I graduated from college four years ago. It was a great time in my life. My whole family flew into town to celebrate, and they all got to meet my girlfriend for the first time, who just this year became my fiancé. The weather was beautiful, and it truly seemed like a fresh start of a new life with endless possibilities.
Every spring since however, without fail, I wake up in a cold sweat about the time when final exams would occur, dreaming that I was still in school and had completely forgot to attend class for the entire semester, meaning I was doomed to not graduate. It’s paralyzing, and terrifying. Despite the fact that I know I walked across the Ohio Wesleyan stage with diploma in hand in 2009, my subconscious is convinced that I am still in school and is petrified that I will let everybody down who has supported me through the years.
To me, this is exactly how this Washington Nationals season has felt. The 2013 campaign is like a bad dream that has hung over the club since its stunning departure from the postseason last October. Everything should be great, hell, everything is great. The Nats have a loaded team, and each player has, at times played well. But even since day one, there has been a feeling of impending doom hanging above that has been impossible to shake, and as that feeling grows, the Nats chances look bleaker and bleaker..
The Nationals know they have an amazing baseball team. Nationals fans know they root for an amazing baseball team. Opponents know they are facing an amazing baseball team. But somehow, inexplicably, they have found a way to lose. Players who don’t usually make errors are throwing balls away, at spectacularly bad times. Hitters are leaving droves of runners on base. Pitchers are finding ways to lose games, where in 2012 they would have found ways to escape tough innings.
The entire month of May seemed as if things were on cruise control. Win a game, lose a game. Player gets hurt, player comes back. Win some more, lose some more. There has been no action, nothing has caught on, nothing has taken off, and the team has seemed as if they have just drifted in this depressing October 2012 haze.
As fans, we can only speculate what will happen next. It seems to me that something just needs to occur to clear the fog, one way or another. Whether it be an offensive explosion in a series sweep, or a run of great starts from our pitchers, there needs to be a catalyst that sets this team in motion, and reminds them that this is 2013.
Perhaps the solution could be Anthony Rendon coming up and providing a spark at second base. Maybe it’s as simple as having Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth, and Adam LaRoche all healthy at the same time again. Whatever it be, it needs to happen, because the club can’t keep playing at this pace, or they will look up in September and realize that they never woke up in time for the season to start.