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Manny Machado

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Orioles select prep SS Manny Machado with third overall pick

Posted on 07 June 2010 by Luke Jones

With an off day to escape the reality of having the worst record in baseball, the Baltimore Orioles looked to the future Monday evening by selecting prep shortstop Manny Machado with the third overall pick in the 2010 MLB 1st-Year Player Draft. Machado is a 17-year-old product out of Miami Brito High School.

Manny Machado

Possessing a 6-foot-3 frame and hailing from Miami, Machado has drawn comparisons to a young Alex Rodriguez, though the mere mention of a 17-year-old projecting to be similar to a player with 591 career home runs sounds maniacal at best. Other draft experts have likened Machado to Hanley Ramirez, but more subdued comparisons have been made to Atlanta Braves shortstop Yunel Escobar.

Machado possesses a level swing and has not shown overwhelming power in his prep career, though scouts believe the potential to develop above-average power is there as his frame fills out.

Questions remain whether Machado will remain at shortstop given his tall, skinny stature as a 17-year-old, but scouts say he has a very strong throwing arm. His lateral movement might come in question as he gains more weight, facilitating a move to third base like his idol Rodriguez.

Machado hit .639 with 12 homers, and 68 runs batted in in 29 high school games in 2010.

The young shortstop played with the first two picks of the draft, Bryce Harper and Jameson Taillon, on the U.S. 18-and-under national squad that won a gold medal at the Pan American Junior Championships in Venezuela last fall. Taillon—who many thought the Orioles coveted before the Pirates selected the high school pitcher one spot ahead of Baltimore—called Machado the “most fluid player I’ve ever played with.”

Machado is represented by super agent Scott Boras, which will cause concern regarding how easy it will be to sign the high school shortstop. Machado will use his scholarship acceptance to Florida International as a bargaining chip in reaching an agreement with the Orioles.

If the Orioles cannot reach a contract agreement with Machado by August 16th, Machado would re-enter the draft next year while the Orioles would receive the fourth overall pick (a spot later than this year’s position) in the 2011 draft as compensation. However, it is not expected that Machado is very serious about attending Florida International at this point.

Here is what others have to say about Machado:

Keith Law, ESPN.com MLB insider: “He might be A-Rod light. Machado can hit with strong quick wrists, and he should add power as he fills out his lean 6-foot, 3-inch frame.”

Garye LeFevers, U.S. national team coach: “He’s very patient at the plate. He never carries a previous at-bat over to the next one. It’s all for the moment. He’s focused on what’s going on in that at-bat, whether the last one was a home run or a strikeout.”

Here is a more detailed scouting report, courtesy of MLB.com:

Manny Machado – SS
Miami Brito HS, Sr.

  • Birthdate: 7/6/92
  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 190lbs.
  • Bats: Right
  • Throws: Right
  • Scout’s report filed: 3/18/10

Scouting Report

Hitting ability: Machado is swinging the bat very well, with authority. He led Team USA in hitting last summer

Power: He has the chance to have good power.

Running speed: He’s run well in the past, though he might slow down as he matures.

Base running: He’s fine on the basepaths.

Arm strength: He’s got plenty of arm for his position.

Fielding: He makes the plays he can get to.

Range: This is the question, whether he’ll have enough range to stay at shortstop as he gets bigger and stronger.

Physical Description: A big, strong athletic high school shortstop in the Miami area, Machado obviously draws young Alex Rodriguez comparisons.

Medical Update: Healthy.

Strengths: Big, strong, looks the part, plenty of tools, especially with the bat.

Weaknesses: Already pretty big, he may not be able to stay at shortstop in the long-term.

Summary: Machado entered the season as the top high school position player and has done nothing to diminish that evaluation. Big and athletic, he can do just about everything on the baseball field, with the ability to hit for plenty of average and some power as he matures. He’s got more than enough arm to play shortstop and is fine there for now, though there is some concern he’ll outgrow the position. Even if he does, he’d be just fine at third, both in terms of handling the position defensively and providing the kind of offense teams look for at the hot corner. Regardless of his position, Machado is primed to be one of the earliest names taken off the board in June.


Another report on Machado from Baseball Intellect

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Orioles fall back into all-too-familiar pattern in 4-0 loss to Yankees

Posted on 29 April 2010 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — With Brian Matusz taking the hill with an opportunity to secure the club’s first series victory of the season Thursday night, the Orioles had to like their chances—at least as much as a 4-17 team possibly can when facing last season’s World Series champions.

That is, until A.J. Burnett took the mound for the New York Yankees. The Monkton resident was masterful over eight innings, allowing just three hits and striking out four as the Yankees won the rubber game of the three-game set, 4-0.

After providing 25 runs for Matusz in his first four starts of the season—nearly equaling the amount received by any other two starters combined—the bats fell quiet to the right arm of Burnett, who improved to 3-0 on the season.

Matusz didn’t pitch poorly but struggled to keep the ball down in the strike zone, allowing three runs and nine hits over six innings to suffer his first loss of the season. The Orioles were again victimized by second baseman Robinson Cano who homered twice and scored three of the four New York runs.

“That guy is swinging the bat so well,” Matusz said. “He’s a tough out. I have to make some adjustments the next time I face him.”

The problem for the Orioles was no one was swinging the bat well against Burnett who pounded the strike zone with mid-90s heat and a sharp breaking ball throughout the evening. It’s a pattern we’ve come to expect over the first month of the season as the Orioles will conclude April without a series win on its atrocious resume.

Even after winning two straight games—one against both the Red Sox and Yankees—and showing signs of life for the first time all season, the Orioles fell back into the predictable framework of decent starting pitching and anemic offense on Thursday night.

After falling behind early, you got the feeling the Orioles were resigned to the fact that they would come up short against Burnett and the Yankees.

“If we could’ve pulled another game out against them, it would’ve gotten us some momentum going into the next series [against Boston], but that’s the way it’s going right now,” said outfield Nolan Reimold. “You’ve just got to live with it.”

Not exactly the most inspiring words from a club desperate for some victories, but Reimold was one of the few willing to talk after Thurday’s loss.

Truthfully, what else is there to say at this point?

It’s the way it’s gone the entire month of April as the Orioles sit in last place with a 4-18 record and find themselves a staggering 13 games behind first-place Tampa Bay—on April 29.

The Orioles are “just living with” the fact that they’re the worst team in baseball, and no one—at least, publicly—among the players is standing up to demand improvement. They’re a defeated group taking a long look at the five months of potential misery lying ahead.

At 4-18, the Orioles are on pace to win just 29 games this season, a preposterous notion after nearly a month of baseball. The club will play better at some point, but haven’t we been saying that for weeks?

When will it end?

Adam Jones is hitting .204 and has a .228 on-base percentage. Not exactly setting the table at the top of the order.

Matt Wieters hasn’t hit a home run since Opening Night over three weeks ago.

Nolan Reimold is hitting .193.

Nick Markakis has four RBI.

Brian Roberts and Felix Pie are on the disabled list and won’t return any time soon.

A team supposedly building for the future has 35-year-old Miguel Tejada and 32-year-old Ty Wigginton as its most consistent (and only?) run producers as we prepare to leave April in the rear-view mirror and enter the second month of the season.

You just have to wonder how long the starting pitching will hold up before absolute frustration sets in—if it hasn’t already—with the utter lack of run support in April. For now, everyone’s saying the right things, but “talk is cheap” as the legendary Johnny Unitas once said.

“Our starters have gotten their fair share of quality starts, and we haven’t scored a lot of runs for them,” said manager Dave Trembley. “But they just need to keep doing their job and hope that the offense picks it up and we can score some runs and break through this.”

Otherwise, they’ll just have to live with it.

Like we all are.

Check out the final box score here and the pregame notes below.

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**I’ll be hosting tonight’s Orange Crush chat, so please join me at the cyber bar for a cold one and some baseball talk.**

BALTIMORE — Good evening from Oriole Park at Camden Yards as the Orioles (4-17) look to earn their first series win of the season in the finale of a three-game set against the New York Yankees (13-7).

Here are tonight’s lineups:

New York
SS Derek Jeter
RF Nick Swisher
1B Mark Teixeira
3B Alex Rodriguez
2B Robinson Cano
DH Marcus Thames
CF Curtis Granderson
C Francisco Cervelli
LF Brett Gardner

SP A.J. Burnett (2-0, 3.20 ERA)

Baltimore
CF Adam Jones
RF Nick Markakis
C Matt Wieters
3B Miguel Tejada
DH Luke Scott
2B Ty Wigginton
1B Rhyne Hughes
LF Nolan Reimold
SS Cesar Izturis

SP Brian Matusz (2-0, 4.38 ERA)

With Matusz taking the hill for his second career start against the Bronx Bombers, Dave Trembley and the Orioles hope he can approach the success he had in the final start of his 2009 campaign.

Pitching at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 12, Matusz pitched seven strong innings, allowing only one run and four hits in a 7-3 victory. The young lefty was shut down for the remainder of the season following that effort and has clearly established himself as one of the best young pitchers in the American League early on in 2010.

While Matusz’s 4.38 ERA looks quite pedestrian, keep in mind the Orioles bullpen has allowed six of seven inherited runners to touch the plate following the 23-year-old’s departure in four starts. Matusz must certainly take responsibility for the runners he leaves on the bases, but you’d clearly like to see a higher success rate among the Orioles relievers.

As we do for every Orioles game, please join us in the Orange Crush chat at 7:00 p.m. to discuss tonight’s happenings from Camden Yards. For the quickest updates and analysis of tonight’s game, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@WNST).

Continue to check right here for more updates (time-stamped below) leading up to Matusz’s first pitch at 7:05 p.m.

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5:50 p.m. — As you can see with the lineup above, Adam Jones is once again in the leadoff spot despite a .202 average and .227 on-base percentage in the first month of 2010. Trembley continues to go with Jones in the No. 1 spot this series after trying Lou Montanez and Nolan Reimold in the top spot last week.

The Orioles manager insists Jones is his best option at the top of the order, but it’s very tough to justify keeping him there when he’s nearly been an automatic out when the lineup flips over. In 30 at-bats (granted, a small sample size), Jones is hitting just .133, walking once and striking out seven times.

Meanwhile, Nick Markakis (.379 OBP) and Cesar Izturis (.276 AVG) look like tempting short-term options as the Orioles continue to search for a suitable replacement for Roberts at the top of the order.

No easy task, to say the least.

5:35 p.m. — As we continue to track the progress and health of Brian Roberts, we learned the second baseman had an endoscopy today to determine the cause of the gastrointestinal discomfort. Trembley does not seem concerned with Roberts’ health, believing it’s a side effect of the medication he’s been taking for the herniated disc in his lower back.

Needless to say, it’s been a forgettable year for the All-Star second baseman who would badly like to be back in the Orioles lineup. When that will take place is anybody’s guess, but it’s not happening any time soon.

In other injury news, Koji Uehara made his second appearance for Double-A Bowie this morning, pitching one scoreless inning and walking one. The Japanese right-hander will now continue his injury rehab assignment at Triple-A Norfolk and is scheduled to pitch on Saturday. Uehara is expected to pitch an inning out of the bullpen (he started both games in Bowie but threw only one inning) and will make a second appearance for the Tides before the organization decides he’s fit to be activated from the disabled list.

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Orioles 2010  -  It's Not Just About Wins & Losses

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Orioles 2010 – It’s Not Just About Wins & Losses

Posted on 06 April 2010 by Rex Snider

Well, as I’m posting this latest blog, we’re just hours away from another Orioles season. And, after such a tumultuous decade-PLUS of baseball drama, it’s hard to criticize the resounding feelings of any Baltimore baseball fan.

Heck, I’ve found an array of opinions between media members – and we supposedly know the games and workings of the Orioles, more closely than the common fan. I’m not so sure about that …..

In fact, in many cases it’s just not true.

Combine media and fans together, and we’re still likely to find a diverse dose of the ills that “plague the Orioles.” That said, I think such opinions are divided into three distinct classes …..

Kool-Aid Drinkers – this is the group that avoids accountability, while making excuses for the franchise. Some of this group’s members work for the team, directly or indirectly. And, some in this group just choose to believe the Orioles can attribute their long, bad stretch …. to LONG, BAD LUCK.
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Pigs Don’t Fly – this is the group that chooses to see both sides of the issue, while admitting they don’t have the vital insight to diagnose the Orioles core plight. Although, this group is educated, the members don’t mind admitting their lack of front office experience in dealing with the BUSINESS OF BASEBALL. But, they’re not naive, either …..
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Conspiracy Theorists – this group is not much different than the Kool-Aid Drinkers …. they’re simply at the other end of the spectrum. They’re convinced the Orioles problems and solutions are easily discernable. Members of this group can fix the problem – just ask ’em. They’re 100% convinced the Orioles don’t really care about winning. They can also build a space shuttle, out-invest Warren Buffett and solve any riddle.

(Sorry, I don’t have a photo of Wayne In Timonium)

Where am I among these groups? I think I’m closest to the “Pigs Don’t Fly” group …..

Yep, that’s my ugly mugg.

I’ve lived through the lean, rather meaningless seasons of dysfunctional baseball. To an extent, I consider myself a VICTIM …. along with thousands of similar Baltimoreans. At times, I’ve felt betrayed – beyond the customary untruths teams tell the common follower. And, I’ve certainly disagreed with many organizational decisions.

I’ve always suspected Peter Angelos shipwrecked the Orioles organization by chasing Davey Johnson and Pat Gillick away. In fact, I think his undermining of Gillick, during the 1996 non-waivers trade deadline was really the defining dagger in the heart of the team’s long-term future.

And, we didn’t even realize it. Heck, most of us embraced it ….. without considering the true ramifications.

As July neared an end, the Orioles hovered around .500 and Pat Gillick wanted to start reloading for the FUTURE. This meant parting with a couple veterans …..
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Mr. Angelos nixed the deal and it looked like the right decision – in the short term …..

The Orioles got hot and made the playoffs. And, they continued winning, in 1997. Heck, the Orioles went to the American League Championship Series.

But, the resulting damage was obvious. Davey Johnson left. A year later, Pat Gillick left. And, twelve seasons later, a short stretch of losing has resulted in a dynasty of disappointment.

When Mr. Angelos commanded that short-term fix, in 1996, he obviously developed a miscalculated sense of shrewd baseball intellect. Pat Gillick wasn’t worthy. Frank Wren wasn’t worthy. And, Syd Thrift ….. well, he was willing to accept MEDDLING.

Better yet, lets be honest ….. Syd was a FRONT and that’s it. That’s what I sensed.

He didn’t know the inner workings of the organization, and he LIED to cover his tracks. I still recall Syd’s appearance on a WBAL radio show, during the 2001/02 off-season. A caller asked about the status of prime Orioles prospect, “Gary Dell’abate” …..

I almost wrecked my car, as Syd lauded praise on the youngster. I don’t recall the exact words, but he emphasized that he knew of Dell’abate and the club was very interested in the prospect’s future.
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If you’re still wondering about the punchline, Gary Dell’abate is the producer and faithful sidekick of Howard Stern. Disciples of Stern are known for pulling pranks just like this one – and Syd Thrift took the hook.

He wasn’t around much longer.

But, Syd Thrift is remembered as a guy who was really obliged to acting at the whim of his boss ….. CONFEDERATE MONEY, or not.

And, to a lesser extent, it looks like Mike Flanagan and Jim Beattie were bound to accept the same conditions. The Orioles storied reputation – which developed over decades, was destroyed in a mere matter of a few years time.

I don’t feel Mr. Angelos has really been personally accountable to the damage caused by his actions and decisions. It doesn’t matter if he OWNS the team. He has minority partners – and THOUSANDS of stakeholders.

I think Mr. Angelos, while probably acting in the best interest of the Orioles franchise, made alot of bad moves that virtually crippled the organization.

But, I do think the hiring of Andy MacPhail was a huge step in the right direction. While Mr. Angelos hasn’t really expressed any true contrition towards the Orioles faithful, he has indicated that MacPhail has full autonomy over the Baseball Operations of the franchise.

Have we heard that before? Maybe, in a roundabout form. Yet, unlike the small group of men who preceded him, Andy MacPhail hasn’t echoed a single syllable of frustration over his 33 months on the job.

And, he’s made tangible changes ….. for the BETTER.

Regardless of how I feel about Mr. Angelos’ actions resulting in the diminishment of the “Oriole Way,’ I care far more deeply about Baltimore Baseball. The team is bigger than the owner – period.

The Baltimore Orioles can be reconstructed. They are being reconstructed. But, it’s not a quick fix. It’s not a kinda-quick fix. It’s a plan and a prolonged one …..

I will choose to judge the Orioles development from the day Andy MacPhail seized daily control …..
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Digging up bones is unproductive, pure and simple. That’s just how I see it.

When MacPhail took over, what or WHO did he have?

Better yet, in his nearly three years on the job, who has arrived?

Adam Jones, George Sherrill, Chris Tillman, Luke Scott, Matt Albers, Josh Bell, Brian Matusz, Justin Turner, Felix Pie and Kevin Millwood …..

These players arrived via trade or draft. Of this group, six of them are arguably integral pieces of the long-term future of the organization. They’re talented and YOUNG.

Yet, aside from Jones, none of the half-dozen talents are on the doorstep of their prime years. That’s right, Matusz, included. They still have alot of “rookie mistakes” to make.

I’m buying BIG TIME on Brian Matusz. But, if you really don’t think that kid is gonna get distracted by a couple baserunners and throw the wrong 2-2 pitch to Alex Rodriguez, in a close game this year, you’re fooling yourself.

Patience and refusing to compromise a dedicated plan to development is key for me.

I wanna believe this is how an organization builds from the foundation. And, I don’t see how the franchise can fast-track the revitalization effort. Young hitters are still developing at the major league level. And, young pitchers typically develop, even longer, at the major league level.

I doubt Andy MacPhail believes Matt Wieters is ready to exhibit a champion’s pedigree at the highest level ….. yet. And, I’ll imagine he feels the same way about the younger guys, listed above.

I get it – fans are fed up with losing. That’s a natural reaction, especially in this situation. What do you want Andy MacPhail to do? Spend exuberant funds on free agents? Will it make a difference at this point?

Tell me how …..

For every veteran who is signed, a kid usually ends up getting blocked and ultimately buried, in the minors. It can happen with a team’s own players.

Justin Turner has performed at every stop in his minor league career. But, there is no spot for him on this Orioles team. Brian Roberts plays 2nd base. Yeah, that Brian Roberts.

I understand Orioles fans wanting a star or two to support. But, the expense is in denying an opportunity to the “Justin Turners” of the baseball world. And, why? We all know ….. to suffice the fan base.
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I won’t be a hypocrite, by contradicting my “Pigs Don’t Fly” description. But, I’d be willing to bet Andy MacPhail would’ve preferred to trade Brian Roberts, prior to last season. I’d wager every last dollar on it.

But, he caved.

No, I don’t think MacPhail looks at Roberts as a player who will be part of the planned return of the GLORY DAYS. He’s just a short-term investment to keep fans happy and the promotions department busy.

That’s how I see it. But, I could certainly be wrong.

I’ve always said the “Andy MacPhail Orioles” appear to be built for contending in 2011 and beyond …..

I’m not just taking a stab in the dark. The 2011 season will mark a point where 2 or 3 of the prized pitching prospects will have a season of big league turmoil under their belts. And, the batting lineup will most likely include 5 young hitters (28 yrs. and under) who’ve spent a full season together, as well.
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If that’s the case, the Orioles will need plenty of cash in a few years. No need for paying off contracts of overpriced, aging veterans, right?

A common topic for discussion is always the amount of money dedicated to the Orioles player payroll. Everybody has an opinion and most fans would like to see more money devoted to this area.

I would usually agree. But, not in this specific era.

Most fans are deeply in the dark when it comes to the inner-workings of professional sports franchises. Heck, I’ll raise my hand – I don’t know how the Orioles or Ravens actually run their organizations. I don’t think any “outsiders” really do.

If you’ve been to a BOARD OF DIRECTORS meeting for the Orioles or Ravens, stand up. If not …..

But, I’ve been part of a collaboration that spends money by the MULTI-MILLIONS ….. and they plan well ahead time – years ahead of time.

The Orioles have forecasted budgets that include proposed long term deals to Wieters, Matusz, Reimold and Jones. I’ll guarantee it.

In fact, budgets for 2011, 2012 and beyond already exist. Here’s the figures in COMMITTED payroll …..

2011 – $28 Million – Roberts, Markakis, Gonzales, Matusz (+ 3 buyouts)

2012 – $23.5 Million – Roberts, Markakis

That’s a GOOD problem to have, right? Right now, there is not a penny devoted to DEAD MONEY, going forward. Ask ’em ….. Warren Buffett, Peter Lynch, George Soros; I wonder what they would think of spending money on fruitless or unproductive investments?
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And, don’t say Mark Teixeira. He wasn’t coming here. And, I don’t blame him – he’s 30 years old and wants to win for the remainder of his career, while making alot of money.

Makes sense, huh?

The 2011 & 2012 budgets will include players who are arbitration eligible. I’d like to see the Orioles give Adam Jones a Pedroia-like, 6 year/$40 million deal. And, if Andy MacPhail has ANY shot of tying up Matt Wieters, beyond 2015, it will most certainly come no later than 2012.

If Brian Matusz lives up to the hype, he too, is gonna require one of those generous deals that buys the team long term security, while affording the player early wealth. Toss in a similar pact with Reimold or Pie ….. or both, and the committed budgets really start to increase.

The Orioles gotta plan on paying Wieters, Jones and Matusz – before they reach free agency. They’d better plan on it.

Yeah, I know Wieters is represented by Scott Boras. And, he might not negotiate before testing the market, following 2015. If so, there’s a decent chance he rivals “Mauer Money.”

That’s baseball OUTSIDE of New York, these days …..
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Tying up this handful of players, and extending Nick Markakis, could land the Orioles in the neighborhood of $50 – $60 million, by 2013. And, that’s just a half dozen players. Throw in an Adrian Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki-caliber duo, and the payroll is now surpassing $90 million, annually.

And, this is prior to inking every other contributing player in the lineup, as well as a respectable veteran arm. No, I’m not referring to the Kevin Millwood’s of the baseball world, either.

I can envision the Orioles topping $100 million, in payroll, very soon. But, it will occur at the optimal time.

2010 is not the time.

It’s baseball season.

After 3 blizzards and a hellish winter, the Orioles are back on the field.

Regardless of what others say, I still don’t believe the Orioles are in a spot where WINNING or LOSING ballgames is the primary consideration of where the organization stands.

I want the stupid baserunning blunders to stop. I want the goofy Sunday lineups to stop. And, I want the mid-summer meltdowns to stop.

I want the Orioles to continue promoting youth. I want the core group to continue learning and growing, at the big league level. I want good basic baseball skills and fundamentals on display.

But, most of all, I want Andy MacPhail to continue doing his job.

This is just one guy’s view.

But, PIGS REALLY DON’T FLY ……

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Will Joe Mauer "Break" The Twins ???

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Will Joe Mauer “Break” The Twins ???

Posted on 23 March 2010 by Rex Snider

The last twelve seasons of Orioles baseball has been an awfully painful experience for me. I think I’ve stood in the shoes of the consummate Baltimore fan – initial disappointment led to consistent frustration, which has, at times, teetered on indifference.

It happens. And, I’m absolutely certain my plight is not a secret for anyone. In fact, plenty of readers are probably sayin’ “GET IN LINE, Rex.”

But, like many fans, I’ve found incidental baseball interests to fill the void of not having a hometown contender, at Camden Yards. I’ve become a devout fantasy baseball student and I can thank my fellow league members (we’ve been together 21 years) for aiding in my knowledge.

In addition, I have quietly rooted for an organization in another city.

Don’t get me wrong, I will always be loyal to the Baltimore Orioles – they are MY team. Yet, since 1987, I’ve possessed a soft spot for the Minnesota Twins …..
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I don’t live and die with what happens, in Minneapolis. My heart is right here, in Baltimore. And, God knows I’ve died more times than 4 or 5 cats, with the Orioles blunders.

But, I’ve admired the Minnesota Twins ethic and devotion to the small market model. While their respective audience pool, at the gate and in TV, is comparable to Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee, the Twins have simply conducted better business.

They’ve acknowledged budgetary limits and restrictions. They’ve confronted sacrifice and bid goodbye to veterans when the time was right for the MINNESOTA TWINS, regardless of what other teams would do.

Has it worked? Well, they’ve won 5 of the last 8 American League Central titles. And, during that time, the team’s payroll has never exceeded $72 million. In fact, it’s usually been significantly lower.

The Twins are an organization that consistently commits substantial resources to scouting and development. Their presence in the Caribbean and Northern U.S./Canada has dwarfed the efforts of the Orioles and many other franchises. That’s the route for their success.

But, are things about to change? Are they deviating from the “Twins Way” ???

Over the weekend, the Twins announced the signing of Joe Mauer to an extension – 8 years/$184 million. It’s a groundbreaking move for the team and it certainly rewards one of the finest hitters in the game …..
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If there’s ever a time to deviate from their storied practice of prudent spending, I suppose this could be the occasion. Yet, I wonder if Twins management was really in a NO-WIN situation, as it regarded the impending free agency of Joe Mauer, coupled with the opening of Target Field?

Just look at the options …..

Option #1 – draw a line in the Minnesota snow and offer Mauer a sensible, Twins-like deal. If he balks, trade him. They traded the best pitcher in baseball, at 28 years old, just a couple years ago and haven’t missed a beat.

Option #2 – recognize the financial sacrifice of Minnesota’s citizens, in building Target Field and give the people what they want – JOE MAUER. But, remember, the same people wanted to keep Santana, too.

I’m glad that decision wasn’t on my plate. Damned if you DO or DON’T, right?

But, the truth is they’ve gotta pay the bills. When the construction dust from the new ballpark settles, and the initial sellout crowds start to dwindle, the Minnesota Twins will have about 6 years remaining on Joe Mauer’s deal.

That’s right, when 2013 arrives, the Twins gotta fork over $23 million ….. win or lose. And, just like a propery tax bill, the same amount is due in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The luster of every new ballpark wears off – and Target Field will be no exception …..
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The Twins were an exciting, winning ballclub, in 2009. Yet, they still drew less than 30 thousand fans, per game.

And, don’t kid yourself, when Target Field is a couple years old, on-field success will mandate attendance. A winning Metrodome/Twins team will outdraw a losing Target Field/Twins team, eventually.

I’m not saying the Twins are gonna start losing. Heck, I don’t know. But, basic economics suggest the Minnesota twins cannot legitimately compete if they’re going to dedicate nearly 1/3 of the overall payroll to ONE PLAYER. It won’t work.

Perhaps, they’re expecting higher revenues. That would help, because a $70 million payroll won’t get it done. Just look at the 2009 payrolls and percentages alotted to the highest paid player of the two teams everybody fears when it comes to spending money …..

New York Yankees – $201 million (16% – Alex Rodriguez/$32 million)


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Boston Red Sox – $122 million (11% – JD Drew/$14 million)


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The reality is the Minnesota Twins cannot worry about losing a free agent to the Yankees or Red Sox. They exist in a different world when it comes to revenue and expense. Those two teams are centered in the most densely populated region of the United States. Their fan bases reach far beyond the respective cities and the TV networks are behemoth.

Yet, the Yankees and Red Sox distribute payroll in a more apportioned manner than the Twins are currently set to do. Regardless of how anyone feels about Joe Mauer, the Twins cannot exceed what they’re readily able to afford, while remaining competitive.

Sure, they’re going to honor every dime of Mauer’s new deal. But, other parts of the team will suffer – unless they increase payroll to around $110 million. I don’t see a 40% increase in overall payroll happening. Yet, there is no way around it.

To a person, I’m pretty much alone on this stance. Peers and listeners disagree. That’s fine – they’re looking at it as fans.

God bless my good friend, Chris Bonetti. I share Ray Bachmann’s impression – Chris is one of the sharpest and most intelligent young souls I’ve encountered in a very long time. I’m thoroughly convinced we’ll be calling on him for free tickets or a prime athlete interview, in a few years time.

But, I see Chris as a “spoiled, rich kid” when it comes to being a baseball fan. Let me qualify it – I’m only talking about his life as a baseball fan, and nothing else. That said, he’s still gonna tuck this blog in his hip pocket and remember it when I come asking for an interview with Jesus Montero, in 2018.

He’s reaped the luxury of experiencing a lifetime of seeing his team qualify for the postseason. Got that? Since Chris celebrated his 10th birthday, the New York Yankees have been a winner and made the playoffs every single season, except 2008. He’s accustomed to throwing money at a baseball-related quandary, and winning as a result.

Need a player? Buy him. That’s the motto and practiced philosophy in Gotham. Chris is accustomed to seeing a new Mercedes in his baseball driveway, every December. So, I see his point on saying “pay Joe Mauer.”

The common reasoning I’ve heard from most conversations is “you can’t let Joe Mauer get away.” Really? Tell me that when Justin Morneau, Denard Span and Delmon Young are playing elsewhere, by 2015.

I really think the Twins are sealing a fateful doom into mediocrity.

It’s quite basic, they got away from what works for them. The Twins have always parted with a player before paying a King’s Ransom. Yet, they’ve continued to draft and develop talent. Indeed, they employ baseball’s version of “next man up …..”

The pitching staff is pretty formidable, too. Francisco Liriano is a full year removed from Tommy John surgery. You remember him, right? He was the kid who struck everybody out, in 2006. If he recaptures that 2.16 ERA and 144 strikeouts, in 121 innings, the Twins will be expected to pony up for his services.

I’ve also heard about Joe Mauer’s batting titles as a reason for not letting him slip away. He’s won three of them. Good for him.

You want a similar comparison? Look no further than RIGHT HERE …..
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That’s right, Todd Helton yielded a 9 year/$141 million deal ($15 million annual/average), commencing in 2003. Research the archives – Rockies fans were bemoaning with fears of losing Helton to free agency. The team succumbed and gave him a blockbuster deal. After all, he was a batting champion, with consistent averages of .330 and above. And, he was only 27 when the Rockies gave him the extension. Sound familiar?

The Rockies would’ve gladly dumped Todd Helton and his contract after just 3 of the 9 seasons on the deal. That’s how fast it can happen. But, they’ve been stuck paying the tab.

I’m guessing this is where somebody will remark “Todd Helton was using steroids.” Really? He’s been implicated as many times as Joe Mauer – ZERO. In fact, in 2005, Helton started the legal process against a broadcaster that accused him of PED usage. The broadcaster ultimately recanted and apologized.

In truth, Todd Helton is just a prime example of what Joe Mauer might become. It’s a risk the Twins have never wagered – until now.

I’m not wishing bad things on Mauer. I hope he has a Hall Of Fame career – and I hope the Twins made the right decision. But, based on their budget and history, it doesn’t look consistent with their established model.

Over the last couple days, I’ve heard numerous people saying “you gotta keep Mauer.” That’s not true. As with anything else that takes money, YOU GOTTA remain cost conscious and devoted to doing the right thing – even if it means saying “NO”.

In about five years, I suspect the Orioles will be in a similar spot …..
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By then, it will be interesting to see if the Twins made the right decision with Joe Mauer. Regardless of what you think, the chances of the Mauer deal being a win-win is 50-50, at best. And, I don’t think the Twins should’ve compromised their storied business accumen on such risky odds.

Then again, it’s not my money – and that’s exactly why everyone else is saying it’s a good deal.

It’s not their money, either.

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Roethlisberger Is At A Crossroads .....

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Roethlisberger Is At A Crossroads …..

Posted on 09 March 2010 by Rex Snider

When I hear of misfortunes for the Pittsburgh Steelers, I usually beam with a sheepish sense of elation. In fact, imagine ME with a “cat that ate the canary” look, and you’ll have a pretty accurate description of my expression whenever the Black & Gold suffers a black eye.

BAD NEWS for Pittsburgh = GOOD NEWS for Baltimore, right?

That’s quite often the way things unfold. And, as someone who enjoys seeing the Steelers draft poorly (insert Limas Sweed here) and play poorly (insert Limas Sweed here), I’m always wishing them bad luck.

But, I don’t take my football interests or sports fandom too seriously. In the grand scheme of daily life, and the lives of others, I never hope true misfortune arrives at the doorstep of ANYONE – including professional athletes.

Whether you’re a member of the Baltimore Orioles, Tennessee Titans, New York Yankees, Miami Dolphins, Milwaukee Brewers or Pittsburgh Steelers, I absolutely hope for nothing less than a healthy and blessed life. The lifelong journey of any human being does not revolve around a celebrity status or exceptional athletic ability. In the end, we’re all mere mortals.

So, when I say that I’m disappointed to hear the latest sexual abuse allegations against Ben Roethlisberger, I really mean it.
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I feel for everyone involved – and I really hope this latest reported incident is nothing more than a big misunderstanding. However, with Ed Garland’s entrance as Roethlisberger’s counsel, I’m pretty sure this will not be resolved, one way or another, as a “misunderstanding.”

I wish my law enforcement experience would shed some light on what I think happened. However, if my experience has taught me anything, it’s that I have no clue about the true circumstances or what really happened. Thus, speculating would be pretty irresponsible.

At the same time, it’s becoming very obvious ….. Big Ben has Big Issues.

If this latest incident is resolved without criminal or civil penalties levied at Roethlisberger, I think it’s fair to say he’s still not out of the woods, so to speak. While the criminal justice system certainly poses the biggest threat to derailing a likely Hall Of Fame career, the Steelers quarterback undoubtedly faces the wrath of others who can affect his future, as well.
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I won’t speculate on the incident, itself, but I’m assuming that Dan Rooney’s private reaction is not one of happiness, nor indifference. Even if he believes in his star quarterback’s professed innocence, he’s sure to be running low on patience for Roethlisberger’s poor personal decisions.

Ben Roethlisberger stands as Dan Rooney’s greatest current investment in a storied football legacy. Ironically, he also surfaces as the greatest threat to Rooney’s otherwise solid tradition of good sportsmanship and community representation.

From a Baltimore football fan’s perspective, I hate the Steelers. But, in truth, they’re the STANDARD OF CONSISTENCY in the National Football League.

Speaking of the NFL, I’m assuming Roger Goodell was not very happy as the details of Roethlisberger’s alleged criminal conduct started seeping from Milledgeville, Georgia, last Friday morning. Although, local authorities are keeping most sordid details confidential, I’m sure the Commish’ can put the figurative pieces together.

Mr. Goodell, as steward of the NFL, is more than likely primarily interested in the ramifications another embarrassing situation has on the product he’s paid to protect. Guilt or innocence really has no direct bearing on him or the league. And, from the point of Roethlisberger’s civil culpability, neither does the determination of liability.

The genie is out of the bottle – the incident is already embarrassing. While I’m certain Mr. Goodell would like to see the situation extinguished without criminal or civil sanctions, I’ll assume he’s already engaged in some form of damage control.

That’s right, while the NFL might be KING ALMIGHTY of the American sports landscape, they too, must answer to others …..
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All of us know how Corporate America works, right? Just imagine the expectations of return, when a sponsor is paying MILLIONS for positive exposure. So, I suppose when the CEO of Pepsico’s Gatorade calls and asks for assurances, Mr. Goodell starts making promises for others, right?

That’s a dangerous road to travel. But, we know what Gatorade does when they start suspecting their image is at risk. Just ask Tiger Woods.

I wonder what Mr. Goodell will tell the ultra-image conscious Susan G. Komen folks …..
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I’m sure Roger Goodell and Dan Rooney will have alot to say, privately, to an assortment of different people. However, their strongest words will most likely be reserved for a very sobering conversation with Ben Roethlisberger.

Assuming this latest incident is minimized or resolved rather quickly, I can envision Roethlisberger obliging an audience with both gentlemen, separately, very soon. Yet, I can further envision both conversations (or sermons ….) being very similar in overall impact.

Of course, Rooney merits more fiduciary leverage, because he directly controls Roethlisberger’s income and present day situation. He controls all things Black & Gold – yet, he’s probably been seeing RED for the past few days.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the liberal-minded Steelers owner recognizes his quarterback’s gritty performances and contributions on the field …..
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It’s hard to find fault with the Ben Roethlisberger who’s strapped up and led the Pittsburgh Steelers to two Super Bowl Championships in just 6 NFL seasons. The Steelers are an amazing 65-31 since the day they selected the Miami University standout, with the 11th overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft.

And, he’s been the primary poison in the concoction that has caused much anguish for the Ravens during the last half-decade.

Ben Roethlisberger has proven his worth as a certified freakin’ winner, while employing the most unconventional and non-prolific style as a passer. He’s the master of broken plays, as well as broken hearts and hopes for opposing fans.

He’s been worth every penny.

However, I’m 100% convinced that Dan Rooney knows the “other” Ben Roethlisberger, as well. Heck, at this point, who doesn’t?

Unless he doesn’t have internet access, Rooney is undoubtedly familiar with one of the most publicized drunken athlete exposures, EVER …..
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Trust me, there are more photos where that came from – just google “Roethlisberger Drunk” OR “Roethlisberger Girls” OR “Roethlisberger Bar.” You get the picture, right?

To date, Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t really shied from bawdy behavior. Whether he’s mocking Evel Knievel on his motorcycle, playing golf with John Daly or making guest appearances in the rasslin’ ring, the grungy quarterback has marched to the beat of his own drum. He does what he wants …..

And, peppered within all of his off-field interests, Roethlisberger has submerged himself in the pleasures of bachelorhood and celebrity. A vast collection of online photos depicting him in watering holes and/or with girls could easily fill the pages of a Playboy special edition.

While most ego-driven football fans thought Roethlisberger’s “party animal persona” was cool, Dan Rooney probably reasoned it was a behavior his quarterback would outgrow. After all, he’s young, rich and MALE. And, he hasn’t been accused of breaking any laws.

That’s now changed.

However, in true fairness, Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t been criminally charged in connection with either of the complaints regarding his alleged sexual offenses. That said, Ed Garland hasn’t been retained to play peacemaker. In fact, as I think those who share a criminal law background would agree, an indictment on criminal charges now appears more likely.

Don’t be misled ….. it’s not uncommon to see authorities assume a delayed, methodical approach when it comes to the prospect of levying criminal charges in a high profile incident. In fact, the decision to render criminal charges in this situation will most likely reside with the Baldwin County Prosecutor’s Office.

Getting back to the career of Ben Roethlisberger …..

He’s not necessarily a KID anymore – he’s approaching his 30th birthday. And, while life still beckons with much to do, the tread on a quarterback’s career starts to show some “wear” at this point. That same tread seems to evaporate even quicker for the guys who don’t take care of themselves.

While this blog has refrained from exposing any critical comments, this is a tough juncture. To be nice, I think it’s clear Ben Roethlisberger is not obsessively dedicated to physical conditioning. To be blunt, I think he’s fat and lazy. I believe Ben Roethlisberger could be better than we’ve seen. But, he’s the typical guy who’s happy to just “get by” on his blessed attributes.

Yet, the calendar continues to move. The days go by – nobody gets out alive.

The day will come, within the next decade, when Ben Roethlisberger is going to face the sobering conclusion that he doesn’t have IT anymore. Call “IT” what you will …..

The inate ability to spin around a half-dozen times, outside the pocket, while finding a guy in the same colored jersey on a broken play …..
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Absorbing those punishing hits and getting up for the next play …..

Hitting his moving target, within a windowed opportunity, 30 yards downfield …..

The lifespan of great quarterbacks is not as long as some people might think. Indeed, Brett Favre is the exception to a pretty descript and consistent rule of measure. Where will you be in 10 years? Ben Roethlisberger will be doing something other than playing football – bet on it.

Yet, if he doesn’t start protecting his public image, the opportunities will be lesser than expected for a quarterback of his big game caliber. Instead of lending his stature and knowledge to a productive NFL-based program or pitching mainstream commercial products at the Super Bowl, he’ll resort for fringe chances to make a few bucks …..

Perhaps, he’ll make more wrestling appearances …..
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Or, he can be the celebrity handicapper on a weekly wagering program.

Better yet, he’ll just be one of the bigger names on a reality show, such as “Biggest Loser.”

That’s right, the day will occur when its obvious he can’t get by on being a “winner.” He doesn’t take care of himself, and in the coming years his lack of such discipline is likely to become a telling factor.

Ben Roethlisberger’s lack of discipline extends beyond the gym and refrigerator. His personal life has been a rebellion, of sorts, since he hoisted his first Lombardi trophy. He defies good decision making, in the name of doing what he wants and when he wants to do it.

Perhaps, he hasn’t broken a single law. Good for him. But, that doesn’t necessarily equate into a respectable image.

I cannot be more forthcoming about my feelings. With true honesty, I hope Ben Roethlisberger’s ties to these sexual assault allegations are resolved without more damage than the product of misunderstandings. I hope he didn’t abuse anyone, and he deserves the right to defend such an assumed innocence.

But, my feelings are already being expressed and mirrored in newspaper columns around the country. Ben Roethlisberger is GUILTY. That’s right, he’s 100% culpable of making poor personal decisions, especially as it regards a social life that combines alcohol with women …..
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He’s a bachelor and he loves the spoiled pleasures of being famous and filthy rich. I get it and I hope he lives it up. But, many notable athletes have lived the life of playMAKER on the field, and playBOY off the field.

Derek Jeter masters it. So does Alex Rodriguez. Tom Brady undoubtedly lived it, as did Jeff Gordon.

What do these guys have in common? Their personal lives have revealed a propensity for knowing how to have fun without compromising their overall image and character. I have little doubt that each of them had THOUSANDS of opportunities to hang in college bars or places where problems are likely to surface. But, they also have a history of choosing to refrain from such risks.

To a further extent, what are the distinct visual differences between Ben Roethlisberger and the 4 guys, mentioned above? Just look at ’em. Jeter, Rodriguez, Brady and Gordon obviously care about conditioning and taking care of the one thing that gets the job done – their bodies.

Roethlisberger, on the other hand, appears to care as much about his physical disciplines, as he does the ramifications of hanging with younger, impressionable girls – while supplying a pipeline of free cocktails.

Take away the fame and fortune. I can still see Jeter, A’Rod, Brady and Gordon workin’ the women. However, Roethlisberger is just one of many overweight, intoxicated dudes who would strike out more often than Pete Incaviglia and Rob Deer, combined.

What a sham (or shame ….), the guy needs an entourage, his celebrity status and a private room with “No Guys Allowed” just to even the playing field for a late-night hookup.

Should Ben Roethlisberger avoid places and situations where he can be manipulated (or where he does the manipulating ….) – places where his image can be called into question? That’s up to him, but I’m sure Dan Rooney will have a deliberately driven question for him …..

DO YOU WANT TO BE THE FACE OF THE PITTSBURGH STEELERS?
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Assuming these legal matters in Nevada and Georgia are resolved without crippling penalties, Ben Roethlisberger will undoubtedly owe Mr. Rooney an answer that will seal his ultimate fate – one way or another.

It could really go so simply as a father/son conversation, like …. “it’s time to grow up and start making better decisions, because your actions always reflect on the Steelers family.”

Or, it could be more professionally spirited, like …. “we’re not certain you are the representative we envisioned when our financial commitment was staked a couple years ago.”

Regardless, Dan Rooney has been around the NFL a very long time. He knows good character and he definitely knows poor character – he’s handled both. And, while there is little debate over his quarterback’s on-field performance, I’m sure Mr. Rooney is not going to afford the guy an opportunity to wreck the franchise.

In a private moment or as Drew would say, “over a glass of wine,” I can envision Rooney casting an eye toward his family’s collection of Lombardi trophies, while recalling the legends who’ve preceded Roethlisberger and sternly suggesting “this ain’t Cincinnati ….. and we’re not the freakin’ Bengals.”

He would be right. As much as we despise the lure of Pittsburgh and its football roots, we respect their history.

In fact, I think Dan Rooney and the entire Steelers organization have been pretty tolerant and understanding of Roethlisberger’s trail of blunders. Perhaps, they’ve reasoned he’s a young guy who has experienced fame and success pretty quickly. But, I’m sure they’ve also anticipated a maturation process – and it seems to be on steady DELAY.

As with any other life reality, delays don’t last forever.

And, I don’t care how many Super Bowls he wins, the Steelers will not idly allow Ben Roethlisberger to continue heaping blemish after blemish on their legacy. Wins are vitally important, but IMAGE is a lasting impression.
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And, while Nike stands by Tiger Woods, they’ll probably be less vigilant for a guy with whom they haven’t invested hundreds of millions.

Enter Roger Goodell, again.

To date, it does not appear Ben Roethlisberger has done anything that would merit a suspension or punishment, by the NFL. However, I’m sure Mr. Goodell, who has demonstrated a fearless ethic in holding lawbreakers accountable, is watching the current events closely and from more than just the point of playing policeman.

The NFL has made a substantial commitment in marketing and promoting the overall image of Ben Roethlisberger. They’ve ensured he’s prominently featured in an array of officially licensed NFL ventures.

I’m not naive – they’re profiting from his blue collar, working class image. But, he’s profiting, too. He’s easily one of the most recognizable faces in the NFL – for a combination of the right reasons, as well as the wrong reasons.

To date, Ben Roethlisberger has made alot of money – on the field and off it. While he’s lived up to competitive expectations, he has absolutely benefited from an exposure the NFL has obliged him. Many players would savor his opportunities …..
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The question is “will these opportunities continue?”

For the immediate future, I think the obvious answer is NO. But, time heals wounds and clears the air, right? Indeed, it does.

However, Roger Goodell and his contingent will be forced to decide whether they think Ben Roethlisberger has learned anything from last week’s incident. They will undoubtedly be cornered into the prospect of gambling on the likelihood that Roethlisberger will have another episode of bad judgement when it comes to girls and booze.

He hasn’t provided an ounce of evidence to indicate his life will change with a higher degree of responsibility.

And, as life always teaches us, hungry bodies are waiting to take our place. For Ben Roethlisberger, the prospect of becoming yesterday’s hot athlete are as lethal as his own broodish behavior. The “Young Guns” lie in waiting …..
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I’m certainly not suggesting Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco will match Ben Roethlisberger’s on-field heroics. However, if they do succeed, they’ll likely be safer investments. After all, when is the last time you saw Flacco hanging in a Baltimore watering hole or some coed party? You won’t.

In fact, a look around the landscape of the NFL yields some encouraging thoughts. As I look at each respective team and it’s “face” player, I’m sensing these guys wouldn’t partake in socially irresponsible behavior. In fact, part of the reason they became the face of their franchise is likely attributed to their comprehension of right vs. wrong.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ face is an exception to the NFL’s norm. And, that’s a good thing.

A blunt reality is Ben Roethlisberger is knee-deep in pending legal issues and crisis. When and if his problems resolve, he’ll find himself in a very vulnerable position …..

That’s right, he’s at a crossroads.

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My New Years Wish For Everyone .....

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My New Years Wish For Everyone …..

Posted on 29 December 2009 by Rex Snider

As I’m writing this blog, my family is beginning to wrap-up Christmas, while getting primed for some New Years cheer. You know what that means? Yup, BEST OF and WORST OF lists …..

And, as an added bonus, it’s the end of a decade. Indeed, Glenn Clark and I should keep readers busy with pretty opinionated countdowns over the next week.

Today’s blog (5th Day Of Christmas Installment) will absolutely be my longest EVER – I’m trying to include as many people, as possible. It’s simple, today, I’m handing out New Years Wishes to FAMOUS PEOPLE …. NOT SO FAMOUS PEOPLE …. and everyone in between.

Also, since we’re at this decade’s end, I’m offering individual, insightful prospectives – and where we might just find each other at the end of the next decade. I hope you enjoy …..

Joe Flacco
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New Years Wish – I gotta think Joe is anxious win a football game, in Pittsburgh ….. where his college career began and ended less than happily. I hope Joe finally gets that win, in 2010.

Where’s Joe In 10 Years – I’m predicting the 2019 Baltimore Ravens’ roster will have only one player remaining from this current edition – and it’s Joe Flacco. He’ll have a Super Bowl ring and several Pro Bowl appearances on his resume’, as his career is winding down.
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Sarah Palin


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New Years Wish – I’d like to see people treating Mrs. Palin a little nicer. I’m not a hardcore politcal junkie – but, I think it’s reasonable to say she doesn’t get a fair shake.

Where’s Sarah In 10 Years – Well, she won’t be coming from or going to the White House ….. unless she’s a visitor. She’s not electible. However, in 2019, I think she’ll have her own sports talk show, in Baltimore. She will co-host with a guy who obsessively belittles and criticizes her.
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Tiger Woods
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New Years Wish – Well, I’m wishing Tiger some stability in his personal life and a quick return to golf. That’s where we really enjoy seeing him.

Where’s Tiger In 10 Years – I don’t know. Heck, in 2019, Tiger could be at Florida’s version of THE PLAYBOY MANSION, while hanging out with fellow “older bachelor dudes,” like George Clooney and Derek Jeter. Or, he can regain the things more important than golf, and this recent saga can really be past history.
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Taylor Swift & Miley Cyrus
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New Years Wish – I really, REALLY hope you girls are saving your money. And, I hope both of you survive this “ride.” I’m wishing you an easy transition, when THIS ends.

Where’s Taylor and Miley In 10 Years – Well it really depends on the support they have right now. But, I suspect both of them will be counting their MULTIPLE MILLIONS, when 2019 comes to an end.
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Alex Rodriguez


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New Years Wish – I don’t know ….. but, I sure hope you got your cousin, Yuri, something nice for Christmas.

Where’s Alex In 10 Years – I’m gonna predict A’Rod captures the All Time Homerun Record from Barry Bonds’ grasp, and he’s gonna lose it, too, by 2019. He’ll also be retired ten years from today.
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President Obama
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New Years Wish – I think it’s cool to have a President who roots for his hometown team. And, I’m wishing him a White Sox World Championship, in the next 3 seasons. Get it …. 3 seasons ????

Where’s Preseident Obama In 10 Years – Well, I think it’s fair to say he’s no longer President, in 2019. In all honesty – and this is NON-PARTISAN, I think he will lose in his re-election bid. Critics say he’s done very little, in office. Supporters say he’s only been on the job for 11 months.

Think about it …. he’s roughly 1/3 of the way through his Presidency – if you don’t include the 6 months he’ll spend campaigning, prior to the 2012 election. I’ll be blunt – this is a bad time to be President ….. and it’s no reflection on him. I have a feeling he’ll get caught up in a sweep …..

That said, he’ll be a former President Of The United States, and most likely Commissioner of the NFL, NBA or Major League Baseball, in 2019.
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Nick Markakis
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New Years Wish – Aside from hoping the Orioles outfielder develops into a bonafide big league slugger, I’d wish some personality on Nick Markakis. And, some tact – when there is ONE KID standing near the gate, sign the autograph.

Where’s Nick In 10 Years – I’m a member of the small group of people who think Nick Markakis is a “slightly above average” ballplayer. I can foresee him still playing baseball, in 2019, but I doubt it’s in Baltimore.
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Anita Marks
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New Years Wish – A Chris McAlister or Willis McGahee BOBBLEHEAD ???

Where’s Anita In 10 Years – I’m bettin’ Miami ….. Regardless, I’m thinking she’ll have a Scott Garceau Voo-Doo Doll, in her hip pocket.
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Peyton Manning & Tom Brady
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New Years Wish – It doesn’t really matter what I hope or wish …. both of these guys are gonna win one or two more Super Bowls and their respective roads, to Canton, are already paved.

Where’s Peyton & Tom In 10 Years – They no longer compete !!!! They’re joined at the hip on an NFL Gameday Show. They’ll wear all their RINGS at the same time – further reinforcing what jewelry does for a guy’s appearance …..


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Lil Wayne Carter
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New Years Wish – Considering that Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., is expected to go to jail, in February ….. I’m wishing him some common sense. Lil Wayne got popped for illegally possessing a handgun – and he’s gonna pay the price …..

Where’s Wayne In 10 Years – This is hard to predict, but I won’t be surprised if he’s BROKE, IN JAIL or DEAD. Unfortunately, Wayne is fulfilling the same life his dad exercised. In an interview with Katie Couric, Wayne dismissed his father as never being in his life.

Really? Well, at 27 years old, Wayne has 4 kids with as many mothers – in different cities across the United States. And, he’s getting ready to spend a year in jail. Good luck, Wayne …..
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Brian Matusz
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New Years Wish – In a word – HEALTH.

Where’s Brian In 10 Years – I’ve gotta feeling Brian Matusz is the guy who won’t “miss.” Ten years from today, he’s the linchpin of the Orioles rotation – with a career record of just over 125 wins.
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Bob Haynie
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New Years Wish – I’m wishing Bob a very lucky NCAA Bracket, in March. You know, one of those “Ultimate Challenges” that nets the winner $10 million, in cold hard cash. Would ANYONE see or hear from Bob, again?

Where’s Bob In 10 Years – Approaching 20th Anniversary edition of the “Bob Haynie Show, Brought To You By Bud Light.” And, of course, he’ll be getting ready to celebrate his personal hero’s 90th birthday …..
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Gary Williams
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New Years Wish – Umm, as many NCAA Tournament berths, as possible? After all, that’s what Maryland fans and supporters really expect.

Where’s Gary In 10 Years – Exactly ….. and, I mean EXACTLY where he is right now.
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Lindsay Lohan
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New Years Wish – That she gets her life together.

Where’s Lindsay In 10 Years – SEE LIL WAYNE.
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Albert Pujols
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New Years Wish – My wish for Albert ??? Hmmm ….. if there is ANYTHING we should know, I’d hope he tells us before making history.

Where’s Albert In 10 Years – All-Time Homerun King.
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Drew Forrester
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New Years Wish – A beer with Merton at the 4100 club – where lots of BALTIMORE COLTS memoribilia lines the walls.

Where’s Drew In 10 Years – Playing rounds and rounds of golf with his son? And, still waiting for Greg Bader to meet him halfway …..
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Ray Lewis
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New Years Wish – A masterful performance in Sunday’s game, at Oakland – and a WIN, to boot.

Where’s Ray In 10 Years – Enshrined in the Hall Of Fame, and making personal appearances, for a nominal fee. Oh yeah, he’s living someplace warm.
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Thyrl Nelson
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New Years Wish – That ESPN’s “Talented Mr. Roto,” Matthew Berry would call Thyrl and start asking for fantasy advice – God knows he needs it.

Where’s Thyrl In 10 Years – Sitting at Matt Berry’s desk …..
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LeBron James
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New Years Wish – How about some humility? What else can I wish for a guy with “CHOSEN 1” tattooed on his back?

Where’s Lebron In 10 Years – Retired ….. and short of Michael Jordan’s status.
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Clint Eastwood
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New Years Wish – Hey, he’s nearing his 80th birthday …. I’m just gonna wish Clint a big dose of good health !!!!

Where’s Clint In 10 Years – Lets hope he’s around to see this blog …. and approaching his 90th birthday.
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Glenn Clark
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New Years Wish – I’m a huge fan of Glenn’s blogs. If a CRITICAL award (ie – Grammy, Oscar, etc.) is ever devoted to blogging, I hope Glenn nabs a couple.

Where’s Glenn In 10 Years – Glenn will sell the rights for “Crabs and Beer” to People Magazine, and use the proceeds to build a small mansion, next door to Gary Williams’ huge mansion. Glenn will undoubtedly have full access to interactive ventures, like “Gary Cam” …. “Gary, Gary, Gary – 24/7” …. or our personal favorite “You Call Him Gary, I Call Him GOD ….”
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John Harbaugh
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New Years Wish – That Coach Harbaugh’s brother in law, Tom Crean, finds the “Garyland” shirt on a Google search. Can you imagine the reaction …..
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Where’s John In 10 Years – This is the perfect time to disclose my wife’s affinity for the Ravens Head Coach. She thinks he looks super sharp, when cleaned up. Perhaps, he will be beyond his coaching career and pursuing his 2nd career, as a member of the “NFL On Fox” cast. Based on his interviews with Baltimore media, I’d say the coach has some work to do …..
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Rex Snider
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New Years Wish – That I can somehow manage to make it through the middle of February without ending up lifeless in a dumpster ….. and with teeny little blonde-dyed hairs found in Ray Bachman’s trunk.

Where’s Rex In 10 Years – Co-Starring in the Vegas lounge act “Three Hot Blondes”, with former Steelers kicker, Jeff Reed and Billy Idol.
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Kobe Bryant
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New Years Wish – Has he EVER been to Baltimore? I’m wishing that Kobe and the Los Angeles Lakers would visit 1st Mariner Arena, during the next NBA pre-season.

Where’s Kobe in 10 Years – Retired, loving life and just awaiting his induction into the Basketball Hall Of Fame. Oh yeah, he’ll also capitalize on the “Pulling A Kobe” moniker and brand his own website of creative gifts for husbands who are trying to get back IN the bedroom.
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Oprah Winfrey
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New Years Wish – That she will consider allowing Rex Snider and Ray Bachmann to host the Oprah show when she departs, in 2011.

Where’s Oprah In 10 Years – Anywhere she wants !!!! God knows she’s got the money …. and TIME.
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Jeff Gordon
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New Years Wish – I’m wishing that Jeff gets that “fire” back !!!! We’ve seen a different #24 over the past few years, but I suppose a very secure financial future and a family will do that – especially when you risk your life for a living.

Where’s Jeff In 10 Years – Retired from NASCAR, with 6 Championships. He’ll stay in Manhattan (where he lives) or relocate to Southern California and embark on an acting career.
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Ray Bachmann
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New Years Wish – I’d wish Ray an opportunity to come across a nice 3-piece suit. But, I’d imagine it would need to be PURPLE or ORANGE to interest him.

Where’s Ray In 10 Years – Wherever he is ….. Ray will be wearing an Orioles or Ravens ensemble, and I have no doubt he’ll be cursing …..
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Mike Tyson
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New Years Wish – Honestly? That people stop exploiting the guy – and, perhaps, he’ll realize some stability in his life.

Where’s Mike In 10 Years – You don’t really wanna know where I think Mike Tyson will be in 10 years.
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Stacy Keibler
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New Years Wish – That she never, ever goes near a wrestling ring, again.

Where’s Stacy in 10 Years – Umm, living a comfy life, in Southern California, with a very rich husband?
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Peter Angelos
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New Years Wish – What’s that old saying ??? “If you love something, let it go ….”

Where’s Peter In 10 Years – I gotta feeling Mr. Angelos isn’t really into those sentimental sayings. That’s right, 22 years and counting …..
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Dale Earnhardt Jr.
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New Years Wish – actually this WISH is for his fans – HE IS NOT HIS FATHER. Got it ??? That said, he’s a decent competitor and I hope just savors his career.

Where Dale In 10 Years – Taking a MONEY BATH with Oprah Winfrey?
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Mark Suchy
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New Years Wish – A membership to Golds Gym ….. and access to Jose Canseco’s garbage.

Where’s Mark In 10 Years – Hosting “Terps Talk & The Gary Obsession” with Glenn Clark?
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Troy Smith
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New Years Wish – “A bird’s gotta fly, dawg.” You know what I mean? But, what if the bird doesn’t have a nest …. or, if it doesn’t fly very well? Ahh well, I’m wishing him the best …..

Where’s Troy In 10 Years – Flyin’, dawg ….. flyin’
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Jason Jubb
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New Years Wish – Ahh, more time with his little man !!!! And, an open invitation to afternoon sports talk …..

Where’s Jason In 10 Years – Making sense of why the Orioles are still losing ….. and riding an 12 year Fantasy Baseball LOSING STREAK !!!!

Steve Bisciotti
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New Years Wish – that he has TIME to help out with a 10 minute phone conversation during our “Curing Cancer …. One Call At A Time” marathon, in July, 2010. Evidently, last July was a VERY BUSY month …..

Where’s Steve In 10 Years – Pulling his hair out ….. as his head coach, Mike Preston, alienates players with weekly report cards and detention.

Nestor Aparicio
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New Years Wish – A press credential for Camden Yards – what else ???

Where’s Nestor In 10 Years – Owner of the most successful sports-media community, in the area. And, saying to himself “Damn, hiring that Rex Snider was a PHENOMENAL IDEA.”

HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!

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2009's - "REAL" Sportsman Of The Year .....

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2009’s – “REAL” Sportsman Of The Year …..

Posted on 11 December 2009 by Rex Snider

A couple weeks ago, Sports Illustrated named Derek Jeter it’s “2009 – Sportsman Of The Year” …..

Yeah, it’s just another trophy among a long list of awards handed out every year. And, in truth, the whole SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR concept is primarily tied to Sports Illustrated’s devotion to staying relevant, rather than identifying and honoring the most befitting sports personality.

With no disrespect to Derek Jeter, how did he distinguish himself above any and all personalities, throughout the last twelve months?

He had a good year on the field.

And, he’s a good citizen.

Heck, Derek Jeter is living the dream life of a lot of guys. He evidently has Tiger Woods’ affinity for dating a cache’ of girls. But, Derek isn’t married – and he doesn’t answer to a combustible blonde. Good for him !!!!

He’s single …..

He’s a player – on and off the field …..

I’m envious …..

Actually, I’m not. I love my life and all that’s in it. But, I do respect a bachelor’s incentive to live his life like a playboy. Thus, I would have no problem with naming Derek Jeter “Sports Bachelor Of The Year.”

But, SportsMAN ???

I don’t think so.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve looked at the long list of former sports celebrities who’ve held Sports Illustrated’s prized distinction. Derek Jeter befits their company – and they befit his …..

2007

2006

2005

2004

And, of course, we can’t forget 2008’s decorated selection …..


.

I honestly think there are better candidates – and certainly a BETTER CHOICE for “2009’s Sportsman Of The Year”

In early September, Hall Of Famer, Ernie Harwell, disclosed that he was battling incurable cancer. At 91 years old, Harwell has decided not to fight the inevitable, and instead, he’s chosen to enjoy the brief but precious time he has remaining on this earth.

Think about that …..

Ernie Harwell could’ve jetsetted around the world, while seeking radical and experimental treatments. He could’ve spent his remaining time searching for his own remedy, while neglecting the blessed days with his family.

He made an incredibly UNSELFISH decision.

To hear Harwell talk about it, he’s incredibly grateful for the life he was granted. He’s at peace and ready for his life to end – ON HIS TERMS.

In the months following the revelation, Ernie Harwell has been showered with accolades and devotions to his character. He’s handled it with the same class that embodied his career – HUMBLY and MODESTLY.

On September 16th, the Detroit Tigers honored Ernie Harwell, during pre-game festivities. During his speech, Harwell seized the spotlight to do what he’s always done …..

He shined it on the players and fans.

He thanked them for giving him the opportunity to live a dream. He thanked them for letting him SERVE BASEBALL.

Ernie Harwell has never hit a homerun. He’s never stolen a base. And, he’s never thrown a pitch. Indeed, he’s done more for the game of baseball than any All Star could ever do.

He delivered the game to the people who love it. And, he was great …..

We haven’t heard much from Ernie Harwell, since mid-September. Gosh, I hope he’s having a special holiday season, surrounded by family and friends. He truly deserves it.

And, speaking of “deserving” …..

I’m not suggesting Derek Jeter doesn’t deserve Sports Illustrated’s award. He’s a class act.

And, he helps people through charitable endeavors …..

I just think Sports Illustrated missed the mark, in 2009.

Ernie Harwell has given more to the SPORTS COMMUNITY than any active player – in any league.

He’s proof that a SPORTSMAN isn’t required to actually stand on the field. A sportsman supports the sports community, and does it with a humble dedication to sustaining humanity. Nothing more, nothing less …..

I wish WNST had a “Sportsman Of The Year” or “Person Of The Year” award. And, I can’t think of a more fitting choice than Ernie Harwell. He’s always put others first.

Baseball and the world will miss him.

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So long, Melvin, and hold your head up

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Luke Jones

As the Orioles fall toward the 100-loss mark with seemingly little resistance over the final week of the season, their elder statesman winds down his 10-year stay with an organization fixed in what feels like an endless era of losing.

Melvin Mora arrived in the Charm City after being traded with three others from the New York Mets for shortstop Mike Bordick in Syd Thrift’s infamous fire sale of 2000.  The 28-year old utility player was coming to a struggling team with a future Hall of Famer (Cal Ripken) winding down his career and its best hitter (Albert Belle) only months away from retirement due to a degenerative hip condition.  The Orioles were completing their third-straight losing season in 2000. Change was needed.

Mora’s addition, along with the 13 others acquired in the five summer deals, would pump youthful energy into an aging organization and eventually bring the Orioles back to where they belonged at the top of the standings, right?

If only.

Of course, we all know the story. Despite the quantity of players coming to the organization for veterans such as Bordick, Charles Johnson, B.J. Surhoff, and Harold Baines, Mora would be the only acquisition to contribute beyond the next couple seasons. Most would never contribute at all.

Mora debuted with the team as a role player on an 88-loss club and will take his final bow this weekend on a club trying to avoid becoming the third team to lose 100 games in the 56-year history of the franchise (1954 and 1988 were the others). In his 10 years, the Orioles averaged 92 losses a year, finished in fourth place seven times, and landed in the basement twice—one of those this year.

He played for four different managers, five different general managers (or whatever the organization was calling the job at the time), and saw the beautiful Oriole Park at Camden Yards transform from one of the chic places to be (3.1 million fans in 2000) on a summer night to a mostly desolate palace (less than 2 million fans in 2009) infiltrated by Boston and New York fans 18 times a year.

During Mora’s 10-year stay in the Charm City, the Orioles finished in third only once (2004), but the high-water mark came in the early stages of 2005.

The Orioles enjoyed a two-month reign at the top of the American League East, and the long rebuilding process appeared to be on the right track. However, Mora saw his team collapse in the second half with a disgraced teammate’s steroid suspension (Rafael Palmeiro), injuries, and management’s failure to improve the team down the stretch (trading Larry Bigbie for Eric Byrnes is going to get you over the hump?).

Needless to say, Mora has had little to smile about in his 10 years with the Orioles. You almost have to feel sorry for the guy.

As he is resigned to the reality of this almost certainly being his last season in Baltimore (the club will not use a $8 million club option for 2010), people will overstate the importance of his disappointing 2009 season—at age 37, mind you—and his mid-summer spat with Dave Trembley when judging his 10 years as an Oriole.

His disappointing final season cannot—and should not—shortchange his accomplishments playing in an absolutely miserable era of Orioles baseball.

The super-utility player that came to Baltimore flashing the leather at a variety of positions—left field, center field, and shortstop to name a few—steadily improved his game and eventually became an All Star, albeit for a bad club needing a representative in 2003. Mora would earn a second trip to the Midsummer Classic in 2005.

Ironically, Mora was excluded from the All-Star squad in 2004 despite being the best third baseman in baseball that season. Yes, before you ask, better than that guy wearing pinstripes in the Bronx.

It was the best season of his career and one of the finest seasons ever by an Oriole.  His .340 average was, and still is, the best single-season clip in club history. Mora also led the American League with a .419 on-base percentage and finished in the AL’s top 10 in batting average (behind only Ichiro Suzuki), slugging percentage, runs, hits, total bases, and doubles. His play earned him the Silver Slugger award (awarded to the best offensive player at each position) and solidified his status as an everyday player.

While Mora would never approach his tremendous 2004 numbers again, he would continue to provide solid numbers and steady defense in his remaining years in Baltimore, even throwing in an amazing second half of the 2008 season for good measure.

Regardless of the sour aftertaste created by his 2009 campaign, Mora is unquestionably an Orioles Hall of Famer, ranking in the franchise’s career top 10 in home runs, hits, doubles, runs batted in, and runs. And with apologies to Doug DeCinces’ fans, Mora may rank as the second-best third baseman in club history (The 1979 hero’s best years came with the California Angels).

Perhaps more important than his diamond achievements when pondering his legacy in Baltimore is the fact that Mora truly embraced the Charm City and adopted it as his home. Mora and his wife Gisel had their famed quintuplets in Baltimore—and chose to raise their six children right here.

While nearly every Oriole of the past decade waved goodbye to the city at the end of September and didn’t return until the new baseball season in April, Mora and his family stayed in Fallston—and plan to continue doing so.

Others wanted little to do with the community or even went as far as to demean the city (Aubrey Huff), but Mora thought highly enough of it to make it his home.

Make no mistake, the organization treated Mora very well financially (probably too well), but he understood the importance of sharing that good fortune with the local community through various charitable endeavors.

Simply put, Mora got “it.”

It’s an idea not to be taken for granted in this modern age of so many high-paid mercenaries completely void of any pride, philanthropy, or connection for the city in which they play.

Mora’s role in the community was never more apparent than in late-December 2005. Longtime bullpen coach and leading community ambassador Elrod Hendricks had passed away just a few days shy of Christmas, yet Mora was the only active Oriole to attend the coach’s funeral on December 29.

It was more an indictment on the sorry state of the organization than a tremendous gesture, but at least Mora WAS there. It was something the 24 others could not say, regardless of the pathetic excuses claiming it was too close to the holidays.

As an Orioles fan, I chastised the missing players but also appreciated Mora being there to represent the current team, pathetic as it was. Mora understood not only what Hendricks meant to the organization but to the entire city.

One might say it doesn’t take much effort to embrace the local community, so why such praise for Mora? He was being paid millions, right?

Well, easy as it might be, he was one of the few to care enough to actually do it.

Even in his final weeks with the Orioles, Mora demonstrated one more example of understanding what it means to be a Baltimorean. When learning the organization planned to honor him for playing the second-most games at third base in franchise history, Mora requested the man ahead of him on the list, Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson, to be present.

So, despite little publicity or fanfare (a different issue entirely), Mr. Oriole was there to celebrate the accomplishment with the Orioles’ current third baseman. Who knows if Mora can tell you how many Gold Gloves Robinson won at the hot corner or what year he even retired, but he knew enough to understand Brooks needed to be there. That’s saying something.

Unlike Brooksie, who played a large portion of his career in the Orioles’ glory days, Mora is likely to be remembered as the figurehead—along with another good player and nice guy, Brian Roberts—for the franchise’s miserable era of losing baseball that is yet to end here at the conclusion of the 2009 season.

“Mora had to stink, or the Orioles would have won while he was here, right?”

But let’s admit, save for the infancy of his career and a two-year window of fantasy baseball in 1996 and 1997, Ripken didn’t exactly play in the Orioles’ glory years either.

The truth is though Mora certainly wasn’t the type of player that could carry a winning team by himself, he also wasn’t the reason the team stunk for the decade he was with the organization. In his best years, Mora undoubtedly would have been a valuable member of a contending club.

No one will suggest that Mora belongs in the same stratosphere as the Orioles’ royalty of the Robinsons, Ripken, Palmer, and Murray. Not even close.

And even the casual fan would never confuse his baserunning prowess with the legendary Rickey Henderson, or even Willie “Mays” Hayes for that matter.

Mora may not have always said the right thing, but he was occasionally willing to speak up in a way so many frustrated fans could admire. His declaration that some Orioles didn’t know what it took to win in 2007 and his famed “Who is going to pitch for us?” query in 2005 may have ruffled some feathers in the Warehouse, but it was music to the ears of fans wanting a terrible organization to take accountability.

Ultimately, Mora should be remembered as a good player and one of the few to perform admirably through a miserable period of Orioles baseball.

He represented the city with pride and is one of the few I felt proud to cheer over the last decade.

So long, Melvin, but we’ll see you around town.

It’s a shame we didn’t have much fun at the ballpark.

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Live From Milford Mill: It’s Alex Rodriguez Talking Steroids With Kids …..

Posted on 01 September 2009 by Rex Snider

The New York Yankees have been upstaging the Orioles, in Baltimore, for the better part of the last decade. Today, the Yankees biggest star stole some headlines from this town’s other – BIGGER team, near their home turf.

At least it was for a noble cause and selfless reason …..

That’s right, as the Baltimore Ravens prepare for this Thursday’s game, in Atlanta, baseball’s walking, talking ROCK STAR was making his presence known a mere 6.15 miles away !!!!

Alex Rodriguez woke up kinda early today and headed out to Milford Mill Academy, where he spread some good cheer with students. But, most importantly, he delivered a message regarding the dangers of steroid use. And, he did it on his terms …..

No reporters – No cameras – No microphones

Alex Rodriguez, with the assistance of Elijah Cummings, delivered a message that needed no fanfare. He did it the right way. If you want to read more, follow the below link, for the article on The Sun’s website.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/bal-alex-rodriguez-steroids-0901,0,188902.story

Good for him – a very nice story.

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The Dirty 103 ???

Posted on 05 August 2009 by Rex Snider

Every few months, a new name surfaces in connection to the “2003 Major League Baseball – Administrative Drug Test.” You know, it’s the test players took, with an understanding they wouldn’t be compromised or punished.

In March, Sports Illustrated’s Selena Roberts outed Alex Rodriguez as one of the 103 players, who tested positive, during the 2003 program. After much wrangling and straight-faced denials, A’Rod finally came clean.

A few months followed, but another foot finally dropped. And, to nobody’s surprise, the name revealed was Slammin’ Sammy Sosa. According to the New York Times, Sammy also tested positive, in 2003. There has been no word from Sosa, but we all know he forgets his mastery of the English language, on occasion.

The latest disclosure, last week, also by the New York Times, cites David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez as players who also failed the 2003 sampling. Neither player has wholeheartedly denied the legitimacy of the report. Hey, if you’re not denying such an accusation …..

Still, we’re all waiting around for the next name to drop, right?

In fact, pressure is mounting from within Major League Baseball, to publicly disseminate the findings and names associated with 2003 testing procedure. Personalities, like Ozzie Guillen and Lou Piniella would like to see it. However, I would assume this will be a pretty difficult task to accomplish.

There was no established disciplinary process for using Performance Enhancing Drugs, in 2003. The players consented to the testing procedure with an understanding the findings would remain confidential and with freedom from future sanctions.

The affected players still have an expectation to their negotiated privacy, regardless of the “splash” each big disclosure creates. And, while the mystery of the list has undermined the legitimacy of the sport, the deal must be honored.

Perhaps, the players on the list will collectively decide to go public. That would make it an afterthought, in the span of a week. But, I’d imagine it’s really up to them. Anything less than full disclosure will probably yield the same tidbits of outing we’ve experienced, since the A’Rod debacle.

The website, RotoInfo.com, has released its “Rumored 2003 List.” It’s unconfirmed, but the site stands by its relevance. It should be added that RotoInfo.com is a legitimate web news source, and its postings are not reflective of propaganda or tabloid material.

If the list is accurate, some Orioles fans might be surprised at the naming of a former All Star, who’s feeling “disrespected.” The legitimacy of the list would also disappoint the likes of Drew Forrester (hmmm ….. who could we be talking about?), Franchise (yep, we know which team is MOST REPRESENTED), and wives – Mia Hamm and Anna Benson.

Ahh well, if you’re curious, here’s the list …..

http://www.rotoinfo.com/read_article.php?articleId=380

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