The dog days of Baseball season have the most effect on teams that are no longer contending for postseason play.
As the 2009 season winds down for Nationals fans, there still remains the opportunity to see the ballclub at home for the final time against the likes of the Dodgers, the Mets, and the Braves.
A four-game series in Atlanta brings the curtain down on the 2009 season. Nats fans are buzzing already about the prospects of next season with so much young talent, so many young arms and such a determined front office to take that next step toward making this franchise one of the best in baseball.
As everyone knows, there are some questions and positions to focus on for next season. Make no mistake, Stan Kasten, Mike Rizzo, the Lerner family and the Nats organization (from top to bottom) have one goal in mind, and that's to have a winning season and make Nationals Park the place to be for 6 months of the year.
I feel that goal might not be that far off and certainly is reachable with the solid group of veterans the club has returning. Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Dunn, Nyjer Morgan, Josh Willingham, Elijah Dukes, John Lannan, JD Martin, and Livan Hernandez are all anxious to get rolling next season.
All eyes will be on Stephen Strasburg in winter ball. Don't expect the club to rush the fire-balling right hander too quickly on the path to the big club. He will get here, and it will be just a matter of time.
On a personal note, I know I speak for my on-air partner Ray Knight in saying thanks to all you fans who took time to visit with us at the ballpark this season. We always enjoy the time before and after MASN's Nats Xtra when we get to talk baseball with you, and we look forward to seeing even more fans next season.
Even though the countdown has begun, get out to Nats Park and get behind the ballclub during this last homestand of the season. They still need your support!