Sunday, May 13, 2007

Perfect Weekend at RFK

Finally, we have a sweep.

DCO was fortunate enough to have a representative at Saturday night's epic 7-3 Nationals' victory over the Florida Marlins. This rep stuck it out through the first nearly three-hour rain delay and the soggy innings through the bottom of the ninth. Unfortunately, by the time the second rain delay imposed itself on the proceedings, the rep and his companions had to finally pack it in (early plans for Mother's Day). Despite missing the thrillng ending (witnessed by only a handful of laudable diehard fans), the events witnessed by the rep and the information gleaned from these events should hearten Nats fans for years to come, even in the midst of this challenging season.

Manny Acta, already the winner of two of the awards that bear his name, has clearly (very quickly) become a hero to suffering Nats fans. The several hundred fans who persevered through the first rain delay saved their loudest cheers for the rookie manager as the team trickled back onto the field around 11 PM. Acta clearly relished in returning the love, smiling the whole time despite the miserable conditions. While we still love and miss Frank, and acknowledge that his patronly curmudgeonness has its place in baseball, replacing him with Acta has to be among the best moves of the new ownership. We should be grateful that another well-known patronly curmudgeon, Lou Pinella, made it clear he wanted to go only to a contender (a la Deion Sanders), and not the nationals. It warms our hearts to see his chosen "contender", the high-priced Chicago Cubs, completely eating it so far this season. Give us Man-Act; let the Cubs have Lou (and Alfonso, for that matter).

This win, sandwiched between Friday's near-flawless 6-0 victory and Sunday's sun-soaked victory (let's all pitch in and buy Robert Fick some sunglasses, shall we?), might be the old cliched "game that turns the season around." For the Nats, a turned-around season could mean losing 90 games instead of 110. We'll take it.

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