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MLB rooting for the Nationals

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08:13 AM ET 02.14 | The Nationals will open the season as one of its earliest fascinating experiments. The game wants Washington to succeed. The folks who run it want [Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper] to be good -- really good. They want the NL East to have one of a most competitive, compelling pennant races, with four teams thinking about the postseason on Labor Day, a race that would highlight young stars like Harper, Mike Stanton and Jason Heyward; veteran stars like Chase Utley, Chipper Jones, Brian McCann, Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes; one certain future Hall of Fame pitcher in Roy Halladay; and a lot of other guys people pay to see, like Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, [Gio Gonzalez], Josh Johnson, Tommy Hanson and Tim Hudson.

MLB.com

Bryce Harper, Getty Images Bryce Harper, Getty Images
February 14, 2012  08:16 AM ET

great article... not

February 14, 2012  08:31 AM ET

MLB wants????

February 14, 2012  08:33 AM ET

No Mets mentioned in this litany of NL East stars? It's a long and lonely season in the Citi. Good seats still available.

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February 14, 2012  09:22 AM ET

This is a lame article.

February 14, 2012  09:39 AM ET

MLB wants baseball to succeed in DC ... third times a charm I guess ;)

Comment #8 has been removed
February 14, 2012  10:10 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

At least it looks like management is committing the dollars to make a run at it.

We shall see how successful they are.

February 14, 2012  10:30 AM ET

20th or 21st in attendance, average crowd size and % capacity... they have some exciting young talent, but the problem is that area has alot of transplants who already have teams they root for.

February 14, 2012  10:31 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

At least it looks like management is committing the dollars to make a run at it.

Let's see if the organization they built has the character to translate that into wins.

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Comment #13 has been removed
February 14, 2012  12:00 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

20th or 21st in attendance, average crowd size and % capacity... they have some exciting young talent, but the problem is that area has alot of transplants who already have teams they root for.

I think they are poised to take off like the Caps, who play in front of full houses most nights. Like the Caps, they will need to have a little success first. Last year, I think we got a glimpse of what it could be like before Riggleman killed the buzz. But it was never about winning last year. The team has kept the focus on winning in '13 and '14. The second half was an extended spring training. Davey put players in situations just to see how they'd do and frequently sacrificed putting the team in the best position to win the game at hand. The area would be thrilled with a wild card finish this year. Even assuming that their key prospects work out, they still need to solve leadoff and CF. CF in Washington could be as painful to watch as SS looks to be in Boston.

February 14, 2012  12:01 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

Agreed, money isn't the answer to EVERY problem............but it helps.

rich or poor it is good to have money.

February 14, 2012  12:32 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

20th or 21st in attendance, average crowd size and % capacity... they have some exciting young talent, but the problem is that area has alot of transplants who already have teams they root for.

and many of the locals are second and third generation orioles fans.

February 14, 2012  12:34 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

20th or 21st in attendance, average crowd size and % capacity... they have some exciting young talent, but the problem is that area has alot of transplants who already have teams they root for.

Come on, rj. You know I usually find your posts to be well thought out, but this one just seems way off the mark.

They've existed in DC for seven years, finished dead last in their division in five of those, lost over one hundred games in two of those, have a cumulative record of 492-640, and have never had a winning season. You think what's holding their attendance down is transplants?

In their inagural season, they ranked 11th in attendance despite a .500 finish. If they start winning games and making the postseason, they're going to draw. Big time.

February 14, 2012  12:37 PM ET
QUOTE(#16):

and many of the locals are second and third generation orioles fans.

Yet they out-draw the Orioles.

With the state of the Orioles and the fans' perception of Angelos, if the Nats start making the playoffs, you're going to see a lot of those second and third generation orioles fans in the seats at Nationals Park.

February 14, 2012  12:44 PM ET
QUOTE(#18):

Yet they out-draw the Orioles.With the state of the Orioles and the fans' perception of Angelos, if the Nats start making the playoffs, you're going to see a lot of those second and third generation orioles fans in the seats at Nationals Park.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

 
February 14, 2012  12:50 PM ET
QUOTE(#18):

Yet they out-draw the Orioles.With the state of the Orioles and the fans' perception of Angelos, if the Nats start making the playoffs, you're going to see a lot of those second and third generation orioles fans in the seats at Nationals Park.

that's a good point. people too young to have watched cal ripken may not necessarily feel quite the same loyalty to the franchise as those who remember the glory days.

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