Tag Archive | "hershey"

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Caps Analysis: A Look Back at My Thoughts from Last Year’s Development Camp

Posted on 14 June 2009 by Ed Frankovic

With the hockey season now over and the off-season now officially in swing, I thought I’d go back and take a look at my blogs from last year’s Capitals Development Camp to see how some of the topics and players I blogged about ended up turning out as the past season unfolded.

Here are links to those blogs from last July 8th and 10th.

http://wnst.net/wordpress/edfrankovic/2008/07/10/caps-signings-development-camp-scrimmage-news/

http://wnst.net/wordpress/edfrankovic/2008/07/08/

Let’s start with my best prediction of all, from the July 8th blog:

I will go on record as saying that sometime in the near future a Caps ticket could be a very difficult one to obtain (i.e, I could see them start to sell out the Verizon Center on a regular basis).

Analysis: Spot on as the Caps are sold out next year and believe it or not, there is now a waiting list for season tickets!!

Another good prediction from the July 10th blog:

For those who live in the MD/Baltimore area it will be well worth your while to drive up to Hershey and see these young players next season.

Analysis: Hershey led the AHL Eastern Conference in the regular season and won the Calder Cup!

Now on to the players, let’s start with Karl Alzner

From July 10th blog:

Very smooth overall and he looks like he has a really good chance of making the Caps out of camp this year if he stays healthy. The thing I really liked about him was his ability to receive and then make a solid pass even when he was given the puck with one or two defenders on or very close to him (defensive partner Josh Godfrey did this to him a few times). Like many of the other players fatigue seemed to set in during the third period so he made some mistakes but overall his positioning was outstanding and I didn’t see anyone get around or behind him. I did notice that one time in the third period he had the opportunity to lay a shoulder into an opposing forward and separate him from the puck but Karl chose not to when that appeared to be the correct play.

Analysis: While Karl didn’t make the team out of training camp last year (and a big reason for that was due to the salary cap) he did play 30 games with the Caps when the injury bug hit and #27 should make the team this September. Alzner is not a big hitter and will not lead the rush like a Mike Green BUT he is as advertised above: very good with the puck and sound positionally. I talked to Karl after Game 5 of the Calder Cup Finals in Hershey and he is hoping he does not have to attend this summer’s development camp. Alzner said he is very tired after a long season and needs to rest his body. Karl will turn 21 in September and the biggest thing I think he needs to do is get stronger physically. Some of that will happen naturally as he gets older and some of that will have to come from proper training in the weight room.

Player #2, John Carlson. Here is an excerpt from the July 10th blog:

Still learning positioning in the defensive zone but was okay for the most part in his own end, although his defensive partner and forwards left him to fend off several odd man rushes. Very good moving the puck up the ice and had a nice assist late in the third period on one of his point shots. I talked with John after the scrimmage and he is pretty much pleased with where he is at and what he is learning but wants to improve his conditioning since he was clearly winded. When discussing his point shot and power play abilities he said, “I have pride in my shot.” Carlson will play for the London Knights next year along with Justin Taylor (6th round of 2007 draft) and he is excited about the upcoming season and believes they will have a good team. London traded with the Kitchener Rangers (2008 Memorial Cup runners-up) to obtain forward Nazem Kadri, who one NHL scout told me could be a first round pick at the 2009 NHL entry draft, so Carlson should get some great experience this season (playing for the Hunter brothers won’t hurt either).

Analysis: Carlson really benefitted from playing in London this past season under Dale Hunter and when the Knights were knocked out of the playoffs by the eventual OHL and Memorial Cup Champions, the Winsdor Spitfire, John joined the Hershey Bears and was a key player in helping the team win the Calder Cup. From what I saw in the Calder Cup Finals the ONLY thing holding Carlson back right now is his strength. John is only 19 so to expect him to come up to the NHL and play against bigger and stronger players and be able to take the body might be a stretch. Like Alzner, John just needs to mature physically and continue to hit the weight room. I see Carlson playing primarily in Hershey next season with some short stints with the Caps if injuries happen. In two years we could see Carlson with the Caps on the opposite point with Green on the power play with Alex Ovechkin moved down low. That would be two right handed shots up top but it is working fairly well now with Green and the Great #8. The one thing holding back the Caps power play from being #1 is down low presence (players to get in front of the net and create and finish rebounds). Btw, it looks like Kadri will be a top 10 draft pick at next week’s 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

On to the young goalies from the July 10th blog.

Simeon Varlamov: looked fairly solid although he struggled a couple of times with rebounds on routine shots. Seems destined to be in Hershey next season and I will be surprised if he doesn’t start.

Analysis: Won the starting job in Hershey but when Brent Johnson was injured he was called up to the big club and he took over the #1 job with the Caps in the playoffs and nearly carried them past the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Penguins. He is acrobatic and very athletic. He continues to improve his rebound control. He is getting better positionally too and will likely be the #1 goalie next season for Washington.

Michal Neuvirth: Only gave up two goals in 30 minutes but faced lots of shots and scoring chances. Had the highlight save of the day robbing an opposing forward with his glove on a shot destined for the upper corner of the top shelf. Still seems to be recovering from his knee injury but looked much better than on Monday.

Analysis: Neuvirth played in 5 games for the Caps and was 2-1 this season. He just led the Hershey Bears to the Calder Cup title and was named the AHL playoff MVP. In a perfect world (and that means unloading Jose Theodore and his $4.5M contract next season) he and Varlamov split the goaltending duties for the Caps next season.

Braden Holtby: He was left out to dry during most of his 30 minutes in net but he did make some good saves. Major project but you never know with goalies.

Analysis: Holtby, who was taken in the 4th round of last season’s NHL Entry Draft, had a great year in the Western Hockey League for Saskatoon (40-16-4). He was on Hershey’s playoff roster but did not play once added. Perhaps he is in Hershey or South Carolina next year honing his skills some more?

Here are some others I appeared to be right on:

Jake Hauswirth: I wrote that he was the surprise of the day on July 10th. At that time he was unsigned but just recently GM George McPhee signed the 21 year old 6’5”, 210-pound native of Merrill, Wisconsin to a three year contract. I imagine Hauswirth will be at this year’s development camp (tentatively scheduled for July 12-18) and it will be interesting to see if he goes to Hershey or South Carolina for next season.

Michael Dubuc: Blogged that he was very noticeable and that he had very good offensive skills. Dubuc had 35 goals in 49 games for the South Carolina Stingrays this season and 4 goals in 12 playoff games to help them win the ECHL Championship. Seems like a ticket to Hershey could be in his future for next season.

I also did pretty well on my thoughts on Oskar Osala (good prospect needs to improve skating), Steve Pinnizzotto, Matthieu Perreault (nice offensive skills), and Francois Bouchard, although it should be noted that I was not high on Bouchard and he only played in 11 of the 22 games the Bears played in the Calder Cup Playoffs, a sign that he might not make in “The Show.”

As for defensemen Josh Godfrey and Sasha Pokulok, I thought both would see more time in Hershey this year and that was not the case. Forward Maxime Lacroix had a great season in South Carolina scoring 33 goals in 63 games but he only had 6 games in Hershey so I may have had him progressing too quickly.

As for Justin Taylor, it looks like I missed the boat on him as he is not under contract with the Caps anymore and his web page on the team site is gone. So much for that potential 3rd line NHLer monicker I put on him!

Clearly the Caps have a ton of young talent in their organization so you can bet that I’ll be back out at development camp again next month as my time spent there last summer was well worth it!

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 10 June 2009 by Glenn Clark

I was surprised to see the Orioles take a high school pitcher; but clearly pitch count is an issue for them. College pitchers often throw 100+ pitches more than once in a week, and their arms are already a bit worn down by the time they get to the Major League Level.

That will be just about the last you’ll hear from me about baseball statistics.

Welcome to Baltimore Matt Hobgood.

Let’s see what everyone else has to say…..

Best of Tuesday’s WNST Blogs:

Drew Forrester would handle O’s same way today

Nestor Aparicio says Birds got ‘necessary’ win over M’s

Nestor Aparicio offers pictures, video of Hobgood

Nestor Aparicio says city, state, Stadium Authority, others all worked to bring back Army-Navy game

Glenn Clark says Adam Jones still amongst top hitters in MLB

Keith Melchior says Andy MacPhail ‘getting pass’

Ed Frankovic says Moose top Bears to force Calder Cup Finals back to Winnipeg

ORIOLES:

MLB.com’s Brian Eller says Bergesen throws 8 shutout innings to lift birds past Mariners

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of win

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Birds select California High School pitcher Hobgood in 1st round of MLB Draft

MLB.com’s Brian Eller says Mora had early home run overturned, called out

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Luke Scott, Jason Berken examples of Orioles selected on 2nd day of MLB Draft

Mariners Official Site’s Pete Kerzel says Jason Vargas gave M’s ‘decent outing’ in loss

Norfolk Tides Official Site says Jolbert Cabrera drilled homer, but Toledo topped Tides

Bowie Baysox Official Site says Troy Patton, Sean Gleason to pitch today in doubleheader vs. Connecticut

Frederick Keys Official Site says Luis Lebron blew save in Keys’ loss to Hillcats

Delmarva Shorebirds Official Site says McCurry shaky, but Shorebirds top Lake County

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Reimold drove in 2 for Birds in win

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Birds’ Guthrie battles Mariners’ Hernandez tonight

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Trembley swapped Adam Jones, Nick Markakis in lineup

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Norco pitcher Hobgood named Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year Sunday

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says scouting director Joe Jordan ‘seemed pretty comfortable’ with Hobgood pick

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Birds selected Tampa HS player Michael Givens in 2nd round, FIU 1B Tyler Townsend in 3rd round

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Bergesen impressing with ‘poise, pace of game’

The Sun’s Mike Klingaman says Birds impressed by Mike Flacco’s ‘athleticism’

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. pulls thoughts on Hobgood

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Jeff Fiorentino went 3-4 with two doubles in Tides’ loss

Examiner Steve DeClue says MASN commercials ‘embarrassing’

Examiner Steve DeClue says Hobgood’s changeup, command ‘need some work’

Carroll County Times’ Patrick Stoetzer says Sherrill gave up run, but notched 12th save of season

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Birds selected Hobgood over Zack Wheeler

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Sarfate throwing in hopes of returning

The AP says Adam Jones added RBI groundout after double by Brian Roberts

Frederick News-Post’s Adam Behsudi/AP say Birds selected Hobgood because Ackley was gone

Frederick News-Post says Caleb Joseph extended hit streak to 10 in Keys’ loss

Virginian-Pilot’s Rainer Sabin says Waters roughed up by Mud Hens in loss

Seattle Times’ Geoff Baker says Jose Lopez got only RBI for Mariners in loss

Sporting News’ Michael Huang says future rotation of Matusz, Arrieta, Tillman, Hobgood ‘looks awfully good’

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Heap got out of red jersey, practiced in full

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Harbaugh believes Ravens ‘have to’ win AFC North

The Official Site says Harbaugh taking USO trip to help ‘morale building’ in Persian Gulf

The Official Site says Ravens using this week’s Passing Camp to prepare for Browns, Bengals, Steelers

The Sun’s Edward Lee says L.J. Smith trying to shed ‘injury-prone’ reputation

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Mason not setting timetable for return

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Sypniewski made first appearance since knee surgery

The Sun’s Edward Lee says DC Mattison, CB Oglesby first to pond for fishing tournament after practice

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Heap intends to be ready by Training Camp

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says McGahee ‘OK’ working behind Ray Rice

SI’s Peter King says Eric DeCosta had travel issues

HORSE RACING:

Daily Racing Form’s David Grening says Dunkirk needs surgery on left hind cannon bone

Thoroughbred Times says Dunkirk came out of 2nd place finish at Belmont with condylar fracture

Thoroughbred Times’ John Scheinman says Laurel hoping for reinstatement of slots bid

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

The Sun’s Matt Bracken says Terps interested in Loyola QB Bruns

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem says Bishop McNamara WR Brandon Coleman wants to get offer from Terps (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem says St. John’s (DC) D-Lineman Andre Monroe likes Terps (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem says DeMatha DB Jeff Knox Jr. to visit Terps (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem says Don Bosco Prep (NJ) DT Kittredge has Terps near top of list (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter says Northern High School DE prospect Tre’Van Dorsey visited College Park (must subscribe)

Turtle Sports Report’s Kenny Gartner chats with DB prospect Cullen Christian (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Vasquez worked out with Bucks yesterday, working out with Raptors today

TERRAPINS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says Frese adds former Seton Hall assistant Marlin Chinn to staff

The Diamondback’s Aaron Kraut says Dave Adkins could still be in line for spot on staff

Washington Post’s Camille Powell says Chinn previously worked at Mt. St. Mary’s

TERRAPINS LACROSSE:

The Sun’s Edward Lee has Terps 8th in early ’10 poll

TOWSON FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says former Tiger Landeta chairing Tiger Club Annual Appeal

MORGAN FOOTBALL:

Football.com’s Jeff Glatzer says Bears D-Lineman Justin Lawrence ‘strikes fear’ into opponents

HOPKINS LACROSSE:

Inside Lacrosse’s Christian Swezey says Tierney move as big if not bigger than Haus, Pietramala moves in ‘01

The Sun’s John Weaver says Jays had approached Tierney about taking job before

NAVY FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says M&T Bank Stadium awarded 2014, 2016 Army-Navy games

The Official Site says FedEx Field, Lincoln Financial Field also get future Army-Navy Games

The Official Site says Mids to sign autographs at Camden Yards this weekend

The Official Site says FB Jack Hatcher looking forward to Army most this season

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says ’14 game will come at same time as bicentennial celebration of “Star Spangled Banner”

Examiner Steve DeClue says Ravens ‘very proactive’ in bringing Army-Navy game back to Baltimore

Washington Post’s Camille Powell says Philadelphia gets 5 of next 8 Army-Navy games

Washington Times’ Tim Lemke says ’11 Army-Navy game to FedEx Field

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says ’10, ’12, ’13, ’15, ’17 Army-Navy games in Philadelphia

Go Mids’ David Ausiello says football ‘king’ at Navy

BALTIMORE MARINERS:

The Official Site previews Sunday’s contest vs. Harrisburg Stampede

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-Clearly the Ravens are putting a significant importance on winning the AFC North; which makes sense, as the road to the Super Bowl is SIGNIFICANTLY more difficult when you have to go on the road for 3 weeks AND then try to win the Super Bowl. Just getting in isn’t enough; even though two teams have won Super Bowls that way.

Talk to you tomorrow.

-G

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Bird watching & no hoisting of goblet in Pittsburgh

Posted on 09 June 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

10:42 p.m. — Bring on Game 7! The Pittsburgh Penguins have been plenty feisty daing back to Game 7 in Washington, D.C. in what feels like a lifetime ago. It wasn’t the most exciting first period in Stanley Cup history, but the third period tonight at The Igloo was spectacular. Action, back and forth and up and down the ice. The game almost was tied with just 13 seconds remaining on a close one.

It was Stanley Cup magic. The Penguins and the city of Pittsburgh are 60 minutes away from a second civic championship in five months. Disgusting!

Meanwhile, Brad Bergesen did a nice job tonight against Seattle. The Birds won 3-1. Nolan Reimold hit a big fly. Melvin Mora had one interfered with in the first inning. It was a good, necessary win for the Birds.

8:40 p.m. — I’m in the midst of a typical spring night of wearing out the “previous” on my Comcast remote as I go back and forth between the Orioles-Mariners and Red Wings-Penguins.

The sky is a beautiful blood orange over downtown tonight and the Orioles game has been strange and the Red Wings look poised to hoist Lord Stanley’s chalice on enemy ice once again. Imagine these cockroaches from Pittsburgh having to watch the Red Wings raise The Cup at the Igloo for the second year in a row in front of the Steel City faithful.

Imagine the indignity! (But, it couldn’t happen to nicer folks that our neighbors in Pittsburgh!)

As for the Orioles, if you didn’t see the fan interference in the first inning on a near-home run for Melvin Mora (coincidentally, the kid was wearing an orange Mora No. 6 freebie giveaway that apparently no one knew about) you need to check it out. It was a Jeffrey Maier special, but when the umpires reconvened they rescinded a two-run homer call and the Orioles were suddenly only up 1-0 instead of 3-nil.

It looks like there’s less than 10,000 in the park tonight and the storm that rolled through town at dinner was biblical. Just horrendous where I was in Towson and White Marsh.

I don’t know if I’ll blog all night but I’ve been watching and I just felt like writing. It’s been a long week already and we’re making a lot of changes at WNST and you’ll see this site really come to life over the next few weeks.

Lots of work behind the scenes lately.

But tonight — for a beautiful Tuesday night — I’m watching hockey and baseball and enjoying it immensely!

Nolan Reimold just turned on one and the Birds are up 2-0. Also, my buddy Ed Frankovic keeps texting me from Hershey with Bears-Manitoba updates. Apparently, the Bears are losing.

Red Wings and Penguins are nil. Been a sleepy first period by Stanley Cup Finals standards.

A big night of fun sports…

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 09 June 2009 by Glenn Clark

My mock Orioles pick? Try Mike Leake from Arizona State. He’s come on during the College World Series; and would presumably be more Major League ready than Matzek or Wheeler.

But what do I know?

Let’s see what everyone else has to say:

Best of Monday’s WNST Blogs:

Drew Forrester thinks Patton, Tillman, Arrieta will be September call-ups

Glenn Clark surprised to see SI report about Vasquez

Jason Jubb would want $25k or interview on WNST for Wieters’ first home run ball

Mark Suchy wishes Happy Birthday to father, former Terp Bob Suchy

Glenn Clark says LPGA bringing hot chicks to Harford County

Ed Frankovic says Alzner making impact in Calder Cup Finals with Bears

ORIOLES:

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Huff, Mora, Roberts, Markakis all slumping right now

Mariners Official Site’s Jim Street says Vargas goes to mound for Mariners tonight vs. Bergesen, Birds

Norfolk Tides Official Site says Bobby Livingston gave up 1 run over 7 innings to lift Norfolk past Toledo

Bowie Baysox Official Site says Arrieta named Pitcher of the Week again by Eastern League

Delmarva Shorebirds Official Site says Kolodny homered to lift Delmarva past Lake County

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Arizona State’s Mike Leake, Vanderbilt’s Mike Minor could be options for Birds with 5th pick in MLB Draft

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Keys’ Matusz on ‘fast track’ to Baltimore

The Sun’s Mike Klingaman says former Oriole Pappas appearing at Sports Legends Saturday

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Justin Christian drilled 3 run homer to lift Tides past Mud Hens

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Shorebirds’ Zagone, Welty named South Atlantic League All-Stars

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck details slumps for Roberts, Markakis, Huff, Mora, Wieters

Examiner Jay Trucker says Trembley, players share blame for bad baserunning

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Birds need improved offense, pitching during homestand with Mariners, Braves, Mets

Frederick News-Post’s Stan Goldberg says Matt Angle ‘heating up’ for Keys

Virginian-Pilot’s Rainer Saibin says Norfolk manager Gary Allenson ‘not really’ surprised by how quickly Tides players have advanced to Baltimore

Fox Sports’ Dayn Perry says ‘even bottom feeding Orioles on the rise’ in AL East

Fox Sports’ Aram Tolegian has Orioles 29th in power rankings

Sporting News’ Ryan Fagan has Birds 29th in power rankings

Sporting News’ Michael Huang mocks Matzek to Birds

Yahoo! Sports’ Steve Henson mocks Matzek to Birds

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Ravens want ‘consistency’ from Gano, Hauschka

The Official Site’s Geoff Peckham says Foxworth, Ngata, Harbaugh amongst Ravens building playground at Good Samaritan Hospital

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Ravens ‘need’ Demetrius Williams to become deep threat

The Sun’s Kevin Cowherd says Harbaugh joining Gruden, Cowher, Fisher, Coughlin on USO tour

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Fabian Washington trying to improve hands to hold on to interceptions

HORSE RACING:

Daily Racing Form’s Mike Welsch says Preakness 5th place finisher Big Drama headed to Charles Town

Daily Racing Form’s David Grening says Belmont did good business despite no Triple Crown chance

Daily Racing Form’s David Grening says Quality Road getting back to work after missing Triple Crown

Daily Racing Form’s Jay Hovdey says Woolley, Ice examples of ‘parity’ in horse racing

Thoroughbred Times’ Steve Bailey says Derby winner Mine That Bird returned to Churchill Downs Monday

Thoroughbred Times’ Ed DeRosa says ABC’s ratings for Belmont down from ’08 (when Big Brown went for Triple Crown), up from ’07 (last time no horse had shot at Triple Crown)

Thoroughbred Times says Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra breezed 6 furlongs Monday at Churchill Downs

Thoroughbred Times says Borel supports expanded gaming in Kentucky

The Sun says Jess Jackson may start Rachel Alexandra next in Mother Goose Stakes

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says suites, mezzanine level seats set to debut Sept. 12 with opener vs. James Madison

The Sun’s Jeff Barker hopes ‘rivalry’ with West Virginia grows

The Diamondback’s Aaron Kraut thinks Ralph has done solid job of scheduling ‘competitive, attractive nonconference games’

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem says Terps interested in RB prospect Khalek Shepherd (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh says Terps interested in Potomac High DE Brockenberry (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

The Sun’s Matt Bracken says Stoglin commitment may have hurt Terps’ chances at Bartons

Examiner Steve DeClue believes Greivis Vasquez is returning, despite SI report

Washington Post’s Josh Barr says Montrose Christian coach Vetter denies report Greivis has already decided to stay in NBA Draft

Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter says prospect Oladipo unlikely to come to Maryland (must subscribe)
                                                                                      
TERRAPINS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says former Terp Coleman now blogging for Mystics

UMBC LACROSSE:

Inside Lacrosse’s Terry Foy says Rob Grimm amongst best freshmen in country

The Sun’s Edward Lee has Retrievers 16th in early ’10 poll

TOWSON FOOTBALL:

Washington Post’s Josh Barr says Tigers interested in Arundel QB Billy Cosh

HOPKINS FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says Jays ranked 18th in preseason D3 poll by Sporting News

NAVY FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says safety Iwuji wishes Mids could play Texas

Go Mids’ Adam Nettina says Phil Steele believes Midshipmen will retain C-I-C Trophy

Go Mids’ Adam Nettina says prospect Austin Beaty could be next Adam Ballard (must subscribe)

NAVY LACROSSE:

Inside Lacrosse’s Christian Swezey says Stan Ross won’t be leaving Navy for Denver with Bill Tierney taking Pilots’ job

MT. ST. MARY’S BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says Croatian forward Krajina committed to Mountaineers

GOLF:

The Sun’s Kevin Van Valkenburg says LPGA marketing itself with Twitter
Washington Examiner’s Kevin Dunleavy
says former Maryland coach Funk qualifies for U.S. Open

BALTIMORE COLTS:

The Sun’s Mike Klingaman remembers former Colt Bill “Iron Horse” Pellington

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-If you have any idea of how I can get in touch with Merton from Indianapolis, please let me know. I’m starting to worry about him.

Talk to you tomorrow.

-G

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 09 June 2009 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Memphis St. Jude Championship (Thursday, Friday 3:30pm Live on Golf Channel; Saturday, Sunday 3pm live on CBS); NASCAR Lifelock 400 (Sunday 12:30pm from Michigan International Speedway Live on TNT); Baltimore Mariners vs. Harrisburg Stampede (Sunday 4pm 1st Mariner Arena), Crystal Palace USA vs. Wilmington Hammerheads (Saturday 7pm UMBC Stadium)

10. Charm City Roller Girls Home Bout #2 (Saturday 6pm DuBurns Arena)

This from WNST’s own Emily Agueda, who is better known as CCRG’s “She Guevara”……

“Food, beer and chicks on skates.  It’s a great night of fun.

Food, beer, and chicks on skates, huh? I think I’ve seen that porno before. I felt the need to share this picture here. If you object, something tells me you wouldn’t really be a fan of my work anyway….

graham

9. USA Swimming Grand Prix: Santa Clara Invitational (Friday-Sunday 8pm live on Universal Sports and SwimNetwork.com)

It seems like it has been a while since we’ve heard a drug or sex-related Michael Phelps story, so I figured I’d make one up.

Michael Phelps was caught Saturday night leaving Ritz Cabaret in Fells Point with a midget, two illegal immigrants, and Sheila Dixon. The group was believed to be headed to an underground gambling parlor near Pimlico; where they would be participating in heavy heroin use and unsafe sex.

Heavy stuff man. Heavy stuff. Also, this is funny…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4aR8yq0kWM[/youtube]

8. Ravens Passing Camp (Monday-Wednesday, 1 Winning Drive)

Look, it’s REALLY tough to be an Orioles fan right now; but no matter how many times you ask me, it is NOT Training Camp yet. But with that in mind, it’s time for a game I like to call “Look at the pictures Ravens players post on their Facebook pages.”

First, here’s Tackle Joe Reitz with a picture titled “Yo Brah, let’s get some sushi!”

reitz

and now, here’s WR Marcus Smith with a picture titled “I’m the only man in America who ever bought this hat”….

smith

7. Deadline for Greivis Vasquez, underclassmen to pull name out of NBA Draft (Monday 5pm)

Or as those in College Park are calling it “The day we decide if we really like Lance Stephenson or not.”

6. FIFA Confederations Cup: Team USA vs. Italy (Monday 2:30pm from South Africa live on ESPN)

NO!!!! Holy crap I’m torn like Natalie Imbruglia. (Thanks Chad Dukes.) I mean, these colors don’t run; but I’ve always rooted for Italy because America is terrible at soccer! What the hell do I do? I mean, maybe I should weigh the pros and cons…..

Let’s start with food. America has Chick-Fil-A Chicken Sandwiches, but Italy has Chiapparelli’s salad…..

cip

Point Italy.

Let’s move to cinema. The Godfather is Italian; and damn it’s good. But America brought us “The Jesus”

jesus

Point USA. You don’t f*ck with The Jesus.

I guess this one will have to come down to Tailgate drinking games. First of all, Italy gave us bocce. I haven’t stopped thanking them for that. But America gave us cornhole. This is a tie! Can America and Italy both be involved in something at the same time???????

italia

Success!!!!!! I’ll root for both!!!!

5. NHL Stanley Cup Finals: Detroit Red Wings vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (Tuesday 8pm from Pittsburgh, Friday 8pm from Detroit if necessary; games 8pm live on NBC), Calder Cup Finals: Hershey Bears vs. Manitoba Moose (Tuesday 7pm from Hershey; Friday, Sunday 7:30 pm from Winnipeg if neccesary. All games streamed live on AHLLive.com)

My roommate was telling me earlier that he was really excited for the last games of the Stanley Cup Finals. He then said he was just as excited about the next season starting next week.

4. McDonald’s LPGA Championship (Thursday-Sunday Bulle Rock; 3 hours per day live on Golf Channel)

I’d like to introduce you to Anna Rawson.

rawson

Anna is reportedly a golfer; but I’m reasonably certain you don’t give a crap. Anna reportedly set up a cell phone for fans to call her on. The number is 213-785-7675. I would call myself, but there is pending litigation. I’m sure you understand.

Now I’d like to introduce you to Natalie Gulbis.

gulbis

She will also reportedly be in Harford County this week; meaning I will have to see if that incident from the night I went to see Mean Girls at the Big M Drive-In still means I’m banned from the area.

Have I given you enough reasons to go out and check out the action in Havre de Grace yet? Of course I haven’t. Golf is awful. But go anyway, just make sure you bring enough sofa pillows.

3. Miguel Cotto vs. Joshua Clottey (Saturday 10:35pm from New York, Live on HBO), Adrenaline MMA 3: Tim Sylvia vs. Ray Mercer (Saturday 8pm from Birmingham; I have no idea if this thing is going to be on TV or not)

Is it a bad sign that one of boxing’s biggest events of the year involves two fighters that most people in the world have never heard of? I’m pretty sure that if you had told me Joshua Clottey was going to be starting for the Orioles on Friday, I probably would have gone with it.

2. UFC 99: The Comeback (Saturday 3pm from Cologne, Germany Live on Pay-Per-View)

Sure, you think a main event featuring Rich Franklin and Wanderlai Silva might be a bit disappointing. But let me offer you three MAJOR reasons why this fight will certainly be worth watching…..

1-The fight starts at 3pm. Two words: Day. Drinking.
2-The biggest undercard fight is Cheick Kongo and Cain Velasquez. That means this monster…..

kongo

Will be facing this monster……

cain

3-Mirko Cro Cop is on the undercard. He used to be a headliner, then this happened. Maybe things will change someday….

[dailymotion]http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6tkum_mirko-crocop-vs-gabriel-gonzaga-ufc[/dailymotion]

1. NBA Finals: LA Lakers vs. Orlando Magic (Tuesday, Thursday 9pm from Orlando; Sunday 8:30pm from Orlando if necessary. All games live on ABC)

As if former Terp Chris McCray thought he hadn’t done enough damage to my heart; he apparently felt the need to make this his Facebook status Sunday night…..

pregaming-eating crabs-with my jj redick jersey on..orlando by 10 tonight

That’s it Chris. You’re out. I gave you a second chance; but that does it. You mean to tell me you’re pulling for this clown????

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ai4-auZ18MQ[/youtube]

I just thought of a poem for the NBA Finals. Ahem…..

“Roses are red, JJ Redick and Duke suck.”

Sorry, I guess it wasn’t that creative. But we’ll call this the Courtney Lee memorial broom.

broom

-G

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Hershey Goes for Cup; Interviews with John Carlson and Karl Alzner

Posted on 08 June 2009 by Ed Frankovic

Hershey on Brink of Calder Cup

On Tuesday night the Hershey Bears will attempt to do something that has not happened in Chocolate Town in 29 years – win a Calder Cup on their home ice. At 7pm at an already sold out Giant Center Coach Bob Woods’ team will have the opportunity to knock off the Manitoba Moose in 5 games and avoid a long trip back to Winnipeg for games 6 and 7. Based on what I saw on Sunday night, I would say the odds are good that the Bears will finish off the Moose on Tuesday.

Hershey has a better and more mobile defense and given the input I received from some NHL pro scouts, who mentioned that the Moose typically play to try to win the 2-1 type of game, if the Bears skate like they did the first 50 or so minutes of game four they will be victorious. It wasn’t until Hershey took the lead that Manitoba “got off their heels” as head coach Scott Arniel described it and started playing their game. The Moose furiously tried to tie up game four over the last 8 minutes and totally dominated the play in that stretch but I really doubt they can keep that type of intensity up for anywhere close to 60 minutes, yet alone a single period.

Manitoba relies heavily on goalie Cory Schneider, who was outstanding in game four, but he may have to blank the Bears to give his team a chance to win game five and extend the series.

Interviews with John Carlson and Karl Alzner

As promised last night, I had the chance to interview defenseman John Carlson (along with John Keeley of On Frozen Blog) and then I also spent about five minutes with Karl Alzner after Sunday night’s win. Below are the transcripts from those interviews.

Interview with Carlson (Caps 2008 1st round draft pick, 27th overall)

WNST: Tell me what it is like playing in the AHL and the Calder Cup Finals

Carlson: It’s a great opportunity and to be placed in a situation like this, it is unbelievable. Some guys play their whole careers and never get a chance like this. I’m 19 and I’m getting a chance to be thrown in with these guys. The organization, the players, and the coaches have all been great to me so you couldn’t ask for anything more.

WNST: Tell me a little bit about what you’ve learned since I saw you last September and how you’ve been able to take your game to the next level because this is a big jump going from a first round pick in last year’s draft to playing in the playoffs in the AHL.

Carlson: Definitely, after training camp in Washington I just tried to do my best and take everything in from the coaches and worked all year. Basically in London I was trying to win a championship there and I wasn’t lucky enough to get a few bounces there but then I came here and was placed in a situation like this. I just worked on all of the small things really and just try to fine tune everything.

WNST: When you and I talked last summer you said defense was the thing you needed to improve the most. You have definitely improved from what I’ve seen and heard. Who worked with you and how did you get so much better?

Carlson: I just think the coaching staff when I left Washington had a few words to say to me and obviously playing for Dale Hunter and Pat Curcio up in London they really helped me out. Basically practice makes perfect and I had a great team there so playing against those great players helped me all year and there is a lot of good competition up there so that would do it for me.

ON FROZEN BLOG: You are aware of who is here from Washington up in the box watching you – the head coach of the Capitals (Bruce Boudreau), the General Manager (George McPhee) -this weekend you’ve seemed to have made a statement to the whole organization about where you see yourself in September.

Carlson: Yeah, I mean I don’t know, I just try to tune that stuff out. It was nice playing this year without anyone really watching me and get kind of relaxed but I’ve just been trying to contribute here every game, every chance I get, and try not to think about it.

ON FROZEN BLOG: Have you had a chance to talk with Coach Hunter since you’ve arrived here? Has he been able to follow you?

Carlson: Yeah, a little bit, I don’t think the games are televised up there but I talked to him a bit before I left and keep up with him. He basically says the same thing every time – just keep working hard and doing the right things and things will go your way.

WNST: So you got to go up against really good players in practice in John Tavares (likely top pick in 2009 NHL Entry Draft) and Nazrem Kadri (likely top 10 in 2009 NHL Entry Draft) and then you had to go against Windsor who had guys like Greg Nemisz (Calgary’s 2008 1st round draft pick). How do you measure yourself up with those guys? Some of them are going to be high picks or were drafted in the first round.

Carlson: I like to think that I played my game with confidence and I think that is one of my biggest attributes so obviously I think I can play with those guys and I think that I can defend them and chip in and contribute on the offensive end too. So yeah, it was a great series with Windsor (won the OHL title and the Memorial Cup), you never know what could have happened if we got a few bounces with five games in OT. But you can’t really look at it now, I’m just happy to be here and be able to try and win a championship.

Interview with Alzner (Caps 2007 1st round draft pick, 5th overall)

WNST: Give me a synopsis of what has happened since you got sent down, the injury [a concussion], and what you’ve been working on.

Alzner: Well I had one pre-game skate and a game to work on not that much, didn’t really get to do anything that I needed to, that I wanted to and then the third period of the game [Game 4 of Wilkes-Barre Scranton series] I got hit funny and I’ve been out for just over 4 weeks and I was kind of up and down, feeling good, then got set back, feeling good, then got set back again. So it was a little bit longer than I would have hoped. But I got to play yesterday and it felt nice to be out on the ice and feel nice in between shifts, at the end of shifts and not be tired and all that. I’m a little bit nervous here and there when I’m going into the corners and stuff like that. I don’t want to test my head out too much but it feels good now and I got a lot of testing on it today.

WNST: Yes, I remember a sequence in the second period along the right wing boards where you took a good shot and went down.

Alzner: He kind of drove my back, head, and neck into the boards but it wasn’t that hard. I think he probably let up a little bit. It is sore in my neck but it will go away in a day or two, I hope.

WNST: Where are you improving and what are you working on in this playoff atmosphere?

Alzner: I’m just trying to stay calm under the pressure. Obviously I feel pressure to help out the team. I get put out in some key situations so I don’t ever want to mess up. I want to make sure that I am still relaxed with the puck and not just throwing it away. There are times when you have to throw it away but making some plays, I thought today I was pretty good at that. I was making some passes that I normally wouldn’t make like backhands through the middle but they are working out and that is all I work on in practices and making sure I can use all of the skills because if you only work on some things here and there it will make it tougher to be an impact player.

WNST: You have been on winning team’s before, you were captain of Canada’s gold medal winning world junior team, and now you are on the verge of winning something again. Do the guys come to you ask you anything or do you say anything to the guys about this is what you have to do to finish?

Alzner: No one has come to me and asked me because I am just a younger guy and this is different because the team we had there we only had to play 7 games and this is a little bit different. I’ve never had the opportunity to go this far so it is a new scenario for me. So I got to look to other guys that have won the Cup before and I talk to Bourqie (Chris Bourque) quite a bit about it. I just kind of see how everything was and how the crowd is and all of that stuff and it kind of lets me know how to handle it. So it is good to have a roommate like that.

WNST: You guys controlled the play for most of the game on Sunday outside of the last 8 minutes. You had a lot of chances, you got chance after chance for quite awhile without scoring. What was the mood like on the bench?

Alzner: You know what, that is the thing about the team right now is we are not getting down and that is a big thing. We would get down quite a bit during the season cause I think we started out so hot and we were used to scoring goals all of the time but when we wouldn’t score goals some guys would start to get distracted and their energy level just kind of went down the drain a little bit. But now it is a completely different team and everybody is up all game. It doesn’t matter if we are up or down so it is good and that is the way that we have to play the next game because that is the big one and I know what is like to be in that position (Manitoba’s), on the brink right there. You get a goal scored against you early and it is tough to keep your team up so I’m hoping we can do that to them.

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 08 June 2009 by Glenn Clark

The Orioles were terrible this weekend; but that will happen. Some teams are deep enough that when their best hitters aren’t hitting, they can come through-or pitching can carry them through. On the flip side, some teams are the Orioles.

I feel like Drew when I say this, but “I don’t know what else you want me to tell you.”

They’re really bad.

Let’s see what everyone else has to say……

Best of Sunday’s WNST Blogs:

Nestor Aparicio says Birds bring 5 game losing streak back to Camden Yards

Nestor Aparicio sick of seeing Pittsburgh fans around Baltimore

Bob Haynie wonders if Ravens fans want Stover back

Glenn Clark says Desormeaux pulling upset in Belmont takes some air out of horse racing

Cliff Saunders says wife wanted to bet on Summer Bird

Ed Frankovic says Hershey Bears one win from Calder Cup

ORIOLES:

MLB.com’s Rick Eymer says Brian Bass, bullpen pick up Rich Hill; but Birds swept by A’s

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of loss

MLB.com’s Rick Eymer says after day off today; Vargas, M’s to face Bergesen, Birds

MLB.com’s Rick Eymer says Pie ‘feels good’ despite being hit in throat will foul ball

MLB.com’s Rick Eymer says Salazar ‘comfortable’ back with O’s

Athletics Official Site’s Jane Lee says Mazzaro throws another shutout, remains scoreless as big leaguer

Norfolk Tides Official Site says Tillman gave up three runs over 5 innings in loss to Toledo

Bowie Baysox Official Site says Arrieta’s complete game shutout paced Bowie in doubleheader sweep of Erie

Frederick Keys Official Site says Britton gave up just one run over six innings in win over Salem

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Trembley tried playing Wigginton at 2nd; giving Roberts, Huff day off

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says even with Jamie Walker released, Wieters doesn’t plan on switching from 15 to 32

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Birds have scored 12 runs over last 7 games; 6 of which have been losses

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Birds haven’t lead in last 33 innings of play

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Roberts, Markakis mired in ‘funk’ as Birds return home

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Baysox’ Ryohei Tanaka got first save in 2nd game of twinbill

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. mocks UNC’s Alex White to Baltimore

Virginian-Pilot’s Rainer Sabin says Tides have scored just one run in last 3 games-all losses

San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser says A’s extended streak to 6 straight wins

Oakland Tribune’s Joe Stiglich says 17,000 at Oakland Coliseum to see A’s sweep O’s

The AP says Andrew Bailey finished off Birds in 9th for 4th save of season

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Geoff Peckham cleans up after me

Examiner Tony Wisniewski pining for Ravens season while watching O’s

Examiner Phil Macek says fans have Super Bowl aspirations for Ravens

SI’s Peter King says Harbaugh to visit troops in Persian Gulf later this month

Sporting News RealScouts has Reed 7th on list of players expected to be most ‘dominant’ in NFL this season

HORSE RACING:

Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman says Belmont winner Summer Bird, Derby winner Mine That Bird heading back to Churchill Downs today

Thoroughbred Times’ Bob Ehalt says trainer Tim Ice plans to run Summer Bird in Travers Stakes, Jim Dandy Stakes

The Sun says Woolley eyeing Breeders’ Cup Classic for Mine That Bird

SI’s Norman Chad says average sports fans not captivated by Borel

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

Examiner Steve DeClue says Will Barton’s commitment to Memphis ‘major disappointment’ for Gary

LOYOLA LACROSSE:

The Official Site’s Jake Hagelin checks in from Dublin during European trip

GOLF:

The Sun’s Candus Thomson says LPGA Championship leaving Bulle Rock after this weekend’s event

The Sun’s Kevin Cowherd says In-Kyung Kim comes to Harford County off win in State Farm Classic

SWIMMING:

Washington Times’ Harrison Goodman says Phelps ‘most accomplished active male athlete’ (ahead of Woods, Federer)

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-It is a shame to see the LPGA Championship leaving Havre De Grace (or is that Aberdeen up there?) after this weekend. I don’t really care much about the event itself; and I certainly don’t plan on attending, but I support the idea of having major events in the area. Hopefully Terry Hasseltine is working to bring other major events to the area to replace the LPGA Championship, Tiger Woods’ event, and the Dew Action Sports Tour; which have all left or are leaving since his office was created. A single soccer match is nice-very nice even-but does not replace all of those events.

Talk to you tomorrow.

-G

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15-7-0

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15-7-0

Posted on 08 June 2009 by Glenn Clark

You get props:

1. Roger Federer and Tiger Woods

There are so many things similar about Roger Federer. They’re both arguably the greatest athletes in the history of their sports. They both have won every major championship their sport has to offer. They’re both in position to break the record for most major championships in their sport. They both have super hot wives. Wait a second……

federer

…….they’re both married anyway.

2. Oakland Athletics Pitchers Dallas Braden, Trevor Cahill and Vin Mazzaro

Jesus Christ. We got our asses handed to us by guys named Dallas Braden, Trevor Cahill, and Vin Mazzaro? Vin Mazzaro has never heard of Vin Mazzaro.

I’d write a joke here, but I’m too busy looking for a bridge. Plus, the joke’s on me because you just KNOW I’ll by a ticket one day this week.

3. Brett Rogers and Jake Shields

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

Dear God, I hope that guy never finds out where I live.

4. Pavel Datsyuk, Alexandre Giroux and Michael Neuvirth

The Detroit Red Wings are a game away from winning the Stanley Cup. The Hershey Bears are a game away from winning the Calder Cup. I’m sure they’re both equally as excited, right? What do you do with the Stanley Cup if you have it for a day in Detroit? Take photos of them outside Ford Field and send them to Matt Millen along with threatening messages?

5. Brandon Snyder, Zach Britton, and Oliver Drake

My friends with the Bowie Baysox want you to know that they’re hosting a beer dinner on Thursday, June 18. At first I thought, “huh?”; but then I thought, “Beer for dinner? GENIUS!!!!” It turns out they WON’T be serving beer for dinner (although they should); but instead they will be serving copious amounts of German beer WITH dinner…….which is just as good, if not better. Amongst the beers they will be serving are Spaten Munich Lager and Franziskaner Dunkel Weiss. I don’t know how to pronounce any of those things; but I think I like them anyway. And hopefully they will be served by these ladies…..

girls

6. Carlos Bocanegra

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFlqbaN2G70[/youtube]

Only a soccer player sees a ball on the ground near the goal and thinks “Quick, drop down and hit it with your forehead!” Bocanegra tallied the winner for Team USA in World Cup qualifying over Honduras; which would be more exciting if it weren’t for the fact that they had to rally just to beat Honduras-who has qualified for the World Cup like-you know-ONCE. EVER.

Just as a note, the 1994 World Cup was supposedly the moment when Soccer became America’s most popular sport with kids everywhere playing. 15 years later; shouldn’t at least SOME of those kids actually be good at soccer by now?

7. Kent Desormeaux

You want to feel good for Desormeaux considering he needed to complete the career Triple Crown; but damnit would it be nice for the Belmont to actually KEEP people excited about horse racing; not leave fans saying “did they run that one again this year?”

The segment with Chip Woolley and Kenny Mayne was brilliant……”Living American Male?” “No.” “Margaret Thatcher?” “DAG NABBIT!” Unfortunately, that bit isn’t available on Youtube; so let’s try this one, where Kenny Mayne and Marshawn Lynch make fun of Willis McGahee. It’s late, and I’m lazy. If you want to be in a relationship with me; you should probably get used to hearing that. TLDGOTFOTP heard some combination of that like 16 times this weekend.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSO-kdWLFes[/youtube]

8. Dustin Ackley

Paying attention to Dustin Ackley might be smart in case he’s available when the Orioles pick 5th on Tuesday; but it looks more and more like he’ll go 2nd. Which is good; because he plays for North Carolina…..so he can get bent. Quickly. Unless of course he DOES end up with the Orioles; in which case GOD I PRAY HE’S GOOD.

9. Mark “TNT” Tucker

tnt

How freaking great is this guy? He’s 10-0 now; and Paul Williams was in attendance Friday night at a horse barn to watch him win. Outstanding! Plus, he looks like he might be borderline insane; and that can only make things better. And for what it’s worth; the best thing to happen to Sykesville before TNT was having Chris Rock film scenes from “Head of State” there. Any seeing as how I wasted $15 to buy “Head of State” on DVD only to pound my head a hundred times directly into a piece of concrete afterwards; I think they could use something better.

10. Marissa Coleman

Hell of a start to Coleman’s career with the Washington Mystics in the WNBA; which brings me to this Famliy Guy clip; which if you don’t think is funny I might not know what to say to you…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAzXO5ciZgg[/youtube]

11. Carlos Zambrano, Carl Pavano, Yovani Gallardo, Carlos Lee, Prince Fielder, Jon Lester, Ian Stewart, Edwin Jackson, John Lannan, Clete Thomas, Roy Halladay, Chipper Jones, Ryan Braun, and Livan Hernandez

Look at all the baseball players who did something good this weekend. None of them play for the team in Baltimore. Sorry, I had to. By the way, how many drinks do you think Jamie Walker had this weekend while watching the Orioles between laughs? “You A-holes still have to pay me!!!”

12. Tony Stewart and Helio Castroneves

Tony Stewart changed to number 14??? What the hell do I do about my tattoos???

13. Hank Baskett

So, do I have to admit that I watched the debut of the show “Kendra” on DVR after watching WEC and the Finals. You could ask me why; but you’re not going to get an answer you like. You might get an answer like “I’m a glutton for punishment.” Anyway; as much as the Eagles suck, I have to admit that this guy deserves some credit……

kendra

Hank’s upcoming marriage will mean he will have exactly one more trophy than the football team he plays for.

14. Playing For Change

I don’t know much of anything about anything; but I know that I wanted this to last about 20-30 minutes longer…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us-TVg40ExM[/youtube]

I believe my musician friend John Chambers of the band “The Waywords” said it best in the subject line of the email he sent this to me in…..

Subj: “Ho. Ly. Crap.”

I couldn’t have said it any better myself.

15. Mike Tyson and Las Vegas

Maybe it’s not the number 1 movie in America; but “The Hangover” was damn good. This video is NSFW again; which I wish meant it had Heather Graham naked in it. It doesn’t, but I’ll forgive you if you skip watching it and instead pop in your VHS copy of Boogie Nights. In fact, I’m gonna do the same thing.

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

You got lucky…..

1. Kobe Bryant

Were the Lakers REALLY an unthinkable Courtney Lee miss away from going to Orlando with the Magic having a chance to win the title at home?

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

As soon as Hedo Turkoglu blocked Kobe’s shot, an audible “NOOOOO!!!!!!!!” was heard from the Commissioner’s box; which was weird because someone remembered it was the commissioner who was sitting in that box.

2. Mike Brown

A lot easier to beat a guy when he breaks his right hand; isn’t it? Dude, if Billy Wallace would’ve broken his right hand every time we fought in middle school; I would’ve never had to spend the rest of the day balled up in the fetal position in the kindergarten wing bathroom praying no one would find me and see my shame. I mean, my FRIEND would have never had to that. Nor would he have had to ask my little sister to put makeup on him to cover it up.

3. Chris Mortensen, Ed Werder, and every other NFL reporter who is just PRAYING the Brett Favre saga will continue and help them get work

favre

BRETT HAD SURGERY????? IS HE OKAY???? CHRIST, SOMEONE GET TO MISSISSIPPI NOW!!!!!

4. Andre Ethier, Alfonso Soriano, and Mark Reynolds

Can Mark Reynolds really be proud of himself? He hit a game winning home run off Padres infielder Josh Wilson! You might as well just not talk about it. It’s like when you go home drunk and wake up next to a young lady who most resembles Ray Bachman. When your buddies ask you if you got laid the night before, you just say “nope, passed out before I could.”

5. Gary Thorne and Buck Martinez

Despite the fact that Gary and Buck work for the Orioles MASN, I was actually able to track down their immediate statement after finding out they had won an Emmy.

“Thank you very much. You know; some people think it’s easy to just go out there and apply polish to a turd night after night; but we’ve really gotten comfortable with the job……”

Seriously though; congratulations to our friends Brent Harris and Mark Fogelsong from Comcast SportsNet; who also won an Emmy Saturday night in DC. I wanted to make a joke about Deuce wearing a penguin suit; but when I did a Google Image search for “penguin suit”, this is what I found……

penguin

……is that NSFW? Does anyone have an explanation as to what I’m looking at or why?????

6. Michael Phelps

Say what you want about the greatest Olympic athlete of all time, but have you ever had Lil’ Wayne write a song about you? I mean, I certainly have; but I’m better than you. Here’s the tune, with lyrics that I’m assuming are NSFW. Unless of course you work at Scores. I hear the 15-7-0 crowd is large at Scores.

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

7. Anyone who doesn’t get their ass kicked while eating crabs

crabs

Did anyone in Baltimore NOT have crabs this weekend? I feel like I read about 800 Facebook updates/blogs/tweets about how someone was enjoying crabs this weekend. But at the end of the night Saturday, the nurse’s office at my apartment was busier than it was in 5th grade before MSPAP testing. I believe my right arm was on the menu of at least 15 mosquitos; while claws themselves left marks on 6 of my digits. To make things more interesting, my cousin Jeff came to town from Las Vegas and might have a shellfish allergy; as he went scrambling into my apartment digging anywhere for Benadryl. I believe there was so much blood on the back porch that my Miller Lite can had an alcohol-blood level twice the legal limit.

You’re a zero…….

Neal Huntington

I actually feel bad for the guy. He might as well trade Nate McClouth; because the Pirates probably aren’t going to be any good with him. But you get the feeling he’d be the type of young talent you’d want to build around. For example, I doubt Orioles fans would be happy if Andy MacPhail had traded Nick Markakis instead of Miguel Tejada.

But the biggest reason Huntington is a zero? Like you even have to ask….

pitt

-G

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Hershey 1 Win Away from Calder Cup

Posted on 08 June 2009 by Ed Frankovic

The Hershey Bears dominated the Manitoba Moose territorially for over 45 minutes but all they could  muster was a 1-1 tie with just over five minutes gone into the third period in game four of this Calder Cup final series. Then former Capital Nolan Baumgartner took a holding penalty to give the Bears a power play and 55 seconds later Manitoba made what may turn out to be the deciding mistake that costs them this Calder Cup final series – they committed a two many men on the ice penalty – giving the Bears a 1:05 two man advantage. 63 seconds after that mental miscue an Alexandre Giroux point blast went wide on the short side of the net but caromed out the far side where it was buried for the game winner by center Keith Aucoin. Hershey now leads this AHL final series three games to one and can take home the trophy with a win in game five on Tuesday night at the Giant Center. A loss on Tuesday would send this series back to Winnipeg for Friday’s game six and possibly Sunday’s game seven, something Hershey Coach Bob Woods and his team does not want to see happen

“We don’t want to have to go back to Manitoba so we need to take care of business right now. I told the guys in the locker room that it is probably going to be the toughest game of your career. Manitoba and the way they came at us tonight they’ve got a lot of jump. We had to battle to get that one tonight…Our guys don’t want to have to do that flight [to Winnipeg] and they want to [win] in front of their home crowd,” said Woods.

It was pointed out to Woods that Hershey has not won a Calder Cup on home ice in 29 years and the coach talked about that and the difficulty involved.

“For the fans that follow us it would be nice to win it at home. It will take every bit of ounce of energy we’ve got to get it done,” finished Woods.

Hershey really had to hang on for the victory over the last eight minutes while the Moose came at the Bears stronger than they had at any other time in the two games in Chocolate town this weekend. However, 21 year old goalie Michal Neuvirth was spectacular down the stretch and thwarted any chance Manitoba had of sending this game to overtime. The young net minder made at least three huge stops in the final 30 seconds of regulation when the Moose pulled their goalie (Cory Schneider) and had a 5 on 3 skater advantage (Giroux and Jason Jaffray of Manitoba were in the box for coincidental penalties while Chris Bourque sat for cross-checking). The Bears also killed off a 25 second two man Manitoba advantage in the second period. Neuvirth is very impressive because he is positionally sound and does not flop around on the ice. His rebound control was outstanding on Sunday. After the contest Neuvirth had the following to say on his play.

“I feel good and am just playing the best I can. My teammates played great tonight blocking shots and it was a huge win for us. I was just trying to stay positive and I got the feeling we were going to win the hockey game.”

I also asked him if he has a lot of communication with his defensemen and if he is hoping to improve his ability to play the puck with his stick. Below are his respective answers.

“Yes, we do, especially on our PK and it has been great so far. I believe in our guys on defense and they believe in me so it has been a team effort,” said the young Czech goalie on communicating with his defense.

“Yes, but my defense doesn’t want me to play the puck so I’m just trying to do what is best for the hockey team and my job is stop the puck and that is what I am doing right now,” added Neuvirth on improving his puck moving skills.

Here are some other thoughts on the Bears 2-1 victory on Sunday evening:

The Bears did a very good job of creating turnovers at the Moose blue line or in the neutral zone which led to numerous Hershey two on one breaks but they could not convert on those opportunities. Aucion and Giroux were involved in many of them. I thought the AHL MVP (Giroux), despite assisting on the game winner, did not play well on Sunday. He looked slow at times and struggled to finish chances. He passed up a great shooting situation from the slot in the second period and then another time on a two on one rush he hogged the puck and tried to beat the defender himself when the pass was the right play. He also took a costly unsportsmanlike conduct penalty with two minutes left for mouthing off at the referee (Francois St. Laurent).

Bourque was all over the ice using his speed to generate opportunities and he had 5 shots on goal in the contest. However, on two occasions when manning the point on the power play he was not patient and shot the puck when there wasn’t a good lane to the cage. His hall of fame father (Ray) was in attendance on Sunday.

Woods has a really solid group of defensemen to use in Hershey. Karl Alzner, John Carlson, Bryan Helmer, Tyler Sloan, Staffan Kronwall, and Dean Arsene can all move the puck. The Moose, on the other hand, “struggle on the backend” as one NHL scout described it to me on Sunday evening. I spoke with both Alzner and Carlson after the game and King Karl says he is not feeling any ill effects of his first concussion and that he came out okay after some physical play in game four. Carlson, who is only 19, continues to greatly exceed expectations. He is excellent at breaking the puck out of his own zone and has improved his positional play. However, a couple of times in the third period he had Manitoba forwards lined up in the corner but when he attempted to knock them off the puck with his body he failed. The good news is he will just get stronger as his body matures and be able to make those hits in due time. I’ll post the Alzner and Carlson interviews on Monday night.

There are no official tallys on face-offs in the AHL like there are in the NHL but it seemed that Manitoba dominated in that category, especially in the last few minutes when the Moose won 5 of 6 key draws in the Hershey end. Aucion and Andrew Joudrey are the best options for Coach Woods but both struggled from the dot when it really mattered late. Also, the only goal the Moose scored came as a result of a defensive zone face-off loss by the Bears.

Special teams were a difference maker for Hershey as they went 1 for 5 with the power play while holding the Moose scoreless in five attempts. “Again our penalty killing did the job, credit them and credit [Neuvirth] with making the big saves,” said Woods.

21 year old forward Oskar Osala had a good game using his body to dole out hits. He seems to have improved his skating over the course of his season and if he continues to do that he could be in the NHL in a couple of years. Also, 25 year old forward Steve Pinizzotto, who spent some time in the ECHL with the Kelly Cup Champion South Carolina Stingrays this season, was a real energy guy for the Bears throwing out hits and drawing penalties. I really liked “Pinner” last summer in development camp and then in the rookie game against the Flyers in September.

Game Four Press Box Attendees: Former Baltimore Skipjacks coach and Washington Capitals assistant coach Rob Laird, who now is a pro scout for the Los Angeles Kings, sat next to me and directly to his right was former Capitals right wing Steve Leach, who scouts for the Calgary Flames. Also present were Washington Times beat writer Corey Masisak, Comcast’s Smokin’ Al Koken, WashingtonCaps.com web producer and Caps pregame warmup goalie specialist, Brett “Stretch” Leonhardt, On Frozen Blog’s John Keeley, and from National Public Radio Independent co-producers Gemma Hooley and Chris Nelson (who have followed Alzner all season long).

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 01 June 2009 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: WWE Extreme Rules (Sunday 8pm from New Orleans live on Pay-Per-View), NASCAR Pocono 500 (Sunday 12:30 live on TNT), IRL Bombardier Learjet 550 (Saturday 9pm from Texas Motor Speedway live on VERSUS), Washington Mystics Home Opener vs. Atlanta Dream (Sunday 4pm Verizon Center)

10. “The Hangover” Opens in Theaters (Friday-wherever you enjoy flicks) and Men vs. Wild (Tuesday 10pm Discovery Channel)

tyson

Thanks to Mike Tyson (and best wishes to him and his family in a troubling time) for allowing this to make a sports list. How many times has a comedy been such a sure thing that a sequel has already received the greenlight despite the original not yet even reaching theaters? This is sorta like Superbad; or like Robert Horry at the end of a game……there’s just no chance of a miss. “Land of the Lost” also opens Friday, and as much as I like Will Ferrell…….no thanks. I mean, I don’t think it’s going to be a “Semi-Pro” type “did I seriously just pay ten bucks to watch this piece of crap?” flick, but……..no thanks. But leave it to Ferrell to redeem himself by hanging out with this lunatic…..

grylls

9. Fight Night at the Ag: Mark “TNT” Tucker vs. Chris Archer (Saturday 6:30pm Carroll County Agricultural Center Shipley Arena)

You might think 4H buildings aren’t usually the place to see grown men beat the snot out of each other; but that only means you weren’t there when my Uncle Rick found out my cousin Clara’s summer squash only got 3rd place back in ’97. I mean, we both knew Travis Bodder’s summer squash was significantly better, but Clara probably deserved 2nd place more than Annie Cowens. But I’m not sure delivering a tombstone to Annie’s father (who just so happened to be one of the judges that day) was the appropriate way to voice displeasure. But then again, I’m not a father yet.

8. NHL Stanley Cup Finals: Detroit Red Wings vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (Tuesday, Thursday 8pm from Pittsburgh live on VERSUS; Saturday if necessary from Detroit live on NBC) and AHL Calder Cup Finals: Hershey Bears vs. Manitoba Moose (Tuesday 8:30pm from Manitoba, Saturday 7pm and Sunday 5pm from Hershey; all games streamed on AHLLive.com)

I stand steadfast behind these things. 1-Pittsburgh sucks. If you don’t believe me, please allow Jesus to offer an opinion….

jesus

2-No adult should be proud to root for a team called the Moose. That is all.

7. World Cup Qualifier: USA vs. Costa Rica (Wednesday 10pm from San Jose, Costa Rica live on ESPN) and DC United vs. Red Bull New York (Thursday 7:30om RFK Stadium, live on ESPN2)

With Team USA preparing to kick the tar out of Costa Rica; I thought I would offer my own personal variation of “The Top 10 Reasons why America Kicks Ass”

10-Have you been to Belize?
9-Crab pretzels are delicious
8-UFC 100 means I get to watch Brock Lesnar kick another grown man’s ass
7-”Flava in Ya Ear” by Craig Mack
6-FMyLife.com (I’m buying in)
5-The Nathan’s Famous 4th of July Hot Dog Eating contest
4-Hugh Hefner’s fallback options…

hef

3-Sammy Hagar and Joe Satriani teaming up to create Chickenfoot
2-Ric Flair
1-”Powder Blue” with Jessica Biel as a stripper……

biel

6. PGA Tour Memorial Tournament (Thursday and Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday 3pm Sunday 2:30pm live on CBS; all of the gripping action from Dublin, Ohio) and Comcast Morning Show Charity Golf Event (Tuesday 12:45 Pine Ridge)

It is a near certainty that I will look like this in my first official caddying gig Tuesday…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSuG3AG4tDY[/youtube]

Also, Tiger Woods is playing this weekend; which means I will at least check the scores like once or twice. I’d say it would be enough to make me watch; but its called the “Memorial.” Wake me up when it’s called the “US Open.”

5. Ravens Passing Camp (Tuesday & Wednesday, 1 Winning Drive) and Ray’s Summer Days (Thursday 7:30 Ruth Chris Havana Club; Friday 7pm Perry Hall Lanes, 11pm HighTopps; Saturday 9am Patterson Park, 1pm Ray’s house)

If I EVER saw this image above me…….

52

….I’d probably just shoot myself in the foot, pee my pants, hand over my lunch money, give myself a wedgie; or whatever the hell the man wanted me to do in order to show mercy. I mean, seriously, have you ever seen a more terrifying sight in your entire life???

4. NBA Finals: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Orlando Magic (Thursday 9pm, Sunday 8pm; both games from LA live on ABC)

I have waited a long time for this commercial to be relevant again; but it was totally worth the wait……

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MGX0h7eNhU[/youtube]

Lil’ Penny was awesome. “Tyra! You left your toothbrush at my house!” I even kinda enjoyed those Hakeem Olajwon/Shaquille O’Neal Taco Bell spots too….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnyWar8uOTI[/youtube]

The Magic used to be really fun to watch. Now they have Mickael Pietrus. I think I’ll pass.

3. WEC 41 (Sunday 9pm from Sacramento live on VERSUS) & Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields (Saturday 10pm from St. Louis live on Showtime)

With no offense to Urijah Faber, Mike Brown, Jens Pulver, or anyone else fighting Sunday at Arco Arena; but if I wanted to watch skinny pale people fight I would have followed Lindsay Lohan on her most recent trip to rehab. Strikeforce has this guy…

rogers

……”The Grim” Brett Rogers. That guy looks like he might murder Andrei Arlovski in the ring, then snack on the surrounding cage. There are a lot of pictures of people I’m scared of on the list this week…..

2. French Open (Tuesday 8am live on Tennis Channel, 12pm live on ESPN2; Wednesday 8am live on Tennis Channel, noon live on ESPN2; Thursday 5am live on Tennis Channel, 8am live on ESPN2; Friday 10am live on NBC; Saturday Womens’ Final 9am live on NBC; Sunday Mens’ Final 9am live on NBC. All action from Roland Garros in Paris.)

Once again I plan my day around watching an important Andy Roddick match; and once again he goes down in straight sets. Who’s more disappointing, Andy Roddick or me to my girlfriend after about 6 beers? No matter. I picked Gael Monfils to win the Open, and he’s alive and well. On the women’s side; there are 8 ladies left. Of the 16 combined first and last names left; 14 of those names end in the letter “a.” But as long as two of those names are……

maria

……we’re good.

1. Belmont Stakes (Saturday 6:30pm ABC)

Calvin Borel has just about guaranteed victory for Mine That Bird Saturday, saying “We’re going to win it, no questions asked.” Well, the sports guarantee has certainly never failed before, has it? (Thanks to Campus Squeeze for helping me jog my memory)

I mean, when Matt Hasselbeck said “We want the ball, and we’re going to score”; that ended well, right?

hasselbeck

And when the Steelers’ Anthony Smith guaranteed a win over the Patriots, that worked well, right?

smith

But recently things have been better with guarantees, I know that. I mean, Mo Williams just guaranteed a win in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals AND that the Cavs would beat the Magic. That certainly couldn’t have backfired; could it have?

magi

And with these classic guarantees; I guarantee that reading my column was the best part of your entire week.

I can’t be wrong about that, can I?

-G

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