Feb 11, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT
With the countdown to spring training in its final stages, we're counting down the five biggest storylines facing the Nationals in Viera. We finish today with spring storyline No. 1: The expectations of another NL East title and possible trip to the World Series…
The Washington Nationals have never reported for spring training with anything close to resembling legitimate expectations hovering over them. For the first seven years of its existence, this franchise would have considered a winning record major progress, let alone winning its division or aspiring to reach the World Series.
Those days are no more. When Nationals pitchers and catchers officially report to Viera, Fla., tomorrow, they'll do so as the consensus "Best Team in Baseball" and the sport's most-popular pick to win the World Series.
Nobody's ignoring this franchise anymore. Nobody's setting the bar low. Everyone expects the Nationals to at worst repeat as NL East champions, at best hoist the Commissioner's Trophy on the finalRead more »
NL EAST STANDINGS
WED: Diamondbacks at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Diamondbacks at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
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.
Follow us on Twitter
- Williams debates keeping streak alive or long term health
- VIDEO: Bryce Harper's hair is on fire and he plays the ukulele
- Asdrubal Cabrera fitting in with Nats in first few weeks since trade
- Phillies' A.J. Burnett will 'probably' retire after this season
- Desmond leads way with 4 RBI in Nationals' 8th straight win
- Strasburg gives Nats 'what the doctor ordered'
- Nationals Stock Watch: Heroes aplenty during memorable week
- Strasburg tames Diamondbacks in 8-1 victory
- Gonzalez on the Nats' rotation: 'I want to catch up' (VIDEO)
- Nats' McLouth to have shoulder surgery, out for season