1. The Sun says Jay Gibbons doesn't want to DH next season, but realizes that Nick Markakis has successfully taken his spot in right field. That's fine with me. He came up as a first basemen and he never was that good an outfielder. The O's forced him into the outfield because they've had Conine and Palmeiro manning first base, so Gibby has only played 86 of his 657 career games at first. No time to learn like the present. The O's are out of it (sorry to ruin it for you, but it's not like I'm telling you there's no such thing as Santa Claus) and they should start giving him time at first so he has in-game experience. The O's two biggest holes are first base and left field, and plugging Gibbons into first base allows them to go find a cheap slugging designated hitter, which are much easier to come by than cheap slugging first basemen. For example, Frank Thomas has an OPS of .885. He makes $500,000. Olmedo Saenz, trapped in the National League even though he's more suited to be a DH, has an .892 OPS to show for his $1 million salary. Those are both far better than Jeff Conine, Kevin Millar and Javy Lopez who have been rotating between DH and 1B (except for Javy who's caught a few games and hasn't played any 1B). It also allows the Orioles to focus their money on signing a star right fielder and a front-of-the-rotation starting pitcher. Of course the success of all this depends on Jay Gibbons staying healthy...
2. This video of Alexander Semin is pretty amazing. I can't wait to see him and Alexander Ovechkin on a team together.
3. I don't think the Nationals will sign Alfonso Soriano in the offseason. John Kruk thinks they will. I just can't see it unless he takes a huge hometown discount. Read Team President Stan Kasten's comments in The Washington Post and tell me how optimistic they make you...
4. You have to have a lot of My Coke Rewards points before you can get anything cool.
5. The Orioles could fall bass-ackwards into something they couldn't make happen before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline: a trade! Javy Lopez wants out, and in the most brilliant stroke of luck for the Orioles, Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek hurt himself on deadline day and will be out for at least a month. Now it looks like Boston will get Javy and the O's will get something small in return while also picking up a portion of his contract, unless another team claims him and the Orioles just let him go knowing they won't have to pay him anymore. Either way, mission accomplished.
6. The Mystics have clinched a spot in the 2006 WNBA playoffs with six games to go in the regular season. If the playoffs started today the Mystics would play the first-place Connecticut Sun (what an awful name) in the first round, but they could still move up in the standings with some help. The 'Stics take on the West's fourth-place team, the Seattle Storm, tonight at 10 p.m. I would insult the WNBA here but that's really cliche.
7. The new Gym Class Heroes CD is really good, which by itself isn't that unbelievable, but what is surprising is that the indie-rock-inspired rap group created a dead ringer for a Strokes song with the CD's 12th track, "On My Own Time."
8. D.C. United advanced to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup with a sloppy 2-1 overtime win over the Columbus Crew on Tuesday. The win earns them a matchup with Atlantic Cup "rival" Red Bull New York (or the New York Red Bulls, depending on whether you are going by their logo or every other reference on the team's Web site). I personally prefer Red Bull New York. And I like to drink Red Bull. But I want D.C. United to beat them on August 23 at RFK Stadium.
9. This is one of the funniest things I've ever seen on the Internet (and it's loosely related to local sports).
10. Football season still hasn't started.