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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 04 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because I haven’t had a chance to post a “Greatest Song of All Time This Week” this week, and it gives me pass along the same message I passed along yesterday via Facebook (Feel free to add me as a friend-just search for “Glenn Clark” and find the guy in the Dan Wilcox jersey hanging out at Artscape).

I have no idea how Train-who I think is an overly solid band-managed to make such a garbage song as that “Hey Soul Sister” nonsense, but thank God their next single “If It’s Love” is much better…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxWK3qACDGk[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s Howard Fendrich says Jeremy Guthrie pitched Orioles past Angels in Buck Showalter’s debut

Yes-I lead with Jeremy Guthrie instead of Buck Showalter. Last night was much more about Jeremy Guthrie than it was about Showalter.

The one thing that Jeremy Guthrie has given this team for the better part of the year is a feeling that they have a chance to win a game.

The Birds couldn’t do much of anything against Trevor Bell last night, but thanks to Jeremy Guthrie keeping them in it-they were finally able to break through when Los Angeles (of Anaheim) went to the pen. Thanks Mike Scioscia!

That being said, you could tell there was a heightened sense of excitement in Baltimore last night, which is what SHOULD come in the first game under a legitimate MLB manager. The question now is whether or not that excitement can continue for SOME sort of prolonged period of time.

My guess is no-mostly because the players on the field are terrible. Not much can be done about that over the next two months. I’ll hope I’m wrong-but the evidence doesn’t suggest I would be.

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

Ho.Ly.Crap.

Felix Pie stole a base.

I thought it was a little strange when they stopped the game and removed the base; then brough Pie a mic for him to make a Rickey Henderson-type speech on the field. BUT-I understand that it was such a rare occurance they probably didn’t know how to handle it.

It was nice to see Pie have a solid night after fans were given Pie t-shirts. I’m not sure who picked up mine for me, but I’m at least one of you saevd one for me, right? It was also a big night for Matt Wieters, Josh Bell and of course Luke Scott. I hope we’ll see more of all of that.

Of course, I’m so used to saying “you don’t really want to look at the numbers” that I’m always confused when I don’t have to say that. With that in mind, why don’t you look at this picture of WWE’s Kelly Kelly (Thanks Don Chavez!) AND look at the numbers linked above. It’s a win-win!

kellykelly

3. Carroll County Times’ Rich Dubroff says Showalter spent Tuesday afternoon chatting with Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, O’s veterans

The fact is that if the Orioles are going to be competitive at ANY point in the next 4 years, they’re going to have to build around Nick Markakis and hopefully Matt Wieters. Brian Roberts still has 2 years under contract, but is no longer a franchise-type player even when healthy. Adam Jones has talent, but his mistakes and mentality make him more of a “commodity” than a cornerstone.

Markakis is the guy. He’s under contract for 4 more years. He may not be a REAL franchise player in Major League Baseball, but he’s the closest we have in Charm City. Matt Wieters is under control for a few more years as well, so that’s what you build around.

The team is hoping they can build a rotation around some young pitchers as well; but assuming that Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta or Chris Tillman are there already is a mistake. They cannot be penciled in yet.

That’s what Showalter has. Now he has to work with Andy MacPhail to improve it. I think it goes without saying that I’m not overly hopeful.

4. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Birds to open 2011 season at Tampa Bay Rays April 1, host Opening Day at OPACY April 4 against Detroit Tigers

It doesn’t reflect tradition, but I will admit that I really enjoyed having the home opener on a Friday this year. I was excited to hear that baseball was moving the opener to Friday; so I’m disappointed to hear that the Orioles’ opener will be on the road.

Of course, I’m mostly saying that because it impacts my beer drinking schedule. Day drinking on a Friday > day drinking on a Monday. If it drags into the evening hours, it’s way better to not have to wake up the next morning.

Of course-if you’re drinking Flying Dog Tire Bite; any day is a good day for day drinking…

tirebite

5. Baysox.com says despite continued torrid play from Joe Mahoney, Bowie couldn’t top Portland Sea Dogs on farm

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

-The Birds and Halos are back in action tonight at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. First pitch between Dan Haren and Jake Arrieta is at 7:05pm, and the game can be seen on MASN. Dan Haren has yet to pick up a win since coming to the American League. My guess it that will change tonight, but I’ll be rooting that it doesn’t.

-If you get the chance to check out Drew’s Rick Dempsey blog today at WNST.net, it’s worth the read. I feel SOMEWHAT bad for Rick, as I know he badly wants the job-but I think at this point the two parties are going to have to part ways.

-Did you miss Baysox pitcher Wynn Pelzer (the player acquired from the San Diego Padres in the Miguel Tejada deal) with Drew Forrester this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? If you did, make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net to check it out. Other guests this morning included:

  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk.com/NBC Sports)-who discussed the Brett Favre drama and all things NFL
  • Ryan Sharrow (Baltimore Business Journal)-who broke down the messy divorce between MASN and the Ravens
  • Brad Johansen (Cincinnati Bengals Radio PBP Voice)-who previewed Cincy as we go around the AFC North this week

They’re all in the Audio Vault now if you want to check them out. Some other things in the Audio Vault worth checking out include…

  • Fabian Washington (Ravens CB)-who joined Thyrl Nelson following practice Tuesday
  • Matt Williams (Arizona Diamondbacks 1B Coach)-the former D-Backs and San Francisco Giants slugger who played for Buck Showalter in Phoenix; who joined Rex Snider and Allen McCallum Tuesday afternoon
  • Sean Salisbury (former NFL QB)-who discussed Brett Favre and the Ravens with Rex Tuesday
  • All sorts of audio from Westminster Tuesday-including John Harbaugh, Jared Gaither, Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, Ralph Friedgen and Ken Niumatalolo

So there you go. Your afternoon is planned out for you. Enjoy!

6. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Ravens WR Derrick Mason hurt ankle at Training Camp Tuesday, but injury ‘doesn’t appear serious’

Of course the hit would come from Dawan Landry. I think that’s a rule at McDaniel College.

WNST.net’s Luke Jones reported that Mason did not practice Wednesday morning (follow us on Twitter @WNST)-but after talking to him yesterday, I don’t get the feeling that the injury will keep him out for an extended period of time. In fact, I bet we’ll see him on the field Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium if not before. Just a hunch on my part.

By the way, both Drew and I named Derrick Mason the Number 1 “Most Dramatic” player in Ravens history in our “Training Camp Top 5″ this morning. Drew’s list:

5-Matt Stover
4-Shannon Sharpe
3-Chris McAlister
2-John Harbaugh
1-Derrick Mason

My list:

5-Jermaine Lewis
4-Chris McAlister
3-Ed Reed
2-Ray Lewis
1-Derrick Mason

7. CSNBaltimore.com’s John Eisenberg says Jared Gaither plans to ‘put weight back on’

I’m really not all that concerned with Jared Gaither’s weight. He’s always been a more athletic tackle; and I think he will work things out in terms of body size.

What I’m more concerned about is what’s going to happen if and when Harbaugh stops flipping Gaither and Michael Oher between positions and finally decides to have Oher play LT and Gaither play RT. Gaither said yesterday he’d play anywhere the team wants him to and he’d “abide by” Coach Harbs; but we need to see that on the field to accept it.

You know who doesn’t need to put any weight on at all? Christina Moustaka. She’s just fine. (Thanks NextRound.net!)…

moustaka

8. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says WBAL, Comcast SportsNet options for Ravens after MASN partnership ended

We’ll make this easy. I don’t know how many people actually tuned in to watch the John Harbaugh Show or Purple Passion or whatever the hell those shows are called on MASN; but NOBODY will be tuning in to channel 11.1 to see them on WBAL’s digital subchannel. Fans might be willing to stream the shows on BaltimoreRavens.com, but they really need a better on-air alternative.

Using Comcast SportsNet PLUS, their COULD be room for them with CSN-but CSN is ABSOLUTELY intertwined with the Washington Redskins. These wouldn’t be strange bedfellows, these would be absolutely uncomfortable bedfellows. Of course, there aren’t many other options. Perhaps a WNUV 54 or maybe WUTB 24 could be options, but they wouldn’t be ideal.

It’s a shame these parties couldn’t get this worked out; hopefully something could still be figured out in the future.

Before I move on from the Ravens, a couple of things:

-Luke Jones is out at McDaniel College again today, where we are expected to hear from John Harbaugh, Matt Birk, Michael Oher and the commish-Roger Goodell. All of it will be up in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault later today.

-Jameel McClain continues to get the majority of the snaps inside next to Ray Lewis with the first team. It looks more and more like he’s moved ahead of Dannell Ellerbe and Tavares Gooden on the depth chart.

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen, Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo tell media in Westminster they’d like to face each other more often

There’s no doubt in my mind that the Terrapins and Midshipmen should get together every other year, and M&T Bank Stadium is the ideal location to host the “Crab Bowl Classic.”

The successor to Debbie Yow in College Park will have a large say in whether or not this gets done, but sources there have told me before that the school would LIKE to play a game in Baltimore every other year (and play a game at FedEx Field every other year as well).

You know what else I’d like to see more often? Denmark’s Celina Hilslev; who was apparently on the cover of something called M! (Thanks Guyism!)…

hilslev

10. NavySports.com says former Duke standout Greg Paulus joins Midshipmen staff as assistant coach

As a Terps alum, I won’t root for the Mids on Labor Day (or any other time they play Maryland in any other sport); but for the most part-I consider myself a Navy supporter.

So with that being said, how could they POSSIBLY hire a Dukie?!?!? Only John Feinstein could be happy about this!

I’ll wish Paulus the best on Billy Lange’s staff; but I certainly won’t shy away from channeling Peter Rosenberg once more…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYOgC2Qbqh4[/youtube]

And finally, I leave you with this…

I got the chance to wander up to Bel Air yesterday afternoon and play some kickball. No seriously. The good news was that was actually NOT the worst player on the field, nor was I the most out of shape. In honor of that, I rewarded myself with Qdoba and Natty Boh.

We weren’t great, but we certainly weren’t as bad as this…

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

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Ravens Kicker Billy Cundiff on Camp Battle: “It Gives Me a Chance to Compete…And Prove What I’m Worth”

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Ravens Kicker Billy Cundiff on Camp Battle: “It Gives Me a Chance to Compete…And Prove What I’m Worth”

Posted on 02 August 2010 by Ryan Chell

Shayne Graham
When the Ravens reached out to ex-Cincinnati Bengals and 2005 Pro Bowl kicker Shayne Graham in the off-season, it may have meant the end of the line for 2009 kicker Billy Cundiff, who came on in the final two months of last year and really stabilized the kicking game after a slow start by Steve Hauschka last year.

But the Ravens were not ready to give up on Cundiff just yet, and had actually committed to their incumbent kicker before the arrival of Graham going into the 2010 season.

Cundiff was 12-of-17 from field goal range in his 1.5 months of service, and with a small kicking market, Cundiff signed his one-year restricted free agent tender to stay with the team.

Cundiff actually started off his Ravens career very well, kicking a season-high five field goals in the Ravens’ 17-15 loss to the Colts.

He did however miss a field goal in that game that turned out to be the deciding points in the game.

But quarterback Joe Flacco also threw a late interception that sealed the win for Indy.

He did however redeem himself a week later by kicking the game-winning field goal in overtime to beat the Steelers, 20-17 at M&T Bank Stadium.

Billy Cundiff

At that particular time, the Ravens had seen at least some ounce of consistency with Cundiff, while they could not put any faith in second-year man Steve Hauschka, who was 9-of-13 in his field goal tries.

Ironically, Cundiff  only connected on 70% of his field goal attempts for the Ravens( Hauschka hit 69%), but added with his time earlier in the year with Cleveland as an injury replacement for Phil Dawson(6-for-6), that helped bring his numbers up closer to a respectable 80%.

The Ravens were ready to go into this year with Cundiff as their starting kicker back in the beginning of the off-season.

“He’s proved he can make field goals under pressure situations,” head coach John Harbaugh told the Baltimore Sun back in January.

However, in that same off-season, Graham was not re-signed by the division-rival Cincinnati Bengals after being given the franchise tag last year.

The Ravens saw Graham as an upgrade, and the two sides spent months working things out. Finally, the two sides agreed to a one year deal, and with incentives could make Graham one of the higher paid kickers in the league.

That contract would make it look as if it’s Graham’s job to lose, but Cundiff was still invited to training camp this year to see if he could still earn the job.

Cundiff was grateful to the Ravens for giving him a chance. He’s been in situations before where a team didn’t even give him that much of a chance.

“For me personally, 2007 was the last time I was in a training camp. Before that, we’re looking at 2004 was the last year I finished a training camp.”

“It gives me a chance to go from start to finish, get some rhythm, have a chance to compete with Shayne here and  prove what I’m worth,” Cundiff told WNST’s Thyrl Nelson last week as camp started.

Cundiff said it’s up to the coaching staff and GM Ozzie Newsome to evaluate how he and Graham do in camp and the preseason games to see who is better suited for the team.

“It’s one of those things where I can lay it all on the line, and let Ozzie decide to go with me or not.”

And that is how Cundiff is maintaining the competition at this time. He can only focus on how he performs in camp, not how Graham does.

“At least for me, I’ll focus on what I can control, and go out and do my best.”

And that’s the thing with kickers. Most teams can only carry one on their roster, so the decision is simple for the Ravens: either Cundiff or Graham.

And for two kickers in Graham and Cundiff, both over 30 and having kicked in this league for a long time, are not about to give one another the edge in the job by helping the other with advice.

“I don’t think that kickers are giving each other tips. We know this is going to come down to big picture stuff. So I don’t think you’re going to see any guys sitting there helping each other out.”

But at the same time, Graham and Cundiff have been chatting and are handling this hurdle as best they can.

“We’re both professionals and have been around long enough, so we don’t have to try and get in each other’s heads. We’re just there to push each other to make each other better knowing that ultimately who’s here is here.”

Both kickers have kicked well so far in training camp, and that is only the beginning of the evaluation progress between these two.

“It’s going to be day-to-day, kick-to-kick, and then the preseason games obviously. It’s important-as you all know- that you’re able to go kick in game environments,” special teams coach Jerry Rosburg told our own Luke Jones Saturday.

This marks the second straight year that the Ravens have had a kicking competition in training camp. Last year pitted second year man Steve Hauschka, who was the team’s kickoff specialist the year before, and Graham Gano, the Lou Groza Award Winner from Florida State.

Think this team misses the consistency Matt Stover brought to the organization for those dozen-plus years?

Cundiff also realizes that he isn’t just trying out for the Ravens; he might be auditioning for another NFL kicking job if Baltimore doesn’t tab him as the starter.

“And if you play well enough, you’re trying out for 31 other teams as well,” Cundiff noted.

Tune into WNST and WNST.net for more news regarding the Ravens second straight kicking competition!

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A Guy Who Embodies The “Current” Orioles Way? Josh Bell ….

Posted on 28 May 2010 by Rex Snider

I’m on the doorstep of completing my fourth month as host of the REX & RAY SHOW – and during this time, a few consistencies have proven dependable …..

Fans have never been warm to the idea of Garrett Atkins regaining his once promising stroke, in an Orioles uniform …..

Ravens faithful still want Matt Stover kicking for their team …..

And, Miguel Tejada is just a “stopgap” for uber-prospect JOSH BELL …..

That’s right, if we talk Orioles, Bell’s name is usually mentioned by those who are looking forward to 2011 and beyond. And, he’s always regarded as part of the FUTURE by devoted Orioles fans.

Why?

What accomplishment or achievement has caused so many people to invest an arbitrary plea of confidence in Josh Bell?

I don’t see it. In fact, I’ve never seen it. When Bell was served up as the barter for George Sherrill (who was valued as a setup man) I reasoned the Dodgers didn’t really covet the young infielder. And, they tossed in Steve Johnson, to boot.

When he arrived at Bowie, Bell owned a career .289 batting average in 1400 at-bats. He averaged a homerun in nearly every 30 trips to the plate. He displayed very little speed on the bases and his walk/strikeout rate was less than impressive.

As a Dodgers prospect, Bell sported a fielding percentage below .900 and an overwhelming amount of his errors were with the glove, as opposed to his arm. If you saw his glovework during Orioles Spring Training, you might think he’s a DH.

Umm …. go back two paragraphs. He’s not a DH, either.

This year, Josh Bell is getting his first taste of Triple-A pitching. At best, it’s fair to suggest he’s undisciplined. At worst, it’s equally fair to say he’s often overmatched.

He is averaging a strikeout in every 3.5 at-bats. And, his walk/strikeout totals are horrendous. He’s gone down on strikes 49 times, and walked just 8 times, in 178 at-bats.

Do notable Major League hitters strikeout so often? Yes – but they’re commonly hitting dozens of homeruns, per season. They’re also facing much better pitching.

You want examples? Sure …..

Jim Thome – strikes out once in every 3.3 at-bats. But, he also owns 569 homeruns.

Adam Dunn – strikes out once in every 3 at-bats. But, he homers in every 13 times at the plate.

Pat Burrell – strikes out once in every 3.5 at-bats. But, he also hit 267 homeruns in just over 10 seasons. He’s also 33 years old and looking for a job.

If you really want to see a mirrored image of Josh Bell’s minor league offensive statistics – but on the major league level, look no further than Jose Hernandez. He enjoyed 15 seasons in the big leagues.

However, Hernandez’s long tenure was much credited to stellar defense. And, he played a variety of positions. Unlike Hernandez, Bell is challenged defensively. In fact, he’s a poor fielder – period.

In a perfect world, Josh Bell would be deemed a major success if he turned out to have a career resembling Pat Burrell. The problem is he hasn’t displayed such credential throughout 5 years of lesser competitive baseball.

Worse yet, his defense cannot be tolerated at the Major League level. A fielding percentage south of .900 will absolutely LOSE BALLGAMES for a team.

Yet, the phone calls keep coming …..

Josh Bell is part of the Orioles future. Indeed, he probably is ….. and that’s a huge part of the organization’s problem.

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 28 April 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because DESPITE the fact that the Phoenix Coyotes were eliminated last night, it was still a REMARKABLE season for me as a hockey fan. Not having a team here to root for, I created a slew of memories following a bad team in Phoenix, only to have it pay off with this incredible run.

And as I always say, there’s plenty still going on for sports fans in Arizona…

asugirls

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says O’s hung on to beat Yanks for first win all season at OPACY

YES!!!!

For everyone who has said something like “they weren’t going to lose EVERY game they played at Camden Yards this season”, the only response I could think of was “Are you sure?”

There was an announced paid crowd of 20,000 at The Yard last night, and maybe the number of fans was somewhere in that neighborhood. It was good to see most of them go home unhappy.

I’ve heard a lot of praise for Kevin Millwood’s effort last night, but I’ll go ahead and be the one to say it. 5 and a third from your number 1 pitcher is not good enough, by any stretch of the imagination. They need more than that.

But I guess when you’re 4-16, getting 2 wins is enough for now.

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

Another disturbing number from last night’s game was the combined 1-16 effort the Orioles got from the first four hitters in their lineup (Adam Jones had a double and Matt Wieters had two walks; Nick Markakis and Miguel Tejada completely failed to reach base).

With the team having found some offensive success recently, I understand that Dave Trembley is looking for a little bit of continuity. With that in mind, I’m not suggesting any sort of offensive shakeup. But I AM suggesting that the players at the top of the lineup GET ON BASE.

This is a very simple game. Just ask Crash Davis.

3. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Alfredo Simon recalled in time to pick up first career save for Birds

Dear God can we PLEASE STOP MAKING THESE SO DIFFICULT IN THE 9TH INNING?!?!?!

I guess the team has discovered the solution though-make sure you’re ahead by at least 3 runs before you get to the 9th inning!

Cesar Izturis apparently wanted to make sure he found a way to make everyone forget about his 2-3, 3 RBI performance. Not running to first base on a ground ball in Seattle and not moving runners on 1st and 2nd over at Fenway Park would have been NOTHING compared to the beating he would have taken for that last night had Alex Rodriguez came through for the Bombers.

Alfredo Simon is (I guess), the guy for a little while. Apparently there was an epic moment before the game when Trembley asked Simon “Are you scared?”. Christ. Why didn’t he just go all the way and channel Gerard Butler???

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeNGVS2T_Rk[/youtube]

4. Frederick News-Post’s Stan Goldberg says Dave Trembley can’t be blamed for Orioles’ slow start

But even this effort couldn’t wrap up “Apologist of the Morning” honors for Stan, as “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester instead selected Steve Heiser from the York Dispatch; who offered “pity” for the Birds because they have to compete with the Red Sox and Yankees in the AL East.

Ugh.

Moving back to what Stan wrote-I don’t COMPLETELY disagree with him. This ISN’T Dave Trembley’s fault alone. The problem is, Goldberg doesn’t suggest accountability for others in the organization who feigned interest in “wins and losses” this season despite not having any interest in putting together a legitimate major league roster.

It’s one thing to say “this isn’t Dave Trembley’s fault”, as it isn’t Dave Trembley’s fault ALONE. However, Trembley CAN be blamed for mismanaging a bullpen, questionable decisions about baserunning, insane lineup shuffling, and for a noticeable lack of fire in the collective belly of the team.

If you want to spare Trembley that blame, you have to be willing to place fault on Andy MacPhail and the leadership of the franchise. This isn’t just “unfortunate circumstances” or “bad luck.” This is a dreadful baseball team-so dreadful that winning 2 straight games was celebrated last night in the way some cities might celebrate the World Series.

5. Newark Star-Ledger’s Marc Carig says Yankees bullpen ineffective in loss

Apparently Boone Logan was confused by the sign hanging in the bullpen that said “Play Like an Oriole.”

If you missed Ken Singleton (YES Network) with Drew Forrester this morning on AM1570, make sure you check out the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net.

And to the rest of the Yankees fans staying here in Charm City, I offer you some Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz. Don’t say I never did anything for you…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdVefG2xuKo[/youtube]

6. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Brandon Erbe struggled, Koji Uehara appeared on farm

And to channel Ray Bachman….KO-JI!!!!!!!!!!!!

Before we move on from the Orioles, a reminder that CC Sabathia faces Jeremy Guthrie tonight at Yankee Stadium south; first pitch is at 7:05, and the game can be seen on MASN. If someone paid their bill, the game might be seen on MASN-HD tonight as well!

(Edit from GMC: Thanks for that last night.)

7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says Shayne Graham, Matt Stover, Shaun Suisham only free agent kickers available on market

And Shayne Graham has clearly been considered a shoe-in around the organization to be brought in and compete with Billy Cundiff for the gig.

Of course, it isn’t exactly a sexy list. It’s like having to pick a concert to go to from Nickelback, Lady Gaga and Britney Spears. I GUESS I’m going to Nickelback, but I’m not exactly excited about it.

I expect Graham to be signed before mini-camp next weekend. They’ll want to give him an equal chance to make the team even before Training Camp. And if he wants to make the team, I’d suggest one thing…

MAKE YOUR KICKS!!!

8. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Willis McGahee to be grand marshal for Preakness parade

With no offense to Willis, if I was picking someone to be the grand marshal of the race-I probably would have gone with Candice Boucher (Thanks Brosome.com!). I guess we just all have different ideas of what to look for in a grand marshal.

candice

9. UMTerps.com says ‘national search’ for Chuck Driesell’s replacement to begin immediately

Add Duane Simpkins to the list of coaches who will say publicly (at least to me-and I believe he’ll be saying it on the air tomorrow with Bob Haynie on AM1570 tomorrow) that he wants the job. He’s currently coaching at St. Alban’s in Washington-and a lot of people hope he’ll help tap the DC recruiting pipeline more than Gary Williams’ staff has recently.

And don’t eliminate Xavier assistant Bino Ranson from the discussion. Despite once having Nestor Aparicio as a youth ball coach, the Baltimore product has quickly moved up the coaching pipeline; and had success this season under Chris Mack with the Musketeers. The Terps already have a Baltimore-based assistant in Keith Booth, but I’m not sure they’re completely thrilled with the endroads they’ve made here.

Still, it would very difficult for me to accept that someone coaching for the Terrapins was once coached by the Nasty One. He’s overcome greater obstacles than Michael Oher!

10. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens previews tonight’s Hopkins-Towson game at Homewood Field

Should be a great atmosphere tonight, as Dave Pietramala’s Blue Jays are playing for their NCAA Tournament lives.

Tony Seaman’s Tigers can basically guarantee themselves at least an at-large spot with a win.

Look, it’s not like you’re going to be going to the Orioles game. Go watch some lacrosse!

11. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester has no problem with “Get Your Preak On”

And neither do I. Especially if I’m getting “my Preak on” with Ellen Petri (Thanks Guyism!)…

petri

Oh, it’s another thing.

12. Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman says Bob Baffert looking for 4th Kentucky Derby win with Lookin At Lucky

It would be about time something good happened for that guy.

And finally, I leave you with this…

I’m not REALLY sure what happened during the end of the NLB Final between Cibona and Partizan. Go to Deadspin and read up if you want. All I know is that it was amazing.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s10eG415NxU[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 07 April 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

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

crabsbeer

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

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

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

Where do we start?

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

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

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

Ho.Ly.Crap.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

gemma

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

lakin

I bet she’s good at math.

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

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

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

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

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

frankwalker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

hunziker

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

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

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

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

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

It’s worth going to watch some lacrosse tonight.

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

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

And finally, I leave you with this.

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

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

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 05 April 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a Happy Monday for me because I’m still recovering from the food coma that settled in yesterday afternoon following a day of Easter feasting.

Let me quickly point out the two most underrated things about Easter:

1-Starburst Jelly Beans

starburstjellybeans

2-SNICKERS Eggs

Snickers

So I gained 15 more pounds over the weekend. “The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet” is just gonna have to deal.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. Carroll County Times’ Josh Land & Rich Dubroff say Orioles to be judged by “wins and losses”

This has been the mantra we’ve heard throughout Spring Training. Andy MacPhail and those around the organization have said that Dave Trembley and his team have to show progress this season record-wise; as this can’t just be another season of a franchise waiting for the future.

BUT…it would sorta be like telling the chef at Capital Grille that he needed to get his best food reviews EVER this week; but he was only allowed to make fish this week, not steak. With no offense to the fish-it would just be much easier for him to get great reviews from the steak-which is what the place is known for.

The Orioles have a much more REPRESENTATIVE roster this season than they have had in YEARS. BUT-it is still a WOEFULLY incomplete team, with a #2 starter who has a career 27-34 record; a first baseman who has BARELY played the position, a third baseman who has NEVER played the position; and a major question mark when it comes to who will drive in runs.

They’re BETTER. But they’re not ready to compete. In that way, it’s not REALLY fair to judge them by wins and losses; even though every organization SHOULD be judged by wins and losses.

Frankly, Peter Angelos and Andy MacPhail SHOULD be judged by wins and losses, not just Dave Trembley.

2. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says O’s have ‘plenty of questions’ between 2nd and 8th spot in lineup

Exactly. I mean, Julio Lugo just asked “Will I be hitting 3rd, 4th or 5th?

(Edit from GMC: I have a feeling this guy is going to be a lot of fun for us this season.)

This is part of the reason why it’s still a BIT unfair to judge this team by wins and losses. They have good players, but they don’t have good players playing where they should be playing. And they CERTAINLY don’t have a rock solid 1-9 lineup.

As Connolly points out, they have a leadoff hitter (as long as Brian Roberts is totally healthy) and they have a Number 9 hitter (Cesar Izturis); and then they have a group of 8 players who can take any of the other 7 spots.

I’m just glad Luis Matos isn’t taking any of them.

3. Chicago Tribune’s Phil Rogers has Birds 24th in power rankings

Attention Orioles fans who expect 80+ wins: THIS is what the rest of the country expects.

NOW…what do you think the rest of the country thinks about new Audrina Patridge bikini pictures…

audrina

I can tell you what my pants are thinking…but this is a (semi) family atmosphere.

4. The Stanford Daily’s Wyndam Makowsky says former Cardinal RB Toby Gerhart to visit Owings Mills

Which pisses me off, because I thought when I said this on Twitter this morning (follow us @WNST), I was the first to report it. Little did I know that there was a student reporter in Palo Alto who beat me to the punch. Good for them.

Baltimore would LOVE Toby Gerhart. Maybe not as much as we love crab quesadillas…

quesadillas

But certainly Gerhart would be LOVED here.

Now, Gerhart wants to be a RUNNING BACK. Many NFL scouts think he’s a fullback at the next level; but he told me at the Combine in Indianapolis that he wants to be a more natural ball-carrier.

The Ravens already have a player like that in Le’Ron McClain. They also have a crowded backfield with Jalen Parmele and Matt Lawrence behind Ray Rice and Willis McGahee. I’m not sure there’s room for Gerhart in that mix.

BUT-if he’s on the board where the Ravens value him (and they think highly of him for sure), they won’t hesitate to take him.

5. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Haruki Nakamura expects to be ’100 percent by Training Camp’

Which would be a MAJOR help to a depleted Ravens secondary. With Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington likely to NOT be ready for Training Camp, and Ed Reed likely to be only a partial participant in Camp anyway-they need to have as many pieces FULLY in place as possible.

This could be a big year for a guy like Nakamura (and Tom Zbikowski) as both of these guys are trying to show themselves as the future of the position as early as next season. Ed Reed’s future is CLEARLY up in the air, and with Dawan Landry likely to be retained as a RFA-his future is just as cloudy.

Both Zbikowski and Nakamura have been solid thus far during their tenures in Charm City; but they have to show Greg Mattison and this staff that they are absolutely ready to be starting safeties for a team that intends to compete for Super Bowl trips every year for the foreseeable future.

6. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says Ravens likely to face AFC North foes late this season

Which is just as well. I think most everyone in the world would like to see the games at the end of the season be more meaningful, and this is a fairly easy way to do just that.

Another way to do just that? Contract the Raiders.

7. The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Jets to host Neil Rackers-who Ravens have shown interest in

It’s a bit odd that the Jets would bring in Rackers after already signing Nick Folk; but I think it says something about the quality of kicking in the NFL. Teams NEED to have multiple kickers, as you just don’t know if the guy you have is really going to be able to make big kicks or not.

And no, Matt Stover is neither employed nor being considered.

It’s like what my friends used to tell me after Katie Downs broke up with me when I was 19…you just have to move on.

8. PBA.com’s Bill Vint says Pete Weber won Marathon Open at AMF Country Club Lanes

And once again, I have to apologize to the bowling community for not getting over to cover the event this year.

If it looked more like Playboy’s annual bowling events…I would have been there…

playboy

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says trips to Fairfield, Denver likely to determine ECAC fate for Loyola

Couple of things…

1-The Greyhounds are VERY impressive on attack. They move the ball well, and they can shoot. It isn’t a “1 on 3″ type of attack where a scorer tries to dodge his way to the cage on his own-but instead an impressive unit that moves the ball well and shoots with deadly accuracy. Charley Toomey HAS to be happy with what he’s seen.

2-Saturday’s win over Ohio State was the first chance I had to visit the Ridley Athletic Complex. WOW. It is an OUTSTANDING facility for lacrosse-similar to what the new Coppin State Physical Education Complex is for college basketball. I really hope you get the chance to get over there at some point this season-home games against Johns Hopkins and Georgetown are still to come.

10. Thoroughbred Times’ Mike Curry says Lookin’ at Lucky connections focusing towards Kentucky Derby after Santa Anita disappointment

Great. Now some horse named Eskendereya is the Triple Crown favorite. How the hell are we supposed to be expected to pronounce that 100 times between now and Preakness?

I’m still working on Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, and the Ravens might not even pick him in the NFL Draft!

And finally, I leave you with this.

Last week I introduced my new “Greatest Song of all Time This Week” segment. As I said, I think “American Pie” by Don MacLean is the greatest song of all time, and “Baba O’Reilly” by The Who is the greatest rock and roll song of all time. (For the record, as I stated on Facebook last night-feel free to add me as a friend-just search Glenn Clark-I think “I Want You Back” by Jackson 5 is #2 in both categories.)

This week’s “Greatest Song of All Time This Week” is “Ridin’ Solo” by Jason DeRulo. Deal with it.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyYWCUUnJU0[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 08 February 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a happy Monday for me for a few reasons (obviously), with the Terps winning and the Colts losing being chief among them. But don’t underestimate how good of a day it was thanks to “The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet”, who not only made breakfast and then buffalo chicken dip for the Super Bowl, she also delivered me this little number…

grand cru

I don’t know what “Grand Cru” means….other than it means “DELICIOUS.”

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Vasquez scored 26, added 11 assists for Terps in win over Tar Heels

It wasn’t QUITE the “Mona Lisa”-type performance he put together last season in posting a triple double to beat the Heels, but he was pretty damn impressive yesterday. Clearly, the most impressive part of his day was his 6-11 shooting from beyond the arc, part of a 6-11 outside shooting day overall for the team.

The amazing thing is, for as many times as I’ve heard someone say “Maryland is a good shooting team”, they’re actually not. In fact, outside of Eric Hayes they’re probably a POOR outside shooting team. But something has happened this season that has turned them into good shooters when they’re at home. They still struggle from 3 point land away from College Park, but they’ve gotten so comfortable in shooting at home that they’ve really become a pretty good shooting team.

HOWEVER-For as great a day as Greivis had, I know someone who’s day was better….

puppybowl

How Jake beat Fava for Puppy Bowl MVP honors will be a mystery that might well take me years to solve.

2. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Gary Williams thought atmosphere in Comcast Center “amazing” as Terps crushed Carolina

It was really pretty surreal.

I’m not sure any atmosphere will ever match the intensity of the Maryland-Duke game in 2005,where there were some 21,000 people inside a 17,000 seat building. You’ll remember this as the night the Terps swept the Devils in OT and John Gilchrist just recently stopped his postgame jubilation. That being said, there was a very special intensity inside Comcast Center yesterday thanks to the school allowing extra students not only in the building, but allowing them to move down and help surround the court.

Hopefully the students saved SOME of their energy for Wednseday night, as Tony Bennett gets his first crack at Maryland. Sylvan Landesberg really can flat out play, and Virginia will be no easy out for this Maryland team.

3. Raleigh News & Observer’s Patrick Stevens says Terps handed Heels worst loss in Roy Williams era

The funniest thing about yesterday’s game was that UNC actually played about as well as they were capable of playing. They shaved a 16 point Maryland lead in the first half all the way down to 3 early on in the second half, and there were a few players and coaches who were a bit concerned as they watched on.

North Carolina is not a good team. They just aren’t. But it isn’t because they don’t have talent. Deon Thompson can PLAY. Ed Davis is tough. But their backcourt is just VERY disappointing. A team with Wayne Ellington and Ty Lawson can just shoot their way to a victory over Maryland, a team with Larry Drew II and Will Graves just can’t.

If anything, this game was remarkably similar to last year’s game in Chapel Hill where the Terps fell 108-91 to the Heels. It wasn’t that Maryland was terrible, it was just that Carolina was that much better. This Carolina team isn’t terrible-in fact, a Maryland official said to me after the game yesterday “they’re gonna get better. Thank God we don’t have to go down to the Dean Smith Center this year.”

That being said, I think the difference in coaching styles between Gary Williams and Roy Williams is particularly evident right now. Maryland IS a better team, but I’m not totally convinced they’re a more talented team. Roy has his work cut out for him.

4. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Gary Williams emotional in aftermath of Terrapins’ win

You can beat him up all you want, but this is the beauty of college sports. College sports aren’t about stats and rankings, college sports are about emotions. When the greatest coach in the history of a program is also an alum, there are going to be emotions; much like there are for every other alum and fan of the program worldwide.

Was this as big of a win over Carolina as some of the others the Terps have had in recent years? Of course not. But was it a win over Carolina in trying circumstances? Yeah it was. Were those of you that are Maryland alumni proud of the team after the game? That was what was reflected in Gary Williams’ emotions.

I couldn’t help but think back on another night where Gary got pretty emotional after a win over Carolina…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eBreuzy15c[/youtube]

5. Morgan State Official Site says Reggie Holmes, Dewayne Jackson each scored 25 as Bears blew out Florida A&M

As I said on Twitter (follow us @WNST) after the game, “I sometimes wonder why MEAC teams even bother showing up at Hill Field House.”

That being said, the Bears now face what will likely be their toughest home test of the season. Bethune-Cookman visits Hill Field House tonight, meaning Morgan will have to play games on consecutive days for the 2nd time in as many weekends. The Wildcats have been off since a Friday night win over Coppin State-and they come into the game tied for 2nd place in the conference.

Todd Bozeman’s team knows it won’t be easy to try to finish with an undefeated MEAC record, but this is even a bit tougher than they likely expected.

On the flip side, Coppin gets a good chance to pick up their first conference victory, as they host FAMU tonight at the Coppin State Physical Education Complex. The Rattlers not only have struggled throughout MEAC play, but they are having to play back to back road games within a 25 hour span. If Fang Mitchell’s Eagles don’t get a win tonight, they might not get a win at all.

6. The AP says Shane Walker’s double double paced Loyola in victory at Manhattan

It doesn’t look like a huge victory because they’re only 5-9 now in MAAC play, but beating the Jaspers on the road was exactly what Jimmy Patsos’ crew needed. They now have off until Friday before hosting St. Peter’s at Reitz Arena, with a chance to improve their seed going into the MAAC Tournament.

Shane Walker’s transfer was probably expected to produce more for the Greyhounds than Andre Collins or Hassan Fofana, as Walker was more desired at Maryland than either of the other two. That only makes his struggles with the Hounds more disappointing, as he should be able to be a serious impact player in that league. Seeing Shane Walker get a double double really shouldn’t be so irregular.

7. Towson Official Site previews Tigers’ contest with James Madison tonight at Towson Center

You think there’s anyone in the entire Baltimore metro area that rooted for snow more than Pat Kennedy? After 59 and 42 point losses in the last two weeks, I just don’t think the Tigers were in a rush to play ANYONE this weekend. That being said, a home game against JMU is at least WINNABLE for Pat’s Cats, and there is nothing Pat needs more than a win.

8. Maine Official Site preivews tonight’s trip to Catonsville to face UMBC

Speaking of coaches who probably wouldn’t mind if another 20 inches of snow hit TODAY, I don’t think Randy Monroe is in a rush to face the Black Bears tonight at RAC Arena. I know the Retrievers actually managed to beat Maine on the road, but this will be a tough task tonight, especially knowing the Bears have that loss fresh on their mind.

I just hope UMBC doesn’t end up feeling like Betty White and Abe Vigoda this evening…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3rsaneyeXY[/youtube]

9. Maryland Official Site previews womens’ battle with Virginia tonight in College Park

Brenda Frese’s team needs a win, especially after a heartbreaking loss to Georgia Tech Friday afternoon. They beat the Cavaliers in Charlottesville earlier this season, but the Cavs have been a much more consistent team during ACC play.

There’s all the analysis you’re getting from me. Now let’s go back to Super Bowl-related things. I really liked the National Lampoon Vacation spoof…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cey36NRK0vQ[/youtube]

10. Ravens Official Site’s Ryan Mink says former Raven Matt Stover missed big FG in Colts’ SB loss to Saints

As I said last night, did ANYONE (not named Jim Caldwell) think Stover could make that kick? Even Jim Nantz noted a play earlier that Indianapolis was putting him on the edge of his range. I love Matt, but I was openly rooting against him yesterday and absolutely knew he couldn’t make that kick.

The one thing Matt wouldn’t answer for me last week was whether or not this trip to Miami would be it for him. He said he hadn’t really thought about his future, but wasn’t going to announce his retirement when questioned. Personally, I sorta hope this is it. It’s time for Matt to enjoy retirement and let us celebrate him and put him up in the Ring of Honor. In fact, I hope the Ravens can honor him and Jamal Lewis at the same game next season. I think that would be pretty special.

And before we move on from Super Bowl-related things, congratulations to Reggie Bush. Not just because he’s getting a ring-but because apparently this is a friend of his BEYOND the well known Kim Kardashian….

ortega

I bet she’s nice.

And finally, I leave you with this.

To everyone who complained that The Who are “old”, maybe you missed their ass-kicking last night. Sure, “Pinball Wizard” was a struggle at first, but they rocked for 13 minutes. Here’s the show in 2 parts….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6Io05fTLSg[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCqgtb3Nby4[/youtube]

I tell you what. Maybe Avril Lavigne is available to do next year’s halftime show. She’s not “too old.” Geez.

On second thought, that might not be so bad…..

avril

Talk to you later.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…..

-G

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 29 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Friday!

It’s a Happy Friday for me because Reggie Bush’s girlfriend (@KimKardashian) likes to update her Twitter account….

kimk

She seems nice.

Let’s see what everyone has to say today…..

1. Ravens Official Site’s Ryan Mink says Jermaine Gresham, Dez Bryant, Brandon LaFell, Syd’Quan Thompson, Golden Tate, Arrelious Benn, Brandon Spikes, Damian Williams all mocked to Ravens

Oh thank God. MORE NFL DRAFT PORN!!!!!

gresham
tate
spikes
syd'quan

It would be easy to dismiss a player like Brandon Spikes (besides his off-field troubles) by saying “the Ravens NEED a WR. They’re taking a WR.” But that just isn’t necessarily true. The Ravens WILL again take the best player available (like they did a season ago when they took Michael Oher despite needing a receiver), I just think it would be best served for everyone involved if the best player available at the time WAS a receiver.

2. The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says John Harbaugh thinks Jarret Johnson Pro Bowl snub each of last 2 seasons

No one is going to disagree, are they?

But as was the case with Haloti Ngata this season, players are often rewarded the season AFTER their breakout year. They tend to have to build a reputation at positions where stats can’t tell the story. What Jarret Johnson (and possibly Michael Oher & Ben Grubbs as well) did this season should help him earn a trip to the Pro Bowl next season.

3. ESPN.com’s James Walker says Jamal Lewis, Todd Heap, Jonathan Ogden, Matt Stover, Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Chris McAlister and Ed Reed “all-decade” players in AFC North

I guess I was a bit surprised that Terrell Suggs made this list-but there are no arguments from me here at all. I was a bit surprised Walker left Haloti Ngata off his “others considered” list at D-Line, but there have been a LOT of really good D-Linemen in the AFC North this decade.

Insert your own “Where’s Kyle Boller?” joke here.

4. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says late Millikan’s tenure began pavement on road to Terps’ eventual NCAA Championship

Clearly the influence Coach Millikan had on Gary Williams could be seen throughout Williams’ tenure in College Park-and Luke is right to point out that it was evident in how Gary brought together a group of kids headlined by Juan Dixon and Lonny Baxter to cut down the nets in April 2002.

It has certainly been a tough year for the entire athletic department, as they have lost former athletic director James Kehoe, as well as major boosters Jack Heise, Thomas Fields, and Bob Novak.

5. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland has reached NCAA Tournament last 12 times they started ACC play 4-1

And since the NCAA Tournament was expanded, it makes nothing but a lot of sense that a team that starts 4-1 should still be alive come March Madness. In the ACC, you would have to go 4-7 or worse the rest of the way to miss dancing.

But they do HAVE to get those wins. Their quest to do that continues Sunday night at Clemson-the game can be seen on Comcast SportsNet locally, Fox Sports Net nationally.

6. Maryland Official Site says Lori Bjork scored 22 points to lead Terrapins women past Virginia Tech in Blacksburg

This was a much needed victory for Brenda Frese’s crew last night after 3 straight losses. If Lori Bjork is developing into a go-to player for them, they will be in a much better place moving forward. Now they make an odd trip to Longwood Sunday before returning to ACC play next Friday against Georgia Tech.

7. The AP says Greyhounds couldn’t hang on late, fell to Fairfield at Reitz Arena

REALLY tough way to lose a winnable game at home against a pretty good MAAC foe. The Hounds hung tight for 35 minutes, but couldn’t finish the Stags off at the end. Jimmy Patsos’ crew will have to bounce back on Sunday afternoon, as Niagara pays a visit to Reitz Arena.

8. The Sun’s Peter Schmuck believes Birds will DFA Armando Gabino to make room for Mark Hendrickson

I had guessed Cla Meredith. I guess I could see why the O’s would have more interest in keeping Meredith than they would in Gabino. The real question will really be what will happen with Alberto Castillo now that the Birds have another left handed reliever in Hendrickson.

9. Seattle Post Intelligencer’s Todd Dybas says Erik Bedard likely 3-5 months away from being down with rehab

There were also rumors yesterday that the Royals were interested in Bedard. Which might mean that for once in recent MLB history-there is a player who might actually be HOPING for an offer from Baltimore.

I’d be fine with the Orioles taking a flyer on Bedard-as long as that flyer doesn’t cost more than maybe $4 million. If he can return in May, he might be able to offer some help to this staff.

That being said, Andy MacPhail clearly painted the picture that the team would not be bringing in any more outside FA’s. Of course, if Bedard remains on the market, that could always change.

10. Toronto Sun’s Steve Green says former Orioles 2B Roberto Alomar to be inducted into Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

Which doesn’t make up….AT ALL….for the travesty that was Alomar missing out on Cooperstown a couple weeks ago.

Humorously, I think Pete Rose is in the Canadian Hall of Fame as well.

11. The Sun’s Candus Thomson says despite missing Olympics, Kimmie Meissner hopes to compete again

In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying Kiira Korpi from Finland during the Vancouver….

korpi

12. The Sun’s Katherine Dunn says MIAA in talks to merge with Washington Catholic Athletic Conference in football

Can someone with actual experience here tell me how they feel about this? Having gone to Perry Hall, this doesn’t mean a whole lot to me-but I don’t think I would like it…

And finally, I leave you with this.

Andy Murray will face Roger Federer for the Australian Open title tomorrow night (which I believe is actually sometime in 2020 in Melbourne). If he hits a shot like this one he hit against Maran Cilic, he can’t be beat.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vvx191mHonw[/youtube]

Talk to you this weekend.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983….

-G

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Draft Season Moves to Mobile for Annual Senior Bowl

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Draft Season Moves to Mobile for Annual Senior Bowl

Posted on 24 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

This is my second update in a 3 month long process of introducing you to the players who are possible Baltimore Ravens targets in April’s NFL Draft. If you missed last week’s profiles , make sure you get there now to find about some of the players who participated in the East West Shrine Game in Mobile. The players I profiled last week were:

QB Daryll Clark (Penn State)
WR Freddie Barnes (Bowling Green)
TE’s Andrew Quarless (Penn State), Richard Dickson (LSU)
DE Greg Hardy (Ole Miss)
LB Ross Pospisil (Navy)
S’s Kam Chancellor (Virginia Tech), T.J. Ward (Oregon)
CB’s Devin Ross (Arizona), Brian Jackson (Oklahoma)

Of this group, Barnes appeared to be the player who helped himself the most according to scouts and analysts in attendance. I’ll tell you about other players who impressed in Orlando in my next update.

In the meantime, I wanted to let you know about players to keep an eye on at the Senior Bowl this week-considered the premiere college all-star event of the year. A reminder that the game-and daily practices from both the north and south teams will be aired live on NFL Network.

Also, with the Ravens making no moves this week, my offseason priority list won’t change.
1-WR
2-TE
3-CB
4-S
5-OLB/DE
6-K
7-QB
8-G/C
9-OT
10-P

Here are ten players to keep your eyes on (amongst the many other stars of the game) this week in Alabama. Thanks as always to CBS Sports for help on numbers, and to Wikipedia for help on the details.

TE Jimmy Graham (Miami)

graham

Odd picture for a NFL Draft profile, huh? If you’re wondering why that name sounded familiar, now you have your answer. Graham exhausted has basketball eligibility, but decided to give football a try for a year. It was a good decision, as he became a reliable target for the Hurricanes on the field. Graham caught just 17 balls for 213 yards-but 5 of them were TD’s. His size is his greatest asset-he’s 6’8″ and 260 pounds. But he has tons of red flags-mostly based around the fact that he has only played a year of football. But the success of other TE’s in the NFL after switching from hoops (Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates are the most obvious examples) should help Graham succeed in finding work.

WR Mardy Gilyard (Cincinnati)

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

There are some aspects about Mardy Gilyard that remind me of Ravens pick Lardarius Webb a year ago. Gilyard wasn’t quite mature enough to be a great college player when he first reached the level-and he ended up failing out of school at Cincinnati. There’s an even more troubling story that when Ron Zook came to recruit Gilyard to Florida-the receiver didn’t even bother to show up for their meeting. After failing out, Gilyard was forced to work odd jobs to pay back tuition money to UC before Brian Kelly would put him back on scholarship. The move worked out for all parties involved, as Gilyard went on to record 4,500 career all-purpose yards and 29 TD’s over his final 3 seasons.

Gilyard is dangerous not only as a receiver, but he’s very dangerous as a return man as well. His size is his issue….he’s just 6’0″ and 185 pounds or so. That’s bigger than Derrick Mason, but it certainly isn’t big enough to be viewed as a gamebreaking threat in the NFL. BUT-Gilyard was CERTAINLY a gamebreaker in leading the Bearcats to 2 Big East titles, and there are smaller WR’s who are having great success at the next level. He’s considered a mid-round guy right now, but I bet his stock rises.

DE Brandon Graham (Michigan)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQfcytu6ItI[/youtube]

No one is really sure if Graham is capable of being an every down DE at the NFL level-or if he’s good enough in pass coverage to play OLB every down. But we do know this much-Brandon Graham was a HELL of a pass rusher for the Wolverines. He finished his career with 138 tackles, 28 sacks-10 each in his junior and senior campaigns. He’s big (6’1″, 263 pounds or so), but he struggled with conditioning early in his Big Ten career and might be forced to change body size again depending on what role a NFL coordinator envisions him filling. As a pretty solid 1st round guy, it was somewhat of a surprise to see him commit to the Senior Bowl-but with Michigan failing to get bowl eligible-this will be the first time he’s played any sort of football since before Thanksgiving.

CB Trevard Lindley (Kentucky)

lindley

When Trevard Lindley came back to Lexington for his senior season, he had to think he was on his way to being a first round pick. Unfortunately, a high ankle sprain sidelined him about midway through the season-causing him to miss 4 games. After 10 interceptions through the first 3 and a half seasons of his career, Lindley wouldn’t record another (although his only INT of the season-back in Week 1 against Miami Ohio WAS returned for a TD). Lindley is listed anywhere from 5’11″ to 6’1″; and those two inches will make a MAJOR difference in where he ends up being selected. The Ravens may well decide they don’t need to go corner in the first rounds with Domonique Foxworth and Lardarius Webb already in the mix, and Lindley might end up being a nice option in the later rounds.

OG Mike Iupati (Idaho)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhFMZROcNZ8[/youtube]

Iupati is a classic case of a player who can change his entire Draft status based on his performance in Mobile. Iupati clearly has both the size and ability to be an O-Lineman at the NFL level, but with his 6’5″, 330 pound frame-NFL teams will want him to play Tackle. He’ll need to show this week that playing Guard at the college level won’t limit his ability to play outside. Also, having played in the WAC-Iupati needs to prove that he can play against big time talent; which he’ll have the chance to do against players like Brandon Graham. The American Samoa native climbed a great deal during his college career-going from a freshman who couldn’t play due to academic troubles to a player who has been compared favorably to former Boise State OT and current Denver Broncos stud Ryan Clady. A 2008 shoulder surgery would be the only other real red flag for this beast.

OT Vladimir Ducasse (UMass)

ducasse

If you haven’t already, you’ll be hearing a LOT about Vladimir Ducasse this week. Ducasse was born in Port-au-Prince, and his family was affected by the earthquake in Haiti. He is now working to try to help out the cause….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5hpsNRkpeU[/youtube]

Ducasse is in a slightly different position than Iupati, as he played OT for the Minutemen, but is now expected to play Guard at the next level. He clearly has the size (6’5″, 330 pounds) and mean streak to play in the NFL-but playing in the CAA only gave him a small taste of the talent level he’ll be going up against starting in the fall. The Ravens won’t have to go far to get a scouting report on Ducasse, as RB/ST Matt Lawrence can partly thank Ducasse for allowing him to post over 1,500 yards rushing two seasons ago at Massachusetts. And for a team that puts almost as much emphasis on character as they do football ability, Ducasse was described by a former coach as “particularly special.”

QB Sean Canfield (Oregon State)

canfield

For an organization that likes tall quarterbacks (see Flacco, Joe), Sean Canfield (6’4″) would be a nice addition. He’ll likely be off the board before the Ravens consider taking a QB, but if he were to slip he might be a great choice. His senior season in Corvallis was very impressive-as he went 303-446 for over 3,000 yards and 21 TD’s. The biggest red flag on Canfield’s resume is a shoulder surgery following his sophomore season that forced him to miss most of his junior campaign. But he certainly has both a strong arm and a great deal of poise-and that should help him transition to the next level.

S Myron Rolle (Florida State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsn1aIaYj-Y[/youtube]

Yes, besides beings a Rhodes Scholar, Myron Rolle is also a football player! Of course, he wasn’t a football player in 2009-he took the year off to study at Oxford. But he had put together a pretty solid 3 seasons before that in Tallahassee; making 207 tackles, forcing a fumble and recording 1 interception. He has great size for a safety at 6’2″, 223 pounds; but he has to prove himself as a hard hitter during the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. The Ravens already have a tie to Myron, as he is the cousin of CB Samari Rolle. His time off will make it particularly important to perform during Draft season.

K Leigh Tiffin (Alabama)

tiffin

There’s a few things that are guarantees in life. Death. Taxes. And the Ravens bringing in a rookie from Alabama. I know John Harbaugh teased Matt Stover’s name during his weekly press conference last week, but I believe it’s a fairly safe bet that the team will choose to bring in a rookie or young kicker to compete with Billy Cundiff during Training Camp instead of going the route of another veteran. Tiffin has a strong leg, which helped him connect on 5/7 FG attempts from 50+ yards during his Crimson Tide career. But he was far from perfect otherwise, hitting just 42/66 tries between 30 and 50 yards. He also missed 6 XP’s over the last 3 seasons, including one during the Tide’s BCS National Championship Game win over Texas. Tiffin is rated as the #1 kicker available this year by multiple services-including NFLDraftScout.com-but would likely only end up in Charm City if they can get him as an UFA following the Draft.

CB Javier Arenas (Alabama)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6ZmVKwv5oc[/youtube]

As a CB alone, Javier Arenas would not likely be a candidate to hear his name called on Friday or Saturday night of Draft weekend. He’s shown talent-including 6 interceptions during his last 2 seasons in Tuscaloosa; but his 5’9″ frame would really hurt his draft stock. However, Arenas’ unbelievable ability as a return man should make sure he doesn’t stay on the board until Saturday, as he was absolutely EXPLOSIVE-returning a SEC record 7 punts for TD’s during his career. Had Arenas been in last year’s Draft, he probably would have tried to talk up the fact that he is the cousin of Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas. Clearly he won’t be doing that now. Arenas has a knack to perform in big games-grabbing an interception in Alabama’s win over Florida in the SEC Championship Game, and adding two more in the title game win over the Longhorns.

I’ll be back with another update this week….

-G

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Just for kicks…more Matt Stover talk

Posted on 20 January 2010 by Drew Forrester

I guess this is what happens when your team parts ways with a quasi-Hall of Fame kicker and the new guy comes in and stinks up the joint.

And it doesn’t hurt that the “old guy’s team” beat the Ravens last Saturday night to end Baltimore’s season.

The kicker in question, of course, is Matt Stover.

I wrote about Stover’s departure from the Ravens last week at WNST.net.

Here’s a copy of that blog for easy access.  You’ll note at the very bottom of the comments section that Matt’s wife, Debbie, responded to the blog on Tuesday night.  She’s obviously not happy with me — and we’ll get to that in a little while — or the Ravens, although I suspect, because they write the checks, she’s a tad more upset with the football team than your’s truly.  Anyway…

I made Debbie’s comment to my blog and the Stover-departure a topic this morning on the show and I’m amazed at how many people lashed out at Matt either via the radio show or my e-mail inbox.

We can tackle that subject first, and it will eventually wind around to why Stover wasn’t in Baltimore this season and who, ultimately, is to blame for that decision.  I feel like I’m repeating myself, somewhat, from last week’s blog, but what else am I going to write about?  The Orioles signing a good player?  Right.  That’s my point.

Follow this logic.

Matt Stover is playing in Indianapolis because he wanted to kick in the NFL and he wanted to make money.

Matt Stover isn’t playing in Baltimore anymore because he and the Ravens couldn’t agree on a contract.

They couldn’t agree on a contract because Stover wanted (A) and the Ravens weren’t willing to do (A).

Stover wanted (A) because he felt he deserved it, and probably DID deserve it, frankly.  The Ravens weren’t willing to do (A) for Stover because it’s their policy that they don’t do (A) for any player in the organization.

Once Stover insisted he needed (A) to sign in Baltimore, the Ravens stopped negotiating with him because they weren’t going to do (A).

Get it?

By the way, (A) stands for:  a guaranteed contract.

Stover wanted his 2010 deal “guaranteed” by the club no matter what decision they made in training camp.  He told the Ravens that last January immediately after the AFC Championship Game.  In other words, if the Ravens brought four kickers into camp and Stover wound up getting cut in August, he still wanted his salary paid to him.

The Ravens don’t do that.  They don’t do that for any player on the roster.

OK, so now we get to the Indianapolis part.

First, though, let me be clear on one thing, personally.  Anyone who ever listens to the show and has done so for a while knows two things about me as it relates to kickers in the NFL and Matt Stover.

I’ll relay this to you in third-person. I like doing that.

Drew believes field goal kickers in the NFL are VASTLY under-appreciated.  Drew has said, for as long as he’s been on the air at WNST, that if Drew ran an NFL team, I’d find the best kicker in the league and double his salary and keep him on my team until someone else was better and then I’d go out and pay that guy double to get him on my team.  With a huge slice of NFL games decided by the kicking game, it makes sense to me to have the best kicker you can possibly have.  Sort of like the Quarterback position.  Why have a bad Quarterback?  You can’t win.

Drew has also been a Matt Stover supporter since, like, forever.  Again, if you were a listener to the show last April, I said time and time again that I didn’t think the Ravens made the right move in parting company with Stover.  I was not in the camp that bellowed, “But he can’t kick a field goal past 40 yards…”  Yes, he can.  And, he did, against Tennessee in the 2008 playoffs, from 43 yards, in fact, to win the game.  I said from jump street last spring that I thought letting Stover go was a mistake.

OK, out of third person now.

That said, I don’t REALLY have a horse in the race.  I’m a radio guy.  What I think doesn’t matter.  For the record, though, I’ve always been a Matt Stover endorser.

In fact, when the Colts came to town in November, I wrote this blog chastising fans who were considering booing Stover for signing with Indianapolis at mid-season.  I said, basically, “you’re a jerk if you boo Matt Stover on Sunday.”

So that should sum up – fairly – my stance on Matt Stover…his importance to the Ravens…his legacy as an athlete in our town…and his departure from the team.

Now…we can go back to Stover’s current role in Indianapolis.

Lots of folks in town are still upset with his decision to sign with the Colts.  I just can’t subscribe to that line of thinking.  He’s a field goal kicker. The Colts needed a kicker.  They gave Stover $600,000 to kick for them.

He has a family.  A mortgage.  Kids to put through college.  Car payments.

$600,000 helps in all of those areas.

I asked people today, “Had Stover signed in Tampa Bay, would you care so much?”  The answer, of course, was “Heck no.  There’s only two places he can’t go.  Indianapolis…and Pittsburgh.”

Says who?

When his kids want to go to Boston University someday and the freight is $60,000 a year, what’s Matt Stover supposed to say to them…”Sorry, you’ll have to settle for another school…a cheaper one.  When you were 13, I turned down $600,000 from the Colts because they left Baltimore in 1984 and went to Indianapolis”.  Is that what he’s supposed to say to his children?

Come on people, get back to reality a little bit.

It doesn’t matter at all where Matt Stover went.  Not one bit.  The Ravens elected not to sign him and that was that.  So he moves on.

As for Debbie Stover’s assertion that the Ravens didn’t “want” her husband to play for the team, that’s entirely not true.  They DID want him to play for them.  They just weren’t willing to guarantee his contract.

And lastly, the man responsible for that stance in Owings Mills was Ozzie Newsome.  The “should we keep Stover or not” memo never made it to John Harbaugh’s desk for a final stamp of “yes” or “no”.  That memo didn’t have shelf life because Newsome made the decision from the outset that the team wouldn’t give Stover a guaranteed deal.

I don’t blame the Ravens, either, for that particular policy.

And I don’t blame Matt Stover for wanting his deal guaranteed.

They could have both budged.  But they didn’t.

And lastly, Debbie mentioned in her blog comment that I didn’t talk to Matt about this subject.  She’s right about that.  There were two reasons for that, frankly.

First, I didn’t need Matt Stover to comment on the Ravens’ decision to not offer him a guaranteed deal.  I knew the truth.  The Ravens didn’t try and fib their way out of it and blame it on Stover.  Not at all.  The Ravens – unlike the baseball team in town – are willing to be transparent on most things and their respect for Stover is such that they were willing to take the heat for this one.  They made a decision to follow their current policy of not guaranteeing a contract.  That’s why Matt Stover left the Ravens.  And that’s what I wrote last week.  Matt Stover left the Ravens because he wanted his contract guaranteed and Ozzie Newsome said “no, we won’t do that.”

End of story.

No one’s at fault.

Secondly, Matt made it clear during his first visit to Baltimore with the Colts in November and last week during the lead-in to the playoff game in Indy that he wasn’t going to talk to the Baltimore media.  He declined several requests for interviews last week…and that’s perfectly within his rights to do so.  He has established a unique relationship with a gospel/Christian radio station in town and he generally partners up with them if he needs to say anything to the fans of Baltimore and that’s also his right if he so chooses.  But no one in town – not Drew, not The Sun, not WBAL Radio, not Comcast SportsNet – was getting one-on-one time with Matt Stover last week.

The summary of all of this, though, goes back to the issue at hand this morning and it centers on Stover’s legacy here in Baltimore.  He is now – along with his family – a Baltimorean.  He’s currently working in Indianapolis, but his home is Baltimore and his position in the community shouldn’t at all be altered because he wears a horseshoe on his helmet.  When his playing days are over, Matt Stover will, I’m certain, remain an integral part of the Baltimore community.

I truly hope the community doesn’t hold his stop in Indianapolis against him.

I wrote that in November and I’ve said that time and time again since then.

If all of our athletes put in the effort and community sweat equity that Matt Stover has put in over the last 13-plus years, Baltimore would be a better place on a variety of levels.

I assume Matt won’t mind if we’re rooting for the Jets this weekend, though.

Nothing personal, of course…I hope he hits all of his field goals and extra points.

But most of Baltimore will be rooting against Stover this Sunday.

When he gets back to town, though, and sets up shop permanently, he’s one of us again.

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