Once upon a time, there were two Washington Senators teams. The original Senators team of Walter Johnson went to Minnesota, while Frank Howard‘s Senators landed in Texas as the Rangers in 1972. Ted Williams was their manager, Howard their first baseman, and Dick Bosman their ace pitcher. They lost 100 games that year. Former owner Bob Short didn’t rip our team from Washington to take them to Texas to win championships — rather just to make more money. He sold control just two years later for a huge profit. Short totally stepped away in 1980, and just two years later and upon his death the Washington Post wrote, “Mr. Short became one of the most reviled sports figures in Washington’s history … [Short] said he had trouble making a profit [in Washington] with his new team and angered fans by trading or selling top players.” WaPo couldn’t even find anything nice to say on the man’s death.
There are some Washington Nationals fans that find it blasphemous to even discuss that the Rangers were once the Senators. So much hatred of what Short did. Look, over 50 years has passed. Root for whoever you want. The Rangers have Max Scherzer and Dane Dunning with their Nats’ roots. Rangers’ GM Chris Young married into the Patrick family that many know from Abe Pollin’s hiring of Dick Patrick in 1982 to run the Capitals. There are many ties between Washington and the Rangers. The Diamondbacks have Deric Ladnier as their scouting director, and he was a top scout with the Nats. You would have to look real hard to find connections between the DBacks and Washington besides Mike Rizzo’s scouting ties and the fact that the newly hired Scouting Director, Danny Haas, just came from Arizona.
Picking teams and choosing sides might come down to a player you really like such as Arizona’s rookie, Corbin Carroll, who is that prototype power/speed guy that CJ Abrams could be soon enough. They are in a very unique club of players in their age 22 season or younger to hit at least 18 home runs and steal at least 47 bases. In Arizona’s win in Game 7, it was Carroll who almost singlehandedly won that game over Philadelphia with his hit and speed tools.
The Rangers are the heavy favorites to win the World Series, and the Rangers opened as -170 favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook. Everybody likes a good underdog story. Just four years ago, the Nats were the deep underdog against the Astros in the World Series. I have no dog in this fight. My joy in watching is more analytical — looking at coaching decisions and player execution. This will be fun watching this World Series.
Personally, I’m happy that the Phillies were just embarrassed by the Diamondbacks in the NLCS, and the Rangers did the same to the Orioles in a quick sweep in the ALDS and a dismantling of the Astros in the ALCS. There are 28 teams sitting at home watching, and 10 fan bases are wondering how their teams lost in the postseason. By next week, one more team will be wondering how they lost. The other will be planning a parade.