Orlando and I were in our usual Section 102, row 4, seats 1 and 2, out in left field behind the bull pen. My guess is there were maybe 5,000 people in the ballpark. (The official attendance was 14,000, but that's a joke.) There were so few people there that, sitting in left field, we could hear hecklers in the right field stands. Braves fans used to turn out for their team, but the Braves are so miserable that there were only some die-hards. After a 3-1 first inning, I told Orlando that this might be a 9-8 kind of game. I was wrong.
In the second, we moved over to Section 101, right next to the ultra-expensive Founder Club seats. And then the fun began. There was a super-Braves fan in the first row, Braves cap, blue and red Braves jersey, and right behind us two women, a middle-aged mother and grown daughter. They began heckling the Braves fan, and he responded. This was all done in Cuban Spanish. I couldn't understand most of it. At one point I thought the mom yelled, "Oye, flaca!" which would have been a supreme insult, but Orlando said they must have said something else. The guy at one point yelled back, "No habla basura" -- don't talk trash -- and the women kept at it. ... right in front of us were two Orthodox boys -- maybe 16, 18, with the yarmulke caps and strings hanging from their pockets, and they sat a few seats away from each other, maybe the better to catch foul balls. One did catch a T-shirt thrown by a Mermaid in an unusually skimpy bikini. Just to our right was another couple, middle-aged, who didn't say a word the whole game, not even until each other, until Jorge Julio came to the mound for the Braves, whereupon the woman said she hoped he gave up some homers. "He OWES us," she said. Does he ever. The weather was pleasant, not too hot, not humid. I had some beers, and the runs kept coming, and coming, and coming. Hanley and Cantu both had great opportunities to blow the game open, but they didn't. In the later innings, the mom suggested that Mr. Braves fan was being paid by Havana, which IS a supreme insult, and she made derogatory references about rafters, all of which Orlando translated for me later. Mr. Braves fan denied he was being paid by Havana. We were down 10-3 at one point, came back to 10-9. And then it was back and forth. In the top of the ninth, we were tied 14-14, and then -- hello, deja vu! -- our new closer didn't close, and we lost. Last week, there was heartbreak at those damn closer losses, but we're out of it now, and this was comedy, not heartbreak. It was great entertainment for our 2-1 Herald Tuesday discount tickets, 11.50 each. The Cuban ladies left before the end, which left Mr. Braves fan turning around and yelling triumphantly in Spanish at no one in particular. I went home knowing I'd had a good time.