“Welcome to Citizens Bank Park South”

Today’s post title is provided in recognition of the idiot in the first row of Section 104, Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.  (Think Fidel Castro, only shorter and with a lot less going for him.) who couldn’t take the signage proclaiming this message as held aloft by the Phillies fans in the back of Section 103.  Fidel trotted all the way from his front row seat then bypassed the two closest, formidable males to reach in and grab part of the sign held by a female.  Then he tossed it down a few rows, hitting a female Nationals fan in the head.  After his “brave stand”, he hurried back to his front row seat and grabbed his baby daughter and put her in his lap.  Classy …

Ah … What fun these rivalries can be!

It’s interesting that despite having beaten the Phillies now six times in a row, Nationals fans still seem to be carrying an awfully big Inferiority Chip on their shoulder.  They have a great starting rotation, but not enough of the other things needed for them to compete for 162 games … Yet.  They will fade this season in the dog days of summer.

The question is, will the Phillies be there?

Very good question.  Wish I had the answer.

This was my first trip to Nationals Park.  Not sure I’d go back.  I’m too set in my ways anymore to put up with three hour drives (I wasn’t about to put out roughly $300 for two roundtrip train fares, including local connections on the R3 and the D.C. Metro.) and parking nightmares to visit a nondescript ballpark.

Don’t get me wrong, the Nationals park is very nice.  A bit quirky, as one would expect for a ballpark shoe-horned into an urban environment.  But it lacks the intimacy and fan-friendliness of Citizens Bank Park (North).  It is a large, gleaming structure that comes off as sterile-feeling … as though visiting a hospital.  The Red Hat structure in center field is a nice touch; but there is not nearly as much offered in the outfield pavilion as you will find in CBP-North.

Parking is a real issue.  But if you go, try the Pay ‘n Park street parking kiosks.  After struggling to find easy-access parking a full hour before the game started, we happened on the street parking spots on Half Street (Avenue?).  Initially we were fearful of a towing, because when we selected to max out our parking purchase choice, we were only charged $6 (!!) and the receipt said that was only good for three hours.  (Remember, this is an hour before game time.)  But after some street research, we found that at most you might get a ticket – not towed, and we didn’t even get that.

If you haven’t yet been to Citizens Bank Park South, go.  You’ll have an enjoyable time.

This is shaping up to be a great rivalry, even if the Nats aren’t “there” yet.  And even if a very few of their fans have a bit to learn about how winners are supposed to act when Champions visit!

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