Ask Boswell: Redskins, Caps, Nationals and more

Nov 26, 2012

Washington Post Sports Columnist Tom Boswell answered your questions about the Redskins, the Capitals, the Nationals, the rest of D.C. sports and more.

Past Ask Boswell chats

Look, Norv Turner is no threat for the Hall of Fame, but he's a good guy and is still the most successful coach that has ever worked for Dan Snyder. And I'm not trying to be provocative here -- Norv's team won the division and was a missed field goal away from the NFC Championship before Snyder brought in his fantasy football team and kicked off a farcical decade of failure. The two actual Hall of Fame coaches who have worked for Snyder have come nowhere close to that. So anyway, I have been rooting for Norv for years to stick it to Snyder, and it looks like those days will soon be over. And I feel like his Chargers get hosed by the officials more than any team in the league. We'll be talking all week about Ray Rice's heroic 29 yard catch on 4th and 29, but I think we all saw that he was down after 28 yards. No matter. That's the end of the road for Norv. I guess I need to find a new way to stick it to Snyder. Any suggestions?

Everybody likes Norv, even those with reservations about his coaching. I don't think of Turner in the context of owners. Actually, I don't spend many minutes in a year thinking about team owners. It's a waste of time and energy. They are who they are. You factor that into a team's structural styrengths or weaknesses. But it's no sensible to obsess on it __as plenty do. Because that's the ONLY element of the team that can't be changed, even by public pressure. You should see the Dallas area press screaming for Jerry Jones to fire himself. Sorry, they're stuck with him. 

All in all, Norv was been spectacularly "fortunate" to be an NFL head coach for 22 years. His career win % is .481 (111-120-1) and he's never won a conference championship. How do you pull that off!?

At any rate, the Ravens got lucky on the spot. I've always wondered if Turner's non-threatening sideline presence had an unconscious influence on officials. 

Boz. I've been a Skins fan since the '72 season as a little kid, in all that time we have NEVER had a player that causes this much excitement. It always seemed like only the other teams got the can't miss draft picks; this is entirely new for at least two generations of Redskins fans.

After the last two amazing games __8 TD passes, nine incomplete on 43 passes __I think Robert Griffin III might not be getting enough credit! I know that seems impossible. He's got every ad, has been written about ferom every angle and was expected to be exceptional, etc. But maybe only Jimmy Johnson has gone crazy ENOUGH. Among other things,he  says Griffin is the player he'd start a franchise with. Well, that's about where the Skins are now __starting a franchise__ once you subtract key injuries like Orakpo and Davis to two of their best athletes.

It's hard to quantify excitment. And it's difficult to express a player's ability to inspire his team --make them feel that they aren't going to lose. Obviously, at 5-6, Griffin loses. But his biog-stage games __opener vs New Orleans, first games againstall three NFC East rivals__ were amazing. In those 4 games his QB ratings were 139.9, 108.9, 158.3 and 132.6. His four highest! With 12 TDs and 2 Ints.

Griffin's running also gives the Skins remarkable balance. They're 2nd in NFL in rushing yards, "only" 19th in passin g yards. But their passing game is efficient, even when their skill players are limited in talent or hurt. We just saw what 90% of Garcon can do when paired with RGIII.

At a lower level, because he hasn't reached his prime yet, Bryce Harper also has that Xcitment factor that produces a  different feeling in those watching him, as well those playing with him and AGAINST him.

With the two headed running threat of RG3 and Morris, the Skins are killing defenses with the play-action. On the last touchdown on Thursday it was so bad that on 3rd & 1, the TE could fall down, roll over, and still go in untouched. It seems like the Skins are the only team that remembers the power of a good running game.

The option read to the weak side, that I wrote about here last week, has been almost unstoppable in crucial 3rd down situations with RGIII reading the last man on the line of scrimmage and either handing to Morris or carrying himself. You don't want to do it more than a couple of times a game, imo. To keep Griffin healthy. But teams have to be terrified of it, plan for it. 

So, it's a big weapon and distorter of defenses even when you don't call it.

As badly as the Jets are doing without playing him much, could they do worse if they did play him more? Although his book makes him sound as if he's the Second Coming, he was a great quarterback at UF and knocked the Steelers out of the playoffs. So why not use him? Is Sanchez THAT good? I don't think he played at all Thursday.

The Jets are a mess. And Tebow is stuck right in the middle of it. Denver was a great atmosphere/culture for him and NYC an awful fit, imo. Talk about going from heaven to hell in one year. 

If Laroche leaves the Nats would get an extra draft pick. That and their own first rounder would allow them more flexibility to sign a high end high school player that drops. The picks are currently 31 and 38, but could get as high as 24 and 31. Madison HS SS Andy McGuire is drawing rave reviews as a pure hitter, but is a Texas commit that could drop. The 6'8" Chris Oakley is hitting the mid-90s already. Imagine him and the 6'6(maybe taller by then) Giolito at Low-A in 2014. Twin towers. If they sign someone like Dan Haren to a 1-year deal and he and Morse leave after this year you could see the Nats and their dream team of scouts with 3 high picks in what I hear is a great draft in 2014. Plus their may be depth to trade for competitive balance lottery picks. 2014 may be the next chance to really load up the system. It would be amazing if they could remain strong WS contenders, and continue to develop young, talented (cheap) players to replace to the non Stasburg/Harper/ Zimm guys that get too expensive.

Thanks for the informative "question." Appreciated.

Dan Harern (12-13, 4.33, 31 starts) is a decent name for the pitcher to replace Edwin Jackson (assuming it isn't Jackson himself if he doesn't get anything better than a one-yr offer elsewhere).

The top free agent pitchers are Greinke and 18-game win ner Kyle Lohse. But that leaves a LOT of stock for Rizzo to pick up a 4th starter. And that's the phrase he used with me yeserday when discussing what the Nats needed. Other FA pitchers include Anibal Sanchez, Ryan Dempster (12-8, 3.38), Joe Saunders, Francisco Liriano, Sean Marcum, Ben Sheets, Brandon McCarthy (8-6, 3.24), plus some "usual suspects" like Wolf, Zambrano, F Garcia, Sheets, Marcum. If that list is 100% correct I'd be amazed! 

I wouldn't be surprised to see the Nats resign lefty Zach Duke who was 15-5 3.51 ERA at Syracuse last year, then 1.32 in 12 IP for Nats in September. He may even be resigned already. I heard a "maybe" on that. He has 168 career starts in MLB, but the Nats may have polished him up last year. He's only 29. That's a good example of how sharp the Nats are at finding value where others see nothing.

Rizzo said yesterday: "We like to keep (off-season) things under wraps. When you hear our name linked with a player, you know those are the things that are NOT going to happen."

It's true. Werth and Gonzalez were industry wide surprises. I suspect the Nats are kicking the tires on a CF who's not Bourn or BJ Upton. Doubt it's Victorino because he hits better RHed than LHed and the Nats need LH bats more if they lose LaRoche.

Rizzo's comment about money not being free makes me wonder if they'd have been more active had they been awarded big money in the MASN deal. In the long run, it may be better that they haven't. (the Dodgers are getting $6 billion for 25 years) I like the moves. I wouldn't count out Bernadina starting and hitting 2nd though.

I don't think the MASN issue has any impact on the Nats right now. They aren't looking at a $250M player like Pujhols or Fielder last year. They can afford any one player on the market now. And they have a general sense of where their finances will be; but they won't know precisely until they have MASN resolved and see the "season-after" affect on attendance, TV ratings, etc., in '13 coming off the '12 breakout.

Rizzo and Davey had lots to say yesterday that didn't fit in just one column. So, here is some of it.

Rizzo: We had a good regular season with the youngest team in baseball and the 21st payroll. We really don't have to go and make a huge splash in free agency or make the kind of trade that the Blue Jays just did."

Rizzo did emphasize that he is more inclined to action than Davey, who tends to love what he has __possibly because he has so much confidence in his ability to bring out talent. When Davey heard the Nats ahd signed Jackson, his first reaction was, "What do we need him for?" You can be sure Rizzo has plenty of irons in the fire __just not >$50M for LaRoche or >$75M for Bourn or Upton or Lord knos how much for Greinke with both LA teams on his trail.

The Nats dynamic is that the Lerners never much want to do anything unless Rizzo gets up on his hind legs. Davey will say what he thinks his team needs __in general terms.

Davey was interesting on '13 being his last year. He said, "I wasn't expecting to come back to manage (in '12, I think he meant). I can understand them not wanting to have a manager on Social Security."

He seemed happy about the Last Year thing. But I'd still like to have been a bug on the wall in those discussions.

Davey said about 10 times how much he likes LaRoche but said, "We love him. But this is where the business end comes into play. You can hurt your organization with a deal that costs a whole lot of money and hurts the development process. I think we're going to get him signed. But it's one of those tough decisions...Mike sticks to his guns. And he always has (other) plans and options in  mind...We need to draw a line and know when we're done with Adam (one way or the other.)"

Just watched the NFL special on Riggins and was reminded that he was king of the town for a while. Any memories of him you care to share?

I haven't seen the Riggins special yet, but want to very much. Riggins was a law unto himself. When Gibbs was a young coach, John tested him in a unique way. Riggo was in the top back row of a meeting room and set something flowing down the steps toward the front __where Gibbs was talking. Snickers. Gibbs ignored it.

My impression of Riggins as a player was that he was extremely arrogant whenever he felt like being that way, even by the standards of star athletes __which kept a space around him. He could be as forbidding as Barry Bonds to outsiders.

My impression of him in retirement is that he is just the opposite __natural, not vain, funny. Maybe there was a "Riggo" and also a John. Just my 2 cents, but John's a lot better to be around. But you wouldn't want to get in Riggo's way on third-and-short. 

Get a professional basketball team in D.C.? Seriously, though, I've been wondering why the starting pitchers sit in the dugout rather than in the bullpen, even though they could be called in to relieve (it doesn't happen often, but Jordan Zimmerman did pitch a relief inning in the playoffs).

Well, if the relievers had to stay in the dugout until needed, they couldn't call out during the game for Chinesse food __long distance from Hong Kong.

Relievers are in their own world and like it that way. Lee Smith once went across the street from Wrigley Fioeld in mid-game to McDonalds and the phone rang before he got back __so they say. I liked Lee a lot, but never asked him about the one.

Come on, you want 'em out there cooking up foolishness __like the Nats switching all the numbers on the Pennsylvania lottery signs in the Phils park in September in '11. Clippard an d others increased the "payout" by hundreds of millions of dollars. They claimed fans were heading out to buy lottery tickets.

Thoughts on the season the Irish have had?

I suppose it's nice if you like that sort of thing.

Don't know why this free association came to mind. A while back, somebody asked Steve Spurrier (who just knocked off Clemson __again) who he thought was the best-dressed coach in college football.

Spurrier said: "It used to be Jim Tressel."

Great to see Spurrier back where he belongs, where the work weeks aren't too long. Always loved him saying FSU stood for "Free Shoes University."

But my favorite was this one on why Peyton Manning came back to Tennessee for his senior year: "He wanted to be a three-time Citrus Bowl MVP"

 

Regarding the Houston-Detroit game: I have read several "explanations" of the blown call on the 81-yard touchdown play. All of them (including Mike Pereira's column) simply recounted what happened. None explained why such a rule existed in the first place. The NFL must have had some rationale for that rule. Why would a premature coach's challenge negate a pending booth review and also, punish the coach with a 15 yard penalty. Isn't that "double jeopardy"?

It's an idipotic, unforgivably stupid rule that should never have existed and may change a game that chan ges the season. But you'll never hear that said about the NFL.

Every week for the last 30 years you could have written a column on What's Wrong With The NFL This Week That Nobopdy Much Wants To Talk About. You wouldn't have had much competition. Look how long it took for the USA to notice that, gosh, smashing your head into hard objects after taking a running start from the age eight to 38 might not be good for your brain in later life.

Hi, I know this is trivial. But something I have never figured out is in NFL football whenever the defense is on the filed a long time the announcers keep sying how tired they are. Mystery? Shouldn't the offense be just as tired? Thanks,

It's just a fact of football. When you're calling plays on a long drive you can actually feel the defense fading in front of you from play to play. They wear down. Especially if hyou run the ball at them so lineman can attack while defenders have to "read and react." Once you sense that drive momentum, you run at them even more. That's why "three and out" is so important. Every defense at every level, right down to high school,knows that it's probably at its most rampaging on the first series. The whole defense is, psychologically, on the same page: Kill 'em. And lets get off the field. After the other team gets a first down, you wonder if all 11 on defense are 100% committed on every play. But on those 1st three plays you KNOW that they are.

Hi Tom, There hasn't been a lot of news recently about the Skins salary cap penalty and I'm wondering if Snyder and team are still fightiing the penalty? My logic tells me there are two and only two mutually exclusive possible scenarios. Option 1, the Redskins followed the rules that were in place for that season and thus should not be penalized. Option 2, the league owners colluded on an undisclosed salary cap for the season and the Redskins violated this owners agreement. However, this second scenario would violate anti-trust laws. Please shed the light, where is my logic flawed? I'm suprised the Skins are not pushing harder on this issue given the imapct both this season and next.

My take: The owners colluded. The Skins tried to break the unwritten rule __not out of nobility but just out of self-interest. The NFL "paid back" a team that wasn't liked by plenty of other ownerships. The NFL union, as I understand it, signed away its right to protest against  any tactic that was used by the league during the strike. I doubt the Skins will get any relief. To what degree CAN you, or do you even WANT to fight with your entire league over its compliance with anti-trust law. (Or any law.)

This is not about moral high ground, imo. Or not very much. The Skins took a gamble that they could steal a march on their rivals and get away with it. And any decision like that stops at the top. IMO, you judge it entirely on the amoral grounds of: Well, did it work?

It was a disaster. The Redskins like to act as if they were "done wrong." And, in a way, they were. But they knew that was a risk. But I'd say that it is far more a franchise decision that was always risky and blew up, making it one of the worst front-office/ownership decisions that the team has made.

However, the last-minute timing of the announcement of the penalties __after the Skins had made all their off-season plans and were caught flat-footed__ made it 100% clear that it was totally vindictive. Shanahan made a post-game press conference remark recently about how tough it was to cope with the cap penalties and he noted that it was extra tough because of when they were announced. (Welcome to the NFL.)

 

I bought a condo in Penn Quarter in part so I could walk to the Verizon Center. Fortuately I love the condo, but between the 0-11 Wizards and no NHL, that aspect has not worked out so well I'm writing to ask if there is a basketball equivalent to the formula that, based on uns scored, predicts how many games a baseball te0m "should" win.based on runs scored. The Wiz have lost so many close games! Using the "blind pig" analogy, I figure they are due to blow out the Spurs.

They're bad. But they try. And when Wall gets back I don't see how they can continue to be the worst team in the league. What the 0-11 start did damage interest in the season.

For years, the Nats were masters of this. You knew they were bad. But, hey, maybe they'd be watchably bad.  In '06 and '07 they lost 91 and 89 games. But they started 2-9 and 1-8. So it was hard to enjoy even the few good things that they had.

Fans want to delude themselves __at least a little. It's an innocent vice. And sad to see it stolen from fans by a team, like those Nats or the current Wiz, that just kill hope instantly. My son and I were switching back and forth from Wiz overtimes to Clemson-South Carolina. It was like pulling teeth to switch back to bad NBA basketball and the Wiz awful luck/karma.

The NBA REALLY has a problem. Everybody knows it. But it just gets worse. The NBA has five teams with records from .714 to .818 and five awful teams with records between .000 (!) and .308. Talk about disparity. How is that even a bonefide "m ajor" league?

The show time teams are good. But fans of teams like the Wiz have a right to wonder if the league cares if they EVER have a real chance to be competitive. 

Looks like the Skins vs Ravens in a couple of weeks will actually mean something for both teams. Too bad the "goodwill" between Nats and O's fans doesn't carry over to Ravens and Skins fans.

The big change in the standings is that the Skins are now just one game out of the wild card. Two weeks ago, did you think you'd see them just one game behind three teams at 6-5 for the second WC?

The Browns should be a gimme win. (I know, no game is a gimme for the recent Skins. But with RGIII, I think that will change.) The Steelers had EIGHT turnovers at Cleveland with Batch at QB and the Brfowns still only won 20-17. Now THAT is a bad team.

Also, sure looked like Skins had Eagles number. So, call that a "W," though in Philly.

Can they get two or three from Ravens, Giants and Dallas? They are ALL at home.

Common sense says they finish 8-8, miss the playoffs, call it a building season and the Griffin Mega-Debut.

But the bye week really refreshed Griffin, who'd gotten pummeled for weeks. I'm not going to say this guy can't take them to 9-7 with a 6-1 finish. Sure, not likely. Really, 3-6 to 6-1 despite lolts of injuries, poor defense, etc. But he's going to do remarkable things in his career __maybe this season will be the first of them.  

 

Another great one: You can't spell Outback without UT.

Yup. Shucks.

Were you invited to any of the Nationals' weddings?

No. But I wouldn't expect it. I think I've only gone out for a meal with somebody I've covered a handful of times and I think only one person I covered ever came to my home. And that was for an interview. A few rounds of golf over 35 years.

I played golf with Earl Weaver in retirement for an interview and within 30 minutes in the 19th hole I said to myself, "THIS is why I NEVER do it this way." I never had a more honest or reveaIing subject than Earl. Even when we argued. And it was totally professional. The MINUTE it became slightly personal, he was yelling at me about EVERY time I'd ripped him over a 15+ year period. And he remembered them all, in detail. I had no idea.

I keep personnal and professional sepertate, not because you absolutely have to, but because it suits my disposition much better. I think people are actually more candid and revealing in a professional relationship than a cozy one. If you have some distance, and they know it, they actually trust you more. Somewhat like the way you and I feel with professionals in other areas (like a doctor or lawyer, perhaps.) Hard to explain. My wife doesn't get it, thinks I'm a little goofy on the subject. And I suppose it is less fun never to "run with" the people you write about it. Oh, well. That doesn't mean you can't really LIKE people or respect them or feel any way you want about them. But why blur the lines?   

Why did the MLB allow the Marlins trade to go through? It poisons Miami against baseball probably for a decade and will surely be seen as a cautionary tale for city governments for at least as long.

Baseball has done so many big money deals over so many decades __and Bud has been in the middle of them for 30 years__ that I wonder whether, near the end of his career, whether there is anything that would make him "blow up" an owner with a really harsh decision. It's always been a club. But never more than now. The Blue Jays trade is just the next step after the Boston-Dodgers massive salary dump.

Baseball is dead in Miami for a long, long time.

That hideous enormous "sculpture" in CF that lights up on home runs should have an enormous neon sign above it that flashes "Tilt!" and "Suckers!!!" 

When I look at resigning a 34 YO 1st baseman, I think I long can he play 1st...an NL team can only afford to give LaRoche a 2 year contract (probably 30-35 million). By comparison, in the AL, 4 years,40-50 million might be ok, figuring the last two years are possibly DH. Am I looking at it right?

Yes, that's a pattern. And the Orioles are certainly interested in LaRoche. He's a fit for them. I'll repeat that Davey, maybe wishing, said, "I think we'll get Adam signed." But he said it in the context of about six or eight "buts" and comments about how, though he sure didn't prefer it, he could cope with the absence of LaR with moves A, B and C.

I know hockey fans are loyal folks, but do you think the NHL rebounds from this lockout like they did from the last one? No superstars to hype like Ovechkin and Crosby, plus the fact that this is now the second one in very recent memory makes me think they won't be growing quite as much this time around...

Looks to me like things are brutally bad in the NHL right now. And union source said last week, "I think a deal can get done, but..."

Part of the "but" is that Betteman (and NHL owners) tend to look at cost-cutting models while Fehr, with his MLB background, thinks that growing revenues __for everybody's benefit__ is the right model for any pro sport.

I suspect that the union's proposal was a serious one. Not final, but serious. And the NHL didn't treat it that way. In MLB, that's usually when the union pulled back. Not retracting a previous proposal. But they'd take a step back and wait __a long time.

In the early MLBPA work stoppages __from '71 through '76__ there was a lot more bitching from MLB superstars who didn't want to go along with the union then we've seen so far in the NHLPA __so far, at least. The MLBPA ranks were pretty splintered at times that were comparable in the MLB union's development to where the NHL union is now.

I don't expect anything good to happen any time soon. And I think a second long strike would hurt any sport worse than a first strike. I hate to say it but, aside from the core fans of several contending teams (like the Capas), does anybody care? 

RGIII or Luck? RGII has the wow factor, but Luck may take a 2-14 team from a year ago to the playoffs.

RGIII is better by a lot.

The Colts have a defense. They've held opponents to 10, 13, 13, 13, 13, 20, 20 and 22 points. With Griffin, Indy would probably be better than 7-4!

Colts have overcome 13 Luck interceptions and 8 fumbles (not all lost). RGIII has three Ints.

The QB ratings aren't dfar wrong on this: RGIII 104.6 (exceptional). Luck 76.7 (good for a rookie, will improve.) 

Apologies if you have already answered this one, but why aren't the Nats making a bigger play for Edwin Jackson? His performance in the post-season? His price? (Also, did you see the headlines 'Path to the Playoffs' after the 'Skins game and go "Nooooooo" because I sure did. Optimism is the worst thing to have for this team)

Jackso0n wants a 5 year deal last winter. It was crazy. He priced himself out. But, after a typical pretty-good but inconsistent season in '12 and not yet 30, he's not going to go for a one-year deal. The Nats have Meyer, Giolitto and other SPs on the way. The Nats wouldn't offer more than one year, especially when there are many other SP options. And, no, another poor post-season didn't help Jacks0n's case (5.48 career post-season ERA in 28 IP). 

I enjoy his little jokes, but IMHO he crossed the line this year when he used Clemson sending well-wishes regarding Marcus Lattimore to knock the school. Time and place, Steve-o.

Good point. I forgot that.

they've beaten 6-5 Tampa, 6-5 Minnesota, 5-6 New Orleans, and 5-6 Dallas. Seattle's the only team in 6-5/5-6 group they haven't played

Thanks. Nice point.

A bad spot on a fourth down play yesterday gave the Ravens another win. They seem to have had several wins given to them this season. Excellent record, and normally an excellent team. How good or bad are they really?

The Ravens "should be" 7-4 according to the NFL point-differential system that you'll find at Pro-FootballReference.com. Actually, 7.1-3.9 based on 283-219 in points.

So, they're good, but not 9-2 good. And they're getting Ray Lewis back (way) ahead of schedule.

The Rays just extended Longoria for another 6 years and $100M ($16.7M/yr). But they had him in the fold for the next 4 years regardless, at the more reasonable $36.6M. Would they really have been unable to extend this guy at a similar rate in two years - thereby limiting their risk? How does this make sense?

This is the smart, though somewhat risky, method that teams use if they aren't in NYC, LA markets. It's easier to justify with everyday players, not pitchers, because hitters almost always recover from their injuries. Pitchers, not so much.

But RGIII will have a career length like a running back with all those hits. Luck will have a career length like a QB.

That's the question. A bunch of great scrambling quarterbacks took a lot of hits and ended up in the HOF: Tarkenton, Stauback, Young, etc.

As the Skins get better, RGIII won't have to run as much. (Everybody hopes.)

I don't get it. Last year the Colts were worse than the Skins. They get Luck we get RG III. Luck is darn good, but the consensus is that RG III is even better. So why on Earth are the Colts at 7-4 and we're at 5-6? How did that happen?

Here's a clue: The Redskins are 25th in points allowed despite having a GREAT +12 turnover/takleway ratio (4th in NFL). That means your defense is BAD because it isn't even being hurt by turnovers by the offense.

So far, Skins defense has given up 38, 32, 32, 31, 31, 27, 27, 26 and 24 points. How the heck did they win those five games anyway __as many as all of last year!?

Oh, I forgot the most important number: #10.

The reason that rule came into effect was due to London Fletcher. A game vs the Giants a few years ago there was a questionable fumble that didn't go the Skins way. Fletcher kicked the ball before it was hiked, thus delaying the game, thus giving the Skins a 15 yard penalty ... BUT ... it also gave us more time to review the fumble play. The rule states that the play isn't reviewable if there is a subsequent penalty on the defense team. A coach throwing a flag on an auto-reviewable play is a penalty ... thus the review is then negated. They should revise the rule so that auto-reviewed plays (TD's, turnovers) aren't negated due to a defensive penalty.

Thanks. Is there ANYTHING our chatters don't know!

As a Nats fan, I was watching that game without the sound on, looked up and saw the payout then went out and bought $10 in lottery tickets. Taught me to always have the sound on even while "working"

Ha!

Boz, I'm really nervous at the idea of losing him. He may not be a 30 HR/100 RBI guy much longer at his age, but it seems to me that if the Nats lose his left-handed power in the middle of the lineup they look like a VERY different club next year (and not for the good side). Can you tell me anything that might help me sleep better?

No. Losing LaRoche has real insomnia potential. 

But it's just a bad fit of team needs and the player's hot market. Two years, yes. Four years, no way. And I have to admit I think three years is a "No." But three is "thinkable. But it sure doesn't seem like the Nats are thinking it.

THE GIANTS!! and anyone who thought the Giants were going down the tubes sure had a mind-changer last night. Let's just enjoy RGIII and not even think playoffs unless the Skins are, say, above .500 in December.

I'm good with the "enjoy" part.

Looks like the Dodgers have struck gold and are expecting to sign a $6-7 Billion tv deal. Every time another one of these TV deals gets announced it helps the Nat sin the Nats/MASN/Angelos renegotiation. Is there any chance, any chance at all, that the Nats ask for so much money that Angelos cuts them loose from MASN?

I just checked the "wires" and don't see anything on a $6-7B deal or "expecting." But your general point is correct, imo. And so is your question. I asked Selig about that some time ago. He said, "Everything is on the table. Everything."

Boz, totally agree with today's column. How many times do we have to learn this lesson? Look at the Red Sox, the Marlins, look at what the Yankees future looks like. Don't lock in aging guys at big money and big years because they're nice guys and used to be good. You need to be a little cold-blooded to do this the right way, and it is hard for fans to watch a good guy go, but Rizzo has shown he has a little ice in his veins. All the franchises that are good long term operate in this way...NE Patriots, STL Cardinals, not afraid to let a guy walk when they have been prepping for the next man to step up...

Well, that's the thinking. But LaRoche has had seven years that average out to 27 homers, 91 RBI, .273 and 148 games. Except for '11 (injuured) he's consistent. And I don't think he ever paid as much attention to fitness __workouts, not just a lot of ctivity, hunting, etc__ until last year coming back from shoulder surery. At 33, you are usually WAY past your peak __which is 26-to-29 for hitters. BUT the exceptions are REALLY exceptions and go on for several more years.

That's it for this week. Thanks agin for all the questions.

 

As a life long Washington sports fan I always assume much hyped things will be complete failures and in the span of 6 months we have had Harper and RGIII far surpass the hype. What a year!

Check!

Boz, I'm not shocked by your column and both Rizzo and Davey's conclusions that the Nats don't need anything big. Bourn and Upton are overpriced for what they are, and the Nats already have both a logjam at 1B/LF and Goodwin on the way. Two questions, though: 1) Is Morse really the better choice at 1B if it's between him and Moore? Is he really just that bad in the OF? 2) While I do believe that Rizzo doesn't have a single high priority (other than a No. 5 starter), his biggest moves *seem* to come out of nowhere (Werth, Gio, Jax). I'd almost be surprised if one of those didn't happen this offseason. But who?

I'm trying to figure out the "but who," too.

Every winter, hindsight has shown that his overview public statements havae been honest. So, his remarks __in general__ can be taken at face value for this winter, too. BUT he is always looking.

In This Chat
Thomas Boswell
A Washington Post columnist since 1984, Thomas Boswell is known for the many books he has written on baseball, including "How Life Imitates the World Series" and "Why Time Begins on Opening Day."
Recent Chats
  • Next: