Friday, June 5, 2009

Currently residing in second most obvious place: mom's basement. Soon to be in most obvious place: prison.

Friday Furburgers: My "Interaction" With Stan Kasten

So I'm at the Nat's game.

Fourth inning.

It's raining, but no worry. Suites have their benefits.

I grab another beer and walk toward the deck with my buddy.

I see Stan Kasten as I walk by.

My friend is introduced, and Kasten shakes his hand. "Nice to meet you," he says.

Then I stick my hand out and introduce myself.

What happens next? Here are the choices:

a) Kasten shakes my hand.

b) Kasten undoes his belt, drops his pants, squats, and takes a dump on my brand new kicks.

c) I say "Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Kasten," and stand there with my hand out for about 10 seconds as he looks away and refuses to acknowledge my existence, far too busy pondering whether he should put relish or sauerkraut, or, screw it, both, on his hot dog next inning, or how he can somehow get more fans in the stands by trading Ryan Zimmerman and Aaron Crow for the rights to this year's #1 pick, even though the Nat's already have the #1 pick and were unable to sign Crow after the draft last year.

Well, the answer is some combination of b and c, if you replace the word "kicks" in b to "ego" or "chest", and the word "Kasten" in c to "Dickhead". Kidding. He actually seemed like a nice guy, and I'm sure it was an honest mistake.

But hot damn, that was embarrassing. For me.

You cut me deep, Stan.

Anyway, without further ado I present your Friday Furburgers:

Caps '08-'09 rookie evaluations.
Hockey's Future

Flirting with other quarterbacks a dumb move by Danny and Vinny. Gee, ya think?
Sporting News

NHL Organizational Rankings has caps at 6. Sounds about right.
Hockey's Future

Redskins the 24th best (9th worst) all-around franchise in the NFL. Ugh.
Fox Sports

Clinton Portis the 6th best RB, according to Madden rankings. Chris Cooley the 4th best TE.

Speaking of Madden rankings, DeAngelo Hall is upset.
Redskins Blog

Speaking of DeAngelo Hall, DeAngelo Hall is still upset.
Redskins Blog

Charges dropped against Jeremy Bridges. There were charges against Jeremy Bridges?

Nationals Park given an A- by ballpark traveler. Whoopeeeee!
Thirty Ballparks

Great site for t-shirts. I can't decide between Gordon Bombay's Hawks retro and Jesse Hall's classic Ducks jersey. All input welcome.
My Party Shirt

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Former Cap Joe Sacco Hired to Coach Avalanche
He scored 7 goals in '99-'00. Fuck you, what have you ever done?

Art imitating life. Pretty funny flash game.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Nationals' Best Pitcher Not Yet on Nationals

Next Tuesday the most exciting draft in sports hits us like a hangover poop at 8:15 AM: suddenly and explosively. Most of the explosion this year will be coming from your soon-to-be most dominant pitcher in DC: Stephen Strasburg.

If you're unfamiliar with the guy, he can be summed up thusly: "He may be the best pitcher in the world." He throws some high-90s cheese, and also, this: "His breaking ball is a plus-plus slider with two plane break that's virtually unhittable." Pretty awesome considering he used to be plus-plus pants size. He was a walk-on at San Diego State, and with Head Coach Tony Gwynn mentoring him has developed into the second coming. Always heartwarming when pimple-faced fatsos become athletic studs.

L to R: Stephen Strasburg's Mother, Aunt, Senior Prom Date, and
Stephen Strasburg at age 17. [image via Colonel Robert Neville]

Mostly I can't be bothered to like the Nats, though I'm trying my damndest, and the prospect of rooting for this flame-throwing Aztec certainly intrigues me. A source within the Nats organization denied that the drafting and signing of Strasburg is a done deal (he wants $50 million - gangsta) which means it's definitely a done deal. CBS Sportsline already labeled him a Nat. That makes it official, right?

We talk a lot about hope around here, and any time you can add a once-in-a-generation ace, it can change the course of an entire franchise. But I'll believe it when I see it. His arm looks like a rubber dildo of death in the above video, and I'm no Doctor James Andrews but that can't be natural.

Whether some over-ambitious minor-league coach gets his hands on him and/or a desperate Manny Acta totally screws it up by overpitching the kid remains to be seen. Here's hoping he's the next Nolan Ryan and not the next Mark Prior.

Just so ya know.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

NHL Fellates Pens: PIT 4, DET 2

Let's just get this out of the way: I hate the Penguins.

You know how everyone keeps a mental list of their most hated rivals? The Penguins are right at the top of mine, followed by the Antichrist, Eagles, Cowboys, Flyers, and Duke hoops.

Why do I hate the Pens so much? Other than the fact that the Caps can't beat 'em in the playoffs, and their captain is by a wide margin the biggest crybaby in the NHL who would be better served gluing pubes to his face than broadcasting his pathetic attempt to grow facial hair, and their fans are obnoxious (Pittsburgh fans generally are)? Well, here's a recap of recent events:

-Malkin bumps chelios in warm-ups. TWICE. In the NHL Rulebook, that's an automatic fine and/or suspension, except if you're a Penguin.

-Malkin instigates a fight in the waning moments of a decided Game 2 by cracking Zetterberg's skull with his stick. TWICE. Clearly message sending, clearly instigating, clearly malicious, and once again auto-suspension worthy. Except if you're a Penguin.

-Pens have a 6-man tea party on the ice for a solid twenty seconds during their win in Game 3. The announcers saw it. I saw it. The blind man in the apartment next door saw it through the walls. That's a penalty, except if you're a Penguin.

Lest we come across as whiny losers, consider all this in comparison to Brashear's 6-game suspension. Consider that Puck Daddy agrees with us. That The Hockey News agrees. That in allowing Malkin to play and rack up 3 assists (while Crosby's been shut down with 1 A total this series), the NHL has what it wants: a 2-1 series instead of a 3-0 Wings lead. Conspiracy! Just kidding. Sort of.

[Image via Flying Water Bottle]

Jason La Canfora Leaves 'Skins Beat - Empty Hate Vacuum Remains

For those devout Redskins followers who refresh Redskins Insider every 30 seconds during football season, you've by now become acquainted with the voice of "The Sourcerer," Jason La Canfora. His epic anti-Cerrato screeds are must reads, and if you haven't yet you'd damn well better read this one. Or better yet, just read any in-season post from 2008 in which he destroys the 'Skins' front office for ignoring the O-line. I for one enjoyed every word.*

But that's all over now, as La Canfora has followed the cashola and accepted a position with NFL Network. Which is great for him, his family and his wardrobe. Though it leaves a gaping void of incendiary hatred at the Washington Post that needs to be filled post-haste. Problem is, I'm not sure there's anyone capable.

Jason Reid, co-beat writer during the '08 season, is the logical successor to "The Insider" position and JLC endorses him in his farewell post. But is he too much of a nice guy? Amongst a media horde more inclined to worship than question, La Canfora stood out because he challenged Gibbs and the front office when no one else would. He's the kind of guy who didn't care if he looked like a slob - he just wanted the damn story. That's who I want covering my teams. Not so sure Reid can be that guy.

Barry Svrluga and Zach Berman have done a nice but bland job covering OTAs, and Cindy Boren is the editor/voice of reason. Steinberg is always money at the Sports Bog, though. Maybe that will do.

As training camp approaches and players try to claw their way up the depth chart, a similar fight might be taking place at Redskins Insider. Whose voice will emerge? What will Vinny do to piss off the beat writers and fans next? Could the potential acquisition of an ex-convict be in the works? Will Snyder scratch his itch, buy the Post, and fire everyone? What are horse shoes? Are there any horse socks? Is anyone listening to me?

*(For a complete rundown of the epic 2008 La Canfora - Cerrato catfight, acquaint yourself with Chase's take at The Player Hater's Ball. You won't regret it.)

[La Canfora image via WaPo]

O's 1, M's 0: All You Need is One

All you need is one.

-"Cock Pushups," Tenacious D

Rich Hill tossed a beauty, the bullpen didn't fuck it up, and that was all the O's needed to earn their 8th W in eleven games. They're now 6-6 in one-run games, and good on them for pulling out a close one on their 14th game in as many nights.

O's Prez Andy MacPhail must be psyched - he almost traded Brian Roberts for Hill and 1st round bust Felix Pie last season - and was saved by the Cubs' overconfidence in the pair. But that crafty crafterson managed to snag them both this offseason anyways and Hill looked like Barry Zito (circa 2002) with that crazy rainbow lefty curveball thingy.

But we can't give MacPhail too much credit because the new catcher, if you've heard, is pretty awesome at everything. O's pitchers are now 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA, 23 Ks and just 4 BBs with Wieters behind the plate. He is a dream pitching target at 6' 5" and his ice cold demeanor is contagious. Buck Martinez noted last night, and it's worth repeating, that he has a knack for understanding a pitcher's pace and rhythm, doesn't waste time calling pitches, and the result is a pitcher finding his groove. It's a pleasure to watch.

And though he had another 0'fer night at the plate, according to the law of averages he is due to go 47 of his next 55 with 19 HR and 400 RBI. That would probably break some kind of record.

Tonight: Adam Jones gets to homer off trade counter-piece and former O's ace Erik Bedard.

[AP Photo via]

Matt Stafford poops pants, incurs nickname Matt "Sacked for 10" Stafford.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Wizards Draft Preview Part II: Evaluating the Prospects

In Part I of our Wizards draft preview we arrived at three conclusions:

1) The NBA Draft Lottery is an unnecessary, superficial, awkward event;

2) Gilbert Arenas is not what one would call a "classic" point guard;

3) Ernie Grunfeld better damn well draft one of them "classic" point guards.

In Part II we will evaluate potential Wizards draft picks, assuming three things:

1) The pick isn't traded;

2) Blake Griffin, Ricky Rubio, and Hasheem Thabeet are unavailable by the 5th pick;

3) The Wizards will draft a Point Guard, Shooting Guard, or Power Forward.

Assumption 2 is based on most Big Boards and Mock Drafts, while assumption 3 is based on a combination of logic, a DCLS poll, and team needs. While we at DCLS believe a drafting a point guard would be in the team's best interests, Ernie may not. So we will account for that accordingly in our evaluation.

Below is a list of potential Wizards' picks along with their measurements and notable '08-'09 statistics. Each player's "Rank" is an average of five Big Boards, picked arbitrarily by yours truly: ESPN,, Draft Express, CBS Sports, and RealGM. Players are ranked highest to lowest:

There are two ways a GM can approach a draft pick: take the best player available, or take the best player available in consideration of team needs.

According to the above rankings, only Harden and Hill would be "steals" at the fifth pick. With their college accomplishments, athleticism, and outstanding upside, I wouldn't grimace at the idea of either player joining the Wizards. Hill would immediately become former Wildcat Gilbert Arenas' best friend, and could provide valuable energy off the bench until Antawn Jamison transforms into "Antawn Jamison's Expiring Contract". Harden, while lacking ideal size for a two guard, is a great leader and has the ability to share ball-handling responsibilities with a fellow guard. Defensively, he is decent, although he has limited lock-down ability.

Were Ernie to venture down the path of "team needs" when making a final decision, there are several point guards he may consider. I'm going to eliminate Brandon Jennings from discussion because I lack the knowledge to evaluate him, and I (perhaps falsely) believe someone who forgoes a full-ride at Big-Time U to get limited playing time in Europe has character issues. My preference in regards to the point guards above?

1. Flynn
2. Evans
3. Maynor
4. Curry
5. Lawson

Evans has ideal size and can play either guard position. Maynor hasn't consistently faced the same level of competition as the others, but he is a "money player". Curry's 3-point ability is desirable, but he is new to the point guard position. I honestly have no problem with Lawson, but there's a good chance he will around when Washington is called at pick 32.

As for the guy I ranked first: for anyone who watched the Big East tournament, specifically that UConn-Syracuse marathon, I implore you to go back in time and not fall in love with Jonny Flynn. It's impossible. It can't be done. And I know it's usually silly to evaluate a player based on his performance in one game. But when you are desperately seeking a way to improve your team, aside from talent you look for winners and you look for heart. And if there is anything that embodies those two characteristics more than someone's performance in a 6-overtime elimination game against the #1 ranked team in the country, please let me know.

He's small, and he reminds me of Chris Paul, both in size and playing style. Those who say he's too small for the NBA need look no farther than guys like Paul, Aaron Brooks, and Nate Robinson. Remember, it's not the size of the dog in the's the size of the fight in the dog.

In Chad Ford's profile of Flynn, the point guard had this to say about the prospect of playing in New York. Conveniently replacing New York with Washington, you get this:

"You have to have heart to succeed in [Washington]. I've got a big one."

We could use that on the Wizards, don't you think?

[Title Image via]

Nat's Lose 6th in a Row, Ask for Blog Coverage

“It’s mind-numbing at times to watch the Nationals defense.”
-Rob Dibble in the 4th inning of yesterday's game

The Nat's 4-2 loss last night marked their 3rd (!) six-game losing streak of the season. It was a milestone defeat, however, as Jamie Moyer won his 250th career game at the ripe age of 46. Moyer was probably throwing back Mike's Hard's like they were water on the night Nat's starter John Lannan, 24 years old, was being conceived.

However, yesterday's loss cannot and should not be pinned on Lannan. Allowing 3 ER and striking out 7 in five innings is a little less than you expect from your staff ace by default, but not by much. No, let's chalk up another loss to the worst fielding team in the majors. Their ineptitude around the diamond has been discussed before, but sometimes the less than obvious plays are game-breakers.

With one out and runners on first and third in the bottom of the fourth, Lannan got Pedro Feliz to ground into a tailor-made 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. The only problem is Nat's fielders don't have a tailor, and in classic fashion, Anderson Hernandez couldn't even get the ball out of his glove, screwed it up, and pathetically watched Raul Ibanez cross home plate for a 3-1 lead.

The game was ultimately won by two runs, 4-2, but these are the types of plays that indirectly affect the outcome by altering the momentum of a game. They are also the types of plays that make a winner mediocre, a mediocre team a bad team, and a bad team a historically bad team.

Historically bad? No thanks, didn't we come close enough last year?

Nat's go for 7 in a row for the third time this year tomorrow against the Giants.

Caps Doping Investigation

Momma Plotty once said people living in glass houses should not throw stones. She followed that up by cautioning me against trusting people who are facing 21 criminal charges, including possession and importation of illegal anabolic steroids, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and maintaining a residence to sell drugs. In light of said criminal investigation, it appears Momma Plotty's nuggets of wisdom may have some traction:

"NHL investigators have been unable to make a connection between Thomas and the Caps."
The bullshit factor in this case is through the roof, but let us recap. Richard Thomas and his heinous wife are arrested in their home with $200,000 worth of anabolic steroids, among other paraphernalia. The cops require three sets of cuffs to subdue this guy, so clearly he is either a fucking animal, off his goddamn rocker, or some combination of the two. The standard operating procedure in any arrest that involves three separate sets of handcuffs immediately should set off alarm bells that the arrestee probably isn't too thrilled about the prospects of jail time, yet the Lakewood Police Chief Donald Judd apparently finds the words of a just-arrested heat-packing meathead to be worthy of the public record. Seriously, take a fucking look at this nutjob, it's 11 pm, do you trust your National Hockey League franchise with this guy? Major League Baseball has fucked itself so royally with steroids I can't completely exculpate the Nationals. But the Capitals? On a team that had only five players log more than 100 hits this season? And passed five rounds of drug testing over the last two years without incident? As flimsy as the accusation appears on the surface, the incident itself and Commish Gary Bettman's recent public comments make me slightly uneasy. If they've passed drug tests (which they have) but the NHL establishes some connection to Thomas and the Caps (which they have not), expect the league to levy a massive fine on the Capitals organization and institute much tougher league-wide testing policies. This publicity would be devastating for the NHL, which needs the news that players are passing league-instituted drug tests and juicing like I need a groin punch. But for all intents and purposes, lock this guy up and let's put to rest this ridiculous story.

Pronger Could be the D-Bag the Doctor Ordered for the Caps

So I'm sitting at a bar in Brooklyn on Saturday nursing a beer. Apparently someone that speaks hipster had spread the word about the Sierra Nevada draft special and a horde of these fuckers took over the bar. After four to six full sips of beer each, they started "dancing" like wacky, waving, inflatable arm flailing tube men and irritating me to no end. So naturally, my thoughts turned to violence. How sweet would it be, I wondered, if Chris Pronger walked into this bar, elbowed and stomped these clowns, hoisted the Stanley Cup over his head and paraded around the bar in triumph over their bloodied corpses? And then Caps GM George McPhee traded Tom Poti, Tomas Fleischmann, D prospects Josh Godfrey and Joe Finley and a 1st rounder for him?

But my fantasies rarely become reality, except for the time I ordered the Super Juicer. And the obstacles preventing this dream from coming to fruition are steep. For one, the Ducks' ridiculous asking price: three blue-chip prospects, one of whom is a studly two-way defenseman in the Pronger mold. That, however, was during a seller's market trade deadline and the asking price is sure to go down this offseason - especially if Scott "Brett Favre" Niedermayer decides to return to the Ducks for another year.

For another, that pesky salary cap. By my math, and after making a few logical assumptions about which RFAs will be retained (Fehr, Gordon, Schultz, Jurcina) and which UFAs will not, the Caps will have around $52 million in salary towards the cap with only one open forward spot available. The 34-year old Pronger has one year left at $6.25 million. The cap this year was $56.7 million and is expected to go down. Balls.

Details shmetails, I say! Pronger is 100% tenacious in his defensive end, which makes him a perfect fit on a Caps blue line that currently has 0% of that. His track record alone would make guys think twice about coming across the middle. Mike Green needs someone to ease the burden of being an offensive stud AND a physical presence, which he tried and failed to be these playoffs. Erskine and Jurcina...Scott Stevens and Rod Langway they are not. Plus I think Pronger would like it here: we have plenty of hot sports reporters available for him to impregnate.

Pronger bait. [Photo via Wikipedia]

More importantly, however, Pronger will bring the edge to the backline that Ovie takes care of up front, and the young guys like Alzner - who curiously prides himself on not hitting - could stand to learn a thing or two about what it takes: namely a dose of d-baggery when appropriate.

As I finished my beer one particularly pissy, life-hating hipster was at the bar whining about his $3 Sierra Nevada being too hoppy; about Modest Mouse becoming too "commercial;" and other such bullshit things. It occurred to me that this was the Michael Nyander of the bar: he talked in circles like Nylander skates them and sucks the life out of the room like Nylander sucks it out of the Caps' offense. And similarly, is the final road block to fun/improvement. The 36-year-old Swede is $5 million in cap deadweight for the next two years and it'd be a shame if that kept the Caps from acquiring a guy like Pronger. Though not nearly as shameful as the way in which the corporations have like totally screwed us over again, man. Dumbass hipster.

[Pronger image via CBC Sports]