For the first time since returning to Washington, baseball is not an afterthought in the sporting landscape. After the hockey and basketball seasons finished, baseball would get that opening day buzz. But then it would be on to training camp and the start of the football season.
Well, even with the Robert Griffin III hype, it is all about the Nationals this summer.
Coming to see the other team play is no longer the case. "Take Back The Park" promotions are no longer needed. The Nationals are worth watching and for me, there are two reasons why.
One of the reasons is the quality picks they acquired when they were bad are all turning out to be legitimate. This town has seen its share of top-notch talent that did not produce, but this young roster, with the likes of Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Ian Desmond and Ryan Zimmerman, is full of reality and not just potential.
Another reason to put your eyeballs on the Nationals is one of the oldest managers in the major leagues. Davey Johnson, 69, is doing arguably his best job in 28 years as a manager. As a former player, Johnson gets the respect of the clubhouse, but it goes beyond that. They genuinely like playing for him and it shows. National League Manager of the Year is not a stretch at all.
This team is leaping every hurdle so far. The Nats expect to win and now this area expects a sizzling summer to turn into a fantastic fall.
What do you think is the reason for the Nationals' success this season?