After four and two-thirds seasons of futility, at last, the Nats have figured it out.
The team has realized the error of its ways, where it's gone wrong, what hasn't worked and, most importantly, what's missing. Trust in Mike Rizzo, and all will be well. As soon as this offseason, even! At least that's the impression you'll get if you read the latest story on Nats.com.
So what's the team's plan of attack to reanimate this bloated corpse of a franchise?
Not just any pitching, but veteran pitching. "They want to get a veteran starting pitcher who could mentor their young hurlers such as John Lannan, Craig Stammen and Jordan Zimmermann. The team wants this particular veteran to take the pressure off those young pitchers."
While there's no mention of it, hopefully the job description includes the word "good" in front of "starting pitcher". 'Cause otherwise, Russ Ortiz -- a proven veteran! -- is floating out there freely.
Bringing in a veteran inning-eater is important not just for the (likely) overblown mentorship aspect, but to absorb innings. The team has been talking for weeks about having a "second" rotation come in late in the season to take innings and starts away from their young arms so they're not over-extended. Having a veteran take some of that abuse is a smart idea, and it'd also keep pitchers like Craig Stammen -- who doesn't look like he's quite ready -- down in the minors to develop a bit more.
The team also says they want to target the bullpen. Easy enough. That's obviously been a gaping hole in the team all season long.
The other area the team plans to target is second base. None of the three second baseman Mike Rizzo had a hand in bringing in over the last two seasons (Emiliano Bonifacio, Anderson Hernandez or Al Gonzalez) have worked out -- as anyone just taking a cursory look at their performance track record could've told you.
So Nats.com says the team is going to take a long look at Orlando Hudson in the offseason.
Now if you're an attentive Nats fan, you're seeing three things on the shopping list: bullpen, starting pitcher, Orlando Hudson. Hmm. Why does that seem familiar?
Because that was last year's shopping list, too.
The way forward for the Nats -- as laid out by the interim GM -- is for the team to do everything the team's critics said they should've done last season... just a year later.
At least they know what they're doing now -- sort of.