Gary Williams joins Comcast SportsNet as college basketball analyst

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Gary Williams joins Comcast SportsNet as college basketball analyst

Bethesda, Md. (Nov. 5, 2012) – Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, the region’s leading source for multiplatform sports coverage, has announced that former University of Maryland men’s basketball head coach Gary Williams has joined the network as a college basketball analyst for its news and digital media coverage.

In this position, Williams will be featured prominently in Comcast SportsNet’s multiplatform coverage of college basketball throughout the season. The legendary coach will regularly provide analysis, features and special segments to the network’s news and entertainment programs, including Geico SportsNet Central and SportsTalk Live. He will also contribute college basketball content to the network’s digital media platforms, which are led by CSNwashington.com and CSNbaltimore.com.

“With his experience and knowledge, Gary is the epitome of a college basketball authority, especially when it comes to this region’s programs,” said Comcast SportsNet President Rebecca Schulte. “His addition to our team of experts is another example of Comcast SportsNet’s commitment to providing the most comprehensive and compelling sports coverage in the region.”

Williams spent 33 years as a college head coach, including 22 seasons at Maryland. He led the Terrapins to 461 wins and 14 NCAA tournament appearances, highlighted by seven trips to the Sweet 16, two Final Four berths and the 2002 NCAA championship. Williams, a former Terrapins point guard and 1968 Maryland graduate, also led his alma mater to the 2004 Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championship and three regular-season titles as a coach. Overall, he earned a 668-380 head coaching record with American University, Boston College, Ohio State and Maryland before retiring in 2011.

Williams is the latest addition to the expanding roster of experienced analysts, reporters and digital media journalists who provide comprehensive multiplatform regional sports coverage for Comcast SportsNet. He joins the network’s stable of high-profile former athletes and coaches who serve as studio analysts, which includes Brad Jackson (NFL), Trevor Matich (NFL) Alan May (NHL), Brian Mitchell (NFL) and Ron Thompson (NBA).

Comcast SportsNet, the region’s official network of the ACC and Colonial Athletic Association, tips off its 131-game college basketball schedule Nov. 9. This season's coverage features 86 men’s and 45 women’s contests from the ACC, CAA, Atlantic 10, Patriot League and other top conferences. The region’s top programs will make at least 94 appearances on the network with season, including Maryland, Virginia and Virginia Tech. Extensive college basketball coverage will be featured throughout the season on the network’s news and entertainment programming and digital media platforms.

Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic – the official sports network of the Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, D.C. United, Atlantic Coast Conference and Colonial Athletic Association – delivers more than 500 live sporting events per year, along with Emmy Award-winning news, analysis and entertainment programming, to more than 4.7 million homes throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Comcast SportsNet’s digital portfolio, highlighted by CSNwashington.com and CSNbaltimore.com, is the region’s leading source for online sports news and information.

NBC Sports Regional Networks, part of the NBC Sports Group, consists of 13 local networks that deliver more than 2,400 sporting events annually, along with breaking news and comprehensive analysis, to more than 50 million cable and satellite homes. The NBC Sports Regional Networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Houston, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, CSS and SNY. NBC Sports Regional Networks also manages NECN (New England Cable News), the nation’s largest regional news network, and The Comcast Network, based in Philadelphia and Washington, which delivers community-oriented programming. For more information, see ComcastSportsNet.com.

Gallardo's simulated game goes well, rehab start set

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Gallardo's simulated game goes well, rehab start set

CLEVELAND—A little more than two hours after Yovani Gallardo completed a simulated game, manager Buck Showalter announced that he would make a rehab start at Frederick against Potomac on Thursday night.

Showalter hopes that Gallardo, who threw 45 pitches on Saturday will be able to throw four innings or 60 pitches in the rehab start. Assuming Gallardo feels strong on Sunday and has a work day early next week, the rehab assignment is on. 

“It’s encouraging. We’re trying not to get too far ahead of ourselves. That’s about as far as I’m going to go, but we’ve got a plan if everything goes well,” Showalter said. 

Gallardo, who has been on the disabled list since Apr. 23 with tendinitis in his  was satisfied by the simulated game. He faced one major league hitter, Paul Janish, and two coaches, Einar Diaz and Wayne Kirby. 

“I felt pretty good. The curveball was coming out like the previous two bullpens. Offspeed pitches were sharp. I’m pretty excited about how it all went today,” Gallardo said. 

“I think it’s a matter of getting that pitch count up, to be honest. It’s one of those things. It’s going to be key and it’s all going to depend on how I’m able to recover each and every time that I throw.” 

Janish has hit against Gallardo in the past, and was happy to help out. 

“I think I stood in for four simulated at-bats, so I saw all of his pitches. He threw his changeup, his cutter, his curveball and his regular fastball. Everything was crisp and he seemed to have good control of everything, which I think is another indication that he’s not having any kind of tweaks or discomfort. I think control would be the first thing to go, so he looked good. Best way to say it is he looked good.”

Showalter was upbeat about Gallardo’s simulated game. 

“He got a little tired at the end, which you can expect. The arm swing was good. You can tell by the smile on his face that he felt good about it,” Showalter said. 
 
 

Showalter says Machado's youth causes aggressiveness on bases

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Showalter says Machado's youth causes aggressiveness on bases

CLEVELAND—Buck Showalter raved about Manny Machado’s play at shortstop on Friday night. Machado also had four hits, but on one of those hits, Machado was thrown out running the bases.

Leading off the fifth inning, Machado’s drive to center kicked away from Rajai Davis, and instead of stopping at second, he raced towards third and was easily thrown out. 

It’s not the first time this season that Machado has violated what many see as a cardinal baseball rule. Don’t make the first or third out of the inning at third base.

“There’s been a lot of times where he’s done something that may not be conventional, but it works out real well. I don’t want to take that away from him,” Showalter said. 

“He knows. It’s just a reminder every once in a while that he’s 23 years old. There are some things that all young players have to experience so they don’t make those mistakes again. Is it a mistake if he’s safe? Sometimes you get so caught up in conventionality that we take away some guys’ freedom and their imagination. I think the big issue you have is if some guys are making the same mistake over and over again.” 
 

2015-16 Season in Review: Mike Richards

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2015-16 Season in Review: Mike Richards

With the Capitals’ 2015-16 season now in the rearview mirror, we continue with our numerical player-by-player roster analysis.

No. 10 Mike Richards

Age: 31 (turns 32 on Feb. 11, 2017)

Games: 39

Goals: 2

Assists: 3

Points: 5

Plus-minus: Minus-2

Penalty minutes: 8

Time on ice: 12:10

Playoff stats: 12 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, even, 4 PIM, 11:15

Contract status: Unrestricted free agent (2015-16 salary: $1 million)

When Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan and his coaching staff began exploring the possibility of signing center Mike Richards back in November, they kept telling themselves that if he could keep up to the pace of the NHL he’d be the perfect third- or fourth-line center for a team on a mission to win the Stanley Cup.

Defensively, Richards was exactly what the Caps had hoped. He was an integral piece of a penalty kill that ranked second in the regular season (85.2 percent) and second in the playoffs (90.7 percent).

From a leadership standpoint, Richards also received high marks from his teammates, coaches and management.

But offensively, he was a disappointment, managing just two goals on 46 shots in the regular season and no goals on nine shots in 12 playoff games.

“I’m happy with what Mike did,” MacLellan said. “I think he added a lot to our locker room. He’s a great penalty killer, competitive guy. We really valued his experience. I would have liked to see more offense. He had some good chances, created some good chances for himself and just didn’t finish.

“I think he was a little frustrated. The offensive confidence that we thought might get there probably never got there. But everything else about his game I thought was excellent. He’s just a smart hockey player.”

Signed by the Caps as a free agent on Jan. 6, Richards played his first game for the Caps 10 days later and settled into a defensive role with the Caps, taking defensive zone faceoffs late in games and taking pressure-packed shifts with the Caps holding leads late in periods.

Despite his effectiveness in the defensive zone Richards looked a step slow and did not score his first goal until Feb. 22 in his 15th game, receiving a standing ovation from the Verizon Center crowd. His speed appeared to increase late in the season and he played well in the first round of the playoffs against the Flyers, but he looked slow against the Penguins in Round 2 and was dropped from the third line to the fourth.

“I enjoyed my time here, it was awesome,” Richards said on breakup day, sounding like a player who would not return. “Everyone right from Day One has been just welcoming. It was a different feeling, but everyone here was awesome. I got here and I enjoyed my time here and who knows what's going to happen? But I definitely have no regrets about coming to Washington. Obviously, I wish the result was better, but at the same time, this was pretty awesome here.”

MacLellan said he would speak with Richards’ agent about a return to Washington, but having stated a need for more speed on the Capitals’ bottom two forward lines, it seems unlikely Richards will re-sign with the Caps.

“No expectations,” Richards said. “I'm not even sure what's going to happen, so we'll kind of hang out for a bit and see what's going on and go from there.”

Assuming the Capitals do not re-sign Richards it remains to be seen whether he did enough in his return to the NHL to warrant a free agent contract from another team. He changed his off-ice training last summer with the hopes of improving his skating.

“I've always known that I could play,” he said. “It's just, I guess, if the will's there maybe to continue. I had a fun time here in Washington, I enjoyed hockey again and I’ll kind of decompress and see what's next.

“I mean, I'm 31 years old, so I'm not old by any means. But we'll see. I honestly don't even know. I had so much fun this year with this team. Extremely, extremely disappointed of just not being able to play hockey anymore with the group of guys here. Frustrated, but at the same time I enjoyed my time here.”

Like many of his teammates, Richards said the bond in the Capitals’ locker room this season was something special.

“This team is unbelievable, to be honest,” he said. “The group is so unique, I can't even put it into words how unique this group is, it's pretty special.It's just a fun group to come to the rink and be around every day.”

As for why the Penguins are still playing and the Capitals are not, Richards said that may take some time in his hometown of Kenora to figure out.

“I'm going to sit in my boat and fish a little and probably think about it then,” he said, “but it's too early to put your finger on anything to be honest.”