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Missed, but not squandered, opportunity

Aug 11, 2014, 10:09 AM EDT

AP AP

ATLANTA — In the wake of yet another series loss at Turner Field, it’s easy to look at the Nationals and declare that they squandered an opportunity to step on the reeling Braves’ throats and create some major distance between themselves and their NL East rivals.

And, to be sure, the Nats would have loved to do just that over the weekend. They would have loved to take 2 of 3 instead of losing 2 of 3. They really would have loved to sweep the series.

But the fact they didn’t do that doesn’t suddenly alter the overarching storyline of this pennant race. The Nationals, believe it or not, still lead the division by 3 1/2 games and still sit in a decidedly advantageous position in the big picture.

“Regardless if they’re 0 for their last 8 or whatever it was, you know they’re going to turn it around,” Adam LaRoche said of a Braves club that entered the series on an 8-game losing streak. “On top of that, they’re confident against us. They play us really well. I think going in, nobody thought we could throw our gloves out there and win two of three games. We all, deep down, had a feeling it was going to be a battle. …

“Yeah, we’d have loved to have won two out of three games here. The good thing is we’re leaving here … you don’t want to lose games, but it’s not the end of the season for us.”

Far from it. The Nationals left town late Sunday night feeling much better about themselves than the last time they were in Atlanta. They didn’t get blown out by the Braves. They didn’t roll over and play dead the way we’ve seen in the past. They actually played quite well.

Friday night’s loss was entirely on Stephen Strasburg, who dug his team into a 7-0 hole that might well have set the tone for the weekend. Except everybody else decided to keep playing and nearly pulled off the greatest comeback in club history, coming one slightly misplaced line drive short of tying the game.

Saturday night’s win was as uplifting as any the Nationals have experienced this season, requiring both physical and mental fortitude to withstand a 3-hour, 41-minute rain delay and then extra innings before celebrating a 4-1 victory at 2:29 a.m.

Sunday night’s loss was their worst-played game of the weekend, featuring Gio Gonzalez’s mental mistake, Matt Williams’ questionable decision to leave Jerry Blevins on the mound for two full innings and a whole lotta strikeouts against Braves left-hander Alex Wood.

Hardly an embarrassing performance overall.

“We showed that we can come here and play baseball,” Blevins said. “We battled them the first night. We had a great win, kind of a momentum-shifting win last night. And then Alex Wood pitched his ass off today. … They’re a good team. They might’ve lost eight straight, but they’re still good. They still have the hitters and the pitchers that they have. We lost the series, but I think we showed we can play with them no matter what.”

The Nationals are now 4-9 against the Braves this season. It’s a disappointing mark against a chief division rival, to be sure, but the overall tenor of this rivalry does seem to have changed some. The Nats don’t have a woe-is-me feeling when they play Atlanta anymore. They’ve actually won three of their last five head-to-head meetings.

Yes, they play each other six more times in September, and those six games perhaps give the Braves hope of flipping the division standings. But think about it this way: If the two teams otherwise play equal the rest of the way, Atlanta would have to win five of those six games to take the division.

And the big-picture evidence suggests the Nats and Braves are unlikely to play equal in those other 40 remaining games.

Take out the head-to-head games, and the Nationals are 59-44 this season. The Braves are 51-53. Yep, Atlanta has been a sub-.500 club against everybody else in baseball and trails Washington by 8 1/2 games when you throw out the head-to-head matchup.

Is it possible that trend changes over the season’s final six weeks? Sure. But is it likely? Probably not.

Frustration over the Nationals’ inability to put this thing away is understood. This still feels like a team that has not played up to its full potential. Thing is, every team in the NL is saying the same thing right now. Nobody has looked dominant over the long haul.

The Nats are still in first place. They still lead by 3 1/2 games. They still hold the upper hand as the stretch run of this pennant race approaches.

“If we play good, clean baseball — nothing spectacular, nothing great — if we just play clean games, we pitch well and play good defense, we’re going to be just fine,” Ian Desmond said. “It’s not necessarily any do-or-die situation. It’s just we’ve got to go out and play good baseball and focus on that. The rest will take care of itself.”

  1. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    Nats are leaving the way they came in… still up 3.5 and in first place… Hopefully the dodgers can continue to help us (Think Haren is on the mound tonight – I hope his cutter is cutting…)

    And the Nats take it easy and enjoy the day off and take it to the Mets and win that series…

    • Eric - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:36 AM

      Unfortunately, we came in 4.5 up. But, still, it’s a positive lesson that we lost a head to head series and only lost 1 game in the standings. In light of that, an example of a scenario where the Brave tie us in the standings is:
      Take 3 of 4 from the Dodgers
      Take 2 of 3 from the As
      Take 2 of 3 from the Pirates

      While we

      Lose 2 to the Mets
      Lose 2 to the Pirates
      Lose 2 of the first 3 to the D’backs

      They have their work cut out for them if they’re gonna catch up at all over this stretch. We’d do very well to hold steady or create space, though. September is an NL East-a-thon for us, and I’m thinking there will be no rolling over by anyone…

      • NatsLady - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:57 AM

        Not only the “NL East-a-thon” (love that!), but the Fish, Mutts and Fillies will bring up all their youngsters and actually play them, while we will be using the regulars and only giving them breaks if we’re way ahead (or behind).

        However, while the youngsters will be eager, rested, healthy and unfamiliar, they may not be major-leaguers, so there’s that. Spetember is a strange and sometimes unpredictable month.

      • Eric - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:01 AM

        Good point about the youngins…I suspect maybe the Marlins have a shot at something, so maybe that won’t be true of them…seems likely with the Mets and Phils though.

        Anyway, I would really, truly love it if we’re still at least 3.5 up on Sept 1.

      • dcwx61 - Aug 11, 2014 at 12:43 PM

        we are a good team, but not as good with hurting Zimm/Werth/Harp
        Anything can happen with those guys hurt and no real productive backup outfielder at the moment. Sorry MT…get well SS And Nate

    • 6ID20 - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:14 AM

      They came in up 4.5 and lost a game off their lead. That’s not breaking even no matter how you spin it. Long way to go yet and the Nats are letting the Braves hang around. Nothing is guaranteed at this point.

  2. llf0701 - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    Well I feel a whole lot better after reading your post! Thanks!

    • Eric - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:45 AM

      Yeah…it’s far from hopeless for the Nats!

  3. NatsLady - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    Thanks, Mark. Especially this.

    Take out the head-to-head games, and the Nationals are 59-44 this season. The Braves are 51-53. Yep, Atlanta has been a sub-.500 club against everybody else in baseball and trails Washington by 8 1/2 games when you throw out the head-to-head matchup.

    The Nats don’t HAVE to beat the Barves to win the Division–as has been shown. Moreover, they are unlikely to meet them in the postseason, firstly, because Atlanta only has a 35% chance of GETTING to the postseason (per Fangraphs) and 27% of that is as a possible Wild Card team. They have only a 10% chance of getting past the WC and winning the NLDS.

    Last year, in late August, when they were making their run, the Nats had that kind of chance (briefly) for a WC. They were hot, and they still didn’t make it, because three teams came out of the NL Central with 90+ wins. As they say, it’s not only the distance–it’s the traffic.

    Now I really am leaving…

    • dcwx61 - Aug 11, 2014 at 12:22 PM

      Good chance we’ll see them over let’s say the phils….The Barves could, should make things interesting for the number 1 spot in the NL east. Can’t count them out….still a good team.

    • natszee - Aug 11, 2014 at 4:21 PM

      Atlanta better not catch a bit of luck and gain a wild card slot …. then we MAY have to beat them in a series. Other option is St Louis … either way, this team needs to kick it in gear or it will be a short October,

  4. lawrence - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    Really, Friday’s game should have been tied. Whenever Jordan Walden enters a game with runners on base, they should automatically score, but for whatever reason, umpires never call him for the balk he commits on every pitch. And yet, they call Aaron Barrett for a motion that isn’t one. And people think umpires don’t have it in for the Nats.

    Fortunately, the Barves play their next seven games against the Dodgers and Athletics. That should be a good chance for the Nats to pick up some ground.

    • 6ID20 - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:20 AM

      Barrett’s motion fits the definition of a balk. He comes set and then pumps again without pitching or throwing to a base. Doesn’t matter if he does it every time. Two things to remember. You can’t balk with no one on base, and just because an umpire misses the call that doesn’t mean it’s not a balk.

  5. Candide - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    Atlanta has been a sub-.500 club against everybody else in baseball and trails Washington by 8 1/2 games when you throw out the head-to-head matchup.

    So…

    Is it that everyone but the Nats know how to exploit the Braves’ weaknesses?

    Or that the Braves know the Nats are all that stand between them and the playoffs, so they up their game when playing the Nats?

    Or that the Nats mentally seize up when they play the Braves?

    Or just a crazy-ass anomaly in the statistics?

    • Eugene in Oregon - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:34 AM

      The AP story in my local paper this a.m. would suggest that it’s (b). Although I suspect there are elements of all four in any given game.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:36 AM

      So I had left to do some work.. but then I was about to post… so why do they seem to have the Nats number… I swear it seems every other lefty can get Freddie F out but he seems to RAKE against ours.. I think I saw a stat last night that he has almost a 500 batting average against us but vs everyone else its like 230…

      Cant keep saying its becuz the teams know each other so well.. I mean then shouldn’t it be the same with the Mets and Fish and Iggles too…

      I remember in 2009,2010 and 2011 (at least) that the Nats would play the Braves hard and they were going thru what we were going thru in the questioning of why we cant beat that team…

      But now I have to get some work done… and take my mind of last night’s game… sigh

    • Eric - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      I think a big part of it is that the Braves have done a very good job of neutralizing our starting pitching. They just seem to know how to hit against us.

    • NatsLady - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:43 AM

      I don’t know if “up” their game is the right way to put it, but in this case, they had some advantages.
      (1) Two off-days in the week. Nats. None. This was especially important for the bullpen. Kimbrel has been overworked, and he pitched all three games over the weekend. That doesn’t bode well for the next seven, though.
      (2) Being at home. They are a good team at home, 33-25. The Nats are .500 on the road, which is about what you want to be. The issue is not losing 2/3 to them in Attanta. That’s in line with their home record. We need to beat them in OUR house.

      I do think teams “up” their game when playing the Nats, and I think that’s (almost) all teams, and it applies to all contending teams. If you are the Rangers, fraught with injuries, and you are playing your 1,000th game against the, let’s say, Astros, how “up” are you going to be? You go against the Tigers, hypothetically, with Darvish pitching against Scherzer, and on national TV, yeah, you pay might make a little extra effort, it’s only natural.

      • dcwx61 - Aug 11, 2014 at 12:39 PM

        +1
        3) Pitching Strasburg against Atlanta,,,tough luck for us

  6. stoatva - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    Teheran vs Correia tonight looks like the most favorable matchup of the four game series for the Barves (although Haren vs anybody on Tuesday is worrisome). Hoping the Dodgers brought their hottest bats with them, but tonight could be a challenge.

  7. natsguy - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    Eric,

    My comment regarding Gio (aka Captain Air Head) was not a shot at his mental acuity as you went and projected ahead without reading my whole comment. It was a comment at his forgetting to cover first base for the umteenth time. One of the first things pitchers are taught in little league is to cover first on every ground ball hit to the right side. His inability to remember to do that says a lot about his attention span and ability to focus his concentration on the game. Charlie Slowes also brought that up in the radio broadcast. I suspect you have not played a lot of baseball but I will bet you that Mat Williams said a lot worse to him in the office after the game. Physical performance is one thing but not having your head in the game is another. Gio is having enough problems with his command this year to get away with not keeping his attention to the basic fundamentals of baseball. Pretty bad show and let his teammates down.

    • NatsLady - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:52 AM

      Matt Williams was mad. He was visibly mad, and I haven’t see him like that (though he does have the reputation). However, I don’t think he’ll take Gio apart in his office, because Gio and everyone else (including LaRoche, who gave him a little hug) knows he failed on what should be routine.

      Not to excuse Gio, but my feeling is that a critical play at first involving the pitcher will occur in one game of four, if that. Meanwhile, if Gio’s command and pitch selection are off, that’s where he needs to focus over the next few days. Yes, it’s cool to see how Fister fields his position, but that’s probably about 5% of the difference in a pitcher’s performance. I’m sure there have been Cy Young pitchers who were terrible fielders (although not this year, as Kershaw could steal that Gold Glove from Fister).

    • adcwonk - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:53 AM

      Fwiw, and this is not an excuse (just something that exacerbated the situation): I think he was mentally (and perhaps a bit physically) spent at that point.

    • Eric - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:53 AM

      I read your whole comment. I take Captain Air Head as an unkind portrayal of Gio as a person. That’s all. It’s just my opinion.

      I never said Gio played that situation well, and I fail to see how my taking issue with personal insults suggests I feel otherwise.

      • jd - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:02 AM

        FWIW,

        I don’t think Gio beats Heyward to 1st even if he covers. No excuse not to try but I think the only way we make that play is if ALR stays on the bag (not criticizing ALR because he was right to try for the ball).

    • Candide - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:06 AM

      (Looks like my original reply got eaten or something…)

      His inability to remember to do that says a lot about his attention span and ability to focus his concentration on the game.

      Maybe Gio needs to have a talk with LaRoche about meds for attention deficit disorder? I don’t think anyone’s ever accused ALR of not having his head completely in the game.

      I will bet you that Mat Williams said a lot worse to him in the office after the game.

      It was almost exactly one year ago that Gio had a similar lapse covering first, and Werth didn’t wait until after the game to get in his face about it.

      • Eric - Aug 11, 2014 at 12:44 PM

        So he flaked a year ago and arguably flaked yesterday, and now he needs Ritalin?

        Hey, if it works for every kid with the occassional mental lapse in school…

      • Candide - Aug 11, 2014 at 4:00 PM

        Eric – I was being a little tongue-in-cheek.

        But seriously, a guy making more money every year than you and I will see in our lifetimes should be paying very close attention to his work for the three hours every five days that he’s on center stage, and not waste his mental energy acting out mini-dramas every time something doesn’t go quite the way he would like it. If he won’t do that, he needs an attitude adjustment. If he CAN’T do it, then maybe he DOES need to find out if there’s something he can do about his t concentration problems.

  8. adcwonk - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    I saw parts of the game intermittently, so I missed:

    What was the classless cheer against Harper that some folks here were complaining about?

    • coop202 - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      Sounded like the entire lower deck (the only attendees) were getting behind a “Harper Suc**” chant.

  9. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    46 games left in the regular season.

    4 ARI 51-67
    6 ATL 60-57 Contender
    3 LAD 67-52 Contender
    8 MIA 57-60 Wild Card Hunt
    10 NYM 56-62
    6 PHI 53-65
    3 PIT 62-55 Contender
    3 SEA 62-55 Contender
    3 SFG 62-56 Contender

    • NatsLady - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:03 AM

      20 against the DBACKs, FIllies and Mutts? I vote for that. Just go .500 or maybe better against the contending teams and clean up against those three.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:05 AM

        If the Nats do that, they will be just fine. The Barves have a tough week coming up. Hopefully Puig will be ok to play. They get lucky and miss Kershaw.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:16 AM

        Hanley Ramirez to the DL. He is expected back by the time the Nats travel to LA on Sept 1st.

    • 6ID20 - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:49 AM

      Don’t forget the potential tiebreaker game with the Braves if the Nats continue to let them hang around. It will be all-or-nothing since the loser will have too bad a record for a wild card berth. And since the Braves win the head-to-head matchup this season, it will be in Atlanta. Will MW have the cojones to not start Strasburg?

      • therealjohnc - Aug 11, 2014 at 3:07 PM

        If it comes to that it will be a sprint to the wire, which means every pitcher goes when they can. You don’t adjust the rotation for a play-in game and then not make the play-in game because your juggled rotation put you behind the other team.

        So the answer is, should the need arise, the pitcher for the play in game will be … whoever has the turn in the rotation after the guy who pitched Game 162. And if it’s Strasburg, it’s Strasburg, because I’d still trust him ahead of Trienen or Taylor Hill.

  10. jd - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:04 AM

    ghost,

    Calling Miami in the WC hunt at this point is a bit of a stretch.no? otherwise you may as well say the Mets are a WC contender too.

  11. Doc - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    So what was up with umpire Scuzzi and Rendon in the late innings yesterday?

    Not one bad call, but several. Maybe Scuzzi needs to find a new job.

    I was listening to Dave and Charlie. Didn’t hear about MW coming out, like he should have, and go after Scuzzi’s ass..

  12. coop202 - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    Part of me wants to compare this to 2012 when the braves sat 3 games back through September, but both Atl and the nats then we’re playing better baseball.

  13. Smyrcok - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    I see a fair amount of “we took one game, can’t complain” comments. There will always be a lot to complain about when you lose a series to those classless bags of dirt playing in Atlanta when they are in a tail spin (they had lost 8 in a row coming in, by the way). Instead it almost looks like we may have broken them out of that slump. Of course it’s more likely that they will go back to playing like crap since them beating us has nothing to do with how good either team is.

    The braves gained ground on us. That’s the minimum they needed to do to feel good about themselves after this series. We lost one game against them and they suck. I don’t feel good about that.

    I do feel good that we are still in first, but if it’s only because the braves are really terrible and not because we’re a good team then that doesn’t comfort me very much.

    • Doc - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:56 AM

      Wood pitched a good game against the Nats last night. That game was for the Braves.

      But the 1st game should have been ours. It could have easliy been a 2 out of 3 series for our side if Strasburgh had come through.

    • jd - Aug 11, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      Smyrock,

      A lot of what you say is true. We have been barely a .500 team since RZim was hurt.I think it doesn’t help that Werth is playing hurt and Harper hasn’t really started producing consistently.

      The schedule favors us but we haven’t really dominated the bad teams of late. Bad series in Miami, split with the Phills etc. I don’t think there is a whole lot to be done personnel wise, we are who we are so we’ll just have to go with the flow, hope we are good enough to hold off the Braves and hope to get RZim back before the playoffs.

      • David Proctor - Aug 11, 2014 at 12:38 PM

        “A lot of what you say is true. We have been barely a .500 team since RZim was hurt.I think it doesn’t help that Werth is playing hurt and Harper hasn’t really started producing consistently.”

        This is true, but it’s been more because of our pitching. We blew a 6 run lead in Miami. Decided the series. We scored 4 runs against Philly, but got blown out anyway. Difference in that series. We scored 6 runs against the Braves on Friday, but lost because Stras gave up 7. There are a couple others too.

        I’m confident our pitching will be fine over the long haul so the results should improve.

  14. breakbad1 - Aug 11, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    It was kind of a sad night.

    For some reason, the Nationals are not featured on national TV very often. The Braves, including last night, will be on national TV three times in seven days! Every time I turn on MLB TV or ESPN it’s the Dodgers, Braves, Red Sox. And so I wanted people across the country to see how good the Nationals really are.

    Instead:

    People saw the mental Nationals–the team I’ve written about here often. Honestly, I liked seeing Harper drag his foot on the A, but at a certain point he’s really got to demonstrate more thinking on the field. His being doubled off because he forgot the number of runs was so embarrassing–is that the guy that should be dragging his foot across a logo on the field? How many MLB players have been doubled off by outfielders twice in the last 10 days?

    Gio’s knucklehead failure to cover first–and again, this is not the first time NI Nation has seen this from Gio–was only part of the mentaldom that America saw in this series. They also saw a goofy guy talking to himself and making facial expressions and gestures throughout the game. Honestly, he’s starting to remind me of Lastings Milledge–if he gets fooled badly on a pitch while batting, he goofs off and smiles and nods and says some words, and his self-chatter and expressions on the mound really give the impression he is trying to be entertaining to some third party besides himself and the batter. Enough self-sidebar clowning, Gio, and play baseball already–your entertaining act just MIGHT be affecting your concentration when you need to be covering first.

    People saw the injury-prone Nationals. They didn’t see Zimm. They saw injury numbers/games missed by Harper that are astonishingly bad. They saw Werth ailing. In this series they saw another Nats outfielder run full-speed into a fence. Can you think of another team that has had two outfielders do this in the last year?

    And they saw the low-RISP Nationals. I don’t need to elaborate–it’s already been covered in this thread. We struck out a LOT and did very little with RISP.

    Does it really matter how the Nats are perceived on national TV? Isn’t it actually more important how they perform in 162 games–not just the televised ones?

    Their performance in high-profile games matters because they are feeding a perception that they are beatable, that they were over-hyped in the pre-season, they that are a paper tiger, that they choke with runners on base, that they make lots of mental mistakes, that they’re hurt all the time, and that they lack killer instinct.

    All of this gives opposing players more confidence they can beat us, and more desire to beat us. And that is bad for us.

    • David Proctor - Aug 11, 2014 at 12:21 PM

      You should become a journalist because you are great at creating narratives and backing them up with confirmation bias.

  15. dcwx61 - Aug 11, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    The Nats are a good team, the Barves are a good team….the race for number 1 in the East is far from over.
    Our biggest problem is our injuries to key members of the lineup (Zimm/Werth/Harp) and perhaps to one starting pitcher (Gio). A streaky LaRoche cannot make up for this, tweeks to the lineup (unlikely to help much, but i’d bring Ramos up) and the bench to step up to spell the big 4 are critical (That means you…Frandsen, McLouth and a replacement for Hairston,,,pray for Souza to get healthy)

  16. David Proctor - Aug 11, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    David O’Brien ‏@DOBrienAJC 31m
    #Dodgers activating Correia to start tonight & give others starters xtra rest. Means #Braves avoid both Kershaw and Greinke in 4-game series

    That’s no good.

    • dcwx61 - Aug 11, 2014 at 12:36 PM

      life and baseball are unfair
      I need to get used to it

      • adcwonk - Aug 11, 2014 at 12:51 PM

        avoid both Kershaw and Greinke in 4-game series That’s no good.

        life and baseball are unfair
        I need to get used to it

        Ehh. Last week they had to face both of then -and- King Felix in the space of one week. (And lost all of them)

        They still have a tougher schedule then we do over the next two weeks.

      • NatsLady - Aug 11, 2014 at 1:06 PM

        You don’t think they are capable of losing to Correria and Haren? You underestimate them. C’mon, give them their due. They lost to Tyler Matzek and his 5.22 ERA. They can handle it. (Well, OK, Matzek didn’t have a 5.22 ERA at the time, because it was his major league debut).

      • dcwx61 - Aug 11, 2014 at 1:29 PM

        True, life may be fairer than I was led to believe at an early year.
        Go ya Bums,

  17. breakbad1 - Aug 11, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    Thanks DP–I just knew you would make a good comment.

  18. dcwx61 - Aug 11, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    but weird there were only 18k fans last night in Atlanta ?

    • Eugene in Oregon - Aug 11, 2014 at 1:24 PM

      Probably an SEC/college football preview special on local TV?

      • dcwx61 - Aug 11, 2014 at 1:27 PM

        LOL ;)
        Hey Bulldogs

  19. Soul Possession, Sec 3 My Sofa - Aug 11, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    Slightly OT, or maybe not. Just happened across the linked article accidentally, and thought it might be relevant to some of our recent discussions on “mental toughness.” Interestingly, key components they mention are “don’t let your emotions get the better of you,” “learn to delay gratification,” and “manage your expectations.”

    http://lifehacker.com/how-and-why-to-develop-your-mental-toughness-1619305771

    • natsfan1a - Aug 11, 2014 at 4:16 PM

      Haven’t followed recent discussions closely but it strikes me that those key components could apply to fans as well as to athletes. What? ;-)

      • Soul Possession, Sec 3 My Sofa - Aug 11, 2014 at 6:04 PM

        You don’t say? I’ll have to give that some thought.

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