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Nationals Promote Patrick Murphy, Cade Cavalli and Others

Highly-touted prospect Cade Cavalli is officially one step away from the big leagues.

Tuesday morning it was announced that the big right-hander, along with lefty Seth Romero, had been promoted to Triple-A Rochester.

Various other promotions were announced throughout the day, including a big league call-up for right-hander Patrick Murphy.

You may be asking yourself what the point of a minor league promotion is so late in the season. Most years, the minor league regular season concludes at the end of August or beginning of September. This year, however, it extends until September 19 as the minor league season didn’t begin until May, so the late finish partially compensates for it.

Nevertheless, numerous key prospects will be playing at new levels in the organization for approximately the next month. Here are the specific players who earned promotions:

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We All May Have Jumped The Gun On Comcast, ACCN

For a brief hour or two last night, ACC fans weren’t in Iowa. They actually WERE in heaven.

Thanks to the word being spread throughout social media, the biggest block of ACC fans who have not been able to watch the ACC Network – those who have Comcast/Infinity as their cable provider – were ecstatic after turning their televisions to an obscure channel and seeing the network in their homes.

Last night if you went to Channel 1322 on your Comcast guide, all you saw was a channel that said SEC Network, and all of the blocks of programming said “OFF.” But if you pressed on it any way, you got the three pulsating buttons you normally see while the cable box is searching, and after about 45 seconds, you saw the ACC Network.

The programming that was on was routine and boring, but that wasn’t the point. After two years of Comcast refusing to carry the ACCN, the channel at least was now coming into homes like mine in Ashburn without having to stream it on an app with a friend’s log-in. The long struggle to be like other neighbors with Cox, Verizon, Dish Network, DirecTV, etc. seemed to be over.

“Seemed” being the key word.

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The New Washington Nationals Are Not Disappointing

It's been just a little over three weeks since many Nationals fans had their hearts broken, as Mike Rizzo tried to sell fans on the idea that starting over was best for the organization.

Since sending many of their top veterans at the Trade Deadline to other teams, Washington has lost 14 of its 20 games. But despite that losing record, many of the team’s top young assets – including some of whom were acquired at the deadline – have made great impressions.

Plenty of Gray Area On The Mound

No one in their right mind will try to convince anyone that the Nationals’ starting pitching has been good this year. Prior to the deadline, the trio of Patrick Corbin, Jon Lester and Erick Fedde were among the five worst starting pitchers in the National League, in terms of ERA. Addition by subtraction is typically a convenient myth, but could it actually be true in this case?

The success of Josiah Gray has been often chronicled. In his first four starts since leaving the Dodgers, the 23-year-old right-hander is sporting a 2.86 ERA with as many strikeouts as innings pitched (22), compared to only five walks. His batting average against is .225 (17 points better than the league-wide rate), and he’s lasted six innings in each of his last two starts.

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Fans Who Gave Up Are Missing Mullins' Magical Season

As the Baltimore Orioles continue to lose an unholy number of baseball games, I find it more and more difficult to follow the team.

I gave up on watching the team on a nightly basis a while ago. I simply can’t handle the constant losing. And it’s a shame really, because those who are watching on a regular basis are witnessing one of the greatest seasons in Orioles history by Cedric Mullins.

The numbers don’t tell the entire story, but they sure do provide a lot of useful information. Mullins currently leads the American League in hits and leads the O’s in doubles, triples, home runs, stolen bases, batting average, slugging percentage and OPS. Mullins’ fWAR is 4.7, which is fifth-best in the entirety of Major League Baseball.

Mullins’ ability to produce like this while being stuck in the middle of one of the worst baseball teams in this century make his feat more impressive. Mullins has played in 117 of the Orioles’ 120 games so far and has stayed as steady as possible while the team limps to the finish line in September.

Consider this — after his incredible start to the season in April, Mullins slumped mightily in May. He rebounded with an OPS of 1.172 in June and over the last two months, his OPS has remained over .800. Despite the team floundering around him on a nightly basis, Mullins continues to perform.

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This Is The Season For Dax Hollifield To Realize His Potential

Readers of DullesDistrict.com will remember the end of the 2018 recruiting cycle, when Dax Hollifield was on the fence about where he was going to play football.

Despite his affection for Stanford and affinity for North Carolina and South Carolina, nothing outweighed Hollifield’s love for Bud Foster and Virginia Tech. As a four-star prospect, I was thrilled to see him signing up to play in the maroon and orange.

But as Hollifield enters his fourth season in the program, we haven’t quite seen that caliber of player just yet.

If it’s ever going to happen, this is the season.

Hollifield was the victim of the hype that surrounded him, as well as poor depth at both linebacker positions. He and Rayshard Ashby were in their first and second seasons respectively, and were already the best linebackers on the roster.

While Hollifield has always been better suited to play mike, or middle linebacker, he was a better option as an outside linebacker than Ashby. And so started Hollifield’s career of playing out of position.

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Old Dominion Football Notebook: Are You Sore? Or Injured?

With only a few open practices left before Old Dominion plays Wake Forest, storylines are popping up all over the place for the Monarchs, and multiple guys are showing why they deserve playing time.

After the two most recent sessions, it’s time to sit down and evaluate what has happened on the field and prognosticate a bit:

Being Sore Vs. Injured

Toward the end of Monday’s session, head coach Ricky Rahne told his players there is a difference between being “sore” and being “injured”. In a sport as physical as football, that line can often be a gray area.

“Football is a game of toughness,” Rahne remarked. “Quite frankly all sports are nowadays with the amount of physical prowess with the people that are out there. So there are going to be days when you are sore and muscles are going to ache, but there is a big difference being injured where you physically can’t perform.”

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Now We Know: Radford Reunites With Buzz At Texas A&M

Well, that didn’t take long.

Less than 48 hours after having all his legal issues settled in a Montgomery County court room, Tyrece Radford officially said goodbye to Virginia Tech’s basketball team, announcing on his Twitter account he was going to reunite with the man who recruited him to Blacksburg – Buzz Williams – at Texas A&M.

“I want to say Thank You to Virginia Tech for allowing me to be a part of this family. I am extremely grateful for my time here. Thank you to the coaching staff, my teammates, my advisor Alise and the entire Hokie Nation!” Radford said in a graphic that included him already in a Texas A&M uniform.

“I am proud to be a member of this community and to have earned my degree while in Blacksburg. After discussions with my family and closest mentors, I have decided to continue pursuing my dreams by transferring to Texas A&M and finishing what I started 3 years ago. Go Hokies & Go Aggies!”

As mentioned in this story from yesterday, it has been speculated for some time that Radford had made contingency plans pending what happened in Monday’s hearing. Some thought it was a distinct possibility he might have all charges dropped for probation violations stemming from an early February DUI conviction, but others were not so sure if the University’s judicial system would still allow him to play.

Now seeing Radford going to Texas A&M would seem to confirm that, because it’s doubtful after Monday’s hearing that he got a call from Williams Monday night, got photographed in a Texas A&M uniform Tuesday, and tweeted it out today. It would seem to have been in the works for some time.

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Recent comment in this post
Doug Johnson

Excellent Job!

You really did a terrific job staying on this story, picking up on obscure facts and connecting the dots, as you said. It was a g... Read More
Wednesday, 18 August 2021 20:10
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It's Time To Concede Tyrece Radford Isn't Coming Back

I think it’s time to concede that Tyrece Radford is not coming back to play basketball at Virginia Tech.

There’s certainly nothing official to confirm that, but there’s 8 seconds left in overtime and the odds are certainly pointing in a negative direction. Yesterday, Radford appeared in court, and as this rather thorough story by Mark Berman of the Roanoke Times points out, all of his legal issues were dismissed.

But there is much more to the story than that, as it looked to me as if Radford has already decided to put Blacksburg in his rear-view mirror. As previously written about in this story and a follow-up here, Radford’s issues involve alcohol, and his latest problems involve a positive reading on an ignition interlock device while he was already on probation.

He had been suspended for these issues from playing for Virginia Tech for several weeks back in early February before a deal for probation was reached in both court and the Virginia Tech student judicial system, which allowed him to come back and finish the season. His latest troubles center around a May 3rd positive reading on the device, and Berman’s story notes that during Monday’s hearing there was also a second positive reading on July 3rd, which would be two violations of his probation agreement.

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"Everybody Appreciated His Integrity & Honesty The Most"

Long before Florida State joined the ACC in 1990, then-Seminoles football coach Bobby Bowden had become aware of one of his future conference rivals.

Decades earlier, Bowden was the football coach at West Virginia when the Mountaineers played Virginia in 1972

Of those two, only UVa was an ACC member at the time. Bowden, who died earlier this week at 91, was the Seminoles' head coach from 1976-2009.

Surprisingly, he was named ACC coach of the year only twice despite such accomplishments as opening conference play with 29 straight wins, posting a record 173 conference victories, and winning or sharing nine ACC championships.

Four separate Virginia head coaches -- George Welsh, Al Groh, Mike London and Bronco Mendenhall -- have beaten Florida State once. Nobody from UVa has done it twice.

UVa's biggest win in the series was in 1995, when a Cavaliers team led by George Welsh upset then-No. 2 Florida State 33-28 in Charlottesville.

As a coach, Groh's only victory over FSU was in 2005 in Charlottesville.

"It was the same year that they had the anniversary of the '95 game," Groh said in a phone interview this week. "It was kind of ironic that both those wins in Charlottesville occurred with that same team in place, one time as participants and another time as honorees."

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College Notebook: Cavanaugh Remembers Bobby Bowden

In nearly 40 years as a college football coach, including stops at five different ACC programs, it's no wonder that Jim Cavanaugh had some thoughts on the passing of distinguished former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden.

"It's funny,"said Cavanaugh, who spent most of his career under Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech. "I coached against [Bowden] when he was at West Virginia and Florida State. He knew who I was but he knew me more as Chuck's friend."

When Cavanaugh was on the staff at N.C. State, one of his colleagues was Chuck Amato, twice the assistant head coach at Florida State sandwiched around his six-year tenure as the head coach at State.

"I coached against [Bowden] on both sides of the ball, on offense when I was at N.C. State and North Carolina, and then defense at Tech," Cavanaugh said.

'The ol' boy could recruit. He had good players, and I'll tell you this: they played hard. He also had a great staff, too, now. I think, sometimes, that gets lost in the shuffle with some of these big-time guys. They could coach 'em up, too, now."

Cavanaugh worked at so many places that it's hard to remember, but he does remember a stint at Maryland and going up against a Bowden-coached West Virginia team.

Bowden got to Florida State in 1976 and Maryland left the ACC in 2015.

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Thank you, Chris Davis, For All Of The Memories...

As an Orioles fan, you would think that Chris Davis’ retirement would bring me eternal joy.

You’d think that Davis’ decision, which the Orioles announced on Thursday, would be reason to celebrate. I mean, Davis’ seven-year, $161 million contract has largely been a disaster, and for an organization in full rebuild mode, getting that money off the books will go a long way.

You’d think that I’d be happy. But in reality, Davis’ retirement makes me quite sad.

I’m sad because from 2012 to 2016, Davis was a linchpin in the Buck Showalter run of success. After floundering in Texas for a few seasons, Davis emerged in Baltimore as one of the best power bats in all of baseball. Over those five seasons, Davis slugged 197 home runs and led the American League in bombs on two separate occasions.

His 53 homers in 2013 and 47 homers in 2015 not only led the junior circuit but enshrined Davis as one of the best power hitters to ever wear an Orioles uniform. His 53 homers in 2013 are also the most in Orioles’ history for a single season.

Davis was reliable and productive. His glove improved too in Baltimore, making him one of the best first baseman in baseball during that time span.

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