What the Nationals Need to Do

Here's what the Nationals need to do to turn this ballclub around:

1.) Don't trade Nick Johnson. I've waffled on this one, but I think I've settled on DNTNJ. He's only 30, he's easily one of the best fielders the Nationals have right now, and he's the last player to come down from Montreal. Although it doesn't really matter to me that he came from Montreal, I do think that link is important, and hopefully he can step up and become a leader on the team.

2.) Trade Dunn to an AL team. I thought maybe he should stick around, but the errors just keep coming. He'd be great as a DH, and though he gets on base often, he doesn't have the speed to steal bases and the Nationals don't have consistent enough hitting to bring him around to score.

3.) Keep trying new pitchers. I'm glad to see Mock getting a chance, Martin getting another shot tonight. Along the same lines, the Nats are doing a good job protecting the pitchers they already have (Zimmerman to the DL, surgery for Olsen and then keeping him out), so keep doing that.

4.) Get rid of anyone born before 1980, excepting Nick Johnson and maybe Josh Willingham. That means trading (hopefully) Joe Beimel, Ron Villone, Mike MacDougal, Josh Bard and/or Wil Nieves (when Jesus Flores is up and running again), Ronnie Belliard, Cristan Guzman, Adam Dunn, Willie Harris and Austin Kearns (born in '80, but he's got to go). Seems like a pretty radical change but I'm just a writer, not a manager ;)

5.) Turn up the heat. Riggleman was upset yesterday, and that needs to keep up. When a player does something stupid or just doesn't try, pull him immediately. Send the message that stupid mistakes are not okay in baseball. When a player has a bad attitude, bench him. Baseball is so psychological that the Nationals cannot afford to do any less.


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