Sunday, June 21, 2009

Weekly Rundown: Arenas, Portis, Ryan Howard

Weekly Rundown is a combination of links and brief comments on stories and topics that I couldn't get to during the week. If there's something important that I missed, don't hesitate to send an email or leave a comment.

It's been a couple of weeks since I posted one of these, but here's what caught my eye during the last week or so:
  • The Washington Post's Michael Lee provides some information on Gilbert Arenas's offseason workout plans:

    I never got the chance to run into Gilbert Arenas at the NBA Finals, but Washington Times reporter Mike Jones stumbled into him in the hallway during Game 4. Arenas told Jones that he plans on spending this summer working out with the famed trainer Tim Grover, who worked with Michael Jordan and helped Dwyane Wade resurrect his career last season and finish third in MVP voting behind LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.

    Although I didn't get Arenas, I did talk for a while with Grover, who was at every game working exclusively for Finals MVP Bryant. Grover told me that he expects Arenas to come to his Attacks Athletics facility in Chicago in about two weeks. Arenas has committed to coming and Grover said while he hasn't seen Arenas's medical records, he estimated that it will take at least a two month commitment for Arenas to get the necessary training required. He added that several stars overcoming left knee injuries, including Tracy McGrady and Jermaine O'Neal, are expected to be in Chicago this summer.

    Arenas working out with Grover certainly seems like great news. [Wizards Insider]

  • The Detroit Tigers' Curtis Granderson weighs in with his thoughts on the buzz surrounding 16-year-old Bryce Harper and his decision to enroll in community college. And he makes a convincing argument. [Big League Stew]

  • Mike Florio says that Clinton Portis is becoming a "major problem" for Jim Zorn and the Washington Redskins. Florio: "Multiple sources have advised us that Portis shows little or no respect to coach Jim Zorn, and that the situation bubbled over at least once during the team’s OTA sessions, with Portis telling the coach off in front of other players." If this is true, I'm sure it won't be the last time it's brought up before and/or during the season. [Pro Football Talk]

  • Truth efficiently dismisses a couple of odd Wizards trade rumors. [Truth About It]

  • Mike Jones of The Washington Times believes the Minnesota T'Wolves may want the Wizards' No. 5 pick:

    According to one insider, the Timberwolves (who already have the sixth, 18th and 28th picks in the draft) disparately want to move up in order to land UConn big man Hasheem Thabeet. Another report has them badly wanting Rubio. Either way, the T'Wolves are said to be craving Memphis' No. 2 pick, but believe to land it, they need to offer two top-six picks in the draft. Enter the Wizards.

    Minnesota reportedly has been working the phones nonstop and of all the teams in the league they're talking to, they've been in speaking with the Wizards the most. Some of the pieces Minnesota is believed to be offering up are swingman Mike Miller, who has a $9.75 million expiring contract, guard Randy Foye, the expiring contracts of Brian Cardinal ($6.75 million) and Mark Madsen ($3.6 million) and possibly the 18th and/or 28th picks.

    I still think the Wizards will trade the pick, though I have no idea what exactly they'd be targeting. But even if Miller isn't the best defensive player, he would provide the Wizards with a consistent threat from three-point range. [Outlet]

  • Mike Prada tries to discover the best possible match(es) for Arenas in the backcourt. [Bullets Forever]

  • Peter Schmuck does his best to defend Dave Trembley's decision to let Danys Baez pitch to Ryan Howard last night. Howard hit a three-run homer, but the Orioles fought back to earn an impressive win. Still, I disagree with Schmuck. If the Orioles were going to pitch to Howard at all, they should have done so with their best left-handed reliever: George Sherrill. Sure, Sherrill's the closer, but the Orioles don't have a better left hander in the bullpen right now. If Trembley wanted to challenge Howard at all, Sherrill should have been the guy -- not Baez. Just take a look at Howard's splits against RHPs (.299, 17 HR, 1.080 OPS) and LHPs (.194, 3 HR, .615 OPS). It's some outside-the-box thinking, but as important as that moment was, Howard should have either been facing Sherrill or put on base. [The Schmuck Stops Here]

  • Rob Neyer discusses the high number of rookie starters this year. [SweetSpot]

  • Rick Dempsey, shockingly enough, believes it may be time for the Orioles to start pursuing some trades. That doesn't mean he'd be OK with the O's trading Gregg Zaun, though. [MASN]

  • Finally, Andy MacPhail says the Orioles are not in "salary dump mode." [Baltimore Sun]

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