It's only November but Nationals News is happening at such a furious pace that it's hard to keep up. I better get in shape before April!
Here's the latest from today's news:
Somebody will own the Nats by Opening Day, and the front office situation will be settled. But on the field, the Nationals, who played over their heads in the first half of '05, should get little help through free agency or trades. Rookie Ryan Zimmerman will make a big impact, but the Nats should take a step back in '06.
I disagree that the team will get little help through free agency or trades. Sure, the team isn't going to land any big names but there is every reason to believe that some very plausible upgrades can be made that will keep the team competitive in the division. Damian Jackson is a good example. He's certainly not an impact player by himself but he represents a nice upgrade over a few departing players. Think of him as Carlos Baerga and Kenny Kelly rolled into one player. Jackson can come in as part of a double switch, pinch hit, or pinch run. Best of all, he only takes up one roster spot. The team will get better by adding guys like Jackson instead of having a bench full of one-dimensional "specialists" like they did in 2005.
The Post reports that "potential cutbacks could come from features inside or outside the ballpark, such as reducing the size of concourses, suites and other amenities or moving parking above ground and reducing the number of retail stores at the site." JD notes that "a simple solution has probably already been arrived at, if not announced--to no longer include the land immediately south of N Street, which was always considered to be 'amenity space,' as part of the stadium construction, and instead let the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation handle that land's development as part of the Ballpark District." Sounds good to me. If they build it, I will come, and maybe buy season tickets.