Sure, we're a few days late responding to the latest edition of the Nationals dot com mailbag, but can you blame us? Let's try to get this over with quickly, so we can get back to whatever it was we were doing the last few weeks while trying not to think about where to park my car at the new stadium (because, you know, that problem has been solved, you know?), Jamey Carroll's playoff beard, and what life will be like in the post-Chuck LaMar era. 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.
With first baseman Nick Johnson expected to come back next year, where will Dmitri Young play?
-- DA., New Holland, Pa.
Lean in, son, and listen close: There's NO CHANCE Nick Johnson gets a sniff of a major league game before the All Star Break. Da Meathook is your first baseman in '08, get used to it!
Why don't the Nats think highly of outfielder Ryan Church? He played a good center field when needed. Is general manager Jim Bowden too in love with his former Reds players and not seeing the value of others on the team?
-- BK., Annapolis, Md.
Ah yes, it wouldn't be the off season in Washington without the incessant crying about Ryan Church getting disrespected or not getting a fair shake. Here's why the Nats don't think highly of Ryan Church: because he hates people who don't believe in Jesus. We're kidding! We like Ryan Church here at the Nationals Enquirer. Now that we've avoided your first question, on to your next one: Yes, Jim Bowden IS "too in love" with his former Reds players. Need more proof? Our sources tell us Jimbo extended an invitation to spring training to Roberto Kelly.
How good is the Nationals' farm system? You hear all this talk about the rebuilding process, however, it seems as though every time the Nationals have a good player, they send him to the Majors far too early.
-- AL., New York
Getting better. We'll ignore the second part there.
Did Mike O'Connor recover from elbow surgery, and does he have a shot at making the starting roster next year?
-- AS., Bethesda, Md.
As reported here last winter, Mike O'Connor was lost on one of the 2007 Winter Caravan Stops, apparently lost in a crowd of elementary school kids and supposedly last seen boarding a big yellow school bus somewhere in VA.
Do you think the relationship between Young and Torii Hunter gives the Nats an edge in acquiring the latter?
-- PG, Quebec
Good Lord, let's hope not.
Do you think the Nationals will try to bring back Livan Hernandez? He was pretty solid for them, and his style is best suited to a big ballpark.
-- JB., Anchorage, Alaska
Good Lord, let's hope so!
In my opinion, the poll on nationals.com (asking for the season MVP) is invalid. I would choose Austin Kearns for his all-around contributions, but he's not even listed.
-- MH., Silver Spring, Md.
Must be the booze talking.
I remember reading, when the new stadium was announced, that the Nationals planned on selling the naming rights. Since then I have only heard it referred to as either Nationals Park or New Nationals Park. Are there still plans to sell the naming rights, and if so, what is the status?
-- DC. Alexandria, Va.
Hello, Nationals Enquirer Park!