DC Sports sit in a love/hate relationship with me. I am proud of where I’m from and love the DMV area (other than the traffic). But the sports drive me insane.
The Capitals were supposed to be the team from DC to go all the way this year. The Wizards won’t be relevant for another 10 years because of John Wall’s contract, the Nationals have been a .500 team for 1.2 seasons and the Redskins will do a Redskin-like-thing tonight during the NFL draft.
Watching the Caps game last night made me sick to my stomach during overtime. I knew something was going to go wrong because in DC it always does. I kept telling my father “here it comes,” referring to a Carolina game-winner that i thought would happen a lot sooner than it did.
The Capitals looked dead tired last night. An aging playoff tested Capitals team couldn’t keep up with a young Carolina Hurricanes team. The game and especially both OT periods were a perfect metaphor for DC sports for the past seven seasons. Close but not close enough.
The Caps got beat by a team that deserved it more. Although they lost forward T.J. Oshie and defenseman Michael Kempney the Hurricanes looked like they wanted it more. They went after every loose puck and intercepted almost every pass in Game 7 last night.
The Capitals are getting older and look like they could be taking a regression. Ovi is entering his age 34 season. Oshie will be 32 on a large contract. Defenseman Brooks Orpik is 38 and playing year to year. Backstrom will be 32 in November. The Capitals will remain competitive but their Stanley Cup championship window might be closing within the next season or two with the core of team becoming older. Ovi won’t be able to put 50-plus goals every season but will still be very good scoring 27 to 30 goals once as he ages.
The Nationals are a coin flip when it comes to making the playoffs because of the tough NL East and won’t make it very far in the playoffs with their current bullpen. Max Scherzer is getting older and won’t be able to turn in a CY Young award type performances every five days. Scherzer will likely be very good but he won’t be great in years to come.
Strasburg hasn’t lived up to the hype in the past few seasons seeming to be hurt for long periods of time every season. Rendon will be a free agent after the season while Trea Turner will be a free agent in 2022. Juan Soto and Victor Robles will roam the outfield together for the next six years while they have Carter Kieboom and Luis Garcia in their minor league system.
The Nationals won’t be able to sign pitchers every off-season if they wish to extend their young position players. The Nationals have failed to develop a pitcher since Jordan Zimmermann and Tanner Roark. Sure they drafted Stephen Strasburg but he was basically developed by the time he played in the minor leagues.
The Nationals have had to spend a ton of money of free agent pitchers since 2012 signing Max Scherzer to a $210 million deal, Dan Haren to a one-year deal that didn’t pan out, Anibal Sanchez, Jeremy Hellickson, Gio Gonzalez’s extension after he was traded by the Athletics. The list goes on and on for pitchers that were brought in from outside organizations.
The Wizards won’t be good for another five to 10 years. They have one of the worst contact situations in sports with John Wall’s contract for another four years.
They’ve given out bad deals to free agents that have really hurt them when they tried to make it past the second round of the playoffs. The Wizards will likely have to give Bradley Beal a supermax extension if he were to make an All-NBA team once his contract runs out.
In the age of super teams, the Wizards will need to build one from the ground up starting with the 2019 draft. The yet-to-be-decides general manager needs to guide the team in a direction like former 76ers GM Bryan Colangelo did with the “Trust The Process” movement.
The Redskins will be the Redskins stuck in mediocrity forever with Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen running the team. According to a tweet from Grant Paulson Allen and Snyder will control the first round of the draft tonight.
A team that will forever be beloved by fans won’t likely win anything without prioritizing their offense. Sure they’ve built up the defense but they also need an offense to score points. Even if they select Dwayne Haskins with their first round pick it is unlikely he will amount to anything if they don’t acquire receiving weapons for Haskins.
All in all, DC sports were made to break all of our hearts no matter how close teams get to the championship round. But at least we can say we are the 2018 Stanley Cup Champions.