There are valuable lessons the Washington Nationals can glean from the last few World Series. How do they turn it into their own title?
The Washington Nationals are in the midst of a culture change following their exit in the National League Divisional Series.
From a new analytical approach to bringing in younger players, the Nats are serious in trying to win their first World Series. How they get there remains a mystery. But, as with any puzzle, this is one that can be cracked. Ask the Houston Astros.
Hiring Dave Martinez is a start. As Joe Maddon’s bench coach for two World Series trips, they hope his knowledge is a crucial missing piece of solving Washington’s championship dilemma. The Nats are attempting to go with sabremetics seriously to construct lineups, rosters and who to draft.
Finally, Washington has a grasp on the concept it takes more than money to win. Sure, there is top talent on the field. But, four times in six years, the playoff run ended too early. Since you cannot fire the players, the changes needed are subtle and must come from within.
Along with a change in thinking, the Nats should look how the Kansas City Royals, Chicago Cubs and Astros pulled off their championship ambitions. Learning how the New York Mets, Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Dodgers fell short is a good idea.
Although playoffs are crap shoots, titles are not accidental. They take planning and execution. Baseball is a sport that has evolved since the sports creation. Over the last three years, the evolution of the eventual champion changes at a faster pace.
As the Nats try to prepare for their own run, here are lessons they can take away from the recent World Series.