I had to make a quick grocery store run yesterday so I threw on my cleanest t-shirt and a hat. Here's a shock. Both of them were Nationals gear. While there, I ran into the young man who manages my bank branch. Big sports fan, always talks baseball with me when I stop in - usually on my way to a game because I need big chunks of money to survive a night at the stadium.
We were talking about events of recent days, going all the way back to the signing of Sir Strasburg and then Livan and now the Belliard trade. He said, "You know what? I just wish it was next season. Right now. This one has been such a downer but for some reason I'm still hopeful."
I'll agree on the downer. I won't go so far as to be hopeful yet, but I always get that way around February. Hell, I thought this team would win 77 games. How hopeful was that?
I am real eager to see the September call-ups and figure out if any are auditioning for jobs outside the pitching staff. Is next year's second baseman on the team? In the system? Is next year's shortstop?
Is next year's manager? When does Bobby V. get back from Japan?
Here's what I have thus far:
1B - Dunn
2B - to be determined. Orlando Hudson?
SS - Guzman? Khalil Greene (OK, that's just me but still). Ray Knight raised some good points about him the other night on the TV broadcast that should have swayed me. They didn't. You telling me he hit 27 HRs just two years ago strictly on fastballs? He's been around a while, word should be out. But he did look real weak Sunday on breaking balls. REAL weak.
3B - Zimmerman.
C - Flores
LF - Willingham
CF - Morgan
RF - Dukes.
Give me a good 2B and I'm OK with that lineup.
SP - Lannan
SP - Strasburg. Why not?
SP - Hernandez. Yeah, I'll take him another year. Don't think it is going to happen.
SP - TBA/trade or the free agent they talk about adding.
SP - TBA/Olsen
RP - MacDougal. Sure, in some role
RP - Burnett.
RP - Clippard
RP - Bergmann but I'm OK with not, too
RP - Storen. Why not?
RP - TBA
RP - TBA
Willie, a backup catcher and who else on the bench? Knight also made a good case for Orr, seemed to think he was an upgrade over Belliard but I may be reading too much into what he said.
What trades will be made? A year ago, who would have guessed Willingham would be part of this collective?
I'll still tune in to the rest of the games, will still hit 5-6 more before the year is over. I'm less than optimistic now about avoiding 100 losses. But my mind has already started to wander. The GM is in place. The stud is signed. Let's get to it.