Nationals

Quick Links

One MLB expansion option would be returning to Montreal

One MLB expansion option would be returning to Montreal

If MLB follows through on its plan to expand from 30 to 32 teams, then the former home of the Nationals’ franchise will be on the short list of cities that could be chosen for one of the new ballclubs.

Commissioner Rob Manfred has spoken numerous times about the league’s interest in expanding, most recently telling Fox Sports in 2018 that moving to 32 teams would be “great for our sport.” He went on to list six possible locations in that interview: Portland, Las Vegas, Charlotte, Nashville, Montreal, Vancouver and “places in Mexico we could go over the long haul.”

Montreal, the former home of the Expos, is the only city on the list that has already hosted an MLB team before. The league forced the sale of the Expos in 2004 and moved the club to D.C. the following year, returning baseball to the nation’s capital for the first time since 1971.

Although expansion is a topic that likely won’t be touched until the coronavirus pandemic is in the rearview mirror and negotiations for the new Collective Bargaining Agreement are at the forefront of the sport’s attention, that list still remains an important one to keep an eye on over the next few years.

USA TODAY baseball columnist Bob Nightengale joined NBC Sports Washington’s Todd Dybas, Nick Ashooh and Chase Hughes on Wednesday’s episode of the Nationals Talk podcast and discussed who he believes the favorites are on that list to eventually host an MLB team.

“I think Nashville is emerging maybe as the No. 1 choice,” Nightengale said. “Charlotte is still in the picture, you also have Portland and obviously Montreal. Montreal means you get a new ballpark—all these places do. Charlotte is an up-and-coming city now I think they could support it. Nashville is a baseball hot bed so I like their chances. I don’t like Vegas’ chance just because…Vegas would be just too small of a city.”

LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW ON THE NATIONALS TALK PODCAST

If two teams are added to the league, MLB may decide to ditch the traditional six divisions in favor of eight divisions with four teams in each one—identical to the layout of the NFL. While that would likely diminish the chances of the Nationals and new Montreal team being in the same division, they still could both end up being in the NL.

The Nationals have maintained a connection with their Montreal roots, wearing throwback Expos jerseys in a July 6 game against the Kansas City Royals and identifying the placement of two additional diamonds on their World Series rings to represent the “duality of the franchise.”

However, D.C. fans have been less inclined to embrace the Expos side of the franchise’s history and there’s no guarantee that a Washington/Montreal rivalry would emerge if a team does start up there.

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

Quick Links

Will Nationals follow tradition with gold uniforms for home opener? One video suggests so

Will Nationals follow tradition with gold uniforms for home opener? One video suggests so

Thursday marked the moment Nationals players started to receive their World Series rings, something many have been waiting for since the final out in Houston back in October of 2019.

Adam Eaton was one of the players to share a video of his unboxing of the ring. An exciting moment to watch, there was something else caught on camera that looked very interesting: a new-looking Nationals jersey.

Though the top has the same traditional elements Washington's jersey has featured in recent years, a closer look will show that there is gold featured in the name, number and logo.

Eaton's video also shows off a Nationals cap that features the World Series trophy logo on it. Erick Fedde also added a crystal clear video of what the uniform looks like.

What could be the meaning behind these uniforms? While it has not been confirmed yet, it appears that Washington may be following a trend that has become the standard for defending World Series champions.

RELATED: NATS GET RINGS

In recent years, the team that just won the World Series will celebrate the home opener with a ring ceremony on the field. In addition, teams have begun wearing jerseys that featured gold elements throughout as a tribute to the Commissioner's Trophy. 

The trend actually began back in 2005 when the Red Sox celebrated their 2004 championship with special jerseys during the ceremony. But, they weren't worn during the actual game. That custom began in 2007 when the St. Louis Cardinals did it, and the Phillies did the same in 2009. Then in 2011 after the San Francisco Giants followed suit, it became something that every team has done since.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE NATIONALS TALK PODCAST

The Kansas City Royals, Chicago Cubs and every other champion of the most recent decade has added some gold into their home design. Though nothing is confirmed just yet, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Nationals do the same.

If the jersey in Eaton's video is in fact what the Nationals will sport during the home opener, it will only make Opening Day against the Yankees that much more exciting.

Stay connected to the Nationals with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

Quick Links

SEE IT: Nationals players finally receive their World Series rings

SEE IT: Nationals players finally receive their World Series rings

The day came about three months later than we expected, but Nationals players finally received their 2019 World Series Championship rings Thursday.

Patrick Corbin and Adam Eaton were the first to share their new jewelry on Instagram.

"I don't think that's going to fit on my finger!" Eaton said right after he opened the ring box. 

The Nationals originally planned to hold a virtual ring ceremony to give fans and players a chance to enjoy such a momentous moment, but they later altered that plan following feedback from the players. Instead, they decided to unveil their championship rings. 

RELATED: TREA TURNER NEVER CONSIDERED SITTING OUT SEASON

The 2020 season was delayed before it could begin thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, preventing the Nationals from holding a proper ring ceremony and banner unveiling in front of a sold-out Nats Park.

With two weeks to go before a 60-game regular-season schedule begins, the team has reconnected to get ready for an abbreviated title defense. Under the circumstances, this was the time to do it. 

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE NATIONALS TALK PODCAST

Stay connected to the Nationals with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: