Beware of Red Sox Bearing Gifts

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Oh the joys of interleague play, when American League behemoths battle with National League weaklings. When the diasporic fans from New York, Chicago and Boston get to see their teams in their adopted hometowns. When even casual fans get confused why the two leagues play by a different set of rules. And when purists complain because purists always need something to complain about.

This week in Washington, the Boston Red Sox visit for the first time since the Senators played as they face the Nationals for a three-game series starting tonight. It has been a hotly anticipated series as Red Sox Nation knows no boundaries and will likely come out in droves to see their favorite team.

Back when the Senators played, the joke was that Washington was "first in war, first in peace, and last in the American League." Sadly for this Nationals fan, the only thing that's changed is that the team is now in the National League. They hold the worst record in the major leagues (by far) and the Red Sox are continuing their winning ways (as of late) with the second-best record in the majors.

To commemorate their recent streak of (ahem) luck, Larry Lucchino, the president and CEO of the team, and, more importantly, Wally the Green Monster will be at the National Museum of American History this morning in a public presentation of the two objects they donated to the Smithsonian collections. The donations are the third base used in the 2004 World Series and the jersey worn by pitcher (and cancer survivor) Jon Lester in Game 4 of the 2007 World Series.

As Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough wrote in his column in our July issue, "Baseball is more than just a sport; its rich history mirrors civil rights achievements, triumph over adversity and other proud themes in our heritage."

The items will be on display through Sunday, June 28, a few days after the Red Sox are swept and lose all three games to the Nationals. Hey, you gotta have heart, right?

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