Wednesday, March 28, 2007

My Time Of The Year

I am not going to make any predictions. I am not going to worry about how good or bad Our Washington Nationals are going to be for The 2007 Championship Season. Right now that's not all too important to me. What I am pleased about is The Baseball Season is upon me. This is MY TIME OF THE YEAR. And, no matter what the final score may be, I am excited to be, once again, attending Major League Games, in person--IN MY HOMETOWN OF WASHINGTON, DC. A feat I was unable to do for 34 years, for reasons well beyond my control. And, doing so, AGAIN, for the third consecutive year in FINEST PLACE TO ENJOY BASEBALL AT RFK STADIUM--Section 320.

Despite staying up to date, throughout the off season, on the Nationals, I have had far less time to keep up with our many good friends. Many of whom, The African Queen and I have missed, tremendously. We may have chatted with them briefly, ran into some accidentally, but for the most part many of our RFK Stadium Faithful have dispersed over the Winter. Not once have we ran into "The Noise Boys". We've talked on the phone, exhanged emails, but never have seen each other eye to eye. When BangTheDrumNatly gets the rhythm going in Section 320 and RallyTimeRichard bellows out that first "You're Killing MEEEE!!" starting April 2nd. All in my world will be correct, once again.

Of course, no longer can my staple cry--"Come On FRANK!!" be yelled. Number 20 was sent packing. No doubt I called out to Mr Robinson at least 1000 times over the first two seasons of Nats Baseball at RFK. "Come ON MANNY!!" just doesn't sound the same.

And, as I posted previously, Section 320 has no more Jose's to sing for. Believe it or not, this is a crisis. The "Jose" Song was the rallying cry for all the friendships that became our fun place to sit. Maybe our favorite New Aussie, Chris Snelling, can provide some insightful cheers and chants for us. At least "Church on Sunday" (Or any other day for that matter) is back for another go round. Along with "Bluegrass", "FLOP" "Schneiderman", "Zim-mer-man" "Swing That Stick--Fick" (Its was Nick, but Johnson's still on the Disabled List) and returning to the shortstop position near you--"THE GUZ" You will have to decide for yourself whether its "GUZ" or "BOO's"

We have fun with the players, and our antics are well known in their clubhouse. But, some of the following things I just can't wait to enjoy once again for 2007.

MickNats. No Nats Game is official until MickNats takes his customary seat. Row 3, Seat 17--And Neal COMES RUNNING DOWN THE AISLE TO DELIVER THAT FIRST BEER!! MickNats may be the only fan in the stands that can run a tab with the beer vendor. MickNats & Neal--a match made in heaven!! Let me tell you, there is NOTHING like watching every single vendor working the 3rd base side of RFK's lower bowl greeting MickNats at his seat during the first games of the young Nats Season. NOTHING LIKE IT!! A sight to behold!!

MsZimmy yells out in her BELLOWING (low voice) WAY!! "Come on ZIMMY!!" to her love--Ryan Zimmerman. Immediately followed by my mimic rendition. Cracks everybody up, every single time.

Rally Time Richard and his protege--The African Queen--start pounding empty Budweiser Beer Bottle Necks on the seats and railings, next to them, to form one of the loudest stadium noises imaginable. By the way, Budweiser Bottles only. They know, from experience--no other beer bottle makes quite the same scene!!

And, when we are down by 7 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the batter down to his last strike, most everyone has left the park, MickNats yells out "What Time IS IT!!" And, RallyTimeRichard, like a wailing cat on his last breath, screams out "RALLYTIIIIIIIIIIME!! The Entire Remaining Crowd turns to look, including the players. Flat out FUNNY!!

SeyHeyKlib jumps up to chase some local politician or important figure. The man is just not shy. He never backs down.

Becky & Mike's young daughter, ABBY--influenced greatly by "The Noise Boys" starts leading all the cheers, chants and songs we are known for. Little Abby, I am sure, is pumped for the new season.

SenatorNat, The King Of Wit, starts talking about The Nats, and ends the conversation on a completely separate subject. How Mr. Ed (from the 60's TV show) and Eva Gabor from The Green Acres TV show were made for each other. One of greatest stories of all time.

And, of course---SCREEEEEEEEECH!! After an inauspicious start in 2005 has become a mainstay and beloved friend in Section 320. MY BEST FRIEND who makes sure to stop by at first pitch of every single home game, to feel the love!!--Smooch The African Queen, his girlfriend, and then return a few more times throughout the night to keep the spirits high!! SCREECH IS BACK, and we are very thankful.

In Section 320--we sit in the comfort zone. 25 rows from the field, under the overhang. No weather condition gets in our way. Sweltering Summer Heat or Pouring Down Rain, we are protected. Its a Godsend that we shall miss come 2008 on South Capitol Street. The Nationals Players Wives, Girlfriends and Family sit just to our right, staring, laughing and looking at us in amazement. The easy access tunnel to the concourse, less than 5 feet away, to the left.

The Uncomparable Mary (Mrs. MickNats),Troy, Karen (Chipper Jones #1 Fan), along with The FlyBoys from Andrews, KentuckyRob, Cecilia & Mike, Aaron, Libby & Steve, Andy, Jim, Erin, Lisa & Jeff, Ann & Steve, Diane (MsZimmy) & Shawn (Johnie Damon)--all integral parts of Section 320. We look forward to seeing you all.

And, of course--Iris & Biff along with Colleen, Jeff and Curly "W" (their Rally Monkey). Faithful as Nats Fans can be. And, honorary Section 320 Members.

I can't wait for Opening Day. When that leadoff hitter steps to the plate for Our Washington Nationals. And, the next thing you hear at RFK Stadium: "ALFONSO!----Sorry, SORRY! forgot, he's no longer here" (That's going to be tough on all of us in 320 for a while. The Alfonso SORIANO Chant was well received last season).


BASEBALL's BACK!! Here's to a New Season of Fun in Section 320!! Our Final Season at RFK Stadium. LET GO NATS!!


Anonymous said...

Dear Screech's Best Friend,

You wrote something that I see a lot of, and I just have to correct. We went 33 years without baseball, not 34. Those years were, of course, 1972 through 2004.

Say Hey Klib said...

SBF, Another wonderful post. I wnt to school with an Aussie who ended up playing softball with us. When there were me on base he heard us yell "Ducks on the pond." He thought it was such a funny expression that he was rolling in laughter. Next time there was a man up at bat with men on base, out of nowhere comes this Aussie accent "Shrimp On The Barbie!!!!" We rolled in laughter. The hitter had to ster out and the ump looked over and smiled. After that our rally cry with men on base was 'Shrimp on the Barbie!'

I think that should be the cheer for the Aussie.

SenatorNat said...

SBF: you truly have the making of a book, like some of those devoted to the early Mets years, except better, since you have actual fan characters. You had better start writing it, guy, seriously. And, the title is built in: "Screech's Best Friend and his African Queen: A Washington Baseball Love Affair"

I had suggested when he was picked up that Snelling's cry could be: "BLOOM'IN ON-ION!"

We need NOT replace the Jose song, as that cheapens the genesis of the section's motto and personality. Instead, let's wait for the NEW JOSE to appear in 2009, for example, and then explode into RETRO mode!!

And - might I recommend Ringo Starr's "ACTA NATIONALS-LY:"

"They're goin' put me in the dugout;
They're goin' make a big star out of me;
They're goin' let me manage Big Time;

and all I have to do is ACTA NATIONALS-LY!"

It just doesn't get any better than this kind of can of total corn, does it?

As to the team, outlook so far compared to last year's Opening Day roster: better manager; better overall pitching(!); better defense; better bench; better speed; offset by the loss of a genuine superstar.

The team is deeper too and younger, taking into account Columbus roster, and the four major players which should start the year on DL: Johnson; Alaya; O'Connor; Logan. (We have to ensure though that Nats batting instructor and D. Young do not meet anywhere near Mick or Neal for extra-batting practice!!)

75 wins, last in the East, with a bullet...-

Trust in Kasten. All Good.

A lurker from 220 said...

A newish lurker to Nats320 but from the get-go Nats fan, I had never know the origins of my favorite cheers that arose from just a few rows up. So much has been illuminated by this last post and I can now thank section 320 for game day fun. Know that your enthusiasm for the game extends far forward and that section 220 and its ushers always cheer along with you. Looking forward to the new cheers and the new season.

Abby's Mom said...

SBF: Thanks for all of your insights! I have enjoyed reading your blog throughout the off season. But no Jose song? Abby will be crushed! We all will be crushed! I thought I remembered someone saying that one of the player's middle name was Jose? Could it be? Can we keep the song going in 2007? Please say its so!

Screech's Best Friend said...

Abby's Mom: Alex "JOSE" Escobar is our SAVIOR!!

Anonymous said...

The scorer also screwed up by not giving the Marlins catcher an Error on the strike-out/past ball that allowed a Nats player to make it to first base.