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Butler Seeking First Pitch Redemption

Caron Butler will have to wait until November to help the Washington Wizards turn around a deplorable 19-win campaign. But he will have the chance for personal redemption on Tuesday afternoon at Nationals Park when he throws out the ceremonial first pitch at the Nationals' baseball game against Houston.

If I was bowling, it would've been a strike. (AP Photo)

For the past two years, Butler has had to explain his horrendous first pitch before a game against Cleveland in June 2007. The toss wasn't as bad as the ones by Mariah Carey or Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory but it was pretty awful -- especially when you consider that Butler is a professional athlete. You'd think a guy that has made shots from beyond halfcourt could throw a little baseball across the plate but Butler's throw came about 10 feet short, bounced in the dirt and rolled over the plate as the crowd booed. He tried to explain himself to Nationals players afterward, saying, "It ain't easy. It ain't easy."

The 60-foot, 6-inch toss is a little bit easier for them. He then told his family members, "It's a lot of technique that go into that."

Butler made the throw about two months after he broke his hand against Milwaukee, but he didn't use that as an excuse. He recently admitted that he was "too cocky" the last time he went out there. Butler now has a chance to show that he has practiced in the past two years. You just hope somebody has helped him with his form. Butler at least has to do as well as Kevin Garnett. Rest assured, Butler won't make a Michael Jordan-like career change after this one.

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By Michael Lee  |  May 4, 2009; 4:33 PM ET
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If we gonna trash the Owner and the GM of the Wizards, we should trash the Owners and GM of the Nationals too.

This Team is worse now than when this group came in a few short years ago.

They had a nucleus on that Team when they took over and two of the best young prospects in baseball in Alfonso Soriano and Ryan Zimmerman.

They chose to pay Zimmerman and let Soriano go. You build baseball Teams with as many good players as you can sign. They chose to build that Team around Ryan Zimmerman, one player.

You want to talk bad about the Wizards, that is terrible ownership and GM decision making by the Nationals.

Is it any wonder they are worse off now than then.

Soriano was hitting homeruns out of RFK stadium, the biggest ballpark in the League and he was putting fans in the seats.

But this ownership group thought this young prospect was too expensive to resign.

He went to Chicago and he still is one of the best young players in the game.

There are lessons to be learned here about giving up on young players that show promise,.. for the Nats and the Wizards.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 4, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Remember last off season when a few of us were saying that we should try to get Ron Artest instead of resigning Deshawn. Yet we were looked at as crazy, even by Ivan (whom I respect). Well I guess you don't need a PHD to know about NBA basketball after all, go figure.

Posted by: OwlWiz | May 4, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

larry: "They chose to pay Zimmerman and let Soriano go. You build baseball Teams with as many good players as you can sign. They chose to build that Team around Ryan Zimmerman, one player."

Soriano had a terrific season here -- better than the ones he's had in Chicago, but they're asking him to do some different things.

Alfonso was 32 when he left. Don't know if he would have been happy here, even if the team played better than they have, because he wanted the championship, and that's not in the Nat's future.

There's a really good Nats blog on the Post. Some of those guys really know their stuff. Worth checking out.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 5, 2009 5:17 AM | Report abuse

Will check it Samson151, TKS.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 5, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Back to LeBron for a minute... He deserves the MVP but second in voting for Defensive Player of the Year? I don't think so.

There are probably 2 guys on the just the Rockets team who are better than he is. Artest and Battier are both better defenders. This is why a lot of folks resent LeBron. It's ok to give a guy his due but the media slobbers over him a bit too much. He's a GREAT offensive player (passing and scoring) and he's good defensively but 2nd best in the league? Nah.

Posted by: original_mark | May 5, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Those in favor of signing Artest of Stevenson were silly -- the economics do not and would not make sense. Artest makes a ton more than Stevenson. Everyone knows Artest is a better player than Stevenson but this is not NBA Live -- you cannot throw all the high caliber players you want onto one team. It does not work that way, genius.

Posted by: Chad32 | May 5, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Mark - Not the first time. Remember the great Larry Bird was in a couple of all-defensive team in the early 80's.

Posted by: Dave381 | May 5, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

LarryInClintonMD |

Why are DC sports fans hell bent on trashing their teams? How do you come back and cheer for them after trashing them? Do you think trashing your local teams actually makes them better? No, you just look like a fair weathered fan who can only support your team when they are doing well. If you cant support them now, dont call yourself a fan when they are doing well. Because you are not really a fan. I love the skins, wiz, orioles even the Nats. They dont have to be a championship or playoff team for me to appreciate them. People were trashing the wizards and skins even when they make the playoffs. There is only one champion in each sport. Every other team is second best or worse but their fans still support them. Do you think Portland or Chicago fans are trashing their team the way wizards fans did last year after a first round loss?

Posted by: ged0386 | May 5, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse


How about the 20 times you fans were wrong. For example, package up Roger Mason Jr in a trade, then trash the wizards for not resigning him because he hit a couple of shots for San Antonio. Fans are just like sports writers they are always right and even when they are proven wrong they just move on to the next topic that they are always right and smarter than the person getting paid to do it. Tell me something, would you allow EG to tell you how to do your job or would you value his oppinion of your job performance? No you would tell him he does not know squat about how to do your job and buzz off.

Posted by: ged0386 | May 5, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

If we had signed Artest last summer wizards fans would have trashed EG and wanted him ran out of town. Now they trash him for not signing him. Its easy to be a hindsight GM. We all can predict the good moves after the season ends. Heck people were not even endorsing Artest a month ago. Now we should have signed him over stevenson? While you are at it why dont you pick the winning lottery numbers after the drawing.

Posted by: ged0386 | May 5, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

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