Last season the Washington Nationals looked like they were going to walk away with the national league eastern division crown in the early part of September and never look back. That is not what happened and not only did it lead to them having to play harder down the stretch than they probably wanted to, but it also probably assisted in their loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Division Series.
A team that was as good as the Nationals were last year doesn’t take too well to losing period, much less losing to the secondary wildcard team that only happened to be in the actual playoffs because of the extension of the rule book to include two wildcard teams. But they had to lose and get passed it or get mad about it. It looks like they are coming into the season, complete favorites to win it all according to many forecasters, and yet they are able to play with a chip on their shoulders as well.
I don’t know if that is good coaching or just delusionary. Either way, it probably won’t matter. Many times in the past, the best team at the end of the season didn’t make it to the World Series. To have the better chance at going all the way this season, what they really need is to stink it up during the regular season. That way they can get things together down the stretch and hit the playoffs hot. Then they will go through and win it all in an upset. See, doesn’t that make a better story than the snobby best team in the majors acting like they deserve to win? I think so.