Is Nationals vs. Orioles a true rivalry?


Let's just get this out of the way now -- no, it's not a rivalry. 

There, now we can move forward from here.

With the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles getting set for their first series of the 2020 MLB season, the conversation about whether or not "Nats and O's" should be considered a rivalry is once again rearing its ugly head. 

Here's the deal, Washington and Baltimore have a rivalry -- you know, the cities -- but the teams aren't even close to that yet. For true rivalries to form in sports, the foundation is always rooted in meaningful games. I mean, they're not even in the same division. Just because two teams' ballparks are an hour or so away from each other doesn't mean the players on the roster have a deep-rooted hatred for one another.

Think of some of the most historic rivalries in sports, the biggest moments are either postseason games, or games that can determine who wins a division and goes to the postseason (or conferences in college, but you get the idea). 

Washington Football Team and Cowboys, Lakers and Celtics, Duke-North Carolina, Yankees Red Sox, and the list goes on. Every single one of these rivalries grew organically, not just geographically. They've had to beat each other to win their division, their conference, or advance in the playoffs. 



The games have to matter first, it's just that simple. This means that until we see a Nationals-Orioles World Series, we can continue to argue about whether crabs cakes or mambo sauce is better, but we can't call this weekends' series a rivalry. 

Maybe one day. 

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