Ask Boswell: Redskins, Nationals and Washington sports

Jun 24, 2019

Washington Post Sports Columnist Tom Boswell answered your questions about the Redskins, Capitals, Nationals, Wizards, the NFL and more.

Past Ask Boswell chats

Let's Do This Thing!

The last week of June in sports means lots of Baseball, and a search for (please) something else that's fun with NFL, NBA and NHL about as dormant as they ever get at the same time. 

Luckily, we've got the U.S. women's national soccer team in the quarterfinals of the World Cup, starting at noon in what might (probably not, but might) be their first test against a worrisome foe. In a January meeting, Spain, which plays ball-control tactical soccer (read "keep-away" to level the field) frustrated the U.S. for the first 30 minutes. Presumably today, with a 100% healthy squad and hot weather to test depth, the U.S. will be prepared for this approach. 

On the MLB front, let's talk The End of the Rosenthal Debacle. Who's to blame the most --GM Mike Rizzo who built around him and gets an "F", owners ship who gets a "D" for ignoring the chance to get in the fight for Craig Kimbrel at $43M for three years or manager Dave Martinez ("D") for being lost at maximizing what he still had left in his bullpen minus Rosenthal. 

With a 6.23 bullpen ERA --which would be the worst in MLB since the awful St. Louis BROWNS in '50, this is the story of the season so far --and an ugly one. How do you recover from it? 

Also, Albert Pujols return to St. Louis. Max Scherzer's Black Eye Beauty. MLB's home run glut --can we still enjoy a game this warped? Who's an All-Star!? Which is the N.L. East's biggest dumpster fire --Phils (6-16) or Mets (erupting at beat reporter whose sin was saying, "See you tomorrow, Mickey." 

Also, your thoughts on NBA Draft last week and the NBA MVP that will be announced tonight --Giannis, Paul George or Harden?

For Post subscribers sending questions to all chats, including mine, it will be the same as always. But (starting last week) for those without subscriptions, there will be a short log-in process, requiring an e-mail address. But no pay wall or any cost.


How would you rate the Wizards' draft selections?

The Wiz have a lot of experience drafting at No. 9, or close to it. So, I'm worried. I have a long memory.

Here are the Wiz/Bullets picks between No. 5 and No. 12 since '83 --in other words, not sure things, but spots where you have to show draft competence.

First, the successes: Richard Hamilton (15,708 NBA pts and traded, after 3 yrs in DC for Jerry Stackhouse), Juwan Howard (fine player, but not a good DC memory), Tom Gugliotta, Harvey Grant and Jeff Malone (drafted in '83, 17,231 pts).

Now here are The Rest. This shows how HARD it is to pick at spots near No. 9 and, perhaps, how modest our expectations/demands should be for Rui Hachimura (6-8, 230, born in Japan, second-team AP All-American for Gonzaga).  

Cover your eyes (or read while peeking through your fingers:

Jan Vesely (6), Devin Harris (5), Jarvis Hayes (10), Jared Jefferies --all since '99-- Calbert Chaney (6), Tom Hammonds (9), Muggsy Bogues (12), John (Hot Plate) Williams (12), Kenny Green (12), Melvin Turpin (6).

Except for a useful player, perhaps a 6th man or decent swingman starter in a couple of years. A star? Unlikely. But feel free to hope. As we always do, no matter how much we've seen to make us think, "Show great restraint before seeing real production.")

Hi Tom, Thanks for doing these chats. They are always great. I have to say that I think Nats ownership and possibly Mike Rizzo have handled the bullpen about as badly as possible. They should have signed Kimbrel. That would have allowed them to give Rosenthal time until Kimbrel was ready. If Rosenthal is still struggling then, then put him on the IL. They didn’t. That is looking like a pretty dumb move now. Then they compound the dumb move by releasing Rosenthal. If you’re not going to sign Kimbrel bc you’re betting on Rosenthal to come around, then don’t release him. Just a bad job all around.

As I noted in the intro, this may be Rizzo's first big "F." 

If Rosenthal's options had kicked in, starting with appearing in 50 games this year, he could have earned as much as $26M in '19 and '20 combined (from memory). 

So, the Nats had protection in the sense that four other relievers, NOT coming off an injury, all signed for around $24M --but with all dollars guaranteed. The Nats thought they were smart to get a low risk (contract), high reward (potential All-Star) set=up man. 

But they missed the real risk. It wasn't Rosenthal's arm, which they could SEE was "back" when they went to his showcase. It was his head or the inherent issue of recovery previous form after a major surgery. They completely missed the possibility that --even without another injury-- he could be a total ")" or even a major negative. It was a failure of imagination. Also, it may have been a failure to adequately note that he had control issues, or got hit harder than usual in '16-'17. In spring training I mentioned this --he hasn't really been a STAR since '15. Why bank on him SO much? Why not be a LOT more interested in Kimbrel?

Rizzo wants to have this Rosenthal issue both ways, at least imo. He always points out the upside in Rosenthal and the flexibility of contract "optionality" but also makes it clear that, like almost any GM, he sees the value of signing Kimbrel "at the right price."

This is where the Lerners were really asleep, in my book, and their players are certainly aware of it. Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen signed for $85M and $80M a couple of years ago. Mark Melanson got $62M (and the Nats offered him about $54M, if I remember correctly). Since then, the reliever market has collapsed.  But that market HAS been defined --the highest offer last winter was for Zach Britton at $39M for 3 yrs.  

In March, Sean Doolittle campaigned to get Kimbrel, both with Martinez privately and in my column one day when he, jokingly, but seriously, pointed to the empty locker between him and Rosenthal and said how much he'd welcome seeing Kimbrel sitting in that seat.

On Sunday, I asked Sean about his general feeling on how the Kimbrel opportunity worked, or didn't work out. Since I was writing down what he said I'm sure he knows that I wasn't asking the question so I could put it in my memoirs. "If 3 for $39 (million) was out there for Britton, 3 for $43 (million) wasn't?" he said.

Plenty of people have questions about Kimbrel's wildness in the second half of last season. Is he really still Kimbrel --the man with the lowest career ERA in history (1.91) by 31 ERA points? At $65 or $75M, you assume you are buying 100% Kimbrel, or at least 90% of that monster. But as the price comes down, so do your demands of him, and your evaluations of him. I said that I thought the Nats should be aggressive buyers at $50-to-$55M --in part because that over-laps with '19-'20-'21 when they will still have Max-Strasburg-Corbin. At that price, and the Nats would only have taken a small few-million lux tax hit in '19 --and nothing in the future when their payroll drops by >$35M, I thought he was worth the risk.

At $43M I'm in the group that says, "WHAT???! You're not even IN this game??" This isn't $330M for Harper or $300M for Manny or $210M for MAX or $175M for Stras (or possibly Rendon, too). It's less than 1/3 of the $140M you paid for Corbin. 

The Nats do NOT have inside info that Kimbrel will be a bust. They saw the wildness. But they also saw that his velocity and stuff were still 100% last year. Of course it's a risk, of course he can flop.

But if you don't take that risk, AT THAT PRICE, you are far too close to "risk-averse' for my baseball taste.

The Lerner's hate the idea of paying twice to fill the same need. They spent $7M on Rosenthal, so why should we spend even more on Kimbrel? Didn't we already FIX this issue?

Well, no. Things change. Rosenthal was in free fall. But so was Kimbrel's price.

I'll drop this subject. 

The third major point is that Martinez' biggest weakness --because it's the area where he had no experience-- is handling a bullpen. He got dealt one terrible card --Rosenthal. But that does not explain/excuse the worst bullpen ERA since the Browns in '50! The Nats still HAD a top closer in Doolittle. And they had a rotation that eats innings, especially its 1-2-3. The Nats pen has thrown the FEWEST innings in baseball this year. So, with Doolittle at the back, Martinez had very few innings to cover between his starters --especially 1-2-3-- and Doolittle. Even with everything that's gone wrong, the Nats should at least have a "poor" bullpen --4.50-to-4.75 ERA. Martinez couldn't figure out how to do that. So, it's cost the Nats at least 40 runs --more than half-a-run a game-- and probably more like 50.

At least, finally, this saga --and it is one-- is over. And, as I've said all along, the Nats STILL need one more Big Arm at the back of their pen. (Picking up Javy Guerra, in the Yusmeiro Pettit role, has been helpful. And Rainey looks like a fine talent who should be around for years.)


If you wonder why my chats take a fairly long time, it's because real answers --or even an attempt at real answers-- takes time. I get to the less important, or less "talky" questions alter with shorter answers. But Rosenthal and the Wiz draft were the two biggest D.C. stories last week. (Okay, No Wiz GM Yet is big, too. So is black-eye Max. We'll get there.  

Really, it was a beautiful evening. 82 degrees, seemingly 0 percent humidity, longest night of the year. Honestly, it could not have been any nicer watching all those base hits from Turner, Rendon, and Soto. And then Davey Martinez ruined it for me in the top of the 7th. Could he have not left in the starter for at least a couple more outs? Could he have not brought in any reliever other than Rosenthal? Could he not have hooked Rosenthal after the second walked batter? I feel like I saw the season die right there on June 22.

It's possible that you are right. There may be some carry-over effect from an epic bad loss, and a symbolic one, too. The Nats lost again Sunday --4-3 in 10-- in a game where they got a huge break. Braves star 21-yr-old Mike Soroka left after 2 innings because he got hit in the forearm by an Austin Voth fastball. He's OK. Just a precaution. But, suddenly, the Nats got to face a 34-year old vet with a 4.74 career ERA (Josh Tomlin), not Soroka who was 10-2 with a 2.43 career ERA in 17 starts! They were so overanxious that they helped Tomlin go four shutout innings on just 43 pitches.

Then, in the late innings, they seemed tight in three situations with two men on base. Gomes, Soto, Eaton (twice) & Rendon (twice) all made out when one more clutch probably swings the game their way.

HOWEVER, what always amazes me about MLB players is how fast, and how completely, they seem to shrug off even the worst defeats --and in only 20-or-so minutes after a loss in which they were all trying, hustling their hardest to get a win. It's a gift. Or, maybe, the game weeds out anybody who can't cope with such high failure rates --arriving constantly for 6 months, at least. 

I suspect the Nats saw this past homestand as a decent one where they went 4-2 against the Phils and Braves, even though it could/should have been 5-1. They already knew Rosenthal was a disaster --probably. They already knew that Ross has had problems for two years in coming back from TJ and figuring out if he is a starter (with no third pitch), a garden-variety sinker-slider reliever or just a AAAA guy.

The thing they probably took from Sunday was the excellent STUFF and poise of Austin Voth in his start after being called up from AAA--6-4-(2-2)-0-7. With 9 days off since his last start, he touched 96 mph. His best days in AAA he's touched 95. But, at any rate, it looks like his fastball --91.4 mph last year with the Nats-- has added some much-needed velo. He has a good curve, a useful change-up and a "show" slider. 

In news this a.m., the Nats sent Erick Fedde back to the minors and kept Voth up to get a shot at being their 5th starter. He certainly looked like one on Sunday. One start shows what MIGHT be there. But the next several will show 100 times as much.

Every minor league system needs to provide an occasional "shock" player who is significantly better than expected, or than he was in the minors. Maybe once every 3 or 4 years. The Nats need a "shock" SP. Odds are it's not Voth; the probabilities are always against a one-hot-start pitcher with a 17-28 record and 4.24 ERA in AAA. But if Voth, who is poised and has always had good command,  keeps pitching the stuff he did on Sunday, THAT WILL "play" at the MLB level.

Why lay the blame for Trevor Rosenthal (and by extension the rest of Rizzo's choices) on Davey Martinez instead of the guy who put together the dysfunctional bullpen the past two years? Is there a GM in baseball who has made worse choices (coming and going) in bullpen construction over the past two years?

Rosenthal has been Rizzo's biggest single personnel mistake. At least that I've been able to come up with.

He also seems to have seriously over-estimated Kyle Barraclough who had a good career ERA but had been worked hard the last two years in Miami.

In fact, a month ago, Rizzo's whole off-season had a very bad aroma. I wrote a column in May criticizing his decisions on 4th and 5th starters when Roark was doing well in Cincy and Gio was even contributing in Milwaukee while Sanchez was winless and hurt while Hellickson didn't seem like an answer.

Plenty of fans and chatters thought that going with Brian Dozier as a starting second baseman was a bust. And why weren't those two vet catchers producing more offense?

It's good to keep a hard eye on Rizzo because, besides the Lerners' wallet ($126M for Werth, $210M for Max, $175M to keep Strasburg, $140M for Corbin, $100M to extend Zim, etc), he's the franchise's biggest off-field asset.

But, over the years, I've found that it's a bad idea to make quick judgments that assume he's a dope --about anything regarding baseball. Now, Sanchez has had a sub-3.00 ERA in his last four starts and looks just like what was advertised. Dozier has had a near-1.000 OPS for the last month and, since his hot streaks have tended to be very long, he may end up with 25-plus homers. Suzuki is having a great RBI year. Gomes has slumped. But together, they have 52 RBI. Nats catchers only had 56 RBI all of '18. Best guess: at some point, Gomes will be the hot one --he hit a 447-foot homer against the Braves-- and Suzuki will cool off some. But the tandem looks like a big upgrade.

If Rizzo has a long-term flaw it's in picking managers --Matt Williams and, at least so far, Martinez. As I've pointed out in previous chats, his 10-year record of building bullpens can only be described as strong. The numbers are there. And he's done it while using the least assets --in trade or free agent $$$-- to build those Top 10 and Top 5 pens. He, and the Lerners, have made the big expenditures, in players or $$, to get starting pitchers (Gio, Fister, Max, Corbin) and offensive pieces like Murphy, Werth, LaRoche, etc.

BUT sometimes a method that allows you to build key team pieces relatively cheaply can, finally, blow up. The pen certainly has this year, and after a 22nd in ERA year in '18 in which Rizzo got mad at Kintzler (now 2.23 ERA in heavy use with the Cubs.) OK, Riz says he didn't trade him because he was salty. Well, then he got it wrong in evaluating his stuff and future. 

A couple of years ago, after the '12-'17 most-wins-in-MLB run, it was getting spooky how often Rizzo was right. Like the production from Howie Kendrick, whom Rizzo loved --.311 hitter, .879 OPS with 32 doubles, 23 HR, 80 runs and 80 RBI in just 498 at bats as a Nat. We even heard "In Rizzo We Trust" from fans. I wrote then in chats that there'd be some evening out because no GM has that high a batting average. Well, we're seeing it.

But, except for Rosenthal, don't be too quick to write off this season, or Rizzo's off-season moves. Let it play out. 

The choices of Williams, and so far Martinez worry me the most. Dave is still an interesting proposition. The history of baseball has been FULL of cheerful, upbeat cruise-director managers who didn't seem too brilliant (but in some cases were very sharp), who never took credit, who almost always praised their players and were either funny-goofy (camels) or empathetic Dutch Uncle types or clubhouse mood setters whop preached the long-term wisdom of never-too-high-or-too-low until you wanted to scream. (Even though that is a sound MLB principle.

Long ago, I nicknamed this type of manager an Uncle Robbie after (Uncle) Wilber Robinson, an early-20th century manager who won two pennants with Brooklyn. Of all the managerial types --we won't go into that today-- the Uncle Robbie is the MOST OFTEN chosen. The problem is that it's hard to tell which are the good (wise) ones and which are just no good managers at all, just cliche spouting nice mediocrities. I made a 100-plus-year list of these Uncle Robbies to try and help me figure out which kind Martinez is. The longer I looked at the list, and remembered what they were like since I've talked to so many of them so many times, the more I realized that he DOES resemble some of the good ones. 

Next week, you'll see the list --from Jolly Cholly Grimm, Danny Murtaugh, Casey Stengel (hid a bird under his hat as a prank), Don Zimmer, Tommy Lasorda, Joe Altobelli, Danny Ozark, Charlie Manuel, Dusty Baker (who had other qualities, too) and many more. And we'll see which ones ultimately won pennants --like Joe Altobelli-- and which ended up as just another well-like "0."    


I think Nats are in process of ruining Joe Ross as a starting pitcher. Get him out of bullpen and stop jerking him around From Fresno to DC. Also, still don’t have confidence in Davey Martinez in game decisions. Sunday’s loss to Braves where he had Trea Turner bunt with no outs and runners on 1st and second and then when he didn’t have Michael Taylor and Trea Turner steal second late in game against McCann, who was 2 for27 in throwing out runners in my opinion cost Nats a win. Dennis McKay

Especially good point on the 2-for-27.

Part of the Joe Ross problem is Joe Ross' limits. He's tried to come up with a change-up for years. No success. He has two major-league-average pitches --sinker and slider. To be an average starter, you probably need three pitches, at least, that are average. To be an average reliever, you probably only need two pitches, but one of them needs to be a swing-and-miss pitch, which Ross doesn't consistently have. At times he seems a bit demoralized --maybe by all the role switches. Plenty of us would understand that. Maybe he doesn't grasp that they REALLY don't want to give up on him as a starter --which has a lot more value to him and the franchise.

Sometimes, you have to do a serious make-over of a pitcher in mid-career --change arm slot, change delivery to be more deceptive, add a pitch, learn to cheat. The White Sox did a fabulous job of reinventing Lucas Giolito --he's unrecognizable, different arm slot, delivery, movement on pitches. It's amazing. He LOOKED so much like a pitcher, but even last year, he just kept getting shelacked. To his credit, Giolito was down with it. Well, Ross LOOKS like a pitcher. His older brother had a few good years. This may be a test of the Nats creativity and Ross' willingness to experiment. 

Where do the Warriors go from here? Spend huge money to re-sign Durant even though he can't play next year? (And Klay, who could miss perhaps the first half of next season?) Every member of Golden State’s so-called Hamptons 5 lineup will be in his 30s next season. Livingston, 34, is thinking about retirement. Cousins is a free agent, too. Bogut may be going back to Australia. Even if they are able to sign KD and Klay, can they afford to build enough of a supporting cast? So, where do the Warriors go from here? How would you rebuild/re-stock the team?

Sometimes, an era ends. Everybody hates to see it go --especially when a team is a JOY to watch.

As I watched the Durant and Klay injuries, and Steph's ankle problems, and everything else that you mention, I thought: As long as they have Curry and Green, with Kerr on the bench, they'll be able to build a winning team around them. But the ERA looks like it's over. 

No suggestions. Just hope they stay good for my sake (as a viewer). I doubt I'd go after KD with such a long wait. He may lose some "vertical" and explosion after Achilles. That's what made it so heart-breaking to watch. It could permanently take him down a level to just a very good player --but not the real KD. Hope he makes it all the way back. Klay can return to play sooner, has a somewhat less serious injury and is such an ideal running-mate with Curry that I guess he'd be the key piece that I'd try to keep.

Once again, Bryce Harper is in a slump. Shocker. As you know, Ben Hogan's mindset was to have a golf swing that you could replicate to be successfully consistent when playing under pressure and tournaments. While it is baseball, not golf, my opinion is Harper' s swing is too complicated, and every component of each swing has to be perfect for him to hit the ball effectively. Also, he swings way too hard. He only needs to hit the ball 400 feet for a homerun, not 600. I haven't seen him swing much this year except for the games against the Nationals, and I already know he is swinging way too hard. Thoughts?

Maybe I mentioned this in a chat before. Dave Sheinin did an excellent story a few weeks ago on Harper's slump. (But then when is Sheinin ever NOT excellent.) The gist of it, cast in complementary tones, was that Bryce was a "feel" hitter, not an analytical hitter who studied lots of film or "knows his own swing" (like a Murphy) and can fix himself quickly. 

As soon as I read it, the lightbulb went on over my head. Harper talks hitting well. He's a student of the game. But that's not quite the same as being a true elite student of HITTING. He hacks and hacks, tweaks and tweaks, trying to find that "feel" at the plate and go on an insane hot streak. But what that means is that a majority of his seasons are probably going to contain a MAJOR slump. He's had two years out of 8 when he avoided one.  

That has a lot of implications. It's unlikely this pattern will change. It implies that the league has more opportunity, over time, to learn him, or shift on him, than he has the opportunity to adapt to what's coming at him. This may be part of his ever-increasing strikeout rate and his sliding contact rate the last four years. It also means he may have another monster MVP year or two in him. That is worth a LOT because it may mean a parade in Philly. But enough monster years to justify a 13-year year? That's a lot more doubtful.

Also, age is not kind to anybody. But I think the analytrical hitter is more likely to be able to adapt than the "go by feel" slugger who tends to overswing and want the 450-foot bomb as part of his playing and branding identity.

IMO, there is no big-picture mystery to Harper at all. His career OPS is .894. His OPS the last 4 years, since his MVP year, is .885. That's who he is --and OPS+ around 135-137. And that is a LOT to be. Assuming his late-career years pull that OPS+ down to 132-133-134 then he'd be about 125th to 150th in MLB history --like McGriff, Cepeda, Kaline, Colavito, Canseco, (John Kruk).

He's lost some speed and enthusiasm with age, so he's an average base runner and average defender. He's never been a "generational player" though '15 sure made it look like he was. I bought in. Why not? At 26, he's probably one of the 25 best players --including pitchers-- in MLB over a multi-year period. When he's hot you'll think he's better than that. When he's not you'll think he isn't. Is he worth $25.4M for 13 years? I think that's a tough call. He'll get out of his current slump. And he may have several years when $25,4M looks cheap. 

But, imo, what we've learned this year --or had reinforced--is that The Slumps are probably a permanent part of his identity in most, but maybe not all, seasons. 

Sandy Koufax’s career: 165 wins, 87 losses; 2.96 ERA; 48.9 WAR. Max Scherzer’s career: 165 wins, 87 losses; 3.19 ERA; 58.8 WAR. Thoughts?

Great stat pull!

Koufax's early years were awful, his later years unbelievable. Max has gotten better with time, but not the same Disappointment-to-Mythological Character break in the middle.

In my book, Max is a Hall of Famer right now. There's no reason to think he isn't going to have a few more productive years, the quesstion is just how long he stays at this 300-K level, and then what the next level down looks like. But Extremely Durable Pitchers --and Max has been the MOST durable in the last decade and he's almost 35-- tend to remain pretty darned durable. Not injury-free but they don't just disappear. Max is so smart and already has so many pitches that I assume a LONG career like the ultra-smart Greg Maddox --OK, maybe not THAT long-- is one of the possibilities. Remember how John Smoltz had TJ at 33, came back as an elite reliever, then went 44-24, 3.24 at ages 38-39-40. I don't mean Max will get hurt or be a reliever. I just mean that THESE GUYS, for whom the pitching mound is a true home, have levels of skill, will and intuition about how to get hitters out that lets them his grand performers for a very long time.

Never forget to enjoy what you are watching. Max is the first HOFer --with the core of his HOF resume coming here-- that Washington has seen since the Nats arrived in D.C. 

Would you describe the Nats recent run of successes as expected in the land of statistical mean? Arms started pitching to their career/expected numbers again? I remain discouraged that Davey still wants to ride hot arms and bats at the expense of giving his bench regular starts and appearances. How long since Dozier or Rendon had a day off? How long since Sanchez (or Difo before assignment) had a start after everyone got healthy? That's one of the big things I miss about Dusty-- he announced when Zimm or Werth or Murph was going to get a day off in advance, and that Goodwin or Robinson was going to get a start. Davey seems to be getting better and the dugout looks looser from the outside, but will it last if Dozier or Adams cools off? MATaylor's had 4 starts in June and twice as many DNPs. Unless he's hurt, that just seems like he's being punished for not hitting, so much so that he's turned into a bunting machine and wasn't sharp defensively (?!!) in his recent starts against the Braves. Homers are great, but won't using the whole roster regularly make the Nats more formidable down the stretch?

Good points. BUT you have to GET to the stretch. Martinez knows he's needed a +10-hot streak just to keep his team's head above water. So, he's driven some players hard. Dozier loves it. Rendon can take it, but could probably use a day off --once a month! He's driven relievers hard, too --for the same reason.

One of the biggest problems with being 19-31 is that "best practices" for a long season are no longer good enough. You switch to "best practices" for digging out of a collapsed mine shaft, instead. That's very different.

I have to say I don't agree with this move, even though I'm not a huge believer in Fedde. Yes, Voth pitched an excellent game yesterday. But he hasn't had a good year in AAA, and his recent starts in AAA weren't that great (3 starts in June: 15 IP, 21 walks and hits combined, 9 ER). This feels like a "gut move" based on one outing and is the complete opposite of the kind of analytical planning we're seeing more and more of in the game. Why make this move?

As I mentioned in my column today, the "fire Rosenthal and demote Ross" decisions felt like "fire the field goal kicker" after a brutal NFL loss. Kind of desperate and scapegoat-ish. If the Voth move had come in isolation, you'd just shrug and say, "No problem. They loved what they saw." But as the third such move, you wonder a little.  

How do you rank our potential QB starters?

Keenum is a completely known commodity --and has the mobility that Jay likes. He helps you avoid 3-13 and maybe somehow gets you to 9-7. The mid-point --6-10-- would be my baseline guess with him.
Haskins has a great arm, can't run a lick, has size and has a reputation for having a good FB mind. But I don't think you can project him from what we know now. He was the highest-ceiling-in-this-class but also some-significant-risk choice in this class because he played so little in college (only one year as starter at OSU). 

IOW, sometimes you have opinions. At other times, like this, you just say, "It'll sure be interesting to find out."

Just because one big reason the so-often-desperate Skins drafted him was to KEEP OUR ATTENTION does not mean that he WON'T be worth our attention. Translation: Hey, he could be really good, even though Dan's finger prints are all over the pick.

That's it for today! Thanks for all the fine questions. Glad you folks are coping with the sign-ibn for non-subscribers. Appreciate your effort.

(I'll go with Giannis as NBA MVP tonight.)

BTW, nice to see that two of the three finalists for MVP are also being considered for Defensive Player of the Year --Antetokounmpo and Paul George.

I know we won't really know how this turns out for several years but what are your thoughts on the Capitals' draft?


I think we won't know for several years!

The Last Word: U.S. women's national team just finished beating Spain, 2-1, to advance to quarterfinals against France. Megan Rapinoe had both goals! (Now, I get to go back and watch it!)

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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