Nats: Happy Opening Day 2017

We made it! Baseball is back! The defending NL East champion Washington Nationals return at 1:05 p.m. today against the Miami Marlins. It’s an odd-numbered year, so Opening Day is in the nation’s capital, mere blocks from the nation’s capitol, as it should be. Stephen Strasburg gets his 4th Opening Day start (The Post):

The 28-year-old has done this before, from 2012 to 2014. He has a 2.25 ERA in those three starts, all of which lasted at least six innings, during which he struck out nearly a batter an inning. The Nationals won all three of those games, though Strasburg, himself, got credit for just one of them.

On the mound for Miami, Edinson Volquez, in place of the late Jose Fernendez.

Getting there

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Nationals opening day survival guide: How to get there, where to park and what to doWTOP
No, you can’t take the streetcar to Griffith Stadium anymore, but there are several ways to get around to Nationals Park.

PRO TIP: Ride your bicycle there. That’s what I’m doing.

Food & Drink

It’s still too early for the famous Nationals Park beer map, but DC Sports Bog has all the changes coming the season:
New at Nats Park: A tots and wings stand, ice cream push-re beer
District Drafts local/regional beer stand

Beverage-wise, there will be eight District Draft stands — one more than last season — offering a rotating selection of beers from Port City, Atlas, Mad Fox, 3 Stars, D.C. Brau and Old Ox this season. The Nationals are also introducing a “guest tap series” at two of its District Draft carts — one on the main concourse and one on the upper concourse — for every homestand. Fair Winds Brewing Co. of Lorton will kick things off on Opening Day, while D.C.’s Right Proper brewing will be featured during the second homestand. A Nationals spokesman said beer prices, which were unchanged from 2015 to 2016, will be up “slightly” this season.

Emphasis added by editor.

Throwback President’s Race

Thanks for coming, don't forget to purchase some orange drink for the long ride homeGood news for Rushmore purists, the mediocre presidents Taft, Coolidge and Hoover have been sent to a farm (Let Teddy Win) where they can run around and play. It’s just George, Tom, Abe and Teddy now, as it was meant to be. FDR was considered though (The Post):

“While we engaged in extensive efforts to have FDR as a visiting Racing President for the 2017 season, in light of logistical challenges and lack of enthusiasm from the Roosevelt family, we were not comfortable proceeding,” a Nationals spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday.

Probably for the best that didn’t happen, it could have gone very, very wrong.

ICYMI

Nationals Park needs to play Fugazi’s “Waiting Room” during video reviews

Nationals Park needs to play Fugazi’s “Waiting Room” during replay reviews. Make it happen, Valerie Camillo.

Opening Day 1957: President Eisenhower greets Washington manager Chuck Dressen while VP Richard Nixon looks on in Washington, D.C.

Nats: D.C. Opening Day newsreels and video from the Hoover administration to 2016

Highlights from baseball Opening Day in Washington D.C. from the 1920s to 2016. From Griffith Stadium to RFK to Nationals Park, the Senators and Nationals have featured presidents Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Bush and Obama for the ceremonial pitch.

1917 newspaper clipping of Clark Griffith saying he wants to abolish the "Nationals" nickname for the Washington baseball team.

100 years ago, Clark Griffith wanted to “abolish” Nationals

On February 27, 1917, Manager Clark Griffith wanted to “abolish the Nationals.” The Washington nickname officially lasted nearly 40 more years and was revived in 2005.

Prediction

Lineup

Improves Decline Similar
Bryce Harper
Ryan Zimmmerman
Trea Turner
Jayson Werth
Daniel Murphy
Anthony Rendon
Adam Eaton
Matt Wieters

I don’t expect huge swings for any of them, though Werth seems like the likeliest candidate the plummet.

The rotation

Improves Decline Similar
Joe Ross Max Scherzer
Tanner Roark
Stephen Strasburg
Gio Gonzales

The bullpen

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Standings

New York Mets 92-70
Washington Nationals 90-72
Miami Marlins 79-83
Philadelphia Phillies 77-85
Atlanta Braves 74-88

I think the Nats get to the play-in game and win it. After that ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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