Baltimore Orioles: Is the Battle of the Beltways a rivalry?

The Baltimore Orioles will host the Washington Nationals starting tonight for two games at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. That’s right, the Baltimore installment of The Battle of the Beltways is upon us! The teams will play another two-game series next month at Nationals Park. in DC.

Obviously Washington is in contention, and the Orioles are rebuilding. However that aside, is there truly a “rivalry” between these two teams? I would argue no. Between the fan bases and on the business side of things, there certainly is. The MASN dispute is far from over, and the fans all work among one another on a daily basis.

So maybe you have local bragging rights at stake in a sense. However there’s never really been anything that’s created a rivalry on the field. There was the beaning of Manny Machado a few years ago, but that was quickly swept under the rug. Any tension that existed died off quickly.

In order to create an on-field rivalry you need more than just proximity. You need a catalyst. One team winning a game which prevents the other from going to the post season, or something like that. Something that truly creates bad blood. These games are fun, and they allow fans of both teams to take in a game in another park without going to far from home. But that’s about it.

The series opens tonight at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Asher Wojciechowsi gets the start for the Orioles, and Washington is yet to announce a starter. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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