There are plenty of negatives to focus on from 2020, but let’s start 2021 on a positive note with a quote from Andrew Stevenson, who was asked in a recent MLB Network Radio spot about the fact that the Nationals missed out on having a traditional victory lap after they’d won the World Series in 2019. Did he feel cheated out of a celebration like some others on the Nationals’ championship club?
No banner raising in front of a sold-out and appreciative crowd. No ring ceremony in front of the fans who cheered the club on. What was it like?
“That was different,” Stevenson said of the fan-free, 60-game follow-up to the Nationals’ win in the Fall Classic. “I’d say those three or four days after the World Series leading up to the World Series parade, that would be enough celebrating for a year for me, but it was a good time. It would have been nice to have the fans in the stadium getting that banner and everything, but it is what is and we’ve just got to take it as it comes.”
Talking about 2020 is the only time we find it acceptable to say “it is what it is.” But no other scenarios, sorry. Go read your links...
The Washington Nationals see a future for pitcher Jackson Rutledge - (WaPost)
“Rutledge fits a few of the Nationals’ core philosophies.”
5 questions facing the Nats in 2021 - (MLB.com)
"[Robles’s] quickness was affected by a gain of muscle mass, and his burst -- a way to measure acceleration, the feet covered in any direction in the second 1.5 seconds -- dipped from 1.2 in ‘19 to 0.1."
"The first thing when I got here, Howie Kendrick said you're going to love it... Because everyone just cares about getting a W."— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) December 30, 2020
A curly one, of course. @jhay_da_man | @Nationals | #Nationals pic.twitter.com/JaqrPOMk62
Thames signs with Japanese club for 2021 - (MASN)
"Eric Thames went to Asia to resurrect his career once before. He’ll attempt to do it again after signing with a Japanese club Wednesday following his disappointing season with the Nationals."
Josh Bell has the Nationals' offseason off to a strong start - (WaPost)
“The Nats do not need any of the top eight free agents on their list, although J.T. Realmuto (No. 1) and Marcell Ozuna (No. 5), would be embraced in D.C.”
Why Yadiel Hernández isn't in the mix for the outfield job - (MASN)
"Only by the end of the 2020 season, with the Nationals roster ravaged by injuries, did Hernández finally get to fulfill his dream of reaching the major leagues..."
We expect these prospects to debut in 2021 - (MLB.com)
"Nationals: Cade Cavalli, RHP (No. 2) - The Nationals selected Cavalli with the No. 22 pick in this year’s Draft because they believed in his untapped potential on the mound and overall high ceiling."
Which top prospects will debut in 2021? Here's the top contender for each club: https://t.co/DfFz3ceXgr pic.twitter.com/vK6ZOi78Jt— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) December 31, 2020
Harrison on Nats re-signing him - (MLB.com)
"Josh Harrison discusses being re-signed to the Nationals through 2021 and mentions the stress of being a player in the modern trade market."
Giants announce agreement with slugger Eric Thames - (The Japan Times)
"Thames played 41 games for the Washington Nationals this past season, hitting three home runs in 123 at-bats."
Former Nationals 1B Eric Thames signs with Japan’s Yomiuri Giants - (NBC Sports Washington)
"After struggling to find his stroke at the plate during MLB’s pandemic-shortened 2020 season, former Nationals first baseman Eric Thames has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Yomiuri Giants of the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan."
MLB: These baseball fans skipped 2020. Will they come back? - (Yahoo!Sports)
“'So much of my fandom is grounded in the live experience. I just really love going to games,' said Jessica, a Nats fan who estimates she went to two dozen games the year before.'"
Stark: Strange but True feats of 2020 – (The Athletic)
"And now for your Strange But True time traveler of the year — Nationals pitcher Dakota Bacus. His 2020 claim to fame? Thanks to the miracle of an Aug. 9 suspended game, he managed to debut before his debut."
Armando Cruz's glove— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) December 30, 2020
The Nationals are expected to give him one of the largest signing bonuses of the 2020-21 international class next month.
Top 50 here: https://t.co/c4ik59pzIX pic.twitter.com/VcjawZFlrW
NL EAST UPDATES:
5 questions for Mets entering 2021 - (MLB.com)
"Change is coming rapidly now and isn’t likely to slow in the opening weeks of the new year. Given that sort of pace, here are five questions the Mets must answer early in 2021..."
5 questions for Marlins entering 2021 - (MLB.com)
"After being MLB’s biggest surprise story last year, the Marlins aim to build on their momentum in 2021."
5 questions facing Braves for 2021 season - (MLB.com)
"Will the Braves find the big bat they had with Marcell Ozuna and Josh Donaldson the past two seasons?"
Why J.T. Realmuto’s free-agent adventure is only just beginning - (NBC Sports Washington)
"And cross your fingers that the trio of Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler and Zach Eflin stays healthy and effective for the long haul because there’s not much depth after that and whatever there is ranks as thin and unproven."