The season is coming to a close and while it has certainly been challenging, there are some nice moments to reflect on.
Who can forget Ryan Zimmerman taking center stage on Opening Night? He is the face of the franchise and this reporter hopes the Nats are able to lock him up for years to come.
Jesus Flores was supposed to start the year in the Minors and play there all season. With injuries, he was called to duty at the big league level sooner than expected, and he did an outstanding job. He is a sweet man with a pleasant personality. He’s also a hard-nosed player who knows how to win.
To me, the Nats’ biggest acquisition in the offseason should be finding more players who have won in the past. Having that taste of winning is something these current players lack.
It takes a certain attitude to turn things around. At times, this current team was too complacent with losing. To me, that’s a huge concern.
Recently, the Lerner Family has taken a lot of hits on the public relations side of things. I urge their critics to take a page out of New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft’s book of building a champion.
Mr. Kraft relied on his personnel people to determine the team’s biggest needs on the field. He listened to them. He signed their players and he built his championship teams around a core of young players that he locked up early.
The Nats should do this with Zimmerman and then find a few more key pieces to make the overall team better. There’s no doubt that their starting pitching overall needs an upgrade. Can you imagine the improvement with legitimate number 1, 2 and 3 starters ahead of John Lannan and Collin Balester?
We’ve seen teams like the Tampa Bay Rays and Colorado Rockies go from worst to first, so why can’t the Nationals? Hope springs eternal, and there is reason for believing next season can be something special.