Around 6:45 p.m. EST, Ryan Zimmerman grounded into a fielders choice in his fifth and final hitless plate appearance in San Francisco. His hitting streak, the best of the few reasons to pay attention to the Nationals this season, was done at 30 games.
A little after 7:30 p.m., a shot from Pittsburgh’s Sergei Gonchar goes off bodies in front of the net and Sidney Crosby pushes the loose puck in. Eight seconds of playing time later, Penguin Craig Adams scores his first career playoff goal. It’s 2-0, but the game, series and season feel over.
In one rotten hour, what had been a fab month in local sports was over.
When’s Redskins camp open?
Ted Leonsis always talks about the “10-step plan” that the Caps have been following. He means the rebuilding scheme that got them to verge of a conference final for the first time in 11 years.
But last night, an early victim of his plan came back to bite him.
In 2004, with his team losing most games and eight-figures a year, Leonsis got GM George McPhee to trade or release every name player but Olaf Kolzig. One of the dumpees was Sergei Gonchar, a former first-round Caps pick, who was sent to the Boston Bruins for Shaone Morrisonn.
Morrisonn is the guy who took a dumb penalty midway through the first period, and midway through the power play Gonchar set up Crosby for the game’s first goal. Pittsburgh never looked back.
Amazingly, the main topic on WJFK’s postgame show was on how quickly McPhee should be fired.
The Washington Post reports the Washington Wizards held a pre-draft workout for Marquette guard Wes Matthews. His dad, also Wes Matthews, was a first-round pick for the old Bullets in 1980, ending a three-year run of busts in which the team used their top pick on, in order, Roger Phegley, Joe DeSantis and Matthews.
Abe Pollin’s loyalty was such that he let General Manager Bob Ferry keep his job for another 10 years.
Girl vs. Boys: The filly Rachel Alexandra will not only compete against the world’s best three-year-old colts in Saturday’s Preakness, she’ll be expected to beat them.
The track released its opening betting line yesterday, and Rachel Alexandra, who didn’t run in the Kentucky Derby, was atop it at 8-5.
Derby winner Mine That Bird is the second choice in the 13-horse field at 6-1.
Speaking of the Freakness: The New York Times ran a story about the end of BYOB at the Preakness. Both Cheap Seats readers will find nothing new in the article, but the accompanying photo is Pulitzer worthy.
And if that shot doesn’t make you nostalgic for the Running of the Urinals, there’s no hope for you.
Don’t Speak Ill of the Deadskins. In a fine thread called “Least Favorite Redskin of All Time” on the team-owned message board, posters recalled the players they most wished had never worn burgundy and gold.
Among the usual suspects — Deion Sanders, Michael Westbrook, Heath Shuler — a poster going by Leopard11 chimed in with “Dan Turk.”
The poster was still mad that Turk, a mostly dependable former long snapper from 1997-1999, made a bad snap in the last minute of a 1999 playoff game against Tampa Bay.
Somebody must have informed Leopard11 that Turk died of testicular cancer less than a year after the miscue, prompting this retraction:
i take that back Dan Turk was not a bad player just made one bad snap not a biggie but was a playoff game. I totally take that back he was a good Redskin.
Davids don’t always whup Goliaths: Last night Bishop Ireton lost its lead to Paul VI and a chance at a rare athletic championship in the conclusion of a game suspended on Monday because of weather.
Playing in the WCAC, the powerful DC-area Catholic schools league, Ireton over the last 40 years has won just four titles in all boys sports — three in soccer and one in lacrosse. Yet Ireton was leading Paul VI 3-2 in the top of the sixth inning of the WCAC baseball championship, played in Bowie on Monday, when the skies opened up and umps called off play.
Standard rules call for a game to be declared official after five innings, so Ireton normally would have been granted the biggest win in the school’s history and its first baseball crown. But before the title game, coaches agreed that because of the stakes they’d play a full seven innings no matter what.
And when the teams gathered again last night in Annandale to take it from the top of the sixth, or top of the VIth, Ireton quickly lost its lead and the game, 4-3.
Again, this being the Catholic schools league, you’d think the Man Upstairs wouldn’t play favorites. But Paul VI coach Billy Emerson apparently takes Monday’s timely rainshowers as a hint that God was on his side’s side.
“We kind of thought the Lord was looking out for us because he stopped momentum right there,” Emerson told dcsportsfan.com.
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