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Beltway Baseball: Projecting the NL East

Feb 12, 2014, 7:36 PM EST

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

Hello and happy Spring Training Eve, everyone. It’s hard to believe we’re just hours from Nats pitchers and catchers reporting in Viera, Fla. After a long offseason – and despite almost a foot of snow in the forecast – the end of winter is finally near.

With that in mind, it’s time for the final installment of our 2014 Nationals spring training preview.

In this clip Mark and I take a look at each team in the NL East division and make predictions for where they will end up. Each team made their own respective roster alterations this offseason, and each team enters a new year hoping for better results.

Who will win the 2014 NL East championship? Watch the video right here:

  1. Faraz Shaikh - Feb 12, 2014 at 10:03 PM

    Couldn’t disagree with the assessment. I like our chances.

  2. Jb - Feb 12, 2014 at 11:06 PM

    Homers. Blind homers.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Feb 13, 2014 at 6:42 AM

      Please go through our weaknesses and how you will fix them if you like!

  3. Faraz Shaikh - Feb 13, 2014 at 7:12 AM

    Grantland’s Worst Contracts in Baseball

    I for one, is glad to see no Nationals on this list. Only Soriano is an honorable mention who is under contract essentially for one more season (even if we will play deferred salaries until 2025).

  4. Faraz Shaikh - Feb 13, 2014 at 7:27 AM

    Random fact of the day: Werth’s 2013 season is tied for second best in Nats/Expos history by wRC+ for qualified hitters.

  5. ArVAFan - Feb 13, 2014 at 8:30 AM

    For a very snowy morning, courtesy of one of my co-workers who knows I’m a fan:

    Pitchers and Catchers Report

    The day has dawned to hear again the happiest words in sports.
    Not “Touchdown!” “Home run!” “Goal!” or “Score!” but “Pitchers and Catchers report.”
    “Pitchers and catchers report…” Such news: concise, flat, stark and grand.
    It means the game is afoot again, alive once more in the land.
    Oh, it’ll snow, and cars will stall, and sleet will rattle our nights,
    And roundball and hockey will drag us through the playoffs and the fights:
    But somewhere than just in the mind’s eye now the motions of baseball start:
    Maybe it’s only playing catch, but catch is good for the heart,
    And good for the soul, and the arms and the legs, and the head full of off-season talk
    About bar fights and contracts, recalcitrant umpires, and players too eager to squawk
    About vicious injustices, real or imagined, and teams that don’t love them enough
    Enough! Time to relish, instead of this filler, returning to all the good stuff
    In Tucson and Phoenix, in Tampa and Lakeland they’re picking up baseballs for real,
    and tossing them happily into their gloves, and secretly thinking, “Some deal,”
    To be gathered again here to stretch in the sun, and scratch, and get loose in the grass,
    To try not to smile in spite of yourself at the best of times coming to pass.
    It won’t stop the wars, and it won’t fill the bellies of children who’ve lost their relief;
    It won’t house the homeless or patch up the bridges or soften the heart of the thief.
    Still, we can, in this moment and lifetime of trouble, clutch words that might offer a sort
    Of surcease from the madness that hammers us daily; hence, “Pitchers and catchers report.”

    Originally aired on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition”

    • originalnatsfan - Feb 13, 2014 at 8:36 AM

      thank you for posting this. It warms my heart, in spite of the snow piling up outside.

    • naterialguy - Feb 13, 2014 at 8:43 AM

      Thank you for sharing that

  6. Eugene in Oregon - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:04 AM

    Well, the countdown clock just ticked down to zero. Play ball!

  7. natsfan1a - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    Nice. (When you blog to us from balmy Viera, Mark, please be kind. :-))

  8. natsjackinfl - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    Believe me, nothing gets my blood moving quicker, the hair on my arms bristling or my breathing quicken than that first sound of “thwack” as a fastball strikes deep in a catchers mit when I stand next to the fence at the gang bullpen in Viera. Nothing.

    • ArVAFan - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:20 AM

      Weather permitting (DC, not FL), we’ll be there with you in a couple of days. Hope that the weather continues to be kind to DCA–that airport was reporting only 6 inches when Dulles was reporting 16.

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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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