After 12 years in Washington, it’s time for the Nationals to forget their Montreal Expos days.
Inducting Ivan Rodriguez and Tim Raines into the Ring of Honor at Nationals Park on Monday is just silly.
Raines never played in Washington, while Rodriguez finished his career playing 155 games for the Nats over 2010-11. Earlier, the Nats inducted Expos Andre Dawson and Gary Carter into the ring.
This is nonsense. Same goes for team records. Leave a city, leave your history. Time to move on and be a Washington-centric team. The way the Cleveland Browns did it, albeit under force, was the right way when becoming the Baltimore Ravens.
This should be a ring for Washington players. And, for all of Washington’s baseball past. The Nats rightfully installed Walter Johnson, Harmon Killebrew, Frank Howard and Goose Goslin of past Senators teams.
But forget the Expos because they have no connection to the nation’s capital. The Nats might as well put in famous Yankees who once played here. Why, let’s add Mickey Mantle for his titanic blast at Griffith Stadium.
The Nats are still struggling with being a new franchise of sorts after arriving in 2005. It was hard to say someone’s a team record holder when the Nats were a few years old, but 12 years shows they’ve come of age. There’s a generation of millennials in the stands who grew up watching this team plus retirees who can now close the gap between the old Senators and new Nationals.
One day, Ryan Zimmerman will join the ring after a standout career in Washington. Maybe Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner, Stephen Strasburg and more. The pipeline that is about to win its fourth NL East title in six years has pumped mezzanine-worthy names onto the field.
Montreal is now starting to talk of regaining a Major League Baseball franchise. If ever successful, Canadians will want back their history and Washington should rightfully give it to them. Maybe even send over a few ring signs to start their honorees list.
Nats Park is for Washingtonians, not ghosts of the past.
Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter @Snide_Remarks.