Friday, July 10, 2009

Brendan Morrison signs

The Capitals have signed center Brendan Morrison to a one-year contract worth $1.5 million, per Tarik. The acquisition of Morrison appears to address the team's vacancy at second-line center. Morrison, 33, split last season between Anaheim and Dallas, recording 16 goals and 15 assists in 81 games.

Drafted by New Jersey in 1993, Morrison spent nearly a decade in Vancouver from 1999-2008; he put up his best numbers on the team's potent top line alongside Markus Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi. He recorded a career-high 71 points (25G, 46A) in 2002-03, but hasn't cracked the 50-point plateau since 2006-07.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hey Colt Brennan! Your Nice Warm Glass of SHUT THE HELL UP is Ready

One thing Joe Gibbs never did as a coach was allow his intentions or back-up plans leak to the public. Especially not through quarterbacks. Which is why it's sort of unnerving to hear these words come from Colt Brennan's mouth. Per PFT (transcribing a radio interview):

"I gotta step in this year. They've already made it clear that they're going to play me a ton in the pre-season and we gotta play four very talented teams and talented defenses and that's going to be my test.

"Right now it seems like it's in everyone's hands. For Jason Campbell it's his last year, it's in his hands to go out and earn that second contract and earn that for him. And for me in the preseason it's my chance to go out there for the second year and prove that I belong and have a great preseason and show that I belong and maybe could be a starter one day."

At cursory glance, no real surprises here. A recently drafted QB should get a chance to play in preseason games. Brennan is still an unknown commodity and what if, god forbid, Campbell and Collins go down?

Colt Brennan destroying 6th-stringers in 2008 preseason. Image via MonkeyinmyMind.

On the other hand, Colt, shut the hell up. This is not the time, nor the team, nor the QB situation, to say anything other than: "Jason Campbell is the starter. I suckle at his teet of awesome. I'm preparing to be the best back-up/third stringer I can be. Do not go out and buy my jersey."

There's a time and a place for QB swagger. I'm glad to see Colt's still got it - lord knows you need it to suceed in The League. I just don't think that time is now. Look Colt: your #1 QB has an 800 pound gorilla of expectations on his back, is playing for his career, and is coming off of an off-season in which his owner and GM went and stabbed him in the back. Twice. His coach has hardly given him ringing endrosements and - et tu, Brute? - met with Sexy Mark Sanchez in a pre-draft dinner with Snyder & Co. You've got a modest following fans just clamoring to get rid of Campbell and have you start, so you know anything you say will cause a stir. What are you doing?

Now you've got idiots like PFT's Mike Florio speculating that you're in the plans for the regular season, that Zorn is so afraid of Snyder's wrath that he'll try to appease Snyder by irrationally benching Campbell at an inopportune time. Say, midseason. And how can you fault such speculation? Snyder has proven his taste for meddling with personnel, and spent this whole offseason undermining Campbell. Is it a stretch to take a harmless quote from the young QB waiting in the wings and run with it? This is the sort of thing Gibbs worked hard to avoid. Your starting QB just doesn't need more noise out there about his job than he's already dealing with.

And hey, maybe it's all true. Maybe the coaches are whispering to Colt that they expect him to be the starter by Week 8. But that shit needs to remain in house right now. I'm glad to see Brennan has ambitions - I'd be worried if he didn't. But sometimes you just shut your trap and support your teammates. If there's a time to do that it's now, and if there's a player who needs the support desperately, it's Jason Campbell.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The DC Landing Strip Is Not Completely Crazy!

When rooting for a shitbox team like the Orioles, and all you have is hope, it's nice to see the optimism justified by professional writers.

Today's front page of features a Jerry Crasnick article entitled "Three Bad Birds" which details the oh-so-kickass outfield trio of Adam Jones, Nick Markickass and Nolan Reimold. I'm pretty sure the title means "bad" in that backwards '70s way which really means "good", kind of like "cat" used to be used the way "dawg" is now. As in, "hey jive turkey, that O's outfield is filled with some bad cats, ya dig!" would be street slang for "Yo homeboy, the O's outfield is filled with good dawgs, woof woof motherfucker." I've never said that sentence, but I've heard the kids jiving on the streets recently and been on facebook once or twice.

An ESPN Insider article also explores "The Cavalry" of O's pitching prospects, ranking them as follows: 1. Chris Tillman, 2. Brian Matusz, 3. Jake Arrieta, 4.-6. Brad Bergesen, David Hernandez, Troy Patton. So for the low low price of not-for-free (what isn't free in the internet era?) you can read the exact same article we wrote a month or so ago. Hey ESPN, if I wanted to pay for plagiarized material, I'd buy a Harry Potter book.

If you don't have ESPN Insider, all you need to know is the money quote from the last sentence:

The best three teams in the American League all play in the East this year, but by 2011 that number might be four.
And I'm 80% sure they're not talking about the Blue Jays.

Monthly Forecast: July '09

  • Manny Acta will lose his job. Yes, I will predict this until he gets fired.
  • The Nats will add at least one more fail to this impressive list.
  • George McPhee will trade for an affordable role player.
  • John Carlson will dominate Capitals' rookie camp (July 11-18).
  • Andray Blatche and Nick Young will absolutely crush the Vegas Summer League...
  • ...on and off the court.
  • Ted Leonsis will blog about successful business practices while not-so-subtly plugging one of his own projects.
  • Matt Wieters will surpass Nolan Reimold and Brad Bergesen as the AL Rookie of the Year favorite.
  • O's manager William Shatner Dave Trembley will appear in several commercials.
  • Some moron will suggest that the Redskins are capable of winning the Super Bowl.
  • That moron will be a DCLS writer.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fred Davis: A Testicle's Chance in Hipster Pants

There are few immutable truths in this world, but one that I subscribe to is that a man's junk needs room to breathe at all times. Hipsters, however, are always trying to defy convention, because man that's cool. Which is why sack hugging denim is the new dark horn-rimmed glasses in hipster world, because nothing says "I disagree with societal convention!" like crushing your own testicles. Poor little guys just don't have a chance.

Which is about where Fred Davis stands as a pass-catcher on the Redskins right now: without a chance. He's basically the third tight end after Chris Cooley and Todd Yoder, but without the blocking-first skill set normally found at such depth on an NFL roster.

If, however, Davis somehow surpasses Yoder and lands the #2 TE role behind Pro Bowler Cooley, he might see the field enough to snag, oh, say, 9.8 catches for 84.8 yards and 1 TD this season. That's the average statline for a back-up TE behind a Pro Bowler for the past 7 seasons (and pretty much Yoder's production each of the past 2).

Take a look at this chart I made which took forever. It details the statlines of back-ups to Pro Bowl TEs during that Pro Bowl TE's season, dating back to 2002 (click to enlarge):

So, assuming Cooley performs at a Pro Bowl level again in 2009, Fred Davis is likely to produce dick as a pass catcher. Basically the only productive pass catcher on the list is Martellus Bennett, the Cowboys rookie last season who was, of course, on the board when Cerrato took Davis in Round 2 last year.

The point here is that #2 tight ends in the NFL are primarily blockers. Fred Davis isn't exactly known for that, and Yoder has the role locked up. Davis is basically a homeless man's Cooley in terms of his skill set, and as long as Cooley remains healthy Davis will never even have a chance to realize his potential. And whether or not he does makes no difference to the Redskins' success: they already have the real Chris Cooley.

Fred Davis with fellow useless tight end Jason Goode. Image via USA Today.

So what's the upside of keeping the kid on the roster at all? To stash him in case Cooley goes down (he apparently shed 20 pounds this offseason)? To become the red zone threat we desperately need opposite Cooley? To train him to punt? For bargain-bin jersey options in this rough economy? At this point all he does is give the Redskins two players named Fred, which is a classic and manly American name that is on the decline and what I call my expanding beer gut. So there's that.

I want to share the optimism of some fans who expect one (or all) of Malcolm Kelly, Devin Thomas and Fred Davis to have a breakout season. Maybe there's hope for the former two but I don't see any for the latter. There's just no precedent for 2 TE offenses where both are productive pass-catchers. Poor Fred Davis is a baggy jeans nut trapped in a tight jeans world.

[Image of hipsters voluntarily stunting their sperm counts via The Eternal Headache]

Never Hire a Bouncer to Do Anything But Look Tough

I'm sure some of you have already seen this, but as mentioned in this month's ESPN The Magazine, Ovie was not allowed into a Vegas nightclub because he was wearing flip-flops. On the surface, not a big deal, as Ovie was eventually recognized and flew past that dumbass doorman like an NHL defenseman.

More importantly, this is just another example of bouncers being incredibly stupid and only knowing how to follow the rules set forth by their managers. You really think stopping an international superstar from attending a party is a good idea? By the way, he makes like $20 million/yr and likes to party. Oh, and the party was for Jeremy Roenick's T-shirt line, so it's not like this was a white-tie wedding; this was an NHL party and the biggest NHL star was stopped at the door! Meathead!

Also note that Ovie's bed has hydraulics and Crosby sleeps in a crib.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Adam Jones Named to AL All-Star Team...

as the Orioles' lone representative. Apologies to last year's rep, George Sherrill, and Nick Markickass, who I suppose will have to wait another year.

Anyway, Big Sleepy: congratulations, and we hope this honor is the first of many.

Also of note: Ryan Zimmerman named to his first all-star game.

The Nationals are 23-55.

The Nationals are 23-55.

The Nationals are 23-55.