- The Washington Times - Monday, March 2, 2009

WEEKEND REWIND: IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Redskins dominate start of free agency - The offseason champs are at it again. It took the Redskins only about four hours to commit $154 million to two players: a six-year, $54 million deal ($22.5 million guaranteed) to keep DeAngelo Hall and a seven-year, $100 million ($41 million guaranteed) pact with defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. Those weren’t the only hires Dan Snyder made this weekend - Six Flags America held its annual job fair Saturday.

Obama steals the show - The Bulls and Wizards already had taken the court for the opening tip Friday night, but they got sent back to their benches as a large camera crew awaited the arrival of President Barack Obama near his courtside seat. He received a standing ovation from the crowd when he walked in and another when he left with about 5:00 remaining in the game. He became the third sitting president to attend a Wizards/Bullets game. Oh yeah, the Wizards won.

Bowden resigns - After speculation all week that his job was in jeopardy, Jim Bowden stepped down Sunday morning. It was a rough tenure on and off the field for the Nationals‘ first GM. He faced scrutiny over his involvement in the team’s practices in the Dominican Republic that eventually crescendoed into his resignation - though he maintains his innocence. At the same time, the Nationals have never had a winning season, and their on-field futility bottomed out with last year’s 102-loss debacle in the first year at the new stadium.

TWT FIVE: WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC FAVORITES

1. Dominican Republic - Pitching and defense win championships - except when you have this lineup.

2. United States - Still not the best possible roster, but the infield and bullpen are loaded.

3. Japan - Yu Darvish could make Dice-K-like splash for the defending champs.

4. Cuba - Don’t be fooled by the lack of major league players - the Olympic heavyweights are talented.

5. Puerto Rico - There’s plenty of major league talent, but hitting depth is a problem.

He Said What?

“I’ve become a distraction, and unless you’re Manny Ramirez, there’s no place for distractions in baseball.” - Former Nationals general manager Jim Bowden

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