Here is a list of what the Nationals should find in their Christmas stockings:
Max Scherzer: a set of those baby noise-cancelling earmuffs. Not to protect Brooklyn’s ears in the stadiums—they’re to keep her from picking up daddy’s pitching vocabulary.
Gio Gonzalez: case of Reset water from Vitamin Water. With a label on it saying “Do not open until September.”
Stephen Strasburg: A silver spike to kill off that “Stras is a delicate flower” meme every time it tries to come back to life.
Matt Wieters: a plan for the 2018 Comeback Player of the Year award (since they seem to come to Nationals players).
Adam Eaton: Common sense. No, not for Mr. “Spark Plug 110% all the time,” it’s for the MLB folks who are re-designing first base.
Erick Fedde: an excellent spring training, showing that with regular work and regular workload, he’s the player we used to think he was.
Aaron Barrett: a miracle.
Anthony Rendon: Voters who finally realize that MVP doesn’t stand for “Most Visible Player.”
Dave Martinez: That season he’s been dreaming of since he first interviewed with the Nationals.
Jayson Werth: his happy place—on a baseball field, or out standing in his own fields.
Daniel Murphy: Healthy “hamstrings” all year. (Because the “we pray for Murphy’s ‘hamstrings’” meme made him really embarrassed.)
Victor Robles: trophy shelf. Because that MVP of the Fall Stars Game trophy won’t be lonely.
Trea Turner: Wrist guards made of that stuff they use for airplane black boxes. Because that speed belongs on the field, not the DL.
Michael Taylor: another bottle of that confidence that turned “Playoff 2016: deer in the headlights” into “Playoff 2017: grand slam.”
Koda Glover: A double dose of trust: trust your stuff, trust your trainers.
Shawn Kelley: A 2018 ERA that will make that contract seem worthwhile in the end.
Tanner Roark: 2018 post-season vindication.
Pedro Severino: A year that lives up to Mike Rizzo’s stated expectations.
Wilmer Difo: Opportunity. Location TBD.
Andrew Stevenson: A do-over.
Sean Doolittle: 3 chances to pitch in the post-season. With a three-run lead.
A.J. Cole: an opportunity. And the skill and stamina to seize it.
Bob Henley: 3 large bottles of Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50 sunscreen (protects, goes on dry and clear) so he doesn’t look like a zombie at 3rd base for day games. (No point in giving him a stop sign. He certainly didn’t wear out the one he got last year.)
Tommy Milone: A “Hi, my name is Tommy” nametag sticker, since there’s been about 98% turnover in the clubhouse since he was here the first time.
Matt Adams: Enough at-bats to keep fresh (but not because Ryan’s injured).
Mike Rizzo: A contract extension.
You can check prior year’s Xmas stockings and see how some of those gifts were received.