Category Archives: ESPN’s Finest

DMV: Rob Gronkowski Should Always Host SportsCenter

Gronk read teleprompter: “Robert Griffin’s third recovery.” [USAT Sports]

Good story about the Nats’ two-man analytics department. [Nats Journal]

Five questions for the O’s heading into Opening Day. [B'more Sports Report]

SI is projecting 82 wins for the O’s. Here’s their Birds preview. [SI.com]

Wiz overmatched at OKC as Wall struggles to follow 47-point game. [WaPo]

Good stuff on how John Wall worked on his sorry jumper. [Wiz Insider]

Kevin Seraphin fancies himself a comedian of sorts. [DC Sports Nexus]

Ovi played street hockey with randoms outside the Phone Booth. [RMNB]

Verizon Center hosts the Big Dance and — surprise! — it’s bland. [WaPo]

Maryland gets future B1G foe Iowa in the NIT Final Four. [Testudo Times]

Mr. Irrelevant was kindly profiled by another local blogs. [inReads]

‘Strasburg Shouldn’t Be Shut Down,’ Says Bad ESPN Logic

This ESPN Stats & Info blog post (“a must-read for everyone at ESPN”!) is too much to bear, so off we go, Fire Joe Morgan-style …

In all likelihood, 24-year-old Stephen Strasburg’s season will end within weeks with the Washington Nationals likely in a fierce pennant race.

If the Nationals were to reverse course and allow Strasburg to pitch, would the workload hurt his performance? History suggests it wouldn’t.

No one is asking or even wondering this, because the question isn’t if Strasburg would struggle in September-October; the question is if he’ll eventually suffer another major injury from throwing too much too soon.

What the Numbers Say

Since 2001, 20 pitchers fit the profile of a young arm with a considerable workload. The criteria:

• The pitcher needed to be 23 years old or younger.

• It was the pitcher’s first season throwing 150 innings.

• The pitcher had not previously thrown 150 innings in his pro career.

There’s kind of an important bullet point missing here. Can’t quite put my finger on it, though. Something to do with elbow ligaments.

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Ten Questions With ESPN Honcho And D.C. Sports Fan Rob King

Today’s guest here on Mr. Irrelevant is Rob King, who’s the Senior VP, Editorial, Print and Digital Media for ESPN. Meaning, he’s the top editor for all of ESPN’s online, mobile and print efforts. Meaning, he’s a pretty big deal.

He’s also a longtime D.C. sports fan and a nice guy, so he agreed to answer our 10 questions via email. We hope you enjoy the interview that follows, and please do follow him on Twitter. It’s the least we can do for one of our own.

1. According to the Internet, you went to high school in Rockville. Is that how you became a D.C. sports fan?

The D.C. roots go way deeper. My father’s a DC native. He and my Mom met at Howard University, and I was born at Walter Reed Army Hospital. I was doomed from the start. By the time I was 10, I’d watched the Senators lose at RFK and wept over the Redskins.

By the way, the Internet got this one right. My high school, Charles W. Woodward, closed and merged with Walter Johnson High School. You don’t get any more DC sportsy than that.

2. Who was your favorite D.C. athlete growing up, and who’s your favorite still playing?

Growing up: Elvin Hayes, followed oh so closely by Larry Brown (not THAT one, the OTHER one). Still playing: London Fletcher or Mike Sellers … Although Brian Orakpo, John Wall and Stephen Strasburg represent my Axis of Virtue.

3. You’ve referred to the Redskins as “the unfortunately named team.” Should they change the name? If so, what are your top-three suggestions for a new name?

Yes, I have a very difficult time with that name, personally. It’s compartmentalization at its worst. I’ve always thought the logo was easier to fix, though. Just imagine swapping out the American Indian image for the George Washington image we see every day engraved on quarters. That would compliment names such as 1) The Generals, 2) The Statesmen or 3) The Forefathers. All of which, I admit, have issues.

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Scott Van Pelt Is Aware of Our Existence

Finally, my brother’s bizarre obsession with the weather nets him something other than mockery from loved ones — a shoutout from Scott Van Pelt:

Mottrams should kill SB Nation or Mottram bros kill it? I’ll go with the latter.

That was quite nice of SVP, and it was in response to Chris retweeting something Van Pelt had tweeted about “thunder snow” and blah blah blah Twitter. (Related: Follow Chris and me and Mr. Irrelevant on Twitter!)

It wasn’t Chris’ first rodeo with the ESPN star and noted Terps fan. As you may recall, they also had a conversation on SVP’s radio program back when Chris was still at Sporting News.

Apparently, Van Pelt is a fan of Chris’ current employer (SB Nation, y’all), the brothers Mottram and, presumably, Mr. Irrelevant too. Of course, his exclusion of the Yahoo! Sports Blogs is blatant snubbery.

We’ll remember this, Van Pelt.

Boo Yah! Stuart Scott Nails It With His New Nickname for the Nats

This was linked in today’s DMV, but it really deserves a post all its own. Via Tirico Suave and SB Nation, dig Stu Scott’s new nickname for the Nationals:

“Natsies!” Oh, that’s rich. Who says Mr. Other Side of the Pillow doesn’t have any witticisms left in his arsenal? Actually, everyone says that, but it’s I who didn’t even know he was on SportsCenter anymore. ESPNEWS 4 life!

DMV: WUSA’s Sara Walsh ESPN-Bound?

Channel 9 weekend sports anchor and Redskins reporter Sara Walsh is rumored to be making the jump that Sage Steele and Bram Weinstein have made in recent years, leaving the DMV for ESPN. [DCRTV via @dcsportsbog]

Caps lose 6-5 at Ottawa despite Semin’s hat trick and Varly’s return. [WaPo]

Ten notes from the Caps’ 2nd straight loss and 3rd straight hat trick. [Japers' Rink]

Awesome tale of a man who made an effort to go to that Caps-Pens game. [CapsBlog]

Who’s your Caps cult hero: Matt Bradley or Quintin Laing? [On Frozen Blog]

Steve Yzerman on why Mike Green isn’t on Team Canada. [Japers' Rink]

Malcolm Kelly evaluates former teammate Sam Bradford. [Redskins Insider]

Team blogger Matt Terl plays in the snow at Redskins Park. [Skins Blog]

Maryland hasn’t had this few losses this late since 2003. [D1scourse]

Maryland football requests an exception to a new recruiting rule. [WaPo]

Ernie Grunfeld is the first to fault for Wiz’ selfishness. [Bullets Forever]

Grunfeld’s a busy man, exploring all trade options. [Wizards Insider]

(Photo taken with love from Kate Haus & Alpine Moon Photography.)

Scott Van Pelt Introduces the Terrapins

I’m not sure why SportsCenter gave Chris’ old friend/Maryland grad Scott Van Pelt four minutes and 20 seconds (4:20!) to fawn all over the first-place Terps, but it did (via Testudo Times):

If you’re a Maryland fan, you loved that. If you’re not, hopefully you at least recognize how cool that must’ve been for SVP and the unknown Terps who rarely get national recognition (read: those not named Greivis).

Exclusive: Copy of Jon Gruden’s MNF Analysis Cheet Sheet

Sure, Jon Gruden has finished off the job started by Tony Kornhesier of making Monday Night Fooball completely insufferable, but really, it’s not his fault. He’s just going by the chart. Like when Joe Gibbs used to go for two in the third quarter.

According to a totally real source that we definitely made up, this is the cheat sheet Gruden keeps in front of him while calling games. Note: Not included is any reference to a “sluggo” route or inane nicknames he makes up on the spot, as he is at liberty to blurt those out at any given time. Click image to see larger.

grudenguidesmall.jpg

See also: Drew’s take on this. He seems to be the only other person who shares the same level of contempt for Gruden as me.

Mr. Irrelevant Wins Major Award

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Just received this email from a SportsNation producer:

Everyday on SportsNation we name a site we like as our site of the day, and today Mr. Irrelevant is our big winner. We air at 4pm ET on ESPN2 today – feel free to tell your readers.

See? We’re big winners, which is nice, even if I don’t care for “The Herd.” That Michelle Beadle seems nice though, and they should feel free to tout our site anytime. It is appreciated.

Update: Here’s what the SportsNation two said on the program:

Beadle: One of the best DC blogs out there, Mr. Irrelevant, run by a pair of brothers, Chris and Jamie. At this point they could probably do a better job of running than Redskins than Dan Snyder.

Cowherd: Yeah, at this point, who couldn’t?

Beadle: Oh, wow. Zinger!