Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Nats Ink DeRosa

Today, the Washington Nationals made it official that the franchise has signed Mark DeRosa to a one year major league contract. DeRosa can play both infield and outfield positions.

DeRosa, who's played for six different organizations since entering the MLB in 1998 (Braves, Cubs, Indians, Cardinals, Giants), has spent the past two seasons with the San Francisco Giants. In 2011, he hit .279 with 12 RBIs and an on base percentage of .351. He has hit 93 home runs over his career.

DeRosa can play all over the diamond. He has spent much of his time at third base, but has experience in the outfield. Since 2009, DeRosa has only committed four errors in the field. In 21 games at left field in 2010, DeRosa was 31-31 in terms of put-outs and had a fielding percentage of 1.00.

DeRosa will be productive where ever the Nationals decide to put him. I would expect him to be spending most of his time in the outfield or second base since the Nationals have Ryan Zimmerman at third and Michael Morse/Adam LaRoche at first base.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fletcher Gets Snubbed

Today, the NFL announced the NFC and AFC Pro Bowl teams. Surprisingly, Redskins linebacker London Fletcher was not on that list.

Fletcher leads the NFL in tackles this season with 163 total tackles. Fletcher was beat out by the Bear's Brian Urlacher and 49er's Patrick Willis.

Willis is currently listed as the starter at inside linebacker for the NFC team. Willis has 93 tackles to go with 4 forced tackles and 1 interception. Willis has just two sacks and has recovered 2 fumbles. His back-up, Brian Urlacher, currently has 92 tackles with no forced fumbles and only 3 interceptions. Urlacher has zero sacks and has recovered 2 fumbles.

Let's look at London Fletcher's stats.

This season, Fletcher has totaled 163 tackles with 3 forced fumbles and 2 interceptions. Fletcher has also recorded 2 sacks.

Fletcher has also been solid in his pass defense, as well. To go along with his is two interceptions, he has deflected 8 passes. Meanwhile, Willis deflected 12 and Urlacher only deflected 7.

Brian Urlacher has not had the Pro Bowl year that was expected of him. I agree with voting Patrick Willis to the Pro Bowl, he has had a stellar year with the 49ers. But, Urlacher should not be selected before London Fletcher.

Former Redskins defensive end Andre Carter (Patriots) and defensive back Carlos Rogers (49ers) were both named to their respective teams starting Pro Bowl rosters.

Redskins Promote WR, Cut RB

ESPN 980 reported this morning that the Washington Redskins have promoted wide receiver Aldrick Robinson from the practice squad to the 53 man game roster.

This also means that one player must be removed from the game roster. It was also reported today that the Redskins have released running back Ryan Torrain.

In the 2011 draft, the Redskins selected Robinson in the 6th round out of Southern Methodist University. In his senior year for the Mustangs, Robinsons totaled 65 receptions for 1,301 yards and 14 touchdowns. In early September, he was released and signed onto the practice squad where he has been ever since.

The release of running back Ryan Torrain does not come as that much of a shock. After having a break out season in 2010, the Redskins then drafted Roy Helu Jr and Evan Royster. Both have turned out to be top caliber running backs. Torrain also had a major set-back when he suffered a hamstring injury and has not been the same since. He was eventually demoted to fourth string behind Helu, Royster, and Tim Hightower at the start of this season.

Do not be surprised if Robinson makes his way onto the field for a couple of snaps in this weekend's game against the Eagles. He must have shown the Shanahans enough in practice this whole season in order to bring him up. They could also be looking to see if Robinson has what it takes to be productive in this system.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Redskins Injury Report

CSN Washington reported today that there were a few Redskins that did not practice today and may miss Saturdays game against the Vikings.

Roy Helu Jr was once again limited in practice today. To go along with Helu, offensive tackle Jamal Brown (groin), linebacker London Fletcher (ankle), and Mike Sellers (elbow) did not complete a full practice.

There were a few Redskins that were able to fully participate in practice today, however. Defensive end Stephen Bowen (knee), punter Sav Rocca (ankle), and cornerback Josh Wilson (head) all completed a full practice today.

To go back to the three that were limited, I would expect only one of them to start on Saturday. When the Redskins final injury report comes out, Brown and Helu will mostly be listed as questionable. I have no doubt that London Fletcher will be on the field at the start of Saturday's game.

Sean Locklear will most likely get the start at right tackle if Brown can't play. Locklear has seen playing time at both tackles this season and has played well. The battle in the trenches will be on the left side between defensive end Jared Allen and left tackle Willie Smith. Locklear will see blitzes much of the game to try to get Allen matched up on Smith 1-on-1.

If Roy Helu is unable to play on Saturday, rookie Evan Royster will be receiving a majority of the handoff's. Royster's role in the offense has grown over the past few weeks. He has seen more and more snaps and received more and more carries. To back up Royster, the Redskins will likely have Ryan Torrain up and ready to roll.

Nats Get Their Ace

CSN Washington reported today that the Washington Nationals have made a trade with the Oakland A's to acquire Gio Gonzalez. The Nationals had to give up an awful lot to make the deal, however.

The Nationals had to give up four players for the ace. Catcher Derek Norris, right-handed pitchers Brad Peacock and A.J. Cole, and left handed pitcher Tommy Milone were all traded to the A's in order to complete the deal.

The four players that the Nationals gave up to get Gonzalez were considered by many to be cornerstones of the Nationals farm system. In 3 appearances (2 starts), Peacock totaled a .75 ERA and Cole finished the season 4-7 with a 4.04 ERA for Class A Hagerstown. Milone finished the season 12-6 with a 3.22 ERA and a 155-16 strikeout to walk ratio at Class AAA Syracuse.

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo has finally found that ace that they have been looking for to go along with Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann. What makes this even sweeter is that these three will be around for at least 4 years since Zimmermann will not be eligible for free agency until 2016 and Strasburg until 2017.

Gonzalez, 26, brings a solid first or second starter in the rotation. Over the past two seasons, Gonzalez has gone 31-21 with a 3.17 ERA and averaging 184 strikeouts per season. He was also in 2011.

The coming seasons look solid for the Nationals. With Gonzalez, Strasburg, Zimmermann, Wang, and Lannan looking as though they could be the rotation, the Nationals are poised to rise to the top in terms of pitching.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Nats Get Infiedler

Mark Zuckerman reported today that the Washington Nationals have claimed infielder Carlos Rivero off waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies.

At 23, he spent this past season playing in the Phillies farm system. In 136 games at third base between Class AA Reading and Class AAA Lehigh Valley, he batted .260, hit 16 home runs, had 71 RBIs, and had an on-base percentage of .326.

Standing tall at 6-foot-3 and weighing in at 200 pounds, Rivero is expected to bring a little power to the plate. Rivero has been immediately added to the Nationals 40-man roster and will compete for a spot on the bench this coming spring.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Redskins Add DE, TE

Chuck Carroll of Football News Now reported this morning that the Washington Redskins have promoted defensive end Doug Worthington and tight end Rob Myers off the practice squad and onto the game squad.

The team traveled this weekend with just 52 players (game roster can have up to 53). One of the vacant spots came from LaRon Landry being put on IR. The other spot opened up due to the recent release of tight end Dominique Byrd this morning.

Doug Worthington was originally a seventh round draft pick by the Steelers back in 2010. He saw some action throughout the preseason and the Redskins were impressed enough to sign him to the practice squad. In his senior year for The Ohio State, Worthington tallied 42 tackles and 2 sacks.

The Redskins also promoted tight end Rob Myers to the game squad. Myers first jumped into the league in 2009 as an undrafted free agent signing by the New York Jets. He played along side of Chris Cooley's brother, Tanner, at Utah State. In 2007, Myers had 21 receptions for 320 yards and 3 touchdowns for Utah State. In his final collegiate game, he had 4 receptions for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns.

I would not expect these two to become corner stones of the offense or defense. The reason the franchise decided to bring them up could possibly be due to the fact that they have progressed enough and worked hard enough to earn a spot. We could certainly expect Rob Myers to see some game action due to the major lack of depth on the Redskins game roster at the tight end spot.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Nationals Add Outfielder

It was announced today that the Washington Nationals have signed outfielder Mike Cameron to a minor league deal.

At 39, Cameron is not expected to be the Nationals long term answer to their problem in center field. One report even said he is only expected to play one full season with the organization before retiring and becoming a mentor for the ball club. Cameron may not even make the opening day roster.

The reason the Nationals did not go out and sign a young big name free agent center fielder is because they have their own superstar in their farm system. Bryce Harper is expected to take over in the outfield when he makes his jump to the major leagues.

Cameron was once a marquee name in the baseball world. He is a three-time Gold Glove winner, but, his play and health has fallen off in recent years. Since 2010, Cameron played 81 games with the Boston Red Sox where he hit .219 with seven home runs. He was traded to the Marlins where his numbers did not improve.

In 17 season in the MLB, Cameron has played for eight different franchises: White Sox, Reds, Mariners, Mets, Padres, Brewers, Red Sox, and Marlins. He has a career .249 batting average with an on base percentage of .338 and 278 home runs.

Don't expect Cameron to be around for very long with the Nationals. At 39, his playing days are numbered. Right now, he is just expected to fill the time between now and when Bryce Harper finally makes his jump into the major league.

Redskins vs Giants: Game Balls

Yesterday, the Redskins had a few players step up and do a little extra to help the team to a 23-10 thrashing of the New York Giants. No, this doesn't include Roy Helu Jr, Rex Grossman, or Santana Moss. This is a list of players that we don't particularly hear about and one player you may have never heard of at all.

Game Ball #1: WR Jabar Gaffney
Yesterday, Gaffney played one of his best games of the season. Gaffney was all over the field making key blocks on running plays and making spectacular catches on third downs to keep drives alive. While he did not catch a touchdown, he was the teams leading receiver with 6 receptions for 85 yards. Gaffney has had a quietly spectacular season for the Redskins. He has totaled 58 receptions for 842 yards and 4 touchdowns. If there was ever an offense player for the Redskins that should have a statement for the Pro Bowl, it should be Gaffney.

Game Ball #2: CB Josh Wilson
Josh Wilson had a key interception early in the fourth quarter. The Gaints were driving down the field and cutting through the Redskins defense like a hot knife through butter. Eli Manning threw a deep pass to the back corner of the endzone and Josh Wilson went up and made an incredible interception and then toe tapped the endzone to complete the catch. That play ended the Giants scoring threat and all but ended their hopes of winning the game. To go along with that key interception. Wilson tallied 4 solo tackles and 3 pass deflections. One of his pass deflections came against Hakeem Nicks and it seemingly broke the Giants rhythm on offense in the fourth quarter.

                Game Ball #3: LT Willie Smith
Yesterday, Willie Smith got his first official start in a Redskins uniform. The undrafted rookie free agent out of East Carolina University took the opportunity and made the most of it. He had the always difficult task of defending Rex Grossman's blind side. The 6'6" tackle played a wonderful game for the Redskins. As a unit, the Redskins offensive line gave up just one sack to a Giants pass rush that has been deadly all season long. Smith also opened up the hole for fullback Darrel Young to plow into the endzone and score the teams second touchdown. If I were Trent Williams, I would be worried about my job right now.

So there you have it! Three players that played exceptionally better than they have played all season long. Gaffney has been a staple for the Redskin offense but Willie Smith proved that he deserves a spot on this team. Josh Wilson was clutch and showed that he has soft hands in the back of the endzone.

Photos from top to bottom: Jabar Gaffney lines up to run a play (Photo: Josh Wilson celebrates his fourth quarter interception (Photo: yahoo! Willie Smiths Redskins profile picture (Photo:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Redskins vs Giants: Gameplan Revisited

Congrats to the Washington Redskins for completing a season sweep of the New York Giants. The Redskins were finally able to put it all together and defeated the Giants 23-10 in East Rutherford this afternoon. The Redskins did a lot of things right. Let's see how they fared with today's gameplan.

"If Roy Helu Jr and Rex Grossman (left) can repeat their performances that they had against the Patriots, the Redskins will have a great chance at being successful."

Santana Moss catches TD. (Photo:
While Roy Helu Jr did not quite repeat his 100 yard performance that he had against the Patriots, his presence still made him just as lethal. Helu did manage to convert multiple key first downs and was still a focal point of the Redskins offense. Rex Grossman had another solid day. After starting the game by throwing more passes to the Giants than the Redskins, Grossman battled and out performed Eli Manning today. Grossman finished 15-of-24, with 185 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions, and a passer rating of 65.5.

"Willie Smith and Tyler Polumbus will have to be rock solid on the edges to protect Rex Grossman."

Willie Smith and Tyler Polumbus were the most rock solid tackles that the Redskins have started all year (and yes, that includes Trent Williams). Willie Smith did a fantastic job against Jason Pierre-Paul. Pierre-Paul finished the day with just one sack. Smith also opened up the hole for the Redskins second touchdown when Darrel Young scored on a fullback hand-off. The Giants only got to Grossman once today for a sack.

"It will be up to OJ Atogwe and Reed Doughty to hold it down in the secondary."

O.J. Atogwe, 20, returns a pick. (Photo:
Reed Doughty stepped up in a big way today. He was the teams third leading tackler with seven overall tackles. He also came up and stopped Brandon Jacobs on a key second down play in the fourth quarter. If Doughty had not have made that tackle, Jacobs could still be running right now. O.J. Atogwe finished with 6 total tackles, 2 pass break-ups, and 1 interception. DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson also had interceptions.

"Brian Orakpo (right) and Ryan Kerrigan will need to pin their ears back like they did week one and get after Manning in order to help out a less than impressive secondary."

Oh yeah! I'd say they showed up today. Ryan Kerrigan had a clutch fourth and goal sack today that forced the Giants to give the ball back to the Redskins. Brian Orakpo also contributed with a fourth quarter sack of his own. Orakpo finished with 2 total tackles and Kerrigan finished with 3 total tackles.

"The offensive line for the Redskins will have to step up and slow down the Giant (no pun intended...?) front seven." 

The offensive line for the Redskins had their marquee game this week. They only allowed one sack (they did give up 8 hits on the QB) and paved the way for 123 yards rushing. The Giants only managed to make 4 tackles for loss. The Redskins defense tallied 6 tackles for loss.

The Redskins were finally able to put it all together today and defeated the New York Giants in East Rutherford. This was the first time since 1999 that the Redskins have swept the New York Giants.  

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Redskins vs Giants: Gameplan

This week the Redskins travel to MetLife Stadium to take on the New York Giants in an NFC East rematch. In week one, these two teams squared off at FedEx Field with the Redskins coming out on top 28-14. These two teams have dramatically changed since then. The Redskins come into this game going just 1-8 since the bye week and the Giants are 3-4 since their bye week. There are a few things that the Redskins will need to do if the want to duplicate their week one success. Let's break it down!

Surprisingly, the Redskins rank 12th in the NFL in yards passing (237.9). The Giants have the 29th best pass defense (263.7). The Giants also have a rush defense that ranks 22nd in the NFL. As crazy as this might sound, the Redskins have a legitimate chance at winning tomorrow. If Roy Helu Jr and Rex Grossman (left) can repeat their performances that they had against the Patriots, the Redskins will have a great chance at being successful.

The offensive line played well against a good Patriot pass rush. The Giants, however, have a great pass rush. Willie Smith and Tyler Polumbus will have to be rock solid on the edges to protect Rex Grossman.

Special Teams
What?! These are important, too! Brandon Banks is a game changer that hasn't changed very many games this season. The Giants just recently blocked a would-be game winning field goal against the Cowboys. Specials Teams are important. If Brandon Banks gets a few more blocks, he could be off to the races in no time.

The Redskins are playing Eli Manning and he is always on his game. The secondary is missing a key piece of the puzzle (LaRon Landry) and another piece (DeAngelo Hall) seems to be more interested in how he looks than how he plays. It will be up to OJ Atogwe and Reed Doughty to hold it down in the secondary. Brian Orakpo (right) and Ryan Kerrigan will need to pin their ears back like they did week one and get after Manning in order to help out a less than impressive secondary.

Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw are the staples of this Giant offense. Rocky McIntosh and London Fletcher are going to have bring it all when they go to tackle these two. They run low and hard and hit like tanks.

The offensive line for the Redskins will have to step up and slow down the Giant (no pun intended...?) front seven. This line is full of players that have been just thrown to the wolves. It is now time to see how they respond after getting a full week of practice together.

I think the Redskins put up another good fight: Redskins: 27, Giants: 23.

Redskins: Injury Update

CSN Washington reported yesterday that the Washington Redskins will be without right tackle Jamal Brown and fullback/tight end Mike Sellers. The team is also without safety LaRon Landry (Achilles), left tackle Trent Williams (suspension), and tight end Fred Davis (suspension) for the rest of the season.

For a third straight day, Sellers and Brown did not practice with the team yesterday. With that in mind, Head Coach Mike Shanahan decided that they would not be active for this weekends game against the Giants.

In warm ups against the Patriots, Jamal Brown re-injured his groin. Sellers hyper extended his right elbow while covering a kickoff in the first half.

Filling the void at right tackle for a second straight week will be Tyler Polumbus. Against the Patriots, Polumbus did a solid job at holding his blocks and giving Rex Grossman time to throw the football. He also did a good job at opening up running lanes for Roy Helu Jr.

Filling in at the tight end spot will be Dominique Byrd. Logan Paulsen is slated as the starting tight end and Byrd will see time when the Redskins go to a two tight end formation. The Redskins also have Richard Quinn that could see action Sunday.

The Redskins do expect Stephen Bowen (knee), safety Reed Doughty (rib), linebacker London Fletcher (ankle), punter Sav Rocca (ankle), and reciever Donte Stallworth (ankle) to play this Sunday against the Giants.

Nationals add Four

Chase Hughes of CSN Washington reported this week that the Washington Nationals have added four players to their farm system. The ball club added infielders Jarrett Hoffpauir and Andres Blanco, outfielder Jason Michaels, and pitcher Waldis Jaoquin.

Infielder Jarrett Hoffpauir, 28, has had some playing time at the major league level. In 2009, he played for the St. Louis Cardinals and then played for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010. In 21 career games, he has a .217 average.

The other infielder that the Nationals have acquired is Andres Blanco from Venezuela. The 27 year old first signed with the Kansas City Royals in 2000. Along with the Royals, Blanco has played with the Texas Rangers and the Chicago Cubs throughout his six seasons in the MLB. In 36 games with the Rangers last season, Blanco had a .224 batting average with 2 home runs and 3 runs batted in (RBI). In 235 career games, he holds a .255 average.

Outfielder Jason Michaels, 35, spent much of last season with the Houston Astros before having hand surgery in September. In 1999, he was drafted in the fourth round of the MLB draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. Something to note, while with the Phillies, Michaels had behavior problems as he was arrested for assaulting a police officer in 2005.

Pitcher Waldis Jaoquin, 24, has spent three seasons at the major league level with the San Francisco Giants. Originally from the Dominican Republic, Jaoquin as appeared in 19 career games with 21.2 innings pitched and an ERA of 5.40.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Redskins Have Holes

With the latest news that the Redskins will be missing starting safety LaRon Landry and starting left tackle Trent Williams, the Redskins will need to find quality players to fill those voids.

Landry has already missed five games this season (Achilles) and could likely miss the rest of the season due to this groin injury. Reed Doughty has stepped in to fill the void.

Even though the Redskins have been missing their star safety, they still rank in the top 10 in the NFL in pass defense. That could sure change, however, when the Redskins take on Tom Brady and his star studded Patriot offense this weekend.

In five games this season, Landry has accounted for 48 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble and fumble recovery. Reed Doughty has also played five this season and has recorded similar numbers. Doughty has totaled 59 total tackles and 1 forced fumble and recovery. While Landry has been out, Doughty has been a good fill in the safety spot.

The Redskins will also be without starting tight end Fred Davis for the rest of the season. Davis and Trent Williams violated the leagues drug policy and were both suspended for the remainder of the regular season.

Taking Davis's spot will be two year veteran Logan Paulsen. Paulsen, from UCLA, has 7 receptions for 95 yards. Another player that could make an appearance at the tight position is Dominique Byrd. Byrd, from USC, has been in the league for 3 years with the Seattle Seahawks before the Redskins acquired him this season.

The place that is not fairing so well with the absence of the starter is left tackle. In 10 games this year, Trent Williams has been solid. He has only allowed 3 sacks. This point last season he had allowed at least double that number. Currently filling that void is 4 year veteran Tyler Polumbus. In his first game this year, Polumbus allowed a sack.

This week in practice, however, rookie Willie Smith and veteran Sean Locklear have been sharing reps at left tackle.

The left side of the line could be the biggest wrinkle in the Redskins offense this week. If Smith gets the nod, he will be starting along side fellow rookie Maurice Hurt at left guard.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Nats Swap Pitchers reported this evening that the Nationals have traded right handed reliever Collin Balester to the Tigers in return for Ryan Perry.

A reason for the trade could be the roster flexibility that it provides. Balester will be out of options and thus will not be able to be sent to the minors. Perry, on the other hand, still has one option year remaining and can still be designated for assignment if he does not make the opening day roster.

Perry was a first round draft pick for the Tigers.
At 24, Perry (pictured right) has made 149 appearances for the Detroit ball club over the past three seasons. He was the 21st pick in the MLB draft three years ago for the Tigers. Through 149 appearances, Perry managed a 4.07 ERA.

Balester, however, did not produce the consistency that the Nationals expected from their reliever. At 25, he has spent his first 4 years in the MLB with the Montreal Expos and now Washington Nationals. In 62 appearances, 22 as a starter, he worked to a 5.17 ERA.

In terms of Perry making the opening day roster, he has a chance to do just that with a fastball that can hit 95 mph. He has a chance at making a middle reliever spot but will have to battle Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard, Sean Burnett, and Henry Rodriguez who all have guaranteed jobs. Ryan Matthues is expected to be the Nationals other reliever.

Redskins: Time to Grow Up

Bowen, 72, won an award for courage. (Photo:
I try to read the Washington Post sports section as often as I can. This morning, I'm glad I did. For those of you that did not pick up and read the sports section this morning,  you missed two excellent articles written by Mike Wise and Barry Svrluga.

The article written by Mike Wise looked into the scandal that is tight end Fred Davis and offensive tackle Trent Williams being suspended for the remainder of the season by violating the leagues drug policy. Williams and Davis were found to be using marijuana on a regular basis. Wise wrote about how immature and irresponsible the players on the team have become.

Barry Svrluga wrote about a different player, on the same team, with a totally different outlook on life. In the past six months, defensive end Stephen Bowen has lost a son and a mother-in-law...and has started every game this season. He keeps his personal life personal and does not let it effect his professional life. Yesterday, Bowen won a league wide courage award that is given to a member of each team and is voted on by the players.

The thing that struck me the most after reading these two articles, is how polar opposite the locker room at Redskins Park is. On one side, you have the hard working, level headed type of player you want in your locker room. On the other side, you find the exact type of loud mouth, selfish player that you strive to get rid of. The problem for the Redskins is "Selfish vs Selfless" players in the locker room.

Williams, above, was suspended for the season.
It's no wonder why this team is terrible this year. Hardly any players are focused on playing the game of football. The problem with the Redskins is not a lack of talent, although it couldn't hurt to have a little more, but, a lack of focus.

Soon the Redskins will start to lose their veteran players, such as London Fletcher, that do contribute and help the team on Sundays. They simply would not want to play with such a childish team. Why would London Fletcher, the Redskins best player and leader, want to return to this team next season? He's 36! He wants to win a Super Bowl and he will not win one if he plays with these children.

It is sad to see such a talent filled locker room go to waste due to a little selfishness and immaturity. The way the trend goes, Mike Shanahan has one more year to turn this club around. Right now, they are on pace to finish worse than their dismal 6-10 2010 season.

Davis, 86, was suspended for the season.
The solution to this problem is to cut away the fat; the selfish players. Fred Davis and Trent Williams, while excellent players and crucial to the offense, have to go. You can't keep players that are more concerned with what they are doing after practice. Keep and re-sign players such as Stephen Bowen to long term contracts (did you know that Bowen has started every game this season?).

The Redskins franchise has become a franchise of immaturity and that will not get better over one off-season. While getting rid of Albert Haynesworth and Donovan McNabb got rid of negative vibes, the Redskins have gone right back to where they were when they had them.

The Redskins will not make the playoffs next season, the season after, and probably the season after that (if they could prove me wrong that would be great). But, until the immature mature and the selfish become selfless, the Redskins will forever be the doormat of the NFL.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Nationals Select Catcher, Pitcher

This morning the MLB held its Rule 5 draft. The Rule 5 draft is a draft where teams are able to select players in other teams farm systems (minor leagues) to be added to their 40-man major league roster. Teams pick in the same order as they did the MLB Draft back in June. The one exception: teams that have a full 40-man major league roster are not allowed to make selections in the Rule 5 draft.

If selected in the Rule 5 draft, a player must be kept on the teams active 25-man major league roster for the entire season after the draft. That player may not be optioned or designated to the minors. Some notable players selected the Rule 5 draft in years past include All-Stars Dan Uggla, Johan Santana, Jayson Werth, Josh Hamilton, and Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente.

Minor League teams can also participate. Triple-A Teams can select players from Double-A Teams and Double-A Teams and can select players from Single-A Teams.

The Nationals selected a few players and lost a few players this morning in the Rule 5 draft. The two players that the Nationals lost were from their Class AAA affiliate Syracuse.

With the 22md pick, the Cardinals selected outfielder Erik Komatsu. Komatsu, who played for AA Harrisburg in 2011, was aquired via a trade with the Brewers in exchange for Jerry Hairston Jr. Komatsu hit .277 and had 48 RBIs to go along with 7 home runs in 2011.

Just seven picks later the Yankees selected right handed pitcher Brad Meyers. The 26 year old right hander was selected by the Nationals in the 5th round of the MLB draft in 2007. Meyers finished 9-7 witha 3.18 ERA for A Auburn, AA Harrisburg, and AAA Syracuse last season. He had a 378 to 105 strikeout to walk ratio over 5 seasons in the Nationals farm season.

The Nationals minor league teams did select a couple players to play on their Double A and Triple A clubs.

In the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft, Triple-A Syracuse selected catcher Beau Seabury from the Rockies AA team in Tulsa. The 26 year old will be on AAA Syracuse. He hit .274, had 20 RBIs, and had 2 homers for A Modesto last season.

In the Double-A phase of the Rule 5 draft, Double-A Harrisburg selected right handed pitcher Matthew Buschmann from the Padres Single-A team. The 27 year old pitcher was a 2007 MLB draft selection in the fifth round. He was 12-6 with a 6.16 ERA in 32 games with 22 starts for AA San Antonio and AAA Tuscon.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Redskins vs Jets: Gameplan

Roy Helu Jr. will need to be unstoppable once again. (Photo:
Tomorrow, the Washington Redskins travel to New York to take on the New York Jets. Since the bye week, the Jets have gone 2-2 with both wins coming over the Buffalo Bills. This past week the Redskins finally broke their 6 game losing streak with an impressive 23-17 win in Seattle against the Seahawks. This week their opponent is much better. Here are a few things that the Redskins should focus on if they want to win tomorrow.

I certainly would not expect the Redskins passing attack to be much of factor tomorrow...well, at least not what should be the focal point. Roy Helu Jr will have to, once again, put the team on his back. The Jets are ranked 15th in the NFL in rush yards allowed. They give up an average of 114 yards on the ground. In his first game as the starter, Helu Jr. ran for 108 yards and he is expected to start again tomorrow.

He will be running into stiff competition on the other side of the ball such as Bart Scott (who is rumored to be able to stop a nose bleed), Eric Smith, Calvin Pace, and David Harris. The offensive line will need to get bodies on bodies and keep tabs on the whereabouts of those players.

If the Redskins have to throw the football, Rex Grossman will need to locate Darrelle Revis and simply stay away from him.

Special Teams
This is no team to fall asleep on on special teams. Kick returner Joe McKnight averages of 34 yards a return and is not afraid to bring it out of the endzone.

The Redskins pass defense will have to show up tomorrow. With the absence of LaRon Landry, the secondary is sure to be on the hot seat tomorrow. Plaxico Burress, Santonio Holmes, and Dustin Keller will be running wild tomorrow if they do not keep tabs on them. While Burress started the season quiet, he has certainly come on strong as of late. On paper, it looks as though the Redskins are severely outmatched throughout the secondary. The young and inexperienced secondary will need to step up tomorrow. Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan will need to play like men possessed tomorrow to force Mark Sanchez into making mistakes.

Shonn Greene is another player the Redskins will need to contain. Greene only average under 60 yards per game, but, can still create plays and run defenders over in the open field.

The Redskins are, for sure, not the better team between these two. Most players will need to play their best game of the year in order for them to have a chance. The Jets are tough, mean, and most of all...talkative. The Redskins can not afford to listen to what Rex Ryan or any other member of the Jets will say. That will only get them into trouble.

My Prediction
Redskins: 23 vs Jets: 20

Thursday, December 1, 2011

New Minor League Managers

Today, the Washington Nationals organization announced the promotion of two of its farm league managers.

Mark Zuckerman first reported today that Tony Beasley has been promoted to Class AAA Syracuse and Matthew LeCroy will move up to manage Class AA Harrisburg.

Tony Beasley was promoted from Class AA Harrisburg. He managed the Senators to a 80-62 record. This past season the Senators finished first in the Eastern League's Western Division (wait...what?). In 2006, Beasley was the third base coach for the Nationals in the MLB and then moved to the Pirates organization and then returned to the Nats this past season. Another plus to the move, Beasley was phenom Bryce Harper's manager in Class AA Harrisburg and will likely be with Harper in Syracuse.

Matthew LeCroy was promoted to the vacant spot left by Beasley. LeCroy, a former MLB catcher and DH, started in low Class A Hagerstown, then moved to high Class A Potomac and guided Potomac to a 68-71 record.