I was wrong on the Caps


(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

 

Having made the bold decision to focus my career on radio transcripts, lifestyle stories and screengrabs, I’ve found that I’m hardly ever wrong about the major sports issues of the day. See, team performance comes and goes, but a funny mustache is forever.

Still, I lose some control over my topics of choice when I go on podcasts or radio programs or our weekly Washington Post Live show, and in those forums, I repeatedly expressed a wee bit of doubt about the playoff prospects of the Washington Capitals this season.

I can remember one moment in particular that would not bring soothsayish fame upon my family name. It was a podcast with a couple of Penguins fans, and it was recorded on March 19, when the Caps dropped a hard-fought road game to the Eastern Conference’s best team to fall to 12-16-1, with two games in Winnipeg forthcoming.

I was asked whether the Caps were finished, and I said no, if they won two in Winnipeg and went on an insane streak, they’d be fine. But I said that wouldn’t happen, because they were a mediocre team, and mediocre teams don’t win two in Winnipeg and then go on insane streaks. I was also asked about Ted Leonsis, and I said while I like him personally, he doesn’t help his cause by announcing that the Wizards have a new Big Three or by promising that the Caps will make the playoffs 10 years in a row, because that Big Three was already gone, and obviously the Caps were not going to make the playoffs 10 years in a row.

On both accounts, I was wrong. Spectacularly. Sorry about that. Feel free to throw rotten plant matter at me if you see me around town this week. This is why I like to write about facial hair.

 

VIDEO OF THE NIGHT

Via Preston Williams: “Fairfax senior team manager Drew Bonner had not batted since he was 11 years old, when his Duchenne muscular dystrophy progressed to the point that he could no longer play his favorite sport. On Monday night at Fairfax for ‘Drew Bonner Night,’ the former pitcher-third baseman got his first and likely only high school at-bat, a ceremonial plate appearance in the bottom of the first inning that brought out legions of students, teachers and community members eager to cheer on one of the most popular students at the school.”

 

INSPIRATIONAL HIGHLY PUNCTUATED TWEET OF THE NIGHT

Bryce Harper is not throwing in the towel. Bryce Harper is the Caps, listening to my podcast on March 20.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Wise on the Caps: “It feels like they’re almost all growed up. If they can finish the job in May and, who knows, June as proficiently as they have the past six weeks — if they have weaned themselves from needing to be counted out before they respond — the last piece of the puzzle is about to fall in place.”

Me, I try to stay away from such bold pronouncements. See above.

 

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT

Mike Rizzo, offering calm perspective:

“I think people that are fans of the team, they go game by game. If these players went game by game and lamented over each loss and celebrated over each victory, you couldn’t survive in a season. You really have to take a broad view and look at the big picture and really play the game inning by inning, at-bat by at-bat, but you have to have a broad view of it. Otherwise, the grind of the season will just chew you up”

Something tells me that fans of the team will continue to lament each loss and celebrate each victory.

 

PHOTO OF THE NIGHT

“In the middle of Cardinals batting practice, the sprinklers went off in the Nationals Park outfield,” Kilgore noted. Here’s photographic proof, via @BrianGefrich via @recordsandradio.

 

PIERRE MCGUIRE WAS WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING

In the course of transcribing many interviews about the Caps this season, I transcribed one on an Ottawa station featuring Pierre McGuire. As it turns out, every single thing McGuire said in that interview, possibly with the exception of “hello” and “goodbye,” was incorrect. Russian Machine has a point-by-point breakdown.

 

BILL SIMMONS ON WALL AND BEAL

Bill Simmons on Bradley Beal: “Other than the Brow, he’s my favorite guy from the 2012 draft; only the residual stink of the Washington Professional Basketball Team could derail him.” Bill Simmons on John Wall: “The poor Wizards have to roll the dice there and hope he stays healthy, if only because he’s the same age as Damian Lillard. Historically, these decisions have always worked out poorly for the Wizards — and by ‘poorly,’ I mean ‘in ways that turn Wizards fans into alcoholics.’ ”

 

WHAT TO WATCH TODAY

The Nats host St. Louis and Pete Kozma at 1 on MASN. The Rockets go to OKC at 7 on TNT. All radio and TV listings are here.

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Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
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Mitch Rubin · April 23, 2013

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