Here's some jibberjabbering to wake you up on Monday morning!
What did you think about the Nationals making Jim Riggleman the permanent manager?
-- Charlie B., Washington
Pros: The team was much better when he started managing (regression to the mean?), players like him but also respect him, local guy, easy to cut bait with in the next few years if a better candidate comes along, no worse than Bobby Valentine.
Cons: Lots of baserunning mistakes, terrible track record with young pitchers, etc.
Overall, I think it was a good move because the Nats aren't particularly obligated to keep him around like they would be if they tried to "develop" a major league manager. It was slim pickens out there, so there was no real wrong (or right) answer. This way, the Nats can groom Tim Foli or Matt Lecroy to be a ML manager in a few year.s
Do you see a double-play combination of Ian Desmond and Cristian Guzman?
-- George M., Burke, Va.
No. I bet it will be Adam Everett (SS) and Desmond (at 2B). Like Ladson, I think the Nats will try and trade Guzman.
I was a big Ronnie Belliard fan. Do you see the Nats signing Belliard as a backup again?
-- Patrick S., Chantilly, Va.
I think he enjoyed the pennant chase a little too much to come back to the Nats as a bench player. I would be surprised if he didn't end up with the Dodgers.
What do you expect from Scott Olsen in 2010?
-- Ed B., Miami
A different uniform.
One of my favorite players is Jamey Carroll. He worked hard, was very fundamentally sound and was a great veteran player to have in the clubhouse. I hear he is a free agent. What are the odds of the Nationals bringing him back?
-- Justin F., Vienna, Va.
Ladson says 50% or less (which aren't bad odds when you think about it). I think that the Nats have a pretty good chance of getting something done-they have the playing time to offer in the infield and he's already a fan favorite. Why not bring Jamey back?
Ross Detwiler pitched much better after being recalled in September. Is there a good chance he will be in the Opening Day rotation?
-- Ryan K, Carlisle, Pa.
I would be very surprised if he wasn't, half due to how well he pitched down the stretch and half due to the lack of organizational depth.
How do you see Justin Maxwell fitting into Nationals' long-term plans?
-- Jack S., Jackson, Miss.
I have made it fairly well known that I don't think Maxwell is ready for the big leagues, and I don't know if he ever will be. He's an excellent fielder and a great bench bat, but I don't see him as much more than a platoon starter versus lefthanded pitching/bench bat/defensive whiz.