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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 20 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because after checking out a BUNCH of work at Artscape Sunday; I think I’ve decided what I’m going to purchase. I Twitpic-ed some of these the other day.

Apparently Robert McClintock is originally from Wilmington, Vermont. Somehow he might be even more Charm City than any of the rest of us. I’ll be purchasing BOTH his American Visionary Art Museum and Brewers Hill prints…

avam

brewershill

And I don’t know too much about Robert Florio, but I know I’ll be picking this piece up from his last game…

ripken

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Wade Davis cruised as Rays topped Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Once again, I find myself saying “at least they didn’t bother wasting too much energy in this one.”

Of course, they could have had the decency to get it over quickly-instead of forcing the handful of folks who bought tickets to stick around awhile.

Chris Tillman nearly no-hit the Texas Rangers before the All-Star Game. What a weird weekend that was in Arlington. I’m surprised they didn’t have an earthquake in The Lone Star State themselves instead of it happening in Germantown.

Miguel Tejada and Adam Jones combined to go 0-8 and left a combined 7 men on base. You could have checked the box score (coming up next) to get that info, but we all know I’m going to re-direct you to an attractive gal instead.

Matt Albers and Cesar Izturis were kinda okay last night. So we’ve got that going for us. Which is nice…

Is this the part where we stop praising Juan Samuel for the fact that the players looked like they were playing harder for him? Or do we keep going with that?

Hell, is anyone even paying attention at this point?

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

Scott Moore scored the Orioles’ lone run last night if you’re intersted. I don’t think you are, but I guess you never know.

Obviously you don’t want to look at this.

Instead, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley snapped some new photos for Victoria’s Secret before she appears in Transformers 3. Go look at those. We’ll talk after. (Thanks Guyism!)

rhw

3. Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Luke Scott called back up, Frank Mata sent back down

I can’t believe SportsCenter lead with something else!!!

The O’s roster will be in flux for the next couple of weeks, with plenty of decisions to be made. Following Scott; the Birds expect to get Mike Gonzalez, Brian Roberts, Kevin Millwood and Matt Wieters back in the semi-near future; and Jim Johnson could return just after that.

Josh Bell figures to be a roster casualty at some point; but others on the team will either have to be traded or released to make room for everyone. There’s a few guys on the team I might even be willing to consider pitching in and helping them pack their bags.

Speaking of guys who might be traded…

4. SNY’s Matthew Cerrone says New York Mets checked out Jeremy Guthrie

Which was first reported via Twitter by Fanhouse’s Ed Price. I usually try to stick to reporting things like “they’ve got really good paella at Artscape” on Twitter myself (you can follow us @WNST).

Earlier this season, the Orioles gifted the Mets INF Justin Turner-but I doubt they’d be willing to do with Guthrie. I’ve heard Ruben Tejeda’s name thrown around in trade rumors thus far by a few folks. Tejeda is hitting .212 this season with 4 doubles and no home runs. Don’t we already have him on the roster?!?!?

If I’m Andy MacPhail, I’m more than willing to consider any trade offer for Jeremy Guthrie at this point. I’m just also reasonable in my understanding that I’m not fleecing ANY team in MLB for Guthrie.

Unless of course it’s Woody Guthrie; as the ability to trade a man who died 43 years ago would probably be enough to get an impressive trade return. Plus…I mean…he did “This Land Is Your Land”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxiMrvDbq3s[/youtube]

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Brian Roberts 2-5 with a double in first rehab start for Bowie Baysox on farm

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

-The Birds are back in action tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays; as Jake Arrieta faces Matt Garza at OPACY. First pitch on MASN2 is at 7:05pm. Matt Garza looks a lot like Greg Maddux every time he faces the Orioles, so I don’t have too much hope.

-Michelle Obama is going to throw out the first pitch tonight. The Orioles have sent out a bunch of security notes about getting to the stadium early. Do they think people are actually going tonight? I know it’s Jason Berken t-shirt night, but I’m pretty sure that even with heightened security there won’t be too much trouble getting into the stadium.

-If you missed Rays PBP voice Andy Freed (a Towson native) this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST; make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today here at WNST.net to check it out. Also on the show this morning, we took a look around Major League Baseball with Newsday’s Ken Davidoff; and we were joined in-studio by Fearon Wright of the undefeated Baltimore Mariners-as they prepare for the AIFA Championship Bowl Sunday at 4pm against the Wyoming Cavalry at 1st Mariner Arena. They’re both in the Audio Vault as well.

Fearon was smart to turn around his Yankees hat before posing…

fearon

6. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says Ken Hamlin to wear #45, Marc Bulger #9, Walt Harris #38

…at least for Training Camp.

Marc Bulger wore #10 with the St. Louis Rams; but Troy Smith will be wearing that number at McDaniel College. I’m not saying Bulger will be “stalking” the number; but like The Miz told Sheamus last night on WWE Raw (Edit from GMC: Yeah, I watched…and it was actually pretty good last night); “Every beath you take, every move you make, I’ll be watching you.”

Bulger knows that Troy Smith could be dealt or released before the Monday Night Football opener at The Meadowlands; which would allow him to re-take the Number 10 from the former Heisman Trophy winner.

On the flip side, I don’t think there’s a scenario where Ken Hamlin gets his number back from Dawan Landry. Unless maybe he has a spare DeLorean lying around to offer in exchange…

DeLorean

(Edit from GMC: There was a DeLorean at Artscape. Had Doc Brown showed up and asked me to roll out with him, I would have been GONE…)

7. USA Today’s Jarrett Bell says Joe Flacco becoming ‘leader’ of Ravens team with Super Bowl aspirations

A lot of folks were worked up by the comments Joe made about Marc Bulger after his autograph signing this weekend. I wasn’t.

One of the reasons I said I WASN’T over the moon about the Ravens acquiring Bulger was because I didn’t think it was the right thing to do for the team’s chemistry and establishing Flacco as “the guy.” Most NFL players would probably tell you that salary isn’t relevant; but in this case-I don’t think it is EVER okay for a team’s backup QB to be making more money than the team’s established, unquestioned starter.

I know for certain that Joe Flacco, Troy Smith and John Beck had a VERY good working relationship. Does that mean Marc Bulger can’t step in and also be part of that? Not necessarily, but it isn’t a guarantee he will be either. He said the right things in his conference call last week, but this is still a guy who has been a Pro Bowl QB during his career and will bring a ton of pride with him to Owings Mills.

I think things will be fine. As I’ve said before, they’ll be especially fine if Marc Bulger never takes a regular season snap in purple and black. Had Kyle Boller been so fortunate, he’d have been remembered in a much better light in town.

8. The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Antwaan Randle El considered signing with Ravens before signing with Steelers

In a related story, before I ever got together with “The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet”, I considered dating Behati Prinsloo (Thanks Totally Crap/Busted Coverage!)…

behati

Oh, and Antwaan Randle El-you’ve played for the Washington Redskins and Pittsburgh Steelers in your career. I’m glad you didn’t come to Baltimore. It would have been more difficult to root for you than it is to root for the Orioles.

9. WNST.net’s Ryan Chell says Kurt Warner expects Anquan Boldin to “bring an amazing leadership, competitiveness, and toughness to the football field” with Ravens

If you missed Rex Snider’s TREMENDOUS chat with the future Hall of Fame QB Saturday night during WNST’s “Curing Cancer One Call At A Time” marathon to raise money for the Cancer Center at Harbor Hospital; make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today to check it out.

I’ve spent the better part of the 2 years since I moved back to Baltimore from Phoenix extolling the virtues of Boldin; who has absolutely TREMENDOUS for the Arizona Cardinals during his career. If you didn’t listen to me, I’d hope you would listen to Kurt Warner. I know I always did.

There are a slew of other interviews from the marathon this weekend in the Audio Vault; including Ravens LB’s Dannell Ellerbe, Tavares Gooden and Jameel McClain; Ravens exec Eric DeCosta, as well as Olympic figure skater Kimmie Meissner, ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian, former tennis star Zina Garrison, former Terps guard John Lucas and former Governor of the Old Line State-the great Robert Ehrlich. All of those interviews (and more) are also available in the Audio Vault.

10. The Daily Record’s Liz Farmer says ticket sales slow for Inter Milan-Manchester City match at M&T Bank Stadium

This is BAD news. I knew ticket sales were slow; but having only around 30,000 tickets sold at this point is really dreadful.

It would be okay for there to be empty seats in the upper deck when this game happens next weekend; but to have the majority of the stadium empty would reflect poorly on the city’s hopes to get World Cup matches as part of the USA bid for 2022 (or 2018).

I sat in a mostly empty RFK Stadium to see Team USA face Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifier last fall. I’m well aware that not every soccer match in every city is going to be sold out-but some cities have a better soccer pedigree to fall back on. DC is one of them. Baltimore is not at this point. We need to build the evidence that we are. The atmosphere for Chelsea-AC Milan last year started that, but there needs to be more.

An empty stadium to see the UEFA Champions League winner face another major European power will not be compelling evidence that the city is ready for the biggest sporting event in the world. Hopefully there will be an uptick in the next 10 days, but I have a bad feeling here.

11. Washington Post’s Mark Giannotto says former Terrapins DL Dean Muhtadi has chance to make Arizona Cardinals roster

This is a great read about how Muhtadi was given a chance to work with Cards DL Darnell Dockett, Minnesota Vikings TE (and former Morgan State Bears star) Visanthe Shiancoe and former Philadelphia Eagles RB Brian Westbrook this offseason thanks to a recommendation from Cardinals strength coach John Lott. It looks it could pay off in Muhtadi getting a real look at making the roster when the team reports to Flagstaff for Training Camp later this month.

I’d really encourage you to read this story today. In fact, if I could encourage you to do any two things today, it would be to 1-read this story; then 2-figure out ways for me to get Caitlin Hixx’s attention (Thanks NextRound.net!)…

chixx

12. The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Jeff Hathaway’s selection as NCAA basketball chair for ’11-’12 clouds his candidacy to replace Debbie Yow in College Park

Folks whose opinions I value seem to split on exactly what this means as far as Hathaway’s likelihood for staying at UConn. Should he leave UConn, he’d have to give up his spot-which is considered one of the most prestigous gigs for an Athletic Director to get. Should he stick in Connecticut; he’d likely have to wade his way through sanctions (and considering what happened at USC they could well be major) surrounding Jim Calhoun and the Huskies’ basketball program.

It’s certainly a 50-50.

We discuss potential sanctions for a bunch of schools (including North Carolina and Florida) during this week’s D1scast, which is available now in the Audio Vault. A quick plug for my buddy Patrick Stevens-whose site is now JUST D1scourse.com; having got rid of that pesky “Typepad” that made introducing him quite the mouthful.

And finally, I leave you with this.

This week’s “Greatest Song of All Time This Week” is a bit off the map. I hadn’t heard of Chiddy Bang before this weekend; but apparently they blew up thanks to “Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory”, a show I will admit to enjoying the time or two I’ve still poked over to MTV. The song is a cover/sample/interpretation(?) of MGMT’s “Kids”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5151GwT-DSI[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 16 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Friday!

It’s a Happy Friday for me because apparently I slept straight through an earthquake this morning. That’s about right though. World War III could be happening outside my window, and if it happens before 5:20, I’m not going to be affected.

Oh and also, I skipped the ESPY Awards Wednesday night (I’m assuming I’m not the only one); but when I went back and watched some clips on YouTube Thursday; I thought the Peyton Manning/Blind Side thing was kinda funny…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHNMS_22cyM[/youtube]

Like I said, KINDA funny. Not quite as funny as Seth Meyers’ quip:

“This is where sports and entertainment come together, It’s like a Kardashian sister’s bedroom.”

That IS funny.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Orioles took ‘giant step backward’ in 1st half according to Andy MacPhail

Andy better be careful…Greg Bader might take away his press pass with that type of negativity!

The funny thing is…I’m not sure how much I agree with Andy.

In order to take a “giant step backward”, you have to be moving somewhat significantly in the RIGHT direction. While the O’s had done some good things; they put together a 25 man roster that was ABSOLUTELY destined to make them the worst team in the AL East.

The good news is that they didn’t spend too much money to do so-so despite the fact that the organization is an absolute embarrassment in Charm City; it’s at least a cheap embarrassment.

Yep, that’s the best thing I can say. Oh-and they are on a 4 game win streak thanks to their stop down at The Ballpark in Arlington before the All-Star Game.

Now that’s the best thing I can say.

2. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Wieters to DL (hamstring) retroactive to July 10

And the word is that the Birds are going to call up Josh Bell to take his roster spot…which means that if Juan Samuel needs to give Craig Tatum some rest or needs to take him out of a game; Jake Fox and his 21 career games played behind the plate will be the only option.

You know what-this is another one of those situations where you don’t REALLY want to think about this. Instead, let’s think about American Idol’s Katharine McPhee (Thanks Don Chavez via Busted Coverage!)…

mcphee

3. STATS’ Alan Ferguson previews Birds’ 2nd half opener tonight vs. Toronto Blue Jays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Thanks to the Jays for trading away Alex Gonzalez before the series started, too! Of course, the Texas Rangers traded FOR Cliff Lee last week and we thought that would be trouble-but everything worked out there. Maybe I should be concerned that this will have a reverse impact…

First pitch between Brad Bergesen and Ricky Romero at OPACY is at 7:05 tonight, and the game can be seen on MASN. Jeremy Guthrie and Brian Matusz follow Bergesen this weekend against Brandon Morrow and Shaun Marcum respectively; both of the other games this weekend can also be seen on WJZ 13.

I’ll say the Orioles will win 1 of 3. But what the hell do I know?

4. The Sun’s Dean Jones says Tim Bascom struggled for Norfolk Tides, Brandon Waring homered for Bowie Baysox on farm

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

-Did you miss Mike Gonzalez with Drew Forrester this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today to check it out!

We also talked to Frederick Keys Hitting Coach and Former Minnesota Twins INF Denny Hocking; as well as NBCSports.com HardballTalk writer Craig Calcaterra and we got a live update from the British Open, as SI/Golf.com’s Damon Hack checked in live from St. Andrews in Scotland. They’re all in the Audio Vault as well.

-If anything happens this weekend regarding Buck Showalter; you’ll want to make sure you’re signed up for the WNST Text Service. If I’m guessing there…I’ll say “meh, probably not” again. I really think nothing is happening until the Ravens report to McDaniel College.

5. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens QB Marc Bulger fine with backing up Joe Flacco

Look, I haven’t exactly been THRILLED about the acquisition of Marc Bulger; but I’ve been totally willing to admit that he’s a very solid backup QB. As long as he doesn’t have to play against good teams, I have a good feeling about what Marc Bulger is capable of doing.

Of course, I said ALL of that before I realized that Marc Bulger grew up in the hellhole that is Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and grew up rooting for the effing Pittsburgh Steelers.

Ugh.

It was bad enough that the dude went to West freaking Virginia; but now you’re adding on that he rooted for the Pittsburgh freaking Steelers?!?!?

Why doesn’t he just go play a charity basketball game at North Harford High School?!

He says those loyalties are gone, but I’ve seen those miscreants up there in the Steel City. Those urine-looking colors are in their blood. It’s like a bad disease.

I’ll be watching this Bulger character…

6. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says Terrell Suggs picked Ravens to win AFC North on ESPN

In all fairness, that’s really the ONLY choice “T-Sizzle” could make. But he’s not the only one that has picked the Ravens to win the division this year.

I haven’t decided who I’m going to pick to win the division yet myself. As I’ve said before, I truly believe the Cincinnati Bengals are the “team to beat” in the division; but that doesn’t mean the Ravens can’t beat them. In fact, they may very well do that.

But it won’t be easy. Carson Palmer, Cedric Benson, Chad Ochocinco, Antonio Bryant and Jermaine Gresham give the Bengals a formiddable offensive attack; and their defense was particularly sound a season ago; thanks to large part to Leon Hall and Jonathan Joseph in the back.

If the Ravens want to win the Super Bowl, I firmly believe they need to win the division first. To do that, they can’t get swept by the Bengals or the Steelers as they have been last year and the year before, respectively.

7. Delmarva Daily Times’ Celeste E. Whittaker says Joe Flacco appeared at Harrison, New Jersey football camp Thursday

And when local athletes do good things, we like to give them credit for that.

In fact, it reminds me of some of my favorite moments from attending sports camps growing up. Like the time I was at baseball camp and Hillary Fisher showed up (Thanks Gorilla Mask!)…

gorillamask

8. ESPN.com’s John Clayton says Ben Grubbs could be first time Pro Bowler in 2010

I couldn’t agree more. As we often see, players are regularly honored with a Pro Bowl selection a year AFTER they were deserving of getting their first nod-as they sort of need some “word of mouth” help to get there. It wouldn’t surprise me AT ALL if Grubbs-or Jarret Johnson for that matter found their way to Hawaii this year, similar to how it took until last year for Haloti Ngata to get the honor.

I’d throw Michael Oher in that mix as well. If everything goes well, the team has a real chance to be littered with Pro Bowlers. Of course, it would be really nice if none of them actually played in the Pro Bowl as they were getting ready for a bigger game in Dallas the following week.

9. The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Maryland AD Search Committee has begun meeting

We discussed this process with IHoops CEO Len Elmore (who is part of the committee) Monday morning on WNST; as the committe can only do so much considering a replacement for President C.D. Mote has yet to be selected in College Park; and the new president will clearly play a major role in the selection of Debbie Yow’s successor.

If the name “Tina Wallman” is the one they come up with through the Search Committee, I’ll think it had been a successful one (Thanks Guyism!)…

wallmann

10. The Oregonian’s John Canzano says would-be Terrapins AD candidate Rob Mullens hired by Oregon

This is a shame, as Mullens’ background at Kentucky and also under Debbie Yow with the Terps would have made him a perfect candidate for the AD job.

There are still PLENTY of good candidates for the gig (including UConn’s Jeff Hathaway and Oklahoma’s Joe Castiglione), but Mullens might have been available at a bit of a less costly price; which could be helpful in the search.

And finally, I leave you with this.

I’m not usually very serious; but this is ABSOLUTELY series. Please tune in this weekend (12pm Saturday-12pm Sunday) for Rex Snider’s “Curing Cancer One Call At A Time” marathon. Guests will include the likes of Curt Schilling, Kurt Warner and more. All proceeds go to the Cancer Center at Harbor Hospital here in Baltimore.

It’s a worthwhile cause. So worthwhile that I ate 12 hot dogs to be a part of it.

Certainly much more worthwhile than how I’m going to spend the majority of my weekend…

summerale


Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 15 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday-

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because Drew and I were discussing our (high school) alma maters this morning; and I found out some interesting things.

You may know that Drew graduated (reportedly) from Glen Burnie High School. What you may NOT know is that there are a number of other significant former Gophers, including former Florida Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Tony Saunders (who was on with Rex Snider yesterday here at AM1570 WNST); Kansas City Chiefs OT Branden Albert and singer Toni Braxton.

I am a proud Perry Hall High School graduate, and if you check our Wikipedia page; we have plenty of notable alumni as well. Former Delegates Alfred Redmer and James Ports; Tonja Walker from “One Life to Live” and “General Hospital”; and CNN’s Reggie Aqui. Oh, and there’s another one…Craig M Horlacher. Not familiar with Craig Horlacher? Let’s see what Wikipedia says about Craig…

“Craig M Horlacher, (GUINESS) Largest weiner size ever recorded

Let’s go Gators!

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Cal Ripken may join Orioles in part time advisory role, then transition to full time position after son Ryan Ripken graduates

This is the first sort of “clarity” we’ve received about what exactly is being considered by the Iron Man, Andy MacPhail and Peter Angelos. This is a logical role, although the question of what exactly Cal would be “advising” still comes to mind.

The easy answer would be “personnel”, as despite Cal’s incredible business accumen, I doubt he’s getting involved with the organization to give his ideas for how MASN can help market Adam Jones.

An organization would Cal Ripken involved for the advice he can offer to baseball players and regarding baseball players. He has value in Sarasota offering advice about fielding and staying healthy (Felix Pie should be the first player he talks to), but he also has value in the Warehouse telling Andy MacPhail “you know, I just don’t think Garrett Atkins fits the bill for what we’re looking for.”

Of course, now we’re entering the potential world of having “too many chefs in the kitchen.” Andy MacPhail is responsible for baseball decisions; but no one REALLY believes Peter Angelos has completely removed himself from that area. The organization is set to hire Buck Showalter as manager, and EVERYONE who knows ANYTHING about Buck Showalter has confirmed that he is going to have to have a hand in baseball and personnel decisions, if not more than that.

Now there’s a chance Cal Ripken joins that group.

Look, I don’t think ANYTHING bad can come from having Cal involved with the organization; and clearly they can use as much help as they can get in the baseball operations department. But this could end up being a combustible situation.

Of course, when you’re 29-59 it’s certainly worth trying.

2. WNST.net’s Jay Trucker says former Birds closer George Sherrill placed on waivers by Los Angeles Dodgers

Jay points out in his column that MacPhail deserves some credit for “selling high” with Sherrill. I had no problem myself with the trade-as it appeared that the team got two reasonable prospects back in Josh Bell and Steve Johnson.

If we’re being completely fair though, Bell and/or Johnson need to produce at the big league level for us to TRULY say this was a good trade. Otherwise, it was a trade that cost the team a closer ahead of an annual tailspin.

As far as those who think the Orioles should try to re-acquire Sherrill for the 2nd half of the season are concerned, well….okay. Sherrill may be well served by returning to a no-pressure role in Charm City (maybe a 7th inning role); but I wouldn’t be in a rush to run out and bring back “Flat Breezy.”

As far as whether or not I thought George Sherrill would ulimately struggle at Chavez Revine?

“Never a doubt George, never a doubt.”

3. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says O’s will spend 2nd half trying to avoid worst record in franchise history

I really don’t want to think about this.

In fact, instead of thinking about this, let’s think about Rosie Jones. (Thanks Guyism!)

rosiejones

4. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Steve Bumbry homered for Delmarva Shorebirds on farm

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

-After missing Mike Gonzalez yesterday, we missed Billy Rowell this morning as well. Damn. BUT-if you missed Rich Dubroff from the Carroll County Times or Golf.com/SI’s David Dusek live from the British Open at St. Andrew’s with Drew Forrester this morning-make sure you check it out today in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.

-I found out this morning Sidney Ponson retired from professional baseball. Is this news? Did we know this before? How did I miss this? So long “Sir Sid”…we’ll always have…the memories???

5. National Football Post’s Joe Fortenbaugh says addition of Anquan Boldin means Ravens ‘have Super Bowl contender written all over them’

Which is about the most common theme I can think of when it comes to this football team.

The Ravens BEFORE acquiring Anquan Boldin were a team that was very good and had a chance to compete to win the AFC North. The Ravens AFTER acquiring Anquan Boldin are a team that has a REAL chance to get to Dallas for the Super Bowl.

Like I keep saying, just because they’re a Super Bowl CONTENDER doesn’t mean they’ll WIN the Super Bowl. The Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets are Super Bowl CONTENDERS as well.

This is the part where I’m supposed to say “that’s why they play the games.”

6. The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens report fans have suffered injuries in Westminster

Which doesn’t surprise me at ALL. We’ve all seen it. It doesn’t mean the Ravens came up with a perfect policy to fix the problem (Edit from GMC: I think it’s far from it), but fan behavior and unruly crowds HAVE been a problem at McDaniel College. That’s really not arguable.

Now, if Brooke Erickson comes to Training Camp next year, I don’t care what policy is in place. There’s going to be trouble with unruly crowds (Thanks COED Magazine via Busted Coverage!)…

erickson

7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says John Beck expects ‘battle’ for QB job in Training Camp

Which is something we really haven’t discussed much.

When the Ravens acquired Marc Bulger, it was so widely assumed that Troy Smith would be dealt that we basically just started putting together a 53 man roster without including him.

But with the Philadelphia Eagles apparently likely to hold on to Michael Vick; the one realistic trade scenario that was presented appears to be gone.

The Ravens will NOT just be giving Troy Smith away, no matter how quickly some fans would like to see him go. If he isn’t traded, he and Beck will be set for a battle for the #3 QB job…a battle that Smith would CLEARLY be the favorite to win.

It isn’t popular necessarily, but it’s reality. Troy Smith might not LIKE being the team’s 3rd QB-but he might not have a choice. It might be the only job available.

And Troy Smith might very well be the best option for the Ravens as a 3rd QB.

We’ll have to wait and see what quarterbacks get hurt between now and Week 1. That would clearly impact where Smith could possibly end up.

8. ABC2′s Tia Craddock says Michael Phelps gave Baltimore City summer school students free swim lessons

Like I said yesterday, I think this is a great thing. I have said for some time that Phelps should be more visible with his charity and community involvement here in Baltimore; as he is likely the most recognized Baltimorean worldwide.

But with no offense to Michael-if I had my choice; I’d probably prefer to get my swim lessons from Lisa Angeline (Thanks NextRound.net via Uproxx!)…

lisaa

9. D1scrouse’s Patrick Stevens says Navy QB Ricky Dobbs named to Davey O’Brien Award watch list

Some of my feelings towards Ricky Dobbs are similar to my feelings towards former Morgan State Bears guard Reggie Holmes. I just really enjoy watching some college athletes-and Ricky Dobbs is ABSOLUTELY one of them.

There’s a new @DobbsForHeisman Twitter account that is pretty awesome. Not quite as awesome as getting a response from the Old Spice guy on YouTube, but it’s still pretty good…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CijzuweLK4I[/youtube]

And by the way, Patrick and I posted a new D1scast this week discussing his preseason Top 25 Football poll, the new ACC TV deal, and why hitting “Reply All” isn’t always a great idea. Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to check it out!

10. Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Maryland, Texas in negotiations for future football series

I understand that the Terps will make a bunch of money from this series-and that’s important. But as I said on Twitter last night (follow us @WNST), it offers NOTHING football-wise. It’s a bit of a no-win; and I’m not sure how many recruits will be overly impressed by watching the Terrapins get pummeled by 35 points by the Longhorns at FedEx Field.

Now, playing a game in Austin (or Dallas, or Houston, or San Antonio) WILL get the next Maryland football coach (be it James Franklin or whoever else) in front of recruits in The Lone Star State. That IS a good thing.

And as I mentioned before, money is a factor. Cue AC/DC….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Je7MqES4Wfk[/youtube]

And finally, I leave you with this.

I get a lot of questions about some of the music that’s played on the show. I figured I’d share a couple of the songs I get a particular number of questions about. One is “French Navy” by Camera Obscura…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3CkfvYMCWM[/youtube]

Another is “I Just Want the Girl in the Blue Dress to Keep On Dancing” by Mike Doughty. At least the title isn’t too long…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9GzLOk52Wo[/youtube]

If you want to know about anything else we play on the show, feel free to let me know.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Former Orioles All Star Sinks in L.A.

Posted on 15 July 2010 by Jay Trucker

This season, Andy MacPhail has garnered his fair share of criticism for the O’s woes, some of which can be directly attributed to his offseason signings. In the interest of fairness, though, one of MacPhail’s trades last season is starting to look like a decent maneuver.

In July of ’09, MacPhail traded lefty closer George Sherrill to the LA Dodgers for minor leaguers Steve Johnson and Josh Bell.

On Wednesday, the Dodgers put Sherrill on waivers. Moved out of the closer’s role, Sherrill struggled against the NL West, posting a 7.32 ERA with a 2.237 WHIP. Now that he has been put on waivers, Sherrill could land anywhere, including the Dodgers’ minor league system, or heck, even the Orioles. I mean, he can’t be any worse than Matt Albers, can he?

Sherrill came to Baltimore in 2008, where he quickly earned the closer’s role and a spot on the AL All Star roster as the club’s sole representative. Sherrill pitched two innings in relief for Terry Francona’s All Star club.

Josh Bell did not impress in his first appearance with the Orioles, during which he hit .200 in 15 at bats. Steve Johnson is struggling at AA Bowie with a 6.33 ERA. However, both of these players are still young and regarded as legitimate prospects. Even if neither makes a significant impact in the MLB, appears to have “sold high.” Unless someone can help Sherrill get back to his All Star form.

Speaking of All Stars, I hope you didn’t blink during the seventh inning of the 2010 All Star game. That’s when Ty Wigginton stood at third base for three outs. He was lifted in the top of the seventh for a pinch hitter.

I guess he’ll always get to say he played in an All Star game.

This just in. George Steinbrenner, still dead.

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Orioles Pitching Prospect Steve Johnson on Father and O’s Broadcaster Dave: “We Really Have Been Talking About What I’ve Been Doing Lately”

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Orioles Pitching Prospect Steve Johnson on Father and O’s Broadcaster Dave: “We Really Have Been Talking About What I’ve Been Doing Lately”

Posted on 07 July 2010 by Ryan Chell

Steve Johnson
Whenever Bowie Baysox pitcher Steve Johnson has a bad game, he first gets his lessons from his coaches down at the Orioles’ Double-A affiliate.

Then he gets to go home, and get schooled by his dad, current Orioles broadcaster and former Orioles pitcher Dave Johnson, who we know from listening to him on the pre-and post-game shows, has his two cents to give often.

But the younger Johnson actually appreciates the advice his dad gives him, and he has for several years pitching in the Baltimore area.

“It’s actually helped,” Steve Johnson told Drew Forrester Wednesday on “The Morning Reaction“. “It’s always something you can go back to and say, ‘what am I doing wrong?’ And luckily, he’s been able to see me pitch a couple times lately.  And we really have been talking about what I’ve been doing.”

Johnson, who came over to the Orioles from the Dodgers in the George Sherrill trade last year along with third baseman Josh Bell, is currently 3-5 down at Bowie with a 5.57 ERA for the Baysox.

He has started 16 games, holding batters to a .241 batting average in 82 innings of work while fanning 75 at the plate. So what exactly has been Johnson’s problem this year?

Johnson was quick to point out his issue. His dad, who spent parts of five seasons in the majors between the O’s, Pirates and Tigers, has been there to let him know about it. And his coaches have let it be known to the younger Johnson.

Walks-he has issued 48 free passes this spring-combined with some untimely hits have ballooned Johnson’s ERA to 5.57. Johnson knows that he is a funk right now, and he is working hard to get himself out of it.

“It’s a bit frustrating,” Johnson said. “It’s something that started this season right out of the gate. In spring training, I felt like it wasn’t there and the feel wasn’t where it needed to be.”

“I’ve been trying to find it the whole season, even when I was pitching good games. It still hasn’t felt like I am releasing the ball where I should.”

But rest assured, his confidence level and his faith in his ability to work through it has never been stronger.

“I’m working on it. I’ve been working on the side. I’ve just been in a funk, but I’ll get out of it.”

Iit been frustrating for Johnson, who has consistently pitched for extended innings for the Baysox and left the opposing teams scraping for hits; it’s just the bases-on-balls combined with untimely home runs have Johnson in a rut.

“That’s the most frustrating part. It’s when you give up eight runs and you only give up four hits doing it. That means you’re not putting the ball over the plate and making them hit the ball. And they’re hitting the ball in some bad situations. I’ve had a couple grand slams. It’s just been a couple situations where I shouldn’t have been in.”

Johnson also knows that it’s beneath a pitcher of his promise to allow those mistakes to happen; it’s just him making some unwanted mental lapses in his concentration and approach on the mound.

“I should have just thrown the ball over the plate, and made them hit it. It sounds really easy, but I’m trying to do it. When you’re throwing a lot of balls, and you finally throw one strike, you’re in for it.

Johnson does feel a little more comfortable with himself on the mound as of late, especially after pitching five strong innings against Akron on July 3.

He did walk five, but he said he tried his best to not over pitch and wanted to trust his defense behind him to do the trick. He bounced back from two straight starts where he gave up six runs in each of his appearances.

“It’s something I’m working on. I feel a little more comfortable now than a couple starts ago. There’s progress there. I know what I need to do.  I understand what I need to do now, and it’s just going out there and doing it.”

And this is actually maybe what the Orioles want to see out of Johnson. Andy MacPhail may want to see how the younger Johnson deals with adversity and struggles, and observe how he rebounds from those problems.

And Johnson hasn’t had a lot of those in his prep and early minor league career. He was born here in Baltimore with his dad pitching for the Orioles at the time, and he played his high school ball at St. Paul’s School for Boys.

During his prep career at St. Paul’s, he was an integral piece of St. Paul’s two MIAA ‘A‘ Conference titles in 2002 and 2003. He also threw two no-hitters in his senior year, and earned himself a scholarship to Boston College before signing with the Dodgers.

The Dodgers took Johnson in the 13th round of the 2005 amateur draft, and became one of LA’s top 20 prospects in the organization. When the O’s shipped closer George Sherrill to the Dodgers last year, they grabbed Bell, one of their top prospects, and brought Johnson back to his dad and the Baltimore area.

And the word is out on him apparently; as the Giants grabbed Johnson in this year’s Rule 5 draft, but with the Giants having to leave Johnson on the 25-man roster all season in order to retain his rights, they returned him back to the O’s for cash.

And knowing that the Orioles gave up a closer who made it to an All-Star game and money for him, Steve Johnson knows that they are going to expect a lot out of him, but he also has heard from Andy MacPhail and the parent club that they are going to give him all the time he needs to work out his mechanics so he is ready to face the best lineups in the major leagues.

“I know that if I have a bad year, I need to come back the next year and prove what I can do.”

“Whether it’s at the end of this year or if it takes next year to do it, you put up numbers and they’re going to have to do something with you. If not this year, I’ll do it next year. I’m not too worried about what they’re going to do with me.”

Watch Steve Johnson walk the same path his father did 20 years ago on the station that Never Stops Talking Baltimore Sports…We are WNST and WNST.net!

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Orioles place Millwood on DL, activate Pie

Posted on 06 July 2010 by Luke Jones

As speculated after his miserable outing on Monday, starting pitcher Kevin Millwood has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right forearm (flexor mass).

Millwood is 2-8 with a 5.77 ERA (107.2 IP, 69 ER) in a team-high 18 starts for the Orioles.

The move will surely cloud his future as the Orioles were expecting to shop Millwood at the July 31st trading deadline

To fill Millwood’s spot on the roster, the Orioles have activated outfielder Felix Pie, who has been on the disabled list since April 16 with a strained upper back muscle.

Pie was batting .400 (8-20) with two doubles, a home run and one RBI for the Orioles at the time of his injury. By activating Pie from the 60-day disabled list, the Orioles’ 40-man roster is at capacity.

The left-handed outfielder is scheduled to play left field and bat seventh in the lineup against Detroit on Tuesday night.

With Millwood going to the DL, third baseman Josh Bell and reliever Frank Mata appear safe for now, though the Orioles will need a starting pitcher for Saturday night.

If you’re on the WNST Text Service, you received the Kevin Millwood news first! Be sure to join the service to receive breaking news before everyone else. We Never Stop Texting Baltimore Sports!

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Orioles’ Minor Leaguers On the Move; Britton: “This is the Last Step of the Developmental Process for Me”

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Orioles’ Minor Leaguers On the Move; Britton: “This is the Last Step of the Developmental Process for Me”

Posted on 02 July 2010 by Ryan Chell

With a lot of movement around the Orioles minor leagues over the last two days, three Baltimore prospects, including two of the organization’s top players, made the most of their opportunities with new teams.

On Wednesday night, former Delmarva pitcher Nathan Moreau, in his first start since joining the Orioles’ Single A Frederick , threw a no-hitter in his Keys debut against the Salem Red Sox.

Not a bad start for Moreau, who not only threw the sixth career no-hitter for the Keys organization, but he also threw his first ever complete game and shutout all in the same night.

Moreau told Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” that he was really focused, cause he doesn’t really remember anything that happened outside of his pitching performance.

Nathan Moreau

“I was in the zone so much that I didn’t even feel what the audience was doing,” Moreau said. “I heard some cheers after the game…but during the game I couldn’t tell you.”

And his teammates made sure to not jinx him either.

“It all started in the seventh inning. I like to talk to guys in the dugout,” Moreau said. “Everybody started moving away, so I said “okay…I’ll sit down and do the role’.”

It is arguably the best start ever for the former Georgia Bulldog, who the Orioles took in the 11th round of the 2008 draft.

His fastball was strong on the night, and the Red Sox were caught off-balance by the southpaw’s ability to change speeds. Most of his outs were recorded via fly outs, and he struck out six.

“I was able to keep the ball down for the most part of the night. They put some good swings on a couple of the balls, and the outfielders ran them out and made tough plays making awesome catches at the wall. That really helps.”

He faced the minimum 27 batters despite two errors committed; ironically, one was made by Moreau himself.

Moreau said that he started thinking he was in good position after the fourth inning, because he had a start earlier this year in Delmarva where he pitched four perfect frames and eventually lost it in the fifth.

He feels like that while he is still only in Single A, it’s just another step in his progression toward hopefully making the big league club some day.

“That’s my plan. That’s why we all play. I go out there everyday, compete, and try and put up the best numbers I can.”

The promotions continued at the Orioles’ Triple A affiliate, Norfolk, where one of the top pitching prospects in Andy MacPhail‘s organization, Zach Britton, made his Tides debut as he moved up from Bowie.
Zach Britton
In his International League debut, Britton went six innings, allowing three hits while striking out four. But he did not earn the win, posting a no decision.

Britton spent a few minutes with Luke Jones and Rex Snider before making that first start at the highest level of the Orioles farm system.

At Double-A Bowie, Britton was pitching very well and certainly that was a factor in Orioles management making the decision to change Britton’s team.

A third-round pick by the Orioles in 2006 out of high school, Britton started 14 games for the Baysox, going 7-3 with a 2.48 ERA and recorded 68 strikeouts in 76 innings.

Britton said it’s a great league for young pitchers to start to acclimated to how teams face pitchers in the major leagues, when it comes to batters seeing your repertoire.

“It’s a good league to make adjustments,” Britton said. “I faced the Kinston Indians about 10-12 times out of my 24 starts. It’s a lot of time for them to see me and make adjustments on me.  I feel like it that’s a really good league where you learn how to pitch, since you can’t keep just doing the same thing.”

But while Moreau’s trip to Baltimore may be many years away, Britton( the 2009 Carolina League Pitcher of the Year) is maybe a step or two away from the big leagues if he continues to pitch well.

And given the movement of Orioles pitchers Brad Bergesen, Chris Tillman, and Jake Arrieta back and forth between Norfolk and Baltimore, Britton could be one phone call away from the big leagues if an injury or a trade-maybe Kevin Millwood or Jeremy Guthrie-occurs now that he is in the mix at Triple-A.

“During spring training, my goal was to get to Baltimore. They felt like that was something I could accomplish this year… toward the end of the season. It all depends on how I go out and perform.”

“This is the last step of the developmental process for me,” Britton continued. “They given me the promotion, and I’m going to take it as a challenge and hopefully continue to do well in Triple-A.”

And finally, in last night’s game between the O’s and the Athletics, if you want to talk about curve balls, the biggest one of the day was the decision to promote third baseman Josh Bell from Triple A Norfolk to start in the finale against Oakland.

Josh Bell

The move was retroactive to Baltimore placing Luke Scott on the DL Thursday after he hurt his hamstring taking a stroll around the base path Wednesday after hitting a home run.

Bell, the centerpiece of the George Sherrill trade to the Dodgers last year, went 1-for-4 in his major league debut and recorded his first career hit in the seventh inning-a single off A’s starter Trevor Cahill. He also struck out once and also committed an error.

Bell said that he was just trying to keep his whits about him after being given the news. Bell was probably just as shocked as the fans and the media were about the decision to promote him.

I’m anxious a little bit and ready to get after it,” Bell told the Carroll County Times’ Josh Land last night. “I feel good. I thought I would be a little more nervous, but I’m trying to control it.”

Bell is probably a temporary move with both Felix Pie and Mike Gonzalez both expected to rejoin the ball club in the near future.

For now, let’s hope these prospects continue to adjust to their new teams, and Bell can tear the cover off the ball for the time he’s playing for the big league club, so much so that he either helps the O’s get some much needed wins before the All-Star break, or learns a few things about the major leagues before continuing his progression down at Norfolk.

Tune into 1570 WNST as we continue to track the progress of these and all the Orioles prospects! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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Orioles promote 3B Josh Bell, place Luke Scott on DL

Posted on 01 July 2010 by Luke Jones

The Orioles have placed Luke Scott (left hamstring) on the 15-day disabled list. We saw that coming.

What we didn’t see coming was a promotion for Triple-A Norfolk third baseman Josh Bell, but he will surprisingly take Scott’s spot on the 25-man roster.

Bell batted .266 (76-286) with 24 doubles, 10 home runs and 44 RBI in 74 games for the Tides. In 24 games in June, Bell hit .272 (25-92) with nine doubles, four home runs, 19 RBI and a .500 slugging percentage. Bell’s 24 doubles are second-most in the International League and tied for 12th-most in all of minor league baseball. He is tied for 10th in the league in homers.

He was acquired on July 30, 2009 along with pitcher Steve Johnson from the Los Angeles Dodgers for closer George Sherrill.

Bell will wear No. 25, most recently worn by Garrett Atkins.

Update: Bell was 1-for-4 in his debut and made a throwing error at third base in the Orioles’ 8-1 loss to the Athletics Thursday night.

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Former Oriole shortstop Mike Bordick: “I’m pretty happy…helping them try to rebuild”

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Former Oriole shortstop Mike Bordick: “I’m pretty happy…helping them try to rebuild”

Posted on 17 June 2010 by Ryan Chell

Mike Bordick

With all the talk lately that the whole Oriole organization would be shaken up by Peter Angelos and Andy MacPhail as a new regime is introduced, there has been talk lately about giving former Orioles, ones who are familiar with the winning ways of the team, high-ranking positions  in an effort to turn things around.

One of those former Orioles is former shortstop Mike Bordick, who spent five years in an Oriole uniform split between two different stints. Known mostly for his defensive prowess, Bordick was not a slouch at the plate either, hitting .260 over his career with 1500 hits and over 600 RBIs.

Bordick was able to take a few minutes from the rebuilding process to take some questions from Glenn Clark and Drew Forrester from “The Morning Reaction” Thursday morning-all in the same matter that he fielded those grounders in Camden Yards for  years.

It was his consistent play over the years that not only brought Bordick back in an Oriole uniform after he was traded to the Mets in 2000 for Melvin Mora and Mike Kinkade during his playing days, it was also why the Orioles brought him in as an offensive consultant after working as a roving scout for the Blue Jays after he retired in 2003.

Bordick now works mostly down on the Orioles’ farm teams, keeping an eye on the developing prospects and their bats that the major league club hold dear. His official title is “hitting coordinator” as listed on the team’s website, but he spends more time in the minor leagues than on the major league squad.

He has most of his time recently around the Norfolk Tides and two of the organization’s top hitting prospects in 3B Josh Bell and 1b Brandon Snyder.

‘I’ve been spending a lot more time at Triple A because I think there is a lot of turnover and giving guys more opportunities to see if they can play in the major leagues,” Bordick said.

And Bell and Snyder have both caught his eye. He has seen a lot of improvement out of these two in particular and along with a ton of other guys down on the farm, they are putting in the work necessary to be ready when the top level calls their name.

“They’re doing okay. They’re working hard. Snyder got off to a slower start, but he is swinging the bat a lot better.”

“Josh Bell is the same. Josh has a little bit more power potential there.  He keeps working. Every time I’ve been down there, he’s been out for early hitting and trying to shorten up his swing a little bit, trying to be more consistent at the plate. The work ethic is there.”

Bordick also has been seen helping out and reporting on the major league level as well, and he says its unfortunate about the team’s struggles this year, given some of the circumstances.

What makes it even worse is for him is after taking almost a decade-long hiatus from an Oriole uniform, he comes back to a team that has changed a lot since his playing days.

“It’s tough. After playing for the Orioles and being part of a time that’s special, it’s unfortunate. I feel bad. I would love to see them play better. I think the talent is there for them to play better. It’s just a matter of everyone believing it and going out there and playing some good baseball.”

Bordick was also asked by Drew Forrester what kind of manager would best fit the Orioles. Bordick has played for several high profile managers in his career, including several of the Orioles’ current managerial candidates. He played for Davey Johnson when he was with the O’s for two years and Bobby Valentine, who was managing the Mets during their World Series run in 2000.

Valentine interviewed for the job earlier this week and had some interesting comments about the state of the team, which seemed negative.

Bordick responded by doing some commenting of his own.

“The team definitely needs to be jump-started somehow,” Bordick noted. “Whether it’s screaming on guys or what have you. But for a manager to come in the middle of the season and do that, I don’t know if that’s going to help them or turn them off.”

Bordick said he just hopes the manager is as patient in turning things around as it seems Andy MacPhail is.

“I would hope that if a manager decides to come to Baltimore, they might not take the job right away. I hope they go to the minor leagues and understand the organization and see how things are laid out.”

Bordick said that a guy that fits that mold perfectly would be Buck Showatler, who took the expansion Diamondbacks job two years before the team started playing and helped build the team up before hitting the schedule.

Could Bordick maybe see a bigger role with the parent club? Bordick said not at the time.

But, with Bordick living in the area and his first priority is raising his kids, he enjoys the role he has with the Orioles, where every minor league team is in driving distance, and if he is called on to report at Camden Yards, that isn’t too far away either.

I have the best job that anyone in professional baseball can have,” Bordick said. “I live in Baltimore, and the proximity of most of their team is pretty local. And if they have a problem where they need me to work with someone, I can be there in less than hour. It’s a great situation for me. I’m pretty happy with what I’m doing and still being part of the Orioles organization and helping them try to rebuild and develop some young players.”

And one of those young guys is an Oriole that the team hopes to introduce soon-one Manny Machado-Baltimore’s third overall pick in the draft, who has drawn comparisons to one of the great former shortstops out there-Alex Rodriguez.

Bordick hopes that he can drop a few pointers in there too so people start calling Machado the next Mike Bordick instead, but with a better bat of course.

“It is exciting. You’ve heard a lot of things about him. I hope they sign him quick and get him in the system, and it will be fun to work with young talent like that.”

Tune into “The Morning Reaction” with Drew Forrester and Glenn Clark weekdays 6-10 AM on 1570 WNST

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 15 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me 1-because I’m so drugged up on allergy meds that I wouldn’t know if it WASN’T a Happy Tuesday, 2-because a friend passed this classic along to me via Facebook…

(Edit from GMC: The audio here is NSFW! Unless of course you work as an intern on “The Morning Reaction.” In which case, we’ve used all of these words to describe you this morning.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TH_dKfBI40[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP says Chris Tillman roughed up, knocked out early as Orioles fell to Giants

I did it again.

Much like Sunday when I was a few minutes late in flipping to MASN because I wanted to watch Stephen Strasburg on MASN2, I was a few minutes late last night because I wanted to watch the end of WWE Raw. And once again, by the time I got flipped over to watch the Orioles-things were already out of hand. This time, it was 6-1. And while I had missed a Matt Wieters home run, apparently I hadn’t missed too much more than that.

I went back and watched a bit of Tillman-his velocity certainly needed to be up. I also thought he lacked confidence in his pitches, but that might have just been a realization of what jersey he was wearing.

It was a fun night at AT&T Park. Just as long as you don’t root for the Orioles. There aren’t too many of us that do.

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

Ty Wigginton had a couple of doubles (one of which maybe should have been a home run), but he also had two of the team’s 8 strikeouts. That’s about how it goes these days.

You know what, you REALLY don’t want to look at this box score. In fact, let me go another way with this. This is Brittany Rathel. Busted Coverage pointed her out to me. She’ll be more fun to look at than last night’s box score would have been…

brittanyrather

3. WNST.net’s Jay Trucker says while Garrett Atkins historically bad in Baltimore, Aubrey Huff excelling in San Francisco

AND JUST WHEN I HAD STARTED FEELING GOOD AGAIN!!!!!

The must frustrating part about Jay’s column is certainly the information that the Huff is making $3 million in San Fran while Atkins is making $4.5 million in Charm City. I wasn’t heartbroken when the Birds decided to part ways with Huff, but I would have never signed off on it had I known they weren’t going to go out and get anyone else who could drive in runs.

That’s absolute INSANITY.

Of course, I somehow feel as though it hurts MORE that Pat Burrell homered last night. How can PAT BURRELL be hitting home runs?

I can’t think about this anymore. I might have another allergy attack.

4. ESPN.com says Bobby Valentine doesn’t see much ‘reward’ in O’s situation

Thank you Bobby Valentine for not sugar coating this. Valentine apparently went on “Baseball Tonight” (I will admit that I rarely watch Baseball Tonight anymore) last night and said “I don’t know that Andy (MacPhail) and I get along that well.”

I don’t know this to be true-but I might imagine it would have something to do with Bobby V telling MacPhail he wouldn’t be okay with managing a team that featured nothing but young guys and second-rate veterans.

This is the reality of the Orioles’ situation. Andy MacPhail and Peter Angelos want to get “the right guy”, but I don’t think they’re going to lie to them in the process. Instead, they’re likely going to say something along the lines of “look, we want you to get the job done here-but we’re not gonna go out and become the Yankees or the Red Sox. If you think you can work with young talent and a couple of key veterans, we want you here. If not, this might not be the job for you.”

And that approach might well work for an Eric Wedge (who has already interviewed), or Bob Melvin, or Clint Hurdle (who is currently employed by the Texas Rangers so he’d have to wait until the end of the season to interview); but apparently not with Valentine.

We can’t COMPLETELY scratch him from the list yet, but we might as well. I’m not losing sleep over not having Bobby Valentine as manager, but that doesn’t mean he might not have been a good manager for this team.

5. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Wigginton hoping to reach All-Star Game as write-in candidate

There have been some BAD all-stars in the history of the Midsummer Classic, including the likes of Robert Fick and Ron Coomer. And of the current crop of Baltimore Orioles-while Adam Jones, Miguel Tejada, Kevin Millwood and Brian Roberts are known former All-Stars, did you know Cesar Izturis was ALSO once an All-Star?

That’s the group Ty Wigginton would hope to move into. The group of Robert Fick, Ron Coomer, Lance Carter and Cesar Izturis. Ugh.

As an Orioles fan, I hope Nick Markakis gets the call as the Orioles’ representative. He’s been the team’s best player this season-even if not necessarily deserving of being honored amongst the best players in the American League. He also deserves the nod for having played like an All-Star now for 5 years in his career.

6. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Josh Bell homered, doubled for Norfolk Tides last night

And before we move on from the Orioles, a few notes:

-The Orioles and Giants are back at it tonight, with Jake Arrieta facing Joe Martinez. First pitch from the Bay Area is at 10:15pm on MASN2. Game 6 of the NBA Finals starts at 9pm, which means the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics should at least have played about 6 minutes before first pitch in SF.

-Congratulations to “Apologist of the Morning” Todd Webster. Since “The Great Arbitrator” got too far behind this morning, I went ahead and handled responsibilities when it comes to making the selection. Todd Webster works for MASN, and was reached for comment when word came down that MASN’s Orioles ratings were somehow UP a little bit this season despite the Orioles being historically bad. Here’s Webster’s response…

“The Orioles’ improved ratings shows the depth of commitment Orioles fans have for their team. The history and tradition of Orioles baseball is a part of the fabric of Baltimore and Washington, as more fans are tuning in.

Demand for advertising is also stronger than last season, as marketers see the value of associating with Orioles baseball. Led by the automotive sector, year-over-year ad sales are up by double-digits, not only because of the improving economy but also because MASN and the Orioles can offer so many solutions, from TV spots to in-game and in-park sponsorships, from hospitality to radio. …”

Now THAT’S apology.

-There was a measure of good news yesterday, as Brittany Ghiroli passed along via Twitter that Andy MacPhail had said Felix Pie, Mike Gonzalez, Jim Johnson and Brian Roberts could return by the end of June. I feel like I should be excited. For some reason, I’m not.

-If you missed former Oriole and current Aberdeen Ironbirds pitching coach Scott McGregor today on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, make sure you head on over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault and check it out. Other guests this morning included NFL Network reporter and World Cup enthusiast Jason La Canfora and our annual U.S. Open preview with Damon Klepczynski from Mountain Branch. Plus, our pal “Captain Jerk” had a Tony Bennett-inspired Orioles song worth taking a listen to. It’s all in the Audio Vault.

7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says former Ravens Frank Walker, William VanDeSteeg tried out with Houston Texans

If I didn’t know better, there would be so many great jokes I could make here about the Texans. The fact is, I know that neither Walker nor VanDeSteeg would be expected to be any sort of impact player this season-so I can’t really beat them up too bad.

Of course, if I were looking at guys like Frank Walker and William VanDeSteeg, I might also bring in Alessandra Ambrosio for a look. Just so I’d know. (Thanks Guyism!)

alessandra

8. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Joe Flacco plans to keep working with Anquan Boldin, Donte’ Stallworth between now and Training Camp

Do you know how much better this headline reads than this…

“BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Kyle Boller plans to keep working with Clarence Moore, Randy Hymes between now and Training Camp”?

I already feel better just based on the names involved!

9. The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Maryland officials, boosters believe move from ACC to Big Ten ‘unlikely’

This is one of the subjects Patrick Stevens (@D1scourse on Twitter) and I discussed during our inaugural “D1scast”, which can be heard right now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.

The more I talk to high ranking Terrapins (and I talked to more yesterday), the more I truly believe this probably isn’t happening. But as I said yesterday, you always have to keep in mind that money talks. Don’t call it DEAD, just call it UNLIKELY.

10. Inside Lacrosse’s John Jiloty says Drexel coach Brian Voelker hasn’t been contacted by Terrapins regarding lacrosse gig

And neither has Stevenson’s Paul Cantabene (as Ed Lee from the Sun confirmed last night), but Harvard’s John Tillman HAS.

It isn’t a sexy group. As I said yesterday, I’ve seen sexier groups on “The Biggest Loser.”

That being said, the Terps are just hoping there’s a decent coach in the group.

And speaking of “sexy groups”, here’s a new picture of Kim Kardashian from What Would Tyler Durden Do….

kimk

And finally, I leave you with this.

I’ll admit it. As much it bothered me as an Italy fan to come up with just a draw against Paraguay, I still enjoyed this. (Thanks Deadspin!)

paraguay

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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