Remember the old ex-Cub factor?
Several years ago, some wag figured out that teams in the World Series with an abundance of ex-Chicago Cubs on their active rosters were doomed to lose. It held water for a number of years until the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Yankees, with a trio of former Cubbies on their roster.
This year we might have an ex-Nats factor. Milwaukee had three former Nationals - Marco Estrada, Nyjer Morgan and Jerry Hairston Jr. - but lost to the Cardinals in the National League Championship Series. The Cardinals had previously defeated a Phillies roster in the National League Division Series that featured former Washington catcher Brian Schneider and Michael Martinez, a Rule 5 draftee from the Nats. Depending on your perspective, that's either one or two, or maybe one and a half. Regardless, the Cardinals didn't have any ex-Nats.
In the American League Division Series, the ex-Nat-less Tigers beat the Yankees, who had Luis Ayala in their bullpen. The Rangers beat the Rays, but there was a standoff in former Nationals: Tampa Bay had reliever Joel Peralta, and Texas had outfielder Endy Chavez.
The lone ex-Nationals player left in the postseason is Chavez, who hit .301 as a part-timer with the Rangers. Chavez played only seven games for the 2005 Nats before he was shipped off to Philadelphia for Marlon Byrd, so most fans barely remember him wearing the curly W. Nonetheless, the weight of disproving there's an ex-Nat factor in 2011 falls squarely on his shoulders.
He wears No. 9 and bats lefthanded. His playing time will likely be sparse. Still, he may give Nat fans a reason to root on the Rangers this week.