Back to Business...
The Nats were back on the field Monday in Viera, Fla. and it was all business.
There's a sense of urgency on this ballclub and it's all about winning. The players are not satisfied with simply playing .500 baseball. They want to win a lot more than that.
The consensus is that this team is made up of quality people. Newcomer Brian Bruney told me he likes the heart and determination in this clubhouse. This of course comes from someone who played for the World Champion New York Yankees .
Bruney is looking forward to contributing to the club's new-look bullpen, and he'll do whatever it takes to help the club win. He recognizes the hard work being put in by fellow pitchers such as Ron Villone, Eddie Guardardo and Jason Marquis.
These players all came in early and are working diligently to get ready for the season. They are setting a great example for the younger pitchers on the staff who have already taken notice of their daily discipline.
Strasburg Set for Debut...
Number one draft pick Stephen Strasburg will make his Nationals debut on Tuesday afternoon in Viera against the Tigers.
He's come a long way from his days growing up in San Diego where he told me his earliest baseball memories are of tossing a ball in the backyard with his grandmother.
He also appreciates having had the chance to be coached at San Diego State by his childhood idol, former San Diego Padres All-Star and Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. Strasburg said Gwynn taught him a lot about the game and how to handle himself both on and off the field.
Nats Give Back to DC...
Nats starter John Lannan spent a good part of his offseason living in the DC area . He told me he enjoyed being able to visit kids at the Children's Inn at the NIH.
Newcomer Jerry Owens is looking forward to embracing his role in the community. The former White Sox outfielder was touched on a visit to the Walter Reed Hospital while playing against the Orioles. He told me those are the real heroes in our community and he looks forward to seeing them again in Washington.
One thing I noticed this week while visiting spring training camp. Mike Rizzo has definitely brought in some quality people to move this ballclub forward.