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Nationals News, Fresh Start Edition

Let me begin with a prediction: the Nationals will announce that they've signed Stephen Strasburg when it looks like the team is backsliding again (oh, and another prediction: it will). They haven't signed him yet not because they aren't interested or the negotiations are hard, but because they need to space out the few bright spots they know are coming to maintain interest in the team. They've generated press by trading for Morgan and Burnett, and more recently by firing Manny and hiring Riggleman, so they're going to hold off on signing Strasburg until they feel the fans need another boost. We'll see if I'm right.

Now, on to the news!

If you plan on parking at RFK to see the Cubs series, parking will be in lot 7 rather than lot 8.

It seems that the Nationals are trying to come to grips with the fact that they got their boss fired. At least Nick Johnson has it right: "We're getting our [butts] kicked every night."

Although I was less than impressed with Riggleman's press conference, he also, according to the Washington Times, "vowed to remove whatever sheen of nonchalance exists around losses as they pile up." That's the kind of attitude the Nats' manager needs right now, though I'm not quite convinced yet.

Over at the Post, Chico Harlan put together a smattering of fact...erings about Riggleman, while Thomas Boswell wrote about the DC connection to Riggleman.

No jump today, as there really isn't news of any consequence... anywhere, except that Pedro Martinez is returning to the bigs with the Phillies. I, for one, am excited to see him play again.

Finally, something to keep in mind: most teams fight to make the playoffs. The Nationals are fighting to avoid the worst record in the history of modern baseball. I've recently resigned myself to that fact, and I have a feeling it'll make this season a lot more bearable.