Wizards

Glass expects improvement from Royals after trades

Glass expects improvement from Royals after trades

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) David Glass was as excited as anyone with the Kansas City organization about the offseason moves that led to a revamped pitching rotation.

Now the Royals owner is ready for the changes to translate to success on the field.

Glass attended a stop on the Kansas City caravan Monday near his home in northwest Arkansas, where the Royals Double-A affiliate is located. The often-criticized Glass hasn't experienced the playoffs since becoming the team's owner in 2000. He praised general manager Dayton Moore and said the offseason trades that brought pitchers James Shields and Ervin Santana were part of Kansas City's ``overall plan.''

Shields was acquired, along with Wade Davis, from Tampa Bay in December - after posting a 15-10 mark with a 3.51 ERA last season. That followed the move a month earlier that brought Santana from the Los Angeles Angels. The combination of the two moves has Glass thinking big for this season.

``My expectation for this year is for us to be very competitive,'' Glass said. ``I think the expectation level, from talking to the players, the manager and the general manager; all of them believe that they can compete in the Central Division and that we've got a shot at winning it.''

Kansas City hasn't reached the playoffs since winning the World Series in 1985, and it hasn't had a winning season since finishing 83-80 in 2003. The Royals, whose minor league system has been praised in recent years under Moore, were 72-90 last season - their fourth straight season with an improved win total.

Moore tapped into that farm system to pry Shields away from the Rays, packaging top prospect Wil Myers in the deal. The outfielder hit .314 with 37 home runs and 109 RBIs last season, and he excelled in the All-Star Futures Game in Kansas City.

Glass said he expects Myers to develop into ``an All-Star player'' in the majors, but he said the move was needed to help improve a starting rotation that combined for a 5.01 ERA last season - fifth-worst in the big leagues. He also said a smaller market such as Kansas City must rely on player development and trading prospects to acquire top established players, rather than doing so in free agency.

``The whole thing was not knee jerk,'' Glass said. ``It's part of the overall plan.

``... The only thing we were really short on was starting pitching. We've got a great bullpen, so (Moore) decided now's the time to step up and dramatically improve your starting pitching and go for it, see what you can do about winning your division,'' he added.

Glass said the trade for Shields wasn't the only one the Royals discussed during the offseason in an attempt to bring in a top starting pitcher, and he said there were ``some other alternatives'' that he preferred more than Moore. However, he trusted the general manager's opinion and is hopeful the flurry of activity has invigorated both the Kansas City fan base and organization.

``We've got great fans who deserve a team that wins more than we've won,'' Glass said. ``... I think all of us believe that we're getting there.''

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Bradley Beal gifts Langston University basketball team new Nike gear

Bradley Beal gifts Langston University basketball team new Nike gear

Bradley Beal is in the midst of the best season of his career with the Wizards, and on Thursday he took his performance off the court a step further. 

In a video posted by Langston University Men's Basketball coach Stevie Taylor, it appears the Wizards' star shooting guard gifted the entire team with brand new Nike gear for the season. 

Beal then responded on Twitter, wishing the team the best of luck with their new shoes and accessories. 

This comes after Beal and John Wall handed out a ton of turkeys to the local community ahead of Thanksgiving next week. 

Beal has already deserved his salary two times over with his play on the court this season, but his involvement in the community and his contributions to basketball programs like Langston just goes to show his development as a leader for the Wizards' organization. 

For the Wizards' sake, hopefully they can build a team around Beal and Wall that will make the former want to sign another extension in two years. 

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Derrius Guice understands why Redskins fans are frustrated, but he's looking ahead

Derrius Guice understands why Redskins fans are frustrated, but he's looking ahead

Derrius Guice is a very positive person. Unfortunately, he's playing for a team right now that's shrouded in negativity.

The Redskins have played 10 games this season, and they've walked off the field as losers in nine of those contests. They've gotten rid of their head coach, and many are wondering how many other major changes will come.

And when it comes to the fans, many — if not most — are furious with the direction of the franchise. Guice is noticing that, too.

"It just sucks when I score, or someone else scores, and our team posts a picture to Instagram or Twitter and everything under it is just, 'Fire this, fire that, we suck," Guice told JP Finlay in a 1-on-1 interview on the Redskins Talk podcast. "That doesn't help anything."

The running back understands that frustration. However, he wants those who are angry to know one thing: While this current roster is obviously responsible for the 2019 issues, they aren't responsible for the two-decade-long slump that's affected the organization.

"I'm new here," Guice said. "I understand some of these fans have been here 20-30 years, but like, there's a lot of guys on this team that are new. Y'all can't bring all that negativity to us like we've been here 20 years. I don't think that's fair to us players."

That's what makes this situation so difficult for those on the field and those who watch those on the field. Fans have been on this unsatisfying ride for far too long, yet most of the players hopped on a stop or two ago. 

So people who post those hateful comments or send those angry DMs are doing so because they've seen a handful of free agency and draft classes bust, and because they've seen numerous coaches come in and fail, and they've been lied to repeatedly about how "close" the Redskins are. They aren't necessarily trying to take it out on Guice or Dwayne Haskins or Landon Collins, it just appears that way.

Guice, for one, is trying his best to improve how he handles that side of being an athlete. He's also choosing to focus on those who've stayed on his side through what's been a trying first couple of seasons in the league.

For all the negativity he encounters, he's grateful for those who remain positive like him.

"A guy that's been there two years and has only played two real games, there's a lot of fans that have still never left my side since I got drafted," Guice said. "That's something I always have to cherish."

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