Several times during this baseball season, and especially in the last month, I've been asked why I was so high on the Nats? Was I always a baseball fan? Here's the answer to those questions. First the last. I've always been a casual baseball fan. Grew up loving the Yankees; my husband and I had season tickets to the Orioles for a long time. (btw, he would have loved the Nats, too). We'd drive out to the old Memorial Stadium for a couple of games a week. We were at Orioles World Series in 1983. We were at the Yankees World Series, with our five year old son, in 1996. Damned sweet that we had that moment as a family.
But why the Nats and why now? It's simple. They are fitter, leaner, hotter, more talented and more exciting than any other team in baseball. They are a 21st Century baseball team. They are rock stars. They aren't big ole blobby dudes. They have distinct personalities, and some are eccentric. But most of all it's the skills. They have wicked skills. They are fun to watch. They also have a groovy general manager in Davey Johnson. He's the coolest cat in town. I have some special favorites - Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth, Michael Morse, Bryce Harper, Danny Espinosa, Gio Gonzalez, Adam LaRoche, Mike DeRosa, Stephen Strasburg, Drew Storen, Jordan Zimmerman - but I like them all.
Yes, today has been somber, but I'm counting the days until Pitchers and Catchers and Spring Training. I also had a good conversation this evening with the MLB veteran Mike Piazza, a tall drink of water who has the swagger to qualify as a Nat, and he said something brilliant. I'm saving it for my Monday story on washingtonian.com. btw. I'm not sad anymore. The Redskins, hopefully, will lift my spirits tomorrow.