Friday, June 26, 2009
You can drive through a collection of dilapidated shanties, or what is known there as "town," and with your window open you'll most assuredly be offered "green," though I doubt it's the kind dumbass whitey tourists like myself are looking for, not that I'd be looking for something like that dear potential future employers.
The most noticeable difference, obviously, is the pace. It's sloooow. Waiters don't come to your table. They waddle. One restaurant we planned to go to for dinner had closed at like 2:37 PM. The owner's explanation the next day: "we didn't feel like working." And most tellingly, the wild roosters that roam the island don't even cock-a-doodle-doo until like 10 AM at the earliest. Basically, it's my kind of place.
Without further ado, and with no logical segue necessary, I present your Friday Furburgers. Links from the week, for the weekend:
Over the last 10 years, it's the Eagles who can claim the most consistent NFC East success. Which is the inverse of how our prestige rankings look over the whole Super Bowl era. Keep in mind, the Eagles Super Bowl trophy case is emptier than Paris Hilton's head.
ESPN's Decade Power Rankings
Cooley and Portis are the two funniest (or is it "most funny"?) NFL players in the last decade. And no love for Meast on the most feared category?
Business ideas that cannot fail, part 438: Jahidi White and Chris Whitney are thinking of starting an armored truck business in England. I'll take "WTF" for $2000, Alex.
DC Sports Bog's Twitter Page
McPhee took Philly to the cleaners on this '08 draft day deal. Keep this in mind going into the weekend.
The Hockey News: Looking Back at the '08 Draft Trades
Brian Orakpo is prettier than Mark Sanchez anyways.
The Redskins Blog
Local boy Oguchi Onyewu (Sherwood High School) dominates Spain's strikers in historic US upset over #1 ranked Spain on Thursday, earning a 9 rating on the game...
...and is suing a Belgian opponent for use of a racial slur. Shockingly, this is apparently rampant in Europe. THEY TOOK ERRR JAWWWBS!
The Wizards passed on the best rebounder in the last decade of college basketball, DeJuan Blair, in exchange for $2.5 million, which they will put towards some crappy $5 million per year veteran like Brian Skinner to fill the rebounding void instead. Genius!
Find out what your name would be if you were a Brazilian soccer player. Mine would be "Reincha." See if you can figure out my real name now, clever readers. First one to get it right gets their comment deleted!
Rambo keeps getting violenter and violenter with each passing sequel. And also, crappier and crappier.
Caps GM George McPhee, a.k.a. the former "VP of Atmosphere" of Blue Moon Mexican Cafe restaurants in New York City, a.k.a. DC's longest tenured GM, a.k.a. the man with the plan, a.k.a. The Undertaker, will be directing his 12th draft as the Caps head bossman tonight, 7 PM, and all day Saturday. While his drafting success has been mixed, he has overseen a streamlining and revamping of the organization's scouting system that is finally reaping dividends.
I could drone on and on about McPhee's GM skills, but it's Friday and I don't want to make Vinny Cerrato cry before the weekend even starts. Instead, I'll regale you with tales of McPhee's manliness that earned him the Undertaker moniker. And maybe a tidbit about his GM skills at the end:
- After a pre-season game in Chicago in 1999 in which the Blackhawks dressed goons and played dirty, McPhee took on the entire coaching staff and roster of the 'Hawks BY HIMSELF. Money quote, after receiving a month-long suspension and $20k fine: "I will never regret standing up for the organization or for what I think is right for the league."
- An undersized McPhee beat the shit out of current Tampa Bay Head Coach and convicted bookie Rich Tocchet with a busted hand. Glen Hanlon - back-up goalie at the time - was, um, fired up about it.
- The Tocchet-McPhee rematch is probably a draw. But the dude proves his fearlessness.
- McPhee takes on noted pugilist Bob Nystrom, who has at least a foot on him.
- Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't direct you towards this four part behind-the-scenes look at McPhee during the '06 entry draft (Backstrom, Varlamov, Neuvirth, Osala, Bouchard, Perrault came out of this one). Fascinating stuff. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4) The highlight, from Part 3: "I just want to make it look like we're doing stuff. Did I ever tell you you look marvelous?"
What to expect: The Caps pick 24th tonight, and WaPo beat writer Tarik El-Bashir thinks McPhee is looking long and hard at speedy RW scoring prospect Landon Ferraro, son of former NHLer Ray. Which would be consistent with his recent taste for drafting NHL lineage (Seabrook, Bourque, Bouchard, Perrault, Gustafsson). You're not getting an NHLer right away with the 24th pick, but Mike Green was snagged 29th, Jeff Schultz 27th, and studly blue-chipper John Carlson was last year's 27th pick. A trade or two to acquire a 2nd-line center to replace Fedorov is possible.
What not to expect: McPhee trading the pick for washed up veterans and handing them massive contracts, and then watching as future NHL stars Victor Hedman or John Tavares fall to the 24th slot anyways. Grunfeld and Cerrato have that shit covered.
Amateur Player Rankings and Scouting Reports
Mock Draft 1
Mock Draft 2
Mock Draft 3
NHL Amateur Draft Round 1. 7 PM, Versus Network.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
So long Etan Thomas, auf wiedersehen, adieu
You showed lots of promise when our PG was Ty Lue
With your lengthy dreadlocks that Rapunzel would envy
At times you owned the blocks with rebounds aplenty
Along the way though, you hardly improved
but that is ok, because you once hit a groove.
Game 3 in '05 with the Bulls threatening
You stepped up in the paint like a cream-colored Yao Ming
20 huge points to turn the series around
A clutch insider scorer, we'd seemingly found
And then docs discovered a problem with your heart
But your guts remained strong, your will off the charts
You returned in '08, determined to start
It didn't work out though, and now, you part.
Your scuffles with Haywood - three times! Oh Lordy!
To find out who would bring the Wiz low-post glory
Were epic and showed your resolve and pizazz
But sometimes you seemed more interested in jazz
And other such things to stimulate your head
You visited many a Children's Hospital bed
You made heaps and heaps upon gobs of hard cash
And probably smoked tons of heady street hash
You stood up for peace, you marched on the streets
Emphatic slam dunks brought Wiz fans to their feet
For that we'll remember you, Etan the Man
who did more with your leaky heart than playing basketball can
We hope you find peace in the vast Gopher State
you'll be one of 12 black dudes - the other 11, your teammates.
[Image via Truth About It]
In the best use of a Nats message board we've ever seen, a Red Sox fan looking for good sports bars around Nationals Park to check out during a visit to D.C. for the Sox-Nats series this week was directed to a gay bar.Apparently the dope actually took the tip and showed up, where he "pounded his drink" and possibly more than that before leaving nervously.
Now don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with being gay, and lots of penguins and Penguins are gay, and they're funny little things the way they waddle and such. Don't know where this is going so I'm gonna stop right here.
Just want to point out that 1.) there are no black Red Sawx fans because Bostonians are racist bastards, 2.) Red Sawx fans are self-important ass-wads, 3.) drunken Red Sawx fans in the Fenway bleachers are hilarious and 4.) rooting against the Sawx is now just as appropriate as rooting against the Yankees once was.
The Sawx used to be the "people's team" that baseball fans rallied behind to take down the evil Yankees empire. Now, they are the evil empire. Watching Sawx Nation morph over the past five years was a bit like watching Annakin Skywalker become corrupted by his own power - at first you think there's hope, then WHAM! he slices up a gaggle of adorable toddlers. Point of no return, that.
Things will only get worse as these people continue to spread the globe like locusts, so let us revel in their awkward encounters at gay bars while we can. Besides, immature jabs are how I cope with my envy and my therapist says coping is healthy. Boston fans like it in the pooper. Go Nats!
[Image via The Boston Blogger]
[H/T to reader Goldie for the tip.]
- Pick #2, where Memphis should draft the 2nd best player in the draft in Ricky Rubio, but have the not-so-minor problem of Rubio not wanting to play in Memphis, which has created a scenario this franchise has already experienced with Steve Francis. They have no shortage of suitors, but the dreamy one has limited his workouts to the point that even potential suitors are weary. This has now created a potential mini-slide for the dreamy one. Right now, either OKC or the Wolves (trading up) look like the dreamy one's most likely landing spots.
- There is little consensus on player rankings outside of the top-3. The general dearth of talent has created a lot of uncertainty in the trade trade market as more teams than usual may hope that someone they like will fall, or more teams than usual may trade-up because they just don't know who anyone else will take. My feeling is that most teams have settled on a larger-than-normal group of players they like, so will stand-pat unless there is a major fall from a player, such as the dreamy one or the overrated one (Jordan Hill).
- The Wiz still hold the #32 pick, which was once projected by Chad Ford to be Patty Mills, but given our depth in the backcourt, is now more likely to be a European guy we can stash or a college big man; my vote is for Danny Green or Nick Calathes. Grunfeld may also make a move for a veteran big man using this pick, so the Wiz war room will have to stay sober.
Relative to apparent draft position, here are my not-so-humble opinions.
Players I like:
- Eric Maynor (If he creeps into the lottery, the sleeper tag does not apply, but as a mid-late 1st rounder I think he could be a good one)
- Ty Lawson (He will play in the NBA, not an all-star, but an NBA starter)
- Brandon Jennings (I thought he was the #1 prospect in his class at the McDonald's game a year ago)
- Dejuan Blair (Paul Millsap 2.0?)
- Patty Mills (great 2nd round pick)
- Danny Green (another 2nd round guy I like because I think he is pretty safe to stick in the NBA)
- Nick Calathes (as a 2nd rounder who could be stashed in Europe for a year)
Players I don't like:
- Jordan Hill (I can hear it now, "Needs to work on: Offensive game.")
- DeMar DeRozan (all potential, not enough substance)
- Jrue Holiday (See above)
- BJ Mullens (See last 2)
- Chase Budinger (A homeless man's Rip Hamilton is generous)
- Sam Young (Old and not enough upside for a 1st rounder)
(Image courtesy of NBAMate.com)
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
He's clearly starting to get big league pitching, and he seems to be more comfortable (at least based on these stats) from the left side of the plate. It took a little longer than expected, but as we mentioned earlier, anything he does this year is purely a bonus.
If he continues to play like he has the past week - .333/.368/.778, 2 HR, 6RBI, and one clutch rally-starting double - for an extended period of time, I see no reason why he can't walk away with AL Rookie of the Year Honors.
And here I am getting ahead of myself.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Ernie might as well have pulled the trigger on the gun pointed at the Wiz fanbase. I can't link this post enough from Bullets Forever, it gives a great statistical analysis of the ideal backcourt mate for Agent-0 and finds Mike Miller as a great fit, as he is an almost ideal offensive compliment. Even so, a team whose 3 stars are all bad to horrible defenders decides to fill-in the role players around that core with more guys who can't play defense? Haven't we seen this movie before from the Phoenix Suns, except with a much better group of talent? Yes, the Wizards are a better team than they were yesterday, but not better enough to contend for anything more than the Eastern Conference finals if we catch a few breaks.
First and foremost, I think the Wizards should tear down and rebuild. Even though we have a lot of money tied-up in our 'big-3', I still like the idea of stockpiling young talent, either with the #5 pick, or trading for a young player already in the league who could develop. That said, given that Gil isn't going anywhere for awhile, we are almost forced to find someone who pairs well with him and try to make a run with our current group for 2 more years (until Jamison becomes Jamison's expiring contract).
The big problem is that we are far away from competing with the Cavs, Magic, and Celtics. Even if Arenas is back to his old self and everyone can stay healthy, we are still not as good as the top-3 in the East, let alone the the best in the West. In order to have any chance to compete, we needed to do something drastic; if we are not rebuilding, then swing for the fences with this trade. Mike Miller is a fine player, but does he really put us over the top? Foye is a nice backup to have, and gives us a backcourt with insane depth, but this team is still short on defense and too dependent on Agent-0 returning to form. That is why, I believe, a better course of action would have been to trade for, drum roll please.........T-Mac! That's right, he hogs the ball, his team improved after he was injured last year, and he looks like he is high all the time (nothing new to the Wiz after Rod Strickland), but he has everything to play for this year and gives us a legitimate all-star who can pickup Agent-0's slack. Maybe the team falls flat on its face with T-Mac, or even Jesus Shuttlesworth, but at least we have a higher ceiling than with Mike Miller and Randy Foye.
The Wiz are not done trading, as we have too many guards and too few big-men, so there will be another trade, possibly during the draft, and likely for a veteran big-man. Maybe Grunfeld will pull a rabbit out of his ass with some decent young guards and Mike James' contract as trade chips, but the upside on this team is just not high enough. For one mediocre season, we traded a potentially valuable young player who could be with this team for years.
How is that supposed to make me happy?
(Image via cbcsports.ca)
As you may have heard, the #5 pick is getting more action than Shawn Kemp in a whorehouse. This leaves the Wiz in a great spot, as the uncertainty in the top-4 is creating more value for #5 pick. Although I endorsed trading Jamison and rebuilding, it appears that Jamison is off the block, so any trade will consist primarily of the #5 pick and some collection of Mike James', the poet's, and Darius Songaila's contracts. The latest rumors (from Chad Ford of ESPN unless otherwise noted):
- Knicks have offered Wilson Chandler and probably their #8 pick. I like that we would get a young player here, but there would have to be more money offered on the Knicks side for us to include our bad contracts. The Knicks have plenty of bad contracts, and offered Larry Hughes, but that possibility is unlikely given that Wiz are trying to shed salary beyond next year. That said, I wouldn't rule him out given that he has succesfully shared a backcourt with Arenas in the past. If Chandler and Hughes both come aboard, I think this would set a record for most tattoos received in 1 deal.
- There have been talks with the Suns about Amare Stoudamire. That pu-pu platter the Wiz are tossing into every other deal would not be enough to land Amare. Jamison could come into play here, and a 3-way deal may be the best way to get this done. I have no problem not getting a 1st-round pick back in this deal.
- Blazers have made Steve Blake, Travis Outlaw, Jerryd Bayless, and Nicolas Batum available. Sergio Rodriguez and Rudy Fernandez are also likely to be on the block. Bayless is the best talent, but he's just another scoring SG, which is not what we want. Blake is a nice backup PG and local boy, and Outlaw and Batum are talented players, but not what we need and definitely not what Grunfeld will want for next year.
- Wolves have offered Mike Miller. Bullets Forever has a great piece on the ideal guy for the Wizards to acquire, and sure enough, Mike Miller is very high on the list. The ideal guy for this team is a SG who can play defense and shoot 3's, similar to Trevor Ariza, Michael Pietrus, or Bruce Bowen circa 2002. Miller can definitely shoot, but his defense is not what we need.
- Rockets have offered T-Mac and Carl Landry. I actually am intrigued by this one. Landry is a good young role-player, and T-Mac will have a chip on his shoulder next year. The big problem is that T-Mac's contract is about $20 million, so Songaila, the poet, and Mike James is not enough in contract terms, and a young player would likely have to move to Houston. Other issues are that Landry will want a sizeable deal when his rookie contract is over, and the fact that T-Mac and Agent-0 could have serious sharing problems.
- Nets have offered Vince Carter. You can hear a pin drop whenever Rod Thorn throws that one out over the phone; how generous of them.
- Bucks have offered Richard Jefferson. He plays the same position as Caron, so this is not happening.
- Mavs are still interested. Jason Terry is not a good fit, so maybe a 3-way trade would be in play here.
None of these offers is a homerun for us, which is why I think a 3-way deal is very likely. A 3-way!
Maybe the 5th pick can get even more action.
(Image courtesy of ChrisCreamer.com)
Monday, June 22, 2009
Fourty-three years, of course, refers to the Super Bowl Era. It's purely semantic that the first four Super Bowls crowned an "AFL-NFL World Champion", whereas the next 39 crowned an "NFL World Champion", so spare me some ridiculous argument about the merger.
League-best numbers are in yellow and NFC East teams are color-coded (!) for your convenience as most of you can't read.
Again, just as with the MLB Rankings, the scoring system may need some tweaking, and "Hot Cheerleaders" probably deserves a category of its own.
[Click table for a barely more focused view]
The Redskins at 9th is about where I expected them to be, and I can't hide my joy at the Eagles being division bottom-feeders, sitting at 14th overall. Praise.
What do you take from this? Other than the fact that the Eagles have won ZERO Super Bowls and have had ZERO MVP's, and are probably at least one life-altering dietary program by Donovan McFlabb away from getting a chance to lose another?
[Note: you could only absorb the above and I'd be happy]
1) The NFC East is not just the best division in football right now; it's the most prestigious division in football history. By a lot.
2) Looking at this list and seeing two separate franchises from Los Angeles in the top-5 and then realizing there is currently no pro football team in Los Angeles nearly makes my head explode.
3) Arizona is dreadful. Take away last year and you're looking at 11 total points in 43 years. Or, more simply, two 10-win seasons and four playoff appearances. In 43 years. Pathetic.
4) Lastly, speaking of pathetic, I'd like to reiterate that the Eagles have never won, and will never win, a Super Bowl Championship.
The Caps have hired former Bears coach Bob Woods, filling the role vacated by Jay Leach. As such, Woods will, presumably, oversee the team's defense, which should give him a strong sense of familiarity with guys named Alzner and Carlson. You'll notice, he also has more hair than Bruce Boudreau.
But for those who wanted to see a more experienced, defensive guru hired to whip the team's occasionally-lackluster blue-liners into shape and preach accountability, this might not be welcome news; Woods has exactly zero games of NHL coaching experience.
Then again, Woods played defense throughout his pro career, so he definitely knows how to skate backwards, which means there's at least one thing he'll be able to teach Jeff Schultz. And his Hershey team ran the same style as Boudreau's boys, so there shouldn't be any issues with cohesiveness.
All in all, George McPhee is really pinning the upcoming season on how well AHL success translates to success in the NHL. It has worked, to a point, for Bruce Boudreau; are two Hershey heads better than one?
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Although it hasn't happened yet, you know it will; big-name player X becomes available and the Redskins are linked, usually with some snotty line like "and you know the Redskins are always a possibility." Rumors fly. All hell breaks loose.
The new player X is Brandon Marshall, aka "The Beast" and "Little TO". As of last week, ESPN.com listed the potential landing spots as the Bears, Browns, Jets, Giants, Bucs and Ravens.
The good: He is 6'4", 230lbs., has produced absolutely eye-popping numbers the past couple seasons, and the Redskins need a good WR.
The bad: everything else.
Marshall is a complete turd, locker room cancer, and idiot. When Marshall is not busy playing football, his hobbies include beating his girlfriend and drunk driving.
Check out his impressive list of transgressions here.
In light of all that, "Little TO" is way too soft of a nickname for Brandon Marshall. How about "World's Most Spoiled Athlete" or "BM"? In fairness, there is word that his fiancee is being pressured by her family to conjure a charge against BM to get money, which is why the most recent charge was quickly dropped.
Regardless, anyone with a history this bad is not unlucky - he is either stupid, genuinely a bad guy, or even more likely, both.
In case the legal stuff isn't enough (and the suspension that may soon accompany), the reason BM wants a trade is likely because a new offense is being installed with an inferior QB in Denver, which will cause his numbers to drop, and will diminish his value in contract negotiations. Therefore, it appears that BM thinks the best time for him to get out of Denver is right now.
How about you play 1 year at a high level while not beating your fiancee as hard as you run-block undersized corners, then someone might be inclined to trade for you and pay for your services? Asking for a trade is just a cherry-on-top of the character issue cake. How much worse can this get?
Yes, we endorsed signing Michael Vick, but he would be cheap and has had time to rehabilitate. Can't really say either of those things about Marshall.
BM smells worse than Orakpoo.......please Vinny and Danny, move along, nothing to see here.....
[Image via Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]