The matchup: Back home after opening the second half of the season with three out of four road games, the Mystics host Atlanta on Friday (7:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet). Washington (5-17) dropped all three of those away contests, but in between downed Chicago in overtime at the Verizon Center. The Mystics remain last in the Eastern Conference, 3.5 games behind Chicago and New York for the final playoff spot. The Dream (11-11), third in the East, are led by gold medalist Angel McCoughtry and ex-Mystic Lindsey Harding. Playing head-to-head for the first time this season, Washington and Atlanta will meet four times over the final month of the regular season. Last season the Dream took three of five games in the series.Last time out: The Mystics became the latest victim of the sizzling San Antonio Silver Stars, falling 75-72 on Wednesday. Playing their fourth game in six days, the Mystics shot 3 of 13 in the first quarter and were outscored 26-12 in the third. Trailing by 15 points entering the final 10 minutes, Crystal Langhorne and Monique Currie sparked a rally as Washington pulled within six midway through the fourth quarter. Jasmine Thomass 3-pointer with 3.3 seconds cut the lead to three, but San Antonio dribbled out the clock for its 12th straight win."(We) came out in the first five minutes of the second half and just lost our composure and our focus, Mystics coach and general manager Trudi Lacey said. They scored 26 points in that quarter. We fought our way back, missed some shots down the stretch, and didnt close out the game.Langhorne and Thomas paced the Mystics with 17 points while Currie added. The trio combined made 17 of 31 field goal attempts (54.8 percent) from the field while their teammates finished 10 of 31 (32.2 percent).Jumping for Jasmine: Beyond any thoughts of a playoff push, the Mystics second half of the season goal centers on generating consistent and improved production out of their younger players. Thomas, a first-round pick last season, struggled early in the season with her offense and running the Mystics attack. If the last two games are any indication, the Northern Virginia native might be turning the corner.In the win over Chicago, Thomas doled out a career-high eight assists and sank the go-ahead 3-pointer with 16 remaining in overtime. Her 17 points and three 3-pointers against San Antonio matched her season-high.The Dream: McCoughtry, the WNBAs leading scorer at 22.7 points per game, didn't play in Wednesdays 82-71 won over Chicago for personal reasons, the Associated Press reported. The offensively gifted forwards status for Fridays game is uncertain, Dream coach and general manager Marynell Meadors said. Harding, who directed the Mystics attack during the 2009 and 2010 playoff campaigns, is averaging 11.5 points and 3.8 assists.
For a long time, Major League Baseball had the best, most exciting trade deadline among the four major sports. In recent seasons, that excitement has been eclipsed by the popularity of the NBA, but baseball still stands ahead of football and hockey in terms of in-season movement.
In an effort to shake things up a bit, baseball’s trade deadline underwent some changes in the offseason.
Notably, while July 31 has always been deadline day, in past years it was a bit of a misnomer. July 31 was technically just the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline in years past. The month of August has always allowed trades to be made as long as players pass through waivers. If a player is claimed off waivers, his team can either pull him back, let him go for nothing, or negotiate a deal with his claiming team only.
This obviously made for much more limited movement in August, but it was always an option.
Not anymore. Now? July 31 the *only* deadline.
The August revocable waivers trade deadline was always a bit convoluted, and it never made much sense to have more than one deadline. So it’s logical to think the powers that be would want to simplify things for the league.
Reportedly, Major League Baseball is hoping the change will not only help simplify in-season moves, but also help jumpstart offseason activity. The thinking is if teams have even just one fewer option to improve their roster midseason, then contenders will be forced to get aggressive in the offseason.
It remains to be seen if that will come to fruition, but one forthcoming change does seem pretty obvious. The singular trade deadline should make for a much more active July.
Both buyers and sellers have to commit to a direction earlier in the season now. Last year, for example, the Nationals executed their mini-firesale in mid-August, once it had become clear they were not going to compete for the postseason. At the end of the July they were still undecided, which is why they held onto Bryce Harper.
Considering how long it can take major deals to come together, teams have to essentially decide by the All-Star break if they are in or out on competing for October. It will be especially difficult for teams to read the writing on the wall when they are hovering around .500.
As of this writing, there are 10 teams within six games of .500 in either direction, and that doesn’t include organizations like the Red Sox, Nationals and Athletics who have quality records but are way behind runaway division leaders. Will they want to trade away controllable assets for a shot at a one-game Wild Card berth?
General Managers who can forecast their team’s likelihood of competing, and respond accordingly, will be rewarded under the new system. Orioles GM Mike Elias already began his team’s sell-off, trading Andrew Cashner away weeks before the end of July. By contrast, in 2018 both Jonathan Schoop and Kevin Gausman were moved by the Orioles with under an hour to go on deadline day.
It’s hard to perfectly predict all the ways rule changes can affect a sport, but in the case of the singular trade deadline, it’s obvious that teams are now required to commit earlier, with fewer games of information from which to work.
That’s exciting for a sport that could use some more player movement-related excitement.
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Last summer, NBC Sports Washington put together guides that detailed the best bars and restaurants to watch the Capitals' Stanley Cup run and FIFA World Cup. Earlier this summer we gave you some spots around Nationals Park too.
With summer 2019 halfway through and baseball in full swing, it's time to highlight the go-to spots to eat and drink around the ballpark that forever changed baseball.
In no particular order, consider these:
Pickles Pub, 520 Washington Blvd, Baltimore, MD 21230
- Across the street from Oriole Park at Camden Yards
- Always packed, it's the number one go-to bar for Orioles fans before and after the games
- A dozen beers on tap, both local and national brands
- Great deals throughout baseball season
Sliders Bar and Grille, 504 Washington Blvd, Baltimore, MD 21230
- Another bar adjacent to Camden Yards
- Less crowded than Pickles, but just as good when it comes to snacks and drinks
- Bottle, canned, and draft beer options
- Gameday specials built around the Orioles season
Abbey Burger Bistro, 1041 Marshall St, Baltimore, MD 21230
- A bit further (about a mile walk) but well worth it
- Famous for, you guessed it, their wide selection of crafted hamburgers
- Endorsed by Oriole legend Adam Jones, who even created a burger for their menu
- Also make spiked milkshakes for adults looking to cool off with a tasty treat
The Yard, 110 S Eutaw St, Baltimore, MD 21201
- Inside the Marriott Inner Harbor
- Quieter, less-crowded option compared to more popular pregame locations
- Crab-based breakfast options for fans looking for an early start
Camden Pub, 647 W. Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21201
- Two blocks from Camden Yards
- Special discounts with game tickets
- Variety of food options, including well-known wings
Quigley's Half Irish Pub, 633 Portland St, Baltimore, MD 21230
- Federal Hill location, a block away from the stadium
- Another less-crowded option, with standard bar fare
- Just as likely to host baseball fans and neighborhood regulars alike
Pratt Street Ale House, 206 W Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21201
- Three blocks from Oriole Park at Camden Yards
- Dozens of beer options, plus signature cocktails and wine choices aplenty
- Well-known nightlife spot for postgame celebrations
L.P. Steamers, 1100 E Fort Ave, Baltimore, MD 21230
- Have to drive instead of walk (9 minutes by car)
- Considered a go-to spot for Maryland-style seafood
- Mentioned specifically by Manny Machado upon his return to Baltimore
Phillips Seafood, 601 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
- 20-minute walk to Camden Yards, right in the heart of the Inner Harbor
- Huge letters outside the building a part of the local skyline
- Famous for their crabcakes, but serve all kinds of seafood and non-seafood options
Rusty Scupper, 402 Key Highway, Inner Harbor Marina, Baltimore, MD 21230
- Another slightly further, pricier option for local seafood
- Beautiful view right on the water
- Live patio entertainment
- Happy hour from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. every Monday through Friday
Postgame Dessert Options:
Insomnia Cookies, Federal Hill, 1059 S Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21230
- 20-minute walk from the stadium
- Wide variety of deluxe cookie options, plus brownies, ice cream, cake and dessert sandwiches
- Open until 3 a.m. every night
Polar Roll Creamery, 600 E Pratt St Suite 105, Baltimore, MD 21202
- 20-minutes from Camden Yards, on the Inner Harbor
- Rolled ice cream
- Watch yourserver roll the ice cream in front of you
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