Happy new year to Nats fans everywhere!
Now that we’ve turned the corner to 2011, that means spring training is just around the corner Let’s bring it on - the sooner the better, I’m not exactly a big fan of cold, dreary days with rain, wind and an occasional snowflake or two.
Most of you have made a new year’s resolution, so I thought I might just as well come up with a little wish list for 2011. In no particular order, here are just a few things I’d like to see in the weeks and months ahead for the Washington Nationals.
* A winning season for the ballclub The Lerners have really opened their checkbook and general manager Mike Rizzo has taken the lead with some nice key additions to the ballclub, starting with Jason Werth.
* May Werth find even more success here in D.C. than he experienced in Philly. And Adam LaRoche, too - from the desert to the nation’s capital with a first baseman’s glove that’s among the best in baseball.
* For manager Jim Riggleman, to lead the club to postseason play. I know that may be a reach, but why not at least have that as one of your goals? No better place to do it than in the area where he grew up. Riggleman is as good as they come in dealing with players and the media.
* This is Rizzo’s dream job come true. He is respected by everyone in the game and now it’s his time to finally get the recognition he deserves.
* For Ryan Zimmerman to continue to be the cornerstone of the franchise and see his numbers stay among the best for third basemen.
* For some of the young guys on the club, here’s hoping that 2011 is just the next step. Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Drew Storen, Wilson Ramos, Roger Bernadina and Collin Balester gave every Nats fan a glimpse of what the future holds.
* My wish for Bryce Harper is knock the cover off the ball in spring training and stay on track to the big leagues.
* For Nyjer Morgan, to work on hitting lefties, stay consistent and keep it up-tempo.
* For Michael Morse, continued production. His15 home runs in 98 games says something for Morse and his value to the team. Those 15 homers were fourth-best total on the ballclub last year.
* For Stephen Strasburg, hopefully the days will pass quickly as you continue to rehab and get back with the ballclub, able to throw better than ever.
* One more starting pitcher to give the Nationals a solid rotation. Rizzo may already have one by the time you read this.
* I also wish Adam Dunn all the best. Nats fans will never forget what he did for this ballclub. Same goes for Wil Nieves, as fan-friendly a player as you’ll ever see. I hope the club sees fit to keep Willie Harris, who can play multiple positions and come through in the clutch with timely base hits and is a clubhouse guy any team would relish.
Just a few of my wishes for 2011. I always enjoy seeing yours.