To be honest, after the NFL Draft I kind of go into autopilot mode.  I’m removed enough from the college hoops and college football seasons to recharge my batteries– and although OTA’s will demand immediate attention, the Burgundy and Gold News service drops to “Maroon and Black” alert.  But what a weekend to begin the month of May…

Gone in six seconds– much like the end of The Usual Suspects defeat is snatched from the jaws of victory… as a high stick leads to a 3-2 deficit with the Capitals trying to avoid elimination instead of trying to clinch on home ice.  While the Ward penalty cost the Caps in the final minute of regulation and in overtime… the fact that they managed just 4 shots on goal in the first period can’t be ignored.  The fact that they missed a few chances to open up a two goal advantage in the third period but didn’t connect can’t be looked over.  And the fact that the Rangers entered the postseason as the second best team in the league has to make you realize that any mistake will be pounced on.  Can they rally at home?  The Caps are 2-3 at Verizon during the playoffs… but if there’s one trend to follow in the NHL Playoffs- it’s that often there are no trends.

Purpose Pitch– Thanks, Cole Hamels, for showing what a fearsome pitcher you are by hitting a 19 year old rookie and then bragging about it.  So much more street cred headed up I-95 now.  I’m fine with any pitcher hitting a batter (especially in the back as opposed to the head)– but the true masters of the mound state it was intentional without saying it was intentional (“Hey– I threw an inside pitch and it got away– he should know this isn’t AA Harrisburg.  We protect the plate here.  This isn’t some Junior College out west– this is Major League Baseball.”).  That would have sent the message.  Instead, Hamels pats himself on the back… as MLB pats him on the wallet. 

Meanwhile, the Nats get two big bats back in to the lineup (Zimmerman and LaRoche) while their bullpen burns a little bit.  Henry Rodriguez’s blown save at Pittsburgh the latest stomach punch.

Captain Obvious flies over Ashburn– to the surprise of very few people, the Redskins have named Robert Griffin III the team’s #1 quarterback.  Was this necessary now?  I think everybody figured RGIII would eventually lock down the starting job… now he’ll get the vast majority of the snaps immediately.  Will Rex Grossman be around in August or will the Skins find a better veteran to mentor.

Congratulations to “I’ll Have Another” for winning the Kentucky Derby– now we move on to the Preakness in less than two weeks.  I wish horse racing would enter the 21st century and gap the races better… in the 1890’s it wasn’t uncommon for 3 year olds to race two or even three times a month.  Now– a four or five week gap between starts is the norm for many.  Thus, the horses aren’t accustomed to 3 high stake races in 5 weeks… and the best case is Big Brown not having its best race in the 2008 Belmont.  The worst case is Barbaro shattering its leg at the 2006 Preakness.  So move the Preakness back a week or two… and do the same with the Belmont.  You’d have better rested horses and better racing.  I know it flies in the face of tradition… but the sports that are chained by yesteryear dwindle tomorrow.