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Live From Westminster: There’s Too Many Quarterbacks!

Posted on 17 August 2009 by Glenn Clark

8:04-Only a morning practice scheduled for Tuesday. 8:45am. On Wednesday, there is only a 2:45pm practice scheduled. These things are always subject to change; but nothing surprising about a scaled back practice schedule the final week of Training Camp.

5:48-A Ravens team source declined comment when I asked him about Rex Ryan’s comments regarding the number 99. I wasn’t surprised by the “no comment”, as the Ravens certainly don’t want to start a war of words with their former Defensive Coordinator.

The team did remind me that no NFL can physically retire the jersey number of any player; not even a Ring of Honor player.

The source also laughed at the idea, remembering other great players whose jersey numbers were quickly re-issued by the team they previously played for. For example, Chaz Schilens is wearing the #81 jersey previously worn by Raiders great Tim Brown.

Nestor made a group point when discussing the fact that this likely has more to do with Rex’s disappointment that he isn’t the head coach in Baltimore. Rex clearly has to look at the legacy this organization has carved out for itself and REALLY think “that should be me.” This IS a “disrespect” issue for him, clearly.

5:07-The Ravens spent the afternoon session of Camp working out in shells and shorts; and it wasn’t exactly a thrilling practice. The highlights of practice were the gadget plays; which included pitch back runs from receivers like Jayson Foster.

While working on goal line formations, Dwan Edwards actually caught a TD pass. I expect to see more players having flex roles on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. David Hale has been moved to center on the offensive line; and certainly other players (Edgar Jones comes to mind) have been asked to move positions before. Dwan Edwards won’t be switching positions necessarily; but with a number of D-Linemen already on the roster, this could be a way for Edwards to help make himself continue to stand out.

2:10-Jets Coach Rex Ryan isn’t happy the Ravens are allowing Paul Kruger to wear Michael McCrary’s former #99. Check the story out here.

I didn’t expect any “trash talk” from Rex this week leading up to a preseason game; but he’s amongst the best talkers in football. He may have a point here; but certainly the Ravens are not trying to diminish McCrary’s legacy.

1:40-Some other sights from this morning’s practice session:

-Ernie Wheelwright skying for a sideline grab in 11-on-11′s
-Frank Walker jarring with the refs after he believed he was pushed off on by camp WR body Bradon Godfrey
-Justin Harper fighting for yards and making a pretty sideline grab as he continues to fight the “inconsistent” knock that many think will keep him from making the roster
-Troy Smith finding Godfrey over the middle on one of the nicer balls thrown during 11-on-11′s
-WR Biren Ealy wearing #36 (#8 went to Cleo Lemon), and Godfrey wearing #37

1:35-If you’re considering heading out to Westminster for this afternoon’s practice; please keep in mind that you will not see the likes of Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Derrick Mason, etc. on the practice field. Those guys have off today for the “Over 30″ club; so you will be out of luck if that’s who you’re coming up to see. You will however see a number of 29-year-olds, including Todd Heap, LJ Smith, and Kelley Washington; who will join the club next season.

1:28-As you may have heard about this morning on “The Comcast Morning Show” with Drew Forrester; I was pulled over this morning and cited for not wearing a seat belt by a member of the Maryland State Police. Being that it was the MSP, it will be completely useless for me to call our friend Kevin Utz-the Mayor of Westminster-to help out with the $25 fine.

I would like to take this time to remind you to slow down, and to buckle up. I know I certainly will. I had heard previously that there had been speed traps set up throughout Westminster, and I was actually pulled over right on 140 heading towards Camp.

Seriously, I knew better. Buckle up! Not worth it……

1:18-Following this morning’s session, Willis McGahee made a $2,500 donation to the “Prepare for Success” organization via his Willis McGahee Foundation. The money will go to providing school supplies to disadvantaged children in Howard County; and McGahee also donated 350 calculators.

Much has been made regarding McGahee being a “changed” or “different” player coming into this year’s Training Camp; especially considering his status as the “#2″ back in Cam Cameron’s offense. I asked Willis about that during a brief meeting with the media following the presentation; you can hear what he said by checking out the Audio Vault at WNST.net.

For what it’s worth; I really thought McGahee’s role of “change of pace back” was very effective in the Ravens’ first preseason game against the Redskins. I maintain that McGahee is probably the only back on the roster capable of rishing for 1,400 yards this season; but given the success the team had with multiple backs last season, I think they’ll find a very adequate way to use McGahee, Rice, Le’Ron McClain and possibly even Jalen Parmele and/or Cedric Peerman.

12:58-No Chris Carr in today’s morning session. He’s dealing with back spasms but expects to be back this week.

Kelley Washington was Joe Flacco’s primary target, and Washington didn’t cease to entertain the crowd at McDaniel College with his dance moves following a long TD catch and a first down haul along the sideline.

Speaking of McDaniel, the Terror’s own football team kicked off their fall practice this morning. As they walked along the sideline; a few fans appeared confused, thinking the green and white jerseys were those of the New York Jets.

12:39-Some separation in the kicking contest? Steve Hauschka (who was kicking with the Field Goal “1″ unit), connected on just 2/5 attempts today. Meanwhile, rookie Graham Gano had his best practice recently; connecting on all 5 attempts. This included a 58-yarder, which needed an assist from the left upright to go through. Hauschka’s misses were attempts from 46, 52, and 58 yards. The miss from 52 was particularly short and to the right.

The Ravens also executed two fake field goals. On the first, holder Sam Koch hit Edgar Jones for an 18 yard TD pass to the corner of the end zone. Jones was wide open on the play, leading to the defense drawing the ire of several members of the coaching staff. Koch also hit Gano on a pass to the left that would have gone for a 10 yard gain on another fake. Koch was also seen trying field goal attempts himself. Harbaugh said Koch’s tries were for nothing more than an “emergency” situation; noting Mark Simoneau’s use as an emergency kicker while Harbaugh was with the Eagles.

12:24-Couldn’t help but notice an abundance of red jerseys today; and none of them belonged to Ed Reed-who sat this morning’s session out as part of John Harbaugh’s “30 & Over” club.

The Ravens currently have 5 active quarterbacks on their roster. Joe Flacco and Troy Smith are the clear #1 and 2 respectively; but the Ravens also have John Beck, Cleo Lemon, and Drew Willy taking snaps under center.

Beck-who was rumored to possibly be gone for the season with a crack in his collarbone over the weekend-was throwing solid screens, fades, and mid-range (16-18 yard) balls during the morning session. He is likely to test his arm more as each day goes this week; and could very well be ready to play Monday against the Jets. If so, expect Drew Willy (who the Ravens re-acquired after originally signing him as a UFA from Buffalo) to probably be gone before Rex Ryan and company come to town.

Cleo Lemon-who has previously camped with the Ravens as a 4th string QB-seems like a possibility to stick around until final cuts. I was surprised to see the Ravens had not gone with 4 QB’s this preseason; especially after Kyle Boller’s injury and Troy Smith’s…..black plague?……left them with just one healthy quarterback last August; forcing them to scramble and find Casey Bramlet. I would imagine the Ravens will not need to see much from any of their QB’s in the final preseason game (the roles are very well defined), and could afford to have Cleo Lemon take the majority of the snaps in the 2nd half.

-G

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 21 May 2009 by Glenn Clark

I’m glad Drew was fired up about the Orioles’ most recent disaster; because it is particularly difficult for me to feel any emotion about them.

When I write my “Top 10 Baseball Distractions” column every week, I often get comments like “You don’t really think an episode of ‘Pros vs. Joes’ is more exciting than baseball, do you?”

And the answer is…..yes.

I watched the Orioles last night, but when I started getting angry, I changed the channel. I watched the Cavs and Magic (rooting for Joe Smith); and I watched a few minutes of American Idol-which I know NOTHING about.

I always go back to the Orioles; right after flipping has allowed me to settle down again. Staying with them would just lead to the type of anger and frustration you heard from Drew this morning. I take them in doses; much like many of the things I love in my life. (Insert your own joke about my girlfriend here.)

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

Best of Wednesday’s WNST Blogs:

Drew Forrester says MASN post-game show fails to show what happened in game

Nestor Aparicio says Baez, Walker gave up 6 ‘icing’ runs in 8th inning of loss

Glenn Clark thinks Birds should play game at Pimlico, Drew Forrester thinks Greg Bader should dress up as ‘wiener’

ORIOLES:

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Guthrie gave up 3 straight homers early as Yanks topped O’s

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of loss

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Eaton, O’s try to avoid sweep tonight vs. Chamberlain, Yankees

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Ray trying to find ‘comfort’ level

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Markakis working through ‘rare slump’

Yankees Official Site’s Bryan Hoch says Hughes wins despite giving up two home runs

Baysox Official Site says Sean Gleason struggled, but Baysox beat Altoona

Keys Official Site says Matusz struck out 9 as Keys beat Lynchburg

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Swisher, Cano, Melky Cabrera hit back to back to back homers off Guthrie

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Markakis 0-4 with 3 strikeouts, now has 1 hit in last 18 at-bats

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Trembley to be ‘more selective’ in using Ray

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Waring went 2-4 with homer for Keys in win

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Eaton could be pitching for rotation spot tonight

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck didn’t agree with decision to send Brian Roberts in 3rd

Examiner Jay Trucker says Fox Sports doesn’t think O’s roster ‘hot’

The AP says red hot Bombers held ‘Kangaroo Court’ before win with Rivera as judge

Frederick News-Post’s Stan Goldberg says Florimon had 3 hits, home run for Keys in win

Washington Times’ Ryan O’Halloran says Nationals Park will have rare ‘buzz’ with O’s in town this weekend

New York Post’s George A. King says nearly 44,000 at Yankee Stadium to see Yanks blow out Birds

New York Daily News’ Mark Feinsand says Yanks now within 2 ½ games of Blue Jays in AL East

New York Times’ Tyler Kepner says Chamberlain-Huff rivalry continues tonight

Newsday’s Erik Boland says Wigginton, Jones, Reimold homered for Birds in loss

Newark Star-Ledger’s Marc Carig says Rivera earned save despite blowout nature of game

Bergen Record’s Tara Sullivan says Jeter added bases loaded double for Yanks in win

Fox Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi says ‘no center fielder in baseball having finer season than Adam Jones’

ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick says O’s in ‘no rush’ with Wieters

ESPN Insider Buster Olney says Ripken could help ‘clean up’ baseball (must subscribe)

SI’s Jon Heyman would not vote for Sosa, Palmeiro to get into Hall

Yahoo! Sports’ Gordon Edes says Huff tonight just one of many ‘showdowns’ for Yanks’ Chamberlain

RAVENS:

The Official Site says Jason Brooks added to coaching staff for offensive quality control

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Washington could push Williams for 3rd receiver job

The Sun’s Kevin Cowherd says Peerman could be ‘role model’

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says 52, Ogden best ever 1st round picks; T. Taylor, Boller worst ever

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Harbaugh thinks Troy Smith ‘NFL-caliber passer’

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Jason Brooks son of D-Line coach Clarence Brooks

CBS Sports’ Chad Reuter says Lardarius Webb could make impact despite ‘slight frame’

HORSE RACING:

Belmont Official Site says Charitable Man confirmed for third leg of Triple Crown

Daily Racing Form’s Marty McGee says Mine That Bird trainer Woolley to choose jockey by Monday

Thoroughbred Times’ Jeff Lowe says Rachel Alexandra galloped in Post-Preakness workout at Churchill Downs

Thoroughbred Times’ Jeff Lowe says trainer Kieran McLaughlin expects Charitable Man will ‘run well’ at Belmont

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says Terps, Mountaineers add games in 2012, 2013

The Official Site says Ralph to discuss weight loss on ESPN2’s First Take today

The Sun says Terps to host West Virginia in ’11, ’13; to visit Morgantown in ’10, ‘12

Examiner Matthew Bouchard says Redskins’ veteran CB’s should help former Terp Barnes ‘get acclimated’ to NFL

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says fans might actually be able to see Terps on ESPNU now

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says with Rich Rodriguez gone, ‘Eers may not be as tough for Terps

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem catches up with Bishop McNamara WR prospect Brandon Coleman (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem catches us with commit Brice Laughlin (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh says Calvin Coolidge High WR prospect wants Maryland offer (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh says strength coach Dwight Galt overseas in China (must subscribe)

Turtle Sports Report’s Mike Rubin chats with Georgia Safety prospect Julian Horton (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Vasquez to work out with Wizards today

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Kentucky’s Jodie Meeks, LSU’s Marcus Thornton, Ole Miss’s David Huertas all also working out with Zards

TERRAPINS LACROSSE:

Examiner Steve DeClue still doesn’t think Cottle right choice for Terps

TOWSON LACROSSE:

The Official Site says Randall Cooper, Bill McCutcheon, Rosensweig named to USILA North-South Game

LOYOLA BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says Greensboro prospect Julius Brooks commits to Patsos, Hounds

NAVY FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says kicker Joe Buckley would love chance for Mids to face Penn State in future

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says M&T Bank Stadium to get ‘at least one’ upcoming Army-Navy Game

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says FedEx Field, Meadowlands, Lincoln Financial Field all also in running for Army-Navy Game

NAVY LACROSSE:

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Mids may have deserved chance to play North Carolina instead of Duke

UMES BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says Hawks offering summer camps

SALISBURY LACROSSE:

The Official Site says Kylor Berkman named National Midfielder of the Year by USILA for 3rd time

BOXING:

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Eldersburg fighter Mark “TNT” Tucker looking to improve to 10-0 on June 5

BALTIMORE MARINERS:

The Official Site previews Saturday’s game against Columbus Lions

CRYSTAL PALACE USA:

USL Official Site says Mbuta named USL-2 Player of the Week

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-Quick question for you. We’re just about 5 months into the year, so it is WAY too early to make a judgment on this, but who has stood out for you as a potential candidate to be SI’s “Sportsman of the Year”? I’m sure if LeBron or Kobe wins the NBA Title (especially LeBron), they’ll be the frontrunner from the first half of the year; but I think there’s another worthy candidate who we’ve seen a bit more of locally.

How about Calvin Borel?

The award has never been claimed by anyone in the horse racing industry (which is probably justified), but Borel has the chance to do something no rider has ever done before (win all Triple Crown races on more than one horse). And more impressively, he actually had a serious impact on the most important race.

It’s more than a longshot; but if Borel wins the Belmont (on either horse), he should certainly be considered.

-Maryland and West Virginia SHOULD play every year. That’s just about a no-brainer.

Talk to you tomorrow.

-G

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 18 May 2009 by Glenn Clark

I’m sorry I won’t be able to make the Yankee Stadium trip tomorrow; but I guess if I want to hang out with 40,000 Yankees fans, I’ll just have to wait until their next trip to Camden Yards.

(Insert drum clash here).

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

Best of Sunday’s WNST Blogs:

Bob Haynie says Hill, Guthrie, Uehara COULD be ‘respectable’ front of rotation

Glenn Clark says InfieldFest ‘failed’

Drew Forrester says Pimlico didn’t have ‘hangover’ effect Sunday morning

Glenn Clark says Arrieta, David Hernandez combined for 12+ shutout innings over weekend

G. Q. says crowd of 77,000 ‘promising’ for Preakness

Peter Dilutis says Trembley not properly managing bullpen

Ed Frankovic says Hershey rallied to even playoff series with Providence

Drew Forrester thinks Crosby, Ovechkin ‘strongly dislike’ each other

ORIOLES:

MLB.com’s Robert Falkoff says Uehara ‘wobbled’ in 6th inning as Birds fall to Royals

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of loss

MLB.com’s Robert Falkoff says after day off today; Bergesen, Birds visit Sabathia, Yanks tomorrow night

MLB.com’s Robert Falkoff says Adam Jones ‘likely’ to return from hamstring strain Tuesday at Yankee Stadium

MLB.com’s Robert Falkoff says with Scott on DL, Reimold gets extra time at big league level

Royals Official Site’s Dick Kaegel says Buck gets GW RBI triple to help Royals past O’s

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Johnson took loss as Birds fell in Kansas City

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Pie drove RBI triple in 2nd inning of loss

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Izturis’ availability for Tuesday’s Yankees game now in question due to groin strain

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Baysox 1B Snyder looking to prove he can more than ‘just hit’

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Bobby Livingston improves to 4-1 with win for Bowie

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Scott ‘not happy about’ being placed on DL

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck not getting too excited about Rich Hill just yet

The AP says Juan Cruz picked up win for Royals

Kansas City Star’s Sam Mellinger says win over Orioles may be ‘just what (Royals) needed’

RAVENS:

Examiner Phil Macek says Flacco ‘growing’ as leader

ESPN.com’s James Walker ‘curious’ to see how Boller does in St. Louis

NFL.com’s Pat Kirwan has Ravens 6th in power rankings

NFL.com’s Thomas George says former Raven Lorenzo Neal expected to bring ‘excellence’ to Raiders

HORSE RACING:

Preakness Official Site says Asmussen to watch Rachel Alexandra work at Churchill Downs before owners make decision on Belmont

Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman says Mine That Bird in, Rachel Alexandra not ‘guarantee’ for Belmont

Thoroughbred Times’ Phil Janack says NYRA ‘thrilled’ to have Derby winner committed to third jewel of Triple Crown

The Sun’s Ken Murray says Woolley welcome to rematch between Derby, Preakness winners at Belmont

The Sun’s Kevin Cowherd says Rachel Alexandra most exciting female since Susan Boyle

The Sun’s Ken Murray says Mike Smith to remain aboard Mine That Bird for Belmont

Examiner Steve DeClue says Maryland Jockey Club should be ‘ashamed’ for Preakness attendance

The AP says owner Jess Jackson wants to see how Rachel Alexandra ‘rebounds’ from Preakness

Washington Examiner’s Jim Williams thought NBC did outstanding job of covering Preakness

New York Post’s Ray Kerrison says Rachel Alexandra ‘brilliant’ in Preakness win

HOPKINS LACROSSE:

The Official Site says Virginia jumps out early, cruises to win over Hopkins in Tournament quarterfinals

Inside Lacrosse’s John Jiloty says Shamel Bratton tallied career high 5 goals for Hoos in win over Blue Jays

The Sun’s Mike Preston says 12,142 at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium saw Jays’ worst Tournament loss ever

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says loss matched worst of Pietramala’s career

Washington Examiner’s Kevin Dunleavy says Steele Stanwick scored 7 points for Cavs in win over Jays

STEVENSON LACROSSE:

The Official Site says Stangs’ historic season ends in semifinals with loss to Gettysburg

Inside Lacrosse says Kyle McGrath tallied 5 points for Bullets in win over Mustangs

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Bullets goalie Zach Furshman made 15 saves in win

The Sun’s Edward Lee says leading scorers Dailey, Kazimer, Richie Ford all return for Cantabene’s Mustangs next season

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

Carroll County Times’ Matt Zenitz says former Terp Shaun Hill in ‘battle’ for 49ers’ starting QB job

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Ralph down 80 pounds

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Dwight Galt thinks Bruce Campbell ‘Vernon Davis-like’

NAVY FOOTBALL:

Go Mids’ Adam Nettina catches up with Niumatalolo post-Spring (must subscribe)

Examiner Tom Flynn says Mids have 8 national TV games on fall schedule

SWIMMING:

The AP’s Paul Newberry says Phelps loses 100 meter freestyle to Bousquet Sunday night

Washington Post’s Amy Shipley says Phelps won two events, finished 2nd in two events, and didn’t compete in another at Charlotte UltraSwim

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-The end of College Lacrosse season locally and the passing of Preakness is a staggering reminder of how miserable the summer may well be for the local sports scene. Ugh.

-Happy Birthday to Brooks Robinson.

Talk to you tomorrow.

-G

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15-7-0

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15-7-0

Posted on 18 May 2009 by Glenn Clark

You get props……

1-Calvin Borel and Rachel Alexandra

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7vXnO4-aIY[/youtube]

I’ve already shared my thoughts on the infield, so let’s talk about the damn race. You think Calvin Borel knew he was going to win this race? Compare his reaction above to his emotions after winning the Derby…..

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

He seemed DISAPPOINTED after the win on Saturday!!! The best thing about what happened Saturday is that it sets up the ultimate “Battle of the Sexes” for the Belmont; and as we all know, Boys rule and Girls Drool.

2-Rich Hill, Danys Baez, Jim Johnson, and George Sherrill

Rich Hill is going to 7-8 this season (and might be the Orioles’ best pitcher); but I can already see this commercial debuting in August.

“My defining moment? They said Andy MacPhail didn’t know what he was doing; but on a Saturday night in Kansas City, Rich Hill was the MAN! Jose Guillen, David DeJesus? They had no answer for my guy Rich Hill, who came off the DL and gutted the Birds into the 6th. And what did Baez, Johnson, and Sherrill do to chose things out? Try no hits! How do you spell stopper? O-R-I-O-L-E-S!”

Only MASN could make a completely forgettable game in the midst of another miserable season into something that people are forced to watch on TV. But when you’re used to having your pitchers give you efforts that regularly fair to give the Birds even a remote chance to win; I guess the effort Hill and the pen gave was pretty big.

3-Bobby Lashley and Andre Ward

Andre Ward beat Edison Miranda. When he wins another gold medal, please let me know. Until then, I’ll be following a certain former Marine and former ECW Champion who is getting ready to face Bob Sapp next. Mike Cook said in a press conference last week before their MFC fight that former pro grappler would…..ahem….”(poop) in his pants” after Cook hit him. Instead, well, this happened…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHwIqD3bRPk[/youtube]

…..that fight lasted for a shorter time than I did the first time I than a fight is supposed to. Lashley kicks ass, and Mike Cook would be more relevant to me if his name was actually “My Cook” and he could prepare barbeque chicken for me.

While poking around Sherdog for info on the fight, I happened to come across this picture of Olaf Alfonso; who lost a fight last week. There’s no relevance to the picture, but if you found it; wouldn’t you feel the need to share it too?

alfon

4-Roger Federer and Andre Agassi

This is why I love Andre Agassi. Those European snotwads Federer and Nadal could play the greatest match of all time (and they arguably have); but if Andre Agassi shows up somewhere and even as much as sneezes, the entire world cares much more about that. After 132 events known as “The Rain Delay: Wimbledon”, those limey Brits finally figured out how to keep rain out of their house. Build a roof! 132 years of rain to figure out that you should build a roof? I believe the Brits are what we like to call “slow learners.” Agassi and wife Steffi Graf showed up to celebrate, and I could lie to you and tell you that I know what happened, but who cares. Andre Agassi was there! Why wasn’t I?

5-Jake Arrieta, David Hernandez and Chris Richard

On Friday night, Adam Eaton allowed 7 runs in 5 innings. On Saturday, Arrieta and Hernandez combined to go 12 innings of shutout ball. But Adam Eaton is good and all…….

Former Oriole Chris Richard hit 2 grand slams in 1 game for the Durham Bulls Friday; making him the most successful Durham Bull since……

nuke

6-Michael Phelps

white

I think I’ve finally figured out the jealous obsession people in this city have with Michael Phelps. You see, when you meet a girl like this who works at Scores, she convinces you to tip her $500 bucks, then has a 450 pound brute kick you out when you place a fingertip on her ankle. When Michael Phelps meets that same girl at Scores, he goes back and has a 3 way with her and her hot friend following hours of pot and online poker.

Phelps swam this weekend in Charlotte (presumably since there were no late night brothels open with all you can smoke pot bars and No Limit Hold ‘Em in the Tar Heel State), and won two gold medals, finished 2nd in two others, and didn’t bother to race in the other. He then slept with the entire staff of the Hustler Club and high-fived Joe Flacco on his way out. Suck it Baltimore, his life is better than ours.

7-Tony Stewart

NASCAR had an All-Star Race, and televised the thing on SPEED. And for some reason, all I can think of is the time on Saved By The Bell when Jessie Spano admitted to Zack Morris that she was abusing speed pills…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bflYjF90t7c[/youtube]

You remember the first time you discovered No Dos? I don’t think they did a damn thing but I stayed up for something like 8 straight days in college. Jessie Spano did it so she could keep her grades up, study for the SAT’s, perform at the talent show, be the class president, and be a good girlfriend. I did it so I could eat pizza and play Gran Turismo with my roommate. But to each their own.

8-Clayton Kershaw, Roy Halladay, Jake Peavy and Zack Greinke

There were a lot of good pitching performances (none by anyone who pitches for the Orioles) this weekend, but NONE of them were as impressive as Bryan Fuller, who threw 21 scoreless innings for Campbellsville University at the NAIA level.

A Wikipedia search points out that Campbellsville’s previously most successful alum is a man named John Carney, who is serving in the Kentucky House of Representatives despite the fact that he goes by the name “Bam.”

Only in Kentucky.

9-Ned Crotty, Shamel Bratton, Kenny Nims, and Rocco Romero

The Final Four in Foxborough with ZERO teams from the state of Maryland? On the same weekend when half the normal crowd showed up for Preakness? Is there anything in Baltimore that we’re still good at????? (I mean, besides murder and STD’s. We RULE at murder and STD’s!)

10-Dan Cleary and Michael Nuvirth

I can’t figure out whether or not I should root for the Hershey Bears. I mean, on the one hand-they’re the Caps’ farm team; and I hate Washington sports teams. But on the other hand, they’re from the place that brought us Reese’s Pieces and the Sooper Dooper Looper.

On the con side, Redskins fans are probably rooting for the Bears because they’re looking forward to seeing players like Nuvirth at the Verizon Center. But on the pro side; if you take a chick on the Hershey’s Kissing Tower, there’s no chance you’re not getting laid. Of course, if this is the girl you took to the Kissing Tower, you probably only needed to buy her a bag of Hershey’s kisses first….

kiss

I’m an ass. But son of a bitch I’m in. Go Bears!

11-Matthew Mbuta and Manchester United

How very European to be able to win a championship with a tie. Man U tied Arsenal to claim the Premier League title, just two weeks before playing for the Champions League title. Next month they’re playing for the “Totally Awesome” title, and in July they’ll go for the “Whoa dude, Kick ass!” crown.

12-Cathy Reese and Caitlyn McFadden

At least I’ll have SOME reason to watch lacrosse next weekend, as the Maryland women will be playing in the national semifinals at Unitas Stadium in Towson. What is it about chicks that go to Maryland that makes them about 1,000 times hotter in my opinion? For absolutely no reason at all, here’s a picture of Bonnie Bernstein….

bb

And just in case Forrester is reading, here’s a pic of Shay Doron…..

doron

13-Rick From Reisterstown

Did this idiot really give us the “Win” and “Show” for Saturday’s race????

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AcdtGob-WQ[/youtube]

Look, you all chose to keep him; now you probably owe him a Thank You. But don’t give it to him, he’ll only get confused.

14-Sammy Kitwara

b2b

They banned alcohol from Preakness, but they didn’t ban nudity from San Francisco’s Bay 2 Breakers run (which is really amazing actually). The people pictured above aren’t drunken revelers, but rather actual participants in an athletic competition. Of course, I often considered drunken grappling on Friday nights with my buddy Chris to be athletic competition; but the only real competition was to see who could lose more blood. Apparently this year’s race was held in such hot conditions that the runners had to be hosed down. Because it was so warm. And sexy.

15-Will Ferrell

Don’t look now, but for the past two weeks, Saturday Night Live has been…..you know…..good. I’d show you the Celebrity Jeopardy clip; but I can’t upload clips from Hulu, and NBC is like Nazi’s when it comes to Youtube. But the show was really funny; leading me to believe that next season Ferrell, Justin Timberlake, Alec Baldwin, The Rock, and Christopher Walken should just rotate as hosts. Or should just be the permanent cast altogether.

You got lucky……..

1-Kyle Boller

I stumbled upon John Harbaugh and Kyle Boller chatting in the Preakness Village Saturday afternoon; and stopped for a brief chat about horses. It was at that point that I noticed Kyle had been spending the day hanging with one Stacy Keibler; but easy does it…..he’s friends with Stacy’s husband. The reason why Kyle Boller makes my lucky list is because of what was the best thing I heard all day at Preakness. After I completely ignored she was there, Coach Harbaugh extended a greeting to my girlfriend (“The Luckiest Girl On The Face of the Planet”), saying “I’m particularly happy to meet you.” Kyle then introduced himself to her, and asked me why I hadn’t. (The answer is clearly that when men are present and football is to be discussed, does it really matter if women are around? But anyway….) My girlfriend (TLGOTFOTP) humorously asked Kyle if he was excited for the next season, to which he said “It will be exciting to be in a new place.” I explained to my lovely girlfriend that Kyle had signed with the Rams, to which she looked at him and said……

“Why’d we get rid of you? You’re CUTE!”

Line of the day. And while I’d like to argue with her, we all know she’s right…..

boller

2-Zach Johnson

You might remember Zach Johnson as “that guy who won that Golf Tournament I watched because I thought Tiger Woods was gonna win”, but he’s got a pretty good career of his own going. For example……….his name is Zach Johnson, and that’s much easier to pronounce than…..say……Shingo Katayama. Johnson won the Texas Open in a playoff Sunday; and as you know, everything is bigger in Texas. Including this cross, which I had the chance to drive past on I-40 three times on the way from Maryland to Arizona….

cross

What the hell is the point of building a 19 story cross??? I want to meet the guy that said to his buddy “Dude, my crucifixion was totally bigger than yours!”

3-Melky Cabrera, Alex Rodreguez and Johnny Damon

Of course the effing Yankees would get 3 straight walk-off wins this weekend. Because apparently I did something to anger God. Or something like that. God I hate the Yankees. And the Red Sox. And the fact that the New Yankee Stadium will have been open for a year compared to Camden Yards’ 18 at the end of the season; and there will probably a greater number of significant games played there than OPACY has ever seen.

4-Pau Gasol and Hedo Turkoglu

As I’ve said before, if you let a series get to 7 games, you’re lucky to win. But there’s nothing like a Game 7 that has all the drama of an episode of “The Hills.” The Lakers cruised from start to finish to beat the Rockets, and the Celtics could never rally against the Magic. God what I would’ve given to be in Boston this week and see those god-awful wastes of human existence after their Bruins lost a Game 7 and their Celtics lost a Game 7. I bet they looked similar to…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n346as4zmug&feature=related[/youtube]

5-Mike Aina

Apparently Billy Evangelista was DQ’ed from his ShoMMA fight Friday night for……kicking Mike Aina’s ass too much? Aina apparently was hit with a knee that Evangelista thought was in his shoulder, while referee Herb Dean thought was to the head. It’s a shame no one could go back and look to see if Dean was right……oh yeah….they CAN….

mma

…….well, Mike Aina has to be mighty proud of the victory he picked up this weekend; which comes not by Knockout or Submission, but instead via “crumbling like a human vegetable.” Congratulations.

6-Chad Ochocinco

Good news: You get to be known by the moniker you’ve been fighting to use.
Bad news: You fill out paperwork the wrong way, so your legal last name is not cool, but instead stupid.

ocho

7-Everyone who took a second to look at a weather report this morning

I guess this is my fault. You see, I could have sworn that the calendar in my room said “MAY”. I guess it was actually supposed to say “BLUSTERY FREEZE MONTH.” I went over to see Stevenson and Gettysburg in the D3 semifinals (bummed for the Mustang fans) wearing a polo shirt and sandals; and was nearly blown from Owings Mills back to Reisterstown. And according to the Weather Channel, it is going to dip down to 39 tomorrow night. Look, when I was living in Arizona; I remember saying to people “You know why I miss Maryland? We have FOUR seasons.” But how is it that we can have 4 seasons and not a single day during the year when you walk outside and it is 74 degrees? It will be 39 Monday night, and will inevitably be 93 by Thursday. I’m going back……

You’re a zero…….

James Harrison

As much as I want to laugh at this dumbass, the joke is on us. His team beat us three times. But if the Ravens had beaten them the third time, I think the NFL would have invited them to the Super Bowl instead of the Steelers.

-G

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 14 April 2009 by Glenn Clark

The “Baltimore” jerseys looked just as good as I hoped they would. Koji Uehara made Andruw Jones look like a future Hall of Famer again (maybe the whole L.A. think WAS a fluke after all), but everything is okay if the game ends in the win column like it did last night.

I’ll also add this. I’ve never been overly sold on George Sherrill as a closer. Frankly, I think finding a great closer is a 1-in-a-thousand type proposition. But I really don’t think George Sherrill is a great closer. I guess time will tell in the end.

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

Best of Monday’s WNST Blogs:

Nestor Aparicio says “Orioles Magic” lifts Birds to 5-2

Thyrl Nelson says Tillman threw 4 hitless innings for Tides last night

Keith Melchior thinks Orioles should fire Trembley now

Rex Snider says Jim Palmer thought Fidrych ‘great guy’

Chris Pika says ESPN cutting coverage of Preakness

Glenn Clark says Navy-Hopkins lacrosse amongst highlights of non-baseball week

Ed Frankovic picks Caps to beat Rangers in 7 games

ORIOLES:

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Uehara gives up 7 runs, but Orioles provide offense to help him beat Rangers

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of shootout win

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Simon, Birds shoot for another series win tonight against McCarthy, Rangers

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Mora sitting with hamstring tightness

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Rich Hill to throw side session today

Rangers Official Site’s Todd Wills says Padilla rocked early as Rangers fall to O’s

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Sherrill survived ‘tense’ 9th inning to collect 3rd save as Birds beat Rangers

The Sun’s Childs Walker says return of “Baltimore” to road jerseys has caused demand to ‘nearly double’

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Wigginton played in place of hobbled Mora

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Pie launched 4th career home run in win

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says players don’t care much about “Baltimore” on road jerseys

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Waring off to hot start with Frederick

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Wieters had first multi-hit game of season on farm

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Montanez, Reimold continue to ‘scorch’ ball for Norfolk

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Markakis made ‘gold glove’ caliber catch to save win for Birds

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says playing Rays helped Huff break out of funk

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Zaun to be judge for Kangaroo Court

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says solid season from Bedard could price him out of Orioles’ free agent plans

Examiner Jay Trucker says Huff got 4 hits; Roberts, Pie 3 apiece in win (he also takes some fun stabs at Aubrey in the process)

The AP says Sherrill got Marlon Byrd to strike out to end win in Arlington

Dallas Morning News’ Jeff Wilson says 12,184 saw Rangers’ rally fall short against Orioles (smallest crowd for scheduled game in history of Ballpark in Arlington)

Fox Sports’ Aram Tolegian has Birds 10th in power rankings

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Anderson ‘not fazed’ by Ravens’ discussions with Pace

The Official Site says Hue Jackson to speak at USA Football event

The Sun’s Mike Preston says 52, Ogden best picks in Ravens history; Travis Taylor, Boller worst; Zastudil strangest

Examiner Phil Macek says Sypniewski, Demetrius Williams will ‘battle’ for roster spots

ESPN.com’s James Walker doesn’t think Ravens will be interested in first round TE like Pettigrew

ESPN.com’s James Walker thinks Steelers should visit M&T Bank Stadium in prime time this season

ESPN.com’s James Walker doesn’t think re-acquisition of Stover likely because Ravens don’t want to carry two kickers

Sporting News’ Mike Florio praises Ravens’ pick of Ngata in recap of ’06 Draft

CBS Sports’ Rob Rang mocks DHB to Ravens

NFL.com says Ravens will have 28th toughest schedule of season

TERRAPINS LACROSSE:

The Official Site previews free contest with Binghamton this afternoon

The Diamondback’s Michael Katz says Terps must ‘recover’ from recent skid starting today vs. Bearcats

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens has Terps facing Hopkins in projected bracket

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

The Sun’s Ken Murray says DHB has been ‘preparing for (Draft) all his life’

The Diamondback’s Eric Detweiler says DHB has mom’s guidance in preparations for NFL career

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Ralph ‘impressed’ by Don Brown’s defense

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh checks in on relationship between Terrapin teammates (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem says prospect Josh Furman attended scrimmage (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Tucker has had similar start to career as Nicholas, Jasikevicius

Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter says Terps getting ‘involved’ with former Xavier commit J.D. Weatherspoon (must subscribe)

UMBC LACROSSE:

The Official Site says Poillon, Justin Radebaugh honored by America East

Inside Lacrosse says Retrievers 8th in new media poll

Inside Lacrosse’s Quint Kessenich has Retrievers 8th in poll due to 6 game winning streak

Inside Lacrosse says Retrievers 6th in USILA Coaches’ Poll

LOYOLA LACROSSE:

The Official Site says Cooper MacDonnell honored by ECAC

LOYOLA BASKETBALL:

The Sun’s Matt Bracken says Etherly thought Patsos ‘excited’ about transfer

SALISBURY LACROSSE:

The Official Site says Gulls snap 2 game skid with win over Mary Washington in CAC Tournament

The Sun’s Edward Lee says St. Mary’s win over Salisbury historic

TOWSON FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says new Coach Ambrose spending week getting to know Towson students

NAVY FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says Dobbs threw 2 TD passes late in Mids’ 2nd Spring scrimmage

The Official Site introduces starting QB Dobbs

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Alexander Teich has ‘solidified’ FB job

HORSE RACING:

Thoroughbred Times says eminent domain bill passes, giving O’Malley authority to purchase tracks

REAL MARYLAND:

Washington Post’s Steven Goff says two Cuban refugees to sign with Real Maryland

BALTIMORE COLTS:

The Sun’s Mike Klingaman
says Raymond Berry’s house spared by tornado

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-Maryland 10, Binghamton 4. There’s no way the Terps can lose a 4th straight in College Park today. Is there?

Talk to you tomorrow.

-G

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 07 April 2009 by Glenn Clark

Yesterday was special. Great atmosphere, great game, etc. What a day. But there are 161 more; and let’s see how they play out before we get too hopeful. If we could have FIVE more days like yesterday this season, it will have been successful.

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

Best of Monday’s WNST Blogs:

Drew Forrester will always remember Teixeira’s miserable day

Chris Pika says Rolle will fight for playing time with Carr, Foxworth

Nestor Aparicio had visions of Jeffrey Maier on Izturis’ homer

Chris Pika says Orioles provide nice distraction until we start talking Ravens again

Drew Forrester says Chris Ray has 54.00 ERA after first appearance

Nestor Aparicio offers picture with Haynie from Opening Day event

Glenn Clark thinks Inside Lacrosse event highlight of non-baseball week

Nestor Aparicio says ’09 could be ‘gloomy’ for Birds

Rex Snider happy Birds didn’t pursue Lowe

Keith Melchior doesn’t enjoy Opening Day atmosphere

Ed Frankovic says Caps growing beards

ORIOLES:

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Izturis homers, adds solid defense as Birds get Opening Day win over Yankees

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of win

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Biden’s first pitch amongst Opening Day highlights

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Mora now cleans up, Huff drops to 5th

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says after day off, Uehara to make debut Wednesday

Yankees Official Site’s Bryan Hoch says Sabathia rocked in loss

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says record Opening Day crowd fills Camden Yards to see Birds topple Yanks

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says win over Bombers true ‘ballpark experience’

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Mora hit cleanup for first time in career

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Roberts, Jones reached base 9 times, scored 5 runs

The Sun’s Candus Thomson says Teixeira greeted with boos by O’s fans at every at bat

The Sun’s David Steele says O’s fans outshine Yankees fans on Opening Day

The Sun’s Childs Walker says ‘optimism’ was word of day at OPACY

The Sun’s Rick Maese says Rosenthal thinks all of baseball excited about Wieters, not just Orioles fans

The Sun’s Rick Maese says Tex would be Oriole in ‘perfect world’

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Tides tickets on sale now

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Ernie Tyler spent 50th Opening Day with Birds

Carroll County Times’ Bob Blubaugh says Teixeira ‘failed to deliver’ for Yankees

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Guthrie gets win in first try for Birds in ‘09

Carroll County Times’ Rich Dubroff says even Angelos took in Orioles’ Opening Day win

The AP says Huff closed scoring with big two run double

Frederick News-Post’s Stan Goldberg says Guthrie’s performance quiets Spring Training questions

Frederick News-Post’s Stan Goldberg says Matusz headed to Frederick

Washington Post’s CJ Holley says Chris Ray ‘far from perfect’ in win

New York Post’s George A. King III says Yanks lost to ‘woeful’ Orioles team

New York Times’ Tyler Kepner says Brett Gardner’s play rare highlight for Bombers

Newsday’s Wallace Matthews says Teixeira’s Yankee debut ‘memorably bad’

Newark Star-Ledger’s Marc Carig says Sabathia, Teixeira held “Worst Day Ever” contest

ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick thinks Yankees better off being away from tabloids, talk radio today

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal says O’s fans had ‘no rational reason’ to boo Teixeira

SI’s Jon Heyman says fans were after Sabathia as well

Sporting News’ Stan McNeal doesn’t think Yankees should be concerned about Sabathia’s poor start

CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler says Sabathia thought he was ‘terrible’

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Rolle returns to Baltimore with new 4 year deal

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy remembers ups and downs of Boller’s career in Baltimore

The Official Site says Draft success about ‘process’ for Newsome, Ravens

The Sun’s Ken Murray and Mike Preston say recent meeting with Newsome, Harbaugh paved way for Rolle’s return

The Sun’s Ken Murray says Ravens must wonder ‘what might have been’ with Boller

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Rolle’s deal worth $10 million total

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

The Diamondback’s Greg Schimmel says 3 spring starters-Lamar Young, Justin Lewis, Demetrius Hartsfield-have never earned varsity letter

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Baltz ACC’s top punter

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Friedgen thought ‘positives’ came from scrimmage

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh checks in with City prospect Coxson (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Claire Knudsen profiles Draft prospect Barnes (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem says CB Carroll learning to ‘lock down’ (must subscribe)

Terp Center’s Seth Hoffman says DC Brown ‘pleased’ with scrimmage

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

Washington Post’s Josh Barr says Stoglin commitment shows Terps maintain high profile outside of area

TERRAPINS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says Coleman, Toliver invited to WNBA Draft

The Diamondback’s Aaron Kraut says Toliver thinking about Thursday’s Draft; wishing she was playing tonight in St. Louis

TERRAPINS LACROSSE:

The Diamondback’s Michael Katz
says Terps need to find goals

LOYOLA LACROSSE:

The Official Site says Sawyer honored by ECAC

UMBC LACROSSE:

The Official Site
says Blevins honored by America East

HOPKINS LACROSSE:

The Official Site says April 27 game at Mt. St. Mary’s moved to 7pm

NAVY BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says former Mid Robinson headed to Basketball Hall of Fame

NAVY LACROSSE:

Inside Lacrosse’s Jon Brand says Tim Paul ‘questionable’ for Army game

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Paul dealing with sprained ankle

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Paul’s injury ‘not as serious’ as Mids originally thought

BLAST:

The Official Site says team auctioning jerseys on eBay

The Sun’s Kent Baker says Rampage advanced to NISL Championship Game with win over La Raza

HORSE RACING:

Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman says ‘no surprises’ yet in push for Derby qualifying

Thoroughbred Times’ Ron Parker says I Want Revenge popular Triple Crown choice

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-I like the depth that Samari Rolle gives the Ravens. If you questioned the Domonique Foxworth acquisition, Rolle gives the Ravens an insurance policy. Dom’s the starter, but Rolle can take a few more snaps than your typical nickel back would.

Talk to you tomorrow.

-G

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 06 April 2009 by Glenn Clark

I want to be excited about Opening Day, I really do. In fact, I’m trying to convince myself that I am; I’m just struggling in that effort. Anyone have any suggestions as to how I can help myself get excited about today? Spare me the “there are young players coming.” That’s nice and all; but they’re not here. This is just a decent group of 9 players and a HISTORICALLY bad group of pitchers.

But they’re still 0-0 for now. And I guess there will always be Opening Day memories, even if the teams are bad. The snow game against the Indians when Jay Gibbons lost the ball in the weather was fun; and Miguel Tejada’s grand slam in 2002 was fun too.

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

Best of Sunday’s WNST Blogs:

Chris Bonetti and Glenn Clark pick Birds 5th in AL East, Drew Forrester picks Birds 4th

Bob Haynie says future Terp Padgett ‘fine athlete’

Drew Forrester says Boller better off-field than on

Glenn Clark says Maryland’s Cottle may be sitting on hot seat

Glenn Clark wishes Uehara could pitch more often

Nestor Aparicio offers Chapter 14 of Orioles book

Ed Frankovic says Caps rally in 3rd to beat Thrashers

ORIOLES:

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Eaton will be back with Birds on April 12

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Trembley entering season with no contract beyond season, little hope for winning

The Sun’s Childs Walker says Orioles struggling with recession, but sales haven’t ‘plummeted’

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Jeter-Damon will be 1-2 at top of Yankees’ lineup

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Guthrie facing former Indians teammate Sabathia today

The Sun’s Mike Klingaman says Oriole Bird cartoons coming back to paper

The Sun says VP Biden to throw out first pitch today at Camden Yards

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Keys add Café to stadium

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck thinks Zaun-Izturis-Pie will finish lineup

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck lists Opening Day roster

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Trembley expects Guthrie to ‘pitch well’ today

Examiner Jay Trucker expects Markakis to hit .302, belt 25 homers this season

Examiner Steve DeClue projects Birds will finish 72-90 this season

Examiner Tony Wisniewski offers all-time Orioles lineup

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says rotation could be amongst ‘worst in baseball’

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Trembley thinks roster has ‘flexibility’

The AP says Teixeira making first appearance at Camden Yards since declining Orioles’ offer

DC Examiner’s Jim Williams says Hunter, Dempsey will do pre and post-game MASN shows from Camden Yards

Newark Star-Ledger’s Marc Carig says Tex has ‘no regrets’ about picking Yanks over O’s

SI’s Jon Heyman says Jones could be ready to ‘break out’

Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan and Gordon Edes think Wieters will be Rookie of the Year

RAVENS:

Examiner Steve DeClue says Boller finds work with Rams backing up Bulger

NFL.com’s Steve Wyche mocks DHB to Ravens

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says Terps only team to beat finalists Carolina, Michigan State this season

The Sun’s Rich Scherr says future Terp Padgett scores 22 at Towson Center

The Sun’s Matt Bracken says St. Frances’ Vinson considering Maryland, UMass, Louisville

The Sun’s David Steele says Padgett, Williams ‘clicked’ playing together for first time

Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter says Padgett MVP for US team in Charm City Challenge (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS LACROSSE:

Inside Lacrosse’s Quint Kessenich says Terps have been held to single digits in 5 of last 6 games

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terps looked ‘disjointed’ against Mids

STEVENSON LACROSSE:

The Sun’s Edward Lee says coach Cantabene thinks win over Salisbury big for recruiting

UMBC LACROSSE:

Inside Lacrosse says Retrievers up to 6th in media poll

Inside Lacrosse says Retrievers now 7th in media poll

HOPKINS LACROSSE:

Inside Lacrosse’s Sean Burns says Jays back in Top 10 after win over Albany

NAVY FOOTBALL:

The Official Site introduces FB Teich

Go Mids’ Adam Nettina says Navy WR’s like Mario Washington sometimes ‘overlooked’

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-Best of luck to Kyle Boller, really. He was really a hell of a guy; and will be missed. And also, like everything I heard about James Padgett and Jordan Williams; but it doesn’t mean a thing.

Talk to you tomorrow.

-G

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Hate to say it: Ray Lewis is doing it all wrong

Posted on 06 February 2009 by Drew Forrester

I’ll get the easy stuff out of the way first just so there aren’t any issues or questions.

Drew wants Ray Lewis back in a Ravens uniform.  Drew wants the Ravens to pay Ray what he’s worth.  Drew wants Ray to retire a Raven.  And, Drew wants Ray to be part of the Ravens in a front office and/or ambassador position when his playing days are done.

That covers it, right?  I’m PRO-Ray, if such a position exists.

Here comes the “but”, though.

But, Ray – as he tends to do – is going about this all wrong.

It pains me to say that, but it’s true.  Ray is handling this impending free agency period completely wrong.

I’m not really sure why, either.  I assume (and I’ve underlined it for emphasis because I don’t know for sure) Ray is getting media-training-advice from someone in his camp.  His agent, David Dunn, perhaps?  I don’t know.  But whomever it is telling Ray to “keep his options open” and “speak glowingly about any team you’re asked about” is giving him bad advice.  His current public method-of-operation is the wrong way to sew up his future in Baltimore, if, in fact, he really wants to be here.

Problem number one that Ray has created – yes, that RAY has created – is that he hasn’t yet honestly answered the question, “Do you want to finish your career in Baltimore?”.  We asked him that last week when he sat down with WNST on radio row in Tampa.  Jamison Hensley of The Sun has asked him that. And, the folks at the NFL Network have asked him that.

Ray won’t answer the question.  It’s a “yes” or “no” question.  But no one can get a “yes” or “no” answer.

It’s not about playing-both-ends-against-the-middle at this point.  It shouldn’t be, anyway.  At this stage in Ray’s career, he should be operating off of one foundation and one foundation only:  Honesty.

After giving the better part of 13 years of his life to Baltimore, and the team and the city reciprocating with more love and affection than any athlete might deserve, frankly, Ray shouldn’t have to do “player speak” or invoke the word of God or be ambiguous with his thoughts and plans for the future.  That’s what 25 year old players do when they’re trying to score that big-hit contract and they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings while they’re “playing the game”.

Ray – as the greatest player in the history of the franchise – doesn’t need to play the game.  He should be able to call his own shot.  And, if he were handling this whole differently, he probably COULD put his own time-line together and say to the Ravens, “this is how Ray sees the next 10-15 years of his life playing out.”

If I were advising Ray, I’d tell him the right way to handle this:  Put all the pressure on the Ravens by saying this, EVERY TIME a member of the media asks the $20 million question:  ”Do you want to finish your career in Baltimore?” – The RIGHT answer is:  ”Absolutely.  There’s nothing I want more than to get this contract done with the Ravens, retire in MY city of Baltimore and then turn my attention to my foundation and all the great community work I can do in Baltimore to help the people who have been so loyal and devoted to me.”

That’s the way Ray should be playing this.  When you’ve played 13 years and been as important to the sports history of a city as Ray has, you shouldn’t have to word-smith your way around anything.  Just be honest with everyone.  You’ve earned the right to tell the truth and lay waste to those who don’t like what they hear. 

Throwing out different answers depending on the day, the network and the hosts just isn’t the way to do it. With WNST in Baltimore, it was a lot of talk about God paving the way and deciding where Ray was going to go…he dodged most of the important questions by either saying, simply, “that’s just not something I’m thinking about” or, “I’m leaving that up to God.”  Religion is religion – some people embrace it, others ignore it – and I’m always impressed with Ray anytime I see or hear him talk about his Faith because I think it’s VERY real to him.  Last Thursday in Tampa, Ray talked as if God – not David Dunn – was his agent in this contract-pursuit.

With Jamie Dukes and the NFL Network, Ray eschewed the God-speak (I don’t think I heard him mention God once during the interview…at least not the part about returning to Baltimore and his free agency) and went straight for the player-speak-jugular.  He talked about Dallas, New York, not taking a hometown discount and being disappointed that this whole mess has boiled to the point where the words “Ray Lewis” and “free agent” are mentioned in the same sentence.  He talked “business” with Jamie Dukes and left out the religious emphasis…presumably because Dukes, an ex-player, understands where he’s coming from more than the newspaper or radio folks?

Some of that, by the way, I agree with.  Ray SHOULD NOT have to take a hometown discount to finish up in Baltimore.  In the same way that the Ravens wouldn’t think of saying, “why don’t you only play 12 games for us and we’ll pay you for 16″, Ray shouldn’t be asked to take less for playing all 16 games.  And, Ray’s right…this day – or even the talk of it – where Ray is free to roam the country and seek a new employer probably shouldn’t have ever arrived.  That said, Ray has a hand in that as well, as he turned down a $12 million offer last August.  On the whole, though, Ray has every right to be offended by the fact that the greatest player in the history of the franchise is about to shop himself around the way Jim Leonhard had to last April.

But, the Dukes interview on NFL Network was an eye-opener because Ray once again had the opportunity to tell the whole world he wants to finish his career in Baltimore — and he didn’t say that.  

I’m always somewhat shocked that Ray, a GREAT football player, is such a POOR handler of the spotlight. He stumbled and bumbled his way through a Comcast SportsNet interview after the 2005 season in which he failed to speak positively about Brian Billick.  He was never able to hide his disdain for Kyle Boller and the offense even though there were times when the team – and Boller – could have used some protection from their franchise player.  There have been numerous times when Ray bolted out of the locker room after losses and left his fellow players behind to answer the questions – but the following week when the team won, Ray gussied up with his coat and fedora and fielded question after question until the batteries died on the TV cameras.  Ray wasn’t heard from after the Pittsburgh loss in the AFC title game, telling a team staffer, “I just can’t do it right now.”  Fair enough, Terrell Suggs did it.  

Ultimately, the final judgement on Ray will be that he’s never had someone he trusts who also doubles as a good advice-giver.  That’s Ray’s biggest problem.  He’s a smart guy.  He’s a helluva football player.  And he’s an outstanding man with a big heart.  But he doesn’t have someone in his life who gives him sage, trustworthy advice.  He has people around him who only concern themselves with money.  Ray’s money. And their money.  When you’ve played 13 years in one place and you’re about to finish your career by earning “icon status”, money should be secondary to the means by which you establish your legacy in town.  Ray is either going to leave Baltimore and play in (insert city here) and lose some shine off of his tenure in purple or he’ll figure out that seeing this thing through and setting up lifetime-camp in Baltimore will pay him far more than 5 or 10 million dollars difference he’ll get over the next three years in Dallas, New York or wherever this traveling show takes him. 

I don’t know who pushed this latest media-talk style on him and told him to “play the field”, but that guy – or gal – doesn’t know what they’re doing.

Ray had the chance to put ALL of the heat on the Ravens by simply saying, “Of course I want to finish in Baltimore.  They know what it’s going to take to keep me here and I hope they find a way to provide it to me and we’ll get the deal done.”

Honesty.

That’s the approach Ray should have used.

Now, there IS a chance, obviously, that maybe Ray doesn’t want to finish in Baltimore.  If so, we’re all big boys (and girls)…just tell us that from jump-street and we’ll move on with our lives and our football season.  If there’s a piece of Ray that always, always, always wanted to wear the star on his helmet and play for “America’s Team”, it can be said that he put in 13 hard seasons in purple and deserves to go out in the fashion which he chooses.  And, if playing in Dallas (or Washington, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, etc.) is the final piece of Ray’s career puzzle, he should be able to make that move with his head held high.

Just don’t fib to us.  And don’t play us.

Honesty.

Do you, Ray Lewis, want to finish in Baltimore?  Yes or no?

If you do, you’re going about it the wrong way.

If you don’t want to finish in Baltimore, just say that and start laying the foundation for your move.

If Ray came out and said, “Look, I’ve loved it in Baltimore, but I want to finish in Miami,” do you think the Ravens would stand in his way?  I doubt it.  Why would they want a guy here who doesn’t want to be here?

As it stands now, the Ravens are getting let off the hook.  They want Ray Lewis back.  They want Ray to finish here.  In fact, I’m sure the Ravens would love to have Ray be an integral part of their organization well into the next decade.  They’d be silly to not want Ray Lewis to be entrenched at 1 Winning Drive.

The Ravens, though, have been honest.  They’ve gone public with their admiration for Ray and their hope that a deal can be worked out.

Ray could have put all the heat on them by saying, “Well, I want to finish here in Baltimore too…so pay me and let’s get this done and move on from here.”

Instead, Ray has put the heat on himself.  By not answering the $20 million question and by talking about places like Dallas and New York, all he’s doing is giving people in Baltimore a chance to see the ugly side of sports.

The ugly side is that money makes people say and do things that aren’t consistent with the way they’d be doing them if money wasn’t involved.  

It pains me to beat on Ray Lewis like this because you can go back to the first paragraph above and see what I feel about the man.  

But, he’s doing it all wrong.

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Is This The Most Important Regular Season Game in Ravens History?

Posted on 08 December 2008 by Alex Thomas

It’s been debated all day on the airwaves and on the message boards: is this upcoming game against Pittsburgh the biggest regular season game in Ravens history? The fact that we’re even debating this topic speaks volumes of how crazy this town is over the local football team. And after a big win on national television over the much-maligned Washington Redskins, how could you not be drinking the purple kool aid?

As far as rivaling the importance of this upcoming game against the Steelers, a lot of people have brought up the “win-and-you’re-in” Vikings game in 2001.

I want to throw another one out there: the 2000 game against San Diego that clinched the Ravens first birth to the Festivus, and eventually, the first Super Bowl win for the purple and black. I was at that game, and at that point in my life I was just starting to get into professional football.

When I was very young, all I had was Cal, Mike Mussina, Scott Erickson, Roberto Alomar, Rafael Palmeiro, Brady Anderson, and Mike Deveraux. It took me awhile to warm up to the Ravens, and this game marked the day the Ravens changed my life forever; on that day I subconsciously decided that I was going to be a die-hard Ravens fan for life. That was the day that both the NFL and the Ravens got me hooked and started to reel me in. Nostalgia aside, the Chargers game was still a HUGE game for the Ravens and a defining moment in the history and development of the Ravens franchise.

But I think this game coming up is more important. Back in 2000, going into the season we knew we had something special going on defensively. In 2001, as reigning Super Bowl champions, it was expected that the Ravens would make the playoffs.

Did you think the Ravens would be in this position in August? 9-4? Controlling their own destiny in the playoff race with an outside chance of winning the AFC North?

I think this game has more meaning because of the emotional aspect of the huge swing in expectations this team has brought upon us. We didn’t expect the team to be in this position. We didn’t expect Joe Flacco to be so good so early in his career (in fact, back in August, we expected to see Kyle Boller continue to putz around out there on the field). We didn’t expect the offensive line to play so well. We didn’t expect the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Baltimore on December 14th to have any meaning. And now, it’s going to feel like the post-season at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday.

So what do you think? Is this the biggest game in Ravens history?

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Ravens Fans: Pick Your Poision – This Is Truly A First

Posted on 26 November 2008 by Thyrl Nelson

The Ravens haven’t even quite reached the final quarter of this season yet, but already it’s been a memorable one, full of excitement and surprises. No matter how purple your glasses may be, or how much of the Kool Aid you were drinking this off-season, there are likely few among us who could credibly stand up and say that this season is playing out the way that we expected.

 

With a rookie head coach, and a rookie QB, both of whom have performed above and beyond all reasonable expectations to this point, the Ravens find themselves in a position that most of us could have only dreamed of prior to the start of this season. Additionally, the seeming shift of power in the league in general has left the door wide open for an upstart, as only the Giants seem to be performing up to expectations among what had been considered the NFL’s elite.

 

It’s certainly too early to begin making your reservations for Tampa just yet. But much like to 2002 team, this surprising bunch appears likely to be playing meaningful games into the final weeks of the season at the very least. So now as the season draws near to a close, we as fans begin the neurotic practice of running through scenarios in our heads, of how things could or should fall in our favor over the season’s remaining weeks.

 

In baseball they call it scoreboard watching, but baseball is different. With games happening every night, it’s often impossible to fully start to fathom potential scenarios until the final days of the season. Or because of the number of games, some races are decided with seemingly months remaining in the season. In football though, with just one game per week, and a seemingly more predictable results from game to game, we can’t help but run through the scenarios endlessly in our heads during the days leading up to each winter Sunday.

 

As Ravens fans, I think most if us expected the schedule to be a difficult one, but that was just from the traditional sense of who the Ravens would have to face from week to week. As the season plays out, and the Ravens continue to remain in the thick of the playoff hunt, we as fans suddenly have a lot more of a rooting interest in games that impact the Ravens, but don’t specifically involve them.

 

As fans, we tend to believe, against all conventional logic, that somehow our prayers, karma, rituals or mojo can actually influence the outcome of the games we watch. And therefore it’s important to know whom it is that you want to win a particular game, so that you can send out the proper vibes to help your team.

 

Already in this young season, I have been forced to sit in front of the TV and passionately encourage the efforts of such hated teams as Cleveland, Cincinnati, Washington and Indianapolis as they went against the Steelers. At one point having to stoop so low as to cheer for both the Colts and Redskins within a span of 6 days.

 

So now, with playoff hopes clearly on the line for the Ravens, this week’s match up between the Patriots and Steelers has added importance in the Ravens hopes for reaching the playoffs themselves. Therefore it’s important before the game begins, for me to figure out just who I’d like to see win this one.

 

Both teams are easy enough to hate on. After all, in order to inspire hate, you usually have to achieve some degree of success; both teams certainly fit that bill. On the surface, it’d be easy to say I’d rather see Pittsburgh lose, they are our divisional rival, and winning the division guarantees a playoff berth, so I’d rather see them lose and fall into an effective tie with the Ravens if Baltimore beats the Bengals on Sunday too. And the Steelers have certainly given us plenty of reasons to hate them over the years.

 

The Patriots however, have taken success to another whole level. Their recent success is unparalleled in the salary cap era, and most of us still have a little bit of a sting leftover from the heartbreaking loss that they put on the Ravens last year. If you need more reasons to hate them consider that they fleeced Ozzie Newsome in the Boller trade, getting Vince Wilfork and Asante Samuel with the Ravens draft picks. And they’re the team that signed Adalius Thomas away from the Ravens too, although the last laugh may be the Ravens’ in that one.

 

It’s probably best to try and take all of the emotion out of it, and look at it rationally, mathematically. Looking at the Ravens remaining schedule, winning out seems unlikely, making the specific scenarios tough to predict, but we’ll try.

 

If the Patriots were to get the win on Sunday, it’d put the Steelers at 8-4, and in a likely tie with Baltimore. Since the first tiebreaker is head to head, the Ravens would need to beat Pittsburgh in Baltimore to have a shot at the division. Doing that would give the Ravens a 1 game lead, thereby facilitating their margin for error and negating the first tiebreaker. Even with that, the Ravens would have to either win out, or hope for the Steelers to drop yet another game in order to win the North.

 

That’s because, assuming a tie, with the first tie breaker (head-to-head) thrown out, the second tiebreaker (divisional record) would likely be thrown out too with both teams likely 5-1. The third tiebreaker is common opponents. Since the Ravens and Steelers only have 2 uncommon opponents, the Steelers would win this tiebreaker too. If they finish tied, the Ravens will have beaten both uncommon opponents (Miami and Oakland), while Pittsburgh will have one (New England). Therefore Pittsburgh would still have a game advantage in common opponents if they finish tied.

 

If the Steelers were to win, on the other hand, the Ravens would have a full game lead on everyone for the second wildcard spot (presuming they beat the Bengals), and leaving them at least 1 game ahead of every other AFC wildcard hopeful in conference wins (the first tie breaker).  Furthermore, given the chance to take either the Patriots or Steelers out of the playoff picture in the AFC, I’ll strike New England. This isn’t the high-powered air show that they had last season, but these Patriots are looking more and more like the 2001 team with each passing week. In the playoffs, I’d guess that they’d rather see Pittsburgh, it’s their comfort zone, no surprises, just line it up and do what they do, twice a year, every year.

 

The machismo Ravens fan in me wants to get up on Sunday pulling for the Ravens at 1 and the Patriots at 4. But the realist in me says that it’s probably better for the Ravens if Pittsburgh wins this game. The Ravens would still have a chance to pull even in 2 weeks (although still behind by virtue of common opponents), and then let the chips fall where they may. I’m sure that the bounce of the ball, or more appropriately this season, the blown or missed call will provide us with a few curveballs before the end of the season anyway. It usually works out that way.

 

But for now, and for this week only, I’m pullin’ for yins. It’s the measles or the mumps, and this week I’m riding with the measles. It’ll be a miserable time from 4-7 on Sunday in my house, and there’s no way that my wife is ever going to understand. But as fans we must do what we must do, and this week, I’m taking one for the team. We as fans have a responsibility to throw our mojo around correctly after all.

 

I’d root for a tie, but I think that McNabb blew the cover on that one. We probably won’t be seeing another one this season. But that probably would be the best-case scenario; nobody wins, except for Ravens fans.

 

Peace,

T

(thyrl@wnst.net)

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