As we get closer to do or die on the moment of the NFL lockout, there are plenty of things to wet our sports appetite in D.C, including a Nationals slugger that needs fan support, a promotion for a phenom and a busy offseason for the Capitals.
July 4 may have come and gone, but there are plenty of fireworks on the D.C. sports scene. Bryce Harper gets a promotion, the Nationals look to add another all-star with the fans' help, Santana Moss is looking for a quick free agent score and the Washington Capitals' free agent fireworks may have signaled a change in philosophy.
Bryce Harper Promotion
As expected, Bryce Harper has been moved up to Double-A Harrisburg as he continues to climb up the ladder that will eventually end with the phenom in D.C. Until that day comes, you will have to make the drive to Harrisburg, Pa. While the phenom has already helped Harrisburg draw some strong crowds, he is also producing on the field in the early going, with an RBI in his second game after a two-hit game in his opener. He also has shown some impressive fielding skills playing left field for the first time.
"Really nice," Senators Manager Tony Beasley said of Harper's fielding. "He's never been over there [in left field]. Those are different angles to set up and throw. Those throws seemed to be pretty true and on line with a lot of carry. It was impressive. Those were really, really solid throws."
Michael Morse Needs All-Star Support
The Nationals sit a game above .500 at 44-43, which is quite an accomplishment if you think about the lack of production from big-money free agent Jason Werth, and the injuries to Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche. Overall the offense has struggled to produce runs, but one player has produced and also held down things at first base: Michael Morse. He has been huge for the Nationals, and now he needs some support to make the All-Star Game.
Morse leads the Nats in average at .298, home runs with 15 and RBIs with 46. He recently told Bill Ladon of MLB.com that making to Phoenix as an All-Star would be a dream come true.
"I think that it would be one of the biggest accomplishments that I could ever achieve in this game, besides winning the World Series and going to the playoffs," Morse said. "Being able to get consistent playing time right now, words can't describe what it would mean to make the All-Star team."
Are Washington Capitals Admitting Mistakes With Their Busy Offseason?
The Caps did not waste anytime in free agency making moves on top of moves. However, the moves not only show a team that is trying to shore up weaknesses on the roster. The moves are also a sign of a change in philosophy to recent years, when the franchise choose to make those moves near the trading deadline. My SB Nation D.C. Colleague Mike Prada points out that GM George McPhee is showing some accountability by making theses moves.
As great of a story the Capitals have been for several regular seasons now, there is no question the pressure to succeed will be ramped up even more this upcoming season. Fans expect better in the postseason, and obviously these moves prove that the franchise does too.
Santana Moss Wants to Score in a Hurry
With th NFL lockout on Day 113, there is just a month and one day until the first preseason game in Canton, Ohio. Time is obviously running short. There is lots of optimism, but until a deal gets done, it means nothing.
So that in mind, it will be a fast and furious free agent period when it happens, which will be good news to Redskins free agent wide receiver Santana Moss. In an interview on Sporting News Radio, Moss said he wants to sign fast. Here is a little of what D.C. Sports Bog transcribed from the conversation.
"It's gonna be a mess," the receiver said, discussing free agency on Sporting News Radio over the weekend. "I'm just hoping everything goes as planned, man. I just want to be signed. I've never really been out there when it comes to controversies and all that stuff, so I don't want that dealing with this process. I want it to be you're gonna sign me, sign me and let's go.
"You know, I don't want to be sitting out there and they're saying, ‘well, this guy...we want to chop here...' Nah. Redskins, take me off real quick, and let's just go on ahead and play some football. I don't want to be out there and having to say I've got to go travel to this place and that place. But dealing with the business, you never can predict what's gonna happen, so I'm just looking forward to the process, and I'm gonna be rock and rolling when it's time. When they tell me where I'm at, let's go."
Meanwhile, the Redskins are optimistic a deal will get done, because they are still planning on a July 28 start of training camp. Will Moss be there? He should be. Despite all the quarterback issues a year ago, Moss was extremely productive, and without him, what do the Redskins really have? They would have no proven production at the position without him. Here is hoping they get it done, with Moss mentoring young wide receiver Leonard Hankerson.
See John Wall While You Can
The NBA's lockout timing stinks. Most sports fans are worn out from the NFL lockout that hopefully is coming to a close. The truth is the NBA will not be missed by the masses like the NFL, and they probably have more issues to work out, yet most of us will not have strength to care until the NFL season is over. Plus, the owners appear to be digging in for a long fight to get what they want. It stinks to be an NBA fan right now, and especially a Wizards fan after the team got rave reviews on draft night.
Until then, we need to be satisfied with John Wall lighting it up in the Goodman League with 41 points. Here is an account from The AFRO's Perry Green.
Wall, 20, showed off the freak athleticism that made him the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA draft, speeding up and down the court to score a game-high 41 points. He even showed off a long-range jumper that he's been working on this offseason, one of his weaker areas that needed improvement. A few three-pointers in the first half helped Baltimore's Finest leap out to a 74-56 lead at halftime.
"I've been working on it, so I'm getting more comfortable [shooting from range]," Wall told the AFRO. "I just have to keep working and working."
I guess if we are looking for a positive, Wall will have plenty of time to work on that jumper.