Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Shunning of Optimism-Hating

We’ve seen a steady parade of redemptive stories this summer, from death-bed-to-possible-batting-title inspiration Dmitri Young to optimism-haters-turned-lovers (or at least embracers) Mark Zuckerman and Mike Wise. Throw in an equally steady stream of only somewhat lesser redemptions or redemptions-in-the-making such as Ronnie Belliard and Wily Mo Pena and it’s hard to see the past several months in anything other than a positive light.

These successes are no doubt causing sleeplessness at night and nervous hand-wringing during the day for those springtime optimism-haters who unanimously scoffed at the Nats. We find it amusing that so many predicted a season of historic awfulness in DC when in fact such awfulness would eventually be found about 40 miles north of here. Some still cling to the antiquated notion that this Nats’ season has been a dismal failure, wondering how a last-place team can call a season successful. We wait to hear further updated attempted buzzkillings from these heretics once the Nationals solidify their hold on not-last-place in the NL East.

There is one entity, however, that apparently wishes to break from the ranks of these stubborn curmudgeons. The editorial board of the Washington Times led off their Monday op/ed section with this tear-jerking retraction of their now-obviously misguided statements during Spring Training. We hope this editorial is but one of hundreds of similarly contrite public apologies to the left-for-dead Nationals that we will read in the weeks to come.

Most warming about this Times’ piece is not the simple statement that they were wrong (and they were). They go so far as to delve into the specifics of their ignorance of four months ago. They directly address their sarcastic dismissal of Dmitri Young and rightly pen him as a lock for Comeback Player of the Year (though they should have pushed it further to “deserving MVP candidate”). They bring up their unjust and premature classifications of the team ("traditional league doormat").They credit Ronnie Belliard for his resurgence, agree with us that Matt Chico shows tremendous promise, and even give a nice tribute to Christian Guzman's would-be masterful season.

Is it too much to think that this desperate confession was written as a direct response to our threat, less than one week prior, to call out all pre-season naysayers in a blistering end-of-the-season expose? Could it be that the Times wanted to avoid such a public flogging at all costs and scrambled to take it all back in as thorough a way as possible? Maybe. The timing is just curious, that’s all. Very, very curious. Kinda makes you think. Kind of. A little bit.

In the end, it doesn't matter. Amends have been made, and all is forgiven. The rest of the naysayers have just over a month of brilliant Manny-led baseball to likewise come to their senses and join the parade of redemption.


Anonymous said...

I come here daily (since your endorsement from the Sports Bog) but don't see many comments, which is a shame because this is the most entertaining DC Sports Blog out there. I assume it reflects not a lack of interest, but the nature of those who typically leave comments to be 'tism-haters. Rest assured that many of us appreciate your efforts to accurately editorialize the goings on of our beloved DC teams and fail to comment because there is really not much to comment upon when someone simply gets it right. Thanks.

DC Optimist said...

Thanks for the support. Spread the 'tism.