Q: The Nationals seem to be going through the same early season lull that the Tigers went through in 2012. Do you sense that the team is starting to get frustrated under the weight of expectations -- not to mention the Atlanta Braves' hot start -- or are the fanbase and media making a bigger deal out of the slow start than they should?
Jared Book: "I think the team is getting frustrated because they know that they are better than they are showing. This isn't a team hoping to surprise like they were last year. This is a team that knows they should be better from Stephen Strasburg to Adam LaRoche and pretty much everyone not named Bryce Harper. I think winning the last two games against the Braves after losing the first two in the four game series was huge. The gap is only two games right now and the Nationals know they will be getting better. Much like the Tigers last year, there aren't any other teams in between them and first place. It's a long season and I think the slow start -- although not ideal -- will not be the reason they make or miss the playoffs. There's too much baseball for that and the gap is just one sweep away from being completely closed. The fanbase tends to over exaggerate starts to the season because there is nothing else to compare it to. If you do well in April but struggle in June, you have positives. When you struggle in April, it's hard to have a positive outlook."
For the rest of the Q&A, which talks about Jordan Zimmermann, Rafael Soriano, Bryce Harper and the Nationals offense, check it out here or through the link below. Our look at the series and talk about the Tigers will be posted in time for the series opener tomorrow night...
Behind Enemy Lines: Managing expectations with Federal Baseball sbn.to/13lCP49— Bless You Boys (@blessyouboys) May 6, 2013