Saturday, April 11, 2009

Quick hitters: Orioles, Wizards win; Devin Thomas is strange

-- Melvin Mora knocked in three runs, and Mark Hendrickson allowed one run on six hits in five and one-third innings in his Orioles' debut as the O's beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4. The bullpen struggled a bit again, with Jim Johnson allowing two runs and George Sherrill giving up a solo home run to Dioner Navarro in the ninth, but Sherrill was still able to record three outs for his second save. Evan Longoria hit two homers and had three runs batted in.

-- In a rather meaningless game against the Toronto Raptors, the Wizards and Caron Butler managed to make the contest a little more exciting than it probably should have been. With time ticking away and the scored tied at 98 apiece, Butler went to work:

What a great play; Butler completely lost Shawn Marion with that move. But I feel like I've seen that before somewhere. Oh yeah, right here. The Wizards are now 19-61 and have two more games left to get to 20 wins (if they want to).

-- The Washington Redskins' rookie receiving trio of Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly, and Fred Davis didn't exactly have a great first season in 2008-2009. In fact, all three receivers combined caught 21 passes for 165 yards and no touchdowns. Thomas did manage to rush three times for 53 yards and a touchdown -- hooray!

According to Dan Steinberg of the D.C. Sports Bog, Devin "Showtime" Thomas now has his own blog. His first blog entry, entitled "Party Mix On My Shoulder," included this gem:

I’ve always had people doubting me. Do I play with a chip on my shoulder?

I’ve got a party mix of chips on my shoulder.

I wear number 11 on my jersey because I was 11 years old when I first knew that football was my thing, but also because 11th was where I thought I was going to go in the draft to Buffalo. There were very strong indications through the Bills and the media that I would go No. 11 to Buffalo and I had a real good feeling that was where I was going to go.

It didn’t happen and I stayed around into the 2nd round. Now I do what I’ve got to do to prove that I could have and should have been a 1st rounder.

Mr. Irrelevant wrote about Thomas's odd take on the phrase "chip on my shoulder" yesterday. I'm glad that Thomas is so confident -- "But I don’t need to look at my number for motivation. When it says Thomas on my jersey, that means it’s Showtime, time to do what I have to do." -- but hopefully he finds enough motivation to play much better next season. I'm not going to write him off just yet, but it would be nice to see some of that "Showtime" on the field.

-- Tim Kurkjian wrote a glowing article on the rapid progress made by Orioles' center fielder Adam Jones. My favorite part has to be this passage:

A lot of young players today aren't interested in doing that. Many of them are so spectacularly talented they don't feel the need to learn. Not Jones.

"[Former Mariners outfielder] Jay Buhner came up to me my first spring and said, 'Shut up and listen,' then he walked out of the room," Jones said. "John [Shelby] had nine years in the big leagues. Crow [hitting coach Terry Crowley] has been in baseball for like 50 years. They had finished good careers before I was even born. Why not listen? I'm a sponge for these coaches."

That Jay Buhner -- always one to dish out wisdom to young baseball players.

Through four games, Jones is doing very well. He's 6-14 with three doubles, one triple, six runs, and three runs batted in out of the second slot in the lineup.

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