Washington Nationals Holiday Wish List: Health, a closer, and an NL East title
By Pablo Roa
Sep 16, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper (34, in hat) celebrates a victory against the Atlanta Braves with teammates at Turner Field. The Nationals defeated the Braves 3-0 to clinch the National League eastern division championship. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
3) An NL East Title and More
Of course, the single most important thing on the Nationals’ holiday wish list is winning. The only way the team can move on from the failure of 2015 is to do great things in 2016. Namely, the team needs to bring the NL East crown back to the nation’s capital. The Nationals also need to prove that they can be successful in the playoffs and make a run at the first World Series championship in franchise history.
The Nationals were expected to do all of these things last season, but unfortunate circumstances ultimately prevented the team from coming anywhere close to accomplishing those goals. The team will enter the 2016 season with similarly high expectations, but this time, failure is not an option.
The Nationals have addressed many of last season’s problems by bringing in new arms for the bullpen, a productive second baseman in Murphy and — most importantly — a new manager. Dusty Baker has seen plenty of success throughout his career, and the Nationals need him to help the team turn things around in 2016.
Despite the team’s shortcomings last season, the Nationals still have one of the most talented rosters in the game. Led by perennial Cy Young candidate Max Scherzer and MVP Bryce Harper — paired with an impressive mix of veterans and youngsters and a bolstered bullpen — the Nationals undoubtedly have the tools necessary to succeed in 2016.
Only time will tell if the Nationals are really as good as we think we are. One thing’s for certain, the team enters 2016 with one goal in mind: winning.