It’s a Happy Monday for me because I’m still recovering from a trip to HersheyPark Friday. Dave Matthews Band was great (of course), but I’m gonna spend a few minutes first gushing over Zac Brown Band-who opened for DMB. If you missed Zac Brown at Preakness (and if you did, shame on you), you may think they’re little more than another forgettable country act you’d be unlikely to listen to on WPOC.
Their song “Free” might come off a bit too much “CMT”…but when they cut to “Into The Mystic” by Van Morrison during the bridge; it’s an absolute SMASH. They did it Friday night, but no one got the video. Here’s an older performance of it…
As I also pointed out on Facebook (add me as a friend-just search “Glenn Clark” and look for a goofy pic of a clown in a seersucker suit at the Kentucky Derby), that wasn’t the only impressive thing they did Friday night. Channeling Rage Against the Machine was also pretty impressive…
Let’s see what everyone has to say…
1. The AP’s Stephen Hawkins says Arrieta impressive as Orioles finished off four game sweep of Texas Rangers in Arlington
This is equally as puzzling (if not much MORE puzzling) than when the Birds swept the Boston Red Sox earlier in the season. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE?!?!?
Since when are the Orioles a team that can pitch comfortably past high powered offenses like the one found at the Ballpark in Arlington? Since when are the Orioles a team that can save face with a game-tying grand slam from Corey Patterson in the 9th?
Maybe it was just the heat in the Lone Star State, but it was an awfully goofy weekend.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it immensely. But given what we know about the team otherwise, there’s no reason to really think things like “maybe the team has finally turned the corner” or “the All-Star break is coming at the wrong time.”
Remember, this is the same team that was swept by the Detroit Tigers earlier in the week. They’re a TERRIBLE team. The worst team in all of baseball.
It just so happens that the worst team in all of baseball pulled off a miraculous weekend sweep of a good team that we thought would get better with the addition of Cliff Lee.
I’ve described the season via Twitter (follow us @WNST) before as a “season long kick in the nuts.” This was like sitting down and getting an icepack between kicks.
It was a great feeling.
2. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of sweep
Wait a second…you mean…you might actually MIGHT want to look at the numbers this time???
Maybe Arrieta wasn’t “brilliant” the way Chris Tillman was Saturday night, but he was damn impressive. 6.1IP, ER, 6H, 3K, 2BB looks like a line I’d take 10 times out of 10 from a starting pitcher.
Julio Lugo continued his recent hot streak-giving the team a better chance every day of maybe being able to steal SOMETHING for him by July 31. It’s still not particularly likely-but it does look better every day as Lugo collects extra base hits (he was 2-4 with a double, RBI and run yesterday).
Even Craig Tatum got another hit and scored another run, despite having to play during a day game following a night game due to the injury to Matt Wieters.
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON IN THE WORLD?!?!? This is supposed to be the part of the blog where I say something like “You don’t really want to look at this. Instead, look at this picture of Kelly Brook dressed up as Princess Leia as posted by Guyism…”
You know, you should still go look at that anyway…
3. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says timing ‘fishy’ as Fox Sports reporting Buck Showalter nearing deal, Sun reporting Juan Samuel to manage after All-Star Game
So how long until the “Not Buck Showalter” or the “UnBuckShowalter” page pops up on Twitter?
By the way, to whoever was running the Dave Trembley page-it sucks now. There could still be plenty of great shtick there if you really tried. Also, whoever is doing the “Nestor Aparicio” page has never been funny. The guy is the easiest target on the face of the planet….how can you possibly do a page without it being funny?
Back to the point-I don’t think that Dan Connolly and Ken Rosenthal necessarily offered OPPOSING reports, as Peter Angelos and Andy MacPhail could very well be nearing a deal with Buck Showalter but believe Juan Samuel will be the manager when the team plays the Toronto Blue Jays Friday.
I just hope it isn’t because Showalter is hired but is serving in some sort of “advisory” role until he takes over as manager. That’s so unbelievably dumb I just can’t possibly imagine the team would consider it.
Of course, I should REALLY think that it is so unbelievably dumb that I know the team WILL be doing it.
I just really don’t want to believe that.
4. MLB.com’s Todd Wills says Mike Gonzalez could return to Baltimore after ASG, Luke Scott won’t
So….HOORAY! Or something…
I have to assume that Mike Gonzalez won’t be returning to the closer role when he gets back to Charm City, so that gives me hope that maybe Rick Kranitz can find a role that he can be effective in. I’m absolutely not convinced that Alfredo Simon should be the team’s closer of the future, but I think it’s safe to say they’ve already learned their lesson when it comes to Gonzalez.
5. Fanhouse’s Frankie Piliere says O’s prospect Zach Britton had ‘standout’ arm at Futures Game in Anaheim
Which is ABSOLUTELY the most excited I’ll be about anything that happens at Angels Stadium this week.
With no offense to tonight’s Home Run Derby (I’m sure the Nick Swisher-Vernon Wells showdown will be really compelling to….someone?) or tomorrow night’s Mid-Summer Classic (My prediction? Ty Wigginton strikes out), I’ve lost all juice surrounding this event. It used to be exciting to me, and after that it was still at least the “only thing on.”
Tonight WWE Raw is on and the Counting Crows are at Pier Six. I doubt I’ll pass up on either to watch guys hit home runs.
Tomorrow night? Maybe I’ll go see “Despicable Me.” I stayed home to watch last year’s event in St. Louis and the highlight was an Adam Jones sac fly. Never again will I plan around it.
Hell, if I REALLY need something to do I could always just look at pictures of Doutzen Kroes from Russia’s version of Vogue (Thanks Uproxx/NextRound.net!)…
6. NorfolkTides.com says Armando Gabino impressive as Tides finished first half on farm with win over Durham Bulls
And before we move on from the Orioles, a couple of things…
-The Birds are clearly off the next four nights as baseball celebrates the All-Star Game in Southern California. They are going to hold a closed workout at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Thursday night, which I’m sure is exactly what players wanted to hear instead of getting a 4 day break. Of course, when you’re the worst team in baseball DESPITE a 4 game winning streak-it’s hard to make too many demands.
-When the Birds get back, the rotation will line up Brad Bergesen-Jeremy Guthrie-Brian Matusz-Chris Tillman-Jake Arrieta. Obviously the team will have to make a tough decision when Kevin Millwood is ready to return from the DL.
-Congratulations to our buddy Chris Stoner-who will again take home “Apologist of the Morning” honors-although this time the honor is web only, as we were caught up in discussion about Buck Showalter, LeBron James and the red hot Birds on this morning’s show. Chris was back to beating the drum of Nolan Reimold playing 1B in Baltimore; despite the fact that Nolan Reimold has done nothing to show that he’s ready to return to the major league level-and has played only a handful of games at first base at the AAA level. The drum beats on…
7. Pro Football Weekly’s Mike Wilkening says Ravens LB Terrell Suggs believes despite not being in Owings Mills for offseason, own workouts will have him ready for Training Camp
Well, when it comes to someone like T-Sizzle, his track record says we should just take him at his word, right?
Suggs can say whatever he wants; but everyone will be looking to see what type of shape he’s in when the team reports to Westminster at the end of the month. There is a LOT of pressure on him to live up to the contract he DIDN’T live up to a season ago-and saying “I was working hard in Arizona this offseason” won’t be enough if he’s not ready mentally or physically to get after the likes of Mark Sanchez, Carson Palmer, Dennis Dixon and Ben Roethlisberger this season.
The bigger issue is that the Ravens don’t really HAVE any other natural pass rushers on the roster-with MAYBE the exception of Sergio Kindle, whose body probably isn’t ready to make him a dedicated rusher at the NFL level just yet. There’s pressure on Kelly Gregg this season, but that’s because there’s another guy (Terrence Cody) ready to take his spot.
Suggs doesn’t necessarily have that pressure-yet the team is REALLY counting on him. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
8. NFL.com’s Michael Lombardi says Ravens still facing ‘cover corner’ issues
This is an interesting subject. We all know that the team LACKS a true “cover corner”, but we also know the roster features a number of potentially CAPABLE corners. Domonique Foxworth really played well during the 2nd half of the season last year, and if it weren’t for his contract; we probably wouldn’t really consider him a disappointment at all.
Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington each played well at times, but are both coming off of injuries. Chris Carr was steady if not spectacular. The team doesn’t really know what they’re getting from veterans Cary Williams, Travis Fisher or Walt Harris.
The reality is that the effectiveness of this group will be directly impacted by the team’s ability to rush the passer. If the team can rush the passer, this group will look MUCH better. If they can’t, this group will look awfully similar to the group that struggled to start last season.
They just won’t have Frank Walker anymore for fans to blame for the struggles. Not that he wasn’t deserving at times…
9. South Bend Tribune’s Curt Rallo says former Maryland Terrapins star Vicky Bullett headed to Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame
Congratulations to Vicky, who was an exceptional player under fellow Hall of Famer Chris Weller in College Park.
As you know, the Terps are still looking for an Athletic Director to replace Debbie Yow, and Len Elmore is part of the Search Committe (along with Gary Williams, Kevin Plank, Brenda Frese, Sasho Cirovski, etc.) to find the next “Top Terp.” Len joined Drew Forrester this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST to discuss the search, if you missed it-make sure you check it out today in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.
Also joining us this morning were Loyola soccer coach Mark Mettrick (who wrapped up Spain’s win over the Netherlands to capture the World Cup) and Baseball Prospectus’ Jay Jaffe-who went around MLB. Both are available in the Audio Vault as well.
10. Swimming World Magazine says Michael Phelps posted solid time at NBAC event
You know what I would do if I posted an impressive time at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club? I’d immediately turn to the first person I saw and ask “Do you think Anissa Holmes is impressed?” (Thanks Busted Coverage/NextRound.net!)
And finally, I leave you with this.
On Saturday night at a private residence (Thank you Liz Kort) in Owings Mills, I discovered something that has forever changed my life…
This is a Love Sac. My birthday is September 6. I’m just saying…
Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…