Monday, March 2, 2009

Those Lerners Never Learn

I knew it. I knew they would do this.

I just knew it. I took one look at what they were doing with Texeira and said, "this isn't right". These guys don't spend that kind of money. Something is amiss. Well its amiss alright. Nobody involved with this team knows what the hell they are doing nor do they have any commitment to really improving the team and making it profitable with an small fanbase that is jumping ship by the minute.

One moment, they are willing to spend enough money to make bids for Mark Texeira that rivaled that of the mighty Yankees and Red Sox or to bid the same amount as the Cubs for Milton Bradley, and get beat out in both cases only because those players (and I can't blame them) want to win now. The next, they can't shell out similar amounts of cash (and in Texeira's case, substantially less cash) for (and let's forget about Dunn for just a moment) a gold glove, clubhouse leader like Orlando Hudson who, oh-by-the-way, can hit out of the leadoff spot as well. Just so you know what that looks like in a lineup (again, without Dunn) thats Hudson, Guzman, and Zimmerman right off the bat. All solid hitters, though Zimmerman has been historically impatient at the plate because any major league pitcher taking a passing glance at our lineups the past couple years know better than to give him anything to hit. All solid hitters that if we were to add somebody like Adam Dunn or somebody like Elijah Dukes or Lastings Milledge were ever to produce properly at the plate could result in at least a reasonable offensive threat to build a team around. But no, the Lerners got me again. Here I thought they were actually going to spend some money this off-season to bring in the kind of high-caliber, not-too-old veterans that this team so desperately needs to build around, and then 'here we go again' with the tight-fisted ownership. You know at this point I'm beginning to believe that the whole Texeira thing was just a hoax. Something they could point to in the press and say, 'This means we are committed to winning and willing to spend the money necessary. Your faith in us was not misguided." I mean honestly. Where was an ownership that makes its money from real estate (and clearly not from their own state-of-the-art, over-budget, publicly-funded, stuffed-away-in-one-of-the
-worst-neighborhoods-in-town [wow that's alot of hyphens] stadium) going to get the kind of money they would need to pay Texeira $180 million for 8 years? That's assuming of course that he doesn't negotiate for an option that would allow him to jump ship in 2-3 years once he realizes what kind of shithole (<---- accurate description, not unnecessary profanity) he dug himself into.

I'll admit, I was unrealistically optimistic that they would somehow have the means to do something like that and stick with it. I drank the Lerner's Kool-aid when they talked about building around the best young first basemen to be on the market since the team arrived in DC. I drank it again when they started talking about back-up plans like Milton Bradley and Orlando Hudson to provide not just badly-needed support at our defensively frailest positions, but also bats that would contribute to more than just the breeze in the ballpark. However, this is the last straw. These owners don't really have the fans' best interest in mind. They are just another Peter Angelos-like presence in a town that already despises that kind of ownership from their sports franchises.

Sure, the source goes on to say that the Nats are looking to improve through trades for young players, but notice that it also says "concentrate on their Minor League system" just before that. For God's sake, the Single-A Potomac Nationals won their league championship and the AA and AAA teams were unfortunately bitten with the same injury bug to their best players as the team at the major league level was. Nevermind that you said earlier this off-season that the minor-league system was essentially where you wanted to be and now was the time to focus on improving the club at the major league level and therefore basically lied to a fanbase that is more and more turning on you every second you don't spend money on a talented free agent.

Enough with the farm system and build-through-the-minor-league talk. You said it yourself, it's good enough that you can begin to focus on improving at the major league level at this critical time so that your fanbase, which was already one of the smallest in the league last year, doesn't walk out on you and instead spend their summer waiting for the Redskins to start another trainwreck of a season.

You expect me, or anyone else for that matter, to be excited that you added two players from the Marlins I've barely heard of and a pitcher from Baltimore that I'm all too familiar with for being a headcase who never lives up to his potential? Good luck with that.

Will I continue to root for the team on the field? Probably. It isn't their fault they are handcuffed to terrible ownership and questionable management. The players we have like Ryan Zimmerman, John Lannan, and Jesus Flores who have all the ability needed to be something special are, by contract, stuck wasting valuable and sometimes fleeting time of their careers hand-cuffed to a broken radiator in the cellar of Major League Baseball. It is those guys, who I pity tremendously, that I root for when baseball season rolls around, not this pathetic excuse for management.

The sooner the Lerners get that, the better.

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