9 Reasons I’m (Trying to Be) A Washington Nationals Fan

A Chicago friend invited me to a Nationals-Braves game over last weekend. Despite the fact that it started to rain as I entered the stadium, I left feeling excited about a potential new sports relationship. On the train home I thought up nine reasons for me to try to become a Nationals fan:

  1. Proximity. Nationals Park (“the nation’s first LEED-certified professional sports stadium”) is three stops on the Metro from my apartment. The door-to-door trip took me less than 25 minutes. I’m unlikely to ever again have such access to a baseball stadium. I don’t feel guilty in switching horses, for both my father (from Dodgers to Yankees to Mets to Brewers) and grandfather (Giants to Orioles) adjusted their baseball allegiance based on where they were living. are raising a child.
  2. Mike Rizzo. Writing for FanGraphs, Jack Moore says the Nats’ general manager “has brought some tremendous talent into the Nationals system, largely with the help of the number one draft pick both years he’s been in charge. He deserves credit for signing both players, but what’s more interesting is how Rizzo has handled the free agent market.” Baseball Prospectus gives Rizzo credit for “tacit planning instead of haphazard stumbling.”
  3. Stephen Strasburg. (Strasburg’s severe arm injury was announced the day before I took up residency in DC., which, coupled with that rain shower upon entering the stadium, endears me all the more to this club.)
  4. Guns N Roses: Two-thirds of the Nats’ starting outfield walk to the plate to the tune of Axl and the boys: Jayson Werth had November Rain and on Saturday, at least, Michael Morse started an at-bat with the opening of Paradise City.
  5. DC pride. Nationals Park may have a higher proportion of fans rooting against the home team than any other pro sports arena. That makes me want to root for the home team all the more.
  6. Harper Bryce. (It’s a sad statement on a franchise when it’s two most exciting players are unlikely to see the field until next year at the earliest.)
  7. Great catchers. Nats Park features representations of two of the best catchers of all-time: Pudge Rodrirguez is winding down his career in person, and a statue of Negro League legend Josh Gibson awaits you at the park’s entrance.
  8. Nats blogs. I’m enjoying discovering new voices who care about the Nationals, including blogs like Federal Baseball and the Nationals Enquirer and Twitterers @washingnats and @NatsPhaseTwo.
  9. The Cubs. Sigh. My hometown Cubs lost me last summer when the team’s new owners the Ricketts decided to let manager Lou Piniella stick around last season because they found him to be a nice guy.
  10. Montreal. Formerly the Expos, the Nats carry the baseball legacy of the city where Jackie Robinson broke the pro baseball color barrier.

One thought on “9 Reasons I’m (Trying to Be) A Washington Nationals Fan

  1. Hey, I want you to love your new city and all… and the Cubs are nearly repulsive by now, but a defection within the NL?!

    I feel I’ve been abandoned.

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