The tone - if not all the details - of Boswell's column on Zimmerman is exactly right.
One could make a reasonable argument it would be a net plus to have Anthony Rendon at third base in 2014, plus one or more solid prospects. I might actually agree with such an argument.
In a lot of ways, concern for the morale of the fans is overrated. If you build it, they will come; so to speak. But screwing around with the guy who has played in all seven seasons, giving the franchise its most memorable moment to date in his fourth month of major league service --
-- that's just playing with fire when it comes to your fanbase.
And then there's the players. Boz puts it well, as he often does: "But that sends a loud message to every other young player on your team. If you act perfectly and play productively, if you grew up in Virginia Beach and gave the team its only day-after-day symbol of hope for years, this is what you get."
As of this morning, it sounds like both sides are optimistic this will be resolved well. Yet if Ted Lerner trades or lets Zimmerman walk just because he got gun-shy after giving Jayson Werth the keys to the money vault - well, then the Nats deserve to have Phillie fans occupy their stadium, and they should just go ahead and book Bryce Harper's ticket to the Bronx in six or seven years. Because ownership shouldn't expect anyone to give a crap anymore.
BONUS VIDEO: Full game of Zimmerman's walkoff on Father's Day 2006