This week’s series between the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals is going to stir up some of that old animosity around the DMV region. That’s fine. A little friendly ribbing is proper in sports as long as, deep down, we all know who is truly better.
I am a Baltimore Orioles fan, and this is my manifesto.
Yeah, Baltimore is not better than DC. Let’s be real.
The Orioles’ pitching doesn’t come close to the Nationals’. The Os don’t have a Strasburg. They don’t even have a Gio. Their ace is more like a suited jack-ten pair. The first hundred pitches of every game go a long way to explaining why the Nats are sitting atop their division while the Os are losing ground to the Jays and the Sox.
Then again, the Nats’ fielding doesn’t hold up against the Os. And though they’ve been cold lately, the Orioles are the better hitting club.
And the uniforms? No contest. The Os are iconic, the Nats are just sufficient.
DC is not better than Baltimore. C’mon.
Let’s go off the field. Flag face-off:
Yeah, that’s a tie. While Maryland has the best state flag, DC is the rarest of the rare PokeMon when it comes to great city flags. It’s pretty much just DC and Chicago. The rest of them are garbage.
DC is home to some of my favorite music of all time. Gray Matter and Dismemberment Plan and go-go and J.R. Swinga, filling up the world-famous 9:30 club.
But Baltimore has the 8×10, the best-sounding small club I’ll ever get drunk in. And the Ottobar regularly hosts Super Art Fight, which is a singular cultural experience that you have got to see.
Baltimore struggles with poverty and crime and redlining and oppression, much like DC did twenty years ago, which has now been replaced by a skyrocketing cost of living, a mass transit fiasco, and the eternal taint of disenfranchisement. Baltimore will fix its social inequality before DC gets statehood; you can take that to the bank.
I’m not into crabs, but I hear Baltimore’s got DC beat in that respect. Then again, DC is home to José Andrés, and I’m more into whatever weird thing he’s brewing up than a bunch of mollusks or whatever crabs are, I don’t know.
My heart often hurts from DC’s self-serving politics, but Zach Sowers’ murder near Patterson Park just completely shattered it.
WYPR is nice, but I’m a WAMU guy. 495 sucks, but 695 isn’t so bad if you’re heading south from 70. Baltimore doesn’t even have hockey anymore (RIP Skipjacks), so DC is a clear winner there. I don’t dig the Adams Morgan bar scene; Fells Point is more my speed as long as there are no dueling pianos.
So here’s the deal: Baltimore and DC are both great.
I’m from Frederick. I don’t think I’ve ever considered myself as belonging to one much more than the other. I love them both; I loathe them both.
Now that they both have baseball teams, I remain faithful to my first love, Cal Ripken’s Baltimore Orioles. But I can easily adopt the magnanimous posture of #NatrioleMagictude because I know that sports fandom is like racism: you learn it when you’re young. Except less gross and terrible. Unless it’s football. Or unless you’re a Kane fan. Or a Baylor fan. But that’s not the point right now.
Here’s the point: Go Nats. Go Os.
Note: I reserve the right to reverse all this shit if they meet in the World Series.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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