Ask Boswell: Redskins, Nationals and Washington sports

Nov 18, 2013

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

Norv Turner. (And that includes Gibbs II) Discuss.

An excellent class project. Thanks.

Turner is the only Skins coach in the last 22 years to win a playoff game (1). But his win percentage was only .454 (49-59-1). Quick, which two were better?

Marty Schottenheimer, I never thought he should have been fired afater starting 0-5 and ending on a 5-game win streak, was 8-8.

Gibbs II was next best! At .469 (30-34).

Then it gets ugly. Shanny is now .414 -- bad, at 24-34, but still ahead of Spurrier and Zorn, both at .375 (12-20).

Irony: if the Skins "lose out," which I seriously doubt (I'll take 5-11 in the office pool) Shanahan would be 24-40 or exactly the same .375 perentage as Zorn and The Old Ball Coach. But Shanny has had four years to make improvements, not two, and also had a healthy RGIII. At least the start.

At least we will get a good draft pick for next year...

Rams fans have to love this disaster. At 4-6 their best pick may come from the Skins, not themselves.

BTW, the Skins Simple Rating System score is now -5.0. That means, as of today, if you give 2 points for HFA, they would be underdogs in five of their six remaining games and only favored by .8 of a point at home vs Giants. They have a good shot at suffering at tlanta, too.

Boz, Why don't the Nats consider using some of their starting pitcher prospects in the MLB bullpen like the Cards have done (with much success)? A guy like Karns - high K power arm - seems particularly well suited for the role and could end up as a valuable late inning arm in 2013. This method would make Clippard or Storen valuable trade bait. Though I really like both guys and would be sad to see them go, they're starting to get expensive and I worry about Clippard's health going forward given that he's logged so many miles. A trade (or freed up salary) could provide some much needed bench pop or a platoon partner for LaRoche.

MLB has come full circle. The Orioles for 20+ years used their TOP starting prospects for a year in the bullpen to get their feet wet, build confidence -- Dennis Martinez, Scott McGregor, Mike Flanagan, Storm Davis, etc. Some like Sammy Stewart found a home in the pen or as ex-starter/long-relief swing men.

It's sound baseball theory and the Nats have the right kind of young arms to try it with Karns, Roark and Taylor Jordan -- however the starting rotation shakes out next spring.

"Everybody" has wanted to trade Clippard "before he gets hurt." But he hasn't gotten hurt. Tough call. He's got exceptional miss-the-bat stuff/deception and a few relievers really do last for many years. His directly over-the-top delivery is unusual these days. When your arm "drops down" in your delivery with age it often means that arm trouble comes next. Clip is still "right over the top." I wouldn't trade him. Storen, maybe. Gotta think on that as the off-season unfolds. You generally shouldn't trade a young arm that's already had a 37-save season and whose stuff appeared to be back to normal at the end of '13 when his stock is, presumably, opnly down temporarily. Buy low, sell high, not the other way around. 

It seems like Mike Shanahan gets a pass just for his name when he's been pretty terrible his whole time here. How much do you think his reputation is saving his job at the moment and does everyone go easy on him (media and Snyder, etc.) just because of his past and not his present?

If he'd gone to two Super Bowls, but lost them both, he'd be gone by now.

But he didn't. He won two Supes. On Planet NFL, that matters. It lets you glare at everybody when you're 17-34, except for one 7-0 run, because you are a Certified Offensive Genius. Shanny's biggest weaknesses are 1) his inability, in his last half-dozen seasons, to get the right defensive coordinator or draft/trade for the proper personnel to make his defense work and 2) his abbrasive confrontational personality (which also part of his drive and ability to motivate as a coach.)

When the head coach controls everything -- picking the defensive scheme (switching from 4-3 to 3-4 when you had successful 4-3 players already in place), then adding the new players to play that 3-4 -- then the only that matters is the results for the whole defense. Don't say: "Well, this worked out well, but that worked out badly." All that matters is the whole thing: how does it fit together, does it work?

Only two teams have allowed more points than the Skins (311), the Jags (318) and Vikes (320).

The next Skins opponent, the 49ers, have allowed only 179 points. After the game, Eagles players said they thought "we would shut them out." If that's what Philly's defense, 15th in points allowed, thought, or claims it thought, what does the San Francisco defense -- fourth in points-per-game allowed -- think?

If the Eagles, with a rookie head coach, were calling the Skins plays before they happened, what will the 49ers do?

When teams with high expectations totally tank, like the Skins, they often relax, give up (in a good sense of not trying too hard) and actually play somewhat better. It's "easier to play from behind" -- either in the standing or even in one game. In fact, if you subtracted all the yardage RGIII has gained in games that were "almost lost" when the Skins got a lot of late yardage in defeats, he'd be having a pretty awful season. His quarterback rating is a mediocre but tolerable 83.6. But his (ESPN) QBR, which factors in the real value of each play toward the probability of a victory, has him close to the bottom of the league. I don't trust QBR very much yet. But RGIII's 83.6 is certainly inflated by a methodology which does account for tops of cheap yardage.

However, if you look at the last drive on Sunday, RGIII was very resilient and determined. He picked up a 3rd-and-25 with a perfect 28-yard skinny post to Moss. He DID miss Aldrick Robinson,  semi-open for a TD in the endzone with 48 seconds left. Scrambling left, he overthrew him. As awful as he looked for three uarters, RGIII made an exceptional scramble and throw on the 62-yard TD pass and a very good one on the TD to Robinson. He does have the will to bring them back -- but they keep falling short.

Saw that Jurgensen called for Cousins over Griffin in Skins broadcast. He must have had visions,  or nightmares, of the Jurgensen-Kilmer debates. Now Sonny's the one stirring 'em up! (Must give him a chuckle.) 

I read Adam Kilgore's story Friday about Bryce Harper's contract status re: arbitration. Do you think that there will be a long term extension instead, or will everything play out its course and see where the chips fall?

Harper hasn't had a season with more than 60 RBI. If he signed a long-term contract which was actually based on his performance, it would be a disservice to his potential -- but a great deal for the Nats. If the Nats give him the kind of monster contract that Boras would presumably want, I think they'd be foolish. Potential, potential -- it's everywhere. Some matures and stays healthy. Some doesn't. Talk seriously after he's had of a more representative and healthy season to base on deal on. Of course, that could cost the Nats a lot of money. But I don't think this is the time to get serious -- from either side's perspective.

No this isn't a bench RG question. If you are Bruce Allen, do you hold on to your better than average back up QB as your starter has shown some fragility or do you trade him to the highest bidder to strengthen a weakened draft position to provide badly needed plugs to huge personnel holes?

What makes you think Bruce makes GM decisions?

That's Mike's call. He's proud of the Cousins pick because it's worked out and makes him look smart. (It was smart.) With all the big hits RGIII takes -- and his right knee had a dangerous moment in the fourth quarter, on tape it's a scary split second as he's dragged down while scrambling to his left -- no coach would get rid of a promising young backup QB.

Oh, let me corect myself. Of course Gibbs II also won a playoff game in Tampa. Covered it, oughta remember it! He still thinks that he had a team that could have gone a long way in '07 if they hadn't had to play the Seahawks in the WC game in that huge-homefield-advantage stadium in Seattle.  

Could you please explain this situation and its ramifications in layperson terms? Thanks.

Boras or his people, maybe, messed up a little. He says not. If Harper did NOT have an "opt out," it could -- if he had a Ryan Howard type career break out soon -- cost him a few million dollars for a few years in a row. It adds up. But the Harper/Boras side certainly doesn't give an inch on that possibility.

Someone who was close to the deal wouldn't  comment on it when I asked a while back. But he sure laughed when he realized we'd found out  -- from outside the Nats organization -- that there was some smoke (and maybe a little fire). It's taken some time to get a full picture of what both sides believe. Adam's got it surrounded. 

Because a final resolution of the "opt out" will probably never come to pass, it's unlikely ever to be earth-shaking. At some point, both sides will want to "make it go away" and maintain a good relationship without wrangling about who crossed which "t" and dotted which "i" correctly.

So while Kilgore's article about Harper's contract was a surprise to many of us, I would like to think its not a surprise to Rizzo and Co., that being said, what direction do you think the Nats will go when push comes to shove? Long term record breaking deal or arbitration? Also, what impact does a players ability to put people in the seats and sell jerseys have in establishing a price. Lot of young kids with Harper jerseys at Nationals Park these days. It just seems he is still a bit of a work in progress and long term deals are usually meant for players who have already put up top 10 numbers consistently.

We're on the same page, it seems, if you look at my answer above.

The side with the opportunity to be creative here may be the Nats -- to show faith in Harper's future, avoid an argument and get a significant new deal done at a (slight) discount because, maybe, nobody wants to see a debate about such arcane points -- who filled out what paperwork, or got what agreement from whom and when, etc. -- to be dragged out. It's an interesting but not urgent development, imo. 

Same ole same ole Redskins. Same ole same ole Wiz. I grew up in Nebraska and never followed hockey until I came here for college in 2002. Now it's wyhat gets nme from baseball season to baseball season. Go Caps!

Yes, the Caps may make the winter much better.

Ovechkin's return as a great player/scorer is a huge (happy) story. It's very rare in any sport to see a multi-MVP player fall that far in the eyes of almost everyone in his sport and then get back to the top of the league as MVP again and now leading the NHL in scoring after Sunday's two goals. Just ONE year ago all you heard was that: his body's taken a beating, the league has figured him out to a degree, his head's not totally in the game, once scorers age they seldom get back to their early-career levels, etc.

There was even talk, in the abstract, of trading him, but why even think about it because who would play an appropriate price? Better to hope he returns to something semi-close to his old form. Yet it's worked out better than that!

Adam Oates is probably always going to have a great relationship with Ovi because Ovi listened to a HOFer's advice about how to reclaim his spot in the game.

I think fans are beginning to notice that Griffin rarely, if ever, takes responsibility for his poor play. Yesterday, for instance, he said that the Eagles defense shut down their routes early on -- implying that either poor play calling or poor route running was the cause of the anemic passing game -- and he failed to mention that he missed wide open receivers. He chalked up his absolutely horrendous INT at the end of the game as a mere learning experience. Until Griffin takes a hard look in the mirror and understands that he needs to get better, his progress will be stunted. Thoughts?

I watched the tape again and was struck by how many "A+" throws RGIII made, but also how many "F's" -- three or four that were just wasted big plays and a bad low throw on a 4th-and-one. 

RGIII talks very well. But he also talks a lot. As Tony K says, if you listen long enough he will eventually take both sides of every issue.

It sure sounded like he threw some coaches under the bus on Sunday -- they knew what was coming, but, hey, "we have to make it work anyway." (Yeah, right. An NFL defense is calling out your plays as you're at the line but you just, you know, gain 20 yards anyway.)

Just wait a day or two. He'll talk at the park and revise, clarify, smooth over. Remember, he's 23. He's a smart, mature 23. But he's 23. Cut some slack. And he's coming back from a major injury for which he bears some responsibility.

After all this time, I'd divide up the blame for the Seattle injury -- after all of America was screaming at their TVs,  "Why is he STILL playing???" -- as 60 percent Shanahan (he's supposed to be the NFL adult, the Final Decider and the man who has to defend the franchise's long-term interests, not just his W-L record), 30 percent RGIII (he certainly seems to have be fighting to keep playing) and 10 percent the Invisible Doc.

Thomas, love your work. We know bad football as Skins fans because fortunately we have seen a lot of good past 25 years (off and on). When your team is bad in all phases of the game in your fourth year as head coach and you pick your coaching staff how can they keep Shanny or even worse extend him? How can Snyder justify keeping him based on the quality of football we are seeing?

Change The Quarterback and Fire The Coach are absolute staples of American life. And such fun -- from the stands or the sofa.

But you always have to ask, "What next?"

Skins fans shoudl also know the enormous cost of discontinuity in the NFL. When you change coaches, you change systems and the types of players who are needed in those systems. You literally turn the value of some players into "nothing" by changing the head coach and his whole staff. From Norv to Marty (loved big TEs and LBs) required huge roster flipping. From conservative Marty to Run and Gun Spurrier was a TOTAL roster flip. The Gibbs II wanted "his" type of players. And the insanity continues. Shanny likes smaller, faster O-linemen for stretch plays. How much value do Lichtensteiger, Montgomery have to the NEXT coach?

So, sure, FIRE EVERYBODY because the grass is always greener on the other side. Except for the Skins it HASN'T been, even when SO MANY new coach hires were widely hailed at the time. There was a ton of (sensible) enthusiasm for Schottenheimer, Spurrier, Gibbs II and Shannahan. Only Zorn was an  instantaneous "WHAT???"

The Shannies built a system FOR RGIII. Can a new coach build a better system that they did? Oh, really?

Mike is easy to snipe at, or even dislike, because he is so football-vain and doesn't bother to hide it. The normal human response is: What I'd give for this guy's next step to be right on a banana peal. He acts like there are only seven people on earth who deserve to talk to him about football and, well, he's thinking of trimming down that list any day now. But he IS a good coach, even though you can't prove it by his last six seasons. (I didn't say "great.") And the roster is full of HIS find of players -- who are NOT always the most talented but will "buy into" his fanaticism or criticism. 

Be careful what you wish for. Act in haste, repent at leisure. Shanahan rubs most normal people the wrong way. But most HOF or even near-HOF NFL coaches ARE NOT NORMAL PEOPLE. They are a wide-ranging variety of whack jobs.

Washington has had an unusual experience of NFL coaches -- ever since Jack Pardee took over from George (genius/whack job), Allen they have ALL been "nice guys." I've gotten along with every one of them. But that wasn't hard. Shanny prune face is a new experience for Skins fans. But that kind of NFL nuttiness is commonplace in many towns. 

There are a lot of people who will enjoy saying "Fire Shanahan" because he's not a likeable person. But the job is Football Coach. Do you really want Dan Snyder and RGIII to pick the next coach and his staff.

So, how GOOD is Shanahan -- really. This is his 20th season as an NFL coach. So, "you are your record." Or .563 in his case. That's good. Only eight coach with 20-or-more years in the NFL has better percentages: Halas (.682), Shula (.678), Paul Brown (.678). Belichick (.653, I'm cheating and counting him because he's in year 19), Schottenheimer!! (.613), Landry (.607), old-timer Steve Owen (.602) and Chuck Noll (.566). 

But there are a TON of coaches with 15-or-more NFL years with MUCH better records than Shanny's .563. Cowher (.623), Grant (.622), Gibbs (.621), Andy Reid (.597), Holmgren (.592), Buddy Parker, Strasm, Parcells.

So, give him his due: He's at least good. But be honest -- his last six years are under .500. You have to think twice before you start over w the Skins -- again. But Shanny isn't SOOO respected that you don't have to think forever.

And EVERYBODY has now started thinking.

Tom - I've lived in the Washington area for a long time, but am still a fan of the team from where I was raised. So I follow the Skins but as mostly a neutral observer just interested in football. And I gotta tell you, as far as My Way Mike goes, couldn't happen to a nicer guy. I always felt a little sorry for Spurrier and Zorn, since they were so clearly in over their heads, and I always liked Gibbs (and wanted him for MY team). But it is just delicious when tough guys like Shanahan get their comeuppance. Just my two cents of schaudenfraude.

Perfect. Thanks.

This is just what I'm talking about.

You pay a price for Dislikeability Quotient.

Is there ever going to be any chance for the Wizards? I think the Redskins may turn it around before they do, which his pretty sad for those of us who like basketball.

No, there is no chance.

I'm kidding. But after watching them lose to the Cavs in OT the other night I wanted to beat my head -- and punishment for CONTINUING to watch them decade after wasted decade.

Watching the Wiz turn a big lead into an OT loss is like watching the sunset. You knows it's inevitable, but it's always slightly different.

In his fourth year, Wall's shooting percentages from the floor are the same. He's one of the worst shooters in the NBA -- the very bottom. Maybe that's just who he is. (But who was that superstar guy the last 20 games of last year, playing for a max contract?)

Beal has a wonderful 3-pt stroke. But look at his whole stat line after 65 career games. Still a smallish sample, but 2,000 minutes. It's a little worrisome. Does he do anything else -- shoot from inside 3-pt line, draw fouls, rebound, pass, defend -- at even an NBA-average level? Not yet. He may.

As for Otto (Day-to-Day) Porter, I don't know what to say. I loved watching him play at Georgetown, didn't think there was anyway he wouldn't be a valuable pick. I hope, a year from now, that his injuries and Randy's tart comments about him/them are long forgotten memories.

Washington basketball fans -- and this has always been a really smart basketball town -- deserve so much better than we've seen since the late '70's.

Since Mike Rizzo seems to be rather adept at not publicizing the team's moves, I won't ask you what he will do for the fifth starter. Instead, what do you think they should do? The Nats have been mentioned as a possible trade destination for David Price or Max Scherzer, but it seems like they would have to give up too much. Would Tim Hudson be a good fit for the Nats?

Hudson's too old, too much mileage. I doubt they get either Price or Scherzer. I will note that one Nats star mentioned "Price or (Jeff) Samardzija (Cubs)" in the same breath as pitchers he'd love to see the team get. Maybe if you have to hit against Samardzija -- big fastball, hard slider -- you don't think he's so far below the top rank. So, if you want to have hopes, the price for Samardzija in a deal might not be insane. 

Skins fans seem to think that if Shanahan's tenure here is a failure, Snyder has exhausted all of his options. This is simply not true. The one thing the Skins have never had under Snyder's ownership is a true, strong, general manager who is a "football man" and autonomously runs the team, which includes hiring the head coach. Snyder has either had Vinny Cerrato (hardly autonomous), Bruce Allen (more a business executive and below Shanahan,) or coach-executives (i.e., Schottenheimer, Gibbs, Shanahan) who served dual roles as both head coach and top personnel decision-maker. What do you think are the chances that Snyder finally hires a real GM to run the team?

That would only happen with a new coach.

You can't be much worse than Dan at picking coaches. Maybe he's better at GMs. You never know if you don't try. But then he'd have to find a GM who could sit with him during games but NOT agree with the owner.

Who will have the better legacy, Bud Selig or Roger Goddell? Thanks, Tom in Alexandria

OMG, probably Bud. He was a significant part of what was wrong with baseball before he became commissioner, but he's tried to fix what he helped break and improve other things that he thought would improve the game. And most have worked as well or better than expected. He was saved by his love of the game, which everybody knew, and his ability to admit his own mistakes to himself and change some of his views -- a virtue too few (including me) could see that he had.

Goddell inherited an NFL world that was made by others. Now the roof is falling on his head, one piece at a time. So far, it looks like a mismatch. 

I have read a couple of articles saying that it's possible we might trade Denard Span. Please say that's not likely. Do you think there are any players we would have zero (or close to zero) possibility of trading?

Not likely.

This team is almost "set" for '14. Right or wrong, and I suspect they are right, the Nats are going to "hold 'em" and give 'em a "mulligan" on '13, with some reinforcements from the farm and a couple of trades around the edges.

BUT Rizzo is opportunistic. Few, if any, saw him swooping to get Werth or expected him to sign Soriano just before spring training when it looked like his team was already fully finished. He really does have a Plan A, Plan B and Plan C. Things he'd love to do, things he'd like to pull off and things that just have to be done. He's always done C -- usually quickly. He's often done B. And he's always looking for A -- like the Gio deal__ to become realities. He's good. Too bad Kasten and gthe Dodgers stole his asst GM Roy Clark. That's a big loss but it's tough to say no to what i assume was "$$$ and SoCal." When the Lerners bought the team, Clark and Rizzo were Kasten's 1 and 1A choices to be his first hire as GM. Clark was avaialble, Rizzo was. Then, a few years later, he and Rizzo stole Clark from Atlanta in the great midnight front-office landgrab that changed the franchise.

Bos: When you become sports czar of the United States, would you please ban sports announcers and analysts from praising highly paid professional athletes for their "athleticism" many times a game. Do they not know they are watching the best athletes in the world? Why are they so surprised that they have "athleticism"? You thoughts please?

Only after art critics stop describing painters as "painterly."

Howard Cosell is to blame, as he is for most of what's gone wrong in the world in the last 40 years. As soon as he kept saying that NFL players were "out of" UCLA or "out of" Notre Dame, instead of "from," which wasn't pretentious and self-referential enough for Howard, you could see the end of civilization on the horizon, though dimly at first.

Do you think that they might make a run at Samardjiza (and yes, I had to look up the spelling!)? He would seem to be a lot more affordable than Price, Scherzer, or Ubaldo, and not that much of a drop off in stuff.

See, the chatters are always ahead of me.

Ubaldo Jimenez had a good bounce-back year. But a tough delivery to repeat. I'd lean toward Samardjiza (you don't think that I had to look it up? I spelled "pretentious" wrong until I looked it up). I need to look at Jimenez more. Thanks.

The biggest continual issue with the majority of DC sports teams (ie, not the Nationals) is that there are no GMs who both have the power to decide on players and coaches WHILE being held responsible for how the team does. Why do two of our local area sports team owners have such trouble grasping this simple, traditional, effective team running concept?

I know it's been fashionable, and maybe correct, to beat on GMGM, but I suspect it would be pretty hard to do better. Caps are playing well in a new tougher division. Maybe that's a sign that things will work out better this time, especially in the spring.


The Eagles may have dominated the local football team yesterday, but at least the Phillies signed a 35-year old catcher coming off a PED suspension to a 3-year deal. Are they trying to lock into last place for 2014-17?

Philadelphia scribes all OVER the Phillies in the Eagles pressroom. Mention "Victorino" and they combust spontaneously.

Gibbs' team beat the Bucs after the 2005 season, then the Skins lost in Seattle in the next round.

I got that fixed in an earlier answer but thanks. I'll give it this seperate post. Skins playoff wins are too rare to give away, even in a chat.

MLB.com is reporting Sam Perlozzo and former Alexandria Duke Mike Quade are among the contenders. What have you heard?

Sam's a favorite. Don't know Quade. Matt Williams is going to be a lot of fun. He's got plenty of ideas, especially about defensive positioning, that I really want to hear and learn from.

Ok, Boz, a Bullets/Wizards coaching question to follow up on the Redskins question that kicked off this chat. Who was the last coach to have a winning record on the road with this franchise? Hint - he was a two-time coach of the year (big giveaway)? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Answer - Gene Shue! Last winning record on the road (1981-82). COY in 1969 and 1982! Happy Monday, Wiz fans!

Thanks.

And Shue was a helluva mid-range jump shooter in his playing days -- the shot that no longer exists in the NBA.

Boz, I'm enjoying the sports radio types today, who are saying that the Skins must extend Shanny, in the name of continuity. Yeah, continuity is a virtue. But so is winning. If he was 7-3, OK. But somehow it's being suggested that we must reward Shanny, just to keep things rolling, and I'm not convinced that things are rolling so much as lurching. Or staggering, you pick. Your thoughts on Shanny's contract status?

I must have been listening to a different station this a.m.. Their question of the day was: Fire Shanahan TODAY or wait until the end of the WEEK? They were serious. They did allow for a third choice: wait. But they seemed to consider anyone who picked this option to be certifiably nuts.

What did you think of Nene's comments on the Wizards' young players? Was it a good motivational tactic or did it cause harm to the team's chemistry?

Insight, just pure insight.

And, as is often the case with candor, semi-retracted the next day.

That's okay. I'll remember.

For reasons beyond my control (birth), I am an Auburn fan. How do I as a fan process their Hail Mary victory? To my mind, they gave up 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and deserved to lose. I know I should be grateful the ball bounced our way, but I am struggling. How do I resolve this. Any advice?

Washington fans NEVER reject fabulous unmerited good luck.

(But I'm not sure we have ever had the OPPORTUNITY to reject it. What is the luckiest "miracle" in DC sports history? Somebody maybe can answer that next week.)

That's it for today. Thanks for so many good questions/thoughts. Much appreciated. See you next week.

After yesterday's game, I watched some 2012 highlights. Last year, he was FAST. Like blazing fast. This year, he doesn't seem that much faster than any other QB.

Yep.

He's still faster than nearly any QB. But I almost don't want to see old films of him "blazing" in '12. That was his extra dimension, the thing that other teams FEARED and gave him a psychological advantage. It might still come back. Might not, too.

I know...I know IF you knew something you would have told us already.... But have to ask anyway....When can we expect a resolution to the NATS TV money situation. Thanks!

I asked Ted Lerner about that at the Matt Williams presser. "When?"

"This century," he said.

I hate it when my own jokes get fed back to me.

"It's a process" (he elaborated). 

He didn't seem happy about it. But he also didn't seen terribly concerned.

I'm not sure you can beat football announcers when it comes to overusing new jargon. When did "in space" take over from "open field?". I keep looking up in the sky when I hear that. And "out on the edge"; not exactly sure what it even means but i hear it so much I know i don't like it.

Every basic term in every sport has to be reinvented every 15 years. It's a rule.

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."
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