The Washington Nationals are bringing joy and smiles to a lot us in the greater Washington, DC area. A number of us have been season ticket holders since they moved here to DC in ’05. Yes, they played in an old stadium, RFK, but it didn’t really matter. After not having MLB here in town for over 30 years, it was so wonderful to watch baseball played in the Nation’s Capital. It didn’t matter to me who the Nats were playing — it was joyous to have pro baseball played here in DC.
I also bought into their long term plans near the beginning of their tenure here — about replenishing the farm system and building the team with young talent and a long-term vision in place. I’m fortunate to be friends with the Nats ownership group as well as the team president at the time, Stan Kasten.
I know Stan from our AOL / Time Warner days. He’s the legendary sports executive who at one point was in charge of three professional teams at the same time — the Braves of the MLB; Hawks of the NBA; and Thrashers of the NHL. He’s a true legend and visionary in our field.
So, yes we bought into the long-term vision, similar to what the Capitals have so successfully accomplished. But, it’s been an up and down couple of years as the Nats struggled on the field.
We did start to see the improvement in play in the latter half of last season. And, we know the team has drafted very well under the great GM leadership of Mike Rizzo. But, none of my friends and I expected the fantastic success that Nats are displaying this year. It’s getting near the end of August and they still have the best record in the MLB!
I’m working out of LA this week so I’m missing the big series vs the 2nd place Atlanta Braves. But, I’m following the games on my iPad. And, I’m very much looking forward to the upcoming series against the defending world champion, STL Cardinals, next week and then the Cubbies.
The team is definitely built for the long run. They have a great foundation in place and should be in contention for the playoffs for the next few years. Pitching, timely hitting and defense — the keys to a winning team. Of course, injuries can and will play a factor, So, we’ll keep our fingers crossed as DC gets to enjoy its first pennant race in a long, long time in the coming months.
As for the Strasburg issue, I could write an entire blog about it but I’m 100% behind the decision made by Nats management.
Nats fan — enjoy the next couple of months — we haven’t experienced this in a long time and it will be fun. Of course, the experiences at the Caps playoffs are through the roof. Looking forward to some raucous nights at Nats Park! Let’s go, Nats.