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[December 6th] -- Looks like things are winding down in Tennessee and we're beginning to get a better idea of what this team is going to look like come Opening Day.

Or not.

Four outfielders for three spots, three infielders for two spots, three first baseman for one spot and a Rule V draftee who plays third base and has to stay with the team the entire year - or else - .....

See? Aren't things clearer, now?

Oh yeah, and no catcher, at least not yet.

And the great majority of the team's starting lineup are right-handed hitters.

I'm seeing this team - at least right now - as a jigsaw puzzle with too many pieces; no way you can fit the pieces together until the extras are removed. I know less about this team, about Ryan Zimmerman's injury, about everything, than I did a week ago.

One of my neighbors owns five Kia Spectras, one for each of his driving-age family. It looks very strange over their in his driveway - the colors are all similar - but that doesn't stop his family from getting to where they need to be every day. It looks strange, but it works. Same applies to the Nationals, at least as they are presently constituted. There are a bunch of Kia Spectras on the Nationals right now, all about the same color, all with about the same accessories and mileage. Will my neighbor ever buy a Honda or a Chrysler or a Ford? Maybe. Will the Nationals get rid of some of their spare parts - mostly righties - and create some balance?

My years of baseball experience (my first baseball game featured some guy named Maris) tell me that Jim Bowden is just too smart to take this team into the new stadium March 30th.

My guess is that this was only the beginning, but that the end might not come until Spring Training, maybe later.

Right now, I can only pick one certain starter, and he might not be a certainty if his hand surgery turns ugly (remember how we were told that Nick Johnson would be ready for Spring Training '07?). Nick or Dmitri? Ronnie, Felipe or Cristian? Ryan or Aaron? Wily Mo or Lastings or Elijah or Austin? Flores? Who knows???

Thanks, Jim. You've certainly cleared everything up.

Some on BPG have posited that all four OFers might have the outfield starts divided more or less equally among them (if all four stay healthy and have their acts together), rather than have three starters and one sent down or on the bench. And of course the chances that ALL four will be healthy, well-behaved, and ready to play every day all season long seems unlikely. Having in effect four starting OFers taking turns sitting a day here and there seems like a reasonable idea to me.
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