Sunday Smorgasbord 7-11
- Well, well, well... It looks as if the last time we spoke about the Albert Haynesworth situation, we spoke too soon... (So what else is new???) For a guy who had the cards on his side, he played them about as poorly as anybody ever could. To reiterate, had Hanyesworth shown up for training camp in the best shape of his life, he would have put Mike Shanahan in a no-win situation. Instead Haynesworth decided to skip the mandatory part of the off-season workouts and demand a trade at the same time. The biggest sign that Haynesworth has conceded the high ground here? The unloading on him by just about everybody not only in the Redskins organization but in pro football. The funny part is though, while the Redskins are certainly justified in their feelings towards Haynesworth, it dramatically lowers his value in any trade they try to make, though it is very debatable how much trade value he ever had in the first place. Either way, Haynesworth has played this situation about as poorly as he could and if he were smart, not only would he show up for training camp in the best shape of his life, but he would also refuse to speak to the press upon arriving and until he leaves the Redskins. But based on past performance, we don't think that will happen here.
- And speaking of hard feelings, we give kudos to Cleveland Cavaliers Owner Tom Gilbert for basically saying what should have been said about the whole LeBron James Free Agency search. We don't think his championship guarantee is smart but we do agree that James' narcissistic actions were repulsive. However, James was not alone in this entire affair. The Worldwide Leader in Schlock is just a culpable in building this guy up and covering his every move in free agency, even when he wasn't doing anything to say nothing about devoting an entire evening to him. Sadly however, we think that this is just the beginning for this type of thing. These kinds of "announcements" and "recruiting trips" are common for High School Athletes choosing which college they will play for and attend. Some tried to use the fact that James never went to college and was never really recruited by colleges as a high schooler to equivocate his actions now as a pro. We aren't buying it because the next time something like this comes around, it will be considered a part of the business and few will bat an eyelash at it.
- And effective this past Friday, the University of Maryland was relieved of Deborah Yow as it Director of Athletics. While Debbie's contributions to the Athletic Department cannot be dismissed or disputed, it was clear last year that when she lost her second major power play against one of her high-profile employees in a year that she was on her way out. The failure to oust Gary Williams and Ralph Friedgen tarnish an outstanding run at UMD for Debbie who has now returned home to North Carolina to take over the N.C. State Wolfpack Athletic Department. Debbie's legacy would have been cemented had she stepped down "looking for other challenges" after the Women's Basketball Team won the NCAA Title in 2006. However she hung on too long and is heading down to tobacco road with her tail between her legs. At least she doesn't need to invest in a new wardrobe.
- Well the Free Agent Frenzy in the NHL came and went and some ugly contracts were handed out. The Caps stayed largely on the sidelines because there was no reason to hand out three-four year contracts that got a bunch of hearts in a twitter but rarely, if ever, accomplish anything. However, we do wonder why after the failure of the Michael Nylander and Brendan Morrrissonn contracts why many Caps fans automatically declare the 2010-2011 a complete and utter failure because the Caps haven't signed a free agent of note. Just to recap, last season the Caps won the Southeast Division by 38 points, that is six more points than the rest of the Division Champions combined. The Caps were first in the East by 18 points and the President's Trophy by 10 points. What this means is that there isn't much for this team to improve upon. And when you consider that the vast majority of free agents are rejects from other teams that nobody was willing to trade for, we really shake our heads at all the complaining. Was Marion Hossa and his one goal and three assists the reason why the Blackhawks won the Cup (he was a -4 in the last two games BTW)? With the Hershey Bears winning their third Calder Cup in the last four years, it is certainly time for some of the prospects down there to come to the NHL and show what they can do in the big leagues. A bevy of free agents will only get in the way of that happening.
- And we'll dip into the old news file to comment on the Caps revoking Season Ticket Privileges to those who don't know how to act in public, especially when a camera is turned on them. If there was a way we could "dislike" a Facebook Group we would on this one over and over. Sorry but it does not matter how long somebody has been a fan, how much $$$$$ they spend for tickets, or how "diehard" of a fan they are; you have to conduct yourself in an appropriate manner or you run the risk of being told to stay away. We were just six years old when we went to our first professional sporting event and with the atmosphere at pro sporting events these days, we would be wary of taking a twelve year old to one. Too many fans take Homer Simpson's credo as gospel and think that the sporting event exists for them to have an avenue to perform their antics. Some are benign, some are bizarre, but too many are out of line and detract from the event that many people are going to see. The "moral equivalence" game attempted by some comparing Bruce Boudreau's rant and lack of public rebuke from the Caps is laughable on its face. If we really need to explain the difference between a paid employee of an organization and a paying customer, then you won't be persuaded by anything we have to say anyway. Finally the fact that Steinbog has never posted the full explanation, tells us that the Caps have wisely clammed up about this situation. We only hope that this is the start of cleaning up the environment at Caps games and hope some other franchises follow their lead.
- And from the "unfinished business" file we clearly touched a nerve in Darwin's Waiting Room back in April when we called it like it was back in April when the Caps temporarily shut down their message boards. We feel as though Ms. Bumper deserved a reply and for whatever reason, the (Com)Post censors wouldn't let us post our reply on the thread. Because we know one of the goons in Darwin's Waiting Room chronicles every single thing we write, we know that this will reply will be seen. (BTW dude, you need a
wife...er... life) Well Bumper I’ll give you not only the courtesy of a reply but the last word. As a matter of fact, I won’t even bother to read your response, should you have one, but I will keep this short so that you and the rest of your playgroup can understand. First of all, I’m sure you can understand my floccinaucinihilipilification about how your boards were conveniently ready to go when the original boards went into meltdown because of the temper tantrums on all sides that took place. But does that really change anything that I said about the genesis of your boards? If the Caps hadn’t had enough of the activity you and your kind were conducting over there, would your boards be as operational as they are today? We both know the answer.
With a ten game homestand heading into the All-Star break, the Nats had a chance to build some momentum but instead stumbled to a 5-5 record on the run and are now 11 games under .500. We have to admit, we were a bit surprised by the selection of Matt Capps to the NL All-Star team. Count us among those who think Stephen Strasburg didn't belong on the team but what about Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman? Either would have been a much stronger choice to represent the Nats because the Nats must have a player on the team. And even if Strasburg, Dunn, and/or Zimmerman were on the All-Star team, we aren't watching the thing anyway and we doubt that there are many Nats fans who will watch the All-Star game because Matt Capps is in it.
And luckily for soccer fans, the World Cup Final today featured a goal in the dying minutes of overtime giving Spain a 1-0 win over the Netherlands and avoiding yet another World Cup title decided by a Penalty Kick Shootout. Had today's final gone to PK's, it once again would have been a setback for soccer in the U.S. As for the U.S. team, we certainly can't blame goalkeeper Tim Howard for the U.S.'s disappointing loss in the second round but we do question whether or not he came up with any huge, game turning saves. We can't think of one and had he been able to come up with any, the U.S. may have had a different fate in South Africa.
This week, the Nats are off until Friday when they open up a ten game road trip with a three-game series in Florida against the Marlins. D.C. United hosts Seattle on Thursday night and the L.A. Galaxy on Sunday.
As always, please send all comments, criticisms, corrections, questions, suggestions, and the proper use of lentils in salads to "capsnut" over at gmail dot com.
Labels: Sunday Smorgasbords