We made our own birthday invite list full of D.C. athletes for Kanye


We made our own birthday invite list full of D.C. athletes for Kanye


Monday night, John Wall was just one of many famous faces to make an appearance at Kanye West's surprise 38th birthday party at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, which was put together by West's wife, Kim Kardashian.

It was obviously incredibly nice of Kardashian to invite Wall to the extravagant bonanza, but it seems that in only having one notable DC athlete come to the celebration, she left off many other area sports figures that would've been fitting guests. Here are a few other logical people that Kardashian should've had on the list of names to invite to Kanye West's birthday party.

Paul Pierce, Wizards forward

These guys are machines when it comes to producing one-liners: Pierce's memorable "I called game!" proclamation was just one of many classic things he said during his first year as a Wizard, while West has so many popular quotes and lyrics it would take until his 39th birthday to list them all.

Kardashian's idea of having the party's guest play basketball against each other was pretty brilliant, but she erred in not including The Truth on one of the two squad's rosters. Who knows how many historically awesome declarations we missed out on while Kanye and Paul traded baskets because of her mistake? Pierce definitely should've been at the Staples Center.

Bryce Harper, Nationals outfielder

Kanye West may just be the most confident person in the world. Bryce Harper, while not quite on 'Ye's level, is also very, very confident. 

These two would go together like West's wife and a device that does nothing except take selfies, but because Harper wasn't invited to the shindig, a friendship that would've lasted forever never even got a chance to blossom.

Marcin Gortat, Wizards center and Alex Ovechkin, Capitals forward

Ovi and the Polish Hammer have no relation to West, Kardashian or rap music in general, but they just seem like two guys who should absolutely be invited to every party in the history of the world, without exception. Even if this was a list of people who should've been invited to Clint Eastwood's 86th birthday, Randy Wittman's 56th or Riley Curry's third birthday, they'd be on it. Kim needs to bring them in next year.

DeSean Jackson, Redskins wide receiver

There's almost an unlimited amount of reasons why inviting Jackson was a logical move: He's from California, he's about to join Kim in the world of reality shows, and his Instagram is littered with photos of him alongside other well known rappers like Snoop Dogg and Tyga. There's no doubt that he would've been very comfortable at West's birthday blast.

Also worth considering is the fact that Yeezy's birthday is slotted perfectly during the NFL's offseason, meaning Jackson would certainly have had the time to attend had Kardashian made the call to invite him. Sure, he may have had to skip an OTA session, but that wouldn't be a big deal, right?

Max Scherzer, Nationals pitcher

Max Scherzer celebrates exciting occasions by pouring copious amounts of chocolate syrup on people's faces. Why did Kardashian go with a Larry O'Brien NBA trophy themed cake for her husband instead of allowing the Nats pitcher make West the next target of his unique tradition? That's a question without a clear answer.

Kris Humphries, Wizards forward

Just kidding. Kim inviting her ex-husband of 72 days would be as awkward as Justin Bieber winning MVP of the basketball game that took place on the Staples Center floor on Monday night. Oh wait, that apparently happened? Well still, while all the other athletes on the list deserve to be mad about not getting an invitation, Humphries probably didn't double-check his mailbox. 

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Why the trade for Radko Gudas could signal the end of Brooks Orpik’s tenure with the Caps

Why the trade for Radko Gudas could signal the end of Brooks Orpik’s tenure with the Caps

The Carolina Hurricanes ended the Capitals’ season in the first round of the playoffs and quite possibly Brooks Orpik’s career with it. The 38-year-old defenseman said at the team’s breakdown day that the decision for what comes next, whether retirement or playing another season in the NHL, would have to wait.

“I'm in no rush in terms of deciding on my future in terms of hockey,” Orpik said. “That'll be a more health-related decision down the road."

Whether Orpik wants to come back for one more year in the NHL will be up to him, but the decision on whether to re-sign with the Caps may have just been decided for him.

On Friday, the Caps traded defenseman Matt Niskanen to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Radko Gudas. Most people hear the name Gudas and think of him as a dirty player who can’t play the position, but he is actually a decent defenseman. The media in Philadelphia selected Gudas as the most outstanding defenseman for the Flyers in 2018-19. Plus, his penalty minutes have decreased in each of the past four seasons from 116 all the way down to 63 last season. For reference, Tom Wilson had 128 and Michal Kempny had 60. It’s still high, but it signals a player making a conscious effort to stay out of the penalty box.

Gudas has been suspended four times in his career and he certainly will be watched very closely by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. One big hit could mean a lengthy suspension. That is a definite concern, but in terms of just his play, there is value there as a third-pair defenseman.

With Gudas in, that will almost certainly push Orpik out.

The move gives Washington six defenseman under contract for next season. Teams will usually keep seven for the regular season, enough for three pairs and one extra. Christian Djoos is a restricted free agent and will presumably be back as well, giving Washington seven blue liners.

Djoos had a down year last season, but he did play a third-pair role on the team’s Cup run and he is only 24. It does not make sense to give up on Djoos after one bad year just for one more year with Orpik who will be 39 at the start of next season.

Given Washington’s salary cap situation, the Caps do not have room for an eighth defenseman. If Orpik were to return, it would mean pushing someone else out. The only of those seven defensemen that would make sense to even consider moving for Orpik would be Gudas.

Gudas would not be the first player in the world to be traded and then flipped or bought out soon after. Ironically, the same thing happened to Orpik last season when he was traded to and then quickly bought out by the Colorado Avalanche.

A buyout here, however, would make no sense. According to CapFriendly’s buyout calculator, a buyout would only give Washington $1,166,667 of cap relief and most of that would go to a new Orpik deal making it pointless. Yes, you still have the $3.405 million of cap space the team would have opened up in the trade, but if the plan all along was to re-sign Orpik and ship out Niskanen, then why not just trade Niskanen for draft picks? Then you get his full cap off the books instead of having to go through the trouble of buying out Gudas and having him count against the cap for the next two seasons. That would make no sense.

As for flipping him and trading him to another team, what would the team get for him that would make it worthwhile? You cannot bring on salary or it defeats the purpose so the Caps’ options for a return would likely be limited to players of the same caliber and cap hit. What would be the point of that?

Prior to this deal, Djoos and Jonas Siegenthaler were the most likely candidates to play on the third pair next season. Both are left shots. Gudas is a right-shot defenseman which now gives Washington three with John Carlson and Nick Jensen. Gudas also plays with a physical edge. Sometimes he goes too far with it, but so long as he can control himself, he would add the physical presence to the blue line that the team stands to lose with Orpik gone.

There is no reason to trade for Gudas unless the team intended for Gudas to play a role next season. General manager Brian MacLellan chose to trade for a player who is a right-shot, physical, third-pair defenseman which is pretty much exactly the hole they needed to fill on their blue line and essentially the spot Orpik will be vacating. That did not just happen by accident.


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Nationals call up Adrian Sanchez, place Kyle Barraclough on 10-day injured list

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Nationals call up Adrian Sanchez, place Kyle Barraclough on 10-day injured list

WASHINGTON -- Manager Davey Martinez wasn’t sure postgame Saturday what’s wrong with reliever Kyle Barraclough.

The right-hander’s velocity is down, his slider flat and too true, his results poor. Barraclough left the mound Saturday at dusk with a 6.39 ERA. He’s allowed seven home runs in 25 ⅓ innings this season. Little he has tried has worked. And his time on the team may be short.

Utility infielder Adrian Sanchez will join the team Sunday. Sanchez’s departure from Double-A Harrisburg was reported Saturday night by Mick Reinhard, who covers the Senators, and noted Sanchez’s early removal from the game.

Barraclough will be the one leaving to make room for Sanchez on the roster, the Nationals placing him on the 10-day injured list with radial nerve irritation Sunday. Barraclough could be sent on an extended rehabilitation in the minor leagues, as the Nationals did with Trevor Rosenthal. At a minimum, Washington goes from an eight-man bullpen to a five-man bench, finally delivering Martinez more versatility at the plate and in the field.

Barraclough and left-hander Tony Sipp were rarely used in the last three weeks. A week passed between appearances for Barraclough from the end of May to the start of June. Sipp pitched Sunday for just the fifth time since May 24.

Removing Barraclough from the roster is another layer of indictment for the Nationals' offseason bullpen plan. They acquired Barraclough via trade with Miami for international slot money. He was supposed to pitch the seventh inning on a regular basis, Rosenthal the eighth and Sean Doolittle the ninth. That lineup has been disastrous outside of Doolittle, compromising the entire season.

Rosenthal’s travails are well-documented. He pitched again Saturday, walked the first batter on four pitches, walked the second batter, then allowing a single to load the bases with no outs. He eventually allowed just a run. His ERA is 19.50 following the outing. It’s the first time this season Rosenthal’s ERA is under 20.00.

While trying to fix Rosenthal, and trying to hang on with Barraclough, the Nationals have turned to Wander Suero and Tanner Rainey to handle the seventh and eighth innings ahead of Doolittle. Few would have predicted that combination before the season began. Despite the relative concern, no one would have predicted the Nationals’ bullpen to be among the worst in the league for much of the season, but has turned out to be just that.