Washington Football

Greinke says he chose Dodgers over Rangers

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Greinke says he chose Dodgers over Rangers

LOS ANGELES (AP) Zack Greinke showed up alone to a mid-November meeting at Dodger Stadium, asking as many questions as he answered. When he left three hours later, the pitcher thought he may have found his new team while the Los Angeles Dodgers brass knew they had to land the top arm on the open market.

They did, signing Greinke to a $147 million, six-year deal that is the richest for a right-hander in baseball history. The Dodgers beat out Texas and the rival Los Angeles Angels, for whom Greinke pitched last season.

``He's the one we wanted,'' said Magic Johnson, a partner in Guggenheim Baseball Management, which bought the team last spring. ``A guy of Zack's ability and also his commitment to his craft, they don't come on the market too many times. We're so thrilled to have him. Dodger pride is on the way back.''

Greinke's introduction on Tuesday culminated a more than $200 million spending spree by the Dodgers in which they also signed South Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin, who got a $36 million, six-year deal. The club also spent $25.7 million on a posting fee that gave the Dodgers exclusive negotiating rights with Ryu.

``Nobody worried about the Yankees when they were doing this and winning,'' Johnson said. ``We're here to win.''

The Dodgers haven't won the World Series since 1988, but that didn't discourage Greinke.

``Besides the money, the No. 1 (reason) was they have a team that could win a World Series for several years,'' he said.

Greinke, the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner, and Ryu give the Dodgers eight starting pitchers under contract for next season, joining 2011 NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Josh Beckett, Ted Lilly, Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang.

The Dodgers were eager to bolster their pitching this winter knowing that Billingsley (elbow) and Lilly (shoulder) are coming off operations.

``A lot of things have to come together,'' Greinke said. ``You can't just throw names on a team and be good. If everyone comes back healthy it should be a good ride. They could be good for every year of my contract, so there is no rebuilding.''

With Greinke locked up, the Dodgers plan to discuss a contract extension with Kershaw, who can become a free agent after the 2014 season.

Casey Close, Greinke's agent, said Texas was in the hunt for his client until the end.

``At one point, I was favoring Texas,'' Greinke said before the negotiations made him change his mind.

The Angels didn't make it that far, according to Greinke, who said his former team ``never really got into it when the details came.''

``There's a point where every team has to have a stopping point and they obviously reached it,'' he said. ``I'm not mad at them. I don't think they're mad at how I went about things.''

The 29-year-old righty started last season with Milwaukee and was later traded to the Angels, going a combined 15-5 with a 3.48 ERA. He is 91-78 with a 3.77 ERA in nine seasons with the Brewers, Dodgers and Angels.

In 2009, Greinke went 16-8 with a major league-leading 2.16 ERA for Kansas City, and he'd like to recapture that form.

``I was consistent that whole entire year,'' he said. ``Most years I'll start strong and hit a roadblock.''

Greinke impressed Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, president and CEO Stan Kasten and manager Don Mattingly simply by showing up alone to their meeting.

``He was stunning. It was probably the best free-agent meeting I've ever had,'' Colletti said. ``I can't remember one that didn't bring an agent or friends. If the questioning got a little tough, they had a fallback.''

Greinke showed he'd done his homework on the Dodgers, discussing younger players in their system, his strategies for retiring everyone in the team's lineup, and what the club would be like in three years. He saw Dodger Stadium as the kind of park that would allow him to be a fly ball pitcher.

``This was always a place I wanted to play,'' he said. ``I loved it there (in Anaheim), so I assume this will be just as good.''

Kasten impressed Greinke with his plans for the organization and what the pitcher said was ``his ability to keep so many things under control.''

``I don't want to make his head too big, but I thought Stan was the smartest person I ever talked to,'' Greinke said. ``With him in charge, I thought they had a chance to keep things going good.''

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Redspears or not these uniform designs are a great option for Washington

Redspears or not these uniform designs are a great option for Washington

When looking at the endless amounts of fan concepts and designs out there for the Washington Football Team's next name and logo, it's important to remember that not every idea belongs to the name suggestion of the designer. 

Once Washington makes its final decision, you can bet they'll be looking at a number of different options, and if they want to take a look at the fans' work, they could take a Red Wolves logo and match it up with a Red Tails uniform concept and tweak both to match whatever name they choose. 

In that case, whatever name and logo they choose should have these uniforms, plain and simple. 

 

Mike Joseph created these uniforms as part of his Washington Redspears project and did an exceptional job mocking up a number of different modern uniform designs.

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Redspears isn't a likely name change due to reports saying the franchise plans to stay away from Native American imagery, but that doesn't mean we should ignore these designs.

 

These use the burgundy and gold really well and have a unique number font that has worked for NFL teams like the Ravens, Broncos, Bears, Titans and Steelers in the past. 

The great part about this design is it could be easily rebranded to a different. All the franchise would have to do is lose the spear logo and use whatever logo they settle upon. They could even keep the numbers on the helmet as they have currently. Everything else is versatile. 

Between the sleek design, use of colors and the unique number fonts, this has to be one of, if not the best fan-generated uniform mock-up out there. If the Washington Football team uses these but with a different team name and logo, it'd be hard to complain about that decision. 

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Recent numbers indicate just how hard it could be for Antonio Gandy-Golden to help as a rookie

Recent numbers indicate just how hard it could be for Antonio Gandy-Golden to help as a rookie

There were already some decent expectations placed on Antonio Gandy-Golden for 2020 — and then Kelvin Harmon went down. Now, the Day 3 selection is being labeled as someone who needs to really contribute to the Washington Football Team.

But is that too much to ask for a rookie who went on Saturday in the draft? Recent numbers indicate that answer may be yes.

From 2015 to 2019, 25 wide receivers were chosen in the fourth round, which is where Washington nabbed Gandy-Golden a few months ago. Here are some takeaways from looking back on how all of those guys performed in their first professional seasons:

  • Only one target topped 50 catches and 600 yards, and coincidentally enough, it was Jamison Crowder. Crowder caught 59 passes for 604 yards and two scores as a rookie for the Burgundy and Gold in 2015. The only other guy who came close to either of those marks was Antonio Callaway, who had 43 grabs for 586 yards and five touchdowns for Cleveland in 2018. Those are easily the two best performances by a fourth-round rookie wideout since 2015, so keep that in mind when discussing Gandy-Golden.
  • Out of that group of 25, 15 suited up for double-digit games for their teams during their first taste of the league. The average stat line for those 15 rookies was 17 receptions for 182 yards and one touchdown in about 14 contests. That's meager. 
  • Just nine out of the 25 recorded a touchdown catch as a rookie, and only four (Crowder, Callaway, DaeSean Hamilton and Malcom Mitchell) visited the end zone multiple times.

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So, judging solely off of that data, it would appear that Washington shouldn't be prepared to lean heavily Gandy-Golden. And once you combine that history with other factors, such as the huge transition he's about to make from Libery to the NFL and the very limited offseason he's had thus far, then the outlook for Gandy-Golden becomes even dimmer.

There is a super simple counter argument, however, at least when it comes to comparing him to his past fourth-round peers, and it has to do with his potential playing time.

While the 22-year-old has to fight through a pandemic, something none of the above rookies can relate to and something that could be detrimental to his early career, he also may be in line for a massive share of snaps right away. Most players who go off the board where Gandy-Golden did are usually worried about simply making the team; he, on the other hand, very well could be a starter across from Terry McLaurin in Week 1.

That alone means Gandy-Golden could end up having enough involvement in the offense to come up with a Crowder-like, impactful debut. In 2019, McLaurin far surpassed other third-round rookie receivers due largely to the amount of opportunity he got with Washington (his ridiculous talent was a bonus of course, too). Gandy-Golden is tracking on a similar path. 

A fairly general rule for any franchise is that it's not exactly prudent to need a Day 3 pass catcher to immediately act as one of your primary weapons. Stats from 2015 to 2019 seem to back up that general rule.

Every rule has an exception here or there, though. Maybe Gandy-Golden, with his outstanding physical traits and possibly featured role in 2020, will be that next exception and make all this math and comparing a totally moot issue. 

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