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Posted at 1:15 PM ET, 03/ 7/2011

Long toss: Divided loyalties?

By Washington Post editors

In this morning's newspaper Thomas Boswell wrote about the Baltimore Orioles, and that stirred up an old argument among Nationals fans. In his chat today, Boswell said:

My family symbolizes the Nats/O's loyalty debate. I grew up taking the street car to Griffith Stadium, then rodee my bike toi RFK Stadium. But I also covered the Orioles for 29 years when D.C. didn't have a team. I think loyalties generally run back to your hometown and your childhood teams.
However, my adult son learned baseball while running around the upper deck of Memorial Stadium in the late '80's. He's a perfect example of why the Post was correct to cover the Orioles all those non-baseball years in D.C. My son was actually old enough to vote before DC got a team back! What, he was supposed to NOT become a baseball fan if he wanted to be one? Now, my son is an Oriole lover, but likes the Nats.

Another chatter said: ... the O's are the like the girl who dated you purely because you spent money on her. She never loved you. Her family never liked you. Her dad, Peter, is a jerk. So it's hard to get excited about seeing her again.

Where do you fall in this debate? Is it still all or nothing when it comes to the Nats and O's?

By Washington Post editors  | March 7, 2011; 1:15 PM ET
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What the old-timey, bitter Senators and converted Natinal fans fail to realize is that there are multiple of generations of people who grew up in the area rooting for the O's because they were the "local" team.

And lots of those people (even despite Peter Angelos horrific ownership of the team) aren't gonna abandon the O's even if DC had to steal a team from Montreal.

Gotta love the argument of "Well the O's and Nats are in different leagues so why can't you root for both."

Yeah, cause there are tons of Redskins fans that love rooting for the Ravens too, since you know they play in different leagues too.

How sweet it'll be, starting this year, when the O's start winning, and the Natinals stay on the path they're on now, which is the stinkitude-path.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | March 7, 2011 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean that the Balto Sun owes us a Nats column?

Seriously, the WaPo is trying to sell papers. Who cares if they print an O's story. I can skip it like any other topic that I am not interested in.

Besides, the O's still won't finish any better than4th...

Posted by: comish4lif | March 7, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Like Boswell's adult son, I grew up in the DC area rooting for the Orioles... I was born after the Senators were already gone so I never knew baseball in DC until 2005, but I loved the game, loved Memorial Stadium and Camden Yards, and loved Cal Ripken...

But, when baseball came back to DC, yep, I turncoated and adopted the Nats as my team, since baseball in DC was always a vague sort of dream I was looking forward to...

But, really? O's vs Nats? I don't get it... different leagues, different cities... I don't get this rivalry that some folks on this blog go on and on and on and on about...

I save my venom for the Phillies, Mets, Marlins and Braves (in that order)... those are the guys we play like 72 games a year against and have a direct relation to our ability to make or miss the playoffs... Philly is pretty close to DC, too, and trust me, their fans actually do think the Nats are a joke, and when we rise to be competitive they actually will hate us...

Posted by: Ghost7 | March 7, 2011 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Boz can write all he wants about the O's. Just send it to the write email address at the Sun. He can fawn over the O's, just do it without the snide remarks about the Nats. Remarks he doesn't make when writing about the Nats.

Posted by: pwilly | March 7, 2011 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I've rooted for the O's after Bob Short took the team to Texas but when the Nat's returned i was there for the first game back at RFK and i'm Nat's fan period.

Posted by: dargregmag | March 7, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I want all the Redskin fans who are also Raven fans to chime in on this argument. Since the same logic is being applied here.

I'm sure the posts from Redskin-and-Raven fans will start flooding in any minute.

And at least Ghost can admit that he's a Benedict Arnold.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | March 7, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Poopy Ghost isn't Benedict Arnold. He's a DC guy. He liked baseball and needed a team to root for. His loyalties are to DC

Posted by: JDB1 | March 7, 2011 1:52 PM | Report abuse

RE: Boswell’s column and his answers during the chat.

You know, I have never heard anything more absurd than the rationale that, “…there are still some O’s fans who read the Post for their baseball...” Blah, blah. Puhleeze. If the Post is that worried about catering to what has to be (in the grand scheme of their total circulation) a mere handful of people, then they have major issues in the Marketing Dept. And if you “DC Birds” fans out there need your fix that badly subscribe to the woeful Sun.

Can you imagine if a Sun columnist devoted an entire column to the Nats? Harm City would be in revolt. Seriously.

This is not the first time this has come up with Boswell and I suspect it won’t be the last. I think my real objection with him now is when I look at the calendar. The Nats are on the verge of their 7th season (!!) here, there’s a new stadium, an owner, and the Nats play in the NATIONAL League East. C’mon Boswell, the transition or whatever is long over and the die is more than case. Enough already with these dumb O’s columns.

Posted by: gonatsgo1 | March 7, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I grew up in NJ and was a huge yankee fan, but came to DC 15 years ago for college and never left. I am a huge baseball fan and followed the yankees and rooted for them, but after they fired Buck Showalter and seem to win every year - it wasn't as much fun rooting for them when I did through all those bad years in the 80's and early 90's. So I was so excited when the Nats came to town. It was a team I could really follow again, watch them grow and since they were in the NL wasn't hard to root for them since they would only play the Yanks a few times every couple of years. So being a Yankee fan I never like the O's, I didn't hate them, but could careless about them. However, since become a Nats fan I feel that I hate the O's more and more each year. It had mostly to do how they and DC are/were handled on the whole MASN matter. It has gotten better, but there still is that hatred. Now that they signed Buck as their manager (something the Nats should have done) the hatred has lessened again. I will be going to an O's spring training game to see them play the phillies and will be rooting for them. However, the O's have no place in the Washington Post anymore. DC now has a team and the O's have Baltimore.

I have also found myself hating the Redskins more and more since the Nats came to town because of how they are treated and the Nats are treated like second class citizens.

Posted by: brothbart | March 7, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

"My son was actually old enough to vote before DC got a team back! What, he was supposed to NOT become a baseball fan if he wanted to be one?"

This is ridiculous. Boz I was a baseball fan, but understood where my loyalties where. Maybe you, as a father should have explained why DC didn't have a team. Further, your son was force fed the Orioles. You're one of the force feeders

Posted by: JDB1 | March 7, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I grew up an Orioles fan, even had partial season tickets for a number of years in the 90's. But i was always waiting for a DC team. I even made a downpayment on season tickets in 87!. The Orioles started losing me when Jon Miller left. Firing Davey Johnson broke the bond and the arrival of the Nationals completed the process. Reading POOPY's incoherent movie reviews has just cemented my feelings.

By the way, POOPY, Tillman looks good today? What's this, the 4th day in a row the O's haven't scored? 100 losses is optimistic!

Posted by: stantonpark | March 7, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Baseball is my favorite sport and between the time I saw my first game - when I was 6 or 7, back in 76 or 77 - I was an O's fan.

Through the 79 world series, the arrival of Cal Ripken and the 1983 World Series. The lean period of early free agency disasters with Fred Lynn and crew in the mid-80s. The horribly bad 88 team that seemingly got old all at the same time. The awesome summer of 89 with the Why Not? Os.

The ok teams under Johnny Oates in the early 90s. The move to Camden Yards. The better teams under Johnny Oates in the 93-95 timeframe. The Strike. The Streak. The really good playoff teams from 96 and 97.

Then, after a few good years when he was actually popular with O's fans for finally spending money, the Angelos Regime turned to the dark side and we saw Snyder-esque free agent disasters that did nothing for the win column but made sure we spent lots of money and were always in the thick of conversation in the Hot Stove League.

The failure to develop the draft picks, the chronic injuries to the Next Big Savior that would turn the franchise around. The bad trades, the turmoil in the front office. Then, 2005

At first, I did not want the Expos to move here. I was raised on American League ball, and didn't know that much about National League teams. I knew though that if the Expos moved, I would support them which meant that eventually, I would stop following the O's.

In 2005, I think I still watched more O's games than Nats. In 2006, it was 50/50, but by 2007, I was mainly following the Nats. By 2008 I stopped watching O's games completely, and by 2010, I didn't even follow them on-line. The way that MASN, the latest insult that the Angelos Regime has stuck Washington with, tries to ram the O's down our throats. The second-class citizenship the Nats have in the MASN world. Angelos trying to stop the move in the first place.

I think that Angelos has done more to turn away O's fans than the Nats have done to convert them. Let's face it, the O's were pretty bad for the 7 years before the Expos moved. The way Angelos acted when the move was being planned and then when it happened, it just further alienated DC/NoVA O's fans. He insulted us, and the more he tried to drive the Nats away, the less we DC/NoVA O's fans cared about the O's.

If he had played his cards right - not trying to keep the Expos out, which he no legal right to. Not trying to get hundreds of millions in "compensatory" damages for the move. Not demanding that the Nats give up their TV rights to him as a condition of his "consent" to the move. If he had been cool, then I think you would find a lot of former O's fans like myself who would have the best of both worlds: two teams, in different leagues. The Dodgers and Mets visiting here, the Red Sox and Yankees in Camden Yards. As is, at this point, I really could care less about the Orioles. I got to root for Cal for 19 years, but those days are over.

Posted by: gmwelch | March 7, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"I want all the Redskin fans who are also Raven fans to chime in on this argument. Since the same logic is being applied here."

"I'm sure the posts from Redskin-and-Raven fans will start flooding in any minute."

Hah, the Cleveland **Browns**, the St. Louis "Browns", and Poopy McPoop is always BROWN and stinky just like his loser teams and owners ... Poopy - the epitome of latrine, fly infested BROWN.

When the Nats start making the O's look as pathetic as they are before the O's get a ticked to Vegas ... I'll be over on RI beating into the ground just like you have here dude. Wait for it .. the bomb is on its waaaaay!

Posted by: periculum | March 7, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

MEMO To Boswell:

The great Shirley Povich, whose name you love to invoke on many occasions (including today’s chat), would blanch if he read your column today.

Posted by: gonatsgo1 | March 7, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Boz and I are about the same age, and I grew up in Silver Spring. My two favorite teams were the Senators and the Skins, and neither team played very well when I was young. I was always a little jealous of the Orioles and the Colts because they always seemed to play better than my teams. Although I could not be passionate about the Baltimore teams, I could enjoy their success - some Maryland pride, I guess.

When the Senators left town for the second time, I tried turning my allegiance to the Orioles. I could enjoy the games, but it was not like having a home team to root for. After Angelos bought the team and the Orioles began their decline, I eventually stopped watching the Orioles, and baseball in general. From my viewpoint, Angelos is a horrible owner.

I live northeast of Baltimore now, near the Pennasylvania line. I have Directv and get both Orioles and Nationals broadcasts. For some reason last spring, I watched a couple of Nationals games. And now I am hooked.

When I was young, I used to fall asleep in the summer, listening to the Nats on the radio. I would read every article and column in the Post and the Star on the team. I feel like I have a team to root for again, and it's great. I am so glad that the Post has this blog for the Nats, and I think Adam and Dave do a great job.

Posted by: Markin21132 | March 7, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I am 47 am much more of a Washingonian than Baltimoron. I can barly remember the Senators. I spent many days in Memorial and Camden Yards rooting for my Birds. I wnated to be Brooks. Loved the magic on 33rd street, wild Bill the whole thing. That went away with Angelos and I am so happy to have a new team to root for.

Poop, I am a Redskins fan who has never been to FedEx but to M&T and think the Ravens are fantastic. I still root for the skins inspite of little Danny. Why the difference. Probably cuz I'm more of a Washintonian as I said.

Posted by: brianbu | March 7, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

First, somebody needs to brush up on their basic sports knowledge - the O's and Nats ARE in different leagues. The Ravens and the Washington team are in the same league. Despite the adoption of interleague regular season play baseball, the situations are still quite different.

I was an O's fan for close to 30 years and would still follow them if Angelos' treatment of Jon Miller and Davey Johnson hadn't driven me off. As it was, from Johnson's firing until the arrival of the Nats I didn't have a real baseball rooting interest.

I have no objection to those DC-area fans who still follow the O's and think it's only good business for the Post to provide the kind of coverage they do. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out if either team ever becomes a credible contender, but it's been well over a decade - before living memory for fans under 20 - in both cities.

Posted by: zimbar | March 7, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Nobody from Baltimore can ever say the Nationals were stolen from Montreal...after all BALTIMORE STOLE THE BROWNS FROM CLEVELAND. Many many many times worse.

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | March 7, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

My family settled in Fairfax in '91, and I rooted for the O's because they were the closest thing we ever had to a home team. But Baltimore's a long way away from Fairfax, and it got harder and harder to root for a team that I never got to see.

The O's during that period had two players I admired: Cal Ripken--the great worker and gentleman--and Mike Mussina. Once Ripken retired and Mussina moved to the Yankees, there wasn't enough to hold my attention.

Once the Nats arrived, I have been a Nats fan. I don't shout "O!" during the national anthem. I don't hate my friends who've stayed loyal to the O's--but they're just not my team any more.

It's hard to root for a baseball team I never see in person.

Posted by: ouij | March 7, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Watched the Senators when I first came to DC as a student, then they left at the end of that season. Stayed in DC, and raised a family here. My boys don't care much for baseball because Angelos kept baseball out of dc. Hate the Os for that, and always will. But an occasional column doesn't bother me, so long as it is only occasional.

Posted by: NatsFly | March 7, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I grew up watching Cal n' da crabs, but after he left I stopped caring about baseball, until we got ourselves a team at RFK. Now I go to 10 games a season!

My only problem with Baltimore is the owner and how he screwed over our team and city for so long.

Posted by: alex35332 | March 7, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I continue to be annoyed by people who think they have the corner market on the rules of sports fandom. There is a range, just like everything else in life.

Look, a lot has to do w/ your Dad. Boz influenced his kid. How can you cover a team for 30 years and not start to like them? They paid his mortgage. That wouldn't influence you? So, his son fed off that. Fair enough.

My family moved here in '75 when I was 5 and I started following baseball in '79. I had no idea Baltimore was a separate city and didn't really get that DC didn't have a team. I thought their team was the O's. So, I rooted for them. I was 9!! My dad grew up in Oklahoma and didn't care about baseball so I had no teacher.

Honestly, it wasn't until I got to college (Far away from DC) and realized, I would never root for the Colts, even if the Skins moved away. So, I drifted from the O's.

That left me a sports fan where baseball was my favorite sport but I didn't have a team, including the one I grew up with. It sucked. I married a Cubs fan so followed them just to have someone to follow. But when the Nats came back, there was no doubt for me. By that time, I was back in DC, but that wouldn't have mattered.

Finally, my home town had a team in my favorite sport. I don't pay much attention to the O's but I don't blame those who do. The only rooting interest I have in baseball is the Nats. But, it was a journey. And, everyone's is different.

Posted by: Avar | March 7, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I was 3 when the Senators left to become the Rangers. Growing up in NoVA I longed for a team in DC but, never rooted for the O's. Never really hated them, just didn't root for them. Johnny Bench and the Big Red Machine turned me into a Reds fan in the mid 70's and I never looked back, that is, until Sept 30 2004, when they announced the Expos were coming here. I still have a soft spot for the Reds but, I'm a full fledged Nats fan now.

I never understood why so many people in DC took on the Orioles. Baltimore is not DC and with traffic on 495 and 95 it might as well be Cincinnati.

And now, I hate the friggin' Orioles.

Posted by: Section505203 | March 7, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Different perspective here. Third-generation New Yorker from a hardcore National League family. My grandfather's first date with my grandmother was a trip to the Polo Grounds for a game against the Phillies (she was from Philadelphia) in the Christy Matthewson era. She bet him a necktie on the outcome and lost. My father grew up on the Giants (at age 12, cried over the outcome of the '34 season). I grew up on the Mets - vivid memories of 1969 (sorry, O's) and rooted for them 'til I left in '07. Now in DC and clearly I was going to adopt an NL team (was in the market - the Mets lost me over the Willie Randolph firing in '08).

And of course, DH baseball isn't true baseball.

So the Nats it is. Maybe similar things are true for other Washingtonians-from-elsewhere?

If the Nats weren't here, I probably would have stuck with the Mets and gone up to Baltimore to visit the other side when I could. In time, who knows?

Some things don't change - my wife is also from Philadelphia. I see difficult times ahead. Am not betting any neckties - I'll win in a couple of years but she might try to hang me over the upper deck with it...

Posted by: Alan_A | March 7, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm a homer. Always have been a homer. Don't like the O's. Go NATS.

Posted by: crimsonmac | March 7, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

After growing up with the Orioles it would be impossible for me to switch. I'll never understand the decision of the Post to stop covering the O's, especially as the region becomes more and more intertwined.

Posted by: nitrojunkie_20723 | March 7, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Been a fan of Wash baseball before Boz, remember watching Mickey Vernon play. Had my heart broken by the Griffiths,was so bitter didn't even care about the second team. Only went to O's games so my son could have a team to root for. He once wore a Cito sucks t shirt to a game. He now hates the orioles like I do because of you know who. Anyway I think everyone is missing the point about Boz article. After reading him all these years you know he's a Nats fan first. He's just trying to egg on the Lerner's to keep improving the team. Hope it works.

Posted by: bosco3 | March 7, 2011 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I grew up in Philly as fan of all four major sports teams. I'm still an Eagles fan and could never embrace the Redskins after all the years of rivalry. I have become a Nats fan because that entrenched rivalry never existed as it did in the NFL East. I root for the Nats over the Phils and loathe to Phillies fans who invade our park. I'll root for the Phils otherwise if the outcome has a positive effect on our games behind in the standings. That really hasn't come into play all that often. Once post season begins I'm free to root for the Phils again until THE PLAN kicks in.
Bottom line: I agree with Boz that a lot of our sports loyalties are shaped as a child. It's hard to change that behavior, but not impossible.

Posted by: Intrudr | March 7, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

An old story, perhaps. For years we were devout O's fans, had season's tickets behind 3rd base. New stadium, O's wanted me to sit behind foul pole and actually facing ctr field. I told them to give those tickets to someone who deserved them. Won't pay to go see O's nohow. Case closed.

Posted by: teddybeartwo | March 7, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"Anyway I think everyone is missing the point about Boz article. After reading him all these years you know he's a Nats fan first."

That's odd. I've been reading Boswell ever since he arrived at the Post (when Shirley Povich was still the sports editor) and I would have sworn he's always been an Orioles fan first and foremost. And nothing that he's written since 2005 would change that impression, either. He may write about the Nats more often now, but he writes with more love about the O's. Today's column was a prime example of that. He can't say a single good thing about the O's without running down the Nats in the process. No need for that, either, because the teams from Washington and Baltimore are not in competition with each other. He writes a lot about the Redskins, but doesn't find a need to run down the Ravens in order to make a positive point about them, now does he?

Posted by: FeelWood | March 7, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Nats fan. I still go to an O's game or two each year, but I just route for a good baseball game when I;m there, but with the Nats I really want them to win. I still think, despite the opening of Nationals Park, I still the Candem Yards better...

Posted by: tcostant | March 7, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Angelos actively worked to keep baseball out of DC. The O's will never get a nickel of my money or a moment of my attention as a fan.

Posted by: cabraman | March 7, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Dear WaPo: Please start covering the O's again. You did a much better job with more interesting articles than the local paper, the Sun.

Posted by: LarryG2 | March 7, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse


Let the Sun cover the birds. Let WAPO cover our Nationals. If you feel like guest writing for the Sun every now and then, by all means go ahead.

Posted by: NatsandSkinsareclassclassclass | March 7, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

That's the basic problem. This is a Washington newspaper and there now is a team in Washington.

The Orioles used to be the only team in the larger region to follow.

But then again the Redskins were in that position from WWII to the 1970's in the South.

Now there are teams in Atlanta, Carolina, Tennessee, etc. for those fans to follow in their hometowns.

I think all what we are asking for here in the Washington area is for the Orioles to become a Baltimore team again and rediscover its original identity.

We need to get the Orioles off the WTEM local Washington radio broadcast and separate out the Nationals and Orioles on cable as well.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | March 7, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like you Nats fans are insecure.

Posted by: LarryG2 | March 7, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

In my experience, people who follow baseball because they enjoy the sport of baseball love the fact that they have an AL and an NL team 40 miles away from each other. People who follow baseball because they feel a need to belong and to feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves are the ones who get bitter about Nats vs Orioles.

Posted by: CommieX | March 7, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Baseball is a beautiful sport. Enjoy it for what it is, and leave the rest aside. Both cities have tasted the bitterness of losing professional sports teams. Both cities now have football and baseball. Enjoy.

Posted by: LarryG2 | March 7, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Well to be honest there is a lot more Orioles hate than I expected. I was born in middle suburbia between Baltimore and DC. That made me an Orioles and Redskins fan. The Ravens came to town from Cleveland and a bunch of people jumped ship to become Ravens fans. I stayed loyal to the team I grew up watching. The Nationals came to town from Montreal and a bunch of people jumped ship to become National fans. I stayed loyal to the team I grew up watching.

Currently I live in NOVA and am proud to wear my O's gear around. Sure the team has been sad to watch the last few years, but I don't just switch teams because a new team shows up that is closer. By the way, I LAUGH in the face of all the Nats fans who posted above how horrible the O's are compared to the Nats. Did you read how the Nats have won only ONE more game than the O's since they've come to DC? And keep in mind the Nats play in the weaker NL East.

The whole point to Boswell's post was the Orioles offseason was better than the Nationals. I think you could ask anyone with any type of baseball knowledge would agree with that concept. Jayson Werth is a solid player but that is a HORRENDOUS contract. The O's made several good baseball moves that improved positions of weakness last year. They may not finish better than 3rd or 4th in the AL East, but that's what you get with the top 2 payrolls in 1 division and probably the best run team in the Rays.

I'll proudly be wearing my Orioles gear heckling Nationals players in their home stadium. It's always a fun experience to go to an away game and see half the stadium filled with O's fans.

Posted by: golfwolf106 | March 7, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I didn't grow up here and never rooted for the O's after I moved to Virginia as an adult (not convenient to get to ballpark, broadcast signal not good in my area). When the Nats came to town, I happily started rooting for them (easy ride/drive to ballpark, broadcast signal, um, getting better all the time). I don't give a rat's patoot if someone else here wants to root for the O's. Just don't tell me that I have to do so. 'kay, thanks. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 7, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I was first & foremost Astros' fan growing up but since I been in Washington, I have grown to love the Nats & will root for them even if Astros are in town. I been to few O's game and they are in B'more so I don't think WaPo should cover O's since we do have Nats in Washington! GO NATS!

Posted by: mink23 | March 7, 2011 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Soooooooooo, Baltimoe has a team?

Posted by: cokedispatch | March 7, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I'll proudly be wearing my Orioles gear heckling Nationals players in their home stadium. It's always a fun experience to go to an away game and see half the stadium filled with O's fans.

Posted by: golfwolf106 | March 7, 2011 4:53 PM


Does it ease the pain of Camden Yards being filled to the brim with Yankee and Red Sox fans every time either team comes to Baltimore?

Posted by: CommieX | March 7, 2011 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Part of the reason many of us who grew up with the Senators criticize Boz and the Post is because they did little to nothing to help the cause of bringing baseball back to DC. By the early 80s, they had gone completely paws up to the Orioles and MLB. This contributed to the current split allegiance and is why we are sensitive about the subject. In addition, Boswell manages to contradict himself about every third article. He'll be in favor of the Werth deal one day, then the next day he writes snide comments such as those in this article.

Posted by: truke | March 7, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Part of the reason many of us who grew up with the Senators criticize Boz and the Post is because they did little to nothing to help the cause of bringing baseball back to DC.

Posted by: truke | March 7, 2011 5:30 PM

I could've thunk it was the media's job to just report the news. Not to champion various causes one way vs. another.

Could've fooled me.

And yes, LarryG2, there are TONS of insecure Natinal fans on here.

What I love, is when the O's fans invade Natinal Park and yell out 'O' during the National Anthem.

How sweet it is. Hahahahahahaha

(now comes, from the insecure Natinal fans, the obligatory slam about "respecting" the National Anthem and all that jazz)

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | March 7, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I used to be a Redskins fan until I researched what a racist name they have and how racist the owner who founded the team was. Now I am happily a Baltimore Ravens fan.

To me Washington and Baltimore is just one big metropolitan area.

Posted by: jmarks09 | March 7, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

truke -

Not trying to be rude, it's an honest question: What is in you think Boswell and the Post could have done to get baseball back in DC sooner? I've always been under the impression that WaPo legend Shirley Povitch was the heart-and-soul of the bring baseball back to DC contingent, so I am surprised by your observation.

Speaking as someone who was a kid during the '80s, I think it would have been terrible if the Post had responded to DC losing the Senators (again) by refusing to cover the Orioles. I grew up in MoCo reading the Post, and it was the 1980's Orioles who got me into baseball. I couldn't be a Nats fan now if I hadn't been an O's fan first.

Posted by: CommieX | March 7, 2011 6:01 PM | Report abuse

As a DC native and Baltimore resident (and Sun subscriber), I'd be shocked if O's coverage in WaPo sells papers. Baltimoreans couldn't care less about the Nats. Why Washingtonians would particularly care about the O's is beyond me. I know when I open my Sun, I don't see three words about the Nats, and rightly so.

Posted by: gbooksdc | March 7, 2011 6:50 PM | Report abuse

...I never understood why so many people in DC took on the Orioles. Baltimore is not DC and with traffic on 495 and 95 it might as well be Cincinnati. ...

Posted by: Section505203 | March 7, 2011 2:45 PM

Great line! (FWIW, traffic on 695 around Baltimore is even worse than 495)

Posted by: gbooksdc | March 7, 2011 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I stopped cheering for the Washington football team (whose name I try not to use, given that it's an insult to so many people) when Snyder bought the team, and they moved to the worst stadium in the NFL. I was hooked on the Ravens after one visit to M&T - what a fantastic atmosphere. I stopped cheering for the O's when Angelos actively worked to keep a team out of DC for so long (and still takes something like 70% of the revenues from MASN, if I recall, as his bribe from MLB.) I live in Silver Spring, and it takes me the same amount of time to get to Nats Stadium or the Inner Harbor, so I see nothing wrong with splitting my loyalties accordingly.

Posted by: vtavgjoe | March 7, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Boz's column points out a huge flaw in the Nats current management (and its not player aquisition this time) - they have done nothing to build a fan base in the local media. All winter hardly a word in the daily print - no special looks at off season stuff, i.e. go see how Zimm spends his off season workouts / go on a bow hunt with LaRoche & Werth / what about profiles & personalities of players, coaches,/ not a week (or really 2-3 days) should go by without Nats being in the papers & local TV news. To do that the team needs an active PR department that cultivates relationships in those media outlets and provides opportunities for good interaction w/ players. Instead we have long stretches of dead silence and sometime mentions of Strasburg. Learn from the Skins - saturate your market in order to build interest, identity, and loyalty among fans - then columnists will feel compelled to stick to the Nats.

Posted by: artguydtd | March 7, 2011 7:35 PM | Report abuse

As a lifetime Washingtonian and a home town fan, I'm happy and proud to say that I NEVER switched by allegiance to the team just up 95 north. I was only 8 when the Senators left, but I was smart enough to not succumb to peer pressure and root for B-more.

What a great time in school in 1979 when the Pirates came back to defeat the O's and what a great April in 1988--I still yell out AND 21 whenever I'm at an event and the Oriole fans try to yell O during the National anthem (a disgrace).

Now we have a team and I can't be happier, hopefully the wins will come, but for now, I have two teams to root for during the season, the Nats and WHOEVER is playing the Orioles.

Posted by: terp33 | March 7, 2011 7:36 PM | Report abuse

There's a generation in the sweet spot, who grew up after the Senators left but before the Nats arrived, who were kids when Ripken was great, who loved the game and the stadium and the drive north. Maybe there aren't many of us, but I'm one of those kids, and though I haven't lived in the DC metro area in ages and ages, I will always be an Orioles fan.

I will also always be a Post reader, so I can't say I mind the occasional column--because I miss the full coverage.

Posted by: FromSomewhere | March 7, 2011 7:39 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't when Washington got the Nats that I stopped being an O's fan. That actually came when Baltimore got the Ravens. I know that sounds weird, but through all of my early years (I'm 29), Washington had football, Baltimore had baseball. It was easy for both cities to co-exist with the same fan bases.

When the Ravens landed in Baltimore, and also started beating the Redskins more often than not, it made it much harder for me to be a Redskins fan and still have love for Baltimore. Hating the Ravens made it hard for me to still be an O's fan, especially when seeing how there's almost no support for the Redskins in Baltimore (and never really was any). That really put on display how different these two cities are, and how we are not the same market.

The O's descent into the MLB gutter that started around the same time the Ravens arrived made it much easier to not really care about the O's. Not just because they were bad, but because they were so poorly run.

Lastly, Angelos's determination to keep baseball out of Washington really sealed it.

The bottom line is that Washington once embraced Baltimore, but Baltimore never really embraced Washington. So to hell with them and all of their teams.

Posted by: jmorrisa | March 7, 2011 7:47 PM | Report abuse

With the sports page reduced to the size of a Kohl's pullout I would hope the columnists could find something to write about the home team. I could not care less about the O's. For those who do, it's just a few clicks away to the Sun.

Posted by: pwilly | March 7, 2011 8:14 PM | Report abuse

CommieX, for what it is worth, Shirley Povich was one of my professors in college back in the 70s. To answer the question, as time has gone on, the "power of the press" has diminished from what it used to be. Back then, even more ink used to criticize MLB and discourage Washingtonians from accepting being placed in the "Orioles territory" as far as baseball is concerned would have helped. Mostly, however, what you don't realize is that Edward Bennett Williams who owned the Orioles in the 80s was also the Post's lawyer. This contributed greatly to their going, as I said, "paws up" on the issue. I am glad that you became a baseball fan, but if things had gone as they should have back then - the Senators not been ruined then stolen - you would have grown up rooting for a true hometown team.

Posted by: truke | March 7, 2011 8:22 PM | Report abuse

And, amen, pwilly.

Posted by: truke | March 7, 2011 8:30 PM | Report abuse

"Boz's column points out a huge flaw in the Nats current management (and its not player aquisition this time) - they have done nothing to build a fan base in the local media. All winter hardly a word in the daily print"

Seeing as how the Nats don't actually own any newspapers, I fail to see what you expect their management to be doing in regards to getting a word in the daily print. No one is stopping the newspapers from doing the things you suggest, except that they clearly don't want to do it. Are you advocating that the Nats owners start buying media outlets like Dan Snyder bought radio stations to spread Redskins propaganda?

Posted by: nunof1 | March 7, 2011 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Poopy is simply a small symbol of the inferiority complex of those in Baltimore. Do what 98% of us in the DC metro area do every day, just ignore them and let them choke on their bitterness and anger.

Posted by: JDR1970 | March 7, 2011 8:47 PM | Report abuse

I rooted for the O's growing up since DC had no baseball team. They were never my team though. We all loved Cal. Angelos pretty much turned any fans from DC away for good.

As for Poopy, when will the Post finally ban this guy for good. He's antagonistic and combative. He makes this place worse. Come on Post.

Posted by: JDR1970 | March 7, 2011 8:52 PM | Report abuse

It's not all or nothing... but....

After 5 years of Washington Nationals bull-jive-hock-and-schlock... I decided:

1) Camden Yards is a better ball yard;

2) The O's are a better product because ALL they play is baseball -- not the "ultimate entertainment crapola of the Nationals -- most especially no Jerome (the annoying WWE-esque announcer) and no Clint.

3) The O's are SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper price wise for seats that are closer to the field with better sightlines;

4) The Nationals are owned by the Lerners. As long as that is the case, I will be driving to Baltimore where I can say in all honesty, the name of the game is baseball. At Nationals Park, the name of the game is shekels.

Posted by: medic2010 | March 7, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

For many years I was an Orioles fan, but still wanted baseball to return to Washington, D.C.---especially once I learned about the history of Washington baseball. It could have been a tough call for me choosing which team to root for had Peter Angelos followed the example of his predecessors Edward Bennett Williams and Eli Jacobs. But once he declared his open opposition to the return of baseball to Washington, and even declaring that there were no real baseball fans in Washington, I had no choice. I stopped being an Orioles fan.

It's one thing for Baltimore raised fans who bash the 'Skins and the Nats because they hate Washington. My problem is with Washington raised sports fans who having seen everything that Peter Angelos has done answer with an "Amen!" not realizing that by saying Washington has no baseball fans, HE IS INSULTING THEM TOO BECAUSE THEY ARE WASHINGTONIANS AS WELL.

As far as I'm concerned, any Washington area raised sports fan who continues to root for the Orioles is a traitor to the region.

Edward J. Cunningham
Rockville, MD

Posted by: femfour | March 7, 2011 9:46 PM | Report abuse

P00Py MCP00P wrote " want all the Redskin fans who are also Raven fans to chime in on this argument. Since the same logic is being applied here.

I'm sure the posts from Redskin-and-Raven fans will start flooding in any minute.

And at least Ghost can admit that he's a Benedict Arnold."

For once, a civil answer to P00Py.

Paul Taglibue will never publicly admit this, and nor will the Redskins, but the only reason the NFL expanded into Jacksonville is because Jack Kent Cooke privately opposed the return of NFL football to Baltimore. He wanted the 'Skins to hog (no pun intended) the whole area, so they ignored Baltimore's rich pro football history and went to northern Florida instead.

This was a crime---not just because the Redskins didn't need any more fans from Baltimore, but Jacksonville isn't big enough to support the NFL---as we are now starting to find out. And this led to a bigger crime---Baltimore stealing the Browns from Cleveland. I don't fault Baltimore in this---I fault the NFL and the Redskins.

So concerning the Ravens, I don't blame D.C. area fans for becoming Ravens fans although I am not among them. I feel about the Ravens the way D.C. fans SHOULD feel about the Orioles---happy if they do well (especially if they beat the Steelers) or even win a Super Bowl, but not the same way as if it were the Redskins doing it.

If the Redskins followed the model the Ravens set, using a knowledgable GM to build a winning team through the draft, we wouldn't be spinning our wheels for the past 20 years or so. Nothing the Ravens have done can do on the field can damage the Redskins nearly as much as what Dan Snyder and his cronies have done OFF the field.

Edward J. Cunningham
Rockville, MD

Posted by: femfour | March 7, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Femfour -

I am totally not buying your "Jack Kent Cooke kept football out of Baltimore" argument. The NFL expanded into Jacksonville at the same time as every other major sports league expanded into Florida. Florida was THE expansion market for a while, and JKC had nothing to do with that.

Posted by: CommieX | March 7, 2011 10:18 PM | Report abuse

It's really simple in my book. Boz absolutely love your articles, but when I click on a link in a DC newsapaper and I see orange and black as the main article? That's a problem. I was so disappointed. DC has a baseball team now. It's our team. We live in DC. Not Baltimore. This is the Washington Post. If anyone wants to read about the O's, the Baltimore Sun is available. The city went over 30 years without a team, but that does not mean the next 30 will be the same. DC baseball fans have reason for excitement now with Harper, Strasburg, the Zimmermans. Now that there is one back, the Post needs to fully commit to it's hometown team. The city deserves it. Especially after the way Angelos completely bashed every DC baseball fan as not being real baseball fans. Go Nats.

Posted by: RedskinsFan1 | March 7, 2011 10:32 PM | Report abuse

I have read and re-read a couple of the comments... To call someone who doesn't agree with you a traitor seems to be too simplistic and moronic for a response, yet I feel compelled to ask:

What exactly have the Lerners, specifically, and the Washington Nationals, generally done to earn and/or deserve a loyal fanbase?

As the late-great Mr. StanK said: The Nationals get the kinds of crowds (and support vis a vis the fan base) that they deserve. They are merely reaping what they have sown.

Unlike other markets, I suspect, the Nationals are aided by having baseball fans from all over the country in DC. Those fans going to see their favorite teams probably serve to inflate the Nats' meager attendance.

My point is, the Nationals squandered a whole lot of good will. They have done nothing substantial (all their rah rah hype aside) but raise prices. They certainly haven't earned a loyal fan base and that's a shame.

Posted by: medic2010 | March 7, 2011 11:04 PM | Report abuse

I have read and re-read a couple of the comments... To call someone who doesn't agree with you a traitor seems to be too simplistic and moronic for a response, yet I feel compelled to ask:

What exactly have the Lerners, specifically, and the Washington Nationals, generally done to earn and/or deserve a loyal fanbase?

As the late-great Mr. StanK said: The Nationals get the kinds of crowds (and support vis a vis the fan base) that they deserve. They are merely reaping what they have sown.

Unlike other markets, I suspect, the Nationals are aided by having baseball fans from all over the country in DC. Those fans going to see their favorite teams probably serve to inflate the Nats' meager attendance.

My point is, the Nationals squandered a whole lot of good will. They have done nothing substantial (all their rah rah hype aside) but raise prices. They certainly haven't earned a loyal fan base and that's a shame.

Posted by: medic2010 | March 7, 2011 11:05 PM | Report abuse

I love the "Angelos is Satan because he single handedly kept baseball out of DC" argument.

How many times are you Natinal fans gonna truck out that tired cannard?

Seriously, try looking up some actual facts and realize that MLB awarded multiple cities MLB teams way before Angelos even owned the O's.

Of course facts and Natinal fans don't really go hand in hand.

How, try this. Say you're a business man and someone is trying to muscle in on your territory. Would you be singing praises and looking at rainbows and lollipops if that was the case? Absolutely not and to say otherwise is a flatout lie.

Heavens to betsy people in business try to make the most money. Isn't that what America and capitalism is all about? If you don't think so than go ahead and move to North Korea or China, because that's the type of commi-nazi mentality that you have.

To paraphrase the almighty Tool, "Natinal fans just got took out in the back of the toolshed. Put it right on top of your forehead. Took you out in the back of the toolshed. Now you know what you're f***in with... the Oriole's d**k."

Oh snap!!

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | March 8, 2011 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Poop, don't pontificate about what the role of media is. You know less about that than you do about baseball, and that's blessed little. I normally don't feed trolls, but nobody else is likely to see this but you. If you chose to find out, you'd know there should be no MLB team in Baltimore. An old man who should have been given better advice allowed the Browns to move. The Orioles owe their existence to Washington. That's a fact.

You're pretty sick to continue to post here for no other purpose than to yank chains. Do yourself a favor and give it up.

Posted by: nats24 | March 8, 2011 12:24 AM | Report abuse

I think fans of the Nationals are justified in some dislike of the Orioles ownership. Peter Angelos did everything he could to keep the team out (despite the fact that as an NL franchise he really had no legal right). Given that the ONLY reason there's a team in Baltimore is because Washington ownership at the time didn't object, Angelos was particuarly graceless in all of this.

That said, I enjoy going to Camden, watching the Orioles and have no ill will towards them. They, too, are Pete's prisoners and the sooner he leaves baseball, the better off we'll ALL be.

Posted by: alecrogers1 | March 8, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Having 2 favorite teams is for the weak......and 10 year old kids.

I hate every thing Baltimore and I dont care if Angelos hurt or helped DC baseball from day 1. I hate PHilly, NY, Baltimore....any team that is in close proximity are my enemy. Never lived near or in Baltimore. Only DC. Why should I root for a team from another city? Caps/Skins/Wiz/Nats...regardless how bad they are....they are my teams. These "rockvillers" and folks living in tweener cities are too weak to choose one team and go all in. There are too many fraudelent Skins fans that like to root for the ratturds cuz the skisn always blow. I guess self-gratification is a big deal to people LMFAO. The hybrid skins/ravens fans are worse than the dallas fans in my book.

Whats sad is that I am in the minority and I know this. As much as I love DC sports the sportsfans in this area are a TOTAL joke. Everyone is too scared to go all in on one team and needs to "root" for multiple teams in each sport to get some satisfaction of some kind.

I equate the whole baltimore thing to my next door neighbors softball team in the league I play in......because the absolute LAST team I want to win is his team. I dont want someone with close proximity to me doing good.

Posted by: Redskins2Win | March 8, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I was quite surprised while attending the Nats' 3 game series in Baltimore last year about how many of the fans were cheering for the Nats. At times the Friday night game was like a home game at Nationals Park...too bad the Nats blew a lead and sent us home unhappy.

Posted by: natsfan17 | March 9, 2011 12:52 AM | Report abuse

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