Boston win leaves team feeling good
Once upon a time, the Washington Redskins were one of the NFL’S flagships, filling the stadium every Sunday and going to the Super Bowl with regularity. They were a model organization, what other franchises aspired to be. That’s changed in recent years, and we don’t need to plunge into another discussion here of it’s changed. We’ve all got a pretty good handle on that, don’t we?
The Camelot of the 1971-to-’92 period — of George Allen, Joe Gibbs, the Over the Hill Gang and the Hogs — might never be seen again in Washington. Indeed, it was so long ago, it almost seems like a hallucination. The Redskins’ bungled attempts to return to those days have turned them into a league laughingstock, a late-night punch line, the antithesis of what they used to represent. And now they’ve hurled another “Hail Mary” with their megatrade for the second pick in the draft, one that’s expected to secure them the services of Robert Griffin III, the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from Baylor.
But this desperation pass actually might have a chance of being completed. Griffin — whip-armed, athletic, smart, charismatic — looks to be the genuine article, the kind of QB who could return the Redskins to the gated community of the Haves. Of course, they had to empty their wallets to make this deal, hand the St. Louis Rams three No. 1 picks and a No. 2, and some have been horrified by that. But most of them, I’m convinced, are just victims of Battered Fan Syndrome. They’ve gotten so accustomed to the team making head-slappingly bad decisions that they don’t recognize a good one when they see it.
These same gloom-and-doomers will tell you the Redskins are under tremendous pressure to be right about Griffin (and that RG3 will bear an equally heavy burden as the anointed savior of the franchise). But to me, the Rams and the Indianapolis Colts are under just as much pressure. St. Louis, after all, the chance to draft Griffin, feeling it was set at quarterback with Sam Bradford; and Indy, with the first pick, appears to prefer QB, Stanford’s Andrew Luck.
But what if Griffin turns out to be better than Bradford and/or Luck, perhaps even better? What if RG3 outduels Sam in the NFC title game or Andrew in the Super Bowl? Do you think the Rams and Colts might spend a few moments revisiting their decision to pass up Robert Griffin III?
As history has shown, over and over again, the first quarterback drafted isn’t necessarily the best quarterback. Alex Smith was taken with the first pick in 2005, but he hasn’t been nearly as good as Aaron Rodgers, who went 24th. Michael Vick (1) and Drew Brees (32), Chad Pennington (18) and Tom Brady (199), and Tim Couch (1) and Donovan Mcnabb (2) are three other ex-
It’s the worst-kept secret in the NHL that the Washington Capitals aren’t a good road team. Even as players shook off concerns about lacking a recipe for success away from Verizon Center, the numbers and listless, lackluster performances told the story.
Then came Saturday, when the Caps managed to author their signature road win of the season by going into TD Garden and knocking off the Boston Bruins.
“We haven’t been great on the road,” CAPITALS AT N.Y. ISLANDERS Tuesday: TV: Radio:
when he pitches Monday.
Manager Davey Johnson said earlier this spring that after two turns through, he might reveal his rotation order. While Stephen Strasburg may be the Opening Day starter most expect, Johnson didn’t shoot down the idea that Gonzalez could be the one getting the ball April 5 in Chicago.
“He’s probably a candidate,” Johnson said. “He’s probably the only one who’s been an AllStar, and, with the exception of Chien-ming Wang, he’s the only one who’s been nudging 20 wins a couple years in the big leagues.”
Edwin Jackson, too, was an All-star during the 2009 season with Detroit, though he projects as Washington’s No. 4 starter.
For Gonzalez, who may get the nod partly because of the way the Nationals could set up the schedule for Strasburg in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery, it would be his first Opening Day assignment in the majors .
“Oooh,” he said, when asked what it would mean to him to draw that duty. “That’s tough. I think that everyone there has earned their stripes to be there at the top of the rotation. Give me the ball, I’m ready to go. Anywhere in that rotation, I want to pitch, but I don’t look that far ahead.”
In the short term, the Nationals have been strong on both ends of the rotation. While John Lannan was pitching in Lakeland, Fla., on Saturday, Wang impressed the coaches in his two innings against the New York Mets at Space Coast Stadium, hitting 88 to 91 mph on the radar gun with a good sinker.
Hours before rain would ensure Gonzalez got his work but not much else Sunday, Johnson sat in the dugout and tried to deflect questions about defining either end of his rotation.
“Let’s put that off another day,” he said. “We haven’t even gone through the rotation twice and you want an Opening Day starter? Fifth starter? . . . It’s fun to have conjecture, but I’m experienced enough in this job to know that [the pitchers] will decide [with their performance.]”
NOTES: Outfielder Michael Morse received a cortisone shot Saturday to help ease the right lat strain he’s been dealing with the past few days. Morse did not begin his scheduled throwing program Saturday. He could see some time at designated hitter this week.
Bryce Harper also is not expected to be in the lineup Monday with his tight left calf prohibiting from going through a full workout and running test.
Outfielder Xavier Paul was given a leave of absence from camp for personal reasons.
Mathieu Perreault celebrates scoring a goal with teammate Alexander Semin during Sunday’s 2-0 win over Toronto. Recap, analysis: