With or without Stephen Strasburg, the Washington Nationals are headed to the playoffs.
The Nats clinched a postseason berth on Thursday night with a win over the Dodgers, meaning that a team from Washington would be headed to the playoffs for the first time since 1933.
Back then, of course, there were no Nationals in D.C. Instead, the Senators played in the nation's capital. So, 79 years later, the Nationals are playoff-bound, for the first time in "franchise" history.
Franchise history, of course, is relative, depending on how you look at it. Yes, it is the first time that the "Washington Nationals" have advanced beyond the regular season. But before 2005, that wasn't the team's name. Back then, they were the Montreal Expos.
The same Expos that lost their best chance at a deep postseason run in 1994 when the MLB players went on strike, and the club never recovered from that blow.
The city of Montreal soon lost the Expos, first enjoying shared custody of the team with San Juan before finally bidding "adieu" as they headed to D.C. Eight short years later, Davey Johnson has guided a young group of upstarts to the brink of a division title, and the future is bright. If only the same could be said for the Expos.
It's been a tough year for former cities of relocated franchises. First, the city of Seattle watched as the Oklahoma City Thunder stormed their way to the NBA Finals. Now, it's Montreal's turn to see The One Who Got Away celebrate 500 miles to the South.
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. The more things change, the more things stay the same.
One team is headed to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. A broader history of the franchise, however, might suggest that this is not a night for celebration.
Photo of the Night
Brian Wilson wants Alex Smith to wear his Giants hat with pride. And is quite possibly insane, because he created this picture.
Quote of the Night
"You have to ask them. I don't want to say publicly."
— Mets manager Terry Collins, when asked if his team has quit
Tweet of the Night
And we thought things were bad in Boston.
Keith Hernandez will shave his mustache, and the manager all but says the team has quit. Somewhere, Mr. Met is drunk in an alley.
? Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) September 21, 2012
Video of the Night
Wait, what did you mean when you said the Pirates were falling apart?