1 year ago, yes 365 short days ago, the Washington Nationals were the class of baseball. They had the talent to winning multiple championships. It wasn't a matter of if they would win them, but a matter of when. More so the questions seemed to be if the Nationals were primed to win the World Series this season (2012) or the following year (2013). Again, the question was not if, but when. Fasrforward to today, the Nationals, with all of the young talent and potential sit just 1 game over .500 and have spent as much if not more time this season under .500 than over it. And while last season was a great success by most measures, the Nationals were eliminated by a stubborn veteran Cardinals team that just wouldn't say it was over. Now I still believe the Nationals are a solid club, and by no means am I writing them out of the playoff picture for this season, and definitely not for the future, but as a sports fan, sometimes its easy to forget how great we have it. That is, you never know when your team could become the next Pirates or Cubs... where one bad season turns into 18, or 100. The Cardinals in my lifetime have won 2 world series, and been to several more. They have regularly been in the post season hunt, and it has become an almost expectation that that will continue for years to come. It sometimes becomes easy to forget how fortunate we are to see the magic taking place on the field at the given time. The Cardinals have 6 all-stars this year... that's awesome! A lot of teams would kill to be that well represented in the All-Star game. But there are no doubt fans that are upset we didn't get more, or that are nitpicking about how pourous our starting pitching was for a 2 week period in june... If it's not that it's something else. The fact of the matter is that the Cardinals right now have more talent than they can fit on the field. Guys like Daniel Descalso (primary starting 2nd basemen in 2012) or Matt Adams (who would start for about 25 of the 30 MLB teams) start only once or twice a week... that's rare. That's something all Cardinals fans should be excited about. Yet, and I am guilty of this too, we nag. We get frustrated when a certain player has a bad game... or week. Rather than enjoying the truly remarkable experience we are seeing on the field.
I choose to end this post with a story. Chris Carpenters, the Cardinals Ace Pitcher and emotional leader through the entirety of his career with the Cardinals, career is on the brink at the moment. He was the heart and sole of Cardinals Nation and will forever be remembered as one of the greats, with his playoff duel with Roy Halladay will go down for the ages as one of the best pitched playoff games. Carpenter made a rehab start in AA last night, and the entire stadium was filled to capacity in Springfield for this game. They were there to see Carp throw one more time. He has had nerve issues over the last 2 years and it is unclear if he will be able to make it all the way back to the majors or if this injury will finally do his career in. The fans came to see and honor Carp as one of the great pitchers of the Cardinals organization. To see him pitch one more time. These moments happen all the time in the big leagues... you never know when you will get to see a player play again. Take in those awesome moments and enjoy them for what they are, because you never know when your team will win the title again... or even make the playoffs.
Thanks for reading,
T.O. signing out