When I was a boy, an old coach sat my team down one day and told us we needed to be tougher. We needed to be more aggressive. We needed a killer instinct on the field.

We needed “intestinal fortitude.”

When half the team looked around for a thesaurus, the old guy chuckled, turned his head and said, “you know…balls.”

The speech worked, as our team started to play harder and faster, taking on all comers and rapidly beating them with ease and pleasure. We found the intestinal fortitude needed to win. We found our balls.

I wonder if that old coach was Washington Times scribe Thom Loverro, because he wrote this week that the only thing missing from the Washington Nationals becoming a championship team is precisely what our team needed to find, and what Jonathan Papelbon brings to the Nats’ clubhouse.

When he arrived in the Nationals’ clubhouse at the end of July following the trade from the Philadelphia Phillies, Papelbon looked around and saw the same thing that San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Hudson saw before the National League Division Series last fall.

“Obviously, they have a talented group over there, there’s no question,” Hudson told reporters.”They have some great pitching. But, come playoff time, talent can take you a long ways, but what do you have between your legs?”

Okay, let’s stop there for one second. Some internet types seem to take that as Hudson—and therefore Loverro in using the quote—questioning the size, or I suppose mere existence, of the Nationals’ players collective “manhood.” Some people think the quote means Hudson said last year that the Nats don’t have big enough penises to be winners; or, perhaps any penises at all, suggesting they are inferior baseball players because they lack the parts that make them men.

About Dan Levy

Dan Levy has written a lot of words in a lot of places, most recently as the National Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. He was host of The Morning B/Reakaway on Sirius XM's Bleacher Report Radio for the past year, and previously worked at Sporting News and Rutgers University, with a concentration on sports, media and public relations.

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