Thursday, 25 October 2012

MLB: Nationals look to break more ground

Washington headed into the eighth season of their history with a little trepidation, having finished in 2011 with a negative 80-81 record.

But healthy activity during the close had filled many with confidence, as much of the dead wood was shipped out in the hope of stimulating a recovery.

A strong start to the 2012 season turned much of that optimism into confidence, and the feel-good factor spread as the National took one or two very notable scalps, much to the surprise of many who are experts at betting on baseball.

The club looked well on course to achieve a first winning season in the history of the franchise, and attentions quickly to turned to chasing another first.

A Baseball club from Washington hadn’t made the post-season since 1933, when the Senators brought pride to the nation’s capital with a tremendous winning habit.

The Nationals even finished with the best record in Major League Baseball, with figures of 98-64, and they rightly headed into the post-season confident of mounting a realistic push for the World Series.

That dream was shattered by a defeat in game five of their Divisional Series showdown with St Louis Cardinals, which eliminated from the race for 2012.

Eyes now turn to 2013 and potential recruitment targets, but the Nationals could retain faith in the team that achieved so much this.

It’s a young team that isn’t breaking the bank, while several players who struggled against injury in 2012 should hit the ground running next year.

The challenge now for the Nationals is to take their winning mentality with them in to 2013, where they will seek to feature in betting MLB World Series discussions.

Any team can mount a streak, but it take true strength to cement a spot among the sport’s leading lights.

The biggest mistake the Nationals could make is to go chasing big names and ignore the young talent developing at the club.

The efforts of general Mike Rizzo should be focused on the next generation of National, and the players who can once again deliver success to Washington.

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