Quick Hits: Broncos Beat Redskins 29-17 in Preseason Game 3

gallery_xlargevia San Francisco Chronicle

Game 3 of the preseason is always the most interesting from a fan’s standpoint because this is the game where starters play more than they normally would. Rather than a long boring recap, I wanted to touch on a few points to watch out for as the season continues.

Offense

Alex Smith – 3/8 passing, 33 yards. Not exactly what you want from your starting QB, albeit against a very good Broncos secondary. It looks like the Smith is still working on finding a rhythm with his new corp of receivers – Vernon Davis had 4 targets out of Smith’s 8 passes. We’ll see what happens when Coach Gruden finally opens up the playbook for Smith week 1.

Adrian Peterson – The player everyone had eyes on and there have been no less than 100 articles on him in the last 48 hours. I’ll keep it brief – 11 carries, 56 yards and in less than a half of actions is good. All Day still has a quick step, great vision, and is big enough to fight for extra yards after the contact. He’s played his way into a starting role.

Offensive Line – The good news is that everyone is healthy and if it stays that way, this line will continue to be one of the best in the league.

Simmie Cobbs Jr. – 1 rec, 18 yards, 1 TD. Simmie has gotten more reps with Maurice Harris and Cam Sims out. He is competing for a roster spot with Brian Quick(DNP) and Trey Quinn(1 rec, 2 yards, 4 targets).

Defense

Da’Ron Payne – Payne was Washington’s first round pick and he is playing like it. Payne is big, athletic, and strong. Right now, he’s the run stuffer in the middle of the Skins’ defense but don’t sleep on his pass rushing skills. He’s back playing next to Jon Allen. One of these guys will have to be double teamed and the other is going to be a handful for the poor lineman who has to take him 1-on-1.

Tim Settle – A fellow Hokie, Settle has a special place in my heart. After a great training camp where he forced his way into the defensive line rotation, Settle was the star of the week 1 preseason game against New England. He had a quieter game this week, but did show good push up front and had a pass knockdown.

Side note: One of the picks acquired from Denver in the Su’a Cravens trade was used on Settle.

Quinton Dunbar – Listed as the number 2 corner on this roster, Dunbar beat out Orlando Scandrick for the job. He’s shown some flashes of potential and it will be interesting to see how he develops in his first season starting full time.

Montae Nicholson – I’m not sure what to make of Nicholson. He has the size and speed to be a starting safety (and he will start at FS to begin the season), but he will be tested in coverage often.

Fabian Moreau – I have high hopes for Moreau (see future number 1 corner). With Kendall Fuller shipped away to Kansas City (I’ll bite my tongue on that topic), Moreau is looking to fill into the role nickel cornerback. He has good length and explosive closing speed, as evidenced on the pass break up again Emmanuel Sanders below. Moreau has a ton of potential and should be very exciting to watch grow.

Troy Apke – Apke projects to be a special teamer. He has great straight line speed but is questionable in coverage. Apke is a player on the bubble, he will get a lot of snaps next week.

Special Teams

Tress Way – Still one of the best punters in the league. Full stop.

In conclusion, there is no need to overreact to this overall ugly game by the Burgundy and Gold. There were bright spots, there were bad spots, but that is what the preseason is for. Many key players were out: Zach Brown, Chris Thompson, Jordan Reed, etc. The d-line and pass rush will be great this year and hopefully mask any shortcoming in the secondary. The offense still needs to find it’s identity but Smith has yet to see live action with all his weapons available (Crowder and Doctson sat out). This team has a few kinks to work out.

Game 130-In case you missed it…Nats lose 3-0 (yes…it happened again)

This team just doesn’t score anymore, period.

7 hits, no runs.

THIS is the only good Nationals thing to happen today

Next Game:

Tomorrow at 1:10 PM ET

Rodriguez (1-1, 5.16 ERA) vs. Matz (5-10, 4.55 ERA)

John Wall: Summer of Separation Video Dropped – Here are 4 Key Points

A few takeaways from the video in case it was too long for you:

Cole Anthony has the full endorsement of John Wall

Cole Anthony, son of NCAA champion and Knicks 1st round pick, Greg Anthony – has received offers from Duke, Gtown, Kansas, UK, Louisville, UCLA, UNC, and Villanova. According to ESPN, Anthony is the #1 Class of 2019 PG and a future NBA Draft lottery pick. He is scouted as a modern day PG, an explosive athlete who can score from anywhere. The NY native will spend his senior year at Oak Hill Academy. (Notable Oak Hill Academy alums include Carmelo Anthony, Michael Beasley, Rondo, Harry Giles, and some guy who goes by KD.). The senior Anthony said that Cole is planning on announcing his commitment as late as possible.

You can watch Anthony’s highlights here.

John wears gloves to lift weights

This is maybe the second worst thing you can do in a weight room behind curling in the squat rack. And normally, I’d be totally against this, however, wearing gloves prevents calluses. I’m for anything that will protect his $170 million dollar hands. Which means we can continue to see plays like this:

Keef Morris Sighting!

Markieff Morris makes a cameo at the 6:37 mark in the Ballislife video. Or is it Marcus? That isn’t for me to try to decide, nor is it for you.

John Wall gave away 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies

For the past 5 years, The John Wall Family Foundation has hosted an annual BackPack Giveaway. This year John and the Foundation gave away 1,000(!!!) backpacks and took photos with school kids in the Southeast D.C. area. John has always made it a point to give back to the community, both in D.C. and his hometown of Raleigh, NC. That not only includes these giveaway events, but also serving as a mentor to AAU players and being a huge supporter of Bright Beginnings, a non-profit in D.C. that assists homeless children under 5 years of age get an education.

Adrian Peterson Twitter Reactions

Game 129-In case you missed it…Nats lose 3-0

Nats get SHUT OUT by Vargas and the Mets. Unbelievable.

Gio pitched alright, and gutted it out after getting nailed by a comebacker.

Literally nothing exciting to talk about, Nats only got 4 hits, what a bad loss to take here in pretty much a must-win series (every series is basically must win from here on out).

Next Game:

Tomorrow at 4:05ET

Roark (8-12, 4.05 ERA) vs. Wheeler (8-6, 3.63 ERA)

Capital City Go-Go Expansion Roster Selections

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Take a look, if you are into that sort of thing.

POS

NAME

HT

WT

SCHOOL/LAST TEAM

PREVIOUS RIGHTS

F/C

Lavoy Allen

6-9

260

Temple/Northern Arizona Suns

Northern Arizona Suns

F

Quinton Chievous

6-6

225

Hampton/Santa Cruz Warriors

Santa Cruz Warriors

C

Michael Cobbins

6-8

230

Oklahoma State/OKC Blue

OKC Blue

G

Will Cummings

6-2

185

Temple/Darussafaka Basketbol Istanbul

OKC Blue

F

Alex Davis

6-9

210

Fresno State/CEZ Nymburk

Northern Arizona Suns

F/C

Will Davis

6-8

220

UC Irvine/Windy City Bulls

Windy City Bulls

G

Kellen Dunham

6-4

205

Butler/ Okapi Aalstar

Iowa Wolves

F

Duje Dukan

6-10

220

Wisconsin/Fort Wayne Mad Ants

Fort Wayne Mad Ants

G

Alonzo Gee

6-6

220

Alabama/Sioux Falls Skyforce

Sioux Falls Skyforce

F

Luke Harangody

6-8

245

Notre Dame/Ratiopharm Ulm

Delaware Blue Coats

G

*Tyler Harvey

6-4

185

Eastern Washington/Antibes

Stockton Kings

G

Pe’Shon Howard

6-3

185

USC/Reno Bighorns

Stockton Kings

F

Vince Hunter

6-8

208

UTEP/Memphis Hustle

Wisconsin Herd

C

Stephen Zimmerman

6-11

259

UNLV/South Bay Lakers

South Bay Lakers

Good ol’ Pe’Shon Howard from Maryland. Gee and Allen “bigger” names as well.

Go Go-Go.

 

Shout-out to the Mystics for pummeling LA

Always feels good to crush a team from LA. Mystics won 96-64.

Off to Atlanta for the semi’s, Sunday at 1pm.

Could the Mystics add another title to the new home of champions Washington DC??

The Athletic Unable to Poach Washington Post Writers

sports

You can read the article here

Deadspin wrote up a piece regarding The Athletic, the subscription region-based digital sports website that has been notorious of late of snagging sportswriters left and right.

DC is the next target, but apparently, things have not gone as planned.

Some key quotes from the story are below.

On the failed execution of the plan:

A variety of reporters at the Washington Post and in the D.C. area, who spoke to Deadspin about The Athletic’s efforts, described a failure to execute an audacious plan to pillage one of the last good sports desks at an American newspaper (even as the newsroom within which that desk is situated goes to war with its cartoon plutocrat owner), an inability to entice other notable reporters with roots in the area, and a failure to either notice or care that a ready-made operation with deep local connections was right there, ready to be absorbed. The end result is that The Athletic’s entrance into the nation’s capital, one of the biggest sports markets in the county, has stalled before it even started. 

On the reporters approached:

Sources at the Washington Post say the Athletic has approached, and failed to hire, sports editor Dan Steinberg, Capitals reporter Isabelle Khurshudyan, Redskins reporter Kimberley Martin, columnist Barry Svrluga, Nationals reporter Jorge Castillo (who recently announced he was going to the Los Angeles Times), soccer writer Steven Goff, and college sports, tennis, and WNBA reporter Ava Wallace. It’s unclear whether Nationals reporter Chelsea Janes and Wizards reporter Candace Buckner have talked to The Athletic and if they are considering—or have accepted—jobs at The Athletic. (Update: Sources familiar with the situation say Janes and Buckner were also approached by The Athletic. They are both staying at the Washington Post.)

The story goes on to discuss the connection with Bezos and how that may have played into the ability to thwart the poachers. It also discusses the other digital sports media competitions that already have footholds in the area.

The Athletic’s mission is to destroy newspapers as we know it. For now it seems, the DC Sports Newspaper scene is safe. We’ll see how this evolves as The Athletic grows.

By the way, hey The Athletic, our talents are for sale!!!

Andruw Monasterio debuted last night for Potomac

Monasterio, the piece the Nats got back for Murphy, started for Potomac last night.

His line: 1 for 3, 2 BB’s, 1 RBI

We’ll see how he turns out, seems like a solid bat with above-average speed and fielding ability.

Here is his player evaluation:

https://2080baseball.com/reports/andruw-monasterio/ 

Game 128-In case you missed it…Nats lose 2-0

Pitchers DUEL!

Max’s final line: 7 innings, 2 hits, 2 ER, 4 BB, 10 K’s

Nola’s final line: 8 innings, 5 hits, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K’s

I think those guys are pretty good at pitching.

Top 7th Herrera broke the seal

Nats squandered plenty of opportunities, one key one came late. Bottom of the 8th, two on with two out for Bryce Harper…and the strikeout to end the inning

Not a lot to say about this one. You knew going in that one or two key plays would define this game, and a 2-Run bomb will count for that. Time to go sweep the Mets.

Next Game:

Tomorrow 7:10 ET @ New York Mets, Gio (7-10, 4.51 ERA) vs. Vargas (3-8, 7.67 ERA)

Is Krystal Koons MLB Draftable?

Every now and then we like to check in on the MLB prospects list for future Nationals acquisitions.

Today’s prospect: #1 Krystal Koons, RHP/Catcher, Koons.Com

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Haven’t heard a lot about Koons so I went and checked out her film. Let’s go ahead and break it down.

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A Wilson gal, old-school. Pitches out of the stretch (Strasburg-style).

 

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Tends to lead with her two-seam fastball, slightly non-standard grip.

 

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Not afraid to play in front of big crowds. Also goes with the Under Armor 3/4 sleeves, a solid look.

 

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One of the biggest knocks against Koons is many scouts feel her form/motion is not MLB-ready. Glove elbow rises up, knee is not full 90 degrees. This could cause a lot of issues down the road.

 

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Many think that catching is Koons’ ticket to the bigs. The question, of course, is her bat, her line in the Koons.Com league last season was .276 AVG, 3 HR, 55 RBI with 11 steals.

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For now, Koons needs a few more seasons under her belt before we are talking Potomac Single-A.

Fangraph’s has this to say about Koons:

Arm: B, Bat: B+, Pitching: C+, Catching: A-

Krystal Koons does it all. She can give you three or four innings on the mound and follow it up with a few behind the dish. We think in the long run most MLB teams will look at her as a Catcher. Our best player comparisons: Buster Posey and Wilson Contreras.

We’ll keep an eye out as she enters Winter Ball for Koons.Com, gotta think someone will take a chance on her maybe in next year’s draft.

 

Tired of the NL East? Let’s Check in on the NL Wild Card Race

underpressure

The Phillies may be faltering lately, but the Braves seemingly can’t stop winning. So the likelihood of the Nats finding a route to the postseason within the division is slim. BUT baseball allows two teams the opportunity to sneak into the playoffs via the Wild Card.

Still a long shot, but let’s look at the teams ahead of the Nats.

Wild Card Spot #1 

St. Louis Cardinals-71-57, 8-2 in their last 10 Games

This team is RED-hot. They have taken eight straight series, they’ve got guys like Kolton Wong making plays like this:

Matt Carpenter is still hitting dingers (34 for the season). They’ve had solid pitching of late, and now they have our old boy (technically THEIR old boy) Matt Adams.

St. Louis will be tough to dethrone, they are also still in the mix in the NL Central (as is Milwaukee). Likely at LEAST St. Louis will make the postseason besides the Cubs in the Central.

Next games for Cardinals: Rockies, Pirates, Reds, Nats, Tigers, Pirates, Dodgers, Braves, Giants, Brewers, Cubs (That could be a very significant series)

Wild Card Spot #2

Milwaukee Brewers-71-58, 5-5 in their last 10 games

These guys are just having a blast. Adding Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain turned out to be great moves, Moustakas fits in as well, Brewers are cruising this season.

Christian Yelich is currently batting .314 with 21 HR and 64 RBI. Guy is straight up killing it.

Milwaukee can pitch, steal bases (2nd in the league), and is one of those teams that will sneak up on you. NL Central is balling this year, but the Nats do have some games coming up against them. A great chance to climb. Also, the hope is, there is a lot of NL Central clashes coming up, somebody will rise to the top.

Next Games for the Brewers: Pirates, Reds, Nats, Cubs, Giants, Cubs, Pirates, Reds, Pirates, Cardinals, Tigers

0.5 Games Back of Wild Card

Colorado Rockies-69-57, 8-2 in their last 10 Games

Another team that doesn’t draw a ton of attention, but is sneaky good.

Arenado is making a case for MVP

Arenado’s line for the year: .309, 30 HR, 87 RBI and impeccable defense.

Charlie Blackmon, Trevor Story, even our old pal Ian Desmond are all having strong years.

NL West is a battle as well, Arizona leads Colorado by 1.5 games and has won 3 in a row.

Again what is working in the Nats favor is some of these other teams having pretty tough schedules coming up.

Next Games for the Rockies: Cardinals, Angels, Padres, Giants, Dodgers, D-Backs, Giants, Dodgers, D-Backs, Phillies, Nats

1.5 Games Back of Wild Card

Philadelphia Phillies-68-58, 3-7 in their last 10 Games

We don’t need to talk about the Phillies. You know them, you hate them, we beat them last night. Huzzah

3.5 Games Back of Wild Card

Los Angeles Dodgers-67-61, 3-7 in their last 10 Games

I never know what to make of the Dodgers.

They clearly have the talent, and yet they never get it done. Jansen is struggling, they have had trouble lately with the Cardinals and the Giants, and yet you look at that lineup (with Machado in their now too) and you scratch your head.

Another team that is victim to a really tough division this year.

Next Games for the Dodgers: Padres, Rangers, D-Backs, Mets, Rockies, Reds, Cardinals, Rockies, Padres, D-Backs, Giants

 

The biggest takeaway with all this is: The NL East has basically become a one-team race, the other two divisions not so much. IF the Nats can continue handling their business, and let everyone else beat up each other, then there is a chance.

There’s…A…Pulse…

I posted yesterday about how the Nats may screw it all up and earn a postseason berth, and sure, some of it was reaching BUT last night was a game the Nats were destined to lose.

-Fall behind 3-0 early

-battle back and tie 4-4 and then give up runs late

-two quick outs in the 9th

For the Nats, they DON’T win games like this. Not this season.

We won’t let two games get to our heads but…Max is pitching today…Mets are next… there’s…a…pulse…

Game 127-In case you missed it…Nats walk it off 8-7

Strasburg’s glorious return, not so much.

Back to back strikeouts to start the game until former Marlin Justin Bour smacks an RBI double and then Franco follows with a two run #dinger

Rendon gave the Nats their first run, driving in Bryce (reached on a bunt against the shift).

Bryce later added a double to drive in Trea in the 3rd and Soto drove him in.

All tied up after Wieters knocks in the Nats 4th run.

Phillies move ahead and don’t look back until…

Some notes:

-A ton of fuss on Twitter regarding Strasburg’s velocity being way down. Definitely was relying heavily on the slower stuff

(Final line for Stras: 4 innings, 7 hits, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5 K’s)

-Harp continues to be red hot 🔥 🔥 🔥 average is up to around .252

-Soto has slowed down a ton, 3 K’s tonight BUT a huge at bat late

-Difo gets a double and a triple #difo>Murphy

-Nats cannot stop making key errors

Next Game:

Tomorrow at 1:05 ET, Nola (14-3 2.24 ERA) vs. Max (16-5 2.11 ERA)

Stephen Strasburg is back on the mound tonight

Many people are saying that the Nationals have already thrown in the towel on the 2018 season. IF* true, then it should be fun to watch this guy on the mound again with little to no pressure.

 

*Ben wrote a blog about this earlier today. The Nats aren’t out of it mathematically yet – no matter how grim things might seem.

Nats Hilariously Double Book First Pitch on 106.7 The Fan Night, Screw Over Radio Stud Chad Dukes

It’s August. The Nats are openly tanking. It’s a Wednesday. A team has to do what it can to drive fans to the ballpark.

The Nats opted for a double promotion (not super unusual) and had both “Swim Night” and “106.7 The Fan Night” scheduled.

106.7 is the Flagship radio station for Nats baseball, and one of the local afternoon hosts Chad Dukes has been entertainingly discussing his first pitch for the past few days.

Funny tweet, good bit, and great Rich Garces reference.

The only problem was there happens to be a different athlete in the house tonight…

Chad took the initial news in stride, great tweet, all is well.

THEN things took a turn for the worse…

Dukes opened his show today at 2 PM with an epic rant regarding the pitch (pun) for him to throw out the ball alongside Katie Ledecky. A 5-Time Olympic Gold Medalist AND a midday radio host with sub named after him at Jerry’s Subs & Pizza.

Dukes was understandably upset and against the idea of being juxtaposed alongside Ledecky.

Audio Here: https://omny.fm/shows/bits-stuff/chad-dukes-wont-be-throwing-out-the-first-pitch

Here are some of the reactions on Twitter:

Tom Wilson’s BioSteel Camp picks are in and it looks like he’s stirring the pot as usual

Interesting move here by Tom Wilson, not picking his own teammates. Brett Connolly was none too pleased. He did choose Erik Gudbranson – who is opposing captain Michael Del Zotto’s blue line partner on the Vancouver Canucks – continuing to do things to ensure he lives rent free in the minds of every NHL player not on the Capitals’ roster. At least Ol’ Tommy Boy can admit his flaws.

I too, wonder why those guys were hot commodities… Hmm can’t quite think of anything… Nope, nothing comes to mind.

 

2019 Nats Schedule Released

It is August of 2018 right now so no need to dissect this too much yet.

But some initial notes:

-Nats play in Detroit for the first time in since 2013

-Final series of the season is vs. Indians

-As Kolko said above, final seven games of the season will be at Nats Park

Again, let’s let this season finish first. But with the way things are going, it is hard to not already dream of next year…

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Crushes the Nats

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Read the Article Here

I’m not here to argue with Passan, in fact, I’m going to highlight some of his best points in the piece:

On the Lerner Letter:

Between talking about how “the actions we are taking now will strengthen the franchise and keep us in the position of being a perennial contender” and shouting out general manager Mike Rizzo while not bothering to mention manager Dave Martinez by name, Lerner saw the abnormality of the Nationals’ 2018 season and happily raised it. Every day, it seems, brings a new twist to a team that entered the season with championship aspirations and finally brandished the white flag Tuesday, with 125 games of sub-.500 baseball under their belts.

On Rizzo and Kintzler:

There may not be another general manager who would trade a player because he falsely believed him to be a source in a critical story, but then Rizzo is one of a kind and Brandon Kintzler is headed to the playoffs with the Cubs, so there’s that.

On Possibly a Bright Future:

The ills that plague the Nationals are more bacterial than viral, solvable so long as the proper prescription is handed out. There can be, as Lerner alluded to in his letter, a bright future in Washington. Max Scherzer is under contract long-term. Juan Soto is a star. Anthony Rendon is around for another year. Trea Turner is the shortstop of the present and future. Stephen Strasburg, when healthy, is a solid No. 2 starter. Adam Eaton is a nice part of any core. Victor Robles is on the come. There are pieces.

On Davey:

The easiest target is Martinez, a first-year manager whose fortunes pale next to his neophyte contemporaries: the Red Sox’s Alex Cora, the Yankees’ Aaron Boone and the Phillies’ Gabe Kapler. Even worse for Martinez is that the man he replaced, Dusty Baker, had won a pair of division titles, gone 192-132 and engendered great faith among players in his two seasons with the Nationals. As one person who values managerial dynamics put it: “Managers are generally overrated until they aren’t. On teams with big stars, the manager needs to be better than most, bigger than most, more skilled than most or those stars only shine for themselves.”

Again, no argument. The pieces are there, the execution was not. Blame Davey, Blame Rizzo, Blame Lerner, you can make a case for each and for all (let’s not forget the players too).

I do still go back to the Kintzler situation and question the rationale being a little extreme. Rumors fly from the clubhouse, Rizzo assumes/decides that Kintzler was involved, Kintzler pleads “on his children” that it wasn’t him, Rizzo ships him out anyway.

This was/is a weird, weird, season…

Kelly Oubre Jr.: What’s Next?

Image result for kelly oubre 2018

Things are changing for Kelly Oubre Jr., and I don’t just mean with his hair, tattoos, and fashion sense. The improvement of Oubre has been gradual but noticeable. This past season his focus was on his 3-point shooting. His 3-point percentage went up from .287 to .341. He went from making 54 3’s in 2016-17, to 126 made 3’s in 2017-18. That is a more than double jump by Kelly. His minutes have gone up and so have pretty much all of his other numbers. The question that has to be asked is: what’s next for the young player?

Oubre has great bounce and I believe driving will be the next step in his career. He shied away from it last year as he was constantly behind the 3-point line. If he can bring his intensity into the paint and combine that with a killer mindset, his play will go up drastically. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that if he improves in his driving, he may even beat out Otto Porter for the starting small forward spot. Now, I realize this is far off, but it is worth being talked about. If Porter does not improve his game much this season then I see Oubre taking his job at some point. It may not be soon, but it is coming. I personally hope Porter lives up to expectations, but it is realistic to say that he probably won’t.

Another area that I see Kelly Oubre improving upon this coming season is his basketball IQ. He sometimes is a victim of making many more mistakes than other more experienced players. Dumb plays happen, but if he is to cut these plays out from his repertoire than he can do some serious damage.

He is such a fun player to watch and the DC fans really do love the kid. His entertainment value is through the roof as he is very prevalent on the internet and social media. He makes headlines with his sometimes strange fashion sense but his play really does the talking for him. As I said before, his intensity is unmatched. This partly comes from his young energy but it is also due to his attitude towards the game. He works harder than most so he has been getting the opportunities that he needs and will likely keep getting them

Oubre demonstrates great hustle as well as sportsmanship and it appears that he just enjoys playing basketball. Oubre needs to go from young player to young STAR. Does he have that in him? I believe so. He makes plays when he is given the opportunity and his minutes have become plentiful. He is better than your average backup small forward. This is just a plain fact. While other areas of the country may not have recognized this yet, his time to be talked about will come. I believe it will come soon.

Image result for kelly oubre weird fashion

 

Watch the Nats Screw This Up and Make the Damn Playoffs

We’ve seen the standings, we know the odds, but wouldn’t it be very “DC” of the Nats to go ahead and sneak into the playoffs anyway?

Here’s how the rest of the schedule shapes up:

@Mets, @Philly, Vs. Milwaukee, Vs. St. Louis (Matt Adams Return), Vs. Chicago (Daniel Murphy’s Return), @ Philly, @ Atlanta, @ Miami, Vs. Mets, Vs. Miami, @ Colorado

Current Teams in Front of them for the 2nd WC spot: Milwaukee, Colorado, Philly, Dodgers

These are the current odds via Fangraphs

Win Div      Win WC    Make Playoffs   Win World Series

Nats Playoffs

I’m not SAYING it is going to happen…but again it would be very DC of them to make the playoffs after obviously giving up on the season…

Strasburg is back, which we will see tonight, some nice home series opportunities with the Mets and Marlins…

Don’t get me wrong, this team has shown all season that they can’t handle their business whatsoever and win games we think they will easily win.

But I’m a dreamer, and until the math no longer can add up…

There’s always a chance…

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Andrew Stevenson had an Interesting Night

What a whirlwind.

First, you find out that your team is shipping off key assets left and right including their star 2nd baseman.

Then you find out they are bringing you back up.

Then you have to drive down to DC on a Tuesday, in the rain, to show up for a game that conveniently has a long rain delay.

THEN you hit your first major league tater.

Baseball man…baseball…

Game 126-In case you missed it…Nats win 10-4

First game since Operation self-destruction.

Before the game the Nats activated Adrian Sanchez and Andrew Stevenson, and pulled Kelvin Herrera off the disabled list.

Roark helped himself early and brought in the first run of the game before the skies opened up.

Grace entered after the break and got his FIRST MLB HIT in the bottom of the 5th.

Roman Quinn hits his first career home run in the top of the 6th.

The damage continued as Grace gave up back to back hits following a Trea error, 2-1 Phillies.

Cordero entered the game and immediately gave up another hit/run.

Franco added another on a groundout. This team loves wasting opportunities on offense and turning them into immediate scoring for their opponents.

BUT because the Nats enjoy teasing the fanbase, recently called up Stevenson hits a two-run bomb, followed by a Wilmer Difo tater.

Some more RBI’s, including a Zim dinger, and the Nats had enough cushion to come away with the W.

Davey did use a lot of arms, we’ll see how that plays out.

Next Game:

Tonight 7:05ET Eflin (9-4 3.70 ERA) vs. Strasburg (6-7 3.90 ERA)

Adrian Peterson (Work Horse or Pine Pony)

Adrian Peterson. Anyone and everyone who has watched professional football over the last decade has heard that name. You could say he is still one of the most gifted players playing in the league today. Or, you could say he was possibly one of the most wasted talents by one team in the millennium. Peterson ran for 11,600 yards (97.5 p/game) in 2,360 carries from 2007-2013, 2015. (Remove 2014 ACL Season) That equates to 4.92 yards per attempt in those 8 seasons. That ranks 5th in NFL history among running backs with at least 1,000 carries at the end of the 2015 season. Going along with that stat line, AP had 95 touchdowns (1.25 p/game) in that span.

So far, his career has been a human highlight film. Since moving on from the Vikings in 2016, AP has been a shell of himself rushing for only 529 yards in 156 attempts (3.4 YPC & 52.9 YPG). Dysfunction arose in New Orleans when he was given a shot as a secondary option to Mark Ingram etc. After a brief stint down in the big easy, he moved to Arizona to see if that could be his new home. Let’s just say those last six games were hardly any better. We saw a couple flashes of brilliance with two games over 130+ yards, and three of those six with an above 4.0 yards per carry average. Problem was, the other three games he averaged under 2.0 yards per attempt. With that, it concluded his time as a Cardinal.

So here we stand in the third week of the 2018 preseason and one of the most exciting and transcendent players of the millennium has landed on his third team in the last 11 months. The Washington Redskins had a plan, draft Guice and all is well. It was well, for a handful of carries until he tore his ACL. Then it was the “next man up mentality.” Oh wait, Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall go down in preseason game two. What is more “Redskins Front Office” than signing a former star past their prime? Nothing. Why not? It worked with Shaun Alexander! NOPE. Well it did with Willie Parker! Not quite. What is there to say about this signing? Let me give you my two cents.

Adrian Peterson has to realize that this is most likely his last shot to continue padding those Hall of Fame numbers. You were given a shot to become a Redskin because of injury and having little options for a power back in our system under Gruden. Take it and literally run with it! You will be playing behind multiple pro-bowl caliber linemen, a veteran quarterback who knows how to win games and a defense that is much improved from the last three seasons.

Peterson will be a better option than Rob Kelley. He is bigger, faster and stronger than “Fat Rob.” Yes, he is much older but with some of the best pass catchers for third down situations, you won’t need AP to run between the tackles 25-30 times a game like he did in Minnesota. If he wants to maximize his production in D.C., he has to understand that this role is to make the most impact with those 15-20 carries he will get during the game. The offense will hum quite nicely if they can somehow sustain a between the tackles running attack this season.

Some of what I am saying is opinion based, I get it. But, you have to think “what are we supposed to say about the move?” Nothing has happened yet. It’s all speculation. It is all opinion based until he shows us some of that magic that electrified the NFL some time ago.

Adrian Peterson

So…what now?

Murphy off to Chi-Town, Adams back to St. Louis, Harper is staying…

So…what now?

Well, besides the fact that the rest of the season was pretty much already in the toilet, let’s look at these moves a little closer.

Daniel Murphy to Chicago Cubs

What the Cubs Get:

-A guy who missed a lot of the season due to injury, but is batting .340 since the All-Star Break with six bombs and 29 RBI.

-A chance to move a struggling Addison Russell out of the lineup

-A guy who hits .413 at Wrigley

What the Nats Get:

-21-year-old Andruw Monasterio.

-He is hitting .263/.359/.336 with three bombs and ten steals for High-A Myrtle Beach

-Cash, and a PTBNL

-Shedding some of that Murph salary

-A chance for Wilmer Difo to have the starting 2nd baseman job for the rest of this season, and battle with Howie Kendrick for the spot next year.

Look, the fans are always going to want more, especially for a guy like Murph. Rizzo’s intentions seem to be to start shedding as much salary as possible (probably in preparation for a monster Bryce deal)

Matt Adams to the Cardinals

What the Cardinals Get:

-A chance to bring back an old friend

-a lefty power bat off the bench they were searching for (St. Louis currently is 17th in baseball against right-handers by wRC+

What the Nationals Get:

I loved the Matt Adams pickup when the Nats originally signed him. The guy did pretty well this season, and having a power bat like that in the lineup is lethal when Zim was struggling.

Not sure what Rizzo’s plans will be the first base position moving forward. Do they stick with Zim? Do they move Bryce over there to free up the outfield a bit?

Still a TON of questions remain, but for now we can thank Murphy and Matt for some fun moments, let the weirdest Washington Nationals season yet continue…

Your First Look at the New Redskins Backfield (Most Importantly Adrian Peterson)

A few takeaways from this 23-second clip that are definitely not overreactions:

  1. Chris Thompson looks to be healthy – Thompson suffered a brutal broken fibula last Nov. 19 vs New Orleans. Despite other injuries to the Washington backfield, Gruden is in no rush to bring Thompson back before Week 1 of the regular season vs. the Arizona Cardinals.
  2. Rob Kelley continues to be a question mark – It’s no secret that the coaching staff isn’t exactly thrilled with their running back options following the Guice and Perine injuries. That is why they brought in 12-year vet and former MVP, Adrian Peterson. There was talk of Rob Kelley showing up to camp lighter than he had in the past – hoping to recapture some of the flashes of the potential as a short yardage back he showed in the second half of his rookie year, but so far he has failed to impress. He will get his chances over the next few weeks while AP learns the playbook.
  3. Adrian Peterson looks good – Good being subjective because this is only one drill from his first day and he’s 33. However, the options for Washington are slim and AP signed for a vet minimum of $1.015 million with a cap hit of $630K per Field Yates of ESPN.

TL;DR Rob Kelley almost falls over, AP will probably be the best 33 year old back in the league this year.

#MurphWatch?

Talks continue heating up regarding the Nats and Murph, with an “unknown team” claiming him on waivers on Sunday.

In layman: That team has 48 hours to negotiate a trade with the Nats. IF no trade happens, the Nats can send Murph out and not have to carry that salary weight, OR keep him until the end of the season.

Some teams that have been thrown around as possibles:

-Cubs (not likely)

-D-Backs (possible)

-Rockies (possible)

-Astros (not likely)

-A’s (possible)

With Murph’s shabby defense, especially of late, you gotta think this would be an intriguing option for any team wanting a solid DH bat, or even putting him at 1st.

For the Nats, I am always in favor of getting value back for a guy rather than let him go for nothing. Get some arms, get SOMETHING.

We’ll keep an eye on this today, for the latest updates follow our twitter @thedccrossover

Evolving Austin Rivers

Image result for austin rivers

I miss the old Austin Rivers.

He seems to have blended into the league as your average guard. I followed Austin Rivers throughout high school and even got his autograph back in those days. I specifically remember him showing up to the gym in his custom gold Beats By Dre headphones and catching the eyes of everybody in there.

He was a McDonald’s All-American and played in various well-known basketball tournaments. He even led his high school team to a Florida 6A state championship. Following that Rivers continued to set a u18 FIBA Team USA record with 35 points against Canada.

Austin Rivers used to be a basketball machine. He was like a street baller out there. His handles reminded me of that of Jamal Crawford. He could take just about anybody’s ankles out from under them with his old crossover. I mean it, his handles were just plain filthy.

Coach K really put Austin’s skills to use at Duke while he was in college. He would have pulled up on anybody in the NCAA, and he did. This is why he left after one year.

Somewhere on his path in the league he became your average fundamental guard. I want John Wall to bring the beast back to life. I have not pinpointed exactly when the beast died. I don’t know whether the change in his game was due to Alvin Gentry, playing with his father, or just the change of pace that the NBA offered, but today’s Austin Rivers is not the one that I am familiar with.

Let me be clear, I think Rivers has a high basketball IQ, has a solid jumper, and passes well. What I’m saying is there is a side to Austin Rivers that most fans are not even aware of. This is the Austin Rivers that I want to see on the Wizards this year.

Wake up the beast.

Remember This Guy?

Victor Robles was Juan Soto before Juan Soto.

Potential outfield next year if Bryce doesn’t resign: Soto, Eaton, Robles.

Keep an eye on this guy, may get called up before the season ends.

What Exactly Can We Expect From Dwight Howard?

 

Let’s take a quick look into what to expect from Howard this season.

1. Scoring Inside

dwight

Dwight Howard averaged 16.6 points in the 2017-18 season. That’s double the amount Marcin Gortat brought to the table with 8.4 points. With other teams in the league forming super rosters, scoring is a necessity down low to complement the main scoring done by Beal and Wall. While Dwight is becoming that of a veteran, this may be the perfect move to revitalize his career and bring in some 20 and 20 games.

2.  Entertainment

Howard is known as a showman. Whether it be his pranks pulled or his dunk contest performances, Dwight is a pure entertainer. One characteristic of his that is not reflected in his numbers is his smiling. Dwight always seems to have a smile on his face. This makes him a fan favorite wherever he goes. He will bring this to the court and may even be responsible for the Wizards to actually have some fun playing the game of basketball.

3. Rebounding

Obviously, Dwight is a rebound machine. Standing at 6’11 and 265 lbs., he is a force to be reckoned with. Last season Dwight averaged 12.5 rebounds per game. As previously stated, we want some 20 and 20 games out of him. A drop in his rebounding occurred when he was constantly moving teams, but last season he put up numbers similar to those of when he was on Orlando. Hopefully, the numbers keep climbing. The expectations are high for him to outshine the work that Gortat did. This is no small task. I believe Dwight is up to the challenge.

4. Inside Information

Dwight Howard has played for five teams (not including the Wizards). After a successful stint in Orlando, he bounced around from team to team. Dwight is now 32. Howard knows the ins and outs of the league and hopefully, he can pass along some of his knowledge onto the younger players on the team. I have a feeling he will evolve Ian Mahinmi’s game, which is very needed. I was shaky about Mahinmi becoming the starting center but this eases my worries. I like Mahinmi and enjoy his back up performances coming off the bench with high energy. Hopefully, Dwight can turn Ian into a better player overall in his short time here.

career

5. A Better Attitude Towards The Game

Led by the tough play of John and Keef, the Wizards have a chip on their shoulder every time they come out. While intensity is not a negative, the players sometimes get distracted and let their emotions get the best of them. Dwight will bring a fun loving viewpoint towards the game that will hopefully rub off on the other players. The Wiz should remain physical but should not aim to be a dirty team. Famous scuffles with teams like the Raptors and the Celtics show the immaturity of the Wizards and sometimes cost them. Hopefully, Howard can get them to ease up and enjoy having fun during the game.

 

Let’s give the guy a shot to prove all the haters wrong.

 

Interesting Mike Rizzo stories in latest Wash Post article

Click here for article

Chelsea Janes has a piece released today regaling Rizzo and the recent bullpen disasters moves. For the record, Janes is a great follow on Twitter @chelsea_janes

Some of the most interesting quotes for those who don’t feel like reading the piece or have run out of free Washington Post article views:

In regards to the Kintzler move:

Soon, a different narrative emerged, one in which Kintzler’s willingness to speak his mind became an inspiration for the deal. A day earlier, a Yahoo Sports story emerged in which an anonymous source called the Nationals clubhouse “a mess.” Kintzler was not the source, he and the writer, Jeff Passan, insisted later.

But in the aftermath of that story, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation, Rizzo delivered a message to his clubhouse that warned against spreading misinformation.

Kintzler heard about that message, and went to Rizzo before he left Nationals Park, according to people familiar with their exchange. He promised him he wasn’t the source. He had already admitted to being one of the sources for a July 19 Washington Post story outlining relievers’ concerns about Manager Dave Martinez’s handling of the bullpen. He went to Rizzo, in person, to be forthright about that. So when he heard that Rizzo had told his teammates to pipe down, Kintzler worried a misconception had ended his Nationals tenure. He swore to Rizzo, on his children, he hadn’t been the source.

On Shawn Kelley:

Rizzo headed down to the clubhouse and confronted Kelley, according to people familiar with the situation. The argument became heated, including raised voices, and eventually it almost became physical, according to people familiar with the exchange. Adam Eaton got between the two of them and separated them before things could advance further, but Rizzo’s frustration was not isolated.

Scherzer and Madson also faced up Kelley that night to express their disapproval of the outburst. Not long after, Rizzo told Kelley he would be designating him for assignment, then issued his “if you’re not in, you’re in the way” proclamation to reporters the next day. The Nationals traded Kelley to Oakland, where he has yet to allow a run in four appearances, and remains disappointed with the way his two-and-a-half year Nationals tenure ended.

“I hate to be seen as a guy that was showing up his manager or selfish because I’ve played 10 years and I’ve never been that guy. So I don’t think I’d start now,” Kelley said when reached by phone after the deal. “It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances but it is what it is so I’ll move on and make the best of it.”

Pretty fascinating stuff.

By the way this is your Shawn Kelley update:

Was Davey Not Ready?

This was the series that was going to turn around the season.

It had been said before, multiple times. Perhaps back on July 9th, headed into a road stretch against Pittsburgh and the Mets, a great opportunity to gain some ground. Maybe even as recent as the end of July, playing Milwaukee and those bottom-feeding Marlins. It has been said multiple times this season: THIS is the series where the Nats get back on track.

Game 1: Max Scherzer, loud grunts and all, gives another herculean effort on a muggy Friday night. He grinds through six innings, striking out seven Marlins and only surrendering five knocks. A few dingers from Wieters and Zimm, some aggressive baserunning from Harper and company, a win and the start of something…anything…

THIS is the series where the Nats get back on track. 

Yet…they can’t. 

The blame can never fall fully onto the manager, he isn’t taking cuts at the dish or giving signs to the reliever, but there ARE things that one CAN blame the coach for. Overthinking in-game matchups, lineup decisions, substitutions, and above all else: getting your guys motivated.

One can see fully on display the difference between a Veteran managerial presence, despite the flaws that can bring too, and a young upstart, finally given the keys to the kingdom. Did Dusty get set in his ways? Sure. Did Dusty make mistakes? Of course. But Dusty had seen a lot, won a lot, and was never going to get flustered.

Game 2: An Adam Eaton homerun just climbs over the right field wall to give the Nats hope. We are STILL alive! The young Rodriguez gave the Nats a solid start. JT Riddle continues to dominate…WHO? And like that, in the top of the 10th the Nats “closer” Koda Glover gives up two and sends a confused crowd home. 

THIS is the series where the Nats get back on track.

Yet…they can’t

The camels, god please don’t bring up the camels. Any new manager is going to try to make an impact in camp. Davey opted for the silly route. It seemed forced.

Every decision, every pitching change, scrutinized to the 100th degree. That’s the job. Like it or not. Maddon is no longer there. Its a little different riding the camel instead of closely following behind.

Game 3: Simply put, disaster. Jose Urena pitches a gem. Marlins bats open up the floodgates. Gio continues to pitch terribly. How is this happening? WHO THE F*** IS JT RIDDLE? 

THIS was the series where the Nats got back on track. 

Yet…they didn’t.

 

Last Week Tonight burns Dwight Howard

Expected, but still, ouch.

Dwight will always be an easy target for zingers but hopefully this season we will be reading a ton of stories like:

The Career Revival of Dwight Howard

How Dwight Found Happiness in DC

Howard named NBA Comeback Player of the Year

Instead of:

Wall and Howard have to be separated at the end of the 4th Quarter 

Monday Morning DC Sports Roundup 8/20/18

Time to go back to work, hopefully we can help distract you for a bit before you start on those emails.

Redskins

It was a running back carousel over the weekend, Skins met with Veteran Jamaal Charles and worked out Orleans Darkwa. Darkwa appears to be seeking a starting spot, so unlikely to be a good fit.

The bigger news was announced about who is visiting today.

Skins fan reactions on Twitter seem to be 60/40 against signing AP. I’m definitely intrigued.

Follow us on Twitter @thedccrossover today for news about AP’s visit as it breaks

Nationals

It was the perfect opportunity for the Nats. The Braves are losing games, the Phillies are losing games, it was a series versus the last place Marlins. Instead, they screwed themselves royally.

Friday night was the highlight of the series as they won 8-2 behind Mad Max and HR’s from Zim and Wieters. The other two games were awful. Saturday night was an extra innings loss 7-5 and Sunday was a dumpster fire as Jose Urena tossed a two-hitter and the fish won 12-1

Nats are currently 7 games back in the division and 6.5 back in WC. You can go back and review the game recaps right here on the site.

Sunday’s Game

Saturday’s Game

Friday’s Game

Wizards

Nothing to report, just waiting for it to be basketball season.

We put out a few pieces:

Do We Want Courtney Lee?

5 Reasons to Pay Attention to the Wizards this season

Otto Porter: The Key to DC Basketball

Capitals

You still have our hearts Caps, the only team to be proud of. The good brother in a family of screw-ups.

Ovie had a baby, cute.

Just remember…THE CAPS ARE THE STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS!

That’s your weekend in a nutshell folks.

Pro tip of the day: the more windows/tabs you have up on your computer, the busier you can appear

Game 125-In case you missed it…Nats lose 12-1

Gio cruised through the 1st, capped off by a sick catch by every baseball movie’s villain Adam Eaton.

In the top of the 2nd JT Riddle continued crushing Nats pitching with a double into the rightfield corner off of Gio. Who the HELL is JT Riddle??

First blood from Miami in the top of the 3rd with a Starlin Castro bloop after two walks by Gio. Followed by a ball over Bryce’s head to get two more.

The rest of Gio’s start was an absolute dumpster fire:

4.2 innings: 10 hits, 8 Runs (all earned), 4 walks, 5 K’s. Up to 4.51 ERA on the season.

The Nats spent the rest of the day giving up more runs and letting Urena pitch all over them.

Urena’s final line:

9 innings, 2 hits, 1 ER, 2 walks, 4 K’s. Just straight up dominated the Nats bats.

Terrible game, terrible series, terrible season.

Next game:

7:05PM ET Tuesday, Velasquez (8-9, 4.13 ERA) vs. Roark (8-12, 4.13 ERA)

Quick reminder: Jose Urena is a clown

I don’t care about Atlanta, but plunking a guy for hitting dingers is just plain clown behavior. The unwritten baseball rules are confusing and ridiculous enough, but any sort of “rule” that penalizes a guy for playing the game really well is bananas.

Urena is appealing his suspension, hence why he is allowed to pitch today. But the guy has the pitch for the Marlins so that is punishment enough.

Do we want him?: Courtney Lee

Of course my favorite Wizards/Courtney Lee connection is:

https://www.sbnation.com/nba/2017/1/19/14333224/courtney-lee-coach-on-the-court-wizards-vs-knicks

OKC is hot on the trail as well, and looking to give up ALOT. This seems like an unnecessary move from Washington, as really the only spot left needed to fill is perhaps another backup PG.

But with question marks surrounding Jodie Meeks after barely performing, is Lee a good option?

Let’s take a look:

One more year for Lee but slightly better numbers than Meeks in 3P% and PPG as well as some other areas.

The bigger question is what would the Wizards give up? Selling off Mahimni would leave an injury-prone Jason Smith to back up Dwight, likely a veteran big man contract would have to follow that move.

And as for Rivers, yes it is a huge contract, BUT he also gives the Wiz a bit of attitude and chip on the shoulder play that really only Wall and Keef bring every night. I want to keep him.

My opinion: let’s see what this group has for this season. Let OKC sell the farm for an aging Lee.

Game 124-In case you missed it…Nats lose 7-5 in extras (10)

Confusion today regarding different roster moves ended with Jefry Rodriguez making the start instead of Milone, but the right-hander gave the Nats a decent start: 5 Innings, 5 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 3 walks, and 3 K’s.

Derek Dietrich struck first with a MOONSHOT (his 15th) in the Top of the 2nd.

Trea responded with his 15th #dinger of the season as well

We hadn’t seen Tim Collins since the St. Louis series, but he had a short and sweet appearance in this one: one batter, one K.

Davey looked to fireballer Jimmy Cordero in the 6th in a 2-2 game, he struck out Dean with the bases loaded before giving up a two RBI single to JT Riddle #natskiller. Also of note: Murph with a HUGE error on an easy double play ball. This team loves to make big mistakes.

Quick shout-out to Krystal Koons. She’s still causing young Nats MASN watchers nightmares every game

Matty Adams stepped into the box with bases loaded and 0 outs in the bottom of the 7th and was so intimidating that the Marlins reliever Guerrero physically threw up via wild pitch and got a run in before popping up to the infield.

Trea with a dink and dunk to centerfield and the game was all tied up at 4-4.

Riddle struck again in the 9th, as he finished his day with:

RBI Double in the 5th

2 RBI Single in the 6th

Solo homer in the 9th

Adam Eaton (Spanky per his player’s weekend jersey) hit a #dinger solo shot in the 9th to tie the game back up.

In extra innings Koda faced bases loaded with two outs…and gave up a two run RBI single to .250 Isaac Galloway…

Nothing doing in the 10th as the Marlins shut the door and handed the Nats the loss.

Next Game:

1:35PM tomorrow, Urena (3-12 4.74 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (7-9 4.12 ERA)

D.C. Washington is the GOAT

Obviously Aretha gets her props, but locally, D.C. Washington straight crushes it every time.

Good timing, tempo, energy, name, voice, the guy is a five-tool player.

He plays big in the key moments, and always brings it on the field. Put him in the bullpen, he can’t be any worse than Trevor Gott.

UPDATE:

With so many injuries at RB, Skins might as well look at this child.

Shorter limbs mean less length to injure. It’s just science.

5 Reasons to Pay Attention to the Wizards this Season

I know its August but there are still a few reasons to be hyped for the starts of the 2018-2019 season for Wizards fans.

1) A Healthy, Full-Strength Lineup

The above is sad. Only 30 games with the “best” starting five on the floor last season. Only 41 games with Wall even playing at all.

This year’s starting five should be: Wall, Beal, Porter Jr., Morris, and Howard. Hopefully we can get 50+ games of this group and see the benefits.

2) A Better Bench

Okay, maybe not “better”, but at least more interesting. Ernie finally did something right and made some moves that made sense. The bench is as follows:

PG-Tomas

SG-Rivers and Meeks

SF-Oubre Jr. and Troy Brown Jr.

PF-Green, Smith, and Devin Robinson

C-Mahinmi and Bryant

Still would like to see maybe a third string PG, but for now this is good. Rivers adds some depth at guard behind Wall and Beal. Meeks is a giant question mark, we haven’t seen enough of his play.

Oubre will get his and Troy Brown will be fun to watch.

Overall, I’ll take it.

3) LeBron-less East

Are the Celtics really really good? Yes. Are the Sixers and Raptors still really really good? Yes.

But LeBron is finally gone which means the Wizards have a SHOT!

4) Troy Brown Jr. is a really solid rookie

This pick may have gone overlooked by most, but the kid can ball. Great steal/defense numbers in college, third-highest defensive rebounding rate among high-major freshmen that were also 6’7 or shorter, and a 63% finishing rate at the rim.

He can pass, he can play D, that’s all the Wizards really need from him in his rookie season.

5) We have John Wall

Simple enough, the guy is entertaining every single time he steps onto the court. Now he has a legit big-man in Dwight to feed lobs to, a healthy Beal to rack up assists, and hopefully some strong enough role players in Otto and Keef.

Let’s get these boys back on the court!

Little Leaguer throws bat after walk-off, Jose Urena ready to bean him.

Gotta love the swagger here. Callback to when our boy Bryce made the Derby his bitch.

The League is always watching…

The funny thing is, I wouldn’t put it past the NFL to actually think this ESPN stat was real:

Game 123-In case you missed it…Nats win 8-2

Despite the two-run 7th, the Nats got back above .500 with a strong pitching performance from Mad Max (5 inn, 6 hits, 7 k’s) and a few taters from Zimmerman and Wieters.

A solid win no doubt, but still it’s the god damn Marlins.

Other noteables:

-Max grabs another double to add to his tally for the year (2, and now batting .296)

-Harp goes 3 for 4 with 2 RBI #Heatingup

-In Trevor Gott’s two appearances since June he has given up 3 earned runs, including 2 tonight

Next game:

7:05pm tomorrow, Chen vs. Milone

Otto Porter: The Key to DC Basketball

With all-star performances by John Wall and Bradley Beal becoming the norm, DC basketball is on the rise. With the latest import, Dwight Howard, on the way, it seems as though the “big man problem” is no longer existent. Otto Porter may be the next step towards Wizards success and even a playoff birth.

His career has been on the up and up since the beginning of last season. At one point he even led the league in 3-point percentage. The expectations may be fairly low for him, but this season that needs to change. Otto Porter is better than your average player. The Georgetown alum needs to decide whether he wants to continue in this role or level up as a player.  Average numbers should no longer be expected from him. The city of DC needs more from the 25 year old.

John Wall and Bradley Beal need more. he is a knockdown shooter and a fantastic defender. He needs to add more elements to his game. My opinion: passing. If Porter improves his passing ability, the team may have more of a leader/veteran type role for him.

Another ability that he should add to his game is driving. He does not come across as that of a driver as he lacks in strength and intensity. If he decides to hit the weight room this summer this may be what the future holds for him. We need more than pure shooting. Pure shooting is Kyle Korver and JJ Redick. Otto is not this type of shooter so the duty needs to change.

This may be a lot to ask from the player, but it is necessary. It is difficult to imagine what exactly his play will be like if  passing and driving are added to his game, but we know it can only be positive. With super teams becoming common in the league, the Wizards need to do what they can to collect theirs.  Now, Otto Porter is loved by the fans of DC, but basketball is basketball and if he doesn’t add to their success, he adds to their downfall. A trade may need to occur if he does not take on this new role.

We have waited long enough. it is overdue.