Washington Nationals: A personal year of lessons learned

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When I came from writing about baseball on a national level to here, one of the many things I did not understand was how strong of a fan base you are.

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I grew up in New England. Under-performing in October is a subject I can teach at a Master’s level. When good things are expected, there is a built-in apprehension about the business of baseball. Because the Nats are legitimately good, there is a tension oozing from the crowd seeping through the television set.

There is an underlying resentment every time Zimmerman or Max Scherzer breaks a franchise record held by Tim Wallach or Steve Rogers. The history these Nats make is not in your eyes an extension of the Montreal days. You want so much for this to be Washington’s identity and achievement. We may disagree on that—the franchise starts the 50th season next year—but I understand wanting and rooting for that breakthrough.

That breakthrough will happen. Maybe this year, maybe in the next five. But, it will happen. The owners care. The Lerners want a good product on the field. Washington attracts quality free agents. Jayson Werth and Max Scherzer are proof.

The franchise went from playing second-fiddle to hockey royalty with the Canadiens to football’s Redskins here. At least the Nats do not actively avoid playing at the same time as the football team. Yes, if the Canadiens were home for a playoff game, the Expos shuffled off to early afternoon starts of death.

Through the trouble of the Nats finding their own footing, they found you. Smart, passionate fans who love them and the sport. When that magic night happens when everything comes together, it is so worth it.

Next: Robles era starts in DC

It will happen and I hope to share it with you.