Time for the new edition of the Weekly DC Sports Stock Report of who is Up and who is Down. You can review last week's edition RIGHT HERE. The article provide for 3 to 5 in each category of UP and Down, as deserving.
Here we go . . .
Adam LaRoche: LaRoche was a free agent heading into an off-season after a career year, smacking 33 home runs and driving in 100 runs. The Nats promised LaRoche a two year deal, but he wanted a three year deal. Do to the fact the new CBA attached a second draft pick to LaRoche, his options were dwindled. No team out there was willing to give LaRoche a three deal. He re-upped with the Nats yesterday. He gets a Stock Up because, according to LaRoche, Washington is where he wanted to be all along. He is a veteran slugger with outstanding character and is a locker room leader. He enjoyed his stay in DC and has now extended that relationship for two more years. Welcome back Adam!
Washington Capitals: The team is Stock Up. Why? Simple, the new CBA is agreed to and hockey in DC will return soon, likely January 19. Most players are back in DC and skating. There are injury concerns with Nicklas Backstrom and Dmitry Orlov. GM George McPhee did say Orlov will not be ready for opener. It is unclear on Backstrom. Tom Poti is pain free and will return to the Washington blue line for the first time since 2010-11 season. It's up! Hockey is back! Prepare for a shortened 48 game season that the Caps believe is playoff important right from the start.
Mike Rizzo: The Nationals GM stood his ground in offering returning first base slugger Adam LaRoche a two year deal max. He never blinked, although at one point, felt that a team out there could ante up a three year deal to lure LaRoche away from the Nats. It never materialized. Rizzo took a risk and won. It was a risk and the Nationals had a plan to lose LaRoche. It was clear from the start that Plan A all along was returning LaRoche to the clubhouse. Furthermore, Rizzo now stands in position where he can deal slugger Mike Morse. The beauty of moving Morse is the fact it is not financially required, but the Nationals have at least six teams interested in acquiring Morse. Dream position for any GM to be in and we know Rizzo usually pulls pretty good deals for the Nationals. We will wait and see.
Bradley Beal: After a slow start to the season and very tough months in October and November, the 19-year-old rookie has improved in recent weeks, scoring in double figures in 15 of the last 18 games and scoring at least 22 points in three of the last five. After being one of the worst 3-point shooters in the NBA the first three months of his pro career, Beal has found his shot from long range in 2013, hitting 14 of 25 shots from behind the arc in this calendar year. With Coach Randy Wittman frequently putting the ball in Beal's hands at the ends of games now, it appears the rookie is poised to take over the lead scoring role on the team -- if he can maintain his hot play.
Robert Griffin III. RG3 did not catch a break on his sprained knee. The verdict is in, it is a torn LCL and damage to ACL. He underwent surgery today and the LCL was repaired and ACL reportedly was intact, but needed to be stronger. His anticipated recovery is anywhere between 8 to 10 months, but no formal timeline until we hear from Dr. James Andrews. The Washington Redskins, RG3, and team doctors are confident RG3 will return by the start of the 2013 season and will be exactly the same. Given the fact Dr. James Andrews will perform the surgery, is the best in the business, and is pretty good with timeline, we are hopeful. Still, the possible rookie of the year will miss an entire off-season, mini-camps, and training camp in which to develop more chemistry with his offense. Additionally, the fact he could be ready by season start is also optimistic. An awful break for the incredibly gifted quarterback. Get well soon RG3, we will be thinking of you!
Mike Shanahan: Regardless of where you are in the argument that Mike Shanahan sacrificed his rookie, his team's playoffs, and should have protected his rookie by getting him out of the game, it really doesn't matter. The fact the argument is taking place, written about often, and heavily debated in national media, is bad news for Mike Shanahan. Will it cost Shanahan his job? Not likely. However, it has certainly harmed Shanahan's reputation. The RG3 injury has also cast more dark clouds on the Washington Redskins and Mike Shanahan as a less than truthful organization. The fact that Dr. James Andrews disputed Shanahan's claim that RG3 was cleared by him to return in the Baltimore game, further tarnishes the Redskins reputation. Fact is, when Shanahan is speaking, especially regarding injuries, you best take what he says with a grain of salt. That's the sad of truth at Ashburn right now.
FEDEX Field. The Seattle Seahawks have lodged a complaint on field conditions during the playoff game. Chris Clemons blames the field for his ACL tear. And, if you have eyes, it is hard to dispute that the field conditions were just awful. Given the fact that Forbes ranks the the Washington Redskins fourth overall in all of sports in value, valued at $1.55 billion, that is simply not acceptable. The surface was an embarrassment on national television. Daniel Snyder must address the issue in the off-season. Period.