The start of the 2019 Major League Baseball season was rocky for the Washington Nationals. Superstar Bryce Harper left the team that drafted him to their NL East rivals Philadelphia Phillies, they had the oldest roster in MLB and were hit early with injuries to key players such as shortstop Trea Turner, third baseman Anthony Rendon, team leader Ryan Zimmerman, and future superstar Juan Soto and to cap it all off, their bullpen was shaky, to say the least, and local and national baseball reporters were calling for the firing of their second-year manager David Martinez.
By late May the Washington Nationals were 12 games out of first place and had a record of 19-31 and a 1.5% chance of winning the World Series.
Fast forward to October and the Washington Nationals managed to sneak into the Wild Card Game and have one of the most unlikely post-season runs in the history of the Major League, winning every single-elimination game after trailing, and making it all the way to winning Game 7 of the 2019 World Series.
Washington Post Nationals beat reporter Jesse Dougherty had a front-row seat to the incredible and often wild Washington Nationals season and provides the readers with not only the riveting behind-the-scenes story but also how past decisions and events from the Washington Nationals ownership and GM affected the 2019 season.
“You have a great year, and you can run into a buzz saw. Maybe this year we’re the buzz saw”Stephen Strasburg, Washington Post
As Nationals fans we are all aware of the 2019 team’s unbelievable underdog story, and Buzz Saw provides the reader with even more behind the scenes after their magical run in October with post-world series interviews with Nationals GM Mike Rizzo, team owner Mark Lener and Nationals stars such as Sean Dolittle, Max Scherzer, and others. Buzz Saw introduces readers to unheralded members of the team and shares stories of the Nationals advance scouting department.
Buzz Saw: The Improbable Story of How the Washington Nationals Won the World Series starts out during the 2019 Winter meetings in a San Deigo hotel meeting with Nationals GM Mike Rizzo and finishes at the same point in time.
As a Washington National fan myself, I followed the 2019 Nationals extremely close basically every day which made me truly appreciate the book. A lot of the stories and online sources that I read during the season covered the Washington Nationals very well including Jesse, however, it was very interesting to read what was going on behind the scenes during the season.
Jesse does an excellent job of sharing the story of the 2019 Washington National by weaving the history of the individuals that he highlights into the broader picture of what made this Nationals team different from others. For example, shares the background on Dave Martinez’s journey to becoming the Nationals manager and after reading that section of the book, I was left thinking maybe Martinez was destined to become the Washington Nationals manager of this particular team after Dusty Baker and not before.
While reading the book, I was taken back to not only the incredible postseason run that the Nationals had in October but all the ups and downs that the Nationals experienced during the season which made the 2019 Washington Nationals a real team of destiny.
I’ve become a frequent reader of Jesse’s work on the Washington Nationals beat for the Washington Post, and I have listened to him being interviewed on various local Washington D.C. radio and podcasts and he couldn’t have been more the perfect choice to write this book.
Buzz Saw: The Improbable Story of How the Washington Nationals Won the World Series is a must-read for any serious Washington Nationals fan. I would highly suggest picking up your own copy today and relive the magical 2019 Washington National season that was and makes you look forward to many more magical moments to come.
“We still have work to do. We’ve accomplished nothing yet… We’ll come in tomorrow like we have the last three, four months, and try to with the game that day. That’s all we’re going to worry about”Ryan Zimmerman, Buzz Saw: The Improbable Story of How the Washington Nationals Won the World Series