It’s training camp season again here in Washington, and that means the Redskins are working out in Loudoun County. The big story so far is Albert Haynesworth, who has yet to pass his conditioning test. Thursday last week, the big defensive tackle, would fail the test for the first time. The test is fairly standard for the NFL and consists of two 300-yard shuttle runs where the runner is sprinting 25 yards, making a switchback, and repeating the 25 yard sprint. The standard is: 70 seconds the first time, 3 1/2 minutes of rest, then 73 seconds the second time. What’s controversial here is that Haynesworth did not participate in this summer’s team-run conditioning program. Since Thursday, Haynesworth has taken, and failed, the test twice, and not taken it since Friday, sitting out with a sore knee. Coach Shanahan said Sunday, “There’s no change from yesterday. He’s still sore, [his knee is] irritated. He’s getting treatment, working out. We’ll see if he’s ready to go tomorrow.”
As of 8:45 this morning, though, it was clear Haynesworth would miss another day of practice. While he’s spending time with the defensive coordinators, one has to ask: will he be ready for the upcoming pre-season game next weekend if he can’t get into practices very very soon? As for the difficulty of the test, there’s no question I would fail it, and I’m guessing most fans would fail it, and there are some mixed results from locals trying the test and failing it. It’s hard. But then again, if I was paid an eight-figure salary, you can bet your ass I’d have spent all summer getting ready to pass it.
McNabb seems to be settling nicely into the maroon and gold, and were it not for our slow friend Albert, we might be hearing more about how he’s doing. Silence indicates he’s stepping into the role as starting QB nicely, and as soon as everyone shuts up about Haynesworth, we’ll hear a bit more about the former Eagles’ QB who’s due to start for the Skins this season.
Last Two Weeks: 6-7
Place: Fifth in the NL East, 13.5 games back
Though the road trip that preceded it was by all marks a failure, this past week’s homestand was nothing short of a success. The Nationals played solid baseball for a week and took series from first place Atlanta and second place Philadelphia, and did it without an assist from Stephen Strasburg. That’s the kind of baseball this team has the talent to play, and should be playing more of. The team is out on the road this week for four games in Arizona and three in Los Angeles before heading back to DC to face Arizona again and the Marlins.
The trade deadline came and went on Saturday afternoon, and Adam Dunn is still a National; Matt Capps and Cristian Guzman, though, are not. Capps went to the Twins, with catcher prospect Wilson Ramos coming to the Nationals’ Syracuse operation. Don’t expect him to stay there long, though, as he’ll likely be part of the day-to-day players once the September Callups happen. In addition, Guzman went to the Rangers for pitching prospects Ryan Tatusko and Tanner Roark. The two of them went a combined 19-7 at AA Frisco, and will be touching down at AA Harrisburg for the Nats this week. The Nats made some excellent trades before the deadline, and we’ll see the dividends before the end of the season.
Stephen Strasburg’s injury is obviously a source of concern for the team, and they’re being very careful with him in the meanwhile. He threw two 25-pitch sessions from 60 feet yesterday and some long toss as well, but will likely not come leaping off the disabled list when he’s eligible to on August 6th. The team said yesterday that he may not pitch during next week’s homestand, either, which would put his first start back on the road (not likely) or during the Cubs/Cards homestand starting the 23rd of August. In the meanwhile, the rotation will remain Hernandez/Olsen/Stammen/Detwiler/Lannan.
Last Two Weeks: MLS: 0-1-0, Other: 2-0-0
Place: Last in the East, 12 points.
There’s nothing good to say right now about United except for the fact that they continue to persevere through their matches. Saturday saw the team drop a game 3-0 to RSL to further depress their already atrocious goal differential to -19. We’ve reached the point at which there is nothing left to say. They’ll face New England on Saturday, and then FC Dallas at RFK the following week. In the words of the Post’s Steven Goff: “United falls to 3-12-3. Shut out for 12th time in 18 matches. Will it get worse?”
Good question. It doesn’t look like better is an option, though.