As a new season begins, so does new life and the loyal fans of the District of Columbia and the surrounding area are more aware of this than anyone. Being a fan of the Nationals, Redskins, Wizards, Caps, etc. dreams of a championship often float around in one's head, but more than anything are the thoughts of a respectable season and maybe a trip to the playoffs. The Nationals have never generated all that much of a buzz besides their inaugural season and the opening of their new stadium, but this year there is something to cheer about. Addition that may not seem as big such as Paul Lo Duca, Elijah Dukes, and others will really contribute to the Nats. Vets like Lo Duca really add an extra element for offense as well as defense.

Sure, Brian Schneider was a heck of a defensive catcher but Lo Duca knows how to handle the staff and can really help. Then you add the speed and potential of a Dukes or Lastings Milledge and you really have something to think about.

If Odalis Perez returns to old form of his Dodger days and Chico, Bergmann, and Redding can hold down the fort then look out NL East. But the key to all this is Nick Johnson. I'll be the first to admit that I feel in love with D'mitri Young last year, who couldn't, everybody loves the big fella', especially when he hits .320.

I thought coming into spring training that D'Meat Hook definitely had the job at first base but then a slimmed down, resurgent Nick Johnson came into the picture. Nick has quickly become a solid hitter with more knowledge of the strike zone then even a Ronnie Belliard and more than anything he seems as if he has instilled confidence in Austin Kearns and Ryan Zimmerman more than ever. So what I say is all the experts have overlooked the Nats and look out NL East, because now everyone has a suspect rotation especially with Pedro out. And watch out once Wily Mo Pena comes back because he could add a little extra with that porch in left just a little shorter.

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