Friday, November 01, 2019

4516 So Much for the Home Field Advantage

A sports story for people who don’t read sports stories

This has never happened before.  Not in baseball. Not in any other big time professional sport.

The seven game World Series pitted the Washington Nationals against the Houston Astros.  Washington won four of the seven games. the seven game series 4 games to 3.  All four of the wins were in Houston.  Houston won three games, all of them in Washington.

There’s an unwritten law in every sport:  The home crowd’s going to cheer on the home team and the energy thus generated will help propel a win.  It’s not a law like gravity or the or “No turn on red.”  And there’s no jail time for teams and fans who don’t observe it.  But still, it’s what we do, right?

Championship runups and playoffs in every field are subject to this law.  Maybe we need a revision that describes levels of violations.  A 4-3 series MUST have at least one home field victory per team.

Oh, but wait.  Would that mean the “Mighty Nats” would have to throw a game?  Now that would be violating an actual law.  We don’t want that. Big Sports already has enough trouble keeping their teams on the straight and narrow.  Plus, the Nats don’t have the control or discipline to play like that.

Here’s a thought:  The team moved to Washington from Montreal starting with the 2005 season. They used to be the Montreal Expos. So that means there’s a 1969-2005 tradition of Canadianism wafting around these guys. Canadians, as a rule, are pretty polite and self effacing. Some say they’re boring.  Well… they aren’t.  Just look at some National Hockey League videos from before the no-weapons-on-the-ice rule took hold.

If the Nats stay in Washington for a while, they’ll take on the values of their home town:  brutality, confusion, incompetence, bullying, lying, cheating, stealing, back scratching, back stabbing, inappropriate groping, laziness, grandstanding, horse trading, overspending, underspending and conducting wars instead of baseball games.  Not to worry, though. They don’t always stay there very long, even though there are no term limits.

Between 1872 and 1899 nine different teams called DC home.  In the modern era, the Washington Senators (1901-1960) became the Minnesota Twins. Then came the “new” Washington Senators, playing there from 1961 to 1971. They moved south to become the Texas Rangers.  And, appropriately enough for a town that doesn’t do teamwork, there was no team there between the ‘71 and ‘05.

Some people say there’s still no team there.  They are wrong.

-“Washington is a city of northern charm and southern efficiency.” --John F. Kennedy

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ® 
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© WJR 2019

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