Kevin Long: Miracle Worker?

Understandably new manager Davey Martinez has been grabbing all of the headlines this spring. Bringing camels to camp all in service of a hump day joke will do that. However, the new coach I’m most interested in is Kevin Long, the hitting coach.

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Citizens of Natstown Podcast Episode 162

O'Hara and TJ are back to discuss the non-renewal of Dusty Baker's contract, the signing of Dave Martinez, the potential coaching staff, what holes the Nats have to fill in the coming offseason, and more!

Our annual Extra Life campaign benefiting Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC is coming up on November 4th. Help us help sick kids! More information can be found here and if you'd like to donate please go here.

Night Terrors and Day Drinking: The Self Inflicted Trauma of Being a DC Sports Fan Part 13

How 2016 went down and all the teams suffered in their usual ways with the Redskins and Wizards failing to reach the playoffs and the Nationals and Capitals suffering early exits is remarkable in how unremarkable it all was. No one was choked in a dugout, there were no guns pulled in the locker room, and even the Redskins seemed drama free for the first time in forever. Then the off-season would come about and the Redskins would prove they can’t even fire a GM properly but as they have continued to not be an embarrassment in other ways that hasn’t mattered as much. It’s faded from the headlines and the Redskins are slowly but surely becoming just another football team. How long that will last is unclear, but it is the case right now and perhaps it will still be the case when 2017 is over. It is doubtful that it will be forever. Dan Snyder is eventually going to have to make his presence felt and that has never gone well.

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Night Terrors and Day Drinking: The Self Inflicted Trauma of Being a DC Sports Fan Part 12

It takes a few things to make a loss truly heartbreaking and worthy of being mentioned as a typical DC sports loss. I’ve said before that it’s hard for the Wizards because there’s LeBron James and before him there was Michael Jordan and in between those two there was Shaq and Kobe. More than any other league the NBA is a league of stars. The team with the biggest star in the sport typically wins. There are occasional upsets like the 2005 Detroit Pistons who were simply the best put together team that might have ever existed. In theory the Wizards could achieve that with Wall, Beal, and Porter but they need two more players at about that same level. Which is really hard to do, and so as long as LeBron in the East and the Warriors in the West exist not much will be expected from the Wizards in the playoffs.

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Night Terrors and Day Drinking: The Self Inflicted Trauma of Being a DC Sports Fan Part 11

Matt Williams, Adam Oates, and Bruce Allen all bungled their way through 2014. Oates was let go after that season while Matt Williams got to keep his job for one more and Bruce Allen is still around because he’s a loyal lapdog to Dan Snyder. Might as well rename him Vinny Cerrato II. As long as Bruce Allen does the boss’s bidding he’s going to stay around in DC. 2014 gave us playoff losses by the Wizards and Nationals, the Capitals missing the playoffs for the first time in several seasons, and Bruce Allen uttering the phrase winning off the field while the Redskins did anything but. I think by now you’re getting the picture of what it’s like to be a DC sports fan but there is still more fun to come. If you consider choking an MVP and blowing more 3-1 series leads to be fun.

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Night Terrors and Day Drinking: The Self Inflicted Trauma of Being a DC Sports Fan Part 10

As 2012 became 2013 there was hype around the Washington Nationals. All the talk was how this could be the best team in baseball history. Bryce Harper was another year older, the Nats were going to have Strasburg for an entire season, Anthony Rendon would eventually take over at second base, Jayson Werth was going to be healed fully from his broken wrist, Ryan Zimmerman had finished 2012 ridiculously hot, and the Nationals had traded Michel Morse and traded for Denard Span to improve the lead-off spot and outfield defense. Everything looked great and then there was Rafael Soriano. A completely unnecessary move that at the time I thought was good to shore up the bullpen, but little did I know that Drew Storen wasn’t mentally tough enough to have his job taken away. He just wasn’t good enough to attempt to earn the role back and floundered every time he made an appearance that wasn’t in the ninth inning. The 2013 Nationals were a disappointment but they still could have made a run. The big problem is manager Davey Johnson gave up on his players early on.

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Night Terrors and Day Drinking: The Self Inflicted Trauma of eing a DC Sports Fan Part 9

I will never forget that moment. My seats for game five of the 2012 NLDS were right across from the Nationals dugout and as soon as there were two outs they all stood on the top step ready to jump the rail and mob Drew Storen on the mound. That would never happen and as Storen walked Molina and gave up a game tying hit to Daniel Descalso and the go ahead hit to Pete Kozma the players shrank back into the dugout. I stood there that entire inning mutter, “Let’s go Drew. You’ve got this Drew.” It is the worst of my unanswered prayers because Drew did not got this and he had no interest in going. I don’t know if any loss has ever felt as bad as this or if anything ever will again. It is the closest I’ve come to knowing what death feels like. In front of me where players that had fought and won and given us the best season we’d ever seen. It was the first division title in Washington Baseball history and they had fought back in game four off of a Jayson Werth walk-off homerun. They jumped out early to a 6-0 lead and then a series of very unfortunate events took it all away, and the NLCS that was all but assumed earlier in the night remains a phantom limb.

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