Gilbert Arenas had his knee drained yesterday in preparation for tonight's Nets game. After an 0-3 start this is a little disconcerting. The Wiz need Arenas to be at full speed to compete against top tier teams - such as the Nets - as even without health concerns he has historically struggled against good defensive guards.
After his breakout 196 yard game against the Jets, Clinton Portis has also broken out of his shell with "Choo Choo". Keeping a light atmosphere can only help the Redskins who have looked very uptight and burdened this entire season. Not to mention, in years past, it has been the emergence of Portis' characters that has sparked a winning attitude and all around better play for this squad. With everything that is swirling around Philly right now I can't think of a better way to stay loose against what will be an Eagles team in disarray.
The Caps take on the 13-1-0 Senators who are riding the best 14-game start in league history. It doesn't look good for the Caps as they are 2-9-1 with one tie in the last 13 meetings against the boys from Ottawa.
The Nationals brass has said they are exploring a multitude of possibilities this winter regarding both trades and free agency. However, as they are exploring this multitude of possibilities in center field, if their past record is indicative of anything, I doubt they will sign any of the big names. More talk is being thrown around about Rocco Baldelli and I expect a trade that would send Chad Cordero or Felipe Lopez to the Rays much sooner than a free agent signing which would force them to actually spend money.
Baldelli certainly has the highest ceiling of the other center field options as his combination of power and speed could allow him to flourish into a star outfielder, but hamstring injuries over the past few years bring serious doubts about even reaching mediocrity. He can't have an impact if he isn't in the lineup and if Baldelli busts again in 2008 the Nationals would immediately regret passing on the consistency of a Hunter or a Rowand. Baldelli wouldn't be worse than Nook Logan or a Ryan Church, but winning baseball games isn't just about not being a bad ball player. At some point as a general manager, don't you want the best?
The Nats also seem to be leaning heavily on their farm system to provide a front end of the rotation starting pitcher. Looking to add a Tom Glavine or bringing back Livan Hernandez shows that they are confident with their draft choices and expect them to immediately contribute to the team. There aren't a lot of good young pitchers on the market this winter so it does make sense to take this approach, but there is no point in spending money on an old guy who isn't going to make his starts. We don't want another Brian Lawrence debacle.
Thursday, November 8, 2007