Tag Archive | "Brooks Robinson"

Waiting the hardest part for Orioles’ slumbering offense

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Waiting the hardest part for Orioles’ slumbering offense

Posted on 19 May 2014 by Luke Jones

Memorial Day is rapidly approaching, which brings the unofficial end of the mantra uttered countless times to explain an Orioles offense that continues to sputter over the first seven weeks of the 2014 season.

“It’s still early” doesn’t fly anymore as the season has passed the quarter pole and Baltimore ranks 13th in runs, 12th in on-base percentage, ninth in home runs, and eighth in slugging percentage in the American League. Of course, the Orioles’ free-swinging tendencies and 10th-ranked on-base percentage from a season ago made it clear that the lineup had its flaws, but no one could forecast such a dramatic power outage from a club that led the majors in long balls and was fourth in the AL in runs during the 2013 season.

Save for free-agent acquisition Nelson Cruz, whose 12 home runs are twice the output of any other player on the roster, the Orioles’ power outage has been felt up and down the lineup.

Chris Davis has only three home runs in 30 games after hitting a club-record 53 a season ago. Since returning from a strained oblique on May 11, the first baseman is hitting just .179 and has been out in front of nearly everything, evident by his four groundouts to the right side in Sunday’s loss to Kansas City, instead of waiting to drive the ball the other way like he does when at his best.

J.J. Hardy is without a long ball after hitting 77 in his first three seasons in Baltimore. Early-season back and hamstring issues appear to be in the rear-view mirror, but the All-Star shortstop has yet to find his usual power stroke.

Manny Machado still hasn’t hit a double — he hit a league-leading 51 last year — and has only one home run in his first 73 plate appearances after starting the season on the 15-day disabled list and completing his recovery from offseason knee surgery. The 21-year-old deserves the benefit of the doubt after a seven-month recovery from last September’s injury, but his .240 average in the second half last year reminds us that the third baseman is far from a finished product even when healthy.

Injuries have impacted all three, but the likes of Adam Jones and Nick Markakis have also tailed off in the power department in comparison to their career averages. Of course, the order hasn’t been helped by the elbow injury to catcher Matt Wieters, who was off to the best offensivee start of his career prior to being placed on the disabled list earlier this month.

So, what is manager Buck Showalter to do?

Short of taking a closer look at alternative options at second base, catcher, and left field (or designated hitter if the Orioles elect to have Cruz play in the outfield), there isn’t much to be done except continuing to run the aforementioned players out there on a daily basis.

For some perspective, Davis hit only five homers through May 19 of the 2012 season before ultimately hitting 33, a reminder that a hot stretch or two would put any of these players back on a favorable pace in the power department. In Davis’ case, reaching 53 home runs was always going to be extremely difficult, but he’s still more than capable of posting big numbers in 2014 despite the slow start.

The club’s poor on-base percentage and inability to work counts are valid criticisms and a conscious effort should be made to enhance those areas, but only marginal improvement should be expected when you’re talking about veteran hitters who’ve carried a given approach — flawed as it may be — throughout their careers. Free swingers don’t suddenly transform themselves into selective hitters at the big-league level unless you want to stunt their biggest strengths in the process.

If Showalter wants to change the mindset of veterans who might be pressing, a shakeup of the order might be a simple way to rejuvenate a group clearly capable of much better. Here’s only one example of what could be done:

RF Markakis
DH Cruz
1B Davis
CF Jones
LF Delmon Young/Steve Pearce
C Steve Clevenger
3B Machado
SS Hardy
2B Jonathan Schoop

Such an order would provide Davis with a better on-base percentage option in front of him while also taking some pressure off Machado as he tries to get his 2014 season on track. Showalter also prefers keeping his lineup balanced with right-handed and left-handed hitters to make it more difficult for opposing managers to match up with their bullpen arms late in games.

This alignment would call for Young or Pearce to be in the lineup regularly, which is preferred if the Orioles are to continue carrying both on the 25-man roster. Neither has played much since Davis’ return from the DL.

Are those suggested changes dramatic? Of course not, but there is only so much you can try as a manager when so many core members of your lineup are sputtering. Staying the course sounds cliched, but it’s the only real choice in trusting that proven track records will ultimately prevail over the results of the first 42 games of the season — as concerning as they might be.

Hitting the “Lough” point

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Brooks Robinson expected to file lawsuit against Seminole tribe

Posted on 14 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson (Baltimore Orioles) is expected to file a lawsuit against the Seminole Tribe after he suffered a traumatic brain injury after falling off a stage at the Hollywood Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in 2012. He was on the property to attend a fundraiser for the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.  However, Mr. Robinson’s attorney Jack Hickey said Florida’s Tribal Sovereignty compact might prevent Robinson from receiving fair compensation to cover his medical expenses for his multiple and debilitating injuries.

At the heart of this story is a national consumer issue. With the proliferation of gaming facilities with added attractions such as ballrooms, hotels and concert venues, visitors are not protected if they are injured while they are not gambling. In other words, if you are on property “for gaming purposes” there is a waiver of the immunity allowing you to bring a claim and get full compensation. If you are not on property for gaming purposes (for example a fundraiser or concert) and you are hurt through the Tribe’s negligence, they have tribal immunity in which their liability is limited to the $200,000 statutory cap imposed on governmental entities by the Florida Legislature.

Mr. Robinson’s attorney said this is a horrible injustice to the public and should be addressed during this legislative session.

Here is a PDF of the demands letter.

DEMAND LETTER. 001 (REVISED)

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My Final Conversation with Earl Weaver

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My Final Conversation with Earl Weaver

Posted on 19 January 2013 by Nestor Aparicio

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Brooks Robinson sculpture unveiling moved to September

Posted on 01 May 2012 by WNST Staff

PRESS RELEASE

The Orioles today announced that the Brooks Robinson sculpture unveiling originally scheduled for Saturday, May 12 has been postponed until Saturday, September 29.

Robinson’s sculpture will be unveiled as part of the Orioles Legends Celebration Series, in which the six greatest Orioles of all time will have a larger-than-life bronze sculpture dedicated in the newly designed centerfield picnic grove.

“I am sorry I am unable to be there for the originally scheduled unveiling of the Brooks Robinson statue,” Robinson said. “My wife, family and I have looked forward to this day for a long time. Due to health issues, I am unable to participate at this time. We are grateful that the Orioles have offered to reschedule the unveiling and we look forward to celebrating with you in September.”

The May 12 game vs. Tampa Bay at 7:05 p.m. will be played as originally scheduled. Fans no longer wishing to attend the May 12 game may exchange their tickets for the September 29 game, or any non-prime game this season, at no additional charge. The Brooks Robinson replica sculptures will be given to all fans in attendance only at the September 29 game. Tickets must be exchanged prior to June 30, 2012.

Fans who wish to exchange their tickets may do so at the Orioles Box Office or send their tickets to Baltimore Orioles, ATTN: May 12 Exchange, 333 W. Camden St., Baltimore, MD 21201. Please allow 2-4 weeks for processing of mail exchanges.

The AT&T Fans’ Choice Bobblehead, scheduled for September 29, will now be given to the first 20,000 fans 15 and over at the Sunday, September 30 game.

Tickets for the September 29 game or any other game in the Orioles Legends Celebration Series, as well as a special five-game package, are available for purchase at www.orioles.com/legends. The list of remaining dates is below.

Saturday, June 30 – EARL WEAVER

Saturday, July 14 – JIM PALMER

Saturday, August 11 – EDDIE MURRAY

Thursday, September 6 – CAL RIPKEN JR.

Saturday, September 29 – BROOKS ROBINSON

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Chapter 10: Imagine a Baltimore without the Orioles

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Chapter 10: Imagine a Baltimore without the Orioles

Posted on 14 March 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

(Originally published as a prelude to the “Free The Birds” walkout in Sept. 2006, this is Part 10 of a 19 Chapter Series on How Baseball and the Orioles berthed WNST.net. This is an unedited version of the original post without updates regarding Mike Flanagan’s suicide.)

Mike Flanagan is as close to an Orioles’ kindred spirit as I have in the world. Maybe Jim Palmer and Elrod Hendricks and Jimmy Tyler could be thrown in there as well, because they’ve seemed as omnipresent as my fandom of the Orioles.

But, Flanagan is really ” The One,” because in real terms, he’s been with the Orioles as long as I’ve been with the Orioles. And no one else I know, other than my Mom, has stayed in my life all of these years and still keeps popping up.

He came up in 1975, and I really started regularly going to games around that time, when I was 6.

I remember when he first came up, the expectations, the rotation — with Jim Palmer, Scott McGregor and Dennis Martinez, every night was trouble for some AL team — and I probably spent 80 nights of my life inside Memorial Stadium watching Mike Flanagan pitch.

From 1977 to 1984 he never had a sub-par season, only many very good ones and a couple of great ones. He left the Orioles just once — for two-plus years, pitching for the Blue Jays after a trade deadline deal in 1987.

In 1979, he won 23 games and led that magical team every time Earl Weaver threw him out there. It was his best year in baseball. It was mine too!

In 1992, he began his broadcasting career. That’s the same year I left The Evening Sun and went on the radio.

In 2003, he became part of “management”. In early 2005, I did the same thing.

But, even though we’ve gotten to know each other over the years — with him at one point walking up to me (when I didn’t even know he knew I existed) in the late 1990′s and admitting that he was a fan of MINE and addicted to “Nasty Nationwide” and listened every day with his daughter — on that last game at Memorial Stadium on Oct. 6, 1991, Mike Flanagan was just a childhood hero to me. He was, in some ways, larger than life because when I was 10 years old, he took the hill every couple of nights for the centerpiece of my life, the Baltimore Orioles.

Mike Flanagan was one of MY guys! My mood hung on every pitch he threw!
So on that sad-yet-uplifting and chilly October afternoon in 1991 — surrounded by a disgusting Redskins fan actually watching a football game on her laptop TV in Sect. 34 — it was me, Mike Flanagan, my memories of my youth and my best friend Kevin Eck (he keeps popping up doesn’t he!), along with 54,000 others just like us gathering for one of the biggest public tearjerkers in the history of this city.

If you didn’t spend your childhood at Memorial Stadium, you can probably stop reading or listening right around now.

Because you just won’t understand it. You couldn’t possibly think it is anything beyond silly.

It is truly a “Ball’mer thing.”

But EVERYONE who has ever loved the Orioles remembers

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Manning’s teary goodbye to Indy reminds us inevitable day for Lewis is coming

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Manning’s teary goodbye to Indy reminds us inevitable day for Lewis is coming

Posted on 07 March 2012 by Luke Jones

It’s never easy saying goodbye.

You sometimes see it coming — whether you want to admit it or not — as the fans of Indianapolis did before iconic quarterback Peyton Manning finally took the podium on Wednesday afternoon.

Other times, it comes out of nowhere to hit you like a Mack truck, with no possible way of preparing yourself.

Either way, you’re never truly ready when the moment comes.

Putting aside our city’s well-chronicled feelings toward Indianapolis and the quarterback that twice eliminated the Ravens from the playoffs, you couldn’t help but feel a lump in your throat watching a teary-eyed Manning bid farewell to the city and organization he called home for 14 years. In that moment, an option bonus, the No. 1 pick in the draft, and potential free-agent destinations took a backseat to raw emotion.

And it reminded us that day is coming all too quickly for Ray Lewis in Baltimore.

Of course, the circumstances are different. It appears — but I can’t stress enough that it’s far from a certainty — Lewis will have the opportunity to ride off into the sunset as a member of the same organization that drafted him out of the University of Miami in 1996. There is no $28 million albatross standing in the way over the final four years of Lewis’ current contract, but his cap number will grow annually (he will reportedly make just under $5 million in base salary and have a $6.85 million cap number in 2012) if Lewis holds on longer than expected and forces the organization to make a difficult decision.

But any way you slice it, the scene that played out in Indianapolis on Wednesday will be replicated with Lewis and the Ravens in some shape or form. And it will be difficult to accept.

Sports icons such as Manning and Lewis are a dying breed as time goes on, with fewer athletes sticking around for more than a handful of years in a given city. Their significance goes far beyond simple performance on the field. The former Indianapolis quarterback gave his city a real football identity detached from the stolen heritage of the Baltimore Colts while the Ravens have never played a snap of football without Lewis as a member of the organization.

That’s why it’s so silly to hear discussion of Stanford’s Andrew Luck “replacing” Manning in Indianapolis or the Ravens looking for the “heir apparent” to Lewis at inside linebacker. New players will assume their abandoned positions, but their presence remains in an almost spiritual sense in fans’ minds and hearts.

Make no mistake, the sun will rise in the morning as Indianapolis begins the first full day of the post-Manning era, and the Ravens will continue playing football in Baltimore long after No. 52 ceases dancing out of the tunnel and inflicting fear in the hearts of opposing offenses.

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State of Baltimore Sports Media: Where do you get your info & whom do you trust?

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State of Baltimore Sports Media: Where do you get your info & whom do you trust?

Posted on 27 January 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

This blog was originally published two years ago. We’ll be revisiting this with a three-part series and updating these thoughts with a new WNST “State of Baltimore Sports Media” survey next week while we broadcast live from Indianapolis all week. This is Part 1 of 5: The State of Baltimore Sports Media (circa 2010).

The world has changed a lot since I was born in 1968 and when I first starting reading The Sun in 1972. I was one of those kids who read early and have vivid memories of reading the sports section scores to the class in kindergarten in 1973. I learned to read by reading the newspaper every day. News, information and current events were a huge part of my household in Colgate. And sports was part gospel.

 

Expose

Every day at my house in Dundalk, The Sun came in the morning and The News American came at night. (Even though both of my parents insisted on calling it “The News Post” – its earlier name from the 1950s.) I read the sports section, the news section, TV listings, played Wishing Well and read the goofy horoscope. I was — and still am at heart — a newspaper freak. I clipped mastheads when my family traveled in 1978 to Myrtle Beach, S.C. from every newspaper at every rest stop. They were easy-to-get 10-cent souvenirs at every Stuckey’s along the way!

My Pop subscribed to the Baseball Digest (we’d always get the almanac and stats books at the end of every year, which were like bibles in my house) and The Sporting News.

As a kid in the 1970’s, we were under almost communistic rule in regard to the flow of real information to the public in regard to sports or the business of sports. If the baseball owners – who were the kings of American sports, in that they owned the most valuable & well-marketed sports properties – didn’t want players to have free agency for 50 years, do you think they were interested in sports writers having free speech? (Just think about it…lol)

My flow of information was relegated to a few annual digests, The Sporting News and bubble gum cards. (One day I’ll write a book solely devoted to baseball cards, which have been a lifelong passion for me.)

Back to the basics: when you’re a kid from Dundalk in the 1970s you think “I read it in the newspaper – it MUST be true!” Or at least that’s what I thought before I had given any thought to the business aspects of the sports media world.

I’ve later come to realize that until Howard Cosell came along during my childhood and began to expose all of the nonsense in the sports world and the backrubs that the alleged “media” were giving the “jockocracy,” it was a world of marketing, hero-worship and ticket selling with very little regard for the facts about athletes or how the world works. It was pretty much like the World Wide Wrestling Federation – a land of make believe. You make up a story in the public relations department, get the writers to write about it, make your broadcasters talk about it during the games – and voila, Fruit Loops becomes part of the Mickey Tettleton legend!

I’m now 41 and I’ve spent every moment since I was 15 years old learning about, living in and adjusting to the world of Baltimore sports media. And with all of the knowledge and school-of-hard-knocks life lessons I’ve been taught, I’ve never read anyone who was more on-point, accurate and candid than Cosell.

To me, he’s the greatest sports journalist there ever was – and his credo of “telling it like it is” always resonates with me and while in some colleague circles it hasn’t made me popular, it has brought me the eternal gift of respect from those who know that I don’t need to sugarcoat the reality of a circumstance.

In Dundalk parlance, they know I’m not “bulls%^&*g” them…

If I’ve said it or written it over the years, it’s the truth. Like it or not, you’re getting what I really think and the background of facts and observations that justify my stance.

But, then again, I’m the only media member in the marketplace who doesn’t have a boss. I don’t answer to anybody and I don’t work for anybody else. No one can “fire” me. So, in many ways, I’m the only one who CAN tell you the truth. Sad, but true.

If you’re giving me the time to read this piece – or have ever tuned into any of my work since 1984 – I feel I owe you what I really think not just what “someone told me I should say.” And besides, it’s got my name on it. And the building and radio station and website all have WNST.net on them. So this week upon my departure from radio and into the fulltime world of social media and entrepreneurship, I’m going to set the record straight.

Since the 1980’s, I’ve gone on to work for all three daily newspapers as a kid, learning every nuance of the news, journalism, reporting, editing and protocol of the industry from the greatest cast of experts you could possibly imagine: John Steadman, Richard Justice, Ken Rosenthal, Tim Kurkjian, Buster Olney, plus dozens (if not hundreds) of other mentors, co-workers, colleagues and sports media personalities and business executives. I’ve been a sponge to all of their unending information, knowledge and advice. Much of this I’ll be using when I begin researching and writing my third book all this year on the history of Baltimore sports coaches and leadership and wisdom. I am hoping it will be the best piece of work I’ve ever done. I will pour my heart into it and hope that you buy it and share it. I’m hoping to have it available by Labor Day.

In the 1990’s I created a successful sports radio show that begat WNST-AM

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Duquette promises Orioles will work “harder and smarter” to compete

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Duquette promises Orioles will work “harder and smarter” to compete

Posted on 08 November 2011 by Luke Jones

Dan Duquette did as well as you could reasonably expect in his introductory press conference after the public-relations disaster that was the Orioles’ general manager search over the last few weeks.

The new vice president of baseball operations — a Massachusetts native — recalled his days of imitating Brooks Robinson and the 1966 Orioles in his backyard as a child. In fact, the Hall of Fame third baseman was the first major league player Duquette met many years ago during a trip to Fenway Park.

In laying out his vision for returning the Orioles to the glory days, he referenced the philosophy of Harry Dalton, who served as general manager during Baltimore’s most prosperous time from 1966 through 1971.

“Aggressive scouting will build you a winning ball club; aggressive international scouting, I believe, will build you a championship ball club. You weave that in with a sound player development operation.”

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It sounded heartwarming — even a little romantic — before the familiar warning signals that we’ve heard time and time again from others who’ve tried and failed in turning around an organization stuck in baseball purgatory for the last 14 years.

Duquette stopped short of repeating the infamous “grow the arms, buy the bats” mantra of former front office head Andy MacPhail, but the former Montreal Expos and Boston Red Sox general manager made it clear the development of pitching would remain the organization’s top priority. It’s a fair and prudent strategy, but much like his predecessor, Duquette couldn’t resist referencing the “behemoths” of the American League East in what’s become a tired excuse for those wanting reasons to believe in the Orioles again.

Denouncing the inflated payrolls of your divisional opponents might be tolerable if you were being left at the altar every season with 85 to 90 wins, but it smells of excuse-making when you’re not even allowed in the church after failing to approach the 80-win mark in seven years.

But that critique aside, Duquette’s stated commitment to improve scouting and player development is a much-needed strategy for an organization poor in both areas. Despite what many will tell you, finding and developing your own talent and spending money at the major league level do not have to be mutually exclusive. The latter, of course, is dependent on majority owner Peter Angelos, which won’t instill much faith in anyone with ties to the Orioles.

“When you don’t have the resources that the top two clubs have, you have to work harder and you have to work smarter,” Duquette said. “You have to do a better job in scouting and you have to do a better job in player development. If you can build up the inventory of your farm system and you’ve got core players coming to your major league team, you’ve got something to talk about. The team that has the best farm system is the team that competes, year in and year out.”

Working harder and smarter than the competition sounds great, but how much can the organization really improve with holdovers such as John and Dave Stockstill entrenched in the front office with no track record to support it?

And that’s overlooking the fact that Duquette hasn’t worked in a major league front office in nearly a decade. Though claiming he’s maintained contacts throughout the game, how “wired in” will he be to the everyday happenings of baseball circa 2011?

With the ever-increasing dependence on statistically-based talent evaluation — more commonly referred to as sabermetrics — how far has the Orioles’ head man fallen behind during his absence from Major League Baseball since 2002?

“Your [former] manager here, Earl Weaver, knew the value of on-base percentage way ahead of the sabermetricians,” said Duquette, who added that Weaver’s book on baseball strategy will be required reading throughout the organization. “In fact, I would call that the groundwork for today’s stats. [Weaver] knew the value of scoring a run. He knew the value of how precious each out is, and he was able to impart that on his ball club.”

For Duquette, there’s little time to get acclimated to his new surroundings as he must balance finding a scouting director and a minor league pitching instructor with a thin free-agent market that opened for business last week. It’s not exactly an easy task for a man who’s just now moving into his office at the Warehouse.

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Lots of errors to go around with regard to Brooks statue

Posted on 24 October 2011 by Drew Forrester

We at WNST should just walk around with red flags in our back pockets.

They’d be used for “community challenges”.

It seems we’re the only ones who use them, but I guess that’s what we’re here for…Lord knows very few others in town are willing to challenge anyone.

The latest case for red-flag use came this weekend when the Brooks Robinson statue was unveiled across the street from the baseball stadium, in front of Pickles, a popular pre-game destination for Yankees and Red Sox fans when their teams are in town.

By now I’m sure you know the basic details.  Baltimore businessman Henry Rosenberg was the mastermind of the idea and he oversaw the financing and the hiring of the sculptor and all that jazz.  Rosenberg told members of the media over the weekend that the Orioles “weren’t overly enthusiastic” about the idea.

Right.

Because it wasn’t THEIR idea.

We all know how that goes.

But then, something interesting happened.

Some people around town started reporting that it actually WAS the Orioles who put together the great ceremony on Saturday. That’s an easy mistake to make, frankly, since you would have to assume – if you were the person putting together the story for a local TV station or writing the headine at the newspaper – the Orioles WERE involved.  After all, it’s Brooks Robinson.  The Orioles wouldn’t miss out on a chance to honor him, right?  Especially after someone like Rosenberg – who was a longtime financial contributor to Orioles baseball in the 70′s, 80′s and 90′s as part of his duties with Crown Petroleum – went to such great lengths to get this project started and completed.

But the Orioles weren’t involved.

No one from the team was there.  No Buck Showalter.  No member of the Angelos family.  Not even Jim Palmer or longtime broadcaster and close friend Tom Davis.  That would have been a great time to hand out some old bobbleheads or t-shirts or any other kind of team related merchandise.  Just a “thanks for coming” from the club, basically.

But the whole “Orioles didn’t help out” story isn’t really what aggravated me.

What bothered me more than anything is that no one else in town seems to care they weren’t involved.  Stan Charles actually took a shot at them…I will recognize him for that.  But other than WNST and Stan Charles, no one seemed overly concerned with this colossal snub of the greatest 3rd baseman to ever play the game.

No one at The Sun blasted the Orioles for the lack of participation.

None of the TV folks jabbed them.

The folks over at 105.7 wouldn’t DARE crack the whip, for fear they might lose their “FM partner” status and not be allowed to have players on the air during the season.

There’s absolutely no chance WBAL will question them on it.  There’s a better chance of the Orioles making the playoffs next year then to have one of the folks at the flagship station go off on them for their lack of participation in the ceremony.

Jerry Coleman probably would have beat them up had he not been summarily dismissed at The Fan two weeks ago.

There’s no one around to call the Orioles out.  Just us, at WNST.

And that’s why they do what they do.

And — that’s why I’ll throw yet another challenge flag at these imposters in town who are afraid to challenge the Orioles and their management.

Until The Sun says, “Please tell us why you weren’t there today so we can write an article grilling you for it”, they’ll just continue to ignore their obligations.  Until the folks at WBAL and The Fan decide to man-up and challenge them, they’ll just do whatever they want.

The Sun did have a quote from an Orioles representative who chimed in about how much the club loves Brooks and they’ll never be able to repay him for all that he did and a bunch of other word-smithy stuff that made it appear as if the Orioles DID care about Saturday’s event.  I guess that’s why no one from team management was there.  And maybe that’s why Jim Palmer was on the golf course in Florida somewhere instead of speaking to the folks who gathered for the unveiling.  And Buck Showalter wasn’t there, either.  He manages the team, in case you no longer follow the club.

This lack of challenge is precisely what’s wrong with our entire country these days, let alone this situation in town involving the Orioles.  Our country is dilapidated right now because no one can challenge the system.  We’re just now – 15 years after big business started to ruin the nation – starting to challenge the status quo with grass roots efforts like Occupy Wall Street and other forms of protest and even those efforts are met with cries of “sit down and shut up, you don’t know what you’re talking about!”  If you’re a Democrat, you hate anything the Republicans stand for, even if it’s right.  And if you’re a Republican, you hate anything the Democrats stand for, even if it’s right.  I love when someone poses a legitimate question to our state government and you hear this:  ”Maryland is a democratic state — you’re never going to change that.”  Right, because the Democrats are doing a real bang-up job in the “Free State”.

So everywhere we turn, people are afraid to challenge anyone.  If you challenge our government, you’re told, “Be thankful for what you have” even though, in nearly every single case, none of us “have anything” remotely close to what the politicians have.  They have better-everything than we do.  If you challenge our politicans, they respond with “you voted me in” (which is why I haven’t voted in 20 years…because I find them all to be charlatans).

And no one can challenge the Orioles.

Or, at the very least, they’re just afraid to challenge them.

It’s the worst kept secret in town.  The Orioles just do whatever they want and nearly everyone turns a blind eye.

FACT:  The Orioles were NOT involved in the Brooks Robinson statue ceremony on Saturday.

FACT:  That’s a damn shame.

FACT:  The statue was NOT erected at Camden Yards.  No, no, no.  There are four lanes of roads that separate the statue from the stadium property.  To say it was erected AT Camden Yards would be indicating that it sits on the property of the baseball stadium.  That’s a factual inaccuracy.  It’s NOT erected at Camden Yards because the Orioles didn’t approve of it being situated there.

FACT:  Very few people in town cared to question the Orioles on the whole thing.

OPINION:  That’s one of the reasons why the team and the organization is in the shape it’s in.

FACT AND OPINION:  We have some lame people in this town.

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The 15-7-0 Might Not Be Statue-Worthy As Of Now, But Give It Time

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The 15-7-0 Might Not Be Statue-Worthy As Of Now, But Give It Time

Posted on 24 October 2011 by Glenn Clark

You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

15 Positive Observations…

1. If there are any tickets left for Towson-Delaware next Saturday at Unitas Stadium, get them now.

There was no 4th & 29 miracle this time around, just a good old fashioned butt kicking of William & Mary for Terrence West and the Tigers…

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

And now Towson has an undefeated record in the CAA (they’re tied with Maine for first place) and returns home to face the Blue Hens Saturday night.

I might go as Rob Ambrose for Halloween this year. He’s created more magic than Harry Potter.

2. I don’t think much of the “Tebow Time” monicker, but I’m happy for the kid.

I mean, I get it. Tim Tebow leads comebacks in consecutive games, so the late moments of games involving Tebow will now be known as “Tebow Time”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcHoQupXhX8[/youtube]

I’m trying to figure out 67 more ways to put the word “Tebow” in this entry.

Yes, the Denver Broncos were TERRIBLE for most of their win over the lifeless Miami Dolphins. Who cares? Tebow was a winner, so America has a week to repeat his name over and over and over and over and over and over.

Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow.

tebow

Demaryius Thomas was so excited about Tebow’s performance he decided to plant one on his quarterback…

tebow

That’s just plain beautiful.

3. Christian Ponder had a nice day and all, but Aaron Rodgers and Charles Woodson play for the Green Bay Packers. Who did you think was going to win?

At least things were interesting enough that you get the feeling the Packers MIGHT somehow be vulnerable. Maybe.

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

Brian Robison did something to TJ Lang during the game that made everyone in America uncomfortable…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ut1fPdSRsuQ[/youtube]

Oh. Oh…

4. It absolutely takes more time, but the end of the Wisconsin-Michigan State game was a reminder of how crucial it is to review every scoring play.

We should start by saying “thank God the replay officials in East Lansing got this one right”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek3yw6zADls[/youtube]

Doug Flutie and Gerard Phelan still have the greatest “Hail Mary” of all time (and I’ll assume Kordell Stewart and Michael Westbrook are still second on the list), but this was pretty awesome.

We can also all agree that if Russell Wilson and the Badgers had seen the ball again they would have won, right?

I’m certainly convinced of it.

5. Every establishment in Lubbock will now have a picture of Seth Doege with the words “his money is no good here” below it.

I’m not sure if you stayed up late enough (the game ended at about 1:30am) to watch all of Texas Tech-Oklahoma, but it turned out to be a really good game…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PkQF3aqFg0[/youtube]

Apparently the Red Raiders didn’t get the memo that no one EVER beats the Sooners in Norman.

While OU is likely done (as far as the BCS Championship picture is concerned), their “Bedlam” date with Oklahoma State still looms large in the title picture after the Cowboys got another brilliant performance from QB Brandon Weeden in a win over Missouri.

By the way, Brandon Weeden is my age. Does that mean I still have a future in football?

6. There are four playoff spots to be had between the NFC North and NFC South. Because of this, the Chicago Bears and Atlanta Falcons picked up HUGE wins.

The Bears went to London and beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who never really looked in sync. This is why I never want to see the Ravens play across the pond…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdU34oGYJOg[/youtube]

The game involved a Matt Forte run that was so brutal it made two Bucs players run into each other…

forte

The Detroit Lions have now lost back to back home games after falling to the Falcons Sunday at Ford Field…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxS6k6TlQBM[/youtube]

The Lions have serious rushing issues, but still have Calvin Johnson. That should mean they’ll be okay. Miraculously for the Falcons, Matt Ryan survived a brutal hit in this one and came back to finish the game. That should mean they’ll be okay as well.

Also in this game, Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez passed Marvin Harrison for the 2nd most receptions in history, only behind Jerry Rice.

That’s actually really amazing.

7. Rex Ryan may be a lunatic, but on Sunday he was at least a victorious lunatic.

I like to think I appreciate a level of refreshing honesty from a head coach, but for some reason Rex just tends to come off as more of a horses’s ass than anything…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIEcgaR22WE[/youtube]

Plaxico Burress is 6’5″. It must be nice for the New York Jets to have a capable receiver that size. There isn’t one of those in Baltimore, and the Ravens still have to face the San Diego Chargers later in the season themselves.

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