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Top 10 Local Sports Moments of 2010

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Top 10 Local Sports Moments of 2010

Posted on 28 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

These were selected by….Glenn Clark. Enjoy!

Honorable Mention: Orioles sign Miguel Tejada, Maryland names Kevin Anderson Athletic Director, Navy pounds Notre Dame at Meadowlands, Ravens beat Jets on Monday Night Football, Maryland field hockey wins National Championship, Shogun Fights II & III come to 1st Mariner Arena, John Tillman hired as Maryland lacrosse coach, Ravens sign T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Trice Capra reaches 3rd round of U.S. Open, Terrapins hold off Midshipmen in Labor Day thriller at M&T Bank Stadium, Cliff Tucker buries Georgia Tech with incredible buzzer beater

10. Danny O’Brien breaks out as Maryland tops NC State

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz6qO2a5nRI[/youtube]

Maybe the “moment” should be O’Brien getting his first start against Florida International. Unfortunately, no one was at Byrd Stadium that day and even fewer were watching on ESPN3.com.

Maybe the “moment” should be Maryland’s battle against Florida State in College Park where O’Brien nearly beat the Seminoles and gave the Terrapins a chance to play in the ACC Championship Game. But the Terps lost that game.

So I’ll stick with the season closer. It was an epic breakout performance from a freshman quarterback that offered hope to Maryland fans that change had come.

Of course, change was really STILL to come.

9. Ravens trade for Anquan Boldin

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itI56uxrbeU[/youtube]

If you actually go to the page for that YouTube video, you’ll find multiple Super Bowl related comments.

That was the immediate feeling when the Ravens traded two NFL Draft picks to the Arizona Cardinals for Boldin. Since that time, the Boldin deal has looked…well…not quite as overwhelming. But it doesn’t change the moment.

In that moment, the Ravens became the “Offseason Champs”, an honor the Washington Redskins had owned for years.

The difference? The Ravens till have a chance to be the REAL champs as well.

8. Baltimore Grand Prix officially announced

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ntu-FrV9ufY[/youtube]

Look, I’M not a fan of the IndyCar Series myself. Well, other than Danica Patrick anyway.

And I have NO IDEA how many folks in Baltimore could EVER tell you who Will Power or Dario Franchitti were.

But if the Baltimore Grand Prix raises as much money for the city as Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Governor Martin O’Malley say it will, this could be a MAJOR moment for this area.

7. The return of the Preakness infield

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHLL8YQmCoA[/youtube]

After the “miserable failure” (my own words, folks) that was the 2009 Preakness “Infieldfest” event, the Maryland Jockey Club hit a home run in 2010.

Pimlico’s infield was covered in people thanks to a $20 “All you can drink” ticket that replaced the previous BYOB experience and an awesome musical combination or O.A.R. and Zac Brown Band (which was LIGHT YEARS better than ZZ Top and Buckcherry the previous year).

It was an awesome event. Hopefully there will be another one.

By the way, does anyone remember who won the Preakness this year?

(Edit from GMC: It was Lookin at Lucky. I ALMOST had to go to Wikipedia to jog my memory.)

6. Duke beats Virginia in lacrosse Final Four

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3g2YHrYETk[/youtube]

Maybe Notre Dame’s improbable run to the National Championship Game or the Blue Devils’ thrilling Memorial Day win over the Fighting Irish were bigger stories; but the Saturday showdown between the Cavaliers and Devils was absolutely EPIC.

The impact of Yeardley Love’s murder added to the buildup surrounding the game, as Cavs coach Dom Starsia was reminded of George Huguely’s name throughout the NCAA Tournament. Also adding to the buildup was the presence of the final class of “Super Seniors” from Duke, as the NCAA granted all Duke players an extra year of eligibility following the scandal that rocked the Durham campus in 2006.

The game was even better than the incredible buildup. Max Quinzani’s game winner with 13 seconds left finished off what had been one of the more incredible quarters of lacrosse ever seen in Charm City.

This will be the only entry on the list that doesn’t involve a local team. It was good enough that it doesn’t matter.

5. Orioles hire Buck Showalter

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STRgnJzuHxc[/youtube]

When I gave my “Local Sports Person of the Year” vote to Buck Showalter, I said his hiring represented the first real “hope” Birds fans had experienced since the 2005 campaign, when the team reached the All-Star Game still leading the American League Wild Card race.

What happened with the O’s down the stretch (a 34-23 finish under Showalter) means little if the team does not build upon it. But the hope that came with the incredible finish was that the team COULD build upon it.

We’ll see.

But it certainly doesn’t change the level of excitement that came with Showalter’s hiring and incredible two month run. If things truly turn around for the Orioles, it will be marked as the actual moment of change.

4. Joe Flacco finds TJ Houshmandzadeh to beat Steelers in Pittsburgh

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJIHpJLRWog[/youtube]

I’m pretty sure my column that day said it all.

The Ravens were ABSOLUTELY on their way to another crushing loss at Heinz Field; and I wasn’t going to believe it wouldn’t end that way until the moment Houshmandzadeh hauled in the Flacco TD toss.

The Ravens QB had never lead his team from behind to win in the final two minutes of regulation.

That changed.

Had the Ravens held on to finish the sweep of the Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium; the win would have meant even more.

3. Maryland beats Duke to (essentially) clinch ACC regular season title

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiIW27uR56s[/youtube]

As I stated when he was voted “Local Sports Person of the Year”, this was the defining moment for Greivis Vasquez.

Beating good teams at Comcast Center has been somewhat commonplace for the Terps in the Gary Williams era. In fact, Maryland had knocked off North Carolina in College Park just a season earlier. (Both the 2009 Tar Heels and this year’s Blue Devils would go on to win the NCAA Championship.)

Yet somehow, this particular win over a good team was more satisfying. It probably had a lot to do with the fact that it was Senior Night for Vasquez, Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne. It probably had a lot to do with the fact that the win would ultimately prove to be the difference as the Terps would split the ACC regular season title.

More than anything, it probably had everything to do with the fact that it was Duke.

Wins ALWAYS feel better when they come against Duke.

2. Ravens go to Foxborough, beat New England Patriots in AFC playoffs

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MwFU4xYzV4[/youtube]

If it had been a round (or definitely two rounds) later, this would have been a slam dunk #1 on the list. Unfortunately, the flat performance in a divisional round loss to the Indianapolis Colts a week later took some of the excitement out of the win at Gillette Stadium.

That being said, the emotions of a dominant win over a Bill Belichick/Tom Brady lead team on the road won’t be forgotten for some time.

It was even more emotional when the story of Matthew Costello (son of WMAR anchor Jamie Costello) giving Cam Cameron the play call for Ray Rice’s opening play TD came out.

It was a huge win and an awesome feeling. It’s just a shame it didn’t extend towards the Super Bowl.

1. Reggie Holmes breaks Morgan State’s all-time scoring record in win over Coppin State

I was there for #2, #3 and #4. This was better.

morgan

The emotions inside Hill Field House were incredible.

It was Senior Night, the final home game for star guard Reggie Holmes.

Holmes was announced as MEAC Player of the Year. Kevin Thompson was announced as MEAC Defensive Player of the Year. Dewayne Jackson was announced as MEAC Freshman of the Year. Todd Bozeman was announced as MEAC Coach of the Year.

Holmes’ entire neighborhood (Cherry Hill) was in the stands…and actually rushed the floor PREGAME. The game started more than an hour late.

Holmes needed 33 points to break Marvin “The Eraser” Webster’s Bears career scoring record. He scored 36 in a blowout win.

It was incredible.

It represented everything that makes college basketball in Baltimore great. It represented everything that makes Baltimore sports great.

It was the best moment of the year.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 18 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because Jimmy Fallon actually did something funny. I won’t even bother with a “no offense” precursor. Fallon really isn’t that funny.

But he was the other night.

Here’s Fallon (joined by Bruce Springsteen) performing a version of “Whip My Hair” by Willow…AS Neil Young.

Sounds complicated. Just watch. It’s REALLY funny.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhFh-JqQuMg[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens not looking past Carolina Panthers

Nor could they.

As I’ve said ad nauseam this season, it just doesn’t work like that in the NFL.

In the NFL, players literally do nothing all week EXCEPT prepare for that Sunday’s opponent.

Everywhere a player walks in Owings Mills this week, they see pictures of Panthers players like Jon Beason. Every time they talk to a coach, they’re hearing something about John Fox’s schemes.

They might well know that their NFC South opponent is inferior, but they’re still spending an entire week with their single focus on that team.

No one is talking about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. No one is thinking about the Pittsburgh Steelers or the New Orleans Saints.

The ONLY thought process in the building this week is Sunday’s game in Charlotte.

In college football, there are distractions. An Alabama player can hear about Vanderbilt all week in practice, but when they go to class and when they’re sitting around the dorm room; their friends are all saying things like “yeah, but what about that Florida game?”

It doesn’t work that way in the National Football League.

The lecture halls are inside the facility. There are no dorm rooms.

There’s just a focus on Sunday’s opponent.

That doesn’t mean a victory is guaranteed at Bank of America Stadium Sunday. The ball isn’t round. Lots of things can happen.

But if the Ravens were to lose Sunday, it wouldn’t happen because the Ravens were looking past the Panthers this week.

2. The AP’s David Ginsburg says secondary play remains ‘primary concern’ for Ravens

As I said before, I genuinely believe personnel to be the problem for the Ravens defensively.

For example, how much better do you think the secondary would be if Chuck Pagano had Tiffany Taylor to work with? (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

tiffanytaylor

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Panthers haven’t decided between Tony Pike or Brian St. Pierre as starter

Not exactly Joe Montana or Steve Young, huh?

I feel like Tony Pike’s familiarity with the system makes him the better option; but then again-it’s Tony Pike.

More bad news for Carolina Wednesday, as the team was forced to place RB DeAngelo Williams (foot) on Injured Reserve. With Jonathan Stewart and Tyrell Sutton also banged up, expect Mike Goodson to start Sunday.

So…you know, the Panthers have that going for them.

4. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Tom Zbikowski didn’t practice again; Tavares Gooden, Todd Heap and Fabian Washington were all limited

Before we move on from the Ravens, a few things…

-The Ravens will be back on the practice field today at 1 Winning Drive, with coordinators Cam Cameron, Greg Mattison and Jerry Rosburg scheduled to speak to the media following practice, as well as RB Ray Rice. Make sure you’re tuned in to AM1570 WNST, checking WNST.net and following us on Twitter (@WNST).

-Did you miss Ravens LB Sergio Kindle with Drew Forrester Thursday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today to check it out! Other things you can find in the Audio Vault include…

  • Sean Salisbury (“Sean Unfiltered”-Voice America Sports Radio)-who went around the NFL with Drew Thursday
  • Brett Adams (Mustangs Basketball Coach)-who discussed the “Pride of Maryland” DIII Tournament with Drew Thursday during the Stevenson Coaches’ Report
  • Our Morning Reaction “Cheap Shots From The Bleachers” Thursday-as Drew took a shot at Andy MacPhail and Glenn Clark took a shot at Colin Cowherd
  • Plenty of Audio From 1 Winning Drive Wednesday; including John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Josh Wilson, Ray Lewis, Derrick Mason and Jarret Johnson
  • Larry McReynolds (NASCAR Analyst-Fox, SPEED)-who joined Rex Snider Wednesday on “The Afternoon Drive” to preview Sunday’s “Chase for the Cup” finale
  • Clark Judge (CBSSports.com)-who went around the NFL with Rex Wednesday
  • James Franklin (Maryland Offensive Coordinator/Head Coach in Waiting)-who joined Thyrl Nelson Wednesday for the “Terrapins Coaches’ Report”
  • Heather Dinich (ESPN.com)-who went around ACC Football with Thyrl Wednesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”

Once again, it’s all in the Audio Vault. Make sure you head over there today to check it out!

5. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Buck Showalter not a factor in American League Manager of the Year voting

And I think we’re all smart to enough to admit that because he only managed for a third of the season, he DIDN’T deserve the consideration. It of course doesn’t take away anything that he did for the Orioles this season.

You might not know this, but I get a Manager of the Year vote. It didn’t go to Ron Gardenhire OR Ron Washington. Instead, it went to Jodie Marsh. (Thanks Guyism!)

jodiemarsh

6. WNST.net’s Rex Snider wonders why Andy MacPhail didn’t go after Dan Uggla

Peter Schmuck addressed this in his blog yesterday. Dan Uggla wouldn’t have been a PERFECT fit for the O’s. They already have a second baseman in Brian Roberts, and there would be a learning curve for Dan Uggla should he be forced to move to third base. He’s also only under contract for one more year.

That being said, the O’s could ABSOLUTELY use his bat in their lineup.

Of course, the Birds could use ANY bat in the lineup. It won’t be Uggla, but there are other bats on the table.

I’ve already explained how I feel about Adam Dunn.

7. The Sun’s Kevin Cowherd says legendary trainer Mack Lewis to be remembered with Charm City viewing today

It will be a great regret in my life that I was never able to get to know Mack Lewis.

The man was an incredible example of exactly what makes our city great. Almost in the vein of Bea Gaddy.

He will be sorely missed, and I am VERY sad that I never had the opportunity to sit down and talk with him.

Today’s viewing is from 4-8pm at the Vaughn C. Greene Funeral Home on York Rd. The funeral is tomorrow at 11am at Gilliam Concert Hall at Morgan State’s Murphy Fine Arts Center.

8. The Diamondback’s Jeremy Schneider says Maryland finally expecting big crowd at Byrd Stadium for Florida State battle Saturday night

The attendance has been a MAJOR issue for the folks in College Park.

Frankly, the attendance has a lot to do with why new AD Kevin Anderson wouldn’t guarantee Ralph Friedgen’s future despite solid on field performance this season.

The team deserves a great turnout Saturday night for the battle with the Seminoles.

It ISN’T just a game with major ACC Championship Game implications. It’s actually an elimination game for the Terrapins. If they lose Saturday night, the NC State game the following week will be meaningless, as FSU will guarantee themselves a 6-2 conference finish.

It’s a big game. There SHOULD be a big crowd.

9. The AP says Dylon Cormier scored 20 points to lead Loyola past UMBC at Reitz Arena

Also worth noting that Jamal Barney dropped in 14 points and 10 rebounds for Jimmy Patsos’ Greyhounds in the win; while Travis King lead Randy Monroe’s Retrievers with 22 points in the loss.

Morgan State is an action tonight, as Todd Bozeman’s Bears get another great chance to knock off a major conference opponent when they visit Providence at 7pm. Providence is picked to finish at the bottom level of the Big East this season, and Bozeman already has a win over a Big East team at Morgan State, as he beat DePaul in Chicago two years ago.

And some NCAA Tournament soccer action tonight, as Pete Caringi’s UMBC Retrievers visit Princeton at 7pm.

10. UMTerps.com previews Terrapins’ tussle with Pitt tonight at Madison Square Garden

I’ll go Panthers 84, Terps 71.

I wish I felt better about it.

To soften the blow, here’s a picture of Kelly Carrington. (Thanks Next Round!)

kellyc

And finally, I leave you with this.

I hope to see you out at the Down Under Restaurant at Fullerton Pub tonight. We’re trying to raise 1,570 canned goods this holiday season-so we need your help!

If you come out, we can BS about sports. Or food. Or beer. Or rock and roll. Or chicks. Or Pro Wrestling. If you approach me with a Chris Jericho-related question, it might earn you a beer.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SCpDUXEOsY[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 17 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because it’s time to name a couple “Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.” The NEW TGSOATTW honoree is from Zac Brown Band’s new CD “You Get What You Give”, which I can already tell you will be on my short list of nominees for Album of the Year this year. I love the tune “Keep Me In Mind.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFI8Sn-IoSI[/youtube]

The retro version stems from my trip to Atlanta last week, as I was reminded of the greatness of music from A-Town. Let’s not forget that this was the town that gave us the Black Crowes, Little Feat, Ludacris, Usher, Cee Lo Green, Sevendust and of course the AMAZING Outkast; who combine with Erykah Badu for “Humble Mumble”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSDDDYvd-Cs[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. CSNBaltimore.com says Ravens’ Week 12 game with Tampa Bay Buccaneers at M&T Bank Stadium flexed to 4:15pm

LOVE this. Maryland plays NC State the night before, and I’m hoping it will be a relevant game that gets moved back to 8pm. If it does, I can use the extra sleep. 4:15pm is a PERFECT game time.

You would think that the game against the New Orleans Saints on December 19 would be a prime candidate to be flexed as well. The games at the Cleveland Browns and against the Cincinnati Bengals to end the season probably aren’t the type of premiere battles to warrant national television, but if there’s a lot on the line that could certainly change.

2. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Joe Flacco in Top 10 in NFL in big passing plays

“TAKE THE HANDCUFFS OFF!!!”

Some of the numbers on these 25+ yard passes might be a bit skewed by short passes that ended up going a great distance, but I think this is a legitimate statistic.

I’ve laughed at the “time to open up the offense” comments that some fans have directed to Cam Cameron in the past, but I will admit that the Ravens don’t have the personnel necessary to TRULY be the type of dynamic offense some folks want to see.

Hopefully Donte’ Stallworth can continue to progress health-wise and his speed will add something to the offense. That being said, the Ravens are STILL missing the 6’4″-6’5″ type WR to haul in jump balls downfield. I know there’s the whole NFL Draft process, but could they just petition to pick up Georgia WR AJ Green for the rest of the season?

3. ESPN.com drops Ravens to 4th in power rankings

Before we move on from the Ravens, a couple of things…

-We’ll be out at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills today as the Ravens return to the practice field. We’re expecting to hear from Head Coach John Harbaugh, LB Ray Lewis, Flacco and others following this morning’s walkthrough. Make sure you’re tuned in to AM1570 WNST throughout the day, following @WNST on Twitter and checking WNST.net for updates!

-The Carolina Panthers made a roster move Tuesday, signing veteran QB Brian St. Pierre from their practice squad. With starter Jimmy Clausen expected to miss Sunday’s battle in Charlotte, St. Pierre would back up rookie Tony Pike. Armanti Edwards is also on the roster, but the Panthers have been in the process of moving him to WR.

4. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Orioles have ‘already been in contact’ with free agent Adam Dunn

Is this thing on?

ATTENTION ANDY MACPHAIL: PLEASE FINISH THE JOB!

It is NOT enough to simply talk to free agents like Adam Dunn. Adam Dunn would be an almost PERFECT piece to add to the Birds’ lineup, but he has to agree to come to Charm City.

That’s the hard part.

That being said, Dunn’s been in the area and has played for a wretched franchise with few signs of hope. The American League might help his numbers, and while the Orioles might not want him to play first base-they also don’t have anyone blocking him from the position.

There’s no reason why the Orioles COULDN’T get Adam Dunn. Especially with all of that money they have their regional cable network.

Right?

RIGHT?

5. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says former O’s prospect Scott Moore re-signed with Chicago Cubs

He will be missed.

To warm your hearts with Scott Moore gone, I figured I’d pass along this picture of Candice Boucher. (Thanks Brosome!)

boucher

6. UMTerps.com says Gary Williams announced Tuesday that Sterling Gibbs, Nick Faust officially signed LOI

While we knew both players had already committed to coming to College Park, but it’s always hard to feel TOO confident until that LOI is signed.

Maryland supporters can certainly breathe now.

They both SHOULD be good players at the college level, but clearly there is no guarantee. That being said, it is simply nice to see well thought of players headed to the University of Maryland.

Of course, we thought the same thing when McDonald’s All-American Mike Jones debuted at Comcast Center…

7. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland center Jordan Williams named to Naismith Award watch list

While I doubt that Jordan Williams will be on the list at the END of the season, it is VERY nice to see his name on these lists (he’s also on the Wooden Award watch list) to start the season.

I did happen to think there was one notable name left off the watch list. Renata Kuerten. I believe there’s no relation to Gustavo. I know I’LL be watching. (Thanks Guyism!)

kuerten

8. The AP says Rashawn Polk scored 29 points to lead Towson past Coppin State at Towson Center

And a nice debut from former Calvert Hall and Maryland big man Braxton Dupree, who tallied six points and 14 rebounds in his Tigers debut.

More local college hoops action tonight, as UMBC visits Loyola at Reitz Arena. Tip-off is at 7pm, you can see the game live on MASN.

And in women’s action last night, Maryland fell to Georgetown 53-45. I thought Brenda Frese was supposed to have a high-powered group this season?!?!?

9. Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Terrapins trying to avenge ’08 loss to Florida State at Byrd Stadium Saturday

Did you miss Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher Wednesday with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net today to check it out! Other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Solomon Wilcots (CBS Color Analyst)-who previewed Ravens-Panthers with Drew Wednesday
  • Todd Bozeman (Morgan State Hoops Coach)-who talked about the start of the Bears’ season with Drew Wednesday
  • Anthony Burgos (Franklin High School Football Coach)-who previewed Friday night’s showdown with North Harford (they’re doing God’s work) with Drew Wednesday
  • Steve Roberts (Arkansas State Football Coach)-who previewed the Red Wolves’ showdown with Navy Saturday in Annapolis with Thyrl Nelson Tuesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”
  • Wes Shivers (Strikeforce fighter)-who joined Thyrl Tuesday on “The MMA Report”
  • Jamey Eisenberg (CBSSports.com)-who talked Fantasy Football with Rex Snider Tuesday on “The Afternoon Drive”

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so I’ve planned your day for you. You can thank me later.

10. People Magazine says Michael Phelps dating reality TV star Brittny Gastineau

You’re thinking to yourself: “You didn’t really just post this to put up a picture of Brittny Gastineau in her underpants, did you?”

You already know the answer.

gastineau

And finally, I leave you with this.

Complex.com named this Trinity College miracle the greatest trick play in football history. It WAS pretty awesome, but does it top the hook and lateral from Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl? I don’t know…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfKL3EUj7vA[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Crown the King…Felix Hernandez deserves the AL Cy Young Award

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Crown the King…Felix Hernandez deserves the AL Cy Young Award

Posted on 17 November 2010 by Thyrl Nelson

I just thought I’d offer my vote for the AL Cy Young Award before the league makes their choice official on Friday. There didn’t seem much point in debating the NL recipient, as evidenced by the unanimous vote for Roy Halladay, as although the NL Cy Young race appeared to be the more interesting and debatable argument as the season progressed, by season’s end, the choice became a no-brainer. Ubaldo Jiminez peaked too soon, Josh Johnson came up short, and Adam Wainwright’s team finished out of contention. The Halladay choice was too easy for this the supposed year of the pitcher. But the AL side of the equation will be a different matter altogether.

Much like last year’s races on both sides of the ledger, this year looks to shape up as a face off between the old school and new school, the traditional stats guys vs. the ever growing Saber-Metrics community. But unlike last year, it would seem that this year both sides will at least agree that over the duration of the season, Felix Hernandez, start after start was the American League’s best pitcher, arguably the best in baseball. The question, which seemed to be answered to some degree last season with the choices of both Zack Greinke and Tim Lincecum, is whether pitchers whose teams finish out of contention, or more importantly those with modest win totals themselves should be penalized in the Cy Young voting.

 

In the true spirit of the man for whom the award was named, pennant contention, or even wins should certainly not be considered the gold standard. In Denton “Cyclone” Young’s 22 major league seasons, he won only a single World Series, and in addition to his record 511 career wins, he also enjoys the MLB career loss record at 316.

 

What’s working against Hernandez though is that his team wasn’t just bad, they were terrible, losing 101 games on the season. As a result, despite his own prolific stats this season, Hernandez finished his 2010 campaign with a record of just 13-12. One game above .500 while pitching for a team that plays 40 games below .500 overall, is an accomplishment nonetheless. Also working against Hernandez are the respective seasons put together by both CC Sabathia and David Price while competing for pennants in a much tougher AL East. I think we can concede at this point that it pretty much boils down to those 3. Jon Lester certainly merits mention, but in the end didn’t do quite enough, and any voter open minded enough to even consider Trevor Cahill seriously will certainly have to give his vote to Hernandez.

So here are the numbers:

 

Hernandez led the AL in innings pitched with 249.2, Sabathia was second at 237.2 and and Price 18th at 208.2 innings. (all stats taken from ESPN.com unless otherwise noted)

 

Hernandez’ 232 strikeouts was good for 2nd in the AL, 1 behind Jared Weaver, Sabathia was 6th with 197, and Price 8th with 188 strikeouts.

 

Sabathia led the AL in wins with a 21-7 record, Price was tied for second in wins with a 19-6 record, and as mentioned Hernandez finished at 13-12.

 

Hernendez led the AL with a 2.27 ERA, Price was 3rd at 2.72, and Sabathia 7th with a 3.18 ERA.

 

Hernandez finished 2nd to Cliff Lee in the AL in WHIP at 1.06, Sabathia and Price came in tied for 9th in the AL (with Colby Lewis and Carl Pavano) with a 1.19 WHIP.

 

Hernandez pitched 6 complete games (3rd in the AL) or more than Price (2) and Sabathia (2) combined.

 

Hernandez was 7th in the AL in strikeout to walk ratio at 3.31, Sabathia was 14th at 2.66, and Price was 21st striking out 2.38 batters per walk issued.

 

In the category or WAR (or wins above replacement, also called WARP it represents the value of that player in wins over an average AAA replacement….basically) Hernandez leads AL pitchers at 6.0, with with Sabathia in a 3-way tie for second with Weaver and Buchholz at 5.4 and Price finished 5th at 5.3 wins above replacement. (from baseballreference.com)

 

And in VORP, not to be confused with WAR or WARP, or value over replacement player, this measured in runs rather than wins again Hernandez finished 1st at 70.2, Price was 2nd at 54.9 and Sabathia came in 5th saving his team 51.3 runs over an average AAA replacement. (from baseballprospectus.com)

 

So other than wins, the stats all lean heavily toward Hernandez. He doesn’t however play in the AL East, and maybe didn’t feel the same type of pressure that the other two were subjected to as their teams competed in “pennant races”. The truth is, for most of the season, the AL East wasn’t much of a race for all intents and purposes. Despite their own prodigious records, the teams of both Sabathia and Price did enough on the days when those guys weren’t pitching to make their respective regular seasons overall rather enjoyable I’d think. While getting the job done in the midst of a pennant race shouldn’t be understated, it was mostly a foregone conclusion pretty quickly that either the Yankees or Rays were likely to win the East, and the other likely the wild card, it’s hard to say that either Sabathia or Price felt anywhere near the type of pressure either did in the post season, as the Yankees and Rays cruised into the playoffs.

 

Can that type of pressure be comparable to pitching for a team that you can be relatively sure will score few runs behind you, and who night in night out demonstrate a propensity for simply playing bad baseball? Or the pressure to push yourself, when only personal accomplishments can highlight an otherwise miserable season, in which the front office is cleaning house, or to try and keep the game out of the hands of a bullpen almost sure to blow a lead and break your heart? It’s hard to say really which is the tougher circumstance under which to take the mound start after start.

 

What’s not arguable, and that likely hurts Hernandez more than anything is this. He pitches in a hitting poor division, full of perceived pitcher’s parks, with seemingly none more favorable to pitching than his own. Yankee Stadium has quickly become known as a launching pad ranking 2nd in ESPN’s ballpark factor rankings, accounting for an extra 1.177 runs per game, Safeco ranks 29th in this stat at 0.813 runs, and surprisingly (to me at least) Tropicana Field is a relative safe haven for pitchers, coming in as the best pitcher’s park in baseball at 0.800 runs.

 

Lastly, and what may hurt Hernandez too, is that for the first part of the season, he wasn’t even arguably the best pitcher on his otherwise miserable team, as Cliff Lee was setting the league on fire in Seattle despite the same circumstances that surrounded Hernandez there. Lee left with an impressive 8-3 record, far better looking than Hernandez 13-12. What’s more, while pitching in front of a much better offense and in the midst of a pennant race, Lee proceeded to go 4-6 down the stretch for Texas, possibly reinforcing the notion that somehow pitching in Seattle is easier.

 

I can see the argument on both sides, that’s what makes this interesting, but at the end of the day, I’ll be disappointed if Hernandez doesn’t walk away with the hardware. How about you?

 

 

Here’s Where I’m Playing Right Now.

 

 

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Andy MacPhail’s latest excuse?  The San Francisco Giants …..

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Andy MacPhail’s latest excuse? The San Francisco Giants …..

Posted on 09 November 2010 by Rex Snider

I saw this day coming from a far distance. As soon as Nelson Cruz whiffed on Brian Wilson’s fastball to end the World Series, I sensed the Baltimore Orioles and their fans might suffer a setback.

As I said a couple weeks ago, the San Francisco Giants are the ultimate exception to the rule, especially as it regards the construction of a World Championship-caliber organization. To be blunt, they’re a team built on a foundation of strong pitching and a subpar offensive attack.

For better or worse, that’s the Giants.

Stastically, the Giants had Major League Baseball’s best pitching product, in 2010. Touting a 3.36 ERA and 1.27 WHIP, San Francisco’s pitching absolutely served as the catalyst of a late-season run at contention.

Their core starting staff, including Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Baumgarner and Jonathan Sanchez are among the game’s very brightest. And, all four of them are “homegrown”, which really serves as a testament to the organization’s scouting and development wing.

But, does anybody really expect a team with such inconsistent and undependable hitting to be a perennial contender? Do opponents shudder at the prospect of facing pasted-together lineups?

San Francisco Giants' (L-R) Cody Ross, Aubrey Huff, Edgar Renteria and Eugenio Velez celebrate defeating the Texas Rangers in Game 5 of Major League Baseball's World Series in Arlington, Texas, November 1, 2010.   REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

That’s the best way to describe the Giants offensive attack …..

Their lineup posted a collective .257 batting average, coupled with a .720 OPS and 1411 hits to wrap up the regular season. Less than impressive? Well, the Orioles surpassed the Giants in BATTING AVERAGE and HITS. What does that tell you?

I’m not suggesting the Orioles had a better lineup, in 2010. But would you trade Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Matt Wieters and Brian Roberts for Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Cody Ross and Andres Torres? I don’t think anyone in the right mind would make that deal.

The Giants finished the World Series with only three players from their opening day lineup making significant contributions; Aubrey Huff, Edgar Renteria and Juan Uribe.

Not exactly Murderer’s Row, huh?

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 29 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because I get to start the week out with the “Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.” The NEW version of TGSOATTW goes to Eric Church (the song is called “Guys Like Me”) because I saw the dude play Sunday night at Merriweather Post Pavilion with my girl, you know her as “Boomer Sooner”. (Yes, I went to WPOC’s “Sunday in the Country”, live with it.) He’s pretty freaking good…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7CsKVSDIcU[/youtube]

And the retro version is also “Sunday in the Country”-related, as it was covered by headliner Lady Antebellum. While they’re very talented and played a very enjoyable show-including a decent cover-Lady Antebellum certainly isn’t Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lWJXDG2i0A[/youtube]

Before we move on-let it be said that the great Free Fallin’ cover of all time was done by John Mayer…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20Ov0cDPZy8[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Ravens WR Derrick Mason has happiness in own hands

I couldn’t agree more.

This isn’t about Cam Cameron finding a way to get the ball to Derrick Mason more. It isn’t about Joe Flacco making sure the ball ends up in Mason’s hands. It certainly isn’t about whether or not Anquan Boldin is showing the proper respect to Mason as far as leadership in the locker room.

This is entirely up to Derrick Mason.

If Derrick Mason needs to be a #1 receiver for a good NFL team in order to be happy, he’s not going to be happy ever again. That time has come and gone. Frankly, he was only still the #1 receiver in Charm City by default in recent years-as there simply wasn’t anyone else in town.

Derrick has done a VERY good job over the years as the #1 receiver in Baltimore. Fans in this area will always be grateful for that. But he isn’t that guy anymore, nor will he be ever again barring some sort of terribly unfortunate injury.

If being a good receiver on a good team is enough for Derrick to be happy, he’ll be fine. If it isn’t, it could be a terribly long season.

But if Derrick thinks that by being a malcontent he’ll become the team’s top receiver again, he’s out of his mind.

I THINK he’s smarter than that.

2. The AP’s Alan Robinson says Pittsburgh Steelers will start QB Charlie Batch Sunday vs. Ravens at Heinz Field

And as I said yesterday on Twitter (follow us @WNST), if I’m the Ravens-I’m okay with that.

With no offense to Charlie Batch, but there’s nothing about him that would concern me if I was Greg Mattison. That doesn’t mean the Ravens don’t have to play good defense on Sunday, it just means he doesn’t present any sort of dynamic level that Ben Roethlisberger or Dennis Dixon could have.

Of course, Charlie Batch can still win football games-especially for a team as good as the Pittsburgh Steelers. We saw that Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He’s still capable even if he isn’t necessarily dynamic.

But he’s NOT the type of quarterback that should be beating the Baltimore Ravens. Doesn’t mean he won’t, just means he shouldn’t.

3. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ray Rice took to Twitter to proclaim knee ‘better’

And since this clarifies absolutely nothing, let’s plan on discussing this again tomorrow.

In the meantime, you know who else has knees that look “better”? Sherri Tiara Lansang. (Thanks F-Listed via Busted Coverage!)

lansang

(Edit from GMC: I’m kidding. Who the hell knows if Sherri Tiara Lansang has any knees?!?!?)

4. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall ‘poses repeat threat’ for Ravens

Before we move on from the Ravens, a couple of things…

-The Ravens return to the practice field today at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills. We will be out there to report on Ray Rice, Cory Redding and EVERYTHING going on today. We’re expected to hear from John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco for sure; as well as conference calls with Mike Tomlin and Rashard Mendenhall. Make sure you’re tuned in to AM1570, following us on Twitter @WNST and checking WNST.net for updates.

-The Ravens HAVE terminated the contract of Trevor Pryce and re-signed safety Ken Hamlin. Stunning news despite the lack of production from Pryce this season. We’ll have more throughout the day on this developing story.

-Did you miss Jim Nantz (CBS) this morning with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Jim and Phil Simms are calling Ravens/Steelers Sunday; and Jim told us they’ll have Ravens/Patriots in Foxborough as well. Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today if you missed it! Other things you can find in the Audio Vault include:

  • Rob Ambrose (Towson Tigers football coach)-who previewed Saturday’s showdown against UMass with Drew Wednesday morning
  • Mike Bires (Beaver County Times)-who updated Drew on all things black and yellow from the Steel City
  • Leonard Garcia (WEC Fighter)-who joined Thyrl Nelson and John Rallo on “The MMA Report” Tuesday
  • Dario Franchitti & Will Power (IndyCar Series drivers)-who previewed Saturday’s season finale at Homestead-Miami with Thryl on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” Tuesday
  • Gary Graves (USA Today) and Eric Edholm (Pro Football Weekly)-who talked Ravens and all things NFL with Rex Snider on “The Afternoon Drive” Tuesday

It’s all in the Audio Vault-so enjoy your afternoon. Don’t ever say I haven’t done anything for you…

5. The AP’s Fred Goodall says David Price masterful as Tampa Bay Rays beat Orioles at Tropicana Field to clinch playoff spot

David Price HAS to win the Cy Young Award, right?

I know some folks are going to say “Felix Hernandez leads the American League in everything”…but I guess those people think 13-12 doesn’t matter. I think Hernandez belongs in the discussion, but I’m pretty sure his record would leave him third on my ballot behind Price and Jon Lester.

As far as the O’s are concerned, they got worked over by a really good pitcher last night. That’s going to happen to a lot of teams. If they win one more game this week they’ll avoid 100 losses. I think they’ll do that. Once they do, who cares what else happens?

By the way-spare me the “maybe it was good for the young players to see the Rays celebrate in front of them” stuff, MASN. Who freaking cares? Every player-old or young-wants to be able to pour champagne on their teammates. They don’t need to see it in front of them to understand that.

6. The AP/WNST.net provide numerical evidence of loss

Brad Bergesen had been pitching really well for awhile until that last night. 5IP, 5ER, 6H, 3BB, 2K. Not good. Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters doubled; but that was about it. Tough night for Adam Jones-he went 0-4 with a pair of K’s.

You don’t want to look at the numbers. Trust me on that. Instead-look at Ancilla Tilia. We’ll still be here when you get back. (Thanks Macenstein!)

macenstein

7. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli & Bill Chastain say Andy MacPhail, Buck Showalter visited new Spring Training facility in Sarasota

Before we move on from the Birds, a couple of things…

-The Birds and Rays wrap up their 3 game series tonight in St. Petersburg. First pitch between Kevin Millwood and Jeff Niemann is at 7:10pm, the game can be seen on MASN2.

-Apparently they’re giving away 20,000 tickets at The Trop tonight. I’d settle for just having to ever see Dick Vitale again if I were a fan of the Rays.

8. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland QB Jamarr Robinson “limited”, Danny O’Brien likely to start against Duke

My gut feeling is that this is for the best. The longer Jamarr Robinson can’t play because he’s still recovering, the easier it is for Ralph Friedgen to move Danny O’Brien into the starting QB role long term.

Really, I don’t care WHO plays quarterback. Just don’t lose to the Blue Devils. Not again anyway…

9. The Sun says Cincinnati Associate AD Mike Waddell to be named Athletic Director at Towson today

Here’s what former Bearcats LB Brad Jackson said about the news when we passed it along on Twitter yesterday…

“Towson will definately be better with Michael Waddell as A.D.! He was huge in taking Cincy to next level!”

I hope he’s right.

10. Daily Racing Form’s Matt Hegarty says 1998 Preakness and Kentucky Derby winner dead at 15

In other horse racing news, former Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra has been retired from racing and will be bred to another great champion in Curlin. Must be a nice life there-Curlin.

In other news that’s much more significant to me-here’s a picture of Selita Ebanks. (Thanks Guyism!)

ebanks

And finally, I leave you with this.

Here’s the Katy Perry SNL “Sesame Street” spoof everyone is talking about. Now I’ve passed it along…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qP81EElmWY[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 05 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because WNST.net’s own Jay Trucker posted a gem on Facebook yesterday (you can add me as a friend by searching for “Glenn Clark” and clicking on the pic of the goofy dude in a Dan Wilcox jersey at Artscape, you can also “like” WNST.net). It’s a combo of 50 Cent’s “Wanksta” and Guns N’ Roses’ “Paradise City.” It’s actually quite good…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KJma_pcJDE[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Orioles touched up Ervin Santana in 9-7 win over Angels at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

In Charm City, two straight wins ABSOLUTELY qualifies as a winning streak. We take what we can get.

I know I wasn’t the only person who was terribly afraid that a 9-1 lead was going to completely disappear after the rain delay. Thankfully Los Angeles (slash Anaheim slash California slash etc.) thought it was a good idea to have Torii Hunter steal third base in the 9th inning despite not even being the tying run.

You take them however you can get them-especially when you don’t have too many of them.

Kudos to Brian Matusz, who looked like the guy that everyone on the face of the planet was counting Cy Young Awards for before the season started. Hopefully he can do that again in the future.

Back to back wins. Is this what heaven is like?

2. The AP/WNST.net provide numerical evidence of win

Look at all of this:

-Luke Scott was 2-5 with a 2 run bomb
-Ty Wigginton was 2-5 with 2 RBI and scored a run
-Adam Jones was 3-4 with a pair of doubles and scored 3 runs
-and even Felix Pie was 3-4 with a triple, 3 RBI and a run scored. Hell, he even tallied a stolen base for a second night in a row. Talk about Orioles Magic!!!

This isn’t supposed to work this way. This is supposed to be where I say “You don’t want to look at the numbers, so instead go look at (blank).” So once again, I guess I’ll suggest you look at the numbers THEN look at this picture of Montana Fishburne (Laurence Fishburne’s daughter); who thought the quickest road to fame involved releasing a sex tape. What, you think there’s something wrong with that? (Thanks Don Chavez!)

fishburne

3. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says David Hernandez ‘likely’ DL bound with sprained ankle

Which is the bad news that comes from what was an otherwise good night. The good news is that Josh Bell and Brian Roberts were both hurt during the game, but both appear to be okay.

Who takes David Hernandez’s roster spot? I’ll say Frank Mata. And I’ll be unimpressed. Make sure you’re on our WNST Text Service, as you’ll find out as soon as it happens.

4. WNST.net’s Ryan Chell says former Buck Showalter players believe manager ‘perfect guy’ for Birds

It’s great insight from a handful of players that played for Showalter with the Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Yankees or Texas Rangers, including:

-Luis Gonzalez
-Matt Williams
-Greg Colbrunn
-Doug Glanville
-Matt Nokes
-Matt Riley
and more.

Plus, you can hear from all of these players in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net. It will get you excited. Being within 35 games of .500 would get you more excited, but let’s take what we can get for now.

5. Baysox.com says Steve Johnson winner as Bowie topped Portland Sea Dogs on farm

And before we move on from the O’s, a couple of things:

-The Birds and Halos wrap up their 3 game series tonight, first pitch from OPACY is at 7:05pm. Dan Haren takes the hill for LA, he’s looking for his first win since coming to the American League. Jake Arrieta opposes him for the Orioles-you can see the game on MASN. If the Birds sweep the Angels, Showalter might as well head over to Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s office and start working there.

-Did you miss former Orioles (well, kinda)/Tampa Bay Rays/Florida Marlins/Glen Burnie Gophers pitcher Tony Saunders with Drew Forrester today on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the Audio Vault today to check it out. Other things you can hear in the Vault include:

  • Steelers Play By Play Voice Bill Hillgrove-who previewed Pittsburgh with Drew this morning as we continue to look around the AFC North
  • New Navy basketball assistant and former Duke hoops star/Syracuse QB Greg Paulus-who talked to Drew about his new role on Billy Lange’s Midshipmen staff
  • Trevor Pryce-who joined Thyrl Nelson fresh off the practice field at McDaniel College Wednesday
  • All sorts of audio from Westminster Wednesday-including John Harbaugh, Roger Goodell, Matt Birk and Michael Oher

So there you go. Your whole day is planned for you. Tell your boss to get bent-you need to listen to the latest and greatest at WNST.net. It will go over fine. I promise.

6. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says John Harbaugh, Ravens were ‘excited’ to host NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at Training Camp Wednesday

Which you could certainly tell from player reactions, both via audio and on Twitter (you can follow us on Twitter @WNST!). For example, banged up CB Lardarius Webb (@LWebb21) said:

“Roger G is a laid back type of guy! He don’t seem to be that guy everyone tries to say he is. Nice meeting you G.

If only Goodell would have Tweeted back something like “You too L-Dubs!” That’s the type of world I’d like to live in.

7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Ravens could be in line to play game overseas

I don’t know how I feel about this at all. The idea is that playing a game in London (or Barcelona…or Amsterdam…or Berlin…or wherever) would be good for marketing and branding. I can understand the value of that.

However, I’m not so sure it’s a great idea football-wise. I know the New England Patriots had no trouble with jetlag or strange surroundings, but you never know how a group of athletes are going to handle such a drastic change in preparation and game atmosphere. These guys don’t like it when they have to bump kickoff back three hours to 4pm. They’re creatures of comfort, and this isn’t comfortable.

It probably wouldn’t be a situation where the team would have to give up a home game at M&T Bank Stadium. The more likely scenario would be that an opponent who sometimes struggles with ticket sales (the Jacksonville Jaguars come to mind) would be hand-picked to face the Ravens-who are one of the league’s more model franchises.

It’s potentially good for the organization big picture, but it might not be good for the franchise in a single season. It leaves me torn. My pal Chad Dukes would say “I’m Torn like Natalie Imbruglia.”

8. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens to try out former LSU CB Chris Hawkins today

Which is all well and good, but I can’t imagine they’d be trying him out thinking there was any legitimate chance he could be on the field come September 13th when the Ravens line up to face the New York Jets at the Meadowlands.

Here’s a question: Why wouldn’t the team give Zhang Jingchu a tryout??? (Thanks Guyism!)

jingchu

9. CSNBaltimore.com’s Joe Platania says Derrick Mason missed practice Wednesday, Davon Drew returned, Matt Birk could return soon

And before we move on from the Ravens, a couple of things:

-Our own Luke Jones reported that Oniel Cousins (throat) came off the PUP list and returned to practice. The Ravens are practicing at 8:45am and 2:45pm (2:45pm is scheduled to be a full squad workout) today if you want to head up to Carroll County.

-Luke will be checking in throughout the day with Thyrl Nelson and Rex Snider on AM1570, with Training Camp reports at the bottom of every hour. We are also scheduled to hear from John Harbaugh, Billy Cundiff and Shayne Graham after practice-you will be able to hear from them in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.

10. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Navy an early 7 point favorite against Maryland

Well, it’s come to this.

I know Ken Niumatalolo’s Mids look like they’re going to be a good team this year-but I cannot believe we’ve gotten to a point where the Terrapins are a 7 point dog to Navy on a neutral field.

I’ve said this before. It’s easy to look at these teams and assume Navy is better this season. That doesn’t necessarily mean Navy is going to win. I would probably pick Navy (the funny part is I might pick them by 10+ points), but it doesn’t mean they’ll just roll right past the Terps-who if nothing else will probably have more size and speed on the field.

I’m still afraid they will.

11. Universal Sports’ Matt Stroup says Michael Phelps picked up two golds at Nationals in Irvine, CA

Which means that Michael Phelps has surpassed Terry Caulkins for the most gold medals in U.S. National Championship history. Unlike some folks, I’m unbelievably happy for the Baltimore guy.

I also have a question. Is this the type of accomplishment that would impress Edita Vileviciute? If so, I might go buy a Speedo. (Thanks Heyman Hustle/Busted Coverage!)…

edita

And finally, I leave you with this.

“The Other Guys” opens in theaters tomorrow. Anyone else interested?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6WOoUG1eNo[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 04 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because I haven’t had a chance to post a “Greatest Song of All Time This Week” this week, and it gives me pass along the same message I passed along yesterday via Facebook (Feel free to add me as a friend-just search for “Glenn Clark” and find the guy in the Dan Wilcox jersey hanging out at Artscape).

I have no idea how Train-who I think is an overly solid band-managed to make such a garbage song as that “Hey Soul Sister” nonsense, but thank God their next single “If It’s Love” is much better…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxWK3qACDGk[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s Howard Fendrich says Jeremy Guthrie pitched Orioles past Angels in Buck Showalter’s debut

Yes-I lead with Jeremy Guthrie instead of Buck Showalter. Last night was much more about Jeremy Guthrie than it was about Showalter.

The one thing that Jeremy Guthrie has given this team for the better part of the year is a feeling that they have a chance to win a game.

The Birds couldn’t do much of anything against Trevor Bell last night, but thanks to Jeremy Guthrie keeping them in it-they were finally able to break through when Los Angeles (of Anaheim) went to the pen. Thanks Mike Scioscia!

That being said, you could tell there was a heightened sense of excitement in Baltimore last night, which is what SHOULD come in the first game under a legitimate MLB manager. The question now is whether or not that excitement can continue for SOME sort of prolonged period of time.

My guess is no-mostly because the players on the field are terrible. Not much can be done about that over the next two months. I’ll hope I’m wrong-but the evidence doesn’t suggest I would be.

2. The AP/WNST.net provide numerical evidence of win

Ho.Ly.Crap.

Felix Pie stole a base.

I thought it was a little strange when they stopped the game and removed the base; then brough Pie a mic for him to make a Rickey Henderson-type speech on the field. BUT-I understand that it was such a rare occurance they probably didn’t know how to handle it.

It was nice to see Pie have a solid night after fans were given Pie t-shirts. I’m not sure who picked up mine for me, but I’m at least one of you saevd one for me, right? It was also a big night for Matt Wieters, Josh Bell and of course Luke Scott. I hope we’ll see more of all of that.

Of course, I’m so used to saying “you don’t really want to look at the numbers” that I’m always confused when I don’t have to say that. With that in mind, why don’t you look at this picture of WWE’s Kelly Kelly (Thanks Don Chavez!) AND look at the numbers linked above. It’s a win-win!

kellykelly

3. Carroll County Times’ Rich Dubroff says Showalter spent Tuesday afternoon chatting with Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, O’s veterans

The fact is that if the Orioles are going to be competitive at ANY point in the next 4 years, they’re going to have to build around Nick Markakis and hopefully Matt Wieters. Brian Roberts still has 2 years under contract, but is no longer a franchise-type player even when healthy. Adam Jones has talent, but his mistakes and mentality make him more of a “commodity” than a cornerstone.

Markakis is the guy. He’s under contract for 4 more years. He may not be a REAL franchise player in Major League Baseball, but he’s the closest we have in Charm City. Matt Wieters is under control for a few more years as well, so that’s what you build around.

The team is hoping they can build a rotation around some young pitchers as well; but assuming that Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta or Chris Tillman are there already is a mistake. They cannot be penciled in yet.

That’s what Showalter has. Now he has to work with Andy MacPhail to improve it. I think it goes without saying that I’m not overly hopeful.

4. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Birds to open 2011 season at Tampa Bay Rays April 1, host Opening Day at OPACY April 4 against Detroit Tigers

It doesn’t reflect tradition, but I will admit that I really enjoyed having the home opener on a Friday this year. I was excited to hear that baseball was moving the opener to Friday; so I’m disappointed to hear that the Orioles’ opener will be on the road.

Of course, I’m mostly saying that because it impacts my beer drinking schedule. Day drinking on a Friday > day drinking on a Monday. If it drags into the evening hours, it’s way better to not have to wake up the next morning.

Of course-if you’re drinking Flying Dog Tire Bite; any day is a good day for day drinking…

tirebite

5. Baysox.com says despite continued torrid play from Joe Mahoney, Bowie couldn’t top Portland Sea Dogs on farm

And before we move on from the Orioles, a couple of things…

-The Birds and Halos are back in action tonight at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. First pitch between Dan Haren and Jake Arrieta is at 7:05pm, and the game can be seen on MASN. Dan Haren has yet to pick up a win since coming to the American League. My guess it that will change tonight, but I’ll be rooting that it doesn’t.

-If you get the chance to check out Drew’s Rick Dempsey blog today at WNST.net, it’s worth the read. I feel SOMEWHAT bad for Rick, as I know he badly wants the job-but I think at this point the two parties are going to have to part ways.

-Did you miss Baysox pitcher Wynn Pelzer (the player acquired from the San Diego Padres in the Miguel Tejada deal) with Drew Forrester this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? If you did, make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net to check it out. Other guests this morning included:

  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk.com/NBC Sports)-who discussed the Brett Favre drama and all things NFL
  • Ryan Sharrow (Baltimore Business Journal)-who broke down the messy divorce between MASN and the Ravens
  • Brad Johansen (Cincinnati Bengals Radio PBP Voice)-who previewed Cincy as we go around the AFC North this week

They’re all in the Audio Vault now if you want to check them out. Some other things in the Audio Vault worth checking out include…

  • Fabian Washington (Ravens CB)-who joined Thyrl Nelson following practice Tuesday
  • Matt Williams (Arizona Diamondbacks 1B Coach)-the former D-Backs and San Francisco Giants slugger who played for Buck Showalter in Phoenix; who joined Rex Snider and Allen McCallum Tuesday afternoon
  • Sean Salisbury (former NFL QB)-who discussed Brett Favre and the Ravens with Rex Tuesday
  • All sorts of audio from Westminster Tuesday-including John Harbaugh, Jared Gaither, Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, Ralph Friedgen and Ken Niumatalolo

So there you go. Your afternoon is planned out for you. Enjoy!

6. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Ravens WR Derrick Mason hurt ankle at Training Camp Tuesday, but injury ‘doesn’t appear serious’

Of course the hit would come from Dawan Landry. I think that’s a rule at McDaniel College.

WNST.net’s Luke Jones reported that Mason did not practice Wednesday morning (follow us on Twitter @WNST)-but after talking to him yesterday, I don’t get the feeling that the injury will keep him out for an extended period of time. In fact, I bet we’ll see him on the field Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium if not before. Just a hunch on my part.

By the way, both Drew and I named Derrick Mason the Number 1 “Most Dramatic” player in Ravens history in our “Training Camp Top 5″ this morning. Drew’s list:

5-Matt Stover
4-Shannon Sharpe
3-Chris McAlister
2-John Harbaugh
1-Derrick Mason

My list:

5-Jermaine Lewis
4-Chris McAlister
3-Ed Reed
2-Ray Lewis
1-Derrick Mason

7. CSNBaltimore.com’s John Eisenberg says Jared Gaither plans to ‘put weight back on’

I’m really not all that concerned with Jared Gaither’s weight. He’s always been a more athletic tackle; and I think he will work things out in terms of body size.

What I’m more concerned about is what’s going to happen if and when Harbaugh stops flipping Gaither and Michael Oher between positions and finally decides to have Oher play LT and Gaither play RT. Gaither said yesterday he’d play anywhere the team wants him to and he’d “abide by” Coach Harbs; but we need to see that on the field to accept it.

You know who doesn’t need to put any weight on at all? Christina Moustaka. She’s just fine. (Thanks NextRound.net!)…

moustaka

8. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says WBAL, Comcast SportsNet options for Ravens after MASN partnership ended

We’ll make this easy. I don’t know how many people actually tuned in to watch the John Harbaugh Show or Purple Passion or whatever the hell those shows are called on MASN; but NOBODY will be tuning in to channel 11.1 to see them on WBAL’s digital subchannel. Fans might be willing to stream the shows on BaltimoreRavens.com, but they really need a better on-air alternative.

Using Comcast SportsNet PLUS, their COULD be room for them with CSN-but CSN is ABSOLUTELY intertwined with the Washington Redskins. These wouldn’t be strange bedfellows, these would be absolutely uncomfortable bedfellows. Of course, there aren’t many other options. Perhaps a WNUV 54 or maybe WUTB 24 could be options, but they wouldn’t be ideal.

It’s a shame these parties couldn’t get this worked out; hopefully something could still be figured out in the future.

Before I move on from the Ravens, a couple of things:

-Luke Jones is out at McDaniel College again today, where we are expected to hear from John Harbaugh, Matt Birk, Michael Oher and the commish-Roger Goodell. All of it will be up in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault later today.

-Jameel McClain continues to get the majority of the snaps inside next to Ray Lewis with the first team. It looks more and more like he’s moved ahead of Dannell Ellerbe and Tavares Gooden on the depth chart.

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen, Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo tell media in Westminster they’d like to face each other more often

There’s no doubt in my mind that the Terrapins and Midshipmen should get together every other year, and M&T Bank Stadium is the ideal location to host the “Crab Bowl Classic.”

The successor to Debbie Yow in College Park will have a large say in whether or not this gets done, but sources there have told me before that the school would LIKE to play a game in Baltimore every other year (and play a game at FedEx Field every other year as well).

You know what else I’d like to see more often? Denmark’s Celina Hilslev; who was apparently on the cover of something called M! (Thanks Guyism!)…

hilslev

10. NavySports.com says former Duke standout Greg Paulus joins Midshipmen staff as assistant coach

As a Terps alum, I won’t root for the Mids on Labor Day (or any other time they play Maryland in any other sport); but for the most part-I consider myself a Navy supporter.

So with that being said, how could they POSSIBLY hire a Dukie?!?!? Only John Feinstein could be happy about this!

I’ll wish Paulus the best on Billy Lange’s staff; but I certainly won’t shy away from channeling Peter Rosenberg once more…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYOgC2Qbqh4[/youtube]

And finally, I leave you with this…

I got the chance to wander up to Bel Air yesterday afternoon and play some kickball. No seriously. The good news was that was actually NOT the worst player on the field, nor was I the most out of shape. In honor of that, I rewarded myself with Qdoba and Natty Boh.

We weren’t great, but we certainly weren’t as bad as this…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YedQBGAI_qI[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 27 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because somebody decided to make my week yesterday and alter the Perry Hall High School Wikipedia page. As you know, there was an update made yesterday morning to note the significance of the “Apologist of the Year” award won by Steve Melewski…

melewski

But later in the day; someone (and if you’re reading, I can only say “Thank You”) decided to update the PHHS page again to add an additional member to the “Notable Alumni” section…

glenn

You better believe it’s going on my resume.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens LB Sergio Kindle will miss Training Camp with fractured skull

I don’t know how much I can add here. Like I said yesterday-this is terrible news to start the season. Not season-defining news necessarily, but terrible news nonetheless.

Before being dismissive of the significance of Kindle’s injury, I would suggest you take a look at the roster from a personnel standpoint. This team gave up over 207 yards per game from a passing defense standpoint last year. That was still worthy of a Top 10 defensive ranking; but it’s a number that needs to improve as this team tries to win the AFC North and reach Dallas to play in the Super Bowl.

Sergio Kindle was (almost certainly) not going to step in here and post double digit sacks the way someone like Shawne Merriman did; but he was going to give them depth at OLB and a speedy, athletic look opposite Terrell Suggs when he was on the field. The team CLEARLY hoped his presence would help improve the pass rush; even if he wasn’t solely responsible for posting big sack numbers.

The Ravens really don’t have much depth at OLB. Suggs and Jarret Johnson are the starters; but other than Kindle-the depth includes Edgar Jones (a converted TE/ILB/FB/Centerfielder?), Paul Kruger (who the team had bulk up in the offseason for a move to DE), and both Antwan Barnes and Prescott Burgess. They could also ask another of their many ILB’s to move outside (Jameel McClain comes to mind); but none would be likely to help the pass rush even at the level Kindle could have.

That’s just reality.

The other thing I’ve heard a lot in the immediacy of the Kindle injury is “well, Paul Kruger didn’t do anything for us last year after HE was a 2nd round pick.”

True, sure. But you have to understand that the Ravens were UNBELIEVABLY disappointed in what they got from Paul Kruger last season. We’ll always remember his interception against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but that was about it from the rookie from Utah last season. The organization has MUCH higher expectations from players selected that high in the NFL Draft.

Man, two straight days we start this thing on such a downer. Good news ahead?

2. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Ravens reported to Westminster ‘built for Super Bowl run’

Despite the reality of the Sergio Kindle situation and the month-long Ed Reed distraction, the Troy Smith drama and Cary Williams’ suspension; the Ravens are STILL opening the season with Super Bowl aspirations, and rightfully so.

I had an interesting Twitter conversation with former Ravens TE Dan Wilcox (you can follow him @83DEGREEZ and us @WNST) a few weeks ago about what it takes to win a Super Bowl. I argued that having the right players made up about 80% of the formula for winning the title; with coaching and chemistry making up the other 20% of the formula. Dan disagreed, arguing that chemistry and mental approach made up MUCH more of the formula than I was giving it credit for.

Clearly this isn’t scientific, but Dan WOULD know a thing or two about being part of a winning team-having reached the AFC Championship Game in his final season just two years ago.

If my formula is right, the Ravens have the athletes to win and should make a real push.

If Dan’s formula is right, well, I’m not so sure.

3. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Ravens agreed to 3 year deal with 2nd round pick Terrence Cody

Go ahead and get all of your jokes out right now…

“I heard the Westminster Chick-Fil-A had to call the National Guard for reserves.”
“Are there enough delivery drivers in Carroll County to keep the big man happy?”

Cody didn’t look to have put on any more weight, but hopefully we’ll find out today (Luke Jones is on the field at McDaniel College as I type) exactly what Cody’s weight is as Camp begins.

And then hopefully moving forward we won’t have to continuously update this.

(Edit from GMC: UPDATE. He failed his conditioning test. Awesome news.)

4. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ed Reed, Fabian Washington, Lardarius Webb amongst those who will start camp on PUP list

None of that is surprising-it will be more interesting to see who else MIGHT end up on the PUP list while returning from injury.

By the way, a reminder that this ISN’T the “miss the first 6 weeks of the season” PUP list; this is a PUP list for Training Camp-and there are some clerical matters involved. These guys can go on the PUP list now but be removed before Monday Night Football on September 13.

I’m REALLY hoping that the team DOESN’T put Sofia Vergara on the PUP list. That would be criminal (Thanks Guyism!)…

vergara

5. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says John Harbaugh plans to ‘work out’ issues with Ed Reed

And before we move on from the Ravens, a couple of things:

-If you missed Drew Forrester’s chat with veteran NFL agent Ralph Cindrich this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST-it was really interesting. They discussed Sergio Kindle, his former client Troy Smith and the agent issues currently surrounding USC and NCAA Football in general. The conversation is in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net if you want to check it out. Ravens rookie WR David Reed joined Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”, you can check that out as well.

-The Ravens are back on the practice field today; with an afternoon practice at 3:30pm. John Harbaugh, Cam Cameron and Joe Flacco are all scheduled to meet with the media following practice this morning-we’ll have it all in the Audio Vault, and you can hear all of it throughout the day with Thyrl Nelson and Nestor Aparicio on AM1570 WNST.

6. The AP says Wieters had first career multi-HR game, but Orioles dropped series opener to Blue Jays in Toronto

In fairness, the Birds played REALLY well…after they were down 8-0.

A rough outing for Brad Bergesen, who I guess thought Chris Tillman’s demotion last week meant he had nothing to worry about moving forward. Ugh.

Jose Bautista hit his Major League Baseball-leading 28th home run of the year last night. I know Matt Garza threw the 5th no-hitter of the season last night, but are we sure guys stopped using steroids?

At first blush, I couldn’t believe that was Matt Wieters’ first multi-homer game of his career. When I thought about it more, it made plenty of sense.

Are the Matt Wieters Facts not funny anymore? I’ve had so much taken from me as an O’s fan, I can’t stomach the idea of losing this as well!

7. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of loss

By the way, I have NO IDEA why Juan Samuel brought Brad Bergesen back out to start the 6th inning last night. At first blush, I thought it was shameful. When Samuel pulled him a batter later, I DEFINITELY thought it was shameful.

But as always, you REALLY don’t want to look at the numbers from last night. Instead, look at Adrianne Curry dressed as Princess Leia at Comic-Con in San Diego (Thanks Don Chavez!). We’ll regroup after that…

leia

8. MLB.com’s James Hall says Wigginton’s suspension reduced to two games

Which forced the O’s to play Jake Fox at first last night and have just Julio Lugo and Corey Patterson on the bench.

I’d be concerned, but what does it really matter?

No word on whether or not the O’s are considering a roster move to get another player on the bench tonight; but it might be a good idea. Just a thought-but a backup catcher (Craig Tatum comes to mind) could be helpful.

9. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Josh Bell went 0-7 in Norfolk Tides’ loss on farm

Before we move on from the Orioles, a couple of things…

-The Birds are back in action tonight; facing the Jays at Rogers Centre. First pitch between Kevin Millwood and Ricky Romero is at 7:07pm, the game can be seen on MASN. I don’t like the Birds’ chances against Romero. They don’t do well against lefties. Or anyone.

-Congratulations to Luke Scott for being named the American League Player of the Month. Hopefully that will impress the New York Mets. Or Detroit Tigers. Or San Diego Padres. Or anyone…

-If you missed former Orioles Executive and current SiriusXM MLB Network Radio analyst Jim Duquette with Drew Forrester this morning, make sure you hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to check it out. Delmarva Shorebirds field coach/former O’s CF/my personal hero Mike Devereaux was also on the show, as well as former Maryland lacrosse coach and current Chesapeake Bayhawks consultant Dave Cottle. It’s all in the Audio Vault.

10. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Ralph Friedgen confirmed Jamarr Robinson will start under center for Terrapins

Which we basically knew; but this just settles anyone who thought the job could be available for Danny O’Brien or C.J. Brown to win this summer in College Park.

If Kimberly Phillips shows up in camp however-I’d let her win whatever job she wanted (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)…

kimberly

11. ACC Official Site says Terps picked to finish last in Atlantic Division by media assembled in Greensboro

Ehh…2nd…4th…6th…doesn’t matter to me. It’s like Ricky Bobby says…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_isgXzxIa24[/youtube]

And finally, I leave you with this.

Did Kings of Leon really cancel a show in St. Louis when there was an…umm…seagull incident?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siIQmp4KUoE[/youtube]

I’d be more concerned if they weren’t the band that did “Be Somebody.” That earns them something…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7dQTqBGASU[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 14 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because for the first time ever, I’m going to name CO “Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week”.

And in one of those historic moments-I’m going to name both a hip-hop and a country song.

(Edit from GMC: Insert your own joke here about “that just means you’re replacing your six pack with a 40 in your pickup truck” or something like that. But be sensitive in the process. We’re always appropriate here.)

First, I will admit that my love for Hootie & The Blowfish might make me jaded, but Darius Rucker is ABSOLUTELY one of the greatest things to have ever happened to country music. This is “Come Back Song”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIVtvgc8BPw[/youtube]

On the flip side, a lot of folks have said a lot of things about Kanye West in recent years. Not among them would be that his new single “Power” isn’t really freaking good…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96tTu9-aW9k[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. MLB.com’s Doug Miller says Wigginton played, didn’t hit in American League’s All-Star Game loss

I legitimately watched MAYBE six outs of the ASG last night. I was watching “Wipeout” on ABC, then flipped over to see Ubaldo Jimenez get a double play to get out of the 2nd; and I tapped out to go see “Despicable Me.”

So…my thoughts on “Despicable Me” are that it was GOOD…but your kids will enjoy it more than you will.

Thoughts on the All-Star Game? It happened. Brian McCann may have helped himself, as the Atlanta Braves have at least a chance to reach the World Series. As far as Ty Wigginton is concerned, he’ll always be able to tell folks he was a Major League Baseball All-Star.

So was Robert Fick. So was Ron Coomer. So was Steve Trachsel.

That’s all I’ve got for you.

2. Wall Street Journal says Peter Angelos believes George Steinbrenner ‘as synonymous’ as any great Yankees player

Kudos to “GNicks1024″ on Twitter (you can follow US @WNST) for the response of the day to Angelos’ statement:

Steinbrenner on Angelos “his name is as synonymous with losing as anyone to ever put on…well anything”

I think there’s a relevant discussion about the reaction to George Steinbrenner’s death in comparison to what the reaction would have been had the news been yesterday that Peter had passed away.

Not that I think that Peter will necessarily see the moment as a sort of “A Christmas Carol” situation and will suddenly wake up and decide that he needs to be a better person/baseball owner. But I guess there’s at least a hope that maybe “Ebenezer Scrooge” Angelos will see that just because your legacy looks bad right now, it doesn’t mean there’s no hope for you to be remembered in a different way at the end of your life.

Maybe.

He’ll have a long way to go to be remembered positively here in Charm City.

3. The Daily Record’s Liz Farmer says Birds ranked 20th of 30 MLB teams in Harris Interactive popularity poll

The real question is “how embarrassing must it be for the 10 teams that are somehow LESS POPULAR THAN THE O’S?”

I also thought it was a bit awkward when the teams MORE popular than the Orioles included…

redsox
generals
beerfest

4. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Mike Gonzalez gave up run, 2 hits; Mike Flacco drove in game winner for Aberdeen Ironbirds on farm

Well, we had hoped to catch up with Mike Gonzalez this morning, but we missed him. Hopefully he’ll hook up with Thyrl Nelson later today.

Guests who DID appear on “The Morning Reaction” today with Drew Forrester included John Feinstein (Washington Post), who previewed the U.S. Open and also discussed LeBron James and George Steinbrenner with Drew. Check him out at FeinsteinOnTheBrink.com and pick up his new book “Moment of Glory.” Former Oriole Ken Singleton-now a Yanks TV analyst for the YES Network also joined Drew to remember “The Boss.” Those interviews can be heard in the Audio Vault as well.

And before we move on from the Birds, I want to address Roch Kubatko’s note that the Orioles are interested in Mark Prior…

“TO DO WHAT?!?!?!? CERTAINLY NOT TO PITCH, RIGHT?!?!?!?”

Andy MacPhail’s undying fascination of players he was involved with in the Chicago Cubs organization has AT BEST been unhelpful for the organization; and has arguably HURT the organization. This….this is absolutely INSANE.

5. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens introduce new Training Camp autograph policy

The policy basically states that autographs are only available for children 14 and younger, and that players will only sign autographs after the morning sessions during Camp; none after the afternoon sessions. In fairness, the team had no REGULAR autograph signing sessions in the afternoon; but players would often wander over to the crowd in the past following the PM sessions.

Here’s what REALLY matters to me. If Nina Senicar were to show up at Training Camp, can I still get an autograph from her??? (Thanks Guyism!)

senicar

6. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says new autograph policy in Westminster might send ‘wrong message’

And it might.

The reality is that there’s nothing wrong with a group of incoming seniors at Eastern Tech wanting to come over and grab autographs from Terrence Cody and Joe Flacco. In fact, that demand is EXACTLY what the organization should want.

Clearly there has been trouble with adults trying to bullrush kids for the chance to breathe near Sam Koch or Edgar Jones. I understand the organization’s need to address that. But there is a risk that if a group of high school or college students that WOULD have come out to Camp chooses NOT to come to Camp because they feel like they aren’t welcome to get autographs.

I’ve always thought that setting up some sort of “picture booth” would probably be the right way to do this. What’s popular with young people now is getting a “picture” with a pro athlete or celebrity-mostly so they can post it on Facebook. Hell, even I have an old picture with Ray Lewis somewhere amongst my Facebook pics. The difference is, there’s no real value in a “picture” to anyone besides the person who is IN the picture-so the unreal demand to get multiple signatures on multiple pieces of memorabilia.

It gets rid of the folks who are pushing to get autographs so they can sell them on eBay. It gets rid of the folks who want 10-15 things signed.

It still allows adults to get face time with the pro athletes they love. In fact, the Ravens could even handle all of it in-house with a photographer, and post the pictures at their official website; which helps their brand even more moving forward.

Ravens VP Kevin Byrne joined Drew this morning to explain the policy-if you missed it, make sure you hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net to check it out.

7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says rookies Ed Dickson, Arthur Jones officially signed deals

Also yesterday, the Marc Bulger deal was officially signed-so it was good news all around in Owings Mills!

It was even better news, Dania Ramirez is on the cover of August’s Maxim. Wait, that’s not news? News to me…

dania

8. Fox Sports’ Peter Schrager thinks Walt Harris will win battle for #2 CB job at McDaniel College

Okay…with no offense to Peter Schrager, I think he’s missing something here.

1-The actual “competition” will be between Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington if both are healthy.

2-If they’re not; Harris, Chris Carr and Travis Fisher would all be in the mix.

3-Assuming a 36 year old corner who didn’t play at all last season can beat out much of anyone is probably not the safest of bets at this point.

If he’s healthy, the easy assumption is that Lardarius Webb will be the guy. If not, I’d rank the group:

Fabian Washington
Chris Carr
Walt Harris
Travis Fisher
Cary Williams
Prince Miller

9. The Sun’s Erica L. Green says Michael Phelps to give free swim lessons to Baltimore City summer school students this afternoon

This is a very good thing. I’ve said ever since he dominated the 2008 Olympics in Beijing that Phelps had some level of responsibility to return to Baltimore and be visible and involved in the community.

I know he’s been visible at Ravens games; and his Foundation has done some things for the community. But I haven’t been OVERLY impressed with his dedication (or his team’s dedication) to making that a priority.

You know what I HAVE been overly impressed with? Jenna Pietersen (Thanks Uncoached/Busted Coverage!)

jenna

10. Inside Lacrosse’s John Jiloty says Iroquois Nation will try to travel to FIL World Championships in Manchester, England one more time this afternoon

This story is crazy if you haven’t been following it. The Iroquois Nation plays in the World Championships every 4 years, but there is a passport issue this year that is preventing them from being able to fly into the United Kingdom. They don’t want to have to get U.S. passports because they have laws that protect them as a sovereign nation.

It’s unreal.

Speaking of unreal, how does GEICO keep making awesome commercials? The Randy Johnson snowball commercial is a CLASSIC…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yenuvSUKugc[/youtube]

And finally, I leave you with this.

Apparently this is some sort of riveting video of Terrell Owens getting dunked on at Rucker Park in Harlem that a lot of folks are worked up about. I’m clearly not the target audience for this video. (Thanks With Leather!)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVGaJam4J80[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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