It’s then down to the clubhouse one last time. Whatever your musical tastes, if post-game music greets you as you enter the clubhouse, it means it was a good day. The assembled media crowds around John Lannan, Sean Burnett and Justin Maxwell’s lockers. As luck would have it, all three are in close proximity to one another in the corner closest to the exit, so the additional traffic makes it challenging to get around. Add to that the getaway day chaos of clubhouse staff trying to haul bags and boxes out to the busses, and well, you’d better keep your head on a swivel.
The best quote we heard, and we’re summarizing here, came from Justin when a reporter asked him about playing the role of spoiler, and if the Nats can build off this series going into another similar situation in Philadelphia. Without blinking, Maxwell replied that the Nationals don’t want to consider themselves as spoilers because they are trying to be in a position to fight for a playoff spot themselves next year. It was as if he and his teammates don’t want to get comfortable in the spoiler role–they want to constantly be improving and building so that they’re the ones chasing a division title. Pretty good stuff from the local Maryland product–it sounds like he and his teammates certainly have the right approach to the final three weeks of the season.
The media then thins out and the players finish packing up their lockers. They exchange well wishes and high fives with the Atlanta clubhouse staff – with three visits a year, it’s clear that they develop a strong appreciation for the hard work of these guys in making their life on the road so much easier.
And with that, it’s out to the buses and off to the airport, which is our cue to put a bow on our roadtrip blog. We hope you’ve enjoyed the temporary departure from the content you’ve grown accustomed to in this space. We’ve had a blast sharing some of the team’s fun stories, and bringing you closer to the people and personalities that bring the games to life. A special thanks to Manager Jim Riggleman, his staff and the players for letting us tag along, as well as the TV and radio teams who do such an incredible job in front of the camera and behind the mic.