Washington Nationals: Clinch day worthy of celebration


Winning a division title is the most a team can accomplish in the regular season. The Washington Nationals have the right to celebrate their victory.

Whether it is Sunday or early next week, the Washington Nationals have earned the right to celebrate their National League anyway they choose.

Yes, the magic prize awaits on October. Fans on social media pretending to be upset as the Nats pour cheap beer and champagne on each other need to understand the team knows the road ahead. Although there are bigger days coming, you cannot win a bigger one than a divisional crown during the regular season.

Unless the Nats are swept by the Atlanta Braves AND the Miami Marlins sweep their series versus the Philadelphia Phillies, this title marks the earliest clinch in franchise history. No matter how you slice it, history will happen at Nationals Park.

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For fans, this will be the first time Washington has clinched in front of their own. Also, a title cements their fourth in six years. Unheard of during their years in Montreal and first seven years in DC.

When you consider all the injuries and bullpen angst that dominated not only this site but talk radio and other websites, talking about clinching at all seems amazing. If Jayson Werth wants to clean Dan Kolko’s suit and hair with fizzy drinks, so what?

From the time Washington got down to business at their new West Palm Beach home in February, this was the goal. Ensure the Nats get back into the playoffs. All those long nights with lineups even a scorecard had a hard time finding the right names paid off. Those wind sprints in the outfield to watching Wilmer Difo patrol centerfield with the dexterity of Barney Fife. The reward is here.

Or as soon as the Nats win two or Marlins drop two. Any combination of these ends the chase, and another flag rises from the stadium.

Talk of the Dodgers, Cubs or Diamondbacks can wait another day. Free agency and Dusty Baker’s future is beyond the horizon. October remains a calendar page turn away. This is about now. To grab the diamond-encrusted gold ring, you must get to the gate. Well, here we are with the key in hand.

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Playoff rotations and worries can wait a few days. Do not begrudge this team the right to celebrate as they want. These Nats earned it on the field. Enjoy it with them.