Tag Archive | "major league baseball"

The Reality Check Starting Nine Orioles Rock Bottom Team

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The Reality Check Starting Nine Orioles Rock Bottom Team

Posted on 08 February 2012 by Glenn Clark

Ryan Chell and I introduced a new segment Wednesday on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net. The segment is called “The Starting Nine (Ten)” and is remarkably similar to “The Tuesday Top 7″ that you hear Drew Forrester and Luke Jones doing every week.

During Major League Baseball season, we’ll use “The Starting Nine (Ten)” to pick out the best players at each position in baseball (Pitcher, Catcher, DH, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B and three OF’s). It’s similar to how “The Morning Reaction” guys select the best Baltimore Ravens every week in season.

Outside of baseball season, we’ll select a topic and fill a roster with the same positions based on the topic.

For example, this week’s topic was “The Faces of the Rock Bottom Era of Orioles Baseball (1998-present).”

Here are “The Starting Nine (Ten)” Ryan and I put together…

Glenn Clark’s Nine (Ten):

Pitcher-Daniel Cabrera

Catcher-Brook Fordyce

First Base-Garrett Atkins

Second Base-Delino DeShields

Shortstop-Brandon Fahey

Third Base-Mark Reynolds

Outfield-Felix Pie

Outfield-Marty Cordova

Outfield-Larry Bigbie

Designated HItter-Vladimir Guerrero


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The Baltimore teams show their true colors…again

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The Baltimore teams show their true colors…again

Posted on 01 February 2012 by Drew Forrester

If you know of a place I can find a dead horse, ship it to me in Indianapolis.  I’m here all week covering Super Bowl 46.

I’ll find a baseball bat somewhere in the hotel.

Today was the once-a-year occasion where everyone in Baltimore gets to see precisely why the Ravens are the Ravens and play in front of 70,000 people ten times a year and why the Orioles are the Orioles and play in front of crowds of 7,000 more times than they’ll ever publicly admit.

In a weird twist of fate, I have another story to add to the mix. It won’t surprise you.  But it will be another log-in-the-fire that continues to rage in Baltimore as our baseball team – now with a new accomplice – once again displays an amazing lack of professionalism.

How does that situation involve you and/or the fans in Baltimore?

It does, trust me.

If you saw the press conference today – the “State of the Ravens” as they like to call it in Owings Mills – you witnessed the football organization allowing the media to openly discuss their method of operation.  There was nothing particularly earth shattering to come out of the 55-minute gathering.  It was filled with mostly benign stuff like “Joe Flacco and Ray Rice are a priority.”  (We knew that already.)  ”The Ravens are going to do everything we can to get better by looking at all available player options.”  (Right…we knew that too.)  ”We feel like our team is built for the now and the future.”  (Of course you do.)

But it wasn’t the content or the quality that mattered today.  When you’re 12-4 and come within three-tenths of a second from going to the Super Bowl, there aren’t a lot of blemishes and hiccups to discuss.

What was important, of course, was the mere fact that the Ravens undressed themselves in front of the media and allowed everyone to ask questions about their hairy legs, love handles and receding hairline.

The Orioles never let you see them dressed or undressed.  Unless you happen to be part of their inner circle.

They remain as disingenious with the community and the media as they’ve ever been, despite modest improvements over the last few years in their day-of-game entertainment and civic endeavors.  They’re the friend who ignores your text when your car breaks down and you need a ride to work.  They’re the co-worker who tells you the company tickets for the football game have been claimed, only to see them in the top drawer of his desk a week later when he asks you to grab his car keys before heading out to lunch.  The Orioles are the ex-girlfriend who never liked your favorite band until AFTER you guys broke up eight months ago.

They’re lazy, mean-spirited and never quite fully aware of how much they hurt you.  (Please see next page)

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Evict the Orioles

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Evict the Orioles

Posted on 22 December 2011 by Thyrl Nelson

I wrote this a few months back, but am talking about it on today’s show, therefore I felt that a reprisal was in order.

 

As the inevitability of a 15th straight losing season hangs over the Orioles like so many other dark clouds, the realization occurs that Baltimore has now dealt with a less than mediocre baseball team for longer than the NFL’s exodus from the city lasted. And from where I sit today, the former has been far more painful than the latter.

While Bob Irsay has always been the default answer to the most detestable man in Baltimore sports history, Peter Angelos has now entered the argument in a very big way and threatens to quickly run away with the title (although likely not with the team).

 

Like Irsay, it seems that Angelos has simply decided that it’s a better proposition to bank the inevitable riches inherent with owning a professional sports team while spending as little as possible in fielding that team. The Orioles could spend with the big market clubs if they chose to do so, but history has seemingly taught Angelos that spending big still doesn’t guarantee success on the field, spending small however and owning your own TV network guarantees profits no matter how pathetic your on field product may be.

 

The trump card that Irsay had (and ultimately wielded) that Angelos never will was the willingness of another city to provide better facilities and the promise to sell them out. While the NFL had (and still has) markets clamoring for and capable of supporting their product, baseball has no such luxury. If baseball did, there never would have been a need to move the Expos to Washington or create MASN in the first place.

 

If there were a better deal out there, you could bet that Angelos and the O’s would explore it…provided of course that it didn’t compromise the Orioles’ stake in MASN.

 

It’s too bad the fans don’t have recourse.

 

It’s too bad we can’t simply evict the O’s.

 

Before you decry me for sacrilege hear me out. (And realize I know it won’t happen)

 

The O’s have a lease with the city of Baltimore that runs through 2024. So maybe the city’s hands would be tied until then. Or maybe they could find a way out early, a way to evict the O’s for operating in bad faith, for defaming a local and national institution and for completely misusing the grandest of attractions in baseball…Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

 

If the city simply had enough of Angelos and closed the doors to OPACY, where would the Orioles go? What city is ready to provide anywhere near the facilities and support for the Orioles and Angelos than Baltimore has? Who would welcome this cheapskate joker with a bad team in a stacked division with anywhere near the reception that Baltimore has given him and them before and are dying to truly care about again?

 

Precedents now seem to exist that would allow Baltimore to retain the name and legacy of the Orioles leaving Angelos to rename his team in addition to relocating it. Even if that weren’t possible, the Ravens have proven that it’s possible to splice together a city’s sports legacy with class and pride and dignity.

 

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With All of the Losses, Even the 15-7-0 Is Now in the BCS Title Picture

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With All of the Losses, Even the 15-7-0 Is Now in the BCS Title Picture

Posted on 21 November 2011 by Glenn Clark

You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

15 Positive Observations…

1. I have no concrete proof that Towson University is building a statue for Rob Ambrose, but I don’t know why they wouldn’t.

A lot of people are surprised by the Tigers’ success, but not me. I’m so effing stunned I’m still not a hundred percent certain it actually happened…

There’s no way anyone…in the world…could have ever seen a CAA Championship coming this season. This team still has more work to do though. They won’t feel incapable of beating anyone they play in the NCAA playoffs, starting with Lehigh December 3rd at Unitas Stadium.

Seriously…this is Towson we’re talking about. This can’t be real.

2. I thought I was happier to see the Washington Redskins lose when they play miserably, but I think I was even happier to see their fans suffer heartbreak Sunday.

I will admit that I thought those a-holes in DC were done after Tony Romo hit Jason Witten from 59 yards away…

…but somehow Mike Shanahan’s team stayed in the thing long enough to have a kick to win in overtime. Graham Gano of course missed the kick and DeAngelo Hall channeled DeAngelo Hall to help the Cowboys survive.

I celebrate your misery, clowns. May you never win another game…unless for some reason you play the Steelers. Even then, I dunno.

3. Tony Sparano is giving Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross something very similar to what Lou Brown gave Rachel Phelps.

Does anyone remember earlier this year when the Buffalo Bills were good? No? I swear I thought they were…

Stephen Ross started interviewing coaches before bothering to fire Sparano. Sparano used that to fire up his team, convincing them to win in order to piss off the ownership there that wanted to get new players and coaches. Suddenly Matt Moore and Reggie Bush are playing like real National Football League players and there’s a problem on South Beach…at least for now.

It’s very similar to what Lou Brown did back when he was managing the Cleveland Indians…

Did we ever find out if Brown won American League Manager of the Year that year? He was a hell of a skip.

(Side note. Every time the Orioles tried to hire a General Manager this offseason I assume the calls went awfully similar to that time when Charlie Donovan called Brown at Tire World to offer him the gig with the Tribe.

“How would you like to be the Birds’ GM?”
“Gee. I don’t know.”
“What do you mean you don’t know? This is your chance to be a Major League Baseball General Manager!”
“Let me get back to you, will you Peter? I got a guy on the other line asking about some white walls.”)

4. Andrew Luck has an impressive lateral motion towards the Heisman Trophy.

Do you get the feeling the Stanford quarterback is saying to himself, “Well, if no one else wants it…”?

I’d show you something from the Cardinal’s win Saturday night over rival California, but there wouldn’t be anything that would convince you Luck has locked up the award.

Instead, here’s Lee Corso dropping the “f-bomb” on ESPN’s College Gameday Saturday morning from the University of Houston. There’s no real reason to share the video, other than the fact that it includes the f-bomb.

5. If ANYONE has put their name back in the Heisman mix, that person is Baylor QB Robert Griffin III.

The Bears’ QB almost singlehandedly made sure next weekend’s “Bedlam” game was uninteresting to the rest of the country by throwing (and running) all over Oklahoma Saturday night…

It’s probably too little, too late as far as the Heisman is concerned-but it is certainly a reminder that RG3 has been one of the most entertaining players in the country all season. This TD pass to Kendall Wright however is probably not one he should take credit for…

Also humorous? Erin Andrews took the worst of a Gatorade shower intended for Griffin…

AND…in the hysteria on field after the win in Waco, America fell in love with a gal rushing the field on crutches…

6. At times, Matthew Stafford is one of the best quarterbacks in the world.

But if he did this more often the Detroit Lions wouldn’t have to make dramatic second half comebacks week in and week out like they did Sunday against the Carolina Panthers…

This game also involved Lions TE Tony Scheffler invoking an AT&T Flash Mob commercial in a TD dance…

And a note to Fantasy Football owners: Lions RB Kevin Smith ran for over 100 yards in this game. The physics of that alone are stunning, really.

I’m well aware it’s a different guy, but can we talk about this picture for a second? I say this as a HUGE Silent Bob fan. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? Are those shorts? Is it some sort of jean skirt? Is it a denim quilt? Holy hell.

7. No one knows how to pronounce his name, but Chris Ogbonnaya had himself a fine day Sunday.

Well, I feel like a bit of a silly goose for taking fantasy advice and playing the Jacksonville Jaguars defense against the Cleveland Browns Sunday.

The only meaningful highlight in this one came from Jags RB Maurice Jones-Drew, who invoked Cleveland “hero” LeBron James by tossing powder in the air after scoring a TD…

And in an unrelated story, here’s a 6 year old kid crying about the New York Jets after their loss to the Denver Broncos the other night. He has an awful mother…

El oh el.

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“O” – How Sweet It Is

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“O” – How Sweet It Is

Posted on 29 September 2011 by Tom Federline

The Baltimore Orioles are not going to the playoffs this year………….and neither are the Boston Red Sox. Hallelujah! What the Orioles did last night will go down in the annals of Oriole history as one of those “Oriole Classics”. The O’s played a part in one of the more historical nights ever in Major League Baseball. The O’s contributed positively by providing losses to the “Greatest Collapse” of a first place team in MLB history. Hallelujah! Nice choke Boston Red Sox. Thank Youuuuuuuuu – Orioles for putting the final game of the 2011 season, “…in the WIN column.” Especially in such dramatic fashion. In my book, the Boston Red Sox and their arrogant fans have surpassed the New York Yankees in rudeness and greed. Last night made the Orioles year.

Terps beating Duke, Ravens beating Steelers and as it has been for the past 5 years for me, the Orioles beating the Red Sox. Maybe it’s because they are winning and the Orioles are not. Maybe it’s because of Roger “Steroids” Clemens. Maybe it’s because they ruined a perfectly good song in “Sweet Caroline” – (Neil Diamond). Maybe it’s because all the bragging in the world about their supposed famous Clam Chowda will never come close to good ole Maryland Crab soup with Old Bay. Whatever the reason, I get more fired up when Boston is in town than the Yankees. Maybe their it’s just been a given for so long to dislike the Yankees – it’s old hat. The Orioles contributed in preventing the Red Sox to going onto Post season play. If that is not music to your ears, stop reading now and move on.

I thought the Birds were cooked at the rain delay in the 7th. Driving up 95 in the rainstorm, knew it was headed to the Yards, did not know how long it was going to last. Men on 1st and 3rd two outs, Adam “supposed Oriole MVP” Jones up to the plate – Struck out. Nice MVP move. All I kept saying to myself was, “Not at Camden Yards”, you guys can NOT let Boston in with a loss at our home park. You might as well just open up the wounds and pour the salt in. The winter just got longer.  More Oriole disappointment. My orange Kool-aid was going to go bad. Woke up this morning, saw something orange in the sky, I believe they call it a sun. I had forgotten what it looked like, so I thought it was a sign that the Orioles had pulled off the improbable, low and behold it was a great day in Birdland.

Now, how about a little controversy? You know how I feel about the “Fix”. How about that Tampa Bay/Yankees game? I thought the game was over early at 7 – 0. Six runs bottom of the 8th, pinch hit home run in 9th to extend it, wait for outcome of Orioles game, 3 minutes later “Let’s Groove Tonight” – (Earth Wind & Fire) – “Here’ s one for ya Evan Longoria, you is in the playoffs!” Coincidence? There are no coincidences. You go Tampa Bay! Anybody but the Yankees or the Phillies.

One down side of the past few days, Adam Jones – the Orioles MVP as voted on by the Baltimore media. Are you kiddin’ me? Every single one of those numbnuts that voted for Jones instead of JJ Hardy, should be fired. More proof positive, in your face – lack of baseball knowledge, minor league journalism that the Baltimore area has had to put up with for many a moon. Ninety percent (90%) of the Orioles print media and broadcasts are not worth your time. My opinion of 2011 O’s MVP: JJ Hardy (unanimous), Matt Weiters, Jim Johnson, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and I am a Jonesy fan.

The Orioles contributed  in preventing the Boston Red Sox from going into Post Season play. Seize the Moment – we don’t have many. The Birds did not fulfill expectations this year, below .500 and last place again. So what? They ended the year with the sweetest win of them all. It’s gonna get better.

D.I.Y.

Fedman

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 25 July 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Pro Wrestling-MCW Shane Shamrock Cup (Saturday 7pm New Green Room Dundalk); WNBA: San Antonio Silver Stars @ Washington Mystics (Tuesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Indiana Fever @ Washington Mystics (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet & NBA TV); Pro Lacrosse: MLL Hamilton Nationals @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on ESPN3.com); Arena Football: AFL Playoffs-Orlando Predators @ Jacksonville Sharks (Friday 8pm from Jacksonville live on NFL Network); Canadian Football League: British Columbia Lions @ Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Thursday 8pm from Winnipeg live on NFL Network), Calgary Stampeders @ Saskatchewan Roughriders (Saturday 9:30pm from Saskatchewan live on NFL Network); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-Victor Cayo vs. Anthony Peterson (Friday 9pm from Las Vegas live on ESPN2)

10. Emmylou Harris (Tuesday 6pm Pier Six Pavilion); Vans Warped Tour feat. Less Than Jake, Gym Class Heroes (Tuesday 12pm Merriweather Post Pavilion), Black Eyed Peas (Saturday 6pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); 311 & Sublime with Rome (Friday 6:30pm Jiffy Lube Live), Mayhem Festival feat. Godsmack/Disturbed/Megadeth (Saturday 2:15pm Jiffy Lube Live); Goo Goo Dolls/Michelle Branch (Tuesday 7pm Wolf Trap), Lynyrd Skynyrd (Wednesday 8pm Wolf Trap); Kottonmouth Kings (Thursday 7pm Rams Head Live); Marc Broussard (Thursday 7:30pm Rams Head On Stage); Reel Big Fish (Sunday 6:30pm 9:30 Club), Bon Iver (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Josh Groban (Wednesday 7:30pm Verizon Center), Keith Urban (Thursday 7:30pm Verizon Center), Britney Spears (Sunday 7pm Verizon Center); Congressional Blues Festival feat. Kenny Wayne Shepherd (Wednesday 6:30pm National Building Museum DC); Outlaw Jam feat. Motley Crue, Poison, Brian Setzer (Saturday & Sunday Frederick Fairgrounds)

I hate driving to Bristow, Virginia for ANYTHING…but I really dig 311. I might be in…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHXCyc279Cc[/youtube]

The Good Goo Dolls may have fallen off a bit, but there was a time when they were pretty damn good…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yP4qdefD2To&ob=av2e[/youtube]

You can make fun of me all you want, but I’m ALL IN on Keith Urban. Honestly. It’s just a shame he can’t bring John Mayer along with him for “Sweet Thing”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiY9knTNnDg[/youtube]

I’m not sure how Brian Setzer fits in out in Fredrock at a festival that also features Poison & Motley Crue, but he’s definitely awesome…

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

9. Otakon 2011 (Friday-Sunday Baltimore Convention Center); “Shark Week” begins (Sunday 9pm Discovery Channel)

What do these things have to do with each other?

Actually I’m not really sure but I think there’s a good “parents’ basement” joke in there somewhere.

I’ll probably pass on Otakon again this year, but I’ll at least be willing to admit that there might be more here than initially meets the eye…

otakon

(Edit from GMC: Seriously. You go to a bar. You meet a gal. She’s attractive and engaging. You find out THIS is what she’s into. What do you do next? Your move.)

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Celebrating Alomar and Gillick with Top 10 96-97 O’s Moments

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Celebrating Alomar and Gillick with Top 10 96-97 O’s Moments

Posted on 22 July 2011 by Glenn Clark

On Friday’s edition of “The Mobtown Sports Beat” on AM1570 WNST, Thyrl Nelson and I celebrated Sunday’s Cooperstown Hall of Fame inductions of Roberto Alomar and Pat Gillick with a four hour tribute to the 1996 & 1997 Baltimore Orioles.

During the show, I named my Top 10 moments during that special run in O’s history. As I explained last week, these Birds represented “The Only Magic I’ve Ever Known.”

(I didn’t include Jeffrey Maier or the season ending games in either season on this list. These were the memories we WANT to remember.)

10. Ripken passes Kinugasa (June 15, 1996)

ripkenkinugasu

When Cal Ripken played in his 2,216th consecutive game in Kansas City, he already owned the record for consecutive games played.

If he had stopped at 2,210 consecutive games, there would have been no argument that he didn’t hold the record.

With no offense to Sachio Kinugasa, but nothing that happens in Japan can be fairly compared to anything in Major League Baseball. When Ripken surpassed Lou Gehrig in 1995, the record was his.

That being said, the fact that Kinugasa was able to attend the game at Kauffman Stadium made the warm June night pretty special. The evident connection between the two men made the night even more fun for baseball fans.

If you ever get the chance to chat with CSNBaltimore.com writer (and longtime Baltimore Sun columnist) John Eisenberg about this night, please do. The stories are a LOT of fun. I’d tell you myself, but they aren’t my stories.

9. Mussina NEARLY perfect (May 30, 1997)

moose

I have never been more captivated by watching a baseball game than I was that Friday night.

At the time, Home Team Sports (HTS) was still a premium channel on Comcast in Baltimore County. Friday night games however were regularly available over the air (most on WNUV 54), allowing 8th graders like myself to sit at home and watch the games instead of hanging out with our friends.

I’ll never forgive Sandy Alomar for the hit that he managed off Mike Mussina in the 9th inning that night. His brother is my baseball idol, but his name is evil in my mind.

There’s been only one Orioles no-hitter in my lifetime (a combined effort from Bob Milacki, Mike Flanagan, Mark Williamson and Gregg Olson in 1991), never a solo no-hitter. I’ve seen the Orioles no-hit themselves a couple of times, but I’ve never seen an Orioles pitcher throw a no-no.

I really thought I was going to that night.

8. Wire to wire (September 25, 1997)

aleast

With their 9-3 defeat of the Blue Jays at the building formerly known as SkyDome, the O’s clinched their first AL East title since 1983.

More significantly, they became only the sixth team in MLB history to win the division title going “wire to wire”, in first place from Opening Day to Game 162.

It was a remarkable run for the Birds, although 14 year old Glenn Clark may not have fully realized how significant it was because he was too worried about playoff matchups and hoping to avoid the Yankees in the ALCS.

He got his way. Unfortunately it didn’t end up making much of a difference.

7. Brady gets 50 (September 29, 1996)

bradya

The legacy of Brady Anderson’s 50 home run season in 1996 can certainly be labeled as “clouded” at best.

That being said, whether the 50 home run campaign (which concluded with a dinger on the season’s final day in Toronto) was aided by substance or simply a result of a former leadoff hitter “reaching his athletic opus”, it still stands as the only time in Orioles history a player has reached the mark.

(Frank Robinson previously held the team record with 49.)

Despite the rumors, following Brady’s home run exploits in 1996 was fun for Orioles fans-especially the stretch were he lead off four straight games by going yard.

And no matter how we felt about it, there’s little chance the Orioles make a run to the ALCS in 1996 without those 50 home runs.

6. A walk off slam (May 17, 1996)

hoiles

Anderson’s “moment” was a season in the making. The Ripken “moment” was nearly 14 years in the making.

Hoiles’ “moment”? Roughly one swing in the making.

The Orioles trailed the Seattle Mariners 13-10 in the 9th inning. What happened next was something I had practiced in my back yard roughly 160,000,000,000 times.

With two outs, the bases loaded and a 3-2 count (of COURSE it was a 3-2 count), Chris Hoiles hit what can only be described as the MOST ultimate of “ultimate grand slams.”

Thank God I hadn’t stopped watching that night.

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Why is JJ Hardy staying in Baltimore?

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Why is JJ Hardy staying in Baltimore?

Posted on 18 July 2011 by Rex Snider

You can count me among the collection of those who were a little surprised by Saturday’s announcement of JJ Hardy’s new deal with the Orioles.

From a financial perspective, I don’t dispute the commitment from the birds. The organization’s top prospect, Manny Machado, is learning his craft at Frederick and limited middle infield options appear on the horizon during the upcoming off-season.

An expenditure of $22 million over 3 years seems quite reasonable for the Orioles.

But, in viewing the deal from JJ Hardy’s side of the fence, I am a little perplexed. In fact, I think a few peculiar questions should exist …..

Given the perceived lack of shortstop depth in the 2012 free agent class, did Hardy’s representatives feel he couldn’t garner at least $8 million, per season, over the next few years?

Has the product of 3+ months on a last place Orioles team provided Hardy with a comfortable outlook over the next 36 months?

Is this deal really about financial security for a lifetime, as Hardy approaches his 29th birthday?
.

.
I guess the preceding questions are a roundabout way of suggesting JJ Hardy and his agents huddled and ultimately said “let’s do the safe thing.” After all, the world knows the Orioles shortstop has realized a big league career littered with injuries and stints on the disabled list.

And, while he’s had a briefly respectable run in an Orioles uniform, it’s quite apparent Hardy is not the player envisioned during the summers of 2008 and 2008, in Milwaukee.

I’ve been quietly impressed with his transition to the leadoff role in Brian Roberts’ absence, and he’s flashed stellar defense with some consistent power potential through the first half of the season.

But, what possesses JJ Hardy to renew with the Orioles – for a modest raise – without testing the market? I’m not ranking him as the complimentary to Jose Reyes, but he would be a formidable consolation prize for a contender that needs a shortstop for the next few seasons.

Does he envision an Orioles team capable of doing something markedly better than what’s been achieved through 92 games? Maybe, he’s just comfortable here …..

Like I said, it’s a good deal for the Orioles. And, the shortstop obviously thinks it’s a contract fit for his immediate future. But, one question lingers for me …..

Why is JJ Hardy staying in Baltimore? I would really like to know.

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Remembering Only “Magic” I’ve Known

Posted on 15 July 2011 by Glenn Clark

I know just how frustrating the 2011 season has been for Baltimore Orioles fans.

I also know how frustrating the 2010 season was. And 2009. And 2008. And 2007. And 2006. And…I think you get the point.

I was born on September 6, 1983. Just over a month later (October 16) the O’s vanquished the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 5 to claim their third (and still most recent) World Series title. Despite being alive for 40 days when it happened, I’m ashamed to say I have no memories of the title.

The 1989 Birds were a special group. I’ve watched the “Why Not” video a number of times in my life, mostly thanks to my friends BJ and Chris Appel. While they finished short of winning the American League East crown, the team has left many folks in Charm City with special memories.

Unfortunately, I had just turned six years old when the season was cut short. My memories of the ’89 Orioles are extremely limited, and the team itself really didn’t mean much to me as a baseball fan.

I’ve made it quite clear that I am much more of a lacrosse person than I am a baseball person. I’ve made it obvious that certain things about baseball in recent years have made me turn from the game. That’s been made worse by the fact that the team here in Baltimore has given me almost nothing to enjoy for nearly 15 years now. Like many other fans in this city, the demise of our own team has lead to a lessened interested in the sport in general.

That wasn’t the case in 1996.

My 12th birthday was September 5, 1995. It was a special day to be an Orioles fan (like I need to tell you) as Cal Ripken passed Lou Gehrig by playing in his 2,131st consecutive game. My parents were kind enough to purchase me EXACTLY what I wanted for my birthday that year-an oversized Orioles “Starter” brand jacket.

(I know I wasn’t the only one who wore a Starter jacket at the time.)

I’m pretty sure I didn’t take that jacket off for two years-even in the summer.

Baseball was my most significant love in 1996. The Ravens came into existence during the offseason but wouldn’t “take over” the city for another three to four years. In fact, as rabid as we were in Baltimore for the return of the NFL, there were multiple games between Memorial Stadium and what was then known as PSINet Stadium in the early years of the Ravens’ existence that were “sold out”, but featured less than empty crowds.

It was a baseball town, and I loved the Orioles more than I even loved girls.

One of the most exciting moments of my life was the day I found out Home Team Sports (HTS) had been moved from the “premium” tier of Comcast programming in Baltimore County and instead became a basic cable channel.

I was that crazy about the Orioles.

In 8th grade, I was often caught not paying attention to teachers in class. While other kids were writing love notes, I was found to be drawing miniature baseball diamonds and impressing my friends with my ability to name the starting nine for every other team in Major League Baseball.

I was a complete and total nutjob when it came to baseball.

I’m not sure I can fairly explain how much those 1996 & 1997 teams meant to me as I hit puberty. My entire attitude was determined by what the Orioles had done the night before.

I still remember coming home from Perry Hall High School one late fall afternoon in 1995 to have my dad tell me the Orioles had signed Roberto Alomar. I didn’t believe him at first, but ultimately celebrated as if I had received straight A’s on my report card.

The 1996 & 1997 Orioles gave me some of the happiest memories of my life as a sports fan. They also of course gave me some of the saddest memories of my life, as they failed to advance past the ALCS in both years.

As far as “Orioles Magic” is concerned, the only thing I REALLY know about “magic” for the Orioles franchise happened during those two seasons.

I’ve explained my excitement about Alomar’s impending induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame many times. Part of my identity as a Baltimore sports personality is tied to my affection to the man who will take his place in Cooperstown next weekend.

I find it fitting that as Alomar enters the Hall of Fame, he will share the stage with the architect of those Orioles teams, former General Manager Pat Gillick. Gillick’s career is directly tied to Alomar, having brought the second baseman to the Toronto Blue Jays, where the pair would win two World Series titles. Gillick would go on to bring Alomar to Baltimore, where he would lead the O’s to their only Wild Card playoff berth and their first AL East crown in 14 seasons.

My guess is that most of the coverage surrounding next weekend’s induction ceremony will be about the time Alomar and Gillick shared with the Jays. But for Orioles fans, next weekend’s ceremony will be a reminder of a special (albeit short) era of success in Baltimore.

It’s with that in mind that I am happy to announce that Thyrl Nelson and I have come together to dedicate next Friday’s (7/22) edition of “The Mobtown Sports Beat” to the 1996 & 1997 Baltimore Orioles.

We’ll use the show to congratulate Alomar and Gillick on entering the Hall of Fame, as well as to honor the teams that were truthfully the most special in my lifetime.

We’ll talk to players, coaches, broadcasters and even fans who were around those teams. Some interviews will be live, some will be taped earlier in the week. As guests continue to confirm, I’ll do my best to pass them along.

Older Orioles fans might not look back on the ’96 and ’97 with the same fondness that I do. But this is all I’ve known of winning baseball in Baltimore…well…ever.

It’s going to be a lot of fun. I hope you’ll tune in next Friday to AM1570 WNST or online at WNST.net to join in the celebration. I hope you’ll chime in with calls, emails, Tweets (@WNST or @GlennClarkWNST on Twitter), Facebook messages and other memories of those teams.

It’s the only “Magic” I’ve ever experienced, and it doesn’t look like it will be changing soon.

(Eds. Note: A previous version of this post mistakenly stated the Ravens had experienced “multiple blackouts” in their early years.)

-G

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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7: Things In Sports We Can Simply Do Without

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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7: Things In Sports We Can Simply Do Without

Posted on 12 July 2011 by Glenn Clark

This week’s Tuesday Top 7 was dedicated to the great Chris Berman from ESPN. As I was following on Twitter Monday night while watching the Home Run Derby, I was reminded that I wasn’t the only person watching that was simply tired of the Chris Berman “shtick.”

With that in mind, our Tuesday Top 7 topic was “The Top 7 Things In Sports We Can Simply Do Without.” Self-explanatory, yes?

Glenn Clark’s list…

7. Colin Cowherd

cowherd

6. Having 50 different “cups” in soccer

argentina

5. NBA players getting out of the way so they don’t get dunked on

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bYSHu9ylMc[/youtube]

4. “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” anywhere but Wrigley Field

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvZkst884XM&feature=related[/youtube]

3. Preseason All-Conference teams

dob

2. The 4th NFL preseason game

ravensrams

1. Major League Baseball’s “unwritten rules”

greggortiz

Drew Forrester’s list…

7. Day long Super Bowl pre-game show

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpU2W4pRnIM[/youtube]

6. Stalling in lacrosse

laxstalling

5. Tampering rule in NFL preventing you from discussing free agents

nnamdi

4. One stroke penalty for hitting ball out of bounds in golf

oob

3. MLB “Umpire Snobbery”

umpire

2. Baltimore Colts recognized as Indianapolis Colts at Pro Football Hall of Fame

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ruZsHhFXKw[/youtube]

1. Guaranteed multi-year contracts

ramirez

If you missed the explanation of why these players made the list on “The Morning Reaction” Tuesday on AM1570 WNST, hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net!

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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