Monday, August 17, 2015

Gay leather and sports bars love the San Francisco Giants, and the effects of "rituals"; more on the Nationals losing streak

Late Sunday afternoon, I visited the new DC Eagle, for only the second time, on Benning Road NE in Washington. (See Feb. 28, 2015).  

What does a gay leather bar do on Sunday afternoon?  Well, I missed the brunch (interesting menu, like corned beef) but a virtual box seat to the Washington Nationals’s baseball game in San Francisco’s ATT park, the last of a four game series, was there at the bar.  It was pretty much like being there, as the Nats got swept in the series by the San Francisco (whom the Nats had swept at home themselves over July 4 weekend).

Since San Francisco has the public reputation as the “gay city” (pretty much so since the late 1970s, the Harvey Milk days, with the 1978 assassination, before the worst of the AIDS crisis), I guess it seems fitting that a team that represents Washington politicians gets swept.  The people in the bar loved to see it happen. And all of this on the same day that the story of the first “openly gay” player associated with MLB was announced (yesterday’s post). Of course, the social makeup of a city doesn't determine who plays on their pro sports teams. 
The San Francisco Giants are ("is") one of the most consistently performing (and best managed) franchises in baseball. They barely squeak into the playoffs, but use their experience to outplay other finalists and win the World Series. ATT Park is the most attractive in all of baseball (maybe three miles from the Castro).  The Giants LGBT night link is here
Actor Richard Harmon ("Judas Kiss" star) seems to like the Giants (as well as specific football teams, like Notre Dame). 

The biggest spectacle was provided by pitcher Madison Bumgarner, who pitched a complete game 3-hit shutout, and homered himself, his fourth of the year, as a pitcher.  Madison was essentially Smallville’s Clark Kent in the game, as in last year’s World Series.  Everybody sees him as the “Perfect 10”. (His main competition would be the Los Angeles Dodgers's Clayton Kershaw.) 

Is there something ritualistic going on?  Look closely at Madison in successive appearances (going back to last year’s WS). 

Now, turn around, and look closely at Nats Player Jayson Werth, at various times.  Notice something?

It doesn’t help that Werth couldn’t stay out of jai earlier this year.  (Oh, yes, I watch my speed on empty Interstates when I remember what happened to Werth.) That’s never good for a team.

And, yes, Bryce Harper even says, before a magazine ad, that he is comfortable about how his body looks.

The lack of performance by many Nats stars (Harper alone is doing well, it seems, and maybe Desmond) is inexplicable.  Something is really wrong.   Storen’s performance after his “demotion” seems to be part of it.  Oh, yes, I was watching a Boston Red Sox game on the road (in Detroit) in a “straight” bar with friends in Newport, RI last weekend – same up front box seat plasma view of Comerica Park – when I learned that Storen had blown a lead to the Colorado Rockies with one hanging pitch that even I could have hit.

The trip home on the Metro got interesting.  Some African-Americans faked a fight on the platform at Minnesota Ave., which continued on the train (they got into the same car).  It seemed staged (there was break dancing) but I almost got kicked once.  I don’t think it was malicious.  Skateboards were involved.

Then I stopped at Ted’s Bulletin in SE on 8th Street – Bryce Harper’s favorite breakfast stop.  The 8th St area needs to replace Remington’s.  The next time the Nats come home they may not be greeted with as much glee (Ted’s is packed for breakfast when the Nats play night games at home, on the expectation of Bryce’s appearance.)

On the way out, a block north of Ted’s, I saw someone homeless just sprawled out on the sidewalk, sleeping.

On my last train home, from Eastern Market, another group of kids, this time all upper-middle class GW students got on, with skateboards.  Only one was African-American.  One wore the rainbow shirt.  But I noticed the difference in conversation.  Sentences were complex, and contained a lot of detailed information.  The lower income skateboarders at Minnesota Ave many communicated in short bursts, and were interested only in fun, or in their own local social power structure.

 Wikipedia attribution link or ATT Park picture by Bspangenberg, under Creative Commons Share Alike 3.0 License. Drove past it in 2002. 

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