Somehow this story eluded me for two weeks, but better late than never.
You remember when Brooks Laich went on 106.7 The Fan’s Sports Junkies program and said the Capitals were making the playoffs? He said that with two games remaining in the regular season, and — thanks in part to a huge Laich goal in the very next game — he turned out to be correct.
Of course, there was later a spirited debate about whether saying his team would make the playoffs was the same thing as guaranteeing his team would make the playoffs, but no matter. Same ballpark.
Anyhow, not long after Laich’s conversation with the Junkies, the four fellas had Nats reliever Tyler Clippard on the air. This was the day before Washington opened the season in Chicago, if you’ll recall.
“Will the Washington Nationals make the National League playoffs?” Jason Bishop asked Clippard at the end of the segment, point-blank.
“Well, I mean, ideally we would like to win the division,” Clippard said. “I think this year the NL East is probably going to be the tightest grouping of teams at the top in baseball, if I had to predict, because there’s so much talent in this division and every team’s really pretty close. They’re all right there. So potentially I think we could win the division, but that’s what I’m gonna stick with as far as predictions.”
Well, that’s a fine answer. But not on Guarantee Wednesday, it isn’t.
“Wait a second, Tyler, don’t be a puss,” J.P. Flaim said. “We just had Brooks Laich on from the Washington Capitals, all right? He guaranteed that the Capitals will be in the playoffs.”
“Okay,” Clippard said, with good cheer.
“We need a guarantee from you,” Flaim concluded.
“Ok, I guarantee that we will be in the playoffs,” Clippard said. And he wasn’t really laughing and didn’t really sound like he was joking.
“There you go,” Bishop said. “Gonna be all over the Washington Post tomorrow,” At which point Clippard finally laughed.
“Tyler Clippard guarantees the Washington Nationals will be in the playoffs,” Flaim pointed out, which is actually true. He did.
And he did because of Brooks Laich, who might or might not have made a guarantee. Someone needs to get Robert Griffin III involved in this story.