Washington Nationals News: Experts expect less of Nats, more of Bryce Harper
Today’s District Daily features stories on the Washington Nationals’ expectations this season and Dusty Baker’s managerial approach.
Good evening DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily. Get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinions with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.
In today’s Daily, The Washington Post’s Scott Allen discusses the expectations that the baseball industry has for the Nationals this season. As Allen notes, many industry “experts,” including Sports Illustrated and ESPN, expect less of the Nationals in 2016 than they did last year.
The Nationals were heavily favorited to win the NL East in 2015. This season, however, many in the industry are predicting the Mets to repeat as division champs. while expectations are down for the Nationals, they’re anything but down for Bryce Harper, who many expect to repeat as NL MVP this year.
Also in today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s James wager discusses new Nationals manager Dusty Baker‘s relationship with the team. As Wagner writes in his article, Baker is very open and close with his players and appears to have built good relationships with the players he’ll try to lead to the playoffs this year.
Here’s what outfielder Jayson Werth had to say about Baker’s managerial style, via Wagner’s article:
"“His warmth is just very inviting and it kinda spreads,” said left fielder Jayson Werth, smiling as he held out his arms out wide. “You walk by his office and he’s always got some fruit or some jerky. ‘Hey hey, try this.’ He’s very generous. He goes the extra mile to get to know people on a different level. … Kind of like that cool uncle when you were a kid and looked up to and wanted to hang out with.”"
Be sure to check out both articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.
Experts don’t like the Nats’ chances in the East, but they love Bryce Harper
(Scott Allen, Washington Post)
Last year at this time, the Nationals were the overwhelming favorite to win the National League East and a popular pick to win the World Series. They did neither, failing to reach the playoffs after a season marred by injuries, a shaky bullpen and questionable managerial decisions. This year, the Nationals are healthy (for now), the bullpen looks different and Dusty Baker will be calling the shots from the dugout. Expectations are also lower, which could prove to be a good thing.
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Another thing that’s different than last year? Bryce Harper wasn’t voted “Most Overrated” by his peers in ESPN the Magazine’s confidential player poll, as he was for the previous two seasons. This year’s ESPN MLB preview issue didn’t include a player poll; instead, six experts offered their picks for the World Series and major awards. No one picked the Nationals to reach the World Series, but three experts picked Harper to repeat as NL MVP, suggesting expectations aren’t any lower for him. Read full article here.
Dusty Baker has an open-door, open-heart policy with Nationals
(James Wagner, Washington Post)
VIERA, Fla. — Dusty Baker sat in his office at Space Coast Stadium after a spring training win over the Houston Astros more than a week ago. Infielder Matt Skole, brought over from minor league camp to serve as an emergency backup for the day, poked his head into the manager’s office to say goodbye. “Hey, work hard!” Baker said.
Moments later, another backup, prospect Christopher Bostick, did the same thing. “Hold up, come in!” Baker said to Bostick, who stepped in for a few laughs and encouragement. Read full article here.