You already know this, but 2020 was a pretty awful year. Not that many folks didn’t experience some legitimately positive moments, but in the big picture this was among the worst years in most everybody’s lives.
Now, you have to be awfully naïve to believe that the world is suddenly going to change for the better just because we’re all opening up a new calendar today. Nothing is inherently different today compared to yesterday, other than an arbitrary number someone a long time ago chose to use as the starting point of the Earth’s orbit around the sun.
But there is still ample reason to believe 2021 will be better than 2020. We all have our own personal reasons for believing so, but here are some reasons the new year should be better for the Nationals (and for all of us who care about them) ...
* The season will be longer than 60 games. It may not get to 162, but it certainly will be closer to that total than last year’s total.
* Stephen Strasburg will make more than two starts. I mean, if he doesn’t, we’re all in for a whole lotta hurt.
* Juan Soto will be more experienced and more determined to take his already elite game to even greater heights. Truly, it’s scary to think just how good he can be.
* Davey Martinez and Mike Rizzo won’t have to spend a moment thinking about their contract statuses. And we won’t have to ask either of them a single question about it.
* Max Scherzer is going to be awfully motivated to put together an elite season, either because he’s going to be trying to ensure a good contract for 2022 or because he’s going to want to end his Hall-of-Fame career on a high note.
* Ryan Zimmerman is (probably) going to get to enjoy one final moment in the sun playing for the only organization that has ever employed him.
* Hundreds of Nationals minor leaguers (and thousands of their counterparts across the sport) are going to be able to play an actual season after being shut out in 2020.
* At some point, the 2019 World Series champions are going to be honored at Nationals Park and receive the adulation they rightfully deserve.
* D.C. Washington (and many others) are going to get to sing the national anthem in front of an audience again.
* Most importantly, you’re going to be able to attend a ballgame in person again. You’re going to be able to cheer your favorite players and your favorite team. You’re going to be able to eat a hot dog and drink a beer. You’re going to be able to high-five those seated near you. You’re going to be able to boo Bryce Harper. You’re going to be able to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” And you’re going to be able to walk out of the ballpark with a smile on your face, no matter the outcome.
Happy new year, everybody.