Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about foundations, nonprofits and their impact

Slightly off topic, but please forgive me. This is about more than baseball.

Last week my beloved Washington Nationals won the 2019 World Series in thrilling fashion. There’s lots to learn from this team. Here are nine reasons to love the Nats:

Nevertheless, they persisted: That the underdog Nationals won should not have come as a shock; they’re a very good team, and anything can happen in a series of five or seven games. What’s remarkable is how they won. They played so miserably in April and May that, after losing 31 of their first 50 games, FanGraphs gave them a 22 percent of chance of making the playoffs and a 1.6 percent chance of winning the World Series. During the postseason, they played five games in which a loss would have ended their season. They fell behind in all five and still prevailed. That’s unprecedented. It’s worth remembering when pursuing anything that’s hard. Never give up is a cliche. It’s also useful advice.

Immigrants! They get the job done: The Nationals’ season turned around not long after signing Gerardo Parra, a journeyman outfielder from Venezuela who had just been cast off by the San Francisco Giants. Coincidence? I think not. Parra’s on-field performance was unexceptional, but he and Anibal Sanchez, a pitcher and fellow Venezuelan, brought a sense of fun — dugout dance parties, orange sunglasses and, of course, Baby Shark — to the team. “We didn’t start winning until Gerardo Parra came in May. We’re lucky to have these guys here — the Latin guys,” reliever Sean Doolittle told Tom Boswell of The Washington Post. Juan Soto, Victor Robles, Wander Suero (all from the Dominican Republic), Yan Gomes (the first Brazilian-born major leaguer) and Asdrubal Cabrera (another Venezuelan) round out the team’s Latin posse.

They don’t just dance. They hug: These guys really like one another. Importantly, they are not afraid to show it — or say it. While celebrating the World Series victory, Brian Dozier told Brittany Ghiroli of The Athletic that winning the World Series is “not a life changing thing.” Dozier said: When all of this is gone and the champagne fades, what we are going to really remember and hold on to is the chemistry we’ve built here. The camaraderie.” If you think that doesn’t matter, you’ve never worked with a bunch of people you can’t stand.

You can read the rest of this post on Medium.

3 thoughts on “Why I love the Washington Nationals–and why you should too.

  1. Patty Friedman says:

    Fantastic piece! Sorry I missed you at the parade.

    Like

  2. mdgordon says:

    Marc – Congrats! Those waves / beams / particles that you emitted probably put them over the top. Game 7 was a classic. I was soooo …. happy (I’m sure a lot less than you, but still ….)

    Hope all is well. Like the post.

    Michael

    p.s. Any idea who is the most persuasive anti-EA’er out there? A student asked me.

    On Mon, Nov 4, 2019 at 7:19 PM Nonprofit Chronicles wrote:

    > Marc Gunther posted: ” Slightly off topic, but please forgive me. This is > about more than baseball. Last week my beloved Washington Nationals won the > 2019 World Series in thrilling fashion. There’s lots to learn from this > team. Here are nine reasons to love the Nats: ” >

    Like

  3. Amy Mayers says:

    Marc — I don’t follow baseball (yes, even when it’s in my own town 🙂 ) but I love this piece! Lovely!

    Like

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