Tag Archive | "boston"

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Caps Beaten by Beasts of the East

Posted on 29 March 2014 by Ed Frankovic

The Boston Bruins are one heck of a hockey team.

The “Beasts of the East” are clearly the team to beat in the Eastern Conference this year and possibly the club with the best shot at Lord Stanley’s Cup given the easier route to the finals in the Eastern Conference. They don’t appear to have any weaknesses, and this is a club that lost top 4 defensemen Dennis Seidenberg earlier in the year to season ending injury. But they have lots of depth.

So with the Caps having to face a club that came in to Saturday’s matinee on a 13-0-1 streak one would think they would be ready to compete right out of the gate.

They weren’t.

They didn’t skate well.

Their passing was atrocious and they didn’t pay the price to win the one on one battles in the first 30 minutes.

If not for Braden Holtby’s goaltending, a 3-0 deficit could’ve been at least six or seven. #70 was really good in the crease, but his teammates didn’t help him out.

You can’t do that when your playoff chances are on the line and especially not against a club as strong as Boston.

Washington’s line of Jason Chimera, Eric Fehr, and Joel Ward had their usual strong game and they scored late in period two after Mike Green, who was another bright spot, made a great rush up the ice. The Capitals then threw the kitchen sink at Bruins goalie Chad Johnson (31 saves) in the third period, but he was too good and then a terrible charging call on Alex Ovechkin took away any momentum the Caps had built to that stage.

The Bruins would score on that tally, and they scored on one other power play to go 2 for 4 on the game while Washington was 0 for 3.

Boston’s fast start and the special teams were essentially the difference in the game.

Make no mistake about it, the Bruins deserved to win this contest. They played better over the course of the 60 minutes.

But anyone who thinks that the officiating in this contest was decent is smoking some serious stuff. I’ve tried to give the zebras more of a break this season and for the most part, they’ve been better overall. However, the job that Tim Peel and Frederick L’Ecuyer did today in a critical game for Washington was disgraceful.

Of Boston’s four power plays, three were not even penalties. John Erskine’s delay of game hit the glass before exiting the rink (shown clearly on replay), Jason Chimera’s slashing call was a joke and at worst, Johnny Boychuk should’ve gone off with him if that stuff is going to be called. Finally, as mentioned above, the Ovechkin charge was an absolute mirage of a penalty.

In addition, during the Caps power play, right before the Ovechkin “charge” call, a clear trip on the Gr8 was missed that would’ve put Washington on a 5 on 3 advantage.

Simply put, Peel and L’Ecuyer should not get paid for their work today.

Also, why are some of these calls not reviewable by replay? The NFL has it and so does NCAA college basketball. Pucks going over the glass is an easily reviewable event!

But enough on the zebras and league policy, because complaining about those things is pretty much like talking to a brick wall.

This was an important game for Washington and they didn’t come out with the intensity they needed against a super Boston team.

Once again, make no mistake about it, the Bruins deserved the win.

The Caps do go 2-1-2 during a stretch that looked nearly impossible a few weeks ago, so they can take pride in this run against some of the NHL elite.

But now they need to get down to business and find ways to win down the stretch. They have eight games left and likely need 12 or 13 points to get in the post season dance.

Tomorrow night in Nashville against the Predators they desperately need a win.

Coming out with intensity from the opening draw, and getting pucks and bodies to the front of the opponents’ net like Caps Comcast analyst Alan May repeatedly calls for, would be a really good way to start.

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Orioles to make multiple Sunday Night Baseball appearances early in season

Posted on 15 January 2014 by WNST Staff

Multiple Appearances by World Series Champion Red Sox, NL Champion Cardinals, Dodgers, Yankees & Orioles

Stars in Action: Miguel Cabrera, Yasiel Puig, Derek Jeter, David Ortiz, Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen

Dan Shulman, the voice of Sunday Nights, leads new team with John Kruk, Curt Schilling & Buster Olney 

ESPN’s historic 25th season of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell – Major League Baseball’s exclusive, national game of the week – will showcase baseball’s most exciting teams, best rivalries and brightest stars throughout 2014. The season will begin with an exclusive presentation of MLB’s Opening Night on ESPN presented by Scotts – Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres – on March 30 at 8 p.m. ET.  Baseball Tonight will precede the telecast with a special 90-minute pre-game show at 6:30 p.m. hosted by Karl Ravech.

The early season schedule will include three appearances each by the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles. In addition, the game’s brightest stars, including Miguel Cabrera, Yasiel Puig, Derek Jeter, David Ortiz, Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen and more will take center stage on Sunday Night Baseball.

Dan Shulman, in his fourth season as the voice of Sunday Night Baseball, will lead a new team, with new analyst Curt Schilling, returning analyst John Kruk and reporter Buster Olney. Sunday Night Baseball airs every week at 8 p.m.  and is available on ESPN, ESPN Radio (with Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton), ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio and via WatchESPN.

ESPN’s 25th Sunday Night Baseball Season

Date Game
March 30 Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres telecast presented by Scotts
April 6* San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers telecast presented by Taco Bell (ESPN2)
April 13 Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees telecast presented by Taco Bell
April 20** Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Soxtelecast presented by Taco Bell (7 p.m.)
April 27 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at New York Yankees telecast presented by Taco Bell
May 4 TBD
May 11 St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates telecast presented by Taco Bell
May 18 Detroit Tigers at Boston Red Sox telecast presented by Taco Bell
May 25 St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds telecast presented by Taco Bell
July 13 New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles telecast presented by Taco Bell
July 20 Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals telecast presented by Taco Bell

   *ESPN2 telecast

  ** Special 7 p.m. start time

The Sunday Night Baseball game selection for May 4 will be determined and announced in the next few weeks. Additionally, selections for June games and for July 6 and July 27 will be made three weeks in advance, while selections for August and September games will be made two weeks in advance.

More Sunday Night Baseball highlights:

  • The Boston Red Sox will host the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park for a special telecast the night before Patriot’s Day – a Massachusetts state holiday one year removed from the Boston Marathon tragedy in 2013;
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates return to Sunday Night Baseball for the first time since May 19, 2002 against the Houston Astros;
  • The schedule includes several rivalry games: San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers (April 6), Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees (April 13), St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds (May 25);

Sunday Night Baseball background:

  • Dan Shulman is entering his fourth season as the voice of Sunday Night Baseball. He debuted in 2011;
  • John Kruk is celebrating his 10-year anniversary at ESPN and his second season in the Sunday Night booth (he joined ESPN in 2004);
  • Curt Schilling, who has served as a Baseball Tonight analyst since 2010, makes his Sunday Night Baseball debut;
  • Buster Olney is entering his 12th season as an ESPN MLB Insider. He joined ESPN in 2003 and has served as Sunday Night reporter since 2011;
  • John Kruk and Curt Schilling re-unite as a “team” two decades after being teammates on the early-1990’s Philadelphia Phillies, who won the National League pennant in 1993.

Sunday Night Baseball history

ESPN’s inaugural Sunday Night Baseball telecast aired April 15, 1990. That night, the Montreal Expos defeated the New York Mets 3-1 at Olympic Stadium. Expos catcher Nelson Santovenia hit a home run off of Mets pitcher Ron Darling and Tim Raines drove in a run to lead the Expos to victory. John Miller and analyst Joe Morgan provided commentary.

Baseball Tonight’s 25th Season

In its 25th season, Baseball Tonight – ESPN’s baseball news and highlights studio show – will preview Sunday Night Baseball each week with one-hour telecasts at 7 p.m.  Karl Ravech will serve as host with analysts from ESPN’s deep roster of MLB commentators, let by Hall of Famer Barry Larkin.

Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN Radio

ESPN Radio – in its 17th MLB season – will continue its coverage as the exclusive, national radio home of Sunday Night Baseball. Play-by-play commentator Jon Sciambi and analyst Chris Singleton will return for their fourth season together calling Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN Radio. ESPN Radio’s weekly coverage starts at 7 p.m. and is also available on ESPNRadio.com and via the ESPNRadio app.

ESPN Deportes’ 11th Season of Sunday Night Baseball

ESPN Deportes will enter its 11th season as the Spanish-language home to Sunday Night Baseball. Commentators Ernesto Jerez and Luis Alfredo Alvarez will provide commentary throughout the season.

ESPN International coverage of Sunday Night Baseball

Sunday Night Baseball is available across Latin America, Caribbean and the Pacific Rim.

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Orioles’ Opening Day game against Red Sox to air on ESPN2

Posted on 10 January 2014 by WNST Staff

ESPN’s Five-Game Opening Day Schedule Highlighted by World Series Champion Red Sox at Orioles, NL Champion Cardinals at Reds & Robinson Cano’s Mariners Debut

ESPN will begin its historic 25th Major League Baseball season with an exclusive presentation of MLB’s Opening Night on ESPN presented by Scotts – Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres – on Sunday Night Baseball, March 30, at 8 p.m. ET. The new Sunday Night Baseballteam of Dan Shulman, analysts John Kruk and Curt Schilling and reporter Buster Olney will make their regular-season debut to call the action. Opening Night will be available across ESPN platforms, including ESPN, ESPN Radio (with Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton), ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio and via WatchESPN.

Baseball Tonight presented by Scotts will begin Opening Night festivities with a special 90-minute pre-game show at 6:30 p.m. Karl Ravech will host the telecast with Baseball Hall of Famer and analyst Barry Larkin, Kruk and Schilling.

Five Opening Day Games on ESPN, ESPN2

MLB Opening Day on ESPN presented by Scotts will include a five-game schedule, spanning more than 12 hours of live game action, on Monday, March 31. The schedule will begin at 1 p.m. when Starlin Castro and the Chicago Cubs visit Andrew McCutchen and the Pittsburgh Pirates on ESPN. The schedule continues as David Ortiz and the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox visit Chris Davis and the division-rival Baltimore Orioles at 3 p.m. on ESPN2. Additionally, Matt Holliday and the NL Champion St. Louis Cardinals will visit Joey Votto and the division-rival Cincinnati Reds at 4 p.m. on ESPN.

Opening Day will continue in prime time on ESPN2, beginning at 7 p.m. when Troy Tulowitzki and the Colorado Rockies visit Giancarlo Stanton and the Miami Marlins. At 10 p.m., Robinson Cano will make his Seattle Mariners debut when his new club visits Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

ESPN’s Opening Night and Opening Day schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Sun., Mar. 30 8 p.m. Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres telecast presented by Scotts ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 1 p.m. Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates telecast presented by Scotts ESPN, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 3 p.m. Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles telecast presented by Scotts ESPN2, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 4 p.m. St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds telecast presented by Scotts ESPN, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 7 p.m. Colorado Rockies at Miami Marlins telecast presented by Scotts ESPN2, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 10 p.m. Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim telecast presented by Scotts ESPN2, WatchESPN

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Bovada makes Red Sox favorite to win World Series

Posted on 21 October 2013 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV).

 

“I am more than happy the Red Sox were able to hold off the Tigers and get into the World Series since they are the team that would provide us with the biggest win possible out of any team that made the playoffs in our World Series Odds. Boston is a small 5/7 favorite against St. Louis paying out at 6/5 and 60% of the early money is on the Cards making our need for Boston to win even bigger.”

-Kevin Bradley, Sports Book Manager, Bovada.lv

 

 

Odds to win 2013 World Series

 

St. Louis Cardinals (Series Prices)          6/5        (+120)

Boston Red Sox (Series Prices)             5/7        (-140)

 

Odds to win the 2013 World Series MVP         

David Ortiz (BOS)                      15/2

Dustin Pedroia (BOS)                8/1

Carlos Beltran (STL)                   9/1

Matt Holliday (STL)                    10/1

Yadier Molina (STL)                   12/1

Allen Craig (STL)                       12/1

Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS)              12/1

Jon Lester (BOS)                       12/1

Adam Wainwright (STL)              14/1

Michael Wacha (STL)                 15/1

Matt Carpenter (STL)                  15/1

Mike Napoli (BOS)                     15/1

Clay Buchholz (BOS)                 15/1

Koji Uehara (BOS)                     15/1

Xander Bogaerts (BOS)             16/1

David Freese (STL)                    18/1

Trevor Rosenthal (STL)              18/1

Matt Adams (STL)                     20/1

Shane Victorino (BOS)               20/1

Stephen Drew (BOS)                 25/1

 

Exact Series Result     

St. Louis Cardinals 4-0               12/1

St. Louis Cardinals 4-1               6/1

St. Louis Cardinals 4-2               5/1

St. Louis Cardinals 4-3               5/1

Boston Red Sox 4-0                  10/1

Boston Red Sox 4-1                  6/1

Boston Red Sox 4-2                  7/2

Boston Red Sox 4-3                  4/1

 

Total Games in Series 

 

4          11/2

5          13/5

6          7/4

7          7/4

 

Miscellaneous Props

MLB WORLD SERIES SPECIAL – Which team will hit more Home Runs in the Series?

St. Louis Cardinals                    +150     (3/2)

Boston Red Sox                       -200     (1/2)

MLB WORLD SERIES SPECIAL – Which team will record more errors in the Series?  

St. Louis Cardinals                    -110

Boston Red Sox                       -110

 

MLB WORLD SERIES SPECIAL – How many times will Shane Victorino be Hit by Pitch in the Series?           

Over                             1 (EVEN, 1/1)

Under                           1 (-140, 5/7)

 

MLB WORLD SERIES SPECIAL – Will any player or manager be ejected during a game in the Series?           

Yes                  +150     (3/2)

No                    -200     (1/2)

 

MLB WORLD SERIES SPECIAL – Will any team pitch a shutout in the Series?

Yes                  EVEN   (1/1)

No                    -140      (5/7)

 

MLB WORLD SERIES SPECIAL – Will there be a Grand Slam in the Series?

Yes                  +300     (3/1)

No                    -500     (1/5)

 

Player Props

 

Most Hits, Runs and RBI’s in the Series

Matt Carpenter (STL)                  1/1        (EVEN)

Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS)              4/5        (-125)

 

Matt Holliday (STL)                    10/11    (-110)

Dustin Pedroia (BOS)                10/11    (-110)

 

Yadier Molina (STL)                   1/1        (EVEN)

Mike Napoli (BOS)                     4/5        (-125)

 

Carlos Beltran (STL)                   1/1        (EVEN)

David Ortiz (BOS)                      4/5        (-125)

 

Matt Adams (STL)                     1/1        (EVEN)

Shane Victorino (BOS)               4/5        (-125)

 

Game 1 Strikeouts

Adam Wainwright

Over/Under                   6.5

 

Jon Lester

Over/Under                   5

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 17 September 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Soccer: MLS-DC United @ New England Revolution (Saturday 7:30pm from Foxborough, MA live on MLS Direct Kick); College Soccer: Navy @ UMBC (Tuesday 7pm Retriever Soccer Park), UMBC @ Loyola (Saturday 7pm Ridley Athletic Complex); WNBA Playoffs: Washington Mystics vs. Atlanta Dream (Game 1 Thursday TBD from Atlanta live on ESPN2 Game 2 Saturday 7pm from Atlanta live on Monumental Network/NBA TV Game 3 if necessary Monday TBD from Atlanta live on TBD)

10. Willie Nelson & Family (Sunday 7pm Pier Six Pavilion); Imagine Dragons/The Neighbourhood (Friday 6pm Merriweather Post Pavilion), Virgin Mobile FreeFest feat. Robin Thicke/Vampire Weekend/MGMT/City & Colour/Avett Brothers (Saturday 12pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Michael Buble (Sunday 8pm Verizon Center); Steely Dan (Friday 7:30pm Jiffy Lube Live); Robert Randolph & The Family Band (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head Live), J. Roddy Walston & The Business (Friday 9pm Rams Head Live), Scotty McCreery (Saturday 8pm Rams Head Live), Local Natives (Monday 8pm Rams Head Live); Pepper (Wednesday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage), Mickey Hart Band (Friday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Hed PE (Sunday 6pm Baltimore Soundstage); Dan Deacon (Saturday 9pm Ottobar); Mint Condition (Thursday 7:30pm Rams Head Center Stage); Yellowcard (Wednesday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Michael Franti & Spearhead (Friday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Jamey Johnson (Sunday 7pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Alt-J (Wednesday & Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club), Stereophonics (Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club); Pet Shop Boys (Thursday 8pm Strathmore); Montgomery Gentry (Saturday postgame Nationals Park); MGMT “MGMT”, Elvis Costello & The Roots “Wise Up Ghost” and Jack Johnson “From Here To Now To You” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

You may recognize Imagine Dragons as the band that performs EVERY SONG YOU’VE HEARD IN 2013.

I’ve lost so many hairs on my arms to Robert Randolph shows over the years. I could share any number of his songs, but I just learned that he once did “Up On Cripple Creek” with Joe Walsh so that will be the play.

J. Roddy Walston and The Business are the Biz. Ness.

Wait. Elvis Costello and THE ROOTS? Elvis Costello and The Roots.

9. Maryland Wine Festival (Saturday & Sunday Carroll County Farm Museum); Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention (Thursday-Saturday Hunt Valley Wyndham); The Gathering: Food Truck Rally (Friday 5pm Penn Station); Maryland Renaissance Festival (Saturday & Sunday RennFest Fairgrounds); Prisoners” out in theaters (Friday); Erik Griffin (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Dave Attell (Friday-Sunday DC Improv); World War Z” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Grand Theft Auto V” available for XBox360/PlayStation3 (Tuesday)

Is Erik Griffin not coming to you? Are you a Workaholics fan? If not, you should be.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Your Monday Reality Check-What a gutless bunch in Beantown Sunday night

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Your Monday Reality Check-What a gutless bunch in Beantown Sunday night

Posted on 19 August 2013 by Glenn Clark

My love for Leonardo DiCaprio and a set of trailers that were incredibly artistic lead me to choose to see Baz Luhrmann’s take on “The Great Gatsby” earlier this summer.

As I should have realized considering what he did to “Romeo & Juliet” that he was destined to make the special effects in the movie more interesting than the story itself. It wasn’t worth the 10 bucks. It’s probably not even worth a dollar in the Redbox machine. If for some reason you’re not familiar with the story, go get F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book from the library (there are still libraries, right?) instead.

The only saving grace of going to see the flick was the reminder of one of my favorite lines in all of literature. The line is better if you read it through a monocle while sipping a spot of tea.

“‘They’re a rotten lot,’ I shouted, across the lawn. ‘You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.’”

The line was shouted by Nick Carraway to the title character, Jay Gatsby. It came after an ugly scene involving the other characters in the story, all of whom were terribly flawed in many ways.

I was reminded of the famous line upon learning what had happened between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees Sunday night (and to a much lesser degree knowing what has gone on between the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals recently). The entire group in Beantown was an absolutely rotten lot.

Actually, that’s not fair enough. The entire group in Beantown was a cowardly lot. A gutless lot.

You’re almost certainly familiar with what happened at Fenway Park Sunday night, as Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was plunked by Ryan Dempster in his first at-bat. Dempster made it evident that he intended to hit A-Rod, throwing behind him on the first pitch and hitting him on a 3-0 count after throwing two more pitches inside.

Inexplicably, home plate umpire Brian O’Nora allowed Dempster to stay in the game (and ultimately ejected Yankees manager Joe Girardi for arguing that decision). Boston fans suddenly forgot that intentionally hitting another human being with a baseball is a disgusting act that should be considered criminal and gave Dempster a standing ovation. Rodriguez would later hit a home run off Dempster, forcing those of us with brains in this country to feel the need to take a shower after actually feeling good for the man facing a 211 game suspension for (allegedly) being a lying, fraudulent performance enhancing drug user.

They’re a gutless, cowardly, rotten lot.

For what it’s worth, Rodriguez isn’t absolved of being described with similar adjectives. If guilty of the crimes accused by Major League Baseball, the man whose numbers would otherwise be Hall of Fame worthy deserves to be described the exact same way Nick Carraway described Tom & Daisy Buchanan and company.

But it provides absolutely no excuse for the actions of Dempster, O’Nora, the Red Sox fans and anyone else involved with the activities at Fenway Park Sunday night. Rodriguez’s punishment will be determined in arbitration, a right the MLBPA (which represents Dempster among others) fought for in Collective Bargaining. Dempster himself is the worst perpetrator, and the term “chicken sh*t” is perhaps even more fitting than gutless, cowardly or rotten.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Opening post-break weekend reminder of Orioles’ tough road ahead

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Opening post-break weekend reminder of Orioles’ tough road ahead

Posted on 22 July 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

The Orioles couldn’t have asked for a better weekend in Arlington.

A three-game sweep in which they outplayed the Texas Rangers in every facet of the game lifted the Orioles to a season-best 13 games above .500 and seven victories in their last eight games.

Watching Ron Washington’s club repeatedly kick the ball around the field and run itself out of innings provided a new appreciation of how fundamentally sound the Orioles have been throughout the 2013 season. Three quality outings from Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez, and Chris Tillman reminded how the top three-fifths of the Baltimore rotation can compete with just about anyone in the American League.

But as the dust cleared and the Orioles landed in Kansas City to begin a four-game series on Monday night, a look at the AL East standings showed just how difficult the final two months of the season will be.

Possibly their most impressive series of the season moved the Orioles only one game closer in their chase of the division-leading Red Sox after Boston took two of three from the Yankees at Fenway Park. And Baltimore moved no closer to the white-hot Tampa Bay Rays, who swept the Blue Jays in Toronto to give them 13 wins in their last 14 contests as the hottest team in baseball.

Those realities aren’t meant to bring fans down from their weekend high, but they offer a snapshot of how incredibly small the margin for error will be over the final 63 games of the regular season in the Orioles’ bid to advance to the postseason for the second straight year. Of those remaining games, 35 will come against teams with winning marks and only 28 against clubs sporting records below the .500 mark entering Monday’s action.

The old adage of needing to beat the clubs you’re supposed to beat while holding your own against top competition might not be enough to prevail in a division that sports four teams with winning records in the final week of July. Even the underachieving Blue Jays have been a thorn in the Orioles’ side this year, winning seven of the 13 games the clubs have played this season.

The Orioles are a remarkable 33-22 against teams currently owning a winning record while going just 23-21 against clubs who sit below .500 on July 22. Of course, that deviates from the aforementioned mantra for success and speaks well for the Orioles’ ability to rise to the challenge of playing the top teams this season, evident by their combined 9-4 record against Texas and Detroit, the two teams who’ve won the last three AL pennants.

But the Orioles do need to take better advantage of their opportunities against sub-.500 clubs down the stretch and that will start with the Royals in Kansas City this week. To say they need to at least take three out of four would be an overstatement — Tampa Bay and Boston face off in a four-game set of their own beginning Monday — but anything less just makes the climb that much taller in September. With the season-long performance of the Red Sox and the play of the Rays over the last month, there is no time for a breather or to go into cruise control against the lesser competitors in the league.

The eyeball test suggests the Orioles are a better team than the 93-69 outfit from a year ago as they certainly hit better and play better defense than the 2012 club. Their starting pitching appears to be coming together in a similar manner to the way it did in the second half last year, which will help a bullpen that hasn’t been as dominating starting with closer Jim Johnson and his six blown saves.

But the division is better than it was a year ago from top to bottom and Buck Showalter’s club hasn’t been as fortunate, going just 13-14 in one-run games after last year’s historic 29-9 mark. That was to be expected and shouldn’t be misconstrued as a knock on what the Orioles have accomplished this year, but there is no consolation or handicap for the smaller amount of good fortune, either.

An impressive three-game sweep over the Rangers was the perfect way to start the proverbial second half for the Orioles, but the weekend showed how steep the climb will be to win their first division title since 1997. The Orioles will have their opportunities against Boston and Tampa Bay — they have 12 games remaining with the Red Sox and seven with the Rays — and those clubs will experience slow spells at some point, but the challenge will be to capitalize while minimizing their own pitfalls in the process.

As well as the Orioles have played entering their 100th game of the season Monday night, they haven’t been quite good enough in the AL East. The standings say as much, though they would be the second wild card if the season ended today, putting them in the unenviable position of being the road team in a one-game playoff like they were last year.

But the Orioles are fully within striking distance, meaning it’s time to steamroll the clubs who don’t own such a luxury.

Because they’re not going to be able to count on very much help in their quest.

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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top Seven- Mid-season MLB Rankings

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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top Seven- Mid-season MLB Rankings

Posted on 02 July 2013 by WNST Staff

Here’s Drew’s top seven in Major League Baseball

7) Atlanta Braves

6) Pittsburgh Pirates

5) Boston Red Sox

4) Baltimore Orioles

3) Texas Rangers

2) Detroit Tigers

1) St. Louis Cardinals

Here’s Ryan’s Top Seven

7) Detroit Tigers

 

6) Baltimore Orioles

5) Pittsburgh Pirates

4) Texas Rangers

3) Boston Red Sox

2) Cincinnati Reds

1) St. Louis Cardinals

 

 

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 18 June 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Mixed Martial Arts-Bellator MMA (Wednesday 8pm from Thackerville, OK live on SpikeTV); Boxing: Paulie Malignaggi vs. Adrien Broner (Saturday 9pm from Brooklyn live on Showtime), Friday Night Fights: Rances Barthelemy vs. Fahsai Sakkreerin (Friday 10pm from Minneapolis live on ESPN2); WNBA: Washington Mystics @ Phoenix Mercury (Friday 10pm from Phoenix live on Monumental Network/NBA TV); MLL: Chesapeake Bayhawks @ Charlotte Hounds (Saturday 5:30pm from Charlotte live on CBS Sports Network); Motocross: Red Bull Budds Creek National (Saturday 1pm live on FUEL TV 3pm live on NBC 4pm live on NBC Sports Network. All motocross from Budds Creek Motocross)

10. The Postal Service/Ra Ra Riot (Tuesday 6pm Merriweather Post Pavilion), Zac Brown Band (Saturday 5:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Bruno Mars (Saturday 8pm Verizon Center), Rolling Stones (Monday 8pm Verizon Center); Melissa Ethridge/Eric Hutchinson (Tuesday 8pm Wolf Trap), Billy Idol (Thursday 8pm Wolf Trap); Umphrey’s McGee (Friday 9pm Rams Head Live), Fitz and the Tantrums (Sunday 8pm Rams Head Live); Josh Krajcik (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Molly Hatchet (Sunday 8pm Rams Head Center Stage); Rancid (Wednesday 7:30pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Courtney Love (Saturday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Wale (Sunday 8:30pm Howard Theatre); Dawes (Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club), Dwight Yoakam (Friday 8pm 9:30 Club); Travis Tritt (Monday 7:30pm Birchmere); Harry Connick, Jr. (Wednesday 8pm Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric); Buddy Guy (Sunday 8pm State Theatre); Kanye West “Yeezus” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

Drew Forrester and I are big Ra Ra Riot fans. For good reason.

I’ll be at ZBB Saturday night. I hope he does this again.

The smartest thing the Stones have EVER done is (apparently) hire Gary Clark Jr. to join the band. He’s the best. Ever.

I haven’t begged for FATT tickets yet, but I will. They’re the other best. Ever.

9. Daniel Tosh (Friday 7pm & 9:30pm Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric); Seth Meyers (Friday 8pm Warner Theatre); Carlos Mencia (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Monsters University” and “World War Z” out in theaters (Friday); Baltimore Dragon Boat Challenge (Saturday 8am Tide Point Marina)

After hanging out with Jay Pharoah last week, I sorta feel like part of the SNL family. Oh wait, did you not hear? I hung out with Jay Pharoah last week…

And Seth Meyers is hilarious. Hilarious.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Your Monday Reality Check: I told you I’d be excited and now I’m excited

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Your Monday Reality Check: I told you I’d be excited and now I’m excited

Posted on 17 June 2013 by Glenn Clark

After the Orioles took two of three from the Detroit Tigers two weeks ago at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, I could sense a particularly significant level of satisfaction in Baltimore.

Fans took to social media to make statements along the lines of “biggest series win of the year” and “proof the O’s are the best team in the American League” and many more.

It was a fun series and a nice series win against a potential playoff opponent. But on that Monday’s edition of “The Reality Check”, I ruffled a few feathers by suggesting I wasn’t as enthused as many others were. My reasoning was simple. It was a nice series victory, but whatever the Orioles do against the Tigers wasn’t nearly as important as what they do against AL East opponents.

As always, there was a minority who said “this is typical. Someone at WNST is trying to marginalize the Orioles.” The rest of us know how idiotic that group is, but are forced to accept their existence.

I made sure to fortify my statement a few days later when the Orioles were crushed by the Astros on a Wednesday night in Houston. Before we knew the Birds would go on to win the series Thursday afternoon, I made sure to clarify that I wasn’t concerned if the Orioles won the series or not. What the Orioles did against an AL West opponent simply couldn’t carry the significance of a series against AL East opponents.

I didn’t waiver on those opinions the following weekend, as a series loss to the Tampa Bay Rays (even if they avoided a sweep) lead to me offering critical comments this past Monday afternoon on “The Reality Check.”

I said then that the Birds couldn’t just beat teams elsewhere in baseball and assume they would be able to make a run in the postseason. Callers told me things like “the whole division is just going to beat each other up” but none had much of a response when I said back “in order for that to happen, the O’s have to beat up SOMEONE.”

So I made it clear on Monday’s show-”if the Orioles spank the Boston Red Sox this week there will be no negativity. There will be no downplaying. I might well throw a parade!”

It’s with that in mind that I ask you to collect some ticker tape and meet me on Pratt Street at 3:30 or so. But if I’m running a bit late, feel free to start without me.

Kidding aside, I’m absolutely THRILLED with the results of the Orioles’ series against the Sox this weekend at OPACY. The second base debacle aside, it was a very important weekend for the Birds-easily the most significant series they’ve claimed in 2013.

There are currently four teams in the American League who have records over .500 (the Orioles, Rays, first place Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees). There are only three others in the entire American League (the Tigers, Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers) who similarly find themselves with more wins than losses at the moment.

We’re far enough into the season to now that none of the four teams in the AL East is simply going to go away, no matter how many times we’ve tried to justify the potential in our own minds. The Yanks have done it despite injuries, the Rays have done it without David Price actually being David Price and the Red Sox have somehow managed to forget 2012 ever happened. For what it’s worth, the Toronto Blue Jays linger just four games under .500. But we won’t include them in the conversation until (and more likely “if”) they need to be.

All of these teams are going to be in this thing. The Orioles will not be guaranteed a postseason berth even by playing above .500 ball in the AL East. As some had wondered aloud before the season, there is a CHANCE all of these teams are finishing the season above .500. It’s far from a likelihood, but it is most certainly a possibility.

It’s with that in mind that I continue to tell everyone just how important it will be to win the games against the teams you’re competing against for the AL East crown and/or two Wild Card spots.

The Orioles play nearly half of their games (73) against division opponents. Coming into the four game set against the Sox, they had played 21 games against the three other teams above .500 in the division; holding a 10-11 record in those contests. A simple math lesson from Perry Hall High School’s Mr. Radcliffe will tell me that that record could have been anywhere from 14-11 to 10-15 after the weekend.

Follow up with Mr. Radcliffe about this, but I’m reasonably certainly 13-12 is a good bit better than 10-15…or even 12-13.

The Orioles didn’t wrap up their first division title since 1997 over the weekend. They most certainly didn’t guarantee they’d make a second consecutive trip to the postseason either.

What they did is take another significant step in that process with three gutty victories over the team sitting at the top of the standings.

That simply cannot be understated and I will not even remotely attempt to do that.

In fact, I’ve already got my “Chris Davis’ monkey” float parked outside the ballpark. It’s exactly what you think it is.

-G

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