Mark Hornbaker: Nationals are heading in the right direction

With the 2011 season winding down, the Nationals find themselves in a battle with the Mets and the Marlins for third place in the National League East. Most Major League Baseball fans would not be too excited if their favorite team was seven games under .500, but Nationals fans have a lot to be happy about with the 2011 team.

At the beginning of the season, I told anyone who would listen that a successful season for the 2011 Nats would be placing higher than the Mets in the standings. Personally, I didn't think the team would have much of a chance to place higher than the Marlins, who have owned the Nats for a few seasons now. With that said, I believe the 2011 season will go down as a very successful season.

Unless the Nats totally fall apart during their last 10 games, I think the team can very easily end the season in the third place in the NL East. Even if the team finishes in fourth place, I believe the team is heading in the right direction. Personally, I am really looking forward to the 2012 season. I think the Nats will be at least a .500 club next year.

Even though the 2011 season will go down as a pretty good season for the Nats it could have been better. I am still very disappointed in the Jim Riggleman incident. All I am going to say about it is that I wish Riggleman had the chance to manage the team next year. In little more than a year, he took a terrible last-place team and turned them into a team that was two games above .500 when he resigned. With that said, I will support Davey Johnson or whoever the manager might be next season.

As I believe the Nats' future is pretty bright, I am not so optimistic when it comes to me blogging about the Nats and the history of baseball in Washington, D.C. Some of you may be aware that I am currently the only person posting stories at Nationals Daily News. Right now, I am not sure what will happen to Nationals Daily News after the 2011 season is over. I believe I am going to keep writing stories; I just don't know where I will be posting my stories after this baseball season.

Mark Hornbaker blogs about the Nats at Nationals Daily News and shares his views on baseball in D.C. as part of MASNsports.com's season-long initiative to welcome guest bloggers to out little corner of the Internet. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.

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