Oct 13, 2012, 4:34 AM EST
Associated Press photo
Drew Storen sits motionless at his locker after taking the loss in Game 5.
Updated at 4:45 a.m.
The remnants of a celebration that was supposed to happen lingered throughout a surreal clubhouse scene, plastic tarps either torn down in haste or left to hang from the ceiling, a temporary carpet covering the majority of the room so the regular flooring wouldn't get ruined amid the jubilee.
Somewhere out of public view, cases of champagne and beer bottles had been stashed away, removed from the premises before the participants could see them. A TV crew that had been in place and ready to broadcast the pandemonium raced to clear out of the room and hustle down the hallway to the visitors clubhouse, where the actual celebration would occur.
All that remained inside the Nationals' oval-shaped office was silence, punctuated by the occasional slap of players and coaches hugging each other and saying their goodbyes for the winter.
Baseball "is designed to break your heart," former commissioner Bart Giamatti once wrote, but the Nationals' 9-7 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 of the National League Division Series was less about heartbreak and more about heartburn, the sting of a never-been-seen turn of events too fresh in everyone's minds to allow forRead more »
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