June 7, 2005 [LINK]
I know this is wildly premature, but given the fact that no baseball team from Washington has been in first place this late in the season since 1933, I think a little dreaming by a fan can be excused. We've had the Mets-Yankees "Subway Series" of 2000, the Athletics-Giants "Bay Area (Earthquake) Series" of 1989, and a number of all-New York World Series up through the 1950s. Why not a (Baltimore-Washington) "Parkway Series" this year? It's almost a straight shot between the two teams' home fields. Driving east from RFK Stadium, you cross the Anacostia River, get on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, and 40 or so miles later you enter downtown Baltimore and come upon Camden Yards.
As expected, the Nationals have just drafted University of Virginia star Ryan Zimmerman, a third baseman with superb batting and fielding abilities. Wa-hoo-wa! See the Nats' Web site.
Today's Washington Post dissects the Washington National's remarkable success in the (reborn) team's inaugural year. Statistically speaking, they are mediocre at best in nearly all categories. The Nats do have an abundance of that mysterious unquantifiable factor known as "team spirit," however: a quiet, steady confidence that they can hold their own in close games, and usually find a way to win. The big home town crowds are an extra boost, as the Nats have already drawn more fans after two months than the Expos did all last year! The deep outfield fences at RFK Stadium are probably a bigger factor, however: Only 30 home runs have been hit there so far this year, by far the fewest in the majors. That's very fitting for a team that does not emphasize slugging power; the Nats' home run total (40) ranks last in the National League.
The diagram on the Citizens Bank Park page has been reoriented with center field at the top, to match the new standard and facilitate comparisons.