Tag Archive | "Manny Ramirez"

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Steroids: It’s more fun when they don’t admit it

Posted on 08 August 2009 by Drew Forrester

David Ortiz leafed through the book of steroid excuses and pulled out the easiest, simplest one for his explanation on how he tested positive back in 2003.

“I bought some over the counter supplements and vitamins,” he said today in New York.

Sure.  And I’m Brad Pitt’s stunt double in an upcoming film.

These guys crack me up. 

But, in all honesty, I kind of like it when these steroid users don’t actually admit to it – even when they’re caught.

If David Ortiz would have just told the truth today — “Yes, like a lot of other players in the early part of this decade, I gave into temptation and used steroids” — there’d be nothing left for us to wonder about HIM…we’d know the truth. 

This way, with his “over the counter” explanation, we can all continue to point at him and giggle.  Not only did he juice up, he got caught.  And then, when pressed for an answer, he sat there and squirmed his way through a ridiculous half-admission. 

Like the late, great Charley Eckman would say:  “It’s better than movies…”

I like Bronson Arroyo’s approach this week.  He got a head start on his flimsy excuse by pre-admitting he used an over-the-counter product back in 2002-2003 that MIGHT have contained small doses of Winstrol.  Winstrol, of course, is code word for: steroids.

I’m a Bronson Arroyo fan.  He sings “Plush” by Stone Temple Pilots better than Scott Weiland. 

He’s also a guy who used steroids and, I’m assuming, is on “the list”.  Rather than wait for his name to be published and have to come up with something on the fly, Arroyo got a head start by letting everyone know there’s a CHANCE his name might be on the list because…blah, blah, blah.

Quick question:  When’s the last time any of you out there took something that might have had steroids in it?  Yeah, me neither. 

Watching these players squirm and come up with out-of-this-world stories about steroids and how they-might-be-linked-but-shouldn’t-be-because-they-never-did-them is far more entertaining than the games themselves.

I’m sure Ortiz got specific directions from the Player’s Union prior to making his plea today.  “Whatever you do, David, DO NOT admit to using steroids,” he was probably told.  And, right on cue, Ortiz conjured up some story about going to CVS or Walgreens and buying some work-out supplement in an attempt to hit more home runs. 

The Player’s Union can’t have Ortiz ‘fess up.  They just can’t.  We want to hear it, but it’s not going to happen. 

Here’s a funny twist to this whole steroids thing:  A bunch of guys have been caught recently, either by the government or through the testing process that was supposed to be under lock-and-seal.  A few years ago, it was Jason Giambi.  Two years ago, Roger Clemens was in the news for his wild ride on the juice.  Manny Ramirez tested positive THIS year and was suspended for 50 games.  So far, of all the big names who have been pin-pointed as cheaters, only one has stepped forward, when caught, and basically admitted it — “you got me”.

Guess who?  Alex Rodriguez.

Sure, he fumbled and stumbled his way through an interview with Peter Gammons, but at least A-Rod gave in when the evidence in front of him was too much to deny. 

How’s that for irony?  The one guy everyone thinks is a Hall-of-Fame-Scumbag didn’t give the old “I bought some vitamins” b.s. when his name was linked to a failed test. 

They’re all cheaters, of course, A-Rod included.  But there’s cheating, there’s being caught, and, there’s coming clean.  It’s a vicious triangle. 

Today, though, Ortiz moved ahead of Rodriguez on the laugh-list, as he couldn’t even look everyone in the eye and say, “OK, you got me…but that was 6 years ago folks.”  He could have used A-Rod’s “loosey-goosey” line, even.  That would have brought out a laugh or two, huh?

At this stage, I honestly don’t care who’s on that stupid list.  I really don’t.  I don’t even care that they run and hide when the evidence is laid out in front of them for everyone to evaluate.

They’re all steroid users.

Clemens: User.  Ramirez: User.  Ortiz:  User.  A-Rod: User.

The “list” goes on and on and on.

I’d rather they keep lying about it, frankly.  By fibbing, they only confirm what I’ve been thinking about baseball players all along.  A large percentage of them are scallywags.  They’ve perfected the art of baseball excellence by deciding to take the easy way out.  For years, the joke was on the fans and the media.

Not anymore.

The joke, now, is all on them.

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The Dirty 103 ???

Posted on 05 August 2009 by Rex Snider

Every few months, a new name surfaces in connection to the “2003 Major League Baseball – Administrative Drug Test.” You know, it’s the test players took, with an understanding they wouldn’t be compromised or punished.

In March, Sports Illustrated’s Selena Roberts outed Alex Rodriguez as one of the 103 players, who tested positive, during the 2003 program. After much wrangling and straight-faced denials, A’Rod finally came clean.

A few months followed, but another foot finally dropped. And, to nobody’s surprise, the name revealed was Slammin’ Sammy Sosa. According to the New York Times, Sammy also tested positive, in 2003. There has been no word from Sosa, but we all know he forgets his mastery of the English language, on occasion.

The latest disclosure, last week, also by the New York Times, cites David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez as players who also failed the 2003 sampling. Neither player has wholeheartedly denied the legitimacy of the report. Hey, if you’re not denying such an accusation …..

Still, we’re all waiting around for the next name to drop, right?

In fact, pressure is mounting from within Major League Baseball, to publicly disseminate the findings and names associated with 2003 testing procedure. Personalities, like Ozzie Guillen and Lou Piniella would like to see it. However, I would assume this will be a pretty difficult task to accomplish.

There was no established disciplinary process for using Performance Enhancing Drugs, in 2003. The players consented to the testing procedure with an understanding the findings would remain confidential and with freedom from future sanctions.

The affected players still have an expectation to their negotiated privacy, regardless of the “splash” each big disclosure creates. And, while the mystery of the list has undermined the legitimacy of the sport, the deal must be honored.

Perhaps, the players on the list will collectively decide to go public. That would make it an afterthought, in the span of a week. But, I’d imagine it’s really up to them. Anything less than full disclosure will probably yield the same tidbits of outing we’ve experienced, since the A’Rod debacle.

The website, RotoInfo.com, has released its “Rumored 2003 List.” It’s unconfirmed, but the site stands by its relevance. It should be added that RotoInfo.com is a legitimate web news source, and its postings are not reflective of propaganda or tabloid material.

If the list is accurate, some Orioles fans might be surprised at the naming of a former All Star, who’s feeling “disrespected.” The legitimacy of the list would also disappoint the likes of Drew Forrester (hmmm ….. who could we be talking about?), Franchise (yep, we know which team is MOST REPRESENTED), and wives – Mia Hamm and Anna Benson.

Ahh well, if you’re curious, here’s the list …..


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Can We Go Back To Chanting “1918” Now?

Posted on 30 July 2009 by Glenn Clark

Those Red Sox World Series teams? Reportedly just as dirty as the Orioles teams who couldn’t sniff .500……

From the New York Times….

Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, the sluggers who propelled the Boston Red Sox to end an 86-year World Series championship drought and to capture another title three years later, were among the roughly 100 Major League Baseball players to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, according to lawyers with knowledge of the results.

At least their juicers were winning, I guess.


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Posted on 06 July 2009 by Glenn Clark

Let me start by saying this…..

The last time I spoke to Steve McNair was in January, right before the event he did with us down in Nashville. The call came in WELL after midnight on Thursday night; and Steve was the subject of controversy in Tennessee because he was going to be involved with a “Ravens rally” before a playoff game against the Titans organization whose existence he was so synonamous with. Steve’s manager had called me the day before to say he couldn’t be involved with the event. But Steve himself called me very late/very early Friday to say “I gotta do it man. I gotta do it for the kids.” I asked Steve if he knew what time it was, and he said “Yeah, but I had to let you know man.”

The event stood to benefit the Ronald McDonald House, which was particularly important to Steve. I was really happy to know that Steve was willing to stand up in the face of the people who challenged him.

I couldn’t tell you much more about Steve personally. I met him immediately when he was first traded to Baltimore, and I unfortunately left for Phoenix right before his two year run here began. I just never really got the chance to get to know him much more than that. As the news has unfolded this weekend, I’ve been a mess of emotions, and have thought so much about how much I admired the guy. I am not ashamed to admit that I respect Jeff Fisher in a way that might be borderline “man crush”, and I will admit that during the rivalry with the Titans early this century I always felt that the Titans franchise was remarkably similar to the Ravens, and I couldn’t help but respect their team (as long as the Ravens beat them on the field).

I thought about skipping this weekend’s 15-7-0; but it was important to me to laugh. I remember the day of Sean Taylor’s unthinkable murder, I was asked to do my daily 15 minute comedy bit for a radio show I worked for at the time. It seemed strange, but I felt it comfortable to mention the tragedy, and then ask for permission to try to have fun. It was KINDA like the time Lorne Michaels asked Rudy Giuliani if SNL was allowed to be “funny” when they came back after 9/11. “America’s Mayor” responded with the simple quip “Why start now?”

So I’m asking your permission to have fun. I’d ask for permission to be funny, but I know you’d have a smart one-liner for me. There won’t be anything more about Steve in here. I’ll let that play out on its own.

As a note, since this weekend started on Thursday night. Read accordingly.

You get props….

1-Joey Chestnut


So, many of you know that at some point in my life I’m finally going to get around to writing my book. My book will of course be about the great Juan Dixon, and it will be called “We Needed A Hero.” The book will get that title because sports fans from this region who are about my age really never had a true “hero” until Juan Dixon came around. I’ll spare you the details of the book other than to ask that you buy it (if I actually finally get around to actually writing the damn thing). But anyway, buy my book.

Oh right, Joey Chestnut. You see, the moral of the story is that years later; we finally have our next great hero. I’ve seen a number of great accomplishments in my day; but standing on a street corner in Brooklyn to watch our greatest American champion successfully defend his crown and smash his own world record; I’d be lying to you if I said it didn’t bring a tear to my eye. Or that I didn’t rush up on stage the very second the contest was over to give the man a hug.

The best thing “Jaws” said to me all day?

“Plus, you know, I think the hot dogs are really good.”

This man is a hero America. Get on board now.

2-Adam Jones

Upon hearing the news that he had made the American League’s All-Star team as the lone representative from the Baltimore Orioles, Adam Jones released this statement……

“This is a big day for me. I feel like I have been named the prettiest girl at fat camp.”

(Editor’s note: No, no, he really said it. Just trust me. I mean, why would I lie to you if financial gain wasn’t an option?)

3-Tiger Woods

Do you think the invitations to Tiger’s event read like this…..

“Please come to my party, where you can enjoy watching me kick your ass. Cake and punch will be available.”

Also, you’ll be seeing this video (or actually Comcast SportsNet’s version of this video) a lot over the next 24 hours…..

4-Shin-Soo Choo, Derek Lee, Justin Morneau and Casey McGehee

In other baseball news this weekend, Jason Bay made the All-Star team despite toting just a .260 average and going 0-5 with 5 strikeouts against the Orioles last week. But I think people from Boston are really smart. For example, this guy is an elected official……

Your city is awful, your people are worse. I guess I’ll throw in a shout-out to Tim Wakefield, who made his first All-Star team since 1963.

5-Serena Williams

For absolutely no reason at all, I’d like to remind you of what Serena Williams looks like in a bikini.


If this isn’t a reminder of why America is the greatest country on the face of the planet, I don’t know what else you’re looking for. Seriously, this country rules. And Serena is apparently pretty good at tennis too.

6-Robbie Rogers

I would love Robbie Rogers even if he wasn’t the man of the match in the US’s win over Grenada. That is of course because Robbie went to the greatest school in the history of the world, a proud Maryland Terrapin.

I know what you’re thinking. “Glenn, does that mean that no matter what, you just immediately love every person that went to the University of Maryland, no matter who they are?”

Well, the answer is yes. Except for these guys anyway……


Ehhhh….who am I kidding? Even those guys.

7-Justin Turner, Radhames Liz, and Chris Salberg

Congratulations also go out to Jim Miller and Chris Tillman of the Norfolk Tides, who were each named to the International League’s All-Star team for next week’s game in Portland.

Wait……their reward is to spend three days in Portland that they could have spent on vacation?

I’m sorry…..there are no consolation prizes available.

8-Matt Russell

Remember how I said Tim Kennedy was my favorite soldier in the world? He has company. There’s really nothing about Matt Russell that falls into the category of “news” from this weekend, but Matt Russell is a former Navy goalie and current Washington Bayhawk who is currently serving in Iraq. For that, he kicks ass. And I know he’s not the only athlete who is serving or who has served recently, but he’s the only one that I had a story about waiting for me in my Inbox. And it is REALLY hard for me to go searching for other stories when I know that there is an episode of “Kendra” waiting on my Comcast DVR.


So here’s to you Matt Russell. When you get home, I’m buying you a Blue Moon. I’d buy you more, but how would you drive me home?

9-Rick Maese

I get the feeling that I am going to SERIOUSLY regret the fact that I wasn’t able to hang out more with Rick Maese while he was working in Baltimore. I mean, it’s not as if I never knew the guy, but something tells me he would have been the perfect candidate to have me pass out on his floor after a weekend with Mike Grinnon in College Park.


Rick recently took a new gig with the Washington Post as a Redskins beat writer following his dismissal from The Sun. He did an interview last week with the humorous DC-sports Blog “Mister Irrelevant”, and here are some of the many gems….

When asked about his firing while covering a game at Camden Yards:

No, it wasn’t cool, but there’s probably no perfect way to whack an employee. I didn’t need a hug or a pat on the back or a Baltimore Sun souvenir mug on my way out the door.

I’m a couple of months removed now and I mostly feel sadness. The Sun is important to Baltimore, and there’s still a lot of good people trying to do good work. To me, what’s happened there isn’t fair to these people who are on the ground — who are actually practicing journalism — and it’s not fair to the people of Baltimore who depend on the Sun in so many ways. So it’s sad to me. I sincerely hope the people steering the ship have a plan. In a perfect world, newspapers are run by journalists, not kamikaze pilots.

When asked about how he’s been spending his time off:

My recent extended vacation has forced me to figure out what else I like to do to pass the time. I’m big into music. In the past few weeks, I’ve seen Drive-By Truckers, Old 97s, Martin Sexton, Gaslight Anthem, Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers and Michael Jackson. Wait, scratch that last one. No one will ever top David Bowie or the Beatles. Seen Bowie once. Supposed to see him a second time, down in Miami several years back, but the show was canceled. After the opening act, some dude fell from the catwalk and died on the stage. Bowie never came out. I’m not sure anyone’s death has affected me quite so profoundly.

And on his memories from The Sun:

I’m going to sidestep your question slightly. I’m saving the embarrassing athlete stories for Larry King. Or. Maybe my best-man toast at Gary Williams’ wedding.

Anyhow, when I look back at my time with the Sun, it won’t be a singular story or some home movie. It’s more like flipping through a photo album. Going to work each day at one of the best ballparks in the country. Meeting Ali. China with Cal. China with Phelps. Brian Billick quotes. The student section at Comcast. Dressing as Lincoln and making a mockery of the Presidents Race. Getting an earful each morning from Angelos’ loyal staff subjects. Barbaro. Blindly hunting for Miguel Tejada in the Dominican Republic. Witnessing Dan Steinberg’s ongoing mental breakdown. And that unforgettable Orioles’ World Series. Wait, scratch that last one.

Anyone else get the feeling he’s better off?

10-Micah Owings

Hits a home run and throws a gem in a win. He goes both ways. Sorta like Tila Tequila…..

Tila Tequila

11-Keith Law

Here’s the quick explanation. Law is the man who came up with the quote “Sliced bread is the greatest thing since Matt Wieters” that the people over at MattWietersFacts.com turned into a t-shirt. So to bring everything full circle, Keith Law took a picture of himself wearing the t-shirt and holding a slice of bread.


Bringing things even fuller circle, the slice of bread was quoted as saying “You know what, that Matt Wieters fella is even more awesome than I am. Except of course when you slather Esskay bacon, lettuce, and tomato on me. Then I kick more ass than anything else in the world.”

12-Orange Blossom Cream Ale


I was a little worried that I was drinking a foreign brew on the 4th of July; but it’s from California. Which means it’s almost American!

13-Vladimir Guerrero

Do you ever get this feeling while you’re watching the Orioles:

“How come all of the good players play for the other teams?????”

14-Fruit Salad


In a recent taste test conducted by me; fruit salad was crowned heavyweight champion of the salad community. With no offense to pasta salad, macaroni salad, potato salad, or really anything else in the world; fruit salad is just much awesomer. So awesomer in fact that I decided to invent the word awesomer in order to be able to describe it.


At one point while standing on the corner of Surf and Stillwell in Coney Island Saturday, I looked at a friend of mine and said “is there anything greater about our country than being here on this day?”

Joey Chestnut was introduced to the crowd at Nathan’s Famous to the tune “Baba O’Reilly” by The Who. My pal John Chambers (buy his stuff on iTunes) and I immediately started air guitaring every riff and belting out every lyric. We then looked at each other and I said to him “why the hell don’t they just change this song to our national anthem?” My pal agreed, and it wasn’t until about ten minutes later than my buddy finally wised up and said “Wait, The Who isn’t an American band.” I responded by saying “I know, but they should be.”

And for as much ass as our country kicks, I’m not completely certain it is a good thing that the most patriotic song most people my age could think of Saturday was this gem from “Team America World Police” that is ABSOLUTELY not safe for work. Unless your work is being Bob Saget. And if that’s the case, thanks for reading Bob.

You got lucky…….

1-Roger Federer

I’m not the type to take away from a man on the day of one of his greatest accomplishments, but damnit I thought Andy was finally going to do it today. I had 7 years worth of frustration pent up as an American tennis fan that I was ready to release, too. Here’s a bet I’d like to get advice on…..which happens first: an American wins a grand slam or the Orioles make the playoffs? Chew on that.

Anyway, at least having Pete Sampras in the crowd meant we got to see a few screen shots of the great Veronica Vaughn….


…….and the reminder of Bridgette Wilson’s existence also reminds me that every girl I’ve ever met named Veronica has received this response from me…..”Veronica Vaughn……want to touch the heiney”

These are also reminders that there was a time when Adam Sandler was funny. That’s a pleasant memory.

2-Tony Stewart

Do you get the feeling that a newspaper in Daytona probably said “4th of July Fireworks Come ON Track in Race”?

Tony Stewart won the race. Kyle Busch wrecked on the last lap. I think I need a bigger iPod. Can someone donate one?

More NASCAR analysis later.*

(*By “later” I mean “likely never.”)

3-Ron Artest

This was the same guy who asked his team for some time off so he could promote his rap record.

Now, he’s an outstanding player again, and he’s going to pocket big money to go out to Los Angeles and collect championships with Kobe Bryant.

Nice life.

4-Manny Ramirez

Is there a less likeable guy who is more popular? If I was Sammy Sosa, I’d be kicking myself that I never thought to grow out dreadlocks. Or win two World Series titles. I guess there is a difference.

5-Ian Gregory

Look, this isn’t about Ian Gregory necessarily being lucky. A young man who has had to go through cancer absolutely deserves the chance to hang out with his favorite football team; even if he has a terrible parent who allowed him to root for the Cowboys.

What this is really about is the fact that it is “My Wish” week again on SportsCenter; which means their had better be a fresh box of Kleenex somewhere around the apartment. I wish I was kidding; but these damn videos ALWAYS leave me in tears.

Trust me, I hope Marion Barber turns his ankle in the first week of the season (unless I end up drafting him); but damnit I can’t help rooting for the guy for at least 3-4 minutes.

Here it is…..

6-Shoot The Freak


Only in New York. Nothing like wandering down the street and hearing “Shoot the freak in the freaking head!” or “It’s Coney Island, what did you expect?”

How this attraction still exists I don’t know; but there’s a part of me that’s glad it does. Look, New York isn’t for everyone. For example, I went to something called Rubulad while I was in town this weekend, and after my 4th or 5th Pabst Blue Ribbon; I decided it probably wasn’t for me.

But I wasn’t sure how to get off the roof.

Or why the cow next to me was watching a silent film on a projector.

And I only wish I had a camera to prove these things.

7-The Luckiest Dang Gal On The Face Of The Planet


Now, I know that having the name “The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet” would tend to lead to the idea that the subject is, in fact “lucky”, but something I learned this weekend officially makes her even luckier.

The Skee-ball lanes above are at the Coney Island Arcade. When we arrived there Saturday while our friends took in the Wonder Wheel; I immediately requested $5 worth of quarters from the man in the Arcade so I could show off my freakish pop-a-shot basketball prowess; as well as my relatively mediocre Skee-ball stardom. I took the quarters, handed a couple to TLDGOTFOTP, and placed mine in the Skee-Ball machine nearest me. It was at that moment that potentially the most fateful words in the short history of our relationship were spoken…..

“I’ve never played Skee-Ball before.”

I know what you’re thinking.

“Glenn, how did you not leave her right there in that Coney Island Arcade and let her find her own way back to whatever people might still accept her?”

Trust me, I considered it.

But I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt, and a chance to show she was a quick learner.

But I was wrong.

Her first ball was thrown overhand.

Her send bounced right back in her face.

I’m pressing on for now, but I have to admit that the future of our relationship is still in doubt.


You’re a zero……

Kansas City Royals

I know it sounds like I’m piling on; but the story of what they did to Baseball Prospectus’ Rany Jazayerli is practically Bader-istic.

The long and short of it? The Royals didn’t like something Jazayerli blogged; so they threatened to cut him off completely from the team…….and anyone (including radio shows) who associated with him as well.

Jazayerli is (of course) amongst the biggest Royals fans on the planet.

Somewhere Steve Melewski was thinking to himeself “I think the Royals are really doing a good job.”


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Posted on 29 June 2009 by Glenn Clark

Hey Forrester, here’s the new Jay-Z tune…..

Don’t say I never did anything for you.

You deserve props….

1-Terrell Suggs and Matt Hobgood

One says he’s going to sign, the other actually did.

How many times do you think Matt Hobgood looked at his agent and said “Do I HAVE to?”

2-Kenny Perry

Won a golf tournament. If I remember right, it was called the Travelers Championship. But my memory is just really REALLY good. For example; do you remember  who won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2002? I do…..


3-Bobby Lashley

It’s possibly you missed Lashley fight Bob Sapp Saturday night because the fight wasn’t shown on live TV. I of course did NOT miss the match because I’ve never been more excited about anything in the history of the world. No stack of sofa pillows would be enough……

4-Brad Bergesen and Nolan Reimold

Does Dave Trembley HAVE to do 5-7 shots of Jack Daniels before filling out a lineup card on Sundays? I can only imagine his conversations with Dave Jauss when putting together the batting order….

“Jausser-put Wigginton on 2nd”
“Dave, I don’t know if Wigginton knows how to play 2nd”
“Who cares-we don’t have anyone else. And have him bat 2nd too.”
“Dave-he’s one of the slowest guys on the team.”
“Have Jones lead off……”
“I’m not certain he’s ever done that before, Trembs”
“It’s either him or Zaun”
“Okay, I guess we can go with Jonesy”
“And one more thing…”
“Let Huff pitch.”
“I’m drawing the line here DT.”
“Look, we’re playing the effing Nationals….”

5-Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta

In the immortal words of Brooke Valentine, “it’s about to be a girlfight.”

(Points if you know the reference. Of course, take those points right back if you know the reference because there is NO REASON any person with a pair of testicles should have ever heard the song.)

Rachel Alexandra won the Mother Goose Stakes and Zenyatta won the Other Horse Race Stakes. Of course, Rachel Alexandra is the hot young 3 year old; while Zenyatta is the crafty “cougar” of the horse racing world at the age of 5. So it would be similar to Hayden Panettiere….


….battling Jennifer Aniston….


……..yep, nothing too exciting there.

6-Melanie Oudin and Andy Roddick

You think I’m going to go down the road of just talking about looks here, don’t you?

Well, I would. But Melanie Oudin is only 17; so there’s an officer standing over my shoulder reading everything I type. And making sure I don’t miss our next meeting.

Of course, Andy Roddick ISN’T 17, which means this is for me the ladies….


(Attention Melanie and Andy: You can make Wimbledon MUCH more interesting for everyone on this side of the pond if you’d be as kind as to keep winning.)

7-Jake Arrieta, Brian Matusz, Brandon Waring, and Kenny Moreland

It was “cavalry” weekend down on the farm; where Jake Arrieta and Brian Matusz showed off what was waiting for Andy MacPhail just down the road.

Koji Uehara had a big weekend too. He threw almost as many pitches as he does in his average start.

8-John Tavares

Congrats bro; you were the number 1 pick in the NHL Draft. Which means you’re now in a group that includes Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, umm……..and……..ummm………

look, the first two were really good, who cares if no one can name any others.

(Editor’s note: After doing more research, I decided that doing research sucks. I also noticed that almost every #1 overall pick went on to a particularly successful NHL career. Other than Kwame Brown.)

9-Michael Rodgers and Carmelita Jeter

Are the fastest man and woman in America after this weekend’s U.S. National Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Which of course means there are two qualifications to their championships. They aren’t the fastest people on the planet; they’re just the fastest people in the country. Amongst people who run outside.

But that’s still pretty good. Frankly, if someone told me I was voted “Sexiest Radio Personality”, I’d be excited. If I found out later that they meant “Sexiest Radio Personality in Baltimore”, I’d still feel pretty honored. If they really meant “Sexiest Radio Personality in Baltimore Whose Initials are GC”; I’d throw a party. And I’d invite WLIF’s Greg Carpenter to the party and say to him “Suck it Greg! You call yourself competition?”


10-Andre Eithier, Jayson Werth, and Aaron Hill

In other baseball news this weekend, Manny Ramirez hit a home run in a minor league baseball assignment; and ESPN made sure to have 12 reporters there to cover it.

Here’s a clip; where you’ll notice that everyone on the team tried to throw Manny high-fives he could clearly care less about receiving…..

11-Andre Letren

The Baltimore Mariners are going to the playoffs. I’d tell you more, but I just noticed you already flipped over to AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com out of boredom. Of course, AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com does have this…..


12-Douglas Ganzer and Chris LaPierre

Maryland Attorney General Douglas Ganzer is helping to bring the game of lacrosse into inner city Baltimore. Love this. We all know the story of Dr. Miles Harrison’s Morgan State teams; and I think it would be outstanding to see Morgan State and other schools eventually get back into the game of lacrosse. Love it.

Chris LaPierre was the star of the Under Armour All-American Lacrosse event Saturday night at Unitas Stadium. Love that. It was the cap of a great day at Towson that included Kurk Lee and Sam Cassell’s charity hoops game. Love that too. Love all of this really.

I mean, the only thing about all of this that I don’t love is the fact that Chris LaPierre-of Gilman-is going to Virginia.

Get bent Chris.

13-UNO on Facebook

Well, it’s all over. As I told my girlfriend (you know her-“The Luckiest Darn Gal on the Face of the Planet”) earlier this evening, don’t expect me to be available much anymore. Not only do I have UNO on my iPod now; but my roommate and I spent the evening playing UNO on Facebook and screwing with the people we were playing against.


Screw you, Jason R. You’re going DOWN.

14-Wedding reception band “New Town”

I wish I could throw you a plug link; but unfortunately I had made one too many trips to the Open Bar at the Rolling Road Country Club Saturday to remember if you told me you had a website. But your version of “I Saw Her Standing There” made my body move in ways I’m not entirely certain it is supposed to.

Also, to the Wise Guy who kept saying “You know, I’m sure some of the other guests would enjoy Hors d’oeuvres as well”; cram it. I don’t know what your fancy french words mean; and I want some more cheese.

Note #2-I understand that we looked REALLY awkward due to a mixture of open bar and open bar; but I thought it was a bit distasteful (but completely accurate) to vote this couple the evening’s “least photogenic”……


15-Optimus Prime


The movie certainly deserved better than the 21% it received on RottenTomatoes.com (although it was FAR from flawless); and apparently just about all of America went to see the flick this weekend. Look, is it frantic? Yes. Does it lack story development and character depth? Badly. But is it a damn fun trip to the movies? Yeah.

Please allow my friend Jason Cook (of YOUR Baltimore Ravens) to sum this up…..

“Optimus Prime is the Realest!”

Yes he is.

You got lucky……


You think he wasn’t sweating out the potential embarrassment his country would suffer merely at the thought of losing to the ugly Americans?

And spare me the whole “The US really showed us something though” crap. They had a lead that they should have been able to hold onto. But the other team was better than them. As an Orioles fan, I am all too familiar.

The best thing that has come from America’s sudden relevance in soccer is my chance to learn about American Soccer WAGs. For example, one of the people in this picture is reportedly Landon Donovan’s wife….


…..the other is reportedly the future Mrs. Glenn Clark.

2-Tony Bennett and Josh Pastner

Will Regan committed to Virginia (I guess because he’s seen what a powerhouse they’ve built down there in front of half-empty Charlottesville crowds?) and Elliot Williams plans to transfer to Memphis (saying he believes the “major violations” facing the Tigers are probably just gas).

I’ve changed my mind. Gary Williams should start cheating. Clearly nothing short of that will get you players anymore.

3-Elivs Grbac

This story is SO outstanding I don’t care that it is technically a day older than what I usually allow here. Thanks to brilliant blogger/writer/columnist/Facebook friend Jeff Pearlman for outing the story of how Rich Gannon was supposed to be named People magazine’s “Sexiest Athlete” in 1998 but they accidentally gave the award to Grbac instead…..


4-John Henry and Hank Baskett

I see you married a hottie in a lavish ceremony at an exotic place. Well………I had a turkey sub at Subway and embarrassingly sang along to every word of “All The Above” by Maino.

You tell me who had the better weekend.

5-Joey Lagano and Scott Dixon

Lagano won a race because it started raining; and Scott Dixon won a race that the drivers thought was an “awful race.”

You got another “racing is better than soccer” gem in you, Rex Snider? Oh wait…..you do??? Jesus. You REALLY think NASCAR was a bigger story Sunday than Brazil/U.S.?

Every Facebook/Twitter poster in the WORLD apparently is not in agreement.

6-Sidney Ponson and Geovany Soto

He can’t be suspended because he tested positive at the WBC (and because it is only a suspension if your team actually wants you to be back on their roster); but Sidney Ponson deserves to be.

The surprising thing about this story is that Ponson tested positive for a weight loss stimulant. What on earth makes you think you need to lose weight, Sid?


7-Anyone who got tickets to Virgin Festival and actually wants to go

With no offense to Blink 182 or Weezer…..I’ll sell you mine. Just let me know the price. I didn’t get them out of excitement, people.

You’re a zero……

The last 7 days

Let me get this straight…..

Michael Jackson died. Farrah Fawcett died. Ed McMahon died. Billy Mays died. The DC Metro crashed. Iran is in a state of complete uproar. Jon & Kate are getting divored. The governor of South Carolina has been cheating on his wife with some chick in Argentina. The Orioles were swept by the Marlins. I lost a game of bocce to my girlfriend.

I’d like to make a joke here but this has really just been awful. I mean, the best news of the week was that Barack Obama still likes to smoke every now and then.

That’s right; I said it was the BEST story of the week. This week sucked. No wonder everyone is on vacation.

The good news is that next week it’ll rain.


Flexing my mic muscles since 1983….


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Donald Fehr’s retirement more significant than another user being revealed

Posted on 23 June 2009 by Luke Jones

While Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, and Sammy Sosa have recently shared the spotlight of The Steroid Era, the man who perhaps held the most influence over this dark period for the national pastime announced his upcoming retirement on Monday.

Though Donald Fehr never swung a bat or hurled a fastball toward home plate, he served as executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association for nearly 26 years, holding far more power and influence on the game than Barry Bonds or Sosa rewriting the record books.

Make no mistake; Fehr did his job exceedingly well, leading the most powerful union in professional sports for nearly three decades.  It was never his job to be an ambassador for baseball or to maintain the integrity of the sport.  Fehr dedicated himself to gaining whatever he could for the union, regardless of the long-term effect on the game or even his own players.

Succeeding Marvin Miller, the greatest union leader in the history of professional sports, was not an easy task, but Fehr proved to be a shrewd negotiator and furthered the progress made by Miller in the 1970s.

He will be remembered for leading the players in the 1994 strike that canceled the World Series for the first time in 90 years, but Fehr still celebrates the collective bargaining agreement signed in 1995 that gave virtually nothing to the owners who were seeking a salary cap and radical change.

It should also be noted that the union leader helped to negotiate CBA deals in 2002 and 2006, bringing 16 years of uninterrupted baseball by the time the current agreement expires in 2011.

But The Steroid Era will be the overwhelming umbrella under which Fehr will be remembered.  Baseball’s gargantuan problem with performance enhancing drugs started with its leadership:  commissioner Bud Selig, the owners, and union leader Fehr.

Despite numerous whispers and rumblings about steroid use in baseball, Fehr dragged his feet on drug testing for years, citing how it would be a violation of players’ privacy.  The fact that this put honest players in an impossible predicament meant little to Fehr if it protected some of the major stars of the game.

Even after the late Ken Caminiti dropped the bombshell of how rampant steroid use was in 2002, the union only agreed to trial testing—which players would even know about ahead of time—in spring training of 2003 to determine if there was a problem before a formal testing policy would be implemented.  Even after the trial testing provided 104 names that failed drug tests, the new policy was little more than a band-aid for a problem that required major surgery.  It took Jose Canseco, BALCO, and Congressional hearings for the current, stiffer policy to finally be established.

In Fehr’s defense, the owners weren’t exactly howling at the moon to institute tougher penalties either, but the blame must be shared by all.  The owners and union both closed their eyes to a problem that continues to blacken the integrity of the game as another name is leaked or another disgraced star becomes eligible for the Hall of Fame.

How ironic it is that the same privacy cited by Fehr while fighting against drug testing for years was subsequently violated with his union’s failure to destroy the list of 104 players failing confidential tests in 2003—the very list that contained the names of Alex Rodriguez and Sammy Sosa.

Fehr chose to protect his tainted stars at the expense of the players facing the dilemma of being at a competitive disadvantage or joining others who were cheating.  As a result, we witness an era in which any and all players performing at a high level are questioned about their training methods.

While Fehr was simply doing what he thought was best for the players he represented, he failed to view the long-term effects on the game of baseball and his own players who are now placed under scrutiny—whether justified or not.

Fehr’s retirement is another step in the long healing process, as one of the figureheads for The Steroid Era rides off into the sunset, leaving behind a mess that will not be cleaned up anytime soon.

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2 Down 102 To Go

Posted on 18 June 2009 by Thyrl Nelson

In case you missed the “news” this week, another of the 104 names being held in secrecy by the government, from the list of confidential samples given during MLB’s 2003 survey testing has been leaked.


Yes, if you believe the report, Sammy Sosa has been officially linked to steroids or performance enhancing drugs. In other, related “news”, the sky is blue, water is wet, and the O’s stink.


When Sosa gave his retirement statement, just over a week ago, the timing was curious. But the comments that Sosa made during the announcement, left many believing that evidence of Sosa’s use of PED’s was forthcoming.


Sosa, who had seemingly become an afterthought in the steroid scandal thanks to the likes of A-Rod and Manny Ramirez, inserted himself right back into the forefront of the conversation, by making statements about patiently awaiting his induction into Cooperstown. Sosa said that his numbers alone should stand up, and that he wouldn’t allow rumors or accusations to tarnish his legacy. (not in those exact words, obviously)


To many, including myself, this led to speculation that Sosa had indeed been caught, and was now engaging in proactive damage control. My guess was that Sosa was on the 2003 list, and further, that by retiring, he was negating the rights of the player’s association to negotiate for him, with regards to releasing the names on the list.


Due to my rudimentary understanding of law, labor negotiations, and union policies, I couldn’t say for sure that legally, that would hold weight. But it would seem to make sense that if baseball were negotiating to have the list released, then Sosa, by removing himself from baseball’s union, could also negate their right to negotiate on his behalf.


So far, the chain of events seem to support the conspiracy theory. And perhaps in his voracity to distance himself from the rest, Sosa has instead outed himself to a degree. For now, he’ll be forced to stand alone, amidst the speculation.


My guess would be that the rest of the list is coming soon, I think Sosa was betting on that too. If it never comes, Sosa will have made a mistake. If it comes out, and the names of retired players are redacted, Sosa’s mistake will have been raising suspicion with his comments, rather than quietly filing his paperwork. Let’s face it though, Sosa was convicted in the court of public opinion a long time ago anyway.


Personally, I think the list should have been destroyed a long time ago. Ultimately, this is just another example of what happens when the government gets involved in sports. It seems that every time the government pokes their collective nose into the business of the sports that we love and know, it only serves to illustrate how little they know about those sports. It also leads me to wonder how little they know about the other issues and aspects of society on which we’re trusting them to know more than us. But that is certainly the subject for another whole blog, some other time perhaps.


The list was never meant to be made public, and in fact wasn’t even a list at all. Before the Bonds’ trial, the list was 2 lists, on separate coasts, one with serial numbers and results, the other with names and serial numbers. Why the government needed to create and preserve a list of 104 names, in order to verify a single name on the list, in order to pursue a case that still hasn’t been made is beyond me, and is also probably best left  for another blog at another date too.


If it were up to me, we’d burn the list today, much to the chagrin of Sammy Sosa I’d bet. Instead, I’m guessing that, right or wrong, we’ll be seeing the other 102 names soon. Since they continue to leak anyway, better to get it all over with at once. Like the proverbial band-aid, it will ultimately hurt a lot less that way in the long run.






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Hard to see the power numbers and not wonder…a little

Posted on 27 May 2009 by Drew Forrester

The early-season eyebrow raisers are out there.  In fact, we have one right here in Baltimore.

It’s certainly not Adam Jones’ fault, for example, that his numbers are so good to start the ’09 season that it might lead folks to say, “Gee, I wonder how THAT is happening?”  After all, Jones had 9 home runs last year in his first full season in the big leagues.  Let’s see:  This year, 11 homers in 40 games.  A year ago, two fewer home runs in 132 games.  Eyebrows raised.

The same goes for Raul Ibanez in Philadelphia, he of the 17-home run total after 7 weeks of baseball.  That’s the guy who had 23 home runs in 162 games in Seattle last year.  In case you care to inspect his career numbers, here they are.

Jones and Ibanez aren’t the only two guys in the big leagues posting out-of-whack numbers and they’re certainly not the only two on the uptick in ’09 as it relates to producing at the plate.  Ian Kinsler’s having a monster start in Texas, as is Jason Bey in Texas.  Throw them in the raised-eyebrows category too.

Jones might wind up being a career 30-home run per-season guy…hence, his 10-home run start in ’09 won’t look so out-of-whack five years from now if that becomes the norm.

Ibanez – as did Brady Anderson back in the day – might be reaching his “athletic opus” right about now.  He’s always been a productive hitter, as the stats bear out.

I’m certainly not stating that either one of those players are using steroids.  I have ZERO evidence to support that claim.  Then again, this time last year, I had ZERO evidence to support my belief that Manny Ramirez used steroids.  But I thought Man-Ram was a juicer.  Turns out – in that case – I was right.

What I am saying, though, is that I now greet every “spike” in power with a “hmmmmm…”   And yes, that includes any occasion that a “spike” gets connected to a Baltimore player — like Brian Roberts in 2005 when he hit 11 home runs in April.  Turns out we were all “right” back then, too, as Brian later told us.

I see Ibanez with 17 home runs at Memorial Day and Jones with 11 homers at the 40-game mark and I wonder…a little.

Don’t blame me for that.

Blame A-Rod.  And Bonds.  And Manny.  And Sammy.  And Raffy.  And all the rest of those guys who decided to risk their legacy for the sake of making another $20 million.  

Hey, $20 million is $20 million.  I get it.  A lot of people reading this (including the guy writing it) would have to seriously consider the temptations of “advancing” your ability in exchange for making your family secure for the rest of their lives if it came down to that.  In the real-world that we live in, just take your current salary, quadruple it, and then have your employee “guarantee” it for you for the next 8 years regardless of your performance or the company’s success.  And all you need to do is just pop a pill – or juice up a little – and get the edge over your co-workers and the competition.  Current salary…quadrupled…guaranteed.  Where’s the order form, right?

I’m not saying the cheaters were right for doing it.  I’m saying when it’s widespread, “everyone does it” because that’s the way to keep with the Jones’s (no pun intended…it just fit.)

So…with the decision from the juicers to cheat the game comes a long-line of people – like me – who are no longer willing to give everyone in baseball a free pass.  The Steroids Era might not be over (yet), but the Freepass Era is kaput…at least in MY league.

I see these guys hitting the ball all over the park and I wonder, “What magic potion has HE found?”  Mark Teixeira hit a home run a couple of nights ago on a broken bat.  And it didn’t clear the fence by 3 feet.  It was a bomb.  Helluva bat he was using, eh?

Don’t blame me.  

Blame the cheaters.

Put the onus on guys like Ramirez, who had the audacity to keep using even after MLB introduced testing and legitimate penalties to players who test positive.  

Lord only knows how long Manny was using steroids and covering it up with whatever he was putting in his body to cover it up.  Can you imagine how many times he snickered after a 4-for-5 night where he roped the ball all over Fenway?  Wouldn’t you have enjoyed being a fly on the wall when Man-Ram peed in the cup and handed it over to the testing official with a smirk and a “Here ya go…good luck finding anything…I’m clean.”  

Most of the cheaters were probably petrified that they would be exposed at some point.  Ramirez undoubtedly sauntered around like his “needle” didn’t stink.  

Now, guys like Adam Jones and Raul Ibanez are paying the price for the stupidity of Ramirez.   And A-Rod.  And Clemens, even.  Oh, that’s right, Roger wasn’t a user.  I must have “misremembered”.  

I want to believe that the numbers being put up by guys like Adam Jones and Raul Ibanez are the result of hard work, better plate discipline and, perhaps, even an overall decline in pitching throughout major league baseball. 

Unfortunately, I’ve been suckered in one too many times by the “bleacher creatures” — as referenced in those insanely idiotic MASN commercials.

In my little world – maybe NOT in yours…but in mine – none of these guys are to be believed anymore…even the hometown guy who is quickly becoming one of my favorite Orioles.  Adam Jones is a bonafide superstar in the making if he stays healthy.  But I have to admit that I see his offensive numbers go through the roof and I go “hmmmm?”

All the excuses are there for me, ready-made:  “They know the testing date” (check) – “They’re masking the steroids with other substances to beat the testing” (check) – “They’re sitting out periods of the season while they ‘cycle-down’ from their juicing” (check) – “I had no idea that was a banned substance but I know now.” (check)

Ramirez was the dumb one this spring.  Don’t worry, between now and Labor Day, some other bomber will slip up and “take something from his doctor” that wasn’t approved.  You can almost bet on it.  

Until a season or two goes by without another nitwit getting busted for PED’s, I have the right to look at everyone with a jaded eye.  

That’s not MY fault.

It’s THEIR fault.

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A Tale Of Two Drug Tests …..

Posted on 12 May 2009 by Rex Snider

In the span of 3 days, a couple pro athletes were suspended by their respective leagues, for failed drug tests. Manny Ramirez and Jeremy Mayfield are pro athletes. Manny Ramirez and Jeremy Mayfield are both on the outside looking in ….. and this is where the similarities end.

Lets be honest with each other – every sports fan in America knows Manny Ramirez and his antics. However, Jeremy Mayfield’s name is really only a staple within the ranks of NASCAR fans, as well as the purest of crazies in all sports. One guy is a modern day icon and the other could walk down Pratt Street without turning a single head.

Yet, Ramirez and Mayfield have both ran afoul of their sport’s sanctioning body and its drug testing program. To his credit, Ramirez hasn’t disputed the result – although, I don’t believe the male dysfunction excuses. Manny is just being Manny, as they would say.

Jeremy Mayfield’s situation is a bit less clear. NASCAR suspended him prior to Saturday night’s “Southern 500,” in Darlington, South Carolina. According to NASCAR spokesman, Jim Hunter, Mayfield’s urine specimen from a test administered in Richmond, a week prior, resulted positive for an undisclosed drug compound.

Hunter has confirmed the positive test result was not attributed to alcohol or a PED (performance enhancing drug) substance. And, Dr. David Black, who heads up NASCAR’S drug testing group confirmed the substance is not of the “prescription variety.”

Hmmm ….. we’re able to narrow the list of suspected drugs, huh?

While the specific situations of Manny Ramirez and Jeremy Mayfield serve as an embarrassment for Major league Baseball and NASCAR, respectively, each sport has a differing interest moving forward.

Major League Baseball is trying to rid its culture of guys who cheat the integrity of the sport and it’s legendary records and achievements. Whether an offender throws a ball or hits a ball, they’re robbing the history of the game ….. and negatively impacting the current competition.

NASCAR has a totally different set of problems.

The fear within NASCAR does not regard records, when drug use is considered. Indeed, there are drugs that can enhance one’s ability to concentrate – for short periods of time. And, I suppose steroids or HGH could benefit a driver, given the physical demands of handling a 4,000 pound monster at nearly 200 miles per hour.

Yet, the real concern is waged on drugs that impair the ability to drive a car. These substances – of recreational and prescription means, can most certainly inhibit a driver from making the right decision in a “split second.” Heck, we see the evidence of bad decisions – by SOBER drivers – all the time.

NASCAR has a real problem.

Forget steroids and their impact on the game of baseball. A “high” driver can kill himself and a few others. Now, that’s a crisis …..

I’ve met Jeremy Mayfield numerous times and each encounter has been pleasant. He’s affable, cordial and well mannered. Before Saturday, his two biggest claims to fame included an old Quaker State commercial that still has NASCAR fans jeering “Heyyyyy Jeremy” whenever he walks by.

Oh, and he’s the GUY who gained cult celebrity with the racing community, as he rattled Dale Earnhardt’s cage with a little of his own medicine, in the form of rough driving, on a Monday afternoon, in Pocono – nearly a decade ago. People still remember that race and win.

If there were ever an occasion when I’d like to find out a test result was mistaken, Jeremy Mayfield’s situation would be the one. He’s not greedy, nor selfish. He’s a likeable guy and “down to earth.” But, I’m pretty convinced of drug tests and their credibility.

Still, Jeremy Mayfield’s failed test is much more important than that of Manny Ramirez’s ….. even if the lesser impacting story is getting the most attention.

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5 Ws and 1 H

Posted on 10 May 2009 by Luke Jones

I wanted to take a moment to wish all the moms out there a very Happy Mother’s Day.  In the sports world, we tend to overlook Mom in favor of Dad taking the kids to ballgames or coaching the little league team.

In my own childhood, my dad often had the glory, taking me to Orioles and Ravens games and coaching many of my teams, but my mom was right there at every game as my No. 1 fan.  I sincerely thank her for that.

Now, on to the 5 Ws and 1 H for the week.

1.  Who really deserves to be the Orioles’ closer at this point?  The closer-by-committee idea sounds logical, but relievers have to be effective in order for it to work.  The struggles of George Sherrill against right-handed hitting are well-documented (right-handers are hitting .378 against him), but no one else is emerging as a viable option.

Chris Ray (7.20 ERA) still doesn’t look right after returning from Tommy John surgery, Jamie Walker is really a one or two-batter pitcher at this point in his career, and Jim Johnson gave up the demoralizing three-run homer to Johnny Damon this afternoon.

Danys Baez has been the best of the bunch, but the team is hesitant to throw him into the role of pitching on consecutive days at this point.  He has done a great job filling the role held by Matt Albers last season before he went down with a shoulder injury.

Then again, the club really doesn’t need a closer when the bullpen can rarely hold a lead into the ninth inning.  One thing is for sure—the bullpen has been a major disappointment after looking like it might be one of the team’s strengths entering the season.

2.  What do you think was going through the mind of Alex Rodriguez on Thursday when the news broke that Manny Ramirez was being suspended 50 games for failing a drug test?

Was A-Rod happy to have the attention deflected away from him, or did it bring more scrutiny for his return to the Yankees lineup?

3.  Where will the Ravens go with the wide receiver position after trying out Jerry Porter, Kelley Washington, and Tab Perry this weekend?  None of the three will be a savior, but it certainly seems more crucial to find another veteran option after learning Derrick Mason could miss the preseason after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Washington reportedly had the most impressive showing of the three, but Ozzie Newsome will continue to see who else might shake loose from the other 31 NFL teams between now and late July.

Anquan Boldin’s agent Drew Rosenhaus claims he still expects his client to be traded, but don’t look for the Ravens to make the move unless they can sign Terrell Suggs to a long-term extension.  Suggs’ $10.2 million cap number makes a Boldin trade and subsequent new contract virtually impossible.

4.  When will we see the next high-profile minor leaguer in Baltimore?  Rich Hill—though not really a prospect—pitched six scoreless innings and picked up his first victory for Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday.

We’ll have to wait and see on the status of Luke Scott (shoulder) and Lou Montanez (thumb) during Monday’s off day.  Nolan Reimold (.381, 8 HR, 25 RBI at Norfolk) would figure to be on Andy MacPhail’s speed dial and is more than deserving of a promotion.

Matt Wieters is now hitting .301 despite only hitting one home run this season in Triple A.  At this point, it seems the Orioles are content waiting until early June to promote the 22-year-old catcher to avoid Super 2 Status, preventing him from being eligible for a fourth year of arbitration before free agency.  The recent hot streak of catcher Gregg Zaun—hitting .478 in May—makes the situation a little easier to swallow.

5.  Why won’t Brett Favre just stay or go away?  I have no problem with one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history wanting to continue his career; however, I grow tired of the drama over whether he will return or stay retired.

Here’s an idea:  simply WAIT and THINK before making a life-changing decision, and stick with it when you finally decide.  The drama that has unfolded since he retired from the Packers is more annoying than compelling.

Favre should have taken a lesson from Jonathan Ogden in handling a retirement.  Though the circumstances were different with Ogden nursing a chronic toe problem, he waited and really thought about his future before finally retiring last June.

6.  How are we going to make it to late July for the start of Ravens training camp?  This weekend’s minicamp feels like such a tease for those of us craving football season.

It would certainly help if the Orioles could play competitive baseball until then, but it’s becoming more and more difficult to enjoy watching a team that’s 13-19 and cannot pitch at all.  The promotion of young players like Wieters and Reimold will spark some interest, but will it be enough?

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