Wednesday, May 23, 2007
I understand that each and every Fan of Our Washington Nationals wants to cheer for a winner. Desires to see them drub The Mets & Phillies each and every time we play them. Hopefully soon, be competitive. Win Division Titles. And Eventually, WIN THE WORLD SERIES!!
I understand how when MLB Announced in late 2004 that The Montreal Expos were moving to The District Of Columbia--SO MANY WERE THRILLED OUT OF THEIR MINDS!! At long last, pain had turned to fortune. Never again could Washington, DC be slighted as being a MINOR LEAGUE TOWN. And, for anyone my age (now 47), who grew up with The Washington Senators, I understand all your years of grief, and emotional ties of Major League Baseball finally returning to DC. It was, and ALWAYS WILL BE, a Great Moment in my life! I am sure, yours also.
I understand the EXCITEMENT of that 50-31 Start to Our 2005 Inaugural Version of Our Washington Nationals. Not a baseball fan in this area was not DANCING IN THE STREETS. After over 30 years of being BASEBALL's long lost Stepchild, Our Nation's Capital DREAMED OF A WORLD SERIES! On July 1, 2005--who wasn't believing that? Just two months later, we all were just hoping for a .500 record.
I understand that disappointment. But, Honestly--WHAT A 2005 SEASON!!
I understand that once 2005 turned over to 2006, MLB again held us hostage. Not selling the team. Not giving Our Washington Nationals an owner. Not developing the team's talent. And, continued to siphon each and every last dollar out of EVERYONE's Pocket.
I understand the bitterness--Over The Stadium Debacle. The Threats. The Downright ILL WILL that existed throughout the entire Stadium Leasing and Owner Hiring process. It was nasty. Yet, we somehow survived. And, we moved on. Baseball always rises above the fray.
I understand that Our 2006 Version of Our Washington Nationals struggled at times, faded early, never recovering--but we were TREATED to ONE FABULOUS SEASON from Alfonso Soriano and The EMERGENCE of a GREAT YOUNG PLAYER in Ryan Zimmerman. Yeah, I understand those two were not enough for everyone. Some turned their back. Found other more enjoyable ways for evenings out. That's OK.
I understand that many said they WOULD NOT spend a single dollar on Our Washington Nationals until a REAL OWNER was put in place. Everyone wanted direction, everyone wanted a goal to meet. Everyone wanted to see stability.
I understand that when Ted Lerner and the Lerner Group was officially named The FIRST OWNERS of Our Washington Nationals people were quite happy. A local buyer. A local presence. And, they were sharp enough to bring on board one of the most SUCCESSFUL SPORTS EXECUTIVES IN THE HISTORY OF GAMES--Stan Kasten.
I understand that many fans were hopeful. Many seeing GREAT POSSIBILITIES for Our NEW FOUND FRANCHISE. Yet, many of those same fans don't feel the same way now. When Ownership started to trade off veterans for younger talent, cutting payroll, rebuilding now for strength in the future--accolades turned to scorn. And, many more fans decided to walk away. Many not willing to give them a chance. After being treated like riffraff by Major League Baseball for 2 years, Fans wanted more. And, they wanted it now.
I understand that feeling. I am not blind. Everyone wants to see a winner. Everyone wants to be emotionally attached to THEIR TEAM. That's harder to do when your team is struggling.
That being said, I understand the so called "Plan" and I am sure you do too. Yet, I am willing to hear The Owners Out. I am willing to suffer a little now for future glory. Glory that is NOT GUARANTEED. But, has a FAR BETTER CHANCE FOR SUCCESS. Whether you agree to their "PLAN" or not--we're all still baseball fans. I am positive many of you, like me, LOVE THIS GAME. And, you want to see each and every game played at its highest possible level. Even during the rough early stages of a rebuilding plan, you can still enjoy this GREAT GAME.
I understand 2007 is a frustrating season so far for Nationals Fans. Each and every game brings worry to my heart. Not knowing what I might see next. Never knowing who might get injured. What error will cost us tonight. Everyone in DC is familiar with The University of Maryland phrase "FEAR THE TURTLE". Every time Chad Cordero trots out to the mound for a save, I "FEAR THE CHIEF". And, that's not a good thing (I'm just being funny here, don't rip me. I love "THE CHIEF")!
I understand the suffering of the losses, some in excruciating style. Team President Stan Kasten personally told me "I Hear Ya," when I mentioned just this fact about Our GREAT FANS.
I understand criticizing effort, bitching about their play, questioning managerial moves. Wondering, WHY IN THE WORLD IS ROBERT FICK IN THE GAME? That's all apart of being a BASEBALL FAN. It comes with the territory. Because, who knows the game better than you, and I. Baseball is the only sport where EVERYONE IS AN EXPECT.
I understand all that. I understand many losing their emotional ties due to the frustrating times. But, what I don't understand is THE HATRED THAT SEEMS TO BE BUILDING--more and more--each and everyday toward The Lerners, Management, Our Washington Nationals and their Players, even toward the TV and Radio Announcers.
I don't understand that. It bothers me. Just because times are disappointing, PLEASE DON'T TEAR DOWN ALL That's BEING BUILT IN THE PROCESS, JUST FOR PERSONAL REVENGE. Its not worth it.
Please look up, away from your computer screen, just for a moment. The Sky is Blue Today. The Weather Beautiful. Nothing like a Spring Day in Washington, DC.
And, NOTHING LIKE HAVING A HOMETOWN TEAM--Our Washington Nationals.
I understand you. Please understand me.