So, is this Indian Summer?
If so, it’s glorious.
Of course, you can find weather like this all the time. It’s called SAN. DIEGO.
We’re here in Baltimore, though, suffering restlessly through another Fall without baseball. As our friend Ian Eagle of CBS Sports once remarked while the blimp above Ravens stadium showed an empty Oriole Park at Camden Yards: ”There’s Oriole Park…they don’t play baseball in Baltimore in October these days…that’s not a low blow – just a fact.”
So if you’re so inclined, give a discreet, under the pillow middle finger to the folks in Tampa Bay, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco, Dallas, Atlanta and Minneapolis. They have what we don’t. They have October baseball.
And that makes them rat finks.
Well, the people in Philadelphia are rat finks with or without baseball in their stadium.
Meanwhile, as you’ll read below, I’m once rooting for either of the two American League East teams to win the World Series this year. Yes, that means, for now, anyway, I’m a fan of either the Yankees or the Rays. It doesn’t look like the Rays are going to make it past the Rangers, but stranger things have happened.
I assume I’ll once again be forced to pull for the Yankees once they dispose of the Twins and, I assume, the Rangers.
That might make me a rat fink, too.
But it’s with good reason. Good, good reason, in fact.
Trust me on this one.
It’s better for you, me and anyone else that considers themselves a fan of the Orioles if the Yankees or Rays win the championship this year. So get your Teixeira jersey out — or pull on your Carl Crawford t-shirt. We need one of those two to win it all.
If I told you this in person, you might reach down, pick up some mud, and throw it at me.
Fortunately, this is Friday Mud that can only be read, not thrown.
> My fantasy football team in the Baltimore sports media league – “I have forgiven Jesus” – is 4-0 on the year and tied for first place with Peter Schmuck from The Sun. That just goes to show you: You have a guy like me who does sports radio every single day and pours over statistical data with as much enthusiasm as I would watching a triple feature of “The Big Lebowskwi”, “Juno” and “Training Day”…and you have a guy like Schmuck who, basically, doesn’t really know what he’s doing. And we’re both in first place at the quarter mark. Proves an old axiom right: Better to be lucky than good looking.
> Dez Bryant of the Cowboys got his day (night) of reckoning last week when he was forced to hand over his credit card to the tune of $55,000 (what on earth do you REASONABLY tip on that kind of bill?) as part of his “payback” for not carrying Roy Williams’ pads during training camp. Evidently, Bryant was supposed to only take the offensive players out, but when other teammates heard about the dinner, they met at the restaurant, plopped themselves down, and started feasting and drinking with Bryant and Company. $55,000 later, Bryant paid the ultimate price for his refusal to carry Williams’ pads. The Cowboys should be disgraced by what happened that night. All of them. They spent $55,000 on food, wine, booze, dessert and Lord only knows what else. Fifty. Five. Thousand. Dollars. Can you imagine how many charities in the Dallas/Fort Worth area could have used that $55k to do something worthwhile for the community? I completely understand it’s Bryant’s money and he can do whatever he wants with it, but what in THE hell is wrong with those guys? Did someone with a brain not stand up at some point and point out the ridiculousness of running up at $55k tab? Evidently not. What a joke.
> Sometimes, it’s better to just not say anything. Johnny Miller found that out last Saturday during the Ryder Cup broadcast on NBC. They were talking about Stewart Cink as he surveyed a putt on the 17th hole and Dan Hicks remarked that Cink is the first player in history to have earned three captain’s selections to the U.S. team and Miller said: ”I don’t get it. It’s not like his record is all that great. At some point, shouldn’t he have to earn his way on the team with points? I don’t get it…really, I don’t.” About 10 seconds later, Cink rolled a 35-foot birdie putt in the hole which helped earn the U.S. a huge point in the event. Johnny couldn’t eat lunch that day because the sandwich and HIS FOOT couldn’t fit in his mouth at the same time.
> I think the Ravens will win on Sunday with relative ease. Let’s call it 24-6 in favor of the good guys. Baltimore rarely has trouble with drop-back, pocket QBs and I don’t think they’ll have much trouble with Kyle Orton and Company. Just like I told all of you last week time and time again when I said “Charlie Batch isn’t going to beat the Ravens”, I’ll leave you with this one: ”Kyle Orton isn’t coming to Baltimore and guiding the Broncos past the Ravens.” He’s not. You can make book on that.
> If Nate Clements just falls on the effing ball last Sunday in the final minute, my upset prediction of San Francisco winning at Atlanta would have held up. So I’m going to go ahead and call that one a win. I don’t really see any road-team-upsets this week, but I’ll give you a home team that I have a feeling (a bad one) might pull off a shocker. It pains me to say this, but I think the Redskins are going to beat Green Bay on Sunday. I hope I’m wrong on a variety of fronts. First, I don’t want the Redskins to win. Second, I don’t want their fans to be happy. And third, I have Aaron Rodgers as my quarterback in fantasy football.
> A female Steelers fan was arrested in Pittsburgh for shoplifting a can of peaches. Her husband of 20 years appeared at court on her behalf. The judge heard the testimony and then delivered his verdict. ”Ma’am, I see you’re wearing your Troy Polamalu jersey here today. Do you believe that will garner you support with the court?” ”No, your honor, I don’t,” she said. ”It’s just that I’m a huge Steelers fan and I wear a jersey every day.” The judge continued with his sentencing. ”Well, ma’am, shoplifting has gotten out of control in our community. I’m going to sentence you to a month in jail. I know that’s a long time to spend away from your husband, but you must be taught a lesson. This kind of criminal activity will not be condoned in my courtroom.” He then turned to the husband. ”Sir, out of respect for you, I’ll now give you the opportunity to make a remark on your wife’s behalf.” The husband stood up. ”Your honor, the day before she got caught stealing the peaches, she stole a can of tuna fish and three bags of Doritos from the same store.”
> Break out your Mark Teixeira jersey and join me in rooting for the Yankees again this year. Why? Well, I did this exact same thing last year and I think it might have worked…although it took a while to sink in (like, until the first week of August). Follow along. If the Orioles are truly serious about “getting good again”, they’re going to have eventually be as good, if not better, than both the Yankees and Red Sox. And in order to do that, they’ll need to get TOTALLY serious about winning. Like the Yankees are…and the Red Sox are. Those two franchises are always serious about winning. And as long as they keep winning, they’ll both hold the Orioles’ feet to the fire. One thing about the A.L. East. You’re not getting better by accident or because a bunch of teams slipped and you happened to swallow the Good-Karma-pill. You either spend money, make good moves, draft the right way, hire a real manager and try to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox — or you get your ass kicked every spring and summer. That’s a fact. So root for the Yankees this month. I know, it’s hard, but it’s the right thing to do if you’re an Orioles fan. Trust me on this one. If the Yankees win, it just might help the Orioles get better. It’s not going to hurt, that’s for sure.
> The Friday Featured Artist on today’s edition of The Morning Reaction is a group from Syracuse called “Ra Ra Riot”. They’re a mix of Keane, New Order and Coldplay. Sort of. What the heck, give this song a listen and figure it out for yourself. They’re really good.
> I’m heading down to the old stomping grounds tonight to see these guys in action.
Glen Burnie takes on Arundel at 6:30pm at Drew Forrester Stadium on the campus of GBHS. The Gophers haven’t won yet this year, but as the folks who vote for the American League Cy Young will tell you…”wins don’t matter”. What matters at Glen Burnie is that they’re grooming fine young student athletes for their life beyond high school. That’s what matters most at Glen Burnie, where education reigns supreme and sports are used to keep the mind sharp. And that’s the way it should be. (But if I go all the way down there and they get their asses beat 44-6, I’ll be calling for the coach’s dismissal at 6:07 am on Monday morning).
> The NHL season starts tonight for the Washington Capitals. There are two goals for the Caps this season. 1) Don’t lose in the first round of the playoffs again. 2) Beat Philadelphia (and I’m not sure it’s in that order).
> In the world of professional wrestling, there are rare occasions where wrestlers do an interview “out of character” and those instances are referred to as “shoot interviews”. They use that interview to speak the truth about whatever subject it is they’re discussing. That brings me to a subject that bothered me last weekend and I feel the need to address it here. Consider this a shoot interview of sorts. Twitter is an interesting development in our lives because it allows people to reach out to us even if we don’t know who they are or whether or not they admire us or are just hanging around to create trouble. They’re called “followers”. Last Sunday, I took a playful jab at 105.7 “reporter” Jen Royle, who covered the Ravens/Steelers game from her living room and tweeted updates from there while Glenn and I (and Nestor) sat in the Heinz Field press box and covered the game live. At some point during the day, as her followers picked up on the discussion, one of her critics authored a tweet that encouraged Jen to kill herself. It wasn’t a joke. It came across as very serious, and Jen took it that way in her response. I can’t stress enough how wrong it is for anyone to EVER encourage or implore someone to end their life. It’s not funny. Period. If you want to be critical of someone’s work or question his/her opinion, knock yourself out. But don’t let that criticism overflow into something as potentially damaging as suicide. Suggesting that is completely out of line and I can’t stress enough how that kind of “interaction” has no place in our world. And that, there, ends this shoot interview.