend the type of money the Mets do, you have delusions that your team should be competitive.   I’ll probably have to call in a favor from a friend or relative and buy a round or a baseball helmet ice cream to make it worth their while.

So, count me in, I’ll be at game 161 of 162 on Saturday. If you see me, say hi. I’ll be the one other guy in attendance (over-under: 9,000 fans) with a Strasburg shirt on.

By Box Seats blogger  | September 28, 2010; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  Nationals, Ryan Korby  | Tags:  Nationals, Nats-Mets  
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