The baseball season is over and done with. Hockey starts Friday, and Basketball in a few weeks. The beginnings of winter are incumbent upon us to respect, and the end of the baseball season is a part of that winterizing process. This was a season of growth for the Nationals in many ways, and there’s a lot to respect in terms of significant process. There’s also a lot that we’ll have to see changed in order for this to become a contending franchise in the next decade.
This is a turning point for the Nationals, and there’s a real opportunity for this club to take what it’s spent the last five years working on and put it to good use. The Nationals are not a complete franchise, right now, but in two or three years, they could be a .500+ club with a shot at the Wild Card. Will they get there? I hope so, but I fear for the worst. Losing the head of their front office will be a big test for this club that has relied upon his experience so extensively. There is, as in many cases, both crisis and opportunity in this change. The Nats finally have a solid GM in place, someone who can handle baseball operations and contract negotiations without giving away the farm, in Mike Rizzo, and the addition of Andrew Feffer as the Nats’ Chief Operating Office this past off-season gives them someone who understands the intricacies of running the ballpark operations side of things for the Nationals.
Stan Kasten is right: DC could be a baseball town. There’s an audience, yes, but they’re going to have to be shown that the product’s worth watching. This season? It was too volatile to promise to a good audience. If the Nats want to draw 2-2.5M fans each year, they’re going to have to put out there something that people want to watch. And generally speaking, those people shouldn’t just be in from out of town. Let’s take a look at the lineup this season and see how everyone did, shall we?