Well, I feel better. The 2006 season got off to a very bad start. As I detailed in this Baseball Bias column (and may the earth rest lightly upon you, Baseball Bias), we pretty much got our head flushed in the toilet on the first day of school. You probably remember this, but Pedro Martinez and company hit -- with baseballs and malice aforethought -- everyone in the lineup, more or less. Finally, having taken more than any reasonable team could be expected to take, the Nats responded and received two suspensions, while the Mets got off without even a slap on the wrist. And we lost the game and the series. It stung like hell, and it was more than just being pushed around by the Mets. It was a reminder of our pathetic status -- no owner, little money, embarrassing management. As fans, we weren't in a position to talk trash to anyone.
This weekend's series against the Yankees finally sure changed my mood. The Yankees are everything the Nationals aren't: rich, successful, and professional. Their fans display an astonishing sense of entitlement, while ours work themselves into exhaustion trying to find a bright side in, say, parking garage negotations. And we did more than beat them. Alfonsono Soriano running wild like he was Jackie Robinson, Daryle Ward trying his damndest to kill himself huffing from first to home on Jose Guillen's triple, and finally Ryan Zimmerman's walk-off Father's Day home run -- we got a season's worth of highlights in one weekend.
It doesn't change much from a practical standpoint. Two wins against the Yankees don't cancel out four against Colorado, and we're still looking at a fire sale in the near future. Still, watching the Nats this weekend (and what a novelty it was to be able to do that), I had an odd feeling. It took me a while to figure it out: I was proud to be a Nats fan.