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And then there were two

Oct 25, 2010, 2:40 PM EDT

Got home last night after a fantastic weekend in Chicago of artery-clogging food, a re-acquaintance with the Northwestern University campus in Evanston, a heart-breaking loss to Michigan State, lots of walking up and down Michigan Avenue and a random run-in with Barry Svrluga and his Washington Post colleagues at the Marriott. I don't know if the groans we heard around downtown Chicago yesterday afternoon came from Bears fans upset at another Jay Cutler interception or from all the Redskins writers trying to figure out what they'd done to deserve covering what must have been one of the sloppiest NFL games in a long time.

Let's get caught up on the weekend's other developments…

The World Series, of course, is set. It'll be the New York Giants facing the Washington Senators in a rematch of the epic 1924 Fall Classic that brought this town its lone MLB championship. OK, so I can't imagine many people in New York or Washington are feeling much attachment to their former teams right now. Though it's worth noting that despite playing in San Francisco for 53 seasons, the Giants have yet to win a World Series on the West Coast. And the Rangers, of course, are making their first-ever appearance in the Series after 50 seasons as a franchise (the first 10 in D.C., the last 40 in Texas).

You've surely heard by now that the Rangers' clinching of the AL pennant leaves only two remaining MLB franchises that have never been to the World Series: the Mariners (who debuted in 1977) and the Nationals (who debuted in Montreal in 1969). I know plenty of you have no interest in embracing Expos history as part of Nats history,Read more ยป

  1. Uncle Atom - Oct 25, 2010 at 2:46 PM

    Looking forward to seeing a lot of Giants jerseys at Nats-Phillies games next year.

  2. Sunderland - Oct 25, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    "I know plenty of you have no interest in embracing Expos history as part of Nats history, but facts are facts. This franchise has been in existence for 42 seasons and it has not yet appeared in the Fall Classic."There's no arguement that facts are, indeed, facts. But facts can also be utterly irrelevant to the general population.The fact is, a tomato is a fruit, but is treated like a vegetable every day by untold millions of Americans. The fact is, the Nats franchise includes the history of the Expos and yet this is fairly irrelevant today to most people and most Nats fans. And this will only become increasingly more irrelevant over time. It's hard to not get excited about Harper, about the prospect that he could be wearing the curly-W in 2012 all year long (well, after the obligitory delay to early June).

  3. World Series-less - Oct 25, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    "You've surely heard by now that the Rangers' clinching of the AL pennant leaves only two remaining MLB franchises that have never been to the World Series: the Mariners (who debuted in 1977) and the Nationals (who debuted in Montreal in 1969)."I grew up in the Seattle area, and became a superfan of Mariners' baseball after the 1995 season (their first playoff appearance!). And now I live in Washington, D.C., and am a season ticket holder of the Nationals. I really know how to pick my teams!

  4. Jenn Jenson - Oct 25, 2010 at 3:56 PM

    Mark, I initially had the same thought as you … remake of 1924, except that it's not. The 1924 Senators are the Twins.

  5. N. Cognito - Oct 25, 2010 at 4:07 PM

    World Series-less said… "I grew up in the Seattle area, and became a superfan of Mariners' baseball after the 1995 season (their first playoff appearance!). And now I live in Washington, D.C., and am a season ticket holder of the Nationals. I really know how to pick my teams!"Any chance you'll be moving to New York?

  6. Water23 - Oct 25, 2010 at 4:41 PM

    Mark,I agree there is parity but interestingly enough these 5 teams have missed the playoffs every year since at least 2007. It is a little embarrassing to be lumped in with these franchises!2010Baltimore – GB30 KC – GB 27Seattle – GB 29Wash – GB 28Pitt – GB 34===2009Baltimore – GB 39KC – GB 20Seattle – GB 10Wash – GB 34Pitt – GB 28.5====2008Baltimore – GB 28.5KC – GB 13.5Seattle – 39Wash – GB 30.5Pitt – GB 23===2007Baltimore – GB 27KC – GB 27Seattle – GB 6Wash – GB 16Pitt – GB 17Maybe we should focus on not being one of the laughing stock/cellar dwellers. We need to add some good FAs or else homegrown talent like Zimmerman will be glad to take Yankee/Bosox money on '14.

  7. Sec3StillStrikingOnMySofa - Oct 25, 2010 at 5:02 PM

    It's true, 1995 would have been a particularly tough year to start an MLB team.

  8. Sec3 But It Builds Character - Oct 25, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    I'll see your Mariners, and raise you Cubs, Giants, and Nats.________I grew up in the Seattle area, and became a superfan of Mariners' baseball after the 1995 season (their first playoff appearance!). And now I live in Washington, D.C., and am a season ticket holder of the Nationals. I really know how to pick my teams! October 25, 2010 11:27 AM

  9. Section tree on da sofa - Oct 25, 2010 at 5:06 PM

    "Got home last night after a fantastic weekend in Chicago of artery-clogging food…"Remember, you hafta be able ta hit yerself in da chest hard enough to re-start your heart.

  10. hondo69 - Oct 25, 2010 at 5:17 PM

    Mark,Just a slight correction: the expansion Senators played here from 1961 through 1971 (11 seasons), while the Rangers just completed their 39th season in Texas (1972-2010).I join many other ex-Senators' fans still living here in the Metro area in congratulating them for making their first-ever World Series, especially by beating the hated Yankees.

  11. natsfan1a - Oct 25, 2010 at 5:20 PM

    Saaahsage…—Remember, you hafta be able ta hit yerself in da chest hard enough to re-start your heart.

  12. Anonymous - Oct 25, 2010 at 6:07 PM

    @Water23Embarrasing indeed and we will continue to be embarassing especially if we do not re-sign Dunn, get a CF and a #1 and #2 starter in the offseason. I vote for a English Premier League style system that would relegate us to a sort of AAAA until we win that division and get ourselves out. At least Baltimore, is on the right track with a dynamic manager in Buck Showalter, who knows how to build a team from within and win.

  13. Sam - Oct 25, 2010 at 6:17 PM

    I always found it puzzling that the teams', fans', and media's first reaction to winning the A/N LCS is "We're going to the World Series!" How about, "We just won our league's championship! We are at the pinnacle of the baseball universe!"Honestly, each league is a separate entity (which makes interleague play even more dumb – imagine the NFL playing games against the Arena Football League twice a year). That's exactly the analogy, though. The National League and American League champions have been named. The important part of the Major League Baseball season is over with. Imagine after the Super Bowl, the NFL played the champion of the Arena Football League. That's exactly what the World Series is. It just so happens that the United States has two extremely competitive leagues, both of which are talented enough to be known as "major" as opposed to "minor."

  14. A DC Wonk - Oct 25, 2010 at 6:28 PM

    "'Honestly, each league is a separate entity (which makes interleague play even more dumb – imagine the NFL playing games against the Arena Football League twice a year)."Not at all. Besides interleague play, there are trades between the leagues and there is only a single players union. Just as importantly, the draft assumes it's one league (first pick goes to the worst record, regardless of league). Career records take both leagues into account, and so on and so forth.

  15. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 25, 2010 at 7:10 PM

    And what planet dropped Sam out of the sky on us?

  16. Sam - Oct 25, 2010 at 7:14 PM

    Besides the draft, all of the other stuff doesn't matter. The draft is just an agreement between the two leagues to disperse the talent between the two leagues evenly.Have you never seen people take into account Ichiro's Japanese stats?Honestly, to make the World Series relevant, Bud Selig needs to do one thing: fully integrate the leagues. That is, they play each other more than, what, 12 times per year.You know there was a boycott in 1904, right? The New York Giants' owner decided not to let his team play in it because he felt the American League was inferior and not worth playing against. Plus, after winning the National League, his team's season was over. So, what is so different about it now? MLB is only one entity legally. Competitively, they are no more one entity than is NPB in Japan. Hey, free agents can go play there as well.Furthermore, is every union forced to be comprised of only one organization's workers? Aren't there large farmers unions or factory unions? Do they all work for the same farm or factory?

  17. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 25, 2010 at 7:38 PM

    I'm sorry. I don't remember 1904. Were there any unions then?And there are more than several Yankee and Red Sox fans that believe the same thing today about the American League vs. the National League that the long dead owner of the Giants believed back then and somehow, the games go on. I prefer relevance.

  18. N. Cognito - Oct 25, 2010 at 8:02 PM

    Sam said…"Blah, blah, blah, blah…"TWICE!Lots of bandwidth, wasted on nonsense.

  19. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 25, 2010 at 8:05 PM

    Well said, N. Cognito….

  20. DCGuy7 - Oct 25, 2010 at 8:11 PM

    the Nats season is over, nonsense is all we got left to keep us warm through the winter.

  21. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 25, 2010 at 8:22 PM

    NatsJack in Florida …. HELLO!! Warm is not my problem.

  22. JD - Oct 25, 2010 at 8:23 PM

    Nats Jack and N.Cognito, Sorry guys; there is lots of merit to what Sam says. All of the sudden a Team which is built on the concept that a non defensive player is in the heart of their lineup can't use that player in half the games and a team which does not have such an entity has to create one; this is how you decide a 'world' championship? The championships have already been won and the 2 champions have already had succsesful season; what's left is a glorified exhibition series. This is why inter league play is also nonsense. Also guys; learn how to disagree with someone without being insulting.

  23. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 25, 2010 at 8:35 PM

    If you're going to argue the DH rule, then I'm with you 100% but, fortunately, baseball is much more that a DH. And to say the two leauges are comparable to the NFL and Arena League Football is beyond laughable.And who's been insulting?

  24. N. Cognito - Oct 25, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    I will point out nonsensical ramblings when I see them.When I do it, call me on it.

  25. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 25, 2010 at 8:49 PM

    And you do it well. And with out being insulting, I might ad.

  26. Josh - Oct 25, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    The NL and AL compete for the same talent base, resources, and audiences. They share the draft, trade with each other, play against each other (interleague play), are represented by many of the same agents, share merchandise, money, websites, and more. Player salaries are roughly commensurate between the two leagues. The talent gap exists but is getting smaller every year. The key difference between the two leagues is a single rule that didn't even exist back in the day. How does this turn the World Series into a "glorified exhibition series"? Both teams are trying their hardest to win, with money, fame, and hardware on the line. Some players' careers are built on how they do in the World Series. That's not an exhibition game. Just because you don't feel like watching AL baseball doesn't change that fact.

  27. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 25, 2010 at 9:00 PM

    And words from another intelligent being. Well said, Josh. I rail against the DH rule but enjoy watching both leagues play. While my preference is now and always will be the National League, I do not vilify AL teams for having the rule.

  28. Harper_ROY_2012 - Oct 25, 2010 at 9:04 PM

    This could be an epic World Series where The Freak and Cliff Lee could match up 3 times against each other if it goes 7 games, that would be awesome!!!I have no rooting interest for either team but would love to see Vlad Guerrero get a World Series ring after toiling on so many years in Montreal, he reminds me a lot of The Hawk.

  29. Richard - Oct 25, 2010 at 9:13 PM

    It started slow but gradually the history of the old Senators of Griffith-Johnson-Cronin-Goslin-Killebrew etc. and the struggling Frank Howard Senators and even those sometimes potent Expo teams became interesting. The great murals at Nationals Park help. That's a history from 1901 to the present with a couple of years of overlap, plenty of interesting stuff.

  30. N. Cognito - Oct 25, 2010 at 9:14 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… "And you do it well. And with out being insulting, I might ad."My kids do it to me all the time. They laugh and make fun of me."Dad's rambling again."

  31. Sec4onHisSofa - Oct 25, 2010 at 9:16 PM

    I'd like to see the Giants put one on the board for San Francisco this year. This Giants team ain't exactly dynasty material. Don't know when they'll be back!

  32. Doc - Oct 25, 2010 at 9:45 PM

    Mark, in your rundown of players in the Fall/Winter leagues, I didn't see Flores' name. Is he playing racquet ball in Miami with Livo?

  33. natsfan1a - Oct 25, 2010 at 10:13 PM

    Dynasty, schmynasty. Those guys are all home setting up their tee times now. I'll have what sec3 is having (i.e., go Giants).

  34. Sec3MySofa - Oct 25, 2010 at 10:19 PM

    HEY!! Get the hell off my couch!! I was here first!

  35. Anonymous - Oct 25, 2010 at 10:23 PM

    A couple of years ago I went to a Tulsa Driller's (AA Rox) game. A Tulsa pitcher blew up two promising innings with a couple of 3 pitch strike outs. I then politely shared my views of pitchers as hitters with the folks I was sitting with (season ticket holders and close friends). One lady was a relation of the Boyers (Ken and Clete)and a real fan and student of the game. I mistook her silence during my brief sermon for agreement. Later in the game another Drillers pitcher got a hit and drove in a run. I found out my ramblings were nonsensical when she called me on pitchers as hitters. It was hilarious. I have since given up on the DH and gotten true religion–NL baseball. There is nothing like summer nights, friends, and baseball. It's the best. fpcsteve

  36. natsfan1a - Oct 25, 2010 at 10:27 PM

    Yeah, yeah, whatever. Just pass me the peanuts and Cracker Jacks, bub. :-)—Sec3MySofa said… HEY!! Get the hell off my couch!! I was here first!

  37. Sec3AcceptNoSubstitutes - Oct 25, 2010 at 10:32 PM

    NOT YOU! "Sec4onHisSofa" is horning in on my estilo.He ought to pay royalties, at least…

  38. still on the sofa - Oct 25, 2010 at 10:34 PM

    which is not to say you can just couchette avec moi whenever…

  39. Sec3MySofa - Oct 25, 2010 at 10:41 PM

    that said…Sam has a point, he's just about a hundred years too late in making it.The two leagues did used to be in direct competition, of course. And there was a players' union back in 1890 that tried to run its own league for a year (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Players%27_League). But I would argue that once they installed a commissioner, they became one entity for practical purposes. The DH thing is a red herring.

  40. Sec3MyHummBaby - Oct 25, 2010 at 10:45 PM

    But the World Series was, in fact, the exhibition he's talking about. It hasn't been that within living memory, practically, but there was a time.(wow, the captcha was 'hothevy')

  41. natsfan1a - Oct 25, 2010 at 11:08 PM

    Oops, my bad. I should have known. The real sec3 is inimitable. Couchette, maybe, but not coucher. Seeing as how we're both spoken for and all… :-)One another note, there was a time when the All-Star game was just an exhibition. Not that I'm complaining, seeing as how we've got home field advantage this year and all…(Paver? That's the best you can do, Captcha elves? Sheesh.)—-Sec3AcceptNoSubstitutes said… NOT YOU! "Sec4onHisSofa" is horning in on my estilo. He ought to pay royalties, at least..

  42. Mark Zuckerman - Oct 26, 2010 at 12:39 AM

    Doc said…Mark, in your rundown of players in the Fall/Winter leagues, I didn't see Flores' name. Is he playing racquet ball in Miami with Livo?I can't find Flores listed on anyone's roster in Venezuela, the D.R., Puerto Rico or Mexico.

  43. JayB - Oct 26, 2010 at 1:08 AM

    More of the same on Flores….lots of talk from Rizzo and Nats but it does not match up with reality. Rizzo clearly said he would be playing winter ball and was cleared to play…..yet he doe not play…….He is done.

  44. Doc - Oct 26, 2010 at 1:09 AM

    AWOL. So much for getting ready for ST. I serched the Winter Leagues too–figured I had missed somein'Thanks for the research! Da Bears is finished! Nice that they lost while the Nats Guy was in town!

  45. Sec3MyHummBaby - Oct 26, 2010 at 1:17 AM

    I don't usually duplicate posts, but under the circumstances … Hey BOBO — this one's for you:www.youtube.com/watch?v=_J2WdcW0ZY4

  46. Sunderland - Oct 26, 2010 at 4:03 PM

    Don't come to any Flores conclusions yet. Winter leagues can generally add players at any time. Flores could be planning on joining a team and getting 6 weeks of time in prior to spring training.

  47. Anonymous - Oct 26, 2010 at 6:45 PM

    Hey, the Nationals/Expos may not have a WS appearance, but by golly Washington, DC, does! To hell with the Twins….those banners fly in Nats Park! BTW…heard it somewhere that Minnesota does not recognize those WS appearances, and do not fly those banners at Target Field….maybe you smart guys can confirm.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 71 53 --
ATLANTA 66 60 6.0
MIAMI 63 62 8.5
NEW YORK 59 68 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 55 71 17.0
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Diamondbacks at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Diamondbacks at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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