WASHINGTON — Major League Baseball has always promoted a "Battle of the Beltways" interleague rivalry between the Nationals and the Orioles. But we're finding evidence that fans mostly get along just fine, especially with the Nationals heading to the World Series.
In the shadow of Camden Yards Monday, lifelong Orioles fans said they have always considered games with the Nationals more like neighbors coming over for a beer.
"I totally agree with that," said Colin Custer at Pickles Pub, across the street from Oriole Park at Camden Yards. "I never see a lot of like hatred towards each other. It never seems like a big rivalry.”
"If it's not us, why not them," chimed in Tom Leonard noting he will root for the team eagerly during the World Series.
"I think it's great considering the Orioles are rebuilding and trying to get back in the game we have one team that can do it for us," said Jessica Sullivan.
If there is a rivalry, its on the business side of Baseball:
Orioles owner Peter Angelos was bitterly opposed to MLB allowing a franchise in Washington in the first place.
The Orioles-controlled TV network MASN is still in litigation accused of underpaying the Nationals for their games.
The Nationals are outperforming the orioles on attendance. Between 2017 and 2019 the Nationals drew 3.4 million more fans than the Orioles, according to figures reported in Baseball Almanac.
Of the 74 meetings between the two teams in Nationals history, the Orioles have won 44 compared to 33 by the Nationals.
The Orioles have won three World Series championships - The Nats are going for their first.