Turns out Vincent Gray and Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake were discussing that very possibility this week. They’re in favor.

“First of all, I think the Orioles are a big surprise,” Gray told Chuck Thies on WPFW’s D.C. Politics Hour . “I think they’re more of a surprise than the Nationals. But that would be absolutely phenomenal for many reasons — for civic pride, civic spirit. Imagine what we could make of a quote-unquote rivalry between the Orioles and the Nationals, recognizing they are in two different leagues. And as a practical matter, look what it would do for our economy, to have a World Series between Baltimore and the Nationals.”

What would it be called?

“Well, we could call it the Parkway Series — for the Baltimore-Washington Parkway — or we could call it the Beltway Series, or we could just call it the World Series,” Gray said. “Again, I’m absolutely certain we would find a name for it, and imagine the enthusiasm and energy that would be generated by those two teams playing each other.”

Thies had earlier asked Gray how far the Nats could go this year, and the mayor was bullish on the D.C. nine.

“First of all, I think they have an excellent team,” the mayor said. “I was involved in a conversation about two months before the season started, and I predicted they would win 90 games. And some thought that was, to say the least, overly optimistic. I think frankly it may be understated at this stage. And the reason why is the Nationals have one of the best pitching staffs in the entire Major Leagues, and that’s what wins games.

“Much has been made of Stephen Strasburg and the fact that he will be shut down at a certain point in order to preserve his future as a pitcher, but go beyond him,” Gray urged. “Look at Jackson. Look at Detwiler. Look at the other pitchers on that team. So, one, I don’t think it should be hugely surprising that the Nationals have done so well this year, and I don’t think anyone should be surprised if they go well into the playoffs, because I think they’ve got the ingredient that makes for a great team, and that is an excellent pitching staff....

“So don’t be surprised if the Nationals go deep into the playoffs,” Gray concluded. “And frankly, I think there are a lot of people who would be disappointed if, getting into the playoffs, they only went one round.”

You’ll recall that D.C. Council Member Marion Barry went on the same program and predicted a Redskins playoff berth earlier this summer. Thies asked Gray if he would do the same.

“Go back a few months, I was one of the biggest proponents of the Redskins drafting RGIII, because I felt that he was literally a game-changer,” Gray said. “But I’m not prepared to step to the prediction that the Redskins are gonna make the playoffs, because there are so many other elements that are required for a team to address in order to be able to make the playoffs in the NFL....

“We need to remember, the Redskins had a very difficult season last year,” Gray added. “And I think a lot of people would be ecstatic if they had an 8-8 season, which is likely not to make the playoffs. If they were to make the playoffs, wonderful. But I just don’t see it happening this year.”


Nats to limit ticket sales in 2012-13

Beltway baseball, everyone