NEW UNI'S BETER THAN EXPECTED
I couldn't have been more wrong.
Based on the images I've seen thus far, the new jersey looks sharp. The lack of piping around the neck and sleeves gives it a very clean and inviting look. I never liked the wide stripes that separated the sleeves from the body of the jersey on last year's version; that style looks best on a football jersey a la the Indianapolis Colts. I do like the white and red panel that runs from the armpit to the belt though. It's designed to make the players look slimmer, and if it can make Jerome Williams look slender (above,) then it can make anyone look svelte. I do hope that the player's numbers are eventually added to the front of the jersey. That left panel looks a little barren, don't you think?
I don't care for the hats much, however. that red & white stripe that goes over the player's ear makes it seem as if all the players have pencils tucked neatly under their ear.
Overall, though, I think the new look is without question a step up from what the Nationals wore last season.
Ryan's Hope: Ryan Church seems to have come into spring training a new man. Or is he? Reading the Times' Q & A with Ryan, you would think that he has seen the error of his ways and is now learning the true meaning of the term "mea culpa." My only concern is that the things he is apologizing for - bad attitude, unwillingness to give a full effort during practice - are almost word for word the complaints that team management have been making since the day they sent him down last spring. Is Ryan Church simply saying what the team wants to hear to insure that he is the Nationals' starting left fielder, or has he truly turned a new leaf? I don't know for sure. Church is a deeply religious man and I tend to think that he says what he means. At any rate, I hope he believes what he says. A focused and un-flawed Ryan Church is capable of putting up numbers similar to those of Grady Sizemore in Cleveland, and that would go a long way to making Nats' fans forget about last year's left fielder. What was his name again?
Larry Broadway gets no respect: For two years, I have been touting the value of the Nationals' first baseman, and for two years, readers have been gently suggesting that I'm out of my gourd. Perhaps I am. But I still see Broadway as a potential long-term solution at first base. No, he doesn't have a lot of power, but he has gap power, an above average OBP and a solid glove. Sound like anyone we know? If that type of production is good enough for Nick Johnson, that shouldn't it be for Larry Broadway?
Runs: 78 - Hits:157 - 2B:34 - 3B:1 - HR:24 - RBI:88 - Ave:.284 - OPS:.842
Runs: 117 - Hits:166 - 2B: 34 - 3B:1 - HR:22 - RBI:98 - Ave:.294 - OPS:.929
I know that Broadway's Major League Equivalent (adjusting for park/level) in 2006 was 255/306/393 in 440AB.
Johnson's minor league numbers were compiled primarily through age 22 while Broadway is still compiling at 25.
Broadway may just need the opportunity, but he is definitely a step or two behind NJ in overall talent.
I agree that Broadway isn't as good as Johnson, but could - depending on the supporting cast - provide enough offense at first to make getting prospects for Johnson worthwile.
It's not that I don't love Nick; I do. There just has to come a time where you say that this guy isn't going to get the opportunity to have a long and succesful career. Granted, this last injury wasn't his fault, but it happened nonetheless.
I guess the bottom line is this: who helps the team more: Nick Johnson at first and Larry Broadway at Columbus or Larry Broadway at first and a couple of more prospects filling out the Nationals minor league system?
Broadway could fall flat on his face, but I'd like the chance to see if he is, or isn't a major league player.