Around the horn

June 30, 2010 | Paul Hoke

I’ve decided to change things up a bit.  If you’ve been kind enough to read my blogs, you notice that usually I pick a topic, and write a few paragraphs on it.  Mostly because, I’m not that bright, and sticking to one specific topic is usually the easiest way for me to get my thoughts out.

But I think I’m going to change that up, and give my take on a few sports items.   Not ground breaking by any stretch, but for me, it’s something different….so here goes…

-I read yesterday that Cincinnati Bengals’ running back Cedric Benson had been arrested for assault at a nightclub.  Usually, I don’t get too fired up over a professional athlete or a celebrity of some sort being arrested or running afoul of the law.  It happens as much as my son changes his socks.  But when I saw this story, I kinda of got that little feeling in the pit of my stomach, and a lump in my throat….’Ol Ced finally earned his title as a Bengal.  After all, you’re not a Bengal until that first arrest.  Awwwww.  It’s almost like when a fairy gets its wings.  Benson’s Bengal moment has finally arrived and I congratulate him on that.  Mr. and Mrs. Benson should be proud.

-Garret Atkins was recently designated for assignment by the Baltimore Orioles after hitting .214 with one homer over the first two and a half months of the 2010 season.  Atkins is terrible.  He was a terrible signing, especially given the fact that he’s been terrible in each of the past 3 seasons.  Yet, Uncle Andy decided it would be a good idea to give him $4.5 million in the offseason.  A “leap of faith” so to speak.  Next time Andy wants to take a leap of faith on a bad athlete with an equally bad track record, all he needs to do is call Brian Billick and ask how the Scott Mitchell-Stoney Case Project turned out.  THEN, on his way out, Atkins had the nerve to say, “I won’t mind a minor league role, but not with the Orioles.”  I’m paraphrasing of course, but really Garret?  Really??  I wouldn’t let Garret Atkins park cars in Norfolk, let alone let him suit up for the Tides.  Go with God, Garret…..maybe he can teach you how to hit a curveball.

-According to the Baltimore Sun, talks continue between Peter Angelos, Uncle Andy, and Oriole legend Cal Ripken, Jr.  in reference to finding a front office spot for Rip as a senior adviser, or something like that.  Hmmmm.  I love the idea of Cal being a part of this disaster of an organization, but not as an “adviser”.  Much rather he seek ownership of the club, and maybe what he’s doing is positioning himself to take over for the Old Man when the time comes.  I’m sure the Angelos sons will have something to say about that, but the interesting thing, to me, about all this, is how Andy MacPhail is trying his best to keep his poker face while looking over his shoulder.  Don’t kid yourself.  Peter has NO problem with Cal coming into the fray because all he sees are the dollar signs that Ripken brings in.  It’s Andy who is feeling the heat with all of this.  He knows that Cal isn’t coming in here take orders or fetch the boss coffee.  This is Cal Ripken.  Tread lightly, Andy, it appears as though, you’re on watch.

-On a serious note, the 2-year old son of former Ravens’ quarterback Randall Cunningham died from drowning in a hot tub.  Cunningham was a great quarterback and, more importantly, a class act of a human being.  Kids are innocent, no matter what you might think about the parents, but in this case, it’s harder because the Randall is such a great guy.  My heart goes out to Randall and his family, and please, even though I’m not a religious guy, keep the Cunningham family in your prayers.  I know I will.

-United States star forward Landon Donovan, coming off a memorable performance in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, is being sought after by some of the best international soccer teams, most notably, my favorite, Manchester City.  Given his body of work last season with the LA Galaxy and Everton of the EPL, Landon would be a great addition to City.  He wouldn’t go in there and have to be the star, which has never been Landon’s strong suit.  On a team packed with the likes of Carlos Tevez, Craig Bellamy, Shaun Wright-Phillips, and Gareth Barry, Landon would be a perfect fit that could help propel Man City into the “Big 4” of the English Premier League.

-Does anyone care about the NBA?  Ok, I didn’t think so.  I’ll move on.

-The Washington Capitals wrapped up the NHL draft in Los Angeles this past week by adding a bunch of players whose names I can’t spell, pronounce, or type.  Their first round pick appears to be a rock star from Russia might be a perfect third line addition to the team, if he can make the squad in October.  That gives me 4 months to learn how to spell and pronounce his name, so more on that later.

More sports stories to cover, but I will broach them another time.

By the way, word is that Garret Atkins was just spotted down at BWI waiting for his flight out of Baltimore, but missed his flight.  Plane musta been in the shape of a baseball.

Go Mariners!!!!