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Posted at 12:42 PM ET, 06/ 3/2008

The Bar That Ruth Built

By Fritz Hahn

The Sign of the Yankees outside the Sign of the Whale. (Fritz Hahn/washingtonpost.com)

With the Red Sox nation having taken over bars from Capitol Hill to U Street to Georgetown, cheering for Manny and Big Papi in Arlington and Bethesda and beyond, New York Yankees fans are understandably aggrieved.

Those who want to follow the Bronx Bombers in their final season at Yankee Stadium have a new place to congregate: Sign of the Whale, where a large banner with the familiar NY logo hangs on the front of the building. "We believe the Yankees needed a presence," explains manager Vito Zappala. "There wasn't anywhere for Yankees fans to go."

One of the bar's managers is a die-hard Yankees fan, so the team will be on the Whale's seven TVs anytime a game in on the air. And whenever the Yanks are on TV, there are food and drink specials, including $3 Miller Lite bottles and $8 Miller Lite pitchers.

-- Fritz

By Fritz Hahn  | June 3, 2008; 12:42 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs  
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Comments

Are there any bars devoted strictly to the Nats or does everyone in this city just follow other teams?

Posted by: Arlington, VA | June 3, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I'll tell them a place they can go, it's called NEW YORK!!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 3, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

The article is simply just factually wrong.

Red Sox Nation has not "taken over" the bars they link to - many of them happen to show baseball games, and the bars have no control over the fact that ESPN loves to show Red Sox games. And Rhino Bar as a Red Sox bar? Please. Rhino refused to show the World Series games last year (despite the fact that they fly a Red Sox banner and that the Red Sox were in - and won - the World Series), instead choosing to show meaningless college football games.

It's called Red Sox Nation for a reason. And this is the nation's capitol, with people from all over the country, so get used to it.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 3, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

You need to simmer down. The fact is that there are far fewer Yankee bars than there are Red Sox bars in DC. The article pointed it out. I'm not sure why you would take umbrage to this fact. You are probably one of the people who is so rude to me (a petite female Yankee fan), when I sit and watch the games at Cleveland Park Bar and Grill. I've had to leave that place more than once when a big Red Sox fan got in my face belligerently because I had the temerity to wear a Yankees cap (and not a lame pink one) and cheer on my team when they scored runs. I'm happy we will have another place to watch the Yankees play. Thanks Fritz and Sign of the Whale!

Posted by: to the above commenter | June 3, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

how about both the yankees and red sox fans lay off. christ on a bike, you guys get all the press and attention in the universe, and then you act like petulant children when you feel one or the other has been slighted.

grow up.

Posted by: IMGoph | June 3, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

To the 2:01 poster: It's not just "the bars have no control over the fact that ESPN loves to show Red Sox games" -- some of them, including Union Pub and Mister Days, have boasted about having the games on New England Sports Network (NESN).

The fact is that a number of D.C. area bars have chosen to make an effort to attract Red Sox fans, which you didn't really see back in, oh, the spring of 2004.

Posted by: Fritz | June 3, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Rhodeside Grill in Arlington is also kind of a Yankees bar, as the bartenders are mostly Yankees fans. They've always put the Red Sox game on for me when asked, and they're generaly friendly.

Posted by: Arlington Sox fan | June 3, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone ever been to the 51st State? They have signs out front about being a NY sports bar and claim to always have the Yankees games on.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 3, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

You are correct that there has been an increase in bars billing themselves as "Red Sox bars" since 2004. But I've been going out to bars to watch Red Sox games since 2000 or so, and I think that the large numbers of Red Sox bars in the area is due in part to the numbers of Red Sox fans going out to bars and asking for Red Sox games to be put on the TV. Aside from Yankees fans, you don't see any other teams with as large a fan base that regularly goes out to bars in the Washington area expressly for the purpose of watching their teams' games. Around 2003 or 2004, the bars started to realize what a marketing gold mine they had on their hands, and they began marketing themselves to Red Sox fans. The supply has arisen to meet the large demand for Red Sox games. I'm sure it will diminish eventually.

Posted by: to Fritz | June 3, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

The fact is there are fewer Yankees bars than Red Sox bars in DC because there are more Red Sox fans than Yankees fans in DC.

That still doesn't excuse the behavior of the jerk to "to the above poster." The rivalry should be something fun and shouldn't be like that. I'm a Red Sox fan, but I appreciate a Yankee fan's passion for their team and can respect that. Now if you actually were wearing a pink hat, well then, that would make you fair game.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 3, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

This is Washington D.C. It isn't New York; it isn't Boston.

"Red Sox Nation" is a function of a brilliant marketing strategy. They made being a "long suffering Sox fan" cool. I don't blame bars for being Sox friendly. I grew up in Mass hating all things Boston with the heat of a 1000 suns, but if I owned a bar it would be a Boston bar. Red leads to green.

The Yankees had 75 years of being the preeminent ball club. Times change.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 3, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Thank you! I agree with the last post.. to be a true fan is to also appreciate the other fan's passion for their team and respecting that. I am a proud Yankee fan (through good times and bad), but also appreciate BoSox fans' passion for the game.. otherwise it sucks all what is great out of the game.

Note: 51st State may be a "Yankee" bar, but it is by NO MEANS a NY Sports bar.. how could they not have had any of the Rangers/Devils hockey games. Get Direct TV before you call yourself a sports bar! Shameful.

Posted by: Recent Transplant | June 3, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

51st State has been showing Yankees games for a long time, but it is still good to see the pinstripes represented elsewhere too!

Posted by: Ryan | June 3, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

How about an article for the folks showing the Nats away games. I swear its like pulling teeth to get bartenders to switch even ONE TV to the home team game sometimes. Same with Wizards, Caps and United games and alot of the local college games (HOKIES!!!). I remember I went to Summers in Arlington during the start of hockey playoffs - the PLAYOFFS mind you, and what was on tv? the freaking SOX game. just a regular boring game. and what happened when i asked for ONE tv to be switched? i got evil looks from the table of sox fans who got even more pissed when i pointed out they could watch it on any of the other 50 tvs that had THEIR game on.

I think sox fans are a bit pushy - as are most northern teams anyway. philly anyone?

Hence why im getting the ESPN package at HOME.

support your local teams folks, GO NATS! :)

Posted by: AK | June 4, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

This is why the Nats will fail as a franchise. DC is full of douche bags, and douche bags support a front running team.

Posted by: HA | June 4, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

ok lets break this down

The DC area is full of overeducated yuppies
which creates a natural level of bandwagoning

Totally makes sense Red Sox would be big

The problem with the Nats is that most of the younger people in this area

1. didn't grow up here
2. can only identify two places in DC Georgetown and Adams Morgan
3. are purely transient with no intention of staying for any length of time

I think if you are here longer than three years people begin to think there is something wrong with you

Posted by: the real deal | June 4, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

"Are there any bars devoted strictly to the Nats or does everyone in this city just follow other teams?"

No, we go to Nationals Park. :) I don't know any "Redskins Bars" either. Most people watch local teams at home. They go to a bar to watch out of town teams because they don't want to pay for a DirecTV package to watch the game. Having said that, I watch a lot of Skins games at Ben's and I would love to know somewhere to watch Nationals games, because I don't have cable or satelite.

Posted by: Grew Up in Virginia With No Home Baseball Team | June 4, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

51st State for Yanks games

Porter's for NCAA football (but beware, if you don't know the words to one team's fight song, you won't fit in)

Buffalo Billiards for NHL, NFL, and MMA (UFC)

And if a sports bar in DC isn't showing every Redskins game, home and away, it should have its liquor license revoked

Posted by: DC Native | June 5, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

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