Everyone is writing about the Nats lately, which means two lengthy offerings from the New York Times in the past two days.
One was a relatively straightforward homage to Davey Johnson by William Rhoden, who quoted the skipper talking extensively about his managing career.
“You work till you die,” said Johnson, who also managed the Dodgers, the Orioles, the Reds and in the Netherlands. “You don’t just really retire.” …
“I may be the same, a little bit older, hopefully wiser, but it’s still a grind. Do I like going to different cities sleeping in strange beds all the time? No. Do I mind talking to the writers? No, That’s easy. I’ve always handled the team. That’s easy.”
The other story was a first-person account of Cubs fan (and Times deputy D.C. bureau chief) Carl Hulse falling for the Nationals’ charms. He writes
“I have a confession to make. I’ve been unfaithful — to my Chicago Cubs. It’s true. Although I am a die-hard, long-suffering Cubs fan, I have been sneaking around a corner of southeast D.C. with the younger, sexier, more exciting Washington Nationals and loving every minute of it. I’m not the only guilty party. There are thousands like me.”
Hulse is obviously having fun with this whole fandom thing, but I’ve heard from dozens like him in recent month: lifelong Red Sox, or Yankees, or Cubs, or Mets fans who have changed their allegiances — or at least, added a team on the side — during this magical Nats season.
Which leads to at least one natural question: what happens next? What happens in a season when the Cubs are good? What happens in a season when the Nats drop back? Are these folks becoming lifelong Nats fans, or are they just along for the ride as long as it’s sexy? I’m not trying to find a dark cloud; I think it’s a question many Nats fans — and team executives — will have to ponder seriously in the coming years.
For now, though, just have fun in those dark corners of Southeast, I guess.
BECAUSE YOU DON’T READ THE PAPER…
Jason Reid on what makes RGIII so dang good.
Dave Sheinin tick-tocks Washington’s final drive.
Mike Wise calls the Skins’ win “one of those fine-line-in-sports days that can either catapult or crater an organization.” Which seems a bit dramatic.
Boz: “The arithmetic powerfully favors a celebration on South Capital Street soon. But this is unequivocally a case of the sooner, the better.”
Svrluga previews John Lannan’s huge opportunity.
Kilgore on Sunday’s dud in St. Louis.
QUOTE OF THE DAY I
Santana Moss to Mike Wise:
“If you look at the record tomorrow and it says 1-3, that’s a dagger — a dagger in your chest.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY II
Davey Johnson, on looking at box scores:
“I don’t read that crap. I live it. I don’t read it when we win and I’m damn sure not reading it after that one.”
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
The Nats host the Phillies at 7 on MASN with a chance to clinch the NL East. The Orioles are in Tampa at 7 on MASN2. All TV/Radio listings are here.
The Nats have a chance to clinch the NL East against the Phillies, who recently clinched three division titles against the Nats. Cheap tickets still available on StubHub. Get thee to Nats Park.
Santana Moss suggests that the Tampa Bay folks may have sabotaged Washington’s communication lines just before the game-winning drive.
RGIII quoted “The Replacements” when talking about the win in Tampa. “It’s funny I just quoted that movie,” he then said.