Chuck Cottier is a special assistant to Nationals GM Mike Rizzo, and he has been with the team in Arizona. He told me he likes the direction of the ball club and he's very optimistic when it comes to what he sees out of the Nats' double play combo, Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa.
In fact, Cottier told me that with their ability, if Desmond and Espinosa continue to work hard, they have a chance to be "the best double play combo in baseball". They are that good. He also said they can be like Alan Trammell and Lou Whittaker were in Detroit. They have the ability to achieve that.
A former big league second baseman himself, Cottier also likes the aggressiveness he sees out of Espinosa at his position. He appreciates his offensive aggressiveness, too. That's a nice compliment from a baseball man who has done a lot in this game.
Cottier managed the Mariners from 1984-86, coached for the Mets, M's, Cubs, Orioles and Phillies and scouted for the Yankees. He played for the Milwaukee Braves, Tigers, Senators and Angels.
In fact, during the summer of 1964, as a Senators second baseman, he once hit two home runs off Yankee Hall of Famer Whitey Ford at RFK Stadium. Now, decades later, he is glad baseball is back in the District and, as one of Mike Rizzo's special advisers, he is eager to bring a winner back to Washington.