Rachel Levitin: Nats, MLB need to work something out with Metro before the playoffs

There’s one big problem with the Nationals being as good as they are this season. What’s ironic about that problem is that it has nothing to do with baseball and has everything to do with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority closing at midnight.

This is a topic of conversation that will continue to come up until the end of the season and will persist until the season officially comes to a close (pending playoff games). I’ve sounded off regarding my Metro pet peeves before, but this is a whole different issue stemming from recent experiences I’ve had.

The experience of trying to hail a cab after a Nats game is torture. There’s no other way to describe it. That experience is especially horrendous if you’re trying to do it alone and you’re not in a loud group. Operation “Let’s find a cab to get home safe because the Metro’s closed” gets even worse the later in the night it gets.

After the Nats’ 4-hour, 27-minute, 13-inning win over the Atlanta Braves in the wee morning hours of Aug. 21, the whole scenario got so bad that I couldn’t even find a cab home. As someone who always takes the Metro to the ballpark, I find it necessary to share this story what with October approaching.

While I’ve hailed cabs from the Navy Yard before, it’s never been a quick or easy feat. What I hadn’t done before that night, though, was hail a cab past midnight on a weeknight. That’s the problem.

My friend and I watched from his car windows as a good chunk of Nats fans scoured the streets in search of a way home after that game. Luckily for me, I had secured a ride that would help me find a cab at a nearby hotel. But what turned into my friend’s act of good will quickly turned into him having to give me a ride all the way home. Why? We couldn’t find any cabs on Capitol Hill, at Union Station, or near and around Metro Center. There wasn’t even a cab to be seen at Gallery Place.

Every cab found wasn’t a D.C. cab, so they legally couldn’t pick me up. And this is after we tried as many hotels as we could find in the city’s downtown area. This is not just a one-time problem. This is an actual problem for people going to Nats games that end after the Metro closes.

The unfortunate part of it all is that I have no probable solution to offer. It’s been said that MLB Policy is likely to keep the Nats from paying WMATA overtime to keep the system open come October. No matter the decision made, though, rules are rules. Problem is: What are all of those stranded people going to do if/when a playoff game occurs and they have no way home?

Rachel Levitin blogs about the Nationals for We Love DC, and will be sharing her observations about baseball in the nation’s capital as part of MASNsports.com’s season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our little corner of cyberspace. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.

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