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Former Oriole shortstop Mike Bordick: “I’m pretty happy…helping them try to rebuild”

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Former Oriole shortstop Mike Bordick: “I’m pretty happy…helping them try to rebuild”

Posted on 17 June 2010 by Ryan Chell

Mike Bordick

With all the talk lately that the whole Oriole organization would be shaken up by Peter Angelos and Andy MacPhail as a new regime is introduced, there has been talk lately about giving former Orioles, ones who are familiar with the winning ways of the team, high-ranking positions  in an effort to turn things around.

One of those former Orioles is former shortstop Mike Bordick, who spent five years in an Oriole uniform split between two different stints. Known mostly for his defensive prowess, Bordick was not a slouch at the plate either, hitting .260 over his career with 1500 hits and over 600 RBIs.

Bordick was able to take a few minutes from the rebuilding process to take some questions from Glenn Clark and Drew Forrester from “The Morning Reaction” Thursday morning-all in the same matter that he fielded those grounders in Camden Yards for  years.

It was his consistent play over the years that not only brought Bordick back in an Oriole uniform after he was traded to the Mets in 2000 for Melvin Mora and Mike Kinkade during his playing days, it was also why the Orioles brought him in as an offensive consultant after working as a roving scout for the Blue Jays after he retired in 2003.

Bordick now works mostly down on the Orioles’ farm teams, keeping an eye on the developing prospects and their bats that the major league club hold dear. His official title is “hitting coordinator” as listed on the team’s website, but he spends more time in the minor leagues than on the major league squad.

He has most of his time recently around the Norfolk Tides and two of the organization’s top hitting prospects in 3B Josh Bell and 1b Brandon Snyder.

‘I’ve been spending a lot more time at Triple A because I think there is a lot of turnover and giving guys more opportunities to see if they can play in the major leagues,” Bordick said.

And Bell and Snyder have both caught his eye. He has seen a lot of improvement out of these two in particular and along with a ton of other guys down on the farm, they are putting in the work necessary to be ready when the top level calls their name.

“They’re doing okay. They’re working hard. Snyder got off to a slower start, but he is swinging the bat a lot better.”

“Josh Bell is the same. Josh has a little bit more power potential there.  He keeps working. Every time I’ve been down there, he’s been out for early hitting and trying to shorten up his swing a little bit, trying to be more consistent at the plate. The work ethic is there.”

Bordick also has been seen helping out and reporting on the major league level as well, and he says its unfortunate about the team’s struggles this year, given some of the circumstances.

What makes it even worse is for him is after taking almost a decade-long hiatus from an Oriole uniform, he comes back to a team that has changed a lot since his playing days.

“It’s tough. After playing for the Orioles and being part of a time that’s special, it’s unfortunate. I feel bad. I would love to see them play better. I think the talent is there for them to play better. It’s just a matter of everyone believing it and going out there and playing some good baseball.”

Bordick was also asked by Drew Forrester what kind of manager would best fit the Orioles. Bordick has played for several high profile managers in his career, including several of the Orioles’ current managerial candidates. He played for Davey Johnson when he was with the O’s for two years and Bobby Valentine, who was managing the Mets during their World Series run in 2000.

Valentine interviewed for the job earlier this week and had some interesting comments about the state of the team, which seemed negative.

Bordick responded by doing some commenting of his own.

“The team definitely needs to be jump-started somehow,” Bordick noted. “Whether it’s screaming on guys or what have you. But for a manager to come in the middle of the season and do that, I don’t know if that’s going to help them or turn them off.”

Bordick said he just hopes the manager is as patient in turning things around as it seems Andy MacPhail is.

“I would hope that if a manager decides to come to Baltimore, they might not take the job right away. I hope they go to the minor leagues and understand the organization and see how things are laid out.”

Bordick said that a guy that fits that mold perfectly would be Buck Showatler, who took the expansion Diamondbacks job two years before the team started playing and helped build the team up before hitting the schedule.

Could Bordick maybe see a bigger role with the parent club? Bordick said not at the time.

But, with Bordick living in the area and his first priority is raising his kids, he enjoys the role he has with the Orioles, where every minor league team is in driving distance, and if he is called on to report at Camden Yards, that isn’t too far away either.

I have the best job that anyone in professional baseball can have,” Bordick said. “I live in Baltimore, and the proximity of most of their team is pretty local. And if they have a problem where they need me to work with someone, I can be there in less than hour. It’s a great situation for me. I’m pretty happy with what I’m doing and still being part of the Orioles organization and helping them try to rebuild and develop some young players.”

And one of those young guys is an Oriole that the team hopes to introduce soon-one Manny Machado-Baltimore’s third overall pick in the draft, who has drawn comparisons to one of the great former shortstops out there-Alex Rodriguez.

Bordick hopes that he can drop a few pointers in there too so people start calling Machado the next Mike Bordick instead, but with a better bat of course.

“It is exciting. You’ve heard a lot of things about him. I hope they sign him quick and get him in the system, and it will be fun to work with young talent like that.”

Tune into “The Morning Reaction” with Drew Forrester and Glenn Clark weekdays 6-10 AM on 1570 WNST

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 20 May 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because:

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

and…

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

london

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

izzy

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

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

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

What a freaking mess this was last night…

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

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

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

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

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

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

You really don’t want to look at this.

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

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

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

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

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

And why would he be???

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

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

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

It really sucks being an Orioles fan.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

audrina

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

emma

And finally, I leave you with this.

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

jamie

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 19 May 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because I just got my copy of Justin Halpern’s book “Sh*t My Dad Says.” If you’re now familiar with his Twitter account, it’s absolutely BRILLIANT. The dude is 29 and lives with his 74 year old father, and his 74 year old father may be the greatest human being on the face of the planet…


-”A parent’s only as good as their dumbest kid. If one wins a Nobel Prize but the other gets robbed by a hooker, you failed.”
-“I lost 20 pounds…How? I drank bear piss and took up fencing. How the f*ck you think, son? I exercised.”
-
“I didn’t say you were ugly. I said your girlfriend is better looking than you, and standing next to her, you look ugly.”
-
“Do people your age know how to comb their hair? It looks like two squirrels crawled on their heads and started f*cking.”
-“I’m not sure you can call that roughing it, son… Well, for one, there was a f*cking minivan parked forty feet from your sleeping bags.”

I’m crying. Apparently the Twitter account/book are going to become a CBS sitcom starring William Shattner. Could anything…in the world…ever be better?

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Orioles touched up Royals bullpen after Greinke departed for 10 inning win

No, the Orioles did not “beat” Zack Greinke, despite what someone over at 105.7 (cough Jen Royle cough) said. They did however win a game started by Zack Greinke, which is ALMOST just as good.

(Edit from GMC: Some might say I’m obsessed with her. They’re right. It’s similar to how many of us are obsessed with “Snooki” from Jersey Shore. It’s just such a disaster that how can you possibly turn away? The reality is that as much as I say I want Jen Royle to do her job better, I probably REALLY don’t want her to.)

Those “I want to be Luke Scott’s bat” on MASN look really good this week. Of course, Everything related to Luke Scott usually looks really good for a week-or maybe even a month. Usually not for too much longer than that though.

Is it too late to get Corey Patterson on the ballot for the All-Star Game?

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

9,715 packed their way into Oriole Park at Camden Yards last night. I guess it was really 3,000 who packed their way in, but there were 9,715 tickets sold.

But our “Apologist of the Morning” as selected by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester is still going. Here’s his take…

“For my part, I’ll say again that the best response to the losing is to continue to support the team. Go to a few games and cheer loudly (or, as is my wont, get a Lucas Clap going). Proudly (defiantly?) rock the black-and-orange. Take what joy you can from this mess and discard the rest.

It’s not that hard. Despite the conditions last night I still enjoyed myself. All it takes to do that is wanting to do that. Some do, some don’t, but it’s simple either way.

Whichever way you go, the baseball they play will improve. It just will.”

It just will.

The question is, will it be while we’re still alive?

Or should the question be: “Will it get better before the crowds get so small that the team is forced to move to Nashville?”

3. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Kevin Millwood still hasn’t picked up first victory of season despite Birds win

A quality outing from Kevin Millwood last night, but he once again had an inning that was particularly troubling.

I have an idea.

The next time Kevin Millwood pitches at OPACY, the guys in the production department should just go ahead and take down the inning number when the game gets to the 5th inning. They don’t need to put up a “6″ or anything like that, they just need to take down any electronic references to what inning it is. Pretend the 5th inning just doesn’t happen at all.

It might not work, and it might be laughed at over at sites like Deadspin-but Christ, they’re 13-27! Why not???

4. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli and Pete Kerzel say Adam Jones’ dealings with ‘frustration’ lead to his helmet toss Monday night

If Adam Jones is so frustrated that he’s throwing his helmet, what’s the appropriate response from those of us who have been forced to watch him play this year?

Maybe something similar to this???

hulk

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Brandon Erbe, Brandon Snyder had rough night, Michael Aubrey had big night for O’s on farm

Before we move on from our beloved Baltimore Orioles; a few things.

-The Orioles finished their 8 game homestand with the Mariners, Indians and Royals at 4-4. I think anyone who tried to dismiss the early season struggles of the Orioles as being nothing more than a “tough schedule” might have learned something over the last 8 days.

-The Orioles return to action tonight in Arlington, Texas at the appropriately named Ballpark in Arlington against the Texas Rangers. First pitch on MASN2 is at 8:05pm, Jeremy Guthrie faces Rich Harden. The Rangers are in 1st place in the AL West and haven’t struggled-AT ALL-to score runs. The Birds of course have. Hopefully those trends will change.

6. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Jared Gaither (foot), Troy Smith (tonsilitis) amongst those absent from Ravens Passing Camp in Owings Mills

I wouldn’t read anything in to the timing of Troy Smith having his tonsils taken out now as some of you have. This is really the least important of the offseason work the Ravens are doing, so if this WAS something that had timing flexibility, this is a good time for him to have done it. Harbaugh said that the tonsilitis may have stemmed from his bout with the black plague or whatever it was back in 2008.

And Gaither is clearly dealing with SOMETHING with his foot, and while he almost certainly could be practicing (and would be playing), I don’t think it’s the end of the world that he isn’t on the field. I know they’d rather have him out there (Oniel Cousins was COMPLETELY beat a couple of times yesterday), but not the end of the world.

As far as the veterans that missed Camp are concerned; Ray Lewis and Derrick Mason can do whatever they want. Trevor Pryce is probably in that group as well. I would imagine John Harbaugh is pretty disappointed that Terrell Suggs isn’t there, but when you make as much money as Ol’ “T-Sizzle” does, you get your own rules. And Willis McGahee can only be hurting himself every time he doesn’t show up.

7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Lardarius Webb ‘significantly ahead of schedule’ according to John Harbaugh

I’m not a doctor, so don’t take anything I say too seriously; but the work Lardarius Webb was doing yesterday at 1 Winning Drive (in fairness-it was only running); made it look like he really MIGHT be ready to go before the end of Training Camp; and might have a shot to be on the field in East Rutherford on Monday Night Football against the New York Jets.

Before moving on from the Ravens-head on over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net to hear from John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Billy Cundiff and Sergio Kindle yesterday at Passing Camp.

While you’re there, new Ravens CB Travis Fisher joined “The Morning Reaction” today on AM1570 WNST-make sure you check him out as well. Other guests this morning you can hear from include Maryland football Coach Ralph Friedgen (who will be at Field House in Canton tonight with Debbie Yow, Keith Booth and Brenda Frese for “Terps on Tour”), Bowie Baysox pitcher Steve Johnson, Washington Capitals GM George McPhee and Orlando Magic Executive VP Pat Williams. Check it all out!

8. GoMustangSports.com previews today’s DIII NCAA Tournament quarterfinal between Stevenson and Roanoke

I once dated a gal who went to Roanoke. The celebrity she most resembled was Adriana Lima (Thanks Busted Coverage!)…

lima

I’m kidding of course, but she was a lovely gal. I think I got a parking ticket at Roanoke once, on a weekend trip where we ended up going to see John Mayer and Maroon 5 in Virginia Beach. I remember the show was on a Sunday and I was despondent because I had remembered there being a Chick-Fil-A on the way in to the venue, but forgot that it would be closed on Sunday.

Now you know the story of my life. Was there something about a lacrosse game?

(Edit from GMC: I’m kidding. I’ll be out at Caves Athletic Complex this afternoon at 4pm, come by and say hello. Let’s go Stangs!)

9. Inside Lacrosse’s Geoff Shannon says Boys Latin, St. Paul’s win MIAA ‘A’ Conference semis, will rematch for title at Unitas Stadium Saturday

I don’t know too much about the MIAA. As a proud Perry Hall High School alum, MIAA gals usually weren’t allowed to hand around guys like me. Humorously, “The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet” is actually a NDP alum.

When I found out she had graduated from Notre Dame Prep, I immediately had the wheels turning. “Catholic School Girl? This has potential.”

However, it did not. The NDP uniform looks like this…

ndp

I of course was hoping for this…

skirt

Why doesn’t it ever look like that?

10. Daily Racing Form’s Glenye Cain Oakford says 1986 Preakness winner Snow Chief dead at 27

This subject is a little sensitive for me. Not because there’s a dead horse, but because it involves the word snow. After this winter, the word “snow” alone makes me tremble…

And finally, I leave you with this.

Everybody is making a big deal about NBA official Joe DeRosa throwing the ball at a fan at the Orlando Magic-Boston Celtics game last night. It doesn’t look that bad to me…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppxKf6N_8-g[/youtube]

You know what’s a big deal to me? The pictures of Blake Lively that Guyism found…

lively

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 06 April 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because DESPITE the fact that a mediocre Duke team now gets to call themselves NCAA Champions, it wasn’t ENTIRELY a loss. Barry Aparicio came by with this…

wailua

I have no idea what “Wailua” means, but I’m pretty sure it’s Hawaiian for “hand crafted by Jesus”…

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Jay Trucker says Orioles open season that can ‘make Baltimore care about baseball again’ tonight in Tampa against Rays

Which is good, because until now all Baltimore has cared about is a stupid Under Armour logo on Federal Hill. Well, that and finding more pictures of Kelly Brook in her underpants (Thanks Guyism.com!)…

kellybrook

Do I think this Birds team will captivate the city for the better part of the summer? No, I just don’t think they’ll be interesting enough. But do I think that they will provide an occasional distraction between the NFL Draft and Training Camp? Sure they will.

Just not quite as much as Kelly Brook.

2. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Birds’ lineup will be Brian Roberts-Adam Jones-Nick Markakis-Miguel Tejada-Luke Scott-Matt Wieters-Felix Pie-Garrett Atkins-Cesar Izturis

When reached for comment, Julio Lugo said “There must be some mistake…”

On paper, it’s a half-representative lineup. And with any luck, the O’s will play half of their games on paper instead of risking injury by playing them on actual fields.

The number is 10. The question is “How many different lineups will Dave Trembley use in the first 10 games?”

I’m taking the over, personally.

3. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Michael Aubrey cleared waivers, sent to Norfolk

Oh thank God our long civic nightmare has finally ended!!!

In fairness, the organization has to be pleased to have not lost Michael Aubrey completely, even if none of us are particularly moved by Aubrey in comparison to the likes of Brandon Snyder and Rhyne Hughes.

For the record, I would have preferred Aubrey O’Day myself…

aod

4. The AP’s Fred Goodall says Rays open season with belief they can compete with Red Sox, Yankees in AL East

Okay, here are your details. It’s Kevin Millwood against James Shields at 7:10 tonight at Tropicana Field-the game can be seen on MASN.

More importantly, the game can be seen with yours truly, Drew Forrester, Nestor Aparicio, Ray Bachman, the gang from Camden Chat, and the gals that didn’t QUITE make the cut for the “Girls of Dundalk” calendar a few years back at Jimmy’s Famous Seafood in Dundalk.

I’ll be the guy in the Orioles polo, Old Bay all over my hands and 5 beers sitting in front of me.

You’ll need to buy me 3 more.

5. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens WR Coach Jim Hostler ran workout for former Syracuse WR Mike Williams

No matter what happened with the Orange last season, Williams is STILL a 6’2″ receiver who caught 133 balls for 2,044 yards and 20 TD’s over (most of) 3 seasons against BCS level competition.

I think the Ravens will draft a receiver. I think Mike Williams will slide. If they think he can work through some of his issues now that he’s reached the NFL level.

And if Williams isn’t available; there’s another Syracuse product I’d look at myself…

syracuse

6. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Jim Zorn trying to ‘earn right to be heard’

I would personally prefer that his goofy faces be SEEN…

zorn

If the Washington Post doesn’t send Dan Steinberg to Westminster at some point this summer for a DC Sports Bog follow-up, they have NO SPINE.

In fairness, I thought Zorn was a great hire for Day 1; as long as he has a shared vision with John Harbaugh and Cam Cameron. Those 3 men need to be on the same page to help the growth of Joe Flacco.

As an aside, has anyone seen the goofy new 1st Mariner Bank commercial Joe Flacco did with Ed Hale? The one where Joe keeps saying “Pittsburgh?” I found the behind the scenes video…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFcBgcB8kQA[/youtube]

…but I haven’t found the actual commercial. Clearly it’s effective because I’m talking about it, but it’s goofy as hell.

7. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says after Rackers signed with Texans, leaving Shayne Graham as top free agent option for Ravens

It’s about time the Ravens went after a veteran kicker who we knew we could count on to make big kicks in big situations…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ledS2vIy8Ao[/youtube]

…oh, wait.

Look, you can only sign the guys who are available, and Shayne Graham is available. Adam Vinatieri is not.

If Shayne Graham comes here, he’ll have to compete with Billy Cundiff for a job-which I’d imagine he’d win. If he wants a bunch of money, the Ravens may choose to go young again in their pursuit of their next kicker.

It WON’T be Matt Stover. Like my friends told me years ago when I bemoaned the breakup of the Spice Girls, it really is time to move on.

8. WNST.net’s Bob Haynie says former Baltimore Bullets forward Gus Johnson voted to Basketball Hall of Fame

Which is ABSOLUTELY well deserved.

I’m sure the Wizards will do something to honor Johnson at Verizon Center (similar to what they did with Earl Monroe); but the group at 1st Mariner Arena should consider doing the same thing the next time the Harlem Globetrotters come to town-or the next time they do some sort of basketball-related event. (AND1 Mixtape Tour, whatever.)

Of course, this also gives me an excuse to bring up that OTHER Gus Johnson. If you follow us on Twitter (@WNST) you’ll say that I re-Tweeted what may have been the GREATEST TWEET OF ALL TIME last night. Jeff Darlington-who covers the Miami Dolphins for the Miami Herald-said this about Gordon Heyward’s final shot:

If Gus Johnson were calling that game, the final shot goes down. I’m convinced.”

Correct.

9. The Sun says Maryland forward Landon Milbourne, Morgan State guard Reggie Holmes to prepare for NBA Draft at Portsmouth Invitational

I think Milbourne’s lack of a true position will ultimately doom his chances of reaching the NBA; but I do think that he will end up reaching the D-League, or getting the chance to get paid somewhere in Turkey or Israel or something like that.

Holmes is not the typical size you want from a wing as a pro-and his game is not AT ALL complete. But BOY can he shoot. He might not get there in the fall, but when you can shoot like that-you ABSOLUTELY have a chance to make it.

10. Inside Lacrosse says Maryland 5th, Loyola 11th in new Nike/IL Top 20 poll

HOW THE HELL IS JOHNS HOPKINS STILL RANKED STILL RANKED 17TH DESPITE THE FACT THEY’RE 4 AND 5?!?!?

And finally, I leave you with this.

Everyone is all up in arms about Jennifer Hudson’s version of “One Shining Moment.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBcogk0SWIo[/youtube]

Look…is it as good as EITHER Luther Vandross’ or Teddy Pendergrass’ versions? Of course not. But is it a BAD version? Nah. It’s a tremendous song, and she’s a tremendous vocalist. BUT, the song is more naturally keyed for a male singer. Also, it isn’t Jennifer Hudson’s vault that CBS inexplicably felt it necessary to keep cutting to clips of her singing for some reason or another.

After watching last night’s game, I thought this might have been a more appropriate song to use to honor the Blue Devils…

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

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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

Posted on 03 April 2010 by Luke Jones

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

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

6. Is the bullpen up to par?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. How good will Brian Matusz be?

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

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

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

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

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

Need we say more?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Twelve years.

Twelve painful, long years.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a Happy Monday for me because the WWE actually got it right last night…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lst3CxSLpBc[/youtube]

(Edit from GMC: This video will probably be down before I’m even able to post this. The point is…Chris Jericho retained the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania. Which means that the sting of Duke being in the Final Four only lasted for a few minutes last night. Sorta like…..you know, I’ll just leave that alone.)

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Garrett Atkins looking to ‘rebound’ from tough ’09 season

To which Tiger Woods responded “Tough ’09? Let me tell you a thing or two about a tough ’09!”

As we’ve talked about, Garrett Atkins’ bat can really change a lot about this season for the Orioles. If he DOES return to his 2006-2008 form; he’ll be a real force; and can provide the Orioles a much better bat in the middle of their lineup that their current options. It also would take some of the pressure off Brandon Snyder to be ready to get to Baltimore at a rapid pace.

Of course, Atkins also has to be able to play first base defensively. I wonder if the Orioles turned to Tom Emanski to help him get ready. I mean, it worked for Fred McGriff!

mcgriff

2. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Orioles-Blue Jays postponed Sunday due to rain, Birds play Yankees tonight in Sarasota

And tonight’s game…for the 3rd time during Spring Training…is actually on MASN!

Of course, I will only be able to watch a few minutes of the game before I flip over to USA for WWE Monday Night RAW, as I’m assuming there will be a big Shawn Michaels tribute tonight-which to me is more important than ANYTHING ELSE GOING ON IN THE WORLD.

You know, other than trying to find out who Jordan Carver is…

carver

3. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Hernandez has likely taken 5th rotation spot, Tejada likely to bat cleanup

Which means the lineup is looking more like this…

2B Brian Roberts
CF Adam Jones
RF Nick Markakis
3B Miguel Tejada
DH Luke Scott
C Matt Wieters
1B Garrett Atkins
LF Nolan Reimold/Felix Pie
SS Cesar Izturis

and the rotation looks like…

Kevin Millwood
Jeremy Guthrie
Brian Matusz
Brad Bergesen
David Hernandez

Is it the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays? No. But do you see the names “Omar Daal” or “Brook Fordyce” on that list? Not a chance.

This is better.

4. WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford has O’s 19th in first power rankings

Look, seeing a power rankings list that doesn’t have the Orioles in the bottom is downright REMARKABLE. However, we have to temper our excitement by remembering that we haven’t even reached Opening Day yet.

For the record, I HATE tempering my excitement. It’s like when someone told me that there were new pictures of Yari Lozada…

yari

But then told me her boyfriend apparently WASN’T interested in trading straight up.

Sorry “Lucky”, it’s gonna be and you still going forward.

5. WNST.net’s Nestor Aparicio pardons Jim Irsay, says he’s ‘moving on from hatred’ of Colts

Can someone check Weather.com for some info on how things look these days in hell???

-Nestor pardoned the Irsays
-The worst #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament is the only one headed to the Indianapolis
-The Pittsburgh Steelers showed up in Harford County yesterday and everyone just thinks it’s okay
-While Johns Hopkins was playing Virginia and Maryland was playing North Carolina Saturday, my friends were texting me to ask me if I was watching the Baylor women’s basketball game???

HAS THE WHOLE WORLD GONE MAD?!?!?!?!?!

6. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Jared Gaither will report today, says he “always wants to be a Raven”

And Kevin Byrne told Drew Forrester this morning on “The Comcast Morning Show” that Gaither did indeed show up.

(Edit from GMC: If you missed it, or any of Drew’s guests this morning-West Virginia assistant/former Terps assistant Billy Hahn, Fanhouse’s Jeff Fletcher, Former MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent, or North Harford Football Coach Ken Brinkman-make sure you head to the Audio Vault at WNST.net to check them out.)

Look, Jared Gaither playing RT makes the Ravens a more legitimate Super Bowl contender than they would be if Marshal Yanda were playing RT. That’s just a fact.

I understand everyone was excited about the idea of Gaither being traded for a high NFL Draft pick, but this team is BETTER OFF having Gaither anchoring the right side.

Just trust me on that.

7. The Sun’s Ron Fritz says Nathan Vasher off the market, but Lito Sheppard still available

I’d be all for Lito Sheppard…if we had taken a Hot Tub Time Machine back to 2006.

Actually, considering some of the options…

frank

….my guess is that Ravens fans might be OVER THE MOON for Sheppard.

8. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens have had a ‘lot of interest’ in South Florida CB Jerome Murphy

Me personally; I’d prefer Charlie Murphy…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6Yplww55ao[/youtube]

…but a 6’0″ CB would be a nice option too.

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens has Maryland 4th, Loyola 11th, Hopkins 14th in lacrosse Top 20 poll

Here’s this week’s “OldLineLax7″ poll…

1. Maryland
2. Loyola
3. Johns Hopkins
4. Navy
5. Mt. St. Mary’s
6. Towson
7. UMBC

10. The Diamondback’s Greg Schimmel says Jamarr Robinson has changed ‘preparation’ now as starting quarterback

And in a post at TerrapinTrail.com, Robinson says he DOESN’T like video games. Which only means he hasn’t played the WNBA video game…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIVDzQmhOL0[/youtube]

And finally, I leave you with this.

As you know, I tend to describe certain songs as “The Greatest Song of all Time.” Some people say it means I de-value the songs I describe that way, as I change my mind all the time.

For the record, the greatest song of all time IS “American Pie” by Don McLean. The greatest Rock & Roll song of all time is “Baba O’Reilly” by The Who.

BUT-in order to not completely abandon my “Greatest Song of All Time” monicker, I have recently adopted a “Greatest Song of all time THIS WEEK” note, which I used for the first time last week on Facebook (please feel free to add me as a friend) to describe “Shakin’ It 4 Daddy” by Robin Thicke & Nicki Minaj.

We have a new “Greatest Song of All Time This Week” for this week. It’s “Mountain Man” by the Crash Kings. Once again, this song has existed for a while, yet somehow I didn’t know about it. This means some of you aren’t doing your job. I’ll forgive you this time, but I expected better from you.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U52TPkKTDs[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 16 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because Stone Cold Steve Austin was back on WWE Raw last night. Sadly, it was a reminder that no matter how much you want it to be, pro wrestling just isn’t as good as it used to be.

We all like to blame it on the fact that the product has been watered down-and there’s no doubt that to some extent it has been. But it also has something to do with us getting older ourselves, as we long for the things we loved as children. Like Stone Cold spraying Vince McMahon and The Rock down with beer….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXuGN4OGxm4[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say….

1. Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Aubrey Coleman won’t practice until Thursday according to Houston coach Tom Penders

But there doesn’t appear to be any threat that he won’t play, so I don’t feel any better than I did before. Of course, I wasn’t that nervous about this game before, so that isn’t saying too much.

For those who say things like “don’t kid yourself, the Cougars aren’t going to be a pushover”; OF COURSE they aren’t. They’re in the NCAA Tournament. Vermont won’t be a pushover in the 1-16 game they play against Syracuse.

BUT-this nonsense about Houston being a difficult matchup for Maryland is INSANE. The matchup-basketball wise-couldn’t possibly favor Maryland more. Tom Penders’ club is an up and down the floor team that is prone to turning the ball over a TON. Gary Williams’ team is a team that THRIVES on causing turnovers, and would like nothing more than to go up and down the floor.

Matchup-wise, it’s PERFECT. In fact, it’s the type of matchup that a Gary Williams-coached team should be able to turn into a double digit win. Houston isn’t particularly good, they’re just capable of scoring a bunch of points. They were a .500 team entering the Conference USA Tournament.

How else do I say this?

A Houston win over Maryland would be a MONUMENTAL upset. This isn’t a toss-up. There’s a reason Maryland is favored by about 10 points.

BUT….they can’t come out flat. They can’t just assume they’ll win. They have to play. But they should be able to take care of business fairly easily.

2. Sporting News’ Dan Levy says Gus Johnson/Len Elmore will call Morgan game(s) in Buffalo, Tim Brando/Mike Gminski will call Maryland game(s) in Spokane

I’m not sure I’d even be able to keep my pants on if I were able to listen to Gus Johnson call a Morgan State upset of West Virginia on Friday afternoon. I mean, I could listen to Gus Johnson all day….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mE0c-TzO7d4[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgeqrYxu_YM[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdXeWvucvH8[/youtube]

I like Tim Brando just as much as the next guy, but clearly Morgan is the winner in the announcer battle here. As much as I love Jim Nantz, Gus Johnson and Len Elmore should do the Final Four.

3. The Sun’s Ken Murray says Bozeman relied heavily on Baltimore recruiting to build Bears

I wrote about this in my column Saturday after the MEAC Tournament championship game. I love the concept of “Baltimore Tough”, and this group of kids EMBODIES that mentality. They come from tough backgrounds, and they use it to fuel their success.

It makes this Morgan State run even more meaningful to me. With no offense to Jay Greene or Darryl Proctor (who was actually from Prince George’s County), it is MORE meaningful for me to see a Baltimore team have success thanks to Baltimore kids.

4. Maryland Official Site says Terrapins women had NCAA Tournament bubble burst, will face Iona Friday in WNIT

Hard to believe there can even be a Women’s Tournament without Brenda Frese’s squad being involved; but it’s hard to say they deserved to make it this season either. They finished with a sub-.500 record in the ACC, a lack of any marquee nonconference wins, and a very bad loss to Towson earlier in the season.

She’s bringing in a ton of talent, so this should be nothing more than a 1 year miss. Great men’s programs (including UConn this season) have gone through the same thing.

5. Inside Lacrosse’s Tommy Kehoe says Grant Catalino had 2 goals, 4 assists as Terps beat Penn in College Park

Dave Cottle’s team remains undefeated, and should be able to stay that way when they visit UMBC this Saturday. They needed a great start too, as the schedule gets no easier. Using the hot start to build confidence will help them with Virginia, North Carolina, Johns Hopkins and Navy still to come.

6. Towson Official Site previews Tigers’ battle with Navy tonight at Unitas Stadium

This should be entertaining, as both the Tigers and Midshipmen need a victory tonight. The Mids have struggled, and Towson is WINLESS.

Big game tonight. Worth heading over to Unitas Stadium to check it out.

Unless you’re too busy watching “The Biggest Loser.” In which case……really?

7. The AP says Luke Scott (and Brandon Snyder) homered as Orioles topped Red Sox in Ft. Myers

Insert your own Luke Scott “shot” joke here…..

That being said, I’m of course excited to see Brandon Snyder hit his first home run.

My guess? He’ll hit 82 more this season.

8. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Brandon Erbe, Troy Patton amongst 7 Birds cut from Spring Training roster, sent to minor league camp

No surprises here. Troy Patton was a longshot to make it to Baltimore, and Brandon Erbe is still a project moving forward.

You know what IS a surprise, though? That Florida volleyball player Kari Klinkenborg would date Terrell Owens…..

karik

9. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec and Peter Schmuck say Brian Roberts returned to Sarasota after receiving epidural for ailing back

I think I’m just going to stop speculating on the whole Brian Roberts injury thing. I think it might be a problem. But since I’m not really welcome around the Orioles, I don’t know.

I wish I could tell you more.

10. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Edgar Jones, Marcus Paschal sign deals with Ravens

Book the rooms in Arlington. Print the Super Bowl tickets.

This really changes nothing about the Ravens’ offseason plans. Marcus Paschal is by no means a player that can be assumed to make the roster out of Training Camp. Edgar Jones may be nothing more than a special teams player.

BUT….this is how business works in the NFL.

11. Ravens Official Site’s Ryan Mink says Donte’ Stallworth had to ‘shake the rust’ on first day of voluntary workouts in Owings Mills

And Joe Flacco had to shake the sleep out of his eyes when he looked up and saw an actual GROUP of capable Wide Receivers.

(Edit from GMC: I’m kidding. I don’t even know who was there. There’s no media availability at 1 Winning Drive. Yet….the team “reports” on it. Of course they do.)

12. Youngstown Vindicator says Ravens were in attendance for Youngstown State WR Donald Jones’ Pro Day

The surprising part about this is that there’s a newspaper called “The Vindicator.” That sounds like the name of a pro wrestler.

In fact, I think I’m going to be known as “The Vindicator” in the future. And Ray Bachman will be known as “The Indigestor”…..

bach

And finally, I leave you with this….

Thanks Busted Coverage for this video of hot chicks reading lines from “The Big Lebowski.” Is it good? No. But is it the type of idea I can get behind? YES.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4T9DGjGAUw[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983….

-G

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Bring Cabrera to Charm City

Posted on 24 November 2009 by dansoderberg

As the Detroit Tigers search for ways to cut their payroll rumors have started floating around suggesting that the team would consider dealing All World 1st baseman Miguel Cabrera. The Orioles should put their MASN money where their mouth is and make a blockbuster deal for Cabrera. The team has been stockpiling prospects and cash for the past few years and clearly have enough of both to make a deal.

Cabrera has 6 years and $126 million remaining on his current contract. Those are hefty numbers indeed, but the 26 year old slugger is worth the price. In his 6 full seasons Cabrera has never hit fewer than 26 HRs or driven in less than 103. He has a career OPS of .952 and according to baseball-reference.com the most historically similar players to Cabrera are Hank Aaron, Ken Griffey Jr. and Frank Robinson.

The Orioles clearly have the money to pay Cabrera. In fact, Cabrera’s remaining contract is less than the supposed $140 million the O’s offered Mark Teixeira last off season and Cabrera is 3 years younger. The Tigers would want a king’s ransom in return but I think the Orioles could put together an tempting package. I’d present the Tigers with 2 options:

1) Cabrera for Jake Arrieta, Nolan Reimold, David Hernandez or Jim Johnson and a lower level pitching prospect like Steven Johnson, Jesse Beal or Bobby Bundy.

2) Cabrera and Nate Robertson for Arrieta, Brandon Snyder, Hernandez or Johnson and a lower level pitching prospect.

In option 2 the Orioles would absorb Nate Robertson’s 1 year $10 million contract and in return would substitute Brandon Snyder for the more established Reimold.

I’d even consider including 3rd base prospect Josh Bell in the deal assuming the Orioles reached a deal with free agent Adrian Beltre.

Cabrera is a monster offensive player signed for 6 years and seemingly available for the right package. Make it happen Andy!

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How I would Handle the Corner Infield for the Orioles in 2010

Posted on 23 November 2009 by Tom Clayton

 

I figured with everyone harping on the same few topics after a tough Ravens loss I would change things up a bit and talk some hardball today.  I have been analyzing what I think the O’s should do with the corner infield positions for about a week now and I figured out what I think is the teams best options for the present and the future.

 

1.      Let Michael Aubrey play first base for a full season.

 

Aubrey will be 28 at the start of the 2010 season; an age that is still fairly young by baseball standards.  If he pans out the Orioles could get 4-5 very solid years out of Aubrey rather than signing an over the hill veteran to come in and take over first base for a year or two.

 

Last season Aubrey was adequate at the plate with a .826 OPS that included 4 homers, 14 RBI, and a .500 slugging percentage in just 90 plate appearances. If you stretch that out over a full season with 500 at bats Aubrey would have a very respectable 22 home runs and 78 RBI.  In all honesty Aubrey will never be Albert Pujols at the dish but I could see him being a productive seven or eight hitter in a decent lineup. 

 

For Aubrey his real value comes from his work with the leather.  He is an above average defensive first baseman with plus range and picking ability.  An outstanding defensive first baseman can save a team between two to three extra base runners a game; something that could be very helpful when trying to combat the offenses in the AL East.

 

I’m not saying Aubrey is the guaranteed long term solution at first but with the other options being Carlos Delgado, Nomar Garciaparra, or Jason Giambi, why wouldn’t you give the kid a shot in 2010.

 

If the Orioles are inclined to sign a first baseman during the off-season I would push for Russell Branyan.  I could also deal with Hank Blalock or Adam LaRoche but I say wait a year and see if there are better options with either Brandon Snyder or via free agency.

 

Speaking of Brandon Snyder if Aubrey can at least be sufficient at the plate you could bring up Snyder at any point this year to be the full time DH; filling two holes and vastly improving our defense going forward.

 

   2. The Orioles SHOULD sign a third baseman.

 

By all reports Josh Bell projects as a big time power hitting corner infielder but these reports also show he is a year or two away from the big leagues.

 

With that said the Orioles are going to need to sign a veteran third baseman to fill the void at third until the twenty-two year old Bell is ready. 

 

One option that intrigues me is Mark DeRosa; DeRosa will be 35 at the start of the 2010 season but he is coming off a highly productive season in St. Louis.  In 139 games DeRosa had a .752 OPS with 23 jacks and 78 runs scored and driven in.  Unfortunately it is being reported that at least twelve teams are vying for DeRosa which would make it hard for a 99 loss organization to make this deal.  The other issue is that DeRosa may be looking for a three or four year deal which would be out of the question with Bell waiting in the wings.

 

If DeRosa is not in the equation I think Pedro Feliz would be the perfect player to bridge the gap until Bell is ready to rock.  Feliz like DeRosa would be 35 at the start of next season; but unlike DeRosa teams aren’t knocking down Feliz’ door to sign him.  In 158 games last year in Philadelphia, Feliz had a .694 OPS with 12 homers and 82 RBI for the NL Champions.  In addition to his on the field production Feliz could bring a winning attitude to a team that sorely needs it.  While the Orioles have been fighting to avoid losing 100 games, Feliz has been the starting third baseman on a team that has been in the World Series in consecutive years.

 

The third thing that makes Feliz such an enticing option for Baltimore is the fact that he would more than likely sign a one or two year deal in the range of $5 million a year…not only a manageable contract but one that could be seen as a major value.

 

I have heard people clamoring for Adrian Beltre or Troy Glaus but not only are the Orioles going to have to give both players fairly large multi-year deals but neither player has proven he can stay on the field for any consistent period of time. 

 

As for signing Chone Figgins, Oriole fans need to get real there is absolutely no shot that Figgins would come to Baltimore no matter how much money the organization throws his way.  Teams with a much better chance of winning in the present and deeper pockets will be making it rain all around Figgins.

 

I have said it for the better part of a year now and I am sticking to my guns no matter how much I get beat up…The Orioles need to stick the plan and make smart decisions with this team.  Going out and over paying for players whose contracts will be an albatross around our necks in two years when we could be serious players in the free agent market is not the right way to attack this situation.  To compete with teams that have twice as much revenue to spend and therefore a much higher margin for error when it comes to missing on free agents, the Orioles need to build from within and then strike in free agency when the time is right. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 12 November 2009 by Glenn Clark

A couple of things I was told by a member of the Ravens organization yesterday regarding their decision to keep Steve Hauschka…

-They are very pleased with Steve in kickoffs. Even when he hasn’t gotten the best distance, they’ve been happy with the hang time he’s given them to allow their coverage unit to get downfield and make plays.
-They had a feeling Steve was going to struggle on the road. New NFL kickers often struggle to learn stadiums around the league-and how to kick at those stadiums. Steve mentioned that he mis-judged the wind at Paul Brown Stadium and where to aim the kick.
-They WANT Steve Hauschka to be the kicker-not just for this week, but for the rest of the season and the seasons to come. They’ve been willing to give him the benefit of the doubt; but another costly kick could change that.

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

Best of Wednesday’s WNST Blogs:

Glenn Clark says Fabian Washington had ‘no idea’ if he’d be back from thigh injury in time for Cleveland game

Derek Arnold thinks Ravens fans should ‘back (away) from the ledge’

Bob Haynie says hoops prospect Tsafack chose Memphis over Maryland

Thyrl Nelson thinks Ray Rice good fantasy play, Flacco maybe not so much

Nestor Aparicio says O’s still haven’t signed on officially in Sarasota

Ed Frankovic says Caps topped Islanders in shootout

Eric Aaronson says Wizards struggling to get wins, health

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Ravens 4-7 all-time on Monday Night Football

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Hauschka still feels support from veterans in locker room

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Ed Reed missed tackles against Bengals because he was trying to force fumbles

The Official Site’s Sarah Ellison says Harbaugh doesn’t think no huddle killing Ravens in terms of time of possession

The Official Site’s Mallory Steinberg says Domonique Foxworth, Ray Rice, McGahee, Heap, Clayton, Flacco amongst Ravens involved in community this week

The Official Site says Mangini thought Kokinis firing ‘difficult’

Browns Official Site’s Zac Jackson says Mangini named Brady Quinn starter for Monday night

Browns Official Site says Mangini announced Josh Stamer signed to active roster

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Sam Koch thinks Hauschka needs to ‘trust himself’

The Sun’s Ken Murray says Ed Reed claims worse pain this year not reason for struggles Sunday in Cincinnati

The Sun’s Ken Murray and Edward Lee say Dwan Edwards had one of the best games of his career Sunday

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Jarret Johnson thinks Ravens have ‘got to win’ Monday night at Cleveland Browns Stadium

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. cleans up after me

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Browns suffering from curse of Art Modell

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Mangini sympathetic of Browns fans

The Sun’s Ken Murray says Mangini thought Browns ‘best to move on’ from Kokinis

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says neither Quinn nor Derek Anderson was effective in Ravens’ Week 3 win over Browns

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Jamal Lewis ‘confident’ in decision to retire

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Lardarius Webb hasn’t been informed if he’ll have bigger role Monday night

8 of 8 Sporting News analysts pick Ravens

SI’s Don Banks has Ravens 14th in power rankings

NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora says Browns game ‘must win’ for Ravens

NFL.com has Ravens 14th in power rankings

NFL.com’s Michael Fabiano wouldn’t sit Ray Rice in fantasy football

NBC Sports’ Gregg Rosenthal and Mike Florio pick Ravens 31-10

Fox Sports’ Peter Schrager picks Ravens 30-0

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Jamal Lewis will remember his career as a Raven more than as a Brown

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Domonique Foxworth, Fabian Washington, Chris Carr, Frank Walker have all been ‘disappointing’ for Ravens

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

The Diamondback’s Michael Katz says student tickets still available for Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech at Byrd Stadium

The Diamondback’s Aaron Kraut says James Franklin amongst highest paid assistants in college football

The Diamondback’s Adi Joseph says Phil Costa only O-Lineman Terps will lose this season

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Friedgen thinks Terps could be 7-1 or 6-2

Washington Post’s Matt Bonesteel says Lowe’s giving away towels to Maryland students at Saturday’s game

Washington Post’s Mark Viera says Hokies QB Tyrod Taylor ‘has grown’ as passer

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Chris Turner remains questionable for Saturday’s game against VT

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Chris Turner only Maryland QB since ’96 to have any real success in first career start

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens picks Hokies 24-13

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich picks Hokies 17-14

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Torrey Smith still worth watching

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Terps have been hurt by injuries, youth

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says James Franklin 2nd highest paid assistant in ACC

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh gets QB, offensive analysis from James Franklin (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh says Jamarr Robinson expects Saturday to be start of something big for him in College Park (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh says Don Brown expects Richard Taylor to play more Saturday against Va Tech (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Terps must get to free throw line, improve rebounding margin, protect Comcast Center, shoot better from beyond arc, and see growth from Landon Milbourne

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Terps ‘still seem like underdog’

Examiner Matthew Bouchard says Gary Williams part of reason ACC best conference in America

The Diamondback’s Eric Detweiler says Vasquez believes Terps can do ‘something special’ this season

The Diamondback’s Greg Schimmel says James Padgett, Jordan Williams ‘big piece’ of Maryland’s ‘puzzle’ this season

The Diamondback’s Aaron Kraut says Vasquez thinks it’s ‘too early’ to know if Terps could make Final Four run

The Diamondback’s Jeremy Schneider says Mychal Parker, Terrence Ross, Terrell Stoglin make up impressive recruiting class for Terps

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda honors Rick Mosley (Sean Mosley’s father) on Veteran’s Day

TERRAPINS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL:

The Diamondback’s Jonas Shaffer says only Lynetta Kizer experienced on Terps roster

TERRAPINS LACROSSE:

The Official Site says Sean McGuire, Brian Cooper committed to Maryland

NAVY FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says Niumatalolo, Gladchuk making national media appearances

The AP’s Tom Coyne says Irish DC Brown thought Nick Henderson’s hit on Robert Blanton ‘very malicious’

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Gladchuk claims USA Today’s report on Niumatalolo’s salary incorrect

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner offers video of Notre Dame co-DC Corwin Brown taking shot at Niumatalolo

Go Mids breaks down matchups against Delaware (must subscribe)

NAVY BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says Midshipmen open season at Radford

NAVY LACROSSE:

Inside Lacrosse’s Sean Burns says former Mid Thomas Zimmerman now in flight training in Pensacola

TOWSON FOOTBALL:

Villanova Official Site previews Saturday’s trip to Unitas Stadium

Villanova Official Site offers complete Wildcats-Tigers release (pdf)

TOWSON BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says Cephas Oglesby, Jamel Flash committed to Tigers

Examiner Matthew Schlissel says Wichita State, Bradley were in the mix for Oglesby

MORGAN BASKETBALL:

The Sun’s Mike Klingaman says Bears dedicating season to teammate Anthony Anderson-who’s battling leukemia

LOYOLA BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says Justin Drummond committed to Greyhounds

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Shane Walker excited to restart career with Hounds

COPPIN BASKETBALL:

The Official Site previews Friday’s season opener with Lincoln (PA)

MT. ST. MARY’S BASKETBALL:

The Sun’s Todd Karpovich says Mountaineers will be forced to replace Sam Atupem, Markus Mitchell

MCDANIEL FOOTBALL:

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Terror coach Tim Keating thinks Mike Weick ‘absolutely essential’ player for team

ORIOLES:

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says O’s interested in Adrian Beltre, Mark DeRosa, Pedro Feliz

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Adam Jones benefitted from flawed Gold Glove voting system

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Brandon Snyder left Arizona Fall League because Orioles satisfied with his progress

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Baysox giving away Matusz bobblehead with season tickets

USA Today had Orioles 27th in power rankings

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi say Orioles, Giants interested in Marlins’ Uggla

SWIMMING:

SwimNetwork.com’s Mike Gustafson says Phelps makes swimming ‘cool’

The Sun says Mark Spitz ‘not resentful’ of Phelps breaking his record

Washington Post’s Amy Shipley says Phelps finished with one silver, one bronze at World Cup event in Stockholm

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

Terps in the NFL Week 9 update…..

-49ers TE Vernon Davis had 10 catches for 102 yards in a 34-27 loss to the Titans
-Eagles LB Moise Fokou had 1 tackle (1 solo) in a 20-16 loss to the Cowboys
-Ravens CB Domonique Foxworth had 5 tackles (4 solo) in a 17-7 loss to the Bengals
-Dolphins TE Joey Haynos had 3 catches for 29 yards and a TD in a 27-17 loss to the Patriots
-Chargers LB Shawne Merriman had 3 tackles (2 solo, 2 sacks) in a 21-20 win over the Giants
-Jaguars P Adam Podlesh punted 4 times for 177 yards (44.3 avg, 2 touchbacks) in a 24-21 win over the Chiefs
-Dolphins DT Randy Starks had 2 tackles (2 solo) in a 27-17 loss to the Patriots
-Seahawks CB Josh Wilson had 5 tackles (4 solo), defended 3 passes, and returned an INT 61 yards for a TD in a 32-20 win over the Lions

-Former Morgan State RB Chad Simpson rushed 2 times for 3 yards in the Colts’ 20-17 win over the Texans

Talk to you from Owings Mills.

-G

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