Last night, I attended Game Five of the World Series. This was the first World Series game I’ve had the privilege of attending since 1979. (If there is such a thing as white privilege, this may be it; other than ushers, there were no African-Americans as far as my eyes could see from my seat.)
The game was lopsided almost from the start, and not in Washington’s favor. Nonetheless, I was thrilled to be there.
For one thing, in the Houston Astros I got to witness one of the best baseball teams I’ve ever seen. And in pitcher Gerrit Cole, I saw a great pitcher at the top of his game in what might turn out to be the most important start of his career. This wasn’t Bob Gibson pitching Game Seven of the 1964 or Sandy Koufax doing the same thing a year later. However, it wasn’t that far behind.
Finally, I was treated to a home run by Juan Soto (his second off of Cole in this Series), one of my favorite Nats, whom I first saw when he was 18 years old and playing A-ball for the Hagerstown Suns. However, I missed the two women who “flashed” Cole after the seventh inning. (They claimed to be promoting breast cancer awareness, but more likely were promoting awareness of themselves.)
President Trump attended the game. He sat in a luxury box, along with some family members and a few congressional Republicans, on the third base side, high above seats not far from where we were.
Trump was announced to the crowd after the third inning as part of the tribute to veterans that occurs at every Washington Nationals game. Ignoring the tribute to veterans, the crowd immediately began booing loudly.
Washington Post reporters Maura Judkis and Josh Dawsey say the boos “hit almost 100 decibels.” For once, I believe the Post got it right in a Trump-related story.
The faces of some folks near me exuded hatred. They reminded me of an ugly crowd scene in an old Hollywood movie — one in which simpletons are portrayed as hate-filled and easily swayed.
That sums it up, I think.
Judkis and Dawsey say that “after [Trump’s] brief introduction, Trump was largely a non-presence in the ballpark.” I’m not sure what kind of “presence” they think Trump might have maintained, but if they mean no one paid attention to Trump, they are are wrong. Folks seated near me continued to turn their heads in the president’s direction from time to time for many innings.
When I got home, I learned that MLB umpire Rob Drake had tweeted that he planned to buy an AR-15 rifle “because if you impeach MY PRESIDENT this way, YOU WILL HAVE ANOTHER CIVAL WAR!!!” Drake later took down the tweet and apologized profusely.
There won’t be a civil war when Trump is impeached. There won’t be one in the extremely unlikely event that he is removed. But, while I don’t equate Drake’s tweet with the vociferous manifestation of hatred I witnessed last night (there’s nothing violent about booing), I can now imagine something like a civil war in America.
It seems like there’s almost enough hatred in the air to fuel one, and the hatred won’t go away when Trump is no longer president.