Over at the MLB.com site, Nationals beat reporter Bill Ladson occasionally answers questions from befuddled fans, some more befuddled than others. He does a fine job, though he seems still to be relying on months-old conversations with Frank Robinson and Tony Tavares. This time around, I thought I'd take a stab at the questions Ladson answered.
What are the Nationals looking to do with Nick Johnson? Will he be the everyday first baseman? -- Jeff, Arlington, Va.
Well, Jeff, it looks like they're looking to ship his ass to Tampa and get nothing in return, more or less. How's that make you feel, Jeff? Good? Even if they do keep him, he's more likely to be the "everyday for a couple months then a constant presence on the DL" first baseman. Essentially, we're damned if we do, damned if we don't.
It's common knowledge that interim general manager Jim Bowden has approximately $6 million left to spend to help improve the team. Given the team's obvious need to improve its rotation, why doesn't upper management give Bowden the leeway to sign a pitcher such as Odalis Perez? -- Ken G., Valleyfield, Quebec
Because Jim Bowden shouldn't be trusted with a pair of safety scissors, let alone $10 million dollars. Shawn Estes?! Esteban Loaiza?! And now, to comply with the strict, xenophobic laws of your homeland, Ken, here is my response in French.
Puisque Jim Bowden ne devrait pas être fait confiance pour une paire de ciseaux de sûreté, encore moins les dollars $10 millions. Shawn Estes ? ! Esteban Loaiza ? ! Et maintenant, se conformer aux lois strictes et xénophobiques de votre patrie, Ken, voici ma réponse en français.
Will the Nationals ever sign a player from Latin America like they did in the past? -- Todd D., Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Huh? What an odd question. You okay, Todd? To answer, yeah, I'm sure they'll sign at least one.
When does Spring Training start, and where will the Nationals train? -- Jerry M., Martinsburg, W.Va.
I was going to be all sarcastic and say "Spring Training starts in the spring," but then I realized it starts in February. Wacky.