In what will be a regular installment (until someone asks us to stop), The Nationals Enquirer will answer the mailbag for MLB.com's Nationals beat writer Bill Ladson. He didn't ask for our help: in fact, he answered his own mail yesterday over at nationals.com. But we're too lazy to scour the internet for the latest trade rumors since the Corey Patterson thing blew over, so we figured we'd get an easy post out of this.
Can the Nationals win with Frank Robinson as their manager?
-- A. R., Toronto
Bwwwahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahha!!!!!!!!! Love that Canadian wit!
Who are the possible candidates to be on the coaching staff in 2006?
-- C. R., Long Island, N.Y.
Have no idea, but then again, neither does Frank Robinson. You might want to ask Tony and Jim.
With Alfonso Soriano saying he wants to return to the American League after the 2006 season, do you see the Nationals trading him for pitching or hitting?
-- D. H., Rockville, Md.
Dan, let's hope the Nats hold on to both Vidro and Soriano, at least through Spring Training, so we can see just how ugly this whole situation gets. A lot depends on how confident the Nats are that Vidro will return healthy.
If Guzman doesn't break out of his year-long slump during Spring Training, do you expect Bowden to make a move for another starting shortstop?
-- T. B., Falls Church, Va.
Guzman started to turn things around offensively last season just in time for the Nats to fall out of contention. He can't be as bad as he was last year. Right? The best news of all with Guzman is the Nats are only on the hook for $12.6 mil for three more years. For his 4 year, $16.8 million contract alone, Bowden deserves to be fired, right now.
Do you think it is possible Tyrell Godwin could become an everyday player for the Nationals?
-- M. K., Elizabethtown, Pa.
Is anyone in the Nationals organization looking at free agent Jeff Weaver? Would he be a good No. 3 starter at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium?
-- J. N., Washington
No way, Jose: Too expensive. Weaver made around $9 million last year with the Dodgers. Look for him to sign a 3-4 year deal for similar dollars with someone else.
And would he be a good No. 3 starter at RFK? Remember that we're talking about a team that'll be trotting out some combination of Lawrence, Armas, Drese, and Ortiz in slots 3-5. Do you still want to ask the second part of your question?
With regards to the Ryan Church vs. Brandon Watson debate, are the Nationals focusing too much on finding a leadoff hitter who can play center field rather than finding the best possible center fielder? While Church is not a prototypical leadoff hitter, he is a better defensive center fielder than Watson and he has a good bat for the middle of the order.
-- B. O., Alexandria, Va.
Yes. I mean, no. What did you just ask me?
How is Nick Johnson doing? Do you think 2006 will be a good year for Nick?
-- A. A., Fairfax Station, Va.
Nick is most likely fully recovered from his heel injury, and hard at work preparing for another injury-plagued season in which he shows flashes of brilliance yet ultimately disappoints in the end. He is also quietly working on his beard.
Will Chad Cordero be able to repeat what he did last year as a closer?
-- P. G., Brandywine, Del.