It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because I’m still basking in a 4th of July weekend trip to Chicago. If you missed any of my very important updates via Twitter/Twitpic (follow us @WNST), here are the most significant highlights…
I was in the Philadelphia airport Saturday morning preparing to fly when I wandered into the closest “Hudson News” stand I could find. I picked up the ProFootballTalk.com/NBC Sports NFL season preview, and flipped to the Baltimore Ravens section to see what I would find. I was a BIT surprised…
I forwarded that picture to my parents…but I’m not sure they were impressed. In fact, I think the response was “when are you going to get a real job?”
When I finally got settled in the Windy City Saturday afternoon; our first stop was an early dinner at Lou Malnati’s. I was a little confused as to why we needed to get to dinner no later than 5pm…right up until I saw maybe 100 folks waiting in line for deep dish pizza after we had been there for a few minutes. We ordered a Chicago-Style Classic and a 312 Brew from Goose Island Brewing Company. I wasn’t disappointed in either…not even a little bit.
We then hit the Hancock Tower. Apparently the Sears Tower is bigger, but their observatory isn’t as far up as the one at the Hancock. I have no comment, as math was never something I was particularly good at. What I do know is that this view was pretty freaking cool…
Saturday night was a stop at the Second City comedy club. If you’re not familiar, this is the improv factory that produced the likes of Chris Farley, John Belushi, John Candy, Gilda Radner, Steve Carrell, Tina Fey and the majority of the current/former stars of SNL. Sadly, I didn’t get any pictures. My bad.
I thought the purpose of going to Taste of Chicago this weekend was to see Robert Randolph and The Family Band Sunday afternoon. While that was still the major highlight; I knew my experience in Grant Park (you’ll remember Grant Park was the large area where Barack Obama made his acceptance speech on Election Night in 2008) was going to be outstanding when this was the image that greeted me…
And that was BEFORE I hit the Harry Caray’s booth. I’ve had potato chips before, but I’ve never had THESE…
These ended up getting some cajun seasoning and hot sauce as well; and were REALLY.FREAKING.GOOD. Another highlight? The watermelon at the Dominick’s stand was BIGGER THAN MY FREAKING HEAD…
After wandering through Taste of Chicago for a few hours and adding on 4-6,000,000 calories; we hit up Millenium Park. The place has some really cool artwork, including this mirror-art thingy that probably has a much better name than what I’m giving it right now…
The Independence Day festivities wrapped up at Navy Pier, where I just so happened to bump into Ravens DT Brandon McKinney; who let me know that he had been cleared (back) to fully return to practice and would be ready to go when the team reports to McDaniel College for Training Camp.
When it hits 104 today, I might go right back.
Let’s see what everyone has to say…
Because I mentioned Motown and I’m gonna be depressed by talking about the O’s, let’s start today with “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5…
Speaking of which-Hey Kevin Millwood that started the season looking like a pitcher that might be able to get the Orioles something at the trade deadline: I WANT YOU BACK.
We’ll get back to Millwood shortly, as it wasn’t ONLY his fault yesterday. In fact, despite the fact that Millwood pitched only 1 inning, the Orioles actually came back to take the lead. Mark Hendrickson was particularly brutal after that, and the nine runs the Orioles managed to score didn’t much matter-although it is nice to see Jake Fox get another home run for a first baseman.
Geez…I’m excited about Jake Fox. What’s next? Getting excited about an indoor football game?
(Edit from GMC: I’m VERY excited for Saturday night’s AIFA Eastern Conference Championship Game between the Baltimore Mariners and Harrisburg Stampede at 1st Mariner Arena. I’ve always been an exception to the rules though.)
2. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of loss
Here’s the thing. How could these teams have combined for 31 hits without Nick Markakis getting A SINGLE ONE OF THEM?!?!?!?
It puzzles me.
It would be like Kelly Brook posing for Ultimo Lingerie and me not posting pictures! (Thanks, Tim D!)
3. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Birds have talked to Buck Showalter again, but he has not been offered job
But everyone seems to agree that he has moved past Eric Wedge and emerged as the front-runner. With no offense to Showalter, Wedge or anyone else involved in the process; this isn’t exactly like being the frontrunner in the Kentucky Derby. This is probably a little more like being the frontrunner in a race called by Rick from Reisterstown.
I have no idea what to make of this whole managerial search. It seemed like the team would be wise to let Juan Samuel finish things out this season and then make a hire after going through the full process in the offseason. Now it looks like they’re going to hire “The Best of What’s Around” (I’m going to see Dave Matthews Band Friday night, please forgive me) now.
I’d be surprised, but this is the Orioles we’re talking about. But don’t worry, Andy MacPhail is in charge and NOT Peter Angelos. Peter Angelos is totally out of the process, remember?
Meanwhile-while the other candidates were busy being managerial candidates; Rick Dempsey was singing with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. God bless him…
4. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says injury concerns could land Millwood on DL
The Birds were NEVER going to fleece a team in a Kevin Millwood trade before July 31; but there was at least a hope that they could get something more than the Chris Ray they gave up for him…or a player that had a CHANCE to be more than Chris Ray.
Given the way he’s fallen off the face of the planet and now could end up on the DL, hopes of that are starting to slim.
Millwood was the team’s best chance to get SOMETHING before the Trade Deadline. Ty Wigginton, Miguel Tejada, Luke Scott, Will Ohman, Cesar Izturis and even Hendrickson could all be dealt, but none are being dealt for anything significant. Tejada is the team’s 2nd best hope-but Tejada now says he wants to stick around in Charm City.
With no offense to Miguel, but I doubt that’s because he’s EXCITED about losing in Baltimore. My guess is that it’s because he realizes he’s unlikely to be an every day player for a team with a real chance at winning the World Series.
That’s where we are.
Of course, with Tillman throwing another gem (this follows up on his earlier no hitter this season) at AAA; there will be more clamoring for Tillman to get called up. Should Kevin Millwood end up on the DL, there’s almost no chance he DOESN’T get called up.
I don’t think any of us will be as excited about it this time, but the organization will eventually have to find out if Tillman is anything more than a 4A guy.
Before we move on from the Orioles, a reminder that they’re back in action tonight against the Detroit Tigers again at Comerica Park. First pitch on MASN between Jake Arrieta and Armando Galarraga is at 7:05pm.
Look…there’s nothing else on. Not even “Glee.” Just watch the game. None of the rest of us want to do it either, we just don’t have much of a choice.
6. ABC2′s Christian Shaffer says Mt. Carmel basketball star John Crowder murdered in Baltimore
Now we enter the part of Crabs and Beer today that I absolutely like the least. This is a TERRIBLY tragic tale in a city full of terribly tragic tales.
This one will hit home, especially considering there was a chance Crowder could have ended up getting a scholarship from Gary Williams and playing in College Park.
No matter where his life WAS going, it appears as though he hung out with some guys that were less than savory. Of course, all of the rest of us have hung out with some less than desirables ourselves at one point or another.
My heart goes out to John Crowder’s family and friends, as well as everyone surrounding the athletic department at Mt. Carmel.
There’s a bigger problem in Baltimore…that much we know for sure.
7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says former Ravens QB Steve McNair remembered Sunday on anniversary of death
I was wandering around Grant Park Sunday in Chi-Town when I saw someone approaching me wearing a Ravens jersey. Excited, I yelled out “Go Ravens!”
I didn’t get the response I was looking for.
The young man was wearing a Steve McNair jersey, and was not a Ravens fan as much as he was honoring a great NFL player on the anniversary of his murder.
For such an open and shut case, it feels as though little closure has come in the year since McNair’s death. I was unmoved by CBS’ investigation last fall that insinuated the Nashville police hadn’t been as thorough in their investigation as they should have been.
Armen Keteyian’s was chocked full of friends of Sahel Kazemi saying she “wasn’t a violent person” and “didn’t have this in her.” I’m not sure how many friends and family members of murder suspects/convicted murderers usually say “Yeah, I always assumed this would happen.”
There isn’t much more to be said, other than very clearly Steve McNair is still missed not only in Baltimore and Nashville, but also throughout the country.
Thus ends the sad part of today’s Crabs and Beer. Back to sports and hot chicks…
8. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says ’10 offseason amongst best in Ravens history
I don’t disagree with this AT ALL. In fact, it could end up being THE greatest offseason in franchise history if Anquan Boldin helps hoist the Vince Lombari Trophy in Dallas in the winter.
Clearly the moves made before the Super Bowl win have to be viewed as the best offseason in franchise history; but I’m not sure they’ve ever made a more PERFECT move than acquiring a player like Boldin this year.
They still COULD make it the best offseason in franchise history with one simple move. Just go get Kim Feenstra. (Thanks FHM/Guyism!)
9. The Sun’s Don Markus says NCAA-sanctioned Baltimore Summer League opens tonight at Reitz Arena
This is awesome. Amongst the players who are committed to playing in this event are Morgan State’s Kevin Thompson, Missouri’s Kimmie English and Ricky Harris-who just finished his career at UMass. The event is VERY similar to the Kenner League at Georgetown, with current and former college standouts from Baltimore highlighting the field.
Thayne Gould put the entire event together at Loyola, he joined Drew Forrester this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST. If you missed it, make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today to check it out.
Will Carroll (Baseball Prospectus) also joined Drew to go around Major League Baseball, and Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network went not only around football-but also around the World Cup with Drew as well. We also replayed Friday’s interview with Ed Reed (we heard someone else was having him on 5 days later…); if you missed ANY of that, check it out in the Audio Vault as well.
10. Athlon Sports’ Eric Prisbell says 2010 likely final stand for Ralph Friedgen
There’s simply no question about that. If the Terps don’t show marked improvement (even 7-5 might not be enough for a new athletic director), things are set to change in College Park. The decision to keep Ralph and continue the succession plan with James Franklin was Debbie Yow’s. Another Athletic Director could be given more flexibility to go in another direction.
If there IS a coaching search in the future, I would like to be the first to suggest that the Terrapins consider Sheridyn Fisher… (Thanks Busted Coverage/Coed Magazine!)
And finally, I leave you with this.
While I’m frustrated that he didn’t play it Sunday afternoon; it’s not going to keep me from naming Robert Randolph’s “Walk Don’t Walk” this week’s “The Greatest Song of All Time This Week.” If you haven’t picked up the new disc “We Walk This Road” yet, you’re only hurting yourself.
Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…