It has taken me a few years to come to the revelation that Washington D.C. is not located in Canada. While I know this might seem obvious, trust me, it isn’t that easy. The Washington Nationals franchise used to be in Montreal as a team named the Expos. The Expos were a very interesting franchise with star caliber players that never got the notoriety they deserved due to the media age in which they played. An Expos team with Hall of Fame quality players like Pedro Martinez, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson and Tim Raines. They, as recent as 15 years ago they had guys like Vlad Guerrero and Larry Walker. All of these guys belong to Montreal and Canada, not to the long and occasionally glorious history of Washington Baseball. This brings me to the rule I invented but should be adopted into major league sports.
The Rule of Baseball Franchise History: If a team moves and retains its name it retains its history. If the franchise moves and rebrands then it starts a new history.
So how does this work:
The Giants and Dodgers keep their history after moving from New York to California
The A’s after hopscotching their way across the country retain theirs. The Connie Mack A’s belong to the same lineage as the Billy Beane A’s
The Minnesota Twins started as a new organization after moving from DC as did the Texas Rangers when moving from, yep, Washington. Both teams’ assumed new identities when moving, and let’s be honest, they were fleeing to greener pastures.
To very blunt about my rule, if a team doesn’t care enough about the franchise history to keep the team name, you forfeit the team’s history.
If it were up to me Montreal would be receiving a package of Gary Carter and Andre Dawson ring of honor plaques very soon.