The Washington Nationals and the 2012 NLCS: What an 'almost'

In late March, on a sun-kissed afternoon that makes visitors want to relocate to Florida, I took my kid sister to a spring training game between the Washington Nationals and the New York Mets. Young phenom Stephen Strasburg was pitching, and the guy at

Hours before dawn Saturday morning, Manager Davey Johnson insisted his Washington Nationals would make up for the bitter disappointment their fans had just endured in Game 5 of their National League Division Series loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Washington Nationals and first baseman Adam LaRoche have reportedly already discussed the possibility of bring the 32-year-old left-handed hitting and throwing infielder back to the nation's capital in 2013.

On the night of April 4, they gathered at Joe's Stone Crab on East Grand Avenue in Chicago. The Washington Nationals had come north from Viera, Fla., and the next day they would begin their six-month odyssey together at Wrigley Field. For the first