Tag Archive | "Jim Palmer"

Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 07 May 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Friday!

It’s a Happy Friday for me because in lieu of sleep last night, I instead ventured over the The Avenue in White Marsh to see Iron Man 2. It was the right decision. There is NOTHING better than Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, except for MAYBE Scarlett Johannson taking off her shirt in the back of a car. In fact, the movie could really have used more of her…

scarjo

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s Dave Campbell says Wigginton homered, Bergesen shined as Birds topped Twins at Target Field

Was there a little bit of an “it’s pouring down rain, let’s just swing the bat and get this over with” situation last night for both teams? Yeah, probably. But sometimes you win games like that. In fact, almost every team NOT named the Orioles had probably won a game like that this season. It’s like banking in a 3 point shot…it still counts.

If Ty Wigginton played for any other team in Major League Baseball, we’d probably request that he be steroid tested. For example, Kelly Johnson has hit 10 home runs for the Arizona Diamondbacks this season. I’d like to see him steroid tested.

But as far as Ty Wigginton is concerned, let’s stick with Brady Anderson’s “athletic opus” and just avoid the conversation moving forward.

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

What jumps out at me from the box score last night are two things…

A-Brad Bergesen retired 20 hitters last night, yet didn’t post a single strikeout. Before we go too far down the “This was the Brad Bergsen of 2009″ path, let’s keep in mind that it was rainy and cold in Minnesota last night (I STILL don’t understand a completely open-air stadium there); and players-on both sides-were SWINGING. That being said, Bergesen was VERY effective, and hopefully can build on the start moving forward.

B-The Twinkies didn’t have a SINGLE leadoff hitter reach base last night in ANY inning. There’s no more simple formula for pitchers winning games than keeping leadoff hitters off base.

Now, two runs probably won’t win a whole ton of games this season-so forgive me if I’m not jumping off walls. It still felt good to get a win in a game that was completely uninteresting.

3. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Uehara effective in return to Orioles

What was goofier last night: Koji Uehara’s sideburns…

koji

Or the goofy “Silver Elvis” wig Scott Olsen was wearing that apparently Washington Nationals players have been wearing all season…

silverelvis

Welcome back Koji. You can keep the sideburns, just don’t ever do what the Nats do.

4. The AP’s Rob Maaddi says Hall of Fame pitcher, former Oriole Robin Roberts passed away at 83

The news probably hit Jim Palmer as hard as anyone yesterday, as Roberts was a mentor to Cakes when the two were roommates early in Palmer’s career.

For obvious reasons, I don’t remember Robin Roberts as an Oriole, nor do I remember any of his MLB career. That being said, Roberts was an outstanding pitcher-and he clearly made an impact on Palmer, spurring his own HOF career. For that, I’m particularly grateful.

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Josh Bell homered, Chorye Spoone struggled for O’s on farm

And before we move on-a couple of things:

A. The Orioles and Twins are back at it tonight; first pitch from Target Field is at 8:10pm on MASN2. Kevin Millwood is slated to face Francisco Liriano-who has been UNREAL this season. If the Orioles lose just ONE of the next 3 games, I get a chinese lunch from Drew Forrester. I’m rooting for them to not lose ANY of them.

B. Congratulations to our “Apologists of the Morning”, as selected by “The Great Arbitrator” this morning on AM1570 WNST’s “The Morning Reaction.” Scott Garceau and Jeremy Conn had Andy MacPhail on their show yesterday on 105.7, and a softball game broke out. They included such gems as “it’s no fun losing, huh?” and “You probably didn’t expect to see Lou Montanez in Centerfield this year, did you?”

Jennie Finch would have been proud…

jenniefinch

6. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Reed, Ngata, Washington, Webb, Nakamura won’t participate in Owings Mills this weekend; Oher expected to work at LT

Yay! Mini-camp!

Ugh.

After getting about 2 hours of sleep so I could see Iron Man last night, I’m going to be about as excited to stand out there and watch Donte’ Stallworth catch balls as I would be to go down to Camden Yards at this point in the season.

And of course John Harbaugh will actually let us watch all of practice this weekend, the one time of the year when I have no interest in actually watching all of practice.

Obviously, there are plenty of things to pay attention to. We’ll have to see just how serious the Ravens may be about flipping Michael Oher and Jared Gaither. We’ll also be watching to see how the snaps are divided at WR behind Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason and Stallworth. On top of that, we’ll watch to see how quickly guys like Terrence Cody and Sergio Kindle adapt to Greg Mattison’s defense.

And then we’ll remember that it is May 7th.

Football season can’t come quickly enough.

7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Paul Kruger to work exclusively at DE during weekend minicamp at 1 Winning Drive

This will be something else worth watching this weekend. As I mentioned the other day, there is a TON of depth at LB for this team going into Training Camp, which makes this move seem like it may pay off. Of course, we’ll have to see if Kruger’s bulked up frame really translates into more “oomph” if you will, as the team can use ANY HELP THEY CAN GET when it comes to getting to the quarterback.

Well, any help besides Lawrence Taylor that is.

What? Too soon?

8. The Tennessean’s Jim Wyatt says former Ravens CB Samari Rolle will officially retire from NFL

As I said before, Samari is in the Derrick Mason/Rod Woodson/Trevor Pryce/Michael McCrary mix amongst the greatest free agent signings in Ravens history.

Similarly, Sara Galimberti is in the mix amongst the greatest track athletes in the history of Italy (Thanks Busted Coverage!)…

sara

9. LoyolaGreyhounds.com previews tomorrow afternoon’s showdown with Johns Hopkins at Ridley Athletic Complex

It isn’t quite Morgan State-Coppin State basketball, but this really is a great example of BALTIMORE college sports. Both teams have a lot on the line, as JHU can’t make the NCAA Tournament without a win, and Loyola could be in Tournament danger with a loss.

(Edit from GMC: They’ll make the Tournament with a loss, but they’ll be a LONG way away from the Final Four sleeper status many of us felt they had attained weeks ago).

I’m stoked. I know Chris Bonetti is stoked. What the hell else are you going to do tomorrow? Lay out on the beach in Ocean City and check out chicks? Lame…

Oh wait, no. No, that’s not lame at all. But not as cool as the Greyhounds and Blue Jays. A game that you can hear right here on AM1570 WNST.

10. The Sun’s Mike Preston says onus on Towson attack to top Delaware tomorrow in CAA Tournament final

And with the improved play of Travis Love in the cage for the Tigers, I would tend to agree with Mike.

If you missed Tigers coach Tony Seaman on with Drew this morning, check out the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault at the top of the page.

I suggest you go to Loyola-Hopkins, then haul down Charles Street to check out Towson-Delaware.

I also suggest you check out pictures of Edurne Garcia from FHM Spain, and give a tip of the cap to Guyism for passing them along to us…

edurne

11. Daily Racing Form’s David Grening says Schoolyard Dreams could challenge Super Saver in Preakness

Most of my schoolyard dreams involved Topanga of course…

topanga

And finally, I leave you with this…

How I forgot to post the Ke$ha intro from The Simpsons last weekend is beyond me. I will correct that mistake now.

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

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

Comments Off

Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 26 April 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a Happy Monday for me because even though I missed yesterday’s “Earth Day Climate Rally” on the National Mall, I heard about a new rave that’s sweeping the nation…

Sexy Na’vi Costumes!

na'vi

I like EVERYTHING about this. This will be especially helpful at Halloween, as I was getting sick of only ever seeing sexy nurses and sexy cops and things of that nature. It was about time ladies stepped up their game.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP says Cla Meredith picked up first career save as Birds hung on to beat Red Sox

I know I’m not the first to make this joke-but when the Orioles couldn’t win on Sundays and everyone was getting pissed off-it wasn’t because we wanted the Orioles to ONLY win on Sundays!

The reaction to yesterday’s win has been a bit odd. The players (and manager) gave quotes akin to having won a World Series. Mostly-fans have been well aware that one win REALLY doesn’t mean that much.

But it feels good to get a win. Especially when 16 of the other 18 games the team has played have been losses.

The wins are almost more difficult to analyze than the losses, as it feels like it took a miracle to get it. Even the line drive at the end of the game appeared to be headed over Ty Wigginton’s head and into the territory of more heartbreak.

David Hernandez had a great start to his outing, but things started to come apart. The bullpen was up and down, but Cla Meredith (who had amazingly NEVER recorded a single save in his career) allowed the entire city to breathe a sigh of relief.

All over ONE WIN.

ONE WIN.

You know-if Dave Trembley HAD decided to puff on a cigar after the game during his MASN interview, I probably would have given him a pass.

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

No one will want to talk about this, but during the course of the game-the hitters in the O’s lineup combined to leave 26 men on base.

26.

That doesn’t mean 26 physical men were left on base, but that the batters in the lineup combined to leave 26 freaking men on base.

That almost seems impossible.

Some of those runs could have really mattered, too. When they went up 7-4 in the 10th inning; I personally assumed Jim Johnson would step back in and slam the door on the Sox. But had Julio Lugo actually been able to lay down a bunt and more the runners over, maybe the lead could have been extended to 9-4 and things would have never gotten interesting.

These runners ALWAYS matter. Julio Lugo was crucified by a number of people in town (starting with Jim Palmer) when he didn’t run out a ground ball. Where’s the accountability for failing to get runners over in the 10th?

Is it okay because the Orioles won?

Wasn’t okay by me.

3. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Orioles should step up to ‘challenge’

The challenge of winning 50 games this season?

What Drew is saying is very relevant. You can go to the Audio Vault this morning at WNST.net and hear from Eric DeCosta, who joined “The Morning Reaction” for a chat with Drew Forrester on AM1570 WNST to recap what the team did this weekend during the NFL Draft.

That’s right, the Ravens’ #2 decision maker when it comes to personnel joined Drew Forrester this morning, with the understanding that he had to hold himself accountable for the decisions the organization made-including trading out of the #25 spot, selecting Sergio Kindle at 43, adding Terrence Cody, and drafting two tight ends. He also answered questions about players they didn’t select-including Dez Bryant and Rob Gronkowski.

It IS important that all sports franchises make themselves available to be held accountable for their decisions. When you ask people in the city to invest their money in your franchise, you need to be accountable. Allowing 105.7 and MASN to say things like “that was a tough one today skip” isn’t accountability.

It’s a fair argument-which is strange considering Drew made it. Usually I only apperciate his arguments when they have to do with Denzel Washington, John Mayer or this subject…

steak

4. Springfield Republican’s Dan Lamothe says despite taking 2 of 3 from Birds, still plenty of questions about Red Sox

You know, I really thought this was the biggest story line of the weekend. Despite the fact that Boston won 2 of the 3 games at Fenway Park, I think this weekend really proved that the Red Sox just aren’t that good.

Who is going to drive in runs for that team?

I understand that they’re playing with Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron. I understand that the Orioles’ starters threw some good innings this weekend. But the Red Sox-to me, don’t look like a team that can win the American League Wild Card (as I predicted they would do before the season) and CERTAINLY not the type of team that can compete against the Yankees and Rays in the AL East.

Unless of course they find a way to add a big run producer in the middle of their lineup. Which-given the fact that their ownership, decision makers and fans all want to WIN-I wouldn’t doubt them doing.

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Bergesen excelled, Hobgood & Spoone struggled on farm

Before we wrap up our portion of today’s news dedicated to the Orioles, a reminder that they are off tonight-and will return to action tomorrow night against the Yankees at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. If you’re heading to the game, be sure to say hello to the 15,000-25,000 fans from New York who will be joining you; as well as the 3,000-5,000 fans from Baltimore who will be in attendance.

Also, congratulations to “Camden Crazies”, whose musings on Twitter yesterday have earned “Apologist of the Morning” honors. His musings included comments about the Orioles being better than their record and that the relievers weren’t that bad because “sometimes hits fall in.”

They certainly do. Sadly, the fall in much more often against the Orioles.

6. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Boston College LB Mike McLaughlin, Tennessee LS Morgan Cox amongst UFA’s Ravens have agreed to terms with

And McLaughlin (who is probably the best overall player of the group the Ravens have signed post-Draft) joined the great Glenn Clark Sunday during NFL Draft coverage on AM1570-you can also hear that interview in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.

Morgan Cox may have the best chances of making the team of any player in the group. We all know how badly Matt Katula struggled a season ago; and if those struggles are still evident when the team reports to McDaniel College in July, Cox could steal the job.

Sorta similar to how NIKKI Cox once stole my heart…

nikkicox

7. Carroll County Times’ Haruki Nakamura believes Ravens’ NFL Draft was ‘tremendous success’

Well, I wouldn’t exactly expect Haruki to say that Ozzie Newsome failed the team during the Draft; but I certainly got the idea that Ravens players were happy with the moves the team made over the weekend.

Ravens LB Jameel McClain appears to be happy that the team added fellow Syracuse Orange defensive player Arthur Jones. And for the record, I’m happy Arthur Jones is a Raven too. Please pass that along to his brother Jon “Bones” Jones so that he doesn’t kick my ass…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyA6e2OJqC8[/youtube]

8. USA Today’s Jarrett Bell gives Ravens “B+” for Draft

And while Draft grades are totally silly, this appears to be about what most people think about the Draft.

My thoughts on the Draft? ESPN should really use Jenn Brown more often…

jennbrown

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terps fell to Virginia in ACC Championship Game without Will Yeatman

We know this much…the Cavs are the best team in the country-despite their setback at Duke.

It really is a shame that Maryland was forced to play without Yeatman, as the teams were separated by just a single goal the first time they met at Byrd Stadium, and things certainly had a chance to be just as interesting this time around.

Instead of getting off on one of their notorious slow starts, the Terrapins started the game well, but lost firepower down the stretch against Wahoos goalie Adam Ghitelman.

The one thing I’ll say about yesterday’s game is that it didn’t prove to me that they are incapable of beating UVa. Should the teams meet again at M&T Bank Stadium in the Final Four-I think they’ll have a chance…IF they have Will Yeatman.

10. Inside Lacrosse says Maryland 3rd, Loyola 6th, Towson 11th in Nike/Inside Lacrosse Top 20 poll

Loyola didn’t exactly throttle Hobart on Saturday, but they won comfortably to extend one of the more impressive hot streaks I can ever remember from the Greyhounds. Tony Seaman’s Tigers beat Penn State Saturday to extend a winning streak of their own.

Of course-the bad news for local lax fans came when Johns Hopkins fell to Navy; as it looks more and more like the Blue Jays may end up being left out of the NCAA Tournament altogether. A loss to Towson Wednesday night or to the Hounds at Ridley Athletic Complex on May 8 would shut the door completely.

11. WNST.net’s Gary Quill says likely Kentucky Derby favorite Eskendereya scratched

And with that, Lookin’ At Lucky will likely be the morning line favorite Saturday at Churchill Downs. I’ll be there, and I could REALLY use a cotton seersucker suit to take with me. If you’re a business owner (or just a guy) who would like to either donate/allow me to borrow/allow me to rent/or sell cheap something that looks like this…

suit

…you’ll have a new best friend. I’ll buy you something from Louisville.

And finally, I leave you with this…

This is Kara Tointon. She’s from England. This picture was at Guyism.com. Enjoy how you will.

tointon

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

Comments Off

Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 21 April 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because it’s still “Green Week” around Charm City-and as you know, I support plenty of “green” things.

(Edit from GMC: I’m talking about money. Not the other thing. Why does everyone immediately think that?)

Anyway, I’ll continue to offer something to celebrate “Green Week” every day this week. Today, here’s Al Green doing “Take Me To The River” with Dave Matthews Band at Soldier Field back in 2000…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTU7THCicXc[/youtube]

Like with all good causes, I’m here to do my part.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s Gregg Bell says Jason Vargas dominated as Mariners topped Orioles again

Yeah, but how are they supposed to be expected to win against pitchers like Jason Vargas?

Ugh.

It was certainly an effortless performance in the Emerald City last night. In fact, I’m wondering if some players on the team (cough Julio Lugo cough) were even aware there was a game scheduled.

Jim Palmer thought Dave Trembley should have pulled Julio Lugo when he didn’t run out a ground ball. Julio Lugo thought “You know, if I was getting a little more playing time…”

It was particularly difficult to see that on the rare occasions when the Orioles did get hits (they had just 4), they failed to move runners over. They did get one clutch hit (as Ty Wigginton picked up an RBI double in the 1st inning), but teams could really use a lot more than that.

Maybe Jason Vargas was just REALLY inspired by the threat of Cliff Lee returning and the chance he might lose his rotation spot?

Or maybe this team is just giving no effort because they know they aren’t built to win and they just don’t care.

I get a funny feeling it’s more of the latter.

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

Of course the shame of it all last night was that David Hernandez actually WAS good (unlike last week, when apologists were just trying to CONVINCE me he was good).

He pitched 6.1 innings last night, giving up 3 earned runs on 7 hits. He was by no means brilliant, but he certainly pitched well enough that he could have won had the bats given him some real support.

Sadly, sometimes being good enough just won’t cut it. For example, Laura Michelle Prestin is attractive, but she’s just not good enough for me…(Thanks Busted Coverage)

prestin

3. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Mike Gonzalez went to Birmingham for 2nd opinion on shoulder from Dr. James Andrews

Which…as we all know…is NEVER good news.

Has Dr. James Andrews ever performed a routine checkup in his LIFE?

I feel like the day he left medical school athletes were banging down his door trying to get advice on their mangled limbs.

Here’s my issue with Dr. James Andrews. Why is it that any time a WWE wrestler has surgery (and they ALL have their surgery via Dr. Andrews’ knife), they INSIST on showing it on Monday Night RAW??? This stuff is more graphic than porn!

Here’s Triple H’s surgery. It’s safe for work, but it’s not safe for your stomach…

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

4. The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says O’s must be ‘cursed’

And this effort was enough to earn Peter the coveted “Apologist of the Morning” award via “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST.

(Edit from GMC: Yes, THIS is the man we call “The Great Arbitrator”)….

drew

Peter knows better. There’s no curse. There’s no “bad luck”. There’s no “black cloud.” There’s a piss poor organization that put together a piss poor group of players and tried to pass them off as a baseball team. I’m not a “message board genius” or whatever the hell Peter tried saying; but I KNOW that this team wasn’t built to be any good.

Am I a little surprised by a 2-13 start? Sure. But That’s only because I would have expected them to be 5-10.

If you want to give the Orioles a pass, feel free. If you want to try to make it out as though Andy MacPhail should have expected this team to really be judged on wins and losses, you’re not actually analyzing the group of players he put together.

No cleanup hitter.
1st & 3rd basemen playing out of position and on the decline of their career.
A lack of quality depth at multiple positions.
A closer whose track record most recently included more failure than success.
A #1 pitcher who has NO history of being an “ace.”
A lame duck manager who is surrounded by young players that are reaching the “ego” stage of their career.

If you want to ignore these things and just say the team is having “bad luck”, that’s fine. But we’re going to call you out on it. And we’re going to hold the organization’s feet to the fire.

This ISN’T acceptable.

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Matt Hobgood sparkled for Birds on farm

And before we move on from the Orioles, a reminder that the Birds face the M’s again tonight at Safeco Field. Kevin Millwood faces Felix Hernandez, and despite what Drew Forrester says, I don’t think there’s a chance King Felix throws a no-hitter tonight.

First pitch is at 10:10pm, the game can be seen on MASN2. We’ll have our “Orange Crush” chat going at WNST.net, as Ed Frankovic, Nestor Aparicio and crew will be chatting during the Washington Capitals game, and they’ll keep going during the baseball game.

Miguel Tejada is apparently going to return to the lineup tonight. I pray to God that’s a good thing.

6. WNST.net offers Ravens 2010 regular season schedule

And if you somehow missed it, here it is…

2010 BALTIMORE RAVENS REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE

DATE            OPPONENT        PLACE   TIME
Mon.    Sept. 13        at New York Jets        Meadowlands Stadium     7:00 p.m. (ESPN)
Sun.    Sept. 19        at Cincinnati Bengals   Paul Brown Stadium      1:00 p.m.
Sun.    Sept. 26        CLEVELAND BROWNS        M&T BANK STADIUM        1:00 p.m.
Sun.    Oct. 3  at Pittsburgh Steelers  Heinz Field      1:00 p.m.
Sun.    Oct. 10 DENVER BRONCOS  M&T BANK STADIUM        1:00 p.m.
Sun.    Oct. 17 at New England Patriots Gillette Stadium        1:00 p.m.
Sun.    Oct. 24 BUFFALO BILLS   M&T BANK STADIUM        1:00 p.m.
Sun.    Oct. 31 BYE
Sun.    Nov. 7  MIAMI DOLPHINS  M&T BANK STADIUM        1:00 p.m.
Thurs.  Nov. 11 at Atlanta Falcons      Georgia Dome    8:20 p.m. (NFL Network)
Sun.    Nov. 21*        at Carolina Panthers    Bank of America Stadium 1:00 p.m.
Sun.    Nov. 28*        TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS    M&T BANK STADIUM        1:00 p.m.
Sun.    Dec. 5* PITTSBURGH STEELERS     M&T BANK STADIUM        8:20 p.m. (NBC)
Mon.    Dec. 13 at Houston Texans       Reliant Stadium 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Sun.    Dec. 19*        NEW ORLEANS SAINTS      M&T BANK STADIUM        1:00 p.m.
Sun.    Dec. 26*        at Cleveland Browns     Cleveland Browns Stadium        1:00 p.m.
Sun.    Jan. 2* CINCINNATI BENGALS      M&T BANK STADIUM        1:00 p.m.

While the opener in East Rutherford will certainly jump out at a number of people (including our own Chris Bonetti-that jerk), but it’s the trip to Atlanta for a Thursday night game on NFL Network that concerns me a lot. Playing on Thursday night is bad enough. Playing a Thursday night game on the road against a competitive team is even worse.

7. ESPN.com’s James Walker says Monday Night Football opener against Jets will provide Ravens early litmus test

A lot has been made about the difficulty a team like the Jets in an emotional atmosphere as a stadium hosts a game of historical significance.

Apparently some people have forgotten about this…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YX3gYiQ3tww[/youtube]

8. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Cam Cameron conducted private workout with Miami TE Jimmy Graham

Jimmy Graham is-if nothing else-a VERY intriguing prospect in the NFL Draft. He’s remarkably tall (somewhere between 6’6″ and 6’8″), and showed himself to be developing as a player last year with the Hurricanes. He’s clearly going to be raw since he was a basketball player who only recently made the switch to the gridiron, but with the Ravens already having a primary option at TE in Todd Heap, he would have time to develop.

Also, if you missed Virginia CB Chris Cook or Boise State CB Kyle Wilson with Drew this morning, make sure you check out the Audio Vault at WNST.net.

9. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Ray Lewis to announce a Ravens pick during NFL Draft

I was trying to find a way to make this seem like interesting news. Sadly, I couldn’t come up with any.

So instead, here’s a picture of Christina Hendricks eating a watermelon from Esquire (via Guyism.com)…

watermelon

10. UMTerps.com offers official preview of Saturday’s Red/White Spring Game

I’m also struggling to figure out a way to make this interesting. I know that I’M interested in seeing how Danny O’Brien and C.J. Brown perform, but I’m not 100% certain that everyone else is. 2-10 will do that.

But trust me, it’s worth it to be in College Park Saturday. Not just for the football, but also for the good looking girls that will be sunbathing at Byrd Stadium.

Some of them will look like Kate Bosworth. (Thanks What Would Tyler Durden Do!)

bosworth

And finally, I leave you with this.

Here’s the video of Charles Barkley using the Shake Weight that everyone is talking about. Enjoy at your convenience.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ncb2utsouZY[/youtube]

It’s almost as good as the Shake Weight Commercial DVD spoof they did on SNL this weekend…

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

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

Comments Off

Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 20 April 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because I didn’t get made into a LeBron James poster last night like Bulls rookie James Johnson did…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZlYo-6VEXc[/youtube]

…this is the NBA in 2010. The only time anyone cares is when someone dunks the ball and there’s a guy standing underneath him. Defense be damned!

Look, I think the dunk looked as cool as the next guy-but since that was probably the highlight of the first round of the playoffs, it was a cool reminder to me as to why I’ll be passing on the bulk of the NBA playoffs.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP says Doug Fister couldn’t finish off no-hitter, but Mariners had little trouble taking care of Orioles

As our buddy Sam Angell said on Twitter:

“If (Gary) Thorne and (Jim) Palmer keep talking about fisting her, @masnsports is going to get its FCC license revoked.”

(Edit from GMC: Please follow us on Twitter @WNST. We do shtick too.)

It couldn’t have been more awkward that some fella named Fister was throwing a no-hitter until the 7th inning. I REALLY had to think to myself “This can’t possibly happen”, but I also knew better.

Ugh. I was frustrated when the season started, but that frustration eventually gave way to laughter. Now it’s hard to even laugh anymore. Before too long, I’m just going to have to give up. How much more of this long civic nightmare can we take?!?!?

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

Matt Wieters had a couple of hits and Ty Wigginton homered! Of course, Ty Wigginton also made a costly error-but that’s the beauty of Ty Wigginton, really. He can’t play any individual position, but he can man a spot on the field right up until the point when someone hits the ball to him!

Look, you really don’t want to look at last night’s box score. I think you’d much rather look at a picture of Anna Sedokova from Russia’s version of Maxim, via Guyism.com…

sedokova

3. WNST.net’s Jay Trucker says Felix Pie likely to miss 3 months

How will we ever survive?

A lot of people will choose to say something about the start of this season like “how could you expect a team to overcome this many crippling injuries?”

My response would probably be something along the lines of “Are the O’s the first MLB team to ever deal with injuries?”

When I said Andy MacPhail and company had put together a team that was “woefully incomplete” before the season, I wasn’t trying to be cute. The reason the Cardinals were willing to part ways with Julio Lugo was because they knew they needed a better option as a utility infielder should their starters get hurt.

This team is desperately trying to make puzzle pieces interlock that don’t match. I know they fit a square peg in a round hole on Apollo 13…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTGiLVj9r2g[/youtube]

…but it isn’t happening in baseball.

There aren’t pieces here that fit. When Dave Trembley asked “why not” about why he would play Luke Scott at 1B last night-there was a part of me that felt for him. He’s been handed 25 players. Not a baseball team, but 25 players. He’s supposed to somehow make it work.

It doesn’t matter that Felix Pie is going to miss 3 months…he’s one of the misfit pieces!

This team isn’t bad because of injuries, this team is bad because the pieces don’t fit!!!

4. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Bergesen sent down after disastrous start, Alberto Castillo called up

There wasn’t much of another option here.

Bergesen has been TERRIBLE. Not “rough”, just TERRIBLE. And this isn’t the debatable type of TERRIBLE like David Hernandez was last week against the Athletics, this is the unthinkable type of terrible that says Bergesen just can’t be at this level right now.

I HOPE this is still him dealing with the injuries from both last season and from the MASN commercial shoot this offseason. I really do.

Despite the fact that he was the team’s best pitcher a season ago, I was never convinced that he was a guy that we could pencil in for 10-14 wins this season.

But I didn’t expect THIS.

A lot of people think Jason Berken will be the guy to move into the rotation while Bergesen is out. It makes sense, as Berken can take Bergesen’s rest, Castillo can move into the pen, and Berken has pitched VERY well thus far.

However, I hope that isn’t the case. Berken has found a role that fits him, and he’s likely best served staying in that role.

The best assumption here is that the Birds will go with a 4 man rotation (due to the way the off days break) for a little while until they have to make a permanent decision. Chris Tillman was the easy choice before the season, but the way he’s struggled at Norfolk has to leave questions.

5. Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal says Cal Ripken, Peter Angelos didn’t have stories straight in responses

For whatever reason, a few members of the apologist community decided to go after Ken Rosenthal yesterday instead of actually trying to figure out what’s really going on in this situation.

Others have lost a bit of perspective. For example, Drew Forrester chose our good friend Scott Hoffman (who I love by the way-and once told him that drunkenly at Padonia Station) from Orioles Hangout as today’s “Apologist of the Morning” on the Morning Reaction on AM1570.

Here’s what Scott had to say yesterday…

Do I think Rosenthal’s “unnamed sources” were wrong about Angelos vetoing a deal with Ripken to prevent the hometown hero from taking undue credit for the O’s turnaround?  I generally believe where there’s smoke there’s fire, but in this case it sounded so absurd that I simply wasn’t buying it.

Think about it:  “Hey hometown hero offering your services to the team I own, a team that hasn’t experienced greatness since you said goodbye in 2001…I don’t want your presence or your help because I don’t want you to receive credit should this team turn things around.  Thanks, though.”  It’s ridiculous!  It would be absolute public relations suicide if that part of the story were true.

Public Relations suicide?!?!? Would this be the 787th or 788th time that happened???

The perspective to keep here is that is CERTAINLY looks like Ken Rosenthal got good information. He went to the respective parties for quotes-informing them that he was running the story. Instead of responding, THEY allowed the story to run as-is.

Hindsight is ALWAYS 20-20.

6. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Jake Arrieta decent, Steve Johnson struggled for O’s on farm

Jake Arrieta would also be a choice to slide right into a rotation spot, I just have a gut feeling that the organization wants to hold off on that. Arrieta has been “ready” for a while now, yet hasn’t gotten the call. Unless they just don’t have another choice, I don’t think it’s coming this time.

Before we move on, a reminder that the O’s and M’s get back at it at Safeco Field in Seattle tonight. David Hernandez faces Jason Vargas, first pitch is at 10:10pm and the game is on MASN2. We’ll be hosting our “Orange Crush” chat at 10pm at WNST.net.

7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Oregon safety T.J. Ward visited 1 Winning Drive

The easiest comparison to make about Ward is to former Ducks safety Pat Chung, who was drafted by the New England Patriots a season ago. They’re the same size (5’11″, 212 pounds), the same position and roughly the same speed.

While safety isn’t necessary a priority for the Ravens, the uncertain NFL future of Ed Reed and the uncertain future of Dawan Landry in Baltimore really have to make it a position that they address at some point during the NFL Draft.

8. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Demetrius Williams, Tony Moll signed tender offers

Can’t WAIT for the Vince Lombardi Trohpy to come by 1550 Hart Rd.!!!!

Williams faces a long road to making the roster in Training Camp, especially if the Ravens add a taller receiver between now and then. We KNOW Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason and Donte’ Stallworth will make the roster, and Williams, Mark Clayton, Justin Harper and others will be in the mix behind that.

It will provide for an interesting August at McDaniel College. Which is more than what we can say about what will be going on at Camden Yards.

9. UMTerps.com says Pe’Shon Howard, Haukur Palsson officially join incoming class

These are fun names to say.

You know what else is a fun name to say? Marta Gut. And how convenient, Busted Coverage had a picture of her to show me!

martagut

10. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens has Terps 4th, Loyola 7th, Towson 14th, Hopkins 16th in Top 20 poll

It’s truly remarkable that Tony Seaman’s Tigers are back in the Top 15, and on the cusp of a NCAA Tournament bid.

It really is.

You know what else is amazing? The picture of Jessica Hart that What Would Tyler Durden Do found…

hart

And finally, I leave you with this.

As I said yesterday, this is Green Week here in Charm City. I will be doing my part here all week, as I care a great deal about whatever the hell it is that Green Week supports.

My contribution today is a cover of “I Fought The Law” by the band Green Day. Did you know “I Fought The Law” was originally recorded by “The Crickets” after Buddy Holly passed away? I’m FULL of useless knowledge!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TOVkiBE2r4[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

Comments Off

Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 07 April 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because THIS was my dinner at Jimmy’s Famous Seafood in Dundalk last night…

crabsbeer

The beer was cold, the crabs were hot. Despite what happened at Tropicana Field, I call that a WIN.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s Fred Goodall says Mike Gonzalez suffered blown save in first appearance as Orioles lost to Rays

Where do we start?

I think I’ll start with local blogger Chris Stoner, who thought he should have won our “King of Baltimore Sports Talk” contest last year. Probably due to rock solid analysis like this…

“If anything, Oriole fans should be enthusiastic of the pure stuff Gonzalez showed. Jim Palmer was right, if Gonzalez fell off the mound any more, he would have looked like a Mitch Williams clone.

With one inning of work, it was very evident to see why Gonzalez averaged more than a K per IP in 2009 (90 in 74.1 innings) while allowing just 56 hits.”

Ho.Ly.Crap.

Look, I’m not going to try to tell you that the world came undone last night. As we know, last night’s loss was not Mike Gonzalez’s fault alone.

But…NOTHING about last night’s appearance from Mike Gonzalez should make Orioles fans “enthusiastic.”

He faced the BOTTOM of the Rays’ order. He threw a ton of pitches UP in the strike zone. Sean FREAKING Rodriguez started the rally. KELLY SHOPPACH absolutely crushed a ball. It wasn’t Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria who got hits ahead of Carl Crawford, it was SEAN RODRIGUEZ AND KELLY SHOPPACH.

Mike Gonzalez was TERRIBLE last night. It wasn’t all his fault, but he was TERRIBLE. Hence, Chris Stoner won our first “Apologist of the Morning” award from Drew Forrester and myself. But I’m putting Jenn Royle on notice. She said the Orioles would compete to finish .500 “if that was the last of Gonzalez’s struggles.”

And if Cesar Izturis manages to get 4 hits every game instead of 2, they might be better than that.

2. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Kevin Millwood ‘not brilliant’ as Birds fell in Tampa Bay

Luke Jones WAS our winner of last year’s “King of Baltimore Sports Talk” contest…and the competition wasn’t really close. Luke was a runaway victor, and his ability as an analyst is part of the reason why.

Kevin Millwood DID do enough to win, but he WASN’T great. Anyone who says that Kevin Millwood gave the Orioles a “great” start must have missed the fact that he gave up TEN baserunners in just 5 (plus) innings. He was OVERLY fortunate that when Matt Albers inherited runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs, he managed to work his way out of the 6th inning jam. Otherwise, Millwood’s numbers wouldn’t even look as good as they did.

The Orioles will need more than that if Millwood is to be their “ace.” I personally think the only hope the Orioles have of finding an ace on their current staff is Brian Matusz, but Millwood is the veteran #1 guy. He NEEDS to give them 6 innings (or more) in the bulk of his starts.

And I NEED to get 6 more pictures of Gemma Atkinson that look like this (Thanks Busted Coverage)…

gemma

3. WNST.net provides numerical evidence of O’s Opening Day loss

Of course, the most striking number from last night’s loss is “1-12″, which is what the Orioles hit with runners in scoring position; producing NO RBI.

For the record, I’m not surprised. This is NOT going to be the last time the Orioles post a number like that. What many of us talked about this week (I called it a “woefully incomplete” lineup) came to fruition last night. This team might have more representative hitters, but they DON’T have hitters that fit the roles necessary to win games.

Most importantly (in this case), they don’t have a prototypical #4 hitter that is capable of driving in a bunch of runs. It ISN’T Miguel Tejada. It ISN’T Luke Scott. It ISN’T Nolan Reimold. It ISN’T Matt Wieters (at least not yet). Those players are all capable of filling roles, but “run producer” is NOT that role.

This is what happens when Andy MacPhail and company go with the philosophy that “someone will do it” instead of going out and getting the right guy to do it. For everyone who said “you can’t overpay for Matt Holliday”-that’s fine. But if you don’t, you’re going to have a bunch of games like the one you saw last night.

Of course, most of them will come after things don’t REALLY matter anymore-so we probably won’t be so angry about them.

4. St. Petersburg Times’ Marc Topkin says Carl Crawford hero for Rays in win over Orioles

It wasn’t the first time Carl Crawford did the Orioles in. If he ends up signing with the Yankees (which is what EVERYONE expects), we’ll probably have many more YEARS of Carl Crawford nightmares ahead of us.

Before I move on from the Orioles-just a couple more things. Thanks to everyone who came out to Jimmy’s last night (including the gang from Camden Chat). We had a lot of fun, the staff knew better than to think they should put the Washington-Pittsburgh hockey game on, and there were free t-shirts for all.

Also, Jeremy Guthrie takes the hill for the Birds tonight at The Trop as they try to even the series against Matt Garza and the Rays. As Ray Bachman once said via Twitter (follow us @WNST), “somewhere right now, Jeremy Guthrie is dreaming about home runs flying over his head.”

5. The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Matt Stover, Mike Nugent, John Carney top free agent kickers available besides Shayne Graham

Go ahead and scratch Matt Stover off the list. Like my friends told me when ABC cancelled “Step By Step”, it’s time to move on.

You know who else moved on from “Step By Step”? Christine Lakin, who played Al Lambert…

lakin

I bet she’s good at math.

As far as kickers go, we’re all going to continue to assume that Graham will be the guy until we find out otherwise. I’m not ruling out the idea that the team might go with another young kicker to compete with Billy Cundiff, as they’re not going to be interested in giving money to ANYONE-including Shayne Graham.

6. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Greg Mattison attended workout for Florida State CB Patrick Robinson

He’ll almost certainly be available when the Ravens pick 25th in the NFL Draft. Yet, for the same reasons I think Kyle Wilson might not be a great choice, there are reasons why I don’t necessarily think Patrick Robinson would be a great choice.

Robinson is 5’11″, which isn’t BAD size for a corner-but the Ravens HAVE corners in that range. I know the Bengals are EXTREMELY HAPPY with 2 sub-6’0″ corners in Leon Hall and Jonathan Joseph; but that’s rare. The Ravens could REALLY use a corner who is an inch of two taller. That being said, they need SOMEONE.

Don’t forget that there’s another 5’11″ corner available…

frankwalker

7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Cory Redding will wear #93, Marcus Smith switches to #11

Smith of course had to change his number because the Ravens acquired some guy named Boldin who will wear #81. I like that Duff pointed out that #11 was Larry Fitzgerald’s number with the Cardinals. Marcus Smith can use as many positive omens as possible.

Cory Redding is just sliding into Dwan Edwards’ old number the same way John Harbaugh and company are having him slide into his old position. Hopefully he’ll also slide into the success Edwards finally found in Charm City a season ago as well.

8. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terps punter Travis Baltz ready to ‘bounce back’ from injury riddled ’09 season

The remarkable thing about Maryland last year is that even when Baltz went down, Nick Ferrara did at LEAST an adequate (if not better than that) job of handling the punting responsibilities in his stead.

BUT-the Terrapins would be better off from a punting (and holding) standpoint with Baltz healthy.

The same way I would be better off if I knew more about who Michelle Hunziker is (Thanks Guyism.com!)…

hunziker

9. UMBC Official Site previews tonight’s trip to Unitas Stadium to face Towson in lacrosse

Boy, could Don Zimmerman’s Retrievers EVER use a win.

Their ONLY WIN ALL SEASON was a 6-5 thriller at Rutgers.

Now, Towson hasn’t been overwhelming, but they’ve played better lacrosse of late-including a CAA win over Delaware.

And Unitas Stadium has hosted some solid primetime games in recent years, including Navy earlier this season and a CLASSIC with Johns Hopkins a season ago.

It’s worth going to watch some lacrosse tonight.

10. Terrapin Trail’s Aaron Kraut says new indoor football team playing at Cole Field House

They’re playing football at Cole Field House??? Is Lonny Baxter the WHOLE Offensive Line?

And finally, I leave you with this.

Last night was the 10th anniversary of the “Web Gems” segment on ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight.” In honor of that, I offer you the Mark Buehrle play from Monday that I couldn’t get a highlight of yesterday. As I said earlier, Ho.Ly.Crap.

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

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

Comments Off

Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 11 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because I’m getting ready to head to Greensboro tomorrow morning (I know many of you will be devastated-practically unable to listen to “The Comcast Morning Show”-but Chris Bonetti will do an adequate job in my place), where I would LOVE to meet up with any Maryland fans who are making the trip. I would be MORE than willing to allow you to buy me 4-627 beers.

But also, I haven’t had a chance to talk about the Iron Man 2 trailer that debuted Sunday night on Jimmy Kimmel’s show. It was GLORIOUS…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siQgD9qOhRs[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST’.net’s Glenn Clark says Derrick Mason agrees to new 2 year deal with Ravens

Which gives the Ravens at LEAST a formiddable trio of receivers at the top of their WR depth chart. When they go 3 wide (which they usually do under Cam Cameron), they’ll have one of the toughest receivers in the league with Anquan Boldin, one of the most reliable receivers in the league with Derrick Mason and a receiver that they expect to be amongst the quickest receivers in the league in Donte’ Stallworth.

It’s a much more impressive group than most of the trios we’ve seen in Baltimore. In fact, it’s almost as impressive as Tiger Woods’ favorite trio…

howardstern

(Edit from GMC: With no offense to Howard Stern’s crew, I probably would have gone with Jamie Grubbs instead of Jamie Jungers myself.)

Is this one of the Top 3 receiving trios in the league now? No. I still think the Cardinals (Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston, Early Doucet); the Steelers (Santonio Holmes, Hines Ward, Mike Wallace/Antwaan Randle El); the Colts (Reggie Wayne, Anthony Gonzalez, Austin Collie/Pierre Garcon) and others still have better groups-but there’s legitimate argument that the Ravens have a Top 10 group.

Of course, maybe some fans who have already decided that they need to book hotel rooms in Arlington for next year’s Super Bowl should try to somehow temper their excitement. Teams have had really good offseasons before. In fact, there’s a certain team south of here that did it regularly….

skins

2. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ravens were out in full force to watch Devin McCourty at Rutgers Pro Day

I’ve had the chance to talk to Devin McCourty a couple times-he was hanging around Ft. Lauderdale the week of the Super Bowl and at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. He clearly has a relationship with former Scarlet Knights teammate Ray Rice, who was hanging out in Piscataway yesterday as well.

The Ravens will ABSOLUTELY be looking for CB help in April’s NFL Draft. We know they at least LIKE McCourty, and they will likely bring him out to 1 Winning Drive for a look in the coming weeks.

3. ProFootballTalk.com/NBC Sports’ Gregg Rosenthal says Ravens/Steelers could be one of this years’s season opening Monday Night Football games

Which has to be the first time….ever….that a reputable reporter has sourced this man in his reporting….

bachman

Ray said via Twitter (@WNST) that Ron Jaworski (who is part of ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast team) told a business group that the network wanted the game to help their season opening coverage.

As we know, NBC and the NFL wanted the Ravens to open last season at Heinz Field against Pittsburgh-but the brass at 1 Winning Drive requested they not have to play another primetime game in Pittsburgh.

It certainly would be better for these teams (who we expect to again be fighting atop the AFC North and/or for an AFC Wild Card spot) to play once during the middle of the season and again near the end of the season. BUT-having the league’s new “sexiest rivalry” in primetime would be good for both the league and their network partners.

For the sake of the Ravens, I just hope the game would be at M&T Bank Stadium.

4. The Diamondback’s Jakob Engelke says CB Nolan Carroll impressed NFL scouts at Pro Day in College Park

Obviously Bruce Campbell was the head turner, but NFL scouts were certainly in town yesterday looking to see what Nolan Carroll might be able to bring to the table. Carroll hasn’t been on a football field since breaking his leg in Week 2, and he was unable to get on the field for the Senior Bowl (or another All-Star Game) or at the Combine in Indy.

He’s expected to be a mid-to-low round choice, but has a higher ceiling than some may have expected. He’s a LITTLE bit taller than Domonique Foxworth or any CB on the Ravens roster-so it wouldn’t surprise me to see him make a visit to Owings Mills in the upcoming weeks.

5. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Greivis Vasquez could use ACC Tournament finals appearance, trip to Elite 8 to have realistic shot at tracking down Juan Dixon’s school scoring record

As Patrick has pointed out before, there really is something poetic about Dixon being the all-time leading scorer in Terrapins history. But if an ACC Tournament title and a trip to the Elite 8 are in the future, there probably would be something poetic about Vasquez passing him.

If they play 7 more games, it will take roughly 22 points per game for the senior from Venezuela. If he goes off for 40+ again at some point again like he did in Blacksburg, there will be a greater probability of this happening.

It will certainly be an interesting subplot to follow as the Terps move towards the NCAA Tournament.

Patrick also pointed out (after Paul in Hawaii asked me yesterday) that the Terps DID bring the gold uniforms with them to Greensboro, although they did not confirm whether or not they would be wearing them Friday night when they take on the Georgia Tech/North Carolina winner.

6. The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Gary Williams doesn’t feel like Greensboro a ‘neutral’ site

And obviously, it isn’t. BUT-no matter where they played the event, it wouldn’t be a “neutral site.” There’s an argument that maybe it could be moved around a bit more, but certainly Greensboro has been a solid “home” for the event.

Things didn’t necessarily work out for Gary’s team the one time they did get the event near here-as they bowed out to Clemson in the first round of the ACC Tournament when it was at the “MCI Center” (now the Verizon Center) in Washington, DC back in 2005.

7. Morgan State Official Site says Kevin Thompson lead Morgan State with 20 points, 16 boards in MEAC quarterfinals win over North Carolina A&T

The good news for the Bears is that they’ll now get a day off before having to face Hampton or Norfolk State tomorrow night in Winston-Salem. Especially seeing as how the Spartans took them to Double OT at Hill Field House just about 11 days ago.

If Kevin Thompson plays well, no one is beating Todd Bozeman’s team this weekend. There just isn’t a big man in the conference that can match up with him when he’s on his game.

8. The AP says Kareem Brown’s 16 not enough as Coppin State’s season ended with MEAC Tournament loss to UMES

It was a tough season for Fang Mitchell’s gang. Hopefully they will be able to move forward with the return of Jordan Lee and with the development of guys like Brown and Michael Harper. They’ll have to get some more reliable scoring, and they’ll have to get some real leadership, but Fang isn’t going anywhere-and the CSPEC should help them improve their talent.

And for any Eagles fan who is depressed about the season ending, I offer you a new picture of Megan Fox from Harper’s Bazaar, thanks to Guyism.com. This MIGHT be NSFW.

meganfox

9. MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch says red hot Luke Scott tallied 2 more RBI as Orioles topped Pirates in Spring Training action

Insert your own gun joke here.

It is good for the O’s to get a win. Not really important, but you never want a team to get caught up in any sort of familiarity of losing-even if it is just during Grapefruit League play.

The Orioles return to action tonight in Fort Myers as they face the Twins. Kevin Millwood takes the mound against Scott Baker.

10. Examiner Jay Trucker says Mike Flanagan to join MASN broadcast booth

But apparently they’re still going to use the Eddie Murray/Brady Anderson/Mike Boddicker/Bill Ripken rotating color analyst group as well. AND Jim Palmer.

I guess they’re just going to give about any former Oriole a shot behind the mic this season. Which series do you think they’ll use this guy for???

jaygibbons

11. The Sun’s Peter Schmuck and Jeff Zrebiec say Ernie Tyler won’t return as Birds’ “ballboy”, instead choosing to remain in umpire room

Certainly the end of an era.

Tyler’s consecutive games streak at Memorial Stadium/Camden Yards ended in 2007 when he attended Cal Ripken’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony; but he’s continued to be one of the most recognizable figures at OPACY since then.

Congratulations to Tyler on 50 great seasons as “ballboy”, and good luck to him as he transitions into his new role.

12. SI’s Tom Verducci pens next Monday’s cover story about Matt Wieters

Which you should read, with or without pants.

Interesting note from “The Comcast Morning Show” this morning, as former MASN analyst and new Blue Jays TV PBP voice Buck Martinez told Drew Forrester that he believes Brian Matusz has “better stuff” than even Tom Glavine.

Wow.

And finally, I leave you with this.

I know it was a building full of history and whatnot, but seeing Yankee Stadium look like this can’t help but make me smile a bit….

yankeestadium

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…..

-G

Comments Off

Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me 1-because I’ve been out of Indianapolis for nearly 36 hours. No offense, but it ain’t good.

2-Nobody decided to drive their car into a tree this morning and knock out power to the radio station and everyone else who resides on Hart Rd…

3-It may have not been in time for National Chili Day, but our buddy John West delivered with one of the greatest breakfasts in the history of AM1570 WNST yesterday morning….

chili

Yeah, that’s lump crab meat, and it’s called “Chesapeake Chili”…and it’s better than what you had for breakfast today.

Let’s see what everyone has to say……

1. Maryland Official Site says Terps 22nd in AP poll, 23rd in ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll

It’s funny, because Patrick Stevens (follow him on Twitter @D1scourse) had him 18th in his weekly poll this week-and I first thought to myself “that seems high”…I actually thought they should be in the range where they are in the polls…somewhere in the low 20′s. That being said, I haven’t been NEARLY as concerned about Maryland cracking the Top 25 as everyone else in town apparently is, as I know that racking up wins will get a team the respect it needs moving towards the NCAA Tournament.

That being said, what else can be said about this team right now? The win Saturday night was just tremendous. Being “gutty” is as important if not more important than being “good.” This team has more “Guts” than Mike O’Malley and Moira Quirk….

quirk

If you get that reference, marry me. (Edit from GMC: If you’re a female. Or if you’re Andy Roddick.)

2. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Greivis Vasquez named ACC Player of the Week, Jordan Williams named ACC Freshman of the Week

At this point, I’m not sure why they don’t just call it the “Greivis Vasquez ACC Player of the Week Award.” I guess Jon Scheyer could still win ACC Player of the Year (especially if Greivis were to struggle against the Blue Devils Wednesday night), but I don’t think I could necessarily agree with it. He’s been the best player in the conference all season, there just really isn’t any doubt about that. Now-the bulk of the media that votes for the award is based in North Carolina. Like it or not, they’ve probably seen more of Scheyer.

It will be an interesting vote.

Also worth noting, I was given confirmation that Greivis Vasquez’s jersey number will NOT be honored in the Comcast Center rafters tomorrow night. The school is choosing to honor all 3 seniors (Vasquez, Landon Milbourne and Eric Hayes) the same way tomorrow night, which makes sense considering all three have been major contributors to the program.

I assume (although it has yet to be confirmed) that Vasquez’s jersey WILL enter the rafters next to Steve Blake’s, but it looks like they will wait until early next season to do so. This could help them get some juice for an early season game against Bethune-Cookman…or Longwood…or Long & Foster…or whoever they play.

3. The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Maryland fans desperate for tickets to Duke game Wednesday

This is ABSOLUTELY the biggest game in College Park since the 2005 game against Duke-the Saturday night game when ESPN’s “College Gameday” did a live broadcast, John Gilchrist went off, 5 Blue Devils fouled out, the Terps won in overtime and went on to miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time after 11 straight appearances.

There have been exciting games in College Park since then (including North Carolina a season ago), but none have been this big, and CERTAINLY none of them have been this significant. A chance to split the ACC regular season title is on the line, as well as an OUTSIDE chance at an outright title and the top seed in the ACC Tournament (if UNC can beat Duke).

It’s a big deal. Big enough that Erin Andrews is showing up (with Dan Shulman and Jay Bilas) before her Dancing With the Stars gig…..

erinandrews

4. ESPN.com’s Andy Katz says Gary Williams continues to “maximize what (Terrapins) players can do”

That Andy Katz….classic Gary Williams apologist.

I won’t go down the “I told you so” route when it comes to those of you who called for Gary Williams’ head a season ago, mostly because I wasn’t even slightly moved by the argument. Some people say things like “fire the coach” out of panic, because they don’t really know how to analyze a situation. I actually sympathize with those people. While I’ve never called for Maryland to fire Dave Cottle as lacrosse coach, I remain on the “he has to win” campaign.

Gary Williams is winning. A lot of people expected he would. It will be a struggle again a season from now, there’s no doubt about that. That’s the mark of a Gary Williams program in this era of college basketball.

But as Katz pointed out, there’s just no way in the world that anyone not named Gary Williams should be coaching this team right now.

5. The AP says Reggie Holmes’ 32 lead Morgan State to win over North Carolina A&T at Hill Field House

Have you been to see Reggie Holmes yet? I don’t ask because I want to say “shame on you” for not getting out yet, I ask because I’m sorry you haven’t had the chance. He’s REALLY one of the best players on the entire east coast. He’s just been so special to watch for four years now, and he’s obviously changed Todd Bozeman’s entire program.

You’ve got one more chance to see him here locally. The Bears host Coppin State in a “bucket list” type of rivalry game Thursday night. If you love Baltimore sports, you really owe it to yourself to get to a Morgan-Coppin game at least once. I’ll be there for sure, and can’t wait for the game.

6. The AP says Michael Harper’s 14 not enough as Coppin State fell to Norfolk State in home finale

The story of my first trip to the Coppin State Physical Education Complex wasn’t the team (which is just missing a lot of pieces right now), but the building itself. The building is PHENOMENAL. I mean, it’s absolutely unreal. If you ever attended a game at the Coppin Center, you won’t BELIEVE what a world of difference there is now at the CSPEC. It’s night and day-really. It’s just a bright, beautiful, state of the art facility that deserves to have outstanding teams and big crowds fill it.

That being said, Fang Mitchell’s Eagles are tough to watch. They go long stretches without scoring, they lack leadership and poise, and they have no go-to players. It is obvious that they miss Tywain McKee, who was one of the greatest players in school history a season ago, and Fang was quick to point out that they’ll get Lee Jordan back next season to help with a lot of that.

Can Coppin make a run in the MEAC Tournament similar to what they did two seasons ago? I don’t think so. They might win a game in Winston-Salem, but they have too many holes to push for a title.

7. Burlington Free Press’ John A. Fantino says Binghamton out of America East Tournament, UMBC to face Vermont

Which means that the Retrievers are guaranteed to remain in Hartford until Saturday, and all but guaranteed to be gone by Saturday night.

It is ABSOLUTELY the right thing that Binghamton is not participating in any sort of postseason contests this year, and there need to be many more sanctions moving forward. What happened with the Bearcats last season is so UNBELIEVABLY reprehensible that I’m not certain how they even fielded a team this season. In fact, it’s embarrassing that they did.

And while I love Randy Monroe, I just don’t give his team much of a chance to beat Mike Lonergan’s Catamounts.

8. Ravens Official Site’s John Eisenberg thinks team should really think about pursuring “divas” like Terrell Owens, Brandon Marshall, Anquan Boldin and Antonio Bryant

Apparently a local blogger in town tried saying that John Harbaugh was “laughing” when he talked about the Ravens’ interest in T.O. Maybe that local blogger shouldn’t talk about things he doesn’t know about….

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

Look, John Harbaugh was just as condescending in Indy as he is any other time. BUT-the organization IS interested in Terrell Owens. John Harbaugh saying it publicly is NOT the first time we found that out. If you followed us on Twitter (@WNST), you’d know that we had gotten word about the team’s interest from other sources late last week, and Drew Forrester wrote about it Saturday morning.

Are the Ravens MOST interested in Terrell Owens? No. Would they like to find another wide receiver INSTEAD of Terrell Owens? Yes. But are they going to AVOID Terrell Owens? Absolutely not. They need receivers, and there are only so many available. Owens is 6’3″, and still played well in Buffalo a season ago. If the likes of Anquan Boldin, Vincent Jackson, Malcolm Floyd, etc are too expensive or just won’t work (which is a total possibility), they might end up going with Owens.

Those are just the facts.

9. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ravens expected to give high tenders to RFA’s Sam Koch, Jared Gaither, Le’Ron McClain, Fabian Washington, Mark Clayton, Marshal Yanda and Troy Smith

The interesting point here is a reminder that while fans in Baltimore don’t seem to think that highly of Troy Smith, the organization absolutely DOES. John Beck is expected to get a low tender, meaning that while the Ravens would like to have him back, they are much more concerned about bringing back Smith than Beck.

Once again, those are just the facts.

10. ProFootballTalk.com/NBC Sports’ Mike Florio says George Kokinis seen with Ravens contingency at NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis

Yeah, but take it from me-don’t ask John Harbaugh about it.

I guess the secrecy surrounding George Kokinis’ role with the Ravens has something to do with his departure from Cleveland, but it’s very strange. If he’s back, welcome back. If not, I don’t know exactly what to say.

11. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta amongst O’s pitchers who impressed in intrasquad scrimmage

It IS a good sign that Tillman’s back is apparently holding up well in his early Spring Training work.

That being said, I think Ingrid Ulrich had a better on Busted Coverage Monday than Tillman, Arrieta or even Jim Palmer ever could have…

ulrich

12. The Sun says former Bird BJ Surhoff to be inducted into College Baseball Hall of Fame

I don’t have much analysis to add here, other than to say congratulations to one of my favorite O’s of all time.

And since I don’t have any more analysis here, I’ll instead offer the video for the song “Bedrock” by Young Money. I like it.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ha80ZaecGkQ[/youtube]

And finally, I leave you with this.

I promise that this will be the last time I write about anything Olympics-related. I PROMISE. I just missed yesterday’s post-so I have to get this all out of me.

Did it bother me that Canada topped Team USA in hockey Sunday? Damn right it did. I might not live and breathe hockey, but I sure as hell live and breathe the red, white and blue. (Until I re-adopt Italy again in the World Cup this summer if and when Team USA is eliminated. Look, I’m Italian-so spare me.) Does it bother me that Sidney Crosby got to be the hero in the process? Sure. Not because I root for Alexander Ovechkin or the Capitals, but because Pittsburgh sucks, and everything that comes from Pittsburgh should be a failure-not a great success.

That being said, for our friends to the north-you might have won the gold medal in hockey, but we won the gold in the bobsled, which we all know is more important. While you have Roberto Luongo-we have Steve FREAKING Holcomb, who I’m hoping I can go out for 2-375 beers with very soon….

holcomb

But-since this is your big week, enjoy it with some Our Lady Peace. You see, I don’t hate everything from your country….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3V5HZNr6saE[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983….

-G

Comments Off

15-7-0

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

15-7-0

Posted on 02 November 2009 by Glenn Clark

Ravens on Tuesday. Tuesday Top 7 we call it. In the meantime, here’s the rest of the world.

You deserve props……

1-Tony Romo, Donovan McNabb, and Brett Favre

I guess there was some sort of football game in Green Bay Sunday that everyone was freaking out about. Which is likely the first time anyone in Green Bay freaked out about anything besides this…….

cheese

Speaking of which, how freaking AWESOME is cheese?

2-Andy Pettitte and Alex Rodriguez

I’d like to take this time to offer some serious World Series analysis, as this is of course the final team I will be referencing Major League Baseball in the 15-7-0 until the Spring.

So……

F**k the Yankees.

No seriousy, F**k the Yankees.

That is all.

3-Greivis Vasquez

After the Maryland basketball scrimmage Saturday, Greivis Vasquez was asked if he had seen anyone around campus dressed as him; which he laughed off. Sean Mosley was asked if he would be going around as Greivis for Halloween, to which he answered “no, but I AM going as my favorite Venezuelan….”

nasty

(Edit from GMC: You know, Sean IS from Baltimore. I guess it’s possible…….)

(Edit from GMC Part 2: Why is it that when I ran a Google image search for Nasty, the first picture I found was Jim Palmer in his underwear?)

nasty

4-Ryan Moats, Steven Jackson, and Chris Johnson

The Rams and Titans are winners! The Rams and Titans are winners!

Which I guess only leaves the Buccaneers to claim this honor…..

bucs

5-Gilbert Arenas and Andray Blatche

They helped the Wizards beat the Nets Saturday night at Verizon Center. I know because I looked it up on the internet. Certainly not because I give a crap.

That sounded much meaner than it should have. I’m interested in the ‘Zards. I mean, not really interested in the team; but I’m sure they have hot dancing girls, right?

wizards

They seem nice, too.

6-Clay Zavada

Clay Zavada won an award for his moustache…….

zavada

On the very same weekend that I dressed up as one of America’s favorite moustachioed characters, Lt. Jim Dangle…..

dangle

Hmmmm……guess that wasn’t really a great picture of the moustache, was it? And it might have been NSFW. Anyway, there’s a picture of my ass if you were wondering…….

7-Reggie Wayne, Ted Ginn Jr., and Vincent Jackson

It was a good weekend to be a wide receiver. Unless of course you’re THIS wide receiver…….

to

In which case, you’ve really got to be wondering if maybe the UFL would have been a better option…..

8-Jeremiah Masoli, Curtis Brown, and Tim Tebow

Since when are you not supposed to call Georgia-Florida “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party”? I guess maybe they preferred “World’s Largest Outdoor Stare at Hot Chicks Party”?

florida
uga

9-Ross Fisher, Ian Poulter, John Cook and Loren Roberts

Of course, Drew Forrester was the only person who even knew there was golf being played this weekend, but congratulations to all of the guys above; who I guess all won something.

That being said-with no offense to the sport of golf, how in the hell do I take you seriously when you cancel AN ENTIRE PGA TOUR EVENT?!?!?!? Could you do anything more to say your sport is irrelevant?

“Hey, we’ve got an event this weekend, but there’s rain in the forecast.”
“Eh, just cancel it.”
“Cancel it? A lot of people made a lot of plans based around the event….”
“Steve, it’s the Viking Classic. Who gives a crap?”
“Eh, true.”

10-Charles Tillman and Julius Peppers

As always, when it comes to the Arizona Cardinals-whatever you think they’re going to do, pick the EXACT OPPOSITE. Think they’re going to be exposed coming east to play the Giants? Pick them to win. Think they’re going to beat up on the Panthers in Phoenix? Pick against them.

And as always, relax Arizona-you have plenty of other things going for you….

asu

11-Jamie McMurray and Sebastian Vettel

Congratulations to Jamie McMurray for winning this weekend’s NASCAR Race 500; and to Sebastian Vettel for winning this weekend’s Formula One Grand Prix of Formula One.

I could tell you more about racing, or we can watch one of my favorite scenes of Will Ferrell as Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights. I thought you’d concur.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74Obm6bEH80[/youtube]

12-Jenn Brown

Am I the only person in America who didn’t know about our new sideline princess????

jenn

Who had a neat Halloween costume………………

halloween

13-Jamal Lewis

You mean to tell me that playing in Cleveland has ripped the passion right out of Jamal Lewis??? Stunning! I mean, Cleveland is such a nice place!

cleve

14-Michael Jackson

I’m not sure if you’ve heard of the guy, but he’s pretty accomplished. However, when it comes to Halloween songs, I actually prefer this…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MRu8N2K0NY[/youtube]

To this…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kNP3jogfek[/youtube]

And CERTAINLY to this, which WLIF played on the hour EVERY FREAKING HOUR Saturday…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkKKzTYIe3Q[/youtube]

15-White Chicken Chili and Clipper City Marzhon

chili
marzhon

And my dinner was DELICIOUS Friday night, thanks for asking.

You got lucky…….

1-Tom Cable

I wasn’t sure it was a good thing when the Raiders coach got a vote of confidence from this man over the weekend………..

cable

2-War Machine and Kimbo Slice

Look, I enjoy the Kimbo Slice phenomenon as much as anyone. I actually REALLY think he’s good for Mixed Martial Arts. However, Houston Alexander was the man that did THIS to Keith Jardine……

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0bh-tKGYv4[/youtube]

And from the “Most awesome MMA story I have ever heard” category, popular fighter Jon “War Machine” Koppenhaver has ventured into another business……the adult film business. He plans to both fight…..and screw. If he started reading the news, he’d be as good as Christina Applegate in “Anchorman.”

War Machine’s first co-star is a lovely gal named Riley Steele. Who I imagine is quite the conversationalist…..

riley

3-New York Islanders and Columbus Blue Jackets

The Capitals played 2 games this weekend; and lost both in overtime. I don’t know this because I was watching, I know this because Ed Frankovic kept me updated via Twitter!

Apparently the the Caps played most of Sunday’s game without Alexander Ovechkin. Which is sorta like WNST broadcasting without “The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Radio Entertainment Today…..”

glenn

(Edit from GMC: Boy, a lot of me in the 15-7-0 this week. Which only means an immediate ratings spike……)

4-Serena Williams

Serena wasn’t lucky to beat Venus in whatever the weekend’s tennis tournament was; she’s lucky to be one of the sexiest women on the face of the planet.

serena

(Edit from GMC: This is not a bit. I’m ALL IN.)

5-Bats who survived their weekend trip to San Antonio

Remarkable, considering Manu Ginobli was in pursuit…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yT-F5QznjrA[/youtube]

6-Anyone who has seen Layla Kiffin in a swimsuit

When the rumor leaked that Layla Kiffin was going to pose for SI’s swimsuit issue; it took me about 20 minutes to start breathing again. When the University of Tennessee denied it, it took me about 20 minutes to stop crying.

Mrs. Kiffin-may I PLEASE suggest you do this. I believe this would re-define the term “recruiting tool”…………

layla

7-Anyone whose apartment WASN’T flooded this weekend, ruining their plans to decorate for Christmas

Not that I know anyone who had this exact scenario play out over the weekend or anything. Oh wait……I do.

Couldn’t have been more awesome to come home Saturday night to find all of my carpet ripped up and my furniture piled in the corner of each room…..

apt

Ugh. This of course means that I’m staying with “The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet” for a few days. I’m kinda afraid she’s gonna get the wrong idea. Like that I put the toilet seat back down after going to the bathroom. Of course I don’t.


You’re a zero………

J.J. Redick

Rap album, huh? This is your guy, Duke fans.

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

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983……..

-G

Comments Off

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

So long, Melvin, and hold your head up

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Luke Jones

As the Orioles fall toward the 100-loss mark with seemingly little resistance over the final week of the season, their elder statesman winds down his 10-year stay with an organization fixed in what feels like an endless era of losing.

Melvin Mora arrived in the Charm City after being traded with three others from the New York Mets for shortstop Mike Bordick in Syd Thrift’s infamous fire sale of 2000.  The 28-year old utility player was coming to a struggling team with a future Hall of Famer (Cal Ripken) winding down his career and its best hitter (Albert Belle) only months away from retirement due to a degenerative hip condition.  The Orioles were completing their third-straight losing season in 2000. Change was needed.

Mora’s addition, along with the 13 others acquired in the five summer deals, would pump youthful energy into an aging organization and eventually bring the Orioles back to where they belonged at the top of the standings, right?

If only.

Of course, we all know the story. Despite the quantity of players coming to the organization for veterans such as Bordick, Charles Johnson, B.J. Surhoff, and Harold Baines, Mora would be the only acquisition to contribute beyond the next couple seasons. Most would never contribute at all.

Mora debuted with the team as a role player on an 88-loss club and will take his final bow this weekend on a club trying to avoid becoming the third team to lose 100 games in the 56-year history of the franchise (1954 and 1988 were the others). In his 10 years, the Orioles averaged 92 losses a year, finished in fourth place seven times, and landed in the basement twice—one of those this year.

He played for four different managers, five different general managers (or whatever the organization was calling the job at the time), and saw the beautiful Oriole Park at Camden Yards transform from one of the chic places to be (3.1 million fans in 2000) on a summer night to a mostly desolate palace (less than 2 million fans in 2009) infiltrated by Boston and New York fans 18 times a year.

During Mora’s 10-year stay in the Charm City, the Orioles finished in third only once (2004), but the high-water mark came in the early stages of 2005.

The Orioles enjoyed a two-month reign at the top of the American League East, and the long rebuilding process appeared to be on the right track. However, Mora saw his team collapse in the second half with a disgraced teammate’s steroid suspension (Rafael Palmeiro), injuries, and management’s failure to improve the team down the stretch (trading Larry Bigbie for Eric Byrnes is going to get you over the hump?).

Needless to say, Mora has had little to smile about in his 10 years with the Orioles. You almost have to feel sorry for the guy.

As he is resigned to the reality of this almost certainly being his last season in Baltimore (the club will not use a $8 million club option for 2010), people will overstate the importance of his disappointing 2009 season—at age 37, mind you—and his mid-summer spat with Dave Trembley when judging his 10 years as an Oriole.

His disappointing final season cannot—and should not—shortchange his accomplishments playing in an absolutely miserable era of Orioles baseball.

The super-utility player that came to Baltimore flashing the leather at a variety of positions—left field, center field, and shortstop to name a few—steadily improved his game and eventually became an All Star, albeit for a bad club needing a representative in 2003. Mora would earn a second trip to the Midsummer Classic in 2005.

Ironically, Mora was excluded from the All-Star squad in 2004 despite being the best third baseman in baseball that season. Yes, before you ask, better than that guy wearing pinstripes in the Bronx.

It was the best season of his career and one of the finest seasons ever by an Oriole.  His .340 average was, and still is, the best single-season clip in club history. Mora also led the American League with a .419 on-base percentage and finished in the AL’s top 10 in batting average (behind only Ichiro Suzuki), slugging percentage, runs, hits, total bases, and doubles. His play earned him the Silver Slugger award (awarded to the best offensive player at each position) and solidified his status as an everyday player.

While Mora would never approach his tremendous 2004 numbers again, he would continue to provide solid numbers and steady defense in his remaining years in Baltimore, even throwing in an amazing second half of the 2008 season for good measure.

Regardless of the sour aftertaste created by his 2009 campaign, Mora is unquestionably an Orioles Hall of Famer, ranking in the franchise’s career top 10 in home runs, hits, doubles, runs batted in, and runs. And with apologies to Doug DeCinces’ fans, Mora may rank as the second-best third baseman in club history (The 1979 hero’s best years came with the California Angels).

Perhaps more important than his diamond achievements when pondering his legacy in Baltimore is the fact that Mora truly embraced the Charm City and adopted it as his home. Mora and his wife Gisel had their famed quintuplets in Baltimore—and chose to raise their six children right here.

While nearly every Oriole of the past decade waved goodbye to the city at the end of September and didn’t return until the new baseball season in April, Mora and his family stayed in Fallston—and plan to continue doing so.

Others wanted little to do with the community or even went as far as to demean the city (Aubrey Huff), but Mora thought highly enough of it to make it his home.

Make no mistake, the organization treated Mora very well financially (probably too well), but he understood the importance of sharing that good fortune with the local community through various charitable endeavors.

Simply put, Mora got ”it.”

It’s an idea not to be taken for granted in this modern age of so many high-paid mercenaries completely void of any pride, philanthropy, or connection for the city in which they play.

Mora’s role in the community was never more apparent than in late-December 2005. Longtime bullpen coach and leading community ambassador Elrod Hendricks had passed away just a few days shy of Christmas, yet Mora was the only active Oriole to attend the coach’s funeral on December 29.

It was more an indictment on the sorry state of the organization than a tremendous gesture, but at least Mora WAS there. It was something the 24 others could not say, regardless of the pathetic excuses claiming it was too close to the holidays.

As an Orioles fan, I chastised the missing players but also appreciated Mora being there to represent the current team, pathetic as it was. Mora understood not only what Hendricks meant to the organization but to the entire city.

One might say it doesn’t take much effort to embrace the local community, so why such praise for Mora? He was being paid millions, right?

Well, easy as it might be, he was one of the few to care enough to actually do it.

Even in his final weeks with the Orioles, Mora demonstrated one more example of understanding what it means to be a Baltimorean. When learning the organization planned to honor him for playing the second-most games at third base in franchise history, Mora requested the man ahead of him on the list, Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson, to be present.

So, despite little publicity or fanfare (a different issue entirely), Mr. Oriole was there to celebrate the accomplishment with the Orioles’ current third baseman. Who knows if Mora can tell you how many Gold Gloves Robinson won at the hot corner or what year he even retired, but he knew enough to understand Brooks needed to be there. That’s saying something.

Unlike Brooksie, who played a large portion of his career in the Orioles’ glory days, Mora is likely to be remembered as the figurehead—along with another good player and nice guy, Brian Roberts—for the franchise’s miserable era of losing baseball that is yet to end here at the conclusion of the 2009 season.

“Mora had to stink, or the Orioles would have won while he was here, right?”

But let’s admit, save for the infancy of his career and a two-year window of fantasy baseball in 1996 and 1997, Ripken didn’t exactly play in the Orioles’ glory years either.

The truth is though Mora certainly wasn’t the type of player that could carry a winning team by himself, he also wasn’t the reason the team stunk for the decade he was with the organization. In his best years, Mora undoubtedly would have been a valuable member of a contending club.

No one will suggest that Mora belongs in the same stratosphere as the Orioles’ royalty of the Robinsons, Ripken, Palmer, and Murray. Not even close.

And even the casual fan would never confuse his baserunning prowess with the legendary Rickey Henderson, or even Willie “Mays” Hayes for that matter.

Mora may not have always said the right thing, but he was occasionally willing to speak up in a way so many frustrated fans could admire. His declaration that some Orioles didn’t know what it took to win in 2007 and his famed “Who is going to pitch for us?” query in 2005 may have ruffled some feathers in the Warehouse, but it was music to the ears of fans wanting a terrible organization to take accountability.

Ultimately, Mora should be remembered as a good player and one of the few to perform admirably through a miserable period of Orioles baseball.

He represented the city with pride and is one of the few I felt proud to cheer over the last decade.

So long, Melvin, but we’ll see you around town.

It’s a shame we didn’t have much fun at the ballpark.

Comments Off

The Foundation Of A Baltimore Sports Fan …. Part II

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Foundation Of A Baltimore Sports Fan …. Part II

Posted on 21 August 2009 by Rex Snider

A couple days ago, I laid the groundwork for my documented definition of “how a Baltimore sports fan is created.” The first part of the blog really emphasized on the relationship between myself and my 11 year old nephew.

Part I of this two-part blog also covered our experience with the Baltimore Ravens, at their training camp, in Westminster. It regarded my nephew, Robert’s, involvement in the experience and his resulting joy.

This second part will be devoted to the remainder of this past Monday’s events, which centered around a trip to Oriole Park at Camden Yards. It was a great afternoon/evening for baseball, albeit, as already indicated – HOT.

Whenever I seize an opportunity to attend on Orioles game, as a WNST media member, I find my way down to the ballpark by around 3pm. And, each time, I’ve noticed a small, informal gathering of fans interacting with ballplayers, who park their vehicles and enter, through a ramp leading underground.

I’ve always appreciated this view – the ballplayers have SEVERAL hours before game time and the crush of fans is usually limited to an amount that can be counted on two hands, at most. The interaction has always looked sincere and “non- flamboyant” – if that makes sense.

So, on this day, I decided to provide Robert the opportunity I’ve seen unfolding so many times. At around 3pm, we arrived at the ballpark and found our way to the above described area. My initial reaction was the friendly demeanor of the security officers. They were dressed in Orioles staff attire, and they were as friendly as anyone could ever ask.

They spoke with Robert and offered encouraging words regarding the imminent contact with Orioles and Angels players. It was an exciting time. Moments later, Melvin Mora arrived. He left his vehicle and took time to interact with Robert and two other children standing by the entrance.

Melvin Mora
<img src=”rob7” alt=”" />

That’s right, a total of 3 kids were there.

Melvin was gracious and accommodating of the kids’ questions and requests.

Just a few minutes after Melvin’s departure, Nick Markakis rolled in. He looked comfortable – gym shorts, t-shirt, ballcap worn backwards. He looked like a regular guy. He talked and laughed with the staff and security personnel for a few minutes, as he unloaded his vehicle.

He tossed a few bags, as well as HIS OWN CARCASS on a golf cart and zoomed past the kids, as they all yelled to him. Did he know they were there? Well, he purposely turned his head away, just as the cart passed all 3 children. Now, that’s class.

I wasn’t sure of what I just observed. Does Brad Pitt play for the Orioles? Maybe, I didn’t hear the news. Wait a minute, perhaps, it was Kenny Chesney, ballcap and all, headed inside for some celebrity batting practice.

Nope – it was Nick Markakis – and he blew off a small handful of people.

Nick Markakis (Not Actual Shot From Our Incident)

I wish there was a photo of this incident, but the golfcart was moving as if it was on the concrete banking, at Dover International Speedway. And, I was trying not to swallow my tongue, at the resulting shock of Markakis’ diss.

That’s okay, things would get better ….. we hoped.

A few minutes later, Hall of Famer, Jim Palmer, arrived while piloting a sweet Mercedes ride. He looked good – in a very George Hamilton kinda way. It’s pretty amazing to hear kids holler “Jim” to a guy who stopped pitching at least 15 years before they were born.

I found this to be very impressive. Who says our generations don’t LOVE Orioles baseball?

For the kids’ sake, I was buoyed to see “Cakes” not jumping aboard a golf cart. YES !!!! He’ll walk by the kids and they’ll have a nice moment. WRONG. Jim decided to slip out the back door – literally. He made way across the private parking lot and departed through a private gate, so as to avoid the 3 kids.

Jim Palmer
<img src=”rob 8” alt=”" />

Hey, 3 kids is a lot of work – just ask any mother. But, is it too tough for a ballplayer OR retired ballplayer?

The final opportunity came at the hands of Los Angeles Angels pitcher, Joe Saunders. As Robert offered up his pad and a Sharpie, Saunders looked at him and said, “I’m not signing that,” and kept walking.

I’m not surprised. I mean, after all, it was the GREAT JOE SAUNDERS. Isn’t he dating …… – who cares who he’s dating !!!! He’s Joe Saunders !!!!

Well, that was the extent of interaction between ballplayers and the crush of fans.

As we departed, I took the lackluster experience in stride. I wasn’t pissed off or feeling rejected – that’s the impression which usually surfaces from dudes who use their kids as vicarious pawns exercising their desire to rub up against celebrity-types.

And, to be honest, Robert, really couldn’t care less. The kid loves baseball and we were headed to a ballgame, on a beautiful summer night. It’s all good.

However, as time passed, it dawned on me ….. the actions we observed on Monday afternoon, outside Camden Yards, are indicative of the disconnect existing between the Orioles and this community. In fact, it’s probably a baseball-industry problem.

But, my concerns really do regard BALTIMORE and the organizations/athletes impacting it.

Nick Markakis is more than a ballplayer. He’s a stakeholder in the product of Orioles baseball.

Jim Palmer is more than a broadcaster and Hall of Famer. He’s a stakeholder in the product of Orioles baseball.

Do you understand where I’m headed with this ???

The Orioles have been a very bad baseball team for a very long time. The crowds have reduced to an informal gathering of embarrassing proportions, on most nights. It’s a poor product.

But, the stakeholders, such as Nick Markakis and Jim Palmer, have distinct opportunities to make people feel important. They also such opportunities to make people feel as equally unimportant.

On this day, they succeeded at the latter.

When Nick Markakis zooms past a kid and his dad, nearly 4 hours before taking the field, it sends the wrong message. It’s a couple minutes outta his day – but it’s also a moment that sticks with people for a lifetime.

It’s no different than a few people eating at a bad restaurant. They tell a few people, who tell a few people, who tell a few people …..

The positive moments work the same way. And, the next thing you know an entire family is telling friends about their symbolic evening at the ballplark. This happens whether the team wins or loses.

I know the common Nick Markakis fan might defend him by asserting the magnitude of his contributions to the community through his foundation. I’m not buying that ….. and it’s not an excuse for ignoring small collections of people at other times.

I’m glad Nick held a fundraiser event, at Patterson Park, last weekend. But, everybody was watching. Personally, I’m more impressed by the contributions of people when they’re not being watched. That’s the reality of THEM, as far as I’m concerned.

I was honored to spearhead WNST’s “Curing Cancer ….. One Call At A Time” fundraiser, last month. But, that event doesn’t define my goodwill or regard for Baltimore’s communities. My unannounced actions are much more meaningful.

Let me be clear about my intent – I don’t know Nick Markakis or Jim Palmer. And, it’s unfair to cast a clear opinion of them, based on one observation. But, I think their disposition, on Monday, was indicative of a couple guys who really don’t GET IT.

And, they might not care.

As I’ve suggested, the Orioles are a very bad team. Their cast of characters, in a Disney sense, should be doing everything possible to generate an endeared feeling among the very folks who buy tickets and walk inside the ballpark.

If the rationale of a Nick Markakis, Jim Palmer, Matt Wieters or Brian Roberts is rooted in the concept of “I’m Getting Paid Anyway,” I fear this may never get better.

Forget the prospect of ever catching the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox. I’m not sure the Orioles will ever catch the Baltimore Ravens. And, that my friends, is the sad reality of our problem.

It’s also the mold from which we’re making the BALTIMORE SPORTS FAN.

I want to thank my nephew for sharing a very special week with me. It was filled with memories that will last through life’s journeys. We share a love of sports, but our love for each other is much stronger. So long as we never lose sight of this priority, life will always be rewarding.

<img src=”Photobucket” alt=”" />

Thanks for reading …….

Comments Off