Things The Washington Nationals Should Be Thankful For...

Rob Carr

Some ideas, real, sarcastic and ... here are a few things that the Washington Nationals should be thankful for today [Thursday, Thanksgiving] after the Nats' successful 2012 campaign...:

[This National] should be thankful for...

Ian Desmond: ... Larry Bowa's advice. When Ian Desmond talked about his breakout season in 2012 on the MLB Network a few weeks back, he attributed his success this season to, "... really just learning how to practice properly." The Nats' 27-year-old infielder credited Bowa with giving his some advice that changed things for the Nats' shortstop defensively. "Before I would take a million ground balls," Desmond said, "But the wrong way. I talked to... actually, Larry Bowa deserves a lot of credit. He gave me a pointer last year in the middle of the year, that I needed to shuffle my feet instead of crossing my feet. My ball is coming out more straight. And it took away that sink." Desmond finished his fourth major league season at a career-high +5.4 fWAR with a .292/.335/.511 line, 33 doubles, 25 HRs and 21 SBs in 130 games and 547 PAs, up in all but steals from a .253/.298/.358, 27 double, eight home run and 25 SB season in 2011. Defensively, Desmond had a career-best .970 fld% with 15 errors (eight fielding, seven throwing) down from 23 Es (19 FE, 4 TE) in 2011 and 34 Es (21 FE, 13 TE) in 2010...

Danny Espinosa: ... having Ian Desmond as a template for how a Nationals' middle infielder can improve offensively one season to the next.

Mike Rizzo: ... the day some time in the near future when the Lerner family inevitably gives a thumbs up to the Nats' GM's plan to once again go after Zack Greinke. Managing principle owner Theodore N. Lerner did impress Greinke with his desire to win when the pitcher met with the team in 2010.

Jesus Flores: ... a chance to start somewhere else in the majors if he isn't brought back to the nation's capital.

Tyler Clippard: ... for the fact that he even comes close when he and room/teammate Drew Storen have Twitter followers vote on which player should pick up the check for dinner between them since the closer has him outnumbered (34,359 Twitter followers to 13,093).

Drew Storen: ... second chances.

Kurt Suzuki: ... being taught the secrets of the Wack-O.

Ross Detwiler: ... Davey Johnson's faith in him. Link: Washington Nationals' Faith In Ross Detwiler Rewarded...

Roger "The Shark" Bernadina: ... the best PR team in D.C.

Stephen Strasburg: ... the fact that reporters nationwide have agreed to never ask him about his 2012 innings limit again.

Ryan Zimmerman: ... the fact that Anthony Rendon still has something to prove in the minors after an injury-shortened first pro season, so Zim doesn't have to be moved to first base right away this Spring...

Adam LaRoche: ... the Nats' infielders, for turning the formerly stone-handed first baseman into a Gold Glove winning infielder.

John Lannan: ... getting the respect he deserved for what he provided the major league team in what was probably a tough season for the left-hander.

Henry Rodriguez: ... another chance to prove himself and see if it was the bone chips that caused the control issues...

Sean Burnett: ... Jeremy Affeltd's deal with the Giants. (3-year/$18M)

Christian Garcia: ... fourth chances.

Michael Morse: ... the chance he got to travel in time to back to the late '70s and visit Studio 54, where the glasses he bought were just right for the times and the occasion. [ed. note - "Congrats on the wedding, Morse."]

Bench Coach Randy Knorr: ... Bo Porter getting that job in Houston.

Jordan Zimmermann: ... the fact that in 2013, writers will be more likely to mention him in articles about his own success on the mound instead of as a template for Strasburg's innings limit in articles about Strasburg since they all agreed to stop writing those articles about Stras...

Craig Stammen: ... the Nationals moving him into a bullpen role and creating a monster.

Ryan Mattheus: ... Davey Johnson's continued support. The Nats' manager singled Mattheus out again in a recent interview as a, "... guy that goes under the radar..." and has a, "Great arm."

Bryce Harper: ... the chance to believe until it's proven otherwise that seasons like 2012 in D.C. happen all the time and he'll be in the postseason for the next 20 years.

Wilson Ramos: ... the presence of Kurt Suzuki on the roster so he can take his time and make sure he's 100% recovered from his torn ACL when he returns.

Jhonatan Solano: ... that ride that the onion truck driver gave him.

Chad Tracy: ... Davey Johnson's preference for Hairy-Chested Bench Bats on his roster.

Steve Lombardozzi: ... the fact that the Nationals' skipper got the 23-going-on-24-year-old infielder the at bats he needed for his continued development in 2012 ... and the fact that his father raised a good kid.

Tyler Moore: ... whatever it was he figured out in the middle of the 2010 season, because he hasn't stopped crushing the ball since.

Jayson Werth: ... being right about the team he chose when he was a free agent back in 2010...

Gio Gonzalez: ... being blessed with such fantastic hair.

Davey Johnson: ... getting one more chance to win his second World Series as a manager.

• Did I forget anyone? Enjoy the holiday...

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