Monthly Archives: June 2010

Redskins add depth, options from Jammal Brown trade. Was it worth another draft pick?

Jammal Brown, a 2008 Pro Bowler went with his then quarterback Drew Brees to Hawaii. Will he be able to do the same with McNabb? Picture via rds.ca

The Redskins remained in their “win now” attitude as they traded away another draft pick for offensive tackle Jammal Brown. The deal with the Saints is confusing and involves the conditional draft pick the Redskins burned to pick up Donovan McNabb from the Eagles. From Adam Shefter:

Washington will now be without its third- and fourth-round draft picks in 2011, but it will also get back a later pick from New Orleans.

Washington owes the Eagles a third- or fourth-round pick in 2011 for McNabb, based on how the quarterback plays or the team performs. If the Redskins win nine games, go to the playoffs or McNabb gets selected to the Pro Bowl, Philadelphia will receive Washington’s third-round pick and New Orleans will get Washington’s fourth. If none of those happen, the Eagles will get the Redskins’ fourth-round pick and the Saints will get the Redskins’ third-round pick.

If New Orleans receives Washington’s third-round pick, then the Redskins will get a 2011 fifth-round pick back from the Saints. However, if Washington’s third-round pick goes to Philadelphia, then the Saints will send a 2011 sixth- or seventh-round pick back to the Redskins.

Uh…

So is this more of the same that we saw during the Vinny Cerrato era? Allen is a general manager that builds teams through the draft, so trading another draft pick seems, how do I say it, fishy. Is Cerrato still in Ashburn?

The answer is no. The big question last season wasn’t with the so-called skill players, it was gaping holes in the offensive line. There was not a single moment anytime during the season where I had faith in the offensive line because they never gave me reason.

Picking up Trent Williams in the draft and signing an offensive tackle a year removed from being voted into the Pro Bowl, the Redskins added depth and options for a beleaguered line. Brown played at the left tackle position when he went to the Pro Bowl in 2008, but the Redskins plan to start Williams on the left and Brown on the right.

And by the sounds of it, Brown doesn’t have a problem with that. “I know they got my college teammate Trent [Williams] on the left side,” Brown told Jason Reid of The Washington Post. “We’ll see how that all plays out. But I’m going to play wherever they want me to play. I’m just excited to be here and to be a part of a first-class program.” Brown and Williams both played at Oklahoma, though never together. Brown was taken 13th by the Saints in the 2005 draft while Williams was a true freshman in 2006.

Mike Williams seems to be the odd man out, which I for one am not going to lose any sleep over.

This trade isn’t a merchandise seller, you won’t see kids running around in burgundy and gold jerseys with Brown stitched across the back. This trade was to strengthen a key weakness that led to a colossal failure of a season in 2009.

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Former Bullet Manute Bol passes away at 47.

Former Washington Bullet Manute Bol has passed away at the age of 47. Bol was hospitalized in May with acute kidney failure and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a potentially deadly skin disease. He contracted the disease while visiting his home country.

Once the tallest player in the NBA, Bol led the league in blocks in 1985-86 and 1988-89, but was also one of the most charitable professional athletes. Born in Sudan, Bol has raised awareness of the problems in his home country. He was even fined $25,000 for missing two exhibition games because he was in Washington helping mediate between rebel groups vying for power during a Civil War in Sudan.He participated in many events to help Sudan, including building houses and schools in his native land.

His size was a wonder to anyone who saw him, but his generosity was thanked by all those he helped.

[SB Nation]

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Nationals pitching woes continue while the disabled list has never looked more promising.

Jordan Zimmermann hopes to make an impact for the Nationals in the future, though he's currently on the 60-day DL recovering from Tommy John surgery. Picture via http://www.centerfieldgate.com

Pitching has been the center of talk for the Washington Nationals simply because of der Wunderkind, Stephen Strasburg. After a fantastic performance from the stud, the Nationals dropped their fifth straight after 11 innings at Nationals Park last night. So what about the rest of the rotation who have given up 42 earned runs in their past 12 games, with a record of 1-8 between the four? And what about the pitchers the Nationals currently have on the disabled list?

It hurts to see a rotation struggle as much as these four have (Strasburg excluded), especially after such a successful start to the season. John Lannan has struggled for the majority of the season, with much of that due to location issues while Livan Hernandez has just seemed to cool off after such a surprisingly hot start to the season. Luis Atilano has struggled with consistency for much of the season while J.D. Martin seems to just be a placeholder on the injury-ridden pitching staff.

What we haven’t seen this season is an incredible amount of talent that has been plagued by injuries.

There is a ton of young and veteran talent currently sitting on the 15-day and 60-day disabled lists.

Jason Marquis (60-day DL)hasn’t been seen since April 18th where he allowed seven earned runs and couldn’t get out of the first inning. It could be over a month for the former Cardinal return to the mound after announcing he would likely need surgery to remove spurs and bone-chips from his right elbow. The sun could be setting on the once promising addition to the Nationals rotation.

One of the best prospects in the Nationals system Jordan Zimmermann (60-day DL) won’t pitch until at least August, but that won’t stop me from hyping up the fantastic right arm of this kid (even though he’s two years older than I am). After undergoing Tommy John surgery at the end of the 2009 season, Zimmermann is ahead of schedule in his rehab. It’s going to be nice seeing him finally take the mound in August when the rotation is hopefully somewhat restored. We can only hope. More from Riggleman on Zimmermann’s rehab: [via Federal Baseball]

Zimmermann’s been on…and with Jordan, he threw to hitters out there, threw a couple innings, threw a lot actually, warmed up for a long time, threw an inning, sat down, went out and threw another inning, and threw the ball very well. Very encouraging that he’s responded well to everything, to the surgery itself then to all the throwing sessions that he’s had since then, so, you know, we’re crossing our fingers and hopefully we’ll have him back in a reasonable amount of time. I’m not sure how many starts he’ll go down and get, but it will be really nice to have him back.”

Chien-Ming Wang (60-day DL)was another promising addition to the rotation, but hasn’t yet thrown a pitch this season since recovering from off-season shoulder surgery. Things are looking up for Wang, though, as he continues to pitch bullpen sessions with the coaches. The Nationals pick-up of Wang was risky after his production dropped off considerably from his back-to-back 19 win seasons in 2006 and 2007.

Unlike the four pitchers above, Scott Olsen, who has been recovering from a injury to his throwing arm, should be back in the rotation soon. After a slow start to the season, Olsen settled in to his role in the rotation and allowed only eight runs in six starts before succumbing to tightness in his pitching elbow.

There are obviously other problems the Nationals need to fix before becoming a successful squad in the National League East such as hitting and defense (yeah I know, the problems seem to be everywhere), but the future is bright especially with so many improvements to all facets of the pitching game. The Nationals can’t rely on a player that pitches every five day, so getting these players back in the rotation will be incredibly helpful.

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Hey hey hey: Redskins should sit on Haynesworth deal.

Albert Haynesworth released a statement about his ongoing situation with the Washington franchise through his agent late Tuesday night. CSN Washington posted the statement at 9:45 p.m.:

“The Washington Redskins are a great and storied franchise with an owner in Mr. Snyder that will do anything in his power to win and a fan base that is unrivaled in the NFL. When I signed here after meeting all day with the staff and top executives, and talked about the defense that we would run and what my role would be, I was assured I would have the freedom to play to my strengths and I was excited about the future. After many years in the NFL, I know what it takes for me to perform at my highest level. My number one goal has always been to help my team win -period. It’s also important at my position to help free my teammates to make plays, which I’ve done throughout my career when I’ve been allowed to play to my strengths. I will continue to work individually to prepare for training camp and the start of the 2010 season.”

First off, I think Haynesworth needs to remember exactly when he signed his contract. He could not have spent “all day” meeting with team personnel because he signed his contract at approximately 5 a.m. If they had met all day, the Redskins would have actually gotten in trouble from the tampering probe the NFL conducted last season.

Second, it’s obvious what a nuisance Haynesworth has been since that monster $100 million contact, it comes as no surprise to me that he would be asking for a contract. After such a difficult and frustrating year, where on most plays he was actively involved in he had to be carted off, Haynesworth is trying to take the easy way out. I’m sure he’s fine with that, especially with $41 guaranteed on his contract. I’m sure life was so easy for the big man last year under the relaxed atmosphere Jim Zorn, while the new coaching staff is asking a lot more of him.

In reference to objections to the new 3-4 scheme, this is where Haynesworth has no leverage and is downright misinformed about the player-coach relationship. I didn’t think it needed to be said but the coaches make the scheme and call the plays, the players are ones that carry out the coaches plan.

If Haynesworth wants to whine, let him. But if he wants a trade, just say no. The best thing the franchise can do at this point is fine him. Fine him a lot. It’s pathetic when professional players act like this, especially after one underwhelming season on the field for the big man. I have more sympathy when players with long-term contracts ask for a trade in the second half of the contract’s life, but asking for a trade after one season of a seven year deal, well that’s just ridiculous.

The best trade possibility would be a fourth or fifth round pick in the draft, and that’s a big if because not many teams will be in the market for such a large contract. So my suggestion to the Redskins is to sit on the contract and fine Haynesworth as much as possible. He will soon learn that if he ever wants to get paid again, he’ll need to perform on the field and the only way to do that, is to play for the Redskins.

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Strasburg makes the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Photo via Sports Illustrated Facebook Page

After a phenomenal debut and solid second start, Stephen Strasburg will now grace your cover of Sports Illustrated (unless you’re in Chicago). You can be sure I’ll be picking this issue up to add to my collection of classic sports magazines (George Mason to the Final Four being by far my favorite).

I do want to apologize for turning DMV Sports into Strasburg Sports so early in the life of this blog, but that’s what is big in DC Sports right now.

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DMV Sports: Link time!

Drew Storen relieved Stephen Strasburg with the bases loaded vs the Indians yesterday and got out of the inning without letting any runners score. Those are two great players and it’s good to see what they’re both capable of. [Nationals Journal]

The best DC sports blog, Mr Irrelevant celebrated their 2,000 post; 1,000 followers; 10,000 coments; and 4 million page views. Congrats, guys! [Mr Irrelevant]

This animated Ovechkin video is… well, it’s just plain weird. [Japers Rink]

Charles Mann says he would do more with the team than what Albert Haynesworth is doing if he was making one million dollars, not 100 million. [DC Sports Bog]

Vinny Cerrato is going to the Hall of Fame… the Albert Lea High School Hall of Fame. [Hogs Haven]

Mike Prada of SB Nation DC writes about what the real issue is in renaming the Wizards. [SB Nation DC]

Video above: New Redskins draftee Terrance Austin has an awesome highlight reel from his time at UCLA. We’ll have more on him in our Redskins coverage. [Redskins Blog]

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Virginia Tech willing to take risks in non-conference scheduling.

Picture via doubleextrapoint.com

The Boise State football program has risen to prominence since their miracle BCS busting game against Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. Since then, they have posted a 36-4 record. Unfortunately their lack of a BCS conference has hindered them from scheduling out of conference games to prove their worth. That’s where Virginia Tech comes in.

The Hokies have agreed to play the Broncos at a “neutral” site at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, while most top schools in BCS conferences choose to schedule cupcake teams that can run all over. Is this a single case of Virginia Tech going out on a limb to schedule a tough out of conference opponent?

Not at all.

The polytechnical school has a history of scheduling the best from other conferences as well. Just last year, the Hokies (ranked #7 at the time) faced #5 Alabama at the Georgia Dome. And while they lost to the eventual National Champions 34-24, it shows the willingness of a high profile football program to play the best teams, even if they are not in the ACC.

Virginia Tech doesn’t mind traveling for their games. They’ve played out of conference games against teams in the Big East, Pac-10, SEC, and Big 12 since they joined the ACC. Not many other school can say that. Playing schools from other conferences also tends to help the national profile of a quality school nestled in the Appalachian Mountains.

The recent home-and-home with Nebraska is another example of what Virginia Tech does so well in their scheduling. Nebraska fell on some tough times in 2007 when Bill Callahan nearly destroyed the program, but after the hiring of Bo Pelini, Nebraska was back on track. Heading to Lincoln for a game is no easy task. It is one of the most intimidated and sacred stadiums in college football. Virginia Tech doesn’t mind though, considering Lane Stadium can be just as fierce. By the time the Huskers visited Blacksburg last fall for the second leg of their agreement, Nebraska was ranked #19 in the country with a kid named Ndamukong Suh. Virginia Tech won both games against Nebraska.

It goes further back too. Tech visited then #2 LSU in Baton Rouge in 2007, West Virginia in Morgantown in 2005 and played #1 USC at FedEx Field in 2004. What all these games mean is that Virginia Tech does not mind bucking the norm of scheduling easy wins, but would rather gain respect by playing the best teams in the country.

The game this fall vs Boise State is shaping up to be a colossal match-up during the opening week of college football. It’s a big game for both programs, but more so for college football as a whole. It’s rare to see such talented teams square off in big non-conference games and it’s something that gains the Hokies a lot of respect.

We’ll have more coverage on this game as it nears because let’s be honest, this realignment thing is getting to be too much.

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