tagryn: Owl icon (Default)
...or at least make them interesting to watch.

The Washington Nationals have a wonderful new ballpark in which to watch the games, we went to one of the games last year and had a good time. The concessions are very good, the seats were comfortable and close to the field, and getting there and back was OK via the train system. Unfortunately the team itself finished with the worst record in baseball last year at 59-102 and hasn't made any major additions this offseason, perhaps one of the reasons the team actually had to lower their ticket prices for this coming year, something unheard of in modern pro sports. The team is going with youth, and maybe that'll be enough to make the team better...but other than maybe Ryan Zimmerman, there isn't a guy on the team who makes you say "Hey, XYZ is playing tonight, guess I'll go see a game" the way Manny Ramirez did for the Dodgers last year.

Anyway, going through a list of players who are still out there to be signed, and throwing in a dose of reality that top-notch guys like Ramirez and Adam Dunn aren't going to be interested in playing for the Nationals no matter how much $$$ is thrown at them, here's my suggestions:
1) Sign Tom Glavine to pitch. This one has actually been tossed around in the rumor mills. Glavine is 42 years old but he's a Hall of Famer with instant name recognition and could probably provide some pointers to the young pitchers the Nationals have on the roster.
2) Sign Ken Griffey Jr. and Jim Edmonds, and pair them together. Look, both Griffey and Edmonds are 37, both are close to the end, but they're also recognizable names who can still slug the ball a little. Griffey had 18 homers last year despite moving from the Reds to the White Sox at the trading deadline, and Edmonds had 20; Zimmerman and Milledge led the Nationals with only 14 HRs all year. Pairing the two sluggers up would increase their combined effectiveness. I personally would even consider talking to Barry Bonds; he's toxic, yes, but the guy still hit 28 homers in '07 and collected the most walks in MLB. If any team could get a pass for giving Bonds a shot, it'd be the dead-last Nationals.
3) Sign Pedro Martinez to pitch. The guy is 37 and had a 5.61 ERA last year, but at the same time he did manage a 5-6 record and was one of the best pitchers in baseball not too long ago. I think Paul Byrd (age 38, 4.6 ERA, 11-12 record) is the better pitcher, but Martinez frankly has more name recognition.

Sure, I remember what happened to the Giants when they tried to surround Bonds with a bunch of veterans who then got older quickly, but again: I look at the Nationals roster, and there isn't anyone who gets me wanting to turn their games on the TV, much less pay to go to the ballpark to see. This would do that, without blocking the development of most of the young guys who need to get game time to develop.


tagryn: Owl icon (Default)

May 2017

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