The Nationals — a class act

October 16, 2012

Washington Nationals’ organization, you are a class act. Your dedication to our military is unlike any we ever have seen, and the effort you put toward making the playoffs memorable cannot be described.

Watching your fans behave with such dignity when the Nats’ dreams of extending their season came to an end Friday night demonstrated that they, too, are among the elite of this game. There was no booing, nothing thrown on the field.

They simply stood and applauded. Some even remained afterward to thank the players as they left the parking lot. Thank you, Nationals owners, employees and fans, for a night we will never forget.

Dave and Patty LaRoche, Fort Scott, Kan.

The writers are the parents of Washington Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche.

● 

In his Oct. 14 Sports column, “Not playing an ace made a difference,” John Feinstein asked: “Do you honestly believe the Nationals would have wasted a 6-0 lead Friday night had [Stephen] Strasburg been the starting pitcher?”

On July 20, I was one of 34,228 fans on hand at Nationals Park as the Nationals wasted a 9-0 lead when Mr. Strasburg was the starting pitcher, and the team lost to the Atlanta Braves. That night, early in the season’s second half, clearly showed that while Mr. Strasburg has strengthened his arm and refined his talents after undergoing ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery, he was something less than the superhuman of Mr. Feinstein’s imagination.

Yes, Mr. Feinstein, I believe the Nationals would have lost with Mr. Strasburg on the mound Friday night. Postseason baseball exposes vulnerabilities, and vulnerabilities that had nothing to do with starting pitching did in the Nationals. Fortunately, the team is more interested in protecting the health and future of their players than risking all on the instant gratification of a few postseason victories.

Bob Crane, Silver Spring

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