Washington, DC Sports team updates.  This is just my personal opinion – I’m certainly no expert but here’s thoughts on the various pro teams in DC.

– Nationals: although they were picked by many “experts” to win the NL, it’s been a bit of a struggle.  They’re playing a little bit over .500 ball and trailing the Braves by 6 games.  But, I still very much like the foundation they have built — excellent pitching staff (starters and relievers), very good defense and well-balanced offensive line-up.  The latter is the key point. The pitching and defense will continue to excel in the 2nd half of the season.  But, the hitting needs to pick up.  I’m an optimist – and I very much like balance in the Nats line-up.  Also, it’s a good balance of veteran hitters mixed with outstanding youngsters (gotta love having Harper and Rendon for the next decade).  It’s great to have baseball back in DC and it’s fun to attend games at the terrific Nats Park.

– Redskins: this team continues to be the most popular sports team in DC — and even more so now with RG III at QB.  It looks like Coach Shanahan and the GM, Bruce Allen, have done a good job of restructuring the team — particular with more players of good character.  But, talent prevails in the NFL.  The offense will be very good again this year … the special teams should be good too … it’s up to the defense to see if the team can defend the NFC East title and make the play-offs again.  The front 7 should again be very solid.  It’s the defensive backfield that could make or break this season.  If the youngsters they’ve drafted step up, it could make a big difference.   Can’t wait for the NFL season — there’s nothing better than the first weekend that features college football on Saturdays and NFL on Sundays.  HTTR.

– Wizards: love the Wiz drafting Otto Porter from Georgetown.  He’s a great fit with Wall and Beal.  This should be a terrific nucleus that will help the Wizards become a regular play-off team through the rest of this decade.  It’s been a long road … and Wiz fans are clamoring for a good team.  This is the year … I strongly believe we’ll see the Wizards in the playoffs now on a regular basis.  I Tweeted back in Dec that once J-Wall comes back, the Wiz will play .500 ball in the 2nd half of the season.  They did accomplish — and will build on it for this upcoming season.

– Capitals: a great finish to the season … a frustrating 7th game loss in the playoff series.  But, they’ve made a great hire in Adam Oates as head coach.  An extremely intelligent head coach.  It took a while for the players to understand his system but now they have a better grasp of it, we’ll see the improvements in Oates’ second season at the helm.  Yes, the Caps have not made major changes … and they will play in a tougher division … but they will continue to improve … and will make a deep run in the NHL playoffs next Spring.

– Kastles: what a joy to watch this 3-time defending World Team Tennis champion.  It’s a great form of entertainment … excellent tennis, music, cheerleaders, buzz.  Plus, the Kastles play at a great location … right off Maine Ave and the Washington Channel.  This is great summer entertainment.

– Mystics: I haven’t made it to a game yet this season but the team is playing much better under veteran head coach, Mike Thibault.  I still have plenty of friends that don’t like women’s professional sports, but as the terrific ESPN’s “Nine for IX” illustrates, it’s important for women’s and girl’s sports to continue to flourish.  I’ve seen first-hand the positive impact of women’s and girl’s sports.  I’ve been a long-time supporter of the WNBA and I hope it continues to grow and prosper.

– DC United: this has been a tough season for our local soccer team.  I like the choice of Ben Olsen as the head coach.  My hope is that they start to jell and play better in the 2nd half of the season.  They’re putting together a good foundation of young players, who will hopefully get better and better.  The MLS is a long season – so there’s plenty of time for them to improve.  DC is a great soccer market and enthusiastically supports DC United.  It is a fun experience attending games at RFK — let’s hope they get back soon to their winning ways.