It’s a Happy Thursday for me because…I FINALLY have a reason to be excited about the NHL Playoffs!!!
Look, Baltimore has never had a team. If we ever GET a team, I’ll root for them. I’d root for the Washington Capitals if I lived in Washington. Since I don’t, no thanks. I DID however live in Phoenix for 2 years, and went out of my way 25+ times each season to drive to the OTHER SIDE OF THE CITY in order to watch the ‘Yotes so I could see how great hockey really was.
The Desert Dogs weren’t any good at the time, but I knew there was something special about the NHL product. I badly want Charm City to get an arena and get a team, but in the meantime what is happening with out in Phoenix with the Coyotes means the WORLD to me.
Oh and also, “Crowd Chant” by Joe Satriani should be used at (intense) sporting events almost as much as “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC. Freaking great arena song.
Let’s see what everyone has to say…
1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Carlos Pena, BJ Upton crushed 3 run bombs as Rays swept Orioles
After what happened Tuesday night, you could kinda see it coming. They sorta pulled out “all of the stops” Tuesday night; with the orange pajamas, the goofy lineup, Brian Matusz, Luke Scott’s theatrics, Matt Wieters t-shirt night, extra innings, the whole deal.
And sadly, it all lead to a loss. Playing a game after a deflating loss like that leaves you dry emotionally, and the Orioles just had nothing left yesterday.
Of course, Brad Bergesen didn’t do much to help.
And it probably wouldn’t have mattered too much if he had, to be honest.
What else do we say?
There’s been a lot of talk over recent days about how it will be good for the team to “get away”, as if they will suddenly become a good baseball team just because they aren’t playing at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Look, we all know they’re not going to go 1-161 this season. They’re going to win at some point. They’ll probably win a couple of games. But it would take a MIRACLE for them to see .500 at some point this season-and I’m already starting to feel a bit uneasy about my prediction that they would win 74 games.
Of course, our “Apologist of the Morning” Neal S from the blog “The Loss Column” still thinks the team can “right the ship” and be 10 games under .500 at the All-Star Game.
If “righting the ship” includes being 10 games under .500 at the All-Star break, the ship is more of a disaster than the FREAKING TITANIC.
And even accomplishing THAT would take a minor miracle.
What a summer we have ahead of us.
2. The AP/WNST.net provide numerical evidence of loss
It’s easy to figure out why a team lost when a game is close and individual plays REALLY matter. It would be all too easy to just point at Bergesen as being to blame for yesterday’s game (and certainly he deserves to shoulder it), but there are other things I didn’t like.
-Nick Markakis had a triple yesterday, which is pretty good. But he also struck out twice. There might be an argument that striking out twice is better than being nervous to swing at all-which is what it was starting to look like Markakis was going through early in the season-but it sure as hell isn’t good.
-Ty Wigginton went 2-4 yesterday, which we ALL know is a good thing. And while Dave Trembley is desperately working through a neverending quest to put together an effective lineup, Wigginton’s bat might look like a decent option for the number 2 spot. But asking someone whose baserunning abilities appear to represent “lumbering” at times to hit 2nd might not be the best idea. Wigginton was on 1st base in the 8th inning, yet failed to score on a 2 out double to RIGHT FIELD by Felix Pie.
And it wasn’t as if it looked like he wasn’t trying. He just isn’t quick, and shouldn’t be hitting 2nd. The run didn’t REALLY matter yesterday because the game was a blowout-but the run COULD’VE mattered.
-It’s hard to blame Cesar Izturis OR Miguel Tejada for Tejada’s error in the first inning. On a sunny afternoon, sometimes pop-ups are lost. Embarrassing? Yes. But they HAPPEN. However, it is a bit concerning to hear/read that the problem was communication. Two players-especially two players that don’t have a language barrier issue-should be able to let each other know what’s going on there.
Of course, Brad Bergesen needs to be able to pick his players up, but that’s another thing altogether.
-Jason Berken is the one guy worth applauding yesterday, and it certainly looks like long relief is a role that suits him just fine.
3. The AP says “closer” Mike Gonzalez placed on DL
Placed on the DL due to what I believe was listed officially as a “bruised ego.”
Could Mike Gonzalez REALLY be hurt? Sure, maybe. Is it very likely that Gonzalez is no more hurt today than he was on Opening Day? Yeah, that’s particularly likely.
Does it make it worse when the player placed on the DL isn’t available to speak to the media after a game? Yes, that makes it worse. Especially when even MASN (the TEAM-RUN “media outlet”) can’t get a quote. It makes it look particularly fishy.
Amber Theoharris said during yesterday’s broadcast that Kam Mickolio is expected to be called up today to take Gonzalez’s place. The only exciting part about that statement is that Amber Theoharris said it.
Of course, maybe Mickolio is a better option at closer than Gonzalez. I think the Orioles should go with Jim Johnson IF they ever get another chance to close another game, but at this point they might as well go with Willis Roberts to finish off games.
Welcome back to Baltimore, Kam.
4. SI’s Jon Heyman says no use for O’s to ‘worry’
And I completely get what he’s trying to say. Why “worry” when this team wasn’t going to do anything anyway against the likes of the Rays, Yankees, and Red Sox in the AL East?
You know what I’m going to spend my time worrying about instead of worrying about the O’s? Finding out more about whoever Nicky Whelan is…(Thanks Busted Coverage!)
5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Jake Arrieta, Rhyne Hughes, Steve Johnson all sparked for Birds on farm
And when things are as bad at the major league level as they’ve been for the Orioles, what happens at Norfolk and at Bowie seems to get more and more notice. “Hey, the Orioles lost, but Steve Johnson threw 5 shutout innings for the Baysox!!!”
Before we move on from baseball, the Orioles return to action LATE tonight when the face the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum. First pitch is at 10:05, the game can be seen on MASN. David Hernandez returns to the hill for the Birds, he faces Ben Sheets. We’ll of course have our “Orange Crush” chat going at WNST.net, I think we’re opening it early if you want to talk about the Washington Capitals’ playoff game.
You can also follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for 24/7 commentary regarding the Birds. During yesterday’s game, I offered the classic quip “Don’t worry, Brad Bergesen says he’ll be fine by Opening Day!”
6. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Derrick Mason has sights set on winning Super Bowl this season
A couple of things:
1-Mike Preston apparently blogged yesterday that the Ravens held the press conference to “pacify” Derrick Mason; as the team doesn’t usually hold press conferences when a player re-signs, but they needed to hold one for Mason because they held press conferences recently for Donte’ Stallworth and Anquan Boldin. Apparently Mike forgot about the press conference the team held for Ray Lewis just a season ago-which also happened a couple weeks after HE signed because of scheduling issues.
2-I heard/saw a few local and national football analysts say “I bet the Ravens are regretting the fact that they traded for Boldin and didn’t hold out for Brandon Marshall knowing the price the Miami Dolphins got him for!”
The Ravens were THRILLED to get Anquan Boldin, especially for the price they paid for him. While Brandon Marshall is taller and maybe could be more of a red zone target, he also has a MUCH MORE checkered past, and Ozzie Newsome and company never really appeared to TRULY be interested in him-especially not for the price the Fins paid.
If you missed Derrick this morning with Drew Forrester on AM1570, make sure you click on the “Audio” tab right above where you’re reading this; it will take you to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault, where you can hear the interview.
7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Morehouse OT Ramon Harewood has visited 1 Winning Drive
What do you need to know about Ramon Harewood? He’s certainly a beast at 6’6″, 341 pounds; and it does appear as though he will be drafted.
While OT might not jump out at Ravens fans as an area of great need, it will be an area they’ll look to upgrade no matter what happens with Jared Gaither.
Should they end up trading Jared Gaither, they’ll have an immediate need at OT, with Oniel Cousins, Marshal Yanda and Tony Moll their top options behind Michael Oher.
Should they end up KEEPING Jared Gaither, they’re still unlikely to give him an extension keep him here long-term, meaning they’ll need depth at the position anyway.
Either way, they’ll be in the market. Watch names like Vladimir Ducasse (UMass) and Jared Veldheer (Hillsdale College) as well.
8. The Sun’s Ken Murray says Morgan State WR EJ Morton-Green worked out with Jim Zorn in Owings Mills yesterday
If you missed Morton-Green with Drew Forrester this morning, click on that same “Audio” tab you used to listen to Derrick Mason.
As I’ve said before, Morton-Green is unlikely to get drafted, but thanks to his size (6’4″), he could certainly be an option for the Ravens to sign as an undrafted free agent and give him a look during Training Camp.
9. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says NFL schedule to be released Tuesday night at 7pm, Ravens will find out when they play AFC North, AFC East, NFC South teams
I wish I could say this would provide a nice distraction from the Orioles-but since the Birds are in Seattle, the game isn’t until 10pm. So after 3 hours of dissecting the schedule and figuring out what the Ravens are going to do, you’ll still have to watch the Orioles face the Mariners-who have suddenly looked a bit better recently.
IT NEVER ENDS!!!!
10. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Ralph Friedgen still wants to see more from Pete White
Does anyone get concerned that White might join the likes of Jared Gaither and Bruce Campbell amongst Terrapins O-Linemen who seem to have NFL level ability but just never really make it work at an All-ACC level in College Park? Or am I just too paranoid as a Terps fan?
Cue Black Sabbath…
11. Inside Lacrosse says Maryland’s Grant Catalino, Brian Farrell; Loyola’s Jake Hagelin nominees for Tewaaraton Award
It’s a long list. There’s 4 players from the state of Maryland (including one from Salisbury), and ONE from a school in Baltimore.
Those things aren’t good.
You know what else is good? Pictures of Supaksorn Chaimongkol at Guyism.com…
And finally, I leave you with this.
I usually don’t use this area for more “hot chicks” pictures, but I usually don’t find pictures of Edyta Sliwinska from “Dancing With The Stars” in Maxim…
…Yeah, she seems nice.
Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…