I love baseball. I love watching baseball. Why then am I unhappy?
With each passing day I become more convinced that, either the Lerners are completely dumb as to what it takes to produce a winning MLB team, or they are a bunch of tightwads out to make a quick buck by keeping labor costs to the absolute minimum, and then selling the team in about five years ala Bob Short, at twice what they paid for it? The Lerners, sons and father, are worth something in the neighborhood of $6-8 billion. They are probably 3-4 times richer than George Steinbrenner of the Yankees. So far they have shown a total unwillingness to open the wallet and bring one or two blue chip players to the team. Everything they do relative to player costs is penny pinching. The latest example is letting their top draft pick get away because he wanted above MLB standard bonus, and a chance to play right away in the MLB. The last minute offers to Crow were a joke. They refused to sign him even though at least four other teams, including the Orioles, signed their first draft picks with bonuses above MLB minimum. They have had more than one opportunity to get a couple, or even, one blue chip player on this team to provide real excitement, team leadership, and around which to build a team. You don't build a team with all rookies, or a bunch of has beens that never were. Even the Braves back in the early 90's, late 80's, which Stan Kirsten constantly uses as the example, had a couple of established blue chip players around which to build.
I won't go over all the other troubling signs as to how the Lerners are going to run this team, from not having any kind of a real radio network (of course, the Nats don't have many listerners, their radio network is almost nonexistent. Even Hagerstown, MD, a Nats farm team town, have no radio signal to listen to), to not resigning their number one player, Zimmerman, to a real major league contract, They have now created a reputation as penny pinching owners. Do you think any quality, blue chip players want to play here?
I'm not going to blame Jim Bowden, Manny Acta, or Stan Kasten, because I believe the Lerners have told the team not to spend to build this team. When or why are the sport writers in this town going to really challenge the Lerners as to their sincerity about spending money to make the Nats a champion???? The minor league Nats teams are only in the middle of the pack not the top. Our manager and key players have not been signed for long term contracts. Anybody who is making a million or more on this team, seems to be in danger of being released or traded in the next year.The honeymoon is over!
I predict that Manny Acta will leave this team within the next year and manage the Mets. I predict that the Lerners will either sell the team for a huge profit, or move it to Las Vegas within the next 5 years.
Gosh, I hope I'm dead wrong because I love National League baseball in DC. Please do something to prove I'm wrong. It very hard to pay major league ticket prices to watch a minor league team play.