Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Ten Random Midweek Thoughts

1. With 11 games left in each team's season, the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles have identical records (66-85). That means to avoid a 90-loss season, they will need to go 7-4 to finish out the year. Don't hold your breath. Also, isn't it sad that I'm offering the avoidance of a 90-loss season as some barometer of success? Ouch.

2. The Capitals start up their preseason tonight, which means about as much as the NFL preseason but probably with less injuries, more fighting (as young tough guys try to make an impression) and more Alexander Ovechkin.

3. We Are Scientists is a good band. Kind of like The Killers meet Franz Ferdinand.

4. D.C. United seems to be mailing it in with the MLS East practically decided. Since tying Real Madrid in a friendly match on August 9, D.C. has won 2, tied 5 and lost 3. That's not terrible, but it's not what you want to see heading down the stretch from the team that is supposed to be the most dominant in the league.

5. It's kind of funny watching the O's on MLB Gameday and seeing Hayden Penn's ERA drop by almost a full run for every out he records. Although it's kind of depressing that a guy who was so highly-touted and did so well in the minors was averaging an earned run for every out he recorded through his first three starts this season.

6. EA Sports' NHL 07 for XBox 360 is amazing. Sure, the graphics are amazing, but the real innovative part of the game is the controls that allow you to make your player do exactly what you want him to do. The left analog stick controls your skating and the right analog stick controls your puckhandling and shooting. If you have 360 (or a brother who has one that you can freeload off of), the game is a must-have.

7. I think the fact that I'm not a Redskins fan actually makes me more optimistic after their 0-2 start than 90 percent of actual Redskins fans. If they lose to Houston on Sunday, then we'll talk.

8. On the flip side, I'm less optimistic about the Ravens' 2-0 start than seemingly just about everyone. Steve McNair looked awful against the Raiders and the defense did all the work (same as it ever was). It doesn't help that the rest of the schedule looks extremely difficult, with the out-of-division games against San Diego, Denver, Carolina, New Orleans, Tennessee (OK that one shouldn't be too bad), Kansas City and Buffalo. Then of course there's the two games each against Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. If the Ravens make the playoffs they'll have earned it.

9. Here's an interesting interview with Orioles owner Peter Angelos from PressBox, a free weekly paper dedicated to Baltimore sports. The reporter doesn't let Angelos get by with cookie cutter answers, which is nice. It's strange because after reading the article I almost got the feeling that Angelos knows what needs to be done to make the team better, despite the fact that so much of the media and fanbase paints him as this senile old fart who doesn't know which way is up half the time. It's a good read.

10. It's never too early to get your holiday shopping done.

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