As some of you may know, I'm a big Washington Nationals fan (with the Cleveland Indians a close second favorite). The Nationals/Expos/Senators (I still like that name) finished 81-81 in 2005. I would like to see them in the playoffs, although I admit it'll be hard, since they're in the same division as the Braves, the Mets, the Phillies, and the Marlins.
But they're getting a really good team together. They've signed Alfonso Soriano, Mike Stanton, and Ryan Zimmerman, and have unloaded Brad Wilkerson. Frank Robinson has been re-signed as the manager for 2006, and the coaching staff is being almost entirely re-tooled. There are reports that the Nationals will be meeting with Sammy Sosa soon to discuss bringing him into the organization.
Okay, so here's how I would like to see Opening Day, April 1, 2006, in Baltimore;
1st Base: Nick Johnson
2nd Base: Jose Vidro
3rd Base: Ryan Zimmerman
Shortstop: Jamey Carroll (I'm no fan of Christian Guzman)
Right Field: Jose Guillen
Center Field: Brandon Watson (My first choice is Sammy Sosa-assuming they can get him)
Left Field: Alfonso Soriano
Catcher: Brian Schneider (Process of elimination...)
Starting Pitcher: John Patterson, Livan Hernandez, Ramon Ortiz, or Tony Armas
And, of course, bring in Chad Cordero when it's cruch time if the Nats are losing.
I think the Nationals, with some know-how, some expertise, and a little luck, can make it to the playoffs.
Keep your fingers crossed.