13 Things We’re Excited About for 2013: #1
In the lead up to Opening Day at Nationals Park on April 1, we’re counting down 13 things we’re excited about on and off the field heading into the 2013 season. Be sure to check back each day as we add another item to the list and get one day closer to the return of baseball to Washington!
#1: Next Year Is Here
This offseason may have seemed torturously long. The sudden void of passion from the greatest season in franchise history coming to a screeching halt might have made the winter months seem like years. That’s what happens when your team’s games mean more. It is an unavoidable side effect of winning.
Last season was all about potential, about the new car smell of a winning franchise. But we are not here to rehash last year any longer.
We’ve come here to bury Pete Kozma, not to praise him.
This year is about expectation. The return of Adam LaRoche. The additions of Dan Haren, Denard Span and Rafael Soriano. Full seasons of Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper for the first time.
The stakes have been raised. Make no mistake, that’s a good thing. Before Sports Illustrated, or ESPN, or anyone else had a chance to raise them from the outside, Davey Johnson set the tone – just as he did last year. And just as we did last year, when we told you that the clock had started on the Nationals window of contention, on this Opening Day, we’ll tell it to you straight.
We’ll never forget Game 5, but we’ll always remember Game 4 as well. We have experienced the joy of must-win victory, but we yearn for more, for the chance to savor it this year. However, we also know that nothing is guaranteed.
October is not an entitlement. It is earned every day, in Washington and in the 18 cities across the nation to which the Nationals will travel this year. Because there is no October until after September, and August, and July, all the way back to April, to right here, right now.
It’s time to launch the journey that will define this year, and possibly many years of Washington baseball past and present.
It’s time to begin.