Back from a road trip with the Dodgers that took us to Cincinnati, Washington D.C., and New York. As always, I file a hopefully amusing travelogue. Cincy and DC today and NY tomorrow.
I’m still nursing a swollen cornea so had to bring along seven different eye drops. One had to always be refrigerated so I was forever schepping a travel mug filled with ice and scrambling to find refrigerators in planes and hotels and clubhouses. I felt like Niles Crane and the sack of flour.
Delta’s in-flight magazine a couple of years ago did a puff piece on Cincinnati saying it was “much like an inland San Francisco”. You’d think the locals would be extremely flattered. No. They were incensed! Why? They thought the magazine was calling them all gay. I hate to tell them but Cincinnati is known as “The Queen City”.
It’s also the home of Proctor & Gamble. (I wonder if they make Secret deodorant in the same factory as Pringles.) Just as you wouldn’t drive a foreign car in Detroit, you better not show up at a Laundromat with a box of Rinso. They’ll kill you, wrap you in Bounty, and douse you with Old Spice.
In my hotel there were two nozzles in the shower. The Westin must really cater to that burgeoning Siamese twins crowd.
There’s no greater Graeter’s ice cream than blueberry chocolate chip.
“The Great American Smallpark” was the scene of three “Titanic struggles” as Reds’ Hall-of-Fame announcer Marty Brennaman would say.
Interesting that there’s a “Pete Rose Way” leading into the ballpark and yet Pete Rose himself is still banned from baseball. I guess it’s the same principle as the Richard Nixon library.
The Cincinnati greeting, instead of hello is “Put Pete in the Hall”. Same with “goodbye”, “I love you”, and “This is 911.”
Pete was at one of our games. Am I the only one who finds it ironic that one of the Reds’ radio sponsors is a casino?
WLW just isn’t the same without Gary Burbank. Even his BBQ restaurant closed. One time a food reviewer criticized his landscaping. And that actually kept people away.
Skyline Chili is to chili what Kate Gosselin is to dancing.
We dropped two out of three to the lowly Reds and flew on to Washington D.C. after Thursday night’s tilt. (Tower: “You’re clear for takeoff Delta Dodger.” Pilot: “Roger that. Goodnight.” Tower: “Put Pete in the hall. Over.”)
Stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City. What a gorgeous elegant hotel. If I were a high level Defense Department official this is definitely where I’d have my nooners.
So much to see in Washington – the monuments, Gennifer Flower’s apartment, Capitol Hill, Paula Jones apartment, the White House, Monica Lewinsky’s apartment, the Smithsonian, the DC Madam’s place, the Mint, Elizabeth Ray’s apartment, Arlington Cemetery, Donna Rice’s apartment, the Watergate hotel. Unfortunately I saw none of those. By the time we got to the hotel it was after 3. So I slept. I really wanted to take an hour and wander through the entire Smithsonian but woke up too late. It would be weird to see the set from MASH in a museum. I’m sure I would feel a great deal of pride and 150 years old.
The team was given a private showing at the Tourneau watch store in the adjacent mall. Four years ago these players were buying their jewelry from the back of station wagons. There was one Rolex I liked. It cost $30,000. True story: I asked the salesman why it was so much and he said it also featured the day and date. I’ll stick with my $4 gift watch from AfterMASH.
The Nationals play in a gleaming new ballpark. A VAST improvement over RFK stadium, which was the world’s largest spittoon. Coincidentally, Nats Park had stadium seating. The press box was high. Like above the timber line. But looking beyond leftfield you can could see the Capitol building. If our booth were just a few inches higher we could see the North Pole.
At the park’s entrance are statues of Walter Johnson, Josh Gibson, and Frank Howard – three former Washington area ballplayers who went on to become U.S. presidents.
My daughter Annie is right. The “W” logo on the Washington cap is the same as Walgreen’s.
Instead of dot races or giant sausage races, Nationals Park has a presidential race where a goofy oversized Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, and Teddy Roosevelt waddle and gasp around the warning track. Teddy has never won. Rigging a presidential race – now that’s a Washington tradition.
One big negative: The fans sing “Sweet Caroline” thus completely ripping off the Boston Red Sox, although if Karl Rove were still in town I’m sure he’d claim that the Nationals had it first (even though Boston was doing it before there even was a franchise in Washington).
Celebrity sighting: George Will in the Dodgers clubhouse. I don’t think a single player knew who he was.
Tomorrow: the train ride to Manhattan and the Dodger train wreck in Manhattan.