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‘Beasts of the East’ get ready to battle

Michelle Basch, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Baseball’s “Beasts of the East” are about to begin three days of battle in D.C.: The Washington Nationals play the New York Yankees.

Both teams lead their divisions, and it’s tough to figure out who’s better.

WTOP dared to go to the “dark side” for opinions.

WTOP visited the 51st State Tavern, a Yankees bar in D.C.’s West End.

“They have a good team,” Yankees fan Steve Baxter says of the Nats.

But Baxter says Stephen Strasburg is the only major threat.

“I really don’t see anyone else on that staff that can shut down the Yankees lineup after one through nine,” Baxter says.

Matthew Murphy is a New Yorker who has lived in D.C. about a year. His family has had Yankees tickets since 1936. He had kind things to say about Washington.

“You look at the Yankees as seasoned professionals. You look at the Nats as a young team who could make it to the World Series, and that’s the excitement of the game,” says Murphy, who calls Bryce Harper “amazing.”

Emily Felber of New York, who’s in D.C. for the summer, says her earliest childhood memory is cheering in the family section of the old Yankees Stadium at age 3.

“They’re on a winning streak, and I’d love to see them come to D.C. and respectfully beat the Washington Nationals. No offense,” Felber says. ”

During our visit to the tavern, WTOP also met Yankees fan Julie Munro and Nationals fan Nikki D’Angelo. The D.C. residents are good friends who agreed to face off in several rounds of baseball trash talking. Listen to the audio on the right to be the judge.

The Nats face the Yankees at 7:05 p.m. Friday, 1:05 p.m. Saturday and 1:35 p.m. on Sunday.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)