Here’s my latest download on the Washington, DC sports scene:
– Nationals: it’s great to see how the team is playing. 4 games above .500 and in second place in the highly competitive NL East. More importantly, the team is headed in the right direction … they’re building a terrific farm system, have added a number of core veterans – especially Pudge, who is their early-season MVP, and have added speed and defense – which absolutely helps the pitching staff pitch with more confidence. Then, in June, we’ll most likely see the additions of Strasburg and Storen – and maybe even Wang, which should have a great overall effect on the entire pitching rotation. Looking forward to a good, entertaining summer at Nats Park!
– Redskins: really like what Shanahan and Allen are doing in re-making the roster. The draft was fine – the selection of Trent Williams was a no-brainer. The trade for McNabb should turn out quite well – especially in terms of leadership, additional wins and improved team chemistry. The only downer for now is Haynesworth. His attitude is poor and ridiculous. He is the highest paid player on the team – heck, in the league — yet, he’s not a team player — too selfish. It’s a bummer to see since he is so highly talented – he is simply a force on the field. Yet, he can’t even get into great playing shape (as he admitted last year). Give me a less talented but more motivated player any day of the week.
– Capitals: yes, it was disappointing to see how the season ended – especially with such lofty expectations for the play-offs. But, the team is still young and they need to learn how to win in the play-offs. The Edmonton Oilers went through this in the early 80’s and the Chicago Bulls went through this in the late 80’s – especially w/ their play-off losses to Detroit. Then, both teams went on to win multiple championships. The same can happen here with the Caps. And, they did provide us with the best sports experience in DC over the past year. They became a “must-see” experience. Congrats on a superb season.
– Wizards: yep, a very hard season to stomach. But, I’m extremely optimistic that they’ll have a good off-season and will drastically improve the team. They have over $18 million in cap space to target free agents, two first-round picks – including a high one, two mid-cap slots available, and a core of young talent that should hopefully continue to improve. Unlike the other major sports, it only takes 1 – 2 additional core players to make a rapid improvement. The new ownership group did a great rebuilding job with the Caps and they will do the same with the Wizards.
– United, Mystics and Freedom — DC is fortunate to have so many professional teams. Although these teams may not get as much coverage as the others in DC, they are all entertaining and a terrific family value. DC United is the most successful team in MLS history – they’re off to a slow start but it’s a long season and they will bounce back. The Mystics brought in Katie Smith and have added a couple of good, new young players. And, the Freedom showcases the leading American player, Abby Wambach. All of these teams are entertaining and well-priced for young adults and families.