The night the lights stayed on in DC

The email from John Dever of the Nationals Media Relations came at 12:17:28 and ended my frantic search from website to website.

Stephen Strasburg was finally a Nat, at least a Nats farmhand, and it’s a great time to be a fan of Major League Baseball’s newest team!

What’s better than a Monday off after winning 11 of 14, going 17-14 under Manager Jim Riggleman, and getting a glimpse into the future of our ballclub with the signing of the highest-profile draftee ever?

Congrats to Ted and Mark Lerner, Stan Kasten and Mike Rizzo, and for that matter, Scott Boras for getting the deal done that many thought had no chance of happening.

I’m sure over the next few days everyone will be weighing in with their opinions and brilliant hindsight on how all of this happened, but a select few people were actually on the inside and know what research, hard work and give-and-take made this possible.

So, let’s not all try to be geniuses and over-analyze. Just enjoy a major accomplishment by our organization and hope we see Stephen in the major leagues sometime soon!

I had a good feeling about the signing earlier in the evening when MASN’s Kristen Hudak told me that Nats fans, including the one and only “Miss Chatter,” were gathering at a Capitol Hill establishment for a “watch and wait party.” That told me there might be special forces and karma at work here and that success was possible. Hats off to you fans who stayed out late on a work night to impose your will on a situation that could have gone either way!

I had calls from ESPN Radio stations in LA and Vegas, ESPNews and XM Radio, all wanting to interview a broadcaster who really had no idea what was going to happen. I did my best to assure them that the Nats were going to do the right thing, sign him or not sign him.

I can tell you, from the comments I got from those radio and TV people, that there was a newly-found respect for our organization around the country, even before Strasburg was signed.

Now that he’s in the fold, it’s time for Stephen and his new teammates to build on that and get to the big leagues as soon as possible.

Well done, NatsTown!