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Welcome to Nationals Park

About 3 1/2 hours from now, President Obama will throw out the ceremonial first pitch, and 30 minutes later another scrawny lefty educated in the state of New York, John Lannan, will throw the actual first pitch. Bunting is hanging off the facades and the Red Porch. A few camera crews are set up next to the dugouts.

First, here are the lineups barring any last-minute surprises:

1. Nyjer Morgan, CF
2. Willie Harris, RF
3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
4. Adam Dunn, 1B
5. Josh Willingham, LF
6. Adam Kennedy, 2B
7. Ivan Rodriguez, C
8. Ian Desmond, SS
9. John Lannan, SP

1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
2. Placido Polanco, 3B
3. Chase Utley, 2B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Jayson Werth, RF
6, Raul Ibanez, LF
7. Shane Victorino, CF
8. Carlos Ruiz, C
9. Roy Halladay, SP

The security presence outside is already strong, middle-aged men wearing sunglasses, earpieces and blazers dotting each entrance. Some fans are lining up along the right field gate trying to score 11th-hour tickets. I happened to walk by the players' parking lot when Garrett Mock rolled in, and a police dog wanted a piece of his black Chevy Tahoe. Security officials lifted his hood, checked the back of his truck and waved him in. The dog finally stopped barking.

Stephen Strasburg will not be part of today's festivities, but spring training will be remembered largely for what he did. This ode to spring is well worth enduring the opening paragraph describing Bobby Cox taking off his pants.

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 5, 2010; 9:13 AM ET
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Next: In-game chat: Nats vs. Phillies


The long off-season is finally over. Some of us crazy-devoted fans somehow found something to discuss these last 6 months. It will be nice to have real performance to discuss, at both the MLB and minor-league level.

May we please have a lucky year during which the team has better luck than it deserves, as opposed to the last couple of years? All of the models were bamboozled by the number of losses the Nats managed to rack up. Let's confound the stat-heads in the other direction this year.


Posted by: kevincostello | April 5, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Ibanez just killed us last year! I hope we get him to hit grounders to Desmond four times today!

Posted by: poncedeleroy | April 5, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Olsen put "something" in Mock's Tahoe.

Posted by: lowcountry | April 5, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

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