Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Your Way & My Way--And Their Way

Never does this question seem to go away. Time and Time Again SOMEONE brings up the topic. No matter the course of Our Washington Nationals--Ownership's commitment is, not only challenged, but interrogated, queried and downright examined. And that's fine. Having only seriously followed Our Team, its mind boggling though, how sometimes The Lerners, Team President Stan Kasten and General Manager Jim Bowden are always given The Third Degree--no matter what the circumstances.

Now--I am not here to outright defend them. Even I have examined and doubted some of their moves. Lately, my biggest concern is Our Clubhouse for 2008. To have One or Two Players resurrecting their careers is fine--but too many bad boys in One Clubhouse could lead to a catastrophe. How many times has one's personal desires affected many others. Like, throughout the history of mankind. So, who exactly is watching Our House--right now? That's a big concern.

At the same time--well documented here--being of Good Character is Important to me. Yeah, Winning The World Series is what ITS ALL ABOUT. And when that day Gloriously Arrives in Washington, DC, a no happier evening may come my way. But, what about those comments from Our General Manager last year that Our Washington Nationals were, not only going to be built--from the ground up--but also with players of Good Character? The Early Days of Winter--2007--changed that statement dramatically. A More Talented Roster--Yes--but, character flaws all around. Yeah, I am worried.

Those are my current quibbles, that and the hopeful resigning of Charlie Slowes (My Ongoing Grandstanding Issue). But that in no way lessens the upswing change for Our Washington Nationals over the past 18 Months. Advancement of Our Team is certainly on the rise.

How many teams signed ALL THEIR TOP DRAFT PICKS in 2007? Correct me if I am wrong--Only Washington--that I can recall. A Minor League System tremendously weak--now has EVERY OTHER TEAM looking at Our Top Prospects. Our Washington Nationals have some talented young pitching prospects. Some of whom--John Lannan, Tyler Clippard and Ross Detwiler have experienced their Cups of Coffee in the Big Leagues. Garrett Mock will also get his shot come February, 2008. Those four--battling incumbents Matt Chico, Shawn Hill, John Patterson and Jason Bergmann for spots in Our Starting Rotation. Yeah, we could use a veteran Free Agent--to solidify the top of the order (Livan's still on my list)--but in no way are Our Washington Nationals a disaster waiting to happen. No--not now. A Foundation is undeniably being built. Is it not enjoyable to see your team grow up?

What about Nick Johnson? Give the man a chance. Unfortunately, Nick missed an Entire Season due to a Freak Accident. And Dmitri Young benefited GREATLY from that loss. Yet, so many want to count Our Number 24 out and believe Our Washington Nationals have already done so--as well. I don't believe that--and that's pure conjecture on my part. But, NO ONE GIVES UP on Nick Johnson. A Quality Talent and Even Better Person.

When Our Washington Nationals take the field come Sunday Night--March 30th--I anticipate a decent team. Maybe not a Championship Team--just yet--but a fighting team that is enjoyable to watch. Washington is going to score some runs. Our Manager Manny Acta has a bench to manipulate and Bullpen to DIE FOR!! The Backbone of Our Washington Nationals since that Inaugural Season of 2005 has been Our Relievers. Too many to count by hand--but where would Our Team be without Chad Cordero, Jon Rauch, Luis Ayala, Saul Rivera, Chris Schroder and The Lefty Of The Moment--either Ray King, Micah Bowie or Mike Stanton? Other teams would Die for Our Bullpen. Our General Manager harnessed most of those parts--and for that fact alone--Our Washington Nationals have been competitive.

Off the field, I want to see FANFEST (or Winter Caravan) for fans too--but I also wish to see a DAZZLING NEW BALLPARK ready for play come March 30th. Undoubtedly--there is alot going on OFF THE FIELD preparing for that Sunday Night Opener. Parking and Transportation Issues appear to be working out. Concessions by Centerplate, seemingly, will provide a far greater ballpark experience for many. New Nationals Park will be open, reportedly, for Nationals Batting Practice. Starting Game Times have been adjusted to better work through the upcoming Fan Flow--in and out of South Capitol Street. Some Challenges are still ahead--but the light can be seen at the end of that very long tunnel.

A New Stadium, An Ever Changing Team--with some Fine Young Talent. Honestly, I don't see any GREAT missteps by Ownership and Team Management. Money has been spent on Draft Picks, Some Smart Trades (whether I agree with them or not), Stadium Upgrades, hopefully-- a veteran starter signed over the next six weeks. The African Queen and I are LOOKING FORWARD to that first night at New Nationals Park. Unquestionably, We support Our Team, but we are also not blind to fact. Building ANY Major League Team from SCRATCH is a difficult assignment. Mistakes might already have, and still be made in the near future. But overall--Our Washington Nationals are now leaving their adolescence, moving toward their teen years--And Hopefully Will Soon Transform Themselves Into TOP ADULT PLAYERS--IN THIS GREAT GAME.

Watching Our Washington Nationals is like experiencing your children growing up--right in front of you. They frustrate you, irritate you, make you sigh in disgust. But then--that day comes when they are adults, out of your House--on their own--and successful. Only then, do you realize--How Much You Loved Them--even when they faltered and pissed you off.

Your Way Of Building Our Team, May Not Be My Way. And, Our Ways May Not Be Our Team's Way. But, You Can't Say--Our Washington Nationals Are Not Becoming A Greater Franchise. That Fact, I Am Assured Of.

A New Stadium, A Fresh Outlook--Little Is Not To Like About Our Washington Nationals--Version 4.0--as January, 2008 Begins.

Happy New Year To ALL OF YOU!!

Let's Play Ball!!

PS--Sohna and I realized tonight that as a New Era Begins for Our Washington Nationals--today's post was Number 601 in the History of the Nats320 Blog. 600 Posts since May, 2006. Not Bad, who would have thought Nats320 would make it so far. Wow!!


Brandon said...

In a perverse way you should actually be encouraged by the level of vitriol you encounter out there on other blogs, message boards and talk radio.

In a sad sense, it means that the team has arrived as an entity about which people legitimately care. In fact, if you look at the most storied teams in any sport they tend to be the ones that have cultivated the most passionate following.

Popping off about franchise management is something of a cliche- you know that no matter what people will always have a gripe. But I'd rather people gripe than simply not care or notice this up and coming team.

Anonymous said...


If you have a chance and talk to anyone, I'd be very curious to know something about stadium grass upkeep. What's with the white covering? How is the grass taking (been noticing that the seams have gradually dissappeared). How good and experienced are our new groundskeepers?

Just an idea for a filler post while we wait for the next deal, or for pitchers and catchers to report.

An Briosca Mor said...

New groundskeepers? You mean Larry DeVito won't be going medieval on the grass at Nationals Park, and the Lerners might actually have to spend money on a new radio commercial? Could that be why they can't meet Charlie Slowes's asking price?

Anonymous said...

I have to think that NJ is shot. Otherwise, Da-Meat would have been dealt, or if healthy NJ would have been dealt. Specifically since we signed Aaron "Frickin'" Boone (to borrow from the Reverse the Curse documentary), and the other first basemen, Whitney and Whitesell. Nick's a good guy who had a bad mishap. Kind of like Bo Jackson.

Anonymous said...

norhtwest: or is NJ is now a DH?
Can't tell until ST. Until then no team will talk trade.

OK, when are you going to head down to FLA for ST?

Anonymous said...

Charlie Slowes is good -- agreed and I hope he will reamin on board. But I do wish he would stop with the continual updates of scores and details of games around the league. Every pause between pitches is filled with Charlie giving us details about games being played elsewhere. I want to hear more about OUR team and the little details about OUR game, not the games being played now or earlier or later somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

The only time of game they did that was in the 5th inning and it was because it was sponosred. Unless it was no-hit bid or late in the season pennant races, I thought it was fine. I like that kind of info.

Dave said...

"To have One or Two Players resurrecting their careers is fine--but too many bad boys in One Clubhouse could lead to a catastrophe."

Well, yes, but how many real Bad Boys do we have? I count two at most: Dukes and LoDuca. (Hmm. The Double-Dooks.) Dmitri is a changed man after his medical condition was properly diagnosed and treated. Milledge did some over-exuberant high-fiving when he hit his first homer, and he got labeled. What other bona fide bad boys do we have now?

I wish we still had Schneider behind the plate. But I don't think we are to the point of having a poisoned clubhouse yet.

Anonymous said...

Dave -- Dmitri plead guilty to assaulting his ex-girlfriend in 2006 and furthermore had drug and alcohol problems as well.

Dave said...

Anonymous (whoever you are), in what way was Dmitri a bad influence in the clubhouse in 2007? Between 2006 and 2007 his diabetes was properly diagnosed and treated, and he became the clubhouse leader in 2007. As far as anyone knows, he did not use drugs or alcohol since coming to Washington.

I don't see how one could consider him to be a "bad boy" in the clubhouse since he has been with the Nats. Quite the contrary: he is admired, respected, and liked by his teammates--and the press and fans as well.