Rob Neyer, the baseball editor for SB Nation, has been going team-by-team this Spring asking the most important questions about each Franchise. But those questions usually just turn into a general reflection on the direction of the state/direction of the Organization.
Today, it was his turn to talk about the Nationals, and the term "World Series" appeared way more often than I was expecting before I started reading the article. He references the Tigers, who led the league in losses in 2003 but made the World Series just three years later in 2006, then asks.
Are the Nationals heading in the same direction? Is there any chance they'll be playing in the 2013 World Series?
It's easy to assume they don't have a chance in hell ... but then again, what would we have said about the Tigers after they lost 119 games? The Nationals lost only 93 games last season.
Hmmmmm, definitely something to think about. We'll chew on it, with more excerpts from Rob, after the jump.
The major motif of Neyer's piece is relevance and how the Nationals can achieve it. They haven't been in the spotlight since they moved to the District from Montreal. Are they any closer now than they were then?
The Nationals were relevant 12 times in 2010, every time Strasburg took the mound. They added a modicum of relevance with the signing of Jayson Werth, however inflated his contract. But true relevance won't come until Strasburg's back in the rotation and Harper's in the lineup and showing his big-time power.
Neyer claims there are two ways to gain that relevance. Win, or spend a lot of money. The Nationals have already done the second and that helped draw some attention. They are also hoping that it helps lead to the first. But winning is ultimately what will make the Nationals as relevant as they possibly can be. They just may need to spend some more money to get the right players in place to do it. Like another starting pitcher and a center fielder that isn't Rick Ankiel or Nyjer Morgan.
Once all that happens and the Nationals start to win some ball games, maybe then we can start about the whole World Series Appearance.