The political machinations that led to the ballpark deal. The astronomical amount of dough that will go into building the new stadium. The half-century-plus of shitty baseball in the nation’s capital. A steroid scandal that calls into question some of the biggest recent stars of the game. The hometown team’s hometown paper’s inability to, with the exception of a columnist or two, cover its sport. The acquisition of Vinny Castilla. Brad Wilkerson in the leadoff spot. The three-run homer allowed by team ace Livan Hernandez to the mighty Kenny Lofton on Opening Day. The drubbing said team received at the hands of Lofton and his teammates. The many years of loyal support that will be required of brand-new baseball fans before their team becomes competitive. A mayor who, according to the Washington Post, “throws like a Little Leaguer.” A certain sulking, ambulance-chasing lawyer who lurks too few miles to the north and east of the team’s home field. Your Washington Nationals and their manager Frank Robinson (pictured) will be asking you to forget a lot when they take the field tonight. Of course, all in attendance will be only too happy to do so: For all its faults, the game is still the game. Be gentle at 7:05 p.m. Thursday, April 14, at RFK Stadium, 2400 East Capitol St. SE. $20–$95. (202) 397-7328. (Mike Kanin)