Around the Horn

March 01, 2011 | Paul Hoke

This Tuesday’s version of Around the Horn is going to focus, mainly, on the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Capitals.  There will be, however, a sprinkling in of the Baltimore Ravens, the NFL, MLB, Maryland Terrapins, and , well, anything I feel I want to give my opinion on…that’s the great part about having a blog.  It’s my opinion.  If you agree.  Great.  If not.  Great.

Either way, enjoy.

— The Washington Capitals acquired veterans Jason Arnott and Dennis Wideman in deadline day trades.  Arnott is a saavy veteran who has tallied almost 400 NHL goals in his 18 year career, and brings a veteran presence to this team that I will compare to what Sergei Federov brought a few years back.  He’s a great second line center and will help in the development of Marcus Johansson.  Dennis Wideman, I’ll be perfectly honest, I don’t know too much about.  But from what I’ve seen, read, and heard, he is an excellent “offensive” defenseman that the Caps are sorely lacking with the injury to Mike Green.  Wideman can defend with the best of them, and send lasers on net from the blue line.  Something this Capital offense sorely needs heading into the postseason.

— The Baltimore Orioles won their Grapefruit League opener, 6-4, over the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Vlad Guerrero drove in the pre-season’s first run with an infield single, and Nolan Reimold his a homerun that landed somewhere near Goofy in Walt Disney World.  Brad Bergesen pitched two scoreless innings and backup catcher Craig Tatum was 2 for 3 with an RBI.  All good signs, but it’s still just the exhibition opener.  But I will ask you this, when has there been any…ANY….palpable excitement surrounding the Orioles first exhibition game?  Might just be a special summer in Baltimore after all.

— The NFL Combine took place in Indianapolis last weekend.  I’m going to have to claim ignorance on this one because I don’t really follow the combine.  As a football fan, I really don’t care what potential NFL players do in late February in their shorts.  I’m more concerned whether or not they can hold a 14-13 lead against the Steelers in late November with a division title hanging in the balance.  But from what I hear, the Ravens are looking to upgrade at their three most glaring weaknesses…defensive back, wide receiver, and pass rusher.  I guess some of my attention to the NFL is waned because of the impending lockout, and continued CBA unrest, but more on that later..until then, enjoy this, at least until the 2011 NFL season is assured.

— Now since we’re discussing the NFL and CBA, I would like to once again bring up the fact that this country is still going through the worst economic recession since the Great Depression.  The national unemployment rate is around 10%, and 45 out of the 50 states in this great country are going to have to undergo budget shortfalls in the coming fiscal year.  The state of Kansas alone is looking at red ink that totals just over $490 million.  And yet, already billionaire owners continue to bicker with already millionaire players, at least most of them, and those that aren’t are already enjoying lifestyles that 90% of today’s working Americans would take in a heartbeat.  They’re arguing over the fatted cash cow that is the NFL’s revenue system which is over $1 billion, and how that money will be dispersed.  You’ll forgive me is I don’t shed a tear while I write my mortgage check and have to work part time to make up the difference.  And I’m one of the lucky ones.

— The Maryland Terrapins dropped a close game to #19 North Carolina on Sunday night, 87-76, and while they kept the game close for most of the game, it was obvious early on that UNC’s shooting was going to be too much for the Terps to overcome.  They can’t shoot.  Period.  Jordan Williams is their lone rock star, and even though Terrell Stoglin continues to improve, winning his second straight ACC Rookie of the Week Award, the fact that Dino Gregory and Sean Mosely are nowhere near what we thought they would be, has doomed this team to yet another mediocre, under achieving season that will likely end with a bid to the NIT.  We can only hope that the lure of the NBA holds off for another year, and Jordan Williams stays at home for his junior year.  He’s got NBA power forward written all over him, but I think he is still a year or maybe two away from being a potential NBA starter, and his stay at Maryland may indicate just how good this team will be the next couple of years.  But, we can always enjoy the exploits of my favorite all-time Terp…..

The great, Kristi Toliver.

— Around the horn has reached it’s conclusion, and I know that it’s a slim one this week, but time if of the essence, so I have to close.  But before I do, enjoy this:  In regards to the state of Kansas’ looming budget trouble, the best song to ever come from Kansas….

GO CAPS!!!!!!!!!!