Photo by Bob Youngentob / CSNwashington.com
The Nationals and their fans have plenty to be thankful for this year.
And for the third straight year, I've somehow managed to get my hands on a comprehensive list of these fine folks' Thanksgiving blessings. I'm just that good (or creative, depending on how you choose to look at it).
So without further ado, here's what everyone in NatsTown is thankful for this holiday season...
DAVEY JOHNSON: That he said the Nats could fire him only if he didn't win the NL East in 2012 (not the NLDS).
MIKE RIZZO: That he won't have to explain to the world why he's voluntarily shutting down one of his best big-league pitchers before the end of the 2013 season.
BRYCE HARPER: That his first big-league season included way more home runs than clown questions.
RYAN ZIMMERMAN: That he never again has to explain what it's like playing for a franchise that's never enjoyed a winning season.
IAN DESMOND: That Jim Bowden and Frank Robinson actually knew what they were doing seven years ago when they touted the then 18-year-old shortstop as a future star.
ADAM LAROCHE: That the best season of his career just so happened so occur right before he hit free agency.
JAYSON WERTH: That upon jumping into a throng of giddy teammates around home plate following the greatest baseball moment in D.C. in 88 years, he might never again have to justify his decision to take $126 million from the Nationals.
MICHAEL MORSE: That Nationals fans know the words to the chorus of "Take On Me." (Or, at least, are good at faking it.)
DANNY ESPINOSA: That the Nationals have been rewarded for showing patience with a young, streaky, middle infielder before.
WILSON RAMOS: That the toughest obstacle he has to overcome this offseason is a torn knee ligament, which should feel like nothing compared to what he had to overcome one year ago.
STEPHEN STRASBURG: That the only thing he'll be shutting down in 2013 are opposing lineups.
GIO GONZALEZ: That there will always be another member of the pitching staff willing to sit next to him in the dugout during games and listen to his stream of consciousness.
JORDAN ZIMMERMANN: That after a thoroughly rewarding season he can reward himself by sitting on a frozen Wisconsin lake ice fishing for hours on end.
EDWIN JACKSON: That even after 10 seasons with seven different organizations, there are still GMs out there willing to pay him good money based more on potential than results.
DREW STOREN: That Washington sports fans place more weight on a month of dominance than one disastrous inning of relief. Unlike, say, Philadelphia sports fans.
TYLER CLIPPARD: That no one will ever question again whether he can close in the big leagues.
HENRY RODRIGUEZ: That the ability to throw a baseball 100 mph (even with location TBD) will always guarantee a steady paycheck.
JOHN LANNAN: That after the strangest season of his career, he should get a fair opportunity to pitch in the major leagues in 2013.
CHIEN-MING WANG: That he was paid about $8 million to make 16 big-league starts over the last three years (and 21 minor-league rehab starts).
MARK BUEHRLE: That he turned down the Nationals' three-year contract offer -- with no-trade clause included -- last winter and instead took four years (without a no-trade clause) from the Miami Marlins. Oh wait, he's not thankful for that decision at all.
MARK LERNER: That he's suddenly become the most successful and most popular owner in Washington.
MARK ZUCKERMAN: That I continue to be paid to perform a job that hardly ever feels like a job and have the most knowledgeable and loyal readership a sportswriter could ever hope to achieve.