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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 16 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Boxing-Sergio Martinez vs. Paul Williams (Saturday 10pm from Atlantic City live on HBO); NBA: Toronto Raptors @ Washington Wizards (Tuesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Boston Celtics (Wednesday 7:30pm from Boston live on Comcast SportsNet), Memphis Grizzlies @ Washington Wizards (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), Washington Wizards @ Detroit Pistons (Sunday 6pm from Auburn Hills, MI live on Comcast SportsNet); NHL: Buffalo Sabres @ Washington Capitals (Wednesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), Washington Capitals @ Atlanta Thrashers (Friday 7:30pm from Atlanta live on Comcast SportsNet & NHL Network), Philadelphia Flyers @ Washington Capitals (Saturday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Capitals @ New Jersey Devils (Monday 7pm from Newark, NJ live on Comcast SportsNet); Women’s College Basketball: Towson @ Maryland (Thursday 7pm Comcast Center), American @ Maryland (Sunday 2pm Comcast Center); College Field Hockey: NCAA Tournament Final Four-Ohio State @ Maryland (Friday 4:30pm Field Hockey/Lacrosse Complex College Park), National Championship (Sunday 12pm Field Hockey/Lacrosse Complex College Park)

10. Furthur-Phil Lesh & Bob Weir (Wednesday 7:30pm 1st Mariner Arena), Cedric The Entertainer (Saturday 8pm 1st Mariner Arena); Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Thursday 7:30pm Verizon Center); Marcell & The Truth (Thursday 7:30pm Rams Head Live), Reel Big Fish (Friday 8pm Rams Head Live); Rusted Root (Tuesday & Wednesday 8:30pm Rams Head On Stage); Edwin McCain (Thursday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); Playing For Change Band (Sunday 12:30pm Rams Head On Stage); Wiz Khalifa (Thursday 6:30 and 10pm 9:30 Club), Maceo Parker & Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe (Friday 8pm 9:30 Club), Chuck Brown (Saturday 11pm 9:30 Club); Boyz II Men (Tuesday & Wednesday 7:30pm Birchmere); Bob Marley (Wednesday-Sunday DC Improv); Bill Maher (Friday 8pm Hippodrome); Jerry Seinfeld (Friday 7pm & 9:30pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); Keith Urban “Get Closer” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday); Disney’s “A Christmas Carol” available on DVD/Blu-Ray (Tuesday)

I don’t care if it’s lame to be into TSO. I’m freaking WAY into TSO. And frankly, since when did someone not think I was lame???

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQNirj6lbGY[/youtube]

Playing For Change may be the coolest concept since the invention of music. Which I believe happened midway through the 20th century when four lads from Liverpool got together. Correct?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us-TVg40ExM [/youtube]

You know how college basketball fans always chant “overrated” when they knock off a good team? I’d like to chant “underrated” at a Karl Denson show…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1Qj7Hx5KAs[/youtube]

And since my love for TSO has already established me as being lame, I’ll just go ahead and pile on by adding that I freaking DIG Keith Urban like whoa. Yes. Like whoa.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mldClZq6sSk[/youtube]

9. Thanksgiving Turkey Taste-Off (Saturday 11am Whole Foods Culinary Center Annapolis)

For the record, I have not decided where to go yet for Thanksgiving this year. I mean, the great Tom Clark and Karen Clark will PROBABLY get me, but if you’re willing to offer one of these, I would be more than willing to come to your house and break down the Ravens’ 53 man roster all day…

turducken

(Edit from GMC: Or could someone just bring a turducken by 1550 Hart Rd. one day this week? That would work just as well. Hugs and kisses.)

8. High School Football-MPSSAA Playoffs Regional Finals-4A West: Sherwood @ Gaithersburg (Friday 7pm), 4A North: Patterson @ Urbana (Friday 7pm), 4A South: Eleanor Roosevelt @ Wise (Saturday 1pm), 4A East: Broadneck @ Arundel (Friday 7pm), 3A West: Quince Orchard @ Damascus (Friday 7pm), 3A North: Franklin @ North Harford (Friday 7pm), 3A South: Huntingtown @ Friendly (Friday 7pm), 3A East: Wilde Lake @ River Hill (Friday 7pm), 2A West: South Carroll @ Middletown (Friday 7pm) 2A North: City @ Eastern Tech (Friday 7pm CCBC-Essex), 2A South: Hammond @ McDonough (Friday 7pm), 2A East: Fallston @ Queen Anne’s (Friday 7pm), 1A West: Fort Hill @ Mountain Ridge (Friday 7pm), 1A North: Brunswick @ Western Tech (Friday 7pm CCBC-Catonsville), 1A South: Dunbar @ Forest Park (Saturday 1pm Poly High School), 1A East: Bohemia Manor @ Havre De Grace (Friday 7pm)

You know, I never thought I’d forgive Franklin High School for the Homecoming beatdown they gave my Perry Hall Gators in ’08. BUT…they have EVERY opportunity to regain my love this week.

This man MUST lose.

brinkman

(Edit from GMC: I’m talking about the ass in the back. Not the poor kid in the front. Unless he’s a Steelers fan too. Then count him in.)

Ken Brinkman is the football coach at NHHS, and he brought the Pittsburgh Steelers to Harford County and LAUGHED about it.

He’s an ass, and his Hawks sadly must pay for it. Therefore, GO INDIANS! Scalp the Hawks!

7. Soccer: Team USA @ South Africa (Wednesday 2pm from Cape Town live on ESPN2), MISL-Chicago Riot @ Baltimore Blast (Saturday 7:35pm 1st Mariner Arena); College Soccer: NCAA Tournament-Bucknell/Penn winner @ Maryland (Sunday 5pm Ludwig Field)

And a shoutout to Pete Caringi’s UMBC Retrievers, who open the NCAA Tournament Thursday night at Princeton as well.

As far as this USA/South Africa match is concerned, I’m a bit confused. I mean, all summer I thought we were supposed to secretly be rooting for South Africa. Are we now supposed to hate them?

I’m torn, like Natalie Imbruglia. (Thanks Chad Dukes!)

I mean, how can I root against the country that gave us THIS?!?!?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ah6i0i7MW4s[/youtube]

6. Auto Racing: NASCAR Ford 400 (Sunday 1pm from Homestead-Miami, Florida live on ESPN)

I know folks are supposed to care about this event because it involves a showdown between Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick in the last race of “The Chase for the Cup.” But of course no one outside of Alabama (not named Rex Snider anyway) actually gives a crap.

Hell, does anyone even know what Cup it is that these dudes are chasing? The Winston Cup? The Nextel Cup? The Piston Cup from “Cars”?

I THINK it’s the Sprint Cup, but honest to God I don’t know that for sure.

In fact, if you told me that the Cup in question was THIS one, I’d probably be apt to believe you…

cupnoodles

5. Pro Wrestling: WWE Survivor Series (Sunday 8pm from Miami live on Pay-Per-View)

Question: What is it that Ashley Valence does for WWE?

ashleyv

Answer: Whatever the hell she wants.

4. Mixed Martial Arts-UFC 123: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Lyoto Machida (Saturday 10pm from Detroit live on Pay-Per-View); Strikeforce: Challengers (Friday 10pm from Jackson, Mississippi live on Showtime)

You know what I love? I love the fact that Rampage Jackson is an absolute MANIAC and doesn’t even bother trying to hide it from anyone. The dude is certifiably insane, and everyone is just cool with it.

The real question is…would you rather be hit by Rampage Jackson or ran over by a sumo wrestler? Cue Sport Science…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzYMX_3K_xE[/youtube]

3. College Football: Florida State @ Maryland (Saturday 8pm from Byrd Stadium live on ABC); Arkansas State @ Navy (Saturday 3:30pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on CBS College Sports); Hampton @ Morgan State (Saturday 4pm Hughes Stadium)

Credit Thyrl Nelson for this.

I think I’m going to offer former Seminoles LB (and Ravens LB and Dunbar grad) Tommy Polley one of those types of side bets that governors usually put together.

I figured I’d offer him a bushel of crabs, and in return he can offer me…some free shoes!

fsu
(Thanks to Rich in Westminster for the pic!)

2. College Basketball-2K Sports Classic: Maryland vs. Pittsburgh (Thursday 7pm from New York live on ESPN2), Maryland vs. Illinois/Texas (Friday Time TBA from New York live on ESPN2); Central Connecticut State @ UMBC (Saturday 7pm RAC Arena); UMBC @ Loyola (Wednesday 7pm Reitz Arena), Dartmouth @ Loyola (Sunday 12pm Reitz Arena); Coppin State @ Towson (Tuesday 7:30pm Towson Center)

The good news? I already hate Pittsburgh anyway!

Come watch the Terps take on the Panthers from MSG with US on Thursday night! We’ll be hanging out at the Fullerton Pub (and the Down Under Restaurant) for our “Rub Elbows With The Stars” event. We need you to bring out some canned goods, as we’re collecting 1570 cans this holiday season.

Interestingly enough, 1570 might also be the number of points Pe’Shon Howard needs to score to keep the Terrapins in the game Thursday night. And I’m not so certain he won’t…

1. NFL: Baltimore Ravens @ Carolina Panthers (Sunday 1pm from Charlotte live on CBS)

A recommendation…come to Whisky River in the Queen City Saturday for the big WNST Saturday night pep rally. While you’re there you can buy me a drink…or twelve. It will be a good time!

I usually use this space to make fun of the team the Ravens are playing, but the Carolina Panthers? I mean, do I have to rub it in?

Instead, here’s some Eric Church. Enjoy the soothing feeling before this weekend’s asskicking…

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

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Regarding LeBron: How Would We Have Felt?

Posted on 13 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

If I chime in on LeBron James, does that officially mean that EVERY columnist/blogger in the world of sports media would have dedicated print/type to the subject?

I will admit that I have much less moved by the LeBron James saga than the large majority of this country. I was unmoved by his free agent courting process, I was unmoved by ESPN’s “The Decision” special, I was unmoved by his decision to bolt Cleveland for Miami, and I was unmoved by Dan Gilbert losing his mind Thursday night.

I will also admit that rarely am I particularly moved in any way by a subject in sports that doesn’t garner any sort of emotional investment from me. With no offense to the Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers, my level of involvement in the NBA Finals was minimal at best. If I was home and the games were on, I watched them. I certainly did not plan my month of June around making sure I was home to see Kobe Bryant go up against Paul Pierce.

I have no emotional investment when it comes to LeBron James. I have enjoyed watching him play at times (his masterpiece against the Detroit Pistons in the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals was special), but I have never been much too concerned about what he was doing on or off the floor.

Apparently I’m one of the few.

The most compelling thing about the LeBron saga for me has been the reaction-both in Cleveland and across the country. Be it fans burning LBJ jerseys in “The Comeback City” or Jesse Jackson forcing himself into the topic, I have been intrigued by all of the attention that has been placed on the subject.

Heck, even my partner on “The Morning Reaction” Drew Forrester has been inspired to talk about the NBA, a subject I couldn’t even ask him to discuss the other 11 months of the year.

Obviously the most irrational reaction has come from the shores of Lake Erie, where sports fans have not only burned jerseys; but have made much more dangerous threats and have compared the man they previously called “The King” to their other most despised sports figure-former Baltimore Ravens majority owner Art Modell.

Also amongst the reaction have been the inevitable comparisons to heartbreak-or potential heartbreak-in other cities. For example, Yahoo! Sports’ Les Carpenter (formerly of the Washington Post) wrote a column comparing James’ decision to depart Cleveland to the decision Cal Ripken made in 1988 to re-sign with the Baltimore Orioles.

It’s a fair comparison. Both were local products who achieved great success early in their career with their hometown team. There are also key differences.

Had Cal Ripken walked away from Charm City following the 1988 season, he would have been doing it in an era where fan reaction would have been much more difficult to gauge.

There were no sports talk radio stations in Baltimore in 1988. Blogging didn’t exist. Only the columnists at the Baltimore Sun and Washington Post would have REALLY had a chance to express the feelings about Ripken’s decision in a way that could have been knowledge to the man who would eventually become a Hall of Fame-caliber player.

There are also career differences-as Cal Ripken had helped lead the Birds to victory in the 1983 World Series, while LeBron James had never reached the mountaintop with the Cavs. Cleveland fans are starved for a championship at this point considering the many near misses of not only the Cavs, but also the near misses of the Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Indians over the last 25 years.

Part of the angst felt by Cleveland fans certainly has something to do with the fact that they had to be convinced James would be part of the solution to finally end the city’s title drought. In reality, it’s hard for fans in ANY city in the country to really understand the mental makeup of a fanbase that hasn’t claimed a major pro sports title since 1964. Heck, in Baltimore alone we’ve won 5 titles since then, despite having only two pro sports-one of which was missing for over a decade.

However, I don’t necessarily think it’s unfair to try to consider how we’d feel in the situation. It’s with that in mind that I offer this hypothetical, which may or may not have any real validity in the big picture.

Let’s imagine that the Baltimore Bullets never left town. Instead of moving the team to Washington, Abe Pollin was granted an expansion team in DC and sold the Bullets to local ownership. Let’s also consider that instead of the Bullets franchise winning the 1978 NBA Championship; the “Washington Wizards” expansion team won the title.

Stay with me.

Let’s continue with the hypothetical and say that the Baltimore Bullets franchise during the 80′s and 90′s had about the same success level as the team that ACTUALLY moved in the nation’s capital did. The Bullets/Wizards franchise made just one playoff appearance between 1988 and 2004-a 1st round sweep at the hands of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in 1997.

Now let’s consider that in the mid-1990′s, the team had moved out of the clearly defunct Baltimore Arena and into a new building, potentially where M&T Bank Stadium now sits. The building is now known as the “Under Armour Center”, but was previously known as “PSINet Arena.”

Still with me? I hope so. I’ve laid the groundwork for the “Baltimore Crabs” (the NBA still forced a name change due to the violent nature of the name “Bullets”); a team that has existed since 1963 without winning a NBA Championship and has at times struggled to survive given the organization’s struggles and the level of pro competition in both Baltimore and DC.

Now, let’s have that organization meet a significant player. Let’s say that Towson Catholic graduate Carmelo Anthony decided that instead of going to Syracuse, he would follow in the footsteps of fellow Catholic League star Juan Dixon and could commit to Maryland. During the ’02-’03 season; ‘Melo would join with Steve Blake and Drew Nicholas to lead Gary Williams’ Terrapins to a 2nd consecutive NCAA Championship and then bolt to the NBA.

Look, I said this was a hypothetical. I probably should have said “dream sequence.” But let’s not split hairs here. I know Carmelo was BORN in New York and has always been fascinated with The Big Apple, but let’s pretend he was MORE fascinated with staying home. It works better here.

Being one of the poorer teams in the ’02-’03 season, the Crabs obtained the #2 (or #3) overall pick in the NBA Draft; where they were able to select Carmelo after the Cavaliers selected LeBron James.

Suddenly, a franchise with no direction and no hope becomes a team with a local star player-a player that would quickly develop into a perennial All-Star and would lead his team to the playoffs year in and year out.

Games at the Under Armour Center are now sold out before the season after previously being attended at O’s-like rates. Businesses near the Inner Harbor boom 50+ nights a year when the Crabs are at home. Crabs jerseys with the Number 15 on them are as popular sellers as Ravens jerseys with the Number 52.

On top of all of that, the Crabs really put things together in 2010-2011, and Carmelo eventually leads the Crabs to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history-where they unfortunately lose to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Did you stay with me?

It’s the summer of 2010. The Baltimore Crabs have acquired some solid players, but were fortunate to get past the Miami Heat in ’11 because Chris Bosh was hurt early in the season. With a healthy Bosh teaming with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, the Heat are again viewed as the significant favorites to win the East. Amare Stoudemire had a stellar season for the Knicks, and rumors swirl that New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul will join him at Madison Square Garden to try to make a run at the Heat.

Carmelo Anthony is now facing free agency. He’s beloved in Baltimore, where his family and friends have enjoyed watching him play night in and night out. The people of Baltimore view him as an icon, but he’s not sure he can get over the hump and win a championship given the commitment level from ownership.

With all of that in mind, Carmelo bolts. He signs a max deal to join Amare and Chris Paul in New York, where a welcome party is held in Times Square and he’s given a key to the city by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Now here’s the question.

How do you feel?

Are you burning a jersey in the street?

Are you calling Carmelo a “coward” or a “traitor” or “Benedict Anthony”?

Are you ready to picket outside the Carmelo Anthony Youth Center?

Or are you willing to say “he’s still a hometown guy, and I’ll always be grateful for what he did here”?

I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer.

The reality is that I might be closer to “burning a jersey in the street” than I would be to “thanking him for the years he gave to the city.”

How would you react? How would Baltimore have felt if this were OUR star?

It’s worth considering.

-G

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 06 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention-Auto Racing: NASCAR LifeLock.com 400 (Saturday 7:30pm from Chicago live on TNT); WNBA All-Star Game (Saturday 3:30pm from Mohegan Sun, CT live on ESPN)

10. Frankie Beverly & MAZE (Saturday 6pm Pier Six Pavilion), Counting Crows (Monday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion); Lynyrd Skynyrd/Bret Michaels/38 Special (Friday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live), Tim McGraw (Saturday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live), Sting (Sunday 8pm Jiffy Lube Live); Pietasters & All Mighty Senators (Saturday 7pm Rams Head Live), Smashing Pumpkins (Monday 7pm Rams Head Live); Josh Thompson (Saturday 8pm Power Plant Live), Donavon Frankenreiter (Saturday 8pm Recher Theatre); “Despicable Me” in theaters (Friday)

Well, I’m going to need tickets to the Counting Crows Monday night. I don’t care how I get them, but someone is going to have to take care of me here. Adam Duritz is NOT coming to town with me missing it. Figure out amongst yourselves who is going to take care of the tickets for me and let me know.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXI7tRWmZ9w[/youtube]

I’m well aware that Skynyrd isn’t nearly the same; but I’d be all for chewing some tobacco, grabbing my confederate flag, and rocking out… (Editor’s Note: I will NOT be doing either of the first two things on that list.)

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

It’s fitting that I just back from Chicago, because the Smashing Pumpkins are also from Chicago. The two are in no ways related, but I had nothing else prepared here. Here’s Tonight Tonight. We’ll talk later.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAS6daVLT5U[/youtube]

9. Lacrosse: MLL All-Star Game (Thursday 7pm from Boston live on ESPN2), Boston Cannons @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on ESPN3)

You mean to tell me they’re playing a lacrosse all-star game in BOSTON?

Why not just hold next year’s Purple Camo convention in Beantown too???

camos

What do we have left in Charm City?!?!?!?

8. NBA Summer League: Utah Jazz vs. Orlando Magic (Tuesday 1pm), Charlotte Bobcats vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (Tuesday 3pm), Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics (Tuesday 5pm), Indiana Pacers vs. New Jersey Nets (Tuesday 7pm), Charlotte Bobcats vs. Boston Celtics (Wednesday 1pm), Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Philadelphia 76ers (Wednesday 3pm), New Jersey Nets vs. Orlando Magic (Wednesday 5pm), Indiana Pacers vs. Utah Jazz (Wednesday 7pm), Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Orlando Magic (Thursday 1pm), Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics (Thursday 3pm), Utah Jazz vs. New Jersey Nets (Thursday 5pm), Philadelphia 76ers vs. Charlotte Bobcats (Thursday 7pm), Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Indiana Pacers (Friday 8am), Philadelphia 76ers vs. Utah Jazz (Friday 10am), New Jersey Nets vs. Boston Celtics (Friday 12pm), Charlotte Bobcats vs. Orlando Magic (Friday 2pm….all games from Orlando live on NBA TV); Denver Nuggets vs. Dallas Mavericks (Friday 4pm), Houston Rockets vs. Phoenix Suns (Friday 6pm), Detroit Pistons vs. Los Angeles Lakers (Friday 8pm), Golden State Warriors vs. New Orleans Hornets (Friday 10pm), Toronto Raptors vs. Phoenix Suns (Saturday 4pm), LA Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets (Saturday 6pm), Detroit Pistons vs. Golden State Warriors (Saturday 8pm), Miami Heat vs. New Orleans Hornets (Saturday 10pm), New York Knicks vs. Denver Nuggets (Sunday 4pm), Portland Trailblazers vs. Houston Rockets (Sunday 6pm), Washington Wizards vs. Golden State Warriors (Sunday 8pm), Miami Heat vs. New Orleans Hornets (Sunday 10pm), LA Lakers vs. New York Knicks (Monday 4pm), Sacramento Kings vs. Detroit Pistons (Monday 6pm), Dallas Mavericks vs. Milwaukee Bucks (Monday 8pm), Washington Wizards vs. LA Clippers (Monday 10pm….all games from Las Vegas live on NBA TV)

Dude…we should TOTALLY go to Vegas…and watch Eric Hayes play some basketball games that have the intensity of your average backyard pickup contest.

Oh, and free agency OFFICIALLY starts this week. You know, AFTER it officially started last week. In fairness, I’d honest to God rather hear daily LeBron James rumors than Kevin Millwood DL rumors. Credit to Mike Polk for this gem that I apologize for not posting before today…

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

7. Pro Wrestling: TNA “Victory Road” (Sunday 8pm from Orlando live on Pay-Per-View)

Velvet Sky is part of TNA. Maybe you should consider watching…

velvet

6. Cycling: Tour De France (Tuesday-Friday 8:30am, Saturday & Sunday 7:30am from France live on VERSUS)

You know, I had thought about getting into cycling growing up. Yep, right up until my first one of these…

kneescrape

But now, if you’re interested in a stationary bike battle, I know just the guy for you. Yep. My roommate (“The Luckiest Dang Roommate on the Face of the Planet”). Don’t bother asking me. If it doesn’t involve Kettle Chips and a big screen TV, I’m not interested.

5. Golf: PGA Tour John Deere Classic (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS; all golf from Silvis, Illinois), LPGA U.S. Women’s Open (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on ESPN, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on NBC. All golf from Oakmont, PA)

In case you weren’t aware; Oakmont is a suburb of Pittsburgh. However, it is not the first time the women of the LPGA have stopped by. It’s just that the last time, they were trying to escape from Ben Roethlisberger…

bigben

4. Boxing: Jimmy Lange vs. Jimmy LeBlanc (Saturday 7:30pm Patriot Center), Mike Jones vs. Irving Garcia (Friday 11pm from Atlantic City live on Showtime), Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Bernabe Concepcion (Saturday 10pm from Hato Rey, Puerto Rico live on Showtime)

I won’t be attending Jimmy Lange’s fight Saturday night. Not because I don’t love Jimmy Lange, but more because Fairfax is near DC. I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but I’m not too popular in that part of the world these days. HOWEVER, if Jimmy Lange were fighting MATT LeBlanc, I’d be there in a second.  Ol’ “Joey” is still owed an ass-kicking for getting 7 bucks from me for this…

ed

Oh yeah, and while I’m at it….some dude named Mike Jones is fighting this weekend. Please indulge me…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd0S0LwhEDU[/youtube]

And while we’re on the hip-hop topic, I have yet to learn how to “Dougie.” Can anyone help me with this???

3. College Basketball: Baltimore NCAA Summer League (Tuesday-Thursday 6:30pm Reitz Arena)

Morgan State’s Kevin Thompson and Missouri’s Kimmie English are amongst the college players already committed to participating in the tournament over at Loyola.  I’d go play myself, but apparently they use the WHOLE court. I’m better with just the basket and the automatic returner. Of course, I’m not quite as good as the guy Jimmy Kimmel found hanging out…

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

2. Indoor Football: AIFA Eastern Conference Championship Game- Harrisburg Stampede @ Baltimore Mariners (Saturday 7pm 1st Mariner Arena); AFL-Tampa Bay Storm @ Dallas Vigilantes (Friday 7:30pm from Dallas live on NFL Network)

Here’s what we know. Harrisburg sucks. I mean, how can you root for a team in the same town that freaking Sccop Stanisic played in?

Plus, the Mariners are undefeated. There’s NO WAY a team can go undefeated and then fall short of a title…

tyree

1. Soccer-World Cup: Uruguay vs. Netherlands (Tuesday 2:30pm from Cape Town, South Africa live on ESPN), Germany vs. Spain (Wednesday 2:30pm from Durban, South Africa live on ESPN), 3rd place match (Saturday 2:30pm from Port Elizabeth, South Africa live on ABC), World Cup Final (Sunday 2:30pm from Johannesburg, South Africa live on ABC); MLS: DC United @ New York Red Bulls (Saturday 7:30pm from Harrison, New Jersey live on Comcast SportsNet & MLS Direct Kick)

Uruguay gave us the Parrillada…

parrillada

The Dutch gave us goofy shoes…

shoes

The Germans gave us Lederhosen…

lederhosen

And the Spanish gave us her…

spanish

So clearly, anything short of Spain-Paraguay Sunday would be totally unacceptable.

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 15 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me 1-because I’m so drugged up on allergy meds that I wouldn’t know if it WASN’T a Happy Tuesday, 2-because a friend passed this classic along to me via Facebook…

(Edit from GMC: The audio here is NSFW! Unless of course you work as an intern on “The Morning Reaction.” In which case, we’ve used all of these words to describe you this morning.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TH_dKfBI40[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP says Chris Tillman roughed up, knocked out early as Orioles fell to Giants

I did it again.

Much like Sunday when I was a few minutes late in flipping to MASN because I wanted to watch Stephen Strasburg on MASN2, I was a few minutes late last night because I wanted to watch the end of WWE Raw. And once again, by the time I got flipped over to watch the Orioles-things were already out of hand. This time, it was 6-1. And while I had missed a Matt Wieters home run, apparently I hadn’t missed too much more than that.

I went back and watched a bit of Tillman-his velocity certainly needed to be up. I also thought he lacked confidence in his pitches, but that might have just been a realization of what jersey he was wearing.

It was a fun night at AT&T Park. Just as long as you don’t root for the Orioles. There aren’t too many of us that do.

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

Ty Wigginton had a couple of doubles (one of which maybe should have been a home run), but he also had two of the team’s 8 strikeouts. That’s about how it goes these days.

You know what, you REALLY don’t want to look at this box score. In fact, let me go another way with this. This is Brittany Rathel. Busted Coverage pointed her out to me. She’ll be more fun to look at than last night’s box score would have been…

brittanyrather

3. WNST.net’s Jay Trucker says while Garrett Atkins historically bad in Baltimore, Aubrey Huff excelling in San Francisco

AND JUST WHEN I HAD STARTED FEELING GOOD AGAIN!!!!!

The must frustrating part about Jay’s column is certainly the information that the Huff is making $3 million in San Fran while Atkins is making $4.5 million in Charm City. I wasn’t heartbroken when the Birds decided to part ways with Huff, but I would have never signed off on it had I known they weren’t going to go out and get anyone else who could drive in runs.

That’s absolute INSANITY.

Of course, I somehow feel as though it hurts MORE that Pat Burrell homered last night. How can PAT BURRELL be hitting home runs?

I can’t think about this anymore. I might have another allergy attack.

4. ESPN.com says Bobby Valentine doesn’t see much ‘reward’ in O’s situation

Thank you Bobby Valentine for not sugar coating this. Valentine apparently went on “Baseball Tonight” (I will admit that I rarely watch Baseball Tonight anymore) last night and said “I don’t know that Andy (MacPhail) and I get along that well.”

I don’t know this to be true-but I might imagine it would have something to do with Bobby V telling MacPhail he wouldn’t be okay with managing a team that featured nothing but young guys and second-rate veterans.

This is the reality of the Orioles’ situation. Andy MacPhail and Peter Angelos want to get “the right guy”, but I don’t think they’re going to lie to them in the process. Instead, they’re likely going to say something along the lines of “look, we want you to get the job done here-but we’re not gonna go out and become the Yankees or the Red Sox. If you think you can work with young talent and a couple of key veterans, we want you here. If not, this might not be the job for you.”

And that approach might well work for an Eric Wedge (who has already interviewed), or Bob Melvin, or Clint Hurdle (who is currently employed by the Texas Rangers so he’d have to wait until the end of the season to interview); but apparently not with Valentine.

We can’t COMPLETELY scratch him from the list yet, but we might as well. I’m not losing sleep over not having Bobby Valentine as manager, but that doesn’t mean he might not have been a good manager for this team.

5. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Wigginton hoping to reach All-Star Game as write-in candidate

There have been some BAD all-stars in the history of the Midsummer Classic, including the likes of Robert Fick and Ron Coomer. And of the current crop of Baltimore Orioles-while Adam Jones, Miguel Tejada, Kevin Millwood and Brian Roberts are known former All-Stars, did you know Cesar Izturis was ALSO once an All-Star?

That’s the group Ty Wigginton would hope to move into. The group of Robert Fick, Ron Coomer, Lance Carter and Cesar Izturis. Ugh.

As an Orioles fan, I hope Nick Markakis gets the call as the Orioles’ representative. He’s been the team’s best player this season-even if not necessarily deserving of being honored amongst the best players in the American League. He also deserves the nod for having played like an All-Star now for 5 years in his career.

6. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Josh Bell homered, doubled for Norfolk Tides last night

And before we move on from the Orioles, a few notes:

-The Orioles and Giants are back at it tonight, with Jake Arrieta facing Joe Martinez. First pitch from the Bay Area is at 10:15pm on MASN2. Game 6 of the NBA Finals starts at 9pm, which means the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics should at least have played about 6 minutes before first pitch in SF.

-Congratulations to “Apologist of the Morning” Todd Webster. Since “The Great Arbitrator” got too far behind this morning, I went ahead and handled responsibilities when it comes to making the selection. Todd Webster works for MASN, and was reached for comment when word came down that MASN’s Orioles ratings were somehow UP a little bit this season despite the Orioles being historically bad. Here’s Webster’s response…

“The Orioles’ improved ratings shows the depth of commitment Orioles fans have for their team. The history and tradition of Orioles baseball is a part of the fabric of Baltimore and Washington, as more fans are tuning in.

Demand for advertising is also stronger than last season, as marketers see the value of associating with Orioles baseball. Led by the automotive sector, year-over-year ad sales are up by double-digits, not only because of the improving economy but also because MASN and the Orioles can offer so many solutions, from TV spots to in-game and in-park sponsorships, from hospitality to radio. …”

Now THAT’S apology.

-There was a measure of good news yesterday, as Brittany Ghiroli passed along via Twitter that Andy MacPhail had said Felix Pie, Mike Gonzalez, Jim Johnson and Brian Roberts could return by the end of June. I feel like I should be excited. For some reason, I’m not.

-If you missed former Oriole and current Aberdeen Ironbirds pitching coach Scott McGregor today on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, make sure you head on over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault and check it out. Other guests this morning included NFL Network reporter and World Cup enthusiast Jason La Canfora and our annual U.S. Open preview with Damon Klepczynski from Mountain Branch. Plus, our pal “Captain Jerk” had a Tony Bennett-inspired Orioles song worth taking a listen to. It’s all in the Audio Vault.

7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says former Ravens Frank Walker, William VanDeSteeg tried out with Houston Texans

If I didn’t know better, there would be so many great jokes I could make here about the Texans. The fact is, I know that neither Walker nor VanDeSteeg would be expected to be any sort of impact player this season-so I can’t really beat them up too bad.

Of course, if I were looking at guys like Frank Walker and William VanDeSteeg, I might also bring in Alessandra Ambrosio for a look. Just so I’d know. (Thanks Guyism!)

alessandra

8. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Joe Flacco plans to keep working with Anquan Boldin, Donte’ Stallworth between now and Training Camp

Do you know how much better this headline reads than this…

“BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Kyle Boller plans to keep working with Clarence Moore, Randy Hymes between now and Training Camp”?

I already feel better just based on the names involved!

9. The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Maryland officials, boosters believe move from ACC to Big Ten ‘unlikely’

This is one of the subjects Patrick Stevens (@D1scourse on Twitter) and I discussed during our inaugural “D1scast”, which can be heard right now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.

The more I talk to high ranking Terrapins (and I talked to more yesterday), the more I truly believe this probably isn’t happening. But as I said yesterday, you always have to keep in mind that money talks. Don’t call it DEAD, just call it UNLIKELY.

10. Inside Lacrosse’s John Jiloty says Drexel coach Brian Voelker hasn’t been contacted by Terrapins regarding lacrosse gig

And neither has Stevenson’s Paul Cantabene (as Ed Lee from the Sun confirmed last night), but Harvard’s John Tillman HAS.

It isn’t a sexy group. As I said yesterday, I’ve seen sexier groups on “The Biggest Loser.”

That being said, the Terps are just hoping there’s a decent coach in the group.

And speaking of “sexy groups”, here’s a new picture of Kim Kardashian from What Would Tyler Durden Do….

kimk

And finally, I leave you with this.

I’ll admit it. As much it bothered me as an Italy fan to come up with just a draw against Paraguay, I still enjoyed this. (Thanks Deadspin!)

paraguay

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 14 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: MLL: Denver Outlaws @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium); Volleyball: AVP Virginia Beach Open (Sunday 2pm live on ESPN2, 4pm live on Universal Sports from Virginia Beach); Auto Racing: NASCAR Toyota/Save Mart 350 (Sunday 3pm from Sonoma, CA live on TNT), IndyCar Series Iowa Corn Indy 250 (Sunday 1:30pm from Newton, IA live on VERSUS); Boxing: Andre Ward vs. Allan Green (Saturday 10pm from Oakland, CA live on Showtime)

10. M3 Rock Festival feat. The Scorpions, Cinderella, Vince Neil, Kix (Saturday 11am Merriweather Post Pavilion); Earth, Wind & Fire (Friday 6pm Pier Six Pavilion); Brooks & Dunn (Saturday 7:30pm Jiffy Lube Live); Maxwell and Jill Scott (Friday 7pm Verizon Center); Mr. Greengenes (Friday 8pm Power Plant Live), Pat Green (Saturday 8pm Power Plant Live); Los Lonely Boys (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head On Stage), Marc Broussard (Wednesday & Thursday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); Bryan Adams (Tuesday 8pm Weinberg Center for the Arts-Frederick); John Butler Trio (Wednesday 7pm Wolf Trap); “Weird Al” Yankovic (Friday 8pm Warner Theatre); African American Heritage Festival feat. Robin Thicke & Mario (Friday-Sunday M&T Bank Stadium); CMT Crossroads feat. Keith Urban & John Mayer premieres (Friday 10pm CMT)

First of all, as I said recently on Facebook-I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older that this song ABSOLUTELY deserves greater recognition amongst the greatest songs of all time…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bF9X7qnWro[/youtube]

Say whatever you want about country music, but NEVER knock this tune…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZSiBj4vCiY[/youtube]

I don’t expect anyone to drive to Wolf Trap to see John Butler Trio that isn’t already; but I can tell you this much…they’re REALLY FREAKING GOOD…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79cG_F1GxfI[/youtube]

Although it’s unlikely I get out to The Bank for the AAHF this weekend, I will admit that I would like nothing more than to see Robin Thicke jam out to this former “Greatest Song of All Time This Week”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojAyFFfO2Po[/youtube]

And John Mayer and Keith Urban are so awesome that despite the fact that I want to hate them, I just can’t…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SabZCULoHQ0[/youtube]

9. “Toy Story 3″ opens in theaters (Friday), Family Guy Season 8 available on DVD and Blu-Ray (Tuesday), Man vs. Food season premiere (Wednesday 9pm Travel Channel)

Well…this wasn’t funny at all…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDURfLc9u0g[/youtube]

Oh, and don’t judge me for wanting to go see Toy Story next weekend. I don’t judge you for watching “Glee”.

(Edit from GMC: No wait…that’s me too. You know what? Screw you. You probably do something embarrassing too. You know, like eating something off the floor despite it moving PAST the 5 second rule? You see, I don’t do that! Unless it’s something really good. Like a turkey sandwich. It’s hard to make another one of those.)

Speaking of things I’d eat off the floor, if Adam Richman from Man vs. Food dropped any of his meat from Steak & Main up in Cecil County on the floor, I probably would have just let it go…

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

8. Indoor Football-AIFA: New Jersey Revolution @ Baltimore Mariners (Saturday 7pm 1st Mariner Arena); AFL: Jacksonville Sharks @ Orlando Predators (Friday 8pm from Orlando live on NFL Network)

You know what’s great about this? I hate New Jersey anyway! Mostly because this disaster is from The Garden State…

snooki

I really hope Snooki is a New York Jets fan. It would make me feel even that much better when the Ravens destroy them on Monday Night Football.

7. High School Football: Under Armour Combine (Friday-Sunday, M&T Bank Stadium)

I was never good enough at football…or anything…to attend something like this. I can’t even imagine it. My summer weekends at 16 years old were mostly spent trying to figure out how to solve Hole #4 at Churchville Putt & Cutt or how to get all of my friends into an R rated movie.

That and pretending not to like “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. That song sucks. I mean, it’s kinda catchy. But…they suck.

6. Pro Wrestling: WWE Fatal 4 Way (Sunday 8pm from New York live on Pay-Per-View)

There are a couple of things I like about this.

1-Jack Swagger is currently the champion. He went to Oklahoma, so he stinks. This gives them the chance to get the strap around CM Punk’s waist, who is MUCH more deserving.

2-Something something something Michelle McCool…

mccool

5. MMA-UFC The Ultimate Fighter Finale (Saturday 9pm from Las Vegas live on SpikeTV); WEC: Jamie Varner vs. Kamal Shalorus (Sunday 9pm from Edmonton live on VERSUS); Strikeforce Live (Wednesday 11pm from Los Angeles live on Showtime); Bellator Fighting Championships XXII (Thursday 8pm from Kansas City live on Fox Sports Net)

So it’s a big week in the world of Mixed Martial Arts. The cool thing here is that Kris McCray-who is from the DMV area and is a BIG fan of Shogun Fights is fighting for the TUF title Saturday night. He’s also a borderline MANIAC and broke a dude’s shoulder in his first UFC action…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNb92qWM-Xg[/youtube]

I’d try to fight him, but I’d be too busy PEEING MY PANTS.

4. Tennis: Wimbledon Opening Round (Monday 6:30am from Wimbledon, ENG live on ESPN2)

The good news? Andy Roddick usually does pretty well at Wimbledon. The bad news? Andy Roddick has never won Wimbledon.

The other news? Andy Roddick still has my heart….for now…

arod

3. Golf: U.S. Open (Thursday & Friday 1pm & 5pm live on ESPN, 3pm live on NBC; Saturday 4:30pm live on NBC, Sunday 3pm live on NBC. All golf from Pebble Beach, CA); Shoprite LPGA Classic (Friday 3pm, Saturday 4:30pm, Sunday 3pm from Galloway, NJ live on Golf Channel)

This is once again a case of “if Tiger Woods does well”, I’ll take a peak at this Sunday afternoon. Otherwise, Father’s Day will be totally golf-free for “The Luckiest Dang Dad on the Face of the Planet.”

Unless of course Dad wants to play 18 holes at Pebble Beach via Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 on Wii. If that’s the case, I think I’ll play as the great John Daly…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6HXfA__e14[/youtube]

2. NBA Finals: Lakers/Celtics (Game 6 Tuesday 9pm from Los Angeles live on ABC, Game 7 if necessary Thursday 9pm from Los Angeles live on ABC)

If LA comes back to win this thing, do I somehow get to see more of Khloe Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian?

kardashian
And more importantly, how is it that marrying Lamar Odom has made Khloe Kardashian attractive???

Oh, and screw Boston. Boston sucks. That is all.

1. Soccer-World Cup: New Zealand vs. Slovakia (Tuesday 7:30am from Rustenberg, South Africa live on ESPN), Ivory Coast vs. Portugal (Tuesday 10am from Port Elizabeth, South Africa live on ESPN), Brazil vs. North Korea (Tuesday 2:30pm from Johannesburg, South Africa live on ESPN), Honduras vs. Chile (Wednesday 7:30am from Nelspruit, South Africa live on ESPN), Spain vs. Switzerland (Wednesday 10am from Durban, South Africa live on ESPN), South Africa vs. Uruguay (Wednesday 2:30pm from Pretoria, South Africa live on ESPN), Argentina vs. South Korea (Thursday 7:30am from Johannesburg live on ESPN), Greece vs. Nigeria (Thursday 10am from Bloemfontein, South Africa live on ESPN), France vs. Mexico (Thursday 2:30pm from Polokwane, South Africa live on ESPN2), Germany vs. Serbia (Friday 7:30am from Port Elizabeth live on ESPN), Slovenia vs. United States (Friday 10am from Johannesburg live on ESPN), England vs. Algeria (Friday 2:30pm from Cape Town live on ESPN2), Netherlands vs. Japan (Saturday 7:30am from Durban live on ESPN), Ghana vs. Australia (Saturday 10am from Rustenberg live on ESPN), Cameroon vs. Denmark (Saturday 2:30pm from Pretoria live on ABC), Slovakia vs. Paraguay (Sunday 7:30am from Bloemfontein live on ESPN), Italy vs. New Zealand (Sunday 10am from Nelspruit live on ESPN), Brazil vs. Ivory Coast (Sunday 2:30pm from Johannesburg live on ABC), Portugal vs. North Korea (Monday 7:30am from Cape Town live on ESPN), Chile vs. Switzerland (Monday 10am from Port Elizabeth live on ESPN), Spain vs. Honduras (Monday 2:30pm from Johannesburg live on ESPN); El Salvador vs. DC United (Saturday 7:30pm RFK Stadium)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMxEycuSn0o[/youtube]

There is a legitimate part of me that considered buying a vuvuzela and playing it loudly behind Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST. In fact, if you have one and want to bring it by the studio-I’ll take it.

I’ll be rooting for the country Jessica Simpson roots for…

jesssimpson

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 14 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a Happy Monday for me because this happened yesterday…

crabs

Need I explain more? The “Luckiest Dang Little Sister on the Face of the Planet” had a birthday, and I reaped the benefits.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Kevin Millwood roughed up as Orioles swept by Mets

I decided to peek at Stephen Strasburg for a bit yesterday over on MASN2 as the Nats played in Cleveland-just because I didn’t want to be the only guy in the world NOT talking about him.

By the time I realized I had forgot to flip over and watch the start of the Birds game, it was already 5-0 in the first. At least it made it easier to stop watching and head outside for crabs and Moosehead.

I’m well aware that the game got back to 5-3 at one point; but the Orioles really DIDN’T ever have a chance. A special thanks to Mark Hendrickson for making sure it wasn’t AT ALL interesting at any point after he came in.

I’d like to say something poignant here to wrap this up. I think I’ll go with “The Orioles stink.” How’d that sound?

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

The crazy thing is that the team has been getting some hits recently. Over the last 6 games, they’ve collected 62 hits. Sadly, they’ve rarely turned into runs.

Of course, when you let the one RBI producer you have go (Aubrey Huff) and don’t replace him with someone who’s an acceptable replacement (like Matt Holliday or Jason Bay); this is what you get. It’s been piss poor all season. I don’t know why I’d bother being frustrated by it now.

I don’t know if you can tell by my tone early on, but this wasn’t exactly fun this weekend. I was hoping the World Cup would help to improve my spirits towards sports in general-but I got a bit too much sun Saturday, and then my allergies came racing back yesterday.

I still blame the Orioles. Why wouldn’t I?

3. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says with sweep, O’s now continue historic poor pace

There is no doubt that over the next few months, there will be plenty of attention paid to the Orioles’ potential assault of the 1962 New York Mets’ record for futility. I’m not the type of person that hopes they DO pursue the record down the stretch just to keep the season entertaining-as I don’t really want to have any part of that. The Mets have that record. I hope they keep it.

That being said, those that support the Orioles going on to finish with the worst record in baseball so that the team can finish with the #1 overall pick in next year’s MLB Entry Draft-I can probably get behind that. I won’t root for them to lose (of course, I can’t bring myself to watch the games at ALL half the time anyway), but I understand that losing games could help the team more than winning can after the All-Star Game.

This just keeps getting more and more depressing. Let’s take a look at a picture of January Jones (who may or may not have been involved in a car crash?) from over at WWTDD and then we’ll regroup and move forward.

janjones

4. MLB.com’s Noah Rosenstein says Birds activated Alfredo Simon, sent down Brad Bergesen

So we’ve got that much going for us, which is nice. Juan Samuel says he’ll use Alfredo Simon primarily as the closer. I’d probably prefer to keep using David Hernandez myself, but I think I’ll just accept EVER having another save situation again first.

As far as Brad Bergesen goes; this is a numbers game. Of the 4 young pitchers in the “cavalry”, he’s got the lesser pedigree of the bunch. It probably goes Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta then Bergesen. With the other 3 up and both Millwood and Jeremy Guthrie having not been dealt yet. That’s 6 guys for 5 spots. While Hernandez is probably best suited for the bullpen in the long term, Bergesen should probably remain a starter. In order to do that, he has to go to Norfolk, at least for now.

5. Baysox.com says Pasadena native Chorye Spoone matched MLB pitcher Ross Detweiler in Bowie’s win over Harrisburg on farm

And before we move on from the Orioles, a couple of things…

-A reminder that the Birds are back in action tonight, facing the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. First pitch between Chris Tillman and Jonathan Sanchez is at 10:15pm. The other starters for the Orioles this week are Arrieta and Guthrie; the Giants counter with Joe Martinez and Tim Lincecum. The hopes for a Madison Bumgarner-Jake Arrieta showdown were nice, but appear to be all but gone.

-Congratulations to our “Apologist of the Morning”, a former winner-”Neal S.” from The Loss Column. Neal was selected by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester. For a change, today’s winner didn’t win because of “apology”, but instead for being an apologist yet having the stones to say the right thing. Neal said…

“I’m getting frustrated with Andy MacPhail’s ultra-conservative, deliberate approach. I’m not getting at any larger point, necessarily, it’s just what it is. Frustration with an approach that seems to be growing less effective by the day.”

It’s time the uber-defenders of “The Plan” wise up and accept facts. The fact is, the manager has been fired but the team still stinks. Either that means there are two bad managers, or the general manager put a bad club together. I think I know which one it was in this case.

I don’t think Peter Angelos should FIRE Andy MacPhail, but I ABSOLUTELY believe his feet need to be held to the fire to MAKE THE TEAM BETTER.

I hope others will join Neal S. in having the courage to stand up and say “this isn’t okay.”

-While Bobby Valentine and Eric Wedge remain the only managers known to have interviewed for the job, I think there’s an obvious choice for the next interview. As I posted Saturday on Facebook, the recent meltdown from one time would-be Arizona Diamondbacks manager Wally Backman HAS to earn him an interview, correct?

(Edit from GMC: This video is ABSOLUTELY NSFW. Unless you work at a place that has the F word in the name of the company. If that’s the case, I would imagine the video is probably okay.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PJJUc2u0bs[/youtube]

6. The Sun’s Ken Murray says Ravens S Nakamura ‘well ahead of schedule’ in return from injury

The organization has to be happy with the quick returns from injury not only for Nakamura-but also for Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb. Washington & Webb still aren’t 100 percent, but all of these players have remained ahead of schedule. That’s good news for ALL Ravens fans.

A reminder that we will NOT be out at 1 Winning Drive for Passing Camp this week-because the NFL took away Passing Camp this week. The Ravens are still doing formal work with their rookies, but there is no availability for us. But as any news comes from Owings Mills, we’ll be sure to get it to you via Twitter (follow us @WNST), WNST.net and on air at AM1570.

7. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says only ‘money’ would make sense in potential Terrapins move to Big Ten

This is a great read from Patrick regarding the entire conference situation. I have said a few times that I don’t think it helps the Terps to go to the Big Ten, and I won’t waiver on that. That being said, if Big Ten commish Jim Delaney has $20 million a year to throw at the University for free, it would have to be considered by C.D. Mote or whoever replaces as him-even if it ends up going against the wishes of Debbie Yow.

We talked some college sports this morning on “The Morning Reaction”, as Morgan State Bears head coach Todd Bozeman joined the program to respond to the news of recent scholarship losses. If you missed the chat, you can head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net to listen, as Drew and Todd also discussed the Boston Celtics’ 3-2 lead on the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. Other guests this morning were Baseball Prospectus’ Jay Jaffe and UMBC Soccer Coach Pete Caringi-who recapped the United States-England match, as well as all other things World Cup.

8. Inside Lacrosse’s Sean Burns has Maryland 5th, Johns Hopkins 11th, Loyola 15th in ‘way early’ 2011 lacrosse poll

The Dave Cottle defenders of the world pointed out that he deserved the chance to coach one more season, as this Maryland team is arguably the best he would have had.

Maybe so, but that’s of course not an option anymore. Speaking of which, nothing new on the Maryland lacrosse search front this weekend.

Speaking of which-if we’re going to put together ridiculous lists at the wrong time, I want to make a list of “gals from Australia who made the cover of Ralph Magazine and I would like to get to know better.” Gianna Pattison is number 1. (Thanks Guyism!)

gianna

9. The Sun’s Kevin Cowherd says Baltimore County World Soccer Festival part of “World Cup fever” coming over Charm City

If you didn’t come out to Patriot Plaza in Towson for the event Saturday, it was a GREAT time, even if the match ended in a fairly fortunate draw. Here’s a look courtesy of WNSTv…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJQ6uakWUQs[/youtube]

We will be out at Amicci’s in Little Italy this afternoon for Italy-Paraguay. The food is GREAT, the beer is cold, it’s going to be an awesome day. Forza Azzurri!!!

10. BaltimoreMariners.com says Mariners topped Erie on last second FG

Thankfully their long snapper isn’t named Matt Katula.

I’m kidding!!!! Matt’s a good man, and hopefully has moved past his elbow issues. Hopefully.

You know, I completely forgot to mention this when we were discussing World Cup, but have you seen Cristiano Ronaldo WAG Irina Shayk? Thanks Busted Coverage…

shayk

And finally, I leave you with this.

If you haven’t been paying attention to WWE Raw, you might not have noticed that they’ve been having guest hosts on the show every week. Some of been great (notably Shaquille O’Neal and Bob Barker), others have been Ashton Kutcher. My buddy Brandon Holthaus started a group on Facebook to try to get Kevin Smith to host the show. Check the group out here.

And how can THIS guy NOT make a good host? (Edit from GMC: Once again, this video is ABSOLUTELY NSFW. Unless you work for Kevin Smith. Or the WWE presumably.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-xKUU5sWS4[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 11 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Friday!

It’s a Happy Friday for me because 1-I’ve got Arrieta fever (and the only way to fix it is more cowbell?), 2-The World Cup starts today, so for the first couple of weeks anyway, I’m more of a patriot than Lee Greenwood…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-9_fDEsv-Q[/youtube]

…and then of course after Team USA is eliminated, it’s Forza Azzurri for me!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zw3i1Wrlhvw[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Arrieta, David Hernandez give Orioles fans ‘moment of hope’ in win over Yankees

Jake Arrieta wasn’t exactly “Strasburgian” last night, but since the Orioles have beat the Yanks recently about as often as I’ve been called an “all around good guy”, I understand the excitement.

To be fair, Arrieta probably should have been here earlier-but I don’t care if it took too long for him to get here as long as he keeps pitching well while he’s here. He certainly had ice in his veins when he struck out Marcus Thames…but then again…it’s Marcus Thames.

I guess the word is that Juan Samuel intends to stick with Alfredo Simon as closer when he gets healthy, but I think David Hernandez has a MUCH better pedigree for a potential closer. That being said, I’m not entirely certain the team will have another save situation before the All-Star Game. If they do, I think they should let Hernandez try again.

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

With an O-fer last night, I’d like to thank Cesar Izturis for winning me a dollar in a bet with Drew Forrester. It feels much better to win that type of bet in a Birds win. Frankly it feels better just to say the words “Birds win” in any sort of reference.

Scott Moore hit a home run last night. I wonder if I’ll ever type those words again in my life. I feel as though it might be more likely that I’ll type the words “and that’s how my date with Angel Locsin went” in the future than typing that again. (Thanks Busted Coverage/FHM!)

locsin

3. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Luke Scott acted like a ‘loser’ in O’s win

Hard to argue with that.

If you missed it, in the 7th inning; Scott lifted a fly ball to right field that Nick Swisher couldn’t find until it hit the wall. Scott thought he had hit a lazy fly ball for an out, but ended up with a triple. It would have been an inside the park home run for SURE had Scott actually been running out of the box, but instead he pouted and leisurely jogged towards first base before taking off.

Gary Thorne LOST HIS MIND. Scott would wind up scoring on an Adam Jones double; and when he got to the dugout-he heard it from Juan Samuel. Thorne (and Jim Palmer to a lesser extent) was enraged to see the two of them laughing in the dugout. For as much as I appreciated Thorne getting animated, I had the feeling John Angelos (or Peter Angelos or whoever else is paying attention to MASN right now) might be cringing while it was happening.

Thorne was right though. After Scott failed to hustle this weekend against the Red Sox and then failed to hustle again last night against the Bronx Bombers; there’s clearly an issue. It has to be addressed. Luke Scott has a role on this team, but the lack of hustle is completely unacceptable.

4. The Sun’s Dan Connolly and Don Markus say Bobby Valentine to interview with Andy MacPhail today

Rumor has it Bobby V will NOT come to the interview dressed this way…

bobbyv

Bobby Valentine certainly wouldn’t be my first choice for the gig-but if he can make the team win, I’d take him. He really loved his gig in Japan, it will be interesting to find out if he still has the passion to make things work in MLB.

Selfishly, I kinda want Skeeter Valentine from “Doug” a little bit more than Bobby Valentine…

skeeter

5. Virginian-Pilot’s Jared Diamond says Tim Bascom very good for Norfolk Tides, but couldn’t top Chris Resop’s 1 hitter for Gwinnett

A couple of things before we move on from the Orioles…

-A reminder that the Orioles are back in action tonight at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, with an interleague visit from the New York Mets. First pitch between R.A. Dickey and Jeremy Guthrie is at 7:05pm. For the rest of the weekend, Hisanori Takahashi faces Brian Matusz and Mike Pelfrey (how in the hell is HE 8-1?) takes on Kevin Millwood.

-Congratulations to our “Apologist of the Morning”, caller Bryce from Park Heights. If you’ve never heard a call from Bryce you might not understand-but he’s pretty special. He was selected by “The Great Arbitrator” or “Mr. Fair” if you will-Drew Forrester.

6. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Shayne Graham, Billy Cundiff both nailed 60 yard kicks on final day of Passing Camp in Owings Mills

Look, a 60 year field goal at 1 Winning Drive in June does not compare to a 50 yard attempt at M&T Bank Stadium against the Pittsburgh Steelers in December, but it’s certainly still fun to see these guys pushing each other.

If you missed Shayne this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, make sure you head on over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net to check it out. Other guests this morning included new Maryland Terrapins assistant hoops coach (and St. Frances alum) Bino Ranson, Former Terps/Blast/USMNT player Desmond Armstrong (who helped us preview the World Cup), Bowie Baysox 3B Joel Guzman, and Craig Calcaterra from HardballTalk over at NBCSports.com, who went around MLB with Drew. All interviews, plus Rick from Reisterstown’s “call” of the final race in our “Month of Jerks.”

7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens cut WR’s Chris Hannon, Maurice Price

And as I pointed out yesterday via Twitter (follow us @WNST), Maurice Price had to know something was up when the team assigned Shayne Graham his number (17) and never bothered to give him a new one.

Hannon and Price were guys who had no real chance of making the team, and the team still has PLENTY of WR’s to use during Training Camp this summer in Westminster.

Here’s a question for you. With these guys gone, is there room for the team to consider acquiring Katrina Law and/or Lesley-Ann Brandt from the show “Spartacus” on Starz??? (Thanks BarStool Sports!)

spartacus

8. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says John Harbaugh happy with tryout from DB’s Ken Lucas, Walt Harris and Ken Hamlin

Thanks to my buddy Derek Arnold from WNST.net, Charm City Current and of course B-More Birds Nest for reminding me about the unquestioned highlight of Ken Hamlin’s career…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzGRUNJorz8[/youtube]

No word if Hamlin still gets Christmas cards from Le’Ron McClain.

9. The Sun’s Glenn Graham says Baltimore County World Soccer Festival amongst best places to watch World Cup

Who’s buying my first Peroni???

It’s going to be a great day tomorrow at Patriot Plaza in Towson. I won’t be there at 7:30am for the Greece/South Korea match, but I’ll stroll in at some point before 2:30. Save me a beer…or 37.

10. Inside Lacrosse’s John Jiloty says former Maryland lacrosse coach Dave Cottle hasn’t heard from Penn State

He’d be a great hire for the Nittany Lions, which is why I hope they don’t hire him. I don’t much care for anything in State College myself.

Meanwhile, after contacting Virginia assistant Marc Van Arsdale, there is nothing new happening in College Park as the Terps try to hire a new coach. Still no contact with Stevenson’s Paul Cantabene and no progress towards Albany’s Scott Marr either. I’m starting to think they should consider Roxanne Pallett for the gig. (Thanks Guyism!)

pallett

And finally, I leave you with this…

I’m not sure what I like more from the world of sports yesterday. The pronunciation of Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Nate Robinson from the Boston Celtics being like “Shrek and Donkey”….

shrek

Or Lady Gaga flipping off Mets fans at Citi Field…

gaga

I’ll be doing the same thing Saturday night at OPACY.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 08 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: WNBA-New York Liberty @ Washington Mystics (Saturday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet); Boxing-Friday Night Fights: David Lemiuex vs. Elvin Ayala (Friday 8:30pm from Montreal live on ESPN2); AHL Calder Cup Finals: Hershey Bears/Texas Stars (Game 4 Wednesday 8:30pm from Austin, TX live on Comcast SportsNet, Game 5 Friday 8:30pm from Austin, TX live on Comcast SportsNet); Golf: PGA Tour St. Jude Classic (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Memphis), LPGA State Farm Classic (Thursday-Saturday 6:30pm, Sunday 7pm from Springfield, IL live on Golf Channel)

10. Foreigner & Styx (Saturday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live), Carole King & James Taylor (Tuesday 8pm Verizon Center), They Might Be Giants (Saturday 1pm Rams Head Live), Chubby Checker (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head On Stage), Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek (Wednesday 9pm Sonar), Rob Schneider (Friday-Sunday DC Improv), Drake (Sunday 9pm 9:30 Club), Conan O’Brien (Tuesday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall), Jimmy Cliff/Sly & Robbie (Thursday 8pm Wolf Trap)

There are somethings to like here. For example, I could probably repeat every word of the Styx episode of Vh1 Behind The Music. Even I was pissed when Tommy Shaw made fun of “Lady” during Damn Yankees concerts. Oh, and “Renegade” is a FREAKING.GREAT.SONG.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn7nQk5L8B4[/youtube]

I sorta hated Chubby Checker growing up because every time I heard “Limbo Rock” I was reminded that I was a fat kid with no flexibility. Think I had issues? My best friend Matt Besche and I also walked around the halls of Chapel Hill Elementary School grabbing each other’s cheeks and saying “Chubby Checker” for no reason. It was our own secret handshake. Don’t judge, a-holes.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVQ0MXp-8ds[/youtube]

Saying I own the Talib Kweli/Mos Def disc gives me street cred, right? No. Damn. Do I just pretend like I don’t like him then?

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

9. Honfest (Friday-Sunday “The Avenue” in Hampden), Great Grapes! (Saturday & Sunday 12pm Oregon Ridge Park)

In Southern California-girls in bikinis are celebrated.

In Las Vegas, girls in negligee are celebrated.

In Alabama, girls in sexy sundresses are celebrated.

In New York, girls in tight shirts and short skirts are celebrated.

In Hampden….big glasses and bigger hair???

honfest

And to think, some folks wonder why people never leave Charm City…

8. “The A-Team” out in theaters (Friday)

You can say whatever you want. I’m excited. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson might not be “Mr. T”, but I still get excited whenever I just hear the music…

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

7. Auto Racing: NASCAR Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 (Sunday 1pm from Brooklyn, MI live on TNT)

I have no idea what is going on in the world of NASCAR. I really don’t. I know Kurt Busch won the races in Charlotte, but I don’t know who won the races at Pocono. TNT showed “Talladega Nights” throughout the day Sunday after they showed the race, and it reminded me that when I saw the trailer for Will Ferrell’s new movie “The Other Guys” before I saw “Get Him to the Greek” Saturday night, I was fairly impressed…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6WOoUG1eNo[/youtube]

He’s fooled me before, but I have a good feeling about this one. At least a better feeling than I had about “Kicking and Screaming.” Ugh.

6. Ravens Passing Camp (Monday-Thursday; availability Tuesday 1 Winning Drive)

PLEASE SOMEONE LET ME KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON WITH DIGGER BUJNOCH!!!

Another radio person in town…who is not REALLY a sports person but does sports now…was out in Owings Mills for Rookie Camp last week. When I asked him why he was there, he said “I love football. I’d watch anyone play football.” He then proceeded to tell me he couldn’t see enough of the field. There were about 25 players on the field. If we’re lucky, a third of them will ever play a snap for the Baltimore Ravens.

Sadly, it remains at LEAST as relevant as anything the Baltimore Orioles are doing right now, including dismissing their manager.

5. Pro Wrestling: TNA Slammiversary (Sunday 8pm from Orlando live on Pay-Per-View)

There are a couple of reasons to watch TNA’s biggest PPV event of the year, even if your name isn’t Kris Cumberland.

A-I love everything about Rob Van Dam. Seriously, the guy is about as good as it gets.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2i-sRAdk7YE[/youtube]

B-The more I found out about Lacey Von Erich (thus far only via image), the more I think I like her…
lve

4. Mixed Martial Arts: UFC 115: Chuck Liddell vs. Rich Franklin (Saturday 10pm from Vancouver live on Pay-Per-View); Bellator Fighting Championships XXI (Thursday 8pm from Orlando live on Fox Sports Net)

The reason none of you told me Eric “ButterBean” Esch was fighting in MMA was???

butterbean

Word is he’ll be on “The MMA Report” with John Rallo Tuesday afternoon on AM1570 WNST. In the meantime, the UFC 115 main event was only exciting because Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell like legitimately hate each other. Rich Franklin and Chuck Liddell are just legitimately old.

3. NBA Playoffs-NBA Finals: Lakers/Celtics (Game 3 Tuesday 9pm from Boston live on ABC, Game 4 Thursday 9pm from Boston live on ABC, Game 5 Sunday 8pm from Boston live on ABC)

You mean to tell me that the Nate Robinson that is contributing for the C’s these days is the same Nate Robinson that once shot on the wrong basket in New York and pissed off Mike D’Antoni???

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

How am I supposed to feel good for the guy? At least he did something cool with David Letterman once…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXvXwtvDuA4[/youtube]

2. NHL Playoffs-Stanley Cup Finals: Flyers/Blackhawks (Game 6 Wednesday 8pm from Philadelphia live on NBC, Game 7 if necessary Friday 8pm from Chicago live on NBC)

I’m sort of ASSUMING that the Blackhawks will clinch the Cup in Philly Wednesday night, but it wouldn’t stun me if the series made it back to the Windy City. If it does, I have half a feeling Michael Jordan will hit the game winning shot to finish things off. It’s just what happens at United Center.

No matter what happens, Patrick Kane better have cooler ideas for what to do with the Cup than Mario Lemieux did…

mario

1. Soccer: Baltimore County World Soccer Festival (Saturday 7:30am, throughout day-Patriot Plaza in Towson); World Cup-South Africa vs. Mexico (Friday 10am from Johannesburg, South Africa live on ESPN), Uruguay vs. France (Friday 2:30pm from Cape Town, South Africa live on ESPN), South Korea vs. Greece (Saturday 7:30am from Port Elizabeth, South Africa live on ESPN), Argentina vs. Nigeria (Saturday 10am from Johannesburg live on ESPN), England vs. United States (Saturday 2:30pm from Rustenburg, South Africa live on ABC), Algeria vs. Slovenia (Sunday 7:30am from Polokwane, South Africa live on ESPN), Serbia vs. Ghana (Sunday 10am from Pretoria, South Africa live on ESPN), Germany vs. Australia (Sunday 2:30pm from Durban, South Africa live on ABC), Netherlands vs. Denmark (Monday 7:30am from Johannesburg live on ESPN), Japan vs. Cameroon (Monday 10am from Bloemfontein, South Africa live on ESPN), Italy vs. Paraguay (Monday 2:30pm from Cape Town live on ESPN); MLS-DC United @ Seattle Sounders (Thursday 10pm from Seattle live on ESPN2)

flag

That is all.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Finally…The Finals

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Finally…The Finals

Posted on 03 June 2010 by Thyrl Nelson

After nearly a week on the shelf, the NBA Playoffs take back center stage tonight as the Lakers and Celtics are set to renew perhaps the greatest rivalry in American sports when the finals begin at The Staples Center. Enjoy this while you can O’s fans, it’ll be a long time until NFL training camp once these finals are in the books.

 

There’s plenty to look forward to in a finals once again featuring a rivalry that’s never been short on story lines in the past, and one that should provide no exception this time around either. Familiarity breeds contempt after all, and when it comes to championship combatants, there are no two more familiar foes than these two.

 

 

The Coaches

 

Comparing coaches should be easy. How do you argue with Phil Jackson and his 10 NBA championships as a coach? He sports a resume that even John Wooden could be intimidated by. (That’s not to mention his two titles as an NBA player, and another as coach of the CBA’s Albany Patroons.) Yet if anyone can lay claim to having Phil Jackson’s number, it may be the man patrolling the Boston sideline. Doc Rivers, after all, has the advantage of the head to head victory he gained over Jackson two seasons ago.

 

Jackson has begun the series predictably, by firing shots through the media, a tried and true technique that has worked well for him and his teams over the years, but one that has lost it’s subtlety in recent campaigns as well. From the referees star treatment of Kevin Durant, to Steve Nash’s propensity to carry the ball, and now Kevin Garnett being allowed to get away with slappy, physical play, Jackson has done his best to put his team, his opponents and even officials on notice. In the cases of Durant and Nash though, Jackson was clearly throwing fodder at the head of the snake, by identifying the physical play of Garnett as the key, Jackson may be overlooking the fact that Garnett, despite a playoff resurgence is far from the Garnett of old, and the Celtics are getting it done in a lot of other ways. On the other hand, it could be an attempt by Jackson to deflect focus from other match ups that he may actually see as being more important, and/or to send an early gut check to Pau Gasol, the living embodiment of the Lakers’ apparent lack of toughness. For now, only the Zen Master himself knows for sure.

 

For Rivers, it would seem that his legacy for this season is already cemented, regardless of the outcome of this final series. Having gotten the proud and veteran Celtics to buy in to putting less than their best foot forward since the start of the calendar year and save something for the playoffs has paid off in spades, and will likely result in Rivers becoming the second most sought after free agent in the NBA once the off-season begins. Safe money says that Rivers takes the result, whatever it may be, and takes at least a year off. He has a son playing basketball for Indiana and a daughter playing volleyball for Florida, and his youngest son will be a senior in high school next season, and is considered one of the best guard prospects in the country. Rivers’ frequent flyer miles have already reached legendary proportions keeping up with the family, so a long hiatus is likely in his future win or lose.

 

Advantage: Push. Take nothing away from these great coaches and their impacts, but the advantage is too close to call, and these veteran teams will decide things on the court. Having navigated their squads to this point, it’s be fair to say that both Rivers and Jackson are just along for the ride now, but match ups, and how they choose to play them will decide this series. This match up however, is up for grabs.

 

Rajon Rondo vs. Derek Fisher

 

If there is a head to the snake that is the Celtics, Rondo may be it. How the Lakers choose to play him could be the biggest match up issue they have in the series. When they met in the finals two seasons ago, the Lakers were content to lay off of Rondo and force him to shoot or pass from the perimeter. Although this worked to moderate success, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen knew they’d have to pick up the slack for their young backcourt mate, and did so. This time around, the veteran Celtics look to Rondo to set the tone, keeping him out of the lane will be key, as Rondo does his best work, both shooting and passing, from inside of the paint.

 

If Fisher is able to handle the defensive assignment on Rondo, it puts the Lakers at a serious advantage. In that case they could rotate Kobe and Artest back and forth between Pierce and Allen, depending on the hot hand and force those two into the paint if they hope to get looks. Unlike Rondo, Pierce and Allen are much more comfortable on the elbows and around the perimeter than in the paint.

 

Offensively, expect D-Fish to be D-Fish, quietly efficient, not scared to take a big shot when called upon, and a better all around shooter than his counterpart at the point. Also having weathered the respective storms of Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams and Steve Nash on his way to the finals, we’ll forgive Fisher if he’s not too caught up in Rondo-mania. Still, he’ll have his work cut out for him if he plans to slow the roll of Rondo, and he may still be waking up in cold sweats remembering the field day that Ray Allen had against him the last time these two squared off in the Finals.

 

Advantage: Rondo. Take nothing away from the great Western Conference point guards, but none of them can do what Rondo does, figuring out ways to stop him has to be key #1 to the Lakers’ chances.

 

Ray Allen vs. Kobe Bryant

 

Do I need to say much more here than advantage Lakers? Probably not, but I won’t let that stop me.

 

When it comes to the intangible killer instinct that it apparently takes to be the anchor of an NBA champion, no one compares to Kobe Bryant. The Lakers’ inability to match that intensity two years ago seemed to define the series, but last year, Kobe’s supporting cast seemed to rise to the task, albeit against a much softer Magic team. Whether they can bring it, across the board, against a bullying Celtics team will likely be the story in this series too. But could it also be the undoing of Bryant?

 

Toughness is obviously a point of concern in this series for the Lakers, evidenced by Jackson’s preemptive commentary. Kobe, never one to settle for being second to anyone, at anything, is sure to come out like a house of fire in this series, and challenge his team to do the same. If Kobe gets too caught up in the intimidator role, it could work to the detriment of his game. It’s a reach, but how else do you expect to stop Kobe?

 

Although Bryant is the easy victor in this match up, it’s conceivable that without Allen’s sharp shooting in the finals two years ago, the big three are still looking for their first ring. And since Allen won’t likely be called on to defend Kobe much he could still create giant headaches for either Ron Artest or Derek Fisher. On offense, if Fisher can’t stay with Rondo, he’ll have to defend Allen, who provides a totally different look than Rondo for a defender, but perhaps an equally daunting challenge, especially for a size challenged defender like Fisher. Defensively, Allen will have to play good help defense on Kobe, and in doing so could present Artest with some of the types of shot opportunities that were nearly his undoing against Phoenix. Giving Artest space, and compelling him to take shots could be quickest and easiest way to derail the Lakers offensive rhythm, or to force them to their bench for answers.

 

Advantage: Kobe. The once unattainable mantle of next Jordan is Kobe’s for the taking, yet something tells me Kobe is looking beyond even that.

 

Paul Pierce vs. Ron Artest

 

The last time these two teams met, at least for short stretches, Paul Pierce was in Kobe’s stratosphere, and although it also served to boost Pierce’s stock across the board, his time of being mentioned in the same breath as Bryant was fleeting. Being part of the Big 3 is one thing, but being the guy called on to stop Kobe, and responding, plus pouring it in on the offensive end at the same time, in the Finals, that’s another matter altogether. And for Pierce, the chance has presented itself once again.

 

Whatever the Celtics plan to do to slow down Kobe Bryant, it has to begin and end with Pierce. What’s more, the Celtics will need Pierce’s firepower on the offensive end too. For all of the ballyhoo surrounding the emergence of Rondo and the toughness of Garnett, if the Lakers aren’t focused squarely on limiting Pierce’s offensive touches and denying him good looks at the basket, the Englewood product will surely refocus them very quickly.

 

For Artest the keys are simple, avoid taking stupid shots, hit the boards, and be the defender that the Lakers paid you to be this off-season. He can’t win this match up, but if he holds his own defensively, from the Lakers’ point of view, that’ll be enough. Up to now, the Artest experiment has been a side show of little consequence to the Lakers’ real fortunes, against a team with as many backcourt weapons as Boston, Artest will have to be as advertised defensively and allow Kobe to focus on his offense and pick his spots on the defensive end. And most of all, Artest will need to keep his cool in a series that looks like it’ll be chippy from the opening tip.

 

Advantage: Pierce. The backcourt is a scramble, with match up possibilities galore, but winning this match up will be key for the Celtics. Without Artest, Jackson can look to the bench for suitable, if not ideal replacements. The Celtics don’t have an answer for life without Pierce, at least not a good one.

 

Kevin Garnett vs. Pau Gasol

 

If other match ups decided this series two years ago, this one defined it. When the dust settled the last time around, the Lakers simply couldn’t find it in them to match the Celtics’ toughness, and the reputedly soft Gasol took the brunt of that criticism. In the two seasons since, he’s become a more willing combatant in the paint, but is still the Yin to Kobe’s killer Yang.

 

If Gasol’s game has grown measurably, it’s arguable that Garnett’s has shrunken by a near equal amount. What hasn’t changed though is Garnett’s toughness; no one questions that. Nor has his desire seemingly quelled, in fact, if anything, it seems to have grown. As if years of languishing in Minnesota weren’t bad enough, finally reaching the Promised Land only to have your body defy you must be demoralizing. Don’t expect the urgency of this moment to be lost on Garnett. He’s been around long enough to know how precious these opportunities are, and won’t let this one go by without a fight, perhaps literally.

 

Whether or not Jackson’s preemptive strikes were effective, this is a match up that officials will be keeping a close eye on for sure. Like Kobe, Garnett has to be careful not to allow his intensity to get the best of him. After surrendering the paint to Dwight Howard and company for the better part of their last 3 games, look for Garnett and the Celtics to take it back forcibly against LA.

 

Advantage: Garnett. Gasol’s announced hiatus from the Spanish national team has to be like blood in the water for a shark like Garnett. Much like a boxer in the first few rounds, we’ll see where Gasol’s heart is through his eyes by the end of game 1.

 

Kendrick Perkins vs. Andrew Bynum

 

Perhaps the biggest wildcard of the starting match ups, because predictably, Andrew Bynum was out due to injury when these teams met in 2008, and a limited Perkins missed game 5 due to a shoulder strain, and logged just 92 minutes despite starting the other 5 games in the series.

 

Again if this match up boils down to toughness being the advantage, it plays right into Perkins hands. The fragile Bynum will have a tough time just staying in the lineup against the physical, defensive minded Perkins. Bynum is already dealing with a knee injury and is still much of an afterthought in the Lakers’ offense. Although the same can be said about Perkins offensively, by design, that works for the Celtics.

 

If Garnett is the vocal tough guy on the team, Perkins is the physical tough guy, and because of the lack of offensive prowess that Bynum brings to the other side of the match up presents Boston with interesting opportunities. Defensively, Perkins and Garnett can be used interchangeably against Gasol and Bynum, with whoever draws Bynum empowered to bring lots of help on Gasol or anyone else venturing into the paint. That could make for some scary propositions for Lakers’ would-be drivers.

 

Advantage: Perkins. Here’s where the toughness meter tips immeasurably in favor of the Celtics. Toughness won’t be all that it takes to win a title though.

 

The Benches

 

If the match ups look inordinately balanced toward Boston up to here, perhaps that’s to overlook the magnitude by which Kobe wins his match up in comparison to his partners, but if there is a gap to be made up by the Lakers, it may be on the benches. It may have taken until now, if the Starbury experiment wasn’t enough that is, to actually see how much the Celtics are going to miss Eddie House.

 

Both benches are going 3 deep throughout the playoffs. For the Lakers it’s been Shannon Brown, Jordan Farmar and Lamar Odom. In Odom, the Lakers have a 6th starter, capable of playing 4 positions, maybe 5, and a willing 6th man. For all of the Jamal Crawford love, and deservedly so, there’s no better 6th man in basketball than Odom. In Brown they have a pure athlete who may be the answer for Fisher’s defensive liabilities, although he’s never been regarded as much of a tenacious defender. Farmar is skilled but limited to shooting, but in the triangle, we all know what that could mean. While much more skilled than the Celtics 3, beyond that things are bleak, which means that a Bynum injury or Artest meltdown, either of which are highly possible, would leave LA with Sasha Vujacic or DJ Mbenga trying to hold down front court minutes.

 

The Celtics, aside from a notable blip on the radar from Nate Robinson in the Orlando series, have relied on Glen Davis, Rasheed Wallace and Tony Allen to round out their rotation. All already overmatched talent-wise in comparison to their counterparts on LA’s bench, are nursing injuries as well, but should be able to gut it out for the stretch. Reinforcements in the front court means more fouls for the Celtics to give, playing right with their probable strategy, and Nate Robinson has already shown he can be called on in a pinch. Michael Finley, Marquis Daniels and Shelden Williams though would be a big concern if called upon given the Celtics’ injury issues.

 

Advantage: Lakers. They’ll need to take advantage of the minutes that Boston is without Rondo and/or Pierce to be successful. If they can do it while resting Kobe at the same time, the Lakers could coast to an easy win or two.

 

My early prediction is Celtics in 6, but only because I believe they’ll steal tonight’s game. If the Lakers manage to hold serve at home all bets are off. This one is truly anyone’s for the taking.

 

 

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 01 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Auto Racing-NASCAR Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 (Sunday 1pm from Pocono Raceway live on TNT), IndyCar Series Firestone 550k (Saturday 8pm from Fort Worth, TX live on VERSUS); MLL: Boston Cannons @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Friday 7:30pm Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium); WNBA: Atlanta Dream @ Washington Mystics (Saturday 7pm Verizon Center); Boxing: Yuri Foreman vs. Miguel Cotto (Saturday 10:15pm from New York live on HBO)

10. Hall & Oates (Sunday 6pm Pier Six Pavilion); Taylor Swift (Tuesday & Wednesday 7pm Verizon Center); WMZQfest Throwdown feat. Montgomery Gentry & Little Big Town (Sunday 2:15pm Jiffy Lube Live); Pscyhadelic Furs & She Wants Revenge (Tuesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Passion Pit (Wednesday 7pm Rams Head Live); Lil’ Kim (Saturday 9pm Sonar); Broken Bells (Monday 7:30pm 9:30 Club); Aisha Tyler (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Denis Leary (Wednesday 8pm Warner Theatre); Toby Keith (Saturday 7:30pm Aberdeen Proving Ground); Jeff Beck (Monday 7:30pm Wolf Trap); Jack Johnson “To The Sea” available in stores (Tuesday); U2-360 live from the Rose Bowl available on DVD & Blu-Ray (Tuesday)

I’d like to say there’s a lot of really good music on this list. Of course, I can’t actually say that-because I’m really bad at lying.

I feel like I should be more into Hall & Oates than I am…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_I4wtNPv5w[/youtube]

I’m not the biggest fan of country music, but I AM a fan of Little Big Town…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvOCO3_ZBO0[/youtube]

I have a friend who graduated from the University of Oklahoma. When she gets uppity about how good the Sooners are at football, I bring her back to earth by reminding her that Toby Keith played football for the Sooners, and he’s a clown. Although, he DID do this song…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1JOFhfoAD4[/youtube]

9. AIFA-Erie Storm @ Baltimore Mariners (Saturday 7pm 1st Mariner Arena); AFL-Jacksonville Sharks @ Chicago Rush (Friday 8pm from Chicago live on NFL Network)

I assume that folks in Erie, PA are Steelers fans, so I feel like they’re probably terrible people that I wouldn’t like. That being said, The Wonders are from Erie…

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

…and Tom Hanks > every other person on the planet. So I’m kinda torn…

8. Golf: PGA Tour-The Memorial presented by Morgan Stanley (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Dublin, Ohio), Champions Tour Principal Charity Classic (Friday & Saturday 6:30pm, Sunday 7pm from West Des Moines, Iowa live on Golf Channel)

With Phil Mickelson on his heels, Tiger Woods returns this week. I’m getting to the point where I ALMOST feel bad for him. This guy’s life went from totally awesome to completely terrible. Of course, if it hadn’t-the only thing we’d be able to talk about is golf, and that’s freaking terrible.

You know, I could sit here and BS about a sport that I literally pay less attention to than I do to this season of Glee; or I could just post this video of Joslyn James talking about Tiger’s anatomy. Seriously, it’s golf. What am I supposed to do here? And I know you’ll be surprised by this, but this video is probably NSFW. Unless you work at a place where people talk about sex organs openly. You know, like the Hallmark store.

[metacafe]http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4407489/joslyn_james_talks_tiger_woods_s_penis_on_playboy_radio/[/metacafe

7. "Get Him To The Greek" opens in theaters (Friday), John Waters "Role Models" book signing (Saturday 7pm Atomic Books)

1-Forgetting Sarah Marshall was HILARIOUS. That doesn't mean Get Him To The Greek will definitely be hilarious, but it at least gives it a shot...

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdNGab0HB9g[/youtube]

2-Russell Brand is married to or going to marry Katy Perry. I should look that up, but it sounds remarkably boring. However, Katy Perry isn’t unattractive. That makes Russell Brand movies better.
katyperry

3-The John Waters book signing gives me an excuse to post his freaking great interview with David Letterman from 1986. Or as I like to call it, “the greatest moment of all time EVER.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VU0yJ3benb4[/youtube]

6. Soccer: Team USA vs. Australia (Saturday 8:30am from Rustenberg, South Africa live on ESPN2); U.S. Open Cup: Real Salt Lake @ DC United (Wednesday 7:30pm RFK Stadium), MLS: Real Salt Lake @ DC United (Saturday 7:30pm from RFK Stadium live on Comcast SportsNet & MLS Direct Kick)

Chances of Glenn Clark being awake at 8:30 on Saturday to watch our boys kick some Kiwi ass? Slim. Unless of course you’re an establishment that makes beer mugs out of bacon…

bacon

5. Belmont Stakes (Saturday 5pm from Belmont Park, NY live on ABC)

Since I won’t be making the final leg of the Triple Crown, I would greatly appreciate it if someone would just be willing to come over and make me a handful of these…

breeze

And by “someone come over”, I really mean “The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet” needs to have Google searched “Belmont Breeze ingredients” before I finish this blog.

4. NHL Playoffs-Stanley Cup Finals: Flyers/Blackhawks (Game 3 Wednesday 8pm from Philadelphia live on VERSUS, Game 4 Friday 8pm from Philadelphia live on VERSUS, Game 5 if necessary Sunday 8pm from Chicago live on NBC)

I will be forced to admit that I haven’t watched even a second of the Stanley Cup Finals thus far. I watched lacrosse Saturday night, and WWE Raw Monday night. Apparently Game 1 got good ratings though, so Mazel Tov.

That being said, if the Blackhawks win the Cup-this is how I will celebrate…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YDwj-BRKwc[/youtube]

3. NBA Playoffs-NBA Finals: Lakers/Celtics (Game 1 Thursday 9pm from Los Angeles live on ABC, Game 2 Sunday 8pm from Los Angeles live on ABC)

I’m rooting for LA in this one by default, mostly because I hate everything that has to do with Boston. In fact, I think Everlast (from House of Pain-you’ll remember he wore a Celtics jersey in the “Jump Around” video) should be arrested for what he did to Johnny Cash…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YDwj-BRKwc[/youtube]

This is really difficult too, especially knowing that Maria Menounos roots for the C’s. She seems nice…

maria

2. Tennis: French Open (Tuesday-Thursday 8am live on Tennis Channel, 12pm live on ESPN2; Friday 11am live on NBC; Saturday & Sunday 9am live on NBC. All action from Paris.)

So, Robby Ginepri’s loss to Novak Djokovic left no American men at Roland Garros. Again. My little cousins are better at playing in clay than American men are. I’ll revert back to rooting for Robin Soderling and whoever else is playing against Roger Federer. It’s pretty much how I’ve handled my love of tennis since Andre Agassi retired. And I can always root for Jelena Janokvic in the meantime???

jankovic

Nope. Too weird.

1. Ravens Rookie Camp (Wednesday & Thursday, 1 Winning Drive), Ravens Rookie Show (Wednesday 7pm Casey’s in Towson-airing Thursday on AM1570 WNST), Ravens Roost Convention (Thursday-Sunday; Parade Saturday-Ocean City)

Don’t you dare be the guy that says “Is there gonna be enough food at Casey’s to feed Terrence Cody???” I expect better from you. And I’ve already giggled about it in my mind about a hundred times before now.

You know what the best thing is about the Ravens event in Ocean City this weekend? Intern Genna works in Ocean City…

genna

Intern Genna > Santa Claus.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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