The 2011 MLB All-Star Game has come and gone, and the Nationals will have home-field advantage in the World Series thanks to Tyler Clippard earning the win in the NL's 5-1 victory over the AL. I can't wait to be watching the World Series in Natstown. Sure they will need the Phillies and Braves to forfeit the rest of the season to get to the playoffs, but one can dream, right?
Actually, there is plenty to cheer about in D.C. when it comes to the Nats, the Capitals and surely football when it comes back, right? It is all covered in this weeks edition of Chain Reactions.
Nationals at .500 Despite Getting Little From Big Investment
Let me be the one millionth person to say that it is amazing the Nationals are .500 with the lack of production from Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman. Things certainly can not get much worse for Werth in the post All-Star schedule. He is batting a career-low .215, hardly what the Nationals expected when they invested $126 million in him last offseason.
Werth probably misses the protection the Phillies lineup provided with Ryan Howard in front of him and Shane Victorino behind him. He is also probably pressing to live up to the contract. No matter what, he is a National for better of for worse, and the franchise needs him to snap out of it as soon as possible. Once he does, things might get even more interesting with a season that already has been a success to this point.
Jim Rigglequit Getting Another Chance
Jim Riggleman, just weeks after quitting on the Nationals, might be getting back in the game. Well, sort of. CSN Bay Area is reporting Giants manager Bruce Bochy might get the former Nationals Skipper a job as a scout.
"It would be something along the lines of scouting," Bochy said. "It's not on the field right now. It'd be looking at our system, consulting, things like that. All those things, we'd be talking about."
Riggleman has lots of friends in baseball and will get another chance to work, but whether another managing opportunity comes along remains to be seen. I just hope the Giants don't offer him a one-year deal, or it might get ugly.
Could D,C, Be An All-Star Host City in the Near Future? NO
A future All-Star Game in Natstown will be way in the future, it appears. The Washington Post's Ryan Korby lays it out here.
Right now, the games through 2013 are spoken for and Washington isn't on the schedule. There's some logic to MLB picking the venue. The league usually leans towards teams with new stadiums or who haven't ever hosted the game. MLB officials are also very mindful of anniversaries and notable events, so I can see them trying to honor those events as well. Keeping all that in mind, Washington, D.C. would have to get very lucky to get the All-Star game before 2018.
Why would this be an different than anything baseball has done to D.C.? I wonder if once the Nationals do get to host, do the Orioles get a co-hosting role? Whenever it is, hopefully it will be back to the exhibition status and will no longer mean "something."
You Ready for Some Football?!
We're still waiting on the billionaires and millionaires to strike a deal and get back to work. When they do, there will be plenty of work to do, but the good news is everyone has gotten plenty of vacation in. Is it me or do DeRog (Super Couple Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith ie. Brangelina) get every damn weekend off? You would think a guy like Goodell, who is working on a $1 salary, would want to strike a deal. Or at least his wife would nag him into a deal.
Anyway, a deal should be done within in the week because there is too much money in the preseason to be made for all. The preseason is a big money maker, as ESPN.com's John Clayton points out.
At stake for the owners is roughly $700 million of revenue in the preseason. Owners pocket most of that money because players are paid by the week during training camp instead of getting regular game checks.
What a great deal! You the fan pays full price for half-ass performances and the owners pocket most of it! Why do we want these guys to come back again? I'm just kidding. Fantasy football of course.
Seriously, though I am anxious to see what the Redskins do with Fat Albert Haynesworth and Donovan McNabb (Shanny Loves You). Plus, will the Redskins spend like drunken sailors in the hyper-speed free-agency season? These are things I want answers too the sooner the better. You listening DeRog?
Semyon Varlamov Happy to Be Out of D.C.
One of the many offseason moves the Capitals made was dealing 23-year old goalie Semyon Varlamov to the Colorado Avalanche. He wanted a starting guarantee in D.C., and the Caps did not want to give it to him. Not a surprise, he is gone, though it was a surprise that they were able to get a first- and second-round draft pick for him. It was also widely reported he would be going to the KHL in Russia. Either way Varly knew it was time to go.
"[If I weren't traded] I think, I'd come back to the KHL," he said. "I can't say anything bad about the Capitals but it was time to change things. I was mentally tired after these three years."
The bottom line with Varly despite his numbers, was that his tenure was an incomplete. He just was not healthy enough in his two-plus years to ever feel like he was a guy you could always count on. That is exactly why the Capitals were not about to hand the job to him. The Avalanche better have their backup goalies ready.
New Guy is the Guy in Goal
Maybe Varly did not like Bruce Boudreau's tactics with his goalies, but if last week was any indication, Boudreau might be changing his philosophy. He has already said veteran newcomer Tomas Vokoun is his starter when camp opens over Michael Neuvrith.
"We're always going to play who we think is the best, but if you're looking at a guy that has experience and everything and has been a No. 1 goalie, you have to give Vokoun the respect that he's coming in and going to be the No. 1 guy," Boudreau said Monday, the first day of Washington's development camp at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. "We'll see where it goes from there."
We will get to see if Neuvrith can handle the competition better than Varly.