It's Feb. 12. Do you know what that means? It's Abraham Lincoln's birthday. Happy 204th birthday, Abe.
But really, today is the day that baseball fans have been waiting for/tweeting about incessantly since Christmas (much to my annoyance): Pitchers and catchers report to their respective spring training sites Tuesday to begin preparation for the 2013 season.
In other words, they're going to play catch.
The Nationals' pitchers and catchers officially report Tuesday as well, with the full squad joining them in sunny Viera, Fla., later this week.
It is a season full of expectations. Last spring, manager Davey Johnson said that the Nationals could fire him if they didn't make the playoffs, and we all had a good laugh. That is, until they became the best team in baseball and won their first division title. Now it's World Series or bust.
With Opening Day 48 days away, I'll drop in periodically to update you on the goings-on from Florida. Day 1 is upon us, so let's take a look at what people are saying about the Nationals:
- ESPN conducted an interview with Stephen Strasburg Monday where he told Buster Olney that he hopes to be the Nats' "workhorse" after that whole innings limit thing last season.
- MLB.com previews the Nationals, saying that "if they can stay healthy, they will go deep into the postseason in 2013."
- Sports Illustrated handed out its winter report cards and gave Washington a solid A-minus. "Already a strong team, Washington has gotten a bit stronger this winter," the article says. "They’ve made it clear they’re aiming for a World Series title, something that should resonate with the Washington fans and boost their attendance into the upper half of the league."
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