Ask Boswell: NFL, MLB, NBA and Washington sports

Aug 24, 2020

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

Past Ask Boswell chats

Sorry for the delayed start this a.m.

Technical difficulties (honest). Here are some of our main topics. Todd Reirden fired. Strasburg surgery. Ron Rivera's health. Nats chances for NL East & playoffs. Where's Mike Rizzo's new deal? College FB in '20: Obscene? Alex Smith comeback!? Trout's $4M card! Is "Football Team" a great NICKNAME? Also, Luka Doncic's amazing game in OT win --on his buzzer-beating 27' fade-away over Clippers-- with 43 points, 17 rebounds, 13 assists. As his coach Rick Carlisle, he reminds folks of Bird and Kidd and "is from another planet." At 21, I love to watch him. Hope his Mavs keep surprising.

I don’t see anything wrong with what Tatis did. He was at the plate to bat. If the expectation is that he should not compete because the game was lost, why not have the equivalent of a “mercy rule”. If the losing team doesn’t think the other team should continue competing, the losing team should end the game by conceding. OTOH the unwritten rule about bat flips and the like are understandable. Good sportsmanship should include not showing up the other team by gloating or making unsportsmanlike gestures. But that shouldn’t extend to an “unwritten rule” to stop competing.

I agree completely. I've always thought the "unwritten rules" were nonsense. I enjoyed Tatis stealing third the next day in another unwritten rules situation when he "shouldn't" have done it.

He's an amazing player. It's remarkable how many MLB players produce children who are great players --or even better players than they were. It seems to be a more "teachable" sport --more skill-set oriented-- than other sports. Tatis will be weighed against Soto for a long time.

BTW, during the pandemic boredom, I watched a lot of old MLB games from the '70's and '80's. I was amazed at how much hot-dogging, bat-flipping, stare-downs and everything else were a central part of the game. Yes, it was the Reggie Jackson, Pete Rose, George Hendricks ("One Flap Down trot) and Dennis Eckersley period, plus the Mad Hungarian and others, but it makes the "Let the Kids Play" stuff seem odd. The game has not been 'stuffy" since the '60's --of it was then. Did MLB get dull for a while in the late '90's to '00's? It sure WASN'T through most of MLB history from Ruth in the '20's to the Gas House Gang right up to the first 25 years I was on the beat. 

IOW, the "unwritten rules" got trampled LONG ago. What happens is that some jerk, who gives up a HR, gets upset about it and invokes "unwritten rules" to justify his behavior even though those standards ended long ago.

 

 

Hi, Boz: As I am working today- I am sending you my question(s) now. I was one of many who said -2 years ago- that the Caps letting go of Barry was a huge mistake. Whatever the issue(s) was - they could have been fixed by "Uncle" Teddy saying the right words, e.g. "We love you Barry, please stay with us...and I am so sorry that we criticized you so much during this past year". And by showing him( Barry) the money that he deserved. Barry is a one of a kind coach. Period. His methods and records speak for themselves. I am at loss to describe this situation. Barry wanted 4-5 more years? GMBC said that that was unheard of... my response to that was ...so what??? He has the Islanders moving in the right direction (again). And the Caps are going nowhere. So my question, Boz: now what?

Gee, I wish I could be more controversial --confrontational-- but I totally agree with YOU, too.

This is on Ted. He didn't do exactly what you said. Maybe it wouldn't have worked and Trotz was ticked off, not planning to come back, etc. BUT I know somebody who talked to Trotz alone about an hour after they won the Cup about his contract and whether he thought he could or wanted to come back to DC. This is someone who talked to Barry many times in his four years in DC and several times about his stay-or-go issues with the Caps. That "somebody" was ME. Trotz told me he thought there was no reason he wouldn't be coming back to coach the Caps. Now, maybe that is just :"something you say." But Trotz NEVER said anything to me that was not literally true --in hindsight. Like Brian MacLellan and Mike Rizzo he is a complete straight shooter --never lies, just says, "I can't or don't want to talk about that" i he doesn't want to comment. Trotz didn't seem like a coach with a problem with his team. He was sober (not much post-Cup celebrating yet) and serious. So, I still don't know what went wrong.

On Sunday, GMBM, who also NEVER lies (in my experience), said that the Caps were "mre than willing to pay market level" for Trotz "but not years" that he wanted. Now this may, to a degree, be "spin." Trotz got $20M for five years with the Isles. So that is $4M-a-year --which is EXACTLY the AVERAGE NHL salary. This shows how stupid the Cals/KLeonsis were not to make him a competitive, or better, offer. This guy just won you a Cup, after all the suffering, and you don't want to run the risk of having eat two or three years at the back end of his deal if you need to fire him? That's ridiculous --you OWE him $10M --or some large number-- just for the long-term benefits the Stanley Cup brings to the organization and all the decades o gorilla-sized monkeys that it takes off your back.

So, lets be clerar, the Caps did NOT offer Trotz a market level deal because a fair-market contract INCLUDES the length of the contract. Is (hypothetically) $8M for two years or $12M for three years the same as $20M for five years? OF COURSE NOT. Because "all coaches get fired" (almost). It's the  guaranteed money you get when you're "hot property" that counts.

The Caps and Leonsis never came close.

GMBM was very candid about what went wrong, though he used kinder words than these --the Caps, including plenty of their stars-- quit playing hard and stopped playing as a team after Xmas (when they were leading the NHL in points) and those major faults carried right into the Toronto bubble with them. 

"We couldn't find a team structure in Toronto," said GMBM. That's discipline and poor (head) coaching.

Brian added that the culture --of hard work and discipline in '17-'18-- was eroding and they wanted to stop that trend. He said the Caps need a veteran coach who can "push some buttons on some player --some good players." Those players would certainly include Kuznetsov and Vrana. 

The most damning Caps problem vs Trotz was an incredible level of complacency and over-confidence --a terrible trait throughout the high-talent Ovechkin years. They never even showed up in Games One and Two. They talked, post-game, like they could flip the switch and win any time they wanted. And after they were down 3-0, Tom Wilson gave an interview that sounded exactly like they were down 2-0 --IOW, the Caps never REALLY face what a tough spot they are in during the playoffs until they are far too close to the edge of elimination.

It was disgusting (to me) to watch. I've seen every minute of the Caps past two post-seasons and more than 50 of their regular-=season games --yes, I watch them a lot more than I write about them-- and, except in '17-'18 after Trotz got all over their asses-- they have always been in love with their own talent. And it's been an anchor. 

On Sunday, GMBM said, "We act like we can play good when we HAVE to play good," instead of playing the right way all the time and letting the wins be the byproduct of excellent play.

Well, that is the DEFINITION of complacency.

As I have said several times in the last dozen years, the Caps have been a Country Club operation under Leonsis. Five of six coaches for Ovi have been rookie coaches --and that kind of coach has no hope of controlling Ovi whether young, old or in the middle. He's one of the ones who has "buttons." The only Trotz ever got totally ticked and read the riot act to the team was on a flight back from Colorado in the '17-'18 season. He told me, "I said the kind of things that, if they buy in, ypou've got something. But if they don't, you've 'lost the team.' They bought in." But he was SCARED --BECAUSE THEY NEVER HAD BEFORE.

And they never have since.

It's a great thing that they won a Cup. But if one shot by CBJ had gone in during OT in Game Three, and the Caps had gone down 3-0 in games in '18, think of how harshly this team, and this whole era, would be judged.

All the Caps get credit for that Cup, which we'll never forget. But only one coach, in one season, was able to get that level of effort out of them. Ted (and Brian) didn't fully understand that. They had a core that had always tended toward terminal complacency. And they didn't beg and bride the one coach they ever had who'd blown up that complacency to stay and tgry to make anotrher deep Cup run.

Now, they've wasted two more seasons. How many more are left. GMBM said he thinks "a few more" as contenders. After this pitiful showing, I'm not so sure. They'll need to hire a coach wirth TWO whips to crack --one in each hand.

OK, chatters, with that as our standards, which of the veteran coaching candidates would you favor: Gallant, Laviolette or Babcock. (Long shot, w 1 1/2 yrs as CBJ coach = Arniel.)

Thanks, in advance, for your thoughts. 

 

What do you know about the recovery for this type of injury and will he be 100% by Spring Training 2021?

I've only been able to find one pitcher --not at SS's level-- who had this surgery --so that's not relevant data. David Price thought he might need to have the carpel tunnel syndrome surgery two years ago --lots of speculation that his lifelong love (addiction) to video games was a part of the problem.

The consensus seems to be that this should be a surgery that he'll return 100%. But here's a description of one variation of the surgery. I'm sure we'll learn more about it. But until I see him back, I'll have some worries.

IF this is the correct surgery --I'm STILL not a doctor, I just play one in chats-- then I assume he'd do the much less invasive endoscopic version.

What I want to know is how big a deal is cutting the transverse carpal ligament --if that is necessary? How much does it influence throwing a baseball? Can you get 100% strength back? I assume you can. But I'd like to hear a LOT more about this --because it is very rare in MLB (or any sport).

This is an injury/surgery that I'd expect a sportswriter to get --from typing!

Hi Tom, I just read your column about Rizzo and of course, as always, you made some very good points. True enough, the Lerners will be hit hard by this pandemic. But I think went a little easy on them. As you point out, GMs like Rizzo cost far less than stars--but they are also far less risky and generally aren't subject to freak injuries. Even more important, when entering a period of uncertainty, you keep the people who manage uncertainty well and solve the management problems most of us can't even anticipate. One of Rizzo's strengths has always been having a Plan B, C, and D to go along with Plan A. He adapts extremely well, which is exactly the kind of leader you need in a pandemic. There are lots of problems in this world that cannot be solved with money; some can. Pay the man, give him job security, and give him the latitude to get you out of whatever messes the future will bring. The ultimate irony is this: Aren't the Lerners essentially top level managers? Don't they value themselves? Then why can't they value one of their own top level managers in Rizzo?

God, this is going to be the "I agree with you" chat.

The average MLB salary is $4.38M. Rizzo made $4M last year --is that enough of a bargain for you!-- with about $1M more in bonuses (my guesstimate from other GM contracts) for winning the World Series. My guess is that in Pandemic World, with everybody scared about finances and future salaries and MLB business models, that Rizzo's value --high as it should be-- would still probably be in the $20M for four years range now, plus bonuses for team performance that could take him a couple of million higher. 

But, as you say, if it is higher, if it takes more to keep him, then so what? He's not going to blow out his elbow! He's not suddenly going to get dumb over the next five years.

And if he goes someplace nice like Anaheim, within two years I promise you that 1/3 to 1/2 of the Key Nat Employees that Rizzo wants to have join him in Anaheim (or wherever) will go there with him --because that is THE WAY IT WORKS in MLB. This may be Anotrher Thing About Baseball Business that the Lerners don't really understand. I mentioned to someone (not Rizzo) that Mike had either hired everybody in the Nats organization or had hired everybody who then hired everybody --and Mike knew them all by name. I added that, typical of plenty of MLB owners, "the whole Lerner family could probably name 20 people in the baseball side of their organization."

"Fewer than that," was the answer.

Rizzo is only 59 and works like a horse. If you don't want him for the next five years, then something odd is in the mix --like jealousy for all the credit he gets around MLB while the Lerners --who are almost invisible in public-- don't get much for all the big contracts they have offered, including those that were turned down by Teixeira (>$180M) and Prince Fielder (similar) as well as Ian Desmond (>$100M) and Jordan Zimemrmann (>$120M) as well as Harper ($300M) and Rendon ($210M). In the $100M to $245M range they HAVE signed Ryan Zimmerman, Werth, Strasburg (twice), Scherzer and Corbin. That is a HUGE chunk of the on-field juice since '12. Rizzo didn't write those checks. But he never claims he did. He always gives credit to the Lerners. And they are all on the same page, back to the Kasten days, on building a starting-pitching-centric team. The first time Riz ever pulled the "I'll quit if you don't do this deal" gambit was the one he had teed up for Gio Gonzalez. But you can only pull that stunt so many times. 

There is a theory among some billionaires that you only give significant raises to employees --a.k.a. the wage slaves-- who are in a "competitive position" and threaten to leave for a higher offer elsewhere after they already know they have a better deal locked down. Otherwise: "Cost of living raises for you." After 19 years at the Post, I told the paper, "Thanks for everything. I really appreciate it. I'm leaving for (another publication.)" Within 24 hours, they doubled my salary (obviously from a low level), then said they were so happy FOR ME because "we have been waiting for years for you to do this. We couldn't pay you more unless we were where in a 'competitive position.'" It was their Policy. I didn't know whether to be happy or ticked off (at myself or them) that I'd been underpaid --in hindsight-- for a dozen years. I was the naive, loyal employee who loves his job --on a MUCH smaller pay scale, but still somewhat like Mike....

Well, lets just say that after that experience, I've told that story to young Post sports writers for decades. I figured they should know the Policy because their employers sure weren't  gonna tell 'em. That was a third-of-a-century ago. Much has changed, including ownership. So, it's not relevant now. But it IS similar (in my book) to Rizzo being punished for loyalty. Of course, he was "punished" to the tune of $5M last year --so maybe this is all kind of silly and not the real world that any of us live in.

The incredibly rich have a unique relationship to their money: They really like to keep it. Maybe that's part of how they got it.        

What did you think? Biggest game by far of the sports year so far. Sunday on CBS Sports Network (594 on Verizon), 3 pm ET.

Ah, soccer, the dark hole at the center of the universe that sucks in all matter and where the final score of eternity will be 1-0.

Everybody's different. I love baseball, football and basketball from childhood, golf from the day I got clubs at 18. I really like sports that I covered for ~10 years or more at the Post, including tennis, boxing and the Caps. I even love pool and (OMG) bowling, which I've written about for the Post.

But you can't love, or sincerely like, every sport on earth. And it's not the job of any one writer to love/like everything. That's why you have an entire Sports DEPARTMENT.

There are also plenty of sports that I am "Okay with." I get that they are fine sports and enjoy them when they are played at the highest level --like hose racing, Olympic sports (summer and winter), NASCAR and soccer. And I've covered a dozen Triple Crown horse races, five Olympics, a few NASCAR events, an Indy 500, several World Cup games and even a D.C. pro team as a beat writer (the Dips). I thought they were all EXCELLENT subjects for writing.

But I don't love any of them and I don't wake up in the morning to follow the latest developments. ( Shirley Povich, for decades, refused to admit the existence or validity of BASKETBALL, even when it was a huge sport in the U.S. When he mentioned the game, the word "pituitary" --as in the pituitary gland that is essential to giant height-- always seemed to appear, with disparaging overtones. That got the predictable rises out of the basketball fans.) In my time, the only group of sports fans on earth who totally don't get this love-like-OK dynamic, or are defensive about it, or who constantly want to insist that every living human has to LOVE what they love, are soccer fans. It's a mystery to me. It's like the ultra-religious who have an endless zeal to convert others as a core part of their religion. Except that soccer --even spelled backwards-- isn't g-o-d. My son is a big soccer fan. It's a wonderful sport --obviously. But, no, in answer to what may be your fishing-expedition question, I didn't watch Bayern's 1-0 win in the UEFA Champions League. Probably my loss.     

 

I've been paying close attention this season and every single right-handed batter takes the exact route to first base that Trea Turner took in game 6 of the World Series. Not once have I seen someone called out for running out of the runner's lane and that includes similar outcomes to Trea's situation where the throw took the first basemen's mitt into the runner. Is it time to change this rule?

No, it's just time for umps in the World Series to use better judgment. I bet dozens of MLB umps at home, watching that play on TV, said, "Oh, NO. Don't call that! Just let the play continue."

Have there been other defending WS champs you've seen introduce so many young successfully introduce players into their lineup? With Garcia (20) and Kieboom (23) joining Soto (21) and Robles (23), the Nats have half their position players born since mid-1997.

In theory, that's the way you want to do it.

Garcia looks very impressive --at home on an MLB field. Maybe the "no fans" year helped him. Or maybe he'd have been the same before big crowds. Of course he's not going to keep hitting as he is now --10-for-28 (.359) with an .879 OPS. But the SOUND of his contact is LOUD, as is the >100 mph velocity off the bat of his line drives. His one homer went 410 feet. OK, totally juiced ball this year. But he's a 6-foot-2, 210-pound 20-year-old. He's an all-fields slap hitter now. But he is much bigger than I expected and already comfortable at 2d base. He's going to be good and around for a long time. Too soon to know if he'll be VERY good. Sometimes "you know." I only know that he's a big leaguer. I need a bigger sample to sense if he can really hit. I already see one hole. No need to mention it. If I'm right, it won't a secret for long.

I'm disappointed in Kieboom's nervousness. He seems to have a great makeup and plus bat speed. But he's swinging/trying too hard. That's the only way someone with his pop can have zero extra-base hits in 60 PAs. In spring of '129 I saw him hit two LONG home runs to left center off Verlander in spring training. He's a 25-homer third baseman, at the least.

After some early nerves,It looks like he CAN play third base pretty well, with a string arm, right now. That's good news. But will he be an ordinary MLB hitter or a good one --which is what the Nats assume and are counting on. 

It looks like Rizzo make have "stolen another one" in 28-year-old rookie Ryan Finnegan with his 0.00 ERA in 10 innings. Everybody doesn't have to be the "next closer." Somebody has to be Craig Stammen or Tyler Clippard. Maybe he could be --he throws strikes, attacks, seems to have good movement at 95-96 and a sharp breaking ball. He got the key out, and the win, in Saturday's Scherzer start. He relieved Max after 108 pitches in the 5th with two out, bases loaded, Nats ahead 5-4. He got ahead 0-2, tried to expand the zone, couldn't get a "chase," got to 2-2 and then, instead of nibbling like a rookie, he threw 96 with a little tail RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE and froze the hitter to end the inning. 

Tanner Rainey also looks like a long-term back-end bullpen piece. That's a big deal since he was a rookie last year and has tons of team control. 

So far, the Nats have lowered their bullpen ERA by 1.50 from 19!!! That's insane in one year. Since relievers throw about 2/3 of a team's innings, that's worth about 1/2-a-run-a-game or about 80 runs a year. That level of improvement really COULD erase most or all of the Rendon Deficit..

But, too bad, there are several other problems and injuries. If Anibal Sanchez comes around, like he did Sunday, and has one more solid year in him, they could still be fun in the playoffs. There are only four good >.500 teams in the N.L. and, aside from the Dodgers, there's nobody the Nats wouldn't be fun to watch play in October --even without Strasburg. As I said in my Strasburg column, this aeason is a baseball farce --but it's OUR farce, so enjoy it for what it's worth.

Wil Crowe, 25, showed me a little something in his debut on Sunday. Looked at home in a MLB game, has pitches that hit every speed from high-70's to 91-92. Pretty good curveball. But he needs pinpoint command to make up for lack of even an average velocity FB. The command can get him ahead in counts, get him to all his breaking balls for swings and misses, or else get quick outs. He missed a lot of pitches by a ball's width on Sunday. Is that him or will he start nicking corners, and being efficient (sort of like late-career Sanchez) in future?    

We're about halfway through the regular season. What's stood out to you so far?

That after the HUGE virus outbreaks on the Marlins and Cards that MAYBE players are taking it much more seriously and the season is still staggering along. Fingers crossed --for the season, but even more so for the players.

What will the Caps do from here to try to keep the window open?

I thought it closed after '16-'17. If not that team, then which one? I was delighted o be wrong.

I think their window just closed AGAIN. I'd be glad to be wrong again. I don't see how you can come up that flat with that much talent, seem so indifferent to losing --except for 2/3 of G4 when they played like they SHOULD have played all along-- and still say, "Serious Cup contender."

Blaming the pandemic would be pathetic. You're a veteran team in a bubble --so you don't have to travel. That should help. You're THERE with nothing else to focus on except hockey --but you can't do it? That's just lame.

Sorry, down on 'em. And I can't help thinking that WITH Trotz they would have made a run in one of these two seaons.

how good is Luis Garcia now? He seems better than we had been told. Is that just a small sample size? What is his ceiling? Any comps? thanks

Best case, maybe a young Asdrubal Cabrera who made two All-Star teams as a SS and has 1667 career hits. Both have soft hands and a baseball-way about them. But that is a lot to ask. Cabrera only averaged five homers a year his first three MLB seasons, then hit 25 (career best) at age 25. . 

I am only a fan, but for a player who has never played above AA, he looks like a major leaguer to me. His adoption of Soto’s batting stance is just smart. Bos, what are your thoughts on Garcia?

Adopting a superstars batting stance and approach has orked in the past --even for (almost) entire teams! At one point, four or five of the Kansas City Royals looked as much like George Brett as Garcia now looks like Soto! And those Royals won a lot.

Everybody knows that it sometimes takes young pitchers awhile to learn the craft, no matter how hard they may throw, so giving them a couple of years to grow makes sense. But how many players start off as offensive duds but later turn into studs? I'm not thinking of too many. Quite a few begin with fireworks, but fizzle once the league feeds them change ups and breaking pitches. All that to say this. Juan Soto is the real deal and it looks like Luis Garcia may be too. But I'm concerned that Carter Kieboom may have reached his level and that Victor Robles may, at best, end up as a great fielder, middling hitter. Talk me down from the ledge.

Robles has changed some elements of his swing since last season so he won't get HBP so much. He doesn't look like he's found his final style and approach as a hitter. He's an amazing athlete, so I assume he will. When he does, he'll make a couple of All-Star teams. Just my two cents. At 23, player he most resembles statistically is OFer Ruppert Jones. That doesn't sound like much, but Jones career WAR was 22.6 with two AS teams. I think Robles will be better than that.  

Far be it from me to try and correct you, but I believe "One Flap Down" was Jeffrey Leonard not George Hendricks. And I wish more pitchers would start throwing it back at batters the way Eck and Hrabosky did. When they strike someone out they should pose.

You're right! Thanks.

Silent George --the man who (almost) never gave an interview.

That's it for today. Thanks for the fine questions.

I did have one totally odd thought the other day.

I'm really starting to warm up to the idea of a football team nicknamed "Football Team." In fact, I think it could become permanent --or the FT for short.

Think of the inherent grandeur. No team can call itself The Baseball Team or The Basketball Team. But Washington could have The Football Team.

As in, the Baseball Team rallied to beat the Yankees in the bottom of the ninth. Isn't "the Baseball Team" even cooler than "the Yankees" --the best- known name in sports.

Someday, children will ask their parents, "How come Washington has the only team in any sport that has the honor of being named The Football Team? Did it have a name before that?"

And the parents can say, "Yes. But it was so offensive that we can't even tell you what it was. You wouldn't believe it."

Also, if they ever get to build a new stadium somewhere they won't have to worry about "naming rights." The Football Team can just call its home field "The Stadium Stadium."

Okay, clearly I am losing it.

See you next week. Enjoy and stay well. 

I hope you can say a few words about Sophia Popov winning the Women's British Open at Troon. An amazing story. She was ranked 304th and earlier this month was caddying for a friend on the LPGA tour. She increased her career earnings by six times with her win yesterday. Does everyone who has a PGA or LPGA tour card have the ability to win a major? And is it just a matter of "everything coming together" in a given week for that to happen? It seems like there are quite a few golfers who won one or even two majors, like Andy North, in otherwise undistinguished careers. Not that I hope that for Popov. I hope she has fully recovered from Lyme disease and can now have a successful career. At least she now has her LPGA card for a couple of years, so she doesn't need to worry about that!

Nice info. Thanks.

(You aren't making this up, right  --you know, for a movie script?)

"Football Team" is so generic and boring. "Football Club" would be better, but it would annoy the soccer folks. But really, could they have bothered to spend more than 5 minutes on what appears to be the logo? Big, boring, block letters that just sit there. At least slant them a little to show forward motion. I know the curly W is taken, but they could have come up with something better than they did.

The only problem with WFT is that you have to be careful to get the letters in the right order.

He won the Cup in Carolina when I lived there. A great leader. A nice guy! I did a golf club fitting on him and spent over an hour with him. He took that team to an entire new culture. He got Justin Williams and he was an integral part of winning that Cup. Too bad the Caps did not resign him! There are other HC options, but I think PL is the best choice.

Thanks for that anecdote. I like him already! Anybody who identifies Justin Williams as a key piece of a winning culture is doing something right.

Good morning, Hiring Gerard Gallant would be the best move for the Caps right now. He seems like a good man that knows how to get the best out of his players, and the things he did in Vegas were amazing. Peter Laviolette would be a close second to who I think they should hire. He seems to be more of a strict, tough coach that will do what it takes to get the best out of his players. The one person they should not hire though, is Bruce Boudreau. He'd be the worst possible fit for this team right now. He doesn't do defensive strategy, something this team desperately needs. His teams score plenty, but we've seen what happens when goaltenders get hot (Holtby in 2018 or Halak in the Montreal series) so it wouldn't matter. He also has minimal playoff success. Gallant or Laviolette would be best.

I like your thinking. And everybody was impressed with Vegas. GMGM is a good judge of all things hockey, except for that rookie-coach thing --he just couldn't get the most out of his Caps rosters without a vet coach. That's cheap hindsight. But I remember all the times we talked about how wild his young guns were and how hard to control. They outgrew that, but they still need discipline, prodding, it seems. And it takes somebody with presence and authority within the sport to get the attention of THIS room. 

I looked up transverse carpal ligament, it's in the wrist. They don't cut the ligament, they cut the sheath around it - that's the release (as it was described to me). I had no loss of anything, and was back in 8 weeks - maybe it was even less (though I am not an athlete) for SS maybe he'd be cleared sooner - or not.

Thanks for the info.

The chatters here are like a Second Sports Department! And not in the sense of Second Team.

This isnt a question but just a note. Ive never heard players hate a coach like the blue jackets did Scott Arniel. Mike Commodore is very vocal about what went on, but as it gets farther out you hear numerous players from those teams talk about it. During a podcast with Spittin Chiclets Jake Voracek mentioned that Arniel would scream at the players they were stealing money from his wife and children for playing bad. No way the caps should let him be the new head coach. http://rangersunlimited.com/2013/12/07/mike-commodore-blasts-ranger-assistant-scott-arniel/

Thanks, again. I didn't know about that blow back.

Hey now Boz, no question, just my observations on billionaires for whom I have worked in the WDC metro area. I've worked with only two(no I won't name them), VERY small sample size, but when taking 3 or 30 of us out for say drinks and appetizers, they calculated the tip down to the penny at 15%. I'm not complaining, for it was free food and drink for me. But that tip was exactly to the penny at 15% and do you know how incongruous it is to see billionaires pulling pennies out of their pockets. It's odd, but it's not my money and I just said thanks for the free grub. I am sure the brain-trust of the Lerners works in that same fashion. Bonus round: Did you catch the Joe Strummer tribute this past Friday? I caught enough to be happy and realize once again how much I miss Joe.

I heard about the Joe Strummer tribute, then forgot about it and missed it. Aaaaarrggh. Glad you saw it.

Yes, Doncic has great potential. Yet, I think that Rick Carlisle is not given credit for how good a coach he is. Your thoughts?

Luka Doncic that that "see one second into the future" gift.

I like Carlosle. But I liked his comment about Doncic after that triple-double game ever better. He said, "Luka has 6G."

Also, the cheer in Dallas is sometimes, "Boom, shakaLUKA." 

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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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