Happy to say that I have my laptop back up and running again (Thanks to the homie Chris!) and Ive missed writing. Ive also missed writing on a lot of different happenings in the sports world. The Skins drafted the future savior in Heisman Trophy-winning QB Robert Griffin III, The Wizards FINALLY got rid of those immature douchebags Nick Young and Javale McGee, traded for Nene, Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza and drafted Florida freshman stud guard Bradley Beal and the Capitals lost in Game 7 in the 2nd rd of the playoffs to the New York Rangers.
Oh, and before I forget, the 2012 NCAA National Basketball Champions are none other than YOUR KENTUCKY WILDCATS! Led by Coach Calipari, we ran roughshod through the season and tourney with only 2 losses with eventual #1 draft pick Anthony Davis winning every major award you can possibly win. We also had 5 other players drafted in this years NBA Draft (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrance Jones, Marquis Teague, Doron Lamb and Darius Miller). Big Blue Nation is proud as hell of this team and ecstatic to have our 8th National Title banner hanging in Rupp Arena.
But as great as all of those things are, the main reason I felt like writing is the ascension of the Washington Nationals as possibly the best team in the National League. If you would have told me that during the 1st half of the season, we would lose our starting catcher (Wilson Ramos), our closer (Drew Stanton), our best power bat (Michael Morse), our starting LF (Jayson Werth), lose 2 MORE catchers (Sandy Leon and Carlos Maldanado) AND have our best overall player (Ryan Zimmerman) be a virtual non-factor and we would still have a CHANCE to compete for the divisional crown, I would have said you are on Bath Salts. Yet this team under the leadership of the great Davey Johnson and a pitching staff that has been simply outstanding, the team has a 4 game lead on the rest of the NL East and all eyes are on Washington for a good reason.
The starting rotation of Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzales, Jordan Zimmermann, Edwin Jackson and Ross Detweiler have exceeded the high expectations fans had coming into the season. All 5 guys are power arms and have kept the team in games throughout the 1st half when the bats didn’t produce. Strasburg and Gonzales earned All-Star nods for their efforts but Jordan Zimmermann could have easily earned one as well if he he were a little luckier. This staff is good, deep and ready to make a sustained run towards the playoffs even if GM Mike Rizzo decides to shut down Strasburg at the 160-170 innings limit that is the usual norm the 1st season off of Tommy John surgery. I understand that this team could make a run for the title this year, but I totally understand and agree with Rizzo if he shuts The Franchise down for the season. We are equipped to make a extended run of winning, competing seasons and I would rather have a healthy Strasburg for 10 years than a tired, overworked one for this one.
Nationally, Bryce Harper has been the story and rightly so, the kid has been better than advertised while earning a All Star replacement nod as a 19 year old rookie becoming the youngest position player to ever play in the Midsummer Classic, but the most consistent player in the lineup has been the much maligned Ian Desmond. Desi has transformed from an error prone rookie to a premier 2nd baseman and clutch hitter we all thought he could be, but with unexpected power. He was originally chosen for the All Star game but did not have the chance to play because of an Oblique injury, which I hope doesn’t hinder an otherwise breakout season during the 2nd half because his bat is needed.
Going into the 2nd half of the season, we may see less of Strasburg but the schedule should actually be much easier than the 1st half looking at the winning percentages of the opposition. We do not have to see the AL East anymore (Thank God! LOL) and with the Phillies seemingly done for the season, we just have to worry about the Mets and Braves catching us. I honestly don’t think the Mets have enough to keep up with us and we seem to own the Braves, so….I cant believe I’m actually typing this….but Id be damn surprised if we didn’t win the Division this season! We start the 2nd half of the season tomorrow at Florida where we got swept earlier this year, If we can split there and then come home and continue what we’ve been doing, the DC Area should be preparing for home playoff games in October! I cant wait to watch this all unfold!
GO NATS!!!!! #Natitude