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World Series repeat? Scott Boras thinks Nationals are built to win again

World Series repeat? Scott Boras thinks Nationals are built to win again

On Oct. 26, 2000, the New York Yankees took down the cross-town Mets in five games to win their third straight World Series, capping off a stretch of dominance matched by few in the history of the sport.

Since then, however, no team has managed to win even two World Series titles in a row. That’s a stretch of 19 consecutive seasons without a repeat champion—the longest such streak in MLB history.

As the sport has emerged into a multi-billion-dollar business with teams pouring resources into analytics departments and devising methods to gain a competitive edge any way they can, it’s become increasingly more difficult for champions to run it back the following year.

Scott Boras has been representing professional baseball players as an agent since the 1980s and has since developed into one of the most powerful sports agents in the world. He joined NBC Sports Washington’s Todd Dybas and Chase Hughes on Friday’s episode of the Nationals Talk podcast, where he was asked why he believes teams have struggled so much to go back to back.

“You normally see that the pitching staffs get exhausted in their run for the championship and because of that—you have those top three starters or four starters and the closers in the bullpen—you’ve got a fatigue factor where you go and look and those pitchers are not able to repeat what they did the prior year,” Boras said.

“However, with the Nationals I think there’s an asterisk on that because Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg are players that, they are who they are. I don’t think [Patrick] Corbin innings-wise was overtly stretched in 2019 so that impact on the pitching I think may be to a lesser extent for the Nationals.”

Boras, of course, represents both Scherzer and Strasburg—as well as Juan Soto and many other players on the Nationals—so it comes as no surprise that he believes Washington’s star pitchers are capable of retaining their 2019 form.

It also helps that the start of the 2020 season has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, giving the Nationals’ starters plenty of time to rest after the playoffs cut their offseason short.

LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW ON THE NATIONALS TALK PODCAST

Yet the pitching isn’t the only reason why Boras believes in the Nationals. Despite All-Star third baseman Anthony Rendon (another Boras client) departing for the Los Angeles Angels in free agency, the longtime agent is optimistic about what the future holds for the Nationals’ young outfield duo of Soto and Victor Robles.

“The other aspect of it is too is you got a Robles and a Juan Soto, who I think are going to produce more,” Boras said. “I also think the overall outfield of the Nationals has the ability to probably get more production out of it than they did in ’19. And the key factor will be for them is a very, very key player is no longer on the Nationals and it’s very hard to replace Anthony Rendon.

“So, with the outfield performance increase and the fact that depending how the young players from the minor leagues step in and fill that hole, I think that’ll be the measurement we’re going to look at to say which will be outcome determinative of how well the Nationals do in their quest to repeat.”

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Brian Dozier on World Series run with Nationals: ‘I’d do it again for anything’

Brian Dozier on World Series run with Nationals: ‘I’d do it again for anything’

Brian Dozier has played nine seasons in the major leagues for four different teams. He’s made the playoffs three times, made an All-Star team and won a Gold Glove. His career has been a respectable one and he’s formed particularly deep ties with the Minnesota area after playing his first six and a half seasons with the Twins.

And yet when he looks back on his playing days, it’ll be his one year with the Nationals that stands out the most. In an interview with MASN’s Dan Kolko aired Wednesday, Dozier talked about what he missed most about the team now that he’s playing against them as a member of the New York Mets.

“The team is what made it,” Dozier said. “Oldest team in baseball, all the veterans, we had fun, we knew how to have fun in the locker room, outside, all that kind of stuff and it was game on in between the lines. That was really important and it goes to show you that when you’re not playing baseball or whatever down the road, switching teams and all that, the relationships that you have and you build are off the charts and last year was probably the most fun I’ve had.”

Dozier struggled at the plate for most of the year, hitting .238 with 20 home runs and 105 strikeouts over 105 games. He lost his job as the team’s starting second baseman to midseason acquisition Asdrúbal Cabrera and had just seven plate appearances in the playoffs.

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But Dozier made his most important impact in the clubhouse. A fluent Spanish speaker, he helped a roster full of Latin Americans gel and feel comfortable letting their personalities flourish. With his own rendition of Pedro Capó’s song “Calma” and repeated shirtless playoff celebrations, he did plenty to endear himself to Nationals fans as well.

He may have only played one season in D.C., but it was a season that he won’t soon forget.

“That was fun times, man,” Dozier said. “I’d do it again for anything. For another ring.”

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Juan Soto welcomes cardboard cutouts of family to Nationals Park

Juan Soto welcomes cardboard cutouts of family to Nationals Park

As Juan Soto made his return to the Nationals lineup on Wednesday after dealing with a positive COVID-19 test to begin the season, his family was in the stands to cheer him on. Well, sort of.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, no fans are allowed at MLB games. Instead, teams have opted to place cardboard cutouts of supporters in seats throughout the ballpark to make the atmosphere feel a little more normal. So of course, Soto's family was "in attendance" for his first game back in left field as the Nationals star had custom cutouts made. 

In a perfect gesture, Soto greeted his cardboard relatives by slapping an RBI double to left field in his first trip to the plate. Though there was no applause from the seats, you can bet there was plenty of cheering going on wherever they are watching the game.

Soto's connection with his family runs deep, and it was on display throughout the Nationals 2019 World Series run. From getting tackled by his father after his clutch knock in the NL Wild Card Game to having a traveling fan club at the World Series, the Soto's are clearly his No. 1 supporters.

RELATED: AS SOTO RETURNS, BASEBALL IS REMINDED HOW MUCH IT MISSED HIM

So while the pandemic may be keeping them from being there in person, there was no chance Soto was going to return to action without a way to have his family cheer him on.

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