Posted on 15 September 2013 by WNSTV
Posted on 04 June 2013 by Tom Federline
They are hangin’. They are a team. They have an offense. They have a defense. The “Comeback Kids”. “It’s not over until we say it’s over” or “unless Jim Johnson blows a save”. Pitching is suspect – but they have arms down on the farm or Duquette will go find someone. It is encouraging. It is fun to follow. It is frustrating. All the makings of another run! Expected this year versus surprised last year.
54 games into the 2012 season, O’s were 31-23. The line-up at that time consisted of: Andino 2B, Chavez LF, Hardy SS, Jones CF, Wieters C, Reynolds 1B, Davis DH, Betemit 3B, Pearce/or whomever in RF (Markakis was out). Pitching was “en fuego”, minus Arietta.
54 games into the 2013 season, O’s were 30 -24. Current line-up: McClouth LF, Machado 3B, Markakis RF, Jones CF, Davis 1B, Wieters C, Hardy SS, Pearce DH, Flaherty 2b. Pitching is still finding it’s way. But give me the 2013 boys anyday. The only position player we are really missing from last year is Andino – 2b is the current weak link (offensively).
What is with the first 5 guys in the batting order around .300 or better? I do not recall that occurring on any Orioles team – ever. Hitting is contagious. Let’s just hope the pitching heats up, when (if) the bats cool off. Chris “the Hulk” Davis, is simply in a serious groove. Machado is living up to the hype – his own and the medias. McClouth leading off, Markakis in the 3-hole, with Hardy and Wieters taking turns getting hot. The offense is a pleasant surprise. Currently, they all appear to be on the same “Wavelength” – Van Morrison.
Now the pitching……….has the blood pressure escalating. We need Chen! Can we get Guthrie back? What is with Jake Arietta? Goodbye and good riddance – Strope Me Strope Me. Don’t come back until you know how to wear your hat and throw strikes. I think Troy Patton was complaining of a sore back also. Why can’t Darren O’Day pitch in every game? Why can’t anyone in the bullpen pitch everyday? “Whoever is hot”, according to Buck-Buck. Which he is not playing out. I am so tired of hearing – “The bullpen needs a rest, they are worn out.” Get out of town sports media and O’s coaching - the bullpen boys get paid to warm-up and throw at tops - 10 pitches a night. Get out there and pitch! Earn your pay! Sometimes the pitching is lights out – majority of the time it appears they are throwing batting practice.
The pitching and/or Wieters getting hurt are the only curve balls that could hurt the O’s chances for October ball. Or if Davis changes testing labs. But the O’s have Brady, so they should have that covered. O’s fever and more Orange Kool-aid is being served around the Baltimore area. Nice to see a predominantly orange hue around the ballpark. Still enjoy 15,000 O’s fans versus a packed house with people on the cell phone or in idle chit-chat.
AL East – Auuuugh! Gonna be a rough one. Anybody but the Red Sux. What happens when the steroid boys come back in Spankme land? It was only a matter of time for the TB pitching to take hold. I think classless Toronto will drop.
Positives: the offense and defense. The comebacks, last Wednesday night vs. the Nats, YKM? Negatives: Jim Johnson collapse -3rd week in May. Overall pitching not holding up. Gary Thorne “in our side”, is still announcing games.
Seize the Moment – O’s fans. The Orioles have a ball team and a manager. The summer of 2013 just got hotter.
Posted on 16 December 2012 by WNSTV
Posted on 12 December 2012 by Tom Federline
First, let me get this out of my system………12-12-12. 10-10-10 (no, not the fertilizer – good stuff though), 11-11-11, pretty cool. Today is the last time we’ll be able to write the same number sequence for the month-day-year in our lifetime. The world hasn’t ended yet or is that like in 9 days? 12-12-12. 12-12-12. I dig it.
“One down” – it’s about time. ”Talk to ya Later” – (The Tubes) – Camera Cameron. See ya! Adios! Sayonara! Go repress another teams offense. You are done stifling the Ravens. Now, “one more to go” – if they would only get rid of Horribaugh. Whoa, asking for way to much at once for that one. Savor the moment and enjoy it. I did! If you have been following this blog and/or know me………..I am not a fan of Camera Cameron or John Horribaugh. For 3 years, I have expressed my concerns, hoping for a change. Well, we sure got one on Monday. Thank you Ravens front office (2 years to late though).
Finally, let Flacco run the show. Jim Caldwell – all you should have to do is steer the boat. All Flacco has to do is go head to head, mano-y-mano against possibly one of the better field generals in football history this coming Sunday. Embrace it Joseph. It’s your time to shine. Your time to cash in. Your time to add a zero on a new long term contract. Nobody there to hold you down.
Cameron is not the sole reason, the Ravens haven’t made it to the Promised Land these past few years. But he sure has assisted in delaying success. I never brought into the “We have a plan for Ray Rice.” Or “We have to be selective in our down field chances.” Or – I’m calling this game in a matter so that I won’t lose my job. All I saw were missed opportunities. Hello Ravens front office, you may have waited to long and you may have squandered precious time with your veterans, i.e. Matt Birk, Ray-Ray, Ed Reed, etc. The Ravens had and have a loaded potential offense. Now let’s hope it’s recognized.
Will Mr. Blue Hen finally emerge from his feathers? Does he have ”next level leadership qualities” in him? Guess we’re going to find out real quick. Sunday ought to be quite interesting. A win on Sunday – huge, a springboard to the playoffs. A loss on Sunday – realization the Ravens just aren’t that good. And they really aren’t – the defense can get lit up like a Christmas tree and the right guy is coming to town to do it. Can the Ravens offense go toe-to-toe with Peyton Manning? You’re darn right they can. Can the Ravens offense go toe-to-toe with Eli Manning? You’re darn right they can. MINUS Camera Cameron they have a legit shot.
Now with Horribaugh still on the sideline without his “partner in crime”, that’s a whole different story. Ten bucks says his lost puppy mug will look even more bewildered. Keep riding Ray-Rays coat tails Johnny, in fact let Ray-Ray coach and you just watch. Easy now……..I’m asking to much. I should just be grateful that I have one less pillow to throw at the television on Sunday. No more flings at Cam Camerons’ mug or 1/2 mug behind a worthless play calling script. Come on Joe Cool - we got your back.
Baltimore, we have received an early Holiday present. One less thorn in the Ravens nest. Be thankful. You never know, we may receive another gift on Sunday - Flacco shines, Caldwell shines, Horribaugh breaks down and requests advice from Ray Lewis on the sidelines, a win and clinch a playoff spot. Might as well ask for the whole ball of wax, when you have the chance. I really only need enough wax to make a small Ravens Christmas candle. Wait-a-minute, we already have received our second present – that Peyton Manning guy won’t be in a Baltimore Colts uniform! Good Luck Ravens, you’re gonna need it.
Posted on 04 November 2012 by Nestor Aparicio
Let’s get this out of the way right away – the Baltimore Ravens are 6-2 and any complaining about Sunday’s 25-15 win over the Cleveland Browns won’t change their slim lead in the AFC North or color the obvious breakdowns and weaknesses that are apparent to anyone who has watched their choppy work.
But as a Ray Rice told me at the podium on the shores of Lake Erie after another win: “There are no bad wins in the NFL.”
We can deal with the offensive inconsistencies later but my concerns center around a defense that will continue to take the field with a squad of patchwork underachievers and glaring fundamental issues.
The four deadly sins of defense continue to haunt the Ravens, if only for the first 80 yards of the field in Cleveland on Sunday. Rushing the passer. Stopping the run. Covering in the secondary. And tackling in general.
Let us count and assess the issues one by one…
The Ravens have no pass rush. Despite having the return of a seemingly spry Terrell Suggs in Houston two weeks ago, he was no factor in Cleveland. Joe Thomas ate him up and most teams will simply get some help on No. 55 if he becomes a pest and the Ravens lack a backup quarterback chaser with any push. Paul Kruger hasn’t been effective. Pernell McPhee, who flashed some visions of a pass rush specialist last season, has been mostly invisible this year and was an injury scratch on Sunday. Haloti Ngata continues to struggle physically and the leaks continue all around him on the defense.
Of course, no pass rush leads to trouble in the secondary with any quarterback and wide receiver tandem that has is given ample time to make a play. This will be an especially daunting issue when the Ravens see the Steelers in two weeks as Ben Roethlisberger has made a Hall of Fame career by making positive plays happen after the play breaks down.
With the injuries to Lardarius Webb, the Ravens secondary has been stressed tremendously because Cary Williams is now carrying the weight of marking every team’s No. 1 receiver. Aside from the obvious with Sergio Kindle being unable to play after his brutal fall and head injury, Jimmy Smith has been the Ravens’ most disappointing first-round draft pick since Travis Taylor. He’s the most penalized defensive player on the team and is consistently getting beat by top-notch receivers on a weekly basis. To my eyes, they’re simply targeting him and the likes of Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers and the Manning brothers will literally be frothing at the mouth awaiting a chance to throw the ball into this secondary.
After more than a decade of dominance against the run – and a source of massive pride of a local fan base that would routinely chant “you can’t run” from my seats up in Sect. 513 – the Ravens’ run defense has been porous as it’s been four straight weeks of allowing running backs to gash the front seven and get deeper down the field where the secondary becomes a de facto part of the tackling corps.
And all over the field tackling has been a consistent source of frustration. You can blame not-so-new-anymore defensive coordinator Dean Pees. You can talk about the loss of personnel like Ray Lewis via injury or Jarret Johnson, Cory Redding, etc. to free agency, but there have been leaks all over the field when it comes to second chances and fellows in purple flailing and missing.
Eight games into the season, the Ravens are 6-2 and there’s ample reason to be energized by their gaudy record and seat atop the AFC North.
The offense has certainly been capable as witnessed by their early-season success and it even managed 25 points yesterday on the road in Cleveland by managing to play about 20 minutes of decent football and still spending more than an hour without a first down. But there have been many times recently when Joe Flacco and the offensive crew have been stumbling their
SEE PAGE 2
Posted on 16 October 2012 by Tom Federline
SO, you may ask yourself – How did I get here? Or you may ask yourself – what teams season is he talking about? Or you may find yourself – in a state of limbo? In the matter of one weekend – the Orioles season/playoff run was halted and the Ravens season/playoff run is looking dim. The Orioles bats were silenced and the Ravens “Defense” chant was silenced. Markakis was silenced with a season ending injury. Ray-Ray is silenced with a season ending injury. What the heck is going on Baltimore? Orioles Magic, Ravens Hopes – On such a high – then silenced. It has “Been Such a Longtime” – (Boston), since Baltimore has had TWO winning teams – we forgot what it felt like. At least I did – until the O’s beat Texas!
I’m not kidding you, that Friday evening when the O’s clinched, I felt a warm a summer breeze and I was inside. I got a warm feeling that I hadn’t felt since 1983. The Orioles won and they won with what I thought had been lost - passion for the game. The O’s had it and the A’s had it. Unfortunately they are both out and the money teams win. ’96 and ’97 was nice – but they bought it. In ’83 – they wanted it, like they did like this year. Some stars mixed in with some guys just stepping up. I could write a book about this season and more Os’ blogs will follow, SO - let’s stick with the present.
Orioles bats silenced. Nate McClouth – bless you. 1 out of 15 bats is not going to advance you to the next round of the playoffs. I was and still am tired of hearing – “Oh, it was such a well pitched series.” Oh, it was so exciting.” “Oh, they were in every game.” “Oh, the Yankees were not hitting either.” WRONG – you are paid to put the bat on the ball. Not nine guys fanning the stands, not two games of cooled off bats, not FIVE games of no hitting, not in the playoffs. Did they run out of juice? Come on Brady – we know you have connections. The O’s bats were certainly not being used to hit the ball, they might as well have just used them as spears…………….wait-a-minute………….
Luckily, Joba “the hut” Chamberlain was not speared, but the Weiters flying bat head did accidently take him out of the game.
The Ravens defense needs help. With Webb out, Ray-Ray out and Ngatas knee on the brink – there needs to be some serious gut checking in that locker room. I was at the game Sunday – there were moments of raucous cheers - but for the most part – silence,, Fans were just in awe of watching the Ravens defense get torched. DE-FENSE, DE-FENSE…… where? Ray-Ray retiring? Ray Lewis not on the field for the Ravens (as a player)? You see – what did you just do? There was a silent pause there, wasn’t it?
This guy will be missed and not just by Baltimore.
Last week with the O’s was rough. Now this week, with the news of one the greatest football players in our lifetime possibly calling it a career, just got a little rougher. I can tell you one thing – Camden Yards that infamous Sunday evening after the 2 hour and 40 minute rain delay was by NO means – silent. Put aside the weather and outcome of the game – it was a pleasure to experience Baltimore baseball the way it used to be - at Memorial Stadium. Oriole baseball fans at their best. All we needed was hope. Thank you Buck-Buck. Thank you O’s. The countdown towards Spring training has begun.
Baltimore fans – are silenced – for the time being. Adjustments have to be made. Get used to not seeing one of the greatest linebackers and respected motivational leaders of all-time on the field. The Ravens have an offense (minus a coordinator) and a mediocre defense. The Orioles are contenders. The O’s lost focus at the wrong time this year – they will be back. Clear out a drawer and a portion of the closet for Orange attire. And as for the winter – I would advise buying some Terp basketball gear – mens and womens. Me thinks Ms. Frese and that’s Turgeon with a capitol “T”, have it going on in College Park.
Baltimore sports fans will not be silenced long. The O’s run was special – it was one heckuva late summer. The Ravens – let’s just say need a boast. The Terps BBall – I have to say it – Buckle Up. We are a good sports town – we deserve a winning atmosphere.
Posted on 14 October 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 29 June 2012 by jasonbaier
We are now one month away from the start of training camp and there are several questions surrounding the Ravens. Will they sign Ray Rice and Joe Flacco to long term extension before the start of the regular season? In the case of Ray Rice they don’t have a month to get things ironed out. The Ravens and Ray Rice’s agent have until July 16th to work out a deal or Rice will play this season under the franchise tag which will pay him a more than generous salary of 7.7 million! In Flacco’s case, he is in the last year of his rookie contract and in my opinion the Ravens are getting off cheap for what he has done for this organization in his first four years. Four playoff appearances, two AFC championship appearances and if it wasn’t for Lee Evans (maybe the biggest goat in Baltimore sports history) he would have at very least a Super Bowl appearance and in my opinion a world championship! They both deserve to be paid and the Ravens have a history of taking care of there own and I believe they will with these two up and coming superstars.
Who will replace Terrell Suggs? This is the 100 million dollar question. They will need a collective effort all around. Kruger, McPhee, and Kindle( if he can stay away from stairs) all need to take there games to a whole new level. It isn’t possible to replace Suggs, he meant to much to this team last year. He was the Defensive player of the year, you can’t just replace that. The whole team needs to step up, especially the offense and I think they will. Torrey Smith is primed for a breakout season, building off of his tremendous rookie season. The tight ends Pitta and Dickson are going to be huge and don’t forget Boldin and newcomer Jacoby Jones. He is another speedster who can blow the top off defenses. The offense is primed to take a huge step forward this year and lend a helping hand to the defense who has bailed them out so many times before.
The Ravens are facing a very tough schedule in 2012 and the media is already starting to count them out and all we have had is OTA’s. In the Ravens case its better to be counted out and be the underdog, they thrive in that role. Everyone is saying Suggs is out, Lewis is another year older, Reed doesn’t show up for mandatory workouts, but what they are forgetting is that we have a young talented team. Our secondary is primed to be the best in football with Webb, Smith, and Williams at corner and Reed and Pollard at safety. The defensive line is stout with Ngata, Cody, and McPhee. The offense lead by Flacco, Rice, Boldin, Smith and the tight ends, I like my chances. Lets all take a deep breath and see what happens when the ball is finally kicked off on Monday night September 10 at M&T Bank Stadium when the Bengals come to town. Everyone repeat after me in Ozzie we trust! Let’s Go Ravens!
Posted on 27 June 2012 by John Sears
There is no debating that Terrell Suggs’s ruptured Achilles will have a noticeable impact on the
Ravens defense. However, not all the talk about it has to be fatalistic. I certainly don’t think that the Ravens will play at the level they did last year (Super Bowl caliber, if not for a dropped pass…does it still sting?) but the Suggs injury could become a blessing in disguise.
In years past, opposing teams had to game plan their pass protection around an edge rushing Terrell Suggs. For the majority of this season, Ravens opponents will not have to do so. While this may seem like it can hurt them on the surface, it may benefit them somewhat.
The fact that the Ravens were so predictable on blitzes last year hurt them towards the end of the season. Teams were able to figure out that if they could double or even triple team Suggs, the Ravens really didn’t have any other threats in the pass rush facet. Pernell McPhee and Paul Kruger benefitted immensely from the amount of attention focused on Suggs.
Without Suggs, defensive coordinator Dean Pees should draw from Rex Ryan defenses of old and the “organized chaos” philosophy. The word from the players is that Pees is hyper-aggressive, even more so than Chuck Pagano last year which is very encouraging. Pees should design blitzes in a way that disguises where the pressure is coming from because there won’t be one person they can rely on to get to the quarterback besides maybe Haloti Ngata if he can bounce back from a disappointing end to last year. Being unpredictable while Suggs is out will make his return all the more beneficial. If the Ravens can show that Kruger, McPhee, and rookie Courtney Upshaw are threats in pass rushing, a Suggs return will make the defense that much more frightening.
Suggs’s absence will also give these players much needed experience. They will have to become almost every down players. Assuming that this experience helps their development, the Suggs injury will help the Ravens down the road by molding these young guys into heir apparents a their positions down the road.
Of course this whole positive spin is predicated on the fact that the players filling in for Suggs are the players we actually think they can become. If they are busts or one hit wonders then the team will suffer greatly from the loss of Suggs. Unlike some people I believe in the “next man up” philosophy. Ozzie has always done a great job finding young talent that can step in when needed, especially on defense.
Suggs’s injury will undoubtedly hurt the Ravens defense. I just don’t think it will ruin the season like many other people do. It amazes me how pessimistic some fans can be after making the playoffs four years in row. When did Ravens fans become so spoiled? Anyways, hopefully Suggs will work hard to get back quickly. In the mean time he will have plenty of time to argue with that fraud Skip Bayless.
Posted on 05 January 2012 by Thyrl Nelson
Here’s a look at my positional power rankings for the players and teams that are left in the playoffs. This year’s stats accounted for a lot but at the end of the day it’s my opinion on who I’d suit up today for the best chance at winning.
1 – Aaron Rodgers (GB)
2 – Drew Brees (NO)
3 – Tom Brady (NE)
4 – Eli Manning (NYG)
5 – Matthew Stafford (DET)
6 – Matt Ryan (ATL)
* I gave 6 here since the first 3 were fairly obvious (if not their respective places in that top 3)
1 – Ray Rice (BAL)
2 – Arian Foster (HOU)
3 – Michael Turner (ATL)
4 – Frank Gore (SF)
5 – Darren Sproles (NO)
1 – Calvin Johnson (DET)
2 – Andre Johnson (HOU)
3 – AJ Green (CIN)
4 – Victor Cruz (NYG)
5 – Wes Welker (NE)
6 – Roddy White (ATL)
7 – Greg Jennings (GB)
8 – Jordy Nelson (GB)
9 – Mike Wallace (PIT)
10 – Hakeem Nicks (NYG)