What a beautiful day here 125 miles south of "Nats Town." It's a crystal-clear blue sky morning, with a slight chill in the air. Just enough to make things comfortable.
It's not even 10 and I've already been productive. Work has been done. Coffee has been consumed. Laundry is churning. The dogs are worn out from chasing their "ballie" that they dropped on my sleepy self at 7 a.m. I whipped the kid's fanny in our latest cribbage tournament and will do so again tonight before we watch the season finale of Entourage. Last night, I had the best brisket I've ever had at a place called Q Shack in Durham, N.C. It was made better by the scores that showed up on the good ol' BlackBerry (I've quickly become an addict).
Yet with so much positive going on, I'll probably be crying a little in a few hours. OK, a lot. Yeah, I'm a sap.
I hate today. The season can't really be over, can it? Wasn't it just last weekend the kid and I went to Atlanta for his Christmas present and watched the Nats roll over three times for the Braves? And then rushed home to catch the Home Opener (loss No. 4 in four days with me there)? It's over? Already?
Sure, this team drives me nuts. We're talking about a squad that could finish with seven straight wins and still not win 60 games. They make me scream and shake and beat my head against the wall.
But that's just it. Even in these bad times (and please let's not see them get worse), they're MY team. They blow games in all ways imaginable and I still put on my Curly W hat or shirt or both and wait for the next game. I set my schedule around theirs, as much as I can. My brother referred to me as a professional Nats fan earlier this year. He may not be wrong. I saw 33 games this year in four cities (D.C., Atlanta, Baltimore, Pittsburgh). I've now seen the Nats in 10 different cities since 2005 and we'll look to add at least one new city a year.
I DON'T WANT TO WAIT UNTIL SPRING. I want another game tomorrow and then another one Tuesday and then another one Wednesday.
Sure, I'm curious about what will happen between now and whenever it is that pitchers and catchers report. A year ago, would anyone have guessed Josh Willingham and Scott Olsen would be Nats? What surprises await? Who will be the manager (more on that later)? Who will be the second baseman? Will Livan Hernandez be back? Who is going to be The Pitcher That Rizzo Wants?
We can't get all those answers and keep playing?
As much as I want the meter reset on this disaster of a season, I just don't want it to end. Besides, Adam Dunn needs more games. That streak can't end. I'll cry about that, too.
UPDATE - I hate today even worse now that I've seen the lineups. Going to be tough for Dunn to hit two home runs when he isn't playing. Guess Zimmerman and Willingham need that extra day of offseason, too.
UPDATE II - I guess they felt my pain and wanted to give me an extra game's worth of action today. I would have been just fine, though, with something other than that weak at-bat by my new hero Ian Desmond. You know those guys just hate playing this long on the final day.