In the year 2008, things seemed a bit simpler. The Philadelphia Phillies owned the best record in the National League and went on to win the NLDS, the NLCS, and then the World Series, all convincingly. And then the tides began to turn in 2012. All of the sudden, the field of four became five. The Wild-Card team, instead of waiting patiently with the rest of the league, had to play a game to decide their fate against another contender. And while many cried out that it unfairly punishes the teams who normally got a free pass into the Divisional Series, something different happened this time around.
This was the team that made D.C. dream. We cheered with them, cried with them, and sung “Take on Me” with them. 2012 was an incredible year for the Nationals.
A few weeks ago, MASN announced VIA Twitter a big contest. You had to answer the question “Why should you throw out the first pitch on April 5th?” – the most creative answer would get to throw out the first pitch, on April 5th.
I entered with a video of me playing the guitar and a slideshow, covering “Take on Me” by A-ha, with lyrics including
“Please let me… (See you later)
Throw that pitch (See you later)
I would probably… Throw it better than John Walllllllll!
Unbelievably, a couple days ago, I got a Twitter message from MASN, letting me know I would be the starter on April 5th. As you can probably guess, I was pretty happy.
After spending the next couple days perfecting my windup and getting my arm loose, I got to Nationals Park. I was greeted by the woman who ran the contest, Olivia, and a member of the Nats PR Department, Julia. They took me down onto the field, where I watched the Braves finish batting practice and hung out.
After what felt like twenty minutes but what was really an hour, I was called onto the mound to throw my pitch. Here was the result.
All in all, even though the Nats lost 6-2, it was an incredible experience. Thank you so much to MASN and Twitter for giving me this incredible opportunity.
Note: I will not be previewing the NL or the Nationals this year. You all know what I think will happen, but for a quickie:
NL WEST: Dodgers
NL CENTRAL: Cardinals
NL EAST: Nats
WILD CARD: Braves, Pirates
NLDS: Dodgers over Pirates, Nats over Cardinals
NLCS: Nats over Dodgers
World Series: Nats over A’s.