Last Two Weeks: 1-0
Sure it’s still pre-season, but there’s reason to be excited. Friday night’s dismantling of the Buffalo Bills was an awful lot of fun to watch. Both Donovan McNabb and Rex Grossman had solid efforts on Friday, and there’s a lot to like in undrafted rookie Brandon Banks, who had a 77-yard punt return TD in the third quarter.
The battle of the running backs is going to be fascinating to watch. Clinton Portis put in some strong work, but Williams and Torain got the majority of carries against the Bills with 11 and 17 respectively. Williams picked up a pair of TDs, as well.
Albert Haynesworth was the 2nd team nose tackle Friday, but played some great football, meaning we might see him on the first team before Saturday’s game against the Ravens.
Last Two Weeks:0-2-0
Place:Last in the Eastern Conference
Interim Head Coach of D.C. United Ben Olsen probably has the hardest sports job in the District right now. The longtime player and core personality at the center of United took over the head coaching position when United let Curt Onalfo go. They say that you fire the manager when you can’t fire the players, and it seems that Olsen has inherited the same team that couldn’t win for Curt Onalfo. Two rough losses, one on the road and one at home, have United fans reeling.
Worse, United announced this week that this will be Jaime Moreno’s last season with the team. Moreno goes back to the very beginning of the franchise, when he joined United midway through the 1996 inaugural season. Moreno is the all-time leading scorer in Major League Soccer, and helped the team to four MLS Cup championships, two U.S. Open Cup championships, one CONCACAF Champions’ Cup, and one Copa Interamericana.
These are dark days for Barra Brava, the Screaming Eagles and United fans across the area. There is little to cheer for on field, less to cheer for off the field, and the future is hazy. Here’s to hoping United just makes Olsen head coach, and he can start to have some influence on the organization in a formal way.
Last Two Weeks:
Place: Last in the NL East
Today is the last day the Nationals can agree to terms with their drafted prospects, and with the exception of Bryce Harper (and, reportedly, A.J. Cole) the Nationals have signed all of their picks, including LHP Robbie Ray, who decided to defer college to play with the pros. Ray and his family were guests of the Lerners at Saturday evening’s game, as the Nationals put the full court press on the recent high school grad. He had signed an agreement to play with the University of Arkansas, but the Nationals made a strong case for their own college campus this weekend.
Expect Harper to sign at 11:59:40 tonight, there’s far too much at stake for both parties not to close this deal. Harper would lose out on a year of pro ball experience and probably a few slots in the draft next year, and the Nationals would lose out on a strong power hitter with longterm potential. The big question will be: how much? Strasburg got $15.1M over 4 seasons, with $7.5M of that in a signing bonus. I don’t expect that Harper will get that deal, honestly. I’m thinking maybe $5-6M in bonus, plus another $5-6M over four years.
The Nationals head out on the road this week for three in Atlanta and three more in Philly after an off-day today. It’ll be a tough week. I’m guessing at this point, the Nats will finish with approximately 72 wins, but this week won’t account for more than 2-3 of those.