We call these “the dog days” in the world of sports talk radio.
The NFL draft has come and gone. And this year, with no mini-camps on the horizon, the football-discussion landscape is extremely bare.
The Caps have made their predictable early exit from the NHL post-season.
The NBA playoffs are still ongoing but only 81 people in Baltimore know it and even fewer want to talk about it.
That leaves us with…the Orioles.
And that’s it.
But you know what? I’m OK with that, because I still contend this is a .500 baseball team and they’ll continue to hover around that mark for most of the summer. (I know, I know…”Drew, what good is a .500 baseball team? That’s not going to take them anywhere.”) I think .500 baseball will still give us plenty to talk and write about over the next few months while we sift through the wreckage that is the NFL lockout. They’ll have a 7-game winning streak in there. They’ll be within 7 games of a wild card spot in August. They’ll always be on the edge of being out of it, but just close enough that people like me who are believers will say, “If they just sweep this series in xxxxx, they’re right back in it.”
I’ll say what I’ve said since late January about the Orioles. If they stay healthy (and there are definitely signs – like J.J. Hardy – that “injury free” probably won’t happen) this team is FULLY capable of playing .500 or better baseball in 2011. If the hitters hit, they have a chance to win every night. I know they WON’T win every night…I get that, but the way they pitch, they’ll have a have a chance every night as long as those bats produce.
And next off-season, when they really ARE a player or two away (read: a bat or two) from maybe being really good, Andy and Peter will co-sign on $200 million for Fielder or Pujols.
OK, I’m officially nuts. That’s something an editor at Orioles Hangout would write.
Let’s just get to .500 first, then we’ll spend $200 million.
Speaking of $200 million, that’s about what I think I could fetch for Friday Mud if I could somehow start an IPO and put this up for stock sale. I just don’t have a good venture capital guy – or gal – to lead the charge.
So here it is again, free of charge. Consider yourself VERY fortunate that I’m not more of a go-getter or you’d be swiping your credit card right now.
> I’m thinking somewhere “up there”, the sports gods are giving the city of Cleveland a treat. The Browns have been horrible for much of the last decade, LeBron snubbed them for South Beach and the Indians, of course, haven’t been the same since they choked away a 3-1 ALCS championship series lead in 2007. So now, the gods have sprung the Tribe out to a 20-8 record and folks in the land-of-Cleve are suddenly excited about baseball again. It’s all good right? Cleveland deserves this, correct? NO WAY. Cleveland deserves no good fortune until the greatest travesty in that city is corrected…immediately. If these guys RIGHT HERE don’t make the Hall of Fame, may the Indians lose 20 straight at the end of the season to blow a 15.5 game September lead.
> OK, so we all know Roy Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball right now, right? I can’t imagine anyone would argue that point. So let’s argue about something. Who’s the best “young” pitcher in the game? And by “young”, I’m talking about 24 and under. Who is it? I know who it is. For sure. It’s THIS DUDE. When he signs with the Yankees in a few years, he’ll win multiple Cy Young awards. Watch and see. (And before you check…Felix Hernandez is 25. Gotcha.)
> I don’t know about you, but I’m done with the lockout. Enough with it already. I’m starting to wonder if maybe both sides aren’t craving the media coverage they’re getting from all of this. In a sad, twisted way, they’re both trying to win the fight by baiting the public to bite the hook thrown out by the press. I’m sick of hearing about it, reading about it and wondering which side is really telling the truth. Answer to that: probably neither side is actually telling the truth. A few weeks ago here in Friday Mud, I said perhaps Judge Judy should rule on the case. She’d get it right. Upon further review, I know someone else that is FULLY capable of taking this thing over and presiding over whatever mediation is needed to get the owners and players back on the same page. THIS MAN would fix those ego-maniacs on both sides. You can make book on that.
> It seems like every week or so, I publish a mean-spirited comment about the Philadelphia Flyers. A few of you who are ardent fans of both the Flyers and Friday Mud have reached out to me and asked that I “take it easy” on the boys in orange. One person even went as far as to call me “callous” in the way I poke fun at the Flyers. I certainly don’t want to come across as callous. So…I’ll do it. I’ll offer a kind message to all of you who are fans of the Flyers. It’s not easy for me to do, mind you, but if you’re a diehard fan of the Flyers, go ahead and CLICK HERE for your special thought.**
> Did you notice Roger Goodell hugged all of the NFL first-round draft picks last Thursday? And they weren’t quick “good to see you dawg” hugs. They were real hugs. They were “love you, dude” hugs. Ahhh, but maybe there was more to it. Our WNST staff photographer was in New York for the draft and happened to position himself on the far LEFT of the stage, where he caught the Commissioner giving the hug and then casually, discreetly slipping something into the left jacket pocket of all the draft picks. One of them removed his sport coat to sign some autographs and the photographer grabbed the item out of his jacket pocket and took a quick photo of it. OK, the hug thing makes sense now. After all, THIS ITEM that Goodell slipped to his new employees is certainly vital in today’s NFL.
> THIS RIGHT HERE is what’s important. Learn the words.
> Another spring in Baltimore/Washington, another playoff dismissal of the Capitals. This time, the Tampa Bay Lightning polished off our ice-heroes in four games. And now, naturally, people are calling for the head of Bruce Boudreau or demanding that Alex Semin be sent packing. I’m getting lots of calls and e-mails about the Caps…”What do they need, Drew? Please tell me. What does my team need?” HERE is the simple answer to that question.
> I don’t care who you are, THIS STUFF never gets old. It’s timeless. The whole family gets in the act. They just don’t make ‘em like this anymore.
> Mark Reynolds of the Orioles keeps a unique calendar on the inside of his locker, both home and away. Some guys put pictures of their wife or kids up…some just pick a hot girl from a magazine and pin her up…others put a quote from the Bible up. Our staff photographer snuck in and grabbed A QUICK PHOTO of what Reynolds puts up as a way to keep track of what’s going on in his life. I hope he has 10 more blank pages for the rest of the season.
> Anyone out there who says “they don’t make real music anymore” obviously hasn’t heard this band or THIS SONG.
The Shoot Section (where I speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth)
In last Friday’s edition of Friday Mud, I made a point of referencing a recent ratings drop by one of our competitors and made light of a fictitious “bumper sticker” that I thought would be appropriate to put on cars in their parking lot. ”Tom” took a moment to contact me with a rather scathing email about how he doesn’t like the fact that I took a shot at “the good people” (as he called them) at that other station who are just trying to earn a living like we, at WNST, are trying to do. I know a lot of people in Baltimore sports radio. Some of them I like, actually. In fact, there are people who compete against me and WNST that I would go as far as to consider “friends”. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to take it easy on them when we’re competing, because I’m not. They certainly haven’t “taken it easy” on me when they’ve been competing with us. It all reminds me of THIS SCENE from Training Day (warning: contains a few objectionable words…OK, more than a few.). In other words, what we do, the competing we do: ”this s**t’s chess, it ain’t checkers.” Truth? Our competitors would love to see WNST go out of business. That’s the way it goes. I’m cool with it. So when our competitors slide in the ratings, it deserves a mention. Lord knows they’re not going to mention it themselves. And I know for sure all of our competitors have spent lots of time on the street reminding folks that “no one listens to WNST”. It’s all good. We’re just competing. And it’s fun. At least it is to me.
** – that’s about as nice as I can be to Flyers fans. Nothing personal…
## – that image of the female is what you see when you google the words “pictures of pretty women”. I’m merely saying Briere wouldn’t have a pretty woman surrounding him. I’m not at all saying Briere doesn’t like women or wouldn’t have a woman around him at some point in his life. In fact, I did a google search of “Danny Briere’s high school prom date” and this RIGHT HERE is what came up. Whatever that means…