The Major League Baseball season ends in roughly one month (Sept. 28), so let's take a look at the team which has the biggest division lead.
The Washington Nationals.
Oh, those guys? You mean the ones who prompted the following email statements when I had the audacity to predict the Nationals to win the NL East back in the spring?
• "EVERY SINGLE YEAR all you media idiots pick the Nationals and they have NEVER won ANYTHING."
• "You have to stop letting the Nationals make you look bad. You keep wanting them to be great and they just aren't."
• "Again with your stupid media darling Nationals? They sucked last year and they're gonna suck again."
(There were many more, but those best sum up the tone and attitude, mostly from Braves fans.)
Now, let's fact check.
1. The Nationals were picked by less than one percent of the prognosticating world to win the NL East in 2012, yet did so. They were picked by a lot of people (including myself) to win it in 2013 and they didn't. So that's one year where they won something despite not being picked and one year where they were picked and didn’t win anything. That seems worthy of the all-caps treatment, I guess.
2. I don't care who is good (well, except my actual favorite team -- which isn't difficult to figure out if you wanted to. Hint: It's not good and never cracks this top 20). I pick who I think will do well. I'm wrong sometimes and accountable. Guess what, though. The Nationals are making me look real good right now and I expect that to continue (well, except that pesky Bryce Harper MVP pick. Dammit).
Despite back-to-back losses to Philly, the Nats still own a 7.5-game lead in the NL East and sport a robust plus-105 run differential. That's best in the NL, as is their record.
They face a tough road trip in the next week (Mariners for three, Dodgers for three). After that, the schedule is pretty weak. Look for Washington to end up with the best record in the NL for the second time in three years.
Wait, I thought they NEVER won ANYTHING? Hmmm ...
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