VIERA, Fla. - Hello, once again, from the Barry Svrluga Memorial Panera Bureau in Viera, Fla., where the weather is much muggier and the Nationals’ complex is much sleepier than when I last saw it. I was here today to catch up with Stephen Strasburg, who is working toward the home stretch of his rehab from Tommy John surgery, and I’ll have a post with some of his thoughts on the rehab process, new manager Davey Johnson (who managed Strasburg in the 2008 Olympics), his expectations for the rest of the year and his response to some of the criticism about his throwing mechanics.
But first, I wanted to ask a couple questions of you: The Nationals begin a new chapter tonight in Anaheim, when Johnson manages the team for the first time. He is only locked in to manage until the end of the year, but he could turn out to be the team’s leader for longer than that. But even though Johnson brings impressive credentials to the job (he’s posted a winning record with all four teams he’s managed, won American League Manager of the Year honors with the Orioles in 1997 and won the World Series with the Mets in 1986). he takes over after Jim Riggleman’s tumultuous exit. MLBTradeRumors.com ran a poll this morning asking fans if the Nationals should have picked up Riggleman’s 2012 option, rather than letting him resign, and while that wasn’t quite the choice the Nationals faced (Riggleman said he only wanted to have a conversation about his future), it’s an interesting question I’m going to ask here.
I’m also curious about your thoughts on the team’s much-discussed decision to let Adam Dunn leave in free agency rather than making him the kind of multi-year offer that might have kept the slugging first baseman in Washington. In his first year with the Chicago White Sox, Dunn has been dreadful, posting a .173/.308/.316 line and leading the American League with 100 strikeouts in 67 games. And the Nationals have recouped some of his power at first base, where Michael Morse has hit 12 of his 14 homers since switching from left field to first.
That leads us to our two-part poll question: Would you have tried to keep Riggleman for 2012, or had he not done enough to earn that yet? And what do you think of the Nationals’ decision to let Dunn walk now?
Let us know what you think in our poll below: