This week's Chain Reactions deals with the Washington Redskins' need to pass on their usual temptation of chasing top free agents, especially ones that shot himself. Also, the Nationals continue to build up Scott Boras' 401K, and may have landed a gem at No. 6 in the 2011 MLB Draft. Also, their former No. 1 pick shows off his punkish side once again.
Should Plaxico Burress Be on Redskins Radar?
The Redskins are still in need of a veteran presence at the wide receiver position, and Plaxico Burress was just released from prison. Washington Examiner Columnist Rick Snider lays out a compelling argument for why the Skins should sign him.
A couple problems with this marriage. First of all, with the options he is likely to have, why sign with a team that will have a Rex Grossman and John Beck quarterback competition? There will surely be better options for Burress.
Also, he shot himself. A radio co-host of mine who used to play for the Redskins and returned kicks and punts has a hard and fast rule ... if you shoot yourself, you can't be on my team.
When IF the Lockout Ends, Here is What Redskins Need to Do Immediately
ESPN NFL Writer John Clayton ranked the 10 players for whom the lockout cannot end soon enough, and Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth checked in at 9th. It is first top 10 mention for Haynesworth that had nothing to do with underachieving or being overpaid. I would have put Donovan McNabb on the list too, but Clayton did not ask for my opinion.
9. Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth:Haynesworth settled his road rage case this week and wants to concentrate on football. But he needs a new team just as his teammate, Donovan McNabb, does. Given a month, Mike Shanahan can work on the exit strategies for both players, allowing them time to rebound from bad seasons.
Once the lockout ends, the Redskins need to resolve the Haynesworth situation quickly (like in the first hours of business). Also, the right thing to do for McNabb and the rest of the roster is to move him or release him quickly so we know who the quarterback candidates will be. It is time for the Skins to cut their losses with both and move forward if they are truly trying to rebuild the franchise. After that, all they have to do is find another cornerback, some offensive lineman, linebackers and another quarterback. Hopefully the offseason will be longer than two days.
Where is Crash Davis When You Need Him?
I am like a lot of other D.C. Sports fans in that I am looking forward to the day Bryce Harper comes up to the big club. I am also like a lot of fans that wish that day was today. He is so talented and can actually hit a baseball, unlike the majority of the everyday players on the current Nats roster.
However, the franchise's front office is not rushing matters because they believe Harper still has a learning curve. Here is evidence that there is in fact room for growth with the talented Harper.
I wonder if he has seen Bull Durham? Run, run. Don't show up my pitcher.
We love Bryce's flair, and he was angry after getting hit the day before, but these type of home run trots are only only going to add to his hit-by-pitches statistics.
Nationals Continue to Invest in Scott Boras
First of all, let me say the MLB Draft has come a long way from the days when the information came out days later. Now, the first round is televised live on MLB Network, and Bud Selig calls out the names as they are selected. It will never be confused with the NFL and NBA Draft, as it is just baseball people in the room and no drunk angry New Yorkers ... except for some of the Mets' front office guys (kidding of course).
So as faith would have it, the Nats once again picked three more Scott Boras clients in round one with the selections of Anthony Rendon at No. 6, Kentucky pitcher Alex Meyer at No. 23 and Miami Dade College outfield Brian Goodwin at No. 34.
"I think it's coincidence," Mike Rizzo said. "We're taking the best players available on the board. They just happen to be represented by the same company."
Third Straight No. 1 Overall Talent for Nationals
It was nice to see a MLB Draft where the Nationals were not selecting first overall, though that's not to say picking sixth is great progress for the franchise. But it is progress, and it despite being five spots down there franchise feels like it may have gotten the number one overall talent with Rendon.
"We were pleasantly surprised, yes, that he got to us at 6," general manager Mike Rizzo said during a conference call minutes after making the selection. "He was projected to be the No. 1 pick, the best college hitter in the game. And throughout the college season and draft season, he held onto that status. As late as about 24 hours ago, he was supposedly going 1 or 2 in the draft. So we're pleasantly surprised."
So why were the Nats so fortunate, you may ask? Rendon suffered a shoulder injury and was mostly a DH this year. Rizzo thinks the medical staff did their due diligence and the franchise did not select damaged goods.
"We did all our due diligence on the medicals," Rizzo said. "We've gotten all the medical reports and films that our doctors have gone over painstakingly, and we feel good about it."
In 63 games for the Owls, Rendon hit .327 with six homers, 37 RBIs, a .520 on-base percentage and a .523 slugging percentage. The low number of homer runs is what may have been a result of the shoulder issues.
Funks Punks Will be At Congressional for the U.S Open
It has been a tough year for former Maryland golf coach Fred Funk. However, he has qualified for his 20th U.S Open after playing at Woodmont Country Club on Monday. He shot a 67 in the morning and a 68 in the afternoon, putting him two shots off top sectional qualifier Kirk Triplett.
"It’s been such a hard year," said Funk, who has made just one cut on the PGA Tour and has just two top-10 finishes on the Champions Tour this year. "That meant a lot to me. To finally play the way I know how, for the first time all year, it meant a lot."
Fairfax Native Steve Marino was not that fortunate. He shot a 76 in Columbus, Ohio, as he was trying to qualify for his fifth U.S. Open in his career.