Monday, August 31, 2009

Weekly Rundown: Peña, Marko Mitchell, O's baserunning

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.
  • Zachariah Blott gives the current Wizards logo an F -- the only team to receive a failing grade:

    I suspect a club executive doodled this on a pad at some meeting in 1997 when the Bullets decided to change their name. There is no way this is the work of an actual artist who knows anything about aesthetically pleasing designs. Someone decided to go with curvy, so all of their logos—primary and alternative—are now made out of scythe blades. There’s no excuse for this amateur trash. Maybe it’s just tradition. The Wizards started as the Chicago Packers back in 1961, and their logo was downright pathetic.

    Ouch. [Empty the Bench]

  • In case you didn't know (I didn't), Carlos Peña currently has hit more home runs (37) than singles (36). [FanGraphs]

  • Kelly Dwyer lists the top 10 lottery busts of the decade. Surprisingly, Kwame Brown isn't No. 1. [Ball Don't Lie]

  • Caron Butler is looking forward to an exciting season. [Washington Wizards Blog]

  • Brandon Marshall at practice on Wednesday:

    Now that guy is a team player. The best way to get a new contract is definitely to act like a jerk in practice by punting the ball away from the ball boy. Nice going. [Larry Brown Sports]

  • Defensive coordinator Greg Blache thinks Chris Wilson has "done a good job" switching from defensive end to linebacker. [Redskins Insider]

  • Peter Schmuck thinks that the Orioles need to make "a legitimate run at a high-quality veteran starter either by trade or in the free agent market." [The Schmuck Stops Here]

  • Marko Mitchell's new name is apparently Lanky Livingston. Confused? Don't be. Fred Smoot is involved. [D.C. Sports Bog]

  • In something that needed to happen months ago, Dave Trembley and third-base coach Juan Samuel ripped the Orioles for their awful baserunning this season. The best quote(s) came from Samuel:

    "For some reason, they're not processing it," said Samuel, who has served as the Orioles' base running coach the past three seasons. "It's just a lack of concentration because they know. They are major league players or at least we think some of them are. To me, some of them are not. Some of them to me have to be thankful that expansion came because some of them wouldn't be here. Some of the stuff that you see them do is not OK. You're going to tell me that they are in the big leagues and don't know how to run the bases?"

    . . . "It has never bothered me to take criticism," said Samuel, who stole 396 bases and was a three-time All-Star during his 16-year career in the big leagues. "I'm man enough to do it. If they don't want to make the players accountable, then I'm going to be accountable. But to me, players need to be accountable. If you make a mistake, you need to take responsibility for your mistake. You have to do it. That's why you see teams that are up here [in the standings] and teams that are down here, because they don't want to be accountable. It's always somebody else's [fault], and that's a problem."

    For the most part, I agree with him. Poor baserunning can definitely be attributed to a lack of concentration, or just not caring enough about it. Several O's make some terrible mistakes on the bases, though I wouldn't say that they don't deserve to be in the majors because of it. On the basepaths, most O's runners don't get great primary and secondary leads, don't take the extra base, and take chances when they shouldn't and give up outs. Apparently the O's worked hard on baserunning in spring training, but they need to do it again. [Baltimore Sun]

  • SI's Chris Mannix ranks the Wizards eighth. [Sports Illustrated]

  • According to DeAngelo Hall, he dominated J.J. Redick in high school. [D.C. Sports Bog]

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