All fans want a team that might, somehow, win a World Series. But there is another baseball gift to a city, one that keeps giving cumulative pleasure, that competes with titles in its satisfaction. It’s the kind of sustainability that provides winning or contending teams for a decade, or in a few lucky cases, 20 years or more. Such marvels don’t just appear in New York or Los Angeles. Fans in St. Louis, Boston, San Francisco, Atlanta, Oakland, Baltimore and others can tell about it, even if some have to think back a bit.
Could that be happening in D.C.? In a sense, it’s a more controllable dream than talking about crowns which, in baseball, sometimes fall on your head in October as much as you place them there yourself. Data point: Entering Sunday, over the last three years the Nationals have the second-best winning percentage in baseball, behind Oakland and slightly ahead of the Braves, Cards and Dodgers. That D.C., the sport’s unwanted relative for so long, is in such a position may qualify as “delicious irony.”
What’s coming into focus is that the Nats’ organization, from smart drafting and player development through judicious trades and free agent signings, looks better than the Nats’ star power.
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