The lifespans of this blog and of the Washington Nationals have been just about synonymous. There have been many dark moments throughout the years.
In 2005, the Nats played the first game in DC in my lifetime.
I predicted the Nats' tailspin.
And the Nats experienced a fiasco.
In 2006, Frank Robinson stood up for his team.
In 2007, the Nats had trouble winning on Wednesdays.
An ump screwed the Nats and John Lannan.
The Nats gave up a record-setting homerun.
And we said goodbye to RFK.
The 2008 started with players in the dog house.
The Nats were in trouble that year.
The 2009 season started terribly.
The bullpen was awful that year.
Stan Kasten was perplexed at how bad the Nats were.
In 2010, I celebrated the Nats reaching .500 even though it was only April.
Strasburg was benched just before a game I paid double the ticket price.
I took a realistic view of the franchise.
In 2011, I could sense the Nats were changing for the better.
The team was inconsistent, which was better than being consistently bad.
This season, they have flirted with being the best team in baseball.
Roger Bernadina made a great catch, possibly signifying something special.
And I've defended the Nats with their decision to sit Strasburg.
I've cheered for the Nats every step of the way. Most of those steps have been wrought with pain, disappointment, and embarrassment. It makes the win tonight that much sweeter. I don't mind telling you that clinching a playoff spot brought tears to my eyes tonight. But that doesn't mean it's enough just yet.
A couple of notes:
-Someone somewhere in Moldova is rocking my Nats hat I left on a train headed there in '05 with a smile today.
-I was at RFK the day Ross Detwiler signed his first contract. He threw out the ceremonial first pitch and bounced it, so I booed. Five years later, he gets the win in the playoff-clinching victory. I think my booing deserves a large portion of the credit.