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Dick Heller: Rangers deserve boos
If you haven’t visited Nationals Park yet, this is the perfect weekend. Walk through the turnstiles, scarf a chili dog and try not to spill it all over yourself.
Boo your fool head off.
Boo until it hurts.
I don’t mean boo the Nationals, NL East cellar-dwellers though they are.
Boo the party of the other part, the dratted Texas Rangers, who will venture into the nation’s capital for the first time Friday night.
If you’re old enough to remember Watergate, you know why. The Rangers used to be our ballclub, the expansion Senators, until the American League foolishly allowed carpetbag owner Bob Short to steal off with them to Arlington, Texas, in the fall of 1971.
This scurrilous departure resulted, of course, in our enduring 33 years without baseball until the former Montreal Expos arrived in 2005. It remains one of the biggest stains on Major League Baseball’s recent record, that our national pastime could be absent from our nation’s capital for more than three decades.
Perhaps you prefer to forgive and forget. I can’t.
So head for Southeast D.C. and bring a pair of leather lungs.
True, none of the current Rangers players or front-office personnel was involved in The Move. In fact, reliever Eddie Guardado is the team’s only active player alive when the Senators died on Sept. 30, 1971. And principal owner Tom Hicks is the fifth person to run the club since Short, including the one who lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW.
But boo anyway, on general principles. Boo your fool head off. Boo until it hurts.
Imagine that a mean-looking blond man is sitting behind the Rangers’ dugout and unfurl a banner reading “Short stinks!” Imagine that you’re pouring a cup of warm beer over his head, as a Capitol Hill bartender called Baseball Bill did when Short turned up at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium with the Rangers in 1972. The man who Short-changed us died in 1982. No matter, he deserves our everlasting wrath.
And as long as you’re imagining …
That isn’t career minor leaguer Manny Acta managing the home team. It’s Ted Williams, aka Teddy Ballgame, no worse than the second greatest hitter of all time,
About the Author
- HELLER: Peering into a cracked crystal ball
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- HELLER: Not to worry, Nationals' rise is just starting
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