Timing is everything, isn’t it? Think about some of your friends from high school or college, friends of yours for maybe 2 or 10 or 25 or more years. If they were born a few months later or earlier, they might have been in a different class, and you might never have been friends. Maybe it’s the same with your wife or husband. What about your job? If you applied for more than one job, something might have come through before something else, and the next thing you know, you’re doing A at company X instead of B at company Y.
Or, perhaps, you almost blow a huge lead in the NLDS, go into the 9th still winning, and then lose it there… but it’s in game 2 instead of game 5. Suddenly the end isn’t so painful. The last game of this season sucked for the Nationals, there’s no way around that. But for the 10 teams that make the playoffs, it’s likely that for 9 of them the season ends on a bad note, we’re just talking about the level of badness. It is what it is, and while moves can be questioned, the season ended and the Nats didn’t win the series.
But… but. Is there a but? Is it worth trying to look at the positive here? Absolutely there is. You can rage against the moves by Davey Johnson, who most of us raved about all season for pushing the right buttons (including the national narrative of him outsmarting the opposing manager in game 1). Or how about the decisions by Mike Rizzo, who took the team from the worst record in the league to the best in 3 seasons, from last in the division to first in two seasons. Or you can look at the positives, not because you should be looking back on a season with pride, but because you should be looking back on a season with hope and promise for the future.
The Nationals accomplished quite a bit in 2012, and despite what we all thought what was going to happen as late as 8 2/3 innings into game 5, this season was probably more successful than most of us imagined in April. So enough about what happened before, take a deep breath, remember there are great things that happened for Washington this year, and that the future looks bright. Next up, we’ll look at what was so great about this year, and what it means for the future.