Orioles Manager Stirs the Pot in Baltimore-D.C. ‘Rivalry’

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Baltimore-D.C. Rivalry
via MLB’s instagram account

You ask most people about the Baltimore-D.C. rivalry and they’ll tell you it barely exists, at least when it comes to baseball. The Nationals have only been playing in Washington since 2005. And playing in separate leagues they haven’t built a history of frustrating each other’s postseason aspirations. In the current Orioles-Nationals series, which ends tonight, players have refused to accept the “rivalry” narrative that the media are pushing. They characterized the interleague match-up as “real friendly” and “two good teams playing each other.”

In the context of all that good will,  the words of Orioles manager Buck Showalter almost seem calculated to start trouble. When asked about the nearly even split between O’s and Nats fans at Nats Park on Monday, Showalter gave a seriously biased lesson in baseball history. “You realize how big of an area this was for the Orioles,” he said. “Our owner was kind enough to let them have a team here.”

Those are fighting words to Washingtonians who went without a professional baseball team for decades after the 1971 departure of the Washington Senators. And Orioles owner Peter Angelos only “let them have a team” after he secured for himself a horribly lopsided TV-rights deal that from a business standpoint you might generously call “rational” but certainly not “kind.”



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