After an aggressive offseason, the Nationals finally look like contenders for the first time since moving to Washington, D.C. They have caught the attention of national sports writers all around and, if you ask MLB.com columnist Peter Gammons, the baseball world as a community wants them to succeed. He says, in fact, the league itself is rooting for them.
This in his Monday column:
The game wants Washington to succeed. The folks who run it want Strasburg and Harper to be good -- really good.
Gammons argues baseball would love nothing more than for Strasburg, Harper and this team to give the sport and the town something to shout about. He points to the citys distant baseball history, how the last time Washington won a pennant was 1933, six months after Franklin D. Roosevelts historic inaugural speech.
Gammons chronicles all of the reasons the Nats optimism should be measured, how their success hinges on many ifs. Stephen Strasburg must stay healthy, Bryce Harper has to live up to his potential, and Ryan Zimmerman has to get back to being the Scott Rolen of his generation. But Gammons sees intrigue in the nations capital and believes their potential for entertainment is matched by few teams.
As players gather this week in Florida and Arizona, there are few more compelling and fascinating teams than the Washington Nationals, he writes.
It is an interesting argument, the potential star power on board with a good Nationals team would be good for baseball. There sure are a lot of big names in the Nationals locker room, but can they live up to the hype and help the game in doing so?