Observations: Playoff Baseball

It’s a beautiful thing — playoff baseball.

The crowds are bigger, brighter, louder, and everyone is on their feet. The stadium is always moving, not only do the concessions and vendors and players and staff keep moving — the fans keep moving too.

Everyone is on their feet, erupting with inhuman sounds at every called strike let alone crack of the bat.

You see, my Yankees didn’t — by some ungodly act — make the playoffs. But, I’m a Washingtonian now, so I’m allowed a surrogate home team. It’s October and I’ve been feeling that #Natitude.

I’m feeling that #Natitude

This afternoon was a beautiful 68 degrees and sunny, with a wind still reminiscent of a hurricane we never had the misfortune of knowing. My standing seats brought me to the best cheap view in the house — the Shock Top bar on the second level. Disclaimer: please don’t tell everyone my secret. And, yes, I know this is a publicly accessible post. Sheesh.

The weather was perfect for fall ball, and I had no complaints.

Yesterday, I had a few complaints:

Yesterday, the game was delayed for that, you know, hurricane we didn’t get. We left the stadium and the drizzle stopped. An inconvenience? Yeah. Yeah it was.

The one consolation was that today was, as it turns out, a perfect day for baseball. And the game did not disappoint.

On top of a 3-run José Lobaton homer, the Nationals beat the Dodgers in a tight 5–2 second game of the NLDS.

I could write about the anticipation of the final outs, or the fervor in the crowd, or the beer or the beer or the beer, but I have one thing on my mind: Pigeons.

Throughout the game, the pigeons were ruthless. A primary group of 10 to 15 pigeons congregated on the infield. They’d land, peck around, and creep in unison toward the bases.

It was like there was bird feed on the ground, or they just particularly hated the Dodgers’ middle infielders. One of the two, I’m sure.

Without fail but to no avail, the players would try to shoo the birds away. The pigeons did not care.

In a game replete with delays, natural and unnatural, the birds were a prime contributor. They must have wasted a good 20 minutes in all.

They’d swoop in all at once… gather… storm toward a target area — second base, the pitcher’s mound, the shallow left field area.

All I could envision was a ball being hit straight at the pigeons, them taking flight, and a player getting whacked with a baseball or a bird because of the confusion.

Pigeons: Birds of prey? (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Luckily, no pigeons were harmed in the making of this Nats game.

Once upon a time, a pigeon did not fare too well in a baseball stadium. I’ll conclude this post — admittedly much more light hearted than most of my depressing writing — with a video of Randy Johnson destroying a pigeon with one of his signature fastballs.

It goes poof.

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