Thursday, July 29, 2010, 10:25 a.m.
By Holden Kushner
Most fans are fair-weathered. At the very least, youve been a fair-weathered fan of at least one team. Theres no question about that if you root for a Washington D.C. sports team. I, for one, was one of those fans just the other night.
At 6:15 on Tuesday night, I hopped on the Metro en route to Nats Park. 35 minutes later, I was walking towards the fan entrance behind left field. Just before my arrival I received a text that read, Strasburg scratched from tonights start." I thought it was a joke. My source must have been trying to play a joke on me. (My source is really this girl Ive been hanging out a lot with lately).
A couple of minutes later another source (my buddy that I used to go bar-hopping with when we were both single) texted me a note that read much the same.
Uh, oh. The Nats, as well as my night, were in trouble.
I figured it was worth the shot of seeing for myself that Stephen Strasburg would not be starting.
Then rumor became truth. Miguel Batista was warming up in the bullpen.
Now Im not knocking Miguel Batista. Hes one of the most fascinating ballplayers in the game today. As a matter of fact, he had a novel about a serial killer entitled, Through The Eyes of the Law and hes been working on a murder-mystery novel for quite some time now. He might want you to know that he enjoys engaging in deep philosophical conversation. Maybe not.
That aside, hes no Strasburg on the mound. To be utterly honest with you, I felt a bit let down.
It was time to make an executive decision: Pull a 180, head for home and join the ranks of the fair-weathered D.C. sports fan, or suck it up and stick it out to root for the local nine.
By the time I was nearing the Navy Yard Metro stop, boos could be heard raining down upon poor Miguel Batista.
Now dont feel bad. Batista threw six shutout innings on seven minutes notice. But I didnt see one pitch.
When I talked about my night on the radio show, I was pelted by insults from angry hard-core Nationals fans.
Traitor! yelled Judge from D.C.. Youre a bum! screamed Kathy from Annandale. Even my co-host Mike Wise was chiding me for not sticking around (to which I reminded him that Im at the ball park a lot more than he is).
My D.C. sports fan card had been stamped. I was there for the show on this night. The Stephen Strasburg Show.
I interviewed Batista the next day. I felt no remorse.
Is it wrong for a man to turn his back on a team he roots for? For die-hard Nats fans on Tuesday night, it was.
For a media member-turned-fan for a night, it wasnt.