Is Washington a baseball team sort of town? We'll know the answer soon enough. One thing I can safely proclaim: It is a definitely a baseball team-naming sort of town.

Hundreds of readers wrote in with their enormously creative suggestions on what Washington's new team -- that is, Montreal's old team -- should be called. I had suggested the Washington Monuments, an idea that excited people about as much as a Starland Vocal Band reunion tour.

This was the most informal, nonscientific of polls. Still, I noticed that the Federals, the Nationals, the Grays and the Senators were mentioned most often by people who were actually being serious. (The Snakeheads were mentioned most often by people who actually weren't.)

As Ray Moore wrote in support of the Senators, "They have a proud history as a baseball club." Jim Spellane said calling the team the Grays, after Washington's National Negro League champs, would "help efforts to unite all communities as a fan base" -- even, said Patrick G. Halperin, whites who "believe it's in honor of the Confederacy."

Why not combine the names of the storied teams, asked Sandra Lee, creating the Gray Senators. Rob Hildum thinks honoring the Negro Leagues is the right thing to do and can be done with the Washington Gray Sox.

Chuck Hilty ("follower of major league baseball for 63 seasons") likes the Washington Walters, in honor of Walter "Buck" Leonard, anchor of the Grays, and Walter Johnson of the Senators. Sumner Steinfeldt also thinks the name should honor the Big Train, but he's partial to the Washington Johnsons.

One interesting contender was the D.C. Dukes, a name, said Katherine Latterner, that suggests several things: "native son Duke Ellington, royalty and also a team not afraid to 'duke' it out."

Sheila Consaul was among readers who favor the Washington Federals. "Can't you picture the Secret Service look -- dark sunglasses, ear pieces and calling plays into lapel pins," she said.

Richard R. Palmer thinks we should be the Federales -- pronounced "fed-er-AH-lays" -- since the U.S. government bosses around the District's citizens with all the roughriding hauteur of Mexican policemen in a Clint Eastwood movie.

Many readers thought we should simply recycle the Expos' uniforms, stitching on a couple of letters to create the Exposes. Raymond G. Steiner had a similar notion. He likes the Washington Exponents. The hat logo would be W{+3}, the exponent signifying that this is the third time around for a major league team in D.C.

Michele Basen was among those who suggested the Diamonds, a name that reflects both the city's original shape and baseball's playing field.

Washington being a political town, the vast majority of ideas were in a political vein. There were the Washington Representatives and the Washington Shadow Senators, the Partisans and the Nonpartisans, the Citizens and the Bureaucrats, the Lobbyists and the Whistle-blowers.

Lynne Weil said the team should be the D.C. Delegates, "until we get full representation in Congress."

There were the Campaigners, Acronyms, Referendumbs, Washington Bush-leaguers, Beltway Bandits, Parkway Patriots, Warmongers, Washington Power, Superpowers, Clout, D.C. Comics, Filibusters ("especially apt for batters who hit endless foul balls with a 3-2 count," said Charlie Clark) and the Washington Red Tape, whose slogan, said Andy Jones, would be "Unstoppable!"

The Washington Justice would lead to great headlines, said Sam Scheiner. "On a day when they lost a game due to errors: 'Justice Is Blind.' "

The indefatigable Phil Frankenfeld sent in 83 suggestions, including the Porkbarrels, the Line Items and the Sausagemakers.

A few readers suggested the Presidents. Mike Gleason took it a step further. "The team should be named for whoever is president at the time and change whenever a new president is elected. . . . It would be revolutionary!"

Dave Tilford said it doesn't matter what we call the team "because right after we name it, Republicans in the House will rename it the Washington Ronald Reagans."

That sort of attitude was apparent in names such as the Washington Serfs ("because that is what we are," wrote Benjamin Van Horne) and the Washington Pawns.

Other names celebrated, or paid sickly homage to, local color: the Washington Cherry Blossoms ("Yes, it's a bit feminine," said Carl Ballard, "however, it has immediate cross-promotion potential with the annual spring blossoming and spring baseball training"), the D.C. Motorcades ("That way the motto can be 'They can't be stopped!' " said Dustin L. Mays), the Traffic, the Gridlocks, the Washington Wingtips, the Mallers (or Maulers), the Gentrifiers, the Washington Failing Schools.

One reader wrote, "I think we should name them 'the Opponents' because when our current teams play, it seems the Opponent wins most of the time."

Ruth Ann Monti of Scottsdale, Ariz., said the team should be the Washington Scandals, because that's "really what all those people outside the Beltway think of whenever they think about Washington."

Of course, we don't care what people in the hinterlands think, because we are Washington DCers, a name suggested by Anthony M. Gates.

Finally, Kevin Mullaney had a suggestion for making sure our new club doesn't pull up stakes, as our last two teams did. Name them the Washington Marionberries.

"They'll never leave D.C.," Kevin said.

C'mon, let's hear some chatter out there. Join me at 1 p.m. today for my weekly online chat: