WASHINGTON, D.C. — NBC Sports Philadelphia, the home of the Authentic Fan, sent Phillies Insider Jim Salisbury and baseball analyst Ricky Bottalico on a road trip to Clearwater, and the first pit stop of the journey featured a visit with world champions.

Salisbury and Bottalico popped into the Nationals Park pro shop down in Washington, D.C., to get a better look at the defending World Series champion Nationals. 

Big changes are afoot in the nation's capital, where Anthony Rendon jerseys are on sale after the star third baseman left for Los Angeles, but Salisbury thinks young Juan Soto and a stable of great pitching are enough to put Washington top-2 in the NL East. Ricky isn't so bullish: he thinks the Nats finish third.

Our heroes then head to a nearby Wawa for fuel, where Salisbury details one of his go-to orders - featuring a bold cheese choice - and Bottalico shows off his sandwich-wrapping skills, before hitting the road.

NBC Sports Philadelphia’s social media channels will be posting numerous photos, videos and anecdotes surrounding their trip on @NBCSPhilly. Salisbury will also be posting on his twitter account @JSalisburyNBCS. 

Other notable stops along the Making the Trip route include:

(Jim) Salisbury, NC 
Spartanburg, SC — Duncan Park, where Bottalico made his minor league debut
Dallas, GA – Zack Wheeler’s hometown
Atlanta, GA – former home of Fulton County Stadium, where Bottalico made his Major League debut
Clearwater, FL – Arrive Sunday
• Ricky and Jim will be filling up with Wawa food and fuel along the route


Tune back in for more episodes from the road here at