Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Nats' survey. The Nationals sent out an email survey for their fans. I concluded by telling them to be better neighbors and citizens, and to invest in the future. Specifically, I told them to give in on the garage question. The city could do with some below-ground parking there. The additional cost to the city would be worth it. And the Nationals would benefit, in the long run. One hopes that the city wouldn't go overboard with a plan for that property that would destroy the architectural plan for the stadium to provide vistas of downtown, from the ramps.

What else? Spend. Invest in the future, by spending in the present. Give the fans a reason to come besides the new stadium. Make that bond with the fan base, and they will keep coming back for generations to come. Give the fans good reason to resent the team and its owners, and you'll be amazed at how fast the stadium empties out. Even though the Nats are hamstrung by the shotgun deal with Angelos over TV rights, the Nationals are still in a profitable market. They can afford to be a little generous and pay for a competitive roster.

It will be years before the minor league system can be rebuilt and restocked. In the meantime, the Nats need to find a way to put a competitive major league team on the field. This year, in RFK, and in the years to come, in the new park. The next couple of years will offer the new owners a unique shot at connecting with the community. Build a strong foundation and the house will weather strong storms. Ignore the foundation, and there won't be much left when the storms hit -- and they wil hit, sooner or later.

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