clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The 2009 Season Got Underway For The Washington Nationals Late Last September...

New, comments

To The Future and Beyond With Washington's Nationals...

I believe the 2009 season began on September 28th, 2008, the moment Emilio Bonifacio's weak grounder reached the glove of Phillies' first baseman Chris Coste, who tossed to the Philly pitcher Clay Condrey covering first, to finish off the Nationals for loss number 102 of 161, and everything that's happened since has been an attempt to build for the future, for 2009 and beyond, including the trade that sent Bonifacio to Florida in return for 29-year-old left fielder Josh Willingham and 24-year-old left-hander Scott Olsen, who could end up being the steal of the offseason at the top of the DC rotation as a veteran on a talented young starting staff. Overly optimisitic? I've got pessimism for you...

2008 will go down in DC baseball history as the year the Washington Nationals lost 102 games and failed to sign their 1st Round Draft pick...(Of course, they'll get the 9th pick(9A) in this year's draft as compensation for failing to sign Aaron Crow, and the first pick of this year's draft for failing to win more than 59 games...) and it was also the year that the Nationals opened their new ballpark, Nationals Park, to polite applause, but attendance at the games only, not in front of radios or TV's in any significant way in the DC Metro area...(Is that way they call it? I'm from up North...)

...Now 2009 starts with the failed attempt to land their main free agent target, (whose name we'll not mention), and two months before Spring Training, with the new year now literally underway, no other signifant additions, (outside of Daniel "Potential" Cabrera), to what was, must I remind you, a 102-loss team...Nationals' Team President Stan Kasten told Washington Post writer Thomas Boswell, as quoted in an article entitled, "Nats Go All In", that in his opinion, the Nationals, "...already had a terrific offseason," with the additions of Cabrera, Olsen and Willingham, but when pressed by an incredulous Mr. Boswell, Mr. Kasten said:

"'We're determined to do more and be better in '09. We've already being(sic) looking at every option every day, not just Teixeira. His signing may start other moves in the industry. Now we know what the Yankees can pay. Let's see what everybody else will pay.'"

...And DC GM Jim Bowden let the baseball world know, in MLB.com writer Bill Ladson's article today, entitled, "GM Bowden not done improving Nats", that the Nationals weren't done improving their roster, with Adam Dunn and Orlando Hudson still at the top of their wish list...as a replacement for first baseman Nick Johnson and a leadoff hitter and second baseman, respectively, should the free agents choose to join the Nationals...and just as the DC Front Office has been saying all winter, Mr. Bowden once again assures fans:

"'We are exploring a lot of possibilities,' Bowden said. 'I think, obviously, we would like to have a big left-handed bat in the middle of our lineup. So that's a priority. We want to continue to add starting pitching and bullpen. I would say that most of our discussions were for those three areas.'"

But two paragraphs later, Mr. Ladson writes, "Don't expect the Nationals to acquire a big-name pitcher", and when he lists the projected starting rotation for 2009, it's John Lannan, Olsen, Jordan Zimmerman(n), Collin Balester and Shairon Martis, (not Daniel Cabrera?), so what makes you think veteran bats like Dunn or Hudson are going to want to become part of the rebuilding process in DC unless the Nationals outspend the competition to bring them in, as Mr. Kasten seems to be intimating they might in the quote above...(from the Washington Post)...

One has to wonder...Do Dunn or Hudson mean as much to the developing Nationals as they do to the contending teams that are in need of one or two extra pieces in their attempts to compete, while the Nationals are attempting to become competitive enough to regain the interest of their own fanbase...Will Washington overwhelm Dunn with an offer that draws him away from the Dodgers or Cubs? Will Washington sign Hudson when infielders Anderson Hernandez and Ronnie Belliard are already on the roster? Will Washington become interested in Manny Ramirez if no one steps up to sign him? And what are they going to do about all those outfielders? That's enough questions for now...