Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sunday Smorgasbord 7-23

  • Nats sweep the Cubs. Now at 43-56, the Nats are 16.5 games out of first place in the NL East with, 63 games left, their elimination number (Mets) is 48. They're 9 games out of the wild card and their elimination number (Reds) from the Wild Card is 55. Only the Royals, Pirates, Cubs, and Devil Rays have a worse record than the Nats.
  • 104,314 showed up at RFK for the Grand Re-Opening. 5,686 short of what the Nationals were expecting. Weather wasn't much of a factor this weekend, so I can only figure that the fans either didn't really buy into the concept. As noted above, the Nats aren't playing well this season and the Cubs are even worse. This was easily the "pillow fight" series of the weekend. Some people may have been turned off by the complaint MLB filed about the new stadium. Who knows?
  • D.C. United Keeps rolling along. How good are these guys? They're now 13-1-6 with a gaudy 45 points thanks to a 14 game unbeaten streak. A full 20 points ahead of their closest Eastern Conference competitor, New England, and 19 points ahead of F.C. Dallas for first place overall in MLS. With 12 games left in the season, D.C. United's magic number (Kansas City) for a playoff spot is just 14 points. Their magic number (New England) for the Eastern Conference is only 22 points. Their magic number (FC Dallas) for the MLS Supporter's Shield (first place overall in the regular season) is 30 points. I'll go ahead and say it now, it will be a HUGE disappointment if D.C. United does not win its 5th MLS Cup in 11 seasons. Quite frankly, they should pull off an unprecedented "triple." They should win the MLS Supporter's Shield, U.S. Open Cup, and the MLS Cup. But if they fail to win the MLS Cup, that will be all anybody ever remembers. Their key? Alecko Eskandarian, as he goes so does D.C. United.
  • Tarik El-Bashir has the details on the Clymer contract. I have to say, I thought we would have paid a little bit more to take away some of his UFA years. But Clymer likes the direction this team is going so he wants to stay on. That's a good sign, plus it keeps our top checking line together. On the rumor front; Eklund says the Caps are after Kozlov. This clown says the Caps are after the retired Pavel Bure too and insists that the Caps are not at the salary floor, which must be news to the guy who signs the paychecks. I'll take Uncle Ted's word on this over any rumor monger any day. I find the alleged Russian fetish interesting; the Red Wings made it work first about ten years ago now, so we know it can be done. My only issue is trying to do it with with known underachievers. We had that once before and it didn't go over very well. Call me crazy, but I'm all for rebuilding the proper way. If we draft Russians that's one thing, but to go out and sign every Rooskie available is a different story. Let's stick with a plan for once before we try something else.
  • This week, the Nats host Big Head Barry and his team at RFK for a three game set starting on Tuesday and then head off to L.A. for a weekend set on the road with the Dodgers. D.C. United pays a visit to Real Salt Lake. The Redskins report to training camp next Sunday.

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