Tag Archive | "jason"

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O’s Minor League Rosters are set

Posted on 08 April 2009 by Jason Jubb

The Orioles minor league affiliates have put out there rosters and here are a few things of note:

– I though Chris Tillman could have used a little more seasoning at AA but he is with the AAA Tides. Control seems to be an issue and I fear he may struggle a bit at the start of the season.

– As expected, Brad Bergeson will get the 1st start for the Tides and be their “#1 starter”.

– Jeff Fiorentino is back with the Baysox. He’s no longer a prospect but it’s interesting to see him again.

– Troy Patton starts at AA in order to get an opportunity to pitch. He is probably ready for AAA, but his injury last year and the good problem of too many arms at AAA has forced the move.

– Despite going 12-4 with a 3.58 ERA in 145 IP at Bowie last year, Jason Berken starts back at AA Bowie as well.

– As expected Jake Arrieta will start at AA Bowie. Make it a point to see him there while you can.

– Last years #1 pick Brian Matusz will start at high A Frederick.

– Meanwhile, our #1 from 2006, Billy Rowell will start at Frederick after playing there last year.

– Top prospects from the 2008 draft Jerome Hoes and Xavier Avery will start at low A Delmarva.

Norfolk Tides
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?t=t_ros&cid=568&stn=true&sid=t568

Bowie Baysox
http://www.baysox.com/players/roster/

Frederick Keys
http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/sports/display.htm?StoryID=88652

Delmarva Shorebirds
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?t=t_ros&cid=548&stn=true&sid=t548

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Jason Brown will be a big loss in the middle for the Ravens

Posted on 28 February 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

The economic reality of the NFL comes to us every March when players we like, players we know are quality performers and citizens, wind up in different jerseys due solely to the salary cap and the league’s ability and desire to disperse its talent equality. (Or at least that’s the goal!)

So, late last night (you might’ve received the WNST Text just before 11 p.m.), the Ravens lost another one of their “good” guys in center Jason Brown, who just got overwhelmed with an enormous offer by the St. Louis Rams. Brown, like his wealthy counterpart free agent Bart Scott, was one of the standup guys in the locker room, a movie buff in his spare time and a joy to be around and chat with. He always kept a photo of a brother he lost to the war in the Middle East in his locker.

The Ravens will hope that Chris Chester continues his emergence as a starter on the offensive line and would also consider Marshal Yanda in the mix in the middle. No doubt they’ll use a draft pick or two on the O line.

It sure doesn’t help with stability — and let’s be honest, the Ravens offensive line was a major reason for Joe Flacco’s emergence — but business is business in the NFL. The Rams had the money. The Rams had the need. The Rams were willing, if not obligated, to overspend in this case to lure a quality player and person in the prime of his career to a moribund franchise that is in the midst of a massive, long-term overhaul to escape the cellar of the NFL.

Who knows? Maybe in three years Jason Brown will be in the Super Bowl with the Rams? Change happens quickly in the NFL.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch’s venerable Jim Thomas wrote this about the pursuit of Jason Brown.

Our old friend from The News American and Baltimore’s own Bernie Miklasz chronicles the many misfortunes of the Rams here…

It’s good reading.

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Strange daze for Ray Lewis and the Ravens

Posted on 28 February 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

I’ve had the rare good fortune that most of you haven’t had over the past six weeks. Sometimes it kinda gets lost on me that as a media member for 25 years here in Baltimore, I get to do what every PSL owner and fan would love to do: actually sit with Steve Bisciotti and Ray Lewis and ask them questions.

In one eight day span last month, I got to sit with Bisciotti in Owings Mills (on video here) and with Ray Lewis in Tampa (one of four videos here) and ask them the exact same question: “Do you think this contract thing could get awkward for you?”

Both of them sort of skirted the question. You can see their exact answers for yourself with a click so there’s no need for me to transcribe here. The bottom line is this: I think six weeks later it’s a pretty fair question and I give myself bonus journalism points for asking the question of both men. I really don’t know if anyone had mentally taken the “free agency” train into the reality of yesterday’s situation and lo and behold, yesterday, the day of reckoning arrived and it wasn’t pretty and still stands to potentially get uglier.

It is the strangest of strange days for the organization, for Ray Lewis and most certainly for the fans who just want to know what’s going on. From WNST.net to AM 1570 to all of our Facebook accounts, Baltimore was abuzz with “Raymania” all day Friday.

Is he staying? Is he going? Will it be the Cowboys? Or the Broncos? Or the Jets? Or some darkhorse team we didn’t know was in the mix? Plenty of other players were on private lear jets and commercial flights and the NFL free agency media web mania began in earnest just after midnight. Hell, I got a text message from Peter King about Bart Scott at 2:15 AM! (No, I’m not kidding!) For the record, Peter King gave me the Namath guarantee at 8:15 a.m. this morning that Bart Scott would be a New York Jet by the end of the day. (I have no idea when the man sleeps but I love him!)

But as Jason Brown was running off to sign a $37.5 million deal with the lowly St. Louis Rams (so long JB…we’ll miss ya, man!) and Bart Scott was trying on a green cap and bringing Hot Sauce to the Big Apple, Ray Lewis was sitting at home in Florida trying to do damage control. And as we all know, public relations isn’t No. 52’s strong suit.

Let’s count the stories, tales and tacky details of this messy – and yes ‘AWKWARD’ – negotiation.

It started right after the Steelers beat the Ravens in Pittsburgh. Ray Lewis ducked the media and all questions about his future. Fair enough. Ten days later he sat on our set at Radio Row in Tampa for 15 minutes (his first interview with me since 1999) and talked a LOT about God deciding his fate. He told Anita Marks even less than that and she asked softballs as usual so nothing came from that “public appearance.”

About five days later in preparation for the Pro Bowl, he was canoodling with Jamie Dukes in a “shoot” interview on the sands of Hawaii. He openly and happily broached the possibilities of becoming a New York Jet and/or a Dallas Cowboy. Fans here in Baltimore bristled more than a little. Word is strong that Steve Bisciotti bristled as well (I have no confirmation on that one, just the same rumors you’ve heard!) He decided to pass on an in-game field interview with Andrea Kramer of NBC during the Pro Bowl, eliminating the possibility of putting his foot in his mouth.

And so for nearly a month, we’ve fielded call after call, read words upon words about what the outcome of “Ray-Gate” would be in 2009. Would No. 52 be a “Raven for life” or would he take the autumn of his Hall of Fame career elsewhere for a larger payday?

Many observations exist:

Ray has closed his Canton BBQ restaurant and is ready to move on…

Ray is perturbed that the Ravens have only offered him $12 million in guaranteed money…

Ray told Demarcus Ware he wants to be a Dallas Cowboy…

Ray (heart) Rex Ryan…

Blah, blah, blah. It was all “talk is cheap” kinda stuff in anticipation of Black Friday, the day Ray Lewis would head for greener pastures (and maybe not even the Jets?)

And when yesterday finally came, when the time came for the owners to open their pocketbooks via their GM’s and personnel folks and everyone from Albert Haynesworth to Bart Scott to Jason Brown to Ryan Fitzpatrick was jetting off somewhere to have a press conference and some free appetizers, future Hall of Famer and Baltimore legend Ray Lewis was sitting at home in Florida waiting for the phone call from the second wife that never came. Like Matt Leinart and Brady Quinn in the greenroom in New York on the third Saturday of April, he paced the cage waiting for someone other than Ozzie Newsome to show up with a Brink’s truck.

And, worst of all, NFL.com’s very respected Adam Schefter reported a source close to Ray Lewis (clearly believed to be Rod Woodson or Deion Sanders, since they are co-workers of Schefter and co-friends on No. 52’s speed dial) as saying Ray was “done” with the Ravens and offended beyond repair. That report surfaced around 9 a.m. By 4 p.m. and with seven solid hours of silence and a major disturbance from the fan base here in Baltimore, apparently Lewis had heard enough and called Woodson in Los Angeles to retract, run away from or disassociate himself with anything regarding purple potty talk and Jerry Jones. Of course, we’d love to know who or what entity is giving Ray Lewis this “advice” on public relations and skilled negotiation since his real agent David Dunn is in the NFL’s pokey for being a lousy agent.

Which brings us to today, Day Two of free agency: what does this mean for Ray Lewis and Ravens?

Well, if Ozzie Newsome were being honest – really honest – he’d probably tell you that he would’ve predicted this all along. That Ray Lewis would be sitting by the phone and it wouldn’t be ringing because his offer was always going to be the best offer. He’d probably come completely clean and say in his Southern drawl, “I had it all sized up from the beginning. I gave him what he’s worth, maybe even more than he’s worth to any other team. He’ll be a Raven because we want him the most and we’ll pay him the most. But he might have to sit at home by the phone and find that out on his own.”

I had several league insiders tell me that Ray Lewis was going to get his feelings hurt yesterday and they were right.

Of course, Newsome will never say that. But I will. Newsome has said publicly that it would only take one team, one major offer to Ray Lewis to change the game and the course. It was never even intimated that Newsome would move off of his “number” for Ray Lewis. You know the Newsome credo: right player, right price. And everyone from Steve Bisciotti down said that the owner would stay out of this negotiation.

The Ravens are reportedly offering Ray Lewis – a 34-year old aging superstar on a team that was four minutes away from the Super Bowl – about $17 million in guaranteed fresh money for the autumn of his career and some sort of “implied” final contract to make him a “Raven for life.” He’ll be lauded and feted into perpetuity here in Baltimore as a legend. Bob Haynie, Drew Forrester and I had the debate last week at Sullivan’s Steakhouse about whether No. 52 is on the Baltimore “Mount Rushmore.”

Now, the question remains: Will he take the Ravens deal?

Or are his feelings really hurt? Did he really want the Cowboys to call? Was all of this about getting leverage to push the negotiation with the Ravens, who’ve never wavered from the fact that they want Ray Lewis forever? Or was his “mystery” NFL Network friend telling the truth, that Ray Lewis is less than thrilled about continuing his career in Baltimore?

Who knows if we’ll ever know?

But you have to believe that we’re now past the point where his phone will be ringing with a higher offer later in the weekend from Jerry Jones or Pat Bowlen. If a team was serious about Ray Lewis, wouldn’t they have called already? And wouldn’t he be gone already?

We know one thing: Daniel Snyder didn’t want him to be a Redskin!

Strange daze indeed.

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Let the NFL Free Agency games begin!

Posted on 27 February 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

This morning if you awoke to read any website with NFL-related headlines, it appears that the world is upside down and the apocolypse is near. Albert Haynesworth found a cash-rich suitor in Daniel Snyder down in D.C. (yes, he’s at it again!) Linebacker Bart Scott is off to see Rex Ryan and potentially get overwhelmed with a generous offer by the New York Jets. Peter King of SI.com is reporting that No. 57 will get $8 million per year in a deal that could be five or six years in length. Jason Brown and his agent released the “news” that the Ravens aren’t interested in him anymore, when the truth is that they were never “not interested” in the free agent center/guard. In fact, they made him a multi-million dollar offer. Brown will apparently be in St. Louis today.

It all makes good radio and good web rumorama. But the truth is that this free agent game hasn’t changed so much over the years. It’s just that the Ravens and several of their key players are involved in the fray in a major way this weekend and this year. Let’s be honest: today is the first day that Ozzie Newsome and the franchise have ever had to ponder “life without Ray.” The fact that by dinner time today the team might be without Ray Lewis, Bart Scott and Jason Brown is a bit disconcerting but Newsome has had more than a month to ponder the Ravens’ “cap number” as to the value of each of their star players. Keep in mind, it’s all a negotiation and Newsome has never been one to jump at ghosts or ghastly signing bonuses.

“Right player, right price” has always been Newsome’s mantra. Newsome did his homework and offered all three of them deals that he felt the Ravens could afford.

Baltimore fans might scream bloody murder if the trio are all gone by nightfall, but rest assured the money saved will be spent elsewhere in the market by Newsome. The extra $4 million in cap money might have a slight effect on the entire market, but today is the day for the aforementioned players to see if the rest of the NFL thinks they are more valuable than the Ravens do.

It seems that Bart Scott will be a N.Y. Jet by the end of the day.

It also seems that Jason Brown will be backing up a Brink’s truck in St. Louis.

All has been quite quiet so far this morning on the Ray Lewis front, but we all know that Dallas and the Jets will both be a factor, as will dark horse Denver.

I’m on the air at 2 p.m. By then, some of this stuff will begin to shake out. It’s an exciting day and it will probably feel like a “loss” day for any Ravens fan. Losing your core guys to free agency is never fun or exciting but the reality of life in the NFL salary cap system. It could be a painful day, but Newsome and the organization have been prepared all along to potentially lose these guys to other teams.

The team made its statement last week when it franchised Terrell Suggs. Let’s see where the money is and where it goes this weekend.

If you want to be first in the loop with any of the signings, updates or news, please join the WNST Text Service here.

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More national media pile on Gary Williams

Posted on 11 February 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

The story about Kendall Marshall is now a few days old but it’s making the email rounds so I thought I’d pass it along for your Terps reading. Penned by Jason King of Yahoo! Sports, this is an interesting read from an interesting perspective. Most of Gary Williams’ critics would say it’s a recruiting issue, the team’s demise from the elite of the ACC and the absence from March Madness annually.

I’m just passing it along.

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A Closer Look at the Greyhounds Weekend Road Trip

Posted on 30 January 2009 by Chris Bonetti

The Loyola Greyhounds (10-12, 5-5) are winners of 5 straight and head into MAAC play this weekend back at .500 in league competition for the first time this season.  Tonight they will be in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, as they will take on Rider before heading a little further north to play Fairfield at the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport on Sunday at 2pm.

Tonight’s game at Rider will tip at 9pm and will be aired on national TV on ESPNU.  If you don’t receive that channel in your home, fear not Greyhounds fans… you can listen to my personal play-by-play broadcast on loyolagreyhounds.com.

This mid-season rally has thrown Loyola right in the middle of the mix for a top seed in the MAAC Tournament.  Siena is 11-0 and is beginning to run away from the pack, but the Greyhounds (5-5), Rider (6-3), Niagara (6-3), Fairfield (5-5), and Manhattan (5-5) are all within one victory and will be battling each other from now until March for postseason positions.

So obviously Loyola’s pair of games this weekend is tremendously important.  They have to be able to keep the ball rolling and the momentum moving in the right direction.

The key to their recent success has been because of the new rotation that the team seems to be settling into.  The new looked has point guard Brian Rudolph and Barney in the backcourt with Brad Farrell, Isaac Reid, and Jawaan Wright up front.  Brett Harvey, Marquis Sullivan, and Anthony Winbush fill out the 8-man rotation.  This has been the combination for the last 4 games, all wins.  Once players can recognize their roles they can begin to fill them with their unique and specific attributes.

In case you missed it… Coach Jimmy Patsos was a guest of WNST’s midday host Bob Haynie Wednesday afternoon.  The interview can be heard in its entirety in the audio vault on WNST.net at any time.

Some of the major points of interest from the conversation…

–    Coach P. made a very interesting comparison.  He said that he thought Jamal Barney, Loyola’s leading scorer at nearly 19ppg, reminds him of an old ABA scorer.  I have always said Barney is the quickest jumper I’ve ever seen, he’s second on the team in rebounding at almost 6 per game.
–    Shane Walker is expected to help Loyola “take the next step” next season.  The Coach said that the 6’10 transfer from Maryland has been practicing very well and has been using us game days, where he cannot participate due to NCAA Residency Rules, to bulk up.  Patsos says Walker has added nearly 15lbs since coming to Loyola.  It sounds like he is already very competent on the boards and on the defensive side of the ball, but that his offense still needs development.  Coach P. also mentioned that he’s got some Jason Thompson ability in him, but added that he thinks Walker is a better athlete and faster up and down the floor
–    Coach Patsos acknowledged that this season’s non-conference schedule may have been a little ambitious, but that next year the team will take a trip to Bloomington, IN to take on the Hoosiers.  Baltimore rivals Coppin State and Morgan State will also be on the schedule.  As for the ’10-’11 season, there is the good possibility of seeing Loyola head out west to visit UCLA and/or USC.
–    And lastly, pretty funny to hear Coach Patsos discuss the expectations of ballplayers at schools with academic integrity, like Loyola and Maryland.  He mentioned that student-athletes at these schools are held to a high level, and that at other schools in the MAAC are way more lenient towards misbehavior.  He specifically mentioned how someone might have been kicked off the Greyhound roster, but at another school that player would receive a 1 game suspension and then score 35 the next night… ZING NIAGARA and Joe Mihalich.  Former all-league Purple Eagle forward Charron Fisher was involved in a major on-campus fist fight/brawl and was allowed to return to the team after a slap on the wrist last season.

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Harbaugh and Bisciotti celebrate Festivus

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Bisciotti and Harbaugh walk ‘arm in arm’ into 2009 Festivus

Posted on 29 December 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

What a difference 52 weeks makes. It will be a year ago this Wednesday — on New Year’s Eve — when Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti walked into Brian Billick’s office and abruptly fired the head coach who led his franchise to its only Super Bowl win. It was the biggest story in the city for weeks, and many folks were surprised and many questions were asked. For me, it wasn’t so much the actual firing of Billick as much as the “I changed my mind” reasoning so closely removed from a 13-3 season and the fact that Ozzie Newsome was clearly kept out of the decision. At the time I was a loud critic of the move, especially considering that Bisciotti didn’t have a clear vision of where the franchise was headed or who he wanted to hire as a head coach.

The thinking was this: Who is Bisciotti going to hire who is better than Billick?

Three weeks later, after getting turned down by Dallas offensive coordinator Jason
Garrett and eliminating defensive coordinator Rex Ryan from contention, Bisciotti turned to a “low mileage” young special teams coordinator whose QB brother was far better known not only in Baltimore but throughout the league and in college circles as the head coach at Stanford.

Bisciotti, who is a self-made billionaire and who did it by hiring great people, was pretty offended last winter at the mere notion that his decisions and pick to lead the organization on the field would be questioned. It’s one of the few times I’ve ever seen him publicly “chippy.”

Harbaugh and Bisciotti celebrate Festivus

Harbaugh came to this job as a universally revered “coach’s coach,” the son of a football coach and the brother of a very successful NFL quarterback. I had at least 20 NFL “insiders” who immediately called me and told me that Harbaugh would be a “great” NFL coach. Harbaugh had ZERO detractors. Even Brian Billick privately applauded Bisciotti’s choice to replace him as being “a great move.” Yesterday, as the clock struck zero and Harbaugh had led Bisciotti’s franchise full-circle and back into the NFL postseason, the two men embraced in as genuine a lock as you’d ever want to see on the field at M&T Bank Stadium. You can see the moment on video here… and it was celebrated with the fans.

We can revisit all of the details of last January’s semi-bizarre job search and all of the possibilities and permutations and fallout of a bloody, unexpected firing of a Super Bowl champion coach amidst a locker room full of revolt, dissent and mouthy and aging players. All of my January Bisciotti/Garrett/Harbaugh blogs are still here in the archives if you care to read them.

Here’s the point: Bisciotti has made three MAJOR calls in 2009. First he fired Billick, while owing him $18 million, a ballsy and risky move if there ever was one. Then, he hand-picked unproven John Harbaugh to lead his football team in January. And finally — you might never get anyone to admit this on the record within the franchise — Bisciotti absolutely JUMPED on the table in the draft room in April and insisted that Ozzie Newsome trade up into the 18th pick to take a New Jersey kid from “small school” University of Delaware named Joe Flacco to be his franchise quarterback.

Considering our history with sports franchise poobahs in Baltimore (think Irsay, Jacobs, EBW & Abe Pollin), we’re far from believing that owners should get overly involved in the day-to-day operations of a sports franchise in most circumstances – and this is your chance to fill in the holiday Peter Angelos joke of your choice right here – but obviously an NFL owner’s choice of a head coach and a franchise quarterback has never looked better than it does this morning, exactly 52 weeks to the day that Bisciotti was clearly shaken by the removal of Billick, whom he had deep affection and respect for as a person and a leader of men.

If you’re excited about the Ravens this week and you’ve got purple fever, sure it’s fashionable to give all of the credit to Flacco and Harbaugh (as well as Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Le’Ron McClain, Cam Cameron, etc.) but today is a day we should consider giving the credit to the “mastermind” of several of the most significant 2009 calls that have landed the Ravens in the postseason and headed to Miami this Sunday at 1 p.m.

Steve Bisciotti has played a MAJOR role in the Ravens’ turnaround by making moves that have been greeted with at least extreme “curiosity” inside his own building and amongst his experts. Who would’ve thought that Rex Ryan could get passed over for the head coaching job here for a special teams coordinator and respond in a fashion that has made him the front-runner for the St. Louis Rams job 52 weeks later? Human nature might’ve said, “You can’t bring Ryan back as defensive coordinator” given the strange circumstances.

But over the course of his life, Bisciotti has shown an uncanny ability to find and retain quality people as employees. It’s his “gift” as a business owner, bringing in people who he’ll brag are “better” than him. He’s always told me that it’s the secret of his success.

Sure, he subtracted Brian Billick who I clearly think is one of the better people I’ve met on the planet and a person that I’m supremely thrilled to have on my WNST.net team, but he also added another quality guy in John Harbaugh — as well as a new staff — and the change has obviously worked out fabulously in Year 1. (For the record, Billick had Cam Cameron flying into Baltimore to be his offensive coordinator a year ago today as well, had he not been fired…just a fact!)

The firing of Billick was a change, as I stated last Janaury, that I wouldn’t have made. Many concurred with my assessment. But that’s why he’s Steve Bisciotti and that’s why he’s worth a billion dollars. As the old Indiana Jones movie said, “He chose wisely.”

Many NFL jobs will begin popping open today. Brian Billick might even get another shot to lead an NFL franchise at some point in the next few weeks. Of course, he might be enjoying his quality of life watching football on Fox and doing radio shows and writing a blog here at WNST.net while building his life on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

But 363 days later, you would be hard-pressed to make the argument that Billick might’ve gotten this team to 11-5, with or without a quarterback like Flacco. Or maybe not. But at this point, that’s not an argument anyone in Baltimore wants or needs to make. In reality, we’re all in a better place 52 weeks later.

The NFL job carousel will get crazy this week. I’m glad we’re on the other side of this one this season covering a playoff team instead of a job search and all of the messiness involved. Phil Savage is the first of many fired friends of mine this week.

For now here in Baltimore, it’s Festivus for the rest of us.

Bring on the Fish…

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Yankees: Salary Tidbits

Posted on 24 December 2008 by Jason Jubb

They currently have the four highest contracts by total value in the game:

Alex Rodriguez, $275,000,000

Derek Jeter, $189,000,000

Mark Teixeira, $180,000,000

CC Sabathia, $161,000,000

 

They Yankees awarded the single biggest annual salary in history for one year when they gave Roger Clemens a $28,000,022 deal in 2007. (He only collected around $18 million of that since he did not play until partially into the season.) A-Rod has the second biggest annual salary at $27,500,000.

 

At $23,000,000 annually CC Sabathia is the highest paid pitcher in the game.

 

At $15,000,000 annually Mariano Rivera is the highest paid relief pitcher in the game.

 

At $17,142,857 annually Jason Giambi was the highest paid DH in history.

 

At $13,100,000 annually Jorge Posada is the highest paid catcher in the game.

 

At $22,500,000 annually Mark Teixeira is the highest paid first baseman in the game.

 

At $7,500,000 annually Robinson Cano is the third highest paid second baseman, but he has not hit free agency yet.

 

At $18,900,000 annually Derek Jeter is the highest paid shortstop in the game.

 

At $27,500,000 annually A Rod is the highest paid third baseman in the game.

 

At $13,000,000 annually Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui are tied for 12th amongst outfielders.

 

Starting in 2003 the Yankees have spent $1.138 billion in team payroll.

 

In 2008 Forbes Magazine estimated the value of the Orioles to be $398 million; the Yankees were at $1.3 billion.

 

In 2008 the Yankees offered only a 1 year deal to Joe Torre for $5 million with a vesting option. They went cheap on their manager and missed the playoffs for the first time since 1994.

 

I used multiple sources for the salary figures. Feel free to add more…

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induct art

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Induct Art postmortem…

Posted on 10 December 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

It’s been a busy couple of days in my real life and I haven’t had a chance to write a full follow up to my tireless efforts last week to bring awareness to the fact that Art Modell is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and should be.

(Special thanks to the many of you who have inquired about my Mom. Thankfully, She’s doing much better!)
induct art
The facts about our “Induct Art” campaign are pretty clear: We tried hard. We educated. We made our case. We supported it with the expertise of many people who agree that Modell should be in the Hall of Fame.

We printed 20,000 signs. We distributed them. We encouraged people to cheer at the beginning of the second quarter. We froze promoting the cause.

And…

Well, it all happened kinda fast. I heard the roar building behind me. I saw people standing and clamoring. The Ravens did their usual cheerleading, marketing between the quarters. I heard an “INDUCT ART” chanting brewing for sure. But then a few things happened rapidly.

First, Jason Campbell snapped the ball pretty quickly. Second, it was 3rd and long and our defense was on the field so the noise was not distinct from the actual usual defensive 3rd down noise you’d wanna make. And, mainly, it was kinda cold and quick.

I watched the TV replay. You could kinda hear it. But nothing like what would’ve been needed to “stop the game.” So, on that note, we failed. But really, LOTS of people NOW know Modell ISN’T in the Hall of Fame and should be. And, honestly, there are only 44 people on the planet who can directly affect this induction. We even dragged several of them into the conversation on WNST.

Trust me, we’ve pulled out all of the stops, which I’m not going to apologize for because of a few buffoons on a message board who want to personally attack me for doing the right thing. It’s always easy for the anonymous idiots to trash people with a cause on the internet. (As the great Deion Sanders once told me: “Haters will always hate. It’s what they do…”)

I know I’m right, so it’s an easy cause to be involved with because I know what this city would be like without the Ravens.

The deadline for the return of the 44 Hall of Fame ballots is next Wednesday. I’m assuming most ballots have already been mailed or are en route so doing another “INDUCT ART” event this weekend is kinda pointless. We’ll soon know if Art Modell has made the cut to the Final 15.

The real judge of whether we’re “successful” is whether he gets into the Hall of Fame, not making the cut. But the first thing is “making the cut.”

Baby steps…

All I can do on behalf of Art Modell is try and use whatever little “pull” I have personally, and we have as a media entity to rally and inspire the people of Baltimore who love the Ravens to do the right thing. And it IS the right thing in my mind so I’ll continue to do whatever I can because it sure doesn’t look like anyone else in Baltimore is going to step up. I didn’t see any of the folks from CBS Radio or MASN or WBAL or The Sun speaking up for the “right thing” while they all trotted off to the stadium last Sunday and continue to feed their families because of what Modell did 13 years ago.

I don’t who care who knows or disrespects or judges my eternal gratitude to Art Modell for bringing the Ravens to Baltimore. I am grateful and I’m happy to stand up for him!

Being in the parking lots and freezing before the game was actually kind of fun with the signs. I learned a LOT about how ignorant some of our fans are about the history of the Ravens.

There were actually some young people (many of them inebriated) in the parking lot before the game who said: “Who is Art?”

And some older folks actually said, “Art Donovan isn’t in the Hall of Fame?”

So much for the “educated” Baltimore sports fan base…yikes!

We were all gathered at that football game last Sunday night freezing and beating the Washington Redskins because of Art Modell. This week, we’ll have the biggest regular season home game in the history of the franchise against our arch rival because of Art Modell.

I stood up for Art. So did many of you. Time will tell if we had any impact.

I appreciate all of the support from those of you who agreed with our stance and who pitched in on Sunday night. The fight is far from over…keep the faith!

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A Giant Task in New Jersey

Posted on 14 November 2008 by joeflacco

I went with a bunch of the offensive lineman to see the new Bond movie Quantum Solace last night…lots of really good action scenes in there.  If you’re a Bond fan you’ll like it, I’m sure.  These get togethers with the offensive line have been a lot of fun for all of us.  We usually go to dinner together during the week at least once but Jason Brown got a bunch of movie tickets so we all did that on Thursday night instead of dinner.

Other than Drew asking me about the experts out there saying the Ravens haven’t beaten a good team yet, I honestly haven’t heard anything about that this week.  I don’t really listen to the radio or watch TV or read the papers all that much.  I never did in college either (except for class!), just because I don’t need any kind of distraction at all.  I think most of our guys are the same way, actually.  We just focus on football and whatever people want to say about us they can.

We know this is a big game on Sunday because we’ve won four straight games and we’re playing the defending champions in their stadium.  But our approach hasn’t changed at all.  We have a game plan to study and we just need to keep our heads down, work hard all week and get ready for Sunday in New Jersey.

I hear some WNST listeners are going to the game.  We’ll do our best to make that ride home a little more enjoyable after the game.  Have a great weekend everyone.

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