September 22, 2021

‘This is now the most 2019 Nats thing’: An improbable championship, for the District, and one another (The Athletic)

HOUSTON — Cliches are among the worst parts of sports. Unless, as in this case, they define it better than anything. It pains me to type that a team never quits, has great character, believes in the player next to them, and on and on.

But … what else is there to say about this team, these Washington Nationals?

How else to describe the things that they’ve done this month, which was once cruel and taunting and did nothing but remind them of all their collective failures, but is now a symbol of their ultimate vindication? They are vindicated as a franchise. They are vindicated in their general manager’s idea of how to build a team, with starting pitching as its hub. They are vindicated as a team full of old guys — viejos, as Ryan Zimmerman and Max Scherzer said they call themselves — who never forget anything but can lead you places you’ve never been.

“This is now the most 2019 Nats thing,” said Sean Doolittle,…

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