•Rizzo and Desmond both said the team is not concerned about playing with high expectations this season. Washington has been picked by Sports Illustrated, ESPN Magazine and several local and national writers to win the World Series.
"On paper is one thing, in Spring Training is another thing, but the grind of 162 games is what this thing's all about," Rizzo said.
Added Desmond: "All that stuff, what does it weigh? It's just words from people that aren't playing."
Tom Schad is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Andrew Simon is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.