Welcome to Talking Points, where each week I will run down the stories that made the biggest splashes in the blogosphere last week and will tell you what to keep an eye on for the week to come. Last week was much like the week before, only even quieter. The D.C. sports scene in the offseason is pretty stagnant during the dog days of summer. With only the Nationals and D.C. United playing games, we are left to wait for training camps to open up as quick as possible. For the Redskins, that means this week. Hallelujah! Lets dive into the Talking Points.
The free fall continues, but manager Jim Riggleman's job is safe ... for now. The team was swept last week by the Milwaukee Brewers but they did manage to split a series against the Reds with some clutch pitching by Stephen Strasburg and Livan Hernandez.
Strasburg was, again, dominant, while Livan was typical Livan. I would watch Livan on Top Chef if he was cooking like he was during the Brewers game. That guy is made of pure magic. Those two pitchers are the only two bright points in a starting rotation that is living up to its potential as being quite average to below average. Bring on the cavalry?
The Nationals now sit at 42-57, which is good for dead last in the NL East and fourth worst in the National League. Remember those days earlier in the year when people were talking about a possible wild-card spot? Yeah, they aren't talking so much now.
Adam Dunn trade rumors still persist, but Mike Rizzo is apparently asking quite a lot for Dunn since he thinks he's statistically on par with Ryan Howard. Guess what? He's right. You wouldn't trade Howard for a bag of peanuts, the Nationals shouldn't do the same for Dunn. If you don't get "fair" value for the slugger, sign him for another couple seasons more. Having a 40-HR hitter can't hurt a lineup.
As an indication of the talent level of the rest of the team, few other players have even been rumored in a trade scenario. Food for thought there.
- If you missed this on Friday, a great article on how Drew Storen remembers his roots.
- Strasburg has got a bit of surliness about him on the field. This kid just keeps getting better and better. This is a must read.
- Less than three weeks to go to sign Bryce Harper. Anyone worried yet?
- Why should anyone keep watching the Nats? Here's this week's reasons.
Two words: Training Camp. Three more words. Starts THIS WEEK. Can you feel the excitement? I, for one, can. Let the speculation begin! Will the line hold up through training camp, let alone the season? Is this Clinton Portis' last year as the No. 1 back in D.C.? Will any of the receivers play up to their potential? Can Donovan McNabb stay upright long enough to make a difference on the team? Will the defense be the steadying force it has been despite the shift to a 3-4 front?
I eagerly await these answers. Let the fun begin!
- DeAngelo Hall is rich. Like, really rich.
- An evening with Bruce Allen.
- Speaking of Bruce Allen, he probably just jinxed Donovan McNabb.
- Is it possible that Malcolm Kelly might not make the team?
- Want to work for the Redskins?
- A sabermatic look at the running backs.
- A coach's perspective on John Wall.
- Antawn Jamison dislikes Twitter and dunks on kids.
- Check out the NBA general manager rankings. Ernie Grunfeld checked in at 18th. That's about right.
- Do the Wizards now have a real rival?
- Ted Leonsis will mop the floors of Verizon Center now that he owns it. What a nice guy.
- Is Alexander Ovechkin just like Lebron James?
- How are the Hershey this summer? doing
- Good news: Tom Poti is on pace to be back with the team for training camp after an ugly injury suffered during the playoffs.
- Former Cap Kevin Hatcher is to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
- D.C. United won a friendly against Portsmouth.
- The Washington Kastles lost their chance to defend their title; their offseason starts now.
- Maryland football had a media day.
Old School Rap Song To Start Your Week Off Right
Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock "Joy & Pain "
Truly an underrated Rob Base song. "It Takes Two" always gets so much play, but this song is pure hip hop goodness.
Insanely Priced D.C. Merchandise Of The Week
Little did you know that there was something valuable leftover from Michael Jordan's ill-fated comeback with the Washington Wizards. This card is it. For the low low price of $1,125.00, this card could be yours. Shipping is even tossed in for free. What a bargain huh? From the description, apparently only 11 of these cards exist with only three others being in as good or better condition.
This still doesn't make up for the sheer amount of suck that is embossed on it though, does it? You would have to be either a completionist or a hoarder to want to own this card and to pay "full value" for it. Anyone else would want to be paid that money just to see MJ sporting the Wizards blues. If you are that special collector/hoarder though, then by all means, buy this card right away! SUCKERS!
No final thoughts this week, its too freakin hot to think. If you want to email me about whatever is on your mind, shoot it my way at bjpsbn