Around the Horn

February 15, 2011 | Paul Hoke

I’m sitting here at my computer on Tuesday morning, having just dropped little Paul from Towson off at school, and there’s still six and a half hours before I have to go to work.  I figure it’s a good time to go around the sports world in today’s Around the Horn.

— Pitchers and catchers reported for duty yesterday as the Baltimore Orioles begin their 2011 season in Sarasota, Florida.  Count me as one of the faithful who think this year could be different from the last 13 we’ve witnessed here.  The offseason acquisitions and the young pitching staff need to live up to expectations, but I think this could be a special year here in Charm City in regards to our baseball team.  And we’ll all be singing this song, if that’s the case:

— Last night our beloved Washington Capitals dropped their third game in a row, this time to the Phoenix Coyotes, 3-2.  Let me say this…first of all, there is no way in the world that there should be an NHL team in Phoenix, Arizona.  The only time these people see ice is when the turn on their TV to the Weather Channel.  As much as it pains me to say it, I’m an old school hockey fan who thinks that the WINNIPEG JETS should still be playing in the NHL.  Not just because they beat my Caps, but because…well, just because.  Enjoy this, and get fired up Caps fans!

— The Baltimore Ravens have extended coach John Harbaugh’s contract for the next three years and given him a raise.  In my opinion, it’s a great move and a great reward for a coach that has accomplished something no other Ravens’ coach has.  Harbs has taken the Purple Birds to three straight post season appearances, and they are the only team in the NFL to win at least one playoff game in each of the last three seasons.  None of us liked the way the season ended in Pittsburgh, but lets give credit where credit is due.  The Ravens gave us a 12-4 season, and they are anchored with a young, improving quarterback, and one of the best all purpose running backs in the game.  Let me take this time to that the Ravens for a great year, and here’s hoping there is a season in 2011, so they can build on the progress they made.

— I read in the Sun paper a few days ago, that there is talk of moving the Poly-City game back to Thanksgiving Day, where is belongs.  As a former Poly student, I am all for the game going back to where it belongs, and to hell with the MPSAA playoffs, or whatever it is.  Any time we can thrash City on Turkey Day is a blessing, and to be honest, I hate the fact that Calvert Hall-Loyola is the only game in town on Thanksgiving.  No offense, but Baltimore high school football begins and ends with Poly-City.  With Poly winning, of course….sorry Dad.

— Tiger Woods got off to a good start in the Dubai Classic, but in what has become the norm, he faltered and lost yet another tournament.  Now, I’m not a fan of golf, but having played 18 holes last October, I can appreciate just how hard a game it is.  My 121 at Fox Hollow proved that I won’t be getting my Tour card anytime soon.  Now, in my opinion, if Tiger wants to regain his prior form, he should find a girl, marry her, and cheat on her.  After all, he was at the top of his game when he had all that going on…just saying.

— Manchester United bested my Man City team over the weekend, 2-1.  They moved 4 points ahead of Arsenal for the lead in the English Premier League, but have lost Park Ji-Sung for a month due to a hamstring injury.  City is six points behind United, and United have a game in hand, so a run at the title may have passed City by with that loss.  The good news is, they are sitting pretty for a spot in the Champions League, but they can ill afford anymore slip ups as they have Tottenham and Chelsea nipping at their heels.

Finally, I leave you with this…one of the greatest songs by one of the greatest bands in the history of the World: