Tag Archive | "cubs"

Orioles agree to one-year deal with lefty reliever Wright

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Orioles agree to one-year deal with lefty reliever Wright

Posted on 16 December 2014 by Luke Jones

Searching to fill the void left behind by the departure of Andrew Miller, the Orioles agreed to terms on a one-year deal with left-handed relief pitcher Wesley Wright on Tuesday.

The 29-year-old went 0-3 with a 3.17 ERA in 48 1/3 innings with the Chicago Cubs last season. In seven major league seasons, Wright sports a 10-18 record with a 4.17 ERA, but the lefty has posted a 3.25 ERA in his last four seasons split among Chicago, Tampa Bay, and Houston.

In 2014, left-handed hitters posted a .273 batting average and a .594 on-base plus slugging percentage and didn’t record an extra-base hit while right-handed bats sported a .255 mark with a .719 OPS. Wright wasn’t tendered a contract with the Cubs and is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2015 season.

Wright’s addition gives manager Buck Showalter another left-hander to throw into the mix with closer Zach Britton, lefty specialist Brian Matusz, and long reliever T.J. McFarland. Matusz has been discussed in trade talks, but he remains with the organization for now.

A seventh-round pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2003 draft, Wright made two appearances with the Rays in the 2013 American League Division Series, allowing a hit and a walk in two-thirds of an inning against Boston.

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Orioles drop another at Wrigley in rain

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Orioles drop another at Wrigley in rain

Posted on 23 August 2014 by WNST Staff

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Maryland pitcher Stinnett drafted in second round by Cubs

Posted on 06 June 2014 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md.  University of Maryland right hander Jake Stinnett has been selected in the second round (45th overall) of the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Chicago Cubs.

Stinnett is the 15th Terrapin to be drafted over the last four years and is the highest-selected Maryland player since Brett Cecil was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the first round (38th overall pick) of the 2007 draft.

A second team All-ACC selection as a senior, Stinnett has served as Maryland’s Friday night ace throughout the 2014 campaign leading the Terps to their first NCAA Super Regional appearance in program history this weekend against Virginia.

The Vista, Calif., native has compiled a 7-6 record in 15 starts (2.65 ERA), striking out a program-record and ACC-best 130 batters in 112.0 innings this season. Opponents are hitting just .192 against the righty hurler, which ranks third in the ACC.

This season, Stinnett accomplished a feat not seen in the ACC since 2006 winning weekly player of the week honors four times.

Stinnett was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 29th round of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft, but chose to remain at Maryland for his senior season.

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jef

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Samardzija is the wrong fit for O’s needs

Posted on 31 May 2014 by Tony Wisniewski

It’s not that he’s not good enough.

Jeff Samardzija is pitching as well as anyone in the Big Leagues.  His 1.68 ERA, along with his 1.06 WHIP are certainly stats to write home about.  By any estimation, the Cubs’ current ace is a bona fide number-one starter on the majority of the seven-plus teams who are currently coveting his services.

But, while his 2014 numbers have been stellar through the end of May, baseball has a way of making players turn into who they really are.  And, over the long haul, Samardzija isn’t an ace and probably isn’t worth the asking price of a king’s ransom, two first-borns, and nude pictures of the acquiring team’s GM’s wife.

The Orioles, sitting at a game below-.500 aren’t only “a player away” from being a true contender.  They’re at least a starter, a closer, a left fielder, and a fast table-setting leadoff hitter away from being the class of the AL East.  This, coupled with the hard-luck the club has faced with injuries thus far, makes it a no-brainer to pump the brakes on the idea of sending the likes of Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, or Eddy Rodriguez to the Cubs in exchange for a 29-year-old starter who has never won double-digit games in the Major Leagues.

Some will make the argument that Samardzija would be a perennial double-digit wins guy if he had any offensive support–but what pitcher wouldn’t?  The same argument could be made for the Bud Norris’, Miguel Gonzalez’s, and Wei-yin Chen’s of the world; each of whom are capable of 10-12 wins with some decent four-plus runs per game type of support.

Bringing a pitcher like Samardzija to Baltimore in exchange for two potential front-end starters isn’t the type of trade that creates long-term success.  It’s a stop-gap.  It’s a short-term “what have you done for me lately” type of move.

For what it’s worth, if you look at the Cubs rotation, Samardzija’s numbers aren’t even the best of the bunch.  In fact, Oriole castoff Jason Hammel, has five wins and a WHIP of 0.91.  And, if you want to argue that “wins” are an overblown statistic, please, go for it.  But keep in mind, at the end of the season, the teams that play in October play because of that very statistic.

Some guys are winner  and some aren’t.  There are intangibles that some pitchers have and others don’t.   Before falling in love with the idea that “wins” don’t matter, or “Samardzija would be great on another team,” I’ll toss out some names like the aforementioned Norris, C.J. Wilson, Edwin Jackson, and all of the other pitchers who have convinced fans and front office execs that their mediocrity is based on their surroundings.

When he gets traded, and there’s no doubt he will, Samardzija will help out wherever he goes.  He’ll bolster a contending team’s rotation.

But the Orioles don’t really need that.  They need to make the long-play, and he’s the wrong guy for anything like that.

 

 

 

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Buying high on Samardzija unlikely to bring desired payoff

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Buying high on Samardzija unlikely to bring desired payoff

Posted on 28 May 2014 by Luke Jones

The Orioles need better starting pitching and they need an ace if they truly want to compete for a World Series title.

That cry has been uttered by fans and media alike for the better part of two years — even longer if you prefer going back to the free-agent departure of Mike Mussina after the 2000 season — as the rotation has mostly been comprised of arms with the ability of No. 3, No. 4, and No. 5 starters who have often struggled to pitch deep into games, leaving the bullpen overworked and eventually worn out.

It comes as no surprise to see the reaction to a CBS Chicago report suggesting the Orioles are the “leading team of interest” in Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija, who currently sports a miniscule 1.68 earned run average through his first 11 starts of the 2014 season. That mark is second in the majors despite the 29-year-old being limited to a 1-4 record pitching for the woeful Cubs.

There’s no disputing Samardzija being a talented pitcher as he would be a clear upgrade in the starting rotation, but he’s also expected to be one of the top commodities available on the open market this summer. And that’s why it’s a dangerous proposition to bid on a solid pitcher who’s having a career season if you’re the Orioles or any club hot after his services.

As desperate as the Orioles should be for better starting pitching with their best competitive window closing after the 2015 season when Matt Wieters and Chris Davis are both scheduled to become free agents, Samardzija needs to be viewed for who he really is and not what the Orioles want him to be. The right-hander is off to an unbelievable start, but his 3.90 career ERA and 4.34 ERA pitching in the National League Central only last year suggest he isn’t much more than a solid upgrade and is not someone worth gutting a top-heavy minor-league system to acquire.

In other words, the Orioles wouldn’t be getting a David Price or a Cliff Lee in adding the 6-foot-5 right-hander to the starting rotation. And pitching in the American League East is a different story than the National League.

The Cubs are undoubtedly looking for a king’s ransom in exchange for Samardzija’s services, and there will be plenty of clubs looking to acquire him, which will further drive up the price. Should the Orioles be willing to part with some combination of top pitching prospects Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy, Hunter Harvey, and Eduardo Rodriguez in order to land him?

It’s true that the Orioles have far too often been disappointed in waiting for a slew of top prospects to realize their potential in recent years, but that doesn’t mean executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette should willingly fork over what few minor-league pieces he has for what history suggests is an improvement but not a dynamic difference-maker to put the Orioles over the top. It will ultimately come down to Chicago’s asking price and how many teams are sold on Samardzija’s start in 2014 and the idea of him truly being an ace.

Is Samardzija — who is eligible for free agency after the 2015 season — worth the combination of Rodriguez and 21-year-old second baseman Jonathan Schoop or the package of one of Gausman, Bundy, or Harvey and a lower-level prospect? Perhaps, but if other clubs are willing to exceed that kind of a deal, the Orioles must remember that Samardzija’s 66 career starts prior to 2014 suggest he’s not even as good as Ubaldo Jimenez.

Despite his tiny ERA, Samardzija is averaging 7.7 strikeouts per nine innings in 2014 — actually down from his career average of 8.5 — and a .269 batting average on balls in play against him provides statistical evidence suggesting he won’t sustain his incredible start, which even the layman would predict anyway.

It’s a difficult call as the Orioles appeared to signal during spring training that they’re finally “going for it” after investing $50 million in Jimenez and signing slugger Nelson Cruz to a one-year, $8 million contract. Throwing money at free-agent commodities is one thing, but giving up young and cheap talent in a farm system needing more depth is a dangerous proposition if you’re not overwhelmed with what you’re getting in return.

The Orioles know their best window for competing is closing with Cruz, J.J. Hardy, and Nick Markakis set to become free agents after this season and Davis and Wieters the year after. If there were ever a time for the Orioles to pull the trigger on a blockbuster deal, it’s now, particularly with the AL East looking very average.

But is the Chicago pitcher the right target?

Samardzija would improve the rotation, but whether the Orioles would be so much better with him that Duquette should pony up a couple of his top pitching prospects is open for debate.

And the history before the first two months of 2014 suggests the answer is probably not.

 

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Former Oriole Wada headed to Spring Training with Cubs

Posted on 02 February 2014 by WNST Staff

Cubs invite 24 non-roster players to major league Spring Training

The Chicago Cubs have invited 24 non-roster players to major league spring training, which begins Thursday, February 13 when pitchers and catchers are invited to report in advance of their first formal workout on Friday, February 14 at Cubs Park in Mesa, Ariz.

Position players are invited to report to camp Tuesday, February 18 with the team’s first full squad workout Wednesday, February 19.

The following nine pitchers have been invited to major league camp: right-handed pitchers Marcus Hatley, Kyle Hendricks, Carlos Pimentel, Armando Rivero and Brian Schlitter, as well as left-handed pitchers Tommy Hottovy, Eric Jokisch, Jonathan Sanchez and Tsuyoshi Wada.

Five infielders have been invited to major league camp: Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Ryan Roberts, Chris Valaika and Jeudy Valdez.

Seven outfielders have been invited to big league camp: Albert Almora, Chris Coghlan, Aaron Cunningham, Ryan Kalish, Mitch Maier, Darnell McDonald and Casper Wells.

Three catchers have been invited to big league camp: John Baker, Rafael Lopez and Eli Whiteside.

Additionally, minor league catchers Luis Flores and Will Remillard will assist at times in big league camp.

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Orioles claim RHP Hendriks off waivers from Cubs

Posted on 23 December 2013 by WNST Staff

Orioles claim RHP Liam Hendriks off waivers from the Cubs

The Orioles today announced that they have claimed RHP LIAM HENDRIKS off of waivers from the Cubs.

Hendriks, 24, was claimed off of waivers by the Cubs from Minnesota on December 13. He appeared in 10 games (eight starts) for the Twins in 2013, going 1-3 with a 6.85 ERA (47.1IP, 36ER). He also made 16 starts for Triple-A Rochester. Originally signed by Minnesota as an international free agent in 2007, Hendriks will be the third Australian-born Oriole in club history when he makes his debut, joining JOHN STEPHENS (2002) and DAMIAN MOSS (2003). In six minor league seasons in the Minnesota organization, Hendriks went 42-28 with a 2.99 ERA (580.1IP, 193ER) in 100 games (98 starts).

With this move, the Orioles now have 39 players on the 40-man roster.

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Orioles acquire SP Feldman; send Strop-Arrieta to Cubs

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Orioles acquire SP Feldman; send Strop-Arrieta to Cubs

Posted on 02 July 2013 by WNST Staff

The Orioles today announced that they have acquired RHP SCOTT FELDMAN and CA STEVE CLEVENGER from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for RHPs JAKE ARRIETA and PEDRO STROP and INTERNATIONAL SIGNING BONUS SLOTS 3 and 4. Clevenger has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

Additionally, OF NOLAN REIMOLD has been activated from the 15-day disabled list.

Feldman, 30, is 7-6 with a 3.46 ERA (91.0IP, 35ER) and nine Quality Starts in 15 outings for the Cubs this season, including a 4-1 mark and 2.25 ERA (40.0IP, 10ER) in six starts in May. He is 46-50 with a 4.66 ERA (818.2IP, 424ER) in 219 career games (116 starts) over nine seasons with Texas (2005-12) and the Cubs (2013). Since 2011, Feldman has improved his strikeout rate to 17.8% of batters faced and lowered his walk rate to 6.4%, compared to 12.7% and 8.4%, respectively, over the first six years of his career.

“Feldman is a proven starter with postseason experience who should help stabilize our rotation for the second half,” Orioles Executive VP of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette said.

He appeared in nine postseason games for Texas in 2011, going 1-0 with a 3.29 ERA (13.2IP, 5ER) while pitching in the ALDS (one game), ALCS (three games) and World Series (five games). Feldman set career-highs with 17 wins, 31 starts and 189.2 innings pitched for the Rangers in 2009.

“We’re having a good season & need to stabilize our starting pitching to advance to the playoffs,” Duquette told MASN. “And that’s what this deal is aimed to addressed.”

Feldman, who was scheduled to start Tuesday for the Cubs against the Oakland Athletics, will fly out to Chicago tonight to join the Orioles, and will start Wednesday against the White Sox, according to an interview Feldman did with Sirius XM.

“I know Maryland’s known for Crabcakes and Football,” Feldman joked while on with former GM Jim Bowden.

He will be the third Hawaiian-born player in Orioles history, joining INF LENN SAKATA (1980-85) and LHP SID FERNANDEZ (1994-95).

Clevenger, 27, has batted .327/.426/.596 in 15 games for Triple-A Iowa and is 1-for-8 in eight games for the Cubs this season. He is a .199/.262/.275 hitter in 79 major league games with the Cubs since 2011. The Baltimore-born Clevenger was selected by the Cubs in the 7th round of the 2006 First Year Player Draft and has batted .310/.372/.429 in 563 career minor league games. He graduated from Mount St. Joseph’s High School.

Arrieta, 27, is 1-2 with a 7.23 ERA (23.2IP, 19ER) in five starts for the Orioles this season. He has gone 20-25 with a 5.46 ERA (358.0IP, 217ER) in 69 games (63 starts) in four seasons with Baltimore after being selected by the O’s in the 5th round of the 2007 First Year Player Draft.

Arrieta was shocked by the trade, but ultimately he understood the decision the Orioles had to make, and he knows that it benefits both he and the two clubs involved.

“I think for both sides, it kind of came to that fork in the road and they chose to make a trade,” Arrieta told the Sun. “I think that is really the best way to look at it. This is something that is going to do me a lot of good.”

Strop, 28, is 0-3 with a 7.25 ERA (22.1IP, 18ER) in 29 games for the Orioles this season. He went 7-5 with a 3.30 ERA (101.0IP, 37ER) and three saves in 111 games for the Orioles after being acquired on September 1, 2011 from Texas.

“It was frustrating knowing you can do better than what you are doing,” Strop told MLB.com.

Reimold, 29, was placed on the disabled list on May 12 with a right hamstring strain. He is batting .188/.257/.327 in 31 games for the Orioles this season.

The Orioles will not have to make a corresponding roster move with Reimold until Feldman arrives with the team.

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Bovada Sets Orioles Win Total At 69.5, Second Longest Odds to Win World Series

Posted on 14 March 2012 by WNST Staff

Odds to win the 2012 World Series     

Philadelphia Phillies                   11/2

New York Yankees                    13/2

Los Angeles Angels                   7/1

Detroit Tigers                             8/1

Texas Rangers                          10/1

Boston Red Sox                        10/1

San Francisco Giants                 15/1

Tampa Bay Rays                       18/1

Miami Marlins                            20/1

Cincinnati Reds                         20/1

Atlanta Braves                           22/1

St. Louis Cardinals                     25/1

Arizona Diamondbacks               28/1

Milwaukee Brewers                    28/1

Washington Nationals                30/1

Los Angeles Dodgers                 40/1

Toronto Blue Jays                      40/1

Chicago Cubs                            40/1

Colorado Rockies                       40/1

Cleveland Indians                       60/1

Chicago White Sox                    65/1

Minnesota Twins                        75/1

Kansas City Royals                   80/1

New York Mets                          80/1

Oakland Athletics                      80/1

Pittsburgh Pirates                      100/1

San Diego Padres                      100/1

Seattle Mariners                        100/1

Baltimore Orioles                       150/1

Houston Astros                          200/1

Odds to win the 2012 AL Pennant       

New York Yankees                    13/4

Los Angeles Angels                   7/2

Detroit Tigers                             4/1

Boston Red Sox                        11/2

Texas Rangers                          11/2

Tampa Bay Rays                       9/1

Toronto Blue Jays                      22/1

Cleveland Indians                       28/1

Chicago White Sox                    35/1

Kansas City Royals                   40/1

Oakland Athletics                      40/1

Minnesota Twins                        40/1

Seattle Mariners                        60/1

Baltimore Orioles                       75/1

 

Odds to win the 2012 NL Pennant       

Philadelphia Phillies                   9/4

San Francisco Giants                 7/1

Atlanta Braves                           9/1

Cincinnati Reds                         9/1

Miami Marlins                            9/1

St. Louis Cardinals                     11/1

Milwaukee Brewers                    14/1

Washington Nationals                15/1

Arizona Diamondbacks               14/1

Colorado Rockies                       18/1

Los Angeles Dodgers                 18/1

Chicago Cubs                            22/1

New York Mets                          40/1

Pittsburgh Pirates                      40/1

San Diego Padres                      50/1

Houston Astros                          100/1

Odds to win the 2012 AL East

New York Yankees                    2/3

Boston Red Sox                        3/1

Tampa Bay Rays                       9/2

Toronto Blue Jays                      12/1

Baltimore Orioles                       100/1

 

Odds to win the 2012 AL Central         

Detroit Tigers                             1/4

Cleveland Indians                       10/1

Kansas City Royals                   12/1

Chicago White Sox                    12/1

Minnesota Twins                        16/1

 

Odds to win the 2012 AL West

Los Angeles Angels                   4/5

Texas Rangers                          1/1

Oakland Athletics                      30/1

Seattle Mariners                        45/1

 

Odds to win the 2012 NL East

Philadelphia Phillies                   1/2

Miami Marlins                            11/2

Atlanta Braves                           6/1

Washington Nationals                8/1

New York Mets                          50/1

 

Odds to win the 2012 NL Central         

Cincinnati Reds                         7/5

St. Louis Cardinals                     2/1

Milwaukee Brewers                    11/4

Chicago Cubs                            18/1

Pittsburgh Pirates                      30/1

Houston Astros                          100/1

 

Odds to win the 2012 NL West

San Francisco Giants                 5/4

Arizona Diamondbacks               2/1

Los Angeles Dodgers                 11/2

Colorado Rockies                       7/1

San Diego Padres                      15/1

Over/Under Regular Season Win Totals

Arizona Diamondbacks               86½

Atlanta Braves                           86½

Baltimore Orioles                       69½

Boston Red Sox                        90½

Chicago Cubs                            73½

Chicago White Sox                    75½

Cincinnati Reds                         87½

Cleveland Indians                       78½

Colorado Rockies                       80½

Detroit Tigers                             91½

Miami Marlins                            85½

Houston Astros                          63½

Kansas City Royals                   78½

Los Angeles Angels                   91½

Los Angeles Dodgers                 80½

Milwaukee Brewers                    85½

Minnesota Twins                        72½

New York Mets                          73½

New York Yankees                    93½

Oakland Athletics                      72½

Philadelphia Phillies                   93½

Pittsburgh Pirates                      72½

San Diego Padres                      73½

San Francisco Giants                 87½

Seattle Mariners                        71½

St. Louis Cardinals                     85½

Tampa Bay Rays                       86½

Texas Rangers                          91½

Toronto Blue Jays                      81½

Washington Nationals                83½
courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV).

 

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 30 May 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Boxing-Sebastian Zbik vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (Saturday 10pm from Los Angeles live on HBO), Super Six World Boxing Classic Semifinals-Carl Froch vs. Glen Johnson (Saturday 9pm from Atlantic City live on Showtime); Arena Football: AFL Jacksonville Sharks @ New Orleans VooDoo (Friday 8pm from New Orleans live on NFL Network)

10. Rihanna/Cee-Lo Green (Saturday 7:30pm 1st Mariner Arena); New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys (Friday 7:30pm Verizon Center); Gabriel Iglesias/Russell Peters/Lisa Lampinelli (Friday 8pm Patriot Center); Creedence Clearwater Revisited/Three Dog Night (Friday 6pm Pier Six Pavilion); Capital Jazz Fest feat. Herbie Hancock, Natalie Cole, etc. (Friday-Sunday Merriweather Post Pavilion); Matt and Kim (Wednesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Steel Pulse (Saturday 8pm Rams Head Live); Against Me! (Friday 7pm Recher Theatre), Bang Tango/Kip Winger (Saturday 6:30pm Recher Theatre); Chuck Brown (Saturday 8pm & 11pm Rams Head On Stage); Death Cab For Cutie (Friday 8pm 9:30 Club); The Bridge (Wednesday 8pm 8×10 Club); Bone Thugs N Harmony (Tuesday 7pm Bourbon Street); Bill Cosby (Thursday 8pm Wolf Trap), Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue (Sunday 2pm Wolf Trap); Brian Wilson (Monday 8pm Wolf Trap); Kenny Chesney/Zac Brown Band (Saturday 4:30pm FedEx Field); The Script (Sunday 7:30pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); “X-Men: First Class” opens in theaters (Friday); Monster-Mania Con 18 (Friday-Sunday Baltimore Marriott Hunt Valley Inn)

First of all, there is simply no excuse if you’re not listening to The Bridge. They’re local, they’re outstanding and they’re really good looking. (Did I just say that?)

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

There’s a really good chance I stand across the water and watch Three Dog Night. I mean, wouldn’t you?

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

I’m a little embarrassed by how much I enjoy The Script. I feel like I might as well be a chick.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPEBN2dVNUY[/youtube]

I can’t believe Zac Brown Band has to open for Kenny Chesney. Lord knows it should be the other way around…

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

9. Auto Racing: NASCAR STP 400 (Sunday 1pm from Kansas City, KS live on FOX)

I never really enjoyed watching auto racing to begin with, so I have to assume that the racing gods will be willing to make sure every race ends with someone doing something idiotic on the last lap just to make sure we have something to talk about the next day, right?

For what it’s worth, I’m sure JR Hildebrand will always appreciate the Christmas cards he’ll get from Jean Van De Velde FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE.

“Thinking about you pal. Know if must be tough…again.”

And then there’s Dale Earnhardt Jr. I get the feeling he just didn’t want the Chicago Cubs to feel like they didn’t have company.

Right?

8. Golf: PGA Tour The Memorial (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday 3pm Sunday 2:30pm live on CBS. All golf from Dublin, OH); Champions Tour Principal Charity Classic (Friday 6:30pm Saturday & Sunday 7:30pm from West Des Moines, IA live on Golf Channel); LPGA Tour ShopRite LPGA Classic (Friday 12pm Saturday 5pm Sunday 4:30pm from Galloway, NJ on Golf Channel); Nationwide Tour Melwood Prince George’s County Open presented by Under Armour (Thursday & Friday 12:30pm Saturday 2:30pm Sunday 1:30pm from University of Maryland Golf Course in College Park live on Golf Channel)

At last week’s event, some guy I’ve never heard of beat some guy I’ve never heard of in a playoff. But good news! The guy who won is the nephew of some girl I’ve never heard of.

Former Terrapins coach Gary Williams is the host of the Nationwide Tour event this weekend, which means I’d almost think about caring about it.

If he makes a decent putt in the Pro-Am, I can only pray he celebrates accordingly…

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

7. Mixed Martial Arts: The Ultimate Fighter Finale-Team Lesnar vs. Team Dos Santos (Saturday 9pm from Las Vegas live on SpikeTV)

Saturday night’s event is highlighted by Clay Guida vs. Anthony Pettis. You may remember Pettis as the author of THE GREATEST MOMENT IN THE HISTORY OF MMA….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LH7oRb5Knjc[/youtube]

Holy hell I still don’t believe that happened.

6. Soccer: Team USA vs. Spain (Saturday 4:30pm from Foxborough, MA live on ESPN), Team USA Women vs. Mexico (Sunday 2pm from Harrison, NJ live on ESPN2); MLS-DC United @ Los Angeles Galaxy (Friday 11pm from Los Angeles live on Fox Soccer Channel)

Understand-I WILL be rooting for the Red, White & Blue Saturday afternoon. That being said, it doesn’t change the fact that my heart will always belong to Spain’s Paz Vega. It is what it is.

Pazvega

5. Scripps National Spelling Bee (Preliminaries Wednesday 8am live on ESPN3.com, Semifinals Thursday 10am live on ESPN, Finals Thursday 8:30pm live on ESPN. All spelling from National Harbor in DC)

The bad news: Erin Andrews is no longer involved in Spelling Bee coverage.

The good news: I’m pretty sure no one will have to spell “sardoodledom” ever again…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-3JSYDApec[/youtube]

4. NBA Playoffs: NBA Finals-Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat (Game 1 Tuesday 9pm from Miami live on ABC, Game 2 Thursday 9pm from Miami live on ABC, Game 3 Sunday 8pm from Dallas live on ABC)

Two things we can agree about as Americans.

One-we love our military. God bless.

Two-we of course hate LeBron James and the Miami Heat.

This is where things get sticky, because rarely as Americans have we ever knowingly accepted anything about Germany, so our upcoming love affair with Dirk Nowitzki is going to be uncomfortable at best.

Let’s remember though-without the Germans, we wouldn’t have ever had “Beerfest”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMk5Vo_YRMU[/youtube]

Yep, go Mavs!

3. NHL Playoffs: Stanley Cup Finals-Boston Bruins vs. Vancouver Canucks (Game 1 Wednesday 8pm from Vancouver live on NBC, Game 2 Saturday 8pm from Vancouver live on NBC, Game 3 Monday 8pm from Boston live on VERSUS)

Another tricky spot here. We can either root for Canada…or we can root for a city that gave us the Red Sox and the worst sports “reporter” in Charm City. (You know who you are…and I’m sure you’re reading!)

So…let’s always remember that Canada gave us Our Lady Peace…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1Z89zW-8sY[/youtube]

And the great Pamela Anderson…

canucks

So….let’s go Canucks!

2. Council of Ravens Roosts Convention (Thursday-Sunday throughout Ocean City); 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hears NFL appeal of ruling lifting lockout (Friday St. Louis)

You never know who you might bump into down in Ocean City during Ravens Roosts weekend. For example, you MIGHT bump into Sergio Kindle and Brian Billick…

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

OR you might bump into the legendary Intern Genna, who I believe has a permanent address in OC…

interngenna

(Edit from GMC: She’s the one on the right. I’m sure you can stumble upon her at Seacrets…where you might find Ray Rice too.)

1. Tennis: ATP Tour & WTA Tour French Open (Tuesday & Wednesday 8am Thursday 5am Friday 7am live on Tennis Channel, Tuesday & Wednesday 12pm Thursday 8am live on ESPN2, Friday 11am Saturday-Women’s Final & Sunday-Men’s Final 9am live on NBC)

No American men are around for Week 2 of a grand slam event. Say it with me in your best Jim Nantz voice, “A Tradition Unlike Any Other.”

Clearly the highlight of Roland Garros thus far has already been documented by Deadspin.

And since we have nothing to REALLY talk about here, here’s one more picture of Maria Sharapova. I mean, why not?

sharapova

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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