Start your day off with some great reads from our fellow Washington Nationals writers:
The Washington Nationals are ready to take directions after a 2013 disaster movie
Failure has its uses. If an actor wins an Oscar, in his next movie it may to be tough for the director to say, “No, lets do it this way instead.” But if his last flick was a dud, he may think, “Lets just get this right. No ego, amigo.”
The Washington Nationals are ready to take direction. Few rookie managers are as lucky as Matt Williams, who under other circumstances might have a hard time getting every player, including his stars, to buy into his rewrites of their 2013 parts in the disaster movie, “World Series or Bust.”
If the Nats had been better or luckier last year, sneaked into the playoffs and made some noise, the Big Marine might have trouble with close-order drill in February. We were pretty good last year; why is this guy all over us?
Instead, that disappointing 86-76 year has allowed the personalities of the team’s best players to set this year’s tone. Read full article here.
Part coach, part ambassador, Livan Hernandez feels at home with Nationals
VIERA, FLA. — Livan Hernandez is everywhere.
On a chilly, windswept spring training morning in mid-February, the original face of the Washington Nationals, who started the first home opener at RFK Stadium two months before Ryan Zimmerman was even drafted, watches a minor leaguer work through his first bullpen session.
Later, he’s laughing with a group of pitchers who have turned bunting practice into a contest to see who can push the most balls into a bag lying on the infield grass. It takes just a beat in the clubhouse at Space Coast Stadium before he ambles around the corner with a bat still in his hand, strolling though the room like he owns the place.
Hernandez is 39 now. He has returned to the Nats this spring as an instructor after his first season away from professional baseball. Is this the start of a coaching or front-office career or just a way to hold onto a game that’s hard to let go of? Neither Hernandez nor general manager Mike Rizzo have had much to say about that so far beyond “We’ll see.” Read full article here.
Expect Nothing Less Than NLCS From Washington Nationals in 2014
On Wednesday afternoon, Bovada released its initial odds for teams to win the World Series and their respective pennants. For the Washington Nationals, the website predicted them to finished with 86 wins, and they are a 12-1 favorite to win the World Series and 11-2 favorite to win the NL Pennant.
This got me thinking, what can we really expect from the Nationals this year? Vegas certainly has high hopes for them. Could those hopes be too high? Could those hopes be too low? I think that they are right on the money.
Forget about 2013. Blow it up, baby. That season is a thing of the past. Something weird happened last season — something unexplainable. One of the most talented teams in baseball was injury-plagued and just had a sluggish season. Over the offseason, however, they rearmed.
GM Mike Rizzo went to work picking up the pieces and filling the holes. He traded for Doug Fister and Jerry Blevins, while also signing Nate McLouth. Once the season had ended and Davey Johnson officially became the “former” manager, he hired Matt Williams. Washington is locked, loaded and ready to redeem themselves. Read full article here.