Reunited In Cleveland
Former Washington Redskins QB Rex Grossman has signed with the Cleveland Browns in a move I’ve been anticipating for months. Grossman will reunite with former ‘Skins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. It seems like these two guys are joined at the hip.
Grossman will become the Browns third string signal caller and become a mentor of sorts for QB’s Johnny Football and Brian Hoyer as they try to learn the Shanahan offensive system.
I don’t think Grossman has much left as a player, but I think this is a good signing for the Browns. The biggest reason is that he knows the Shanny offense inside and out after being in it for several seasons and is more than willing to help mentor younger players trying to learn it. Plus it’s a nice paying gig.
The only thing about this move that shocks me that it took so long to happen. The official Browns press release below:
The Cleveland Browns on Tuesday signed unrestricted free agent QB Rex Grossman. General Manager Ray Farmer made the announcement. In addition, the club waived QB Tyler Thigpen.
Grossman is 6-1, 225 pounds and officially in his 12th NFL season out of Florida. Originally, a first-round pick (22nd overall) by Chicago in 2003, Grossman has appeared in 54 games and has compiled a 25-22 (.532) record as a starter. He has completed 863 of 1,562 career passes for 10,232 yards with 56 touchdowns and 60 interceptions.
He spent his first six seasons (2003-08) with the Bears and led Chicago to Super Bowl XLI during his first full season as the starter. Grossman spent the past four seasons (2010-13) with the Redskins following one year with the Texans (2009). Last season, he was inactive for 13 games and was active but did not play in the team’s final three contests.
Inducted in the Florida Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013, Grossman registered a 23-9 record as a starter for the Gators. The 2001 Associated Press National Player of the Year finished his career with 9,164 passing yards and 77 touchdown passes. A native of Bloomington Ind., Grossman graduated from Bloomington South High School.
The Washington Nationals placed outfielder Steven Souza Jr. on the 15-Day Disabled List (left shoulder contusion) and recalled outfielder Michael Taylor from Syracuse of the Triple-A International League.
Taylor, hit .315 with 20 doubles, 22 home runs, 63 RBI and 35 stolen bases in 102 games this season for Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse.
The 23-year-old Taylor was promoted to the Triple-A level for the first time on Monday and went 5-for-13 (.385) with three doubles, a triple, two RBI and four walks in four games.
Before leaving Harrisburg, however, he hit .313 with 41 extra-base hits (17 doubles, two triples, 22 homers), 61 RBI, 50 walks and 34 stolen bags. His .935 OPS currently ranks second among all qualified Double-A players this season. Last month, Taylor represented the Nationals in MLB’s Futures Game at Target Field.
He entered the 2014 season rated by industry-insider Baseball America as the Nationals’ “Best Athlete” and No. 6 overall prospect.
Souza Jr. played in 13 games for the Nationals before running into the wall at Turner Field on Friday night against the Braves. The video below shows the collision.
The Washington Nationals are in the process of letting a golden opportunity to take total control of the N.L. East slip through their fingers. How they continue to let the Atlanta Braves slip past them game after game is mind-boggling to me. Like in last night’s 3-1 loss where pitcher Gio Gonzalez fails to cover first base on a ground ball that allowed the Braves to score the go ahead run when the inning would have been over if he had just executed the fundamentals. What’s he thinking?
The Nationals went down to Atlanta with a 4.5 game lead over the rival Braves with a chance to step on their throats this weekend and failed. The Braves were on an eight game losing streak coming into this showdown and were ripe for the pickings. But the only thing the Nats accomplished this weekend was pumping some much-needed life back into their rivals’ season.
I know things could be worse for the Nats and they do have a 3.5 game lead over the Braves with 46 games remaining in the regular season. But it’s a shaky 3.5 games in my opinion and the two teams will play six more head-to-head games down the stretch. The Nats are now 4-9 against the Braves this season and I don’t even want to get into their record against them over the last two seasons.
In spite of this weekend, the Nats actually have a chance at gaining some separation in this race over the next couple of weeks. The Braves will play their next 14 games against the Dodgers, A’s, Reds, and Pirates. While the Nats will play 13 games against the Mets, Diamondbacks, Pirates, and Giants with seven being against the Mets and Diamondbacks. The Nats should be able to tack a few games onto their lead as the season heads into the final month. At least I hope they can.
I’d like to see the Nats get this lead up to at least seven games before they hook back up against the Braves in the middle of September. It would be very nice to get Ryan Zimmerman’s bat and presence back in the lineup before then as well. This offense isn’t the same without him and I know one person shouldn’t make that big of a difference, but he does.
Paul George of the Indiana Pacers suffered a gruesome leg fracture earlier tonight while playing in a Team USA scrimmage game. The video below will show you exactly what I’m talking about when I say this is a gruesome injury for the young Pacers star.
Just from looking at it I’d have to say there’s no way he will be playing next season which will deal a huge blow to the Pacers chances of winning the Eastern Conference.
Home Run Derby Gets a Makeover
Here’s a look at the new Home Run Derby format that will be unveiled at next month’s MLB All-Star game. I think it will make things more exciting and I can’t wait to see it in action.
Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays and Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies were named captains of the AL and NL, respectively, on Monday. They will each determine the other four participants on their teams.
2014 GILLETTE HOME RUN DERBY FORMAT
- Ten participants total; five participants representing each league.
- Batting order will be determined prior to the event. Hitter No. 1 for the NL will hit first followed by Hitter No. 1 for the AL (home team). This order will continue for hitters Nos. 2-5 for each league, with the NL going first followed by the AL.
- Each participant will receive seven outs.
- The player from each league who hits the most home runs (AL 1; NL 1) will automatically advance to round three (semifinals).
- The next two participants with the most home runs from each league (AL 2; AL 3 / NL 2; NL 3) advance to Round 2.
- The two participants advancing from Round 1 for each league will compete against each other (AL 2 vs. AL 3 / NL 2 vs. NL 3).
- The NL matchup will occur first, followed by the AL matchup, with NL 2 and AL 2 choosing if they want to hit first or second.
- Each participant will receive seven outs.
- The winners from the Round 2 matchups (one from each league) will advance to Round 3 (semifinals).
Round 3 (Semifinals)
- The top seed from each league (AL 1; NL 1) will face the winner from his league’s Round 2 matchup.
- The NL matchup will occur first, followed by the AL matchup, with NL 1 and AL 1 choosing if they want to hit first or second.
- Each participant will receive seven outs.
- The participant from each league with the most home runs will advance to the Finals.
Round 4 (Finals)
- The semifinal winners (one player from each league) will compete for the crown of Home Run Derby champion.
- The batting order will be determined by a coin flip, which will be held at a meeting at home plate between the two finalists and their league captains (note that a finalist and team captain could be the same participant).
- Each finalist will receive seven outs.
- If two or more players are tied for advancement into the next round or for the championship, each player will receive three swings to hit as many home runs as possible. If they are still tied after threeswings, they will each take one swing. This process is repeated if necessary until one player wins the swing-off.
Wizards Take Game 1, 102-93
The Washington Wizards showed tremendous heart by battling through some tough adversity to win Game 1 over the Chicago Bulls tonight! They appeared to be teetering on the brink of disaster when the Bulls went up by 13 points in the third quarter and the United Center crowd was rocking, but they refused to fold under the pressure!
This was the most impressive win by a Wizards team in many years and I couldn’t be happier. Nobody outside of D.C. gave this team a chance against the playoff tested Bulls and many were predicting the Wiz to get swept. Those people can put away their brooms now.
Nene set the tone early and played a great game, but this was really a total team effort with six players scoring in double digits. This was a great win, but now we’ve got a golden opportunity to come back home with a commanding 2-0 series lead if we take care of business Tuesday night in Game 2.
I really hope owner Ted Leonsis will keep this group together for at least the next couple of years because the foundation of a championship team is in place. We’ve got a great mix of young players and solid veterans that are showing great chemistry together. It’s great to see how guys are pulling for each other and that hasn’t always been the case here in the nation’s capital.
The mental toughness the team has started to develop this season is something I’ve waited many years to see and one of the factors that make me think we’re on the right track. It’s not easy to win on the road in the NBA and to be able to do it in the playoffs is huge.
Both Marcin Gortat and Trevor Ariza are going to be free agents this summer. Somehow Mr. Leonsis needs to find a way to keep them both here and it would be nice to see Drew Gooden re-signed as well. I almost forgot about Al Harrington and would like to see him stick around as well. All of us long-suffering Bullets/Wizards fans deserve nothing less in my opinion.
I didn’t include Andre Miller in my wishlist of re-signings because he’s already under contract for next season. He’s been huge down the stretch since coming over at the trade deadline.
This team could grow into something special if given the opportunity!
The Atlanta Braves own the Washington Nationals and it was never more apparent than this past weekend in Atlanta with the Braves sweeping the Nats. Since the start of the 2013 season the Braves have won 18 of the last 25 head-to-head meetings between the two N.L. East rivals.
This rivalry is starting to feel like the Cowboys and Redskins with the Braves always seeming to get that lucky bounce or close call to fall their way.
The 2014 season has just started and we’ve got a lot of baseball left to play, but one thing has been made crystal clear, the Nats must find a way to get things turned around against the Braves if they’re going to reclaim the division title.
I’ve heard some people saying the Nats can still win the N.L. East without solving this Braves riddle, but I don’t agree with that line of thinking because we play them 13 more times this season. Wake up people, if you can’t beat the Braves you won’t win the division, period!
I still think we’ve got the better team from top to bottom, but for whatever reason we continue to shoot ourselves in the foot with mental mistakes and the Braves make us pay for just about every one of them.
The one area where the Braves are clearly head and shoulders better than the Nats is in the bullpen and it’s not even close in my opinion.
New manager Matt Williams has his work cut out for him and I’m curious to see if he can get his team to overcome this Braves obstacle standing in their way? Stay tuned.
The Baltimore Orioles made a very good trade by acquiring Steve Lombardozzi from the Detroit Tigers for veteran Alex Gonzalez. This is a huge move for the Orioles because Lombo’s a very solid player that can play almost any position on the field and plays the game the right way. This kid will become a fan favorite very quickly in Baltimore.
This is a steal of a deal for the Orioles front office in my opinion because they gave up essentially nothing to dramatically upgrade their bench. Gonzalez is a 37 year old player that really had no future with the Orioles once Manny Machado returns and that could be soon according to various reports. So flipping him for a 25 year old player like Lombo is a great move.
The Tigers are in a tight spot and in need of a Shortstop, but I don’t think Alex Gonzalez is the right answer to their problem. He last played the position at the big league level back in 2011.
I know it may look like I’m bashing Gonzalez, but I’m not trying too. I’m looking at this deal from both sides and I understand why the Tigers made the move, but I think they made a bad trade.
The NFL free agent signing period is already cranked up into overdrive and it doesn’t officially start until this afternoon at 4 p.m.!
It’s nice to see the salary cap handcuffs taken off the Washington Redskins after a two-year penalty imposed by the league office. Now I’m hearing the team linked to many of the big name players on the market, but that was always the case before the team was exiled unjustly by the a-holes in New York. Most of those rumors are nothing more than B.$. being floated by agents trying to drive up the price tag of signing their clients.
I’d really like to see the team sign CB Aqib Talib and I have a strong feeling they will get a deal done soon. Pairing Talib up with the recently re-signed DeAngelo Hall would give the team one of the top CB duos in the league. I almost forgot about youngster David Amerson who showed flashes of being a playmaker during his rookie season last year. That would give the team the ability to match up with just about any offense in the NFL.
So far this offseason the new front office has re-signed Hall, LB Brian Orakpo, NT Chris Baker, and it was just announced they have reached a deal with LB Perry Riley.
I was surprised to hear the Buccaneers are parting ways with CB Darrelle Revis after only one season, but I’d still prefer to sign Talib. I’m sure some people will disagree with me, but I want Talib, period!
There’s also speculation the ‘Skins are very interested in scooping up RB Darren Sproles and I think he’d be a perfect fit here in D.C.! Sproles would form a great one-two punch with Alfred Morris out of the backfield and his versatility makes it a no-brainer. Plus he can return kicks which is another area we’ve struggled in.
My other big free agent wish is to have a safety signed with Jairus Byrd being my top target, but I wouldn’t grossly overpay for his services. His price tag may be a little too high and in that case I’d look at Donte Whitner who may actually be a better fit.
I hope the pilot for Redskins One has gotten plenty of rest over the last two years because something tells me the old boy’s going to be quite busy over the next few weeks!
Here’s a quick update on how my second season of Fantasy Basketball is going as we enter Week 20 and the stretch run to the playoffs. I’ve got to say things have went a lot better than my disastrous rookie season last year. My team is 16-3 and looks strong.
Coming into this 2014 season I had a goal of making the playoffs and would have been happy with that progress after last season’s nightmare. But now I’ll be disappointed with anything less than winning the league championship. My team has already clinched a division title and is close to wrapping up the #1 seed going into the playoffs.
I’ve been fortunate on the injury front this season and have my fingers crossed that my main horses will remain healthy all the way through. You can click on my team’s name in the standings box below and that will let you see what my current roster looks like.
Last Updated: 03/10/14 12:54 pm ET