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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 27 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because somebody decided to make my week yesterday and alter the Perry Hall High School Wikipedia page. As you know, there was an update made yesterday morning to note the significance of the “Apologist of the Year” award won by Steve Melewski…

melewski

But later in the day; someone (and if you’re reading, I can only say “Thank You”) decided to update the PHHS page again to add an additional member to the “Notable Alumni” section…

glenn

You better believe it’s going on my resume.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens LB Sergio Kindle will miss Training Camp with fractured skull

I don’t know how much I can add here. Like I said yesterday-this is terrible news to start the season. Not season-defining news necessarily, but terrible news nonetheless.

Before being dismissive of the significance of Kindle’s injury, I would suggest you take a look at the roster from a personnel standpoint. This team gave up over 207 yards per game from a passing defense standpoint last year. That was still worthy of a Top 10 defensive ranking; but it’s a number that needs to improve as this team tries to win the AFC North and reach Dallas to play in the Super Bowl.

Sergio Kindle was (almost certainly) not going to step in here and post double digit sacks the way someone like Shawne Merriman did; but he was going to give them depth at OLB and a speedy, athletic look opposite Terrell Suggs when he was on the field. The team CLEARLY hoped his presence would help improve the pass rush; even if he wasn’t solely responsible for posting big sack numbers.

The Ravens really don’t have much depth at OLB. Suggs and Jarret Johnson are the starters; but other than Kindle-the depth includes Edgar Jones (a converted TE/ILB/FB/Centerfielder?), Paul Kruger (who the team had bulk up in the offseason for a move to DE), and both Antwan Barnes and Prescott Burgess. They could also ask another of their many ILB’s to move outside (Jameel McClain comes to mind); but none would be likely to help the pass rush even at the level Kindle could have.

That’s just reality.

The other thing I’ve heard a lot in the immediacy of the Kindle injury is “well, Paul Kruger didn’t do anything for us last year after HE was a 2nd round pick.”

True, sure. But you have to understand that the Ravens were UNBELIEVABLY disappointed in what they got from Paul Kruger last season. We’ll always remember his interception against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but that was about it from the rookie from Utah last season. The organization has MUCH higher expectations from players selected that high in the NFL Draft.

Man, two straight days we start this thing on such a downer. Good news ahead?

2. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Ravens reported to Westminster ‘built for Super Bowl run’

Despite the reality of the Sergio Kindle situation and the month-long Ed Reed distraction, the Troy Smith drama and Cary Williams’ suspension; the Ravens are STILL opening the season with Super Bowl aspirations, and rightfully so.

I had an interesting Twitter conversation with former Ravens TE Dan Wilcox (you can follow him @83DEGREEZ and us @WNST) a few weeks ago about what it takes to win a Super Bowl. I argued that having the right players made up about 80% of the formula for winning the title; with coaching and chemistry making up the other 20% of the formula. Dan disagreed, arguing that chemistry and mental approach made up MUCH more of the formula than I was giving it credit for.

Clearly this isn’t scientific, but Dan WOULD know a thing or two about being part of a winning team-having reached the AFC Championship Game in his final season just two years ago.

If my formula is right, the Ravens have the athletes to win and should make a real push.

If Dan’s formula is right, well, I’m not so sure.

3. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Ravens agreed to 3 year deal with 2nd round pick Terrence Cody

Go ahead and get all of your jokes out right now…

“I heard the Westminster Chick-Fil-A had to call the National Guard for reserves.”
“Are there enough delivery drivers in Carroll County to keep the big man happy?”

Cody didn’t look to have put on any more weight, but hopefully we’ll find out today (Luke Jones is on the field at McDaniel College as I type) exactly what Cody’s weight is as Camp begins.

And then hopefully moving forward we won’t have to continuously update this.

(Edit from GMC: UPDATE. He failed his conditioning test. Awesome news.)

4. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ed Reed, Fabian Washington, Lardarius Webb amongst those who will start camp on PUP list

None of that is surprising-it will be more interesting to see who else MIGHT end up on the PUP list while returning from injury.

By the way, a reminder that this ISN’T the “miss the first 6 weeks of the season” PUP list; this is a PUP list for Training Camp-and there are some clerical matters involved. These guys can go on the PUP list now but be removed before Monday Night Football on September 13.

I’m REALLY hoping that the team DOESN’T put Sofia Vergara on the PUP list. That would be criminal (Thanks Guyism!)…

vergara

5. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says John Harbaugh plans to ‘work out’ issues with Ed Reed

And before we move on from the Ravens, a couple of things:

-If you missed Drew Forrester’s chat with veteran NFL agent Ralph Cindrich this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST-it was really interesting. They discussed Sergio Kindle, his former client Troy Smith and the agent issues currently surrounding USC and NCAA Football in general. The conversation is in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net if you want to check it out. Ravens rookie WR David Reed joined Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”, you can check that out as well.

-The Ravens are back on the practice field today; with an afternoon practice at 3:30pm. John Harbaugh, Cam Cameron and Joe Flacco are all scheduled to meet with the media following practice this morning-we’ll have it all in the Audio Vault, and you can hear all of it throughout the day with Thyrl Nelson and Nestor Aparicio on AM1570 WNST.

6. The AP says Wieters had first career multi-HR game, but Orioles dropped series opener to Blue Jays in Toronto

In fairness, the Birds played REALLY well…after they were down 8-0.

A rough outing for Brad Bergesen, who I guess thought Chris Tillman’s demotion last week meant he had nothing to worry about moving forward. Ugh.

Jose Bautista hit his Major League Baseball-leading 28th home run of the year last night. I know Matt Garza threw the 5th no-hitter of the season last night, but are we sure guys stopped using steroids?

At first blush, I couldn’t believe that was Matt Wieters’ first multi-homer game of his career. When I thought about it more, it made plenty of sense.

Are the Matt Wieters Facts not funny anymore? I’ve had so much taken from me as an O’s fan, I can’t stomach the idea of losing this as well!

7. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of loss

By the way, I have NO IDEA why Juan Samuel brought Brad Bergesen back out to start the 6th inning last night. At first blush, I thought it was shameful. When Samuel pulled him a batter later, I DEFINITELY thought it was shameful.

But as always, you REALLY don’t want to look at the numbers from last night. Instead, look at Adrianne Curry dressed as Princess Leia at Comic-Con in San Diego (Thanks Don Chavez!). We’ll regroup after that…

leia

8. MLB.com’s James Hall says Wigginton’s suspension reduced to two games

Which forced the O’s to play Jake Fox at first last night and have just Julio Lugo and Corey Patterson on the bench.

I’d be concerned, but what does it really matter?

No word on whether or not the O’s are considering a roster move to get another player on the bench tonight; but it might be a good idea. Just a thought-but a backup catcher (Craig Tatum comes to mind) could be helpful.

9. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Josh Bell went 0-7 in Norfolk Tides’ loss on farm

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

-The Birds are back in action tonight; facing the Jays at Rogers Centre. First pitch between Kevin Millwood and Ricky Romero is at 7:07pm, the game can be seen on MASN. I don’t like the Birds’ chances against Romero. They don’t do well against lefties. Or anyone.

-Congratulations to Luke Scott for being named the American League Player of the Month. Hopefully that will impress the New York Mets. Or Detroit Tigers. Or San Diego Padres. Or anyone…

-If you missed former Orioles Executive and current SiriusXM MLB Network Radio analyst Jim Duquette with Drew Forrester this morning, make sure you hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to check it out. Delmarva Shorebirds field coach/former O’s CF/my personal hero Mike Devereaux was also on the show, as well as former Maryland lacrosse coach and current Chesapeake Bayhawks consultant Dave Cottle. It’s all in the Audio Vault.

10. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Ralph Friedgen confirmed Jamarr Robinson will start under center for Terrapins

Which we basically knew; but this just settles anyone who thought the job could be available for Danny O’Brien or C.J. Brown to win this summer in College Park.

If Kimberly Phillips shows up in camp however-I’d let her win whatever job she wanted (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)…

kimberly

11. ACC Official Site says Terps picked to finish last in Atlantic Division by media assembled in Greensboro

Ehh…2nd…4th…6th…doesn’t matter to me. It’s like Ricky Bobby says…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_isgXzxIa24[/youtube]

And finally, I leave you with this.

Did Kings of Leon really cancel a show in St. Louis when there was an…umm…seagull incident?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siIQmp4KUoE[/youtube]

I’d be more concerned if they weren’t the band that did “Be Somebody.” That earns them something…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7dQTqBGASU[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 20 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

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

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

avam

brewershill

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

ripken

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hell, is anyone even paying attention at this point?

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

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

Obviously you don’t want to look at this.

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

rhw

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

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

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

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

Speaking of guys who might be traded…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

fearon

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

…at least for Training Camp.

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

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

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

DeLorean

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

behati

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

chixx

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

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

It’s certainly a 50-50.

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

And finally, I leave you with this.

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

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

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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A staggering look at the numbers as Orioles drop to 19-51

Posted on 23 June 2010 by Luke Jones

What more is there to say that hasn’t already been said after the previous 50 losses this season?

The Orioles lost 10-4 to the Florida Marlins on Tuesday night. Jeremy Guthrie was plagued by a four-run second inning, retired 13 of 14 batters, and then walked Chris Coghlan to begin the seventh before giving up an RBI-double to Gaby Sanchez. That marked Guthrie’s exit as he fell to 3-9 on the season.

The bullpen was awful, giving up three earned runs in three innings to put the game even further out of reach than it already was.

On a bright note, Matt Wieters hit a three-run, opposite-field homer in the second inning on a typical Baltimore summer night in which the ball was really carrying at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The struggling catcher now has 6 RBI in his last two games despite a .225 average. It was also the Orioles’ first three-run home run since May 1.

Instead of analyzing why the Orioles lost again (it doesn’t take a rocket scientist, does it?), here’s a glimpse at some staggering numbers and scenarios:

- The Orioles are now 19-51, a .271 winning percentage that now puts the club on pace to lose 118 games. The 1962 New York Mets hold the modern record for losses in a season with 120. The club will need to go 24-68 to avoid the dubious mark. It’s certainly not a given when you consider the Orioles haven’t won consecutive games in nearly six weeks (May 12-14).

- To avoid matching the 1988 Orioles’ 107 losses (that team only played 161 games), the 2010 Orioles would need to finish with at least a 37-55 record (.402 winning percentage). It’s looking more and more like Pete Stanicek, Jay Tibbs, and the ’88 gang will be able to pop the champagne at the end of the year to celebrate their removal as worst team in Orioles history.

- Evading the 100-loss mark—the standard for a pitiful baseball team—would require a 44-48 finish. Does ANYONE see that being possible right now?

- To finish with a .500 record, a mark many set their sights on to begin the season, the Orioles would have to go 62-30 the rest of the way. That’s a .674 winning percentage.

Taking a look at the standings on June 23, the New York Yankees have the best record in baseball with a .620 winning clip.

- Speaking of a .674 winning percentage, that roughly projects to a 109-53 mark over the full 162-game schedule, the exact record of the Orioles’ finest regular season team. The 1969 Orioles, however, lost to the Amazin’ Mets in the World Series that year in a shocking upset.

Despite the disappointment, the Orioles rebounded in 1970 and the rest was history.

Yes, those world champion Birds will be back in Baltimore this weekend to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their World Series victory over the Cincinnati Reds. That club was a robust 108-54.

The 2010 Orioles would have to go 89-3(!) over their final 92 games to match that mark.

And they’re going to let these guys wear the 1970 throwback uniforms???

We’ll talk about that on Wednesday from noon to 2:00 on AM 1570 and streaming online at WNST.net.

On that note, hope I was able to brighten your day.

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 22 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because it’s about time for another “Greatest Song of All Time This Week.” With Robert Randolph & The Family Band’s new disc “We Walk This Road” hitting iTunes yesterday; I’m going to pick “Traveling Shoes”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVHNgOb1Je4[/youtube]

If you don’t love Robert Randolph; you and I might not be capable of being friends.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP/STATS’ Anthony Giornalista previews Orioles-Marlins series opening tonight at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

With no offense to baseball fans anywhere in Miami or elsewhere in Florida, there’s nothing imposing about the Marlins. Other than Josh Johnson that is-and he doesn’t pitch in this series. Well, the Dan Uggla-Hanley Ramirez combo is pretty good. And Jorge Cantu, Ronny Paulino, Cody Ross and Chris Coghlan have been solid. And Mike Stanton looks like he’ll be pretty good in the future.

Okay, fine. The Fish are actually a half decent team, despite the fact that they are currently 3 games under .500. They just don’t SEEM that imposing at first blush. However, when you’re the worst team in Major League Baseball (and the Orioles are by a LONGSHOT), all opponents are fairly imposing.

They kick the series off tonight at OPACY, with Jeremy Guthrie facing Anibal Sanchez. First pitch is on MASN2 at 7:05pm. I’ll say Orioles win. Not because I really have a good feeling about whether or not the Orioles will win, but more because I’d just really rather not having to talk about a 19-51 team. Or a 19-52 team. Or a 19-55 team. Or a 19-90 team. You get the point.

2. WNST.net’s Ryan Chell says Birds trying to avoid historic failure of 1962 New York Mets

What was the New York Mets’ record through 69 games in 1962?

19-50.

Unless this team plays really good baseball for some stretch of time this season (which I GUESS is possible?), we’re going to be discussing this right up until win number 41. If we get past that, we’ll be talking about it until (if?) they surpass the 54 wins posted by the 1988 Baltimore Orioles-the worst team in franchise history.

Yep, it’s an exciting time! Head on down to Birdland tonight and welcome home the Orioles! You never know what might happen! For example, the Orioles could be the first time to strike out 4 times in 1 inning in one game! If it happens and you’re not that, you’re really going to beat yourself up!

3. ESPN.com’s Tristan Cockroft names Matt Wieters to ‘All-2014 Team’

Well….I hope so….

With no offense to Matt Wieters (or our friends at MattWietersFacts.com), ummm….this is still a bit of a leap of faith. I still think Matt Wieters is going to turn out to be a good player, but maybe the immediate comparisons to Joe Mauer were a bit unfair.

It’s not that I’m clamoring for Wieters to be sent back down to Norfolk or anything like that. I’m NOT. He’s been very good defensively and poor offensively. He’s on a poor offensive team. I’m just trying to keep my expectations a bit more realistic. Like, instead of thinking Matt Wieters is going to be the next CJ Gibson (Thanks Busted Coverage/Next Round!)…

cjgibson

…I’m now just hoping he’ll be the next Luisa Corna. (Thanks AGAIN Busted Coverage and Plunder Guide!)…

luisacorna

…You see the difference, right? Right?

4. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Bergesen solid, Felix Pie struggled for O’s on farm Monday night

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

-With Felix Pie now rehabbing, there has been some conjecture about what the Orioles will do roster-wise to make room for him. I can’t honestly believe anyone thinks there is another option (I’ve read a few comments about Corey Patterson) than Lou Montanez, but I guess some folks down don’t think it’s such a slam dunk. Montanez HAS to be the guy. I’m sure Andy MacPhail will give Juan Samuel (or whoever is managing the team at the time) the edict that Pie HAS to play everyday-which will make a lot of people not named Glenn Clark pleased. Glenn Clark will remain in the Dave Trembley camp of “I think you should play….just as soon as you stop routinely screwing up.”

-As far as Edwin Encarnacion is concerned, put him on the Jake Fox list of “whatever.” If the team gets rid of Garrett Atkins, someone has to play first base. Neither of these guys are any good. But the Orioles are full of players like that. In fact, they have so many that one of them (Ty Wigginton) has managed to confuse some folks into thinking he IS a good player. If the Orioles add Edwin Encarnacion to the roster, “whatever.”

-Congratulations to our “Apologist of the Morning”, as selected by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester. I don’t know who Noah Rosenstein is or what his role is with MLB.com, but with headlines like “Talent overflowing at Double A Bowie” and “Few hurdles left for (Zach) Britton before joining O’s”, I couldn’t help but think to myself “Gee, Yankees.com doesn’t have any Double A stories posted today…”

5. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Ravens agreed to 3 year deal with 5th round pick (Syracuse) DT Arthur Jones

While Arthur Jones is probably breathing a BIT easier today, he still has to go up to Westminster and make sure he actually makes the team. The roster is chocked full of D-Linemen (Trevor Pryce, Cory Redding, Kelly Gregg, Terrence Cody, Haloti Ngata, Kelly Talavou, Brandon McKinney, Paul Kruger, Lamar Divens, Jones and Albert McClellan), and he’s going to have to make sure he locks down a spot during Training Camp.

As I said when I mocked the roster a few weeks back, I truly believe Arthur Jones WILL make the roster. I know that he has a big fan in John Harbaugh, and I know that he “looks like a Raven” the way Talavou and McKinney did a season ago. That will help him, but he has to do the rest at McDaniel College.

6. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens reached 3 year deal with 4th round pick (BYU) TE Dennis Pitta

Dennis Pitta likely feels much more comfortable than Arthur Jones today, but 4th round picks have been left off NFL rosters before. He appears to have a clear path to make the roster behind Todd Heap (and probably behind 3rd round pick Ed Dickson), but 2nd year TE Davon Drew is in the mix as well.

It’s safe to assume he’ll be the team’s #3 Tight End (with a chance to be the #2 guy). Pitta absolutely reminds you of Todd Heap OFF the field, and has some similarities on the field as well. The biggest thing Cam Cameron hopes he and Dickson will bring is the chance to allow Heap to rest a bit more next season; as the team believes Heap may have played upwards of 1,000 snaps.

Before we move on from the Ravens, a reminder that new Ravens safety Ken Hamlin joined Rex Snider Monday afternoon on the “Rex and Ray” show. If you missed it, make sure you head on over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault and check it out today.

7. The Sun’s Mike Preston says former Ravens LS Joe Maese now working as firefighter in Howard County

This is a REALLY cool story that’s worth checking out. Joe Maese was a popular guy in Owings Mills, and it is VERY cool to see that he’s doing good work for the folks at the Long Reach station.

I don’t really have any other “analysis” to offer here about Joe. It’s just a really cool story that’s worth the read today. You know what else is a really cool story? Lily Cole on the cover of Arena Magazine (Thanks Barstool Sports!)…

lilycole

8. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terrapins LB Alex Wujciak named to Watch List for Bronco Nagurski Award

There’s no hiding the fact that Wujciak is probably the Terps’ best player, and will have high expectations on a defense that will need to play well again this season for Ralph Friedgen’s team to have any success in the ACC. Don Brown knows what to expect from his LB’s, which is good-because there aren’t a whole heck of a lot of other positions on the team that the coaches are feeling quite so comfortable with.

If you’re Jonesing for some Maryland football talk, Patrick (follow him on Twitter @D1scourse) and I posted the second edition of the “D1scast” yesterday. Head back over to the Audio Vault to check it out. We preview Maryland’s special teams unit, recap the lack of movement in conference realignment, discuss the departure of Javarie Johnson at Maryland and Mike Hermann at Towson, and even bring up the great “Batman Returns.” There’s also a look at the college lacrosse coaching carousel. Speaking of which…

9. Washington Post’s Christian Swezey says Ryan Moran, Kevin Warne expected to join John Tillman’s lacrosse staff in College Park

I would first like to take the time to welcome both coaches to College Park, and wish them the best of success in their Maryland tenure.

I would then like to just ask…was there no room for Maxim Italy cover girl Melissa Satta on the staff??? (Thanks Guyism!)…

italy

10. Orlando Sentinel’s Josh Robbins says former Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez worked out with Magic Monday

I know I’m not the first person to say this, but this would be an unacceptable destination for the senior from Venezuela to end up in the NBA Draft. Orlando is where JJ Redick plays. I don’t much care for JJ Redick. I don’t much care for anything related to Duke. In fact-as I said on Twitter (follow us @WNST) after seeing photos of the RimRock Auto Arena in Montana destroyed by a tornado…

rimrock

…the only thing I could think to myself was “Dear God, why this place instead of Cameron Indoor Stadium?”

Eric Hayes recently worked out with the Chicago Bulls, he joined Drew today on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST. If you missed it, head on over to the Audio Vault and check it out. Other guests this morning included…

-IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard, who gave us all of the details for next year’s “Baltimore Grand Prix” downtown.
-Fox Sports Florida Pre-Game host Craig Minervini, who previewed the Orioles-Marlins series
-Loyola soccer coach Mark Mettrick, who went around the World Cup

It’s all in the Audio Vault, make sure you check it out!

And finally, I leave you with this.

After his big plug during ABC’s NBA Finals postgame show from the floor of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, I’m sure everyone was waiting for the debut of LA Lakers star Ron Artest’s new single “Champions.” No? Screw you guys, I don’t have anything else prepared. (Thanks Deadspin!)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRrN4pmEuQA[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Credit Where Credit’s Due: Peter Schmuck Got It Right

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Credit Where Credit’s Due: Peter Schmuck Got It Right

Posted on 21 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Today on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST-we did a segment that you should probably be used to at this point. Our “Apologist of the Morning” segment has been part of the show since the Baltimore Orioles opened the season in Tampa Bay-and a group of orange Kool Aid drinkers began making excuses for a team that would go on to lose 50 of their first 69 games.

Truth be told, “Apologist of the Morning” is a goofy segment that doesn’t really mean much to us. We came up with it in part because we knew that having to talk about the O’s this season would be mind-numbing at times. Of course, we certainly didn’t expect it to be like THIS.

With “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester out this morning, the segment was a bit different today. Instead of collecting multiple nominees and allowing Drew to choose the winner; Nestor Aparicio and I simply picked a winner.

And fortunately for us, our winner today was a bit of a runaway.

As many of you know-Jeff Barker and David Zurawik co-penned a story this weekend for the Baltimore Sun regarding improved attendance and improved ratings for the Birds. If you haven’t read this classic, go ahead and venture over to take a look. I’ll wait.

Captivating stuff, huh? Filled with gems of quotes from the likes of the team’s “Minister of Propaganda” Greg Bader, MASN’s John McGuinness and CBS Radio Baltimore (that’s where you’ll find 105.7-the flagship home of the Orioles) VP Bob Phillips, it really paints the picture that things are well in Birdland, despite the team’s 19-50 record.

The story points out that through 32 games at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the Orioles are averaging 23,720 fans per game; some 2,000 more than the 21,653 who attended the first 32 games a season ago. Moreover, it states that Orioles games have a 3.8 rating on MASN as compared to a 3.4 rating last season.

The story might lead some to believe that Charm City is dealing with a case of “Orange Fever.”

The most humorous part of the story is that online-it is accompanied by this Kenneth Lam photo of a “Friends and Family” night at OPACY…

opacy
(Photo courtesy of The Sun)

Of course, at no point in the story was it mentioned that the two smallest crowds in OPACY history were announced this season, but we’ll leave that alone-at least for now.

In naming Zurawik and Barker our co-Apologist(s) of the Morning, I don’t actually believe either men to be true “Apologists” for the team. In fact, I have no idea how either feels about the team. My assumption is that the Orioles and MASN were sending over these numbers; and as an official media partner for the team-the Sun felt the need to write this type of story. Barker is a staff writer for the sports department who takes on other assignments while the Maryland Terrapins are on summer hiatus. Zurawik is the TV writer on staff; so they are a logical combo to write the piece.

The piece itself is an almost beautiful representation of apology. They simply ran the facts, dismissed the fact that the facts don’t really make a whole lot of sense, and then grabbed quotes to tie the thing up. It isn’t really JOURNALISM, it’s just work. Those guys were told to write a story, and write a story they did.

I don’t blame either guy one bit for such apology. They really just did their jobs.

This is where I direct attention to the hero of the weekend.

In response to the story, multiple AOTM winner Peter Schmuck posted an interesting blog over at his “The Schmuck Stops Here” area at The Sun’s website.

And as we should expect when a good journalist is allowed to BE a journalist, Peter absolutely KILLED it. His post “O’s attendance: Disraeli was right” handled the topic perfectly. Once again, I’ll wait if you want to go take a look.

Schmuck accurately pointed out a fact that was introduced but quickly dismissed in the story written by Zurawik and Barker. He pointed out that the team has played 15 of their 32 home games against the New York Yankees, New York Mets and Boston Red Sox-all of whom bring thousands of fans with them to Baltimore for every series. Through 32 home games a season, the team had played just 6 games against that trio-all of which were against the Yankees.

Schmuck went on to do the math regarding attendance in games NOT against those teams. He subtracted Opening Day from both this season and last (as Opening Day is usually well-attended no matter who the opponent is) and figured out that the team has averaged 19,679 fans per game-down from 19,831 a season ago.

Spare me the “we know there aren’t that many fans at the games” comments. Everyone knows that teams/venues/concert events announce tickets sold, not bodies in seats. If an announced crowd is 6,000 fans larger than the number of fans actually in attendance because the team “sold” 5,000 tickets to a 2nd party broker like StubHub; they still sold the tickets. That’s REALLY all that matters to them.

But the honest to God FACT is that while the Orioles have sold MORE tickets this season; it ISN’T because Orioles fans are going back to their roots, or showing a new level of support for the team. It is simply because Baltimore remains an attractive location for out of town fans to come support their teams.

Had Barker and Zurawik written that, no one would have even blinked.

Unfortunately, they didn’t.

Thank God Peter Schmuck was there to cover for him.

He won’t get too many fist bumps or pats on the back when he heads out to The Yard this week. In fact, he’ll probably get some evil eyes; and he’s probably already received a few angry emails.

That’s why I want to make sure I give credit to him, as he’s earned it.

Peter did a GREAT job this weekend, handling the relevant facts instead of repeating propaganda.

It’s important that journalists are able to actually practice journalism. Peter Schmuck did that.

He deserves at least one “atta boy” this week. I’m glad I can give it to him.

-G

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 14 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a Happy Monday for me because this happened yesterday…

crabs

Need I explain more? The “Luckiest Dang Little Sister on the Face of the Planet” had a birthday, and I reaped the benefits.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Kevin Millwood roughed up as Orioles swept by Mets

I decided to peek at Stephen Strasburg for a bit yesterday over on MASN2 as the Nats played in Cleveland-just because I didn’t want to be the only guy in the world NOT talking about him.

By the time I realized I had forgot to flip over and watch the start of the Birds game, it was already 5-0 in the first. At least it made it easier to stop watching and head outside for crabs and Moosehead.

I’m well aware that the game got back to 5-3 at one point; but the Orioles really DIDN’T ever have a chance. A special thanks to Mark Hendrickson for making sure it wasn’t AT ALL interesting at any point after he came in.

I’d like to say something poignant here to wrap this up. I think I’ll go with “The Orioles stink.” How’d that sound?

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

The crazy thing is that the team has been getting some hits recently. Over the last 6 games, they’ve collected 62 hits. Sadly, they’ve rarely turned into runs.

Of course, when you let the one RBI producer you have go (Aubrey Huff) and don’t replace him with someone who’s an acceptable replacement (like Matt Holliday or Jason Bay); this is what you get. It’s been piss poor all season. I don’t know why I’d bother being frustrated by it now.

I don’t know if you can tell by my tone early on, but this wasn’t exactly fun this weekend. I was hoping the World Cup would help to improve my spirits towards sports in general-but I got a bit too much sun Saturday, and then my allergies came racing back yesterday.

I still blame the Orioles. Why wouldn’t I?

3. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says with sweep, O’s now continue historic poor pace

There is no doubt that over the next few months, there will be plenty of attention paid to the Orioles’ potential assault of the 1962 New York Mets’ record for futility. I’m not the type of person that hopes they DO pursue the record down the stretch just to keep the season entertaining-as I don’t really want to have any part of that. The Mets have that record. I hope they keep it.

That being said, those that support the Orioles going on to finish with the worst record in baseball so that the team can finish with the #1 overall pick in next year’s MLB Entry Draft-I can probably get behind that. I won’t root for them to lose (of course, I can’t bring myself to watch the games at ALL half the time anyway), but I understand that losing games could help the team more than winning can after the All-Star Game.

This just keeps getting more and more depressing. Let’s take a look at a picture of January Jones (who may or may not have been involved in a car crash?) from over at WWTDD and then we’ll regroup and move forward.

janjones

4. MLB.com’s Noah Rosenstein says Birds activated Alfredo Simon, sent down Brad Bergesen

So we’ve got that much going for us, which is nice. Juan Samuel says he’ll use Alfredo Simon primarily as the closer. I’d probably prefer to keep using David Hernandez myself, but I think I’ll just accept EVER having another save situation again first.

As far as Brad Bergesen goes; this is a numbers game. Of the 4 young pitchers in the “cavalry”, he’s got the lesser pedigree of the bunch. It probably goes Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta then Bergesen. With the other 3 up and both Millwood and Jeremy Guthrie having not been dealt yet. That’s 6 guys for 5 spots. While Hernandez is probably best suited for the bullpen in the long term, Bergesen should probably remain a starter. In order to do that, he has to go to Norfolk, at least for now.

5. Baysox.com says Pasadena native Chorye Spoone matched MLB pitcher Ross Detweiler in Bowie’s win over Harrisburg on farm

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

-A reminder that the Birds are back in action tonight, facing the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. First pitch between Chris Tillman and Jonathan Sanchez is at 10:15pm. The other starters for the Orioles this week are Arrieta and Guthrie; the Giants counter with Joe Martinez and Tim Lincecum. The hopes for a Madison Bumgarner-Jake Arrieta showdown were nice, but appear to be all but gone.

-Congratulations to our “Apologist of the Morning”, a former winner-”Neal S.” from The Loss Column. Neal was selected by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester. For a change, today’s winner didn’t win because of “apology”, but instead for being an apologist yet having the stones to say the right thing. Neal said…

“I’m getting frustrated with Andy MacPhail’s ultra-conservative, deliberate approach. I’m not getting at any larger point, necessarily, it’s just what it is. Frustration with an approach that seems to be growing less effective by the day.”

It’s time the uber-defenders of “The Plan” wise up and accept facts. The fact is, the manager has been fired but the team still stinks. Either that means there are two bad managers, or the general manager put a bad club together. I think I know which one it was in this case.

I don’t think Peter Angelos should FIRE Andy MacPhail, but I ABSOLUTELY believe his feet need to be held to the fire to MAKE THE TEAM BETTER.

I hope others will join Neal S. in having the courage to stand up and say “this isn’t okay.”

-While Bobby Valentine and Eric Wedge remain the only managers known to have interviewed for the job, I think there’s an obvious choice for the next interview. As I posted Saturday on Facebook, the recent meltdown from one time would-be Arizona Diamondbacks manager Wally Backman HAS to earn him an interview, correct?

(Edit from GMC: This video is ABSOLUTELY NSFW. Unless you work at a place that has the F word in the name of the company. If that’s the case, I would imagine the video is probably okay.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PJJUc2u0bs[/youtube]

6. The Sun’s Ken Murray says Ravens S Nakamura ‘well ahead of schedule’ in return from injury

The organization has to be happy with the quick returns from injury not only for Nakamura-but also for Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb. Washington & Webb still aren’t 100 percent, but all of these players have remained ahead of schedule. That’s good news for ALL Ravens fans.

A reminder that we will NOT be out at 1 Winning Drive for Passing Camp this week-because the NFL took away Passing Camp this week. The Ravens are still doing formal work with their rookies, but there is no availability for us. But as any news comes from Owings Mills, we’ll be sure to get it to you via Twitter (follow us @WNST), WNST.net and on air at AM1570.

7. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says only ‘money’ would make sense in potential Terrapins move to Big Ten

This is a great read from Patrick regarding the entire conference situation. I have said a few times that I don’t think it helps the Terps to go to the Big Ten, and I won’t waiver on that. That being said, if Big Ten commish Jim Delaney has $20 million a year to throw at the University for free, it would have to be considered by C.D. Mote or whoever replaces as him-even if it ends up going against the wishes of Debbie Yow.

We talked some college sports this morning on “The Morning Reaction”, as Morgan State Bears head coach Todd Bozeman joined the program to respond to the news of recent scholarship losses. If you missed the chat, you can head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net to listen, as Drew and Todd also discussed the Boston Celtics’ 3-2 lead on the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. Other guests this morning were Baseball Prospectus’ Jay Jaffe and UMBC Soccer Coach Pete Caringi-who recapped the United States-England match, as well as all other things World Cup.

8. Inside Lacrosse’s Sean Burns has Maryland 5th, Johns Hopkins 11th, Loyola 15th in ‘way early’ 2011 lacrosse poll

The Dave Cottle defenders of the world pointed out that he deserved the chance to coach one more season, as this Maryland team is arguably the best he would have had.

Maybe so, but that’s of course not an option anymore. Speaking of which, nothing new on the Maryland lacrosse search front this weekend.

Speaking of which-if we’re going to put together ridiculous lists at the wrong time, I want to make a list of “gals from Australia who made the cover of Ralph Magazine and I would like to get to know better.” Gianna Pattison is number 1. (Thanks Guyism!)

gianna

9. The Sun’s Kevin Cowherd says Baltimore County World Soccer Festival part of “World Cup fever” coming over Charm City

If you didn’t come out to Patriot Plaza in Towson for the event Saturday, it was a GREAT time, even if the match ended in a fairly fortunate draw. Here’s a look courtesy of WNSTv…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJQ6uakWUQs[/youtube]

We will be out at Amicci’s in Little Italy this afternoon for Italy-Paraguay. The food is GREAT, the beer is cold, it’s going to be an awesome day. Forza Azzurri!!!

10. BaltimoreMariners.com says Mariners topped Erie on last second FG

Thankfully their long snapper isn’t named Matt Katula.

I’m kidding!!!! Matt’s a good man, and hopefully has moved past his elbow issues. Hopefully.

You know, I completely forgot to mention this when we were discussing World Cup, but have you seen Cristiano Ronaldo WAG Irina Shayk? Thanks Busted Coverage…

shayk

And finally, I leave you with this.

If you haven’t been paying attention to WWE Raw, you might not have noticed that they’ve been having guest hosts on the show every week. Some of been great (notably Shaquille O’Neal and Bob Barker), others have been Ashton Kutcher. My buddy Brandon Holthaus started a group on Facebook to try to get Kevin Smith to host the show. Check the group out here.

And how can THIS guy NOT make a good host? (Edit from GMC: Once again, this video is ABSOLUTELY NSFW. Unless you work for Kevin Smith. Or the WWE presumably.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-xKUU5sWS4[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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O-mazin’ Orioles swept by Mets as chase of history is on

Posted on 13 June 2010 by Luke Jones

It’s fitting the Orioles concluded a forgettable 2-7 homestand against the New York Mets this weekend.

For it was this same Mets franchise that set the modern record for futility with a 40-120 record as an expansion team in 1962, and the Orioles’ biggest—if not only—storyline is quickly becoming where they might land among the worst teams in the history of major league baseball.

With the Orioles falling 11-4 on Sunday and now holding an appalling 17-46 record (on pace to lose 119 games), it’s getting harder and harder to ignore a potential date with history, though not the kind anyone wanted to see in Baltimore this season—or any season for that matter.

Those “Amazin’ Mets” lost their 63rd game of the season, giving Casey Stengel and the feeble Metropolitans a 17-46 record, the same mark the Orioles hold as they embark on a West Coast trip to San Francisco and San Diego this week. But unlike the Mets, expectations were far higher for an Orioles club many hoped would be far more intriguing—and successful—than any Baltimore has witnessed in 13 years.

The decision to fire manager Dave Trembley was made in order to ignite a spark for a baseball team struggling in nearly every facet of the game. Instead, interim manager Juan Samuel is 2-7 since taking charge at the beginning of the homestand on June 4. The offense continues to be downright offensive, the pitching continues to wilt, and the club is on the verge of falling 30 games below .500 before Father’s Day.

The managerial change has not only failed to ignite a spark, but has appeared to add kindling to the fire of a catastrophic season. In his defense, Samuel’s first opportunity to manage in the big leagues comes under impossible circumstances with an all-around beaten team having virtually no hope of turning it around.

“I’m trying to stay as positive as I can for these guys,” Samuel said after Sunday’s loss. “My job is to keep these guys going and keep them focused, continue to improve in some areas we think we can improve, like running the bases. Just doing the little things. Playing a different style of baseball when we have the chance to.”

The Orioles were 6-for-35 (.171) with runners in scoring position in the three-game sweep to the Mets and are just .217 for the entire season. The offense managed just two homers in nine games at hitter-friendly Camden Yards.

At least someone is benefiting from the club’s offensive struggles as the opposition has now made quality starts in 16 of the Orioles’ last 17 games.

And it doesn’t get any easier as the Orioles now go to San Francisco to face a Giants pitching staff with a 3.33 ERA, third in the majors.

Miffed Millwood shelled again

The season continues to spiral out of control for Kevin Millwood who fell to 0-8 after giving up five runs in the first inning, including home runs to David Wright and Chris Carter. Millwood gave up eight earned runs in 5 1/3 innings and has seen his earned run average balloon to a season-high 5.16.

Millwood’s lack of run support is well-documented, but it appears to be wearing on the veteran righty who has a 7.21 ERA over his last seven starts. Though he remained stoic in describing his performance on Sunday, it’s clear the frustration of a winless start is impacting his performance.

“A little confused, you know, I feel like I’ve been trying so many things,” he said. “I have a million things running through my head instead of just trying to execute pitches. That’s nobody’s fault but my own, so hopefully I can kind of get a clear head and just go back to throwing the ball instead of worrying about my mechanics so much.”

Millwood gave up a third home run in the fifth inning, a shot by Jason Bay on a 3-1 pitch. It was the third time this season Millwood has allowed three home runs in a game (April 11 vs. Toronto and May 13 vs. Seattle).

His 19 home runs allowed is most in the majors.

Bergesen back to minors

With Alfredo Simon set to return from the disabled list, the Orioles optioned right-hander Brad Bergesen to Triple-A Norfolk after Sunday’s game.

Samuel and the club wants to give Bergesen the opportunity to start every fifth day to work out his mechanical issues and believed keeping him in the bullpen with irregular work would not help the 24-year-old get back on track.

Bergesen is 3-4 with a 6.50 ERA in 12 appearances, 10 of them being starts. This will mark his second stint with the Tides this season after he was optioned to Norfolk in April after three ineffective outings to start the season.

“You know, it’s a numbers game sometimes,” Bergesen said. “They told me they want to get me the innings and right now I’m not getting the innings. Of course, I’m not happy, but what’s done is done. There are no grudges held here. I’ll go down and work my butt off to get back here.”

Interleague Ineptitude

The Orioles are now 1-5 in interleague play this season and 102-133 all-time since regular season play against the National League began in 1997. Baltimore is now 9-16 all-time against the Mets.

Interleague play will continue with a six-game road trip against the Giants (35-27) and Padres (37-26), two teams battling for supremacy in the National League West.

_________________________________________________

BALTIMORE — Good afternoon from a sweltering Oriole Park at Camden Yards as the Orioles conclude an interleague three-game set with the New York Mets at 1:35 p.m.

Despite a strong eight-inning effort from Brian Matusz Saturday night, the Orioles lost 3-1, giving the Mets their first road series win of the season and dropping the Orioles to 17-45. It’s the exact record the infamous 1962 Amazin’ Mets had after 62 games. Those Mets, a first-year expansion team managed by Casey Stengel, went on to lose 120 games to solidify themselves as the worst team in big league history since 1900.

For those wondering, those ’62 Mets lost their 63rd game of the season to the Milwaukee Braves, 9-4.

The Orioles clearly have 100 games to avoid the embarrassing 120-loss mark, but the possibility is sadly becoming more realistic with every passing loss. It doesn’t figure to get any easier this coming week as Baltimore travels to the West Coast to take on the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres, both in the thick of the National League West race in the middle of June.

Kevin Millwood (0-7) goes to the bump for the Birds this afternoon, desperately trying to pick up his first victory of the season. The veteran righty pitched extremely well over the first seven weeks of the season but has struggled in his last six starts, going 0-3 with a 6.34 ERA.

It won’t be easy for Millwood as he’ll be opposed by Mike Pelfrey who has pitched exceptionally well all season but particularly over his last three starts. Pelfrey has allowed just two earned runs over his last 24 innings, including a 2-1 complete-game victory over the San Diego Padres in his most recent start.

Here are this afternoon’s lineups:

New York
SS Jose Reyes
CF Angel Pagan
3B David Wright
1B Ike Davis
LF Jason Bay
DH Chris Carter
RF Jesus Feliciano
2B Alex Cora
C Henry Blanco

SP Mike Pelfrey (8-1, 2.23 ERA)

Baltimore
LF Corey Patterson
3B Miguel Tejada
RF Nick Markakis
1B Ty Wigginton
DH Luke Scott
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
2B Scott Moore
SS Julio Lugo

SP Kevin Millwood (0-7, 4.64 ERA)

Don’t forget to join us in the Orange Crush chat this afteroon at 1:30 p.m., as WNST personalities will discuss the action from Camden Yards. As always, remember to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest updates and quips about today’s game.

Check back right here for updates (time-stamped below) leading right up to first pitch at 1:35 p.m.

______________________________________

12:25 p.m. — With a modest piece of good news on the injury front, reliever Alfredo Simon threw from the mound at Camden Yards earlier this morning and will be activated for Monday night’s game against the Giants if his injured hamstring holds up as expected.

Simon faced live hitters in his batting practice throwing session as pitching coach Rick Kranitz observed closely. Interim manager Juan Samuel envisions a return to the closer role for Simon with David Hernandez—who picked up the save in Thursday night’s win over the Yankees—receiving opportunities when Simon is unavailable.

Of course, it’s tough for the Orioles to create save opportunities for one closer, let alone a second guy capable of filling the role. If you’re wondering who had the last save for the Orioles prior to Hernandez on Thursday, the answer is Simon on May 22 against the Washington Nationals, two days before he suffered the hamstring injury that landed him on the 15-day disabled list.

If you’re wondering what the corresponding roster move might be if and when Simon is activated, my best guess would be Brad Bergesen being optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. The young sinkerballer needs to pitch regularly, and I just don’t see enough opportunities for him out of the bullpen in a long-relief role.

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 11 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Friday!

It’s a Happy Friday for me because 1-I’ve got Arrieta fever (and the only way to fix it is more cowbell?), 2-The World Cup starts today, so for the first couple of weeks anyway, I’m more of a patriot than Lee Greenwood…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-9_fDEsv-Q[/youtube]

…and then of course after Team USA is eliminated, it’s Forza Azzurri for me!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zw3i1Wrlhvw[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Arrieta, David Hernandez give Orioles fans ‘moment of hope’ in win over Yankees

Jake Arrieta wasn’t exactly “Strasburgian” last night, but since the Orioles have beat the Yanks recently about as often as I’ve been called an “all around good guy”, I understand the excitement.

To be fair, Arrieta probably should have been here earlier-but I don’t care if it took too long for him to get here as long as he keeps pitching well while he’s here. He certainly had ice in his veins when he struck out Marcus Thames…but then again…it’s Marcus Thames.

I guess the word is that Juan Samuel intends to stick with Alfredo Simon as closer when he gets healthy, but I think David Hernandez has a MUCH better pedigree for a potential closer. That being said, I’m not entirely certain the team will have another save situation before the All-Star Game. If they do, I think they should let Hernandez try again.

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

With an O-fer last night, I’d like to thank Cesar Izturis for winning me a dollar in a bet with Drew Forrester. It feels much better to win that type of bet in a Birds win. Frankly it feels better just to say the words “Birds win” in any sort of reference.

Scott Moore hit a home run last night. I wonder if I’ll ever type those words again in my life. I feel as though it might be more likely that I’ll type the words “and that’s how my date with Angel Locsin went” in the future than typing that again. (Thanks Busted Coverage/FHM!)

locsin

3. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Luke Scott acted like a ‘loser’ in O’s win

Hard to argue with that.

If you missed it, in the 7th inning; Scott lifted a fly ball to right field that Nick Swisher couldn’t find until it hit the wall. Scott thought he had hit a lazy fly ball for an out, but ended up with a triple. It would have been an inside the park home run for SURE had Scott actually been running out of the box, but instead he pouted and leisurely jogged towards first base before taking off.

Gary Thorne LOST HIS MIND. Scott would wind up scoring on an Adam Jones double; and when he got to the dugout-he heard it from Juan Samuel. Thorne (and Jim Palmer to a lesser extent) was enraged to see the two of them laughing in the dugout. For as much as I appreciated Thorne getting animated, I had the feeling John Angelos (or Peter Angelos or whoever else is paying attention to MASN right now) might be cringing while it was happening.

Thorne was right though. After Scott failed to hustle this weekend against the Red Sox and then failed to hustle again last night against the Bronx Bombers; there’s clearly an issue. It has to be addressed. Luke Scott has a role on this team, but the lack of hustle is completely unacceptable.

4. The Sun’s Dan Connolly and Don Markus say Bobby Valentine to interview with Andy MacPhail today

Rumor has it Bobby V will NOT come to the interview dressed this way…

bobbyv

Bobby Valentine certainly wouldn’t be my first choice for the gig-but if he can make the team win, I’d take him. He really loved his gig in Japan, it will be interesting to find out if he still has the passion to make things work in MLB.

Selfishly, I kinda want Skeeter Valentine from “Doug” a little bit more than Bobby Valentine…

skeeter

5. Virginian-Pilot’s Jared Diamond says Tim Bascom very good for Norfolk Tides, but couldn’t top Chris Resop’s 1 hitter for Gwinnett

A couple of things before we move on from the Orioles…

-A reminder that the Orioles are back in action tonight at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, with an interleague visit from the New York Mets. First pitch between R.A. Dickey and Jeremy Guthrie is at 7:05pm. For the rest of the weekend, Hisanori Takahashi faces Brian Matusz and Mike Pelfrey (how in the hell is HE 8-1?) takes on Kevin Millwood.

-Congratulations to our “Apologist of the Morning”, caller Bryce from Park Heights. If you’ve never heard a call from Bryce you might not understand-but he’s pretty special. He was selected by “The Great Arbitrator” or “Mr. Fair” if you will-Drew Forrester.

6. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Shayne Graham, Billy Cundiff both nailed 60 yard kicks on final day of Passing Camp in Owings Mills

Look, a 60 year field goal at 1 Winning Drive in June does not compare to a 50 yard attempt at M&T Bank Stadium against the Pittsburgh Steelers in December, but it’s certainly still fun to see these guys pushing each other.

If you missed Shayne this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, make sure you head on over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net to check it out. Other guests this morning included new Maryland Terrapins assistant hoops coach (and St. Frances alum) Bino Ranson, Former Terps/Blast/USMNT player Desmond Armstrong (who helped us preview the World Cup), Bowie Baysox 3B Joel Guzman, and Craig Calcaterra from HardballTalk over at NBCSports.com, who went around MLB with Drew. All interviews, plus Rick from Reisterstown’s “call” of the final race in our “Month of Jerks.”

7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens cut WR’s Chris Hannon, Maurice Price

And as I pointed out yesterday via Twitter (follow us @WNST), Maurice Price had to know something was up when the team assigned Shayne Graham his number (17) and never bothered to give him a new one.

Hannon and Price were guys who had no real chance of making the team, and the team still has PLENTY of WR’s to use during Training Camp this summer in Westminster.

Here’s a question for you. With these guys gone, is there room for the team to consider acquiring Katrina Law and/or Lesley-Ann Brandt from the show “Spartacus” on Starz??? (Thanks BarStool Sports!)

spartacus

8. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says John Harbaugh happy with tryout from DB’s Ken Lucas, Walt Harris and Ken Hamlin

Thanks to my buddy Derek Arnold from WNST.net, Charm City Current and of course B-More Birds Nest for reminding me about the unquestioned highlight of Ken Hamlin’s career…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzGRUNJorz8[/youtube]

No word if Hamlin still gets Christmas cards from Le’Ron McClain.

9. The Sun’s Glenn Graham says Baltimore County World Soccer Festival amongst best places to watch World Cup

Who’s buying my first Peroni???

It’s going to be a great day tomorrow at Patriot Plaza in Towson. I won’t be there at 7:30am for the Greece/South Korea match, but I’ll stroll in at some point before 2:30. Save me a beer…or 37.

10. Inside Lacrosse’s John Jiloty says former Maryland lacrosse coach Dave Cottle hasn’t heard from Penn State

He’d be a great hire for the Nittany Lions, which is why I hope they don’t hire him. I don’t much care for anything in State College myself.

Meanwhile, after contacting Virginia assistant Marc Van Arsdale, there is nothing new happening in College Park as the Terps try to hire a new coach. Still no contact with Stevenson’s Paul Cantabene and no progress towards Albany’s Scott Marr either. I’m starting to think they should consider Roxanne Pallett for the gig. (Thanks Guyism!)

pallett

And finally, I leave you with this…

I’m not sure what I like more from the world of sports yesterday. The pronunciation of Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Nate Robinson from the Boston Celtics being like “Shrek and Donkey”….

shrek

Or Lady Gaga flipping off Mets fans at Citi Field…

gaga

I’ll be doing the same thing Saturday night at OPACY.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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A Look at Potential O’s Managerial Candidates

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A Look at Potential O’s Managerial Candidates

Posted on 10 June 2010 by Ryan Chell

Dave Trembley is out as Orioles manager, and Juan Samuel is in as interim manager for the time being. But the key word there is interim, and Andy MacPhail and Peter Angelos are already hard at working at bringing in about a dozen candidates to come in and interview for the job. No one is sure if these candidates would be hired immediately this season, or if it’s a process that will work itself out into the off-season and into next year.

Given the Orioles recent trend of hiring mangers with little to no managerial experience on the big league level( Lee Mazzilli, Sam Perlozzo, Dave Trembley), you would think that Orioles management would want to bring in a manager with some success  in the past. Some on this list have brought their teams a World Series title, or built a team up that eventually won a championship.

But the list of potential Orioles managers also includes those familiar with this organization, minor league coaches on the rise, and some who are guys that might have an ability to light a fire under these players. A former Oriole, like Rick Dempsey or B.J. Surhoff could be an option as well, in the hopes that they could return the team to the good old days and the “Oriole Way”.

Experienced Managers

1. Larry Bowa (418-435 as a manger)

Larry Bowa

The former Phillies and Padres manager is currently the third base coach for Joe Torre’s Dodgers. He last managed for the Phillies back in 2004, where he was the manager for four seasons. During that time, he was 337-308 with Philadelphia, including winning the Manager of the Year award in 2002 for bringing the Phillies within two games of winning the division after the team finished last the year previously.

As a player, he was a five-time all-star shortstop and a two-time Gold Glove winner, playing mostly for Philadelphia during his 15-year career. He along with Don Mattingly will be one of several Dodger assistant coaches the Orioles may take a look at for their managerial position.

2. Phil Garner (985-1054)

Phil Garner

Phil Garner has been around the block when it comes to managing in the big leagues, managing close to 2000 games. He is very competitive and has that fiery attitude that Orioles ownership might be be looking for in a manager. He played on the 1979 Pirates World Championship team that defeated the Orioles, and recently he saved the Astros’ 2005 season  by taking them to the World Series but they got swept by the Chicago White Sox. He has manged in both leagues, but he is probably a better fit in the National League.

3. Bobby Valentine (1117-1072)

Bobby Valentine

He is an early favorite for the coaching job, but he hasn’t managed in the majors since 2002 with the Mets. Including his managerial time with New York, who he took to one NLCS and World Series, and the Rangers, he also has manged the Norfolk Tides when they were the Mets’ Triple A team and had two stints over in Japan. His career record with the Mets is not bad (536-467). He is a player’s manager, but he also is a bit of a character as well. Everyone remembers when he got thrown out of a game, and came back from the clubhouse with a clever disguise.

Bobby Valentine

4. Buck Showalter (882-833)

Buck Showalter

A two-time AL Manager of the Year, he has manged the Yankees, Diamondbacks, and Rangers in his 14-year managerial career. He has turned around losing teams fast, and was probably the most successful during his time with the Yankees (313-268). He was hired two seasons before the expansion D-backs began playing to build the team on a personnel stage. He never played in the majors thanks to former teammate Don Mattingly, who was at first base when he was coming up in the minors. His only issues? He has had problems in the past with ownership, and is kind of a control freak.

The other funny thing? Both the Yankees and the D-backs won the World Series the year after he left. Maybe the O’s should just sign him for a year, then fire him, and expect a title the following year if the trend continues.

Another thing working in his favor? He used to work with the great Yankee Assistant to the Traveling Secretary George Constanza

Buck Showalter with Assistant to the Traveling Secretary, George Constanza.

5. Davey Johnson (1148-888)

Davey Johnson

Oriole fans know this man well. A former second baseman (1965-1972, 3 Gold Gloves and All-Star selections) and manager for the O’s, he has won three World Series in his career, two with the O’s as a player and one managing the Mets in 1986, thanks to some guy named Bill Buckner.

Bill Buckner

During his 14 year managerial career, his only losing campaign was in his second-to-last season with the Dodgers. He reached the league championship series five times in his career, including two with Baltimore in 1996 and 1997. After his MLB managerial career ended, he also served time as the US Manager in the World Baseball Classic and is currently an adviser for the Nationals.

The problems standing in his way to a return to the O’s? He has fought with owners before, including Reds owner Marge Schott and the much publicized tussle he had with Peter Angelos after the ’97 season. If Angelos were to stay away from Davey, he could be back in an Oriole uniform.

6. Bob Melvin (493-508)

Bob Melvin

Melvin, a former backup catcher with the O’s, recently was the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He played ten seasons in the majors, including three with Baltimore. He won 93 games with Seattle in his first year managing, and then after moving on to Arizona, he brought the D-backs an NL West title in 2007 and earned himself Manager of the Year honors. His hiring would be a combination of a fiery attitude, a former Oriole, and a man who knows baseball. He is currently a scout for the Mets organization.

7. Eric Wedge (561-573)
Eric Wedge

Wedge has been another name that has been mentioned a lot. His rise through the minor leagues in Cleveland was well-documented, as he was a 3-time Manager of the Year in different levels of the Indians organization. In 2001, he led the Triple A Buffalo Bisons to a 91-51 record. In 2002, at the age of 34, he was named the Indians’ 39th manager, and in 2005, he led the Indians to a 93-69 record, eighth best in franchise history.

He was runner-up for Manager of the Year, losing to AL Central rival, Ozzie Guillen of the White Sox. He saw success two years later again in 2007, when he led the Indians to a 96-66 record, winning the AL Central for the first time since 2001. They lost in the ALCS to the Boston Red Sox, who eventually went on to win the World Series. His problem? He needs good players around him in order to succeed.

8. Tom Kelly (1140-1244)
Tom Kelly

Andy MacPhail’s manager in Minnesota, where he won two World Series titles. He was only 36 years old when he was named manager of the Twins. The results? From 1986-1992, the Twins were one of the best teams in the league, winning those two World Series titles in 1987 and 1991. Kelly won the Manager of the Year award in that 1991 season. However, with star players like Kirby Puckett retiring and injuries plaguing the team, the Twins only saw two winning seasons from 1992 to 2001, his last in Minnesota. MacPhail would love to bring Kelly back for a reunion, but Kelly has already said that he’s not interested in managing, and he has been away from the game for quite some time.

“The Assistants”

1. Ryne Sandberg

Ryne Sandberg

Sandberg is an intriguing candidate for so many reasons. Sandberg does not have any major league managing experience, but he is familiar with Andy MacPhail as a player and as coach. He was the Cubs 2B for 14 seasons, was a 10x All-Star, won 9 Gold Gloves, and was the MVP of the 1984 season for the National League. He has manged every level of the Cubs’ organization and has quickly rose through the ranks.

He actually interviewed for the Cubs job back in 2006, and lobbied to be the manger, losing to Lou Piniella. Piniella thinks that the job is his when he is no longer the manager. The Cubs connection is probably a big hint that Andy MacPhail is going to be calling him regarding the O’s job. I’d keep an eye out on him, because if he doesn’t come here, he is either going to be the next Cubs manager or managing somewhere else.

2. Don Mattingly

Don Mattingly

Joe Torre’s protege for the last several years, Mattingly started out as a special instructor for the Yankees after retiring in 1995. He served in that role till 2003, when he was named the team’s hitting coach under Torre. In 2004, the Yankees set a franchise record in home runs with 242. After Lee Mazzilli left to manage the O’s in 2006, he replaced him as Torre’s bench coach.

Then, when Torre was fired by George Steinbrenner three years ago, he was considered the front runner for the job and interviewed for it. Instead, Joe Girardi was hired and Mattingly followed Torre to LA, serving the same role with the Dodgers. He is considered one of the top assistant coaches in the league and will be a manager somewhere soon.

3. Gary Allenson
Gary Allenson

The O’s Triple A manger was recently called up to be the third base coach when Juan Samuel moved into Trembley’s seat. He has been with the organization for years, including managing the Ottawa Lynx in 2003(79-65), the rookie level Bluefield Orioles in 2006 (31-37), and he has been the Tides’ manager since 2006, posting a 228-254 record over that span. He is another manager with attitude, but I would think there would be other candidates looked at before Allenson.

4. Jeff Datz
Jeff Datz
The current O’s bench coach spent nine years as an assistant for the Indians, where he was a big favorite of the players, especially Grady Sizemore, who had Datz pitch to him in the Home Run Derby a few years back. Again, I think others would be given a shot before Datz.

5. Juan Samuel
Juan Samuel

The Orioles could do what they have done in the past, where they just name the interim manager the permanent manager. He had been the Orioles 3B coach since 2006, and before that managed the Mets’ Double A team. He actually played against the Orioles in the 1983 World Series for the Phillies. If they are smart, the Orioles will not hire the interim manager a third time in a row.

6. Brad Komminsk

Brad Komminsk

Komminsk is currently the manager of the Bowie Baysox. A former Top 5 pick of the Atlanta Braves when he was a player, he spent seven seasons managing in the Cleveland organization, winning Carolina League Manager of the Year in 2001. The team he led during that time was the Kinston Indians to a 89-51 record.

Oriole Greats

1. Rick Dempsey
Rick Dempsey
If wanting the job the most was the qualifications for the manager’s position, Dempsey would win. The 1983 World Series MVP has lobbied for the job four times. and has been passed over time after time. He has spent 43 years in baseball, including 24 as a player. He has been a coach for the Orioles, and has managed at the minor league level for the Mets and the Dodgers. He currently serves as a studio analyst for MASN, and the last time he coached was 2006.

2. BJ Surhoff
BJ Surhoff
His passion for the Orioles, evidenced by when he cried after being traded to the Braves in the late 1990′s, is something maybe the Orioles could use in an effort to get things turned around.

3. Bill Ripken

Bill Ripken
Bill Ripken, now an owner of the Aberdeen Ironbirds, has little to no coaching experience, other than being the first base coach for the USA team in the WBC. Those that want a Ripken in the manager’s chair might have to be happy with Bill.

Tune into “The Morning Reaction” on 1570 WNST for more info regarding the Orioles’ managerial search!

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 09 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because Bleacher Report (and this is DEFINITELY an example of knowing what you do well) put together a list of the “Top 25 Hottest Blondes in Sports.” The list features most of the names you’d imagine (Anna Kournikova is #2), but UNBELIEVABLY the #1 on the list is someone I’ve never heard of-Ana Paula Mancino…

mancino

Apparently she’s some sort of volleyball player from Brazil. Not that it matters. How does “Ana Paula Clark” sound?

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Kevin Millwood, Orioles hammered by Yankees

The Orioles are so bad that even Mark Teixeira figured out a way to get healthy in this one.

If there was ever a game when the score was not really an accurate portrayal of what happened, it was last night.

New York ran up the score, then at least had the decency to put in the backup QB and call nothing but run plays so as not to embarrass Juan Samuel’s crew. I don’t like Joe Girardi, but he’s done that a couple of times this season-and I thank him for it.

That being said, apparently some folks in town don’t understand that when Kevin Russo, Ramiro Pena and Chad Gaudin come into a game; nothing that happens after that point really matters.

It’s with that in mind that I congratulate our “Apologist of the Morning” as selected by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester this morning. Roch Kubatko’s recap of last night’s game over at MASN’s website was headlined “When 7 Runs and 15 Hits Aren’t Enough”, and the first line of the write-up read…

“The Orioles’ offense has been the subject of ridicule and scorn for much of the season, so it’s only fair to point out that it did plenty to deliver a win tonight.”

Look, the O’s did a heck of a job to scratch 3 runs across against Phil Hughes in 2 out situations when the game was still (kinda) in the balance. I’m not trying to take that away from them. But to say that scoring 4 runs after the game was already over means the offense did enough to “deliver a win” is basically admitting that you didn’t really pay attention to what was happening.

Or you’re just trying to apologize for another embarrassing loss.

Congratulations Roch!

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

The remarkable thing about last night’s performance is that EVERYONE in the Orioles lineup had at least one hit…except of course Cesar Izturis. That’s significant because Drew bet me yesterday that Izturis would figure out a way to get 5 hits during the Yanks series.

I always appreciate free money.

Of course, the strangest thing about last night was how many times Yankees players decided to just let a ball drop in front of them instead of diving to make a play. I understand that Curtis Granderson’s slam meant the game was basically over before it had ever started; but the effort was at times downright Oriole-like.

3. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Bobby Valentine, Eric Wedge early candidates to replace Dave Trembley

I don’t like anything about Eric Wedge as manager. In fact, I’d prefer Eric Matthews to Eric Wedge…

eric

I don’t think I’d like Bobby Valentine either. I just don’t know that he’d be as interested in being ORIOLES manager as he would be in bring ANY team’s manager.

Bob Melvin is still my 1 seed, I’ll put together a Top 3 list at some point of guys I’d like to see get the job. Of course, I’d really just like to see someone who can WIN get the job, but it’s hard to force that amongst the qualifications.

4. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Brian Roberts’ status for rest of season ‘very much in doubt’

Thanks to our buddy Kris Cumberland for forwarding me over what Roy Firestone had to say about B-Rob over at OriolesHangout.com…

“Its not just the injury..its the stop and start of any attempts at the rehab.
Im not even suggesting that Brian isnt a “gamer”. He is one of the toughest and most durable players this organization has seen in many years.
But if its not one thing ..its another.Its delays and pneumonia, and intermittent pain..I am very very worried and Im not talking about just this year.
This is very serious stuff.
I heard a very reliable source in the Orioles organization fretting about possible major back surgery..and even possible retirement.
This is not something I take as “loose talk.” Not if you knew who said it.
I hope I am 100% wrong, but I have serious doubts as to whether Brian will back at all this year.Really, what is the upside? To win a few games and risk even more serious setbacks?
Its just such a major loss to this ballclub, its almost incalcuable.

I’ve been VERY concerned about Brian since the news first came down during Spring Training, and the club began posturing after that.

There has be at LEAST a concern that in a worst case scenario this could lead to the end of Brian’s career, and at LEAST there is a chance that this could make a significant impact on the rest of his career.

5. MLB.com’s Noah Rosenstein says UCLA closer Daniel Klein highlighted 2nd day haul for Birds in MLB Entry Draft

And after making the pick, Andy MacPhail called Klein and said to him “the good news is that we play the Yankees and Mets this week. We won’t be needing anyone for a save situation for the next few days. But if we somehow able to get a lead against the Giants next week, how quickly can you get to San Francisco?”

Worth pointing out from the group of players selected yesterday is 5th round pick Connor Narron, son of former Reds and Rangers manager Jerry Narron. I say “worth pointing out” because you might recognize the name, not because I think you’d know anything about the player.

But I hope he’s good!

6. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Chorye Spoone, Robert Andino impressed last night for O’s on farm

Before we move on from the Orioles, a reminder that they continue their series against the Bronx Bombers tonight; first pitch from Oriole Park at Camden Yards is at 7:05pm. The good news is that Stephen Strasburg isn’t pitching on MASN2, so there might be some people who are actually interested tonight!

CC Sabathia brings a 12-1 career record against the Orioles into the game against Chris Tillman, who has made 14 career starts. But I’m sure Tillman will do just fine! Our own Luke Jones will be at OPACY, you can join him for our “Orange Cush” chat here at WNST.net.

7. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Jared Gaither absent from Ravens Passing Camp Tuesday, John Harbaugh says absence not due to injury

Gaither was one of 10 Ravens not out at 1 Winning Drive, the list also included Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Willis McGahee, Matt Birk, Le’Ron McClain, Oniel Cousins, Trevor Pryce, Terrell Suggs and Jarret Johnson. Some players missed for health reasons (Cousins had a throat procedure), others were more puzzling absences (Gaither comes to mind).

You can hear from some of the guys who WERE there in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today; including John Harbaugh, Chris Carr, Todd Heap, Haloti Ngata, Shayne Graham and Derrick Mason. The Ravens are back at work in Owings Mills today and tomorrow; with tomorrow being the final OTA practice and the last chance for us to see the Ravens before Training Camp.

8. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says CB Chris Carr doesn’t see any ‘animosity’ between players, coaches after Ravens forfeited OTA’s

As I’ve said a few times, the only real “issue” in all of this is whether or not John Harbaugh has “lost” some or all of the locker room due to working them too hard, or forcing them to work longer days than expected. While clearly there are players who aren’t exactly thrilled with the amount of work they’ve been forced to do, it does not appear as though the locker room has been “lost.”

That being said, Harbaugh has to walk a delicate line moving forward, as he needs to continue to be tough with the team yet not offend them or cross the line. Hopefully he learned from this experience, and things will be fine moving forward.

Hopefully moving forward we will also see more pictures of Emily Scott from Ralph Magazine posted at Guyism…

emily

9. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Ravens released OLB William VanDeSteeg

And as I said yesterday via Twitter (follow us @WNST), this is a shame because it means the team will no longer have anyone on the roster with lower case letters on the back of their jersey.

Ravens rookie TE Dennis Pitta isn’t going to be released any time soon; he joined “The Morning Reaction” today on AM1570 WNST. Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today to check it out. Other guests on the show included Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith (who previewed the Baltimore County World Soccer Festival), Rich Dubroff from the AP & Carroll County Times (who was at Nats Park last night and recapped “Strasmas”) and Baltimore Blast head coach Danny Kelly, who went around the World Cup.

10. The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says QB’s, rookies to start Training Camp practice July 27 in Westminster

Everybody head on over to the Best Western! Let’s get excited!

The first full squad practice is Friday, July 30th. Alert the folks at the Chick-Fil-A right down the street from McDaniel College, as a certain Glenn Clark will be there frequently. Especially now that they’ve added pickles to the Spicy Chicken Sandwich…

spicy

(Edit from GMC: I’m not cheating. My preferred Chick-Fil-A remains the Chick-Fil-A in Nottingham Square. In fact, I feel like I’ll be in the White Marsh area today…)

11. Inside Lacrosse’s Danielle Bernstein says Johns Hopkins’ Tucker Durkin, Maryland’s Jesse Bernhardt named to All-Freshman team

As a secondary honor, both the Blue Jays freshman and the Terrapins freshman get to have their name mentioned in the same post as a picture of Kelly Brook in lingerie they had over at Busted Coverage…

bc

And finally, I leave you with this.

While I’m disappointed that they didn’t bring back Robert Randolph, I am excited that Wale will be headlining Artscape. In celebration, here’s a track he did with John Mayer…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pa9uYe6QAt8[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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