MIAMI - Well, the last day of the regular season is upon us. The Nationals will put Stephen Strasburg on the mound one more time, to face the Marlins at 4:10 p.m., and then we won't see the team until next spring in Vero Beach, er, Viera.
(For anybody who needs an explanation of that joke, see me after class.)
I'll be posting the usual flurry of season-end awards and grades in the next few days, but in a few areas, I'd like to hear from you. I'll conduct a fan poll later in this week where you can pick awards like team MVP, rookie of the year, best pitcher, etc., but there are a few less concrete categories for which I'd like nominations.
Here's what we'll do: Leave your nominations for the following categories in the comments section, and we'll put those nominations to a vote in the season-ending poll.
Here are the categories:
* What was your favorite game or moment of the 2011 season? (Obvious choices include Strasburg's return, Ryan Zimmerman's walk-off grand slam to beat the Phillies on August 19, the Nationals' five-run ninth inning against the Mariners on June 21 or their 17-5 blowout of the Orioles on May 20.)
* Which player surprised you most - either good or bad - with the way they performed this year?
* What was the biggest storyline of 2011? (Strasburg, Jim Riggleman resigning, Bryce Harper's debut and Davey Johnson's return are some of the obvious choices.)
* Who was your unsung hero of the season? In other words, which player do you think made the most contributions and didn't get enough credit for them? This is a more nebulous category, but I'd love to hear what you think.
Leave your nominations in the comments section, and we'll include them as part of our season-ending poll later in the week.