- - Wednesday, April 11, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

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

How Barry Trotz could make a bad choice in goal.

The Capitals coach tabbed Philip Grubauer to open the playoffs in net, not Braden Holtby. It seems like an easy decision given Grubauer’s fine play down the stretch. But Holtby is among the game’s best goalies.

And though the Caps’ postseason history is depressing, the veteran’s goals-against-average in the playoffs is 2.00. Trotz said he’ll choose his goaltender “game by game.”

That’s how we’ll grade his decisions, too.

Why Ben Simmons is considered a rookie.

Blake Griffin won a Rookie of the Year award, but we shouldn’t repeat the mistake of honoring a second-year player this season. Like Griffin, Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons was injured and didn’t play during his first year in the league.

But playing time shouldn’t be factor … unless rookies glued to the bench by their coach remain eligible for ROY the following season. Injuries kept you off the court?

Oh well, that’s the way the rookie crumbles.

How the Marlins really belong to the Virgin Islands.

This might be the most egregious example of “lawyering up” ever: An MLB team claims to be from the British Virgin Islands. Just disregard “Miami” on the uniform.

Unsurprisingly, former owner Jeffrey Loria is involved, trying to weasel out of a profit-sharing deal; he claimed a $140 million loss after selling for a reported $1.2 billion. Hey Loria, stay away from the BVI!

You stained one tropical paradise and that’s enough.

Why we’re not allowed to just enjoy Adam Eaton.

It’s not his fault, but the Nationals outfielder has been a tease. Fans were treated to just 23 games last season before a left knee injury sidelined him for the rest of the year.

He has played eight games this season but now is on the disabled list with an ankle injury. In 31 career games with the Nats, Eaton has scored 34 runs and his on-base plus slugging is .908.

A bigger dose would be appreciated!

How Robert Kraft got onboard with Meek Mill.

You might see a rapper and an NFL team owner in the same photo. But in the same prison? That’s seems like a stretch.

Yet, the New England Patriots owner paid a visit to Meek Mill, who’s serving two-to-four years for parole violations. Kraft supports the cause. “It’s clear to me we have to do something with criminal justice reform,” he told reporters Tuesday. “It’s just sad.”

No word on if he shouted, “Free Meek!”

Why the Wizards produce such wild swings in play.

The only thing harder than figuring out playoff matchups as the postseason approached was trying to determine which Wizards team will show up.

The squad that nearly reached the Eastern Conference finals last season? Or the jokers who lose to some of the league’s dregs? Your guess is as good as any. “You never know what kind of team you will have (any) night,” center Marcin Gortat told reporters.

Don’t bet on them (or against them).

How a 32-year-old hangs on to finally reach the NBA.

Every now and then, sports deliver real heart-warmers, stories that pull and tug on men’s emotions like nothing else. It happened Wednesday when American University grad Andre Ingram debuted with the Lakers after 10 years (and 384 games) in the G League.

He scored 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting for Los Angeles. “I just felt some electricity out there,” he told reporters. Everyone felt it with him.

A coaching contract should be in his future.

Why D.C. United opted against RFK Stadium.

Audi Field looks a gem as it rises near Nationals Park. But the new soccer-only venue won’t be complete until summer and United is playing 12 of its first 14 games on the road.

The team wanted to play all 14 away with a back-loaded home schedule, but MLS denied the request. Maneuvering for an extended road trip was uncalled for because RFK could’ve been a temporary option until summer.

It’s a dump, but it’s United’s dump.

How this offseason has helped the local NFL team.

To be fair, no approach has been successful in the Dan Snyder regime. Splurging on free agents like a drunken sailor on liberty was a disaster. Cherry-picking select big names hasn’t been very fruitful, either.

Washington’s strategy this year seems a cross between doing nothing and running in place. A lot of functional players have left the premises; some have moved in. Rinse, repeat, and hope it doesn’t reek.

Not even mediocrity can be taken for granted.

Why RG3 was signed before Colin Kaepernick.

I could substitute Robert Griffin III with fill-in-the-blank on this one. Or dust off luminaries like Aaron Murray, David Fales and Austin Davis, signed last offseason instead of Kaep.

Nothing against Griffin, who’s getting a shot from the Ravens, and nothing against Murray, Fales & Davis, probably better as a law firm. I just want the NFL to quit acting like Kaepernick’s unemployment is a football decision.

Have the courage to state the lame reason.

Deron Snyder writes his award-winning column for The Washington Times on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Follow him on Twitter @DeronSnyder.

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