Monday, April 30, 2007
The Wiz were operating under one of the most bizarre injury conditions in history; the Heat just flat out lost. Those same Heat that hand-wringers and optimist-haters were dreading facing in the first round. This once-mighty champion has been exposed as a lumbering, aging dinosaur perhaps on its last breath, Dwyane Wade notwithstanding. Much work potentially needs to be done in order for them to make another championship run. The Wizards, on the other hand, just need to get their stars healthy, add a minor piece or two, and avoid another completely statistically improbable rash of injuries to rise again to Eastern Conference prominence. First round sweeps aside, who would you rather your team be? And don't say Cleveland, because those downtrodden-kickers will receive their comeupance soon enough (as in, immediately, in the second round).
Saturday, April 28, 2007
I have come to a time where I must make a landmark decision in my
life. Do I spring for those few summer college classes or do I use my Student Loans to pay for playoff tickets?
Anton "Russian" Gorkavchuk Medina, OH
thanks for reading and writing in. You were right to come to me.
These are special times we’re living in, my friend. History is being created before our very eyes and – in my humble opinion – TheBron will finish his career as the
greatest basketball player who ever lived. Ten years from now, would you
rather say that you saw TheBron and the Cavaliers winning the NBA Championship?
Or would you rather say that you graduated from some stupid college?
I think we both know the answer to that question. I think you’d rather be down here, Anton.
Despite some of our comments yesterday (as well as our agreeing with Thomas Boswell that the Redskins would be better off trading the 6th overall pick), Washington has made a fine move in selecting LSU safety LaRon Landry. Perhaps more importantly, Skins management showed Draft Day maturity and skill, refusing to part with the pick in a trade-down that netted them less than what they wanted (or giving up too much to trade-up to select a bigger name, but non-needed, player), using almost all of their clock time in an attempt to milk something further out of potential trading partners. In the end, they showed uncharacteristic patience and actually used the pick they had, rather than being unhappy with their position and doing anything possible to move out of it. Even on the off chance that Landry doesn't pan out, the actions by management today should give fans hope that the freewheeling, the-player-we-want-at-any-cost mentality so prevalent in recent years is on the way out, in favor of smaller, less flashy, more prudent moves.
We do believe Landry will prevent at least some of the numerous long bombs down the middle that the Skins secondary loved to give up last year, and with his sure tackling might even stop a few running backs that have gotten past the D-line before they eat up 10-15 more yards. That D-line may arguably have been the more pressing need, but if Landry is the game-changing safety most pundits claim, this could be exactly what the Washington defense need. Sure, it would have been nice if the whole Adam whats-his-name thing had worked out, thus making this pick unnecessary, but that debacle may have been needed to finally force Snyder et al into realizing that sometimes standing pat and drafting wisely is the best course of action. With that, DCO welcomes LaRon and looks forward to he and Sean Taylor roaming the secondary this fall.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Our MAO of the Week goes on to examine the checkered history of high-first-rounders. He even, stunningly and again convincingly, implies a direct correlation between having no first round picks and Super Bowl success plus a high franchise financial value.
The pattern started here in '62, when the Redskins traded the draft rights to
the great Ernie Davis of Syracuse for Bobby Mitchell of the Browns. Mitchell
integrated the Redskins and has a bust in Canton. Davis died of leukemia and
never played in the NFL. Since then, the Redskins have become the most
valuable franchise in American sports.
How's that for a positive spin? The Redskins end their colorless history by dealing a (sorry) cancer? That deal with then-Browns owner Art Modell was so one-sided that the Browns, and Cleveland in general, have since been a bit unlucky both in the draft and on the field. Modell could only escape the ineptitude by packing up and nesting in ballmer.
The fact that Boswell later clubs former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson and his bafflingly worshiped Draft Pick Value Chart is gravy.
Also, as noted previously by Boswell and this blog, Washington has shown a bit of increased maturity this season when it comes to signing free agents and making trades. While the notion of the Briggs trade may have seemed unwise at first, the 'Skins rejected an even unwiser counter-offer: sending second-year LB Rocky McIntosh to Chicago in the deal. This reversed a trend on giving up on developing players, perhaps prematurely (hi, Patrick Ramsey) in favor of overpaying for veterans.
Last week, Boswell, aided by obvious contributions from the DCO, convinced Washington that the Nats weren't the worst team of all time, and with the general optimism displayed in the locker room the Nats responded by winning...yesterday. We hope that Boswell's shiny columns will again be predictive of wonderful occurrances during tomorrow's draft.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Washington Redskins (Super Bowl XXII; January 31, 1988)
Falling behind 10-0 (2-0?) to the allegedly unstoppable Broncos (Cavs?), who were led by suspected diety John Elway (LeBron?), the Redskins nevertheless stormed back to stomp the horses 42-10, the first time anyone had come back from 10 points down to win a Super Bowl. Take note, Cleveland (though the analogy of playing in a Super Bowl may be lost on you).
Abraham Lincoln (1864 Presidential Election)
Things looked bleak for Abe in the summer of 1864, with citizens becoming increasingly weary of the Civil War as Northern casualties (unlikely injuries?) rose at a staggering rate. Calls for peace from oppossing candidate George McClellan seemed to be catching on and Lincoln's re-election, by his own admission, appeared to be a long shot. But he persevered, eventually winning in a dramatic landslide and redoubling his efforts to preserve the Union (loyal fanbase?). Honest Abe, as we know, lived in Washington at the time. Where was McClellan's running mate, George Pendleton, from? Ohio! Think about it.
Lazarus (approximately 29 A.D.)
One of the most stunning comebacks of all time, he was literally dead and buried (written off by the local media?); much worse off than having a 2-0 first-round series deficet. Still, Laz pulled off the upset, unknowingly leaving an inkling of hope for Wizards fans almost two millenia later.
Romans (Second Punic War; 218-202 B.C.)
The Romans were reeling after Hannibal and his Carthaginian army crossed the Alps and tore through northern Italy (took the first two games in arguably convincing fashion?). However, Rome held it together, stemmed the tide, and eventually moved the battle to Carthaginian territory, sealing their victory at the Battle of Zama on the outskirts of Carthage itself (took game 7 on the road?).
We could go on, but the above should be sufficient evidence to convince even the staunchest optimism-haters among us that a stunning comeback victory is not only possible but, given these lessons of history, probable.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Buck says Jarvis "responded" in his first-ever playoff game!
Phil Chenier on Jamison - "Much higher than his playoff career average!"
"This is what we play for all year," says Jarvis in a commercial, "We need you."
I don't know about you, but I am inspired. Feel free to leave your inspirational notes at the bottom.
8:28 - I like the way Buckhantz says "Va-le-shon."
When did this showing how super huge car parts are become a selling point? It's the Crocodile Dundee approach. "You call that a disc brake?"
The Wizards have been leading for most of this quarter and Buck adds that it has been "close throughout." The Wizards have lead by as many as four. Etan is leading all scorers and Haywood appears!
8:34 - Cavs called for travelling! Who thought such a thing possible? Buck laying on the optimism thick: the Wizards have yet to make a turnover.
8:35 - TOUGH SHOT BY BRENDAN, who is now obviously Eddie's secret weapon. Then he gets fouled by Lebron (gets two big ones), Lebron can barely hold a whine back for committing his first personal foul.
END OF FIRST QUARTER AND WE ARE TIED AT 23
8:40 - Mason Jr. comes off the bench to drain a 3. How many secret weapons can Eddie have?!
8:48 - A.D. runs the Lebron offense (hold ball for 23 seconds and shoot). WORKS! Secret weapon and Wheaton native Mason Jr. lookin' at a 4-point play. MVP anyone?
8:51 - Refs feeling sorry for the Cavs and displaying their remorse in the form of calling two consecutive questionables on Darius Songaila. By the way, the Wiz's largest lead of the series and Haywood is in. Apparently, the Haywood fan club gathering at washingtonpost.com this afternoon was prophetic.
8:56 - Haywood dunk, Haywood Offensive Board. Its all about Brendan. Wizards match their largest lead.
8:59 - Wonder what Nicholas Cage's nicely-coiffed, future-seeing character in the upcoming turkey "Next" (which isn't about my favorite MTV reality dating show), would think of this game? Think he would have seen such a renaissance from the centers?
9:05 - With Buckhantz and Chenier double-checking the restricted area, Deshawn Stevenson actually draws a favorable whistle.
9:06 - Drew Gooden still looks stupid, regardless of whether or not he's the next mediocre forward to torch the wiz
HALFTIME, Wiz down only THREE - Walt "The Wizard" Williams suggests smacking Drew Gooden in the face. Couldn't agree more. He doesn't suggest tugging on his rat-tail though. That would be my move. Then I would call him a second rate Juwan Howard.
9:34 - With Drew Gooden neutralized, Eddie goes secret weapon and puts the woodman back in. Using my Nick Cage "Next" powers, I see a run coming on...
9:35 - Right on cue, Haywood with a putback capping off a four-oh run. Deshawn Stevenson celebrates by chatting up an official, the ref likely responding, "You can't feel my foul."
9:39 - Chenier on another phantom King James call: "Looks like a clean block, but obviously there must have been some contact there." Love the subversiveness.
9:42 - BRENDAN RUNNING THE POINT! Dishes to 'tawn for the and-1! Brendan looking like Magic Johnson (Ilgauskas looking like Larry Bird).
9:45 - Buckhantz thanks Chenier for jinxing Lebron's perfect free throw shooting.
9:47 - Buckhantz has seen more contact from people coming off of an elevator, yet Haywood is called for both an offensive and a technical foul. Cleveland fans respond by chanting "Baaaad Caaaall" classy move by the mistaken by the lake.
Within just a few minutes, Haywood amassed a bucket, an assist, and a technical. In hockey we'd call that a Gordie Howe Hat Trick.
END OF THE THIRD.
9:52 - No reason to panic. "Relax. Everything's going to be fine."
9:53 - Outscoring Cleveland 3-2 in the pivitol fourth. Eddie puts the Wheaton weapon in. Causes a Larry Hughes airball.
9:55 - "CRITICS CALL BRENDAN SMART AND MINDBENDING", "YOU WON'T BELIEVE THE ENDING"
9:58 - Darius Songaila with a new playoff career-high. Anderson Varejao passionately embraces Larry Hughes, Hughes wipes a bouncy curl from his eyes.
10:00 - I feel another run coming on. "I can feel my optimism" (T-shirt idea?)
10:02 - Lebron starts galloping after missing a lay-up post-phantom foul call. Jamison, sensing the karmatic implications, absorbs three blows before hitting an and-one.
10:04 - Chenier injecting optimism, "If they can start hitting some jump shots..." Mason Jr. follows with a steal and two free-throws. lead cut to nine.
10:07 - "Wizards just will not die," says Buckhantz. Jamison cuts the lead to six after a three.
10:09 - A.D. AND ONE! Clevelanders realize they live in Cleveland, go silent. Lebron no doubt thinking about his upcoming dinner date with Bill Gates.
10:11 - Jamison getting punished as if he was Barbara Harrison's teleprompter. Goes to the line for two, then proceeds to swat the heck out of Lebron James, who immediately protests.
10:14 - Being a frequent Bog item, you can actually get Post points from reading the DCO. But they are only redeemable for extra cheese cups from Wendy's.
10:18 - SINCE ESPN WILL NEVER SHOW YOU THE HIGHLIGHT. Lebron HILARIOUSLY BLOWS a follow-up dunk. Wizards respond by hitting a layup at the other end.
10:19 - The Cleveland hype-man tries his hardest to energize the Clevelanders who ultimately know that they have to return to their homes in this most barren of wastelands.
10:20 - At least Clevelanders can drown their sorrows in the trans-fat laden Taco Bell chalupas, which were handed out after Sacha Pavlovich connects on his second free throw. This ain't over, folks.
10:22 - Buck with a pep talk: "Missing their two superstars, they have just given them all they can handle." Chenier: "You have to think, if a few shots would have went their way..."
10:24 - THEN, AS IF GOD HAD BEEN PEPPED UP BY BUCKHANTZ'S GOOD SPIRIT, JAMISON CUTS IT TO FOUR! CUT AND RUNNERS RETURN TO THEIR SEATS! CLEVELANDERS NOT CARING ABOUT IMPENDING TEAM DISASTER WHEN THEY HAVE FREE FAST FOOD TICKETS IN HAND!
10:27 - Lebron MISSES first free throw. WITNESS THE CHOKE
10:31 - SUDDENLY, JARVIS CUTS IT TO THREE! (2 of 12 from the field) HE'S FEELING IT!
10:32 - Buck: "Cleveland fans have gotten more than they have bargained for."
END OF FOURTH QUARTER
Chenier: "They came up just a little short."
OK, so the Wiz may have come up a tad bit short, but that doesn't mean that positives cannot be drawn. Brendan Haywood was a renaissance man! DSong, denied his whiteness and dropped in a new playoff career-high! Roger Mason Jr. was impressive in spots and Jamison was once again the go-to guy, helping to cut the seemingly insurmountable lead down to as low as three! I am looking forward to Mike Wise's column where he details how Wizards fans should abandon their hopes and dreams and instead criticize the interior decorating in the locker room.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
The Cavs may well have won the game, but lost their best player (or at least had him reduced). If this sounds historically familiar, that would be because it is. To paraphrase King Pyrrhus (pictured), one more victory such as this will surely undo Cleveland, opening the door for multiple Wizards' victories, a trip to the second round where they will pick up badly needed help in the form of healed superstars, and ultimately a run to glory. Then, many will be called to answer for their reactionary pessimism.
Monday, April 23, 2007
Friday, April 20, 2007
"I love the way we are playing right now. They do not give up. They are giving
all the effort they are supposed to give," rookie manager Manny Acta said after
his team cut a 4-0 ninth-inning lead to 4-2 and had men at second and third base
before falling short to Philadelphia at home yesterday. "We were not going to
play the whole season the way we played the first week. That's pretty much
impossible. We are a different team now. I hope it can stay like this."
"This Nationals team does not have the dismal attitude, the dreary clubhouseMany might think attitudes like this is are, like Sidney Crosby's last two playoff games, pointless, and leading to no wins. But we here at the DCOptimist know the importance of a great attitude. Why, to some, it may be a strange thing that once a blog hits the interwebs, the worst finish in the history of the ever occurs on the court followed closely by two star players on the only viable playoff team going down with injuries, only to be then cruelly followed up by bad baseball and worse weather. But, like the Penguins, we know a quick exit from this is upon us, and like Wizards coach-cum-scientist Eddie Jordan says, "We have a point of reference now. We can throw everything else out the window." Hey, we could be Seattle.
atmosphere, the palpable cloud of depression that follows a breathtakingly awful
team. An upbeat club, even if it lacks talent, can only be so bad. Knowing that
you can't be a good team doesn't curse you. Hating your situation, rather than
working realistically to improve, is what blights a season."
Thursday, April 19, 2007
"I'm excited," said Hayes, who came up with a pair of big steals in the fourthImpressive words from the seldom silky-smooth shooting swingman (aliteration rules!). Advantage Wiz
quarter. I've been hurt the last two times we went. This is going to be a 2-7
matchup, and we know we're going to see a lot of LeBron. So we're just going to
put our hard hats on and get ready for a dogfight series"
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Let's continue by looking at the heavily maligned Washington Capitals. There may be no larger self-flagellating group in the world than Caps fans (look no futher than the comments section of Capitals Insider - an excellent blog, by the way - the love of some for trashing the team is only eclipsed by their love for trashing other fans). Part of DCO used to be such a fan, before he found hope and solace in the arms of eternal, numbing optimism.
Sure, the Caps missed the playoffs by an enormous margin, but would you rather they be the Atlanta Thrashers, currently taking it on the beak (sorry) in the first round from the Rangers? The same Thrashers who paid a Redskins-like ransom to acquire aging Keith Tkachuk at the trade deadline? Would you take a fluky division title, a proverbially mortgaged future, and a first round humiliation over a franchise that really, really promises they're working to be good?
Or how about the Edmonton Oilers, last year's Stanley Cup runner up? They traded face of the franchise and leading scorer Ryan Smyth to the Islanders for seemingly no reason. I guess the point-a-game average wasn't good enough for them and was dragging down their season (which resulted with only one more standings point than the Caps).
So you see, for every seemingly overnight success story like the Penguins, there are your perennial-disappointments-with-no-bright-futures like the Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Chicago Blackhawks (their #1 overall pick notwithstanding - good luck with that one). The Caps may seem a little disjointed at times in their approach, but bless 'em, they swear they're doing their best. And they can finally stop paying part of Jaromir Jagr's salary after this season. That alone is reason to celebrate.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
If the bottom of the order carried the team during its dismantling of the Mets on Saturday, the top carried them here, with Felipe Lopez, Ronnie Belliard, Ryan Zimmerman, and Dmitri Young (doing a fabulous Jackie Robinson impression in both jersey number and hitting prowess) combined for all nine Nats' hits and all five runs. Young would have had a pair of home runs were it not for the freakish dimensions of RFK. Looks like Mitchell Page was right: this team can hit. They may even be able to pitch, with the fourth straight solid contribution from starting pitching. Matt Chico did the honors this time.
Playing division opponents for almost the rest of the month gives the team ample opportunity to further bury the Phillies and gain on the rest. Look out behind you, Florida Marlins.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
An enormous "spring" storm was the only thing that prevented the Nationals from winning their first season series today. All the signs of the imminent demise of the Mets (at least for this weekend) were there. The Nationals outscored (8-5) and very nearly outhit (15-16) the Metropolitans through two games, and on Saturday closer Chad Cordero even felt comfortable enough with a four-run lead to tease the home team with a pair of ninth-inning baserunners before getting down to business and shutting down the "rally." It's that kind of confidence that the Nats (winners of 2 of 3 overall, by the way) need in order to continue gaining ground on the allegedly NL-East-Championship-bound Mets.
No doubt the Mets are grateful for this respite from what would assuredly have been a humiliating, and potentially season-deflating, series loss against a team they were expected to easily beat up on all season. The fact that most in the sports world project these Nationals to best the much-referenced 1962 Mets in dreadfulness must also weigh on the minds of New York players, as they are the ones in the best position to ensure that their franchise is no longer home to the worst team of all time. (As an aside, can we dispense with the "worst team of all time" talk until at least August? It's not like there aren't other teams out there at or near 3-9 right now).
Even more heartening than the almost-won series was the steadying of the starting pitching. After a below-average couple of weeks, John Patterson and Shawn Hill for the most part stifled the much-ballyhooed Mets lineup. Ronnie Belliard is looking good in the field as well as the plate, and Ryan Zimmerman, perhaps taking advice from his hitting coach, is unconcerned by his early season struggles, surely an indication that he will break out in a big way soon.
So call off the dogs for at least a moment, because this team may yet disappoint many with its (relative) success.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Based on recent comments from DeShawn Stevenson, DCO believes it is reasonable to conclude that Gilbert Arenas is mere days away from returning to the court. Note that Stevenson says that Arenas is "up walking around" AND "playing video games." This is a double dose of good news, as the juxtaposition of these two verb phrases must mean that Arenas is both mobile and has somehow come into posession of an advance version of NBA Live for Nintendo Wii. This is good news for Wii and Wizards fans everywhere.
Never ones to rely upon only one source for news, we at DCO maintain that we have confirmation Arenas will return to save us all based also upon this box score, where Gilbert is clearly listed as not having played due to "Coach's Decision" (no doubt to preserve him for the playoff run). If there is any reason to state this other than Gilbert's imminent return, and subsequent leading of the Wizards to glory, we'd like to hear it.
Friday, April 13, 2007
The inaugural Manny Acta Optimist of the Week Award goes to Nationals' hitting coach Mitchell Page (pictured, right), for his stubborn insistence that the team is not in a batting slump and will be just fine if only one key hit could be had.
Not letting the numbers even remotely speak for themselves (no need to delve into those numbers here), Page maintains that the Nats are hitting the ball well, it's just those pesky opposing fielders getting in the way. He further exhorts critics to check back in at the All-Star break to see just how much this ship has righted itself. We at DCO priase this rosy projection and look forward to seeing Page and the Nationals’ lineup vindicated.
We even submit that last night’s stirring 2-0 victory in Atlanta is partial, if not complete, vindication, considering the reportedly legendary reputation of Braves’ pitching. Putting aside the two latest instances of leaving the bases loaded and scoring no runs, the Nats (ok, Ronnie Belliard and Ryan Zimmerman) produced key hits late in the game when they were badly needed. Who else but the hitting coach can be saluted for this?
For his brutally refreshing optimism in the face of seemingly overwhelming statistical evidence to the contrary, we award Mitchell Page the first Manny Acta Optimist of the Week Award.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Zimmerman is no longer on his record-setting pace for triples, but nevertheless is still in line for a respectable 20 three-baggers. He has yet to hit a home run but, as Barry Bonds will testify, hitting home runs never proved anything.
Church leads the Nationals with 2 home runs, double that of any teammate, and only 2 off NL leaders Miguel Cabrera and Adam Dunn (though their numbers should be adjusted to reflect that Cabrera has faced Nationals pitching and Dunn has not). He also leads the team with 5 RBI and his .355 batting average is second only to teammate and NL pace-setter Ronnie Belliard, who is making the frozen body (or is it just the head?) of Ted Williams shake with his astounding .444 average.
Wagner looked good in his first four appearances,allowing only one earned run and one hit through 5.1 innings, though his ERA has taken a temporary statistical hit with the 3-run bomb he gave up last night. DCO attributes this freakishly long-hit ball to nothing more than the unusually cold air in Atlanta. Had typical southern April weather been present, no doubt would that ball have died at the warning track. One simply cannot always predict Divine Intervention.
"It is like a scratched CD that keeps clicking at the same spot."The visual detail in this quote is profound, even if CD's are pretty much obsolete. One wonders what awful techno music is the proverbial CD in Darius's boombox during this trying time. Haywood too provided verbal excellence with this quip regarding their close-but-no-whistles-on-Zo finishes:
"Being close in games doesn't count for much except horseshoes and handHaywood echoes the tragic battlefields of the Southeast division, where similar to a Middle-East battle, bodies are piling up on the disabled list, ultimate victory is becoming unlikely and the call to pull out is growing louder by the minute. Does this make the DCO John McCain? Maybe, but rest assured, while this group may have suffered endless torture, there will be no flip-flopping here.
grenades," Haywood said. "We have been close in all of our games since our guys
have been out. We just need to continue to work hard, continue to fight for each
other and believe in what we do."
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Speaking of unstoppable marches to and through the playoffs, the Redskins' schedule has been released. After careful consideration and objective analysis, DCO has ascertained that, in an absolute worst-case scenario, the Redskins will finish the 2007 season 13-0-3. The team will jump out to an impressive 6-0 start, with Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts tied for the NFL rushing lead, and Lance Briggs well on his way to Defensive Player of the Year honors (playing for the Chicago Bears).
The winning streak will come to a halt on October 28 in New England, though a last-second, record-setting, 64-yard Shaun Suisham field goal will secure an eventual tie. Ties on the road against Dallas and at home against Chicago will be the remaining bumps in the road as the Skins head towards their season-ending dismemberment of the Cowboys on December 30. This historic thumping will result in the Cowboys missing the playoffs, the firing of Dallas coach Wade Phillips (Wade Phillips!), the definitive end to the inexplicable national love affair with Tony Romo, the cancellation of plans for a new Texas Stadium, and the dissolution of the Dallas franchise. Now THAT'S optimism!
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
"Patience is key with everything" said Blatche, who is averaging 3.8 points andThe Wizards thankfully ignored the red flags that may have propped up in the previous high-school big man whose lone weakness was attitude, the braintrust in Chinatown were this time able to determine that this power forward project would be less likely to throw confections down instead of dunks. Encased in his prodigiously lanky 7-foot frame, is the ball-handling of an even lankier Donnell Taylor, the jump shooting of a less awkward Antawn Jamison, the shot blocking of a more motivated Brendan Haywood and the teeth of a British sailor.
3.5 rebounds in 12 minutes. "I've been through it before with not playing so I
already have the mind-set that I need to be patient, wait for my knee to get
better. So I'm just coming out with the attitude that I need to play hard and
Monday, April 9, 2007
The Nationals may own the 30th-best record in the majors at 1-6, but they can take heart that they are only ½ game out of 27th place, which would shatter many experts' expectations, leaving them grasping for answers as to how they could have been so totally wrong.
There is also much more reason for cheer because the Nats are at last not beginning a season under the neglectful watch of MLB: they are being neglected by actual real owners. The lack of starting pitching or depth of proven hitters is not due to the indifference of 29 other team owners, it is because the season is being written off by individuals who actually, personally, own the team! What a wondrous development from last season, when Commissioner of the Century Bud Selig steadfastly refused to allow the team to be purchased until he ensured he could
bleed every last possible dollar out of the team find the ownership group who would best serve the interests of himself and the rest of the MLB royalty the Washington franchise and its fans. DCO believes: success!
It's good to know that, even though the Lerners and president/psuedo-owner Stan Kastsen care nothing about this season, there is a plan behind the abject misery to which they are subjecting the team and its loyal fan base of sports columnists. What the 17,000 fans in attendance on Sunday need to realize is that this is but a bump (cistern?) in the road on the way to guaranteed success. So let's get out there and support the boys. It will take some time for the franchise to recover from years of MLB
sabotage stewardship. That at least is a compelling and logical excuse for onfield struggles and a reason to not jump ship. What's your excuse, Baltimore?
WASHINGTON, April 9 — The Washington Wizards continue their march to the postseason having played two extremely competitive games over the weekend. Most so-called sports professionals had deemed the Wizards unable to compete minus their two all-stars, but instead of forfeiting, as some cowardly, cut-and-running, bleeding-heart Al-qada-supporters might, the Wizards have welcomed the surge of support from a few guys that have been lurking on their bench and in their starting lineup remaining in the hunt in two games against playoff-bound opponents.
In an effort to make up for the missing 47.5 points per game the Wizards two all-stars routinely provided, Jarvis Hayes (!!!) has stepped to the front. Sporting a dazzling array of jumpshots, a few even going into the hole, Hayes has taken the opportunity that affronts an injury-decimated team and turned it into a positive looking to fool somebody into signing him into a new contract. Despite often being inneffective in most games, Hayes' play in Saturday's loss to the Nets was other-worldly. Scoring a career-high 29 points, hitting 5 threes and playing Wizards-brand defense on Vince Carter (46 points, also a career-high, but with more whining), Hayes sparkled, as opposed to clanking. Hayes' play has been noticed by team officials, who have included him in their latest playoff ticket commercial, no doubt appealing to the fans who Jarvis inspires every day.
Hayes' co-star in those advertisements, Antawn Jamison, or the big one, has been equally fastidious with his recent play, scoring 37 huge points in the meadowlands loss. By ignoring the need to body up his defender, instead concentrating on the offense that the Wizards really need, Jamison was again the dependable force he has established himself as throughout the years here, ultimately factoring into a game that got extremely tight in the final stages. Down three with three seconds remaining Jamison, Vince Carter's soon-to-be ex-brother-in-law, stroked a three from the top of the key, sending the game into overtime, where the Wizards were not rewarded a standings point.
The Wizards again match up with the Nets on Tuesday, although this time, away from the acres of browning grass and pollution-spewing McDonalds flavor factories of the barren wasteland off of the New Jersey turnpike. The Wizards couldn't manage to gain a victory in a land where human life cannot be sustained, but they shouldn't have that problem at the Verizon Center. Andray Blatche, the young, nubile 20-year old forward of whom everyone sees a striking Garnett-like resemblance, ought to log in more than the one minute of action he had against New Jersey, having just recovered from a knee sprain. The magic number remains at one.
In other news, no one is comparing Saturday's Washington area sporting events, in its endless audience-bludgeoning violence and despair to Grindhouse yet.
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Meanwhile, Capitals captain Chris Clark did not spear anyone, and finished off a career-best season with 30 goals and 24 assists. While GM George McPhee has received plenty of criticism for his moves over the years, acquiring Clark last year was an undeniably fantastic move. DCO would like to see Clark back on the top line with Ovechkin next year, centered by a quality pivot who does not have a penchant for groin spearing.
Friday, April 6, 2007
Flyers fans of course counter with "how many Cups ya got?" Yeah yeah yeah. That was what, 30 years ago? It's about as relevant as yelling "How many rings ya got?" at Charlotte Bobcats fans (the answer, by the way, is 0). How long do we need to stretch this argument? Should we start comparing more recent Cup appearances? Maybe take it to another level and compare Super Bowl rings? Nothing but semantics in an attempt to drown out the delightful "last place Flyers" (as opposed to "let's go Flyers") chants that serenaded Philly and their smattering of fans at Verizon Center after their 4-1 humbling on December 16. And really, what happened to all those Flyers fans that used to show up for every game in DC? At least we Capitals fans are consistently apathetic. There are 12,000 of us there every game whether this team racks up 100 standings points or 70.
Speaking of standings points, the boys can surpass their mighty total of 70 from last season with a win or OT/shootout loss (horrible rule, but this is a positive blog) against the never-whiny Lindy Ruff and the never-whiny-or-cheap-shot-giving Buffalo Sabres. Sure it doesn't seem like much considering the Caps were in 5th place in the East in early December, but it's something. Maybe.