Good article indeed. What would you suggest the Nats do, NOTLD? Could you blame them for wanting to go to Arizona? I think it would be good for the organization and team even though it would be disappointing for the folks in Viera.
Ultimately, though it pains me to say it, I think the Nationals should move to the West Coast of Florida. The Grapefruit League needs to converge on one part of the state just like the Cactus League does in Phoenix. It is the only way Spring Training baseball will survive in Florida and if they can do it maybe eventually they could even lure some teams back.
If the Space Coast is serious about keeping the Nationals (the Mets, Cards, Fish as well) I think they need to sweeten the pot. Upgrade Space Coast Stadium or build a new stadium. Negotiate. Deal them. Give the Nats an offer they either can't refuse or would make them think twice. This area is living in a state of baseball terror right now and are plump for the kill. Nats could seriously rake if they play their cards right, but I get an overall sense they aren't poker players.
The Nats moving to Arizona would be absolutely insane. Why you would cut yourself off from your own fan base? True, the Nats are the second worse draw in the Grapefruit League, but can you imagine what they will draw in Arizona? Who in their right mind is going to go pay to see a Nats ST game in Arizona over there? I know a bunch of people are like, "Oh, I will fly to Arizona to see them." Yeah, sure. I'll have to see it to believe it first and I can guarantee you that it will kill any chance people who are on the 50-yard line about attending Spring Training will do so. The Dodgers moved from Vero Beach in 2008 and cast aside a rich history in Vero. But they did it to get closer to their fans, not run away from them.
My fear is the Lerners are thinking like real estate moguls and once again not taking into consideration the fans. A move to Arizona would only further alienate the Washington fan base and cause further distrust in the organization.