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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because someone found a YouTube video of a guy holding an AK-47 and lip-syncing or singing a karaoke version of “Hello” by Lionel Richie. There’s absolutely no reason for me to enjoy this video, but yet I do…

I have no idea WHY I’d enjoy this video so much, but for some reason…yeah…this…this is just fine.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pGBu6wYYkI[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Jason Berken, Ty Wigginton, Nick Markakis likely All-Star Game candidates for Orioles, Juan Samuel supports Adam Jones

And with that, congratulations to the Birds’ interim manager for winning his first ever “Apologist of the Morning” honor, as selected by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester. I’m well aware that Adam Jones is on an absolutely TORRID pace right now, but hitting well for a few weeks does not a season make. (How was that for poetry?)

Jones’ OBP is just .296. I know he’s hit 12 home runs this season, but he has just 8 walks. Those are NOT All-Star numbers. If the team had done anything before the last 5 days, I’d say he should be a candidate for American League Player of the Month; but getting hot quickly doesn’t qualify you to be an All-Star. Sorry Juan Samuel. Wigginton is in a similar boat. Hitting well to start the season and then falling off the face of the planet doesn’t qualify you as an All-Star either.

The reality is that if the player who has been the best for the O’s all season were to go to Anaheim, it would be Berken. He’s given up 8 earned runs all season, with just 12 walks and 32 strikeouts. He’s absolutely been fantastic. Does he have the pedigree of an All-Star? Of course not. But has he been the team’s “best” player this season from Opening Day until June 29th? I think there’s no doubt about that.

My choice to go to Angel Stadium remains Markakis. As far as someone who “belongs”, Markakis fits the bill. He’s been consistent throughout the season, although he clearly has lacked in the HR and RBI department. The fact remains that this team SHOULDN’T have an All-Star representative, but rules dictate that someone has to go. If someone has to go, I would certainly feel most comfortable with that player being Markakis.

2. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Garrett Atkins not interested in accepting AAA assignment to Norfolk

And as Drew stated so well via Twitter last night (follow us @WNST), the Tides reportedly responded by saying “Somehow, we’ll survive…”

In fairness, Norfolk already has a few Garrett Atkins’ on their roster in Nolan Reimold and Brandon Snyder. I’m not sure that this organization really needs another Garrett Atkins around. It just didn’t work here. For all parties involved (especially one Andy MacPhail), it’s probably best that the sides part ways cleanly.

As a note, I saw the Sun report that Brady Anderson is working with Nolan Reimold. I don’t know that it will make Nolan Reimold a major league baseball player again this season; but I certainly see no reason why it wouldn’t be a good idea. Having the likes of Brady Anderson, BJ Surhoff, Mike Bordick, etc. around is a perfectly good idea in my eyes.

3. The AP/STATS’ Mike Lipka previews O’s-A’s series starting tonight at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

First pitch tonight at OPACY is at 7:05pm, with Dallas Braden facing Brian Matusz. If you’re like me and not really interested in dealing with the heat; you can check the game out on MASN2. As Drew and I discussed this morning; the amazing thing here is that despite the fact that we’ve already seen Oakland 6 times this season-I still can’t name more than 5 or 6 position players off the top of my head.

Rajai Davis can ground out into a triple, I know him. Kevin Kouzmanoff has as many letters in his last name as he does significant hits in his career. Daric Barton is the only human being on the face of the planet with the name Daric. Kurt Suzuki is a worse option to hit cleanup than anyone Baltimore has trotted out this season. I’m pretty sure they have a Sweeney as well…Ryan Sweeney if I remember right.

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. Is Mark Ellis still on the roster? I know Eric Chavez got hurt, I used to be able to name him. I know the A’s pitchers have been pretty good this season. But in reality, the Birds still have a realistic shot at winning a few more games this week.

Of course, I’ve found myself thinking that before.

4. Virginian-Pilot says Chris George rocked in Tides’ loss to Louisville Monday night on farm

You know what else got rocked? MY MIND when I heard WWTDD had pictures of Kelly Brook from her vacation…

kellybrook

5. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens 6th round pick (Morehouse State OT) Ramon Harewood agreed to 3 year deal

This now leaves the Ravens with more SIGNED picks (Harewood, Dennis Pitta, Arthur Jones and David Reed) than they do UNSIGNED (Sergio Kindle, Terrence Cody, Ed Dickson). Nothing surprising here; as I’ve stated before that there’s no reason to think the team will have any trouble getting their picks signed this year.

As far as where Harewood fits in with the Ravens; he’s going to have an uphill climb to be on the roster Week 1 when the Ravens face the New York Jets on Monday Night Football. Michael Oher and Jared Gaither (who I’ve said before is expected to be on the roster come Week 1) are entrenched at the starting tackle positions. Behind them, Oniel Cousins has shown himself to be the #3 guy. Marshal Yanda’s flexibility kept Tony Moll from dressing much last season, but he was on the roster all season after being acquired from Green Bay.

The simple answer would for me to say that Harewood is competing with Moll for a roster spot. That’s not entirely true. Moll has some ability to go inside, which makes him more valuable on Cam Cameron’s offense-even if his natural ability isn’t at the same level as some others on the roster. Harewood is also going to be coming off a knee injury suffered in minicamp when he reports to Westminster. There is ABSOLUTELY a chance that the team could try to store him on IR or the practice squad.

Stefan Rodgers and Joe Reitz are also options at Tackle, and Harewood would have to stay ahead of them to have a shot at making the 53 out of Training Camp. I had him JUST off the bubble on my initial mock roster, I doubt that will change as we get closer to reporting to McDaniel College.

6. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says Greg Mattison thinks Tom Zbikowski playing like Ed Reed

And there isn’t much of anyone better in the world for Zbikowski to model himself after. Similarly, I try to get my girlfriend (you may be familiar with her-”The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet”), to try to be more and more like Mallilany Malin (Thanks Guyism!)…

malin

7. Yahoo! Sports’ Jason Cole says Ravens have 2nd best D-Line in NFL

With the Minnesota Vikings at Number 1, I can’t possibly argue with either of the rankings. Clearly the line with Kevin Williams, Pat Williams and Jared Allen HAS to be considered the best in the National Football League; but the Ravens have built something that deserves recognition as well.

Clearly the Ravens’ D-Line is anchored inside out; with the likes of Haloti Ngata, Terrence Cody and Kelly Gregg holding down the middle. The depth the team has built inside with the likes of Kelly Talavou, Brandon McKinney, Arthur Jones and Lamar Divens behind that.

The reason the Ravens couldn’t really even be CONSIDERED ahead of the Vikes is the lack of a true premier rush end. There was a time that Trevor Pryce WAS that guy, but he isn’t anymore. The team believes that Pryce and Cory Redding can combine to anchor the position moving forward; and I don’t doubt that they can. There’s still a hope that Paul Kruger can develop into a true rush end; but obviously he isn’t there yet.

8. UMTerps.com says Randy Eaton named interim Athletic Director at Maryland

Which is a MUCH too logical decision for the University to make. Eaton has been VERY involved with the program in the role of CFO in recent years, and has been hands on in important decisions with finances, scheduling and personnel. There is no question that if there is someone on staff who at least deserves CONSIDERATION for the job permanently, it would be Eaton.

If you’re interested, Eaton will join Drew Forrester tomorrow morning at 9:00am to talk about his new role. I think Eaton will do a great job in the role, which he could have to fill for some time. With no timetable to complete the search to replace C.D. Mote as University President, the search to find a new Athletic Director could certainly extend into the academic year.

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Debbie Yow will make basically same salary at NC State as she did in College Park

If you missed Debbie Yow’s appearance this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, it is absolutely worth the listen. You can head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net now to check it out.

Maryland soccer coach Sasho Cirvoski joined the show to go around the World Cup, and Washington Capitals GM George McPhee recapped the NHL Entry Draft as well. It’s all there in the Audio Vault if you want to check it out.

Also, the new weekly episode of the “D1scast” with myself and Patrick Stevens is also available now in the Audio Vault. We talk at length about Debbie Yow, Randy Eaton, Greivis Vasquez, the NBA Draft, and the great 4th of July scene in “The Sandlot.” It’s must listen…if you must.

10. Inside Lacrosse’s Terry Foy says former Terrapins lacrosse coach Dave Cottle has interviewed at Harvard

I have no idea if Cottle would be a good fit in the Ivy League. Regionally, he has no coaching experience in New England-but he IS a hell of a coach.

As sad as he was to leave his players, do you get the feeling Dave Cottle felt WORSE about leaving when he found out that the girls in the Undie Run were hanging out with Testudo???

undierun

And finally, I leave you with this.

If you haven’t picked up Drake’s new disc “Thank Me Later”, I suggest you do. I’m FEELING “Miss Me”, even if I’d fight Drake over his desire to marry Nicki Minaj…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84N0xXE_WjM[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Riggins MASN Commercial Is Absolutely Unacceptable

Posted on 25 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

I’m going to try to do this the right way, because there are a lot of elements to this.

The first time I saw the commercial for the new incarnation of the “John Riggins Show” on MASN, I felt uncomfortable.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVCO5vodVho[/youtube]

Having seen it 4-5 more times this week, I’ve gotten to the point where it is absolutely stomach-turning.

Let me start by saying that I understand why MASN filmed a commercial with John Riggins in Baltimore. The point of the commercial was to put him on a football field. MASN has an official partnership with the Baltimore Ravens (Comcast SportsNet partners with the Washington Redskins), and John Riggins’ relationship with Daniel Snyder has frosted since Riggins was dismissed from Snyder’s Red Zebra radio operation.

Filming a MASN commercial for the John Riggins Show at FedEx Field simply wasn’t an option. Not after Riggins took to YouTube to put together a series of YouTube videos like this…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcH9jASAbhY[/youtube]

The simple solution may have been to take Riggins over to RFK Stadium and film the commercial there; but RFK doesn’t have football yardage painted on the field. They’d be filming a commercial at a soccer stadium. Still probably a better option, but not ideal.

And clearly, MASN hoped to promote not only The John Riggins Show-but also their Baltimore Ravens “coverage” by showing M&T Bank Stadium in the background. Seeing the stadium is also a reminder that Training Camp starts soon, and fans in Baltimore will be packing “The Bank” for exhibition games that can be seen live on MASN.

That’s where my defense of them will end.

The fact is, there’s nothing okay about filming a John Riggins commercial at M&T Bank Stadium. There’s nothing okay with mixing purple colors and Washington Redskins highlights. There’s CERTAINLY nothing okay with using an audio clip that is CLEARLY designed to sound like “Hail to the Redskins” on top of a commercial that includes a stand-in that just so happens to be a dead-ringer for Art Modell.

The fact is, no one in the District of Columbia will care or be offended by this commercial one bit. Mostly because the handful of real sports fans in DC are indifferent to the Ravens. The handful of real sports fans in DC hate the Dallas Cowboys, but don’t much care about other teams. The majority of sports fans in DC are transient; and root for more than one team. It isn’t particularly surprising to bump into a sports fan in the District that wears a Tigers hat and a Red Sox shirt.

That’s just the way their market works. Certainly, they care about the Skins much more than they care about any other franchise in their city-but there are a number of folks in the District, Northern Virginia and Prince George’s County that would admit that they probably follow the Ravens as their 2nd team, and pull for the Ravens after the Redskins season ends. (Not a low blow Redskins fans, just a fact.)

No one in DC is angry about seeing John Riggins walking around M&T Bank Stadium. It just doesn’t matter to them. It’s similar to the god-awful “Battle of the Beltways” marketing MASN does. MASN uses weekends like this to promote the fact that they carry BOTH of the area’s “home teams.” They mesh Bob Carpenter, Jim Hunter, Jim Palmer and Rob Dibble in a broadcast booth-send mascots for both teams to the games, and celebrate the two teams as if they were basically just the American League and National League versions of each other.

In DC, no one is bothered. A large number of fans in DC root for the Baltimore Orioles, whether they also root for the Washington Nationals or not. It isn’t offensive to Nats fans to see the Oriole Bird at Nationals Park. It isn’t offensive to hear Jim Palmer dissect John Lannan (or that Strasburg fella) in the broadcast booth on their home broadcast.

In DC, there’s a feeling that the two really ARE both “home teams.”

MASN has clearly capitalized on that, understanding that Washington is simply a larger market than Baltimore. With Strasburg mania making the Nationals suddenly more marketable than they’ve ever been before, MASN is clearly invested in Washington. They’re moving Scott Garceau’s show earlier in the afternoon to make prime room for Riggins’ show, which can only be heard on the HD3 signal of WTOP on a daily basis. They’re doing it simply to compete against “Washington Post Live” on CSN.

This isn’t about MASN putting John Riggins on the air. I think putting radio shows on TV is dreadful programming myself, but they’ve chosen to go that route. They’ve also chosen to market to Washington, as their network extends into Washington.

I’ve accepted all of that.

But what I WON’T accept is what a slap in the face the John Riggins M&T Bank Stadium commercial is to fans in Charm City.

We AREN’T transient. We DON’T root for the Redskins when the Ravens aren’t playing.

In fact, judging from the response to first annual “I Hate The Redskins” show on AM1570 WNST last year (we’ll be doing it again this year, trust me); I’m not the only man in town whose attitude of the team that wears Burgundy & Gold is one of absolute rage.

John Riggins is walking around M&T Bank Stadium in front of the purple seats that are owned by the people of Baltimore. Those are seats that are owned thanks to unbelievably hard work by folks in a blue-collar city. Redskins fans could never possibly understand that.

In Baltimore, we DO NOT HAVE TWO HOME TEAMS. Despite the small group of people that choose to root for the Washington Capitals (and do NOT count me amongst them), we DO NOT CARE for the Washington Redskins. It ISN’T okay to see the Washington Redskins celebrated in Baltimore. It ISN’T okay to see the Washington Redskins promoted at M&T Bank Stadium.

There is leadership within both MASN and sadly the Baltimore Ravens that won’t fully understand that because they AREN’T from Baltimore. They accept that the Pittsburgh Steelers are a rival, but they don’t understand that the Washington Redskins are despised at an almost equal level.

The sense of “why would Ravens fans care about Washington” previals amongst those who aren’t from this town.

Call it “little man syndrome” or a “Napoleon Complex” or whatever you want; but it’s just a fact. We aren’t okay with Washington or the Redskins here. They’re not welcome, and we will NOT celebrate them.

It’s why the majority of us stopped watching Comcast SportsNet some time ago. I will never be interested in what’s going on with Albert Haynesworth or Clinton Portis-unless they suddenly don purple and black.

Washington is a big market. It’s understandable for a Top 10 media market to look desirable to folks in the 22nd largest media market in the country.

But it HAS to be understood that if you want to reach out to Baltimore, you must accept that we hate the Redskins. It makes our stomach turn. Paul Tagliabue tried to keep the NFL out of our town and force us to watch the Redskins play the Phoenix Cardinals on a Sunday afternoon when we could have been watching the Green Bay Packers play the San Francisco 49ers.

Washington fans got over Peter Angelos trying to block MLB in the district. But Washington fans aren’t blue collar, diehard, live or die passionate fans. Folks who aren’t from Baltimore won’t understand that. There is no “getting over” our anger towards Washington. We’re reminded of it on a daily basis. When Jimmy Buffett comes to town this summer, I’m going to be told that I can see him “locally” at Nissan Pavilion in Bristow.

I’m not “getting over it.”

And if MASN is going to succeed and make fans in Baltimore, they’re going to have to understand that. It isn’t cute to put John Riggins next to someone who you obviously hand-picked for his resemblence to Art Modell. It isn’t okay to put together an audio clip that sounds an awful lot like “Hail to the Redskins” while you’re filming at the stadium that represents the best thing this entire city has going for it.

It works in Washington. It doesn’t work in Baltimore. In Baltimore, it is COMPLETELY unacceptable.

Film the next commercial at Wilde Lake High School, or in College Park.

Just don’t celebrate the Redskins at our Purple Palace.

-G

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 15 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me 1-because I’m so drugged up on allergy meds that I wouldn’t know if it WASN’T a Happy Tuesday, 2-because a friend passed this classic along to me via Facebook…

(Edit from GMC: The audio here is NSFW! Unless of course you work as an intern on “The Morning Reaction.” In which case, we’ve used all of these words to describe you this morning.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TH_dKfBI40[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP says Chris Tillman roughed up, knocked out early as Orioles fell to Giants

I did it again.

Much like Sunday when I was a few minutes late in flipping to MASN because I wanted to watch Stephen Strasburg on MASN2, I was a few minutes late last night because I wanted to watch the end of WWE Raw. And once again, by the time I got flipped over to watch the Orioles-things were already out of hand. This time, it was 6-1. And while I had missed a Matt Wieters home run, apparently I hadn’t missed too much more than that.

I went back and watched a bit of Tillman-his velocity certainly needed to be up. I also thought he lacked confidence in his pitches, but that might have just been a realization of what jersey he was wearing.

It was a fun night at AT&T Park. Just as long as you don’t root for the Orioles. There aren’t too many of us that do.

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

Ty Wigginton had a couple of doubles (one of which maybe should have been a home run), but he also had two of the team’s 8 strikeouts. That’s about how it goes these days.

You know what, you REALLY don’t want to look at this box score. In fact, let me go another way with this. This is Brittany Rathel. Busted Coverage pointed her out to me. She’ll be more fun to look at than last night’s box score would have been…

brittanyrather

3. WNST.net’s Jay Trucker says while Garrett Atkins historically bad in Baltimore, Aubrey Huff excelling in San Francisco

AND JUST WHEN I HAD STARTED FEELING GOOD AGAIN!!!!!

The must frustrating part about Jay’s column is certainly the information that the Huff is making $3 million in San Fran while Atkins is making $4.5 million in Charm City. I wasn’t heartbroken when the Birds decided to part ways with Huff, but I would have never signed off on it had I known they weren’t going to go out and get anyone else who could drive in runs.

That’s absolute INSANITY.

Of course, I somehow feel as though it hurts MORE that Pat Burrell homered last night. How can PAT BURRELL be hitting home runs?

I can’t think about this anymore. I might have another allergy attack.

4. ESPN.com says Bobby Valentine doesn’t see much ‘reward’ in O’s situation

Thank you Bobby Valentine for not sugar coating this. Valentine apparently went on “Baseball Tonight” (I will admit that I rarely watch Baseball Tonight anymore) last night and said “I don’t know that Andy (MacPhail) and I get along that well.”

I don’t know this to be true-but I might imagine it would have something to do with Bobby V telling MacPhail he wouldn’t be okay with managing a team that featured nothing but young guys and second-rate veterans.

This is the reality of the Orioles’ situation. Andy MacPhail and Peter Angelos want to get “the right guy”, but I don’t think they’re going to lie to them in the process. Instead, they’re likely going to say something along the lines of “look, we want you to get the job done here-but we’re not gonna go out and become the Yankees or the Red Sox. If you think you can work with young talent and a couple of key veterans, we want you here. If not, this might not be the job for you.”

And that approach might well work for an Eric Wedge (who has already interviewed), or Bob Melvin, or Clint Hurdle (who is currently employed by the Texas Rangers so he’d have to wait until the end of the season to interview); but apparently not with Valentine.

We can’t COMPLETELY scratch him from the list yet, but we might as well. I’m not losing sleep over not having Bobby Valentine as manager, but that doesn’t mean he might not have been a good manager for this team.

5. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Wigginton hoping to reach All-Star Game as write-in candidate

There have been some BAD all-stars in the history of the Midsummer Classic, including the likes of Robert Fick and Ron Coomer. And of the current crop of Baltimore Orioles-while Adam Jones, Miguel Tejada, Kevin Millwood and Brian Roberts are known former All-Stars, did you know Cesar Izturis was ALSO once an All-Star?

That’s the group Ty Wigginton would hope to move into. The group of Robert Fick, Ron Coomer, Lance Carter and Cesar Izturis. Ugh.

As an Orioles fan, I hope Nick Markakis gets the call as the Orioles’ representative. He’s been the team’s best player this season-even if not necessarily deserving of being honored amongst the best players in the American League. He also deserves the nod for having played like an All-Star now for 5 years in his career.

6. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Josh Bell homered, doubled for Norfolk Tides last night

And before we move on from the Orioles, a few notes:

-The Orioles and Giants are back at it tonight, with Jake Arrieta facing Joe Martinez. First pitch from the Bay Area is at 10:15pm on MASN2. Game 6 of the NBA Finals starts at 9pm, which means the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics should at least have played about 6 minutes before first pitch in SF.

-Congratulations to “Apologist of the Morning” Todd Webster. Since “The Great Arbitrator” got too far behind this morning, I went ahead and handled responsibilities when it comes to making the selection. Todd Webster works for MASN, and was reached for comment when word came down that MASN’s Orioles ratings were somehow UP a little bit this season despite the Orioles being historically bad. Here’s Webster’s response…

“The Orioles’ improved ratings shows the depth of commitment Orioles fans have for their team. The history and tradition of Orioles baseball is a part of the fabric of Baltimore and Washington, as more fans are tuning in.

Demand for advertising is also stronger than last season, as marketers see the value of associating with Orioles baseball. Led by the automotive sector, year-over-year ad sales are up by double-digits, not only because of the improving economy but also because MASN and the Orioles can offer so many solutions, from TV spots to in-game and in-park sponsorships, from hospitality to radio. …”

Now THAT’S apology.

-There was a measure of good news yesterday, as Brittany Ghiroli passed along via Twitter that Andy MacPhail had said Felix Pie, Mike Gonzalez, Jim Johnson and Brian Roberts could return by the end of June. I feel like I should be excited. For some reason, I’m not.

-If you missed former Oriole and current Aberdeen Ironbirds pitching coach Scott McGregor today on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, make sure you head on over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault and check it out. Other guests this morning included NFL Network reporter and World Cup enthusiast Jason La Canfora and our annual U.S. Open preview with Damon Klepczynski from Mountain Branch. Plus, our pal “Captain Jerk” had a Tony Bennett-inspired Orioles song worth taking a listen to. It’s all in the Audio Vault.

7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says former Ravens Frank Walker, William VanDeSteeg tried out with Houston Texans

If I didn’t know better, there would be so many great jokes I could make here about the Texans. The fact is, I know that neither Walker nor VanDeSteeg would be expected to be any sort of impact player this season-so I can’t really beat them up too bad.

Of course, if I were looking at guys like Frank Walker and William VanDeSteeg, I might also bring in Alessandra Ambrosio for a look. Just so I’d know. (Thanks Guyism!)

alessandra

8. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Joe Flacco plans to keep working with Anquan Boldin, Donte’ Stallworth between now and Training Camp

Do you know how much better this headline reads than this…

“BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Kyle Boller plans to keep working with Clarence Moore, Randy Hymes between now and Training Camp”?

I already feel better just based on the names involved!

9. The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Maryland officials, boosters believe move from ACC to Big Ten ‘unlikely’

This is one of the subjects Patrick Stevens (@D1scourse on Twitter) and I discussed during our inaugural “D1scast”, which can be heard right now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.

The more I talk to high ranking Terrapins (and I talked to more yesterday), the more I truly believe this probably isn’t happening. But as I said yesterday, you always have to keep in mind that money talks. Don’t call it DEAD, just call it UNLIKELY.

10. Inside Lacrosse’s John Jiloty says Drexel coach Brian Voelker hasn’t been contacted by Terrapins regarding lacrosse gig

And neither has Stevenson’s Paul Cantabene (as Ed Lee from the Sun confirmed last night), but Harvard’s John Tillman HAS.

It isn’t a sexy group. As I said yesterday, I’ve seen sexier groups on “The Biggest Loser.”

That being said, the Terps are just hoping there’s a decent coach in the group.

And speaking of “sexy groups”, here’s a new picture of Kim Kardashian from What Would Tyler Durden Do….

kimk

And finally, I leave you with this.

I’ll admit it. As much it bothered me as an Italy fan to come up with just a draw against Paraguay, I still enjoyed this. (Thanks Deadspin!)

paraguay

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 20 May 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because:

A-It was a thriller in Owings Mills yesterday, and a great lacrosse game is about as good of theater as there is in sport

and…

B-The 2012 Olympics may not have been awarded to Baltimore and Washington; but at least we didn’t come up with a stupid mascot like London did…

london

That might actually make the thing they used in Atlanta in 1996 look like a decent mascot. You remember, the thing that was so weird that they originally named it “Whatzit” before changing the name to “Izzy”…

izzy

What’s wrong with just making a Bear or a Tiger a damn mascot?!?!?

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s Stephen Hawkins says Nelson Cruz’s sac fly in 9th lead Rangers over Orioles

What a freaking mess this was last night…

-Jeremy Guthrie apparently spent after 6 innings (according to Dave Trembley via Rick Kranitz)
-Koji Uehara wiltering in the Texas heat
-SIX relievers in less than 3 innings
-Garrett Atkins being….Garrett Atkins
-Cesar Izturis doing his best Paul Molitor impression
-Josh Hamilton maybe…or maybe not…hitting 2 home runs
-Jim Hunter apologizing, Jim Palmer analyzing
-Dave Trembley getting mad at Palmer and Hunter for not being able to fight with C.B. Bucknor during MASN’s “Wired Wednesday” segment
-Atkins, Miguel Tejada, and Corey Patterson combining to be responsible for leaving 16 men on base
-A two run rally from the Rangers when they couldn’t get the ball out of the infield!
-Will Ohman’s wacky shtick
-Brian Roberts in the hospital?
-A walk-off win to send the crowd in Arlington home…happy?

It was just a WEIRD night at The Ballpark in Arlington. Maybe it’s best that the Birds are only playing two there.

I want to analyze this one, but it’s really hard to do.

Another nice effort from Guthrie, but I’d like some more info on why Kranitz thought he couldn’t go longer than 90 pitches. Was he hurt? Is he laboring? Was the heat really an issue in The Lone Star State?

And the biggest issue of course…WHY DO I EVEN CARE THIS MUCH?!?!?

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

You really don’t want to look at this.

As my buddy Brian Marston from Forest Hill pointed out, the Rangers were somehow actually WORSE than the O’s with RISP-but they still won!

You know, I’m going to do you a favor. Instead of looking at the box score, look at Antone DeJesus making some ridiculous home run-saving catch in the minor leagues…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5-fDeGBXDg[/youtube]

Trust me, that was much better than thinking about last night’s game any more.

3. WNST.net’s Jay Trucker says Brian Roberts hospitalized with pneumonia, Andy MacPhail not concerned

And why would he be???

This sounds awfully similar to the organization’s reaction when the original news about B-Rob’s troubles came down in Spring Training. While Buster Olney was reporting “kidney stones”, the organization was dismissing it as some form of back pain.

There really does appear to be something particularly troubling going on with Brian Roberts. Does it mean he won’t return in June? Not necessarily. But does it mean that we can probably expect it to be an issue in the future? I’m guessing yes.

Is it a bad sign when you read that Brian Roberts has pneumonia and you can’t possibly be surprised?

It really sucks being an Orioles fan.

4. ESPNDallas.com’s Calvin Watkins says umps admitted they missed call on what would have been home run for Josh Hamilton in Rangers’ win

As I said last night via Twitter (make sure you follow us @WNST), we’re all in agreement that Josh Hamilton is doing steroids, right? I said it because I wanted to dismiss Jeremy Guthrie giving up a bomb like the one he gave up for Hamilton’s first home run-more or less the 2nd one that ABSOLUTELY should have been a home run.

The real issue is that the replay system is totally screwed up. Dana DeMuth said that Ron Washington didn’t request a replay, but wouldn’t have granted it even if he did. How is that even possible?!?!? Umpires are going to defend each other’s calls, and the replay system should be in place to circumvent a situation like that.

If that’s the system, it needs to be fixed. Of course, had it helped the Orioles win last night-I probably wouldn’t be so miffed about it.

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Scott Moore, Chris Tillman had big night for O’s on farm

Before we move on from the Birds, a few things:

-I guess it’s a done deal that Michael Aubrey is coming up for the Nationals series. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Garrett Atkins’ tenure is over in Baltimore, but I would presume it marks the end of his tenure as everyday first baseman. The real question this weekend is what to do with Luke Scott? If Michael Aubrey plays first base, do you move Corey Patterson to center and put Luke Scott in left? Do you bench Patterson and have Adam Jones lead off again? Do you bench Scott-who is in the middle of his annual hot streak?

You can’t possibly call Michael Aubrey up and keep him on the bench with Luke Scott at first, can you???

-Congratulations to Steve Melewski for being named “Apologist of the Morning” today by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester. It was a frustrating morning for me after another loss, but I still can’t fathom writing 400 words and dedicating an entire segment of the pre-game show to a single Matt Wieters throw. It was a throw. It was fast. I’m glad he made it. I’m even happier that he’s leading the American League in caught stealing.

But again, it was a throw. PERSPECTIVE, please.

-If you missed Norfolk Tides 1B Brandon Snyder with Drew today on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, make sure you click on the Audio Tab and head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to listen. Snyder is mired in a terrible slump, and just really wanted to talk about it. Also this morning, Drew talked to Trenni Kusnierek from MLB Network, former Cubs/Phillies/Rangers OF and current ESPN analyst Doug Glanville, and Stevenson lacrosse coach Paul Cantabene.

-The O’s wrap their short series with the Rangers tonight in Arlington, Brian Matusz faces Scott Feldman. First pitch on MASN2 is at 8:05pm. Is anyone going out to Nats Park tomorrow night? I’m thinking about making the trip.

6. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Le’Ron McClain wants long term deal

Nothing to be concerned with here. Of COURSE Le’Ron McClain wants a long term deal. Any RFA wants a long term deal. And after reaching the Pro Bowl while getting the majority of carries in 2008, Le’Ron McClain is always going to want more carries.

As long as he doesn’t become a distraction in the process, there’s no reason to be concerned.

If YOU’RE looking for a distraction, I think the picture of Audrina Patridge from the cover of Ralph Magazine that Guyism posted yesterday will do the trick…

audrina

7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says WR Justin Harper, CB Cary Williams, S KJ Gerard signed exclusive rights deals

All 3 guys are really long shots to make the roster, but they each bring something different to the team. Justin Harper brings size and leaping ability, but unfortunately he offers little in terms of consistency.

KJ Gerard-the UFA out of Northern Arizona really impressed them in the offseason and Training Camp last year, enough that he was bumped from the practice squad to the active roster after Haruki Nakamura got hurt. But with Nakamura healthy and Ed Reed expected to return, it’s unlikely the Ravens will keep a 5th safety.

Cary Williams also has more size (6’1″) than the rest of the corners on the roster, but lacks experience. If Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington are healthy, it’s unlikely they’ll keep move than 5 corners. It sets up for a battle between Williams and Travis Fisher for the most part.

8. GoMustangSports.com says Richie Ford scored in OT to cap thrilling win over Roanoke in NCAA Tournament quarterfinals

I can’t even begin describe how awesome this game was. The Maroons (what a terrible name) actually got 72 shots in the game, 40 of them on goal! Geoff Hebert played out of his mind for the Stangs, as did Roanoke goalie Jake Dorsey.

I get it-it’s DIII lacrosse. If you can’t get excited for it, I’m not going to talk down to you. But it WAS exciting yesterday. It was THRILLING, frankly. There was a packed house at Caves Athletic Complex (maybe as many people as ventured into Oriole Park at Camden Yards Monday night), and they were treated to something special.

Up next for Stevenson is Salisbury in the NCAA semifinals; after Salisbury survived Haverford in overtime last night. The game will be Sunday at Sea Gull Stadium. If you’re in Ocean City this weekend, it’s worth stopping by on your way back.

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland seniors trying to avoid becoming first class since 1971 to graduate without reaching Final Four

I’ll just go ahead and say it. The Terps SHOULD be in the Final Four AT LEAST every four years. Some people (Patrick included) will remind me that making the Final Four ISN’T EASY, but I don’t buy it when it comes to the Terrapins. They HAVE better resources than almost any other team in the country, and they should compete at that level. I understand that academics makes it difficult, but it’s not an excuse for them to not reach that level.

For the record, I expect them to beat Notre Dame and get to the Final Four this year, but I won’t be celebrating. It means they met my expectations. I’m not going to apologize for having outrageous expectations, either. They have the monetary resources. They have the best talent in the country in their backyard. They SHOULD be there.

By the way, make sure you check out Patrick’s story about the shadow George Huguely is casting over Dom Starsia and the Virginia Cavaliers. It’s must-read stuff.

10. The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes, Landon Milbourne to graduate today-still think about loss to Michigan State

Myself-I DON’T want to think about it. Congratulations to the Maryland seniors, but I’m not discussing what happened in Spokane that day. Instead, Busted Coverage had some pictures of someone named Emma Taylor, I’d rather talk about that…

emma

And finally, I leave you with this.

Via With Leather, Jets QB Mark Sanchez may or may not be dating Jamie-Lynn Siegler. I may or may not hate Mark Sanchez…

jamie

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 18 May 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because Free The Birds was a great time last night. Despite the crowd of less than 2,000 in the stadium, despite the god awful weather, and despite the baseball game (which-as I said on Facebook this morning-will go down as one of the worst sports-related products I have ever witnessed); we still had fun.

Whether it was heckling the Royals behind their dugout (or heckling Dave Trembley for walking Mitch effing Maier), cheering for Corey Patterson from the upper deck in left field, or watching a lemonade vendor walk around the stadium to sell exactly his THIRD lemonade of the night; it was fun.

And thank God it was, or else this AP image would have been our lasting memory of the night…

crowd

Un.Freaking.Real.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says ‘same old’ Orioles lost again to Royals last night at OPACY

You see, when they loaded the bases on Joakim Soria (whose nickname “The Mexicutioner” is ABSOLUTELY the best in MLB) in the 9th, I REALLY thought they were breaking the funk.

Not necessarily because I thought Ty Wigginton was going to channel Luke Scott and go yard for a game-winning slam; but because I REALLY felt as though he’d get a sac fly and at LEAST tie things up.

1-12 with runners in scoring position. The only hit was an accidental dribbler from Miguel Tejada in the 1st.

If we were surprised, we’d be surprised.

How can Garrett Atkins still be on this team?!?!?

I’ve got nothing else. I was there. It was miserable. It also wasn’t even the least bit surprising.

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

I still can’t fathom how the Orioles couldn’t manage a SINGLE EXTRA BASE HIT against Kyle Davies.

Of course, with the success they’ve had bunting recently-I’m not sure why they don’t just bet every time up.

Brad Bergesen-who apparently used his designation to the minors as a chance to set himself up to start every game in the rain the rest of the season-was pretty good again last night. Pretty good though. Not REALLY good, as some might try to say. He was pretty good, and gave the team a slight chance to win.

I’m running out of things to say about the games. I really am. We know the problems, they’re just not getting fixed. Of course, they’re not getting fixed because the team just isn’t good enough.

Now I’m getting angry again. Watching the Orioles is more dramatic than watching The Hills.

3. WNST.net’s Nestor Aparicio says less than 2,000 spectators took in O’s loss at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

The announced crowd last night was 9,299. I don’t remember them playing “Guess the Attendance”, which might have been because they knew fans could cheat and count the attendance themselves.

Of course, if they HAD counted-the number they would have come up with would have been nowhere NEAR 9,299. The Birds may have legitimately sold 9,299 tickets to last night’s game (who knows?), but they certainly didn’t have that many eyeballs in the stands.

Nestor didn’t take that picture BEFORE the game.

As I said this morning, when I was sideline reporter for the Arizona Rattlers, I attended Arena Football League games that LEGITIMATELY had 5 times as many fans in attendance.

You know, this is much too depressing. I need to lighten this up.

This is Daniela Pane. We went to Perry Hall High School together. I think there’s an argument as to whether she or I has gone on to be the best looking member of the Class of 2001…

daniela

Yeah, it’s a close call.

4. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli and Pete Kerzel say Trembley considering Uehara as closer

…or at least finding a more prominent role for his sideburns.

I know Mike Gonzalez is working his way back, and I know Alfredo Simon hadn’t blown a save before Saturday night. That being said, do any of us believe either of them will be legitimate options to close games…you know…should the Orioles have another situation where they need a closer this season?

I’d be fine with seeing Uehara close. He has to do something-he’s on the payroll for the remainder of the year.

If it doesn’t work, I’m sure Andy MacPhail has a plan. He always does.

5. Virginian-Pilot says Michael Aubrey homered, Troy Patton roughed up as Norfolk Tides fell to Buffalo Bisons on farm

Michael Aubrey has to be headed towards Charm City pretty soon, right?

Before we move on (mercifully) from the Birds, a couple of things:

-Congratulations to “Sgt.” Jen Royle, who was AGAIN selected by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester as our “Apologist of the Morning.” Drew honored Jen for these thoughts she left over at 105.7…

I went to the Kansas City side post game and listened to their new manager, Ned Yost, compliment the pesky Patterson up top and then heard Billy Butler, who when 2-for-4 with two RBI, praise Bergesen. The O’s got compliments from their opponents but unfortunately, that doesn’t help in the win column.

I could have dissected the Orioles’ pre-game meal and it would have been exactly as relevant. Wow.

-The O’s and Royals are back at it tonight; with Kevin Millwood facing reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke. First pitch on MASN2 is at 7:05pm. Join Luke Jones in our “Orange Crush” chat right here at WNST.net; and make sure you’re following us on Twitter (@WNST).

-If you missed Luke, Soren Petro from 810 WHB in KC, VERSUS NHL reporter Bob Harwood, or IndyCar Series commercial President Terry Angstadt today on “The Morning Reaction”, make sure you check them out in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.

6. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens signed CB Travis Fisher, S Brad Jones

Fisher’s NFL experience and the injuries to Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington will give him some chance of making the 53 man roster. Giving him a contract is PROBABLY the final nail for Frank Walker as well, barring further injuries.

Brad Jones-an undrafted free agent safety from Cincinnati-is a much longer shot to make the team. With Ed Reed and Haruki Nakamura expected to be healthy, the Ravens aren’t going to be hurting for safety depth. Of course, there is a chance Jones could shine in Training Camp and make the practice squad-which would probably be a good gig for him.

7. The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Jared Gaither present at Ravens Passing Camp, but not known whether or not he practiced

I’ll be out in Owings Mills today, although I’m not sure whether or not I’m allowed to let you know if Jared Gaither hits the 1 Winning Drive practice field or not. We’ll see!

You’ll be able to hear from John Harbaugh and others later today with Rex Snider and Ray Bachman.

I’ll be able to watch John Beck throw passes.

Lucky me!

You know who else is lucky? F.P. Santangelo. Apparently former Playboy chick Michelle McLaughlin belongs to him (Thanks Busted Coverage!)…

mmc

8. Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman says Preakness runner-up First Dude will run Belmont, fellow Dale Romans horse Paddy O’Prado also likely to run

Is winning a Belmont Stakes without the Kentucky Derby winner or Preakness winner SORTA like being named “Most Valuable Oriole”?

Kinda.

Do you think Dale Romans is ready to do his best Brian Roberts impersonation?

Yeah I think he is.

I’ll be pulling for Romans at the Belmont, as he’s a great guy. Sometimes you gotta get your first Triple Crown win however you possibly can.

9. The AP’s Richard Rosenblatt says no Triple Crown threat hurts NYRA already hurting for money

I have an idea for how they can raise money…sell Irina Sheik calendars…

irinasheik

As far as horse racing-related ideas for raising money? Don’t take advice from anyone in the state of Maryland. That’s all I’ve got.

10. Washington Examiner’s Jim Williams says Maryland amongst topics being discussed at Big Ten meetings

I never had a major issue with the Big East rumors. I’m not sure the Big Ten would be a good idea for the Terps, however. Doesn’t help them in football OR basketball, with the exception of getting Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan games in College Park.

The flip is that they’d lose those games (and others in the conference), and getting Michigan State and Indiana in basketball doesn’t make up for losing North Carolina and Duke.

I hate everything about this whole “expansion” topic. I sorta just wish it would go away…

And finally, I leave you with this…

Bret Hart won the United States Championship last night on WWE Monday Night Raw. I don’t care that “The Hitman” is 52 years old and even I might be able to beat him in a fight at this point. He RULES…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqqhQVIPj7A[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 26 April 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a Happy Monday for me because even though I missed yesterday’s “Earth Day Climate Rally” on the National Mall, I heard about a new rave that’s sweeping the nation…

Sexy Na’vi Costumes!

na'vi

I like EVERYTHING about this. This will be especially helpful at Halloween, as I was getting sick of only ever seeing sexy nurses and sexy cops and things of that nature. It was about time ladies stepped up their game.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP says Cla Meredith picked up first career save as Birds hung on to beat Red Sox

I know I’m not the first to make this joke-but when the Orioles couldn’t win on Sundays and everyone was getting pissed off-it wasn’t because we wanted the Orioles to ONLY win on Sundays!

The reaction to yesterday’s win has been a bit odd. The players (and manager) gave quotes akin to having won a World Series. Mostly-fans have been well aware that one win REALLY doesn’t mean that much.

But it feels good to get a win. Especially when 16 of the other 18 games the team has played have been losses.

The wins are almost more difficult to analyze than the losses, as it feels like it took a miracle to get it. Even the line drive at the end of the game appeared to be headed over Ty Wigginton’s head and into the territory of more heartbreak.

David Hernandez had a great start to his outing, but things started to come apart. The bullpen was up and down, but Cla Meredith (who had amazingly NEVER recorded a single save in his career) allowed the entire city to breathe a sigh of relief.

All over ONE WIN.

ONE WIN.

You know-if Dave Trembley HAD decided to puff on a cigar after the game during his MASN interview, I probably would have given him a pass.

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

No one will want to talk about this, but during the course of the game-the hitters in the O’s lineup combined to leave 26 men on base.

26.

That doesn’t mean 26 physical men were left on base, but that the batters in the lineup combined to leave 26 freaking men on base.

That almost seems impossible.

Some of those runs could have really mattered, too. When they went up 7-4 in the 10th inning; I personally assumed Jim Johnson would step back in and slam the door on the Sox. But had Julio Lugo actually been able to lay down a bunt and more the runners over, maybe the lead could have been extended to 9-4 and things would have never gotten interesting.

These runners ALWAYS matter. Julio Lugo was crucified by a number of people in town (starting with Jim Palmer) when he didn’t run out a ground ball. Where’s the accountability for failing to get runners over in the 10th?

Is it okay because the Orioles won?

Wasn’t okay by me.

3. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Orioles should step up to ‘challenge’

The challenge of winning 50 games this season?

What Drew is saying is very relevant. You can go to the Audio Vault this morning at WNST.net and hear from Eric DeCosta, who joined “The Morning Reaction” for a chat with Drew Forrester on AM1570 WNST to recap what the team did this weekend during the NFL Draft.

That’s right, the Ravens’ #2 decision maker when it comes to personnel joined Drew Forrester this morning, with the understanding that he had to hold himself accountable for the decisions the organization made-including trading out of the #25 spot, selecting Sergio Kindle at 43, adding Terrence Cody, and drafting two tight ends. He also answered questions about players they didn’t select-including Dez Bryant and Rob Gronkowski.

It IS important that all sports franchises make themselves available to be held accountable for their decisions. When you ask people in the city to invest their money in your franchise, you need to be accountable. Allowing 105.7 and MASN to say things like “that was a tough one today skip” isn’t accountability.

It’s a fair argument-which is strange considering Drew made it. Usually I only apperciate his arguments when they have to do with Denzel Washington, John Mayer or this subject…

steak

4. Springfield Republican’s Dan Lamothe says despite taking 2 of 3 from Birds, still plenty of questions about Red Sox

You know, I really thought this was the biggest story line of the weekend. Despite the fact that Boston won 2 of the 3 games at Fenway Park, I think this weekend really proved that the Red Sox just aren’t that good.

Who is going to drive in runs for that team?

I understand that they’re playing with Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron. I understand that the Orioles’ starters threw some good innings this weekend. But the Red Sox-to me, don’t look like a team that can win the American League Wild Card (as I predicted they would do before the season) and CERTAINLY not the type of team that can compete against the Yankees and Rays in the AL East.

Unless of course they find a way to add a big run producer in the middle of their lineup. Which-given the fact that their ownership, decision makers and fans all want to WIN-I wouldn’t doubt them doing.

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Bergesen excelled, Hobgood & Spoone struggled on farm

Before we wrap up our portion of today’s news dedicated to the Orioles, a reminder that they are off tonight-and will return to action tomorrow night against the Yankees at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. If you’re heading to the game, be sure to say hello to the 15,000-25,000 fans from New York who will be joining you; as well as the 3,000-5,000 fans from Baltimore who will be in attendance.

Also, congratulations to “Camden Crazies”, whose musings on Twitter yesterday have earned “Apologist of the Morning” honors. His musings included comments about the Orioles being better than their record and that the relievers weren’t that bad because “sometimes hits fall in.”

They certainly do. Sadly, the fall in much more often against the Orioles.

6. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Boston College LB Mike McLaughlin, Tennessee LS Morgan Cox amongst UFA’s Ravens have agreed to terms with

And McLaughlin (who is probably the best overall player of the group the Ravens have signed post-Draft) joined the great Glenn Clark Sunday during NFL Draft coverage on AM1570-you can also hear that interview in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.

Morgan Cox may have the best chances of making the team of any player in the group. We all know how badly Matt Katula struggled a season ago; and if those struggles are still evident when the team reports to McDaniel College in July, Cox could steal the job.

Sorta similar to how NIKKI Cox once stole my heart…

nikkicox

7. Carroll County Times’ Haruki Nakamura believes Ravens’ NFL Draft was ‘tremendous success’

Well, I wouldn’t exactly expect Haruki to say that Ozzie Newsome failed the team during the Draft; but I certainly got the idea that Ravens players were happy with the moves the team made over the weekend.

Ravens LB Jameel McClain appears to be happy that the team added fellow Syracuse Orange defensive player Arthur Jones. And for the record, I’m happy Arthur Jones is a Raven too. Please pass that along to his brother Jon “Bones” Jones so that he doesn’t kick my ass…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyA6e2OJqC8[/youtube]

8. USA Today’s Jarrett Bell gives Ravens “B+” for Draft

And while Draft grades are totally silly, this appears to be about what most people think about the Draft.

My thoughts on the Draft? ESPN should really use Jenn Brown more often…

jennbrown

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terps fell to Virginia in ACC Championship Game without Will Yeatman

We know this much…the Cavs are the best team in the country-despite their setback at Duke.

It really is a shame that Maryland was forced to play without Yeatman, as the teams were separated by just a single goal the first time they met at Byrd Stadium, and things certainly had a chance to be just as interesting this time around.

Instead of getting off on one of their notorious slow starts, the Terrapins started the game well, but lost firepower down the stretch against Wahoos goalie Adam Ghitelman.

The one thing I’ll say about yesterday’s game is that it didn’t prove to me that they are incapable of beating UVa. Should the teams meet again at M&T Bank Stadium in the Final Four-I think they’ll have a chance…IF they have Will Yeatman.

10. Inside Lacrosse says Maryland 3rd, Loyola 6th, Towson 11th in Nike/Inside Lacrosse Top 20 poll

Loyola didn’t exactly throttle Hobart on Saturday, but they won comfortably to extend one of the more impressive hot streaks I can ever remember from the Greyhounds. Tony Seaman’s Tigers beat Penn State Saturday to extend a winning streak of their own.

Of course-the bad news for local lax fans came when Johns Hopkins fell to Navy; as it looks more and more like the Blue Jays may end up being left out of the NCAA Tournament altogether. A loss to Towson Wednesday night or to the Hounds at Ridley Athletic Complex on May 8 would shut the door completely.

11. WNST.net’s Gary Quill says likely Kentucky Derby favorite Eskendereya scratched

And with that, Lookin’ At Lucky will likely be the morning line favorite Saturday at Churchill Downs. I’ll be there, and I could REALLY use a cotton seersucker suit to take with me. If you’re a business owner (or just a guy) who would like to either donate/allow me to borrow/allow me to rent/or sell cheap something that looks like this…

suit

…you’ll have a new best friend. I’ll buy you something from Louisville.

And finally, I leave you with this…

This is Kara Tointon. She’s from England. This picture was at Guyism.com. Enjoy how you will.

tointon

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Orange Chatter: 10 Questions for 2010 (Part 2 of 2)

Posted on 03 April 2010 by Luke Jones

In Part 1 of my 10 Questions for 2010, we pondered the health of Brian Roberts, the status of Jeremy Guthrie and Chris Tillman, and the platoon of Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold.

Here are my second five of 10 questions entering the 2010 season:

6. Is the bullpen up to par?

Following the trade of George Sherrill last summer, it was clear the Orioles struggled in the late innings with Jim Johnson better suited in his previous role as a setup man. Andy MacPhail responded by signing free agent closer Mike Gonzalez to a two-year, $12 million contract, the club’s largest signing of the offseason.

Gonzalez has 54 career saves in a seven-year career, including 10 last season in Atlanta. While the lefty seems capable of closing games–keep in mind Sherrill was never a closer before the trade to Baltimore–Gonzalez battled a stiff back and appeared hesitant to cut it loose in Sarasota until recently. He closed out the spring with a perfect outing against the Mets on Saturday, striking out two and lowering his spring ERA to 5.14.

Gonzalez is joined in the bullpen by two mainstays in Johnson and lefty Mark Hendrickson, who thrived in the bullpen (3.44 ERA) after being moved out of the starting rotation (5.40 as a starter) last season.

However, after these three, the bullpen becomes a bit murkier, especially with Koji Uehara on the disabled list (hamstring) to begin the season. Cla Meredith had a tremendous spring (0.84 ERA) and pitched well in Baltimore after being acquired from the Padres last season but is certainly not a household name with a track record. Newcomer Will Ohman figures to provide plenty of laughs, but Trembley would like to see him evolve into an effective left-handed situational arm (a career 4.25 ERA in seven seasons).

And with three pitchers 25 or younger in the starting rotation, the club will go with two long men in Matt Albers and Jason Berken. Albers was very effective in 2008 (3.49 ERA), but a shoulder injury (torn labrum) and questions surrounding his conditioning led to an abysmal 2009 season in which he pitched to a 5.51 ERA and was demoted to Triple-A Norfolk on three different occasions.

Berken shifts to a long-relief role after starting 24 games last season (6.54 ERA). While the 26-year-old lacks the stuff of an effective starting pitcher, Trembley will look for him to eat innings should a starter be knocked out early. Of course, Berken could find himself back in the starting rotation should there be an injury or two over the course of the seaosn.

A player to keep an eye on at Norfolk is Kam Mickolio, a hard-throwing righty (part of the Erik Bedard trade with Seattle) who appeared to have a good chance of making the 25-man roster before a groin injury limited his opportunities in the spring. He projects as a late-inning man with closer potential.

As is the case with any bullpen on any team, the starting pitching will ultimately decide its fate. If starters are unable to reach the sixth or seventh inning on a consistent basis, this bullpen will inevitably wear down as we’ve seen just about every summer over the last 12 years. Improved starting pitching will hide the weaknesses in the bullpen and allow more opportunities to finish games.

7. Will Miguel Tejada and Garrett Atkins prove to be capable stopgaps?

The corner infield positions were two of MacPhail’s biggest priorities to address in the offseason, and he responded by adding two veterans accustomed to playing different positions than they will in 2010.

Tejada’s return to Baltimore was a controversial decision, but his ability to adjust to third base will be critical to the infield defense and pitching. Most seem to think Tejada will become a capable third baseman, but it’s hard to forget the initial struggles of both Cal Ripken and Melvin Mora when they shifted to the hot corner. One would expect Tejada to struggle in the first month or two of the season before settling in to be an average third baseman.

Tejada will also be asked to handle the cleanup spot in the order, at least until Matt Wieters is ready to grab the reins. While no longer capable of hitting 25 home runs per season—he hit just 27 in two combined seasons in Houston—Tejada led the National League with 47 doubles in 2009.

Across the diamond, Atkins shifts to first base after primarily manning the hot corner in his seven seasons in Colorado. Atkins has played 105 career games at first, so the transition should not be as drastic as Tejada’s.

The acquisition of Atkins was a curious one with the 30-year-old coming off the worst season of his career (.226, 9 home runs, 48 RBI) and safer options such as Adam LaRoche available. The club hopes Atkins can regain his pre-2009 form when he averaged 25 home runs and 110 RBI over three seasons.

Neither player figures to be in the fold when the Orioles aim to contend in the next few years—both signed one-year deals—but with prospects Josh Bell and Brandon Snyder likely a year away from the big leagues, Tejada and Atkins will be depended on for offense and steady defense on the corners. At the very least, neither contract will come back to haunt the club should either player prove ineffective.

8. How good will Brian Matusz be?

Though the hype hasn’t rivaled the insane expectations for Wieters, Matusz appears set to contend for the 2010 American League Rookie of the Year after starting eight games down the stretch, going 5-2 with a 4.63 ERA.

His 2009 minor league numbers look like something out of a video game, as he went a combined 11-2 with a 1.91 ERA at Single-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie. In fact, Matusz was even better after being promoted to Bowie, going a perfect 7-0 record with a 1.55 ERA in eight starts.

Matusz was fantastic in the spring, finishing with a 2.59 ERA while striking out 21 and walking just three in 24.1 innings.

There’s a reason why he’s on every top-10 prospect list you’ll find this spring. Though Matusz would be hard-pressed to match Mike Mussina’s numbers in his first full year in 1992, don’t be shocked if he’s the Orioles’ best pitcher by mid-season. He might be already.

A scout was recently asked about Matusz in Baseball Prospectus: “He might have been the best pitcher I saw all spring, and I’m not just talking about prospects.”

Need we say more?

9. Is Dave Trembley managing his last season in Baltimore?

While many wondered about Trembley’s job security as the Orioles collapsed down the stretch last season, which included a 13-game losing streak that nearly pushed the club past the 100-loss mark, MacPhail retained Trembley while also declaring the 2010 season would be judged more critically on wins and losses.

It’s clear Trembley has had a near-impossible task trying to win with inferior talent in the AL East, but the skipper cannot expect a free ride either. Baserunning gaffes, poor fundamentals, and questionable bullpen management were major issues in 2009, regardless of who was on the field. It’s no secret the Orioles lack the talent of the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays, so playing fundamentally-sound baseball is an absolute necessity if the club wants to improve in 2010.

Trembley’s supporters continue to claim he hasn’t had a chance to compete in his three seasons as manager, but the lack of talent cannot excuse some of the problems witnessed in 2009. Having bad players doesn’t mean you’re a bad manager, but it doesn’t mean you’re a capable manager either.

It’s imperative for the club to make significant improvement in 2010, or Trembley will be shown the door at the end of the season—if not sooner.

10. Will the Orioles make it an unlucky number 13?

Twelve years.

Twelve painful, long years.

The Orioles begin the new decade after closing out the first 10 years of the century without a winning season, their last winning campaign coming in 1997.

But unlike most of the last 12 years, it really looks as though the team will improve from where it was a year ago, though it’s difficult to go any direction but up after a 98-loss season. The problem is even a 15-game improvement–a tremendous accomplishment—would only create a 79-83 mark and a 13th straight losing season.

If the Orioles have any hope of a .500 season, they not only have to thrive against the AL Central and West but must find a way to avoid the utter embarrassment experienced last year against the Yankees and Red Sox.

The Orioles were 5-13 against the Bronx Bombers, and the results were even worse with the Red Sox, as Baltimore was an egregious 2-16 against Boston. Another 7-29 mark—far and away their worst record against the two AL East powers over the last 12 seasons—is unacceptable, if not unfathomable.

Forget about money, competitive imbalance, or recent history. A .194 winning percentage over 36 games against the Yankees and Red Sox should never happen.

When it all adds up, the Orioles can make significant improvement in 2010, but it looks like a 13th consecutive losing season is almost inevitable.

A record in the neighborhood of 77-85 will not rejuvenate the fan base immediately, but it would be a sizable step in the right direction.

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Tuesday’s PM Crab Cakes and Light Beer

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Tuesday’s PM Crab Cakes and Light Beer

Posted on 23 March 2010 by Chris Bonetti

The Swinging Bunt

Joe Mauer, the $184M Man.  Must be pretty good to be a Minnesota Twins fan right now, like a spoiled rich-kid, I’ll say.  Not since the long distant days of Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbeck have things been so good on the diamond in the Twin Cities.  As Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci points out, the Twins as an entire organization and the people of Minnesota as an entire fan-base will celebrate the two greatest moments in the club’s last 18 seasons in a span of 21 days.  Yesterday the American League’s Most Valuable Player, 3-time batting champ, and 2-time gold glove catcher Joe Mauer officially signed an 8-year $184 million contract to remain in the only place he’s ever lived and be cheered by the same fans who’ve watched him perform since he was in high school.  In exactly three weeks from that press conference, and just 20 days from now, downtown Minneapolis will unveil it’s brand new $522 million ballpark, Target Field, when the Twins host the Boston Red Sox, April 12th.  Man, pretty exciting stuff; like a 17-year old with a new driver’s license getting a Mercedes on Christmas morning!

OK, so two arguments I’ve heard against the deal: Mauer now takes up too much percentage of payroll, and thus Mauer won’t be able to be surrounded by enough talent to win a championship; and that Mauer overall is not a top-3 player in baseball, and thus unworthy of a $180M-plus price tag.  The latter is a debate for another time; come with all the numbers, VORP, WARP, RISP, and other Sabermetric Stats you want.  Simply put, Mauer’s the man!

Last season the Minnesota Twins spent about $65M on player salaries.  This season alone that number jumps over 30% to $95M, while the Twins already have $68M on the books for 2011.  In just this off-season alone the Twins went and re-signed, including Mauer, five of their own to long-term extensions.  Twins fans get used to seeing Mauer and Justin Morneau knocking in Denard Span for runs in support of starters Scott Baker and Nick Blackburn… because you’ll be seeing all those guys through at least the 2013 season.  Quite the nice foundation, I’ll say.  Folks, read between the lines!  It may sound crazy, but the Twins are just NOT the organization threatened by contraction less than a decade ago, the same way they’re not the Washington Senators anymore.  The Sports Business Journal projects that between different sportscape features such luxury seats, club seats, and Target Co’s naming rights, the Twins can expect at least a $50M increase in revenue next season.  In sharing the Metrodome sans modern amenities with the Vikings as co-tenants they could have never generated such a stream of income.  As Verducci points out, if the organization follows through on their philosophy of spending just over 50% of revenue on payroll, than the club can feasibly withstand a $110M payroll in the very near future without spending a penny more than their current ideology calls for.

I agree, when a franchise makes the decision to spend $184M on a single player, they cannot miss.  If Joe Mauer blows out his knee in August and never gets back to his All-World level catching, playing left field, DH-ing, whatever… than egg on Minnesota’s collective face.  However, as an organization, your fans’ best interest is just as important as the teams’ in certain circumstances – like this one.  The club needs their fans to go through the turn-styles, watch the games on T.V., buy the merchandise, etc… all for any type of countable revenue.  The Twins know that.  Please, they’re not dumb; again, case specific, the Twins realize they needed the fans’ hard-earned dollars totaling over $500M to get Target Field built in the first place!  Threatened by contraction, legislators and the public (granted some willingly or not in these types of votes) stepped up and made it pretty clear what they wanted… for the Twins to be a successful ball-club on the field, and for them to also be viable revenue generating resource for the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, as well.

Twins fans, team ownership, and their front office have all put their money on the line for Joe Mauer to stay in Minneapolis.  Is it a risk?  Sure… but ask anyone in Minneapolis, and I’ll bet they’ll tell you, Joe Mauer is their best bet.

Scanning the Blogosphere

WNST.net:  Jeremy Guthrie yields 2 runs over 5 innings; O’s fall to Marlins 5-2.

SI’s Photos: From 2006, “Cribs: Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer”

SI’s Michael Rosenberg points out, “The Big Ten may not look pretty, but conference produces winners.”

SI’s Andy Glockner gives his “Complete Sweet 16 Breakdown.”

The Bleacher Report ranks the “Top 10 Hottest Baseball Reporters.”

ESPN.com: Pat Forde looks at, “Tourney’s Early Winner and Losers.”

The Atlanta Journal Constitution: Columnist Mark Bradley wonders, “Paul Hewitt to St. Johns? The New York tabliods are abuzz.”

Video of the Day

Two for your viewing pleasure this evening.

First — “Hello! … Amare Stoudemire! Elevates and Detonates!  A devastating dunk here in Oakland.  Maybe the top dunk of his career, that was savage! … Holy Goodness!”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eq8ol8cTClc&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

And second — “I know what good dancing looks like, I just hope I can do it!”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNkTCuGgF1M[/youtube]

Tweets of the Day

ESPN NFL Insider, Adam Schefter – Adam_Schefter

RT @SpreadHDGFX someone better tell McNabb about the new OT rules … Hey, someone better tell all the players. Someone won’t realize.

NFL Network Insider, Jason LaCanfora – JasonLaCanfora

i luv the new OT changes. Hope we see it in regular season, too. incentives for going for the throat to end a game. Good stuff.

New York Times NFL Insider, Judy Battista – judybattista

Here we go: Rex Ryan said he would consider deferring the OT coin toss because he has so much confidence his defense could hold.

Bloomberg Television Sports Business/Media Reporter, Michele Steele – MicheleSteele

Nike sponsors 13 of the Sweet 16 teams; Adidas sponsors 3 that are still in it – Tenn, Baylor and St.Mary’s ; E and W regions all Nike now

–CBS College Basketball Analyst, Seth Davis – SethDavisHoops

Gotta love Samhan RT @OmarSamhan: I’m trying to win sweet 16 gm and have to be up till 2am finishing paper for class! Gotta love mid majors

–Newark Star Ledger Columnist Steve Politi — NJ_StevePoliti

College coaches amaze me. McCaffrey makes 800K at Siena and can win 20 a year rest of his life. He wants to mess with Seton Hall why?

–New York Times Best-Seller, ESPN Radio 1050 New York, Ian O’Connor – Ian_OConnor

great line by Letterman on the benefits of new health care: “It covers the Kansas Jayhawks’ choking”

–ESPN NFL Insider, Chris Mortensen – mortreport

If Ben gets charged, along with the other incident in which he wasn’t charged, his status as a two-time SB winning QB won’t get him a pass. - mortreport Steelers are prepared to go with Dixon, if necessary; not ready to jettison Ben even though their concerns are real; Maybe Leftwich.

NFL Director of Media Relations, Michael Signora – NFLfootballinfo

Today’s USA Today snapshot: What is America’s favorite sport? Pro Football at 35%, followed by pro baseball, 16%.

SI NBA and Boxing Writer, Chris Minnix – ChrisMannixSI

700,000 PPV buys for Pacquiao-Clottey

– WNST Comcast Morning Show Producer, Glenn Clark – WNST

GMC: Sun reports #Magna auction called off, #Magna‘s parent company (MI Developments) will pay off creditors, own #Pimlico & #Laurel

– WNST Comcast Morning Show Host, Drew Forrester – WNST

Drew: Only in Maryland…people like #JeffSeder and #DavidCordish wanted to BUY the two race tracks with real cash and now they can’t.

– TheBigLead.com Editor, Jason McIntyre – TheBigLead

Preakness in B’More lost 35k fans last year due to infield rules. This year: Unlimited beer refills 4 infield partiers: http://is.gd/aUmx2

The Day’s Final Thought

The University of Oregon Athletics Department is, in every way shape and form, a program for the 21st century.

It’s got everything a potential stud student/athlete or sought after coach could ask for: a big-time conference affiliation in the Pac-10, recent success in both football and basketball, outstanding facilities – perhaps the best in the NCAA, and above all, they’ve got “The Swoosh.”

So why is Oregon, proud wearers of all shades green, proving to be kryptonite for a stable Athletics Director and a big-time basketball coach?  Despite a co-Pac-10 Championship and Rose Bowl appearance for the football team last season and a brand new $200 million basketball arena set to open next year, UO Athletics is facing more issues than ever.  Last year’s starting QB, Justin Masoli, has been suspended for the entire ’10 season after pleading guilty to burglary charges and last year’s star RB, LaMichael James, has been suspended for next year’s opener for pleading guilty to a misdemeanor harassment charge.  And, of course, we remember LaGerrette Blount’s actions in Boise early last season.  On the hardwood, in Mike Bellotti’s final move as Athletics Director last week, UO alum Ernie Kent was dismissed after 13 seasons and two Elite 8 appearances after failing to meet “program” expectations.  Bellotti’s tenure at Oregon ended with his resignation last Friday after spending the last 20 years in Eugene serving as Offensive Coordinator and Head Coach of the football program and the last academic year as A.D.

Oregon currently has an Athletics Program with no leadership, but there is someone pulling its strings.

Perhaps as a true sign of the times, program decisions are not made without the consultation of its highest spending boosters, in UO’s case, Phil Knight, Oregon alumnus and Nike co-founder and Chairman.  Don’t get me wrong, without a doubt, its Knight’s Nike’s that have kept Oregon from being, well, Oregon State in terms of relevance in sports over the past 10-15+ years, but is it really healthy for major University decisions to be made only accounting for the self-interest of one person?  We’ll find out.

Let’s not be naive, Oregon isn’t the only place boosters have major, major influence over a program.  It goes on all over the country.  T. Boone Pickens, oil tycoon, has become synonymous with Oklahoma State University and the tremendous improvements in facilities for which his contributions are directly responsible.  And I’d guess Under Armour founder and former Terp Kevin Plank and Baltimore Ravens owner and Comcast Center regular Steve Bisciotti are on Debbie Yow’s speed dial at Maryland.

All I’m saying is that as we push forward in a new age of college athletics where the mighty dollar controls absolutely EVERYTHING… no matter whose it is… the University of Oregon’s upcoming personnel decisions will be an interesting case-study.

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 09 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because the people of Milledgeville, GA are much more intelligent and creative than I ever realized….

bigben

Clearly, this Roethlisberger issue is too serious to really be funny; but…..it’s also pretty funny. Sorry. (Thanks Deadspin.)

Let’s see what everyone has to say…..

1. Maryland Official Site says Vasquez unanimous All-ACC choice, Jordan Williams named to ACC’s All-Rookie team

And Andy Roddick’s wife is moderately attractive….

decker

Look, we all knew these players were going to receive these honors, so it isn’t exactly earth-shaking. That being said, both are still very deserving. (Thanks Busted Coverage!)

The announcements for ACC Player of the Year, ACC Coach of the Year, and ACC Rookie of the Year come this afternoon. The answers are Greivis Vasquez, Gary Williams and Derrick Favors. Other answers would be inaccurate, which of course doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

2. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland, Illinois, Texas, Pitt, Navy, Rhode Island, College of Charleston in field for 2010 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic

Of course, this all sets up for the Terps, Illini, Longhorns and Panthers to meet up at Madison Square Garden early in the season.

I say “sets up” knowing damn well that a few of those teams could give the Terps some trouble early at Comcast Center, especially considering this team will be trying to replace Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne. Adrian Bowie will likely be trying to prove himself for the first time at the point, while Sean Mosley will be trying to prove himself for the first time as a go-to scorer at the NCAA level.

It won’t be easy. It especially won’t be easy if they get to New York.

3. ESPN.com’s Joe Lunardi has Terps as 5 seed, facing Arizona State in first round of NCAA Tournament

As of right now, that’s about right. Due to the fact that their surge has come late, it is unlikely the Terrapins will be able to stay “local” (Providence or Buffalo), but they’re still likely to get a high seed. Should they make a run to the ACC Championship Game Sunday in Greensboro, that seed could be even higher.

And for the record, despite living in Tempe for 2 years-my allegiance is not even a BIT in question. Despite the aesthetics of Sun Devil Country….

tempe

4. Washington Examiner’s Kevin Dunleavy says Maryland, Notre Dame finalize deal for 2011 football game at FedEx Field

Awesome.

Of course, by next season-there is no doubt that Brian Kelly will have the Fighting Irish turned around, and this game will be even more of a disaster than the 22-0 loss at Giants Stadium in the Kickoff Classic a few years back.

This is a bit of a good news-bad news issue. The good news is that for a Maryland team that struggled to get ANY sort of TV coverage last season (not that I didn’t enjoy getting to know the broadcast staff of ESPN360), they’ll get a midseason primetime game televised nationally on NBC.

The bad news is that the game will be played only a few miles away from College Park, yet Irish fans will get to eat up the bulk of the tickets via a lottery. This isn’t like the Navy game in Baltimore-where fans of both schools have equal access to tickets.

But it’s still a good thing for the program, there’s no doubt about that. Hopefully we’ll feel the same way the morning after the game.

5. Johns Hopkins Official Site previews tonight’s contest with UMBC at Homewood Field

Your boy is headed over to Homewood Field tonight to FINALLY get his first look at the Jays this season. Let’s Tweet up (follow us on Twitter @WNST) if you’re going too. Let me know, and we’ll grab some sort of frosty adult beverage following the game.

Big game for Dave Pietramala’s crew after falling to Princeton Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium. They want to prove that losing the Tigers was nothing more than a tough loss to a really good team. Taking care of business tonight against the Retrievers will prove that.

6. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ozzie Newsome thinks he ‘made a mistake’ by not originally drafting Anquan Boldin

boldin

There are a lot of NFL GM’s who feel the same way, trust me. There’s a heart measurement that can’t be quantified when players run around in their underwear out in Indianapolis.

Anquan Boldin proved his heart just weeks before his trip to the NFL Scouting Combine, when his Florida State team went into the Sugar Bowl without starting QB Chris Rix and backup Adrian McPherson. The Seminoles tried 3rd string QB Fabian Walker, but had no success against a tough Georgia defense.

Knowing that he needed a good showing to help his NFL Draft stock as an undersized WR, Boldin was still more than willing to move under center (where he had played in high school) to try to help Bobby Bowden and the ‘Noles. They didn’t win the game-but it showed the type of player Anquan Boldin was.

It’s good that the Ravens have gotten a second chance to have a player like Anquan Boldin on their team. It’s not as good as having a career’s worth of Anquan Boldin, but hopefully it will help change the entire team.

7. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Harbaugh, Boldin believe acquisition perfect ‘fit’

And it really does appear to be that way. Boldin is a tough player, and will have no problem being part of a John Harbaugh team or a Cam Cameron offense. He’s the type of receiver that will immediately make Joe Flacco better, and he already has the respect of locker room leader Ray Lewis.

I’ve been hard pressed to find negative things to say about the acquisition. Boldin’s health will be a factor, but he’s never played fewer than 10 games in a season, and his only 10 game season came in 2004.

But when you think of “injury-prone” players, he’s not the type of guy who has a history of knee troubles-or who has had to miss a season due to an ACL issue.

It’s a great fit. It really is.

8. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says acquisition of Seneca Wallace makes it unlikely Troy Smith will end up in Cleveland

What’s funny here is that the one reason I thought Troy Smith might be a fit with the Browns is because of the affinity Mike Holmgren had for Seneca Wallace in Seattle. In fact, I just talked about that with Bob Haynie yesterday on AM1570.

Apparently, I was (sorta) right.

It’s just that instead of going to get a quarterback SIMILAR to Seneca Wallace, Holmgren just decided to go get Wallace.

This leaves Troy Smith in a tough spot. He and his agent (Ralph Cindrich) have done all of their posturing to try to get him to his hometown team, and calling it a “longshot” would now be kind.

The Rams, Seahawks, Cardinals, Redskins and Panthers are all likely still in the QB market. You would think that either Michael Vick or Donovan McNabb would probably end up in one of those locations. In others (like in Arizona), Smith wouldn’t be entering a competition for a starting job-but instead assuming the role of “the next guy to get a chance if our first guy screws up.” And a lot of people think a QB like Matt Leinart might screw up.

But we don’t have any real reason to assume a team like the Cards (or the Rams, or the Panthers, or whoever) is REALLY interested in Troy Smith-especially if they have to give something up to get him.

9. The Sun’s Mike Preston says Ravens should still pursue Derrick Mason or receiver in NFL Draft even after acquiring Boldin

Completely agreed. In fact, I’d say they still need to do both.

Remembering that Donte’ Stallworth and (likely) Mark Clayton would only be back on 1 year deals, and knowing that Marcus Smith, Demetrius Williams and Justin Harper are COMPELTELY unproven commodities, the Ravens can use more help at receiver.

They’d be much better off going into Training Camp with a group of 8 wide receivers that looks like….

Anquan Boldin
Derrick Mason
Donte’ Stallworth
Mark Clayton
Eric Decker (Minnesota WR coming off a foot injury-likely to be picked in the 3rd-5th round.)
Demetrius Williams
Justin Harper
Marcus Smith

From that group, they could keep as many as 5 receivers, try to release others and sign them back to the practice squad, allow injuries to play out as they will, etc. etc. etc.

Now-I’m playing fantasy football here. BUT-I don’t think the Ravens are dismissing Derrick Mason. I think they’re almost giving him the “Ray Lewis treatment” from a season ago. Remember, they made an offer to Ray and made it clear publicly they wanted him to return. They also said to him “go find out how much you’re worth.”

After Ray talked to teams that might be interested (presumably including the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets), he realized that his greatest value was still in Baltimore. He returned.

I get the feeling (although no one has confirmed this to me) that they’re trying something similar with Mason. “Go find out how much you’re worth.” Mason can talk to the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans, etc. and truly gauge what his value is. If he finds out other teams value him as a #1 receiver, he might be able to cash in that way. If he finds out the 2 year deal he has on the table from the Ravens is fair-he has the option to come back.

10. The Sun’s Mike Klingaman says kids had serious questions for Michael Vick during appearance at St. Vincent’s Center Monday

I don’t want to get too deep into the Vick discussion here, as we spent the better part of four hours talking about it this morning on “The Comcast Morning Show.”

I do not support those of you who will choose to protest the Ed Block Courage Awards tonight because of Michael Vick’s attendance. That’s not because I support dogfighting, but it’s because I’m done with the part where we try to crucify Michael Vick.

If Vick’s teammates with the Philadelphia Eagles thought Vick was deserving of this type of honor, so be it. That’s not something ANY of us can speak to, as we don’t know the daily life of Michael Vick.

If you aren’t happy that he’s receiving the award, I understand your opinion. But I won’t support a protest of an event that is amongst the best charitable events our city holds. No thank you.

11. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Matt Wieters got first hit of Spring Training, but Birds fell to Twins

You hate to see a team get only three hits in a game whether it’s in the Grapefruit League, the American League, or even the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; but these things happen.

The O’s return to action today in Sarasota against the Rays, first pitch is at 1:05. Chris Tillman starts for the Orioles, Jeff Niemann for Tampa. I’d tell you where to see the game on TV, but………

12. SI’s Dan Shaughnessy says MacPhail, Wieters give Orioles ‘hope’

This looks pretty similar to the Tim Kurkjian story I commented on yesterday. Warm fuzzies are all well and nice, but it doesn’t explain how the Birds are going to compete against the Yankees and Red Sox in the AL East. It’s nothing more than warm fuzzies.

And finally, I leave you with this.

The presence of Scott Hall last night is part of why I think the “Hulk Hogan era” will ultimately doom TNA, but I couldn’t help but enjoy the return of the “Monday Night Wars”, especially when Rob Van Dam bumped into Sting….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0-m0tDCW8M[/youtube]

It WAS better than watching Criss Angel on WWE. That’s for sure.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…..

-G

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 24 November 2009 by Glenn Clark

Here are some picks for tonight:

Maryland 80, Cincinnati 69

The Lance Stephenson storyline makes this game more interesting, but Maryland is just better. Cincinnati will compete, but Maryland should win.

UMBC 64, Coppin State 58

In a matchup of two teams struggling to replace their go-to guys (UMBC’s Darryl Proctor and Jay Greene; Coppin’s Tywain McKee); I’ll give the edge to the Retrievers at RAC Arena.

Navy 71, Towson 70

Just because the game is at Alumni Hall.

Morgan State 83, Arkansas 81

Not kidding. I know Drew picked this as well. I really believe Todd Bozeman’s crew wins on the road against their SEC foe.

Loyola 75, Dartmouth 63

But I will admit that I don’t know much at all about the Greyhounds’ opponent.

Let’s see what everyone else has to say…..

Best of Monday’s WNST Blogs:

Drew Forrester says Ray Lewis, Ed Reed need to speak to media after games

Glenn Clark says Ravens will have to use Chris Carr, Frank Walker more with Fabian Washington out

Luke Jones says Terps rebounded from slow start to beat Silverswords

Glenn Clark says Ray Rice best Raven in loss, Drew Forrester says Jared Gaither, Derrick Mason best

Drew Forrester says Ravens’ win over Eagles this time last year proof everyone still in playoff picture

Derek Arnold says Flacco relying on ‘security blanket’ Mason too much (with one of the better photoshop jobs we’ve ever had at WNST.net)

Tom Clayton thinks Birds should have Michael Aubrey, Mark DeRosa at corner infield spots in 2010

Glenn Clark says Turkey Bowl amongst highlights of week

Bob Haynie celebrating 30th anniversary of ACC regular season title

Glenn Clark wonders if Michael Oher better high school football player than Charles Jefferson from Ridgemont High

Ed Frankovic says Capitals ‘collapsed’ in loss to Senators

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s John Eisenberg says loss to Colts proves ‘magic’ gone for Ravens

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Fabian Washington will miss rest of season with ACL tear

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Harbaugh was happy with ‘communication’ from officials in loss to Indianapolis

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Ravens still very much alive in AFC Wild Card hunt

The Official Site’s Sarah Ellison says Terrell Suggs didn’t agree with ESPN report saying he’d miss at least a month

The Official Site says Harbs believes Lardarius Webb will be ‘big part’ of Ravens plans to replace Fabian Washington

The Official Site says Ravens partnering with Under Armour, Wounded Warrior Project to give away rally towels before Sunday Night Football game at M&T Bank Stadium

Steelers Official Site says Charlie Batch battling wrist injury

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Cam Cameron needs to open up bag of tricks again

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Dennis Dixon may have to start for Pittsburgh if Roethlisberger can’t play

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Freeney claimed Ravens gave Gaither, Oher help to shut Colts’ pass rushers out

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Dawan Landry ‘downplayed’ team lead in interceptions

The Sun’s Mike Preston thinks Flacco still bothered by ankle injury

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Fabian Washington hurt himself trying to tackle Addai

The Sun’s Kevin Van Valkenburg dives deeper into the issue of 52, Reed not talking to media after games

The Sun’s Kevin Van Valkenburg says Harbs still thinks Ravens ‘good football team’

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Ravens to give away own version of “Terrible Towel”

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Art Modell signed autographs at Sunday’s game

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Chris Chester, Matt Birk ‘struggling’

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Steelers, Jaguars, Broncos 1 game ahead of Ravens in playoff race

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Harbaugh met with Ed Reed Monday morning to discuss ‘lateral’

Frederick News-Post’s Stan Goldberg says Cundiff may have settled kicking situation, but Ravens haven’t solved red zone issues

The AP says Matt Birk knows Ravens must improve ‘execution’ offensively

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette says Big Ben should be okay, Steelers likely to sign Tyler Palko for QB insurance

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Scott Brown says Roethlisberger did well on IMPACT test

Beaver County Times’ Mike Bires couldn’t confirm Cleo Lemon, Jeff Garcia worked out for Steelers

The AP says Chris Kemoeatu will miss game for Steelers with sprained knee ligament

SI’s Peter King says Addai TD run ‘embarrassing’ for Ray Lewis

NFL.com’s Steve Wyche says offense looked ‘Boller-ish’ in loss to Indy

CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco says Webb may be ‘rushed’ into major role

ESPN.com’s James Walker gives Steelers little chance to beat Ravens without Big Ben

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Flacco appeared to throw into triple coverage on Gary Brackett INT

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

The AP says Mosley’s 19 lead Terps to win over Chaminade in 1st round of Maui Invitational

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of win

The AP says Terps moved up to 21st in poll

The Diamondback’s Eric Detweiler says Eric Hayes added 12 points for Terps in win

The Diamondback’s Eric Detweiler says Vanderbilt (who lost last night) was only other ranked team in Maui Invitational field

The Diamondback’s Eric Detweiler says Chaminade coach Mahar knew Terps would ‘wear (Silverswords) down’

The Diamondback’s Eric Detweiler says Jin Soo Choi, Steve Goins, Ersin Levent all played for Terps in win

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Jordan Williams chipped in 10 rebounds for Terps in win

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says James Padgett added another 6 rebounds after halftime

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terps 20th best team in country

TERRAPINS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL:

The Official Site previews tonight’s contest with Samford

The Official Site offers complete Maryland-Samford release (pdf)

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

The Official Site previews Saturday’s Senior Day battle with Boston College

The Official Site offers complete Terrapins-Eagles release (pdf)

The Sun’s Matt Bracken says future Terp Devin Burns still alive in Georgia high school playoffs

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Chris Turner could ‘try’ to play Saturday vs. BC

The Diamondback’s Adi Joseph says Debbie Yow has not offered ‘full support’ to Friedgen the way she did for Gary Williams

Sporting News’ Matt Hayes has Terps 12th in power rankings

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem says Ian Evans could be ‘sleeper’ prospect for 2010 (must subscribe)

Turtle Sports Report’s Matt Owings says Jamarr Robinson, Da’Rel Scott were positives in Florida State loss

NAVY FOOTBALL:

The Official Site previews Saturday night’s trip to Hawaii

The Official Site offers complete Midshipmen-Warriors release (pdf)

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Buddy Green getting video faster thanks to new software

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Honolulu trip allows Niumatalolo chance to face alma mater

Washington Post’s Camille Powell says 16 Midshipmen seniors headed to Marine Corps

NAVY BASKETBALL:

The Official Site previews tonight’s tilt with Towson

The Official Site offers complete Mids-Tigers release (pdf)

TOWSON BASKETBALL:

The Official Site previews tonight’s trip to Annapolis

The Official Site offers complete Tigers-Mids release (pdf)

UMBC BASKETBALL:

The Official Site previews tonight’s battle with Coppin State on MASN

The Official Site offers complete Retrievers-Eagles release (pdf)

LOYOLA BASKETBALL:

The Official Site previews tonight’s trip to Dartmouth

MORGAN BASKETBALL:

The Official Site previews tonight’s trip to Arkansas

The Official Site offers complete Bears-Razorbacks release (pdf)

UMES BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says athletic department honored Kevin White

The Official Site says Kevin White named to Hispanic College Fund Challenge All-Tournament team

MT. ST. MARY’S BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says Jeremy Goode honored by NEC

HOPKINS LACROSSE:

Inside Lacrosse’s Sean Burns says Blue Jays 6th in pre-preseason rankings

Inside Lacrosse’s Sean Burns says coaches have Jays 5th in pre-preseason rankings

ORIOLES:

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck wouldn’t dismiss Birds’ pursuit of Carlos Delgado

Examiner Jay Trucker surprised Andino got no votes for American League MVP

CRYSTAL PALACE USA:

The Official Site says Palace will play in new league called NASL

Examiner Jeff Hemelt says 9 teams will play in North American Soccer League

SWIMMING:

SwimNetwork.com’s Andrew Silver thinks Michael Phelps hosed with Lochte’s win at Golden Goggles

The AP says “Duel in the Pool” in Manchester, England Phelps’ final meet of 2009

HORSE RACING:

Daily Racing Form’s Dave Litfin says Quality Road worked out at Belmont in hopes to return following Breeders’ Cup Classic scratch

BOXING:

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Mark “TNT” Tucker to defend USBO belt December 11 in Westminster

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-DO NOT LIKE the towel giveaway. Will talk more about it tomorrow.

Talk to you later.

-G

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