Actually, it was a husband swap. The wives each stayed with their kids and dogs and houses and stuff. It was Yankees pitchers Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich who were truly exchanged. This, the most 1970s story in all of baseball, was announced forty years ago this spring. The Palm Beach Post caught up with…
The Hershey Bears can clinch a berth in the Calder Cup Finals tonight with a win over the Toronto Marlies and if they do, head coach Troy Mann’s tough talk might be one of the reasons.
Following the Bears’ 8-2 drubbing of the Marlies on Wednesday night, Mann had this to say:
“This time of year you’ve got to enjoy it. Enjoy the moment. It’s no cliché, every coach says it: the fourth (win) is always the toughest. But we want to make sure we take their will away and try to come out as hard as we did tonight on Friday night to try to take their will and let them know, ‘Hey, it’s going to be hard to come back. It’s going to be hard to play against us. And at the end of the day maybe the summer vacation starts for them and we move on. That’s the goal here.”
With a win the Bears would complete a sweep of the Marlies and face the Lake Erie Monsters, who completed a sweep of the Ontario Reign in the Western Conference Finals on Thursday night. The Calder Cup Finals have not been in Cleveland since the Barons got there 50 years ago, in 1966.
Mann, 46, is in his second full season as head coach of the Bears and could be on the brink of become an NHL coaching candidate. In his two seasons in Hershey the Bears have gone 89-43-20. Last season the Bears were eliminated in the second round.
Many in the Capitals organization wondered why Mann was passed over the head job in Hershey three years ago when Mark French was replaced with Mike Haviland, who coached the Bears for only one season.
Mann, who had been an assistant under French the previous four seasons, took a job as head coach of the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL and led them to the third round of the playoffs in 2014.
With NHL head coaching jobs still available in Calgary and Anaheim, Mann could join Caps assistant coach Todd Reirden as a candidate for one of those jobs.
Reirden, 44, played two seasons with the Ducks’ AHL affiliate in Cincinnati and has spent six years as an NHL assistant (four in Pittsburgh, two in Washington). He drew interest from New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero last summer before Shero hired John Hynes.
Nats (29-19) vs. Carinals (24-24) at Nationals Park
The Nationals continue their series against St. Louis aiming to go a perfect 5-0 against the Cardinals on the season. On Thursday night it was Joe Ross who held them in check. On Friday, it will be Max Scherzer (5-3, 3.80) looking to shut them down.
Scherzer is coming off an eight-inning, two-run outing against the Marlins on May 22. He has allowed two earned runs in each of his last three outings. Scherzer pitched seven shutout innings against the Cardinals back on May 1.
Behind Scherzer will be the usual lineup with Daniel Murphy back in there after taking Thursday off.
First pitch: 7:05 p.m.
TV: CBS-9, MASN
Radio: 106.7 The Fan, XM 183
Starting pitchers: Nats - Max Scherzer vs. Cardinals - Jaime Garcia
CF Ben Revere
LF Jayson Werth
RF Bryce Harper
2B Daniel Murphy
1B Ryan Zimmerman
3B Anthony Rendon
C Wilson Ramos
SS Danny Espinosa
RHP Max Scherzer
LHP Jaime Garcia
It all happened for Jordan Reed in 2015. He mostly stayed healthy - able to start 14 of 16 games - and played every game with the same quarterback in Kirk Cousins. The results broke Redskins records, as Reed hauled in 87 passes for nearly 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Reed put up elite numbers for the tight end position, and in early May, the team paid Reed like an elite tight end. He signed a five-year, $46.5 million extension that will run through 2021, numbers that place Reed with the third-highest annual salary in the NFL.
His Redskins teammates noticed. It's common practice around the NFL for players to congratulate a new contract, and then promptly go into razz mode. It's part of the deal with getting a large contract extension, and Reed was no exception.
Asked if he had heard about his new contract during the Redskins OTA sessions this week, Reed smiled and confessed (full video above).
"I fell down yesterday and they were talking junk, ‘We ain't pay you 50 to fall down’ and things like that," Reed said on Wednesday. "They all over me man but it’s all fun."
The "50" in reference would be $50 million, so looks like the Redskins players are rounding up on Reed's deal. Plus, saying 50 is a lot easier than 46.5. More importantly, Reed knows the extra attention is meant in a fun way, and as other players have been asked about Reed's deal, all say the young tight end deserves it all.
"With Jordan Reed, you know he was so talented last year I mean how do you build on a season where you were as successful as he was?" Cousins said. "We would love to be able to develop sustained success where it is not just a one year flash in the pan and I think that is the challenge and message not just to Jordan but a lot of people."
Cousins' statement echoed the voices of many at Redskins Park. This team wants to prove that the success of 2015 was not a fluke, from GM Scot McCloughan and head coach Jay Gruden all the way down to the bottom of the roster.
And Reed is no different. On Wednesday Reed went deep on a wheel route, at least 30 or 40 yards downfield, and Cousins threw to him. The ball was slightly out of reach, yet Reed still fully extended and dove for the ball. In May. In OTAs.
"I can’t help it," Reed said when asked if the coaches and front office would want their new highly compensated tight end laying out for a ball in the offseason.
"I see the ball in the air and my instincts take over," he said. "I'm gonna go hard in practice."
Certainly Reed's size and skill were key to his new contract, but that attitude played a large role as well.