It's tough to be pessimistic about a baseball team at the beginning of March. As a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates my entire life, I am optimistic about the team's chances to do well nearly every spring despite the fact that the team has gone 13 straight seasons without a winning record. Living in the DC area, it was very easy to jump on the Nationals bandwagon last year. There was finally a local baseball team and the Nats played great well into August, exceeding all expectations. This brings us to the 2006 Nats team. Brian Lawrence, the team's #3 starting pitcher, is out 4-8 months after shoulder surgery, outfielder Jose Guillen, arguably the team's best overall offensive player, may miss 3 months with a wrist injury, and team's biggest off-season acquisition, Alfonso Soriano, only wants to play 2nd base, which is a huge problem since that is Jose Vidro's position. Soriano actually said that the team has three weeks to fix the situation. Obviously, he is not very popular at the moment. Oh yeah, the team still does not have an owner, Major League Baseball and DC's City Council have been "negotiating" a new stadium deal for over a year and only 43 of the 162 games will be shown on local TV. This could be an ugly season for the Nats. At least the Pirates have looked good so far this spring. It helps that they are playing the Nats.