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The Five-Year Anniversary

This is a day late, but because almost everything is free on the Web, at least it's not a dollar short. On Sept. 29, 2004, Major League Baseball announced the relocation of the Montreal Expos. Their new home: Washington, D.C., which had been without baseball since 1971. Around 4 p.m., Bud Selig called D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams and said, "Congratulations. It's been a long time coming."

I have a keen affection for the zany, spasmodic history of baseball in D.C. (Even though I've learned most of it second-hand.) Every day when I walk from the press media parking lot to the home plate entrance at Nationals Park, I cross through a wide concrete walkway, decorated on the right side with pillars -- maybe about 10 of them. Each pillar is topped with a bold-lettered year: "1904," perhaps, or "1933." Below is an engraving that explains that year's significance in DC baseball history. I love scanning them as I enter the stadium; it's as if you're moving through a literal timeline, and arriving at the stadium is the final step. (No doubt that's the way those genius HOK folks drew it up in the artist's renderings.)

Anyway, 1971 gets it own pillar. (Baseball is back!)

And 2005 gets its own pillar. (The Nationals play ball.)

But 2004? Nothing. No mention. Which is fine and all, but it still merits recognition. Exactly five years ago, a terrific city lost its team. Searching for reading material to commemorate that anniversary isn't easy; most links to news accounts are now broken. But below, I have a quick sampling. Would also be curious to hear your accounts. Do you remember any details of that day?

The Expos' final out in Montreal.

A .pdf of the Post's Sept. 30, 2004 front page: "Baseball's Coming Back to Washington."

,DanaInfo=pdf+A01_M2_EZ_DAILY_20040930.pdf

Die-hard Jonah Keri says, "Au Revoir."

Quoth Boswell: "This was the day when the phones rang everywhere in the Washington area for everyone who loves baseball."

Wilbon ponders the team's new name. The Grays? The Americans? Senators seemed like the early frontrunner.

By Chico Harlan  |  September 30, 2009; 8:59 AM ET
 
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Next: Lineups From Nats Park

Comments

So now since its been five years since we got the Nats, how long will it be before we get their games on a network that is not owned by Angelos? I would love to be able to see all of their games in HD, without having split time with Baltimore.

Posted by: twinbrook | September 30, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Chico,

Help, what is with the last two links?

Posted by: Catcher50 | September 30, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

And of course today is the 38th anniversary of the last Senators game.

What a night that was.

Posted by: KenNat | September 30, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Hey Chico, I hesitate to make any corrections, given that I love your stuff lately and sense that you're having more fun. But 1971? Boo! 1971, when the Washington Senators became the Texas Rangers.

Posted by: dcbatgirl | September 30, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

That Selig made the call as reported with a straight face reflects the complete absence of self-awareness that he, and all others who helped cripple the franchise have. After raiding the Expos farm system, auctioning the team off to the highest bidder and constantly dangling the threat of *not* giving DC a team, Selig then has the nerve to say "it's been a long time coming?"

While the Lerners certainly come in for their fair share of criticism (and rightly so), the shakiness of the team's foundation when it moved here from Montreal can be put squarely at the feet of MLB and Selig. That they were able to turn a $300 million + profit on a team that they basically destroyed, failed to staff adequately and turned into vagabonds (Puerto Rico Expos anyone?) reflects the high value people place on sports ownership. The list of gems the 'Spos gave away in those few years and the double benefit all other teams received (great prospects and dumping salaries all while carving up the profit when the team sold) would qualify as larceny in some circles.

Don't get me wrong, I'm *thrilled* to have a team to call my own, however, the way the move was handled and MLB's conduct in the months and years preceding should not be forgotten.

Posted by: terrapin31590us | September 30, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I was at the O's game wearing a Customized EXPOS T-SHIRT THAT SAID:

DC OR VA
05

I wrote letters to the City Council, Selig, and Angelos (Satan-los?, he's NO ANGEL!, I know, lame joke!) regarding this team and the funding of the Stadium!

Some people at the game liked the T-Shirt. Others did not. To each his own.

Posted by: CALSGR8 | September 30, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Attention to detail is critical both on the field and in the reporting. I was at the game yesterday and have two comments.

Was I the only one upset when Willie Harris was running on a 2 out liner and stopped to see if it would be caught? He ended up stopping at second and scored anyway on Zim's single but a mental mistake in any event.

Also reading the Post article today I was surpised to read that Maxwell walked in the 8th inning. As I recall it was Morse who walked and Maxwell entered as a pinch runner. Not a major mistake to be sure but as I said before, details are important.

Posted by: Nonno | September 30, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse


2005 Washington Nationals
Opening Day Starters
Vinny Castilla
Ryan Church
Jose Guillen
Cristian Guzman
Livan Hernandez
Nick Johnson
Brian Schneider
Jose Vidro
Brad Wilkerson

I often wonder what Brad Wilkerson is doing now? How about Vinny Castilla? Anyway, I've enjoyed watching baseball whenever they play. I just don't like the Peter Angelos deal -- He should not be allowed to control our baseball.

Posted by: susandea | September 30, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

if the last two links were screwy before, they should be working now.

Posted by: chicoharlan | September 30, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad the team is the Nationals and wear the red home hats with the curly W, just like the Senators did under Ted Williams, as I'm sure most of us here know.

To me, it's just the right amount of respect for D.C.'s baseball past. The original Senators in fact were the Nationals (officially) until Clark Griffith died, but both teams were always the Nats, thanks in part to headline writers cramped for space, I suppose.

Back then, The Post used to call the bits of info at the end of Senators' stories "Nats Notes.''

Posted by: nats24 | September 30, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Terrapin's point touches on something this post made me think about: How does a DC baseball fan evaluate Bud Selig?

I've always been anti-Selig. I think he deserves the largest portion of blame for the steroids era. I believe he's destroyed the All-Star Game beyond recognition. I don't think he has demonstrated the courage a true leader needs in difficult situations (such as taking a stand in Barry Bonds' home run record or choosing a definitive side in the question of whether or not to re-admit Pete Rose to baseball).

Even with the Nationals, Terrapin points out many of the ways he has wronged this franchise. Under MLB leadership (ultimately run by Mr. Selig), the Expos traded a virtual all-star team and got little in return. I don't have a complete list off the top of my head, in but a prime example of poor decisions they traded Cy Young winner Cliff Lee, OF Grady Seizmore and 2B Brandon Phillips for 2 months of Bartolo Colon. Think this team could have used a Cy Young starting pitcher, an all-star caliber CF and another all-star caliber 2nd baseman in the last 5 years? MLB did not give the Expos/Nationals enough cashflow to run a respectable baseball franchise, forcing the team to scale down minor league operations so they were ineffective in developing talent, reduce the scouting departments so they were virtually non-existant and signing re-tread and never-was players who were useless at the MLB level all at the same time. Selig dangled the franchise over Washington, DC's head like a cat toy forcing the city to support the team far more than public monies really should support a private venture like professional sports. They even threatened to take the team away (again) if the city did not pay for a stadium that cost well over 1/2 a BILLION dollars. Selig's deal to bring a team to DC also includes an arrangement where Peter Angelos gets a substantial portion (maybe all, I'm not familiar enough with the details to know) of the broadcast revenues so that the TV audience the Nats bring in won't go to the team or its owners. Selig's leadership brought a "team" to DC without a leg to stand on competitively, aggressively exploited the city of DC and screwed over the teams ownership out of money thier product generates for a generation, at least. That does not sound like good leadership.

To Be Continued...

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | September 30, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Part 2:

However, he DID bring baseball to DC. I didn't care about baseball before the Nats came, and now I'm following the worst team in the league down to the very last game. Selig did work out a deal with Angelos that allowed the team to put its seed in this city (which was no easy task). Regardless of how you feel about the way the stadium was paid for, we have a beautiful, state of the art ballpark to watch baseball in and Selig oversaw that deal. I want to consider Bud Selig the worst thing that ever happened to baseball, but I feel like that would be discrediting the very franchise that makes me care at all.

P.S.- I still think they should have called the team the "Grays." Then we could rename the NFL's Racists, er, I mean the Redskins, the "Nationals." All would be well in the politically correct capital of the universe. And maybe change the Wizards name to something patriotic to blend in with DC in some way, shape or form.

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | September 30, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I hate to join in on a nitpick but I commented to my buddies about willie stopping at 2nd as well and they did not think it was that big a deal - nice to see Dukes go from 1st to 3rd on Zimm's single which was to left field - great time last night, and we went home happy

Posted by: sjm3091 | September 30, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the links, Chico, and for the recognition of Montreal's loss. I found this video at the site of the first link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Eib_m1bzFA&feature=related

I have to say that I teared up watching it. I'm glad that D.C. got a team, but sad that another city had to lose their team. I wasn't here for the early Nats teams, so I haven't personally experienced such a loss. I get bummed watching my team leave after the last game of the season. I can't imagine how hard it would be to see them departing for good.

Re. specifics of the video I linked to above, it's hard to see the images on the scoreboard, but I think I picked out Jamey Carroll and Livo addressing the crowd. I also think I got a glimpse of Tex crossing the field, and maybe Joey (#*$%) Eischen. Who were the suits who got booed by the crowd? I'm guessing maybe Loria? Or Selig?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 30, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

wow, thanks chico! takes me back.

and remember, the team could have been playing here: "diamond lake, virginia"

http://www.vabaseball.com/diamond_lake.cfm

Posted by: xrvax | September 30, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"But 2004? Nothing. No mention. Which is fine and all, but it still merits recognition. Exactly five years ago, a terrific city lost its team. Searching for reading material to commemorate that anniversary isn't easy; most links to news accounts are now broken. But below, I have a quick sampling. Would also be curious to hear your accounts. Do you remember any details of that day?"

Chico, your predecessor actually wrote a book about all this stuff. (What was his name again? Barry Buy-a-vowel?) Sounds like you're either unaware of this or have chosen not to read it.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | September 30, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Bringing baseball to DC is hardly worthy of saving Bud Selig.

DC is one of the biggest cities in the states (if you include catchment area), it is the capital and baseball is the national pastime for goodness sake! Putting a baseball team here is a move so obvious it goes without saying.

So that is no defense of Bug Selig. Rather than cheeseburgers thoughtful comment I'm going to go the other way and say that if I ever saw Selig I would consider doing him physical bodily harm if wasn't so afraid that if I touched him my arm would wither and die. He is a greedy incompetent half-wit with morals that would make Pol Pot shudder. He is a greedy, vindictive rectal wart and he has done everything he can to tarnish baseball while lining his own pockets.

Posted by: soundbloke | September 30, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

The links work, you just gotta scroll down a bit to read the text (or do what I do, and just hit the "printer friendly" box (sorry Chico, I know the ads pay your bills).

One thing that struck me about Wilbon's article championing the naming of the team to the Grays is, why doesn't the Nats Team Store offer ANY Grays jerseys?!?

Posted by: Juan-John | September 30, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I've read Svrlg's book! It was the first thing I did, in fact, when I got this job. When I said that reading material was hard to find, I was simply referring to Web-based stuff. Lots of broken news links, etc. Sorry for being imprecise.

Posted by: chicoharlan | September 30, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

There's also a documentary that PBS ran a while back about the Expos moving, focusing on one particular season-ticket holder. Forgot her name, but I think Svrluga mentions her in his book.

Posted by: Juan-John | September 30, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I actually always thought that Grays was th best name of the choices that got floated about.

Posted by: soundbloke | September 30, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Wow- Soundbloke certainly wins todays "strongest imagery" award!

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | September 30, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Don't like the man. Fell strongly about it.

Posted by: soundbloke | September 30, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Loved reading the articles on that WaPo front page, especially where they report that the new stadium would cost $440 million.

HA!

Posted by: Juan-John | September 30, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I kept telling a good friend of mine in the summer of 2004 that there was no way the Montreal Expos could not be coming here.

It had to happen.

The demographics of the Washington Metropolitan area, the strong base of fans who had ties outside this area, and a general hungering for a team of our own by those who had been born here made a compelling case for a team in D.C.

I still feel that way.

When the Expos came here, their farm system was moribund. Fans of the Washington Nationals have been subjected to Double A ball as a result. The pitching, in particular, has been awful. The play in the field has been less than impressive.

There is, however, reason to be sanguine.

The position players have shown they can hit. Zimmerman and Dunn anchor a potent infield. Desmond has sparkled in the field, and if he can stand a little closer to the plate, might prove to be a threat at the plate. Second base is a question mark. Should the team move Guzman there or take a chance with Morse? That question can be answered in spring training.

Willingham, Morgan and Dukes are decent in the outfield. Morgan can be the catalyst for the team.

Pitching? The 2009 Nationals have been an arsonist's dream. Pour it on and let the flames soar. Jim Rizzo has been quietly assembling prospects here and there. He likely knows that free agent pitchers must be signed. That is his greatest challenge in the off season.

Posted by: jbartelloni | September 30, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

@natsfan .......... Thanks so much for sharing that Montreal video. I did get a little teary.......

Posted by: susandea | September 30, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I was in Blacksburg that evening, but I'll never forget Shirley Povich's column the following morning.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/longterm/general/povich/launch/senators2.htm

The Washington Star called the last game of the Washington Senators "the wildest funeral ever."
--------------------------------------------
And of course today is the 38th anniversary of the last Senators game.

What a night that was.

Posted by: KenNat | September 30, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: jbartelloni | September 30, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"Was I the only one upset when Willie Harris was running on a 2 out liner and stopped to see if it would be caught? He ended up stopping at second and scored anyway on Zim's single but a mental mistake in any event."

You can't have it both ways. If he keeps running and the ball is caught, he's too far out to get back to first base. You'd then be calling that a mental mistake too.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | September 30, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Eclipse:

That "have it both ways" logic doesn't apply in this situation because if the ball was caught, the inning was over. With 2 outs, Willie should have been off and running at the crack of the bat, no looking back. If the ball's not caught, advance as far as you can. If the ball's caught, who cares? Your point is valid for any zero or one-out situation, but that wasn't the case last night.

Posted by: faNATic | September 30, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

"Wilbon ponders the team's new name. The Grays? The Americans? Senators seemed like the early frontrunner."

So is it because they chose the wrong name that Wilbon has divorced himself from this team almost since the day it arrived, to the point of him not ever even having set foot in Nationals Park after two full seasons now? He doesn't like the racist Redskins name, but somehow that doesn't keep him from covering them, does it?

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | September 30, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Even with two outs a runner on first needs to either look to see where the ball lands or look at his third base coach, because otherwise how does he know how far he can advance if the ball falls in for a hit? If he has to slow down to look, then he has to slow down to look.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | September 30, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I feel a lot of sympathy for the fans in Montreal. In many ways I think it's a shame they lost their team.

Unfortunately, one has to ask the question: would the team be successful had they stayed? I think the logical answer is no. Without a new stadium and especially without local, committed ownership, the franchise was doomed.

Despite all our complaints, the Nats fans should thank their lucky stars. This team will be in Washington for 30 years minimum. There's no guarantee of short or even long term success. I happen to have a lot of faith in Kasten and company. I do know this, it's a thrill to have a team in your home town, even if they've been disappointing so far. I much prefer having a poor team, than no team at all.

Posted by: grforbes | September 30, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I, too, feel sorry for the true and few Montreal fans, but having lost the team I followed twice, I'm just glad that DC has one again. I was just hoping it would perform bit better a bit sooner, but wait till next year!

To Chico, you didn't need to dignify From the Eclipse's comment with a response. It's a given you read Barry's book as soon as you got the job. (Just remember that Brinkman wasn't the Nats' shortstop in '61. Ha!)

Posted by: nats24 | September 30, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Eclipse:

I agree with your statement of the obligation of the runner on first to look. Perhaps my first response was a little unclear or overly tongue-in-cheek. The mantra that I espoused was "advance as far as you can." Last night's hit, which was actually hit to center, was hit in front of Willie. No slowing down was required to see where it landed or the position of the CF at that point in time, and Willie should have been rounding the bag and heading for third without a problem.

I love Willie to death, but I have to agree with the prior poster that an opportunity to advance a base was missed. Thankfully it didn't cost us a run last night anyway. Running first to third is one of our team's weaker points, and it's something that playoff-bound teams often excel at (see: this year's Angels).

Posted by: faNATic | September 30, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

They should have picked the Grays, the only team that ever won regularly in DC.

Posted by: Section506 | September 30, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Neither do I, soundbloke. I thought your rant was awesome. :-)

---

Don't like the man. Fell strongly about it.

Posted by: soundbloke | September 30, 2009 11:16 AM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 30, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I remember both days so well, that dank 30 Sept day back in 71 and the bright sunny afternoon in 2004. As I was driving home that day on Rt 50 I actually had tears when I listend to the press conference. Little did we know the angst that was about to unfold, including the lunacy of the City Council, the joy of that first game in April against the Az Diamondbacks, the Zimmerman walkoffs and all of the thrills, chills and agony that has come forth since. Actually I was rather nieve that day in thinking that DC would transform into a real sports town overnight but of course that just has not happened. Lots of mis-information, lack of a baseball culture, back to back 100+ L's, an indifferent media still stuck in 1991 and the owners who still have a long way to go. Doesn't matter I'm still a loyal 41 game STH, will be making my way over to the Navy Yard around 4PM and will be a little bit depressed when the game ends because the time between Oct and Feb is long, but at least we have the CAPS!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | September 30, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I feel a lot of sympathy for the fans in Montreal. In many ways I think it's a shame they lost their team.
----AGREE, but they didn't support their team.

Unfortunately, one has to ask the question: would the team be successful had they stayed? I think the logical answer is no. Without a new stadium and especially without local, committed ownership, the franchise was doomed.
----The Expos also needed some financial oompf to make the team competitive. Given that stadium and a the limited fan base, it just was not going to happen there.

Despite all our complaints, the Nats fans should thank their lucky stars. This team will be in Washington for 30 years minimum. There's no guarantee of short or even long term success. I happen to have a lot of faith in Kasten and company. I do know this, it's a thrill to have a team in your home town, even if they've been disappointing so far. I much prefer having a poor team, than no team at all.
----Your faith in Kasten might be misplaced, but you are otherwise right on the money here.
Posted by: grforbes | September 30, 2009 11:56 AM |


"Wilbon ponders the team's new name. The Grays? The Americans? Senators seemed like the early frontrunner."
----The Grays would have been edgy, but I liked that possibility. The Nationals was true to the history of base ball in D.C. and that's why I liked the choice even better than the Grays.


So is it because they chose the wrong name that Wilbon has divorced himself from this team almost since the day it arrived, to the point of him not ever even having set foot in Nationals Park after two full seasons now? He doesn't like the racist Redskins name, but somehow that doesn't keep him from covering them, does it?
----Wilbon stays away from Nationals Park because he knows little about baseball and the sportswriter from Armani doesn't want to reveal such ignorance. Wilbon's knowledge about football and basketball are encyclopedic. That is why he sticks to them.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | September 30, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: jbartelloni | September 30, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Runner on first, 2 outs, line drive to the outfield: (I didn't see the game, I was Charlie&Daving it.)
Where was the ball hit? Sounds like it must have been hit to right, or else it would have been in front of him, and he wouldn't have to slow down to see it.

With two outs, the RF might still short-hop the ball and throw behind the runner rounding second, so Harris has to slow down enough to keep from getting caught there should that happen, before putting it back in high gear if he's going to third. Picking up the third-base coach as you approach second is the alternative, IF you trust the coach and can locate him in time (harder than it sounds, sometimes). That's why consistently reading the play correctly off the bat, and knowing where and who the fielders are, is a prized skill.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 30, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

> Wilbon's knowledge about football and basketball are encyclopedic.

The entire WaPo's sports staff's knowledge about baseball is Wikipedic, i.e. full of holes. And some of them are holes beginning in 'A'.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | September 30, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Chico for starting this thread and thanks to all for such thoughtful and/or passionate contributions.

Selig remember is just a tool. The other owners wanted to contract the Twins and Expos, so they placed their hack ownership in Montreal and did everything they could to kill the franchise so nobody would miss it. While improving their own teams with the trade proceeds. It was the Minnesotans who saved both teams. So plan B was what the hey, let's keep our Expos costs to a minimum and finally use the Washington patsies to line our pockets. They did well by doing the good of putting a team here. So I hate the whole pack of them and how they shafted DC for 40+ years (including moving the original Senators to more ethnically pure Minnesota).

The payoff to Angelos is just another instance of the old boys taking care of their own. But MASN can't be making much money on the low-rated Nats broadcasts and the rights fees are set, so I hope the plan is backfiring and Angelos is losing a bundle.

Selig is just a figurehead. And an ugly one at that.

Posted by: utec | September 30, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

> Selig remember is just a tool.

In every sense of that word, actually.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | September 30, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

carryover...

Metal chainlink padding?? He was LUCKY.
In my day, we had barbed wire covering the outfield wall like ivy. Our dad made us practice over-the-wall catches before every game. In our skivvies. Then we'd have to shower in rubbing alcohol and saltwater.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 30, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm just changing the subject because I was sure they'd put them in Matamoros before they would give DC a team, and I still don't like the idea of the city going into the ballpark-rental business.
And then I was sure they'd improve after that great first half of 2005.
And then I figured, at least the new park will be unique and attractive.
And so on.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 30, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I remember trekking to Turner Field to watch the Expos play the Braves, wondering if they would soon be my team, and then listening on the internet to the final game in Montreal, gauging the announcers reactions to it all. I felt bad for them, knowing how I felt back in 71. However, it did not erase the glee I had in knowing Major League Baseball (a resemblance anyway) was going to be back in Washington.

Posted by: cokedispatch | September 30, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Wow!? Has it been that long?

Posted by: periculum | September 30, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

carryover...
Also carrying over: What, no snow, sec3?

Uh-oh, time to head for the ballpark...

---

Metal chainlink padding?? He was LUCKY.
In my day, we had barbed wire covering the outfield wall like ivy. Our dad made us practice over-the-wall catches before every game. In our skivvies. Then we'd have to shower in rubbing alcohol and saltwater.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 30, 2009 1:00 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 30, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon = America's Tool.

So five years ago he predicted the name of the team to be Senators.

Might be time for a correction, Mr. Armani.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | September 30, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Well, when I say "wall"--it was really just a long pile of broken glass and the rotting corpses of roadkill animals--but it was a WALL to us!

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 30, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Rotting corpses of roadkill animals? What we wouldn't have done for a rotting corpse of a roadkill animal!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13JK5kChbRw

Posted by: Section506 | September 30, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

The documentary on the Expos that aired on WETA was "Nos Amours": http://www.adobeproductions.com/nosamours/nosamours-e.html Those who saw it may remember the beautiful elevated statue of an angel at the beginning of the film (this was one atmospheric film, to be sure). I thought it was haunting and when I went to Montreal for the first time last fall to visit my nieces at school, we luckily happened upon the statue (my alert boyfriend spotted it)at one of the entrances to Mont Royal park. I think we took about 20 photos of it.

Posted by: Section109 | September 30, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Fascinating thread. I remember my first reaction to the news was to promise myself to get season tickets the day they went on sale. I did and I've never regretted it through all the tribulations. So I'll mark the anniversary by looking into a rental place in Viera for next March. Spring can't come soon enough.

Posted by: JamesWebster | September 30, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

> Wilbon's knowledge about football and basketball are encyclopedic.

Correction: Wilbon's knowledge about Chicago football and basketball are encyclopedic.

Posted by: mvm2 | September 30, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone noticed that our Nats magic number is one to get the first pick in next year's draft?

Let the Harper hope begin.

Posted by: REDSKINRAYINCA | September 30, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

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