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State of the Nats: Long offseason ahead

Sep 30, 2013, 12:55 PM EST

Photo by USA Today AP

Top storylines:

86 wins – The Nationals finished their 2013 campaign with losses in five of their final eight games, leaving them with a total of 86 on the year. They ended up ten games behind the Braves in the NL East and four games behind Cincinnati in the wild card race. 86 is a respectable mark, their second highest total since moving to Washington, D.C. to become the Nats. It also leaves them with the 20th overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft. The recent history of the 20th pick is pretty awful as you can see here. There have, however, been some major hits over the years. The last All-Star picked 20th overall was actually Chad Cordero, taken by the Montreal Expos in 2003. Here are some of the best to go No. 20:

2003 – RHP Chad Cordero, Montreal Expos
2002 – OF Denard Span, Minnesota Twins
1998 – LHP C.C. Sabathia, Cleveland Indians
1997 – IF Adam Kennedy, St. Louis Cardinals
1993 – OF Torii Hunter, Minnesota Twins
1990 – RHP Mike Mussina, Baltimore Orioles
1977 – RHP Bob Welch, L.A. Dodgers

Now we wait – Mike Rizzo made it clear this week that the Nationals’ first priority this offseason will be hiring their new manager. The only problem is, those out of the postseason generally respect the playoffs by not making major announcements until the Fall Classic is over. The Nationals will be in the process of finding their new manager, but in the meantime it may take weeks of rumors and debate before we find out who it is. Could the Nats make a decision soon? Sure, but it will likely drag well into November before we hear who the new skipper will be.

Now we watch – The Nats may not be in the postseason, but it should be an entertaining October for baseball fans. Who is the favorite at this point? Vegas has the most likely World Series matchup as the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers, which makes sense. The Tigers, Cardinals and Braves round out the top five, respectively. If I had to make a pick for what will happen, I would go with the Tigers over the Braves. Give me Detroit in five games.

Final NL East Standings


Final NL Wild Card Standings


Offensive game of the week: Jayson Werth 9/27 vs. Diamondbacks – 2 for 2, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB

Pitching game of the week: Dan Haren 9/28 vs. Diamondbacks – 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, BB, 5 SO, 107 pitches, 77 strikes

Quote of the week:

Davey Johnson on retirement:

It was a heck of a ride. Great group of guys. Time to go home. Put me out to pasture.

Tweet of the week:

We feel you, Denard…

Road ahead

OPENING DAY: March 31 at New York Mets

  1. therealjohnc - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    We need to get the countdown clock for P&C reporting day fired up.

    C’mon, Spring!

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      I took a guess for Monday, Feb. 10, but it went up yesterday.


  2. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Oh, and speaking of spring training, this may have already been posted (it’s from a few weeks ago), but I must have missed it.

    Nationals, Lee County meet to discuss City of Palms Park in Ft. Myers, Fl.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      Based on what I have seen myself, City of Palms is going to need A WHOLE LOT of work.

  3. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    Meanwhile, back in the Space Coast:

    Brevard County to woo other MLB teams for spring training

    (Problem is, there really aren’t any good candidates.)

  4. scbilly - Sep 30, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    Hate to disagree with Denard, but the season felt over about a week after the All-Star break to me. Appreciate that the team hung in there, though.

  5. Sonny G 10 - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:17 AM

    We have left Olympia, Washington and are now in Hood River, Oregon for one night before moving on.

    Now back to baseball, perhaps Rizzo et al can find a rough talent at number 20 that the Nats can develop into a star. All we can do is hope.





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

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