Friday, November 13, 2009
The taking home of two prestigious individual awards this week by Ryan Zimmerman has spotted a new positive light down on Our Washington Nationals. For some time, the national media, and even the local press contingent in the Washington metropolitan area (bloggers too) has used Our Washington Nationals as their punching bag. The butt of all jokes. Losing 205 games over the past two seasons will bring that on.
Fortunately, the Z-Man's Rawlings Gold Glove recognition on Wednesday, and now his Silver Slugger Trophy announced yesterday, shifts the focus and directs the perspective more on the changing times currently underway. National exposure does that. It helps build a more well-rounded viewpoint.
What those novices now heading over to ponder Nats Baseball will discover, is that upon further review Washington is no longer a team pieced together by "toolsy" players and the hopes some down on his luck guy can turn his career around and be a "diamond in the rough". Instead, General Manager Mike Rizzo is in charge and over the past few months has slowly and methodically formed a professional and, seemingly, cohesive front office. One not built on panache and flair, but top baseball management evaluators. Those with the insight and the skill to find and develop young talent to help make D.C.'s Team a winner--for years to come.
That's a far cry from what was Our Washington Nationals just one year ago today.
Those now looking in on Nats Baseball will also find a respectable core of potential on the field. Not just Ryan Zimmerman, but Nyjer Morgan (whom some have stated was deserving of the Gold Glove in The National League for 2009 too. A big bopper in Adam Dunn and a professional hitter in Josh Willingham. John Lannan on the mound. And if he can remain healthy, a good young catcher behind the plate in Jesus Flores. There are many more holes to fill. No doubt Our Washington Nationals need to get better up the middle in the infield and their bullpen needs to be revamped. But clearly, there is a light now being seen at the end of that proverbial tunnel.
Ryan's Awards will provoke others to take a look at some of Washington's young players. The Farm System which as been slowly rebuilding.
While Stephen Strasburg as been put on everyone's radar and has raised the hopes of many a fan, Zimmy's Awards these past two days also beams notice down on Drew Storen, Ian Desmond, Derek Norris, Ross Detwiler, Justin Maxwell,Chris Marrero and even Danny Espinosa. Just a few of Washington's youngsters looking to find their way in the game in the next year or two. That once bare cupboard, then known as Washington's Minor League System, is being stocked.
That can't be denied.
Beyond a doubt, this is not The Washington Franchise of the past fews seasons. Nats Baseball has a fresh outlook and Ryan Zimmerman's Rawlings Gold Glove Award and Louisville Silver Slugger Award given to him this week has dawned a new age to coverage of our team. The media is now going to be following more closely. And they won't be able to ignore the positives, because Our Number 11 has put Nats Baseball back on the map.
This has been a good week for Our Washington Nationals because two post-season awards given to D.C.'s Franchise Player is helping to change the perspective of all that was Nats Baseball (good and bad) before Ryan Zimmmeran gave Nationals Baseball--National Exposure.
Photo Credit--Getty Images