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Marty Niland: Five reasons the Nationals offense should rebound in 2014

Oh, the burdens of Washington sports fans' high expectations. Where else can a team be considered a failure when it completes its second straight winning season after seven straight years of finishing .500 or below? But that's how we roll in the nation's capital, where 86-76 isn't good enough, especially after the retiring manager proclaims "World Series or bust." After the national media jumped on

Opposite dugout: Meet the 2014 Mets

Manager: Terry Collins, fourth year Record (2013): 74-88 Last 10 games: N/A Who to watch (2013 stats): 3B David Wright (.307/.390/.514, 18 HR, 58 RBIs); RF Curtis Granderson (.229/.317/.407, 7 HR, 15 RBIs); RHP Dillon Gee (12-11, 3.62 ERA); RHP Bartolo Colon (18-6, 2.65 ERA) Season series vs. Nats (2013): 7-12, 76 runs scored, 88 runs allowed Pitching probables March 31: Dillon Gee vs. Stephen

Throwback Thursday: The top moments from 2013

From Bryce Harper's opening day show to Denard Span's hitting streak and so much more, last season was filled with so many memorable moments. I've spent every Thursday since October throwin' it back to these moments, and at last, we are at the final Thursday before opening day. I'm dedicating our last Throwback Thursday post to the best of the best from 2013. While you

Nationals Chatter: Nats seek identity, LaRoche's popularity grows, Desmond contract and more

This time next week, meaningful baseball will be played. That's right - in just five days, the regular season will be under way. You may have missed some stories from national outlets coming out of the last week of camp. Don't worry, I have you covered. * Several of the Nationals' core players have been together for many years. Many were part of the 2012

#masnFirstPitch update

It has been five days since we launched our #masnFirstPitch contest, which will give one lucky fan the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at the Nationals game on April 5. Have you tweeted your submission yet? If you haven't, don't worry. You still have eight more days to send a tweet to our @masnNationals account using #masnFirstPitch and tell us why you should

Weekly Wrap: First pitch and the final stretch

There are 10 days left until regular season baseball and just eight days until the Nationals take on the Tigers at Nats Park! Baseball in D.C. is so close I can taste it. Before the season can officially start, the Nats still have to whittle down their roster and figure out their starting rotation. In surprising news, Matt Williams announced that Ross Detwiler will start

Want the chance to throw out the first pitch at Nats Park?

From watching hundreds of baseball games, I've seen some amazing first pitches. I also know that you've seen a fair share of bad ones... Have you ever been watching a first pitch and thought to yourself: "I could throw a better pitch than that." Well, now you have a chance to show off your first pitch skills! MASN is giving you a chance to throw

Throwback Thursday: A big win for Jordan

The fifth starter competition has really heated up after Matt Williams announced earlier this week that Ross Detwiler will start the 2014 season in the bullpen. Now, Taylor Jordan, Tanner Roark and Chris Young have 11 days to prove why they belong in the Nationals rotation. Last season, we had an opportunity to get a look at Jordan on the big stage, and he finished

Nationals Chatter: Harper feature, drone issues, spring training facility update and more

Friday marks the 10-day countdown until the start of the season. We've all missed seeing the boys in red play some meaningful baseball. Don't worry, the Nationals will be playing the Mets very soon. We'll just have to wait a few more days to see the team at Nats Park. Here are a few stories about the Nationals you may have missed from other media

Weekly Wrap: Replaying a busy week

Spring training gives the Nationals their first look of the year at pitchers, players rehabbing from injuries and more. Well, this year, it's also giving Major League Baseball teams their first look at instant replay. While veterans and regular starters are less likely to make road trips during spring games, this week the regulars all traveled to Kissimmee to face the Astros. It was there

Throwback Thursday: A not-so-routine line drive

With the season right around the corner, fans are anxiously anticipating the next 162 games. Over the span of the next six months, we will get to witness tons of home runs, strikeouts and diving catches, but sometimes, it's the little things that remind you why you watch the Nationals day in and day out. This week, I decided to switch it up a little.

Nationals Chatter: Rendon spotlight, Williams' lineup, autographed Harper gear

Spring is in the air. Everywhere I look around. Just ignore that chance of snow in the forecast. You may have missed what some other media outlets are saying about the Nationals. Don't worry, I have you covered. * Infielders Anthony Rendon and Danny Espinosa are competing to win the starting job at second base. CBS St Louis' Rich Arleo is taking the time to

MASNsports.com welcomes Nationals guest bloggers for 2014 season

When the Nationals open their 2014 season at Citi Field in Flushing, N.Y., on Monday, March 31, MASNsports.com will kick off another season of contributions from guest bloggers on our site. The Nationals blogosphere is one of the most active in the major leagues, offering fans with Natitude the opportunity to read interesting takes on all things curly and W. This strong community was one

Nats meet with Palm Beach County about spring training site

Officials from Palm Beach County met Thursday with representatives of the Nationals and Astros about relocating their spring training headquarters there. The presentation made to the two clubs - who now train in the Florida cities of Viera and Kissimmee, respectively - outlines 10 potential sites from Vero Beach to Boca Raton where they could move and share a facility, according to this story in

Weekly Wrap: Nats pitchers make spring debuts

The Nationals have done many different drills this spring to perfect fundamentals. Pitchers have taken infield, shifts have been implemented in spring games and signs have been practiced. So when the Nats took the field for spring games, you may have thought that there would be clean plays, strong defense and low-scoring games. Then the Nats squeaked by the Braves in a game this week,

Throwback Thursday: The human highlight reel strikes again

Whenever Bryce Harper steps into the batter's box or has a ball hit his way, people take notice. His huge home runs and diving grabs have made him a human highlight reel. In the video below, the stage was set for another one of Harper's highlights. It was the bottom of the ninth in Kansas City as the Nationals were trying to protect to an

Giveaway: Enter to win a signed Drew Storen ball and prize pack

Not that we're counting or anything, but 26 days until opening day! We know you're anticipating the return of baseball in D.C. While we wait, we're holding a giveaway. Enter to win an autographed Drew Storen baseball (pictured above) and a prize pack! When prompted, be sure to share this giveaway on Facebook and Twitter for possible bonus entries. Good luck, Nats nation! (function(d,

Nationals Chatter: Strasburg offers advice, Zimmerman talks fatherhood, and more

Baseball games are being played. I repeat. Baseball games are being played. Who cares if the games are relatively meaningless? It's baseball and I'm happy. Check out below what other outlets are saying about the Nationals. * As everyone knows, Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg underwent Tommy John surgery in 2010. The Nats then placed Strasburg on an innings limit in 2012, the first full season

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