Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Old and New

The Washington Nationals open at home this Tuesday against the Mets of New York, once again proving that baseball and DC can, in fact, happily coexist. Assuming I can sneak out of work, I plan on attending the game with a few colleagues and cheering on the local boys. It's going to be a day of great weather, tubesteaks, sunburn, and Budweiser - all in all, a memorable day at the yard.

That said, Tuesday presents me with a problem. Born and raised in Baltimore, I've always cheered on the Yard Birds regardless of opponent or venue. Now, however, as a resident of the DC area and a regular Nationals attendee, I have to wonder: who is my team? I went to more Nationals games than Orioles games last season, and I suspect I will do the same henceforth. I want to hold steadfast to my Orioles roots (despite my many grievances with the program's management and ownership), but I'm also enticed by the local bandwagon. At this point, it's probably too early to make any drastic decisions, but I figured it's time I afford the issue serious thought.

There are three angles from which I can approach the Orioles vs. Nationals decision, so let's play Rock-Paper-Scissors, best 2 out of 3...

  1. Likelihood of Sustainable Success - According to Sports Illustrated's preseason power rankings, the Orioles, stuck in the AL East with the Yankees and Red Sox, are predicted to finish in the basement. The Nationals, on the other hand, aren't supposed to accomplish a great deal more, but they are looking to win a few more contests. So from a strictly wins/losses perspective, it's best to stick with the Orioles since I already own plenty of their apparel. [ Orioles 1, Nationals 0]
  2. "Coolness" of the Team - The Orioles have always enjoyed a relatively clean, celebrated image - Cal Ripken is their poster child, for creep's sake. Their not hated like the Yankees nor laughed at like the Padres, but Raffy surely put a hurt on the Orioles' image when he pointed and said, " I have never used steroids. Period. I don't know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never." The Nationals are young, fun, and "so hot right now." Walking around the District, it's hard not to see the Nationals insignia. [Orioles 1, Nationals 1]
  3. Accessibility - The Nationals are a few metro stops away, they never sell out, and my company offers free tickets to all home games. The Orioles are at least an hour's drive (no heavy drinking) and I have to pay for their tickets. [Orioles 1, Nationals 2]

So, based on our brief exercise, the Nationals are the probable top horse. But no matter what happens, I can say without reservation that if the World Series is ever dubbed the BW Parkway Bash, I will throw on the ol' orange and black.


Blogger HatingIt said...

Being a long time Maryland, Nothernern Virginia resident, I have also thought about his same issue. And I proud to report that I have fully switched my allegiance to the Nationals. I just can't stand the O's anymore. Their management has turned them into one of the worst franchises in all of sports. And now that the ballpark doesn't hold all the allure that it did when new, it makes matters even worse.

Although, Marty Cordova will remain as one of my favorite players of all time. Any man that can be put on the DL because he got burned in a tanning booth has a special place in my heart.

6:43 AM  
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