Washington Nationals: Doesn’t Anyone Want To Play Here?

rjuckett
Oct 11, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) and catcher Yasmani Grandal (9) celebrate defeating the Washington Nationals 6-5 in game four of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 11, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) and catcher Yasmani Grandal (9) celebrate defeating the Washington Nationals 6-5 in game four of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY NETWORK
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY NETWORK /

NOT A BASEBALL CITY

Despite three division-winning teams in five seasons, the Nats failed to sell one million tickets last year. Despite a generational slump by the NFL’s Washington Redskins, the MLB Nationals have yet to establish a foothold with casual fans. Compared to Los Angeles, Boston, and New York, you bet that hurts.

St. Louis and Chicago are solid baseball towns too. Washington is a company town, the United States Government. You remember, the place no one likes and everyone wants to change. (At least every two years, anyway.)

This is the third MLB franchise to call Washington home. The original Nationals or Senators moved to Minnesota in 1961. The expansion Senators to Texas 10 years later. “First in war. First in peace and last in the American League,” was an old saying haunting the team for decades.

Unless you are a Walter Johnson buff, the glory days of baseball in DC are forgotten. Even with all the recent success, most think of October failures and not August wins. Although not as painful or regular as the annual NHL Washington Capitals’ swoon, those failures add up.

The only folks who want to be in DC are tourists and those in power. The District has so much to offer, but competes with a bad perception about the baseball past.

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