Oct 24, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT
US Presswire photo
Ozzie Guillen's firing yesterday completed the latest dismantling of the Marlins.
The NL East was, for a good portion of the season's first half, the toughest division in baseball. All five franchises stood at least three games over .500 on June 1, and all looked poised to stay competitive through the remainder of the season.
That, of course, didn't happen. Though the champion Nationals and runner-up Braves each got better over the final four months, the Phillies fell apart in midsummer before a late surge got them back to the .500 mark, while the Mets and Marlins simply fell apart and never recovered.
Where, though, does that leave things heading into the offseason? The Nationals obviously will return loaded in 2013 and should be favored to repeat as division champs. But the Braves, too, will have the bulk of their 94-win club returning to the fold and will be determined to jump into first place and avoid the one-game playoff that killed their season.
The Phillies may continue to get older, but their strong finish will give team executives and players alike reason to think they can makeRead more »
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.
- Pujols gets 500th, Nats fall to Angels
- Pujols launches 500th homer at Nationals' expense
- Who is the Nats best 8th inning option?
- Fister pitches 3 innings, on track for May 7 return
- Nats Game Thread: No rest for Desmond
- Nationals recall Barrett, send Cedeno to AAA
- Clippard: "No one is going to feel sorry for me" (VIDEO)
- Desmond, Clippard unravel in eighth inning of Nats' loss
- Williams shows faith in Clippard despite struggles
- Trout talk: How good is he? (VIDEO)