Apr 1, 2010, 12:00 PM EST
VIERA, Fla. — Six weeks ago, the Washington Nationals convened here for the start of spring training. Stephen Strasburg had yet to face a big-league hitter. Same for Drew Storen. Ross Detwiler was a contender for a spot in the Opening Day rotation. Livan Hernandez was unemployed.
Jesus Flores was hoping to be ready for the start of the season. Elijah Dukes assumed his status as an everyday player was safe. So did Cristian Guzman.
Either Eddie Guardado or Ron Villone figured to make the club. Jesse English figured to be among the first players cut.
And a sportswriter, fueled by the generous support of his readers, packed up his car and hit the road from Northern Virginia to Florida's Space Coast.
As you read this today, I'm back on that road, heading home. Spring training isn't officially over for the Nats, who still play against the Mets in Port St. Lucie this afternoon and against the Red Sox in Fort Myers tomorrow. Much as I would have liked to stick around for those final two games, I've got to hightail it back to D.C. and get re-situated before Saturday's exhibition against the Red Sox at Nationals Park and then Monday's season opener against the Phillies.
Yes, I'm planning to continue covering this team into the regular season. All season.
From the moment I commenced my initial fundraising campaign to cover spring training, the following question kept coming up, from readers, from colleagues, from members of the Nationals: What are you going to do once the season starts? My answer all along was: I'mRead more »
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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