Found March 24, 2013 on The Nats Blog:
  One week from today, the Washington Nationals season will be underway. After the best season in their history, the Nats will try to exceed expectations with a team that many expect to win the National League East, and the NL on the whole. How can you possibly exceed those expectations? I’m not sure, but this team sure seems poised to do so. When the 98-win Nationals started their 2012 season, no one expected much from the team. Most expected them to achieve their first winning season since the 2005 Inaugural Season, but the final regular season result changed the dynamic of baseball in our Nation’s Capital. And it all happened with the unique dynamic created by Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo. The pitching rotation is obviously the core of the team’s future success. With Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Dan Haren, and Ross Detwiler, the team is poised to, once again, have the best pitching rotation in all of baseball. Detwiler is poised to be the best number five pitcher in the game for the second straight season, and Stephen Strasburg will have a full season to show his worth and value to the best team in baseball. The offensive and defensive lineup is nothing to be ashamed of either. The one through six of Denard Span, Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche, and Ian Desmond is among the best top six in the game, and it improves the lineup of a team that was already the best in the NL last season. So, on paper, there’s so much that should be better this season. The only thing that’s changed is the expectations. After such an incredible and unexpected 2012, the 2013 Nats have a whole lot of pressure surrounding them. Jayson Werth is used to that sort of pressure, but there aren’t many others who are. Zimmerman, Desmond, Harper, and others have gotten the postseason experience from last year, but turning those expectations into results isn’t quite as simple as it sounds. People expect more of them this season. Quite honestly, I do, too. And most others do, as well. It’s going to be an incredible season of baseball in Washington, DC, which starts in just a week, and it all starts with what we expect from this team. Let those expectations run high. After last season, you deserve the high expectations. If you haven’t read Adam Kilgore’s article about Jayson Werth this past weekend, now’s the time to do so, because it really embodies the state of the Washington Nationals. In one week, we’ll be talking about the result of a true, meaningful baseball game. And then for six plus months after that. If you’ve been around since 2005, the importance of these circumstances won’t be lost on you. We’re in the homestretch of an offseason that may prove to be the most important in team history. It’s finally about time for some baseball, and it’s time to expect greatness from a team that’s been set up to succeed.   
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Danny Espinosa's shoulder, beard, seem to be healthy again

So Danny Espinosa is having himself a nice little spring (new approach!), and collected another 3 hits (and his first HR of the spring, video here) on Sunday. And after telling reporters in January that he played through a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder at the end of the 2012 season, Espinosa's shoulder seems to be holding up OK so far. More importantly? After growing...
OOPS

Denard Span forgets jersey, wears No. 91

Washington Nationals center fielder Denard Span forgot to bring his jersey on the team's road trip to Kissimmee, Florida to take on the Houston Astros in a spring training exhibition game. As a result, Span had to wear a number 91 jersey for the game instead of his usual number 2, probably because that's all that the Nationals equipment managers had left to give him. Your...

Ivan Rodriguez on Hall of Fame chances

He's 41-years-old and has been retired for nearly a year. But Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez won't admit that he can't still play the game. "It's still there," Rodriguez said Monday before a PwC-SMU luncheon at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. "To be honest with you, it's still there." Rodriguez said he trains as if he is still playing and it...

Washington Nationals superstar Bryce Harper will become the youngest man to win the National League MVP this autumn

Recovered from a swollen left thumb that’s now “all good,” Washington Nationals wunderkind Bryce Harper is on the brink of having a historic season. Harper, a 20-year-old who Washington selected out of the College of Southern Nevada with the first overall pick in the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft, was an All-Star and National League Rookie of the Year winner in 2012. The...

Jinx! Stephen Strasburg on the cover of Sports Illustrated

Truth be told, Nats Enquirer staff doesn't believe in jinxes, but the Mr. October thing makes us all a little nervous. (Photo via @SInow)  

Video: Bryce Harper's new "I Play" MLB spot

Just in time for Opening Day, MLB launched its new "I Play" marketing campaign today, featuring spots with Bryce Harper, Robinson Cano, Carlos Gonzalez, Adam Jones, Andrew McCutchen, Buster Posey, David Price, Mike Trout, Justin Verlander and David Wright. Up above is the video for Harper's spot, in which a Harper voice-over talks about playing for "the W on...

Nats scratch Harper from lineup

Bryce Harper has been scratched from the Washington Nationals' lineup because of swelling in his left hand. Harper was scheduled to bat third and play left field against the New York Mets on Saturday, but manager Davey Johnson told Harper in the morning that he would not be playing. Harper was jammed on a pitch by Drew Smyly of the Detroit Tigers on Friday, and Johnson took...

Washington Nationals 2013 Season Preview

Sergeant Gunnery Hartman/Davey Johnson is baseball’s best manager. We only get one more season of him. Any conversation about baseball’s most-loaded team must begin with their R. Lee Ermey style manager, Davey Johnson. Johnson is baseball’s finest manager, having been perched on dugout top steps since Small Pox was a problem; he’s seen more baseball than any living man has...

Washington Nationals studly OF Bryce Harper is addicted to Pinterest

Bryce Harper does not browse hot girls or sports on the internet, but rather houses and clothes on Pinterest. Who'da thunk it?

Often injured Chris Young to opt out of Nats contract

Chris Young has a minor league contract that he can opt out of.  He signed with the Washington Nationals in hope of making the Major League roster.  That's not going to happen right now, so Young will opt out of the deal. According to Mark Zuckerman, the only way to avoid the opt out is for the Nationals to add Young to their roster. Chris Young has filed paperwork...

Nationals 9, Braves 3(8)

Bryce Harper had three hits and stole two bases, one day after he was scratched because of a swollen left hand, and Danny Espinosa went 3 for 3 with a three-run homer Sunday in the Washington Nationals' rain-shortened 9-3 win over the Atlanta Braves. In a game called after seven innings because of bad weather, Washington's Jordan Zimmermann allowed three runs - one earned...

Prince Fielder Nails Stephen Strasburg’s Wrist With a Line Drive: Video

Prince Fielder had the hearts of Washington Nationals fans everywhere racing last week when he ripped a line drive back up the middle and off the left (non-throwing) wrist of ace pitcher Stephen Strasburg. On a 1-1 pitch in the top of the fourth, Fielder centered up a Strasburg pitch and laced it just to Strasburg’s left. Washington’s pitcher, however, happens to fall off the...

Yankees: What the Wang

Do you remember the last time you saw pitcher Chien-Ming Wang wear the New York Yankees pinstripes?  English: Wang in bullpen 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) It was on July 4, 2009 and Wang went five innings, gave up two runs, struck out three, walked three and hit a batter before being removed from the game. He was posted his lowest ERA of the 2009 season, a 10.04. Well, the Yankees...

Spring Training Headlines

Spring Training Headlines As we come to the end of the third week of Spring Training, there are many stories to watch. The emergence of Washington Nationals and having Stephen Strasburg for a full-season, the Philadelphia Phillies finally being healthy and even the emergence of the young talent in the National League across all ball clubs, just to name a few. The Washington Nationals...
Nationals News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.