Gone is the Nationals (Natinals?) logo in block letters with gold trim, which I really liked but apparently nobody else did. Gone also is the interlocking "DC," which was widely adored here in the District. The Nats said they want to put more emphasis on the curly W. I'm honestly not sure why.* The curly W is nice but having it on the hat is enough--it doesn't need to be on everything.
*Newsflash for the Lerners and other Nats higher-ups: we know you're not from around here, but we don't call our home Washington; we call it DC, or the District. The letter W has no inherent meaning to us, not like the letters D and C.
Here's a closer look at the away uniform, the patriotic alternate, and the red alternate:
As you see, no interlocking DC and piping everywhere. I think it's the piping that bothers me most: far too reminiscent of a batting practice jersey. Can't say I'm a fan of the location of the number on the front, either. Seems like the W should be breast-right and the number torso-left so that it reads top-left to bottom-right.
But the biggest disappointment isn't what they did, it's what they didn't. Sturgeon General sent me this photo, a supposed prototype that the Nats won't be using:
This looks perfect to me: it's simple, classy, and retro. Retro is far more important for the Nats than you'd think, since you see them constantly trying to construct a history that they don't have (they've entirely eschewed their French-Canadian origins and lay claim to the histories of the last two iterations of the Senators/Nationals). This would have played into it perfectly.
Unfortunately, a misguided attempt to grow the brand has resulted--in my opinion--in the less appealing design.
(Photo Credit: WaPo DC Sports Bog)