So this is one of those holiday posts that gives you something to read when you check your phone, laptop, mobile device, whatever, when you finally get tired of your relatives and seek the company of your fellow Nationals fans and FBB readers and commenters.
In doing a holiday-themed post, we take the opportunity to make mean jokes and say things we'd never actually say under the guise of an attempt at humor.
No, we wouldn't do that. We're so not mean-spirited and all we want is to spread the joys in NatsTown.
Which reminds me, did I ever tell you that I have a great idea for a t-shirt which featur-- [CONTENT DELETED]
[ed. note - "We'll never tell you what it is. We were asked politely not to do it. But there I go again, saying things I'd never say if this wasn't a holiday-themed post. We're so not those people. But if you ever saw it, it would be like the new 'Obey'..."]
So... anyway... here are our ideas for "gifts" and best wishes for the Washington Nationals in 2015.
As usual with this sort of thing, we had 1-2 funny things when we started and were naively confident the rest would be equally poignant and/or humorous...
Aaron Barrett: Another chance. Like Drew Storen, sort of. Here's hoping they both get the ball in a decisive postseason game in the near-future.
Jerry Blevins: A role as a specialist or better luck vs RHBs in 2015. (Righties put up a .298/.398/.423 line in 123 PAs vs Blevins in 2014, up from .190/.267/.314 in 2013. Career vs RHB = 249/.338/.391).
Xavier Cedeno: A sustained stretch of success in the majors, just so he can stop the trips from Syracuse to D.C. and back.
Tyler Clippard: The payoff he deserves this year and next year and more high-leverage situations to excel in.
Erik Davis: A complete recovery and a chance to do a mini-me-ish tv spot or interview with Tyler Clippard (who is, (shockingly?), only a year older than Davis.)
Doug Fister: For Doug Fister... Well, we just sincerly hope he never does this again actually...
Also giving away coffee at Starbucks on him, is pretty awesome (offer expired, don't take this to a store now):
Merry Christmas Eve! Have a Starbucks on us! Have the barista scan the pic below. Don't be a grinch, please use for 1 pic.twitter.com/Npzh6QiyRa— Doug Fister (@dougfister58) December 24, 2014
Gio Gonzalez: A worry-free season in 2015 after a shoulder issue/scare last season and also we hope he got a good offer on his house...
Taylor Jordan: More ground balls and a return to full strength.
Tanner Roark: What do you give to the guy who has it all and says his plan for next season is to "Just keep pumping strikes"? Continued success.
Craig Stammen: More high leverage innings, less mop-up jobs, though when I asked if he expected to remain in a long relief role (as opposed to say 'the seventh inning righty" with Clipp in the 8th, Storen in the 9th -- since there were some personnel changes in the Nats' bullpen) -- he said he expected to fill the same role he has recently again in 2015 though he did add, "I've been really contemplating trying to supplant Drew as the closer, but other than that yeah," [he expects to be back in middle relief]. "It's either take [Storen] or Strasburg out and become a starter or closer," Stammen joked.
Drew Storen: The ball in the ninth inning of a Game 5, or Game 7 of a postseason series.
Stephen Strasburg: A year without a mention of "the shutdown" and more widespread acknowledgement of just how good he is. Does that sound like snotty Nats-fanboy-ishness? We all know he's pretty good, right?
Matt Thornton: Another year (and more) of doing what he loves for the 38-going-on-39-year-old reliever.
Blake Treinen: A spot in the pen on the opening day roster, so those of us who think it's the perfect role for him can see what he does with it.
Jordan Zimmermann: A "fair deal"...whatever that is according to the market.
Jose Lobaton: More ice cream... and regular starts and at bats...though not a whole lot cause we want Wilson Ramos healthy. Speaking of which...
Wilson Ramos: A full season's worth of at bats.
Ian Desmond: Can we sign him and Zimmermann? If not, a World Series ring in his final season in D.C.
Danny Espinosa: An answer for his troubles vs RHPs..or at the very least the utility role we think he's perfect for...
Tyler Moore: The right-handed bench bat and backup first baseman/left fielder job in D.C.
Anthony Rendon: More sleep.
Ryan Zimmerman: An injury free season and a Gold Glove at first in 2015.
Kevin Frandsen: More widespread recognition so folks know who he is... [ed. note - "It's just a joke about him holding up a sign with his name on it for reporters at NatsFest. See below."]
Bryce Harper: Less drama (or at least less overdramatic coverage of drama-ish-ness.) More homers.
Jeff Kobernus: A win in the battle for the second base job between him and Kevin Frandsen. No offense, Kevin.
Nate McLouth: More catches like this one and a fully-recovered shoulder...
Denard Span: Another season like 2014.
Michael Taylor: More mentoring from Denard Span this Spring and the CF job in 2016.
Jayson Werth: More stories like this and less stories like the other ones this winter...
Mike Rizzo: A second baseman.
Matt Williams: After a trip to the NLDS in his first season as a manager in 2014, in 2015 it's got to be World Series or Bu-- what?
Go ahead. Come up with better gift ideas and wishes for the Nationals in the comments, we're sure you can.
And enjoy your holiday/day off/day of rest/family/whatever it is you're doing today. And every day, really.
FBB: Spreading the joys since August 2007.