Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday Smorgasbord 8-31

  • What is going with the Washington Nationals? They came from behind again to complete a sweep of the Atlanta Braves and to win their sixth game in a row earlier today. Break them up, no seriously. The Nats would be better off getting the top pick in next year's draft and while a winning streak would be nice, it wouldn't harm their chances. We're not suggesting they tank like some other esteemed franchises are famous for doing because they're already dead last in MLB. Oddly enough at 52-85 with a losing season assured, they're still mathematically alive to win the NL East even though the NL Wild Card is no longer possible.
  • And speaking of the Nats and drafting, we don't blame Jim Bowden or the Lerner family for refusing the cave to the demands of Aaron Crow. Not only did the Nats go well above the recommended slot $$$$$ for Crow's draft position, they also went above the actual slotting system and it still wasn't enough $$$$$ for Crow. People need to remember that the players can and often are just as greedy if not more so than the owners.
  • Well things are certainly interesting in Ashburn these days with the final cuts and changes to the starting lineup. What we love is how according to certain people, tenure is supposed to mean something. The NFL, much like the NBA, MLB, and NHL, is a business and the only thing that counts in wins. While Jon Jansen is understandably upset and does not agree with the demotion, the fact still remains that the offensive line is a weakness for this team and he is a member of the offensive line. Much like goaltending was a weakness for the Caps last season, it only made sense that the Caps replaced Kolzig and look at how well they did once Kolzig was benched. Now is Stephon Heyer the answer to the Skins offensive line woes? Well, he too was part of the problem last season and there's a reason why he wasn't drafted two years ago. So this looks to us to be an even exchange/rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
  • After two consecutive years of finishing with the best regular season record in the MLS, but flaming out in the playoffs, D.C. United went ahead and shook things up. The results have ensured that D.C. will not win their third consecutive Supporter's Shield this season. There are signs of a turnaround as the goaltending situation has been resolved with the acquisition of Louis Crayton. Will that and some health be enough for D.C. to go on a tear should they make the playoffs? We have our doubts simply because too much is dependent upon Jaime Moreno.
  • You want psychodrama? Look no further than College Park, MD where there's plenty of it with the football program right now. In spite of a 14-7 win over Delaware yesterday, things are very much unsettled as Jordan Steffy looks to have been injured again paving the way for the fans choice, Chris Turner to regain the starter's position. While Ralph Friedgen claims to be happy with the play of Steffy, there's no doubt that there is a serious quarterback controversy going on right now. We weren't too impressed with Steffy yesterday but we cannot honestly say that we felt Turner played much better. Both quarterbacks made the same mistakes yesterday. Furthermore, Obi Egekeze needs to be put on notice because of his three missed field goals. Sure the kicks weren't chip shots but his first attempt hit the crossbar because he got off such a poor kick. He had plenty of leg on the other two misses but it was clear that Friedgen did not trust him as twice he for went first downs in the second half instead of trying long field goals on fourth down. Egekeze is a big part of the reason why Maryland only scored 14 points in spite of producing 397 yards of offense.
  • Another reason to be concerned about the Terps offense is that despite a career high 197 yards of rushing, Da'Rel Scott was twice caught from behind by Delaware cornerbacks. I know they looked like Michigan Wolverines, but they were Delaware Blue Hens, imagine what will happen when we play F$U.
  • Chalk another one up for the "unbiased" media as now the NFL is considering lengthening the regular season at the expense of the preseason. While there are certainly practical reasons for it such as training camp and preseason games aren't what they used to be since the NFL became a year-round job; we do have a serious question, who wants to sit in an NFL Stadium on a Sunday afternoon in Mid-August? Please don't sprain your shoulders trying to raise your hand so fast.
  • Ok folks, this week the Nats are home through Wednesday playing the Phillies before heading to Atlanta for a four game weekend series. D.C. United plays for their first U.S. Open Cup title in 12 years on Wednesday night before heading out to San Jose for a Saturday night game. The Terps will head out on the road for a 7:00 kickoff at Middle Tennessee State on Comcast Sportsnet. The Redskins kickoff the NFL Regular Season in New York when they face the Giants on Thursday night at 7 pm.
  • As always folks please send all comments, questions, criticisms, corrections, suggestions, and tearful welcome back messages to "capsnut" over at gmail dot com.


While We Were Out...

As the saying goes, "The Female Dog is Back!" (this is still a family blog folks...) so let's get on with this because we've got a lot of ground to cover...
  • Yes it is a bit of moot point, but Tomas Holstrom should have just tossed Brooks Orpik into Marc-Andre Fluery in Game 1. The goal would have counted.
  • Did anybody else notice increased attention to goaltender interference calls in the NHL Playoffs after Game 7 of the Caps-Flyers Series? If the call by Paul Devorski was correct in the first place, why was the "crackdown" necessary?
  • While some Caps fans reveled in the Penguin Scum's misery, we couldn't because we don't have any more love for the Red Wings than we do for the Penguin Scum. We were hoping for a plane to crash into the arena during the series, a plane carrying the Philadelphia Flyers along with referees Don Koharski and Devorski.
  • BTW, we join the chorus of folks asking the Ultimate Fighting on Ice fans if they still insist that Brian Burke has the right idea to win a Stanley Cup? We also point out that not only did the team with the fewest fighting majors win the Cup, they also led to an increase in TV ratings. What was that you were saying about hockey needing fights to attract fans?
  • When we did bother to watch the Stanley Cup Finals we were fortunate enough to be blessed with hearing Pierre McGuire take special pains to note for the first time in her career Canadian Diving Team Captain, Secondary Assist Cindy Crosby battling through a check without diving or complaining to the officials. Maybe she is finally maturing.
  • We were unable to see Game 6 (darn) because of a 15 hour (not that we were counting) blackout at our base of operations but we did hear about Cindy's tears after Game 6. Why did we immediately think of Erica Lindros' infamous speech at the NHL Awards?
  • One final thing about Cindy, we really didn't care that Versus and CBC somehow botched the opening of the NHL Awards show. We hear enough of Stompin Tom Conners during the season but we couldn't help but to notice that after the NHL Awards show, Versus ran the Cindy Crosby again. Why praytel did this happen when she wasn't nominated for a single award and for the second time in her three year career, failed to make the NHL All-Star team?
  • There was considerable effort put out to excuse Marc Andre Fluery's gaffe that turned into the Cup Winning goal because of his stats for the entire series. All we want to ask is why is that MAF continues to come up short in the big games and usually by his own hand. We thought would see another of his infamous MAF-GAFFES from the 2004 World Junior Championship Gold Medal Game (it comes at about the 2:20 mark) and questions as to why this great goaltender can never seem to get over the hump. But we haven't and we have to wonder why?
  • Final thought about the Stanley Cup Finals, did any of the Red Wings laugh when that Cup Winning Goal was scored?
  • From the "You All Don't Listen To Us File" we bring up the hysteria caused by our old friend Larry Brooks who caused a stir with his comments about Mike "BEAM ME UP" Green. As we've told you before Ol' Lar writes that stuff because he's a Union Thug Mouthpiece who likes to stir the pot. He also likes to openly fantasize about every star player playing for the Rangers whom he feels should be allowed to spend as much $$$$$ as they want. We also remember that General Manager George McPhee once publicly stated that an RFA who does not have arbitration rights (which Green didn't) wouldn't "hit a home run". So the report that GMGM was "lowballing" Green shouldn't come as much of a shock as GMGM also has a pretty good idea of what kind of offer sheet he could really get from another team as well. Finally, just because we went on hiatus doesn't mean we stopped reading Ol' Lar. Remember, we read Larry Brooks so you don't have to.
  • Wait a minute... No draft day party for us to blow off this year???
  • Our first "Diversify of Die" entry blends the world of environmental wackoism with sports as we mention the fun we had with the hippies who have been protesting Exxon Mobil's sponsorship of the 7th Inning Stretch at Nats games (which has only been going on all season guys... where have you been???) Nevermind that temperatures have been in decline for the past ten years and that China now produces more CO2 than the US; we're more frustrated by the fact that not a single one of those tree huggers has ever been able to explain to us exactly how the use of fossils fuels ended the last ice age.
  • We're amused by the commentary now that Evengi Malkin-Lindros is "possibly the best hockey player on the planet." Nevermind that "possibly the best hockey player on the planet" failed to finish #1 overall in any category this past season (though second in a number of categories) and disappeared as the playoffs wore on, nope, it is all about hype in the New NHL.
  • Speaking of hype, we're pretty sure you were just as confused as us about Malkin-Lindros' status "possibly the best hockey player on the planet" because we already now that title has been undisputedly given to Cindy for as long as she lives.
  • And considering the saga of Malkin-Lindros' departure from Mother Russia, why did anybody believe for a second that he would bolt from the NHL for the new Russian Hockey League?
  • Family obligations put us near Canton, Ohio about a month before the Hall of Fame Induction ceremony and we took the chance to visit the Hall ahead of the induction of Darrell Green and Art Monk. We couldn't resist the Monk T-Shirt but passed on the Redskins Hall of Famers T-Shirt because Monk and Green weren't on it. We're confused by the lack of a Darrell Green T-Shirt and would like to point out to the Hall of Fame that Green's number was officially retired by the Redskins before his final NFL game (they list Sammy Baugh as the only Redskin with their number retired).
  • Our trip to the Hall of Fame was also educational and we never knew that Bhawlmuher had lost the Colts not just once, but twice.
  • We thoroughly enjoyed the Induction Ceremony Speeches of Mr. Monk and Green and did enjoy some of the "atmosphere" that the Redskins fans provided in Canton during the ceremony. We however were embarrassed by their boorish behavior towards the NFL Network set when Michael Irvin was on it. We hate the Cowgirls as much as anyone but isn't a Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony a formal celebration? Yes it is nice that they are allowing more and more of the "common folk" to show up but the ceremony isn't a game and there's no reason to be tailgating (aka, getting blitzed in the parking lot) something like that.
  • Last year, a sellout crowd showed up on a rainy Thursday night to welcome David Beckham into RFK Stadium. Ted Leonsis and his lackeys embarrassed themselves over derogatory comments made by Steve Czaban and Michael Wilbon first issued his "soccer has surpassed hockey" slur. Well one year later, RFK had plenty of seats available (a larger than average crowd of over 30k but nowhere near a sellout) for a Sunday afternoon matinee with David Beckham and where are our usual suspects telling everybody they're out of touch?
  • We can't say we're too surprised that Cindy took home the ESPY for NHL Player of the Year over more deserving players like A.O. and Henrik Zetterberg (who wasn't even nominated). After all, this is what the NHL Front Office has wanted, the promotion of Cindy over every other player in the NHL. Too its credit, the NHL kinda backed off on that when Cindy had her little boo-boo and missed half the season. The focus shifted to her wingman, Malkin-Lindros but since Mullet Melrose bolted for the Ning (pun intended) there isn't anybody at the World Wide Leader in Schlock to know what the NHL wants. What amazes us though is how flabbergasted people are by this "mistake." Folks, even before the NHL was kicked off of the WWLIS, the WWLIS disrespected hockey. Now the WWLIS is showing its true colors and exactly what it does think of hockey and you still insist upon getting their respect and attention? Furthermore, when the WWLIS gave us even less of a reason to watch them or their ridiculous awards why should we take anything these guys do seriously?
  • In our second "Diversify or Die" Segment, we give you this pre-approved joke about the Obamessiah. How many members of the Obamessiah household does it take to change a light bulb? "The light bulb I see today is not the light bulb that I knew and that has lit my living room for so many years. I am disappointed."
  • Will the Ted Nolan disciples now admit that there is something inherently wrong with a guy who gets fired for the second time after two years with a team because he openly and brazenly clashes with his superiors?
  • All this crying over the dismal ratings for the Washington Nationals and people aren't seeing the big picture. Yes, the ratings are bad as the Nationals uphold the grand tradition of Washington Baseball, but they're getting a $25 million check from the Miser Angelo$ Sports Network and the Miser Angelo$ Sports Network doesn't have a snowball's chance in Hades of recovering even half of that. This is good news people because the sooner the Miser Angelo$ Sports Network goes belly-up, the sooner the Nats get control of their TV rights back and the sooner the Nats can start making the kind of $$$$$ they should be making off their TV rights. This will allow the team to improve and as the team gets better, the TV ratings will get better as they go to a real network like Comcast Sportsnet.
  • And speaking of dismal ratings, the second broadcast of "Mixed Martial Arts" (aka, Ulitmate Fighting) on SeeBS saw just over half as many viewers the second time around. So much for the "fastest rising sport" in America." This time, they didn't have the Stanley Cup Finals to beat either.
  • In another "Diversify or Die" moment, we simply link to a column in the New York Post not written by Larry Brooks and say, "good point." However, we know that the Obamessiah isn't serious and his disciples know he isn't serious about any of it either.
  • You may have heard about "Bush Derangement Syndrome" where everything President Bush does is wrong, even when he does what the sufferers want him to do. BDS also requires you to blame him for things he has absolutely nothing to do with, like the NHL Lockout. Most of you should be familiar with George McPhee Derangement Syndrome which is exactly the same thing, only localized to Caps fans and not the nutroots at large. Now add Jim Bowden Derangement Syndrome to the list. While we note with tongues firmly planted in cheek that the Nationals are just continuing the grand tradition of Washington Baseball, people need to remember that the franchise was intentionally run into the ground by Major League Baseball for the three seasons before it was moved to Washington. It was continued to be run into the ground for the first year and half in Washington, D.C. That's almost five seasons that that franchise was totally neglected. While Bowden was GM for the entire run so far in D.C., the major damage had already been done. Imagine if Nationals the had Vladimir Guerrero and Grady Sizemore when they moved to D.C.? As us Caps fans know, reclamation projects are not easy and take longer than most people want but if done right, they can pay off very well in the end.
  • Of course there is also the Dan Snyder Derangement Syndrome. Snyder of course gets no credit for refusing to charge upwards of $20 for a shuttle buses from the Metro Station and of course gets ripped for installing fast lanes at the stadium for a price. Problem is, they aren't alone in the enterprise and are charging the same and/or less than other teams. We have our lunch packed as we await an apology to Mr. Snyder on this one.
  • The cynics would say that it was only a matter of time before the Redskins had gotten their hands on Jason Taylor with Bill Parcells running him out of Miami. But the fact that the Redskins waited until there was an absolute need to make the deal shows that Joe Gibbs' good sense has left a mark in Ashburn. Under the old way of doing things, Dan Snyder and Vinnie Cerrato would have made the deal sooner (though we do admit that they were more interested in Chad Johnson than Taylor) instead of waiting for Phillip Daniels to go down for the season. You could even make the argument that they should have made the deal before somebody got hurt. But with near universal praise for the trade on both sides of the deal, the Skins made themselves a better team. Furthermore, with rumblings that the Jints were trying to get Taylor themselves in a three-way getting Jeremy Shockey out of town, keeping a guy like Taylor from a Divisional Opponent is an even bigger win.
  • While we like the loose atmosphere that Jim Zorn has installed in the Redskins practices, color us unimpressed with his plans to "open up the offense." We're particularly amused by all the oohing and aahing over three and four wide receiver sets. Are we the only ones who remember the biggest complaint about the Steve Spurrier era? Even with the return of Joe Bugel and a conservative offensive game plan, the Redskins still couldn't keep their quarterbacks healthy for an entire season because the offensive line was so bad. Now if they could somehow pull another Jason Taylor like trade to shore that unit up, the better off the team will be.
  • If the Chinese Gymnasts are all at least 16 years old, then we're beloved by everybody we come in contact with and have no problem getting along with other people.
  • While we don't want to downplay the accomplishments of Michael Phelps, we do have to wonder just how well other athletes, like Mark Spitz, would have done with the better training methods, swimming methods, and swimsuits that modern day athletes benefit from. The fact that 41 year old Darra Torres can keep up with competitors young enough to be her children leads us to believe it has more to do with modern technology than pure athletic talent. However, we do recognize that Phelps has talent and modern science has only made him even better in the utilization of those talents.
  • And we're sure we've said it around here but just can't find it, we never, ever want to root against the United States in anything, but we admit that we cannot stand the fact that Coach K coached the "Redeem Team" to a gold medal. This would only be a good thing if it convinces him to take his act from Dook to the NBA.
  • How would you like to be Greg Ryan right about now? How much more ducking of the Hope Solo question do you think he can do? Solo may not have been very "polite" in her comments of a year ago but there is no denying now that she was right and he was very, very wrong.
  • The "unbiased" media has struck again. No, we're not complaining about their brazen attempts to elect the Obamessiah President of the United States (this isn't a "Diversify or Die" Moment) we're complaining about their characterization of MLB introducing instant replay. Correct us if we're wrong, but who has been complaining the most about umpires blowing Home Run calls? We'll give you a clue and tell you it is the same people who insisted that tied NHL Games were boring along with all the clutching and grabbing and hooking and holding in all games. It is rather mystifying that the same people who complained about disputed home run calls are now upset over the delays over getting the calls right. It leads us to believe that our "unbiased" media friends would rather have something to complain about instead of getting something done right.
  • In our final "Diversify or Die" Moment we give our full endorsement to the good folks in San Francisco, CA who are seeking to name their sewage treatment plant after President George W. Bush. Why are we endorsing this idea? Well, us Conservatives are so used to cleaning up the fecal matter of Liberals, we've gotten it down to a science. So it is long past time it was recognized.


Saturday, August 02, 2008

Returning Soon...

ETA Labor Day Weekend.