Good Game, Bad Brisket

J.P. Finlay

When the security guard came out to warn my buddy Rad, I was worried. We were having such a good time last night at this game and it looked like the Nats were even going to win. Sure Rad was heckling the bullpen, but that is why we bought the seats directly above the visiting bullpen in the first place. Much like the efforts of Chad Cordero and Jon Rauch in the top of the 9th, we flirted with disaster yet the night ended well.

It started with a ride in an E-cruzer. For those unfamiliar, an e-cruzer looks like a modified golf cart that has 6 seats including the driver. The eco-friendly, 100 percent electric vehicle was cruising east down M St as my buddies and I walked west bound.

My friend TJ was familiar with the concept; E-cruzer will give you a free ride to the stadium, though the drivers accept tips. TJ flagged the driver down, he turned around, and we happily jumped in the bizarre looking thing and saved ourselves the 10 minute walk from 8th St to the centerfield entrance. As we spoke with the driver, he explained E-Cruzers is waiting to sign a deal with the Nats to ensure the service is provided at all home games; if anybody with the Nats is reading (and I doubt they are) sign the deal, the E-cruzer was awesome.

I checked out a couple new aspects of the stadium. The first doesn't have a big impact on me but somehow I ended up buying a soda from the Rookies Concession Stand. The Rookie stand is geared toward kids, offering PB&J sandwiches and smaller sizes than the regular concession stands. For families, people who like PB&J, or cheapskates looking for smaller ice cream concessions, the Rookie stand seems to be quite advantageous. The stand is located in the Strike Zone across from the Red Porch, next to the batting cages.

I also made my debut with Red, Hot & Blue; renamed Red, Hot & Blah. I got the brisket sandwich platter which included the sandwich, baked beans, cole slaw and potato salad for $12.50. I was comfortable with the price; the comparable price at a restaurant was about $10. The baked beans were good, the best thing on the plate, with chunks of celery and onion complimenting the sweet sauce. Cole slaw was pretty good, no discernable flavor, tasted mass produced but I imagine it is. The potato salad was decent, though there was more mayonnaise than the Dutch like on their French fries. If you're a mayo lover the potato salad is for you, but you should probably get a consultation with a cardiac specialist on the side. The main event on this plate, the beef brisket sandwich, was disappointing.

The meat was dry and salty; it had the consistency of jerky. BBQ sauce was available at the cashier, and if I had to do it over again I would have loaded sauce onto the sandwich. I have eaten at Red, Hot & Blue before and know their product is better than what I had last night. I hope they can improve the stadium brisket.

Back to back home runs by Zim and Nick the Neck outweighed any negatives from the jerky, er brisket, and the four-run burst in the 7th against the Atlanta bullpen made us believe the heckling worked. On this night all things ended well, including Atlanta's bullpen coach, Eddie Perez, being very cool in defeat. The same coach who had called over the security guard earlier in the game concluded the evening throwing a ball up to my friend Rad.

By J.P. Finlay  |  April 30, 2008; 11:07 AM ET  | Category:  J.P. Finlay
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Posted by: Eatery | April 30, 2008 12:21 PM that's what I call a sticky situation.

Can someone really be ejected for heckling? In the words of a friend of mine, "isn't this DC? Don't we support freedom of speech?" If no threats were made or no foul language used, I dont't see the basis for removing a vocal fan. It didn't happen to your friend but we should keep an eye on whether next time you guys are so lucky.

Posted by: Fushezzi | April 30, 2008 12:46 PM

Depends on what's being said. Profanity is not acceptable, but a hey you suck probably doesn't rise to that level. As long as it's humorous and clever then I have no problem with it.

Posted by: Fred | April 30, 2008 1:08 PM

Sweet, we have fred's approval.

Posted by: Eatery | April 30, 2008 2:14 PM

My friend and I had the RH&B brisket for Sunday afternoon's cold game. Ours was moist, warm, and delicious. Didn't try the coleslaw, but the beans and potato salad were good too. Would definitely try it again. Only complaint was that the various BBQ sauces weren't clearly labeled.

Also, I've seen fans escorted out of the bullpen area at Camden Yards for "excessive" heckling too.

Posted by: Sean | April 30, 2008 3:00 PM

You guys were heckling so much security came out? Go ahead and be a Mets, Phillies or Yankees fan, why dontcha? You probably boo your own team too if they mess up, huh?

I'd like to think Nats fans are a classier bunch than that. Chill on the rowdy frat boy schtick. It doesn't impress anyone but yourselves.

Posted by: CGR | April 30, 2008 10:09 PM

I was one of the people heckling. I can actually talk in a normal voice from my seat and the bullpen can hear me clearly. It's uncanny really. The security was called over b/c I asked out loud why so many Braves pitchers were on the DL. Is that vulgar? Does that offend anyone trying to watch the game? Security was also called over again due to fans calling every warm up pitch a ball. I guess that's vulgar too.

But yeah, lump me in with other groups of passionate fans, I don't mind. The Mets, Phils and Yankee fans take over the stadium in DC (and Balt) because fans like you sit on their hands and zip your lips and allow them to make this a second home. I NEVER boo my team, but I'd definitely boo you if I ever saw you at a game.

Posted by: CGR ignorance | May 1, 2008 8:23 AM

You're right. That seems pretty benign. The person I saw get tossed in Baltimore was yelling stuff mostly about the reliever's wife/girlfriend. I wonder what they consider inappropriate and if it's consistent with policies at other stadiums.

Posted by: Sean | May 1, 2008 9:54 AM

Heckling is bush league. Period.

Posted by: CGR | May 1, 2008 10:10 AM

Heckling is part of the games atmosphere. If you've ever played organized sports you understand how the roar of a crowd can elevate your game and how heckling and booing can deflate your confidence and focus. Part of the game is seeing who has the mental toughness to prevail in pressure packed situations. It creates heroes and chokers. Until you come up with an explanation more in depth then it's "bush league" your opinion is moot.

Posted by: CGR ignorance | May 1, 2008 10:38 AM

your mom is bush league

Posted by: to CGR | May 1, 2008 11:06 AM

Ding Ding Ding!

And with a third round knockout, winner and still champion: CGR ignorance!

Seriously, heckling is bush league? Heckling is part of the game and if more Nats fans actually opened their mouths during the game (to heckle, cheer, yawn, whatever) we wouldn't get shouted down by the Mets and Phillies fans all year long.

Posted by: Dinger | May 1, 2008 12:06 PM

I think it is wrong to heckle. Baseball players have feelings too. Even if your insults help the Nationals win, it is not worth the negativity. How would you like it if someone hurled insultes as you tried to do your job? As citizens of our nations captial it is our duty to set an example to the rest of the world in everything we say and do.

I find this behavior to be overly aggressive and in bad taste. Perhaps you and the rest of your frat boys should return to the pub where you belong.

Posted by: Samwell | May 1, 2008 1:51 PM

I believe the previous poster stated his heckling consisted of calling balls during the warmup pitches and questioning the number of Braves pitchers on the DL. Samwell, care to explain how that is negative or insulting? How does any of this behavior imply that he is a frat boy or a pub patron? What your statement does imply is that you are out of touch with reality and have limited reading and comprehension skills. You took the term heckle and stereotyped it instead of digesting the rest of the post and understand exactly what the "heckling" consisted of.

By the way, I loved your new song and loved your new video even more.

Posted by: Fushezzi | May 1, 2008 2:46 PM

Woah, didn't realize the blog had been updated...

Interesting take on the walk from the bus stop to the stadium.

When is the Nats front office going to realize that they can--and should--drop off everyone who takes the bus much closer to the stadium?

Some of us have gimpy knees you know...

Posted by: Barno | May 7, 2008 4:10 PM

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