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Morning Commute: Ian Desmond And Growing Pains

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Everything you need to know about D.C. Sports in one place.

It's great that Ryan Zimmerman hit a walkoff home run last night, but it's worth noting that the Nationals wouldn't have even needed his heroics if Ian Desmond didn't commit yet another error trying to turn a double play in the eighth inning. These errors are certainly getting a bit ridiculous, and even Rob Dibble openly wondered on the MASN broadcast whether the Nationals need to think about whether Desmond is in their long-term plans.

To that, I say this: hold your horses, champ. When the Nationals made Desmond their starting shortstop at the beginning of the season, they did it knowing the rookie would go through some growing pains. The team wasn't ready to win now anyway, so why not give Desmond some experience on the Major League level? The upside is that Desmond could improve quicker than he would in the minors. The downside? Desmond would struggle during a season where the Nationals weren't supposed to contend anyway. 

Three months in, and Desmond is clearly getting experience while struggling. But is that such a bad thing? The Nationals weren't winning this year anyway, so I see no problem with making this a development year. Maybe Desmond grows, maybe he doesn't. But to those who are upset about his play, I ask you: what exactly did you expect? Sometimes, you need to experience failure before you experience success, and I'm perfectly happy to have Desmond experience that struggle in a year where the stakes aren't really that high.

Today's must-reads from around the SB Nation network:

  • Japers Rink with a must-read on why we should all calm down about the Capitals staying relatively inactive in free agency. 
  • Bullets Forever breaks down the small forwards on the free agent market and how they might fit in with the Wizards. 
  • Hogs Haven asks readers which all-time great Redskin would fit in best on the 2010 roster.
  • Casual Hoya explains why the 1996 Georgetown hoops team, led by Allen Iverson, is their favorite team of all time. Meanwhile, Testudo Times gives some love to the 2002/03 Terps football team.
On tap at SB Nation DC today: Jordan's latest Varsity Blues column will be up around lunchtime.