The Nationals are going to play playoff baseball for the first time in franchise history. This is good. There is no way this is bad.
The Nationals are rumored to finally let Teddy win the President's Race. This appears to be good. This may be bad.
Baseball is a sport of tradition and superstition. Tradition raised me as a Chicago Cubs fan. My grandfather was a Cubs fan, therefore, I will be a Cubs fan. Forever. It doesn't matter how they perform. Tradition is about supporting a team, for better or worse. Things like reason and winning records do not matter. Superstition supersedes reason.
Superstition is what Cubs fans use to cope. In 1945 a guy wanted to see the Cubs play a World Series game with his goat. The Cubs said no, a very reasonable thing to say to a man trying to bring a goat into the stadium. The Cubs lost that World Series. They haven't been back to a World Series since 1945. The guy with the goat said he cursed the team. That 'curse' still exists. People believe in that 'curse.' Things like over pitching young phenoms (Mr. Wood, meet Mr. Strasburg), bad draft picks and poor general management do not matter to most Cubs fans. The goat does.
Goats go away. Sometimes goats become well-meaning fans wearing headphones. When the Cubs were an inning and a half away from their first World Series appearance in nearly 60 years, a man named Steve Bartman became famous. His innocent reach for a ball became a new curse. The goat was gone, now a fan was the enemy. To rid ourselves of this 'curse,' Harry Caray's Restaurant staged a ball explosion, ridding the Cubs of the Bartman curse.
I do not believe in curses. I do believe that fans will grab onto anything that explains an unfortunate outcome. It's why restaurants explode innocent baseballs.
The Nationals, a young organization with no curse or goat or Bartman has the opportunity to please a large group of fans. Letting Teddy win may make some season ticket holders and young fans happy, but so will wins. The Nats winning in the playoffs is more important than Teddy winning in 2012. Take it from a Cubs fan, no one will remember a first place regular season finish without a World Series trophy. They'll remember a goat or guy in headphones. Do not make Teddy your goat.
Let Teddy win. Just wait until next year.
Follow Brandon Wetherbee on Twitter: www.twitter.com/YMTE