Jayson Werth of the Nationals, and his long-flowing hair billowing as he trots through a calm Viera, Fla. breeze. (Photo Credit: ebjunkies)
WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – For the second year in a row, Sports Illustrated has predicted the Washington Nationals to win the World Series, but they’re not alone in expecting big things for D.C. baseball in 2014.
“I think they’re gonna steamroll through the division,” MASN-TV’s Mel Antonen told 106.7 The Fan’s Holden Kushner on Thursday. “I think they got a chance at 95 or 96 wins.”
“I just think they’re gonna steamroll because I think they’re frustrated, and embarrassed, with what happened last year,” Antonen said of the Nationals 86-76 2013 season, when they missed the playoffs following a 98-win NL East-winning season in 2012.
Antonen, who also writes for SI.com, further qualified his remarks, saying he believes the Nats will pick up where they left off last season, when they won 32 of their final 48 games.
“And this newfound aggressiveness,” he said of the intensity manager Matt Williams has injected into the club. “”Everybody is buying into it. Even Jayson Werth — who told me when I was down there last week — he said, ‘I’m not the easiest guy in the world to manage, but I love being around Matt Williams.’ That’s the direct quote from Jayson Werth.”
“And I think the aggressive attitude — which will not be measured in stolen bases, it’ll be measured just in what you see is what you get – if the Nationals don’t run away with the National League East this year, there’s gonna be some big questions asked,” he said.