Beltway Series

The Beltway Series, promoted by the teams as "The Battle of the Beltways," is the Major League Baseball (MLB) interleague rivalry series played between the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals. The Orioles are a member of the American League (AL) East division, and the Nationals are a member of the National League (NL) East division. The series name is taken from the beltway highways, the Baltimore Beltway (I-695) and the Capital Beltway (I-95/I-495), that serve Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., respectively.

Unusually for a sports rivalry, it arises more from circumstances surrounding the history of baseball in the two cities, about 40 miles (64 km) apart yet considered different markets, than anything that has so far happened on the field between the teams. Washington's previous team, the Senators, had been AL regulars for most of the 20th century, but after their 1933 pennant often finished last or almost last in the standings. Within a decade of the AL St. Louis Browns' move to Baltimore to become the Orioles in the 1950s, the Orioles became pennant contenders while the Senators moved to Minnesota and became the Twins. A replacement Senators franchise fared little better either commercially or athletically, moving to Arlington, Texas and becoming the Texas Rangers within another decade. Following that move, Orioles' owner Peter Angelos strongly opposed any attempt by Major League Baseball (MLB) to expand to Washington despite that city's larger market, arguing that both teams would suffer commercially and that the Orioles' protected market had legally expanded to Washington once the second Senators franchise moved.

After the former Montreal Expos moved to Washington for the 2005 season, the Nationals and the Orioles began a contentious business relationship over the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) cable channel that carries telecasts of both teams' games, the only such arrangement in MLB. The Orioles own the majority stake, with the Nationals beginning in 2005 as a 10% partner and their stake increasing one percent per year for 23 years until reaching a cap of 33 percent. In the early 2010s the Nationals claimed that they were not getting their full share of MASN revenue; MLB's arbitration panel agreed with them but the Orioles, rather than accept that result, took it to court instead.

Battle of the Beltways
Teams
  • Baltimore Orioles
  • Washington Nationals
First meetingMay 19, 2006
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Washington, D.C.
Orioles 5, Nationals 1
Latest meetingJuly 16, 2019
Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD
Nationals 8, Orioles 1
Next meetingJuly 17, 2019
Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD
Statistics
Meetings total71
Most winsOrioles
Regular season seriesOrioles, 39–32 (.549)
Largest victoryNationals, 17–5 (2011)
Longest win streak
  • Orioles, 6 (2015–6)
  • Nationals, 7 (2017–19)
Current win streakNationals, 2 (2018–present)

History of the series

When interleague play began in 1997, MLB identified the Philadelphia Phillies as Baltimore's interleague "natural rival," and the Orioles began an annual interleague series against the Phillies that season. At the time, the franchise that would become the Washington Nationals played in Montreal as the Montreal Expos, and the Expos played the Toronto Blue Jays as their interleague "natural rival" each year from 1997 to 2004 in what became known as the All-Canadian Series. The Orioles and Expos met one another in routine interleague play – without any connotation of a "rivalry" or other special association between the teams – during the 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001 seasons. The Expos posted a 7–5 record against the Orioles.

The relocation of the Expos to Washington for the 2005 season marked the first time the Baltimore–Washington Metropolitan Area had two Major League Baseball franchises since the 1971 season, after which the second Washington Senators franchise had moved to Arlington, Texas, to become the Texas Rangers. MLB changed the Orioles′ "natural rival" to the Nationals, but the Expos move to Washington came after the 2005 schedule already had been set. Thus, Baltimore and Washington did not face one another at all in 2005; the Orioles instead played the Phillies as their "natural rival" for the last time, while the Nationals played what would have been the Expos′ 2005 schedule, including six games against the Blue Jays that would have constituted the 2005 All-Canadian Series had the Expos had remained in Montreal. The 2006 schedule thus became the first to include games between Baltimore and Washington as interleague "natural rivals," inaugurating the "Beltway Series."

Scheduling

From 2006 through 2012, the teams played each other six times a year, with one three-game series in each city and the two series taking place in May and June and separated by between three and six weeks. Since 2013, when a realignment took effect in Major League Baseball's two leagues and their divisions, the schedule has varied according to whether the American League East and National League East are scheduled to play one another in interleague play, which occurs on a rotational basis once every three years. During these seasons, the Beltway Series consists of six games, with one three-game series played in each city, played at any point during the season; in 2015, for example, the teams played in Baltimore in July and played in Washington in September. In seasons in which the two divisions do not meet, the Orioles and Nationals play four games, two in each city. In From 2013 to 2017, the four games were played consecutively, but from 2019 onward, the four games were scheduled to be played in two two-game series at any point during the season.

Overall results

Through 2018, the Orioles lead the Beltway Series in series wins, 7–2–4. The Orioles also lead in games won, 39–31.

Controversy fueling the rivalry

Controversy that fuels the Beltway Series rivalry revolves around various factors related to the unusual way in which the Washington, D.C. baseball market developed between the departure of the second Washington Senators team after the 1971 season and the arrival of the Nationals for the 2005 season because of the Orioles′ deep penetration of the Washington market during the era, as well as the circumstances under which the Expos relocated to Washington and the television deal MLB struck with the Orioles for coverage of Nationals games.

History of play between the cities

Both cities have a long history of professional baseball, beginning with the 1871 Washington Olympics and the 1882 American Association Baltimore Orioles, followed by the 1886 Washington Nationals of the National League. At the formation of the American League in 1901, franchises were placed in both cities, with the original Washington Senators and an earlier Baltimore Orioles team among the eight charter members. The Senators and Orioles played 39 times in those first two seasons, with the Orioles winning 22.[1] The original Orioles, however, moved to New York in 1903 and eventually became the New York Yankees.

Play between Baltimore and Washington resumed in 1954 when the St. Louis Browns relocated to Baltimore and became the current Orioles, once again giving both cities teams in the American League and regular meetings each season. This second period of play between Baltimore and Washington lasted through the 1971 season. The original Senators moved to Minnesota after the 1960 season and became the Minnesota Twins and were replaced by a second Senators franchise, which played from 1961 through the 1971 season. After the 1971 season, the second Senators franchise moved to Texas and became the Texas Rangers. The Orioles played 350 games combined against the two Senators franchises.[2] Overall, the Orioles won the series with the Senators 224–126, which included an 89–65 mark against the original Senators and a 135–61 record against the second Senators franchise.[3][4]

After the departure of the second Senators franchise, various efforts to return MLB to the Washington, D.C., area occurred, including a 1973 effort that almost relocated the San Diego Padres to Washington for the 1974 season, bids to purchase the Orioles in 1975 and the San Francisco Giants in 1976 and move them, a large "Baseball in Washington in ′87" promotion in 1987 advocating that a team to come to Washington, calls in 1991 and 1994 for MLB to place an expansion team in Washington, and efforts to buy the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1995 and the Houston Astros in 1996 for a move to Washington. None of these efforts bore fruit, and Washington, D.C., had no Major League Baseball team from 1972 through 2004.[5][6][7][8] Play between Baltimore and Washington did not resume until the advent of the Beltway Series in 2006.

Opposition to relocation by the Orioles

The Nationals–Orioles rivalry is influenced by circumstances surrounding the Nationals' founding. Peter Angelos, the owner of the Orioles, opposed the move of the Montreal Expos to Washington on the grounds that it would harm the Orioles financially, contending that the Orioles would lose fans to a Washington baseball team and that the Orioles alone had had a legal right to the entire Baltimore-Washington market since the departure of the second Senators team at the end of the 1971 season; in fact, the Orioles changed the team name on their away jerseys from "Baltimore" to "Orioles" in 1972 in an attempt to convince D.C. fans to adopt the Orioles as their "home" team. Ultimately, the owners of the other MLB teams approved the move to Washington in a 28–1 vote on December 3, 2004; Angelos cast the sole dissenting vote. The Orioles′ opposition to a baseball team in Washington created negative feelings among some Nationals fans toward the Orioles franchise, while some Orioles fans viewed the relocation of the Expos to Washington as an unwelcome intrusion that harmed the Orioles′ fan support and revenue. Even though the Nationals began play in 2005, the Orioles did not change the team name on their away jerseys back to "Baltimore" until 2009.

In the first four full seasons after baseball returned to Washington, the Nationals drew 9,127,252 fans to their games, compared to 8,892,951 fans attending Orioles games. The Nationals were a larger draw in 2005, while both teams were about the same in 2006 (the Orioles drew exactly 100 more fans that year), and in 2007 the Orioles were a larger draw by nearly 200,000 fans. In 2008 the momentum swung back the Nationals' way, with the Nationals outdrawing the Orioles by over 370,000 fans, due in part to the opening of Nationals Park.[9] In 2009, the Orioles again drew better, attracting almost 90,000 more fans than the Nationals, but from 2010 through 2017 the Nationals outdrew the Orioles annually, ranging from an advantage of over 95,000 fans in 2010 to one of over 496,000 fans in 2017, and during the eight seasons from 2010 through 2017 combined the Nationals drew over 2,200,000 more fans than the Orioles.[10][11] In 2018, as the Orioles struggled through a historically bad season, the Nationals outdrew the Orioles by over 965,000 fans.[12][13]

"There are no real baseball fans in D.C."

During a 2004 radio interview on WBAL in Baltimore a few months before MLB approved the relocation of the Expos in which he voiced his opposition to a team in Washington, Angelos declared that "there are no real baseball fans in D.C."[14][15] The comment has fueled resentment among some Washington baseball fans ever since, given their support for the Orioles before the Nationals began play in Washington[14] and their enthusiasm for the Nationals since their arrival. The Washington sports media regularly cite Angelos's comment when discussing subjects such as the Nationals' success in drawing fans to games in Washington,[15] attendance figures in Washington relative to those in Baltimore, and the number of Nationals fans who journey north to Baltimore for Beltway Series games between the teams.[16]

Television issues

The dispute with Angelos over the Expos′ move to Washington to become the Nationals was resolved when the Orioles were granted the right to broadcast Nationals games as well as Orioles games on their new regional sports television network, the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), which is headquartered in Baltimore. The ramifications of the way in which Major League Baseball and Angeles created the new network and the agreements behind its creation has led to ill feeling among some fans.

In order to overcome Angelos′ opposition to the Expos′ move to Washington to become the Nationals and to head off any potential litigation over the matter, Major League Baseball (which owned the Expos/Nationals franchise from 2002 to 2006) and Angelos struck a deal in 2005 to create MASN. The deal gave the Orioles an initial 90 percent ownership stake in the new network, while the Nationals owned 10 percent. The agreement gave the Nationals an automatic increase in their ownership stake of one percent per year for 23 years, after which their share of the ownership would reach 33 percent and the annual increases would stop. Thereafter, the Orioles would own 67 percent of the network and the Nationals 33 percent of it in perpetuity. The Orioles also agreed to pay the Nationals $20 million per year through the 2011 season for the rights to televise Nationals games regardless of the actual fair market value of those rights, considered a good deal for the Nationals at the time because their fan base had not yet developed, their television coverage was sometimes spotty, and their likely lack of success on the field in their first few seasons would suppress their television viewership. The agreement required the Orioles and Nationals to renegotiate the annual amount the Orioles paid to broadcast National games for the 2012 through 2016 seasons, and then again for each five-season period after that. The agreement has left the Nationals as the only Major League Baseball team that does not own its own regional sports network.[17]

Broadcast practices

Major League Baseball and Angelos struck the deal to create MASN only days before the beginning of the 2005 season, before the completion of arrangements for Washington-area cable television providers to carry MASN's two channels (MASN and MASN2). As a result of this, many D.C.-area fans initially did not receive the new network via their cable television providers and were unable to watch most Nationals games for some time during the Nationals′ first season, leading to frustration with the network among Nationals fans. Furthermore, some Nationals fans contend that the majority ownership stake that Angelos and the Orioles hold in MASN leads the network to exhibit a bias in covering the Orioles compared to the Nationals, such as displaying the scores of Beltway Series games as "Orioles vs. Washington" – which critics see as sending a subtle message that the Orioles represent the entire Baltimore-Washington area, while the Nationals represent only Washington – as opposed to a more neutral "Orioles vs. Nationals" or "Baltimore vs. Washington."

Broadcast rights fees

When the amount MASN pays annually to the Nationals to broadcast Nationals games first came up for renegotiation in 2012, another source of discontent arose between some Orioles and Nationals fans. The Nationals asked for MASN to increase its annual payment from $20 million to $118 million per year[17] for the 2012 through 2016 seasons, while the Orioles countered with an offer averaging $39.5 million per year,[17] and MASN began paying the Nationals that amount in 2012[17] pending agreement between MASN and the Nationals on a fee. When MASN and the Nationals could not agree on an annual amount, the Orioles and Nationals submitted the matter to Major League Baseball's Revenue-Sharing Definitions Committee for arbitration. The committee issued a written decision in 2014 that MASN should pay the Nationals an average of $59 million per year for 2012 through 2016.[17] Claiming the decision was biased against the Orioles, MASN pursued litigation on behalf of the Orioles and itself to have the committee's decision vacated.[17] With the matter tied up in the courts, the entire 2012-2016 period went by without a resolution of the matter,[17] and the teams missed the next required renegotiation for the seasons from 2017 through 2021. The Nationals seek payment from MASN of over $100 million in fees each for the 2012-2016 and 2017-2021 periods,[18] and some Nationals fans resent the delay in MASN increasing the rights fees it pays their team because of the impact it has on the Nationals′ revenues and the Nationals′ ability to sign expensive free agents.

The Washington Post reported that the animosity between the teams over the television rights fee dispute may have played a role in the Orioles postponing two games of a three-game home series against the Chicago White Sox, playing the third game without allowing fans to attend, and moving a subsequent series with the Tampa Bay Rays originally scheduled to be played in Baltimore to Tampa Bay due to security concerns during the civil unrest in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray in April 2015. The Nationals were in the middle of a long road trip at the time, so Nationals Park in Washington was available on short notice as a nearby venue that could have hosted Orioles games, and Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred had suggested that possibility earlier in the week.[19][20] An Orioles spokesman would not comment on whether the teams' dispute affected Orioles′ rescheduling decisions, but another source with the team told The Washington Post that it had. The Nationals said that neither the Orioles nor MLB approached them about making Nationals Park available to the Orioles, and the Nationals never made the offer themselves.[19]

"O!"

The tradition of yelling "O!" during the line "Oh say does that star-spangled banner yet wave" during the singing of the national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," is a Baltimore Orioles tradition. Over the years that Washington had no baseball team and the Orioles penetrated the Washington market (1972–2004), it became a staple of Washington-area sporting events as well. Yelling "O!" during the national anthem has caused controversy when used at Washington sports events in the past, and the yelling of "O!" during the anthem at Nationals games, even when the Nationals were not hosting the Orioles, reignited such controversy because some Nationals fans resent importing Orioles traditions into Nationals baseball culture and some sports fans view the shouting of "O!" during the national anthem at any sporting event as disrespectful of the American flag.[21][22] Other fans disagree, arguing that many fans never understood or have forgotten the connection of "O!" with the Orioles and that shouting "O!" during the anthem has become an established tradition that is valid at any sporting event anywhere in the Baltimore-Washington region and does not necessarily signify support for the Baltimore Orioles.[22]

Angelos "kind enough to let them have a team here"

After a Beltway Series game in Washington on July 7, 2014, Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg lamented the high proportion of Orioles fans in the stands at Nationals Park.[23] Speaking to the press before the next day's game between the clubs, Orioles manager Buck Showalter responded by saying, "“You realize how big an area this [Washington] was for the Orioles before our owner [Peter Angelos] was kind enough to let them have a team here [in Washington].”[24][25] For some Nationals fans and members of the Washington sports media, Showalter′s comment rankled, as they felt that Angelos had exhibited no kindness at all toward baseball in Washington either before or during the Expos-Nationals relocation process or in terms of the MASN television deal he struck with MLB.[24] Writing in The Washington Times, sports columnist Thom Loverro described Showalter′s comment as a "foolish insult,"[25] and took the matter further, arguing that, from a historical perspective, the Orioles organization owed a great deal to the kindness of Washington baseball owners and fans, as the Orioles might never have existed if the owners of the original Washington Senators franchise, the family of Clark Griffith, had not agreed to allow the St. Louis Browns to relocate for the 1954 season to Baltimore, which was considered the Senators′ territory at the time.[25] Loverro added that as owner of the Orioles, Washington lawyer Edward Bennett Williams had not moved the Orioles to Washington, as many had expected after he bought the Orioles in 1979, had done much to encourage Washingtonians to support the Orioles, and had been instrumental in securing approval of the construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and that the Orioles had enjoyed much of their financial success over the years because of the support of fans from Washington.[25] The Baltimore press reported Showalter′s comment differently; for example, Alejandro Zuniga wrote in The Baltimore Sun that the MASN deal had made up to Angelos and the Orioles for their loss of business when the Expos relocated into the Orioles′ territory, and that the MASN deal had not prevented "plenty of Orioles fans from converting into supporters of their new, more local ballclub [i.e., the Nationals]."[23]

2017 rainout

With Baltimore leading the series two games to one, the final game of the 2017 Beltway Series was scheduled for May 11 at Nationals Park, but it rained for much of the day and the Nationals postponed the game based on a prediction that rain would continue well into the evening. The game was rescheduled for June 8. In pregame comments to the media on June 8, Orioles manager Buck Showalter noted that the sun had been shining by the time the Orioles' team bus left Nationals Park on May 11 and that the game could have been played. The Orioles, he added, would have played with a healthy lineup that evening that included center fielder Adam Jones and third baseman Manny Machado; Dylan Bundy, the Orioles′ best starter, would have been on the mound. In contrast, the Nationals had planned for A. J. Cole, who had had only mixed success at the major-league level over the preceding three years, to make a spot start on May 11. By June 8, Jones and Machado both were injured, and Bundy was not the scheduled starter. Sports reporters took away a clear impression that the Orioles believed that the Nationals had unnecessarily cancelled the game so as to avoid an unfavorable pitching matchup and facing the Orioles′ best lineup. The Nationals won the June 8 game to clinch a 2–2 Beltway Series tie for the season.[26]

Asked about the Orioles′ interpretation of the postponement, Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo responded that the weather forecast for May 11 had called — incorrectly, as it turned out — for rain to persist well into the evening and that Showalter had been in full agreement on May 11 that the game should be postponed. Rizzo added that the Orioles had refused to play on the teams′ next mutual off date, May 15 (which would have forced the Orioles to go 27 straight days without a full day off, which is more than the maximum of 20 allowed by the Collective Bargaining Agreement), necessitating that they play on June 8, and that the June 8 date actually was less favorable to the Nationals, who gave up an off-day after a 10-day, three-city trip to the United States West Coast, than to the Orioles, who were just completing a nine-game homestand in nearby Baltimore. Given all of this, Rizzo said that the Orioles should "quit whining."[26]

Questioning whether a rivalry exists

The idea that a rivalry exists between the Nationals and Orioles is itself controversial. Despite the marketing of the Beltway Series as a "Battle of the Beltways" and the animosity some Baltimore and Washington baseball fans feel toward one another's teams and cities, some observers – both sports journalists and fans – question whether a Nationals-Orioles rivalry truly exists, arguing that it is a "manufactured" rivalry born of the media, marketing, interleague play, and coincidental geographical proximity rather than history or the significance of the games, and that the Beltway Series lacks the meaning of true rivalries found elsewhere in MLB.[27][28][29][30]

Non-competitive history

Sports rivalries generally arise between teams that are familiar with one another, play one another frequently, and have a history of parity and of meeting one another in significant games,[31] but this has rarely, if ever, occurred between Baltimore and Washington MLB teams. During the years from 1954 to 1971, when the Orioles played the original Senators and then the expansion Senators regularly in the American League, the Orioles enjoyed great success, while the two Senators teams between them managed only one winning season, in 1969. This unbalanced competition militated against any real rivalry springing up between the teams, as games between them tended to be insignificant and dominated by Baltimore.[28] Moreover, memories of this era have faded with time as Baltimore- and Washington-area fans age and thanks to the transient nature of the Washington-area population, where the dominance of United States Government employment results in significant turnovers in population as people arrive to participate in government activities, then leave as political circumstances change.[30]

During the early years of the Beltway Series from 2006 to 2011, neither the Nationals or the Orioles fielded competitive teams, and this meant that the editions of the Beltway Series during those seasons carried no real importance in terms of either team's prospects for winning seasons. Since 2012, when both the Nationals and Orioles began to achieve real success, fan interest in both teams has increased and led to greater attendance, but no particularly significant game has arisen as part of the Beltway Series.[27][28][32][29]

Two-team fans

The Baltimore and Washington sports markets also call into question the extent to which fans view a rivalry as existing. Although relatively few Baltimore-area baseball fans appear to support the Nationals, many Washington-area fans adopted the Orioles as their "home team" during the 33 seasons (1972–2004) Washington had no MLB team, and this penetration of the Washington sports market by the Orioles has resulted in many Washington-area MLB fans continuing to root for the Orioles, either instead of or in addition to the Nationals. Supporting both teams is made easier by their membership in different leagues and the rarity of their meetings compared to the number of games they play against divisional and league rivals. For fans who support both teams, the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area constitutes a two-team market in which they root for one team in each league; to such fans, the Beltway Series is a matter of interest because it involves both of their "home" teams, rather than their home team playing against a disliked crosstown rival. The Beltway Series tends to draw well in both cities, but this does not necessarily indicate that fans are attending to watch a chapter in a true rivalry between teams with a history of meaningful competition or animosity; many appear to view the series merely as an annual opportunity for low-key, good-natured competition between the teams and their fans for "bragging rights" in the Baltimore-Washington region.[33][28][32]

Players' attitudes

With the exception of a September 2015 game at Nationals Park in which Nationals pitcher Jonathan Papelbon hit Orioles infielder Manny Machado with a pitch, resulting in an exchange of words between Machado and Papelbon, both dugouts emptying, and Papelbon's ejection from the game, no particular ill feeling has existed on the field between the teams. Players of both teams appear to view the teams in their own divisions – which they play 19 times each per season – as their rivals, and they attach no particular significance to the comparatively short annual Beltway Series, which merely pits them briefly against a team in a different league that they otherwise would not play unless they met in the World Series.[33][29]

Television broadcast concepts

The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), which owns the rights to broadcast both Orioles and Nationals games, televised the 2006 and 2007 Beltway Series in a conventional format, with each team's broadcasters covering the game for separate audiences via separate telecasts. From 2008[34] through 2013, however, MASN televised the Beltway Series using an unconventional concept in which mixed Orioles-Nationals broadcast booths covered each game. In the mixed-booth concept, the two teams′ play-by-play announcers – Jim Hunter for the Orioles and Bob Carpenter for the Nationals – alternated on play-by-play during each game and color analysts and sideline reporters from both teams worked together in the booth and on the field throughout each game.[35] The concept was based on the premise that the Orioles and Nationals were both "home" teams for the combined Baltimore-Washington area, and that fans in both cities followed and supported both teams, were familiar with both sets of broadcasters, and would enjoy coverage of Beltway Series games by broadcasters from both of "their" teams working together in the same telecast. In 2010 news releases about that year's Beltway Series, MASN referred to its "popular mixed booth broadcast,"[34][36] and on May 29, 2013, Hunter started a Beltway Series broadcast from Oriole Park by saying "It′s your Nats, it’s your Orioles, going head-to-head on your network."[37] With the mixed booth in use, each Beltway Series game was simulcast on both MASN cable channels (MASN and MASN2).

By 2013, fan feedback suggested that the unusual mixed-booth arrangement was overwhelmingly unpopular with both Orioles and Nationals fans,[35][37] and in February 2014 MASN announced an end to it. In a February 26, 2014, statement announcing the change, MASN said, "The combined booth is an idea that’s run its course, and with both teams possessing strong individual identities and playoff aspirations for 2014 the decision was made to give fans what they’ve been clamoring for – their individual team’s broadcast partners calling the action as they would for any other game."[35][38] Since 2014, MASN's Orioles and Nationals broadcast teams have covered each Beltway Series game separately, with the home team's broadcast televised on MASN and the visiting team's broadcast on MASN2.[35]

Club success

Team Seasons World Series titles League pennants Division titles Wild card berths Playoff appearances World Series appearances All-time regular season record Win percentage
Baltimore Orioles (1954–2018) 65 3 6 9 2 12 6 5,252–5,066 .509
Washington Nationals (2005–2018) 14 0 0 4 0 4 0 1,129–1,137 .498
Combined 79 3 6 13 2 16 6 6,381–6,203 .507

Beltway Series results

Season Season series at Baltimore Orioles
WSH-BAL
at Washington Nationals
BAL-WSH
Notes
2006 Tie 3–3 1-2; 2-3; 9-5 5-1; 3-8; 1-3 First meeting of Nationals and Orioles
First meeting of the franchises since an Expos-Orioles interleague series in 2001
First meeting of Baltimore and Washington MLB teams since 1971
2007 Nationals 4–2 7-4; 9-6(11); 3-1 5-4; 3-2(11); 3-4
2008 Tie 3–3 3-5; 5-6; 2-1 2-4; 9-1; 2-3(12) Nationals Park opens
2009 Orioles 4–2 1-11; 3-6; 5-3 4-2(12); 2-1; 5-8
2010 Orioles 4–2 6-7; 5-6; 3-4 5-3; 6-7; 3-4(10)
2011 Tie 3–3 17-5; 3-8; 1-2 4-8; 2-4; 7-4
2012 Orioles 4–2 1-2; 3-1; 1-2 2-1(11); 6-5; 3-9 Both teams make playoffs; first playoff appearance for the Nationals
2013 Orioles 3–1 6-9; 0-2 6-2; 3-9 Series changed to four-game format with two in each city
except in years the AL East plays the NL East (2015, 2018, etc.)
2014 Orioles 3–1 6-2; 3-4 8-2; 7-3 Both teams win their respective divisions
2015 Orioles 4–2 2-3; 7-4; 3-2 4-1; 4-3; 5-4
2016 Orioles 3–1 3-4; 1-8 10-8; 0-4
2017 Tie 2–2 4-6; 4-5(12) 6-7; 1-6
2018 Nationals 5–1 6-0; 3-2; 2-0 7-9; 3-0; 2-4 Orioles end the season at 47–115 (.290), the worst record in Major League Baseball.
2019 Nationals 1–0
in progress
8–1, July 17 August 27-28
Overall Orioles 39-32 at Baltimore Orioles
Orioles, 22-14
at Washington Nationals
Nationals, 18-17

See also

References

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  2. ^ Anonymous, "O's top Nats in first Baltimore-D.C. major-league game since '71," Associated Press, May 20, 2006
  3. ^ "Head-to-Head results for Washington Senators vs. Baltimore Orioles from 1954 to 1960". Baseball-Reference.com. 2016. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  4. ^ "Head-to-Head results for Washington Senators vs. Baltimore Orioles from 1961 to 1971". Baseball-Reference.com. 2016. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  5. ^ Schmuck, Peter, "Owners Try to Prevent Pirate Move," baltimoresun.com, September 14, 1995.
  6. ^ Jaffe, Harry, "How D.C. Got Baseball Back," washingtonian.com, April 1, 2005.
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  9. ^ "MLB Attendance Report—2008". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 2, 2010.
  10. ^ Baseball Almanac: Baltimore Orioles Attendance Data
  11. ^ Baseball Almanac: Washington Nationals Attendance Data
  12. ^ 2018 Washington Nationals Schedule at Baseball Reference
  13. ^ 2018 Baltimore Orioles Schedule at Baseball Reference
  14. ^ a b Fisher, Marc, "Of Shaved Ice, Barking Dogs And Baseball," The Washington Post, July 27, 2004.
  15. ^ a b Boswell, Thomas, "Nationals haven’t won anything, but fans prove D.C. is a good sports town," washingtonpost.com, May 24, 2015.
  16. ^ Boswell, Thomas, "The Nationals are getting the best of the Orioles in a rivalry that didn’t have to be bitter," washingtonpost;com, May 28, 2018, 7:57 p.m. EDT.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g Summer, Avi, "The Cold Stove: How the Television Rights Dispute Between the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals Impacts Offseason Decisions," thesportsesquires.com, January 22, 2018.
  18. ^ Stempel, Jonathan, "Washington Nationals get win over Baltimore Orioles in TV rights dispute," FReuters, July 13, 2017, 3:50 p.m.
  19. ^ a b Sviruga, Barry; Kilgore, Adam (April 28, 2015). "Orioles to host home game against the White Sox in an empty stadium". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  20. ^ Connolly, Dan (April 27, 2015). "O's-White Sox series might move out of city". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  21. ^ Zillgitt, Jeff (May 2, 2005). "Nationals, fans breathe life into baseball-starved D.C". USA Today.
  22. ^ a b Steinberg, Dan (December 15, 2006). "Should the National Anthem "Oh!" be Retired?". Washingtonpost.com. Archived from the original on May 23, 2011.
  23. ^ a b Zuniga, Alejandro, "Buck Showalter talks about Orioles fans taking over Nationals Park," baltimoresun.com, July 9, 2014, 7:30 a.m. EDT.
  24. ^ a b Allen, Scott, "Buck Showalter says Peter Angelos was ‘kind enough to let’ the District have a baseball team," washingtonpost.com, July 9, 2014.
  25. ^ a b c d [https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/10/suck-buck-showalter-could-use-history-lesson/ Loverro, Thom, "Suck-up Buck Showalter needs history lesson"," washingtontimes.com, July 10, 2014.
  26. ^ a b Svrluga, Barry, "Mike Rizzo to Orioles on rainout gripes: ‘Quit whining’," washingtonpost.com, June 9, 2017.
  27. ^ a b Stetka, Andrew, "Word on the Street: A “Fake” Rivalry, but a Fun One Nonetheless," eutawstreetreport.com, May 8, 2017.
  28. ^ a b c d Lefrak, Mikaela, "Beltway Series Time: Does A Washington-Baltimore Baseball Rivalry Really Exist?," wamu.org, August 22, 2016.
  29. ^ a b c Anonymous, "OPINION: Let’s Cut It Out With This Fake Nationals/Orioles ‘Rivalry’," Baltimore.cbslocal.com, May 8, 2017, 3:23 p.m. EDT.
  30. ^ a b Steinberg, Dan, "Why do we care if Nats fans and O’s fans hate each other?," washingtonpost.com, August 23, 2016.
  31. ^ Markham, Art, "The psychology of sports rivalries," statesman.ccom, December 31, 2011, 7:14 p.m. CST.
  32. ^ a b Cahoon, Scott, "Are the Washington Nationals the Orioles’ Biggest Rival?," birdswatcher.com, 2015.
  33. ^ a b "Are the Nationals and the Orioles rivals?". The Nats Blog. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  34. ^ a b "′Battle of the Beltways′ Returns with Combined Talent Team," masnsports.com, May 19, 2010 3:44 p.m. EDT.
  35. ^ a b c d Steinberg, Dan, "MASN announces end of split booths for Orioles-Nats games," washingtonpost.com, February 27, 2014.
  36. ^ Anonymous, "MASN’s Mixed Booth Broadcast Resumes This Weekend," masnsports.com, June 24, 2010 3:46 p.m. EDT.
  37. ^ a b Steinberg, Dan, "On the MASN split booths," washingtonpost.com, May 30, 2013.
  38. ^ Kerzel, Pete, "For Nats-O’s interleague games, no more combined MASN broadcast teams," masnsports.com, February 26, 2014, 2:00 p.m. EST.

External links

2006 Baltimore Orioles season

The 2006 Baltimore Orioles season involved the Orioles finishing 4th in the American League East with a record of 70 wins and 92 losses.

2006 Washington Nationals season

The Washington Nationals' 2006 season was the franchise's second season in Washington, D.C. and 38th season overall.

The Nationals finished last in the NL East for the third consecutive year (counting their final season in Montreal), 26 games behind the New York Mets with a 71-91 record.

2008 Washington Nationals season

The Washington Nationals' 2008 season was the fourth season for the franchise in the District of Columbia, and the 40th since the original team was started in Montreal, Quebec, in 1969. It also marked the first season the Nationals played at Nationals Park. The team finished in last place in the National League East with a record of 59–102, the worst record in Major League Baseball.

2017 Washington Nationals season

The 2017 Washington Nationals season was the Nationals' 13th season as the baseball franchise of Major League Baseball in the District of Columbia, the 10th season at Nationals Park, and the 49th since the original team was started in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. They won the National League East division title for the fourth time in six years but were defeated by the Chicago Cubs in the Division Series.

Baltimore Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles are an American professional baseball team based in Baltimore, Maryland. As one of the American League's eight charter teams in 1901, this particular franchise spent its first year as a major league club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as the Milwaukee Brewers (not related to the second current Brewers franchise there) before moving to St. Louis, Missouri, to become the St. Louis Browns. After 52 often-beleaguered years in St. Louis, the franchise was purchased in November 1953 by a syndicate of Baltimore business and civic interests led by attorney/civic activist Clarence Miles and Mayor Thomas D'Alesandro Jr. The team's current owner is American trial lawyer, Peter Angelos.

The Orioles adopted their team name in honor of the official state bird of Maryland; it had also been used by several previous major and minor league baseball clubs in Baltimore, including another AL charter member franchise also named the "Baltimore Orioles," which moved north in 1903 to eventually become the New York Yankees. Nicknames for the team include the "O's" and the "Birds".

The Orioles experienced their greatest success from 1966 to 1983, when they made six World Series appearances, winning three of them (1966, 1970, 1983). This era of the club featured several future Hall of Famers who would later be inducted representing the Orioles, such as third baseman Brooks Robinson, outfielder Frank Robinson, starting pitcher Jim Palmer, first baseman Eddie Murray, shortstop Cal Ripken Jr., and manager Earl Weaver. The Orioles have won a total of nine division championships (1969–1971, 1973–1974, 1979, 1983, 1997, 2014), six pennants (1966, 1969–1971, 1979, 1983), and three wild card berths (1996, 2012, 2016). Since moving to Baltimore in 1954, the franchise has a win-loss record of 5252-5066 (with a winning "percentage" of .509) as of the end of the 2018 season.After suffering a stretch of 14 straight losing seasons from 1998 to 2011, the team qualified for the postseason three times under manager Buck Showalter and general manager Dan Duquette, including a division title and advancement to the American League Championship Series for the first time in 17 years in 2014. However, the 2018 team finished with a franchise-worst record of 47–115, prompting the team to move on from Showalter and Duquette following the season's conclusion. The Orioles' current manager is Brandon Hyde, while Mike Elias serves as general manager and executive vice president.

The Orioles are also well known for their influential ballpark, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which opened in 1992 in downtown Baltimore.

Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area

The Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area (Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Combined Statistical Area) is a combined statistical area consisting of the overlapping labor market region of the cities of Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland. The region includes Central Maryland, Northern Virginia, three counties in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, and one county in South Central Pennsylvania. It is the most educated, highest-income, and fourth largest combined statistical area in the United States.Officially, the area is designated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as the Washington–Baltimore–Arlington, DC–MD–VA–WV–PA Combined Statistical Area. It is composed primarily of two major metropolitan statistical areas (MSA), the Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV MSA and the Baltimore–Columbia–Towson, MD MSA. In addition, six other smaller urban areas not contiguous to the main urban area but having strong commuting ties with the main area are also included in the metropolitan area. These are: the Hagerstown–Martinsburg, MD–WV MSA, the Chambersburg–Waynesboro, PA MSA, the Winchester, VA–WV MSA, the California–Lexington Park, MD MSA, the Easton, MD micropolitan statistical area (µSA), and the Cambridge, MD µSA.

Some counties such as Caroline and King George County, Virginia are not officially designated by the OMB as members of this metropolitan area, but still consider themselves members anyway. This is mostly due to their proximity to the area, the size of their commuter population, and by the influence of local broadcasting stations. The population of the entire Washington-Baltimore Combined Statistical Area as of the Census Bureau's 2012 Population Estimates is 9,331,587.

The most populous city is Washington, DC, with a population of 681,170. The most populous county is Fairfax County, Virginia, with a population exceeding 1.1 million.

Bay Bridge Series

The Bay Bridge Series, or the Battle of the Bay, is a series of baseball games played between—and the rivalry of—Major League Baseball's Oakland Athletics of the American League and San Francisco Giants of the National League. The series takes its name from the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge which links the cities of Oakland and San Francisco. As of 2018, the winner of the annual series retains a trophy fashioned from a piece of the original bridge.Although competitive, the regional rivalry between the A's and Giants is considered a friendly one with mostly mutual companionship between the fans, as opposed to Cubs–White Sox, or Mets–Yankees games where animosity runs high, though sections of each fanbase does harbor towards the entirety of the other. This, however, is limited as many people see the opposing team as no threat to their own; hats displaying both teams on the cap are sold from vendors at the games, and once in a while the teams both dress in uniforms from a historic era of their franchises.

The series is also occasionally referred to as the "BART Series" for the Bay Area Rapid Transit system that links Oakland to San Francisco. However, the name "BART Series" has never been popular beyond a small selection of history books and national broadcasters and has fallen out of favor, likely owing to the fact that BART does not provide direct or easy access to Oracle Park in San Francisco. Bay Area locals almost exclusively refer to the rivalry as the "Bay Bridge Series" or the "Battle of the Bay."

Originally, the term described a series of exhibition games played between the two clubs after the conclusion of spring training, immediately prior to the start of the regular season. It was first used to refer to the 1989 World Series which the Athletics won and the first time both teams had met since they moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. Today, it also refers to games played between the teams during the regular season since the commencement of Interleague play in 1997. Through the 2018 season, the A's have won 63 games, and the Giants have won 57.

Cubs–White Sox rivalry

The Cubs–White Sox rivalry (also known as the Crosstown Classic, The Windy City Showdown, Chicago Showdown, Red Line Series, North-South Showdown, City Series, Crosstown Series, Crosstown Cup, or Crosstown Showdown) refers to the Major League Baseball (MLB) geographical rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox. The Cubs are a member club of MLB's National League (NL) Central division, and play their home games at Wrigley Field, located on Chicago's North Side. The White Sox are a member club of MLB's American League (AL) Central division, and play their home games at Guaranteed Rate Field, located on Chicago's South Side.

The terms "North Siders" and "South Siders" are synonymous with the respective teams and their fans, setting up an enduring rivalry. The White Sox currently lead the regular season series 62–60. There have been nine series sweeps since interleague play began: six by the Cubs in 1998, 2004, 2007, 2008, and both series in 2013 (thereby sweeping the season series), and three by the White Sox in 1999, 2008, and 2012. The Chicago Transit Authority's Red Line runs north-south through Chicago's neighborhoods, stopping at Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field. Halsted Street (800 W) also runs north-south passing each park within a distance of a half-mile.

Duke–Maryland men's basketball rivalry

The Duke–Maryland basketball rivalry is a dormant college basketball rivalry between the Duke Blue Devils men's basketball team of Duke University and Maryland Terrapins men's basketball team of the University of Maryland. The basketball series has been called one of the most intense intercollegiate rivalries of modern times by some. A Harris Interactive poll of Marylanders ranked it the third best in the state behind the Redskins–Cowboys and Ravens–Redskins rivalries in 2003 (before the Beltway Series of the Orioles and Nationals was possible). In 2014, Maryland left the ACC for the Big Ten and regular season games between Maryland and Duke are no longer scheduled regularly.

Freeway Series

The Freeway Series is a Major League Baseball (MLB) interleague rivalry played between the Los Angeles Angels and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Angels are members of the American League (AL) West division, and the Dodgers are members of the National League (NL) West division. The series takes its name from the massive freeway system in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area, the home of both teams; one could travel from one team's stadium to the other simply by driving along Interstate 5. The term is akin to Subway Series which refers to meetings between New York City baseball teams. The term "Freeway Series" also inspired the official name of the region's NHL rivalry between the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks: the Freeway Face-Off.

Interleague play

Interleague play in Major League Baseball refers to regular-season baseball games played between an American League (AL) team and a National League (NL) team. Interleague play was first introduced in the 1997 Major League Baseball season. Prior to that, matchups between AL teams and NL teams occurred only during spring training, the All-Star Game, other exhibition games (such as the Hall of Fame Game in Cooperstown, New York), and the World Series. Unlike modern interleague play, none of these contests, except for the World Series, counted toward official team or league records.

Jefry Rodríguez

Jefry Osvaldo Rodríguez (born July 26, 1993) is a Dominican professional baseball pitcher for the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Washington Nationals.

Looney's Pub

Looney's Pub is Maryland-based chain of Irish sports-bars with four locations thought the state. Looney's is known for its fresh crab options in the form of pretzels, dips and crab cakes.

Maryland Terrapins men's basketball

The Maryland Terrapins men's basketball team represents the University of Maryland in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I competition. Maryland, a founding member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), left the ACC in 2014 to join the Big Ten Conference.

Gary Williams, who coached the Terrapins from 1989 to 2011, led the program to its greatest success, including two consecutive Final Fours, which culminated in the 2002 NCAA National Championship. Under Williams, Maryland appeared in eleven straight NCAA Tournaments from 1994 to 2004. He retired in May 2011 and was replaced by former Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon.

The Terrapins played in what many consider to be the greatest Atlantic Coast Conference game in history — and one of the greatest college basketball games ever — the championship of the 1974 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament, in which they lost 103–100 in overtime to eventual national champion North Carolina State. The game was instrumental in forcing the expansion of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, thus allowing for at-large bids and the inclusion of more than one team per conference. That Maryland team, with six future NBA draft picks, is considered by many to be the greatest team not to have participated in the NCAA tournament.

Mid-Atlantic Sports Network

Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) is an American regional sports network owned as a joint venture between two Major League Baseball franchises, the Baltimore Orioles (which owns a controlling 90% interest) and the Washington Nationals (which owns the remaining 10%). Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, the channel broadcasts regional coverage of sports events in the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area.

MASN is available on approximately 23 cable and fiber optic television providers in Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, eastern and central North Carolina, West Virginia, south central Pennsylvania and Delaware (on providers such as Comcast, Cox Communications, RCN, Mediacom, Charter Communications and Verizon FiOS, covering an area stretching from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to Charlotte, North Carolina); it is also available nationwide on satellite via DirecTV and Dish Network.

Pearson Cup

The Pearson Cup (French: Coupe Pearson) was an annual midseason Major League Baseball rivalry between former Canadian rivals, the Toronto Blue Jays and Montreal Expos. Named after former Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, it was originally created to raise money for minor league baseball in Canada. In later years, it was incorporated into the interleague baseball schedule.

The series began in 1978, and ran until 1986. Due to a strike, no game was played in 1981. In 2003 the series was revived as part of the Blue Jays–Expos interleague rivalry. It continued on into the 2004 season, after which the Expos moved to Washington, D.C. and became the Washington Nationals. The cup is now on display in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Mary's, Ontario.

Presidents Race

The Presidents Race (known as the GEICO Presidents Race for sponsorship reasons) is a promotional event held at every Washington Nationals home game at Nationals Park, and previously at RFK Stadium, in the middle of the fourth inning of every game. If a game goes to a fourth extra inning (i.e., the 13th inning), a second race is held in the middle of that inning.

The Presidents Race has featured likenesses of seven former Presidents of the United States, four of whom are found on Mount Rushmore: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt, plus William Howard Taft (introduced in 2013 and retired after the 2016 season), Calvin Coolidge (who raced for a single season in 2015) and Herbert Hoover (who raced for a single season in 2016). Their nicknames are "George," "Abe," "Tom," "Teddy," "Bill," "Calvin," and "Herbie." The Presidents are typically dressed in Nationals jerseys numbered according to their term as president (1 for George, 3 for Tom, 16 for Abe, 26 for Teddy, 27 for Bill, 30 for Cal, and 31 for Herbie) and topped with giant foam caricature heads. On Sundays, they usually wear period costumes, often referred to as their "Sunday Best" outfits.

In 2017, the Presidents Race at Nationals Park returned to its format of 2006 through 2012, with only the original four Racing Presidents (George, Abe, Tom, and Teddy) competing. Prior to the 2017 season, the Nationals announced that Cal, Herbie, and Bill all had retired permanently to Florida in conjunction with the February 2017 opening of the Nationals′ new spring training facility at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches – renamed The Fitteam Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in February 2018 – in West Palm Beach, Florida. During spring training in 2017, the three retired Presidents began their own series of Presidents Races in the fourth inning of Nationals spring training games in West Palm Beach.Famously, Teddy failed to win a single race for almost seven seasons, even when given head starts or other advantages. Teddy won for the first time on Wednesday afternoon game, October 3, 2012, during the first game played after the Nationals reached the postseason for the first time. Fans and bystanders alike were shocked that his first win was during a weekday afternoon game. Several seasons of success followed for Teddy, but he returned to his winless ways during the 2017 season. However, Teddy did win the first and second race of the 2018 season.

Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals are a professional baseball team based in Washington, D.C. The Nationals compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) East division. From 2005 to 2007, the team played in RFK Stadium; since 2008 their home stadium has been Nationals Park on South Capitol Street in Southeast D.C., near the Anacostia River.The Nationals are the eighth major league franchise to be based in Washington, D.C., and the first since 1971. The current National League club was founded in 1969 as the Montreal Expos, part of the MLB expansion. The Expos were purchased by Major League Baseball in 2002, and the team was renamed the Nationals and moved to Washington, D.C. before the 2005 season, marking the first franchise relocation in MLB since the third Washington Senators moved to Texas in 1971.

While the team initially struggled after moving to Washington, the Nationals have experienced considerable success in recent years, winning division titles in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2017, although they have yet to advance out of the first round in the playoffs. Two of the team's first overall picks in the MLB Draft, Stephen Strasburg in 2009 and Bryce Harper in 2010, attracted new levels of attention to the team. At the time of his selection, Strasburg was called the "most-hyped pick in draft history," and Harper later became the youngest position player to be selected to the MLB All-Star Game. Including their time in Montreal, the Nationals are one of two franchises, and the only one in the National League, never to have won a league pennant and played in a World Series, along with the Seattle Mariners of the American League.

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