Tag Archive | "George Sherrill"

Tonight's Orioles - Mariners Lineups

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Tonight’s Orioles – Mariners Lineups

Posted on 02 June 2009 by Chris Bonetti

Tonight the Orioles and Mariners will battle in game two of the teams’ three game set at 10:10pm EST from Safeco Field in Seattle as the Birds continue there six-game West Coast trip.

Last night the O’s won a good ol’ fashion pitchers’ duel by the score of 1-0 after Rich Hill turned in perhaps the best performance by a Baltimore starting pitcher this season.  Once Hill was able to avoid trouble in the first three innings against the pesky M’s lineup, he was on cruise-control afterward.  He, along with Jim Johnson in the eighth, and George Sherrill closing things out in the ninth, retired the last 20 Seattle batters to step to the plate.

In a bit of a baseball oddity, Orioles fans are probably much more familiar with the opposing team’s starting pitcher than their own.

Tonight Dave Trembley, his team, and their fans will get just their second look at hard-throwing David Hernandez on the major league level.  Just days after being called up from Triple-A Norfolk Hernandez earned the win in his big league debut at Camden Yards in a 5-1 Oriole victory on May 28.  The 24-year old, 6’3, 215lb right-hander scattered five hits and allowed just one earned run over his 5.2 innings of work.  Hernandez had astounding strikeout numbers throughout his tenure in the farm system, but it didn’t exactly translate in his first outing against Detroit, he only struck out three while walking four opposing hitters.

The familiar face on the bump tonight for the Mariners is none other than former Oriole, Erik Bedard.  The lefty seems to have his mojo back after a sub-par and injury-plagued first season out west last year.  Through eight starts Bedard has compiled a record of 3-2, with a very low 2.48 ERA, and an impressive 56 K’s in 54.1 innings.  Bedard spent four full seasons in the Baltimore rotation, but was traded to Seattle in the offseason going into ’08 for current starting centerfielder Adam Jones, closer George Sherrill, and #1 pitching prospect Chris Tillman, amongst others.  In an Orange and Black uniform Bedard tallied 40 wins from ’04-’07.

Here are this evening’s starting lineups that will be taking the field in the Emerald City:

Orioles

Brian Roberts – 2B
Adam Jones – CF
Nick Markakis – RF
Aubrey Huff – DH
Melvin Mora – 3B
Ty Wigginton – 1B
Matt Wieters – C
Nolan Reimold – LF
Cesar Izturis – SS

Mariners

Ichiro Suzuki – RF
Russell Branyan – 1B
Adrian Beltre – 3B
Ken Griffey Jr. – DH
Jose Lopez – 2B
Yuniesky Betancourt – SS
Rob Johnson – C
Endy Chavez – LF
Franklin Gutierrez – CF

Bedard set the O's all-time single season K's record with 221 in '07. (Courtesy: AP)

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Hill Thrills

Posted on 02 June 2009 by Jerry Reinhardt

Another impressive win for the Orioles! They won there first 1-0 game in over two years. Rich Hill looked great on the mound tonight. The first three innings were a little shaky but he pulled himself together. He has looked good in three out of his four starts. Right now he looks like the pitcher everyone remembers from 2007 and not the lost one of 2008. He has made Andy McPhail look shrewd and balanced out the Felix Pie trade.   

 

The Erik Bedard trade is the trade that keeps on giving. McPhail’s fleecing of the Mariners continues to pay huge dividends. He acquired Adam Jones, our everyday center fielder and Perennial All Star in waiting. Jones hit a double in the sixth and scored the games only run on a sacrifice fly from Aubrey Huff. Our current closer, George Sherrill was the closer insurance in the trade. He came in to record his 11th save last night. He should be dealt this year and could bring more prospects to build with.

 

We still have three pitchers down on the farm thanks to the trade. Chris Tillman is our #1 pitching prospect. He is dominating at AAA with 5 wins and a 2.13 ERA. He will probably be a September call up. He is a good bet to join the rotation in 2010. Kam Mickolio is struggling at AAA. He has an OK arm and may turn in to a contributor out of the bullpen. Tony Butler was supposed to be the other “Big” arm of the trade. He has been hurt and hasn’t pitched.

 

As well as everyone has pitched, part of the credit needs to go to the catchers. Matt Wieters was supposed to be ready at the plate and still developing behind it. He has been outstanding calling the games while struggling offensively. No need to worry, his hits will come! Greg Zaun called a great game on Sunday for Jason Berken. With all of the rookies pitching so well what will the O’s do with Koji when he is healthy? He has been a reliever in Japan the past couple of years and could easily return to the pen.  

 

Nolan Reimold has come up and taken control of right field job. Surprisingly, his 5 Home Runs put’s him amongst the Rookie Home Run leaders.  He is finally healthy and his explosion this year was unexpected. The outfield is shaping up nicely for the next 6 years.

 

Everyone in Baltimore should be thankful we have Andy McPhail running our franchise. He seems to have calmed Sweet Pete down and taken control of the team. The top 3 players he received in return for Eric Bedard have been AMAZING. The trade was so lopsided it helped get Bill Bavasi fired. Rich Hill could be a steal from the Cubs. I don’t know who will be the next Oriole traded but it should be interesting to see how much we can get for them. I wonder how many teams won’t want to trade with us because of McPhail’s success since coming to Baltimore.

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Orioles upend Rays, 7-5

Posted on 12 May 2009 by Luke Jones

Despite a wild start to this one, the Orioles got an outstanding effort from the bullpen and center fielder Adam Jones, as they held on to defeat the Rays, 7-5.

Starter Mark Hendrickson lasted only two innings after surrendering five runs, but Brian Bass entered in the third and pitched four scoreless innings to bridge the gap to the later innings.  Danys Baez, Jim Johnson, and George Sherrill each pitched a scoreless inning to close out the victory.

Adam Jones sparked the offense with two home runs and drove in four runs.  The 23-year-old center fielder continues to be among the league leaders in batting average (.363) and leads the club with eight home runs.

Left fielder Felix Pie left the game in the fourth inning and was taken to the hospital with a stomach ailment.  If Pie is unable to recover for tomorrow’s game, the club will only have a two-man bench with Luke Scott unavailable until the start of the Kansas City series.  In case you were wondering, Nolan Reimold hit another home run for Triple-A Norfolk tonight.

All in all, not a bad ballgame despite the sloppy start for both teams.

The Orioles will go for the two-game sweep tomorrow night before leaving town on a 10-game road trip.  The Orioles will send rookie Brad Bergesen to the hill against Tampa Bay right-hander Jeff Niemann.

A reminder that WNST will be at Donna’s Tavern in Dundalk tomorrow night for the Coors Light King of Baltimore Sportstalk Competition semifinals.  Please come out and join us, and I thank the WNST audience for all of its support throughout the competition!

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5 Ws and 1 H

Posted on 10 May 2009 by Luke Jones

I wanted to take a moment to wish all the moms out there a very Happy Mother’s Day.  In the sports world, we tend to overlook Mom in favor of Dad taking the kids to ballgames or coaching the little league team.

In my own childhood, my dad often had the glory, taking me to Orioles and Ravens games and coaching many of my teams, but my mom was right there at every game as my No. 1 fan.  I sincerely thank her for that.

Now, on to the 5 Ws and 1 H for the week.

1.  Who really deserves to be the Orioles’ closer at this point?  The closer-by-committee idea sounds logical, but relievers have to be effective in order for it to work.  The struggles of George Sherrill against right-handed hitting are well-documented (right-handers are hitting .378 against him), but no one else is emerging as a viable option.

Chris Ray (7.20 ERA) still doesn’t look right after returning from Tommy John surgery, Jamie Walker is really a one or two-batter pitcher at this point in his career, and Jim Johnson gave up the demoralizing three-run homer to Johnny Damon this afternoon.

Danys Baez has been the best of the bunch, but the team is hesitant to throw him into the role of pitching on consecutive days at this point.  He has done a great job filling the role held by Matt Albers last season before he went down with a shoulder injury.

Then again, the club really doesn’t need a closer when the bullpen can rarely hold a lead into the ninth inning.  One thing is for sure—the bullpen has been a major disappointment after looking like it might be one of the team’s strengths entering the season.

2.  What do you think was going through the mind of Alex Rodriguez on Thursday when the news broke that Manny Ramirez was being suspended 50 games for failing a drug test?

Was A-Rod happy to have the attention deflected away from him, or did it bring more scrutiny for his return to the Yankees lineup?

3.  Where will the Ravens go with the wide receiver position after trying out Jerry Porter, Kelley Washington, and Tab Perry this weekend?  None of the three will be a savior, but it certainly seems more crucial to find another veteran option after learning Derrick Mason could miss the preseason after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Washington reportedly had the most impressive showing of the three, but Ozzie Newsome will continue to see who else might shake loose from the other 31 NFL teams between now and late July.

Anquan Boldin’s agent Drew Rosenhaus claims he still expects his client to be traded, but don’t look for the Ravens to make the move unless they can sign Terrell Suggs to a long-term extension.  Suggs’ $10.2 million cap number makes a Boldin trade and subsequent new contract virtually impossible.

4.  When will we see the next high-profile minor leaguer in Baltimore?  Rich Hill—though not really a prospect—pitched six scoreless innings and picked up his first victory for Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday.

We’ll have to wait and see on the status of Luke Scott (shoulder) and Lou Montanez (thumb) during Monday’s off day.  Nolan Reimold (.381, 8 HR, 25 RBI at Norfolk) would figure to be on Andy MacPhail’s speed dial and is more than deserving of a promotion.

Matt Wieters is now hitting .301 despite only hitting one home run this season in Triple A.  At this point, it seems the Orioles are content waiting until early June to promote the 22-year-old catcher to avoid Super 2 Status, preventing him from being eligible for a fourth year of arbitration before free agency.  The recent hot streak of catcher Gregg Zaun—hitting .478 in May—makes the situation a little easier to swallow.

5.  Why won’t Brett Favre just stay or go away?  I have no problem with one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history wanting to continue his career; however, I grow tired of the drama over whether he will return or stay retired.

Here’s an idea:  simply WAIT and THINK before making a life-changing decision, and stick with it when you finally decide.  The drama that has unfolded since he retired from the Packers is more annoying than compelling.

Favre should have taken a lesson from Jonathan Ogden in handling a retirement.  Though the circumstances were different with Ogden nursing a chronic toe problem, he waited and really thought about his future before finally retiring last June.

6.  How are we going to make it to late July for the start of Ravens training camp?  This weekend’s minicamp feels like such a tease for those of us craving football season.

It would certainly help if the Orioles could play competitive baseball until then, but it’s becoming more and more difficult to enjoy watching a team that’s 13-19 and cannot pitch at all.  The promotion of young players like Wieters and Reimold will spark some interest, but will it be enough?

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Tonight's Orioles - Yankees Lineups

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Tonight’s Orioles – Yankees Lineups

Posted on 08 May 2009 by Chris Bonetti

The Orioles will play host to the New York Yankees this weekend for a three-game series at Camden Yards with the action starting tonight at 7:05.  The O’s enter the set with a record of 12-17 and in last place in the A.L. East, but just a game and a half behind the reeling fourth-place Yankees, whom have lost their last five coming into Baltimore.  Both squads have struggled tremendously against their division opponents, the O’s are 5-10 in such games while the Yankees are just 3-10.

The O’s come in winners of three of their last four and fresh off a two-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins.  Lou Montanez played the role of hero in last night’s 5-4 win; he had a bottom of the eighth, two-out RBI single that drove in Melvin Mora for the game’s winning run, breaking a 4-4 tie.  Brad Bergesen gave the home team six productive innings from the mound and only gave up three earned while doing a nice job keeping his squad in the game.  However, he did allow 11 base hits and eventually took the no-decision.  The win went to the bullpen for the second consecutive night, this time it was Jim Johnson who threw a shutout 8th frame to register the W.  George Sherrill induced Justin Morneau to hit a soft fly ball to left field for the game’s final out, and in the process stranded Joe Mauer, the game’s would-be tying run at first base to preserve the victory.

Jeremy Guthrie, the O’s 30-year old ace, will take the ball against the Yankees for the second time this season in front of the home crowd.  On Opening Day, all the way back on April 6th, Guthrie gave up three runs over six innings and picked up the win.  Since, he’s been nothing better or worse than OK.  He’s got a 2-2 record with a 5.16 ERA, but the Orioles are just 2-4 in games he’s started.  Guthrie’s achilles heel this season has been surrendering the dreaded two-out rally.  In his last appearance five days ago in Toronto, Guthrie gave a great effort and threw a complete game, but the Jays hit three two-out doubles and two, two-out home runs in the eventual 4-3 Baltimore loss.

The pitching match-up tonight will be the exact same as it was on Opening Day as the Yankees will throw out their rather expensive yet so far underwhelming ace, C.C. Sabathia.  The 28-year old husky left-hander has yet to show the dominating form that earned him his record-breaking free agent contract this off-season; he’s just 1-3 with a 4.38 ERA and coming off a not-so-hot performance against the Angels, where he allowed five runs.  On their Opening Day win, the O’s knocked him out after only 4.1 innings and tagging him for six earned on eight hits.

Those going down to the ballpark tonight will certainly have their opportunity to boo their most hated Yankee players.  Not only will Mark Teixeira be back in town, but Alex Rodriguez will be making his season-debut this evening.  He missed the first month of the season with a torn labrum in his hip.

Tonight on the Mob Town Sports Beat at 6:45, Thyrl Nelson and I will be previewing the series with Roger Rubin of New York Daily News  and talking to him about the return of A-Roid back to baseball.

Dave Trembley and Joe Girardi chose nine players to represent their teams, those men are:

Orioles

Brian Roberts – 2B
Adam Jones – CF
Nick Markakis – RF
Melvin Mora – 3B
Aubrey Huff – 1B
Ty Wigginton – DH
Lou Montanez – LF
Chad Moeller – C
Cesar Izturis – SS

Yankees

Derek Jeter – SS
Johnny Damon – LF
Mark Teixeira – 1B
Alex Rodriguez – 3B
Hideki Matsui – DH
Robinson Cano – 2B
Nick Swisher – RF
Melky Cabrera – CF
Francisco Cervelli – C

On Opening Day, Mark Teixeira heard it from O's fans (Courtesy: Karl Merton Ferron)

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Why the Orioles bullpen held a closed-door meeting

Posted on 05 May 2009 by Luke Jones

From the home office in Glen Rock, Pa., I bring to you the Top 10 Reasons Why the Orioles Bullpen Held a Closed-Door Meeting on Monday Afternoon.

10.  They’re still trying to figure out just how high Radhames Liz’s ERA was in his last stint with the club.

9.  “I know we’ve asked you before, but is it pronounced ‘Danny’ or ‘Dan-eez?'”

8.  They figured since they can’t manage to close the door late in the game, they might as well try to do it in the clubhouse.

7.  With minicamp starting Friday, the relievers discussed who among them could be that big-play receiver the Ravens lack.

6.  To cool complaints about not having established roles, the front office sent over a pack of these for the bullpen to share.

5.  “George, when you’re the closer, we called it colorful.  When you’re not, the brim’s just kind of lame.”

4.  Jamie Walker shared his new seminar titled “How to Critique Umpiring Tactfully.”

3.  After watching another episode of The Office, Chris Ray shouted, “Conference room, 5 minutes!”

2.  Figuring out how to get the bullpen phone to go straight to voice mail is not a one-man job.

1.  In an attempt to jumpstart the club, instead of pitching the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings, the relievers will now take turns hitting seventh, eighth, and ninth in the lineup.

(Update:  Gregg Zaun, Cesar Izturis, and Felix Pie were unavailable for comment, as they were working in the bullpen with pitching coach Rick Kranitz.  MASN’s Jim Hunter immediately praised the decision.)

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Merry Christmas, Ravens fans!

Posted on 25 April 2009 by Luke Jones

The NFL Draft feels a little bit like Christmas for football fans.  By the end of the weekend, the Ravens will have unwrapped five or six new players that can make an impact in 2009.  Many teams will not be able to say this, but the outstanding work of Ozzie Newsome, Eric DeCosta, and the scouting department makes this possible.

Whether it’s a Brandon Pettigrew in the first round or a surprise in the fourth or fifth round, the Ravens are certain to grab a few players that were higher on their board than where they actually select them.  It seems to happen every year.

Not counting weekends in the fall, this is easily the best sports weekend of the year with the draft, NBA playoffs, NHL playoffs, and baseball.  The Terps also play their spring football game today.  Here are some other random thoughts on this action-filled sports weekend:

– The Orioles’ 5-4 loss was a tough one to swallow last night.  George Sherrill should ideally be a left-handed specialist rather than the closer, but what other option do they really have?  Chris Ray hasn’t exactly been lighting the world on fire, and Jim Johnson doesn’t miss enough bats to be a reliable closer. Dave Trembley should really use all three relievers to close games and allow the situation to dictate who pitches in the ninth inning.

The first four batters of the ninth inning last night hit from the right side (Jarrod Saltalamacchia is a switch hitter).  This is not the ideal situation for Sherrill—especially if he’s only going to throw fastballs to Ian Kinsler and Michael Young.

Unless your team has a dynamic closer like a Mariano Rivera or a Francisco Rodriguez, the choice to designate one person as the closer continues to baffle me.  But it’s all around baseball—not just the Orioles.

– While admittedly preferring college basketball to the NBA, it’s hard to ignore the excitement of the NBA playoffs.  For the first time since Michael Jordan walked away from the game for good, the league has legitimate star power with the trio of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Dwyane Wade.

Take notice how often you see these three in the commercials over the weekend.  The NBA and NFL do an outstanding job marketing its players—Major League Baseball should take notes, as their marketing efforts are abysmal.

– Though often overlooked for some of the bigger stars in the league, Baltimore’s Carmelo Anthony is still one of the best players in the NBA.

His scoring was down this season (22.8 from 25.7 in 2007-2008), but the Nuggets are the No. 2 seed in the West and have a chance to win their first playoff series since 1994.  It’s no surprise that Anthony has largely been ignored playing in Denver.

If Anthony and Chauncey Billups can lead the Nuggets to finally break the five-year first-round losing streak and move to the Western Conference semifinals, Anthony will get the recognition he deserves.

– Though it probably won’t be Anquan Boldin, don’t be surprised to see the Ravens make a trade to acquire a veteran this weekend.  Ozzie Newsome surrendered a fourth-round pick to acquire Fabian Washington last season and another for Kevin Johnson in 2004.

The chance of a trade probably diminishes with only having six picks, but Newsome could dangle next year’s third- or fourth-round selection if an appealing veteran receiver would become available.

– Even though no one really knows what’s going to happen today (including Newsome and DeCosta), I’ll go on record to say the Ravens trade down into the first few picks of the second round and select wide receiver Hakeem Nicks from North Carolina, who surprisingly falls into the second round.

Of course, this pretty much confirms that it won’t happen, so if you were coveting Nicks for the Ravens, my sincere apologies.

***

Enjoy the afternoon.  I’ll be checking in later in the day.

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Final thoughts on the 5-4 win

Posted on 11 April 2009 by Luke Jones

I just got back from the ballgame as Mark Hendrickson outdueled Andy Sonnanstine, and the Orioles broke a 12-game losing streak to Tampa Bay, winning 5-4.

Here are my final thoughts on tonight’s win:

– Hendrickson was a pleasant surprise, allowing one run in 5 1/3 innings of work.  I was surprised Dave Trembley pulled him after allowing a single to Carlos Pena with one out in the sixth.  Hendrickson had only thrown 91 pitches.

If Trembley wants to maintain a strong bullpen into the summer months, he will need to allow Hendrickson and Adam Eaton to work late into the game—even if it means giving up a few extra runs and infuriating Orioles fans in the process.

– I echo the thoughts of Bob Haynie regarding the “O’s” hat.  I’d much rather see the cartoon bird hat (without the white panel) with the Friday alternates.  It’s still the best hat the Orioles have ever worn.

– In case we needed a reminder, Evan Longoria is one of the best players in the game.  He accounted for three of the Rays’ four runs with a solo shot in the first and a two-run blast in the eight.  Perhaps more impressive than his bat is his fielding prowess.  If you saw the play he made yesterday against Boston, you know what I’m talking about.

– Danys Baez looks very impressive in the early stages of the season, striking out four of the five batters he faced tonight.  He’s overpaid at $5.5 million, but Baez can provide some solid middle relief when healthy.

– Two more doubles for Adam Jones tonight.  He’s absolutely raking the ball right now.

– The Orioles made another base-running mistake in the second inning with Gregg Zaun getting doubled off second base following Cesar Izturis’ lineout to right field.  This is a very capable lineup, but they cannot continue to give up potential runs with such an inconsistent pitching staff.

– George Sherrill continues to remind me of a poor man’s Randy Myers.  The lefty struck out the side but gave up a home run to Dioner Navarro in the process.  Much like Myers, he rarely has a 1-2-3 inning but manages to get the job done anyway.

– Despite the well-documented missteps of the organization over the past decade, $6 Student Night continues to be a great marketing tool.  A large bulk of the announced 22,866 in attendance could be found in the left field upper deck.  While it isn’t exactly Section 34 at the old stadium, the college kids bring a nice energy to the ballgame.

Now, we just need to ban the wave, and we’ll be ready to go for the rest of the season.

The Orioles will go for their second-straight win against the Rays tomorrow night when Jeremy Guthrie takes the hill against Jeff Niemann.

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Thursday Morning's Crab Cakes and Light Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crab Cakes and Light Beer

Posted on 12 March 2009 by Chris Bonetti

The Swinging Bunt

‘Bong-Gate’ helps feed San Fran’s homeless.  I’ve always been a subscriber to the notion that everything happens for a reason and that good can come from any situation.  It turns out there’s even a silver lining to Michael Phelps smoking pot.  When the photo of the 14-time Olympic Champ puffing first appeared, Kellogg’s was one of the first of Phelps’ corporate sponsors to drop him as a spokesperson.  Now the breakfast business has donated thousands of boxes of cereal, all with Phelps’ likeness on them, to a homeless shelter in San Francisco.  As for Mike himself… he’s still serving his three month ban from competitive swimming and is here in Baltimore working out.  How does this CMS staff writer know that?  Last week I walked into the pool area of Loyola College’s Fitness and Aquatics Center for a dip and a little excercize and who is working out in Lane 5 with his coach, Bob Bowman?…  none other than the worldly humanitarian who was responsible for delivering Frosted Flakes and Corn Flakes to the less fortunate in the Bay Area.  (For the record, I watched practice and stretched for a few minutes and then jumped in Lane 7 and swam the lane next to the lane next to the Golden Boy… c’mon, I’m obviously never going to sparr with Ali, play in a foursome with Tiger, or shoot around at the same hoop as Jordan, so it was pretty cool.)

Bedard still a pain in the ass!  Now I know it has only been a year since the O’s shipped Erik Bedard out to Seattle for prospects, but I think it’s already pretty, pretty easy to say that Baltimore got the best of the deal.  Bedard only appeared 15 times for the Mariners last year, his last coming on the 4th of July, and otherwise spent multiple stints on the disabled list in the great Pacific Northwest.  Yesterday the lefty missed his scheduled Cactus League outing… due to a sore butt.  This guy has turned out to be a real softy, especially I guess in a certain fleshy area.  Meanwhile, all the Orioles got back were Adam Jones, their franchise center fielder who is considered one of the best five-tool young players in baseball, George Sherrill, an all-star MVP candidate who saved 31 games last season, and Chris Tillman, a right hand starter who is a top-25 prospect in all of baseball… and two other dudes.  One of the best trades in Oriole history, if not the best, right?

Scanning the Blogosphere

…of all places, a website named Midwest Sports Fans has a nice, tidy, little primer for the ACC Tournament.  I like to print stuff like this out to keep next to my remote, I’m just saying… it’s a good idea, especially this time of year in collegiate basketball.

Fan IQ takes a look at NFL teams while they prepare for the ’09 draft, today they look at the AFC North and the Baltimore Ravens.

Around the Harbor wonders if Terp WR Darius Heyward-Bey might be just what the Ravens need to fill their biggest need.

Baltimore Sports Report has a breakdown of the Orioles starting pitching rotation.

The Loss Column has the latest on who might fill out the last spots on the bench and the pitching staff.

Z on TV tells us Michael Phelps and Matt Lauer will be taping an interview to be aired Sunday night at 7 on Dateline.  It’s Phelps first interview since… ‘Bong-Gate!’

Medium Well has CBS’s pairings for the upcoming NCAA Tournament.  Ray’s dead-on, Gus Johnson and Len Elmore is the most entertaining grouping by far, and it will definitely be interesting to see how Clark Kellogg replaces Billy Packer with Jim Nantz.

CMS Video of the Day

The Terps get started in the ACC Tournament tonight when they take on the NC State Wolfpack on ESPN2 tonight at 7:00. If your around my neck of the woods… swing down to Magerks in Federal Hill for the Official WNST Maryland ACC Tournament Viewing Party.

Many ‘bracketologists’ believe Maryland needs to win at the very least 2, if not 3, games to make the NCAA Tournament.

Today’s video comes from the archive and is the last 20 seconds and celebration of the 2004 UMD-Duke ACC Championship game, the last time Maryland has gone as far in the ACC Tournament.

Can the Gary rally his troops?  We’ll see, I guess.  My bet is no.  Don’t tell Glenn I said that.

The Morning’s Final Thought

Haha, two funny comics…

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Closing time for the Orioles

Posted on 13 February 2009 by caseywillett

One of the interesting battles to watch as the Orioles get ready to start spring training will be the battle between Chris Ray and George Sherrill for the closer position.
 
Sherrill is coming off of a solid season in which he recorded 31 saves and earned a trip to the All-Star Game. He pitched more last year than he had done at any other point in his major-league career, and although he dealt with some shoulder issues late in the season, it was a very impressive season for him. He definitely earned the right to be the closer again for the 2009 Orioles.
 
In 2006, Chris Ray appeared to be the answer to the question of who was going to replace B.J. Ryan as the Orioles’ closer. Ray had 33 saves and an ERA of 2.73, while allowing opposing batters to just hit .193 off of him. Ray struggled in 2007, including that Mother’s Day Massacre in Boston on May 13. He came into the game with a 5-1 lead and one out in the ninth, only to see it all disappear in almost the blink of an eye.
 
Ray will be trying to come back after missing all of the 2008 campaign after undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2007. Ray did pitch some in the minors last year, but the Orioles decided not to call him back up to the roster and have him active last year. Ray will have to prove during spring training that he is healthy and ready to go for the season.
 
If you are Dave Trembley, do you let these two battle it out to see who will be the closer, and who will be the set up guy? Do you rotate them depending on the game situation?
 
Whatever they decide to do, this could be one of the strongest parts of the Orioles’ pitching staff.

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