- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 7, 2011

Once again, it’s time to check off some items on my “TIDU List” - Things I Don’t Understand:

• How the Capitals can go wrong with either goalie.

Michal Neuvirth is likely to start the postseason, but Semyon Varlamov is ready if necessary.

Varlamov made 18 saves in the first period Wednesday and “kept us in it,” said coach Bruce Boudreau, who also has confidence in rookie Braden Holtby.

Judging by the Caps’ recent playoff history, whoever starts had better deliver; Boudreau has shown the quickest hook since Iron Mike Tyson.

- Why Debbie Yow doesn’t offer some proof.

New North Carolina State coach Mark Gottfried couldn’t enjoy hearing his new athletic director accuse Maryland coach Gary Williams of trying to “sabotage the search.” She essentially disparaged both men with the assertion and sparked national coverage as the topic led ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” on Wednesday.

If Yow isn’t willing to back it up, then she should just shut up.

- How VCU won’t need a new coach soon.

Shaka Smart stayed put, but don’t count on that for long. Yes, he could follow the example of Gonzaga’s Mark Few, who has resisted multiple offers from major programs. The Fews are happy where they are and maybe the Smarts will be content, too.

But VCU has a better chance of reaching next year’s Final Four than seeing Smart fulfill his eight-year contract extension.

- Why Andray Blatche saves his best for last.

The talented but inconsistent forward has averaged 24.8 points and 12.8 rebounds in the Wizards’ last five games. He averaged 22.1 points and 8.3 rebounds during the final 32 games last season, and his numbers will increase for the fifth consecutive season (currently 16.6 ppg and 8.3 rpg).

But if he keeps waiting until all is hopeless, his production is worthless.

- How Pudge Rodriguez will get to 3,000 hits.

The future Hall of Famer was 183 hits shy entering the season and remained there entering Thursday. He’s still valuable behind the plate but the Nationals can’t afford his anemic bat (.219 since the All-Star break), especially with Wilson Ramos off to a .500 start.

We love Pudge, but I’m afraid Nationals Park will be surrounded by 3,000 bars before he reaches 3,000 hits.

- Why anyone blames Kyrie Irving for leaving Duke.

An open letter in the school paper facetiously implored him to declare for the NBA and “give up your chance to be remembered as one of Duke’s all-time greatest basketball players.” As if No. 1 overall draft picks are forgotten. Just because Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck chose school over salary doesn’t make it right.

Irving was smart; he went with his head instead of his heart.

- How Rob Dibble looks better by blaming Stephen Strasburg’s dad.

In a FoxSports.com video, Dibble said his tenure as a Nationals broadcaster ended because “Strasburg’s father e-mailed the owner and basically was offended by what I said.” Unaware of the major elbow injury, Dibble said the phenom needed to “suck it up.”

Earth to Dibbs: Jim Strasburg wasn’t the only person offended by your dunderheaded comment.

- Why Barry Bonds is Public Enemy No. 1.

The feds have spent millions of dollars to prosecute the home run king, who said he used steroids, ahem, “unknowingly.” None of us believes him, but that’s not the point. There’s just no way a simple perjury case should take this much time and money.

Forget making a mountain out of a molehill; this is making a canyon out of a crack.

- How Tiger Woods will regain his dominance.

I hope I’m wrong - and he’s off to a good start at the Masters with a 1-under 71 - but we’ll probably never see the old Tiger again. It’s almost heresy to say that. He proved how maniacal he is about majors at last year’s Masters, when he came off a five-month layoff to tie for fourth.

But it looks like his mystique and aura have been replaced by ho and hum.

- Why the Redskins are demanding season ticket money during the lockout.

The fact that 27 other teams are doing likewise isn’t a good excuse. Neither is the fact that the other four teams charged for personal seat licenses. The Redskins say they can’t wait until summer to figure out everything, but don’t believe it.

They’d make it work if it meant a profit.

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