The Washington Nationals
Established June 11, 2004
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Washington Nationals say goodbye to 2nd place - August 26, 2006 - As always, ther is some good news and bad news. The good news is that Soriano is staying with the Nationals...at least till the end of this season. The bad news is that they traded Livan Hernandez! I am very saddened by this. To me, he was the one marque player who was a dependable fixture on the team. He played through pain and never complained one bit. Word of his knee problem came out months after it started bothering him and he never asked to be rested. It's a shame, especially with some of the guys we are relying on now. P. Astacio (a better nut than a pitcher), Ramon Ortiz? These guys have a 5.5 ERA and that is about right for them. At least Livan started poorly and was improving. To me, it seems like the heart has been cut out of the team, witness the performance since the trade. They were about 4 games out of second place and now it is over 10. It looks like we have a lock on last place for this year.
As for next year, Soriano says he wants to stay with the Nationals (that's the proper thing to say) but if he is offered $10 more to leave and go with a big time team, he is out of here. Which means, next year we will have no Soriano and no Livan. That's not good, not good at all.
Soriano stays with Washington! - July 31, 2006 - Fantastic! It is great that we get to keep him...for this season at least. We sure do need to lock him in for the next 7 years. I think the Nationals will end up in 2nd place now that they kept Soriano and Livan Hernandez. This is not a bad team. The pitching is not that bad and could be very good. The offense is still a bit weak but with Soriano's weapons and a few other key players like Nick Johnson, Zimmerman and Vidro, they can make things happen. Well, lets settle back and enjoy the Nationals run for 2nd place. That would be nice after last year's colapse.
Washington Nationals close in on 2nd place - July 28, 2006 - The Nationals are now 2 1/2 games out of second place. They have won 6 games in a row and just shut down Barry Bonds who was 0-6. My one regret is that no one hit him with a pitch. Oh well, maybe tonight someone will plunk him and make my day. I would rather see him indicted, but, anything that brings him pain....makes me smile.
How about his trainer, Gary Anderson, opting to go to jail rather than to testify before a federal grand jury investigating Bonds on suspicion of perjury and tax evasion. Yeah, I don't blame him. If I had information that would help support the innocence of a friend, I wouldn't talk either. Hey wait, if he is innocent, you talk, if he is guilty, you clam up!
I am so sorry that Soriano will be traded. What a waste. They should be signing him up for the next 6 years. When will the Nationals come up with another player of his capabilities? Another thing is that he is a free agent after the end of this season which means that whatever they receive in a trade would be far less than if he was locked up for several years. He is a $10 million three month player rental and after that, they have NOTHING.
Nationals prospects for the second half of the season - July 14, 2006 - Baseball is getting ready for the second half of the season. The Washington Nationals, after losing their last 3 games have closed to within 3 1/2 games of second place in the National League East. That's not so bad, is it? Now the bad news. Their record of 38-52 places them as the 4th worst team in baseball. Yes, that's bad. The 8 player trade made yesterday lost them Gary Majewski, Royce Clayton and prized prospect Bill Bray and in return they got adequate starting shortstop Felipe Lopez and outfielder Austin Kearns. I think the real bonus will be a young pitcher, Ryan Wagner.
The DC newspapers noted that the Nationals record is 15 games worse than the first half of last year. I think they will have a relatively improved second half, especially compared to last year's horrible second half. I would like to see them compete for second place and to end up ahead of Atlanta. Go get them Nats!
Nationals Update - June 23, 2006 - It has been an unusual season so far. The Nats started poorly, then had a few nice winning streaks, then some losing streaks to undo all of the good they accomplished. My man, Livan Hernandez is having an awful year with his ERA of 5.64 and a 5-8 record. He seems to have recovered from his knee surgery but something is not right with him.
Attendance is off significantly to only around 27,300 from 33,700 last year. The novelty of having a team has worn off plus last year the Nats had a winning record early in the year, whereas this year they started very poorly. I think the DC area fans are basically "front-runners". If a team is good, they support it, if not, they lose interest quickly. Lack of direction due to them not having an owner till recently has hurt. Also, I think that the Soriano situation has been a highly negative influence from the beginning. Not only did he not want to play the outfield, but, everyone knows that he will be gone next year and he is far and away the only star on the team. He is hitting .286 with 24 home runs, 51 RBIs and 18 stolen bases.
With the new ownership, things will improve although I would hat to see Frank Robinson leave. To me, he is the heart of this team and he has achieved great results with limited resources. I don't care if he is old, he's good. Let him teach the young new players that will come to DC.
Another bright light on the horizon is the new stadium. It will be a bright shinny gem of a stadium that goes against the trend to build old time looking structures. This is going to be a big attraction that will send attendance even higher than last year.