It’s the day after a holiday.
We’ll talk in whispers. Keep the lights down somewhat low.
And we won’t get too analytical today.
In fact, we won’t get analytical at all. Today, we are going to discuss the most trivial of all matters.
But, apparently, something so trivial got a bunch of people stirred up.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter walked into Monday afternoon’s pregame press conference wearing a Washington Capitals jersey (or sweater, I’ve been told) – with No. 26 and “Showalter” on the back.
The Orioles and the Capitals have had a relationship over the years, and the Orioles players have worn T-shirts and recorded messages in support of the Caps this postseason.
The Nationals, obviously, have been doing the same.
It’s all fine to me. There’s only one hockey team in the Mid-Atlantic region, so why not celebrate its run to a title with the Stanley Cup finals starting Monday night?
Well, apparently there are plenty of reasons why Showalter shouldn’t have been wearing the jersey – at least according to my social media feed after I posted the above picture twice on Twitter.
You see, the Orioles were playing the Washington Nationals on Monday. And Baltimore and Washington are not the same market. You may have heard that once or twice.
And Baltimore and Washington don’t necessarily like each other. Some Nats fans were ticked that Showalter was jumping on their city’s bandwagon. Some Orioles fans weren’t happy that Showalter would support that team from down I-95, especially while playing the baseball team from down I-95.
As we’ve discussed plenty of times in this fake joint, I’m not a fan – I try to look at things objectively without emotion – but I also like to hear a fan’s perspective on occasion.
For full disclosure: I wouldn’t call myself a big hockey guy, but if I do follow a team, it is the Capitals, because that was the NHL squad that played closest to me while growing up in Baltimore. That’s the one I rooted for back in the day.
I know a lot of native Baltimorons are with me there. And a lot think rooting for a Washington team from the 410 area code is sacrilege.
As for Showalter, he said he wasn’t much of a hockey fan. But his son, Nathan, married a local woman who loves the Caps. Nathan has gotten into the Capitals, and Showalter is heading that way now, too.
He had a chance to meet Washington coach Barry Trotz after a game in DC on January 19. It was a bad loss, and Showalter tried to get out of the post-game, meet-and-greet in deference to Trotz. But the Caps’ people insisted, Trotz and Showalter chatted and Showalter on Monday called Trotz, “impressive.”
So, Showalter was showing his support on the afternoon of the Stanley Cup’s Game 1. And the Orioles organization has been showing its support for the Caps.
No big deal to me.
But hundreds of you made a point of liking, retweeting or commenting on the picture I posted on Twitter. It obviously hit a nerve. So, I have one silly, meaningless question for you today.
Tap-In Question: Showalter in a Caps’ jersey – good, bad or who cares?