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By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Nationals Dugout
Bryce Harper joined the Nationals on Saturday night, and the general theme of his teammates, coaches and manager Davey Johnson was that baseball is just baseball.
Andre Eithier stared up into the right-field bleachers in disbelief before leaning on his knees and exhaling. Livan Hernandez, in the Nationals dugout, put his hands on his head and uttered the words "Oh my God,” while the rest of the Nationals bench erupted into hysterics. On the field, Nationals left-hander John Lannan was trotting around the bases after one of the season's most improbable sights: a home run.
John Lannan hunched over in a crouch on the front of the mound at Nationals Park on Friday night likely in complete shock. The searing pain that would run through his body had probably not yet set in. Neither had the fact that he'd just taken Ty Wigginton's liner off his face in the fourth inning, barely deflecting the comebacker with his glove.
Nationals utility man Alex Cora had never been released from a ballclub in 11 years as a major leaguer. Then it happened twice last year, by the New York Mets and Texas Rangers. He spent September watching games, waiting for a call and wondering if he was done.