While much of the DC media had their feel-good helmets firmly affixed for the christening of the Nationals Park Sunday evening, Edge Of Sports’ Dave Zirin takes a slightly different path towards the curtain raising for “a monument of avarice that will clear the working poor out of the Southeast corner of the city as surely as if they just dispensed with the baseball and used a bulldozer.”
The Post reported on the ballpark’s grand opening with hard-hitting articles like, “Lapping Up a Major Victory, and Luxuries, at New Stadium.” Without irony, the article quoted people from the suburbs of Maryland and Virginia, about how much fun they were having playing Guitar Hero and eating authentic DC half-smokes before the big game. It should have come with coupons for the Make Your Own Teddy Bear booth, but that was nothing compared to Postsports columnist Tom Boswell, who long ago cornered the market on sloppy baseball nostalgia. The guy would sob watching home movies of Boog Powell flossing his teeth.Some Boswell from opening night included, “Imagine 25,000 people all smiling at once. Not for a few seconds, but continuously for hours. You won’t see it at a tense World Series. But when a brand new ballpark opens, especially in a city that hasn’t had such an experience for 46 years, people can’t help themselves.”
In a nod to actual journalism, Boswell did manage to raise a few questions. “Are they worth the money? Has MLB mastered civic extortion, playing one city against another?” But have no fear. He had no answers. “That’s a different story, a different day.” Unfortunately it’s a story over the last two years he has never written on any day. He did quote another suburban warrior making the trek into the big bad city who said, “Sometimes you got to spend money to make money.” Of course, not his money, but why quibble?
Boswell was a model of restraint compared to city columnist Marc Fisher. In a piece titled, I kid thee not, “The City Opens the Ballpark,And the Fans Come Up Winner,” Fisher wrote, “An investment in granite, concrete and steel buys a new retail, residential and office neighborhood. It buys the president of the United States throwing out the first ball. And it buys a son showing his father what his boy has become.” (I don’t even understand that last line. A son shows his father…his boy? So the father is a grandfather? Is this some sort of Southern Gothic goes to the ballpark? Maybe Fisher was just blissed out on $8 beers and making his own teddy bears.)