Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sunday Smorgasbord 9-10

  • Nats swept by the Rockies by a combined score of 43-27 over the four ugly games. Thankfully, I don't get MASN until Friday. Now at 61-82 the Nats are a season low 21 games under .500 and have clinched a losing record for this season. At 27 games behind the Mets, the Nats were eliminated from the NL East title earlier this week. With 19 games left, the Nats are 13 games back of the NL Wild Card leading Padres depending upon the outcome of the San Francisco vs. San Diego game currently underway. Their elimination number from playoff contention is 8. Only the Royals, Cubs, Devil Rays, and Pirates have a worse record than the Nats.
  • Nats manager Frank Robinson is anything but assured of returning next year despite stating that he would like to continue on as manager. Frank has been in baseball for 51 years and if this is his last season, Frank would like a proper send-off. Personally, I don't think it matters who manages this baseball team; they are going to be a bad baseball team for the next few years. So the question really is, can Frank develop young baseball players the way Glen Hanlon is able to develop young hockey players? If so, then keep Frank around, if not, then let Frank go. But either way, if this is Frank's last season, the Lerners and Kasten need to give Frank the send-off he deserves. It isn't just the classy thing to do, it is the right thing to do.
  • My long post on media access yesterday generated an equally long post from Eric at Off Wing. First of all let me say that I did not intend to accuse Eric of forcing me into getting media credentials. I know that this is only an opportunity available to me. I would likely sign up to get P.R.'s over e-mails from the Caps so that I could possibly get the information up on my blog about 10, 15, maybe 30 minutes before it appears on WashingtonCaps.com. Eric also talks about a media vaccum and a thought occurred to me (which I admit is rather scary). The traditional media is rolling back on their coverage on the NHL because the support for the league just isn't there. Ted likes to point out that the NHL sells as many if not more tickets than the NBA. While the average NHL ticket is $4.73 cheaper than the average NBA ticket, CW says that the NHL better. The NHL gets beaten on TV by poker broadcasts. But my point though is this, with such a small audience to cater to, the traditional outlets could very well be willing to give that audience over to the bloggers and abandon the NHL altogether. I don't think that this is what the NHL wants. The NHL needs to reach more causal fans. Traditional media is the only way that they are going to reach that audience, not through bloggers.
  • D.C. United had a tough week, first the wheels fell off in Chicago during a 3-0 defeat as the Fire continue their mastery of D.C. in playoff situations in a U.S. Open Cup Semi-Final. So no "triple" or "double" for D.C. United this year. A U.S. Open Cup would have been nice, but an MLS Cup is the real goal and the MLS Supporter's Shield will get D.C. into international competition. By losing in the U.S. Open Cup semis, D.C. has one less game to play and that's probably a good thing as D.C. was seriously shorthanded for last night's 1-1 tie vs. Real Salt Lake at RFK. With at least Bobby Boswell and Alecko Eskandarian hanging out in the Barra Brava section, D.C. put up a good fight but couldn't beat a poor team. Now at 14-3-9 and with a playoff spot in hand with six games remaining, D.C. United's magic number for having home field advantage in the first round is 1 point. Their magic number for the Eastern Conference title is 5 points. Their magic number for the Supporter's Shield is 13 points.
  • Watching some of NFL Week #1, I think it might be safe to say that some of the scores are surprising. Whodda thunk that the Ratbirds would spank Tampa? Or that the Pats would need a safety at home to beat the Bills? The Cowgirls faded as the game went on and the Eagles beat up a team too stupid to draft Reggie Bush. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the NFL is a 17 week war of attrition. There is no such thing as a "great NFL team" anymore as on any given Sunday, one NFL team can beat another.
  • Serving up more heaping helpings of vanilla, the Terps topped Middle Tennessee 24-10 yesterday at Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium. The players and coaches swear up and down the street that the "wrinkles" are coming. But two thoughts, a vanilla game plan should do more than 24-10. Factor in the two missed field goals and you have 30-10. The Fridge though is in his 6th season at Maryland, how many "wrinkles" does he have left to pull out? Some of the numbers are better than last week; the defense finally got some turnovers with two fumble recoveries and one interception. But the offense still turned the ball over with one fumble and was out gained in yards 321-274. No touchdown passes this year so far for starting quarterback Sam Hollenback. I hate to say it this early, but it is looking like another tough season in College Park.
  • And finally, the Caps announced their training camp roster on Friday. 23 players can be carried on the roster so 25 of the 48 invitees won't stick around. Just looking at that list, 22 of those guys aren't likely to make the opening night roster (if you're interested, ask me I'll tell you, but it is getting late and this post is running long) so that means that there is really only three guys who could be left out in the cold who might not deserve it. Also expect McPhee to help some team to get under the salary cap (New Jersey) before opening night increasing the amount of cuts.
  • This week the Nats head to Arizona for three with the Diamondbacks starting tomorrow night. They fly back to D.C. on Thursday to open a weekend series with the Brewers on Friday night at RFK. The Redskins play a game that counts for once tomorrow night at FedEx Field vs. the Vikings. Would you believe that I couldn't sell my tickets for that game? (I have class on Monday nights or I would go myself). The Skins then have a short work week before hitting the road to play the Cowgirls next Sunday Night on NBC. As I mentioned just above, the Caps open training camp this week and hit the ice on Friday so all you puckbunnies and stalkers click here and scroll down for directions (if you haven't started camping out already). D.C. United can get home field for the first round of the MLS playoffs on Wednesday night when they travel to New England to play a game originally scheduled for July 26th but was postponed because of a Bon Jovi concert. (I agree with Dennis Leary BTW, we can't get him into a helicopter?) D.C. then travels to Chicago for a game Sunday afternoon vs. the Fire that will be on ESPN2. With two wins this week, D.C. will wrap up the Eastern Conference Title. The Terps have an even shorter work week than the Skins and they will face a real test in West Virginia against the Mountaineers on Thursday night on ESPN.
  • And as always, send all comments, complaints, criticisms, questions, and BOO-YAHS! to "capsnut" over at gmail dot com. If, in my rapidly advancing age, I remember my password and can log into the account, I might just read your message. If my attention span holds up, you could get a response.

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