(There's Bob Short on the left, the former owner of the expansion Washington Senators who delivered the Senators to Texas after the '71 season. Our sources tell us Craig Sager wore that same jacket on air during the ALCS on TBS. AP File photo, via Daylife.com.)
The Washington Post's Thomas Boswell asked the question just over a week ago, and here's the answer:
The question: Is it time for Washington baseball fans to 'forgive' the Texas Rangers?
All is, or should be, forgiven, right? Especially for a new generation of baseball fans who quite possibly don't know Bob Short from Rick Short, or even care to know the difference?
Anyway, the Rangers are heading to the World Series for the first time in franchise history -- a history that includes some dark years as the sad sack Washington Senators -- and they took down the Yankees to get there. Good for them. And now the question is whether Bud Selig's World Series Ratings Nightmare comes to fruition this weekend by way of a Giants victory over the Phillies.
Meanwhile, it's still fun to take shots at Bob Short given the chance -- like at the final Nats game at RFK in 2007, when fans unfurled "Short Still Stinks" banners. But it's time for Washington baseball fans to move on - if they haven't already. Has been since 2005. Maybe that's easy to say for those who weren't around during the years when D.C. went without a baseball team, and even lived for years under the Peter Angelos occupation.
So, let's have one more for the road: The late Shirley Povich's classic "The Senators' Final Game", published in the Washington Post October 1, 1971:
The Washington Senators, at the end of this game, would be no more after 71 years on earth. The deceased, actually, was a pretty good draw, pulling those who had come to give a last cheer for remembered heroes, or, perforce, to wipe away some tears in public.
But for every mourner who made it to the ball park, there were multiple empty seats to testify that 30,000 others had averted their eyes from the scene, shunning it either in indifference to the whole business or in reluctance to give chortling Bob Short one last handout at the highest admission prices in the league.
(via Washington Post.com)
But was that Bob Short chortling from beyond the grave when A-Rod struk out for the final out, sending the Senators/Rangers to the World Series? Or was it Shirley Povich weeping?