Originally posted on The Nats Blog old  |  Last updated 10/4/12


When this season began, hopes were high for the young Washington Nationals team. This team had great years ahead of it supported by a great pitching staff and a good young lineup. Heck, maybe the Nats could finish over .500 this year for the first time ever. These were the conversations I had with friends, family, and strangers in March and early April.

It turns out, the Nats had different plans, and manager Davey Johnson said as much in a spring training interview. If the Nats didn’t make the postseason, Davey said, “fire me.” People, including me, thought he was crazy. Well, there’s certainly no concern about the Nats manager’s status with the team after they won the National League East, earned the top seed in the National League, and finished with the best record in baseball. Maybe Davey knows exactly what he's talking about.

As the season progressed, it became clear from watching this team that what they were doing wasn’t a fluke. They believed in themselves, they had the talent to succeed, and rookies and veterans alike provided huge boosts in important spots.

When Ian Desmond went down, the teams MVP to that point in the season, rookie Steve Lombardozzi came in, and the team barely missed a beat. When Jayson Werth broke his wrist, Lombardozzi, Tyler Moore, another rookie, and others platooned to help the Nats work through it. Oh, and Bryce Harper was called up in late April, and he’s likely on his way to winning the NL Rookie of the Year Award.

Even with all the injuries to key players, including Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth, Michael Morse, Wilson Ramos, and others, the Nats starting pitchers never wavered a bit. They simply carried the Nats to the promised land. Stephen Strasburg showed what the Nats can look forward to for many more years, Gio Gonzalez is a leading candidate for the NL Cy Young Award, and the three other starters, Jordan Zimmermann, Edwin Jackson, and Ross Detwiler, all exceeded their expectations. The offense eventually got it together once they were healthy, but without that pitching staff, the Nats couldn’t have been here, on their way to the National League Division Series.

Baseball in DC has come a long way from Junior Spivey, Tony Armas, Jr., Steven Shell, and many, many other former Nats players that have long since left baseball and have long since been forgotten, even by many diehard Nationals fans. For those of us that watched from the beginning, a season like this is sweeter than sweet. The seasons of 100 plus losses, of irrelevance on the national stage, and of unknown players in the starting lineup are over. No one will soon forget the players that made up this 2012 Nationals team.

I’ve been blogging about the Washington Nationals for three years now, though I’ve been a fan from the start, and I joined here at The Nats Blog late last season. Not many independent baseball blogs are credentialed to cover an MLB team, but the Nats allowed us to do just that along with three other great blogs, District Sports Page, Federal Baseball, and We Love DC.

Watching this unfold from high atop Nationals Park in the press box has been unreal, and being granted credentials to cover the team’s home games for the NLDS is an extremely high honor. It’s been a challenging and exhausting season with lots of late nights of writing and early morning posts, but I wouldn’t have changed a single thing about it. This has been one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life, and it’s been wonderful sharing those experiences with you.

Our work isn’t done yet, because it never is. We have postseason baseball to write about, and then we have the offseason to talk about. I hope that doesn’t come until November. No one will forget the first time this team got here, and it will always be special as a Nats fan, but remember, there’s never a guarantee for future success. Savor this feeling and the experiences surrounding it. This is the kind of season you should want to tell your kids and grandkids about. I know I will.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 takeaways from Super Bowl 50

Was firing Jeff Hornacek the wrong move for the Suns?

Panthers picked wrong day to play worst game of the season

Was Peyton Manning paid for Budweiser mentions?

Cam Newton walks out of postgame press conference

Eli did not look thrilled after Peyton locked up Super Bowl


Rick Reilly sends awkward tweet during Super Bowl 50

Peyton Manning gives Papa John a kiss after game

Panthers' Josh Norman crying after losing Super Bowl

Peyton Manning ‘going to drink a lot of Budweiser’ after win

Where Peyton Manning ranks among Super Bowl era QBs

Peyton Manning declines to comment on possible retirement

Winners and losers from Super Bowl 50

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Aqib Talib wipes out on NFL Network

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Five biggest boneheaded plays of Super Bowl 50

WATCH: Cam Newton gives questionable effort to recover fumble

Lions say Calvin Johnson's future still not determined

How Louisville basketball bungled their self-imposed ban

Ted Ginn Jr. whiffs on football twice on one play, results in Panthers turnover

Kony Ealy makes one-handed interception of Peyton Manning

Mike Carey gets another call wrong on incomplete pass in SB

Steph Curry beats Panthers' "Keep Pounding" drum

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker