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 »
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.
- Bryce Harper benched in Nats' loss to Cardinals for 'lack of hustle'
- Anthony Rendon error costs Nationals in loss to Cardinals
- Nats activate Denard Span from 7-day DL, option Steven Souza, Jr.
- Zimmermann, Nats look for two in a row vs. Cardinals
- Drew Storen comes through in Nats' 3-1 win over Cardinals
- Nationals respond to Williams' challenge, beat Cards
- Nats strike early on Wacha, beat Cardinals 3-1
- Span to join Nats on Saturday after second rehab game
- Ramos takes first swings since breaking left hand
- Denard Span on track to return to Nats this weekend