The Orioles-Nationals rivalry has been a hard sell locally, especially because so many Nats fans grew up rooting for the Orioles. Both teams have been mostly stinky for a half-decade, and there’s never been the faintest hope of a postseason meeting, and so there’s been no particular rivalry in that rivalry.
About the only reason Nats fans had to boo the Birds when they’ve visited Nats Park has been Peter Angelos. And the “O” during the National Anthem, I guess.
Now, at least, there’s one more reason, thanks to Buck Showalter. The Orioles skipper effusively praised Oriole Park at Camden Yards in honor of that magical place’s 20th anniversary, which is all well and good. But he also managed to work in a shot at Nats Park, which seemed unnecessary, at best.
“It was the first park that had the retro look with all the modern amenities,” Showalter said of Camden Yards last week, via ESPN’s and Montgomery County’s Tim Kurkjian. “It has never tried to be something that it’s not. There was nothing fake about it. There are no hills in center field. They didn’t copy anyone. As soon as you walk in, it had that cathedral feeling. You thought immediately, ‘This place will stand the test of time.’ Anyone can build something new, anyone can buy something new. This was a park that you thought other teams would copy. And that’s exactly what has happened....
“Some have captured some of that feel, some haven’t,” he also said. “Washington, Cincinnati, those parks won’t stand the test of time. When you step in Camden Yards, you got the feeling that this was a ballpark that would be welcome in any era in baseball history.”
Boooooo. I mean, of all the “won’t stand the test of time” ballparks, he had to single out the only other park in the region? What did Nats Park ever do to him? Has he not seen the lounge chairs outside the Shake Shack? Whatever, man. Go eat your Camden Giants; we’ll eat our StrasBurgers.
“Someone once said that art is the creation of something that previously wasn’t there, but something that the future will make necessary,” Showalter also said. “That is Camden Yards.”
I don’t believe anyone has ever said that. Google it.