Tag Archive | "cleveland"

Oher probable; A. Jones, Pierce questionable against Browns on Sunday

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Oher probable; A. Jones, Pierce questionable against Browns on Sunday

Posted on 13 September 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Any concern over the status of Ravens right tackle Michael Oher for Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns was eliminated earlier in the week as the lineman was listed as probable on the final injury report of the week.

Oher practiced fully all week after suffering a sprained right ankle in the second quarter of the season-opening loss at Denver on Sept. 5. The 2009 first-round pick credited the extra days of rest following the Thursday game as a major reason why he was able to return to the practice field so quickly.

“I’m feeling really good. Hopefully, I’m feeling good Sunday as well,” Oher said after practicing on Friday. “The motivation is we want to win games. We want to win this week and continue to get better as well.”

Defensive tackle Arthur Jones (illness) and running back Bernard Pierce (thigh) were both designated as questionable for Sunday’s game after practicing on a limited basis all week. The biggest concern with Jones is his conditioning after missing over two weeks of action with an irregular heartbeat.

Both coach John Harbaugh and Jones provided cautious optimism for the fourth-year lineman’s availability on Sunday. Jones began experiencing an irregular heartbeat following the team’s third preseason game on Aug. 22 and was inactive for the season opener.

“I would say he didn’t get too out of shape,” Harbaugh said. “He’s progressing well. He looked OK at practice, but that’s something that we’ll have to see how he is feeling on Sunday. He’s got a chance [to play].”

Wide receiver Deonte Thompson (foot), defensive tackle Brandon Williams (toe), and offensive lineman Ryan Jensen (foot) were all listed as doubtful and aren’t expected to play. Wide receiver Jacoby Jones (knee) was ruled out earlier in the week after suffering a right MCL injury against Denver in Week 1.

For Cleveland, first-round linebacker Barkevious Mingo (bruised lung) was designated as probable to play after practicing all week.

BALTIMORE
OUT: WR Jacoby Jones
DOUBTFUL: C Ryan Jensen (foot), WR Deonte Thompson (foot), DT Brandon Williams (toe)
QUESTIONABLE: DT Art Jones (illness – NFI), RB Bernard Pierce (thigh)
PROBABLE: T Michael Oher (ankle)

CLEVELAND
OUT: G Shawn Lauvao (ankle)
DOUBTFUL: DL Ahtyba Rubin (calf)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Travis Benjamin (thigh), DB T.J. Ward (shoulder)
PROBABLE: LB Barkevious Mingo (lung), DB Buster Skrine (shoulder)

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D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction Picks and Comment – Week 2

Posted on 13 September 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

Here are this weekend’s picks as The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction will pick every NFL game this season.

Luke Jones finished Week 1 with an 11-5 record while Drew Forrester was 9-7 on his picks. Official standings are based only on the NFL picks.

Forrester and Jones both correctly picked New England to beat the New York Jets in the Thursday night game to kick off Week 2.

You can listen to the full explanation of their Week 2 selections HERE.

Browns at Ravens: Baltimore 23-16 (Drew), Baltimore 24-14 (Luke)
Chargers at Eagles: Philadelphia 40-24 (Drew), Philadelphia 34-27 (Luke)
Titans at Texans: Houston 27-13 (Drew), Houston 26-13 (Luke)
Dolphins at Colts: Miami 19-17 (Drew), Indianapolis 24-17 (Luke)
Panthers at Bills: Carolina 24-20 (Drew), Buffalo 24-20 (Luke)
Rams at Falcons: Atlanta 27-23 (Drew), Atlanta 27-17 (Luke)
Redskins at Packers: Green Bay 33-24 (Drew), Green Bay 31-21 (Luke)
Cowboys at Chiefs: Kansas City 24-17 (Drew), Dallas 24-21 (Luke)
Vikings at Bears: Minnesota 23-20 (Drew), Chicago 26-17 (Luke)
Saints at Buccaneers: New Orleans 40-17 (Drew), New Orleans 34-21 (Luke)
Lions at Cardinals: Detroit 27-20 (Drew), Arizona 24-23 (Luke)
Jaguars at Raiders: Oakland 27-6 (Drew), Oakland 7-6 (Luke)
Broncos at Giants: Denver 34-30 (Drew), New York 30-27 (Luke)
49ers at Seahawks: Seattle 27-22 (Drew), San Francisco 20-17 (Luke)
Steelers at Bengals: Cincinnati 30-13 (Drew), Cincinnati 24-14 (Luke)
Maryland at Connecticut: Huskies 23-20 (Drew), Terrapins 31-20 (Luke)
Delaware State at Towson: Tigers 51-12 (Drew), Tigers 40-13 (Luke)
Delaware at Navy: Midshipmen 31-25 (Drew), Midshipmen 31-17 (Luke)
Morgan State at Liberty: Flames 40-13 (Drew), Flames 30-13 (Luke)
Annapolis at Glen Burnie: Gophers 30-0 (Drew), Panthers 31-13 (Luke)
Milton Hershey at Susquehannock: Spartans 38-6 (Drew), Warriors 21-13 (Luke)

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Ravens defense desperate to bounce back from Week 1 embarrassment

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Ravens defense desperate to bounce back from Week 1 embarrassment

Posted on 12 September 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens defense has heard the snickering and the mocking over the last week since their 49-27 loss to the Denver Broncos.

As if setting team records for points allowed and touchdown passes surrendered in their first game without future Hall of Famers Ray Lewis and Ed Reed wasn’t enough, the Ravens also witnessed former teammate Anquan Boldin catch 13 passes for 208 yards. Of course, it was general manager Ozzie Newsome who famously said in a Sports Illustrated interview this summer that the veteran receiver’s $6 million salary for 2013 was used to bolster the Baltimore defense.

Surrendering 510 yards of total offense to quarterback Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense clearly wasn’t part of the plan for a defense many expected to be markedly better than last year’s unit.

“It was definitely tough being the punch line for a lot of jokes on the countdown shows and the morning shows opening weekend in the NFL,” said defensive end Chris Canty, who collected a sack and three quarterback hits in his Baltimore debut. “We’re definitely excited about having the opportunity to change the perception of what people think about us.”

No one wore his emotion on his sleeve more than defensive coordinator Dean Pees, who met with the local media for more than 13 minutes on Thursday. The frustration was apparent in his voice, reflecting that his expectations were much higher than the end result in Week 1.

It’s easy to forget after the 35-point second-half debacle, but the defense held the Broncos to a respectable 14 points and 174 yards in the first half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Of the 510 yards Pees’ unit surrendered, 307 came on the nine plays of 20 yards or more given up — six of which came in the second half.

“This has been a hard week, because I’m disappointed in the outcome,” defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. “I’m disappointed in the statistics, which look terrible. I’m not disappointed in the total defensive effort that we gave. I’m disappointed in nine plays.”

So, what exactly did the Week 1 performance mean aside from contributing to the first season-opening loss of the John Harbaugh era? Was the early hype surrounding the new-look defense undeserved with apparent vulnerability in the secondary?

Is enough credit being given to Manning and a Broncos team that treated the opener like their Super Bowl following January’s heartbreaking divisional round defeat at the hands of the eventual world champion Ravens? As much as we discussed the potential of Pees’ unit in 2013, the Ravens featured six new starters from last year and such change doesn’t always come together as quickly as you expect on paper.

The Ravens should view their first-half performance and the 59 defensive snaps in which they held Denver to 203 yards as positives on which to build, but those nine plays were critical in transforming a competitive game into one of the worst defeats in the Harbaugh era.

You can’t sugarcoat the reality of what happened.

“Big plays in this business will kill you,” Canty said. “Offenses are too good. You’ve got to limit the opportunities to drive the ball down the football field. Dean talks a lot about making people go the long, hard way [to score]. We just didn’t do that enough last Thursday and we paid the price for it.”

Much of the frustration expressed by Pees on Thursday stemmed from the fact that he felt so many of the mishaps were either avoidable and correctable. From missed tackles to blown coverages, there wasn’t much to like with the pass defense as Manning threw five touchdowns in the second half.

Should it be chalked up to miscommunications, the infamous Denver altitude, or simply the brilliance of Manning and his ability to exploit any imperfection in technique or positioning?

“Your guess is just as good as mine,” linebacker Terrell Suggs said. “Not every week [do] you get to practice or play against a team that’s explosive like they were. They were a good football team, but that was last week. We’re here to focus on the Cleveland Browns.”

As much as fans and media continue to dwell on last week, the Ravens have turned the page in focusing on Cleveland and an offense lacking the explosiveness of their Week 1 opponent. Second-year quarterback Brandon Weeden is a far cry from Manning and the Browns lack the array of receiving weapons on display in Denver.

The Browns make no secret about their desire to pound the football with bruising running back Trent Richardson, which should play right into the Ravens’ hands. While there were some questions about a secondary featuring new starting safeties Michael Huff and James Ihedigbo entering the season, most agree the strength of the Baltimore defense is its front seven, which didn’t play poorly against the Broncos.

Even with the catastrophic breakdowns in the secondary, the Ravens held the pass-happy Broncos to 2.9 yards per carry on 23 attempts while collecting three sacks and hitting Manning seven times. Much of that came with Baltimore using an extra defensive back, leaving the box more vulnerable against the run. You’d expect the Ravens to play more of their base defense on Sunday, with Courtney Upshaw seeing more than the 37 snaps he played against Denver and defensive tackle Arthur Jones possibly returning to action after a three-week layoff due to an irregular heartbeat.

“To ask our line to play a six-man box all game against their running game and hold them to [65] yards?” Pees said. “Best we’ve ever done. To hit Manning that many times? [That’s the] best we’ve ever done. But it all negates because of the other. That’s why it is personal. It bothers me, and the only thing that’s going to take the stink off of it is you know what.”

The most intriguing aspect of Sunday’s game might be potential adjustments made in the secondary from Week 1. After Corey Graham struggled playing the nickel against veteran slot receiver Wes Welker, Pees moved Lardarius Webb to the inside when the Ravens used three cornerbacks.

As he did prior to last year’s ACL injury, Webb can lock down the slot receiver while serving a more active role in stopping the run, which wouldn’t be a bad idea with the Browns more committed to the ground attack than most teams. However, it will be interesting to see how Pees handles the nickel this year considering neither Webb nor Graham has the size of former cornerback Cary Williams to play on the outside opposite Jimmy Smith in the nickel package, leaving the secondary potentially vulnerable against taller wideouts.

Cleveland offensive coordinator Norv Turner is surely aware of the Ravens’ struggles against Broncos tight end Julius Thomas, who caught five passes for 110 yards and two touchdown while abusing linebackers and safeties. Browns tight end Jordan Cameron was one of the lone highlights of his team’s Week 1 loss to Miami as he caught nine passes for 108 yards and a touchdown.

Rookie inside linebacker Arthur Brown saw only six defensive snaps and could be an option to spell Josh Bynes in the nickel package — as he did through much of the preseason — and first-round safety Matt Elam could be called upon if either Huff or Ihedigbo falter in pass coverage. Elam replaced Huff late in the game in Denver and figures to be a major factor defensively sooner rather than later.

Even with potential personnel and scheme adjustments made by Pees moving forward, the most improvement will need to come from within as the Ravens are convinced the season opener was more aberration than reality against one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. Lewis and Reed may no longer be in the defensive huddle, but their high defensive standard still remains as holdovers and newcomers always reference it.

But talking about it and actually showing it are two different things, a lesson the Ravens learned in embarrassing fashion last week.

“We know we have some things we need to work on, so this week, we go back to work, because we want to be better,” Webb said. “[It was] kind of an embarrassment. Raven football, we don’t play that way.”

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No changes to Ravens’ injury report for Thursday

Posted on 12 September 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — There were no changes to the Ravens’ official injury report for Thursday as right tackle Michael Oher continues to look like a good bet to play against the Cleveland Browns in the home opener.

The fifth-year lineman was a full participant for the second straight day as he continues to receive treatment for the sprained right ankle sustained in the season-opening loss to Denver. He appeared to be moving well as he took his normal spot with the offensive line in the portion of practice open to the media.

“[He’s an] unusual guy – extremely tough, extremely dedicated and disciplined,” offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell said. “He has a very, very high tolerance for pain. He’s been able to get back out. He’s obviously committed to this team, and he’s working at it extremely hard.”

Defensive tackle Arthur Jones was a limited participant once again after being cleared to begin practicing earlier in the week. The lineman told reporters he had been dealing with an irregular heartbeat since the third preseason game on Aug. 22.

The biggest question facing Jones in terms of his status for Week 2 will be his conditioning after missing a few weeks of practice and not being cleared to do much of anything while doctors ran a battery of tests on his heart.

Running back Bernard Pierce was listed as limited for the second straight day with what was listed as a thigh injury.

Wide receivers Jacoby Jones (knee) and Deonte Thompson (foot), offensive lineman Ryan Jensen (foot), and defensive tackle Brandon Williams (toe) did not practice on Thursday as Jones has already been ruled out and the other three are not expected to play against Cleveland.

For the Browns, first-round linebacker Barkevious Mingo (bruised lung) was upgraded to being a full participant after making his return to the practice field on a limited basis Wednesday. Starting cornerback Buster Skrine (shoulder) was also a full participant after being limited a day earlier.

Here is Thursday’s injury report:

BALTIMORE
OUT: WR Jacoby Jones (knee)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: C Ryan Jensen (foot), WR Deonte Thompson (foot), DT Brandon Williams (toe)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: DT Art Jones (illness – NFI), RB Bernard Pierce (thigh)
FULL PARTICIPATION: T Michael Oher (ankle)

CLEVELAND
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: G Shawn Lauvao (ankle), DL Ahtyba Rubin (calf)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: WR Travis Benjamin (thigh), DB T.J. Ward (shoulder)
FULL PARTICIPATION: DB Buster Skrine (shoulder), LB Barkevious Mingo (lung)

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Ravens offense looking for instant improvement in friendly surroundings

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Ravens offense looking for instant improvement in friendly surroundings

Posted on 11 September 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Every meeting with the Cleveland Browns draws the predictable kind words from the Ravens despite the fact that Baltimore hasn’t lost to the AFC North foe in their last 10 meetings.

The final outcomes haven’t always been convincing or overly impressive, but the Ravens have beaten Cleveland every time they’ve played since coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco arrived on the scene in 2008. The words of flattery aren’t exactly convincing when considering the opposite ends of the spectrum on which these teams have stood over the last five seasons.

“It’s a challenge. It always is in the division,” Harbaugh said. “We are very impressed with what we see on tape, and it’s a very important week for us.”

The Browns may not pose an overwhelming threat after a 23-10 home loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 1, but the final part of Harbaugh’s statement rings true for the Ravens after a humbling 49-27 loss of their own in Denver. It was the first season-opening defeat of the Harbaugh era and a painful reminder that the euphoria of last year’s Super Bowl title is long gone.

Running back Ray Rice called it a reality check as the Ravens now shift their attention to the home opener and an opportunity to improve their record to 1-1. Much attention has been paid to the Baltimore defense allowing a franchise-record 49 points, but the Ravens offense has been under the microscope since the start of the offseason. The decision to send wide receiver Anquan Boldin to San Francisco in a move that provided $6 million of salary cap space created concern in the passing game that transformed into a full-blown crisis with the long-term hip injury suffered by tight end Dennis Pitta at the start of training camp.

There are still no clear answers to quell those concerns as the Ravens failed to significantly address the wide receiver position after Boldin’s departure, erroneously depending on a young group of holdover receivers that wasn’t up to the task.

Graybeards Brandon Stokley and Dallas Clark and rookie free agent Marlon Brown have emerged — out of attrition and because of the latter’s impressive skill set — as critical pieces in the passing game. And the Week 1 injury to speedy receiver Jacoby Jones puts a dent in the vertical passing game, the one area of the field in which the Ravens could really feel confident in throwing the football.

To make matters worse, the Ravens couldn’t run the football as they averaged just 2.8 yards per carry and were limited to just five carries in the second half after falling behind big in a disastrous third quarter. Many have pondered whether that running game will need to be leaned upon more heavily this season despite having a franchise quarterback to throw the football.

The pressure on the offense to show instant improvement falls on the shoulders of Flacco, who attempted a career-high 62 passes for 362 yards but was picked off twice against a Denver defense lacking Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller and future Hall of Fame cornerback Champ Bailey. Without Boldin or Pitta on which to depend, life suddenly isn’t as easy for the franchise quarterback.

“That’s the name of the game when you’re a quarterback in this league,” said Flacco, who acknowledged that working with so much new personnel has caused the little things such as timing to take more time to perfect. “You want your organization to be able to [make changes], and you have to prove that you can adapt to whatever is necessary to win football games, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

The challenge this week will be a talented Cleveland front seven that will only get stronger with the return of first-round linebacker Barkevious Mingo from a bruised lung. He, former Raven Paul Kruger, and Jabaal Sheard form an imposing pass rush on paper, but the Ravens will the expected return of right tackle Michael Oher, who missed the entire second half against Denver with a right ankle injury.

Browns cornerback Joe Haden will draw the assignment of covering No.1 receiver Torrey Smith, who dealt with bracketed coverage against Denver after Jones’ exit with a knee injury. Jones’ absence means Stokley and Brown will need to keep the rest of the secondary honest enough to give the speedy Smith some opportunities in one-on-one matchups against Haden.

Flacco certainly needs more help from Clark, who dropped a sure touchdown pass right before halftime in Week 1 and struggled to gain separation, and fellow tight end Ed Dickson, who couldn’t rein in a number of catchable passes. The quarterback took the high road when asked to address the high number of drops on Wednesday, but the sense of urgency is there to limit unforced errors with the overall talent level of the wide receivers and tight ends coming into question.

“If that’s all we have to worry about is a couple of guys that have very sure hands not coming up with a couple really tough catches, then I think we’re going to be OK,” Flacco said. “Over the long run, we’re going to make a lot of those catches, and it’s going to lend itself to a lot of good things.”

The Ravens hope those good things begin coming to fruition quickly against the Browns, who aren’t nearly the opponent that Denver was but have played them closer than expected at M&T Bank Stadium in each of the last three seasons. Baltimore needs its $120.6 million man to be on his game to elevate the play of a pedestrian group of pass catchers as much as he can — he can’t catch it, too, of course.

Flacco’s 99.0 quarterback rating at home last season only continued his career-long trend of thriving against defenses on his home turf, and it’s the kind of precision the Ravens will need this year to make the offense click. The Ravens have made it a point this week to emphasize that the running game must improve — it’s the truth with two talented running backs at their disposal — but the offense will only go as far as Flacco can take them.

His 92.5 quarterback rating in 10 career games against the Browns and the first contest of the year in Baltimore are the perfect combination for a bounce-back performance. A win is never a guarantee, but the setting doesn’t get much better than this, especially with the backdrop of 71,000 fans stoked to see a Super Bowl championship banner unveiled.

The bad taste from the second-half debacle in Denver will have lingered for 10 days by the time kickoff arrives on Sunday afternoon.

“We’re not going to overreact, but we are going to react and respond where we need to,” Harbaugh said. “The first game is always a good barometer. The old saying is true: It’s never as good or it’s never as bad as what you initially feel.”

And the Ravens hope they’ll be feeling much better about themselves on both sides of the ball by 4:15 p.m. on Sunday.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 10 September 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Mixed Martial Arts-Bellator MMA (Friday 9pm from Temecula, CA live on SpikeTV); WNBA: Connecticut Sun @ Washington Mystics (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Monumental Network), New York Liberty @ Washington Mystics (Sunday 4pm from Verizon Center live on Monumental Network); High School Football: Towson @ Perry Hall (Thursday 7pm), Good Counsel @ Calvert Hall (Friday 7pm), Anacostia (DC) @ Gilman (Friday 2:10pm)

10. Shindig Festival feat. The Gaslight Anthem/Joan Jett & The Blackhearts/Mighty Mighty Bosstones/Dropkick Murphys/Jimmie’s Chicken Shack (Saturday Carroll Park); Rebelution/Matisyahu (Wednesday 6pm Pier Six Pavilion); Muse/Cage The Elephant (Wednesday 7pm Verizon Center); Fall Out Boy/Panic! At The Disco (Tuesday 7pm Patriot Center); Depeche Mode (Tuesday 7:30pm Jiffy Lube Live), Jason Aldean (Saturday 7:30pm Jiffy Lube Live); ZZ Top (Wednesday 8pm Wolf Trap); Cage The Elephant/Diamond Youth (Thursday 7pm Power Plant Live); Eve 6 (Friday 8pm Power Plant Live); The Airborne Toxic Event (Thursday 8pm Rams Head Live); Cris Jacobs Band (Friday 8pm 8×10 Club); Rusted Root (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Blue October (Friday 7:30pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Eve (Friday 8pm Howard Theatre); Shovels and Rope (Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club), Jake Bugg (Saturday 7pm 9:30 Club); Graham Nash (Sunday 7:30pm Birchmere); Dirty Dozen Brass Band (Thursday 7:30pm The Hamilton); North Mississippi All-Stars (Friday 9pm State Theatre); Keith Urban “Fuse”, Arctic Monkeys “AM”, Janelle Monae “The Electric Lady”, J. Roddy Walston & The Business “Essential Tremors”  and Trombone Shorty “Say That to Say This” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I’ll be in Pigtown Saturday. I’ve never seen Gaslight Anthem. They might be the best band (right now) I haven’t seen.

I don’t think I’ve seen The Mighty Mighty Bosstones since I was 14. It doesn’t mean I won’t sing along to every word of “Royal Oil.”

I’ll be “Grabbing A Bud” at Hooters Towson Friday 7pm-8pm. Then I’ll IMMEDIATELY be trying to talk my fiancee into hitting PPL so I can ALSO sing along to every word to far too many Eve 6 songs.

I will probably post about J. Roddy Walston a time or two on Facebook Tuesday. You can thank me later.

9. Dane Cook (Thursday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Russell Brand (Thursday 8pm Warner Theatre); Charlie Murphy (Thursday-Sunday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Shaquille O’Neal’s All-Star Comedy Jam (Friday 8pm); “The Gathering” Food Truck Rally (Friday 5pm Keswick Castle); Maryland Renaissance Festival (Saturday & Sunday RennFest Fairgrounds); Hampdenfest (Saturday 36th Street); “Star Trek Into Darkness” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); The Family” and “Insidious Chapter 2″ out in theaters (Friday)

If you couldn’t remember which Star Trek movie this one was, it was this one.

If you’ve forgotten which superstar’s brother Charlie Murphy was, this one. (Language NSFW.)

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Enjoy Labor Day with your family and Fox Sports Radio on WNST!

Posted on 02 September 2013 by WNST Staff

We hope you have a wonderful Labor Day enjoying time with your family, friends and us here at WNST.net!

We’ve allowed our local hosts to spend their Labor Day with their loved ones, you’ll be in the more than capable hands of Fox Sports Radio’s talented national lineup on AM1570 and streaming live at WNST.net/TuneIn Radio app!

In the meantime, we’ll have the Baltimore Ravens’ practice in Owings Mills covered (including media availability with coordinators Jim Caldwell, Dean Pees and Jerry Rosburg) here at WNST.net and @WNST on Twitter. Plus we’ll be keeping tabs on the Baltimore Orioles as they open a crucial series at the Cleveland Indians Monday afternoon as well!

We’ll be live and local once again Tuesday morning with Drew Forrester and Luke Jones 6am on The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction. Don’t forget our next “Grab a Bud” Happy Hour with Glenn Clark from “The Reality Check” is Tuesday night at Hooters Towson!

And don’t forget that both Drew and Glenn make an appearance in “America’s Game: The 2012 Baltimore Ravens”, which debuts tonight at 9pm on the NFL Network.

Have a wonderful day off Monday. Go Birds!

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Orioles interested in bringing back Reynolds?

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Orioles interested in bringing back Reynolds?

Posted on 08 August 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

In what figured to be a slow news day for the Orioles as they travel to San Francisco to begin a three-game series with the Giants on Friday night, the sudden availability of an old friend has sparked debate about a potential reunion.

Cleveland Indians infielder Mark Reynolds has been designated for assignment in what’s been a difficult 2013 season, leaving many to wonder if the former Orioles slugger would be a good fit as the right-handed designated hitter option the lineup has lacked all year. Of course, the Indians are in the midst of their own pennant race and don’t view Reynolds as a viable contributor as he’s hit just .215 with 15 home runs and 48 RBIs, with much of that production coming over the first five weeks of the season when he got off to a hot start with his new club. His .680 on-base plus slugging percentage is a career worst by a significant margin.

According to ESPN’s Jim Bowden, the Orioles are interested in Reynolds if Cleveland can secure trade waivers on him, which would be necessary since the non-waiver trade deadline has passed. After a club designates a player, it has 10 days to either trade, release, or place him on waivers in hopes of outrighting the player to the minor leagues.

Since May 7, Reynolds has hit .179 with five home runs and 21 RBIs and has posted an abysmal .532 OPS while striking out 96 times in 267 plate appearances. Always known to be a streaky hitter as many Orioles fans can frustratingly recall, the Indians finally gave up after a three-month slump in which he’s been relegated to the bench for poor play.

The Orioles’ struggles at the DH spot are well documented this season as the position has produced a .210 average with 16 home runs, 46 RBIs, and a .389 slugging percentage, numbers not terribly different from what Reynolds brought to the Indians this year. Rookie Henry Urrutia has been the most recent to receive an opportunity as the DH against right-handed pitching, but he’s shown little power potential while hitting .273 in 44 plate appearances.

Switch-hitting veteran Wilson Betemit began a minor-league rehab assignment earlier this week, but he would only make sense as a DH option against right-handed pitching with his well-documented deficiencies against left-handers.

Currently, outfielder Steve Pearce and catcher Taylor Teagarden are the only right-handed bats off the bench, but a corner infielder wouldn’t provide as much defensive versatility as Pearce. This season, Reynolds is hitting .215 with six homers and 20 RBIs while posting a .745 OPS against southpaws.

Reynolds signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Indians last winter after the Orioles expressed no interest in retaining his services — declining an $11 million club option before eventually non-tendering him — but the 30-year-old was popular in the clubhouse and may feel revitalized returning to Baltimore where he expressed a preference to stay at the end of last season.

His numbers are alarmingly trending in the wrong direction this year after what was already an underwhelming 2012 season with the Orioles, but if he’s simply a waiver claim or the Indians would simply send him Baltimore’s way for cash considerations or a no-name minor leaguer, it might be worth the gamble that Reynolds can get hot for some portion of the final two months of the season.

But if the asking price is any more, executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette should aim higher if he’s serious about adding a right-handed DH option to the 25-man roster. Realistically speaking, the executive should be looking to do better regardless of the cost to acquire Reynolds, who seems like more of a fingers-crossed hope than a real solution at this point.

In his two seasons in Baltimore, Reynolds hit .221 with 60 home runs, 155 RBIs, and a .786 OPS in 290 games.

 

 

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 27 May 2013 by Glenn Clark

We’re doing things backwards a bit this week because of the holiday. The “Monday Reality Check” will now be a “Tuesday Reality Check.” T10BD reflects the week beginning tomorrow, May 28 through Monday, June 3rd. And before we get started, this feels appropriate.

Honorable Mention: MLL-Hamilton Nationals @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7:30pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on CBS Sports Network); WNBA: Atlanta Dream @ Washington Mystics (Sunday 4pm Verizon Center)

10. Tim McGraw (Saturday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live); Kelly Rowland & The Dream (Tuesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Pop Evil (Thursday 7pm Rams Head Live); Aaron Neville (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Bacon Brothers (Friday & Saturday 6:30pm & 9:30pm Rams Head on Stage), Candlebox (Monday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Fall Out Boy (Friday 8pm 9:30 Club); Flobots (Sunday 7pm U Street Music Hall); John Fogerty “Wrote A Song For Everyone” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

Not much to like here. I mean, I’m not a Tim McGraw guy but I’ve had a few BBQ stains in my day…

Dear Aaron Neville-thanks for letting us borrow your city to win a Super Bowl. Cheers!

I hate how much people my age know every word to every Fall Out Boy song. But damn if I’m not one of them.

John Fogerty + Foo Fighters + “Fortunate Son” = I might watch this video all night.

9. Artie Lange (Saturday 7:30pm & 10pm Howard Theatre); Kevin James (Wednesday 7:30pm Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric); Hal Sparks (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); After Earth” and “Now You See Me” out in theaters (Friday); Artfest (Saturday 12pm Boordy Vineyards); Great Grapes! Wine and Food Festival (Saturday & Sunday 12pm Oregon Ridge); “A Taste Of Two Cities”-Baltimore vs. DC Food Trucks (Saturday 12pm Rash Field)

I feel like Baltimore should EASILY win a competition against DC in terms of food. All you do is show up with some sweet corn and lather it in Old Bay. Competition over. The Clark Family did a bit too much of that over Memorial Day weekend…

Competition still going? We shove Peppermint Sticks in lemons around these parts, son. What now?

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Kruger leaves Ravens to sign five-year deal in Cleveland

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Kruger leaves Ravens to sign five-year deal in Cleveland

Posted on 12 March 2013 by Luke Jones

Less than an hour into the start of free agency, the Ravens have sustained their first loss as linebacker Paul Kruger has signed a five-year deal with the Cleveland Browns.

Multiple reports are saying the contract is worth an estimated $41 million with $20 million in guaranteed money. Despite not being the Ravens’ top priority among their unrestricted free agents after quarterback Joe Flacco was inked to a $120.6 million contract, Kruger was the Ravens’ most attractive commodity on the open market and didn’t last very long after the start of free agency at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

Finishing with a team-high nine sacks in the regular season and adding 4 1/2 more in the playoffs, the 2009 second-round pick was hitting the open market at the perfect time after serving as a reserve in his first three seasons with the Ravens.

Kruger thrived in a situational pass-rusher role and saw his production increase with the mid-October return of Terrell Suggs this season. The 6-foot-4, 270-pound linebacker collected 12 sacks in the final 12 games of the season including the playoffs.

It was determined early in the offseason that Kruger’s asking price would not be met by the Ravens, who were unlikely to offer such a steep contract to a player not particularly strong against the run or in pass coverage. Kruger played in only 22 of the Ravens’ 62 defensive snaps in Super Bowl XLVII but collected two sacks in the 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers.

The Ravens will likely depend more heavily on 2012 second-round pick Courtney Upshaw, who started at the strong-side linebacker position in the base defense and played primarily in running situations. Baltimore will also look to the draft as well as young pass rushers Michael McAdoo and Adrian Hamilton to help fill the void left behind by Kruger.

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