Three Reasons The Nats Should Detest The Atlanta Braves

In continuing our badly named “Three Reasons The Nats Should Detest [BLANK]” series, we turn our attention South to Atlanta and the only team that means a thing to those bunch of peach eaters. I admit, they’ve got the World of Coke and a great aquarium in the Georgia Aquarium in those parts and I personally have nothing against the city of Atlanta except for their underachieving baseball team. What a farce. For years the team, using the media powers of Ted Turner, enjoyed leeching baseball fans from around the DMV, majority in Virginia and much in part because for years there was no team between Baltimore and Atlanta. In that time they held an iron grip on the NL East division too, something like 14 straight division titles, but all they could show for it the whole time was one World Series. Underachieving. They couldn’t even sell out their own stadium during playoff games. Sad.

Well, a new cowboy arrived in town in 2005 and suddenly the fields of potential baseball fans is shrinking for them to pilfer, Turner is a twit and they have fallen off the NL East pedestal. This all, of course, has made the Atlanta fan base double obnoxious and has easily given Washington three reasons to hate–

The Atlanta Braves.

Reason #3: Opening Day 2008 – Ah, Opening Day 2008. Brand new Nationals Park. The dawn of a new era of D.C. baseball (or so we thought). The Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves in the first game of the 2008 season. Baseball started in Washington as it should, the new digs was sold out and there was as much pomp, glam and glitz as the team could squeeze out. This was a day that truly belonged to the Nationals, but unfortunately, at times, it didn’t totally feel like it. The Braves had a nice contingent of their fan base in attendance, not Phillies-esque, but enough to notice when several held up glittery Chipper Jones signs and blocked the views. They were rude and defiant to ushers who asked for them to put them down, nearly started a fight over a sign with a Nats fan, their heckling sucked and they were cocky as hell thinking they had a one run game in the bag. You can almost say they tried to preempt Phillies fans. On top of it all, it was a Braves player that got the first batted ball and first home run in Nationals Park history. Ryan Zimmerman’s legendary walk-off home run in the ninth put it all to bed and out of our minds, but it hasn’t erased it from the history books or our cold hearts.

Reason #2: Chipper Jones – And this is the man who got the first batted ball and home run in Nationals Park history. The Atlanta third baseman has been a thorn in the Nationals side. He always seems to get the hit or play he needs to screw over the team, but that happens. What makes Chipper so damn annoying is the fact the Atlanta fan base seems to be more in love with him than the actual team. For years it just seemed like a bunch of sorority of drunken Atlanta chicks was following the team around and calling themselves Atlanta Braves fans because they were there. It was a complete embrace of the Bud Selig “Chicks Did The Longball” philosophy. This is not to mention that Ryan Zimmerman has been a better third baseman than Jones for years, but still somehow this old, crusty constantly injured fogie still garners attention. Finally, if you need anymore reason, what is with this “Chipper” thing? It isn’t his real name. His real name is “Larry Jones” so why isn’t he called Larry Jones? Chipper sounds like some sort of douche name a frat boy puts on the back of his fraternity shirt.

Reason #1: Tomahawk Chop – Nothing is worse than coming back to your seat with a cheap, plastic cup overflowing with a golden, barley and hops elixir after dodging every possible obstacle without spilling a drop and then, when you are about to take that first flavorful sip, some nut sitting next to you breaks out moaning and doing some awful bicycle turn signal thing in the air. This is the Atlanta Tomahawk Chop: an easy-to-do chant and arm motion that is the finest example of American stereotyping and racism in sports. I’m not one to want to deny fans their right to make traditions and have fun, I allow “The Wave” to pass after all, but this one is pretty damn annoying. It looks like a bunch of people having some sort of mass hysteria while sounding like depressed Vuvuzelas.

Three Reasons Why The Nats Should Detest The Cincinnati Reds

Alright, I think this thing is on…

So I am going to bust out a new series of articles on the Nationals Inquisition. Right now I am calling it the “Three Reasons Why The Nats Should Detest…” series and that name is horrible and I don’t like it. I’m not paid to be creative so I hoping one of you, faithful readers, could come up with a real name for it. But the gist of it is I am going to give you three reasons why the Washington Nationals and you should really hate the team the Nats are about to play.

Reasons will range from pure truth to periodic mythical fiction because let’s face it, as fanatics do we really need legitimate and logic reasons for wanting to destroy the opposing team and rub their name in the mud? And we all do. I know some fans will put the pinky up at something like this, but they do it too and they know it. So don’t feel ashamed when you read some of these and nod your head in agreement that yes: for these reasons we should hate…

The Cincinnati Reds.

Reason #3: The First Pitch – Let’s face it: baseball is America, America is baseball, Finkle is Einhorn and when you think of America you think of Washington D.C. and not Cincinnati, Ohio. But somehow, someway Cincinnati has for decades gotten the honor of throwing the first pitch to start the baseball season. It might just be me being selfish, but shouldn’t the first pitch of the American Pastime be thrown the one city that reps America the most? D.C. has gotten it’s share of Opening Day festivities throughout it’s history and we have Presidents that pitch which rocks, but still…Cincinnati has that 1-Up. They start the whole baseball season year after year for Pete’s sake. What the heck ever happened in Cincinnati?

D.C. is the mother of America. She gave birth to this land of democracy in eight hours of intensive, harsh labor in a maneuver that looked like Gary Busey trying to squeeze through the door into your living room through the mail slot. Cincinnati? They’ve got world’s largest collections of Italianate architecture. Give me a break.

Reason #2: That Gary Majewski/Felipe Lopez Trade Thing – The most press that former Nationals relief pitcher Gary Majewski ever had in his career was when the Reds filed a grievance to MLB stating they think the Washington Nationals sold them damaged goods and knew Majewski was injured when he was traded to the Reds along with three other players in exchange for Austin Kearns, Felipe Lopez and Ryan Wagner. In hindsight Nats fans look back on that now and realize that was absolutely, definitely true, but it was the NATIONALS that got the damaged goods. Austin Kearns tried and tried in D.C. but just couldn’t cut it, Ryan Wagner was injured a lot and Felipe Lopez became one of the most infamous and douchebag players to don the uniform since baseball returned in 2005. Lopez’s laziness and unwillingness to go 100% was “Haynesworthy.”

So not only did the Nationals get the bum end of the stick in that trade, but they had to deal with the chalkboard-scratch whining of the Reds and their fans as if some great atrocity was committed even though nothing came out of it and Majewski went onto pitch. It was like Washington made it a law Pete Rose could never get back into baseball. Bunch of whiners, but of course none of this would have been possible if Cincinnati– well, see Reason #1.

Reason #1: Jim Bowden – Do I really need to explain this one? Do I really need to relive for you the years of scandal, embarrassment, the leatherpants this former Nationals GM placed on this organization and all of baseball? It was a sideshow act done on acid. It was the story of man who wanted to be a baseball cowboy, but instead only ended up a sad caricature of a Garth Brooks sort of cowboy who really isn’t a cowboy at all, but the nerd cowboy that real cowboys beat up. And where did he come from? Cincinnati. It was the Reds that gave him his first MLB job and it was the Reds that made him GM in 1992 and the Reds who fired him in 2003 just as Major League Baseball was deciding what to do with those Montreal Expos. He was named Expos GM, he came over in the relocation of the team and BOOM! The rest is history and it is all Cincinnati’s fault.

I can perhaps get over the First Pitch, the whining and the idea there are some foolish people that believe Aroldis Chapman will be better than Stephen Strasburg– but I cannot ever forgive Cincinnati for James Goodwin Bowden IV.