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NBA Championship, the Capitals, Nationals, and Wizards

Recently NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell defended the Redskins name in a letter to Congress. This of course is to respond to the recent growing sentiment to change the Redskins name because it is a slur to Native Americans.

Also on Wednesday, Bloomberg BusinessWeek asked a branding expert and also a logo designer to think of new names for the Redskins. Image shown here from Business Week. My first reaction to the suggested names was that this might be worse than the Bullets to Wizards renaming.

I'm somewhat conflicted on the name of the Redskins. I am of Asian descent. I've heard many slurs, so I understand the reasons Native Americans may be offended by the name. At the same time, this is a name that's been in use for decades. It's part of the Washington, DC culture. Short of a Stanley Cup, World Series, or NBA Championship, the Capitals, Nationals, and Wizards will not lead this town. However, when it comes down to it, the name has to go. Offending an entire race of persons is not the way to go. Goodell said what he said because he works for the NFL and the Redskins are part of the NFL. Only a groundswell of changing the name or some miracle of a court ruling will really get the name changed.

However, if you look at what this branding consultant came up with, it just falls flat. None of the names suggested, Rocs, Metros, Leopards, and Skins really work well. But I guess that's the point, right? We're used to the Redskins so we're biased. But Rocs? WTF is that? Leopards? I'm not sure there are many around the Washington Metro area and just because that's how teams are being named is a plain stupid reason. Metros was interesting until I saw someone write "We all hate the Metro (subway) so that's not going to work". The only name that might hold up is the Skins, but I'm not sure moving from Redskins to Skins will really improve the perception. So may I make a suggestion that Washington Baseball didn't take. The Washington Senators are here.

 

Ross Detweiler has a great start in a do or die situation for the Nationals

As the Washington Nationalsplayoff run came to an abrupt end on Friday night Losenoidoomock, losing 9-7 to the defending champion St Louis Cardinals, the inevitable question came up. What if Stephen Strasburg was on the the playoff roster? And more on this website.

There are different ways to approach this. But it really comes down to one thing. What would have been different?

Game 1: Gio Gonzalez was the starter. Nationals win 3-2. Would Strasburg have done better? Maybe he would not have walked so many.

Game 2: Jordan Zimmermann has one of his worst outings all season giving up 5 runs. Nationals lose 12-4. The bullpen didn't help either, allowing 6 earned runs.

Game 3: Edwin Jackson loses the game 8-0. 4 of those runs are tagged to the journeyman. The Nationals offense is held scoreless by Chris Carpenter and the Cardinals bullpen.

Game 4: Ross Detweiler has a great start in a do or die situation for the Nationals. Washington wins 2-1 after Jason Werth's 13 pitch battle with Lance Lynn that ended with a solo home run in the bottom of the 9th.

Game 5: Gio starts the final game of the series and the Nationals take a 6-0 lead. A series of minor mistakes allow the Cardinals to creep back in. After it gets to 6-5, Kurt Suzuki gets a key RBI insurance run in the 8th. in total, the bullpen made mistakes leading to 4 runs by St Louis in the 9th and the Nationals had no comeback. Series over.

So if you look at all 5 games and exclude the Nationals 2 wins, we're left with Game 2, Game 3, and Game 5.

Game 2 was started by Zimmermann, which made it unlikely Strasburg would have taken his spot in the rotation. Would Strasburg come in relief? Unlikely.

Game 3 was a blowout, 8-0. Sure Strasburg might have contained the Cardinals offense, but when the Nationals came with no runs, Strasburg would have to be perfect and allow the game to go into extra innings at a 0-0 tie. So also unlikely.

Game 5 had Gio doing what he could. The bullpen had an off night. Would Davey Johnson have even saved Strasburg for Game 5? Would he come in relief? This is where you might argue Strasburg would have done better, but only in relief. And if Davey had Strasburg in the bullpen for the night, where was Strasburg's earlier start? Detweiler's Game 4? Jackson's Game 3? Both were possiblities, but Detweiler won his and the Nationals scored nothing in Jackson's start. Strasburg would have likely had the same results. Gonzalez was never going to be replaced in this game.

So looking at it, the question comes back to, what would Strasburg have contributed to the Nationals playoff roster? Maybe his bat? Consensus by most was that Detweiler would have been sent to the bullpen. So replace him with Strasburg in the rotation, and you are left with the same result...Nationals lose the series 3-2. Of course we don't know how the rotation would have worked had Strasburg been on the roster. But it is ridiculous for anyone to truly believe Strasburg would have made a difference. We just don't know and never will.