On Friday night, Nationals fans had to go to bed knowing their team squandered a 6-0 lead, gave up four runs in the top of the ninth inning, and was one strike away from going to the National League Championship Series.
On Saturday morning, season ticket-holders woke up to an email encouraging them to buy tickets for Washington's World Series games — which won't happen in 2012.
The email was sent at 7:01 a.m. Saturday by MLB Advanced Media — and undoubtedly someone who must not know what it feels like to see a hometown team squander a clear shot of advancing in the postseason after a 31-year playoff drought.
MLB Advanced Media president and CEO Bob Bowman apologized to Nationals fans, saying, "It was a stunningly stupid error on our part, and we apologize to the Nationals and their great fans," according to the Washington Post.
All of Bowman's apologies can't change the fact that Nationals fans were reminded that their team would not be in the World Series less than 12 hours after watching them blow a six-run lead.
The email only made Nats fans dwell upon the "what ifs" even more. What if Stephen Strasburg had pitched in Games 1 and 5? What if Davey Johnson decided to walk Pete Kozma? What if Drew Storen could have just thrown one more strike? What if the Nationals actually made it to the World Series?
The debate will rage on in Washington until pitchers and catchers report for spring training in 2013.