The fans in Washington have taken to the Nationals as everyone — outside of Peter Angelos — expected. You’ll even see some Expos caps in the crowd at RFK Stadium, as I did on Saturday, a sign that those who come out to the ballgame aren’t simply there because it’s the new fad in town. These folks know their baseball.
Up in Vermont, the Expos name lives for one more season. I seem to remember the reason being that Major League Baseball — perhaps in an attempt to try to make everyone forget not only how badly baseball in Montreal crashed in the final years there, but also how poorly MLB has handled the situation (they still don’t have a new owner for the Nationals, despite having had the bids in hand for months) — decreed that the Vermont Expos must have a new nickname for next season. (I’m pulling for Green Mountain Boys or Chunky Monkeys.) If any team should be allowed to keep the name, it’s Vermont, located as it is along the Canadian border. I like the idea of holding onto that piece of history, but it’s not meant to be.
The Expos are struggling on the field, though, with the worst record in the New York-Penn League. And the copy desk at the Rutland Herald is struggling too, if they (and their writer) think the road to RFK goes from Vermont to Savannah to Potomac to Trenton to New Orleans. Wrong capital city there. (But how appropriate that the team, which has been in existence for decades, has the Senators nickname? I can’t believe it’s taken me 2/3 of the season to realize that.)