Tag Archive | "michigan state"

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Stevenson Tabs Gary Stewart as New Hoops Coach

Posted on 28 June 2011 by WNST Staff

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – A former Division I head coach with 230 career victories in 18 collegiate seasons, Gary Stewart has been named as the new head men’s basketball coach at Stevenson University, Director of Athletics Brett Adams announced on Tuesday. He replaces Adams who resigned in March after 17 seasons as the school’s first head coach to focus on his role as AD.

“Gary Stewart, at many different levels, is highly recognizable in the basketball community,” said Adams. “Beyond that, Gary Stewart played Division III basketball and was a very successful coach at the Division III level, including an NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance. He has a reputation of bringing programs from worst to first.”

Stewart owns the unique distinction of having served as a head coach at each NCAA level. He brings 25 years as a highly-respected college coach to Stevenson, including 11 at Division I, six at Division II and eight at Division III. In 18 seasons as a college head coach, he has totaled four conference championships and six postseason appearances.

“Gary has some Division I experience, but I think his heart and soul is Division III,” commented Adams. “I am very excited about having him come on board. It was humbling to see so many top caliber candidates from over 200 qualified applicants that we had for this position. I think this will be a great triumph for Stevenson University and
Division III basketball.”

Most recently, Stewart was the head coach at the University of California, Davis from 2003-11 where he led the program’s four-year reclassification from Division II to Division I, culminating in the Aggies’ first year as an official member of the Big West Conference during the 2007-08 season.

“I am truly honored and extremely humbled to join Stevenson University as the new head men’s basketball coach,” said Stewart. “Stevenson University is growing at an unprecedented pace. I am enthusiastically looking forward to help build on the tremendous values, history and tradition of this extraordinary university.”

In eight seasons at UC Davis, Stewart mentored five Big West all-conference selections and three Freshman of the Year recipients. He posted his 200th career victory with an 85-74 win over Cal State Fullerton on Jan. 15, 2009 before becoming one of 14 charter appointment to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Ethics Coalition in May 2009.

Stewart made an immediate impact on the Aggie program in 2003-04. Taking over a team that finished three games under .500 the previous season, he guided UC Davis to an 18-9 record and a 15-7 mark in the powerhouse California Collegiate Athletic Association in Division II. In its third year of Division I reclassification, he led the Aggies to a 64-58 upset over Stanford at The Pavilion on Dec. 4, 2005.

Under Stewart, UC Davis won more games than any other four-year transition program, averaging double-figure wins from 2003-04 through the final transition year in 2006-07. In the summer of 2006, he  was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Board of Directors, joining such coaches as Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), Tubby Smith (Minnesota), Bill Self (Kansas), Tom Izzo (Michigan State), Mike Brey (Notre Dame) and Bo Ryan (Wisconsin).

“There is an expectation of excellence set forth by the Stevenson administration and athletic department leadership,” added Stewart. “With a wonderful academic reputation, a passionate fan base and some of the nation’s best Division III athletic facilities, Stevenson has a great foundation in place to build a championship basketball program.”

Stewart is no stranger to Division III, earning four All-SCIAC selections at the University of La Verne and serving as team captain for three years from 1980-84 before returning as the Leopards’ head coach from 1987-95 where he guided his alma mater from last place to first place in a matter of three years. He ranks second in school history with 116 victories which includes a 20-8 record and NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance following the 1992-93 season.

“I am committed to the mission of Division III athletics,” said Stewart. “Immersed in strong fundamentals with a team approach, I will run a goal oriented program predicated on the ‘always compete’ philosophy.  While vigorously pursuing athletic success, academic achievement will always be the guiding force of the basketball program. As I continue to formulate and implement a blueprint for the upcoming season, I will put into action the strategic plan for relentless recruiting of accomplished student-athletes needed to build and sustain a championship program.”

Stewart is the only coach in La Verne history to lead his team to a SCIAC title, a feat he accomplished three times, or a berth in the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship. In 2002, he was honored as a Distinguished Graduate during the university’s 75th Diamond Jubilee festivities while he was later inducted into the University of La Verne Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.

Stewart received his bachelor’s of science degree in physical education from La Verne in 1984 and captured the SCIAC’s Ted Ducey Award, bestowed upon one senior who best exemplifies outstanding achievement in academics, athletics, leadership and sportsmanship. In addition, he was selected as the recipient of the Anthony P. Scafani Sportsman of the Year Award.

Stewart, who began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Long Beach State for two seasons from 1984-86, completed his master’s of arts degree in education at La Verne in 1995.

After eight seasons with the Leopards, Stewart spent two as the head coach at Division II Cal State East Bay from 1995-97. The program that had gone 22-79 in the four seasons prior to his arrival, but in just two years, Stewart led the Pioneers to a share of the NCAC title with UC Davis. For his efforts, he was named the 1997 NCAC Co-Coach of the Year and was selected by the Oakland Tribune as the Bay Area Men’s College Coach of the Year for all NCAA divisions.

Following UC Santa Barbara, Stewart spent one season as an assistant coach at UC Santa Barbara under Jerry Pimm during the 1997-98 season and was honored by Dunk Magazine as one of the top assistant coaches in the country.

Stewart was an assistant coach at Washington State from 1999-2002 and was an assistant coach to Michigan State’s Tom Izzo for the 2002 NABC All-Star Game. He assisted former Maryland head coach Gary Williams in 2003 and Hall of Famers Jim Boeheim (Syracuse) in 2004 and Jim Calhoun (Connecticut) in 2005. He also worked with Bruce Weber (Illinois) in
2006 and John Brady (LSU) in 2007.

Prior to UC Davis, Stewart served as the director of basketball services at UCLA under Steve Lavin during the 2002-03 season.

In addition to coaching, Stewart has 16 years of experience as a university lecturer and assistant professor while serving two years as an assistant and associate athletic director at Cal State East Bay. He is a member of the NABC and Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).

Stewart’s service also includes the NABC Ethics Committee and Assistant Coaches Board of Directors and NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Regional Advisory Committee.

An active participant in community service, Stewart traveled to the Middle East as part of the United Service Organization’s (USO) ”Operation Hoop Talk.” In 2009, after his first visit to Iraq and Kuwait, he was one of four coaches, including Georgetown’s John Thompson III, to serve as a court coach at the USA Basketball  U18 Team Trials in Washington, D.C., featuring former Connecticut star Kemba Walker.

Stewart’s other highlights include the United Way, ALS Foundation, Free Throws For Heroes program for 9/11 relief, which was adopted by the NABC, Special Olympics and raising relief funds for the American Red Cross in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

Stewart has twice been honored with the UC Davis Community Service Award and, in 2008, the Diversity and Principles of Community Achievement Recognition Award. In four seasons in the Big West Conference under Stewart, the Aggie men’s basketball team received three consecutive Big West Conference Team Sportsmanship Awards in 2009, 2010, 2011.

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DeChellis Sails From Penn State, Anchors With Navy

Posted on 23 May 2011 by WNST Staff

The United States Naval Academy pulled off one of the most impressive hires of the year Monday, announcing Penn State head coach Ed DeChellis as their replacement for Billy Lange-who had recently departed to join Jay Wright’s staff at Villanova.

Here is the official release, courtesy of the Navy Sports Information Department…

Ed DeChellis Named Head Basketball Coach At The Naval Academy

ANNAPOLIS, Md.—Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk announced Monday that Penn State head coach Ed DeChellis is leaving his post at Happy Valley to become the 19th head basketball coach at the Naval Academy.

“To have one of the most highly respected coaches and educators in the sport join our Navy family is a great day for the program and the Academy,” said Gladchuk.  “Ed’s maturity, integrity, character and accomplishments at Penn State have made him one of the most respected role models in the coaching ranks.  His career is all about building programs with educational priorities in place, including graduating every senior that has ever played for him, and in the end achieving team goals that resonate with competing for championships.  Ed will make a positive and impactful impression on Navy Basketball in short order.”

“I’m thrilled and honored to be the next head basketball coach at the United States Naval Academy,” said DeChellis.  “My wife and girls are excited to be a part of the Navy family and this is the perfect opportunity for me because I believe in the core values of the Academy. We fell in love with Annapolis and the Academy when we came and visited and we look forward to being part of a place so steeped in tradition. I look forward to the challenge of not only winning the Patriot League Championship and taking Navy back to the NCAA Tournament, but also helping young men become future leaders of this great nation of ours.  I look forward to meeting the players and talking to the recruits and starting the process of getting Navy Basketball back on the national stage.”

DeChellis, who is 52, led Penn State to a 19-15 record and a fourth place finish (9-9) in the Big Ten in 2010-11, including the Nittany Lions first appearance in the Big Ten Championship Game and the school’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2001.

The Nittany Lions were led by senior guard Talor Battle, who finished second in the Big Ten in scoring (20.2 ppg) and became the first player in school history to be named team MVP all four years.   Battle finished his career as Penn State’s all-time leading scorer with 2,213 points, surpassing Jesse Arnelle’s 56-year old Penn State record of 2,138, and finished 10th all-time in Big Ten history.

DeChellis was the 2009 Big Ten Coach of the Year, just the second Penn State basketball coach to ever earn coach-of-the-year honors, as he guided a Nittany Lion team that started three sophomores to a school-record 27 wins and the program’s first-ever national tournament title in winning the 2009 NIT. Along the way Penn State tied a program record for regular season wins (21), posted its second-most Big Ten Conference wins (10) and second-best finish (4th) ever, recorded just the 10th 20-win season in program history, knocked off four Top 25 teams (including a road win at eventual NCAA runner-up Michigan State), set a record for home wins (17) and posted the program’s most road wins (6) in the Big Ten era.

Penn State’s remarkable run was led by Battle, who was a first-team All-Big Ten, NABC and USBWA all-region selection and NIT MVP Jamelle Cornley, who finished his career ranked fourth all-time in scoring and rebounding at Penn State. Neither player was a highly sought blue-chip recruit, but found remarkable success and achievement under the tutelage of DeChellis and his staff.

His coaching performance in 2007-08 had many of his Big Ten colleagues and members of the media pointing to him as the conference’s coach-of-the-year. Primed for a run to the post-season in his fifth year at the helm, DeChellis saw his leading scorer, rebounder and preseason All-Big Ten first-team pick Geary Claxton go down with a torn ACL 16 games into the season. Second leading scorer and rebounder Jamelle Cornley also suffered a knee injury that limited him for much of the season and caused him to miss six games, including the last three. All DeChellis did was lead a team that started four freshmen and five newcomers to its most Big Ten wins and best Big Ten finish since 2001. Along the way his young Lions knocked off No. 7 Michigan State and No. 17 Indiana while winning five straight home games to end the campaign.

The Nittany Lions reached the NIT in 2006, DeChellis’ third year at the helm. Despite playing the youngest (12 underclassmen and one senior) and smallest line-up (just one player over 6-6 playing more than four minutes per game in league play) in the Big Ten, DeChellis led Penn State to its most overall wins (15), most non-conference wins (eight), most Big Ten wins (six), first Big Ten Tournament win and first post-season appearance (NIT) in five seasons.

DeChellis’ recruiting and coaching helped Penn State claim its first ever Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Year (Jamelle Cornley, 2006) and three straight members of the Big Ten All-Freshman Team (Marlon Smith, 2004; Geary Claxton, 2005; Jamelle Cornley, 2006). The Lions had none before his arrival.  He also set about changing and revitalizing the program’s culture – stressing family, a team-first attitude and a commitment to excellence without shortcuts that his players embraced and took ownership of.

DeChellis wrapped up the year by being named the 2006 National Coaches Vs. Cancer Man-of-the-Year for his contributions in raising funds and awareness in the fight against cancer. DeChellis was presented the award by ESPN’s Jay Bilas before a large gathering of his peers at the Laurel Valley Golf Club in western Pennsylvania.

Penn State was coming off two consecutive seven-win seasons when DeChellis was named the 11th head coach in program history in April of 2003. Energizing the fans and players immediately, he helped guide Penn State to nine wins in his first season, better than each of the prior two seasons, with fewer players on scholarship than the previous year.

DeChellis began his coaching career in Happy Valley, serving as a graduate assistant coach under Dick Harter and Bruce Parkhill. In 1984, he moved on to Salem College in Salem, West Virginia, where he had a two-year stint as an assistant coach. While at Salem, DeChellis also served as the school’s Director of Intramurals. Showcasing the overall commitment to the growth of the young people he comes into contact with, DeChellis increased the Salem program from a four-sport entity into a broad-based program offering 40 activities to over 800 students — all in just two years, and all while serving as an assistant basketball coach.

In 1986, DeChellis returned to Penn State and began a very successful 10-year run as an assistant coach for nine years under Bruce Parkhill, a mentor to whom he credits his development as a coach, and one season under Jerry Dunn. During his time as a Nittany Lion assistant, Penn State made the transition to the Big Ten Conference and had some outstanding post-season success. DeChellis helped guide Penn State to four straight post-season appearances from 1989 through 1992.  During that four-year span of 20+ win seasons, Penn State posted an impressive 87-40 record.

The 1988-89 squad went 20-12, advanced to the Atlantic 10 Tournament finals and then on to the National Invitation Tournament.

The next season, Penn State set a school record for wins in a season posting a 25-9 record. The Nittany Lions advanced to the 1990 NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden, earning third place.

Building on two straight NIT appearances and a record-setting season, DeChellis helped the 1990-91 Penn State team to earn the program’s first NCAA Tournament bid since 1965. Penn State went 21-11 and won the Atlantic 10 Tournament title. That win propelled Penn State into the NCAA Tournament and a first round upset of 16th-ranked UCLA. Penn State barely missed out on a trip to the Sweet 16 when it dropped an overtime heartbreaker to Eastern Michigan in the second round.

The 1991-92 season was a transitional year for Penn State as its affiliation with the Atlantic 10 ended and the Nittany Lions spent a year as an independent with Big Ten play just a year away. The Nittany Lions went 21-8 and earned another trip to the NIT.

Entrance into the Big Ten was a learning experience for the entire Nittany Lion athletic program, but improvement and growth occurred quickly for the basketball program. After a slow start in its initial year, Penn State improved in each year of conference play.

Penn State went 2-16 the first year in the loop, tripled that win total in year two going 6-12, and improved yet again with a 9-9 showing in 1994-95. That team went 21-11 overall and earned another trip to Madison Square Garden for the NIT semifinals and took home another third place finish.

The following year, utilizing many players that DeChellis helped recruit, Penn State had its most successful Big Ten season to date and earned a second trip to the NCAA Tournament for DeChellis.

With Parkhill resigning prior to the start of the 1995-96 season, Dunn, an assistant on the Penn State staff with DeChellis, took over the helm of the Lions and along with DeChellis helped guide Penn State to a 21-7 record, a best-ever 12-6 mark and second place finish in Big Ten play, a top 10 national ranking, and another trip to the NCAA Tournament.

DeChellis returned to Penn State as the head coach after a very successful seven-year run as the head coach at East Tennessee State University. At ETSU he turned a last place Buccaneer team into a three-time conference division winner, a conference tournament champion and took ETSU to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in a decade.

Taking over a program that went 7-20 the year before his arrival, DeChellis amassed a 105-93 record in his seven years as head coach from 1996-97 to 2002-03. Showcasing the ability to build a program from the foundation up, DeChellis had his most successful seasons in his last three years. During that span, his ETSU teams went 56-31 and won three straight Southern Conference North Division titles.

DeChellis, who has a career record of 222-232 at two programs he had to completely rebuild and who has seen every senior that has played for him over his 15 years as a head coach graduate, is a 1982 graduate of Penn State.  He and his wife Kim have three daughters:  Casey, Erin, and Lauren.

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NFL Draft Season Kicks Off In Orlando at East West Shrine Game

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NFL Draft Season Kicks Off In Orlando at East West Shrine Game

Posted on 22 January 2011 by Glenn Clark

For NFL Draft nerds (like myself), this week has marked the true start to NFL Draft season.

Baltimore Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome lead a group of staffers who traveled to Orlando to watch practice ahead of this year’s annual East West Shrine Game.

With the NFL Draft likely to take place before free agency begins this year, it can be argued that Draft season is more significant than it has been in years past.

Before we start to look at players involved in Draft season, I think we should first identify the Ravens’ biggest areas of need. With free agency still to determine many things, here are the areas where I believe the team most needs to improve.

1. Defensive End-Newsome said this week the team needs a “companion” for LB Terrell Suggs in pass rush. I agree, and I believe it needs to be a true edge rusher.
2. Offensive Tackle-If the team feels comfortable with bringing back Jared Gaither (and Head Coach John Harbaugh indicated they were), re-signing him could address the problem. If not, they’ll need to upgrade.
3. Wide Receiver-The Ravens will have to make decisions on TJ Houshmandzadeh and Donte’ Stallworth; but need to come away with a big receiver and a speed receiver that can both be counted on offensively.
4. Cornerback-Only Domonique Foxworth and Lardarius Webb are under contract, so the team needs to make decisions on Chris Carr, Josh Wilson, Fabian Washington and Cary Williams. Either way, they would be well served to add a bigger, more physical corner.
5. Fullback-If Le’Ron McClain returns, this wouldn’t be an issue. With the current expectation that he won’t return, the team will be looking for an option here.
6. Inside Linebacker-At the MIKE spot, the team knows Ray Lewis can’t play forever. At the WILL spot, the team has three players (Jameel McClain, Tavares Gooden, Dannell Ellerbe) who are all coming up on some form of free agency and who have not separated themselves from each other at all.
7. Safety-While it doesn’t appear Ed Reed will retire this offseason, the Ravens have to think about the possibility it could happen in the near future. At the same time, Dawan Landry is a free agent and appears to be one of the more likely free agents on the team to get bigger money elsewhere.
8. Center-Whether or not Matt Birk retires (I’ll guess he doesn’t), the team clearly needs to review the position. If Birk returns, it will only be for one more season. I don’t think the team has future plans for Chris Chester in the middle. Daniel Sanders could be an option, but the team might be well to draft a center as well.
9. Running Back-Willis McGahee is a very likely departure this offseason, leaving the team with a need to compliment Ray Rice.
10. Quarterback-If Marc Bulger departs, the Ravens will need someone else to backup Joe Flacco. Hunter Cantwell could be an option, but they might want to at least CONSIDER a doomsday theory scenario with Flacco and draft a mid to late round QB as well.

Some of these positions will be addressed whenever free agency finally does begin, others can be addressed simply by signing the team’s own free agents. Before free agency is even an issue, the Ravens will have to get through Draft season.

Here are a look at 10 players participating in the Shrine Game, which you can watch at 4pm on NFL Network.

RB Evan Royster (Penn State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tWf1NOPkL0[/youtube]

After an explosive sophomore season (1,391 yards of total offense and 12 TD’s), Royster immediately gained attention.

Incredibly, he posted two more very steady seasons, tallying 1,356 yards of total offense and 8 TD’s in 2009; 1,216 yards of total offense and 7 TD’s in 2010. He has the size of a back who could compliment Rice (6’1″, 228 pounds) and many scouts think he’ll have a solid career as a third down back at the NFL level.

So what’s the problem? Well, Royster’s biggest performances as a senior came against Temple and Michigan, neither or which can really be considered premiere defenses. He also doesn’t fit the bill of the dynamic backs in the Naitonal Football League currently like Rice, Jacksonville Jaguars back Maurice Jones-Drew, Houston Texans back Arian Foster, Tennessee Titans back Chris Johnson or Kansas City Chiefs back Jamaal Charles.

As of right now, he’s probably a mid to late round pick. If so, he might be a solid pick-up should McGahee leave Charm City.

WR Lester Jean (Florida Atlantic)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mihM5auuXx0[/youtube]

As the Ravens look for a receiver who can  extend the field, they might want to think about Jean. He’s 6’3″ (and somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 pounds), and has deceptive quickness.

While the Owls don’t exactly play against top caliber opposition in the Sun Belt conference, Jean also managed to post big games against Texas (see above) and Michigan State. He finished the 2010 season with 64 catches for 988 yards and 8 TD’s, wrapping up a career with 146 catches for 1,992 yards and 15 touchdowns.

He’s probably a late round pick at this point, but what he does at the Citrus Bowl Saturday and what he does at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis could lift him to late Friday night or early Saturday morning. If the Ravens don’t go receiver early, he could certainly be an option for the team later in the weekend. Jean wasn’t exactly hotly pursued out of High School in Miami, but he could be a hot name in April.

DE Justin Trattou (Florida)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DBWhBn75KM[/youtube]

Maybe an interception isn’t the greatest highlight to offer for a player the Ravens would be looking to see handle an edge rush, but I can only work with what I have.

Trattou is a rising end whose size has never matched his ability to bring down a QB. He tallied just 8 sacks over his four seasons in Gainesville despite his 6’4″, 255 pound frame. In fairness, he was surrounded by top notch rushers like Carlos Dunlap during much of his Gators career.

Trattou may pan out to be more of a Dwan Edwards or Cory Redding contain type of end, but NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks says he’s put together an impressive mix of rush moves this week in the shadow of Disney World. If he continues to show a rush presence, he could be an intriguing name for the Ravens to consider on Saturday.

S Jermale Hines (Ohio State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atBM7zf2IAw[/youtube]

Hines’ career interception total over four years in Columbus (three) looks more like a single game for a future Hall of Famer like Reed, but that doesn’t mean Hines hasn’t had a nose for the football. The safety from Cleveland also finished his Buckeyes career with 159 tackles and two sacks, and was named first team All-Big Ten by conference coaches in 2010.

At 6’1″, 216 pounds; Hines is bigger than your typical free safety-but is also quick. In fact, Hines could be an option as a returner at the next level as well. He’s as much an athlete as a football player, but his football skills certainly developed well at OSU, and could very well still improve as he reaches the NFL.

As the Ravens approach Saturday, Hines could be a valuable depth option at safety. While Tom Zbikowski handled FS well with Reed on the PUP list, he didn’t necessarily convince anyone he was absolutely the team’s replacement for Reed longterm. Hines could be that type of player someday if groomed appropriately at a young age.

WR Terrence Toliver (LSU)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhIrQn1Nd7w[/youtube]

His numbers are by no means overwhelming, but exactly how many times was Ravens Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron able to call a play like the TD pass Toliver caught from Jarrett Lee above?

Exactly.

The Ravens finished 22nd in red zone efficiency in 2010. For the numerous complaints about the lack of creative play-calling, there was only so much for Cameron to work with. Namely, he missed a target the size of Toliver.

Toliver caught just 41 balls for 579 yards and five TD’s during his senior campaign in Baton Rouge. All five TD’s happened either in the Florida game above or in the Tigers’ Cotton Bowl win over Texas A&M, where he caught three.

But there’s another number that’s significantly more important.

6’5″.

The only receiver the Ravens have with such size is James Hardy, and he’s James Hardy. If the Ravens are truly looking to get more dynamic offensively, Toliver could be a solid pickup on Friday night or Saturday.

FB Anthony Sherman (UConn)

anthonysherman

I would love to have been able to share a YouTube clip of the Huskies FB with you, but when you rush just four times for a total of one yard in your senior season I guess there’s not much to post.

Sherman might not have big numbers, but he can help take credit for a rushing attack that finished 2nd in the Big East in 2010, just four yards behind conference leading Louisville. He also showed himself to have reliable hands in the Connecticut offense, grabbing 48 passes for 477 yards and a TD over his four seasons playing football in Hartford.

More importantly, Sherman lead the way for RB Jordan Todman to finish fourth in all of the NCAA FBS in rushing with 1,695 yards. If the Ravens are going to want a traditional blocking back (and the way they used McClain would make you think they are), Sherman could very well fit the bill. At 5’11″, he has a very effective way of throwing around 244 pounds.

OT Matthew O’Donnell (Queens University Canada)

I know what you’re thinking.

“Canada?”

Yeah, I’d usually just ignore a Canuck and let CFL teams fight over who gets him. But there are two unique things O’Donnell has going for him.

1-He’s 6’10.”

2-He did THIS to Boise State DE Ryan Wintersyk at an indoor practice during Shrine Game week.

Does it make him NFL material? Not necessarily. But does it mean more folks will be paying attention? Absolutely.

RB Da’Rel Scott (Maryland)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADjVJ3MKd8k[/youtube]

Scott HAS to hope scouts were paying close attention to the Military Bowl, as his 200 yard, 2 TD performance against East Carolina was by far and away the best of his senior campaign for the Terps. If scouts could only remember his bowl game performances he’d be a lock to get selected, as he also compiled 174 yards and 2 TD’s against Nevada in the 2008 Humanitarian Bowl.

After a breakout season (1,133 yards and eight TD’s) in 2008, Scott totaled just 1,133 yards and nine TD’s in his junior and senior seasons combined.

That being said, Scott’s 5’11″, 200 pound frame is shifty but can still take a hit. He could be a steady performer behind a solid O-Line at the next level and will likely be available late into Saturday.

QB Ricky Dobbs (Navy)

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

A number of teams (including the New England Patriots and Detroit Lions) have had no problems selecting service academy players in the NFL Draft and waiting until they were eligible to play. The Ravens have never done that, but with their partnership with the Maryland National Guard, they’ve certainly been more military friendly in recent years.

Dobbs probably doesn’t project to be a quarterback at the next level, but he’s a better passer than those who don’t follow the Midshipmen (see above) probably realize. Dobbs threw for over 2,500 yards over his junior and senior seasons; combining with 2,170 yards rushing.

It will be interesting to see if Dobbs stays at quarterback throughout Draft season or if he works at other positions. Receiver seems to be the best bet for him given his 5’11″, 215 pound size; but he could fit with some of the more undersized running backs in the NFL as well.

The military service will be an issue. He’s much more likely to sign as an undrafted free agent than to be picked, but he’s the type of special athlete a team might very well be willing to wait for. There’s no off-field red flags for NFL teams to worry about with Dobbs, as everything he does he keeps in mind that he ultimately wants to be the President…of the United States.

QB Pat Devlin (Delaware)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkPzmE0__7A[/youtube]

If the Pat Devlin story sounds familiar, it should. Substitute “Pitt” for “Penn State”, and it’s basically the Joe Flacco story again.

Devlin nearly lead the Blue Hens to the NCAA FCS title in 2010, throwing for 3,032 yards and 22 TD’s before the Hens were cut down by Eastern Washington in the Championship Game.

Devlin doesn’t project quite as high in the 2010 Draft as Flacco did in the 2008 Draft, but he’ll have time to try to improve that. As of now, he looks like a Friday night selection, but will get the chance to go up against better talent in Orlando and will get to work out against better players at LucasOil Stadium in Indy.

If he moves up, there’s no chance the Ravens take him. If he’s around late into Saturday, it wouldn’t stun me.

-G

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Huevos! Maryland’s Vasquez Named WNST Local Sports Person of the Year

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Huevos! Maryland’s Vasquez Named WNST Local Sports Person of the Year

Posted on 23 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

Had it simply been based on accolades, Greivis Vasquez would have won WNST’s 2010 Local Sports Person of the Year award going away.

In 2010, the former Maryland Terrapins guard was named first-team All-ACC, second-team All-American, ACC Player of the Year, and the Bob Cousy Award winner — given to the nation’s top point guard. He also helped the Terps clinch a share of the ACC regular season title. When the Memphis Grizzlies selected him with the 28th pick of the NBA Draft in June, Vasquez became the first Terrapin selected in the first round of the NBA Draft since Chris Wilcox and Juan Dixon were picked in 2002.

In terms of on-field (on in this case on-court) accomplishments, no athlete in the state of Maryland reached the heights that the “Vivacious Venezuelan” did in 2010. As Jason Jubb (WNST.net contributor and former “Sunday Morning Blitz” co-host) said, Vasquez “took over this year.”

However, Vasquez’s selection was about more than just on-court ability. There was something about watching Vasquez play in 2010 that made fans in Baltimore and throughout the state heap adoration at a level not seen since Dixon’s graduation.

Sometimes a picture explains just about everything.

vasquez

It was the passion displayed by Vasquez when he stepped foot on a basketball court that made fans fall in love.

WNST’s Ryan Chell said Vasquez in 2010 was “hated by every other ACC fan and adored by the Terps nation. He put the team on his shoulders.”

Never was it more evident than in the game pictured above.

On March 3, Maryland defeated then No. 4 Duke, 79-72. It was Senior Night at Comcast Center, and Vasquez’s final game was one of the more passionate displays in recent college basketball history.

Vasquez led the way for Maryland with 20 points and 5 assists in the victory, but it was one particular shot that was a total display of “huevos” (a term first labeled by ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt) in the final seconds.

With Maryland clinging to a 71-69 advantage over the Blue Devils in the final minute, there was no question Vasquez would take the shot. And despite the shot being an off-balanced, running 12-footer that looked more like a heave than an actual basketball shot, there was really no question whether or not the shot would go in…even if it had to find every piece of the rim before it would fall.

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

It wasn’t only the Duke game that stood out in 2010 for the young man from Caracas. In fact, Vasquez’s shining moment may well have occurred just one game earlier.

The Terrapins traveled to Blacksburg to face Virginia Tech February 27. The game was delayed more than three hours due to a water main break outside Cassell Coliseum. Maybe the anticipation built during the delay made the nature of the performance even greater.

Vasquez posted 41 points, seven rebounds, and six assists en route to 104-100 win over the Hokies in two overtimes.

The two wins would ultimately be the difference for the Terps in sharing the ACC crown.

Watching Vasquez play in 2010 was special.

It’s unlikely that Vasquez could have won a 1-on-1 contest with some of the great all-around players in recent Maryland history. Vasquez’s game wasn’t nearly as polished as someone like Dixon, Steve Francis or even John Gilchrist.

Yet in terms of fortitude, only Dixon could match Vasquez. Vasquez cared deeply about representing the students, the University and the entire state.

“Every time I put on the jersey I did my best and cared about them,” said Vasquez after learning he had won the award. “Those four years at Maryland were a big part in my life, and I eventually want to raise my family around Maryland because it meant very much to me.”

It was the type of passion that rubbed off on everyone around him, including his teammates.

“He was a great teammate,” Maryland guard Adrian Bowie told WNST. “His passion was evident on and off the court. He loved us and we loved him.”

Perhaps that passion was no more evident than in his final act as a Terrapin, a devastating 85-83 defeat to Michigan State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Trailing by 16 late in the second half and seemingly limping out on a disappointing note, Vasquez took his team on his back a final time, scoring nine of Maryland’s 11 points in the final two minutes. His final basket with six seconds left to give the Terps a one-point lead looked to be another brilliant moment before the Spartans’ Korie Lucious broke the hearts of Terrapin Nation with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, ending Vasquez’s collegiate career and leaving fans wishing for one more chance to watch him.

“It’s a memory all Maryland fans want to forget, but his final game left you wanting more and epitomized what he meant to this program,” said WNST’s Luke Jones. “We throw around words like courage and heart all the time in the sports world, but his passion, his determination was authentic. In those final minutes when he nearly willed the Terps to victory when it seemed all but impossible, it summed him up perfectly. As disappointing as it was for the team, knowing Vasquez would never wear that uniform again was sobering. You didn’t want it to end.”

Vasquez truly was loved by fans both on campus in College Park and throughout the mid-Atlantic region. His talent as a basketball player was appreciated, but his incredible passion made watching him play a joyous experience for Terps fans.

For as much joy as Maryland fans (and WNST contributors) took from watching Vasquez on the court, Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams told WNST he took equally as much joy from coaching him.

“If you pay a lot of money for a ticket, I think you want that guy that you paid the money to see to really work as hard as (in your mind) you would if you were a player,” said Williams after learning Vasquez had won the honor. “And that’s what Greivis gave all those people that bought the tickets. He gave them that player that played they way they would play if they got the chance.”

“I’ve always felt a big part of college basketball is the passion in the game,” added Williams. “I talk to pro players that have played here, played other places, and they really miss that passion that you get at college basketball in big games. Greivis was a part of that. He was nationally known as one of those guys.”

In a fitting twist, the brilliant performance of Vasquez in 2010 came after what would have to be considered the last “low” moment in what had previously been a roller-coaster career.

On Dec. 30, 2009, Vasquez pulled up but missed an important three point shot in transition in the second half of Maryland’s 83-77 loss to William & Mary at Comcast Center. Trailing by seven points, the miss turned into a five-point swing in favor of the Tribe as they would go on to upset the Terps.

The tone for Vasquez in 2010 was set that night. Not by the miss, but by the support shown by Williams despite the crucial miss (and poor decision). When asked about the shot after the game, Williams responded:

“Greivis has won a lot of games for us pulling up for threes. He didn’t make that one. Sure, he missed it, so I wish he would have driven the ball. But if he would have driven the ball and gotten his shot blocked, I’d wished he would have taken the three. It’s the way it works. I want Greivis to keep playing like he’s playing. He’s working hard, he’s trying to help us win. As long as he does that-I’ve had a lot of great players here that take shots once in a while that take shots that you might not like as a coach but that’s part of what makes them great. They have that aggressiveness, they have that no fear of being out there playing which you try to put into a lot of players, but not everybody has that.”

With that support, Vasquez never looked back in 2010.

“I can’t say enough about coach,” Vasquez told WNST. “I think he made a big impact not only in my game but in my life. He mean so much to me not only as my coach, but as a father and a friend, everything I needed. He’s more than a good friend, he’s a mentor. That’s why he’s successful and wins championships and went to the Final Four. I can’t say enough about coach Williams and he will be a special person to me for the rest of my life.”

Vasquez’s personality wasn’t left on the floor. He was as engaging on the campus in College Park and in the community as well.

“Greivis always had time for people,” Williams said. “Sometimes I’d have to get on him because he was trying to do too many things to please too many people. The time he read books in elementary school to kids in Spanish-in a lot of Spanish areas around here-nobody even knew about that stuff. He was just always willing to show up. If they had a shoot-a-thon to raise money for charity on campus, Greivis would come in and try to make one from half court. That’s just the way he was. He was just always willing to be like the other students, which they really appreciated.”

“Greivis had a passion for both basketball and for life that was infectious,” Maryland associate Athletic Director Doug Dull told WNST as well. “He had a confidence and a personality that was magical and unforgettable.”

Watching Greivis Vasquez play basketball in 2010 was a special feeling for Terrapins fans and even those who support other schools but live in the area and found themselves glued to Maryland games.

There were two voting qualifications for the Local Sports Person of the Year honor.

The first was that the person had to play for a professional, college or high school team in the state of Maryland OR represent the state of Maryland in an individual sport.

The second was that the honor was year-specific. The honoree had to be someone for whom 2010 stood out not only in comparison to other sports figures, but also to things they had accomplished themselves in other years.

D1scourse.com writer (and regular contributor to “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST in 2010) Patrick Stevens offered a very well thought out explanation as to why Vasquez best met both qualifications.

“Vasquez came to Maryland with maybe his biggest obstacle being the language barrier. That’s almost a bigger impediment for someone who sort of knows a second language and tries to fit in while learning on the fly than someone who just relies on a translator and stays in his comfort zone. The thing was, Vasquez was always supremely at ease on the court, where it was immensely easier for him to express himself than through his many, many words.”

Stevens added, “For as much as people latched onto Vasquez’s rhetoric throughout his college career, he was always better measured through his deeds. It didn’t matter if it was on the floor (a 41-point night at Virginia Tech or helping topple Duke in his last home game) or off (posing for picture after picture well after games ended or simple gestures like handing a pair of shoes to a security guard at the ACC Tournament). Vasquez was the most impactful University of Maryland athlete since Juan Dixon, and never more so than in 2010.”

Vasquez’s often hard-nosed head coach was emotional in summing up his feelings about his former star player.

“The person that he is…is really tremendous. I really miss him. Obviously, you miss his playing ability, but you miss him being around.”

He’s not the only one.

-G

(Vasquez joined Rex Snider, Luke Jones and Glenn Clark on “The Afternoon Drive” Thursday to accept the honor. That interview is available now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.)

Final Voting For WNST Local Sports Person of the Year-

1-Greivis Vasquez (20 points)
2-Buck Showalter (19 points)
3-Ray Lewis (10 points)
4-Joe Flacco (7 points)
4-Danny O’Brien (7 points)
6-Anquan Boldin (5 points)
7-John Rallo (4 points)
8-Gary Williams (3 points)
8-Jay Davidson (3 points)
8-John Harbaugh (3 points)
8-Forest Boyce (3 points)
8-Caitlyn McFadden (3 points)
8-Pam Shriver (3 points)
8-Cal Ripken (3 points)
15-Bill Ripken (2 points)
15-Ben’s Cat (horse) (2 points)
17-Pete Caringi (1 point)
17-Kevin Plank (1 point)
17-Reggie Holmes (1 point)

Panel of AM1570 & WNST.net contributors eligible to vote included: Glenn Clark, Drew Forrester, Thyrl Nelson, Rex Snider, Nestor Aparicio, Luke Jones, Ryan Chell, Ashley Bishoff, Pete Kerzel (CSNBaltimore.com writer/regular contributor to “The Mobtown Sports Beat”), Jon Schmidt (WNST Sales), Paul Kopelke (WNST General Manager), Christine Cortezi (WNST sales), Jason Jubb, Mark Suchy, Patrick Stevens (D1scourse.com/regular contributor to “The Morning Reaction”), Sam Angell (WNST.net contributor), Allen McCallum (regular contributor to “The Afternoon Drive), Ed Frankovic, Gary Quill, Derek Arnold (BMoreBirdsNest.com/WNST.net contributor), BJ Appel (WNST.net contributor), Chris Pika, Lawson Lambert (WNST.net contributor), John Rallo (“Shogun Fights”/regular contributor to “The Mobtown Sports Beat”), Jay Trucker (Examiner.com writer/WNST.net contributor), Todd Helmick (NationalChamps.net writer/regular contributor to “The Mobtown Sports Beat”) and Brian Billick (WNST part-owner). Not all contributors eligible submitted ballots.

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Holiday Fun: Fantasy College Football Bracketology

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Holiday Fun: Fantasy College Football Bracketology

Posted on 16 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

It’s Holiday season. Let’s have a little fun today.

Like every other red-blooded American, I’m no fan of College Football’s BCS system. In fact, I believe the approval rating for the BCS actually just somehow dropped lower than Barack Obama’s.

The best playoff proposal I’ve ever heard for a NCAA Tournament at the FBS level is a 16 team format that includes all conference champions getting automatic bids. I don’t know who to credit with coming up with the idea, so I won’t bother. The idea is that you include all conference champions, then fill out the other remaining seeds via final BCS rankings.

Were a tournament in place this year, these teams would be automatic qualifiers:

Auburn (SEC)
Oregon (Pac 10)
TCU (MWC)
Wisconsin (Big Ten)
Oklahoma (Big 12)
Boise State* (WAC)
Virginia Tech (ACC)
UConn (Big East)
Central Florida (Conference USA)
Miami (Ohio) (MAC)
Florida International (Sun Belt)

*Technically Nevada won the WAC’s tiebreaker system, as they and BSU finished with better overall records than Hawaii; but they beat the Broncos head to head. However, this tournament would adapt the rules that all conferences determine non head-to-head tiebreakers by BCS standings; which is a system already in place in the Big Ten. Thus, Boise State qualifies.

and the following teams would be at-large qualifiers…

Stanford
Ohio State
Arkansas
Michigan State
LSU

Therefore setting up a 16 team tournament that would look something like this…

(1)Auburn (SEC)
Game 1 Details
(16)Florida International (Sun Belt)
(2)Oregon
Game 5 Details
(15)Miami (Ohio) (MAC)
Winner of 1
Game 9 Details
Winner of 2
Winner of 5
Game 11 Details
Winner of 6
Winner of 9
Game 13 Details
Winner of 10
Winner of 13
Game 15 Details
Winner of 14
Winner of 11
Game 14 Details
Winner of 12
(8)Arkansas
Game 2 Details
(9)Michigan State
(7)Oklahoma
Game 6 Details
(10)LSU
(4)Stanford
Game 3 Details
(13)UConn (Big East)
(3)TCU (Mountain West)
Game 7 Details
(14)Central Florida (Conference USA)
Winner of 3
Game 10 Details
Winner of 4
Winner of 7
Game 12 Details
Winner of 8
(5)Wisconsin (Big Ten)
Game 4 Details
(12)Virginia Tech (ACC)
(6)Ohio State
Game 8 Details
(11)Boise State (WAC)

Pretty good looking Tournament, huh? Games could start next weekend after finals, with the Championship Game being played somewhere around Martin Luther King Day. It would be only about a week longer than the season is right now.

So here’s your chance to fill out the bracket. Thanks to Bracketmaker.com, you can click HERE and decide how you think it would play out. OR you could leave your thoughts here in the comments.

Me personally, I still have Cam Newton and the Tigers beating the Ducks in the title game out in Glendale…

(1)Auburn (SEC)
Game 1 Details
(16)Florida International (Sun Belt)
(2)Oregon (Pac 10)
Game 5 Details
(15)Miami-Ohio (MAC)
Auburn (SEC)
Game 9 Details
Arkansas
Oregon (Pac 10)
Game 11 Details
LSU
Auburn (SEC)
Game 13 Details
Virginia Tech (ACC)
Auburn (SEC)
Game 15 Details
Oregon (Pac 10)
Oregon (Pac 10)
Game 14 Details
Ohio State
(8)Arkansas
Game 2 Details
(9)Michigan State
(7)Oklahoma (Big 12)
Game 6 Details
(10)LSU
(4)Stanford
Game 3 Details
(13)UConn (Big East)
(3)TCU (Mountain West)
Game 7 Details
(14)Central Florida (Conference USA)
Stanford
Game 10 Details
Virginia Tech (ACC)
TCU (Mountain West)
Game 12 Details
Ohio State
(5)Wisconsin (Big Ten)
Game 4 Details
(12)Virginia Tech (ACC)
(6)Ohio State
Game 8 Details
(11)Boise State (WAC)

(Editor’s note: In my tournament theory, teams are slotted to bowl games as they are eliminated. It isn’t a PERFECT theory, but we’re comparing it to the BCS. The BCS is TERRIBLE. This is better.)

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 04: Quarterback Cam Newton  of the Auburn Tigers celebrates with the crowd after the 2010 SEC Championship against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Georgia Dome on December 4, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Tigers beat the Gamecocks 56-17. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

Your thoughts? Have fun with this today…

-G

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The best seat…In the house (Wednesday Edition)

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The best seat…In the house (Wednesday Edition)

Posted on 01 December 2010 by Thyrl Nelson

Here’s a look at the night that was on Tuesday and the one that lies ahead on Wednesday along with a few random musings from the best seat in the house, literally, at home in front of the TV.

Yesterday, I speculated here that there was little chance that Pat Riley had any intentions of replacing Erik Spoelstra on the Miami Heat bench because their level of chemistry, commitment, and overall play, and the lack of assuredness that Riley himself would be able to get much more from this squad. With 24 hours to think on it, I might amend that line of thinking and say that Riley may replace Spoelstra, but he won’t likely jump back onto the bench himself. Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojinarski wrote this piece about how James’ me first act is a safe bet to wear thin pretty quickly, and speculates that it was James’ inner circle that began floating the “Spoelstra is panicking” rumors in the first place. With the Heat, and James headed to Cleveland on Thursday, the drama, and attention are bound to continue.

 

Speculation also abounds today that perhaps Roger Goodell’s main motivation behind not suspending Andre Johnson and/or Cortland Finnegan for their brawl on Sunday is because the Texans are playing on Thursday night. As it related to Johnson, Finnegan or even a possible James Harrison suspension (that won’t happen either), it would seem that the NFL’s appeals process would have allowed all 3 the chance to play this week, and every other until their appeals were heard. Maybe the NFL was afraid that Johnson would decline an appeal and serve his suspension to spite the league. I wonder if Goodell is compiling a manual of precedents for the punishments that the league is dishing out, seemingly at random, this season.

 

Jim Harbaugh, the Stanford coach, former Ravens’ quarterback and brother of Ravens head coach John Harbaugh projects to be one of the hottest commodities on the market as schools begin to make and fill coaching vacancies. Michigan seems like the natural fit, if they choose to part company with Rich Rodriguez, but some believe that Harbaugh would be crazy to leave Stanford, where success is measured in academics and his feet aren’t likely to be held to the fire anytime soon, even if his now successful program took a dramatic U-turn. I would be at least mildly surprised if Jim Harbaugh didn’t have at least one eye on the NFL if he has any desire to change jobs. It should develop into an interesting off-season story line.

 

With all of the purple towel resistance building before Sunday night’s game, crowd noise is becoming topical. Now there are talks of a “No means no” chant for Ben Roethlisberger. On the surface, it’s funny, hilarious actually, but that’s from my perspective. I’m guessing there’s another side of this issue that would find it tasteless and appalling. In other words, it might make the Steelers fans that are on hand a little more comfortable. Count me out on the “no means no” chant, but I’ll be listening, and laughing a little inside.

 

I have to say that no matter how the Derek Jeter negotiations work out, I am amused. I’m not sure what Jeter’s value might specifically be to the Yankees, but I’m pretty certain that 4 Derek Jeters wouldn’t be worth the kind of money that both sides are discussing to any other team. His legend is intact, his skill set is declining, and we’re talking about projecting him beyond his 40th birthday. The one thing that has never failed Jeter in his opportunistic Major League career has been his timing. From the ball hit to Jeffrey Maier, to the inexplicable flip to get Jeremy Giambi at the plate, to seeking out his last payday with hit #3000 on the horizon, Jeter’s always been the guy in the right place at the right time.  

 

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 20 May 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because:

A-It was a thriller in Owings Mills yesterday, and a great lacrosse game is about as good of theater as there is in sport

and…

B-The 2012 Olympics may not have been awarded to Baltimore and Washington; but at least we didn’t come up with a stupid mascot like London did…

london

That might actually make the thing they used in Atlanta in 1996 look like a decent mascot. You remember, the thing that was so weird that they originally named it “Whatzit” before changing the name to “Izzy”…

izzy

What’s wrong with just making a Bear or a Tiger a damn mascot?!?!?

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s Stephen Hawkins says Nelson Cruz’s sac fly in 9th lead Rangers over Orioles

What a freaking mess this was last night…

-Jeremy Guthrie apparently spent after 6 innings (according to Dave Trembley via Rick Kranitz)
-Koji Uehara wiltering in the Texas heat
-SIX relievers in less than 3 innings
-Garrett Atkins being….Garrett Atkins
-Cesar Izturis doing his best Paul Molitor impression
-Josh Hamilton maybe…or maybe not…hitting 2 home runs
-Jim Hunter apologizing, Jim Palmer analyzing
-Dave Trembley getting mad at Palmer and Hunter for not being able to fight with C.B. Bucknor during MASN’s “Wired Wednesday” segment
-Atkins, Miguel Tejada, and Corey Patterson combining to be responsible for leaving 16 men on base
-A two run rally from the Rangers when they couldn’t get the ball out of the infield!
-Will Ohman’s wacky shtick
-Brian Roberts in the hospital?
-A walk-off win to send the crowd in Arlington home…happy?

It was just a WEIRD night at The Ballpark in Arlington. Maybe it’s best that the Birds are only playing two there.

I want to analyze this one, but it’s really hard to do.

Another nice effort from Guthrie, but I’d like some more info on why Kranitz thought he couldn’t go longer than 90 pitches. Was he hurt? Is he laboring? Was the heat really an issue in The Lone Star State?

And the biggest issue of course…WHY DO I EVEN CARE THIS MUCH?!?!?

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

You really don’t want to look at this.

As my buddy Brian Marston from Forest Hill pointed out, the Rangers were somehow actually WORSE than the O’s with RISP-but they still won!

You know, I’m going to do you a favor. Instead of looking at the box score, look at Antone DeJesus making some ridiculous home run-saving catch in the minor leagues…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5-fDeGBXDg[/youtube]

Trust me, that was much better than thinking about last night’s game any more.

3. WNST.net’s Jay Trucker says Brian Roberts hospitalized with pneumonia, Andy MacPhail not concerned

And why would he be???

This sounds awfully similar to the organization’s reaction when the original news about B-Rob’s troubles came down in Spring Training. While Buster Olney was reporting “kidney stones”, the organization was dismissing it as some form of back pain.

There really does appear to be something particularly troubling going on with Brian Roberts. Does it mean he won’t return in June? Not necessarily. But does it mean that we can probably expect it to be an issue in the future? I’m guessing yes.

Is it a bad sign when you read that Brian Roberts has pneumonia and you can’t possibly be surprised?

It really sucks being an Orioles fan.

4. ESPNDallas.com’s Calvin Watkins says umps admitted they missed call on what would have been home run for Josh Hamilton in Rangers’ win

As I said last night via Twitter (make sure you follow us @WNST), we’re all in agreement that Josh Hamilton is doing steroids, right? I said it because I wanted to dismiss Jeremy Guthrie giving up a bomb like the one he gave up for Hamilton’s first home run-more or less the 2nd one that ABSOLUTELY should have been a home run.

The real issue is that the replay system is totally screwed up. Dana DeMuth said that Ron Washington didn’t request a replay, but wouldn’t have granted it even if he did. How is that even possible?!?!? Umpires are going to defend each other’s calls, and the replay system should be in place to circumvent a situation like that.

If that’s the system, it needs to be fixed. Of course, had it helped the Orioles win last night-I probably wouldn’t be so miffed about it.

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Scott Moore, Chris Tillman had big night for O’s on farm

Before we move on from the Birds, a few things:

-I guess it’s a done deal that Michael Aubrey is coming up for the Nationals series. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Garrett Atkins’ tenure is over in Baltimore, but I would presume it marks the end of his tenure as everyday first baseman. The real question this weekend is what to do with Luke Scott? If Michael Aubrey plays first base, do you move Corey Patterson to center and put Luke Scott in left? Do you bench Patterson and have Adam Jones lead off again? Do you bench Scott-who is in the middle of his annual hot streak?

You can’t possibly call Michael Aubrey up and keep him on the bench with Luke Scott at first, can you???

-Congratulations to Steve Melewski for being named “Apologist of the Morning” today by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester. It was a frustrating morning for me after another loss, but I still can’t fathom writing 400 words and dedicating an entire segment of the pre-game show to a single Matt Wieters throw. It was a throw. It was fast. I’m glad he made it. I’m even happier that he’s leading the American League in caught stealing.

But again, it was a throw. PERSPECTIVE, please.

-If you missed Norfolk Tides 1B Brandon Snyder with Drew today on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, make sure you click on the Audio Tab and head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to listen. Snyder is mired in a terrible slump, and just really wanted to talk about it. Also this morning, Drew talked to Trenni Kusnierek from MLB Network, former Cubs/Phillies/Rangers OF and current ESPN analyst Doug Glanville, and Stevenson lacrosse coach Paul Cantabene.

-The O’s wrap their short series with the Rangers tonight in Arlington, Brian Matusz faces Scott Feldman. First pitch on MASN2 is at 8:05pm. Is anyone going out to Nats Park tomorrow night? I’m thinking about making the trip.

6. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Le’Ron McClain wants long term deal

Nothing to be concerned with here. Of COURSE Le’Ron McClain wants a long term deal. Any RFA wants a long term deal. And after reaching the Pro Bowl while getting the majority of carries in 2008, Le’Ron McClain is always going to want more carries.

As long as he doesn’t become a distraction in the process, there’s no reason to be concerned.

If YOU’RE looking for a distraction, I think the picture of Audrina Patridge from the cover of Ralph Magazine that Guyism posted yesterday will do the trick…

audrina

7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says WR Justin Harper, CB Cary Williams, S KJ Gerard signed exclusive rights deals

All 3 guys are really long shots to make the roster, but they each bring something different to the team. Justin Harper brings size and leaping ability, but unfortunately he offers little in terms of consistency.

KJ Gerard-the UFA out of Northern Arizona really impressed them in the offseason and Training Camp last year, enough that he was bumped from the practice squad to the active roster after Haruki Nakamura got hurt. But with Nakamura healthy and Ed Reed expected to return, it’s unlikely the Ravens will keep a 5th safety.

Cary Williams also has more size (6’1″) than the rest of the corners on the roster, but lacks experience. If Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington are healthy, it’s unlikely they’ll keep move than 5 corners. It sets up for a battle between Williams and Travis Fisher for the most part.

8. GoMustangSports.com says Richie Ford scored in OT to cap thrilling win over Roanoke in NCAA Tournament quarterfinals

I can’t even begin describe how awesome this game was. The Maroons (what a terrible name) actually got 72 shots in the game, 40 of them on goal! Geoff Hebert played out of his mind for the Stangs, as did Roanoke goalie Jake Dorsey.

I get it-it’s DIII lacrosse. If you can’t get excited for it, I’m not going to talk down to you. But it WAS exciting yesterday. It was THRILLING, frankly. There was a packed house at Caves Athletic Complex (maybe as many people as ventured into Oriole Park at Camden Yards Monday night), and they were treated to something special.

Up next for Stevenson is Salisbury in the NCAA semifinals; after Salisbury survived Haverford in overtime last night. The game will be Sunday at Sea Gull Stadium. If you’re in Ocean City this weekend, it’s worth stopping by on your way back.

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland seniors trying to avoid becoming first class since 1971 to graduate without reaching Final Four

I’ll just go ahead and say it. The Terps SHOULD be in the Final Four AT LEAST every four years. Some people (Patrick included) will remind me that making the Final Four ISN’T EASY, but I don’t buy it when it comes to the Terrapins. They HAVE better resources than almost any other team in the country, and they should compete at that level. I understand that academics makes it difficult, but it’s not an excuse for them to not reach that level.

For the record, I expect them to beat Notre Dame and get to the Final Four this year, but I won’t be celebrating. It means they met my expectations. I’m not going to apologize for having outrageous expectations, either. They have the monetary resources. They have the best talent in the country in their backyard. They SHOULD be there.

By the way, make sure you check out Patrick’s story about the shadow George Huguely is casting over Dom Starsia and the Virginia Cavaliers. It’s must-read stuff.

10. The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes, Landon Milbourne to graduate today-still think about loss to Michigan State

Myself-I DON’T want to think about it. Congratulations to the Maryland seniors, but I’m not discussing what happened in Spokane that day. Instead, Busted Coverage had some pictures of someone named Emma Taylor, I’d rather talk about that…

emma

And finally, I leave you with this.

Via With Leather, Jets QB Mark Sanchez may or may not be dating Jamie-Lynn Siegler. I may or may not hate Mark Sanchez…

jamie

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 18 May 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because Free The Birds was a great time last night. Despite the crowd of less than 2,000 in the stadium, despite the god awful weather, and despite the baseball game (which-as I said on Facebook this morning-will go down as one of the worst sports-related products I have ever witnessed); we still had fun.

Whether it was heckling the Royals behind their dugout (or heckling Dave Trembley for walking Mitch effing Maier), cheering for Corey Patterson from the upper deck in left field, or watching a lemonade vendor walk around the stadium to sell exactly his THIRD lemonade of the night; it was fun.

And thank God it was, or else this AP image would have been our lasting memory of the night…

crowd

Un.Freaking.Real.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says ‘same old’ Orioles lost again to Royals last night at OPACY

You see, when they loaded the bases on Joakim Soria (whose nickname “The Mexicutioner” is ABSOLUTELY the best in MLB) in the 9th, I REALLY thought they were breaking the funk.

Not necessarily because I thought Ty Wigginton was going to channel Luke Scott and go yard for a game-winning slam; but because I REALLY felt as though he’d get a sac fly and at LEAST tie things up.

1-12 with runners in scoring position. The only hit was an accidental dribbler from Miguel Tejada in the 1st.

If we were surprised, we’d be surprised.

How can Garrett Atkins still be on this team?!?!?

I’ve got nothing else. I was there. It was miserable. It also wasn’t even the least bit surprising.

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

I still can’t fathom how the Orioles couldn’t manage a SINGLE EXTRA BASE HIT against Kyle Davies.

Of course, with the success they’ve had bunting recently-I’m not sure why they don’t just bet every time up.

Brad Bergesen-who apparently used his designation to the minors as a chance to set himself up to start every game in the rain the rest of the season-was pretty good again last night. Pretty good though. Not REALLY good, as some might try to say. He was pretty good, and gave the team a slight chance to win.

I’m running out of things to say about the games. I really am. We know the problems, they’re just not getting fixed. Of course, they’re not getting fixed because the team just isn’t good enough.

Now I’m getting angry again. Watching the Orioles is more dramatic than watching The Hills.

3. WNST.net’s Nestor Aparicio says less than 2,000 spectators took in O’s loss at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

The announced crowd last night was 9,299. I don’t remember them playing “Guess the Attendance”, which might have been because they knew fans could cheat and count the attendance themselves.

Of course, if they HAD counted-the number they would have come up with would have been nowhere NEAR 9,299. The Birds may have legitimately sold 9,299 tickets to last night’s game (who knows?), but they certainly didn’t have that many eyeballs in the stands.

Nestor didn’t take that picture BEFORE the game.

As I said this morning, when I was sideline reporter for the Arizona Rattlers, I attended Arena Football League games that LEGITIMATELY had 5 times as many fans in attendance.

You know, this is much too depressing. I need to lighten this up.

This is Daniela Pane. We went to Perry Hall High School together. I think there’s an argument as to whether she or I has gone on to be the best looking member of the Class of 2001…

daniela

Yeah, it’s a close call.

4. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli and Pete Kerzel say Trembley considering Uehara as closer

…or at least finding a more prominent role for his sideburns.

I know Mike Gonzalez is working his way back, and I know Alfredo Simon hadn’t blown a save before Saturday night. That being said, do any of us believe either of them will be legitimate options to close games…you know…should the Orioles have another situation where they need a closer this season?

I’d be fine with seeing Uehara close. He has to do something-he’s on the payroll for the remainder of the year.

If it doesn’t work, I’m sure Andy MacPhail has a plan. He always does.

5. Virginian-Pilot says Michael Aubrey homered, Troy Patton roughed up as Norfolk Tides fell to Buffalo Bisons on farm

Michael Aubrey has to be headed towards Charm City pretty soon, right?

Before we move on (mercifully) from the Birds, a couple of things:

-Congratulations to “Sgt.” Jen Royle, who was AGAIN selected by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester as our “Apologist of the Morning.” Drew honored Jen for these thoughts she left over at 105.7…

I went to the Kansas City side post game and listened to their new manager, Ned Yost, compliment the pesky Patterson up top and then heard Billy Butler, who when 2-for-4 with two RBI, praise Bergesen. The O’s got compliments from their opponents but unfortunately, that doesn’t help in the win column.

I could have dissected the Orioles’ pre-game meal and it would have been exactly as relevant. Wow.

-The O’s and Royals are back at it tonight; with Kevin Millwood facing reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke. First pitch on MASN2 is at 7:05pm. Join Luke Jones in our “Orange Crush” chat right here at WNST.net; and make sure you’re following us on Twitter (@WNST).

-If you missed Luke, Soren Petro from 810 WHB in KC, VERSUS NHL reporter Bob Harwood, or IndyCar Series commercial President Terry Angstadt today on “The Morning Reaction”, make sure you check them out in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.

6. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens signed CB Travis Fisher, S Brad Jones

Fisher’s NFL experience and the injuries to Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington will give him some chance of making the 53 man roster. Giving him a contract is PROBABLY the final nail for Frank Walker as well, barring further injuries.

Brad Jones-an undrafted free agent safety from Cincinnati-is a much longer shot to make the team. With Ed Reed and Haruki Nakamura expected to be healthy, the Ravens aren’t going to be hurting for safety depth. Of course, there is a chance Jones could shine in Training Camp and make the practice squad-which would probably be a good gig for him.

7. The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Jared Gaither present at Ravens Passing Camp, but not known whether or not he practiced

I’ll be out in Owings Mills today, although I’m not sure whether or not I’m allowed to let you know if Jared Gaither hits the 1 Winning Drive practice field or not. We’ll see!

You’ll be able to hear from John Harbaugh and others later today with Rex Snider and Ray Bachman.

I’ll be able to watch John Beck throw passes.

Lucky me!

You know who else is lucky? F.P. Santangelo. Apparently former Playboy chick Michelle McLaughlin belongs to him (Thanks Busted Coverage!)…

mmc

8. Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman says Preakness runner-up First Dude will run Belmont, fellow Dale Romans horse Paddy O’Prado also likely to run

Is winning a Belmont Stakes without the Kentucky Derby winner or Preakness winner SORTA like being named “Most Valuable Oriole”?

Kinda.

Do you think Dale Romans is ready to do his best Brian Roberts impersonation?

Yeah I think he is.

I’ll be pulling for Romans at the Belmont, as he’s a great guy. Sometimes you gotta get your first Triple Crown win however you possibly can.

9. The AP’s Richard Rosenblatt says no Triple Crown threat hurts NYRA already hurting for money

I have an idea for how they can raise money…sell Irina Sheik calendars…

irinasheik

As far as horse racing-related ideas for raising money? Don’t take advice from anyone in the state of Maryland. That’s all I’ve got.

10. Washington Examiner’s Jim Williams says Maryland amongst topics being discussed at Big Ten meetings

I never had a major issue with the Big East rumors. I’m not sure the Big Ten would be a good idea for the Terps, however. Doesn’t help them in football OR basketball, with the exception of getting Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan games in College Park.

The flip is that they’d lose those games (and others in the conference), and getting Michigan State and Indiana in basketball doesn’t make up for losing North Carolina and Duke.

I hate everything about this whole “expansion” topic. I sorta just wish it would go away…

And finally, I leave you with this…

Bret Hart won the United States Championship last night on WWE Monday Night Raw. I don’t care that “The Hitman” is 52 years old and even I might be able to beat him in a fight at this point. He RULES…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqqhQVIPj7A[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 13 May 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because I went over to Pimlico yesterday and they had ALL of my favorite things. Beer, oysters, and even crab balls…

crab balls

They did something with the horses too-hopefully someone else was paying more attention than I.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Bergesen sparkled as Orioles topped Mariners

You know, some people look at the O’s and say “they only have 10 wins.”

I look at the O’s and say “they have 10 more wins then they had on Opening Day.”

Watching Brad Bergesen early on last night, I got the sense that he was again benefitting from “swinging in the rain”, as the M’s were hacking. However, as the game moved on-I felt as though Bergesen was mixing his pitches really well, and would have been effective no matter what the weather was.

It’s nice to say something like that. I hope I can say it again tomorrow.

I hope I can say Luke Scott and Adam Jones had multi-hit games again tomorrow as well.

There’s a lot of things I hope. None of them have anything to do with Felix Hernandez throwing a perfect game. PLEASE DON’T LET THAT HAPPEN!!!!!!

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

When do we just annoint Alfredo Simon our lord and savior?

Things got a little hairy for Koji Uehara late last night, but thank God “Special Sauce” or whatever the hell the kids are calling him came in to finish things off.

I’m REALLY not convinced that Alfredo Simon is the next coming of Randy Myers, but I’m all for riding the Simon train until it comes crashing down. I mean, we’ve had MUCH worse over this 13 year span.

You know what, I’d probably be all for riding Alfredo Simon even if he ends up failing, just because I’d simply like to have more games with SAVE SITUATIONS!!!

10-24.

Hey, if this was a football game-we’d only be trailing by two possessions!

3. WNST.net’s Jay Trucker says Corey Patterson called up by Birds

As even Jay said yesterday via Facebook-

“Only Corey can save us now.”

No one is REALLY excited about Corey Patterson being back in Baltimore. No one is REALLY excited about Nolan Reimold going back down.

Unfortunately, wins and losses have to count for at least SOMETHING. I know that’s not the on-field picture that’s been painted; but it HAS to.

Nolan Reimold wasn’t helping the Orioles win. You can’t just keep sending someone out to the field that doesn’t help your team win.

Insert your own Kyle Boller joke here.

4. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester defends Andy MacPhail for uncomfortably posted fan video

UNCOMFORTABLE?!?!?

I’m not even kidding about this-I think watching “2 Girls 1 Cup” was less awkward than watching this.

Holy crap.

I still don’t know what the point of this video was. I know he threw in a “keep the faith” quip at the end of the video, but…umm…there were 3,000 people at OPACY last night. How much faith is there to be kept?!?!?

There was no apology for the disastrous start. There was no “this is my fault, and I’m going to fix it.” There was nothing more than a basic rundown that Mike Gonzalez struggled, Garrett Atkins is amongst the players who haven’t produced, and the team has had to face the Yankees and Red Sox early.

Umm….didn’t we already know that?

However, ol’ Drew Forrester DEFENDED HIM! Unbelievable! He gave him the pass for this DISASTER of a video! Not only that, but he said in our “Orange Crush” chat that “82-80 isn’t far away” for the Birds.

And with that, Drew Forrester was named “Apologist of the Morning” by “The Great Arbitrator”-HIMSELF!

History made again!

5. The AP’s John Kekis says Nationals prospect Strasburg shut down Norfolk Tides on farm

I’m not sure how many people stayed up to watch this on MASN last night, but…ummm…this kid Strasburg…it looks like he might be pretty good.

I’m not going to say he IS good yet, as he hasn’t recorded a single out at the MLB level.

BUT…it looks like the Nats are going to benefit greatly from having drafted him.

Before we move on from the Orioles, a reminder that they head back to the field this afternoon at Oriole Park at Camden Yards to wrap their 3 game set with the Seattle Mariners at 12:35. Felix Hernandez goes against Kevin Millwood. There’s a rumor that Glenn Clark might make an appearance at the ballpark today, but we’ll see. It might be a brief stop in the press box and then 6 innings of sitting in the stands and drinking beer.

I like to call that “Thursday.”

6. The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Lamar Divens expects to be cleared for practice next week

Divens joins a DT group that remains VERY deep for the Ravens despite the departures of Justin Bannan and Dwan Edwards this offseason.

Behind Haloti Ngata and Kelly Gregg there’s Terrence Cody-with Cory Redding splitting time with Trevor Pryce on the end.

Behind that group, there’s Kelly Talavou, Brandon McKinney and Arthur Jones even before you get to Lamar Divens. It’s a DEEP GROUP.

Should the Ravens be looking to make an upgrade at another position, this would likely be the position they have the depth to deal from. Do I expect them to? Not necessarily. But could it be possible? Absolutely it could be.

7. ESPN.com’s James Walker says Cam Cameron thinks Ravens’ offense can be ‘elite’

I don’t think anyone disagrees that they have the POTENTIAL to be elite.

Joe Flacco MUST progress in his development. Ray Rice needs to have another Pro Bowl caliber year. The impact of Anquan Boldin has to be both numbers for him and increased production from Derrick Mason, Todd Heap and Donte’ Stallworth. Jared Gaither and Michael Oher need to continue to hold down the tackle spots.

There are a lot of variables, but the pieces are there. If they remain healthy, there is absolutely a chance that Cam Cameron will be right.

I’ll say there’s a better chance of the Ravens having an elite offense than there is of me getting a date with Giorgia Palmas (Thanks Busted Coverage!)…

palmas

8. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland to visit Penn State in Big Ten/ACC Challenge

You guys have been talking about how much you’ve wanted to see the Terrapins play the Nittany Lions, and now you got your way!

Sadly…it’s not in football.

The Terps and Lions make for one of the worst matchups in the Challenge this year. Plus, State College is TERRIBLE, so I can’t fathom any Maryland fan wanting to drive up there for the game. I guess Talor Battle is pretty good, but does anyone in Happy Valley even know there are other sports after football season is over?!?!?

Ugh.

Michigan State would have been nice. Wisconsin would have been fine. Purdue would have been great. Ohio State would have been great.

Penn State is none of those things. Penn State is just….awful.

9. Inside Lacrosse’s Sean Burns and Tommy Kehoe say Duke/Hopkins best of 1st round games in NCAA Tournament

I don’t think I disagree. Loyola/Cornell could be (if the Greyhounds can summon the success they had earlier in the season); but given how the Blue Jays played down the stretch, they have at least a chance to knock off the Blue Devils.
Before I move on from college sports, here’s a look at UMBC’s new logo (as we first passed along via Twitter -@WNST- yesterday.)

umbc 

I can dig it. Go Retrievers!

10. Maryland Jockey Club says Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver drew 8th post, named 5-2 favorite for Preakness

If you missed Paddy O’Prado jockey and former Preakness (as well as Derby and Belmont) winner Kent Desormeaux this morning, make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault and check it out today. Drew also had the great John Feinstein and new Wake Forest coach (former UMBC coach) Jeff Bzdelik on the show this morning, check them out.

If you missed Alessandra Ambrosio over at Guyism, look what I found!

ambrosio

11. WNST.net’s Gary Quill says Lookin At Lucky 2nd choice at 3-1, drew 7th post

Bob Baffert seemed happy with the draw. Of course, Todd Pletcher seemed happy with the draw for Super Saver. A lof of people were happy at Pimlico yesterday. I mean, how could you not be? There were crab balls!!!

I’m starting to join the Bob Haynie bandwagon when it comes to Lookin At Lucky. I think he’ll get my money.

Or at least whatever money I have leftover after alcohol.

And finally, I leave you with this…

Congratulations to the Montreal Candiens for making sports fans in Pittsburgh sad this morning. Since they already made sports fans in Washington sad this postseason, they’re basically my heros!

Since it’s a big day in Canada today, here’s some Our Lady Peace…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CBBtorFg2I[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Monday’s PM Crab Cakes and Light Beer

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Monday’s PM Crab Cakes and Light Beer

Posted on 05 April 2010 by Chris Bonetti

Suggested Reading

SportingNews.com:  Outstanding TSN College Hoops columnist Mike DeCourcy suggests, “Don’t believe all the David-Goliath nonsense.” And you know what?  I agree, Mike.  In fact, not only will I take the Bulldogs and the 7.5 points, but I’ll pick Butler outright.  Just saying, the Monday night National Championship Game is the easiest big-time sports ticket to get your hands on.  You better believe all those West Virginia and Michigan State fans’ seats will be occupied with folks from Indy rooting for Butler.  If this game is tight with four minutes to go, it’ll be great to watch Duke’s Big 3 try to score against the stingy Bulldogs’ defense in front of a hugely pro-Butler crowd.  Butler has won 25 games in a row and hasn’t allowed any opponent in the Tournament to score more than 59 points.  If guard Shelvin Mack, who battled leg cramp issues, and center Matt Howard, who had concussion like symptoms, are ready to roll 100 percent with Gordon Hayward, Duke gets over that 60-point watermark, but it won’t be enough to prevent coach Brad Stevens’ team’s 26th straight win.

SI.com: College Basketball columnist, Andy Glockner breaks down tonight’s title tilt position by position in, “Title game matchup: Duke vs. Butler.”

NY Times: Kevin Armstrong takes a closer look at the off-court statistics of Duke and Butler in, “For Butler and Duke, a Very Public Affair.” They are the first two private schools to meet for the National Championship since Villanova-Georgetown 25 years ago.

USAToday.com: Bob Kimball dissects Tiger’s press conference from The Masters this afternoon in, “Tiger Woods speaks: Praises fans, apologizes to fellow pros on Tour”

ESPN.com: Sal Paolantonio looks back at McNabb’s career in Philadelphia in, “Eagles decide McNabb’s time is up.”

SI.com: A weekly must read, Peter King’s, “Monday Morning Quarterback: How the McNabb-to-Redskins trade impacts the rest of the NFL, draft.”

FanHouse: Kevin Blackistone unfortunately tells us about Matt James, an All American football recruit headed to Notre Dame in September, whom fell to his death while on Spring Break with friends in Panama City, FL this past weekend in, “An ‘Incredible future’ ends needlessly.”

ESPN.com:  Boxing columnist Dan Rafael says, “It’s time for Hopkins and Jones to retire,” after their bout this weekend in Las Vegas, won by Bernard Hopkins via unanimous decision.

Video of the Day

There’s been a lot of talk about DaSean Butler’s knee injury and its aftermath Saturday night with Bob Huggins consoling his senior, whom turned out to have a torn ACL and sprained MCL.  An odd sight sure… but a definite true sign of a coach’s compassion for his player.  I loved it; thought it was great.  However, I do have a HUGE problem with something.  The way Butler was carried from the floor was utterly UNACCEPTABLE!  How can a team physician and training staff not immobilize the knee in any way and allow two other players to carry their teammate of the floor with his leg just dangling, knocking against the ground with every step.  Jeez, further damage can be done so easily in that situation.  Unreal.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2dUjfAqTg4&feature=popt11us08[/youtube]

Tweets of the Day

The President of the United States, Barack Obama – BarackObama

Opening the 2010 baseball season with the first pitch at Nationals Park today.

The Trips Tab at WNST.net – WNST

News: Capitals Playoff Puck Bus now on sale via TRIPS tab: Join the WNST “Rock The Red” Baltimore crew for an “all… http://bit.ly/bBMlhb

The Trips Tab at WNST.net – WNST

News: Yankee Stadium bustrip for Wednesday, May 5 matinee now onsale: Miller Lite presents another WNST Orange Roa… http://bit.ly/dDqKYD

ESPN MLB Columnist, Jayson Stark – jaysonst

Nationals haven’t allowed 11 R on Opening Day since . . . well, last year . . . when they gave up 12 to Florida. Quite a tradition.

SI MLB Insider, Jon Heyman – SI_JonHeyman

just asked lasorda in lunchroom why padilla started today. “i dont know. you know how many people asked me that question?”

New York Times College Basketball Columnist, Pete Thamel – PeteThamelNYT

Just talked to a Butler official who said that the players went to their 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. classes today. Back for 12:30 film.

WNST NFL Correspondent, Chris Pika – BlogAndTackle

Butler-Duke tonight would be a game I’d like to see Jim Nantz lose his voice, and CBS go to the bullpen for Gus Johnson.

FoxSports.com College Basketball Columnist, Jeff Goodman – goodmanonfox

Fran Fraschilla, according to sources close to the situation, has withdrawn from the Iona opening.

SI.com NFL Columnist, Peter King – SI_PeterKing

I like the trade. Helps both teams. Lets Reid move on with kid he thinks could be ARodgers. Gives Shanny top-12 QB to play aerial game.

Former Ravens, Browns Scout and friend of WNST, Daniel Jeremiah – MoveTheSticks

Theory for the Eagles must be to let Kolb and the other young skill guys grow up together. That way they hit their prime at the same time

ESPN NFL Insider, Chris Pika – Adam_Schefter

McNabb has 3rd-highest winning percentage among active quarterbacks (83-45-1, .647) behind Manning (119-59, .669) and Brady (88-25, .779).

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