2012 aka The Greatest Year in My Adult Sporting Fandom! LOL (I know, I know I’m a couple of days late….sue me! LOL)
With Robert Griffin III and The Redskins making the playoffs this season, people have easily forgotten how great of a season its been for ALL DC Sports fans. Two Divisional Titles with epic performances from the young, old and obscure made this a classic year.
The Nationals were the best team in baseball virtually the whole 2nd half of the season (Record-wise). The early call-up of rookie phenom (and eventual Rookie of the Year) Bryce Harper energized a fan base who early on wondered would the early success last especially with the lack of offense, injuries to Ryan Zimmerman, “Beast Mode” Michael Morse, Jesus Flores, Drew Storen and Jayson Werth (and eventually Breakout Star Ian Desmond would be lost for a month later in the season). Davey Johnson and staff did a helluva job with the pitching staff, who was outstanding throughout the long campaign. Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzales both made the All Star team as did the aforementioned Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper. Ryan Zimmerman took “The Corizone Shot from God” and came back with numbers that would have made him an MVP candidate. Our REAL MVP candidate was Adam LaRoche, who after an injury filled 2011, came back with a vengeance. He displayed Gold Glove winning defense and Silver Slugger winning power. He stabilized what became the biggest improvement of the team during the resurgence to respectability, the team overall defense. The 2nd half of the season was just a joy to watch for all Nats fans and the day we clinched the Division crown was an absolute joy, one of the greatest sporting moments of my life (NEVER deleting that from the DVR!). We didn’t go into the playoffs with our best squad with the shutdown of Strasburg and losing a couple of series going into postseason, but for me, just getting there THIS year was more than enough for me….just dont get swept LOL. We all know what eventually happened, after Jayson Werth provided us with a DC Sports moment of the ages with the walk-off HR in the bottom of the 9th in Game 4, we eventually lost Game 5 in the bottom of the 9th off our young closer Drew Storen. Honestly, the Cardinals played better than us throughout the series, and we walked waaaaaaaaay too many batters throughout the series that it would eventually bite us in the ass, and it did. Regardless, The Nationals are now a major threat to win the whole thing next year (especially if we can resign LaRoche) and for years to come. Denard Span will now man CF so Bryce Harper can become settled in at a corner outfield position along with Werth at the other. Also coming to the team this off-season is veteran Dan Haren to become the 5th starter. If he can show us anything from his earlier years, this will be the best rotation in the league as if it wasn’t already. Ill take Strasburg, Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Ross Detweiler (who was the best pitcher in the postseason) against any rotation in the majors today. Natitude is alive and well!
Our Capitals didnt dominate the Regular Season like we normally do, and maybe that was a good thing going into the Stanley Cup playoffs this year, finishing 7th overall in the Eastern Conference matching up with the defending Cup Champs, the Boston Bruins. Rookie Goalie Brandon Holtby was just outstanding and Joel Ward scored a series clinching overtime goal in the 7th and deciding game. After winning a game like that, us Caps fans thought that quite possibly the demons of Postseason’s Past could finally be exercised. Alas they werent as we were defeated by the hated New York Rangers again in 7 games. Coach Dale Hunter who took over in midseason after the firing of fan favorite Bruce Boudreau, declined to return for the next season and we hired (another) former Caps great in recent Hall of Famer Adam Oates to take over the reigns. Hopefully there will be a damn season to start soon enough! LETS GET IT TOGETHER OWNERS!!!!
Not much to say about the Wizards sadly smh. We are the worst franchise in the sport as our only two players worth a damn (John Wall and Nene) both started the season injured. Fun Times on Fun Street! Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton haven’t developed much at all and we have the worst record in the sport with no light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks Ernie Grundfeld for ALL of this!
Lastly, Our Washington Redskins. I’m not going to write much because that’s going to go into another posting. I do want to acknowledge the fact that this team, region, fan base is re-energized. Even if we didn’t make the playoffs this season, you could finally see that the fruits of the labor of Bruce Allen, Coach Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan and most importantly, the scouting department is finally coming to fruition. Long gone are the days where just making the playoffs was the ultimate ceiling for the team, we can now build a true contender which one day could make “just” winning divisional titles commonplace. HAIL!
Oh, I know this posting is about DC Sports, but I’m a HUGE Kentucky Wildcats fan….and we won that chip last year….don’t get mad at Calipari, DEAL WITH IT…”Coach YOUR team!” GO BIG BLUE!