Cold enough? We're just minutes away from the start of Spring Training, so let's celebrate with another edition of the Nationals.com mailbag. As usual, real fans email their questions to Nationals beat writer Bill Ladson at MLB.com. We copy and paste the questions over here. Then the magic happens.
As always, keep those e-mails coming to Nationals.com, and we'll keep copying and pasting them over here and giving our half-assed answers. Thanks a bunch.
Who do you think will benefit the most from Manny Acta's managerial style?
-- Sean J., Germantown, Pa.
What do you think about the Nationals' bullpen situation?
-- Dave N., Riverside, Calif.
If there's a bright spot for the '07 NAAAtionals, it's definitely the bullpen. Although you can bet you'll see an arm or two come flying off after one-too-many 3 inning start by the RBC (Rotation By Committee).
Since John Patterson says he is 100 percent ready, will he be the Opening Day starter?
-- James U., Glendale, Calif.
Let's see him get through the first day of long toss, maybe throw off a mound once or twice this Spring, and then we'll see...
Do you think the Nationals can play above-.500 baseball in 2007?
-- David V., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Yes. I'm drunk.
I don't see you bring up Beltran Perez much in your starting pitching discussions. Do you think he is out of the Nats' plans?
-- Patrick B., Mankato, Minn.
Pitching discussions? We didn't really discuss anything around here -- we spent the offseason posting pictures of Dr. Phil and a bunch of dead guys and stuff. Sure, Perez is in the mix as much as anyone.
Have the Nationals considered changing the team's name back to the Washington Senators?
-- Brian K., Washington, D.C.
I don't know, but I'd love to see the Wizards change the team's name back to the Bullets, wouldn't you? "Wizards" is just so D&D or Harry Potter-ish for our tastes.
Here are two comments from the fans
First, I would like to say congratulations to Austin Kearns for getting a new three-year contract, but I don't know if that is all good because Schneider received a long-term deal and look at his numbers in 2006. Look at Cristian Guzman and his numbers. That's why I don't like big contracts. I know Nick Johnson had a great year in '06, but we won't see him until who knows when. That's why I think the Nationals should stick to no more than two-year deals.
-- Jarred T., Fredericksburg, Va.
Go to hell.
Tell your reader, Woody S. from Orlando, Fla., that the likelihood of former Expos fans switching to the Toronto Blue Jays is about as likely as Phillies fans switching to the Yankees! Apples and oranges.
-- Steph M., Montreal