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Slamming on the brakes

Posted on July 21, 2009 at 8:57 am

I’ve had a serious case of writer’s block. The point of this site is to be fun and well, baseball just isn’t feeling very fun right now. If it weren’t for the handful of friends I still have on the office side of the Nationals, I’d probably be going ballistic on the whole operation right now. I debated stepping back and observing without bias/care (pretending I’m a beat writer or something), but that’s not what I do. With the firing of Manny Acta, I’ve lost my happy and am trying to find it again. Sitting at the game the other night and realizing Manny’s sister wasn’t going to walk by with a smiling friendly wave hello was kind of sad and depressing. The losses under Riggleman are even harder to bear as clearly the manager change had no positive impact. Game ends on a strikeout looking by Josh Bard… Yeah. Ok. Why do I watch this day after day again and miss so many hours of my life that could be put to more productive use? That’s the question I’ve been asking…

So I’m going to sit back for a while til this seems fun again (while still digging into the parking lot adventure of the other night). I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling this way. (Right?) That’s the beauty of being a blogger – no deadlines, no requirements. My heart’s just not into it at the moment.

13 Responses to “Slamming on the brakes”

  1. dcborn61 says:

    You are definitely not the only one who sees nothing fun about our local baseball situation. I was not the Manny fan you were, but realized we were completely sunk when Riggleman said in his presser that he was going to do everything exactly like Manny. What’s the point then? The FO and ownership of this team are playing fans for chumps at this point.

  2. i hear ya. we’ve been having a tough time motivating post-Manny as well. the game will draw you back, but take your time. there’s not much here worth watching. the next month, with the trade deadline and Strasburg signing deadline, all the news will be off the field anyway.

  3. natsfan1a says:

    Nope, you’re not the only one. Sigh.

  4. Carolyn says:

    Cathy, you know I am all Rah Rah about the Nationals. That being said, even I am losing it. For several of the games, I’ve opted to watch other shows on TV instead (gasp!). And then on Sunday, I left early! Didn’t even make it to the 7th inning stretch (I have to admit that part of leaving **that** early was so I could escape before the over-sung God Bless America took part). I never leave early, but now it often seems like a good idea.

    I have also skipped games lately. Something else I never do. I may waste one of my other 3 tickets when I can’t find someone to use it, but I’ve never wasted my own – until now! I always have said that I can take the losses as long as the game is fun and exciting; I just can’t recall the last game that I found fun and exciting.

    When you get your baseball love back, please tell me where I can find my own.

  5. Cheryl says:

    It is very depressing. You know that I am rah rah too Carolyn and I always try to find something positive, but it is tough right now. I have been to 4 out of the 5 games since Manny has been gone. The Thursday game was the worst. We hadn’t seen everyone in a few days because of the break, but also first game since Manny was gone. Thank goodness I was wearing sunglasses. The first hug I got from someone sent tears streaming down my face. I tried to play it cool and think positive, but nothing inspired me at the game. I was really hoping that the players would be professionals and come out and play their hearts out, if nothing else, feeling like they owed it to the fans and Manny. Getting someone fired didn’t see to change their attitude one bit.

    Trade deadline and Strasburg (hopeful) signing will make things interesting for sure. Hang in there. As Steinberg has said many times, there is always something crazy that happens in the Nats games so we have to keep watching.

    I continue to go because I love baseball and it is part of my soul and can’t give it up. Like you guys, I get attached to players and it is hard to see them go. But the game always pulls you back. Baseball always breaks hearts, but we keep going back for more.

    As a very smart and kind man recently told me, “keep the faith.”

  6. Sec 204 Row H Seat 7 says:

    Well they won one last night! They will win more (how much more is open to question but that is the beauty of base ball). I lie Manny but Managers are hired to be fired. The Team still remains. Again, hang in there.

  7. denisek says:

    Been busy the last few days and haven’t had time to read all the blogs. But Cathy you said it well. Firing Manny took the wind out of my sails. And then all the losses one after another. I feel for Riggleman too. Last two days have been a breathe of fresh air, but it is still not the same. It is like everything is interim, GM, Manager, players, even the wins.

  8. Medley says:

    Oh I am right there with you, MC. Spouse and I used to listen to Charlie & Dave every night. But this season and the last half of last season it’s been tough. And many nights we don’t even turn it on – we just check in at some point to see how badly we’re losing by. My only consolation is that we haven’t forked over any $$ in the last year or so — it’s about the only thing we can do to express our discontent, I guess – withhold cash from the owners. Sigh.

  9. misschatter says:

    Happy belated birthday, Denise! Yep, wind out of sails and everything is interim. Thanks to all piping up! I’m sure the game will draw me back in fully – I just can’t immerse myself in it like I did. Partially because of LOB (life outside baseball) :-)

  10. JW says:

    I don’t know if I was ever truly rah-rah, but coworkers have said that if I’ve become cynical, the Nats are in truly bad shape. That said, I look back to a year ago today, when Jim Bowden announced that Chad Cordero would be non-tendered. Fortunately, I don’t think the Nationals will ever match that lack of class. (I certainly hope not!!!!)

    However, this season, so far, I have wasted more tickets (five) in my package than I wasted in the past three seasons put together. I was away the last two weeks in April, and following the Caps through mid-May.

    Once I started to concentrate on the Nats, a number of things have irked me. Manny’s departure seemed inevitable to me, but I thought he showed a tremendous amount of class. I thought it was strange, though, that Kasten invited him to the post departure press conference — I would have thought it would have made much more sense to see ANY of the ownership group. And the “letter” to the fans tried to say the right things, but it seemed to lack something. Accountability, maybe.

    The handling of rain delays (and waiting for hours to start the game or call it). I understand that it’s difficult to manage a major league schedule, and there’s a compulsion to get a game in. But as a female fan who generally comes alone on public transit, a game that starts two hours late (and may have additional delays) means that I’m choosing between eating the ticket or trying to make my way home v-e-r-y late, when there are likely to be very few other people walking to Metro for looking for taxis from the stadium. I’d be somewhat happier if my ticket could be exchanged for another available game during the season.

    I was also not amused by the invitation to Phillies fans for the Nationals home opener on Philadelphia sports radio. It didn’t tell them Phillies fans anything they couldn’t figure out online, and it made me wonder whether the Nats FO wants a Nationals fan base, or bodies at the park. (Yes, I was thinking back to the stories about Leonsis making it difficult for fans from out rival cities to get tickets from the Caps — made me feel appreciated as a Caps fan).

    Lesser irritation — “That’s the way, uh huh, uh huh, I like it, uh huh, uh huh” If the Nationals were competent, I’d worry that would be a jinx, since we’re playing it when the team has no less than 6 outs to get. As it is, I walked out on Sunday when it started. Down 11-2, and a 26 and 65 record — no, I couldn’t stomach it. If it’s not an insult to my intelligence, at least it requires a complete suspension of disbelief. I never thought I’d see something I like less than Sweet Caroline, but at least that’s only a rip off from the Red Sox.

    In spite of these gripes, I’m feeling a few faint glimmers of hope. Lannan and Stammen have pitched well, helped by a legit center fielder. And it’s actually encouraging to see the team put Zimmermann on the DL, with the intention of making sure he’s 100% before they play him. I am enjoying the new organ, and I think the trade deadline and Strasburg negotiations will be interesting.

    So, baseball in Washington isn’t much fun now, but as a wise person once said “this, too, shall pass.”

  11. Americasgame says:

    Sorry to see you quit but that is typical of the Washington fan base, if the skin stink sell your tickets if the Caps stink don’t go ditto for the Wizards, this is why we lost the team before and will probably lose it again if we don’t make the playoffs in the next 8 years. This is baseball people, win or lose, I love it, the crack of the bat the pop of the mitt, the great food. I just wish others loved it for what it was America’s game.

  12. misschatter says:

    Americasgame – to be clear, I said I was going to sit back for a while, not quit. And I also said that the interim stuff is bothering me, not necessarily wins. I’m still watching/listening to games and going when I have tickets. I’ll be photographing tonight’s game just like usual and post it here.

    My other issue is I do have a high intensity day job that often bleeds over into off-hours, which doesn’t give me much free time to be as obsessive as I used to be. I also don’t like wasting energy on negativity. So I’m just being quiet until I feel positive about the team again. If it’s only about sounds and the ballpark food, fine, it’s awesome. For me, it’s about the connections and the ongoing story.

  13. Andrew says:

    Seeing Miss Chatter at last night’s game with her husband Kent and her Cracker Jack bag was wonderful to see.

    JW’s last 2 paragraphs are well said. The starting pitching + complete game wins has been a great surprise.

    Ryan Zimmerman’s 30 game hit streak was amazing.

    The bullpen and the demise of Kearns and Belliard and awful team defense have been tough to stomach.

    I think the Nats made a big mistake going after Strasburg if he doesn’t get signed. The strategy should have been contract in hand up front to make sure you were on the same page with Boras or don’t bother.

    I still enjoy going and hanging out with buddies, but I do miss seeing Anayma Acta and Manny’s smile. A big part of the game is friendships with players, families and other fans.


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