More Building Blocks For The Future

It's hard to believe it's been six weeks since the baseball season ended, but getting back into a "normal" offseason life back home has been interesting and relaxing.

Fall is a beautiful time of the year in Oklahoma and college football reigns supreme out here, so it was great to get some hot stove news from the Nats earlier this week.

I really like the deal Jim Bowden engineered with Florida, and I'm a big fan of both of the players we got in giving up Emilio Bonifacio and two prospects.

Pitching is the name of the game in baseball, especially young pitching for an organization like Washington, and Scott Olsen fits in perfectly with the Nationals' plan.

To get a pitcher at the age of 24 with that kind of potential is a real coup, and he will be part of a great 1-2 lefty punch with John Lannan. This is a deal that can pay dividends for the Nats and our fans for years to come.

Josh Willingham is one of the finest young men I've met in the Major Leagues in recent years, and Nats fans will see what I mean very quickly.

His personality reminds me of Austin Kearns, a young, strong hitter who speaks quietly but makes plenty of noise with his bat.

Take away the games he missed with his back injury last year, and he would have had a huge season for Florida. Let's not expect him to totally change the Nats' offense next year, but he will be a good presence in the middle of that lineup.

The outfield is crowded now, but there's nothing like competition to make a ballclub better.

And, Josh gives the team some insurance at first base and even behind the plate if we need him.

I hope this week is a preview of things to come this winter; it should be lots of fun!

PS: I want to thank Steven Shell publicly. He gave of his time to come to my charity golf tournament in Tulsa 3 weeks ago, and delighted everyone who met him. We raised lots of money, and lives will be changed thanks to Steven and the other baseball players who came, including Josh Johnson of the Marlins.

Not to mention, lots of Okies know more about the Nationals now!