Tag Archive | "Baltimore"

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Blast, other MISL teams to unify indoor soccer in PASL

Posted on 14 April 2014 by WNST Staff

The Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL) Management, in conjunction with management from the Baltimore Blast, San Diego Sockers, and Missouri Comets have created a new partnership for all of the current PASL teams, and former MISL teams, that will unify professional arena/indoor soccer. The announcement was made in a special halftime ceremony at today’s NWSL FC Kansas City home opener.

The league and teams will be working hard the next couple weeks to get all of the lease agreements and final paperwork done for every team that will be part of the new partnership.  ”Getting this done in a timely manner was extremely important for all of the teams that will be taking part,” said PASL Commissioner Kevin Milliken.  ”We all received a lot of feedback from team owners that played in both leagues, but needed to have a small group with specific skills and experience to do the final negotiating for everyone, so we could get this done quickly.

“This is such a wonderful moment for the PASL, of course, but for arena soccer as a sport,” Milliken continued. ”To get from the level of acrimony that existed between various leagues when we started the Premier Arena Soccer League (the PASL’s amateur developmental league) in 1998 to the camaraderie that exists between owners now is something that people said could not be done.

“We would like to thank Blast owner Ed Hale, Comets owner Brad Likens, and Sockers owner Phil Salvagio  for taking leadership and having the vision to make this happen,” said Milliken. “The combined history and experience of these owners is going to really accelerate our growth and their contributions will be invaluable.”
The league will have around 20 teams in the US and Mexico and will be considered the top level of arena soccer in North America.  The timing of the agreement is significant because the PASL will be hosting the first ever WMF World Cup of Arena Soccer in February/March 2015.
“For the first time the US National Arena Soccer Team will have access to all of the best talent in the country and we will have a bigger pool of potential host cities to showcase our six-a-side boarded arena soccer to the rest of the world,” states US National Arena Soccer Team head coach Phil Salvagio. .
Heading into its seventh season, the PASL has enjoyed a period of tremendous growth.  From eight teams in 2008-09, the league swelled to 20 teams this season, while attendance has increased 105% since 2011-12.  Average attendance is projected to jump another 50% or more in the upcoming season with the addition of the new teams.
While the new partnership has positioned itself as the future of arena soccer it now also has a rich pedigree in the sport’s history.  The league’s Dallas Sidekicks will be celebrating 30 years since their founding and the San Diego Sockers history can be traced back to the 1970s.

The Baltimore Blast franchise was founded in 1992, but Baltimore has had continuous arena soccer since 1980, winning seven championships.

The Missouri Comets, based in Independence, won the most recent MISL championship in March. The Comets name dates back to 1981 and the Kansas City area has enjoyed almost 30 seasons of arena soccer.

The leagues owners meeting is May 17th and 18th in Baltimore, and will be having a formal press conference on Monday May 19th, time and location TBD. The majority of the teams, division layout, and any other changes will be announced then.
About Professional Arena Soccer League and Premier Arena Soccer League

The PASL is a professional league which began play on October 25, 2008.  The league, which concluded its sixth season with the Chicago Mustangs claiming the Newman Cup on March 16, is the largest and longest-running arena soccer organization in the US. The Tulsa Revolution, Ontario Fury, Wichita B-52s, Monterrey Flash, Saltillo Rancho Seco, Cleveland Freeze, and Bay Area Rosal were added for the 2013/14 season. The PASL-Premier just concluded its 16th season as the nation’s top amateur arena soccer league and is the official developmental league of the PASL. Both the PASL and PASL-Premier are members of Confederacion Panamerica de Minifutbol (CPM).

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Orioles minor league recap – 4/13

Posted on 14 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Here’s what happened down in the Orioles’ farm system on Sunday…

* Suk-min Yoon struggled over 4 1/3 innings to take his second loss as Triple-A Norfolk fell 4-0 to Charlotte

* Garabez Rosa hit a three-run homer to help Double-A Bowie prevail in a 7-5 final over Akron

* Glynn Davis drove in four runs as Single-A Frederick won 12-6 over Lynchburg

* Luc Rennie was tagged for six earned runs and took the loss for Single-A Delmarva in a 9-3 final against Greensboro

 

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And for Easter week, the #WNSTSweet16 should be a nice “treat”

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And for Easter week, the #WNSTSweet16 should be a nice “treat”

Posted on 13 April 2014 by Glenn Clark

This is the part of our weekly #WNSTSweet16 introduction where I remind you that we’re celebrating our 16th anniversary here at WNST. I feel like you should probably have caught on to how we do these things by now.

To celebrate our 16th year as Baltimore’s sports media leader, we’re discussing various “water cooler” topics from the WNST era every week and defining them via a list. We’re calling it the #WNSTSweet16. It’s been a lot of fun. You should probably call your family and friends and let them know they’ll want to be a part of this thing.

We’ve already hit 14 topics this year as part of our #WNSTSweet16 celebration. Did you miss any of them? (Shame on you if you did.) Here’s a quick recap.

(The “Sweet 16″ is driven by our friends at Jerry’s Automotive-Jerry’s Chevrolet & Jerry’s Toyota Scion!)

Week 14: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 Masters moments of the last 30 years
Week 13: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 greatest pro wrestling moments in Baltimore history
Week 12: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports goofballs/personalities
Week 11: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 local sports saints-athletes who gave back
Week 10: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 events a Baltimore sports fan must attend
Week 9: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest Baltimore college basketball players
Week 8: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 Orioles who didn’t live up to the hype
Week 7: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 most underappreciated Maryland basketball players
Week 6: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local sports “Heartbreakers”
Week 5: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local Olympic sport athletes
Week 4: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local athletes who deserved to win a championship but didn’t
Week 3: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 local sports people who “had a dream”
Week 2: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports playoff moments
Week 1: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 “debuts” in local sports history

The Nasty One himself, Nestor Aparicio is in charge of the Sweet 16 again this week.

As you may be aware, I’m a fan of a nice Easter treat. I prefer Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs to Cadbury Creme Eggs and I DEFINITELY prefer Starburst Jelly Beans to Jelly Belly Jelly Beans (and if you disagree I hope you’ll do the right thing and just leave the country); but I at least respect all treats equally.

As Baltimore sports fans, we’ve been “treated” to some awesome things in our lives. Some of them have been individual games-games we’ll remember forever and we can recall details about no matter how far away we’ve gotten from them.

This week’s list is meant for those games. These are the games that made us sit on the edge of our seat, the games that made us sweat as if we were actually playing in them. The official topic is “Sweet 16 Games we’ve been treated to”.

While it seems like the 1958 NFL Championship Game will be hard to beat on this list, I wonder if the factor of time will play a role here. While the game has come to be known as “The Greatest Game Ever Played”, much of the aura surrounding it is based on the significance of the game and less about the game itself-although we certainly know the game was quite good.

But what are the greatest games in Baltimore Ravens and Baltimore Orioles history? Until 2012 I think I would have declared the win over the Tennessee Titans in the 2000 NFL Playoffs (January 2001) the best game-but how can you argue against the Mile High Miracle and 2OT thrilling nature of the Wild Card win over the Broncos?

I’m hard pressed to tell you what the greatest game in Orioles history might be. We all remember great hits, great moments and great plays-but what was the most dramatic game? If this were my list, I’d be needing a ton of help.

To me the greatest Maryland basketball game I’ve ever seen was the thrilling Elite 8 contest against UConn in Syracuse back in 2002. I’ve shared my feelings about the game more than a few times, including a love letter I wrote on the 10th anniversary of the game a few years back.

And perhaps the most difficult part for Nestor will be remembering that the area team didn’t have to win the game in question. This list isn’t supposed to be for the greatest wins in local sports history, it’s meant to be about the greatest games. It can be any combination.

What needs to be on the list? This is where you come in.

Nestor wants your ideas. Leave them here in the comments or email him via nasty@wnst.net. We will be discussing the list throughout the day Monday on AM1570 WNST.net. We’d love to have you Tweet with us or discuss the topic via Facebook by using the hashtag #WNSTSweet16.

On Tuesday morning, Nasty will unveil the “official” list here at WNST.net and then discuss it with Drew and Luke on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” at 8am. He will then re-visit the list at 4pm Tuesday on “The Happy Hours”.

What games still give you chills when you think about them today? Let your voice be heard!

-G

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Orioles still waiting for early return on $50 million investment

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Orioles still waiting for early return on $50 million investment

Posted on 13 April 2014 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Even after investing a franchise-record amount of money for a free-agent starting pitcher, the Orioles knew they weren’t getting a sure-fire ace when they signed right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez to a four-year, $50 million contract in February.

His career has been consistently inconsistent, looking every bit the part of an ace at times and appearing more like a fringe fifth starter in other stretches of his major league career.

But the Orioles need much better than what they’ve gotten through three starts as Jimenez surrendered five earned runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings in Sunday’s 11-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at Camden Yards. He gave up two more home runs and saw his record fall to 0-3 to accompany a 7.31 earned run average and 2.06 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched).

Whether giving up homers (four in 16 innings) or walks (10) in his first three outings — all against American League East opponents — the root of Jimenez’s struggles are simple to identify but more complicated to fix with unorthodox mechanics that require plenty of maintenance over the course of a six-month season.

“His command,” manager Buck Showalter said. “If you look at his history, he gets better as the year goes on. He’s actually pitched competitively for us. He’s real close to keeping us there.”

The Baltimore skipper was being generous in referencing Sunday’s deficit only being 3-1 entering the top of the sixth inning, but Jimenez started the game with a career 5.10 ERA in April, easily his worst month throughout his eight-year career. Last season, it was even worse as Jimenez posted a 7.13 ERA over his first five starts before rebounding to post a 3.30 ERA and help Cleveland qualify for the postseason.

But history doesn’t make Jimenez — or the Orioles — feel any better as he tries to make a strong impression to justify the long-term investment paid to him. Of course, three starts — good or bad — will not determine whether executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette made a wise addition this winter, but the Orioles added Jimenez with thoughts of the high ceiling he possesses when he’s right on the mound.

So far, he hasn’t been able to climb out of the basement as he gave up a Eutaw Street homer to Colby Rasmus in the first inning and a home run to Brett Lawrie with one out in the sixth before being lifted a batter later. Jimenez only gave up 16 home runs all last season and is a quarter of the way to that mark before Easter Sunday.

“Tough one, really bad one,” Jimenez said. “I couldn’t be there for the team once again. I’m missing right down the middle of the plate. I’ve been making too many mistakes right down the middle.”

It’s too soon to panic as Jimenez’s track record suggests he’ll be much better than what he’s shown, but the Orioles are counting on him to be a top-half-of-the-rotation starter to go along with Chris Tillman. Improved starting pitching is a must for Baltimore to get back to the playoffs for the second time in three years.

In fairness, Jimenez is just one of several problems to plague the Orioles in their 5-7 start as an underperforming offense was limited to just five runs over the weekend and the defense has been shaky with Gold Glove winners Manny Machado and J.J. Hardy missing time. The Orioles have no choice but to be patient with their free-agent prize, hoping the good Jimenez will surface sooner rather than later and provide the quality pitching he’s capable of for significant stretches.

It hasn’t been there in the first half of April, but Showalter expressed confidence after Sunday’s outing that Jimenez is “better than that.”

“He’s got the right mentality. He’s been through tough times before, but he wants it to end now,” Showalter said. “I guarantee you. I understand what the numbers say, but you guys have seen it. It’s very close to there being some quality outings, but at this level and against this competition, close sometimes gets you in trouble.”

And close isn’t good enough in the AL East.

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Drug charges dismissed against Ravens wide receiver Thompson

Posted on 12 April 2014 by Luke Jones

Ravens wide receiver Deonte Thompson is no longer facing drug charges stemming from an arrest in Florida in February.

The 25-year-old was arrested in Gainesville on Feb. 22 and charged with felony possession of marijuana and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Thompson was a passenger in a car that was operating without headlights when it was pulled over and he and two friends were arrested and charged after marijuana was found.

According to a report from The Sun, Thompson’s charges were dismissed after Alvon Summerall pleaded guilty to the same charges as well as driving with a suspended license, taking full responsibility for the incident.

Thompson is entering his third season and is not assured of a roster spot after a disappointing 2013 season in which he battled a foot injury and caught only 10 passes for 96 yards.

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Hardy receives cortisone injection, undergoes MRI on back

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Hardy receives cortisone injection, undergoes MRI on back

Posted on 11 April 2014 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Shortstop J.J. Hardy was not in the lineup as the Orioles began a three-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday, but measures taken on Thursday appear to have the infielder ready to return over the weekend.

Missing six of the last seven games with lower back spasms, Hardy underwent magnetic resonance imaging and received a cortisone injection for his back and was instructed to rest after previously planning to work out at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on the off-day. The 31-year-old returned to the ballpark Friday to take infield and batting practice and expects to be back in the lineup on Saturday, a sentiment shared by manager Buck Showalter.

“I’ve made a bunch of big strides the last couple days,” Hardy said. “I came in today early and took some groundballs and took some swings. It all felt good. I’ll go through a normal day of practice and anticipate being in there tomorrow.”

Showalter added that Hardy was “more available” to come off the bench in the series opener than he was in the final game of the Yankees series. Ryan Flaherty has been filling in at shortstop with rookie Jonathan Schoop handling third base and Steve Lombardozzi playing second.

Hardy said his history of back issues earlier in his career has caused him and the training staff to take a cautious approach in not wanting to come back too soon and risk the back spasms being a recurring issue throughout the season.

“If I don’t play today, that will be six games and I can still play 156,” Hardy said. “That is kind of my goal. Trying to rush it and miss another six games because I tried to come back too early is definitely something I don’t want to do.”

In four games this season, the two-time Gold Glove Award winner is 5-for-15.

Outfielder David Lough was once again out of the lineup on Friday, but he is available off the bench, according to Showalter. He underwent concussion tests in Baltimore on Wednesday before returning to New York for the series finale and being used as a defensive replacement.

It remains uncertain what exactly is causing Lough’s symptoms at different points since mid-March, but Showalter said the organization is confident it is not because of a concussion.

Third baseman Manny Machado is scheduled to have two at-bats in a simulated game in Sarasota on Saturday, an encouraging step in his recovery from offseason knee surgery.

The 21-year-old will not run the bases but will face veteran left-hander Johan Santana at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. Machado has yet to begin sprinting, but his participation in a sim game can’t be viewed as anything but good news.

Machado will be eligible to go on a minor league rehab assignment lasting up to 20 games once he is fully cleared to play, but it remains uncertain when that will happen.

Right-handed pitching prospect Dylan Bundy threw 35 fastballs off a regular mound in Sarasota on Friday as he continues his rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery last year.

Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb was scheduled to throw out the first pitch for Friday night’s game.

Here are Friday night’s lineups:

TORONTO
LF Melky Cabrera
2B Maicer Izturis
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
1B Adam Lind
C Dioner Navarro
CF Colby Rasmus
3B Brett Lawrie
SS Ryan Goins

SP Dustin McGowan (0-1, 13.50 ERA)

BALTIMORE
RF Nick Markakis
DH Delmon Young
1B Chris Davis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
LF Nelson Cruz
2B Steve Lombardozzi
SS Ryan Flaherty
3B Jonathan Schoop

SP Chris Tillman (1-0, 1.35 ERA)

Follow WNST on Twitter for updates and analysis throughout the evening at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

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Orioles minor league recap – 4/10

Posted on 11 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Here’s what happened down in the Orioles’ farm system on Thursday…

* Henry Urrutia hit two doubles and drove in two runs as Triple-A Norfolk topped Gwinnett in a 7-4 final

* Buck Britton hit two home runs as Double-A Bowie won 6-3 over Akron

* Matt Taylor’s solid five-inning effort was spoiled in Single-A Frederick’s 4-3 loss to Carolina

* 2013 first-round pick Hunter Harvey struck out six in five innings as Single-A Delmarva won 6-4 over Greensboro

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D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction Orioles 9-Game Scorecard (Games 1-9)

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D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction Orioles 9-Game Scorecard (Games 1-9)

Posted on 11 April 2014 by Luke Jones

During the 2014 season, Drew Forrester and Luke Jones of The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction will provide the “9-Game Scorecard” for the Orioles, evaluating the club in nine-game increments in a number of categories and looking ahead to how Baltimore will fare over the next nine games on the schedule.

To hear the full explanation of the inaugural “Orioles 9-Game Scorecard” during Friday’s show, click HERE.

1. Should the Orioles have been better or worse than their 4-5 mark?
Drew: Better
Luke: Worse

2. Most Valuable Player/Least Valuable Player
Drew: MVP – Matt Wieters; LVP – Ubaldo Jimenez
Luke: MVP – Matt Wieters; LVP – Ryan Flaherty

3. Biggest surprise
Drew: Chris Davis not having a single home run so far
Luke: The impressive performance of Zach Britton out of the bullpen

4. Best thing about the nine-game stretch
Drew: Tommy Hunter hasn’t experienced any failures in the closer role yet
Luke: Managing a series win in the Bronx to conclude a 3-3 road trip with Manny Machado and J.J. Hardy missing so much time

5. Nine games from now…
Drew: Ubaldo Jimenez will still be struggling
Luke: Ubaldo Jimenez will have two wins under his belt

6. Record in the next nine games
(three with Toronto, three with Tampa Bay, three at Boston)
Drew: 5-4
Luke: 6-3

7. Stock rising/falling over the next 10 games
Drew: Rising – David Lough; Falling – Nick Markakis
Luke: Rising – Chris Davis; Falling – Matt Wieters

8. Grading Buck Showalter in the first 10 games
Drew: B-
Luke: B-

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Former Ravens tight end Dickson signs one-year deal with Carolina

Posted on 10 April 2014 by Luke Jones

Former Ravens tight end Ed Dickson signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers on Thursday to officially end his four-year run in Baltimore.

A third-round pick out of Oregon in the 2010 draft, Dickson had some discussions about remaining with the Ravens earlier in the offseason before Baltimore signed veteran tight end Owen Daniels last week. His departure follows a disappointing 2013 season in which he managed just 25 catches for 273 yards and a touchdown despite No. 1 tight end Dennis Pitta missing 12 games with a dislocated hip suffered in training camp.

After spending his rookie season as the understudy to longtime Ravens tight end Todd Heap, Dickson appeared on track to becoming a staple in the Baltimore offense in 2011 when he started 16 games and caught 54 passes for 528 yards and five touchdowns. However, inconsistency catching the football and the emergence of Pitta late in the 2011 season relegated Dickson to mostly blocking duties in his final two years with the Ravens.

Dickson is expected to compete to be the Panthers’ No. 2 tight end behind starter Greg Olsen, who led Carolina with 73 receptions, 816 receiving yards, and six touchdowns in 2013.

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Orioles minor league recap – 4/9

Posted on 10 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Here’s what happened down in the Orioles’ farm system on Wednesday …

* David Adams hit his first home run as Triple-A Norfolk fell 4-3 to Gwinnett

* Eduardo Rodriguez was roughed up for four earned runs in five innings as Double-A Bowie lost a 5-1 final to Richmond

* Starter Parker Bridwell surrendered six earned runs and 10 hits as Single-A Frederick was routed by Carolina in a 9-2 final

* Drew Dosch drove in two runs to lead Single-A Delmarva to a 5-3 win over Hagerstown

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