| October 31, 2019 04:14 PM
I’m usually not a fan of mixing something as pure and joyful as baseball with something that is neither of those things, such as our current political culture. But the Washington Nationals, 2019’s team of destiny, gave this town too many important lessons to ignore.
So as you battle through exhaustion today (and perhaps a hangover), I hope these gems, courtesy of our world champions, sink into your consciousness.
1. It doesn’t matter how you start; it’s how you finish.
A lot of people are talking about how despite the Nationals’ 19-31 start to this season, they clawed their way to the top with determination and grit. Their unbelievable road to becoming World Series champions should be an inspiring lesson for the hundreds of presidential hopefuls currently polling at 1%.
2. When things look their worst, bust out Baby Shark
Nationals folklore tells the tale of how Gerardo Parra showed up, told everyone to take a chill pill, and changed his walk-up song to Baby Shark. Magically, the team’s dismal season turned around. They started winning. They started dancing. They started chomping. I’m not saying Baby Shark was solely responsible for this World Series miracle, but I will say this – if I were running for office, Baby Shark would be my campaign anthem.
3. Lighten up
The Nationals taught everyone, specifically we swamp dwellers, to lighten up. When the Nats took themselves too seriously, they lost. When they adopted colored glasses, funky dugout dances, and Baby Shark, their fortunes changed. Similarly, if we traded in our partisan club cards and smiled at our “enemies,” maybe we’d start winning at life. That would be a benefit to ourselves and the entire country.
4. When you check your ego at the door, you can accomplish big things
Before this season, the Nationals had a problem. That problem had big hair and an even bigger ego. When that problem walked out the door, a fresh breeze came through the open door and gave life to the team. Rather than having one star, the team became a collective star, and it sailed that breeze all the way to the World Series. Congress, the mecca of big egos, should take note. Teamwork makes the dream work. No one, no matter how big a star, can accomplish much alone.
5. Good things happen when you hold on to hope (and your beers)
For being the laid-back, feel-good team they are, the Nats are pretty stubborn. They refused to give up. They were in five elimination games this postseason. They trailed in every single one. They also prevailed in every single one. They hung on to hope so that we all could too. That’s pretty inspiring stuff: That, and the heroic actions of Jeff Adams.
Washington can be a hopeless place. But friends, if this rag-tag team of underdogs can maintain hope and succeed, we all can do it.
With that, let the countdown to Spring Training begin. Which, coincidentally for the Nats, will kick off in 113 days against … guess who?
Nicole Tieman is a Wisconsin native, unapologetic fan of the Milwaukee Brewers, and general lover of baseball. In her spare time, she’s a communications professional on Capitol Hill.