Riggleman, Rizzo on expectations for 2011

What are the expectations for the Nationals in the eyes of manager Jim Riggleman and general manager Mike Rizzo?

Would 75 wins be considered a good season? How about 80 victories? A playoff berth? A winning record?

Rizzo was asked if he would be pleased with 80 wins on 106.7 The Fan's Mike Wise Show Thursday, and replied, "It depends on how we reach 80 wins."

Rizzo said if the team struggles and then rallies to get to 80 wins he would be pleased. But if the team gets off to a great start and then slows down at the end, he would not be as happy about 80 victories - even iof that mark was 11 wins better than 2010.

The Nationals made a nice jump last year from 59 to 69 wins. A 10-win boost from last year to this year would be even more amazing.

Does Riggleman have the same expectations? How good does he think the team can be?

"I don't really ever try to put any numbers on expectations," Riggleman said. "I just expect us to play fundamentally sound baseball. I want us to run the bases, be aggressive and show athleticism."

Riggleman said that is what Rizzo was looking for when he went shopping after last season was to improve the team's athletic ability, shore up the defense and solidify the pitching corps.

"I think that is one thing that Mike (Rizzo) has done in the offseason is try to put together a group of ballplayers that are good athletes that can run the bases, field their positions and throw," Riggleman said. "(Guys that can) play good baseball behind the pitcher. Let the pitcher makes his pitches. If the ball is in play, be more consistent about the way we make plays.

"The bottom line is you try to score runs. Offensively, my guess is we will probably score a similar number of runs as we did last year. Hopefully, we will give up less runs and that will translate to more wins."

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