O's Angelos doesn't screech over Nats' downtown promotion

May 16, 2008|By Jeff Barker | Jeff Barker,Sun Reporter

Turf war? What turf war?

The Washington Nationals sent their mascot and other representatives to distribute Nationals coolers and pocket schedules yesterday at the Inner Harbor, just blocks from Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Orioles owner Peter Angelos said he had no problem with it.

Years ago, a Washington team promoting itself in downtown Baltimore might have seemed like an enemy incursion. But Angelos, when apprised of the event yesterday, said: "It doesn't strike me in any particular way. They're welcome to do that. It's a free country," Angelos said. "It [Baltimore and Washington] is one huge megalopolis, you know? It's about time we realize it."

Screech, the bird mascot, represented the Nationals along with the Racing Presidents - the big-headed renditions of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

The Nationals staged the event during the lunch hour. Screech and the presidents handed out the freebies near the ESPN Zone and other spots around the harbor.

The event was organized by the Nationals and Brotman-Winter-Fried Communications, a Virginia communications firm. Organizers hoped to promote the Nationals and their series with Baltimore this weekend and in Washington on June 27-29.

Most fans reacted enthusiastically, with kids hugging Screech, according to people who were there. Some fans booed or yelled "Go O's!"

Angelos had once opposed having a team in Washington, arguing that the region couldn't support two franchises. Now that the Nationals are here, he says he hopes they are successful. The Orioles and Nationals share ownership of MASN.

jeff.barker@baltsun.com

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