Beer, Peanuts, and everything else about the Stadium Experience. Except the game.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Nationals Are Terrible

Cardinals: 9
Nationals: 4
Sold: 96 beers, 24 peanut/Crackerjack

Let's start at the beginning. The Nationals, the team I started my odd career vending beer with 4 years ago, are rotten, the worst team in baseball for the second year running. Now, this blog is supposed to be about me (satisfaction of narcissicism being the motivator for blog-keeping, generally) and my job as a stadium vendor, and not about the game, but what happens on the field matters quite a bit for my job. Nobody wants to see an awful team (which the Nats are), and they don't want to pay major league prices to see them (when the product they're getting is minor league). So the place was mostly empty, the official attendance of 18,007 probably high considering the paid no-shows. With no one to sell to, I'm left lugging a bucket of beer from the lower level to the upper deck, where I find that the other vendors have already had the same idea.

And there I am, looking out at an expensive empty ballpark from the high reaches, hearing the chirping of kiddie groups who aren't in my market, holding a load of Miller Lite none of these St. Louis fans want to pay $7.50 a bottle for. A doughy midwesterner points to another vendor's Budweiser bucket and says, "Get what he's got and maybe we'll buy one." And that's why I'm circulating among three ballparks this season -- Nationals Park, Camden Yard, and Citizen's Bank in Philly -- and putting a low priority on D.C. This guy had it right:

Ovechkin batting clean-up might be an improvement indeed.

Anyway, it's the last day of April and I'm actually plenty late getting started on this blog. I'm 62 working events into this calendar year -- 30 spring training games in Arizona preceding a very full April. Being otherwise unemployed, I'm free to pursue a quixotic goal: to work as many events as I can during this calendar year. It won't be all baseball. Football, soccer, concerts and who knows what else will factor in. But baseball is the season, a daily grind that allows this to resemble at least somewhat, a full-time job. Three hard hours a day, seven days most weeks.

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