It World Series time throughout the baseball nation, or as the District of Columbia crowd better knows it, Capitals season.Â Â Once again while the majority of baseball fans are on the edge of their seats, Nationals fans have long lost interest, eliminated long before the Phillies and Braves made their moves to the top of the NL East. The year 2010 has been particularly cruel to the Nationals considering the playoff landscape that did emerge from the regular season.Â Not one, but two teams from the division qualified for post-season play, neither of which play their games in DC.Â Furthermore, another embattled franchise made their move towards glory as Washington faithful can only watch from afar.Â Of course, perhaps the Giants meteoric rise from the cellar not too long ago can serve as some sort of inspiration for the Nationals.Â Like the Nationals, the Giants were once little more than a mediocrely talented squad centering around a dominant young pitcher.Â Though the top to bottom talent certainly isn’t in place, the Nats have their league-dominating ace of the future in Strasburg; at least one stone is in place.Â Not to mention Ryan Zimmerman is arguably a better consummate 3rd baseman than Pablo Sandoval, it’s not much but it’s a start.Â So what will the Nats need out of the off-season to become next year’s Giants?
- New Manager â€“ The Giants and Braves seasons this year should remind the Nats brass that when talent is lacking, coaching can put a team over the top.Â Bruce Bochey has done wonders in his time by the day and the Atlanta Braves are potentially the least talented lineup of bat swingers to ever win 90+ games.Â Honestly, name 3 players you truly fear pitching to in the Braves batting orderâ€¦ the most likely answers are Jason Heyward and Brain McCann, though Heyward is just a rookie and had his slumps while McCann is a catcher (albeit a good catcher) and has never had a season with more than 25 HRs.Â The surrounding veterans, including those acquired midseason were past their prime (i.e. Troy Glaus, Rick Ankiel, Derek Lee, Erik Hinske) and the younger talent is more solid than super (i.e. Martin PradoÂ and Omar Infante).Â Yet playing for all-time great Bobby Cox, the Braves managed to squeak out enough wins to find their way back to the post-season and with Fredi Gonzalez on their way you can bet they’ll be back.
- Second Big Arm â€“ It’s hard enough to find one premiere pitcher, which you must commend the Nationals for actually figuring out, but most competitive teams have a feared left hand to complement their right.Â It might not be a pitcher of the same pedigree as Strasburg, few are, but a player capable of making an all-star team or two over the course of his career will suffice.Â This may require ownership to pony up a little cash on the front end, as unless the Nationals want to wait to develop another pitching prospect (usually a process that takes much longer than half a season for those spoiled by Strasburg) free agency is likely the only option.Â They will also probably have to overpay in order to attract a big name to a losing franchise, so the optimism here is regrettably tempered.
- Re-sign Key Players â€“ Look at the Kansas City Royals.Â As an organization several great players have come up in Royal blue, but when it comes time for them to sign a deal, DIRECTV, most bolt Kansas City as the front office has been notoriously underwhelming in terms of contract offers.Â Building a young team requires dedication both in terms of patience and spending, but as the Devil Rays have shown it can work.Â This also extends to keeping veterans.Â Adam Dunn is a great example.Â Dunn was a major contributor this season and the Nats would be hard-pressed to replace his production in the middle of the lineup.
- Pray for a Miracle â€“ Ok, this isn’t a real suggestion, but God it’s tough to be a Nationals fan sometimes.
Nationals fans and baseball enthusiasts who wish to learn more about the sport would do well to investigate the history and legacy of the Washington Senators. Learning more about the rich history of baseball, the teams and athletes that had the biggest impact and the moments that fans will never forget can do much to improve you understanding and appreciation of the sport you love. With access to the right sites and the educational opportunities that Read the rest of this entry »
While Washington may have been first in the hearts of his countrymen, the Washington Senators were often last in the American League. This little sarcastic piece of folk lore traces back to the 1940 and 1950s when the franchise managed six last place records in the American League.
The franchise does have a storied history. The Washington Senators franchise was one of the original eight that made up the American League in 1901. The team had an early rough start with a 113 loss season in 1904. Read the rest of this entry »
The Washington Senators were Washington D.C.’s first professional baseball team. They were first called the Washington Statesmen, and the more modern and current inception of the team is the Washington Nationals.
The Senators was originated in 1891 in the American Association, where it was known as the Washington Statesmen in 1891. The American Association was disbanded following the 1891 season, and the team was then bought by Philadelphia businessman J. Earl Wagner, who remained the team’s owner through 1899.
The Statesmen Read the rest of this entry »
What’s New at Nationals Park
Near the capitol, nestled in Washington is the home for baseball: Nationals Park. National’s park offers a wide verity of options, as well as activities for fans. The new park features highly crafted architecture, as well as a mixture of specially hosted activities. Newly offered at Nationals Park are personal, and public tours. These tours allow fans to experience the entire park for themselves, as well as get a feel for the stunning layout of Read the rest of this entry »
The Washington Nationals have only been in existence since 2005, after changing their name from the Montreal Expos. The best palyers so far, in the Nationals short existence, have been Ryan Zimmerman, Ivan Rodriguiez, and Jason Werth. Nick Johnson was aquired from the New York Yankees, but never produced as he was projected to by baseball analysts. Before 2005 the Nationals were originated from the Montreal Expos, which were started in 1969 as a new Major League Baseball franchise. Two players that started their careers with the Expos and ended up with different teams were Andre Dawson and Gary Carter. Both of these Read the rest of this entry »
It would be easy to say the Nationals might be in much better shape at this point in the season if certain major pieces of their organization had performed as expected. If Stephen Strasburg hadn’t gotten injured last season and missed all of this year. If Jim Riggleman hadn’t abruptly quit as manager earlier in the year. If Ryan Zimmerman hadn’t missed two full months after abdominal surgery. If Jason Werth weren’t hitting .224 with just 45 RBIs. These things weren’t expected and can be offered as reasons why the team Read the rest of this entry »
You may be planning on watching all the Nationals- games on your DIRECT TV this season but we suggest making it to at least one game, if you can. There-s nothing like taking in 9 innings at a ball park and here are a few of the reasons why
Hotdogs ” Is there anything better than stadium food? Sure it costs an arm and a leg but a baseball game Read the rest of this entry »
Before you take the title too condescendingly, let it be known how refreshing it is to actually see the Artists Formerly Known As the Expos finally taking consistent steps to shell out enough cash to not only keep their own talent, but bring in valuable free agents from across the league. From Adam Dunn, to actually signing Strasburg (something many pundits were quite skeptical about once upon a time), now giving Jayson Werth a massive 7-year, 126 million deal.And it’s not to say Werth isn’t a fine player, even if a relatively late bloomer in his major league career. At 31, Werth has hit at least 24 homers in 3 straight season, including a career high 36 in 2009, while swiping 20 bags in two of those campaigns. A former first round pick by the Baltimore Orioles, Werth struggled earlier in his major league efforts as a result of injuries, attempting to play through the pain and ultimately missing time, the entire 2006 season in fact. He quickly rose to prominence, however, after signing a 1-year contract with the Phillies, moving into a starting role within the first few months of the season, winning a World Series title by year’s end. In 2009, Werth followed up his breakout campaign with a truly career year earning his first All-Star nod. Though 2010 was not as prolific, the fact that a free agent of Werth’s caliber is willing to come to the Nationals is certainly a sign the club is moving in the right direction. Read the rest of this entry »
Tommy John Surgery is thrown around a lot in baseball circles. So common is the phrase one might think it’s as natural as natural as say LASIK eye surgery in the off season (which can also have complications mind you). Though while LASIK eye surgery should certainly improve a player’s play, at least in theory (cough Nate McLouth cough), Tommy John Surgery is a recovery effort to salvage promising arms from a career threatening injury. Of course, there are several cases in which pitchers return from the procedure throwing at higher velocities than they enjoyed prior to going under the knife. In fact, some parents of younger pitchers have tried to have the surgery performed on their children in an effort to boost performance, even when the kid hasn’t suffered from any form of injury. Is it possible then that Stephen Strasburg, who is likely to find himself at the business end of a scalpel in the coming months, could enjoy a bump in his already physics redefining velocity? Read the rest of this entry »