Tag Archive | "Frank Walker"

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Live from Westminster: Gaither’s health remains mystery, will have tests done Monday

Posted on 01 August 2010 by Luke Jones

WESTMINSTER, Md. — Despite assurances that Jared Gaither was merely suffering from back cramps after being carted off the field Friday afternoon, the offensive tackle was again absent on Sunday morning as his immediate status remains unknown.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh added no clarity to the situation but disclosed Gaither will have blood work done and the medical staff will run the tackle through a series of tests on Monday.

“I’d like to be able to tell you what it is,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t know.”

Gaither arrived training camp weighing 311 pounds, more than 20 pounds lighter than the weight at which he played last season. This was not the wishes of the coaching staff and Gaither’s rationale for dropping so much weight is a mystery to Harbaugh.

“[Gaither] made a decision [to drop weight],” the Ravens coach said after Sunday morning’s practice. “He’s working out on his own. It’s not like he was around. He made the decision to go lighter. He can explain to you why.”

You can hear more from Harbaugh in addition to Derrick Mason, Donte’ Stalloworth, and Todd Heap in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault right now!

Check back right here for updates (time-stamped below) throughout the afternoon.

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10:25 p.m. — I’m a little late with this one, but the Ravens have inked offensive tackle Devin Tyler to a contract after placing cornerback Domonique Foxworth on Injured Reserve. Tyler is from Forestville, Md. and attended Temple. He’s 6-foot-7 and 305 pounds.

With tackles Jared Gaither (back), Oniel Cousins (throat), Stefan Rodgers (calf/ankle), and Tony Moll (undisclosed) all not practicing, Tyler is needed to have another camp body at the position.

Tyler, along with two others, tried out for the team following the Sunday morning practice.

2:05 p.m. — It’s no secret the Ravens are on the prowl for cornerback help and have spoken to a few cornerbacks in recent days. Names linked to the Ravens include Fred Smoot and even former Browns corner Anthony Henry.

As I reported on Friday, the Ravens have had discussions with Frank Walker, who spent the last two seasons in Baltimore. Though Walker struggled at times and was often chastised by fans and media alike, he has the advantage of being very familiar with the Ravens’ system. John Harbaugh confirmed after Sunday morning’s practice that Walker has had conversations with other teams as well.

“Sure, [Walker] would have a shot,” Harbaugh said. “You know, [he] knows our scheme, he’s got some options, teams he’s talking to right now, but he’s one guy of a lot of guys we’re looking at.”

In an interview I conducted with Walker a couple weeks ago on AM 1570 WNST.net (you can find it in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault), he reemphasized his love for the organization and how he’d love to come back to play with the Ravens.

1:40 p.m. — Donte’ Stallworth continues to impress in the early days of camp and figures to be the No. 3 receiver if he can stay healthy and fight off former starter Mark Clayton.

Expectations are obviously high for the passing offense, but Stallworth is no stranger to playing with prolific offenses. He was a member of the record-breaking offense of the 2007 New England Patriots that included Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and Jabar Gaffney at wide receiver.

While Stallworth isn’t ready to proclaim the Baltimore receivers a more impressive unit than those Patriots, he sees vast potential in what the Ravens can accomplish in the passing game this season.

“This offense is capable of that game kind of season [that the 2007 Patriots had],” said Stallworth when asked about the potential of this receiving corps. “We have a lot of new guys here that are working together and we’re just trying to build on each other and work together and try to put together that same kind of situation.”

1:30 p.m. — With your always exciting kicking update for the day, Billy Cundiff connected from 32, 41, and 55 yards. He missed wide right from 45 yards.

I knew you were waiting on the edge of your seat for that one.

Jameel McClain continues to receive the large majority of reps at inside linebacker next to Ray Lewis with Tavares Gooden and Dannell Ellerbe in the mix as well. We all assumed the latter two would be the ones battling for the spot next to No. 52, but McClain continues to go about his business and worked extremely hard in the offseason, according to his coaches.

1:25 p.m. — Expectations are soaring for the Baltimore offense after the acquisitions of Anquan Boldin and Donte’ Stallworth, and Sunday morning’s workout was a perfect example why.

Joe Flacco threaded the needle repeatedly, torching defensive backs even when they blanketed receivers. During a red zone session, Flacco connected with Todd Heap and Dennis Pitta for touchdowns and threw a beautiful over-the-shoulder ball to fullback Le’Ron McClain, who was covered perfectly on the play.

Of course, Flacco’s performance on August 1 means nothing in the grand scheme of things, but for one morning only, he looked like the elite quarterback many hope—or expect—him to become in 2010.

12:40 p.m. — My apologies for the lack of updates so far. Members of the media just attended the NFL Rules session with officials at training camp this weekend. I’ll write about the rules changes in the near future and how it might impact the NFL in 2010.

Tight end Todd Heap returned to practice after passing his conditioning test and being removed from the non-football illness list this morning. He was suffering from swollen tonsils, a condition he described as “knocking him out.”

In addition to Gaither missing practice, cornerback Fabian Washington sat out the morning workout as he continues to work his way back into training camp mode. Offensive tackle Tony Moll and veteran cornerback Walt Harris were also sidelined.

With Gaither and Moll out, Joe Reitz took the first-team reps at right tackle, but the Ravens have signed offensive lineman Daniel Sanders to add another body to a banged-up unit. The team also worked out a few offensive linemen after the morning workout on Sunday.

As for the players currently on the PUP list, there were no changes Sunday morning.

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Ravens Now Forced to Work Past “Black Cloud” Feeling

Posted on 30 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

WESTMINSTER, Md. The last 10 days have been troubling for the Baltimore Ravens, but they’re not unprecedented.

The team has gone into a season with Super Bowl aspirations and seen things go wrong very early before. Nine years ago, the Baltimore Ravens went through one of the toughest Training Camp stretches they have experienced in their short history.

On consecutive days, the team lost Pro Bowl OT Leon Searcy (triceps) and reigning 1,000 yard rusher Jamal Lewis (knee) during practices at McDaniel College. The injuries left the team without two of their most significant offensive weapons entering a season where they had replaced their Super Bowl winning QB (Trent Dilfer) with a new starter (Elvis Grbac) they had hoped would ignite what was at times a dismal offensive football team.

As the season went on, it felt as though the Ravens never really moved past those initial blows. The offense showed little improvement, the teams rotated through replacement running backs, and were eventually dismissed from the playoffs by the Pittsburgh Steelers after earning a Wild Card berth on the final night of the regular season.

“You knew we had a strong chance to repeat as Super Bowl champions with (Lewis) as our workhorse” then Ravens WR Qadry Ismail told me. “However, when he went down it really became a challenge to keep guys’ spirits up to make that special run.” Ismail-now a radio color analyst for the team-went on to add “it felt like there was a black cloud over us with those two injuries.”

Ravens Senior VP of Public and Community Relations Kevin Byrne agreed, adding that the losses were more significant considering the team had made investments specifically for the purpose of upgrading the offense.

The loss of CB Domonique Foxworth to a season-ending torn ACL and LB Sergio Kindle to a head injury that will cause him to miss an indefinite timeframe hurt this Ravens football team both on and off the field.

The injuries hurt the team off the field because it is easy to get caught up in the negative things happening around the team. Injuries have piled up at individual positions-leading Foxworth to say to the media Friday that (secondary coach) Chuck Pagano “needs to go to church more or something.”

The injuries hurt the team on the field because they had definitive roles and were being counted on to carry a heavy load for the team. Foxworth returned as the team’s top Cornerback after a tremendous stretch to end the 2009 campaign, and Kindle was expected to play behind Jarret Johnson and help improve the team’s pass rush.

Both were expected to be important parts of a unit looking to improve on the 200+ yards per game allowed through the air a season ago.

The 2001 Ravens proved to be resilient off the field; but the on-field losses of Searcy and Lewis ultimately proved to be too much for the team to work past. The combo of Kipp Vickers and Sammy Williams couldn’t keep Grbac on his feet; with Randall Cunningham eventually forced to replace the injured QB. The Ravens rotated Terry Allen, Jason Brookins and Moe Williams at running back, with none tallying even as much as 700 yards.

The 2010 Ravens will almost certainly have no trouble surviving off the field; as coach John Harbaugh and LB Ray Lewis were amongst those who quicky pointed out that all teams must face adversity in the preseason. Harbaugh said “it happens to every team…there’s always bumps in the road.”

He’s right, as every NFL team will go through some sort of injury of off-field issue before Week 1. Not all will be teams with real Super Bowl aspirations, and not all will lose their top player at CB or their first pick in the NFL Draft. However, all teams will go through some sort of trouble. Seasons will be defined by how each team responds to the off-field trouble they find.

The 2010 Baltimore Ravens will look to move past their own current “black cloud” feeling with a team that is built much better to overcome injuries. While the team isn’t loaded with top talent in the secondary; the likes of Fabian Washington, Lardarius Webb (as long as he’s healthy), Chris Carr, Travis Fisher, Walt Harris and Cary Williams give them a veteran presence. They will not necessarily be forced to rush out and find the best free agent CB’s available-where names like Frank Walker and Fred Smoot are unlikely to give them the type of security necessary in the secondary.

The team is much more likely to allow their group of veterans (as well as 2nd year safety KJ Gerard and rookie Prince Miller) sort out the available jobs in the secondary. None are “the answer”, but all are potential contributors.

The Ravens will be hurt by the losses, but they are in much better shape than the 2001 team was to move past them.

With that being said, they could certainly use a break from the “black clouds” that have hung over Westminster.

-G

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Live from Westminster: Foxworth gone for season, Gaither provides scare in afternoon

Posted on 30 July 2010 by Luke Jones

WESTMINSTER, Md. — The excitement was palpable as the Ravens took the field for their first full-squad practice on Friday morning, but the mood changed dramatically with the absence of starting cornerback Domonique Foxworth and WNST.net learning he tore the ACL in his right knee on Thursday evening during an “orientation” practice.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK8sH3opNLQ[/youtube]

The Ravens will now piece together a secondary for the start of training camp as they await the returns of Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb, both returning from ACL injuries last season. With all three cornerbacks currently out of practice, Chris Carr and Travis Fisher lined up with the first-team defense.

Not exactly a tandem that inspires confidence.

Be sure to head to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from Domonique Foxworth, John Harbaugh, Ray Lewis, Anquan Boldin, and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison regarding the Foxworth injury and the first day of full-team workouts.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAg82Us638Q[/youtube]

Check back right here for updates (time-stamped below).

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6:30 p.m. — The Ravens have confirmed Jared Gaither was merely dealing with back cramps this afternoon when he was carted off the field. Definitely good news on a day when it’s much needed.

The team has also brought in former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Nashville Dyer, presumably for a tryout. Dyer has also spent time in NFL Europe.

5:20 p.m. — Ed Reed did some conditioning and strength work on his own this afternoon as he continues to recover from offseason hip surgery.

Rookie defensive tackle Terrence Cody showed a very impressive bull rush against starting guard Ben Grubbs, pushing him deep into the backfield during 1-on-1 linemen drills. However, right guard Marshal Yanda held his ground against the 350-pound rookie later in the drill.

And the Baltimore defense looked to be in midseason form when K.J. Gerard intercepted a pass and attempted to lateral the football to a teammate. Gerard nearly fumbled but managed to maintain possession.

A nice play, but one that makes fans pull their hair out.

5:15 p.m. — In a day filled with disappointing news, the status of Fabian Washington provides a small beacon of light as the cornerback returned to the practice field this afternoon. He sported a red mesh top over his white practice jersey, indicating no contact for the starting corner.

With the loss of Domonique Foxworth for the season, any progress by Washington or Lardarius Webb is a great piece of news.

5:00 p.m. — If you’re on the WNST Text Service, you just received the news that Jared Gaither was carted off the field with an apparent back injury. There didn’t appear to be an exact moment of injury, as he stood in pain for a few minutes before going to the ground.

He remained on his stomach for a few minutes before taking off his shoulder pads as the training staff applied ice packs to his back. He then gingerly walked over to the cart before laying on it and being taken off the field.

This could simply be a minor issue of some spasms, but with the events of the last 24 hours, it’s hard not to think the absolute worst if you’re a Ravens fan.

2:20 p.m. — Ray Lewis started his 15th training camp with the Ravens on Friday morning, the only player left from the inaugural 1996 season.

The 35-year-old linebacker emphasized the need for the team to move on from the Foxworth injury despite his disappointment and sympathy for his fallen teammate.

“I think every team is going to—one way or another—face some type of adversity through the course of the year,” Lewis said after practice. “It just so happens for us, it came on Day 1. Losing a guy like Foxworth, do you try to replace that guy? No, but the next guy has to step up, and that’s what teams are built by. The bottom line is figure it out, move whatever pieces you have to move around, and just keep moving.”

You can catch the full interview with Ray Lewis in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.

2:10 p.m. — Other highlights of the morning practice took place during 7-on-7 passing drills when Troy Smith connected on a long touchdown pass to Eron Riley. Chris Carr later picked off a Marc Bulger pass and returned it for a touchdown.

The biggest cheers of the day were drawn when Joe Flacco connected with new standout receiver Anquan Boldin for a short touchdown.

“[Flacco's] a great young talent, and I only see him getting better,” Boldin said after his first training camp practice as a Raven. “This year, they went out and got weapons to put around him, so hopefully he goes out and has a killer year.”

2:00 p.m. — The team spent a good portion of practice in an 11-on-11 “thud” scrimmage (contact without taking anyone to the ground). The first play of the session was a completion from Joe Flacco to Derrick Mason.

Imagine that.

Other highlights included a Marc Bulger strike to Mark Clayton in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. Bulger is still in a bit of a learning mode but saw his participation level increase on Friday compared to the earlier workouts of the week.

Surprisingly, Jameel McClain received extensive reps at the other inside linebacker spot next to Ray Lewis during the 11-on-11 portion. Most expect Dannell Ellerbe and Tavares Gooden to compete for the starting job next to the 35-year-old Lewis, but McClain received the reps on the first day.

1:55 p.m. — With the disappointing news of Foxworth’s injury dominating the media’s attention this morning, I’ll remind you a practice actually took place this morning as well.

Offensive tackle Jared Gaither participated fully despite dealing with a foot injury during the OTA schedule. While he’s projected to be the starting right tackle with Michael Oher being shifted to the left side, both players took their turns at each position throughout the morning workout.

In fact, Gaither seemed to receive most reps on the left side as the practice wore on Friday morning. We’ll continue to monitor each young tackle to see if perhaps the Ravens are wavering on the decision to flip-flop the two.

1:35 p.m. — In addition to Heap, cornerback Fabian Washington did not practice on Friday morning despite coming off the PUP list on Thursday. With the injury to Foxworth, the team may choose to be extra cautious with throwing Washington back into the mix full-go.

Walt Harris came off the PUP list and practiced this morning.

Free safety Ed Reed, running back Matt Lawrence, tackle Oniel Cousin, center Matt Birk, cornerback Lardarius Webb, and linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo remain on the PUP list. Heap is on the non-football illness list.

In other injury news, running back Willis McGahee lost a tooth and left the field with a member of the training staff in the middle of practice. He was seen walking around the team hotel in good spirits after practice.

1:00 p.m. — As we learned Thursday evening, Todd Heap has been placed on the non-football injury list as he is reportedly suffering from flu-like symptoms. He was dressed in shorts and a jersey and observed practice from the sideline.

12:50 p.m. — Domonique Foxworth just spoke with the media in the lobby of the Best Western and was clearly distraught over the loss of his season before the first day of full-squad workouts. He tore the ACL in his right knee in a non-contract drill on Thursday evening in a workout closed to the media and public.

“I was just running and tried to change directions,” he said. “It’s something I’ve done a million times in my career. This time it just didn’t work.”

Foxworth did not know it was a serious injury as he said the most serious injury of his career had previously been a sprained ankle. He learned the results of the MRI on the right knee during Friday morning’s workout.

“It’s a ton of emotions,” he said. “The biggest one I’m feeling—and I know it’s probably unfounded—but I just feel like I’m letting people down. I know everyone’s excited about this team and excited about this season and my teammates—I know how excited they are—and the fans.”

The Ravens will now explore all external options to add depth with veteran Frank Walker being a logical candidate to return after spending the last two seasons with the team. Walker has been contacted by the team but no offer has been made at this time.

With Foxworth’s injury, the focus will shift even more heavily on the status of Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb, the new projected starters.

“We’re going to be fine, with or without me,” Foxworth said. “They’re going to be fine. I’m going to do what I can to help them. [Secondary coach Chuck Pagano's] going to do an incredible job. I promise you if there are any shortcomings on this team, it won’t be in the secondary. I can guarantee that.”

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Ravens Secondary On One Knee After Foxworth ACL Tear

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Ravens Secondary On One Knee After Foxworth ACL Tear

Posted on 30 July 2010 by Ryan Chell

Domonique Foxworth
WNST has reported this morning that Ravens and former University of Maryland corner back Domonique Foxworth has torn his ACL, an injury that brings more concern to a secondary already filled with question marks going into the 2010 season.

Foxworth limped off the field last night in a non-contact drill Thursday night during the team’s off day, which was used for administrative purposes.

This is big news to start out the initial full-team practice at McDaniel College on Friday, as the team spent an entire off-season filling in holes in the lineup based on poor play and injuries sustained by key players last year.

Foxworth was never one of those concerns. He was supposed to be the constant.

It is also unknown at this time the severity of the tear, but likely he will be done for the year if it is not a partial tear.

With safety Ed Reed coming off hip surgery and corner backs Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington also coming off season-ending ACL tears, Foxworth was one of the lone, healthy holdovers from the Ravens secondary in 2009 that struggled at times, but evened out at the end of the year.

Foxworth came to the Ravens last year as part of a 4-year deal worth 28 million dollars. Only a #2 or #3 corner in Denver,-the team that drafted him as a 2nd round pick out of Maryland- and in Atlanta, he often covered the opposing team’s best receiver last year for the first time in his career, and finished the season with 53 tackles and 4 interceptions.

He started all 16 of the Ravens’ games.

Harbaugh said after practice to the media that the team doesn’t know yet if it is going to look outside the organization for support.

Remaining free agent corners on the market include former Patriots CB Ty Law, Nick Harper, Ken Lucas, Mike Mckenzie, and two ex Ravens in Corey Ivy and Frank Walker.

This is a team that now is struggling to find answers to some of their concerns at corner. The team brought in Walt Harris-a Pro Bowler several years back with the 49ers-during OTAs, but he is not in shape as of yet, failing his conditioning test earlier this week.

Reserve corner back Cary Williams was recently suspended for 2 games by the NFL for violating the team’s conduct policy.

This could guarantee rookie free agent Prince Miller’s chances of making the team out of training camp if he continues to succeed.

And with Washington and Webb both coming back from their own ACL tears, they may need to be rushed ahead of schedule in time to face the Jets in Week 1 of the regular season.

Harbaugh said that they should be ready to go, and that both put the hard work in necessary in the off-season to make their recovery times move along that much quicker.

Now safety Dawan Landry may be the only starter from last year’s team to suit up for the team Week 1.

Maybe now that Terrell Owens signing up in Cincinnati might be a little more of an issue.

Tune into WNST and WNST.net as we continue to track this story!

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 12 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a Happy Monday for me because I’m still recovering from a trip to HersheyPark Friday. Dave Matthews Band was great (of course), but I’m gonna spend a few minutes first gushing over Zac Brown Band-who opened for DMB. If you missed Zac Brown at Preakness (and if you did, shame on you), you may think they’re little more than another forgettable country act you’d be unlikely to listen to on WPOC.

Not exactly.

Their song “Free” might come off a bit too much “CMT”…but when they cut to “Into The Mystic” by Van Morrison during the bridge; it’s an absolute SMASH. They did it Friday night, but no one got the video. Here’s an older performance of it…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Xwq3X0CTjc[/youtube]

As I also pointed out on Facebook (add me as a friend-just search “Glenn Clark” and look for a goofy pic of a clown in a seersucker suit at the Kentucky Derby), that wasn’t the only impressive thing they did Friday night. Channeling Rage Against the Machine was also pretty impressive…

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

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s Stephen Hawkins says Arrieta impressive as Orioles finished off four game sweep of Texas Rangers in Arlington

This is equally as puzzling (if not much MORE puzzling) than when the Birds swept the Boston Red Sox earlier in the season. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE?!?!?

Since when are the Orioles a team that can pitch comfortably past high powered offenses like the one found at the Ballpark in Arlington? Since when are the Orioles a team that can save face with a game-tying grand slam from Corey Patterson in the 9th?

Maybe it was just the heat in the Lone Star State, but it was an awfully goofy weekend.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it immensely. But given what we know about the team otherwise, there’s no reason to really think things like “maybe the team has finally turned the corner” or “the All-Star break is coming at the wrong time.”

Remember, this is the same team that was swept by the Detroit Tigers earlier in the week. They’re a TERRIBLE team. The worst team in all of baseball.

It just so happens that the worst team in all of baseball pulled off a miraculous weekend sweep of a good team that we thought would get better with the addition of Cliff Lee.

I’ve described the season via Twitter (follow us @WNST) before as a “season long kick in the nuts.” This was like sitting down and getting an icepack between kicks.

It was a great feeling.

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

Wait a second…you mean…you might actually MIGHT want to look at the numbers this time???

Maybe Arrieta wasn’t “brilliant” the way Chris Tillman was Saturday night, but he was damn impressive. 6.1IP, ER, 6H, 3K, 2BB looks like a line I’d take 10 times out of 10 from a starting pitcher.

Julio Lugo continued his recent hot streak-giving the team a better chance every day of maybe being able to steal SOMETHING for him by July 31. It’s still not particularly likely-but it does look better every day as Lugo collects extra base hits (he was 2-4 with a double, RBI and run yesterday).

Even Craig Tatum got another hit and scored another run, despite having to play during a day game following a night game due to the injury to Matt Wieters.

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON IN THE WORLD?!?!? This is supposed to be the part of the blog where I say something like “You don’t really want to look at this. Instead, look at this picture of Kelly Brook dressed up as Princess Leia as posted by Guyism…”

You know, you should still go look at that anyway…

kellybrook

3. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says timing ‘fishy’ as Fox Sports reporting Buck Showalter nearing deal, Sun reporting Juan Samuel to manage after All-Star Game

So how long until the “Not Buck Showalter” or the “UnBuckShowalter” page pops up on Twitter?

By the way, to whoever was running the Dave Trembley page-it sucks now. There could still be plenty of great shtick there if you really tried. Also, whoever is doing the “Nestor Aparicio” page has never been funny. The guy is the easiest target on the face of the planet….how can you possibly do a page without it being funny?

Back to the point-I don’t think that Dan Connolly and Ken Rosenthal necessarily offered OPPOSING reports, as Peter Angelos and Andy MacPhail could very well be nearing a deal with Buck Showalter but believe Juan Samuel will be the manager when the team plays the Toronto Blue Jays Friday.

I just hope it isn’t because Showalter is hired but is serving in some sort of “advisory” role until he takes over as manager. That’s so unbelievably dumb I just can’t possibly imagine the team would consider it.

Of course, I should REALLY think that it is so unbelievably dumb that I know the team WILL be doing it.

I just really don’t want to believe that.

4. MLB.com’s Todd Wills says Mike Gonzalez could return to Baltimore after ASG, Luke Scott won’t

So….HOORAY! Or something…

I have to assume that Mike Gonzalez won’t be returning to the closer role when he gets back to Charm City, so that gives me hope that maybe Rick Kranitz can find a role that he can be effective in. I’m absolutely not convinced that Alfredo Simon should be the team’s closer of the future, but I think it’s safe to say they’ve already learned their lesson when it comes to Gonzalez.

Right?

Right?

5. Fanhouse’s Frankie Piliere says O’s prospect Zach Britton had ‘standout’ arm at Futures Game in Anaheim

Which is ABSOLUTELY the most excited I’ll be about anything that happens at Angels Stadium this week.

With no offense to tonight’s Home Run Derby (I’m sure the Nick Swisher-Vernon Wells showdown will be really compelling to….someone?) or tomorrow night’s Mid-Summer Classic (My prediction? Ty Wigginton strikes out), I’ve lost all juice surrounding this event. It used to be exciting to me, and after that it was still at least the “only thing on.”

Tonight WWE Raw is on and the Counting Crows are at Pier Six. I doubt I’ll pass up on either to watch guys hit home runs.

Tomorrow night? Maybe I’ll go see “Despicable Me.” I stayed home to watch last year’s event in St. Louis and the highlight was an Adam Jones sac fly. Never again will I plan around it.

Hell, if I REALLY need something to do I could always just look at pictures of Doutzen Kroes from Russia’s version of Vogue (Thanks Uproxx/NextRound.net!)…

doutzen

6. NorfolkTides.com says Armando Gabino impressive as Tides finished first half on farm with win over Durham Bulls

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

-The Birds are clearly off the next four nights as baseball celebrates the All-Star Game in Southern California. They are going to hold a closed workout at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Thursday night, which I’m sure is exactly what players wanted to hear instead of getting a 4 day break. Of course, when you’re the worst team in baseball DESPITE a 4 game winning streak-it’s hard to make too many demands.

-When the Birds get back, the rotation will line up Brad Bergesen-Jeremy Guthrie-Brian Matusz-Chris Tillman-Jake Arrieta. Obviously the team will have to make a tough decision when Kevin Millwood is ready to return from the DL.

-Congratulations to our buddy Chris Stoner-who will again take home “Apologist of the Morning” honors-although this time the honor is web only, as we were caught up in discussion about Buck Showalter, LeBron James and the red hot Birds on this morning’s show. Chris was back to beating the drum of Nolan Reimold playing 1B in Baltimore; despite the fact that Nolan Reimold has done nothing to show that he’s ready to return to the major league level-and has played only a handful of games at first base at the AAA level. The drum beats on…

7. Pro Football Weekly’s Mike Wilkening says Ravens LB Terrell Suggs believes despite not being in Owings Mills for offseason, own workouts will have him ready for Training Camp

Well, when it comes to someone like T-Sizzle, his track record says we should just take him at his word, right?

Suggs can say whatever he wants; but everyone will be looking to see what type of shape he’s in when the team reports to Westminster at the end of the month. There is a LOT of pressure on him to live up to the contract he DIDN’T live up to a season ago-and saying “I was working hard in Arizona this offseason” won’t be enough if he’s not ready mentally or physically to get after the likes of Mark Sanchez, Carson Palmer, Dennis Dixon and Ben Roethlisberger this season.

The bigger issue is that the Ravens don’t really HAVE any other natural pass rushers on the roster-with MAYBE the exception of Sergio Kindle, whose body probably isn’t ready to make him a dedicated rusher at the NFL level just yet. There’s pressure on Kelly Gregg this season, but that’s because there’s another guy (Terrence Cody) ready to take his spot.

Suggs doesn’t necessarily have that pressure-yet the team is REALLY counting on him. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

8. NFL.com’s Michael Lombardi says Ravens still facing ‘cover corner’ issues

This is an interesting subject. We all know that the team LACKS a true “cover corner”, but we also know the roster features a number of potentially CAPABLE corners. Domonique Foxworth really played well during the 2nd half of the season last year, and if it weren’t for his contract; we probably wouldn’t really consider him a disappointment at all.

Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington each played well at times, but are both coming off of injuries. Chris Carr was steady if not spectacular. The team doesn’t really know what they’re getting from veterans Cary Williams, Travis Fisher or Walt Harris.

The reality is that the effectiveness of this group will be directly impacted by the team’s ability to rush the passer. If the team can rush the passer, this group will look MUCH better. If they can’t, this group will look awfully similar to the group that struggled to start last season.

They just won’t have Frank Walker anymore for fans to blame for the struggles. Not that he wasn’t deserving at times…

9. South Bend Tribune’s Curt Rallo says former Maryland Terrapins star Vicky Bullett headed to Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Vicky, who was an exceptional player under fellow Hall of Famer Chris Weller in College Park.

As you know, the Terps are still looking for an Athletic Director to replace Debbie Yow, and Len Elmore is part of the Search Committe (along with Gary Williams, Kevin Plank, Brenda Frese, Sasho Cirovski, etc.) to find the next “Top Terp.” Len joined Drew Forrester this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST to discuss the search, if you missed it-make sure you check it out today in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.

Also joining us this morning were Loyola soccer coach Mark Mettrick (who wrapped up Spain’s win over the Netherlands to capture the World Cup) and Baseball Prospectus’ Jay Jaffe-who went around MLB. Both are available in the Audio Vault as well.

10. Swimming World Magazine says Michael Phelps posted solid time at NBAC event

You know what I would do if I posted an impressive time at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club? I’d immediately turn to the first person I saw and ask “Do you think Anissa Holmes is impressed?” (Thanks Busted Coverage/NextRound.net!)

anissa

And finally, I leave you with this.

On Saturday night at a private residence (Thank you Liz Kort) in Owings Mills, I discovered something that has forever changed my life…

sac

This is a Love Sac. My birthday is September 6. I’m just saying…

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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Mocking The 53: A Look at Ravens Player Power Rankings

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Mocking The 53: A Look at Ravens Player Power Rankings

Posted on 06 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

This is going to be the first in a series I will do through Training Camp and on to Week 1 of the NFL season as we try to identify the 53 players who will make up the roster when the Baltimore Ravens face the New York Jets on Monday Night Football.

As Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh and company will at least MOSTLY keep the 53 best players on the roster, I am going to try to identify the Top 53 players on the roster myself. It ISN’T a perfect science, and some of the players will have outside circumstances that will influence where they find themselves on the list. Similarly, the Ravens will make some decisions based on health, position needs, etc.

I’m putting “best overall players”, “most significant players”, and “position relevance” into my “Top 53″ rankings. This isn’t just a list of the 53 best players on the team. This is however a list-at this moment-of the 53 players I believe are most likely to make the roster.

Here goes…

1. QB Joe Flacco (Do I even need to bother to explain?)
2. OT Michael Oher (Now at LT, Oher has moved into the “most important players on the team” category.)
3. RB Ray Rice (The team MVP from a season ago, Rice’s value is incredible despite the depth at the position. The Ravens are MUCH better offensively with Ray Rice than without him.)
4. WR Anquan Boldin (Everything about the football team changes with Boldin on the field. If this offense is going to be more dynamic this season, it’s going to happen because of what Boldin does to open things up.)

boldin

5. DT Haloti Ngata (It might be blasphemy to some, but Haloti Ngata is the most important defensive player on the roster. Everything they do defensively starts up front with Ngata.)
6. WR Derrick Mason (The team needs Mason to compliment Boldin if this offense is going to be explosive this season. He’s still one of the most important players on the roster.)
7. LB Ray Lewis (He’s no longer THE most important defensive player on the team, but he’s still one of the more important defensive players in the NFL. The drop from #52 to Gooden/Barnes/McClain is significant.)
8. LB Terrell Suggs (Despite his poor 2009, the Ravens maintain high expectations for T-Sizzle in 2010. There’s a question of whether or not he’ll live up to them, but there’s no doubt they exist.)
9. OT Jared Gaither (He might not be the team’s LT any longer, but he’s still a VERY significant part of this team. The Ravens want to have Gaither and Oher as bookend tackles, as they believe it’s part of what makes their team great. Should a team float out a ridiculous trade offer for Gaither at some point I don’t think the Ravens would just dismiss it, but they very much want him to be on the field in New Jersey on Sept. 13.)
10. S Ed Reed (Technically, Ed has still not informed the team that he will return-and should he struggle to regain form after an offseason hip procedure, there’s a chance he might not. But Reed’s plan is to return, and if he does-he’s still a possible future Hall of Fame safety. He’s one of the Top 10 players on the team.)
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11. LB Jarret Johnson (Jarret was the team’s best defensive player a season ago, but his significance on the roster lessened when the team drafted Sergio Kindle behind him. I’d still expect him to have a Pro Bowl season, but his arguable Top 10 ability is currently greater than his actual roster value.)
12. DT Terrence Cody (Yep, that’s awfully high. But make no mistake about it, the Ravens have high expectations for Terrence Cody. Terrence Cody may be behind Kelly Gregg on the depth chart right now, but I wouldn’t expect that to last through Training Camp. He’s a mountain of a man, and is MUCH quicker than you’d realize. The more you see him on the field, the more you’ll wonder how 56 picks were made in the NFL Draft before he came off the board.)
13. OG Ben Grubbs (Grubbs arguably played at a Pro Bowl level a season ago as well, and the organization has been thrilled with him ever since they drafted him out of Auburn in 2007. If he was a tackle, he might be in the Top 5.)
14. DE Trevor Pryce (Despite the fact that he’s kind of only a “half” starter-and sometimes not a starter at all-Pryce has a major role on this team. In passing situations, the Ravens need the pressure Pryce can provide. That being said, the paycut Pryce took this offseason does indeed partially represent how his role has changed.)
15. DL Cory Redding (If Pryce is 14, Redding sorta has to be 15. They’ll be sharing an end position this year, similar to how Pryce and Dwan Edwards shared the position a season ago.)
16. TE Todd Heap (It would be easy to assume that with the Ravens selecting two Tight Ends in the NFL Draft, Todd Heap might be falling out of favor with the team. However, the team thought Heap played FAR too many snaps last season-insert your own LJ Smith joke here-and they wanted to help Heap out. The team also expects the middle of the field to be opened up for Heap thanks to the presence of Anquan Boldin.)
17. CB Domonique Foxworth (He’s the top CB on the roster, but not amongst the top CB’s in the AFC. Foxworth played MUCH better at the end of the season last year, and given the question marks the team has at the position-they could really use a similar performance this year.)
18. C Matt Birk (Not really much to say here. He’s a very important part of the offensive line, and it would be a significant dropoff for the team to have to turn to Chris Chester should he get hurt. His role is important, and he played very well a season ago.)
19. LB Sergio Kindle (The Ravens didn’t use their first pick in the NFL Draft on Kindle by accident. He’s learning a difficult position-as he was a more natural pass rusher at Texas than he will be asked to be in the NFL. Don’t be surprised if Kindle’s impact his rookie season isn’t as profound as you might want from the first player a team selects, but he’s definitely a phenomenal talent.)

sergio

20. OG Marshal Yanda (He’s going to be the starting RG for the team, and in the unlikely situation that Jared Gaither WERE to be traded, he’d probably get the shot to start at RT. His job is plenty safe.)
—————————–
21. FB Le’Ron McClain (Le’Ron’s recent Twitter campaign might not make him a true RB, but he’s going to get touches both in short yardage situations and late in games, there’s no doubt about that. Le’Ron’s role is very important to this team, and his ability to take a beating will make a major difference in how successful Ray Rice can be after 2,000+ yards of offense a season ago.)
22. CB Lardarius Webb (There’s a level of uncertainty here surrounding how he’ll bounce back in Training Camp from his ACL injury a season ago, but if he’s healthy-he’ll have a chance to start opposite Domonique Foxworth at CB. If he gets back for the bulk of Training Camp, he’s likely be in the mix again at KR as well.)
23. S Dawan Landry (If you’re a starter on defense, your job is safe. Dawan Landry is a starter on defense. His long-term status with the team might be in question, but he’s going to be here. The only sweating Landry will do in Westminster this summer will be due to the weather.)
24. LB Dannell Ellerbe (Dannell Ellerbe is CLEARLY the best of the ILB’s on this roster behind Ray Lewis, but I don’t think his working with the 2nd team at a recent Passing Camp is as easy to dismiss as John Harbaugh wanted it to be. Ellerbe’s attitude and personality are what left him undrafted out of Georgia to begin with. Those questions haven’t gone away since he made the team out of Training Camp a season ago. They love Ellerbe’s ability, but they want him to have a better attitude to boot. He’ll be one to watch at McDaniel College this summer.)
25. CB Fabian Washington (If I’m guessing, Fabian Washington will be starting opposite Domonique Foxworth at the Meadowlands September 13th. He’s also coming off a knee injury, but appears to be a bit closer to returning than Webb. His spot is safe, even though most Ravens fans would like some more quality depth at CB given the receivers they’ll go up against in the AFC North.)
26. WR Donte’ Stallworth (We know this much, Donte’ Stallworth is fast. Judging by what we’ve seen from him in OTA’s, we know he can still catch-at least when he’s not heavily defended. He’s going to be 3rd on the WR depth chart, and won’t have any trouble making it to the final 53. The only real questions surrounding Stallworth have more to do with whether or not he’ll be the 3rd WR when John Harbaugh’s team battles Rex Ryan’s squad.)
donte

27. DT Kelly Gregg (Kelly Gregg remains a fan favorite around Baltimore, but I’m not sure he has a long-term role with this team. I would be stunned if we make it 4 weeks into the season before Terrence Cody is considered a “starter” while Gregg works from the bench. The team is VERY deep with DT’s, and Gregg could end up being the odd man out sooner than later. I think he makes the team, but it looks like someone is going to have to be a casualty amongst the group.)
28. TE Ed Dickson (Dickson is currently ahead of Dennis Pitta and behind Todd Heap on the TE depth chart, and the Ravens are expecting much more from him than they have from backup TE’s in years past. Dickson has looked solid thus far in the offseason, and clearly will have no trouble making the roster for the fall.)
29. OL Chris Chester (Chester had the best season of his career in 2009, but still is a bit of a question mark on this Ravens’ roster. He won’t have trouble cracking the 53, but his role is a bit of a question mark. He’ll be the primary backup at guard, but looks like he’s out of the mix at center for the future. He’s part of the 53, but may not be part of the long-term plan.)
30. LB Tavares Gooden (If Greg Mattison IS toying with whether or not Dannell Ellerbe will start for this team, no single player on the roster would stand to benefit more than Gooden. Gooden inherited the starting job going into the 2009 season, but a concussion/injury plagued career has prohibited him from fully living up to the promise he showed coming out of Miami. He’s still a valuable part of the team, and won’t have any trouble making the roster.)
——————————
31. CB Chris Carr (Carr is especially important to the team right now considering the injuries Washington and Webb and coming off of. He’s also the incumbent punt returner, although he wasn’t particularly overwhelming in the role a season ago. The team loves the veteran presence he gives them in the secondary and the locker room, and he’ll certainly have an important role on the team moving forward.)
32. P Sam Koch (Perhaps the most unfortunate thing about Sam Koch is that like many punters this team has employed before him-Dave Zastudil, Kyle Richardson and Gregg Montgomery-the team doesn’t appear inclined to pay him real money to keep him around long term. Koch had another very good season a year ago, and he’ll be expected to have a similarly solid campaign this season.)
33. QB Troy Smith (A recent Sun story quoted Cam Cameron as saying John Beck had the chance to supplant Troy Smith as the team’s backup QB-but it doesn’t mean the two are involved in any sort of open competition. Smith is the #2 QB unless he has a terrible summer while Beck excels, and the team still would like to use him in other ways. His future with the team is always in question, but clearly no other NFL teams-especially the Browns-was too particularly interested in obtaining him in the offseason.)
34. RB Willis McGahee (It is REALLY difficult to figure out what type of role Willis McGahee will have with this team. It looked a season ago as if he had improved his attitude and was on his way to re-establishing himself in the Ravens offense. And even late in the season against the Raiders and Patriots, he showed that he can still be a valuable contributor. That being said, he looked disinterested off the field, and again chose to skip offseason activities. I assume he’s on the 53, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the end of the road was coming soon.)
35. S Haruki Nakamura (Now healthy, Haruki is safely part of the roster. He has a role both defensively behind Ed Reed and Dawan Landry; and as a valued part of the team’s Special Teams unit. He’ll sleep comfortably during Training Camp-or at least as comfortably as you can sleep at a Best Western.)
36. S Tom Zbikowski (I almost just want to write “ditto” here, as the things said about Haruki Nakamura can also be said about Tom Zbikowski. He has a role, and he’s on the team. Next question.)
37. TE Dennis Pitta (I guess there’s a chance that if Davon Drew were to have an exceptional Training Camp and Pitta were to struggle the roster could change; but there’s no reason to think that will happen. The Ravens went out and got both Dickson and Pitta because they wanted both players to be part of the offense moving forward.)
pitta
(Image courtesy of SB Nation)

38. LB Brendon Ayanbadejo (If there’s a vet who MIGHT be a bit concerned about their spot on the roster, it could well be Ayanbadejo. He’s been a great contributor to the team via special teams, and was having his best season as a defender before getting hurt last season. But the Ravens are particularly deep at ILB, and a number of those players can also contribute on Special Teams. It looks like Ayanbadejo is safe, but it isn’t a guarantee.)
39. LB Jameel McClain (Jameel McClain is exactly the type of player I was referring to in the previous post. The Ravens have been happy with McClain since they got him undrafted out of Syracuse, but he hasn’t cracked into “safe” territory yet. It’s safe to assume he’ll be part of the 53 as long as he stays steady.)
40. RB Jalen Parmele (Parmele made himself more valuable with a steady performance as KR after Lardarius Webb was hurt last season. That’s important, considering the Ravens’ tremendous depth in the backfield. Parmele is the player that would stand to benefit most should the Ravens somehow end up parting ways with Willis McGahee. Parmele also gives them valuable depth should there be an injury to a top back.)
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41. K Shayne Graham (He’s finally on the roster, now he just has to win the job. Graham appears to have a “leg up” in his competition with Billy Cundiff for the kicker job. However, it cannot be forgotten that there is a reason the Bengals parted ways with Graham, especially after his two big misses in a Wild Card playoff loss in Cincinnati. There’s going to be a kicker on the roster, and I’d say there’s a 60 percent chance it’s Graham.)

graham
(Image courtesy of SB Nation)

42. QB John Beck (John Beck is going to make this team, as the Ravens are going to carry 3 quarterbacks. Hopefully, he won’t take a single snap all season, unless the team decides to use him from victory formation.)
43. OT Oniel Cousins (The team needs depth at OT, and while Oniel Cousins might not provide particularly QUALITY depth, he does provide depth. He’ll have the chance to move up this list in Training Camp.)
44. LS Matt Katula (This is very simple. Much like the competition for the kicking job, there is a competition for the long snapping job. Katula has about a 75 percent chance of winning the job over rookie Morgan Cox, but will have to show that he’s 100 percent after being plagued by elbow issues and ready to bounce back from a brutal 2009 campaign.)
45. WR Mark Clayton (I don’t think Clayton’s job is QUITE as safe as some others might think, but I certainly assume he’ll be on the team. Clayton has never seen this many capable receivers around him, and he has to make an impact despite coming off an offseason shoulder procedure. I assume he’s on the team, but it is no guarantee.)
46. DE Paul Kruger (This is an interesting situation. The Ravens maintained that they weren’t unhappy with Kruger during his rookie campaign despite the fact that he didn’t play much and contributed less than that. It’s hard to imagine a 2nd round pick being a question mark to make the roster just a year later, but you can’t ignore the number of scratches he had a season ago. He’s bulked up and is expected to be more of a natural pass rusher this season; but there are a number of D-Linemen in front of him. He’ll need to show that he can get to the quarterback, or the number of questions will continue to grow.)
47. DT Brandon McKinney (When Brandon McKinney made the roster last season, he truly LOOKED “like a Raven.” He still does, but is coming off back surgery and plays a position where the team has significant depth. He’s no guarantee to make the roster, but he’s exactly the type of player the Ravens want around.)
48. LB Antwan Barnes (Barnes is part of a deep group at LB, but the team has remained high on him despite some goofy antics at times. That being said, Barnes was an inactive a few times down the stretch last season, so his margin for error is small.)
49. DT Arthur Jones (I can tell you this much. John Harbaugh really is a big fan of Arthur Jones. That being said, it’s a very deep position-and the team might not be able to keep everyone. Arthur Jones is exactly the type of player the team loves, so I get the feeling he’ll stay on the good side of the roster bubble.)
50. OL David Hale (David Hale gives the team depth at interior lineman, but it isn’t particularly quality depth. Should Matt Birk get hurt, it is still more likely that Chris Chester would play center over an extended period of time, but Hale gives them much needed flexibility.)
51. DT Kelly Talavou (I have a funny feeling Talavou could end up being this year’s version of Derrick Martin. Martin-as you’ll remember-was behind a glut of cornerbacks on the roster a season ago at the end of Training Camp, and was traded to the Green Bay Packers for Tony Moll despite being a player the Ravens really liked. Talavou and McKinney are both candidates to be traded after Training Camp, but McKinney’s back injury could make Talavou more valuable on the market.)
52. CB Travis Fisher (The injuries bothering Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington make Travis Fisher more valuable every day. He’s a veteran corner-having played in Seattle, Detroit and St. Louis before now. Even if Webb and Washington are healthy, he could still make the roster to give the team CB depth considering some of the troubles they had defending the pass a season ago. Fisher isn’t Darrelle Revis, but most Ravens fans only care that he isn’t Frank Walker either.)
53. WR David Reed (This is a tough call. David Reed will probably end up in the return mix, as he’s more explosive than Jalen Parmele or Chris Carr, and he’s healthier than Lardarius Webb. Reed might not have much of a role at WR, but Jerry Rosburg has to want his returners to be a little bit more of a threat to break one back. I’ll give Reed the benefit of the doubt when it comes to making the team, but he’ll have an uphill battle.)
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54. OT Ramon Harewood (The rookie from Morehouse State misses the cut on my first list mostly because he hasn’t had a chance to prove himself yet. A knee injury has caused him to miss the bulk of the offseason work thus far, and he’ll have to show that he’s more than just a project in Training Camp to make sure he ends up on the roster. The Ravens could try to stash him away on IR.)
55. WR Demetrius Williams (This may or may not correct itself before the start of the regular season. Perhaps no player on the roster is facing a more crucial summer than Williams, as he been making the roster based on size alone for the better part of his career. The Ravens may be forced to fish or cut bait with Williams, as they have too many receivers to keep one around whose only ability thus far in his career has been an ability to…sometimes…draw pass interference flags.)
56. K Billy Cundiff (Billy Cundiff clearly has the most simple road to the roster, as he just has to beat out Shayne Graham for the job. Most of us assumed Graham Gano would beat out Steve Hauschka for the job last summer, but it didn’t work out that way. I’m assuming Graham gets the gig, but certainly Cundiff will have the chance.)
57. OT Tony Moll (Tony Moll offers the team a player who can play both Guard and Tackle, but there’s no real place for him on the roster. This may come down to the team keeping either him or Harewood, and a healthy Harewood appears to offer the team a bit more than Moll does.)
58. LB Prescott Burgess (Not everyone in the LB mix can make the team. With depth from Antwan Barnes, Jameel McClain, Tavares Gooden, Sergio Kindle, Brendon Ayanbadejo and maybe even from Paul Kruger; there’s no way the team can keep everyone at the position. Burgess was a roster casualty a season ago, but the Ravens were able to re-acquire him after trading him to the New England Patriots.)
59. RB Matt Lawrence (The team REALLY likes Matt Lawrence, especially what he has to offer on Special Teams. Lawrence made the roster a season ago as the team kept 5 backs, but there’s no guarantee they’ll keep that many this season. He can very well make the team, but it won’t be easy-especially as he returns from a knee injury.)
60. LB Edgar Jones (It is REALLY tough to figure out what the Ravens plan to do with Edgar Jones this season. He’s managed to remain employed while switching from LB to TE to LB to TE to FB to LB to….I thought they might even give him a shot at the kicking competition this summer. Clearly the organization likes him, and OLB is a better spot to try to make the roster than ILB, I just don’t see a role for him right now.)
61. LB Jason Phillips (See Burgess, Prescott. The team was able to stash Jason Phillips away on IR last season, but likely won’t be able to do the same this year. He’ll have an uphill climb to make the roster, as the Ravens don’t lack depth at the position.)
62. FB Mike McLaughlin (McLaughlin has a real chance to make this roster as well. The undrafted rookie from Boston College hasn’t played fullback since high school, but if he can adapt to it, the team could keep him on to create a jumbo backfield along with Le’Ron McClain. He’ll also need to show that he can step in and play Special Teams, which his background as a LB should help with. My guess is that McLaughlin ends up on the Practice Squad, but he’ll certainly be worth keeping an eye on during Training Camp.)
63. TE Davon Drew (The Ravens were EXTREMELY disappointed with Drew after drafting him out of East Carolina last year. So much so that they let him go before re-signing him when the Miami Dolphins gave up on him as well. That being said, Drew has looked pretty good in the offseason, and will have a chance to compete for a roster spot. Outperforming Dennis Pitta would be the easiest way to get a spot, but seeing as how the team has a soft spot for TE’s, there’s at least a chance they end up keeping 4. Drew’s chances would improve if he offered the team something out of the backfield as well.)
davondrew

64. WR Marcus Smith (Marcus Smith is a dark horse to make the roster, but it is worth remembering that he WOULD have made the roster last season before suffering a knee injury in a preseason win over the Washington Redskins. Smith faces a tough competition, but he is 6’1″, and has shown some promise during his short NFL career.)
65. CB Cary Williams (Speaking of 6’1″, height might give Williams a chance to make the roster on the defensive side as well. It looks like Williams will be battling Travis Fisher for a roster spot, but the team could end up keeping more DB’s-especially considering the question marks surrounding Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb’s return from injury. Williams hung around on the roster at the end of last season, but still has a long road ahead of him.)
66. S KJ Gerard (The 2009 UFA out of Northern Arizona impressed the team from Day 1, so much so that he was eventually promoted to the roster from the Practice Squad when Haruki Nakamura was hurt. That being said, it’s hard to picture the team keeping a 5th safety, and it seems unlikely that Gerard would make the squad as a corner ahead of the likes of Fisher and Williams. His versatility and special teams ability give him a shot, but his best chance is if someone ahead of him gets hurt.)
67. CB Prince Miller (Of this year’s group of UFA’s, Miller and Mike McLaughlin appear to have the best chance at making the roster. Miller has had the chance to mark quality SEC receivers during his career at Georgia, but 5’8″ certainly isn’t the ideal height for a corner. He’s played well in the offseason, and his ability to return kicks could give him a real chance to make the roster.)
68. WR Justin Harper (Justin Harper found his way to the active roster late in the season, but the number of quality receivers ahead of him makes it unlikely to envision him finding his way on the roster out of Training Camp. He has a way of impressing fans with leaping catches in practice, but has dropped way too many catches to be considered a serious candidate to make the roster. If that changes over the summer, he’ll work his way up the list.)
69. DT Lamar Divens (Divens is in the deep group of D-Linemen that are trying to make the roster. Unfortunately, he played in just 3 games in 2008 before missing the entire 2009 season due to a shoulder injury. He’s in the “looks like a Raven” mix, but he’ll have to win a job against the likes of Talavou, McKinney and Art Jones.)
70. CB Marcus Paschal (Paschal and John Harbaugh have a history that dates back to their time together with the Philadelphia Eagles, but Paschal has still only played 5 games in his NFL career. He has a shot to make the roster considering the team needs secondary depth, but I wouldn’t describe his shot as “likely.”)
——————————
71. OT Joe Reitz (Reitz has snuck his way onto the Practice Squad over the last two seasons-one of which was cut short by shoulder injury. He’s 6’7″ and 315 pounds but his still never played real football game in his life, either at the college of pro level. His size makes him promising, but his lack of experience makes him unlikely.)
72. WR Eron Riley (Riley is 6’3″ and one of the more likeable guys in the locker room, but the coaches want to see more explosiveness from him. If the team hadn’t upgraded at receiver over the offseason, I might think better of his chances of making the roster.)
73. DE William Van de Steeg (When I saw lower case letters on Van de Steeg’s jersey last summer in Westminster, I assumed he wouldn’t be around very long. He’s hung around Charm City longer than I expected, but I don’t expect it to be too much longer.)
74. OL Bryan Mattison (It’s nice to be the son of the offensive coordinator, but it probably isn’t nice enough to get Mattison on the roster. He was kept on the practice squad last season, and I imagine he’ll probably find his way on the practice squad again this year.)
75. OT Stefan Rodgers (Rodgers has been a part of 5 different teams during his 3 year NFL career; including the Buccaneers, Eagles, Jets and Jaguars. During that time, he has yet to make it on the field for 1 game. I don’t think that changes with the Ravens this season.)
76. LS Morgan Cox (Morgan Cox’s chances of making the roster actually aren’t all that bad. He just has to beat out Matt Katula, who will come in as an overwhelming favorite. If Katula hasn’t shaken off his elbow issues, Cox’s chances will improve.)
77. RB Curtis Steele (A lot of scouts really like Curtis Steele. The problem is, there isn’t an obvious role for the UFA out of Memphis. My guess is that he ends up on the practice squad, but making the 53 isn’t impossible.)
78. DE Albert McClellan (I haven’t heard a bad thing about the Ravens’ UFA out of Marshall. Problem is, I haven’t heard anything that makes me think he’ll really have a shot at making the roster.)
79. WR Rodelin Anthony (When you’re a 6’5″ receiver, scouts pay attention. But if the Ravens’ UFA out of UNLV wants to make the 53, he’s going to have to make a MAJOR impact between now and Labor Day.)
80. S Brad Jones (I think a lot of folks were confused about who exactly Brad Jones was when he signed out of Cincinnati. Jones is a rookie-not the LB who was drafted by and played for the Packers last season. The Ravens have had success with safeties from Cincinnati-see Nakamura, Haruki; but I don’t expect that to help Jones make the roster.)
——————————
81. WR Maurice Price (Price has bounced around during his career-making stops with the Chiefs, Pats, 49ers and Calgary Stampeders of the CFL before landing on the Ravens’ practice squad. I would be surprised if he found his way back.)
82. WR Chris Hannon (A 6’3″ receiver out of the University of Tennessee who has made stops in Kansas City, Carolina, San Francisco, Miami and Detroit should probably have a better chance of making the roster than I am giving him credit for. He’ll have plenty of time over the next few months to prove me wrong.)
83. DL John Fletcher (John Fletcher is a 6’6″ D-Lineman out of Wyoming. He has at least a chance at making the practice squad, but probably nothing more than that.)
84. OL Daniel Sanders (The UFA out of Colorado hasn’t given me-or anyone else-much of a reason to be able to say too much about him at this point. Maybe that will change.)
85. CB Courtney Smith (I’m not sure I had ever heard of Central Washington before the Ravens picked up Courtney Smith. He’ll have a chance to put the school on the map, but it’s a bit of an extreme longshot.)
86. CB Ashton Hall (The Ravens signed two undrafted members of the Thundering Herd following the draft. Of the two, Albert McClellan appears to be a bit farther ahead.)
87. C Digger Bujnoch (Before putting together this list, I could name 86 of the 87 players on the Ravens’ roster. The former Cincinnati Bearcats center was the only one I couldn’t.)

It will be interesting to see how the next few weeks play out, as each of these players will have a chance to improve their place on the list.

-G

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 18 May 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because Free The Birds was a great time last night. Despite the crowd of less than 2,000 in the stadium, despite the god awful weather, and despite the baseball game (which-as I said on Facebook this morning-will go down as one of the worst sports-related products I have ever witnessed); we still had fun.

Whether it was heckling the Royals behind their dugout (or heckling Dave Trembley for walking Mitch effing Maier), cheering for Corey Patterson from the upper deck in left field, or watching a lemonade vendor walk around the stadium to sell exactly his THIRD lemonade of the night; it was fun.

And thank God it was, or else this AP image would have been our lasting memory of the night…

crowd

Un.Freaking.Real.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says ‘same old’ Orioles lost again to Royals last night at OPACY

You see, when they loaded the bases on Joakim Soria (whose nickname “The Mexicutioner” is ABSOLUTELY the best in MLB) in the 9th, I REALLY thought they were breaking the funk.

Not necessarily because I thought Ty Wigginton was going to channel Luke Scott and go yard for a game-winning slam; but because I REALLY felt as though he’d get a sac fly and at LEAST tie things up.

1-12 with runners in scoring position. The only hit was an accidental dribbler from Miguel Tejada in the 1st.

If we were surprised, we’d be surprised.

How can Garrett Atkins still be on this team?!?!?

I’ve got nothing else. I was there. It was miserable. It also wasn’t even the least bit surprising.

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

I still can’t fathom how the Orioles couldn’t manage a SINGLE EXTRA BASE HIT against Kyle Davies.

Of course, with the success they’ve had bunting recently-I’m not sure why they don’t just bet every time up.

Brad Bergesen-who apparently used his designation to the minors as a chance to set himself up to start every game in the rain the rest of the season-was pretty good again last night. Pretty good though. Not REALLY good, as some might try to say. He was pretty good, and gave the team a slight chance to win.

I’m running out of things to say about the games. I really am. We know the problems, they’re just not getting fixed. Of course, they’re not getting fixed because the team just isn’t good enough.

Now I’m getting angry again. Watching the Orioles is more dramatic than watching The Hills.

3. WNST.net’s Nestor Aparicio says less than 2,000 spectators took in O’s loss at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

The announced crowd last night was 9,299. I don’t remember them playing “Guess the Attendance”, which might have been because they knew fans could cheat and count the attendance themselves.

Of course, if they HAD counted-the number they would have come up with would have been nowhere NEAR 9,299. The Birds may have legitimately sold 9,299 tickets to last night’s game (who knows?), but they certainly didn’t have that many eyeballs in the stands.

Nestor didn’t take that picture BEFORE the game.

As I said this morning, when I was sideline reporter for the Arizona Rattlers, I attended Arena Football League games that LEGITIMATELY had 5 times as many fans in attendance.

You know, this is much too depressing. I need to lighten this up.

This is Daniela Pane. We went to Perry Hall High School together. I think there’s an argument as to whether she or I has gone on to be the best looking member of the Class of 2001…

daniela

Yeah, it’s a close call.

4. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli and Pete Kerzel say Trembley considering Uehara as closer

…or at least finding a more prominent role for his sideburns.

I know Mike Gonzalez is working his way back, and I know Alfredo Simon hadn’t blown a save before Saturday night. That being said, do any of us believe either of them will be legitimate options to close games…you know…should the Orioles have another situation where they need a closer this season?

I’d be fine with seeing Uehara close. He has to do something-he’s on the payroll for the remainder of the year.

If it doesn’t work, I’m sure Andy MacPhail has a plan. He always does.

5. Virginian-Pilot says Michael Aubrey homered, Troy Patton roughed up as Norfolk Tides fell to Buffalo Bisons on farm

Michael Aubrey has to be headed towards Charm City pretty soon, right?

Before we move on (mercifully) from the Birds, a couple of things:

-Congratulations to “Sgt.” Jen Royle, who was AGAIN selected by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester as our “Apologist of the Morning.” Drew honored Jen for these thoughts she left over at 105.7…

I went to the Kansas City side post game and listened to their new manager, Ned Yost, compliment the pesky Patterson up top and then heard Billy Butler, who when 2-for-4 with two RBI, praise Bergesen. The O’s got compliments from their opponents but unfortunately, that doesn’t help in the win column.

I could have dissected the Orioles’ pre-game meal and it would have been exactly as relevant. Wow.

-The O’s and Royals are back at it tonight; with Kevin Millwood facing reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke. First pitch on MASN2 is at 7:05pm. Join Luke Jones in our “Orange Crush” chat right here at WNST.net; and make sure you’re following us on Twitter (@WNST).

-If you missed Luke, Soren Petro from 810 WHB in KC, VERSUS NHL reporter Bob Harwood, or IndyCar Series commercial President Terry Angstadt today on “The Morning Reaction”, make sure you check them out in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.

6. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens signed CB Travis Fisher, S Brad Jones

Fisher’s NFL experience and the injuries to Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington will give him some chance of making the 53 man roster. Giving him a contract is PROBABLY the final nail for Frank Walker as well, barring further injuries.

Brad Jones-an undrafted free agent safety from Cincinnati-is a much longer shot to make the team. With Ed Reed and Haruki Nakamura expected to be healthy, the Ravens aren’t going to be hurting for safety depth. Of course, there is a chance Jones could shine in Training Camp and make the practice squad-which would probably be a good gig for him.

7. The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Jared Gaither present at Ravens Passing Camp, but not known whether or not he practiced

I’ll be out in Owings Mills today, although I’m not sure whether or not I’m allowed to let you know if Jared Gaither hits the 1 Winning Drive practice field or not. We’ll see!

You’ll be able to hear from John Harbaugh and others later today with Rex Snider and Ray Bachman.

I’ll be able to watch John Beck throw passes.

Lucky me!

You know who else is lucky? F.P. Santangelo. Apparently former Playboy chick Michelle McLaughlin belongs to him (Thanks Busted Coverage!)…

mmc

8. Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman says Preakness runner-up First Dude will run Belmont, fellow Dale Romans horse Paddy O’Prado also likely to run

Is winning a Belmont Stakes without the Kentucky Derby winner or Preakness winner SORTA like being named “Most Valuable Oriole”?

Kinda.

Do you think Dale Romans is ready to do his best Brian Roberts impersonation?

Yeah I think he is.

I’ll be pulling for Romans at the Belmont, as he’s a great guy. Sometimes you gotta get your first Triple Crown win however you possibly can.

9. The AP’s Richard Rosenblatt says no Triple Crown threat hurts NYRA already hurting for money

I have an idea for how they can raise money…sell Irina Sheik calendars…

irinasheik

As far as horse racing-related ideas for raising money? Don’t take advice from anyone in the state of Maryland. That’s all I’ve got.

10. Washington Examiner’s Jim Williams says Maryland amongst topics being discussed at Big Ten meetings

I never had a major issue with the Big East rumors. I’m not sure the Big Ten would be a good idea for the Terps, however. Doesn’t help them in football OR basketball, with the exception of getting Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan games in College Park.

The flip is that they’d lose those games (and others in the conference), and getting Michigan State and Indiana in basketball doesn’t make up for losing North Carolina and Duke.

I hate everything about this whole “expansion” topic. I sorta just wish it would go away…

And finally, I leave you with this…

Bret Hart won the United States Championship last night on WWE Monday Night Raw. I don’t care that “The Hitman” is 52 years old and even I might be able to beat him in a fight at this point. He RULES…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqqhQVIPj7A[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 12 May 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because Ray Bachman passed this along to me, and it might be the most hilarious thing I’ve ever seen.

Kenny “K-Strass” Strasser was apparently supposed to be some sort of yo-yo champion. It’s a 5 minute video, but it’s probably worth it to find out that he might not be what he was advertised to be…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGUqjO5Lf3g[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Birds never got going against Cliff Lee in loss to Mariners

That last night was a PERFECT example of 2010 Orioles baseball.

The hitting was completely absent, the defense was lost at times, the intensity was practicaly non-existent, the pitching was not QUITE good enough, and at no point was the game either relevant or fun.

It really IS a description of the ballclub in general.

Steve Melewski said David Hernandez “must be wondering what he has to do to get a win.”

If he is (which I doubt), I have a suggestion…PITCH BETTER.

The offense DIDN’T offer much help last night, but it doesn’t suddenly mean that Hernandez offered a quality start. He benefitted early from the fact that the M’s were “swinging in the rain” (Cute, huh? I just came up with it. I’m so awesome.), sorta like the Twins were last week when they faced Brad Bergesen. Once Seattle started making contact with their swings, he had some control issues and then came apart.

Sometimes pitchers are going to have to go up against the likes of Cliff Lee, Felix Hernandez, CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, etc. When that happens, pitchers are asked to elevate.

Of course, Orioles pitchers have even been asked to elevate against the likes of Dana Eveland and Jeff Niemann this season due to the struggles of the offense.

That happens too.

There are no excuses.

The hitters need to hit. The pitchers need to pitch. Last night, both sides failed. Hopefully it won’t happen again tonight.

Hopefully.

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

Nick Markakis had a couple of hits last night, thank God for him. Oh, and Jason Berken threw 2 and a third innings of scoreless relief. That’s good too!

Otherwise…umm…probably not something you really want to look much at.

The team announced 12,614 last night. Given the fact that Brian Matusz t-shirts probably upped the number and the weather probably lessened the number; it’s probably a very accurate count of tickets sold based on level of interest. Certainly not an accurate count of fans in seats (I was told that number was closer to 5,000); but I think it reflects how much interest there really was in last night’s game.

To quote Ian Eagle, “it’s not a low blow. It’s just a fact.”

3. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Dave Trembley made his lack of confidence in Nolan Reimold evident after loss to Seattle

Which only means that Dave Trembley confirmed what EVERYONE IN THE WORLD KNEW.

Nolan Reimold has been about as effective as Times Square security in 2010. With Dan Connolly’s statement this morning that Corey Patterson’s “arrival is imminent” from Norfolk (by way of Syracuse), I think the comments from Dave Trembley make it evident that Reimold (not Lou Montanez) will be headed down.

Of course, Andy MacPhail could feel completely different-and no one would blame anyone in the organization if it was Montanez who was shipped back to the Tides instead of Reimold. Hell, I’d be okay if it was Adam Jones. It’s a no-win situation.

Which might as well be the motto for the 2010 Orioles.

4. Augusta Chronicle’s Billy Byler says Cal Ripken still talking to Orioles about role with team

Sadly, Cal Ripken accomplishes about as much in talks with Peter Angelos as I do whenever Guyism posts pictures of Tori Praver…

praver

In fairness, how should I be expected to accomplish anything given the circumstances?

I remain torn when it comes to Cal Ripken’s involvement. I THINK I want him involved in the organization; but there’s another part of me that says “why should he be forced into this mess?”

I still think more Cal Ripken is better for the franchise, I’m just not sure it’s good for Cal Ripken.

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Joey Gathright, Brandon Waring had solid night for O’s on farm

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

A-Congratulations to our “Apologist of the Morning” as selected by The Great Arbitrator on AM1570 WNST’s “The Morning Reaction.” It isn’t the first time Jen Royle has claimed the award, but it’s one of the funnier efforts from her this season. Via MASNSports.com…

“You think the Orioles have problems? Compared to the Mariners, they really don’t.

Hmm…Cliff Lee last night-was he a problem for the Mariners? Or for the Orioles?

The statement is obviously ludicrous. The Orioles not only have as many (if not MORE) problems than the Mariners, they have more problems than Jay-Z…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etl9kkIGaHo[/youtube]

B-The Birds are back in action tonight against the M’s; first pitch from Oriole Park at Camden Yards is at 7:05pm, and the game can be seen on MASN. We’ll be chatting about it in the “Orange Crush” at WNST.net, Luke Jones is live at OPACY.

C-Riddle me this. The Nationals are playing the Mets today at 1:10pm on MASN. The Orioles are playing the Mariners at 7:05pm, also on MASN. So why can’t this Syracuse-Norfolk Steven Strasburg-Troy Patton matchup be shown live on MASN2 instead of being shown on tape delay after the Orioles’ postgame show? I’m the sure the answer has to do with not wanting competition for the Orioles game-but it’s unfair to the Nats fans who want to see Strasburg pitch; or to the Orioles fans who want to see ANYTHING ELSE ON THEIR TV.

6. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says veteran CB Travis Fisher will return for next OTA, likely to receive contract

Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network speculated yesterday on Bob Haynie’s show (if you missed it, check the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault) that Fisher could be a sleeper to make the Ravens’ roster; considering the injuries Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington are coming back from.

The Ravens would probably be quick to point out that Jim Leonhard was a tryout guy who stuck around through Training Camp and ended up being a really good player. Fisher is a 5’10″ Corner who has had SOME success during his career with the Rams, Lions and most recently the Seahawks. Is he “the answer” at Corner? I REALLY doubt it. But could he be in the picture as the team looks for depth? No doubt about it.

I feel like most people in Charm City will just be happy to see anyone besides Frank Walker.

7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says “Ray Lewis Way” officially unveiled yesterday in Baltimore

When asked for comment, #52 said “Bottom line is that Ray Lewis Way is going to be a tough street to drive on.”

I kid.

Very deserving honor for one of the greatest athletes in the history of the city of Baltimore, and certainly will be the first of many.

Before we move on from the Ravens, if you missed 3rd round pick Ed Dickson (Oregon TE) with Rex Snider and Ray Bachman yesterday; or 5th round pick Arthur Jones (Syracuse DT) with Bob Haynie and John Rallo; make sure you click the Audio Tab above and check them out.

8. Baltimore Business Journal’s Ryan Sharrow says Manchester City, Inter Milan to face off at M&T Bank Stadium July 31

Which was pretty much the worst kept secret in the city over the last few weeks.

It certainly isn’t as sexy as Chelsea/AC Milan was last year, but these are two major international clubs, and we will be coming right off the excitement of the World Cup. I’ll be there, but I’m desperate for things to talk about over the summer besides the baseball team.

And since we’re on the topic, our director of quality control-the lovely Ms. Emily Agueda posted this picture as the desktop image on the computer in the control room here at 1550 Hart Rd…..

vanityfair

Look, I enjoy Cristiano Ronaldo and Didier Drogba as much as the next guy, but I will have to admit that the picture made everyone here a bit uncomfortable.

Of course, we haven’t changed it yet…

9. LoyolaGreyhounds.com says Cooper MacDonnell, Jake Hagelin received top honors from ECAC

Hopefully Jake Hagelin will play more like the ECAC goalie of the year than the player that was pulled during the Johns Hopkins game when the Hounds face Cornell this weekend. If not, it will be a quick stay for them in the NCAA Tournament.

Which WOULD give them more time to look at pictures of Brooklyn Decker from What Would Tyler Durden Do…

decker

10. Daily Racing Form’s David Grening says with A Little Warm out, Preakness has no ‘pacesetter’

We played the first rounds of “Band, Horse or Movie” today, and kudos to our winners for knowing that Genuine Risk was a horse and Hoobastank was a band. Drew Forrester DIDN’T know that Bottoms Up was a movie.

We’ll play much more of it tomorrow, with Preakness tickets on the line.

G.Q. (and quite possibly myself as well) will be out at Pimlico for the Preakness Post Position Draw today at 5pm. I’m sure G.Q. will have plenty of analysis afterwards. I’m just hoping for free black-eyed susans myself.

Maryland Jockey Club President Tom Chuckas was on with Drew this morning, that’s available in the Audio Vault as well.

11. Newark Star-Ledger’s Jerry Izenberg says Preakness an event Baltimore ‘respects but does not worship’

I really couldn’t agree with that statement any more, especially after going to Louisville to see the Kentucky Derby. In Baltimore, Preakness is a horse race. In Louisville, the Derby is Christmas.

And while we don’t necessarily worship Preakness here in town, we MIGHT worship Briana Lee (Thanks Busted Coverage!) now that we’ve found pictures of her…

briana

And finally, I leave you with this.

There is NO EXCUSE for me to enjoy the song “California Gurls” by Katy Perry. SO WHY DO I?!?!?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTVJTt-Gfx8[/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 16 April 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Friday!

It’s a Happy Friday for me because the Orioles aren’t on TV tomorrow. Not because I don’t love the Orioles, but more because…there’s just only so much of this I can take. I’m gonna do the lacrosse tripleheader with Patrick Stevens (Loyola-Georgetown, Army-Navy, Maryland-Hopkins); inhale some frosty beverages, and then probably hit on someone who isn’t my girlfriend.

Yep, it’s a good life. Almost as good as this fella’s…

bigben

What’s that you say, The Smoking Gun (via Deadspin)?…

The encounter lasted about ten minutes, beginning from when Roethlisberger entered the back area “with his penis already out of his pants.” The alleged victim repeatedly told him she didn’t want to have sex, but he kept reassuring her, as they had unprotected sex. She told her friends immediately after, and they reported it to the first police officer they saw.

You know, maybe if they trade this guy…I could consider myself a fan!

(Edit from GMC: Ladies…I’m kidding. He plays for the Steelers! I could NEVER like him!)

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s Janie McCauley says Ben Sheets impressive, David Hernandez not as Athletics topped Orioles

So….that happened again.

We keep doing this every morning. And I keep seeing losing do strange things to people.

David Hernandez wasn’t good last night. In fact, he was terrible. It’s just that instead of being terrible in 1 or 2 innings, he spread it out over 5 and mixed in 6 strikeouts just to make some of us think he WASN’T terrible. Apparently, it worked. At least enough to get Daniel Moroz (who goes by @CamdenCrazies on Twitter) the “Apologist of the Morning” nod…

“You could make the case that David Hernandez has out-pitched Ben Sheets in this game.”

No you couldn’t. At any point. Ever. Sheets gave up no runs on 5 hits over 6 innings. Hernandez gave up 5 runs (4 earned) on 7 hits over 5 innings. 4 of those hits were for extra bases.

It isn’t okay. It isn’t “gutty” because he ONLY gave up 5 runs. It’s unacceptable from ANY starting pitcher at the major league level.

But because the Orioles are losing, fans around here are more than willing to give him a pass. Fans have replaced the importance of wins and losses with feeling good when things aren’t completely embarrassing. Hernandez didn’t give up a pair of 3 run homers like Bergesen did, so it’s apparently okay.

Except that it isn’t.

Maybe Stacey Long (from Camden Chat) was right this morning when she said that last night’s effort was representative of David Hernandez’s talent. I won’t dismiss the chances that she’s right. That might be ALL he has to offer, and the Orioles just need “better players”, as Stacey suggested.

But it doesn’t make it okay to see so many doubles last night that I thought I was hanging out with Frankie Smith…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kYtliQs0tc[/youtube]

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

And if you’re a glutton for punishment, you’ll enjoy looking at it.

-Adam Jones had a double and triple last night as part of going 3-5 with an RBI, but he also committed an error moving the ball from his glove to his throwing hand on a sac fly. WHAT? And on another sac fly in the first inning, Jones gave an effort similar to Ashlee Simpson on Saturday Night Live. He’s starting to move into Felix Pie-area, it’s just that he appears to be MORE talented. But the stupid decisions and the lackluster efforts are starting to make a TON of us wonder whether or not he’s actually helping the club.

-Miguel Tejada was 0-4 with a strikeout and left 3 men on base. Of course, why should he be any different than anyone else? The team finished the game 0-8 with runners in scoring position and left 10 more runners on base.

You have to TRY to be this inept, don’t you? Like, teams that want to get hits with runners in scoring position might ACCIDENTALLY get them, wouldn’t they?

-On top of all of that, Garrett Atkins forgot that you actually have to apply a tag on a pickoff play, and Ty Wigginton was…well…AWKWARD at 2nd base to be kind.

If you’re not involved in our “Orange Crush” chats at WNST.net or following us on Twitter (@WNST) during the games, I don’t know how you handle this.

Here are some classics from Twitter last night:
-GMC: For as many of us that have said, “They can’t lose EVERY game”…are we sure?
-Luke: In honor of Jackie Robinson Day, the Orioles plan to raise their average with RISP and two outs to .042 by night’s end.
-GMC: Maybe having Felix Pie teach Adam Jones baseball fundamental lessons wasn’t such a good idea from the Orioles, after all.
-
Luke: Remember last year’s MASN commercial with the guy clutching his chest with heart palpitations? I hope he’s doing alright this year.

3. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Felix Pie forced to leave loss with shoulder injury

“The rich just keep getting richer.”

Look, we all know Felix Pie has looked MORE like a Major League Baseball player recently. In fact, if he limited the dumb decisions he made to 1 a game, I might actually CALL him a Major League Baseball player.

I’m certainly not jumping off the ledge because Felix Pie may be forced to miss time; but at 1-9 I’m not certain an injury to ANY player on this team-maybe short of Matt Wieters…MAYBE…would get me to the ledge.

4. Beaver County Times’ John Perrotto says Pittsburgh fans furious Pirates didn’t draft Wieters

Maybe Wieters should come up to Beaver County with Ray Rice, Todd Heap, Dannell Ellerbe, Chris Carr and Troy Smith for a charity basketball game!

This is a strange story. I don’t think that having Matt Wieters would make the Pirates any good, but I guess they might have the hope that Orioles fans have had recently if they had a guy like Wieters?

Speaking of hope, I hope to find more pictures of Ivana Vancova like the one Busted Coverage posted yesterday…

vancova

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Alfredo Simon, Rhyne Hughes, Chorye Spoone shined for Birds on farm

Before we move on from the O’s, I’ll remind everyone (mostly because I have to) that the Orioles return to action tonight at Oakland Alameda Coliseum. Kevin Millwood goes to the mound against Dallas Braden, first pitch is at 10:05 and the game can be seen on MASN2.

Luke Jones hosts tonight’s “Orange Crush” chat at WNST.net, I’ll handle Sunday’s chat.

I pray to God that this gets better soon. But I’m not overly hopeful.

6. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Marshal Yanda, Jalen Parmele signed tenders

Go ahead and print up the Super Bowl tickets now.

Honestly, each player has a role coming back-and they’re potentially key roles if this team IS going to win the AFC North for the first time under John Harbaugh and try to make a Super Bowl run. Yanda was very good after moving back into the starting lineup for Chris Chester; and he’ll be expected to perform at the same level this season.

Parmele will have the kick return job to lose in Training Camp unless Lardarius Webb makes a miraculously quick return; and showed signs of having some real ability to return kicks a season ago.

The pieces are starting to fall into place. “I love it when a plan comes together.”

7. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Eric DeCosta thinks Penn State DL Jared Odrick ‘plays like a Raven’

This was cute for a year.

“Joe Flacco plays like a Raven.”
“Frank Walker plays like a Raven.”
“Deacon Jones plays like a Raven.”
“Ray Bachman plays like a Raven.”

(Edit from GMC: Congrats to Ray Bachman on his recent divorce. Can’t understand how anyone would let go of a gem like him, though.)

Before we move on from the Ravens, a nod to Kyle Boller-who signed with the Raiders yesterday. Joke’s on all of us, because THIS belongs to him…

prejean

(Edit from GMC: Calm down ladies. When I say “belongs”, I really only mean “belongs.”)

8. GoMustangSports.com says Steve Kazimer, Richie Ford each tallied 8 points as Stevenson topped York College

York College with an “Oriole-like” performance against the ‘Stangs.

(Edit from GMC: Cheap shot, I know.)

Lots to be excited about this weekend lacrosse-wise. I mentioned Loyola-Georgetown and Army-Navy, but there’s also Towson-Drexel, which has MAJOR CAA implications, and could have major implications on the NCAA Tournament.

If you’re not watching lacrosse this weekend, what else are you gonna do? Catch up on episodes of “United States of Tara”?

There’s some other game going on too…

9. Inside Lacrosse’s Christian Swezey says Terps’ Will Yeatman returned to practice, could play tomorrow night at M&T Bank Stadium

Oh yeah, that.

As I’ve said this week, this is the biggest rivalry in ANY sport involving local teams. The best performance I’ve EVER seen at a sporting event in Baltimore happened when Joe Walters absolutely WENT OFF against the Jays in 2006 at Homewood Field-giving the Terrapins a rare victory in this series.

They desperately need another one tomorrow night. Dave Cottle can’t afford to have this bunch lose to this particular JHU team.

10. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says RB Morgan Green leaving Terps, likely to transfer to Towson

I have no idea if Maryland is going to get things turned around this season. I’ll spend the summer looking at it more in-depth, but I don’t have a TON of confidence at this point. If they don’t, it will likely be the swan song for Ralph Friedgen, and sadly-his legacy will include passing on Steve Slaton in favor of Green as much as it will include an ACC Championship and trip to the Orange Bowl as well as wins in the Peach Bowl, Gator Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl and Humanitarian Bowl.

Of course, we all have regrets. Many of my regrets include not knowing more about Candice Swanepoel, whose GQ pictures Guyism.com found for me…

swanepoel

And finally, I leave you with this.

Here’s the Scott Stapp Florida Marlins pump-up song. Enjoy!?!?!?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwaSuYZ6svQ[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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