Big League Stew - MLB

Like 2008's Nail in the Coffin series, 2009's Walk Toward The Light aims to memorialize the eliminated teams that are gone and will likely be forgotten.

Washington Nationals

Current record: 47-91

Season highlight The deadline signing of Stephen Strasburg generated the most buzz and hope for the future, but Ryan Zimmerman's(notes) 30-game hitting streak in April and May — the longest in the majors this season — gave some much needed onfield fodder for the team's '09 highlight tape. An eight-game winning streak in August that derailed the team's path to joining the '62 Mets, the firing of general manager Jim Bowden and Josh Willingham's two grand slams in one game were also particularly memorable.  

Season lowlight Too many issues, not enough time, so we'll go with a historically bad bullpen proving a home to more men than a shipyard flophouse.

We knew Washington was done for when ... they reported to camp. 

The Stew's favorite stories featuring the Nationals:

1. "Natinals" In a season where most everything went wrong on the field, it was only appropriate that Majestic Athletic sent Adam Dunn(notes) and Ryan Zimmerman out on the field wearing misspelled jerseys. 

2. Julian Tavarez says Nats are no J. Lo The newly-signed Tavarez seals quote of the year honors in March, comparing his new team (which will later dump him in the middle of season) to settling for a "600 pounder" at four in the morning.

3. Mutant statues unveiled Hey, if the franchise can't even spell its name right, how can it be expected to remember the number of arms Frank Howard had?

4. Elijah Dukes fined for Little League visit — Because no good deed in the District goes unpunished. 

5. Stan Kasten invites all of Philadelphia down to Nats Park We all understand that bills need to be paid, but having the team president go on Philadelphia radio to publicly beg Phillies fans to fund some of them? Well, yes, that appeared just a bit desperate. 

What the team needs to do for 2010: Pitching, pitching and more pitching. The newly-drafted Strasburg and Drew Storen are great prospects that will help in the future, but the Nats need to feature more than just John Lannan's(notes) Major League-caliber arm if they want to help a decent offense that really isn't all that bad.

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