Saturday, March 29, 2008


Two of my former hometowns are hosting exhibition baseball games today. One game is in a brand new stadium, the other in a throwback venue. The Nationals play their first game in Nationals Park while the Dodgers return to the L.A. Coliseum, where they played when they first moved to Los Angeles 50 years ago. Meanwhile my Mets are playing today in the Civil Rights Game in rainy Memphis. I'll watch the beginning of each game on TV. The Mets game came on ESPN at 5:00, the Nationals game started on MASN at 6:00 and the Dodgers game is on NESN at 10:00. The Nationals game is also available for free on MLB.TV. I clicked on to it just in case MASN was blacked out on my TV. The video is the same but the computer stream is using audio from the visitors' radio broadcast.

While the architects and environmentalists are gushing over the new stadium's design and eco-friendliness, I am most excited about the food choices inside Nationals Park. They will regularly have menu items like Milwaukee brats and Philadelphia cheese steaks that honor National League opponents. Some food items will only be available when the corresponding team is visiting, like knishes when the Mets are in town and California rolls when the Dodgers visit.

As a former Washingtonian, I think it is fantastic that local restaurants will have outlets inside the stadium. Who needs a brat when some Red Hot & Blue BBQ or a Five Guys burger is available? My wife will be able to reminisce over some Gifford's Ice Cream. She and her family used to get Gifford's on the way home from the airport.

My next scheduled trips to the D.C. area will be too short to take in a ballgame. When I finally do get to the new stadium, even I should be able to resist the temptation to bring in my own food.

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