Sunday, July 02, 2006

Last year at this time

The Nationals had just finished an incredible June in which they only lost six games and were sitting somewhat comfortably atop the NL East. But the bottom fell out this time last year, and they couldn't even salvage enough of their incredible first half to win a wild card, completely losing it in the last two weeks of the season. It was a magical season, improbable as it was, one of the greatest baseball seasons I have ever experienced. I have every ticket stub of the 15+ games I attended, the Opening Day program, the Opening Day medallion, and several photos that one day I will put together and have framed as a daily reminder of that magic.

My, what a difference a year makes. Just a few weeks ago, the Nats had gotten to within four games of .500 and I was irrationally optimistic, like maybe, just maybe, the reverse of last year would happen and they'd end up playing incredible ball in the second half of the year instead of the first. But now, 14 games under .500 and sitting solidly in last place, that optimism has dissipated, and the electricity is all but a glorious memory. But hey, I can devote all of my energy to my FIRST PLACE Reds!

And remember, Nats fans: Jim Bowden is not completely incompetent. He did put together the 1994-1995 Reds, the former who could have won the World Series had there been one that year, and the latter who went to the NLCS. (Stupid Braves.)

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