Atahualpa Severino

The Senators played their last game of the year on City Island Thursday, a beautiful, moonlit evening. There was a big crowd, but fortunately, over half of them left by the end of the sixth inning. I'm not against crowds, but I guess "intolerant" would not be an inaccurate description of my attitude regarding groups who display blaring ignorance regarding the behavior that is expected of them so as not to impinge on my enjoyment. Hah! It seemed that crowd had it all backwards from the start. As it was the last game of the year, and the last game in the stadium's current incarnation, there were some pregame ceremonies, words from the mayor (STILL Stephen Reed, after all these years, BUT, he has been perhaps the greatest mayor in the history of Harrisburg), etc. So for the national anthem a Knights of Columbus 4th degree honor guard decked out in their silly garb with the big chapeaus marched out to the field. Very serious. They brought along the Vatican flag, crucifix included. Everyone gets all pious. Ok, ok, patience... then the game starts and no one pays attention. It's as if six thousand people had just paid five or ten bucks a head for the privilege of paying more money for greasy funnel cakes, awful hot dogs, and frozen pizza while they enthusiastically obey the commands of a big screen telling them to make noise on cue. Well, why the hell don't they go to an amusement park instead and let me enjoy the ball game! The game, now that's sacred. You want proof that not everyone is on the same page as me? Imagine this: towards the end of the game I was standing behind the box seats along the third baseline. A guy come up and stands next to me. We chat a little, nice evening, nice catch, etc. Then he turns to me and says, "Have you tried Jesus?" I choked on my coffee. He had this beatific smile, as if really expecting I was going to fall down to my knees and give eternal thanks for having been finally saved. Doing my best to suppress laughter, I explained that I really wanted to focus on the game. Then I left. But the game: as Manolo says about the bull fights, there's always something interesting to see, regardless of how mundane or otherwise disappointing the proceedings. And Thursday night no doubt I found interest in watching Atahaulpa Severino. This guy looked very good. He's only 5'9'', but he brings some serious heat. I think you'll be seeing him in a major league uniform before the end of the 2010 season. He's clearly on an upward trajectory, unlike the larger part of this group of Senators. It was a long game and I was sorry to see it end. And, by the way, it ended with the Senator's scoring a run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to break a 3-3 tie.