With Opening Day just around the corner, it's time to set fire to the latest edition of the Nationals.com mailbag! As usual, real live fans email their questions to Nationals beat writer Bill Ladson at MLB.com. Then we copy and paste the questions over here. Then we answer the questions honestly, even though the truth hurts sometimes.
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.
What do you think of the Nationals' Spring Training so far? Every time I look, the opposing team has scored a lot of runs. How concerned should we be?
-- Matt S., McLean Va.
The way the team has totally punted the 2007 Grapefruit League season is a slap in the face to baseball fans in Washington. Not only should you be concerned, you should be outraged.
The Nationals' pitching has not been great in Spring Training. Maybe if they had spent $5 million on two proven veterans, they could be a lot more solid. What are your thoughts?
-- Arjun V., Westwood, Mass.
You tell me who those two proven veterans were that they could have picked up for $5 million, and then I'll answer your question.
I'm starting to bite my nails for Nationals prospect Ryan Church. I think he's a potential star, but he's off to another slow start. Do you think Acta will have patience with Church until he gets into the groove again?
-- Earl B., Sebring, Fla.
Hopefully not too patient.
I am a huge Mariners fan and was a big supporter of outfielder Chris Snelling. I'm just wondering how he is performing, and if he will get to be a starter this year for the Nats.
-- Jerry L., Spokane, Wash.
If Ryan Church has anything to say about it, yes.
Does Zechry Zinicola have a realistic shot at making the big club, perhaps working out of the 'pen this season?
-- Michael R., St. John's, Newfoundland
We'll probably see everyone from as deep as A-ball at least once at some point during the season.
Are you surprised with Tony Womack being released so quickly? I don't think he got a fair chance to prove himself.
-- Alex C., Montreal
The pitching looks worse than we feared. Who do you see emerging as the starters? The 1962 Mets lost 120 games. Will this team chase that mark?
-- John S., Alexandria, Va.
Come on, John, let's not go overboard here: The 2007 NAAAtionals will be better than the '62 Mets, but probably not better than the 2003 Tigers. Ready? Ok, here's how the starting 5 will shape up when the team breaks camp: Patterson. Hill. Williams. Chico. Bergmann.
I found this odd from your notes article about John Patterson pitching in an accelerated intrasquad game. What exactly is an "accelerated game"?
-- Brian G., Washington, D.C.
An accelerated game is a game played very, very fast.
I'm excited about the prospect of having the reliable and durable King in the 'pen this season. What do you think?
-- Todd B., Smithsburg, Md.
I love King, too.
(Photo by Julie Jacobson/AP)