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An America drowning in red ink is the land of the free no more
Topic - Walter Johnson
Compiled By PAUL MONTELLA
Compiled By PAUL MONTELLA
The crowd lets out a roar as the national anthem ends at Nationals Park, and the hope is that it will not be the last significant one of the day heard by Washington's embattled baseball team.
They stormed to the top of the league the year after a losing season, had a star pitcher who was the subject of intense national discussion and won praise from the president of the United States for their performance.
On the last day, hope and desperation swirled through Washington like the October breeze that forced men to don double-breasted topcoats and tug down their fedoras under bright sun.
If the Washington Nationals win it all, they’ll be remembered forever.
The Washington Nationals paid a heavy price for Gio Gonzalez last winter, shipping four well-regarded players to Oakland to obtain the left-hander and immediately signing him to a lucrative contract extension.
Washington's baseball team suddenly morphed into a big winner after years of futility. Across the capital region, fans came out of the woodwork and cheered as it repeatedly atoned for past sins by beating the ears off longtime tormentors.
This was in January 1970 at Maryland's Cole Field House, and spectators were being treated to a prequel version of Bryce Harper minus five years. The chubby, 14-year-old DeMatha High School freshman was so strong that whenever he ascended for a rebound, opponents from Cardozo and Eastern flew off him hither, thither and yon.
When Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo made a preseason prediction that Nationals Park would become "the ticket in town" — and team manager Davey Johnson subsequently called Washington "a baseball town, not a football town" — both men raised eyebrows.
For 15 years, Mariano Rivera has decided when the game ends.
Like you, I'd enjoy rooting the Nationals upward and onward in 2012, perhaps even to — dare we dream? — the World Series.
Only Americans of a certain age remember what the holiday on the third Monday in February is all about. I asked a few high-school students the other day what it is, exactly, we celebrate with Presidents Day. One young man suggested it was about selling used cars, since there are so many newspaper advertisements and television commercials announcing "birthday sales."