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On Being Both A Nats And O’s Fan During These Sky-High Times

I don’t know that I was born an O’s fan, but I was raised one. From about 1985 it was all about the Birds, and then 20 years later the Nats happened.

I was still an O’s fan after baseball returned to D.C., it’s just that they took a backseat. Even though both teams more or less stunk these past seven years, we’ve followed them along the way, and this blog’s coverage of each reflects the pecking order: Nats 1 (595 posts), O’s 1-A (266 posts).

It’s been easy enough to root for both (again, because they haven’t been good), except for when they’ve faced off in interleague play. Then, we pretty much root for all to do well and none to sweep. It’s as fun as it sounds.

But this, both teams being in first place in September, this is fun. It also increases the chances that it will get really uncomfortable.

The Nats have a 7.5-game lead in the NL East, meaning they’re almost a lock for the division and probably have at least a 25-percent chance of winning the pennant. I can’t believe I just got to write that sentence.

The O’s are tied for the AL East lead, 1.5 games up in the Wild Card. The math’s a little murkier, but let’s just assume they earn the Wild Card and therefore have about a 12.5-percent chance of making the World Series (though I believe it’s actually quite lower than that).

That means there’s at best a three-percent chance these Nats and O’s meet in October. Meaning, there’s a three-percent chance I’ll be rooting for Washington but kind of hating myself for it. It would be the good kind of hate.

D.C. sports fan and digital media guy that's been doing this since 2004. Once threw a football further than Chris Cooley.



  1. Alex Reed

    September 5, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    This is where I’m at, though for me it’s O’s 1 and Nats 1-A.

  2. Zach

    September 5, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    If that 3% comes to fruition, I plan on going to all games of the Series, impact on my wallet be damned.

  3. Max Wass

    September 5, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    According to, Baltimore has a 21.6% chance to win the AL East and a 31.8% chance to win one of the wild cards. Assuming a 50% chance to win each game in the playoffs (which, given recent history, is close enough), this puts the O’s’ chances of making the World Series at 9.4%. ((0.216+0.318*0.5)*0.5*0.5 = 0.375*0.25 = 0.094)

    Washington has a 97.2% chance to win the NL East and a 2.7% chance to win one of the two wild cards (meaning playoffs are all but guaranteed even with a late collapse). Thus the Nats’ chances of making the World Series are about 24.6%. ((0.972+0.027*0.5)*0.5*0.5 = 0.9855*0.25 = 0.246)

    Thus I would estimate the odds of a Nats-O’s World Series (and a future Ken Burns documentary covering the bloody Mister Irrelevant Comment Wars) at 2.3%.

    So yeah, 3% at best is right on the money. Not very likely, but likely enough for local sports media to discuss.

  4. Snyder's Bitch

    September 5, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    I too was raised an O’s fan. It’s good to see them succeed again, especially at the expense of the Yankees.

  5. Terps77

    September 5, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    My math says we should be thankful and happy we can revel in each and every day of relevant, pennant chasing, late season baseball. Im not going to let numbers or what-ifs spoil a better than expected/great season for the Nats and an out and out miracle season for the Birds.

  6. Jamie Mottram

    September 5, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    I think that’s good math.

  7. Me

    September 5, 2012 at 3:33 PM

  8. Max

    September 6, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    With an Orioles-raised DC suburbs upbringing, my philosophy all season long has been that I’m an O’s fan first, without any hesitation, but that I root for the Nats out of pride and love of the DMV.

    I’ve never questioned it because I don’t see how anybody from the area could hope for anything other than a Nats-O’s World Series. And for that to happen, both teams have to be sick, so unless they’re playing each other, I’m wishing the best for both.

    And I’d have no qualms hoping for an O’s sweep if it happens.

  9. Pingback: A Nats Fan’s Reconciliation With His O’s Fan Past (GUEST POST) | Mr. Irrelevant, a D.C. Sports Blog by the Brothers Mottram

  10. Pingback: Can True O’s Fans Root For The Nats? Maybe Not (GUEST POST) | Mr. Irrelevant, a D.C. Sports Blog by the Brothers Mottram

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