Monday, November 22, 2004

Introducing...The Washington Nationals

Well...they made it official today. Our team has a name: the Washington Nationals. My initial thoughts? I'd prefer Senators - I've said that before. Yes, the team was officially the Nats for a long time here, but they were always popularly known as the Senators. Moreover, I think Mayor Williams' objection to the name is incredibly silly - and smells of local politics. And while I can understand the sympathy behind naming the team the Washington Grays, there are a number of problems with that name. For starters...Washington Grays just doesn't have that magic to it - hard to get excited about a team called the 'Grays.' Moreover, there is a historical problem with calling them the Grays - while the Homestead Grays did play games in Washington during the 30's and 40's...they were more of a barnstorming team and had their roots not in Washington, but in Pittsburgh (Homestead, be exact). They were never...never...considered a "Washington" team. DC was simply their "home away from home." Moreover, I smell politics in the mayor's support of that name.

So, I suppose Nationals is better than Grays, or Monuments or any of the other suggestions. We can leave it to new ownership to decide if the name sticks around for awhile.

As a side note, I have to say I was impressed with the team/league's marketing and internet teams, who had a website up and running, having combined the Montreal and sites together. Very sharp. Plus, they have merchandise available on Day 1. Smart moves, both. There was a point and time when baseball was slow to learn this sort of lesson. Nice to see they've learned a lesson or two.

Finally...I like the Jose Guillen move last Friday. Gets us the hard bat in the OF that we need, even if his attitude has needed some adjustment at times. And we didn't give up all that much, really. Certainly less than we probably would have if the deal had been made last season. Rivera is going to mostly be a depth player with the Angels, and they really only "gain" through subtraction. If his attitude stays healthy, he should be a good fit here.

Needless to say, I'm excited. I'm ready to see the season start tomorrow. Just a few more months...just a few more months...


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