The Nationals are extremely dramatic, and their performance swings are exhausting, but they are lovable anyway, and this is a run-on sentence to designed to communicate that and that they did some things this week.
The chance to see adorable letters written by small baseball fans in hopes of persuading their favorite teams’ general managers to do their bidding is one of the best things about the advent of social media. (Though, it was not as cute when a kid asked the Giants to sign Mark Melancon. Never forget.) It’s a modern day Dear Abigail, but with more desperation.
Saturday afternoon, little Natalie spoke for all Nats fans when her mom posted a picture of a letter she sent to Nationals GM Mike Rizzo, asking him to pull out all the stops to sign Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth. She even slipped him a 20 (plus one) to make it happen.
Bryce Harper home runs tend to send shockwaves that could probably be comically illustrated by waking hibernating bears, kickstarting fields of flowers to bloom, and even getting MASN analyst Ray Knight to awaken from his social media slumber.
At about 2:30 p.m. Saturday, your phone might have been buzzing off the table with notifications of Bryce Harper and the Nationals agreeing on a $21.65 million deal to avoid arbitration for next season. It’s the largest deal for an arbitration-eligible player in MLB history because Harper and big numbers go hand in hand.
Big numbers like two walk-off homers against the Phillies in the last month. Harper sent his bomb out on a 0-1 pitch, straight out to centerfield to land atop of his big pile of money like the cherry on top it was.
Friday night, DC held a second election and John Wall emphatically earned the presidency, at least according to most tweets from 11 to 12 that night. Despite putting up a mere three points in the first half, Wall never wavered and sunk the three-point shot that would secure a Washington Wizards victory and a Game 7 with only seconds left in the 4th quarter.
It was a week like any other week. Max Scherzer took another no-hitter into the sixth inning, the Nationals played sub-par games against the Orioles, the Washington Capitals were eliminated in the second round… But from beyond the DL, Adam Eaton led the charge to break up the monotony that led to off-field highlights of the week.
At Nats Park, boos are usually reserved for Metro closing announcements, postgame press conferences, Jose Tabata, and politicians. Citizens Bank Park is much more liberal in its application of such heckling. Jayson Werth is a consistent recipient of those boos, and Max Scherzer, apparently a varsity booleader back in the day, delights in contributing.
At the finish line of the race for the first team to 20 wins, Nationals pitchers had quite a wild Friday night, and none of it involved beer or cocaine. I’m looking at you, David Wells. Stephen Strasburg hit the first Nationals starting pitcher home run since 2014, and Matt Albers, everyone’s one true kid brother, recorded his first save after closing out 102 games without one. Injuries weren’t going to keep Sammy Solis and Adam Eaton from being a part of it.
The Nats production of runs this week would have Bridesmaids Melissa McCarthy blushing. The off-field stuff, though, was pretty good too.