Spring Training is officially over. The Washington Nationals have packed their bags and headed north, and that means real baseball is very, very close.
But before the 2013 campaign begins in earnest, the Nationals and their fans still have a few more days of preseason – that magical period when anything is still possible and expectations run high – a few more days when all 30 teams have a clean slate, a few more days of mounting anticipation.
Although there won’t be any Nationals games for two whole days before Opening Day, these two days are like the final deep breath before the plunge. They allow the anticipation to build until it bubbles over and you’re finally standing in Nats Park (or your living room), unable to suppress your cheers as the 2013 Nationals lineup is announced for the first time.
These two days provide an opportunity to reflect on all the reasons to be excited about the return of baseball and the potential of this year’s Nationals. At the Nats Blog, we wanted to know what would be filling your thoughts during these final moments in anticipation of the best day of the year. Thank you to everyone for your responses, and see you at Nats Park soon!
Nats fans, what excites you about baseball in 2013?
“To see if our heroes can rise from the heartbreaking defeat of Game 5 to finish what #Natstown has started. And hot dogs.” – @Munsonism
“Beers and sunshine with #Natitude.” – @dick_bowen
“[Baseball] means it’s summer. And…I think I’m catching Natitude; the Phanatic in me is slowly dying. I’m most excited to see the Nats possibly head to the World Series this year!” – Kayla G.
“I think it's impossible not to be excited when baseball returns each year. There's something about it that, if you've grown up in America, is sort of magical. It's never spring until the first pitch is thrown out and I can smell the freshly cut grass in the stadium.” – Paul S.
“For me, baseball a central element in my life. I did not miss but one or two games last year. It’s something you can count on being there every spring. I can remember the Senators leaving, and forcing me to travel to Baltimore to get my fix for more than 30 years. I’m not excited about THIS season rather I’m simply eager for it to begin. I want to see the Nats play competitive ball, I want to see them win more than they lose, but if they don’t win the last game of the season it won’t really matter to me, because I’m looking forward to the journey not the destination. I would like to see Davy go out with a ring. I think the youngsters in the dugout will do everything they can to get him one.” – Carl W.
“I can’t wait to see Jayson Werth crushing home runs off of Cardinals pitchers again. WOOOHOOO.” – Susan R.
“I'm most excited for the return of baseball because the offseason always feels too long especially after a disappointing early exit in the playoffs last year. What excites me about the Nats is the two superstars being able to settle in and play their first full years. Strasburg won't have an innings limit and is a leading candidate for NL Cy Young while Bryce is hitting .450+ in spring training.” – Dan M.
“More posts by @TheNatsBlog!!” – @JackoBeam
“As a Nats fan it's impossible not to be out of your mind excited for this season. For me the most exciting thing is probably a healthy Strasburg. He completes our pitching rotation and makes the Nationals postseason contenders. Not to mention Sports Illustrated picked Washington as their World Series favorites!” – Paul S.
“EVERYTHING. Baseball is THE BEST!” – @timmckay1104
“Development of the young talent into stars… Stras, Harp, Desi, maybe a breakout year for Espi.” – @fitdabattle
“I'm most excited [to see] the 2013 Nats…build on their successes from last season. Plus, it looks like Strasburg will be in the full season so it will be great to see him in the playoffs if the Nats make it again. They should be a fun team to watch this season, and I cannot wait for next week!” – Addie S.