Washington Nationals: Doesn’t Anyone Want To Play Here?

rjuckett
Oct 11, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) and catcher Yasmani Grandal (9) celebrate defeating the Washington Nationals 6-5 in game four of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 11, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) and catcher Yasmani Grandal (9) celebrate defeating the Washington Nationals 6-5 in game four of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

NATIONALS YET TO FIND IDENTITY

It may be hard to understand, considering how far the Nats have come in their short time in DC, but the squad is still in transition from their days in Montreal.

Yes, the ownership and management care. The fans who go to Nationals Park are good and the team is a success on the field. Yet, they have not been fully embraced by the city or prospective players. It becomes a catch-22. You do not want to go to a new team unless you think they can win it all.

But they cannot win it all until they get the right players. And they will remain gun shy until they think they can win. A cruel circle, for sure. Although they are so far ahead of where the franchise was in Quebec following the 1994 strike, they have gone as far as they can without reaching the next level.

For the Nats future, this is a World Series trip. Yes, even making the NL Championship Series boosts the faithful toward the team, but in the clutter of everyday life, the team has to break into that top level.

The Washington Nationals are the lone MLB team to never win a pennant. Since leaving Washington, the Twins won three and the Rangers two.

Once the Nats break through, it will become easier. Until it happens, the road remains rocky.

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