I’m finally giving up: The Nats are done in 2018

washington nationalsThis is the first fire sale in recent vintage for the Washington Nationals, which it has been hard for fans, like me, to let go.

Four division titles in six years, with second-place finishes the other two years, will do that to you.

Even sitting at .500 going into last night’s series opener with Milwaukee, you let yourself get seduced into thinking.

Hey, we’re playing Milwaukee, that’s the team seven and a half ahead of us in the wild card. Sweep them, we’re four and a half back, and this thing is on!

And then you turn on the TV, and F.P. Santangelo is telling you that it’s all over Twitter that the Nats are trading Gio Gonzalez, to the damn Brewers.

And for good measure, Ryan Madsen is going to the Dodgers, who are also ahead of the Nats in the wild-card race.

This, after the Nats made separate trades with the Chicago Cubs, the NL Central leaders, to dump the contracts of Daniel Murphy and Brandon Kintzler, and cast Matt Adams off to St. Louis, the wild-card leader.

Mike Rizzo has been telling us for weeks that the towel has been thrown in, but we were still peeking at the standings each morning, analyzing the schedule, doing the math, saying, OK, all we have to do is go 20-7 down the stretch to get to 87 wins, maybe the Brewers and Dodgers begin to tank, the Phils continue to slide, the Rockies come back to earth.

It’s over. Hard for me to accept it, but it’s over.

I’ll tune in every fifth day to see if Max Scherzer can win another Cy Young, then we turn our attention to the offseason. Does Bryce Harper re-sign? If he doesn’t, does it matter, considering the core that the Nats will have returning?

The past couple of years, we’d gotten ourselves used to the division race being over by Labor Day. It’s not as much fun, to say the least, being on the other side.

Column by Chris Graham


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