White cinder block walls lead the way. Past the security guard in need of a cup of coffee just after 8 a.m. on a cool March morning. Through the makeshift clubhouse kitchen at Space Coast Stadium where three plug-in griddles serve up pancakes and eggs with toppings stored in plastic containers.
It was a cold fall night three months ago when the Nationals stood one strike away from the National League Championship Series. When they were forced to turn their eyes toward the future and, difficult as it may have been, see that it was still bright.
Venezuelans are celebrating their homegrown baseball heroes as a record contingent of players from the country heads into the World Series with the Detroit Tigers and San Francisco Giants.
While it set a viewership record for Fox News Channel, Monday's debate between President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney was the least-watched of their three meetings.
Where shall we hang this one in the D.C. Sports Hall of Horrors? Over here, next to the Redskins' 73-0 annihilation in 1940 title game? (Nah. That disaster deserves a mausoleum of its own.) Maybe over here, near the Bullets' no-show in the '75 finals. Or over here, beside the sweeping of the Capitals in the '98 finals.
In the end, there was nothing but silence to greet them.
The mob of reporters in rain jackets they no longer needed and cameras encased in plastic bags drifted away from Drew Storen.
The St. Louis Cardinals are what the Washington Nationals want to be. If we've learned anything from the first three games of this playoff series, we've learned that. Forget regular-season records. The Cardinals win when they need to win.
The kind of magic that fans in Washington hope will fill Nationals Park this fall is something those in Philadelphia are used to at Citizens Bank Park. From a magical run in 2007 through a 102-win campaign in 2011, the Phillies set the standard.