Sure, NatsTown, we’ve gone through most of the 2013 season with a frown on our faces. 2012 was the Year of the Nats, and entering 2013, fans thought that the Nats would go “World Series or Bust.” As Davey Johnson said the other day, “It looks more like bust.” It is obvious that the team has had a ton of injuries this year and, even when everyone is healthy, they haven’t been playing well. A lot of people who consider themselves fans have been really negative about the team and even saying bad things about individual players.
My slogan has been “Ignite Your Matt-itude!” Mattitude means cheering on your team, staying positive. It is normal to be upset when your team is not playing as well as they could, but it only makes it worse to see your favorite team lose and then to get all negative and boo the players or tell them that they are no good. It puts extra pressure on them and no one likes to be told that they are bad at their job. They work very hard and sometimes they get unlucky. It is not like anyone on the team is Shoeless Joe Jackson trying to lose on purpose. But fans on Twitter have been treating them like they are. If watching the team struggle and lose games makes you so upset that you say mean things to the players, then you should take a break from watching the games for a few days or even the rest of the season and come back when you’re in a better mood.
As bad as things have been, if you peek ahead you will see that the season is not over yet. We have a lot of time to gain ground in the NL East ahead, almost playing a month against the Marlins, Mets, Phillies, and Braves. 9 more times, and if the Nats sweep the Braves, they are within reach of the NL East and probably a lock on the Wild Card.
That may not happen. But never say never. The Giants won the World Series in 2010 with a 41-41 record at 82 games. In 2011, the Tampa Bay Rays won the wild card spot in the playoffs on Day 162 based on a walk-off, and only because the Red Sox, who had the exact same record as them on Day 162, lost on a walk-off to Baltimore. Also, look at how the Dodgers went on a tear last month and pulled to the top of the NL West division. It can be done!
Also remember that starting August 19, the Nationals have a super light schedule for the rest of August. The team goes to Wrigley for four, Kauffman for 3 against the Royals, and the Marlins and the Mets come to DC. Starting September 13 through September 19, though, the Nats play 2 crucial September teams- Atlanta and Philadelphia. And do you think that’s tough? They end the season on the road in SAINT LOUIS AND PHOENIX. That is tough. Period. So it it may not be easy to get into the Playoffs, but it is possible. It will be easier with the fans cheering the team on instead of booing them.
And here is one last thing to keep in mind: so what if the Nats don’t go to the Playoffs or the World Series? They weren’t even supposed to be good enough to be a contender until this year. If you switch the 2013 season with 2012, everyone would be so happy! If they were about .500 in 2012 and Division Champs in 2013, instead of the other way around, no one would be complaining. Plus, this is entertainment for the fans, not something to get stressed out about and get grumpy about. For the players this is their job and something they have worked hard to get to, but for us fans it’s about having a good time and watching a great sport.
Losing stinks. Losing really bad really stinks. Being a good Nats fan with Mattitude means not focusing on the bad results as much as the good performances. If Desi hits a homer but the Nats lose 7-1, we should congratulate Desi, not say that the starting pitcher did horrible.
So, I hope you like the post, and hopefully we will be getting some Curly W’s as soon as we can!
NATS @ BREWERS
JORDAN ZIMMERMANN (12-6, 3.19 ERA) VS. TOM GORZELANNY (2-4, 2.83 ERA)
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