But the roof could happen anyway, if they come up with some alternate source of funding.
What a crime.
Baseball is an outdoor game. It is the essence of summer, invoking memories of carefree days of childhood, when we were free from the confines of school for a few months each year. Mine was the first generation to grow up in the new indoors-focused world. We still played outside. We still went to camp. But we longed to be inside watching television or playing video games until we were forced to go out and let our imaginations keep us occupied. It was the time right before parents became paranoid that a boogeyman lurked in every corner waiting to snatch their precious snowflakes. The internet was not yet public, computers were too expensive for many families, and the cordless telephone was a device to marvel.
The transition to an indoors-only society is nearly complete. The only time many people go outside is to get into their cars. Much has been made about how children spend all their time in front of screens, but it's the same for adults. We as a society have completely lost touch with the natural world, and it's affecting not only our physical health, but our mental health as well. Now we have something called "Nature Deficit Disorder." Medical costs associated with obesity and inactivity are nearly $150 billion a year. Depression and anxiety are common. Mental illness is on the rise.
Americans are terrified of being outside. They demand a controlled environment at all times. It's too hot. It's too cold. I might get wet. I might get sunburnt. I might sweat. Despite our impending energy crisis, people turn on their ACs when the temperature gets above 70 degrees, and their bodies can no longer acclimate to elevated temperatures. Some people want a roof because they don't like being "uncomfortable." Last season, I heard time and time again, "It's too hot to go to the ballgame." Too hot. Why? Because they sit in a refrigerator all day so their bodies can't adjust to the heat. They're afraid of sweat, their body's natural way to cool itself. Natural. Nature. It terrifies them. Bunch of whiners. Superficial bullshit.
Washington, DC does not have an excessively rainy climate. Last season was a bit rainier than usual, and the Nationals had four rainouts and several more rain delays. That hardly justifies spending $300 million to put a roof on a ballpark. But these are wealthy businessmen, so they know that. DC doesn't get excessively hot or cold, either, not like Arizona or Milwaukee. So what is their motive? Some have suggested they want to hold off-season concerts, which would require installing new grass annually. (Have you seen the state of the outfield after the concerts they do have?) Others have said they want to move the team a la the assholes in Barves country. That doesn't seem plausible, either, given that they've invested in developing the area around the ballpark.
Could it be they're just bad at baseball?
Let's examine the evidence.
- They screwed up the new ballpark. Instead of having iconic views of the Capitol Building in the outfield, they turned the field the wrong way and built ugly parking garages that block what views you could have had. [Check out Deadspin's, "Why Your Stadium Sucks: Nationals Park.]
- They forced local businesses to pay for that ballpark, not only by taxing them directly but also taxing the utilities they use. With interest, the cost of the ballpark comes close to one BILLION dollars, but the Nationals pay none of that, except for a marginal rent of $5 million. Yeah, million.
- They shut down their best pitcher instead of figuring out a way to reduce innings during the season, which kept him from pitching in the playoffs, arrogantly assuming they'd be back in the playoffs the next season.
- They want to spend $300 million on an unnecessary roof but won't pay to keep Metro open past midnight, forcing fans to leave games early or take cabs, of which there are never enough for 15K+ who need transportation. People are sometimes stranded. Again, the rich bastards tried to get the city to pay to keep Metro open for Nats games. It's an ongoing issue that has never been resolved.
- They cater to fellow rich elites and the Washington powerful. Us peons are merely cash machines. Beers are $9. Try finding a t-shirt for less than $40 in the team shop.
They're not just bad at baseball, they're bad people. It's called corporate welfare. The Lerners take, take, take and what do they provide for the city? A team that breaks your heart more often than not.
People, don't let them put a roof on the ballpark. Get outside. Get some fresh air. Learn that raindrops won't make you melt and sweat won't ruin your life.
I'm tired of writing this, so "The End."