After sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals in four games, the Washington Nationals are headed to their first World Series ever.
While they await their opponent following the best of seven ALCS series between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees, they have plenty of time to rest, causing worry for many Nats fans who believe the extra time off will disrupt their momentum. However, baseball great Joe Girardi said his week off before the 1996 Yankees World Series (which they went on to win) was "the most enjoyable week of my baseball career," Girardi said on The Sports Junkies Wednesday.
"You got a chance to relax, you got a chance to enjoy what you were preparing for, and you get a long time to think about, 'man, we're going to the World Series!'"
However, the Yankees did drop their first game of the series to the Atlanta Braves 12-1, and were shut out the second 4-0, so arguments could be made that the extra rest may have hurt their momentum. But the Yanks went on to win four in a row to win the World Series in six games, so they were able to turn it around. Girardi thinks the Nats could thrive from the extra rest.
"I think you worry about your team coming out a little flat and losing momentum, but I think you have the right personality in that clubhouse," Girardi said. "Think about how bad they were struggling and Davey [Martinez] kept it together."
Girardi added that he's a huge fan of hitting coach Kevin Long, former Yankees' hitting coach during part of Girardi's managerial career with the team.
"You have Kevin Long, and he won't let anyone, *anyone* get complacent," Girardi said. "He will keep the boys fired up, let me tell ya. He will needle them, he will do whatever it takes to keep that edge up."
So, Nats fans. The only reason to despair is that we'll have to wait a week to watch our team play in the World Series. As someone who's been there, Girardi says they will be just fine.
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