Playoff baseball is here, and it makes me wonder when one of the local teams will find its way into October baseball.
I was optimistic that the Baltimore Orioles were headed in the right direction before this past season, but they were absolutely abysmal until Buck Showalter took over as manager.
The Nats, well, they struggled once again. They got a little bump in enthusiasm and energy when Stephen Strasburg made it to the big leagues, but that was short lived and we'll have to wait until 2012 to see him again. That said, I love what their 18-year-old prospect Bryce Harper said during an interview on "Nationals360" with Byron Kerr.
Harper said, "I think in the next couple years, we're going to be the Yankees of the NL East. I've been telling everybody that. I think we're going to be the top program in the NL East, and we're going to roll. We're going to win some World Series. That's everybody's goal. [Nationals minor league coordinator] Bobby Henley preached that from day one - we're going to win the NL East one day. I really believe we are going to do that. Hopefully we bring a couple World Series to Washington, DC."
I love the bravado. I love the optimism. And why not think this way? Although the Yankees won the World Series with some high-priced free agents like Mark Texiera last year, they became a dynasty with Joe Torre managing homegrown prospects from the Yankees' minor league system like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. And those guys are still starring for the Yankees.
Look, I have no idea if Bryce Harper is going to be a superstar. I hope he will be. But the Nationals have amassed some nice young talent.
A couple of years from now, hopefully Harper will be in the lineup with Ryan Zimmerman, driving in a ton of a runs with a pitching staff that includes Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmerman and Drew Storen closing games.
Maybe they'll be regulars in the postseason like the Yankees? I know I'm probably grasping, but you never know.
So don't hate on a teenager's bold claims. Bryce Harper could be right? I hope so.