A Winning Baseball Team in D.C.? Yeah...

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images

    Oh, hi there. I'm Matt Capps. I'm a relief pitcher for the Nationals, a baseball team that plays here in Washington, D.C. Pleased to meet you.

    Wait, why are you laughing? Do I look funny to you? Do I amuse you? Oh, it's because I play for the Nationals, isn't it? Sigh...

    Look, I'm new here, so I don't know what your relationship with our team might have been like in the past. But I came from Pittsburgh, where the Pirates couldn't beat the Bad News Bears in a game of pepper. So this place that some call "Nats Town," well, it's pretty freakin' sweet.

    If you haven't followed us at all this year, let me fill you in. We're actually a good team. We've got a 17-14 record. That puts us in a
    tie for second place in our division with the New York Mets(!), and only two games behind the Philadelphia Phillies. And they're really good!

    So yeah, things have been pretty boss so far.

    We've been getting some clutch hitting all year long. Ryan Zimmerman has been his usual All-Star self. My catcher, Pudge, has been swinging a hot stick. His .365 average would place him among the league leaders if he had enough plate appearances. And The Hammer and the Big Donkey are living up to their nicknames, cranking out homers and driving in runs.

    We're getting decent starting pitching, especially from Livan Hernandez. His numbers have been outstanding. It's true that he's been around forever. Forget the Dead Ball Era, he's more Mesozoic. All I'm saying is his first childhood pet was a stegosaurus. I don't know how he does it, but when 900 years old I reach, look as good, I will not. Hmm?

    And then there's this kid out there in the bullpen with me -- Tyler Clippard. He's kinda odd-lookin' with those Chris Sabo-esque goggles. He looks more like an accountant with those things on than a baseball player, but it's all good. This season he's been the Robin to my Batman, the Bert to my Ernie, the peanut butter to my... Wait, you're laughing at me again... What's up with that? Whatever.

    I don't care because Tyler's actually tied for the lead in wins -- not just on our team, but in the entire league. I'm not joshin' ya. Look it up. His six wins as a reliever have him right up there with stud starters Roy Halladay and Ubaldo Jimenez. That's some quality company.

    I did the math, and at this pace he's going to finish the season with 31 wins. Well, 31.35 wins to be more specific. Can you say Walter Johnson? What, you don't know who that is? Ugh... Denny McLain? No? For reals?

    Let's just move on...

    And, of course, there's me. The big bull out of the 'pen. The fireman. The closer extraordinaire. The Mad Capper.

    The Pirates pretty much gave up on me after last season and said I couldn't be a closer anymore. I'll admit, it wasn't a stellar performance on my part. But man, life is good here in the District. Skip hands the ball over to me in the ninth, and I get the job done. Git 'er done!

    I've picked up 13 saves already this season, but who's counting? OK, I am. Put that in your pierogi and cook it, Buccos! I hope you're
    enjoying Octavio Dotel and his 8.03 ERA. Yeah, good luck with that.

    I'm happy to be here in Washington with a winning organization. Yeah, that's right. I said it. We're winners. I know it's a shock to the system, and you probably don't know how to handle it around these parts. I feel for ya after hearing about the dread surrounding the Redskins, Wizards, United, Mystics and Capitals.

    But we're here for ya, sports fans. We're not going to let you down. And just wait until you get a load of our secret weapon joining the team later this month. He's going to be huge!

    Did you hear that? That's the sound of the next train to Nats Town. Alllll aboard!

    ...

    No, seriously. Hop on. Nats Town! Wooooo! Woooo? What? You're scared of using Metro? You'd rather drive? But there's nowhere to park... And you'll miss the first three innings while sitting in traffic...

    Come on, people!