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Looking back at the best moments between Juan Soto, his dad during Nationals’ World Series run

Looking back at the best moments between Juan Soto, his dad during Nationals’ World Series run

It’s a common tale: Father introduces son to baseball, giving them a shared bond that grows as they get older and their love for the game gets stronger.

However, it’s not so common when the son goes on to star in a World Series run at 21 years old.

That’s exactly what happened when Nationals outfielder Juan Soto helped lead Washington to the franchise’s first championship in team history and D.C.’s first since 1924. In attendance for many of his big moments were his dad, Juan José Soto, and his mom, Belkis Pacheco, cheering him on like any other parent attending their kid’s baseball games.

RELATED: SCOTT BORAS SAYS NATS STAR JUAN SOTO IS ALREADY ONE OF THE FACES OF MLB

Father’s Day is coming up and while the Soto family won’t be able to watch their young phenom play in any baseball games, they have a playoff run full of memories to look back on.

It all started at the Wild Card Game, when Juan hit a go-ahead single in the bottom of the eighth against the Milwaukee Brewers to give Washington a sudden 4-3 lead after trailing for the entire game. The Nationals’ bullpen held on and punched the team’s ticket to the NLDS in exciting fashion.

As the team celebrated on the field, Juan José ran to his son at home plate and tackled him to the ground.

The hit might have been one of Juan’s favorite moments from the postseason, but it’s easy to see why that tackle would be right up there as well.

Juan José and Belkis had to return home to the Dominican Republic after the win over Milwaukee, but they watched both the NLDS and NLCS on TV and sent messages encouraging their son. Luckily for them, the Soto family would have another chance to watch their son in person as the Nationals made it into the World Series.

Ahead of Game 1, Juan Jose was full of emotion as he prepared to watch his son play in the most important game of his life.

“This means so much, it’s an honor that you don’t get every day, and we wanted to make sure to be here as a family to support him, and this is all a blessing from God, he has worked so hard and has earned it,” Juan José said to ABC7 in Houston.

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A few days later, the Nationals returned home to D.C. with a 2-0 series lead. Juan was preparing for the game like any other player on the team, but this game was special: it was his 21st birthday.

“My dad told me when I was 10 years old that one day I’d be playing in the World Series on my birthday,” Juan said, as quoted by Sports Illustrated. “And now here it is happening.”

However, the Nationals lost Game 3 as Soto went 0-4 with a walk and three strikeouts. Washington then dropped each of the next two games, sending the series back to Texas with the Nationals on the brink of losing everything.

They staved off elimination in Game 6, setting the stage for a Game 7—one of the most pivotal situations in all of sports, where winning means championship glory and losing means an offseason of “so close.” Juan José knew his son needed all the help he could get, so he made a few signs reminiscent of those brought to Little League games for his family to hold up throughout the contest.

And then it happened. The Nationals managed to make one more comeback, finishing off an improbable run keyed by a young star who still lived with his parents. Of course, Juan had to share a moment with them after the game.

What started as a game of catch with dad resulted in World Series glory. If you ask Juan how he made it to that moment, he’ll tell you it’s all owed to his family.

“They give me the love I need,” Juan said after the Wild Card Game. “If I’m good, if I'm bad, they always been right there for me. They are everything.”

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Is Nationals vs. Orioles a true rivalry?

Is Nationals vs. Orioles a true rivalry?

Let's just get this out of the way now -- no, it's not a rivalry. 

There, now we can move forward from here.

With the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles getting set for their first series of the 2020 MLB season, the conversation about whether or not "Nats and O's" should be considered a rivalry is once again rearing its ugly head. 

Here's the deal, Washington and Baltimore have a rivalry -- you know, the cities -- but the teams aren't even close to that yet. For true rivalries to form in sports, the foundation is always rooted in meaningful games. I mean, they're not even in the same division. Just because two teams' ballparks are an hour or so away from each other doesn't mean the players on the roster have a deep-rooted hatred for one another.

Think of some of the most historic rivalries in sports, the biggest moments are either postseason games, or games that can determine who wins a division and goes to the postseason (or conferences in college, but you get the idea). 

Washington Football Team and Cowboys, Lakers and Celtics, Duke-North Carolina, Yankees Red Sox, and the list goes on. Every single one of these rivalries grew organically, not just geographically. They've had to beat each other to win their division, their conference, or advance in the playoffs. 

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The games have to matter first, it's just that simple. This means that until we see a Nationals-Orioles World Series, we can continue to argue about whether crabs cakes or mambo sauce is better, but we can't call this weekends' series a rivalry. 

Maybe one day. 

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Yankees manager Aaron Boone complains about Phillies fans blowing airhorns outside stadium

Yankees manager Aaron Boone complains about Phillies fans blowing airhorns outside stadium

Phillies fans haven’t been allowed inside Citizens Bank Park to heckle opposing players this season, but they still found a way to draw the ire of New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone.

During Thursday night’s contest between the Phillies and Yankees, Boone pulled the umpires aside in between frames to complain about a group of fans outside the stadium blowing an airhorn during his team’s at-bats. The sound could be heard on the TV broadcast as Phillies starter Zach Eflin handled Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres in 1-2-3 fashion.

They’re apparently called the “Fandemic Crew” and have attending all Phillies home games to cheer them on. Word quickly reached the group that Boone wasn’t happy with their airhorn.

Considering the fans were outside the stadium, there really wasn’t much the umpires could do. It appears not even a pandemic is going to stop Phillies fans from making their presence known.

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