Friday, May 24, 2013

Gausman post on ESPN's SweetSpot blog

I was able to write a piece on Kevin Gausman's major-league debut last night for ESPN's SweetSpot blog. You can find that article here.

I'm not sure if I'll get the chance to post future work there, but I can at least say that seeing the following this morning was pretty cool: 


As always, thanks for reading. It means a lot.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

In case there was any doubt, Alfred Morris is still awesome

In case you were wondering that first-year success would change Alfred Morris, you don't have to worry. He's still smart, humble, and willing to put in the necessary hard work.

In a recent interview with Shutdown Corner's Doug Farrar, Morris drops plenty of knowledge, including his advice to this year's rookie class, his willingness to learn and improve every day, how grateful he is that Mike Shanahan gave him the opportunity to compete for the job and eventually start, and some nuggets on Robert Griffin's III's progress. Here's a sample:
"I'm going to run hard and give you 100 percent on every play because every play could be my last, but I left a lot of yards on the field last year. Looking back on film, a lot of it was my aiming points in certain runs, or I was too tight and I couldn't get outside. Being more patient with my cutbacks -- I tended to cut back too soon. I was blessed, and I definitely don't take it for granted. Last year's behind me -- I'm beyond that."
I can't remember a single example of Morris not saying the "right thing" or giving a thoughtful, levelheaded response to any question. He's sort of like Griffin when he was first drafted by the team and gave countless flawless interviews, except RGIII is now saying things like "In a land of freedom we are held hostage by the tyranny of political correctness" on Twitter. If Morris ever said something like that, I think my head would explode. Then again, when you're an NFL quarterback and a superstar athlete, I guess everything you do or say is news. No pressure, no diamonds, and all that.

Anyway, Griffin is fantastic and is insanely talented, but I prefer the previously unheralded Morris. Not only is he a powerful and skilled running back, but he's still holding onto his 1991 Mazda for dear life: "It's in the shop right now -- just a little maintenance on the radiator when the season ended, and I'm getting the axle fixed. . . . I know that eventually, I'll have to park it, but I want to keep it as long as possible. I know people call me cheap, but I'm being smart. There's no reason to go out there and waste money -- instead of spending that on me, I can help bless somebody else."

That's more like it.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Orioles Magic, Manny Machado edition

Here's Manny Machado's go-ahead three-run bomb last night to complete the Orioles' ninth-inning comeback against the Red Sox. The Fenway Park faithful -- at least the ones still remaining -- were not happy:



Machado magic, indeed.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A quick note on John Wall

This is John Wall's third season. Here are his field goal percentages in those years:

2010-11: 40.9
2011-12: 42.3
2012-13: 41.6

But here are his percentages from the free throw line:

2010-11: 76.6
2011-12: 78.9
2012-13: 83.2

Obviously free throws are different than jump shots. There's no one guarding you, you're not jumping, you can take your time, etc. But that's at least a little confusing.

In last night's 95-90 loss to the Kyrie Irving-less Cavaliers, Wall had 27 points (and 14 assists) on 7-15 shooting -- not bad. But he also hit 13 of 14 free throws. Maybe instead of saying things like, "Everywhere is my sweet spot," he should just talk about his progress from the free throw line.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bradley Beal, quick learner

Bradley Beal is 19 years old. He's also on the Washington Wizards. And since he's both young and on the Wizards, it's surprising that he's actually getting better -- and fast. Check out his numbers by month:

Month Pts FG% 3pt% Reb Ast
November11.234.132.73.31.6
December13.436.818.43.93.4
January15.144.750.82.82.5
February17.747.850.05.02.4

That's more points per month on better overall shooting. Those five rebounds per game in February are looking pretty good. The dip in assists from December to January/February also coincides with John Wall's return from injury.

Beal is playing well and shooting the ball with confidence. He's not only one of the main reasons why the Wizards are winning, but also why they're so fun to watch right now. And hopefully he stays hungry (not an Andray Blatche kind of hungry).

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Latest Camden Depot links

When I write Orioles-related articles from now on (for the most part), they'll be posted at Camden Depot. Here are a couple of posts I wrote earlier this week:
As always, thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

More proof that Alfred Morris is awesome

Alfred Morris is probably my favorite current D.C. athlete. He had a fantastic 2012 season, breaking the Redskins' single-season rushing record -- as a rookie. But he's not just a fan favorite because of his talent, but also because of his work ethic, charity work, and especially the love of his car (his 1991 Mazda). The latter has been the subject of multiple enjoyable stories and quotes, and that was the case yet again yesterday.

Here's what Morris had to say after teammates joked (possibly) that his car would never make it to Florida if he drove there during the offseason:
“And I was like, ‘Don’t make me prove a point,’” Morris recalled. “Because my baby is durable, and she’ll make it down to Florida. It definitely is a reflection of who I am: dependable, humble, down to earth, not flashy at all. It fits me perfectly…It’s all manual. A little extra exercise never hurt anybody. So I don’t have a radio in it, I don’t have speakers. I thought about putting some in one time, but I was like, ‘Nah.’ I kind of just ride to my thoughts. I might sing a song or something if it do get too quiet, but I like riding in silence, so it works out perfectly.”
That's right: "I kind of just ride to my thoughts." Don't ever change, Alfred.