Seriously, historians are going to look back and see the early history of the Nationals as little but a parade of shitheads.That parade does not include John Patterson, who announced his retirement today. I get the feeling that years from now, vivid memories of Patterson will be one of the things that distinguishes Day One Nationals Fans from those who adopted this painful pastime more recently. He never did much other than that first season (which becomes more amazing the longer ago it gets), but that was enough for me. His record that year was only 9-7, but without looking at more closely, I don't think that tells the whole story. 2005 was a year of thrilling, last-minute victories, and that's not the kind of outcome that inflates a starter's victory total. He was there, and he was as big a part of it as anyone.
I almost regret that the John Patterson content of this blog, which serves as a mausoleum for the mildly magical 2005 Nationals just as much as any image of Vinny Castilla in the jersey, is restricted to two topics: 1) He wants to be called "Big Nasty"? That's hilarious and 2) He's going to get hurt; TRADE HIM. He deserved better. But now, the profession he'd spent most of his life preparing for is now cut off to him by medical necessity (i.e., excruciating pain). His ruminations on this turn of events are heart-breaking.
"That's a year I look back on and go, 'You know, that year really went right for me.' That's the way my career was supposed to be," he said.Patterson came to the realization that his life wasn't going to work out the way he'd dreamed later than most people, which makes it even more poignant. The end of the article is crushing; it's a quick tour of the landscape of a broken dream:
Patterson, a Texas native, declined to say what he was going to do with the rest of his life, but acknowledged that he has been doing a lot of hunting this offseason.
"There are a few things I have going here in town with a friend of mine -- business-wise," Patterson said. "Now that I have made the decision to move forward in my life, maybe some opportunities will open up for me. As of right now, it's up in the air."
Good luck, John.