We are a fan base who likes gimmicks which lead to results The first time the Baby Shark phenomenon rolled around, we ate it up. Washington Nationals fans couldn’t get enough of the one liners. “Go 1-0 today.” “Stay in the fight.” “Bumpy roads lead to beautiful places.” And finally, “fight finished.”
When Kyle Schwarber uttered those three simple words, we were his. Then he backed up the talk by going on one of the most ridiculous home run binges of all time. By that point we were in love with the man. Hoping he could single handedly steer the Nationals ship back on course.
“Stay with us”, is what he said. Stay with them, is what we did.
Then Schwarber was hurt. Then Schwarber was traded.
Didn’t take long for Nationals fans to fall in love with Kyle Schwarber.
At the time Schwarber paired his, “Stay with us” with “I’ve got a lot of belief in this team”, he had a batting average of .229 and was striking out a lot. The Nationals were six games under .500 and 7.5 games behind the division leading New York Mets.
Why should we believe Schwarber? Well, for one, he let his bat do the talking. Moved into the leadoff spot in the batting order just days before, Schwarber embarked on a home run hitting barrage which jumpstarted the Nationals.
Schwarber talked the talk, and walked the walk. He hit 16 June home runs. The Nationals won 19 June baseball games. They had climbed to within two games of first place in the NL East, and were sitting two games over .500 when July began.
Schwarbombs were a thing of the present. Schwarber was going to be a thing of the future. Sure, he’d decline the option in his contract for next year, but the Nationals would sign him to an extension. Juan Soto and he would form a new-aged Bash Brothers tandem.
Then the calendar turned to July, and Schwarber was injured. He would not participate in the All-Star Game. He would not will the Nationals to wins the way Gerardo Parra seemed to do in 2019. He would not hit another home run in a Nationals uniform.
Schwarber loved his time in DC and Nationals fans loved him too. He was a member of the team for about a calendar year, though he had stolen the hearts of so many. While the Boston Red Sox get a power hitter who may strike out too often, Nationals fans are left wondering what might have been.
Schwarber may not have been in DC very long, though he left fans with a lot of great memories.