Sunday, March 02, 2008

Sunday Smorgasbord 3-2

  • A big thanks to Tarik El-Bashir of the (Com)Post and Corey Masisak of the Times for taking time out of their schedules to talk to the Caps Fan Club in the Press Box before last night's game against Toronto. It was the first and likely only time I'll be the Phone Booth's Press Box at a Caps game and it was nice to hear how real professional journalists conduct themselves and what their concerns and motivations are behind what they decide to report on and what they decide to keep out of the media.
  • Tickets for the Washington Nationals Home Opener go on sale this Tuesday at 9 am sharp. How long the tickets will last is anybodies guess but the traffic jam before and especially after the game could last until Monday morning rush hour. If you take a look at the Nats schedule you'll notice that the Nats have wisely scheduled Friday night games to start at 7:35 pm instead of 7:10 pm which is the start time for other evening games. The Nats are encouraging fans to take Metro and are hoping that Metro will handle at least 52% of the crowd. However, going through L'Enfant Plaza station at rush hour is going to be a nightmare I don't look forward to as I attend games on the 41 game plan that I bought to ensure I wouldn't be forced into buying a $350 ticket for opening night. Finally let me say that I don't like that I have a 41 game plan but still have to buy tickets for both bobblehead nights that is all kinds of wrong.
  • Firmly entrenched on the bubble, Maryland has likely earned more home games for themselves at the Cable Box after tonight's 73-70 choke job to the Klempsun Tiggers. If the NCAA selection committee is looking for consistent play, they'll be better off looking elsewhere because the only consistent thing about Maryland is blown leads at home. The Terps were up 20 points in the second half on Senior Night and still managed to lose the game. As I've said since the losses to Ohio and American, it is going to be very tough for Gary Williams to keep his job should the Terps end up in the NIT for the third time in four seasons which is becoming increasingly likely.
  • Well here we are a couple of days into the NFL's Free Agent period and the only move the Redskins have made was resigning one of their own players. I guess the "unbiased" media will have to crown another team "Champions of the Offseason" this year. The early going right now seems to favor the Iggles for that moniker.
  • One thing barely if ever mentioned in the trades the Caps pulled this week is the large amount of room that the Caps had under the salary cap to make them. Owner Ted Leonsis and General Manager George McPhee have made it point to keep plenty of room under the cap since the lockout. The $2.875 million cap number of Cristobal 'WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE" Huet and the $6.08 million cap number of Sergei Fedorov were easily absorbed by the Caps (which actually breaks down to $630 thousand and $1.333 million respectively for this season because of their late addition to the roster) because they still have some $12 million worth of space left to play with. Remember, McPhee has said that the deal for UA basicaly "fell into his lap" because the Canadiens were widely believed to be unloading UA's contract in an attempt to get Marion Hossa from Atlanta as Hossa carries a $6 million cap number. Montreal would have had to clear more space but that would have likely been taken care of by the package being sent to Atlanta. So for all of you who have been whining about how cheap the Leonsis and McPhee have been since the lockout, that frugality allowed the Caps to make a very good deal to secure their future. However, if we believe Bruce Garrioch (which we don't around here) McPhee is still a goner after the season. I can't see McPhee being allowed to do these kinds of deals if he's not going to be around next season.
  • However, (and this is the final point I'd like to make on these deadline trades) it was 11 years ago yesterday that then Caps GM David "Bud" Poile shorted out the panic button when he traded Jim Carey, Jason Allison, and Anson Carter to the Boston Bruins for Adam Oates, Bill Ranford, and Rick Tocchet in a desperate attempt to make the playoffs in 1997. It failed and Polie was shown the door a little more than three months later. While none of the trades this year were nearly as bad as that one was in terms of sacrificing our future for the here and now, the Federov trade certainly smacks of the same desperation.
  • This week, the Caps face the Bruins twice. The first time is tomorrow night at home on Versus at 7 pm. The Caps visit Loserville...er...Buffalo on Wednesday for a 7 pm game before heading to Boston on Saturday afternoon for a 1 pm faceoff. The Penguin Scum infect the Phone Booth next Sunday for a 12:30 pm NBC game that Penguin Scum fans may not be able to make because of the late moving up of the start time (which just breaks my heart). The Terp Men are off until next Sunday when they're at Virginia for a 7:30 pm regular season finale on Fox SportsNet's ACC Sunday Night Hoops. The Terp Women are in Greensboro for the ACC Tournament as the #2 seed. The Nats continue Spring Training with games against the Cardinals, Dodgers, Mets, Marlins, Astros, and Indians.
  • As always folks, please send all comments, criticisms, questions, suggestions, corrections, and season ticket renewals to "capsnut" over at gmail dot com.

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