(Jonathan Newton/WP)

As if offering a counterweight to the polar vortex currently freezing Washington,  the Nationals announced their pitchers and catchers will report to Viera, Fla. for spring training on Feb. 13, a scant 37 days from now and a world away from sputtering car batteries and sub-zero wind chills.

The Nationals’ first full-squad workout typically arrives a few days after pitchers and catchers report. Most players, if not all, get to Viera before the report day, anyhow. Some pitchers who live in norther climates head down shortly after the new year to start preparing for spring training.

And so the official release of the Nationals’ first organized spring training day is more symbolic than anything. But this a pretty good day for that symbol to come.

Earlier today, MASN announced which spring training games it will broadcast.  And here is the Nationals’ full Grapefruit League schedule, which begins Feb. 28.