I've had to come to grips with the fact recently that I hate the Washington Nationals.
I have nothing personal against these dudes who had been playing to tiny crowds in Canada.
But the way that the people of DC are so gaga over them makes me sick.
I was in favor of bringing a team to DC or a close-suburb for a long time -- basically since I made my first hour long treck from the NATION'S CAPITAL to Baltimore, Md., to watch a game. Or maybe it was when I realized that the trip made it unfeasible to catch a visit by the Red Sox after work. It has also galled me the way that Orioles manager Peter Angelos worked to deny the people of DC a team of their own, and I've hated the Orioles for most of my tenure here.
But the Nationals...where do I start?
Ok, I'll start with the notion that "baseball has finally come back to DC." Yes, the Orioles were a pain to get to, but in the grand scheme of things a heck of a lot closer to the average DC resident than, say, Yankee Stadium to the average resident of Syrcause. It's not like people here had never had the chance to see it before.
Plus the people who have actually lived in town for a long time -- not the transients who come here for a few years to work and then leave -- were around for the Senators leaving at least once. Maybe if those baseball-crazy folks had gone to a few more games, the Senators wouldn't have left twice.
Second, the Washington Post and pretty much everyone else is talking about the Nationals like they have the intelligence of children. Some dope wrote in to the Post to express her excitement about the fact that we finally have baseball here, ticking of reasons including that sports writers finally have the chance to use cliches like "moonshots." Message to you idiots: sports writers have found plenty of gainful employment in the metropolitan area writing about a nearby team. You may have heard of them. They're called the Orioles, and Roidy Palmiero (not to mention Eddie Murray) hit plenty of moonshots.
If that's not bad enough, here's a sample quote from one of those lucky scribes who has finally gotten the chance to view baseball.
"Afterward, they hugged, slapped hands, and lingered in the clubhouse, believing the whole season could run wonderfully along like this."
THIS IS THE DAMN WASHINGTON POST!!! THE SAME ONE WITH THE WHOLE WOODWARD AND BERNSTEIN WATERGATE THING!!!
What makes things even worse is the attachment that people had to the "Nats" before that plucky band of hopefuls had tossed a pitch or hit a moonshot. Not to be a snob, but emotional investment is something that should build over time.
I may be biased, being a Red Sox fan and all that entails, but if you disagree, try looking at it this way: if you met a girl (or a guy) and halfway through your first date, you said "I'm falling in love with you," they would probably write you off as some kind of loser who was a little too clingy, right?
No? Ok, go try that strategy and see if it works. There's a reason that Trent said to play it cool and wait two days to call.
Plus, there are about four people who actually grew up in DC, as like I said earlier, most folks come to work or go to school for a few years and then leave. Message to you people: you came from somewhere else. Presumably, you rooted for some other team for 18 to 30 years or so. Try sticking with it. And Washington Post: stop encouraging this stupid behavior by writing about how these yahoos are living and dying with their Nats, ok?
Anyway, I find the Gnats so annoying that after all this time, I'm tempted to wear an Orioles jersey just to spite their loyal fanbase.