Welcome Home Nationals

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April 4, 2013, Washington, DC: Shortly after landing in Washington from spring training, Nationals phenom Bryce Harper announced his arrival to the nearly 200,000 people who follow him on Twitter. "DC, I'm home!!" the 20-year old reported with apparent glee, judging from the multiple exclamation marks and hashtags #NatsFamily and #DCLove that followed his declaration. Within the week, he'd also asked his fans for restaurant suggestions, a barbershop recommendation, and the whereabouts of late night donuts. Oh, and he hit two homeruns out of the park on Opening Day. Harper's new teammate Denard Span is likewise embracing Washington, the city of his birth. In his first week in town, the only player with Washington, DC listed on the roster caught the NCAA tournament at the Verizon Center and made a stop into the Library of Congress. Ryan Mattheus took in a Wizards game with his family. Pitcher Gio Gonazalez dined at Dupont's Lauriol Plaza and Georgetown's Filomena before hitting a solo homer Wednesday night.

Yes, this week the city's best season officially arrived. Not in the form of cherry blossoms or tourists crowding the Metro or Easter eggs on the White House lawn, but in the form of a freezing cold night game like Wednesday's, rooting on the ballplayers who love Washington from a seat in right field. The city's best season has arrived because the Nationals are back in town and they seem as happy to see the city as the city is to see them. Because they are first and foremost here with a job to do, and because this year they might do it better than any other team in baseball. But also because they're not just "here for work" like countless professionals who come and go within the Beltway. The Washington Nationals are here to settle in and become a true part of this city as the weather grows warm.

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Nationals Park, April 3, 2012, Washington, DC