When my wife told me back in May that she had booked a family trip to Washington DC for the last week of July, I thought nothing of it. Of course, once our departure date arrived, it was very clear that we would be embrking on our journey right smack dab in the middle of the trade deadline. That's right, Christmas in July, and I would be walking around monuments, museums and graveyards instead of watching Baseball Tonight and obsessing over the wire reports to see which lefty reliever the Indians were going to pick up at the deadline (I saw today that it was Marc Rzepczynski). I wasn't really thrilled at the prospect of being virtually unplugged for a week during such a busy fantasy news week, but those are the breaks for a fantasy family man, and they come each and every summer. So rather than fight it, I embraced it. Other than making some hastily prepared waiver claims over last weekend in a couple of leagues, I more or less have ignored my fantasy teams for the past week and decided to enjoy my vacation.
Funny thing is, Rome didn't burn, the levees didn't break and my multitude of teams are all still standing. Some even made some waves this week, as I pulled into first place in Perry Van Hook's PBY league, where I have been trying in vain to catch the Captain himself for over two months. I haven't been checking the box scores or the standings in real baseball, and lo and behold I see that my Indians have reeled off six wins in a row to firmly insert themselves into the playoff race as the calendar turns to August, which means they are trying to buck the trend they have established the last couple of years of fading fast after the All-Star break.
Our nation's capitol is a beautiful city, full of history and seemingly endless museums, but if you visit be prepared to log some serious mileage on your kicks. You will do an awful lot of walking. That of course can become an issue when you are the de facto tour guide for your clan, and this can lead to some tense moments as your wife looks at you and asks "You mean we have to walk from here all the way over to there? It looks so much closer on the map."
As for baseball, I think the grand slam that Alex Avila smacked off of Stephen Strasburg last night (I saw it on the news this morning as I wrote this) could possibly see the locals put their Nats caps in mothballs til next spring. Redskins caps and RG III jerseys are starting to outnumber the baseball team's apparel around town, and Oriole fans are strutting around town much more proudly than National fans these days.
Speaking of Robert Griffin, the status of his knee is basically bigger news than anything transpiring on the Hill or over at the White House. Every time my kids relinquish the television long enough for me to switch from the Cartoon Network to check the local stations for some news, there is RG III. He is as big a superstar in this town as the President himself, maybe bigger, since he has fans on both sides of the political aisle.
Today is our last full day here in the District of Columbia, and I need to finish banging this article out, since my son is sitting next to me as I type this reading me the rather extensive list of things that we haven't crossed off his list yet. The excitement in his voice and smile on his face is a nice reward for pushing fantasy baseball into the background for at least another day, even if it means I missed out on grabbing the new Astros closer or whoever the White Sox are going to stick into their rotation today. Still, I think I will do the planning for next year's vacation.