Monday, September 30, 2013

The Washington Expos and the Baltimore Browns

I am a Marylander - born in Washington, D.C., raised in Greenbelt, 30ish minutes away from Baltimore.  This is important, especially when it comes to the inconsistency of franchise histories.

Behold:

  -  The original Washington Nationals/Senators moved to Minneapolis and became the Minnesota Twins.  Several of the best players in the history of the franchise, then, are considered to be Walter Johnson (Washington), Harmon Killebrew (Washington/Minnesota), and Kirby Puckett (Minnesota).  The two teams are connected.  (Note:  A second Washington Senators team later moved to Arlington and became the Texas Rangers.)

  -  The original Baltimore Colts moved to Indianapolis and became the Indianapolis Colts.  The top two quarterbacks in the history of the franchise are Johnny Unitas (Baltimore) and Peyton Manning (Indianapolis).

That would seem to set a precedent, wouldn't it?

Well:

  -  The original Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Baltimore Ravens.  Their Cleveland history was erased and retroactively added to a brand new expansion team, awarded to Cleveland and also named the Browns.

And you know what?

The precedent was destroyed, and I love it.

The Baltimore Ravens are not the Cleveland Browns.  Joe Flacco's best days should not be placed alongside Otto Graham's best days.  John Harbaugh and Paul Brown may be placed next to each other in statements on championship-winning coaches, but no more than that.

*

This brings us to the current Washington Nationals, formerly known as the Montreal Expos.

With the Baltimore Ravens/Cleveland Browns in mind, I hereby demand that the Washington Nationals/Senators' history be taken away from the Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers and placed into the current Nats' record books.

The current Nats, after all, were meant to evoke the historic Nats, right down to the curly red W.  List Stephen Strasburg next to Walter Johnson.  Put Ryan Zimmerman next to Goose Goslin.

The Minnesota Twins?  They started life in 1961, the same way the Baltimore Ravens hatched in 1996.

Set the Montreal Expos by themselves in the history books - and keep Bryce Harper's stats away from Tim "Rock" Raines and Andre "Hawk" Dawson.



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