The novelty of postseason fever seems to be all the rage these days. As great and historic as this whole postseason thing is and sounds, it’s not the sole reason for watching the Nationals in 2012. It’s a great selling point, but it’s not the only one.
Perhaps this can be deemed a wake-up call of sorts, not unlike the time I went on to discuss why everyone should stop talking about Stephen Strasburg as if he were the messiah. Or maybe this is more reminiscent of the time I preached about fans needing to maintain perspective on the season regardless of a postseason berth since they’ve already secured a winning season. What I’m trying to say is that this time last year, there was little chance that anyone in their right mind could imagine Washington still being in the race this deep into September.
So if you still have friends who haven’t figured out why they should be watching this team, here are some bits and pieces to mention to them next time you talk about the Nats:
* Davey Johnson’s the grandfather you never knew you always wanted. Don’t get me wrong, I love my grandpa. He’s one of my favorite guys in the world. But Johnson’s got this charm and charisma to him that just makes you want to be his buddy and do good by his name. Add his Texan twang plus his faith in his roster and you’ve got a recipe for a good laugh and winning baseball.
* Strasburg isn’t pitching and it’s not the end of times. The apocalypse has not come. The four horsemen haven’t ridden through town. There’s no asteroid headed directly for Nats Park. So Strasburg isn’t pitching anymore in 2012? So what? John Lannan’s not there to fill the void, he’s there to pitch like the Nats know he can. He’s not quite Strasburg but he’s Lannan enough for general manager Mike Rizzo and that’s all that matters.
* The team’s got pretty good taste in music. If you’ve been to at least a game or two this season then you’re bound to notice that folks like to sing along a lot in the stands. It’s turned into one of the staples of spending time at Nats Park. The players pick their walk-up music and often times change it up from inning to inning or at least once or twice during the season itself. District Sports Page did a great job of compiling a list of all their walk-up songs, so if you’re looking for some new tunes for your iPod or a soundtrack for the Nats’ 2012 season, then look no further than the Nats’ signature songs.
* The novelty of watching Bryce Harper play hasn’t worn off and likely won’t. National media is obsessed with him. Johnson’s proclaimed that Harper’s one of his favorite players to have ever managed. His teammates look out for him, the veterans in particular. The only reason to dislike the 19-year-old ballplayer is if you hate watching other people with passion and talent succeed. Harper’s been compared to some of the greatest names in the game’s history and he hasn’t even finished his rookie season yet.
So the next time you find yourself having to explain why you’re watching the Nats this late in September and the games actually matter, this bit of fodder should assist in getting other people to start paying attention. It’s September in Washington, D.C., and for the first time in a long time that actually matters.
Rachel Levitin blogs about the Nationals for We Love DC, and will be sharing her observations about baseball in the nation’s capital as part of MASNsports.com’s season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our little corner of cyberspace. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.