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“We have to do something to get our respectability back,” one member of the organization said.

Whether the Nationals can repair their image in either the short or long term remains to be seen. Success on the field would certainly help. Then again, that would require attention to shift back to the field of play - and off the drama playing out on the sidelines.

Team officials would like nothing more.

“This is a fantastic camp - as positive, upbeat, optimistic a camp as I can recall in my career in terms of athletic talent and atmosphere and the attitude of the players,” Kasten said. “[The negative news is] certainly not affecting any of them in their preparation.”