2009 especially, wasn’t a good year for the Nationals. Neither was 2008, or pretty much the first three years before that. But that’s okay because now it’s 2010. I don’t want to be a naïve fan here and say the cliché “this is their year!”, because in reality it’s not (although they are welcome to prove me wrong, thus destroying my credibility) or at least it’s not in the typical sense. It will be their year in a more significant way, a turning point for Washington.
Just in the past month alone Mike Rizzo has taken huge steps to secure some big names like Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, Eddie Guardado (with a minor league contract) and Jason Marquis; all veterans of the game who will not only bring their talent but more importantly their experience to the team. Having a veteran pitcher like Marquis will sharpen the bullpen, and Pudge will not only serve as a great catcher but give Jesus Flores the last push he needs to take over and be very successful.
Also, some surprising talent has joined the team with the signing of Matt Capps. The closer’s not new to the game but he’s still young enough to really make a mark. And you can’t forget up-and-coming #1 draft pick Stephen Strasburg who made some big impressions in the Arizona Fall League and is currently listed on the Nat’s 40-man roster.
It’s important to also note that a good portion of these players signed on because they truly believe in what the Nationals are doing. They want to be part of the team. None of them have crazy groundbreaking deals or over the top pay stubs. They understand that they’re building a strong team with young talent and veterans honing their skills so that the future looks bright.
So after the recent very rough seasons, ending the 2010 season with a better than .500 record really would make it their year. And with the road being paved for the future, the Nats can only go up from there.
April 5th can’t come soon enough.