Tag Archive | "Mike Gonzalez"


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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7 Faces of Orioles ‘Dark Ages’

Posted on 19 July 2011 by Glenn Clark

Continuing to watch Felix Pie stumble and bumble his way around left field night after night lead Drew Forrester and I to come up with an idea for this week’s Tuesday Top 7.

This week’s topic was The Top 7 “Faces of the Orioles’ Dark Ages.” The “dark ages” would be the time between 1998-present where the Baltimore Orioles have failed to post even one winning season.

Drew and I agreed that we wouldn’t include Pie on the list, mostly because at this point we would just be piling on.

Glenn Clark’s list…

7. Travis Driskill


6. Garrett Atkins


5. Jose Morban


4. Daniel Cabrera


3. Freddie Bynum


2. Rafael Palmeiro/Sammy Sosa/Vladimir Guerrero


1. Marty Cordova


Drew Forrester’s list…

7. Matt Riley


6. Mike Gonzalez


5. Jay Gibbons


4. Sammy Sosa


3. Adam Loewen


2. Brian Roberts


1. Justin Duchscherer


If you missed the explanation of why these players made the list on “The Morning Reaction” Tuesday on AM1570 WNST, hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net!

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…


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Morning Reaction Orioles Midseason Report Card

Posted on 06 July 2011 by Glenn Clark

The Baltimore Orioles are now two games into the second half of the 2011 season. On Wednesday’s edition of “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, Drew Forrester and I gave our grades for Orioles players during the first half of the season.



Matt Wieters-Glenn Clark B+, Drew Forrester B
Jake Fox-Glenn D, Drew D
Craig Tatum-Glenn C-, Drew B



Derrek Lee-Glenn D+, Drew D
Brian Roberts-Glenn D, Drew D
JJ Hardy-Glenn A-, Drew A
Mark Reynolds-Glenn B-, Drew C-
Robert Andino-Glenn C+, Drew C
Blake Davis-Glenn C, Drew B-
Cesar Izturis-Glenn D, Drew D
Ryan Adams-Glenn C, Drew D
Brandon Snyder-Glenn C-, Drew C-



Luke Scott-Glenn D, Drew D
Adam Jones-Glenn B-, Drew B+
Nick Markakis-Glenn B-, Drew C-
Nolan Reimold-Glenn C+, Drew C-
Felix Pie-Glenn F, Drew D-
Vladimir Guerrero-Glenn D+, Drew D+



Jeremy Guthrie-Glenn C+, Drew C+
Jake Arrieta-Glenn B-, Drew C
Zach Britton-Glenn B, Drew B
Brian Matusz-Glenn D, Drew F
Chris Tillman-Glenn D, Drew D
Brad Bergesen-Glenn D+, Drew C-
Chris Jakubauskas-Glenn C-, Drew D



Koji Uehara-Glenn B, Drew B+
Jim Johnson-Glenn B+, Drew B-
Pedro Viola-Glenn C, Drew C
Kevin Gregg-Glenn C-, Drew C+
Alfredo Simon-Glenn C-, Drew C-
Jeremy Accardo-Glenn D, Drew D
Mike Gonzalez-Glenn D, Drew D
Josh Rupe-Glenn D, Drew D
Jason Berken-Glenn C, Drew C-
Clay Rapada-Glenn D-, Drew B-
Troy Patton-Glenn D, Drew F



Buck Showalter-Glenn C-, Drew B+

If you missed the breakdown of our midseason grades on Wednesday’s edition of “The Morning Reaction”, hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net!

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…


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Gonzalez, Bean Balls, and Ballots

Posted on 19 May 2011 by Erich Hawbaker

Once again, the Orioles just find a way to lose to the Yankees. Twice in extra innings they manage to load the bases, and twice they can’t push one stupid run across to win. This game really did have everything: Two fantastic starts by Colon and Britton, a 1-3 double play, a blown save by Rivera, a pitcher used as a pinch runner, a base runner put out by being hit with the ball, and of course, Mike Gonzalez giving up the lead and then hitting a guy in the head a couple pitches later.

There’s a good reason why I haven’t written in awhile. I was a candidate for magistrate judge up here in my town, and for the last three months I’ve been working hard on the campaign trail. I knocked on over 1800 doors, stood at the polls in the rain all day on Tuesday (Primary Election Day here in Pennsylvania), and in the end I lost by just 90 votes. This was a three-way race, and both of my opponents were roughly twice my age (I’m 28) and both spent more on their campaigns than I did on mine. I lost, but I’m still pretty proud of myself. I ran a good race, I never went negative (both of them did), and I made a good impression on a lot of people. It’s highly unlikely that I’ll never be a candidate again in the future, and at least now I have something to build on.

So why do I bring that up in a sports column? Well, it’s because I learned something very important from that whole experience- perception is reality. I know, it’s not fair and a lot of people may not agree, but I absolutely believe it. And now, for the second time in this young season, we’ve seen Orioles pitchers throw a bean ball after blowing a game against the Yankees. And this time, the culprit was a guy I haven’t liked ever since he came to Baltimore- Mike Gonzalez.

I don’t know if he hit Chris Dickerson in the temple on purpose or not; the only ones who know that for certain are him and God. What I do know is that Gonzalez has been mostly awful this year (again), and that it’s now officially on the radar that Buck Showalter’s Orioles are not above venting their frustration on the batter who comes up after somebody just got a big hit. Showalter kind of sidestepped the question tonight in the postgame press conference, and it was the first time that I’ve been really upset with him. What he should have done was make it perfectly clear: “I DO NOT condone hitting anybody on purpose and I DID NOT instruct any of my guys to do it tonight. Such conduct is a disgrace to the game and it won’t be tolerated on my watch.” You have to do better than, “Oh well, we know he can be a little wild sometimes…”

And then there’s the issue of Gonzalez himself. The guy is a dud. Period. I took a lot of heat from a certain WNST personality for saying so last year. Clearly, the front office made a very bad investment in him. It happens to every team in baseball sometimes, and I don’t fault them for it. What I do have problem with is this notion of “We’re stuck with him now, so let’s use him even tho we know he probably won’t get the job done so we at least get something for our $6 million a year.” That way of thinking is completely antithetical to winning, and I actually think Buck Showalter gets that, unlike his predecessor. Did you notice that he didn’t go to Gonzalez last night until he literally had no other choice? It’s a very pleasant surprise, but a mere 5 games separate the first and last place teams in the AL East right now (would be just 4 had the O’s not snatched defeat from the jaws of victory last night). If your objective is to win, you don’t arrange your pitchers and hitters according to their salaries; you do it by who gives you the best chance to beat your opponent.

I’m curious to see whether or not Jeremy Guthrie will start tonight after coming in in relief last night. Perhaps the lineup decided to save it for him because they sure didn’t have it last night and they always seem to forget how to hit whenever he’s on the mound. If his lack of run support continues I might suggest that Buck opt not to use the DH for a game and let the poor guy try to help his own cause at the plate. He’s done everything to win except picking up a bat. Any thoughts on that? 🙂

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50 words or less .... Monday, May 2nd

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50 words or less …. Monday, May 2nd

Posted on 02 May 2011 by Rex Snider

Well, another weekend comes to an end, but not without some very telling observations:

The Ravens are looking better …..

The Orioles are certainly playing better …..

And, Americans wake up feeling better …..


By now, the world knows Osama Bin Laden has been killed by U.S. Special Forces in Pakistan. It doesn’t take a situation such as this one to inspire words about patriotism and love of nation.

But, this operation absolutely serves as another reminder that U.S. NAVY SEALS ARE BAD ASS DUDES !!!!
A Minor Adjustment ???

If you’re down on Mike Gonzalez’s contributions to the Orioles bullpen, have a little faith, okay? The struggling reliever is changing his windup in an effort to overcome his disastrous struggles.

Gonzalez’s 13.50 ERA is about to be a figure of the past. By all accounts, it should be down to 9.00 by the All Star break.
Welcome to Baltimore, Mr. & Mr. Smith

On Saturday, the “Jimmy and Torrey Show” rolled into Owings Mills for the very first time. In a draft distinction, lets hope the newest Ravens will be tied together in a Ray Lewis/Jon Ogden, Joe Flacco/Ray Rice kinda way.

While these rookies will be on opposite sides of the ball, they share many similar characteristics in size and speed. When is the last time a pair of pure athletes were the first draft-day additions for the franchise?

Aside from all the analysis of what they can do on the field, it’s appearing Jimmy might be able to follow one of Torrey’s off-field strengths; the kid is a damn sharp dresser !!!!

I’m certain this is an obvious revelation for the diehard fantasy baseball fans. But, for the remainder of the sports loving world, have you noticed the cache’ of formidable American League sticks that continue to struggle into May’s first week?

Alex Rios – .155 avg., 1 hr
Jorge Posada – .133 avg., 6 hr
Nick Markakis – .206 avg., 2 hr
Adam Dunn – .171 avg., 3 hr
Carl Crawford – .168 avg., 1 hr
Kevin Youkilis – .218 avg., 5 hr

Time to panic? Nope. Every single one of these guys has produced and will produce, again. This is the perfect time to BUY in fantasy leagues, and if you’re a fan just enjoy some upcoming hot streaks.

I’m not a proponent of fans assaulting each other, or even getting physical in any capacity. I also believe the idiots who run on a field of play should be issued some “Mike Curtis Justice”.

Quite frankly, I don’t like spectators affecting an outcome or disturbing another’s enjoyment of a performance …..

But, to the Australians who pelted Justin Bieber with eggs at his Saturday night concert, I’d like to say “THANK YOU” !!!!
Five For Fighting

In the waning days of Spring Training, I made a bold prediction:

The AL-East could feature 5 teams with .500 or better records. I honestly believe this is a possibility, especially given the improved potential with the Orioles and Blue Jays.

As May begins, the Yankees, Rays and Orioles are at .500 or better. The Red Sox and Blue Jays are within a few games of breaking even and it’s obvious to assume both clubs will play better as the season stretches toward summer.

Remember my prediction …. I’ll chat with you, this afternoon, at 2pm !!!!

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New Orioles coming up empty as losses continue to mount

Posted on 18 April 2011 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — There’s plenty of blame to go around.

Over the current losing streak, which grew to eight games with a 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Monday, the Orioles haven’t hit or pitched well. Whether talking about young players or veterans, mainstays or newcomers, the Orioles simply haven’t performed, transforming a harmonious 6-1 start into a 6-9 crisis in a matter of only nine days.

No one is absolved from the last eight games, but it’s hard to overlook the newest Orioles and their struggles to begin the season.

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President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail set out to improve a club that finished 34-23 under manager Buck Showalter by adding offensive pieces to provide protection for developing positional players and alleviate the pressure on a young starting rotation. He also looked to add a veteran to the back-end of the bullpen after the disastrous early-season results from Michael Gonzalez a season ago.

The architect was applauded for signing two former All-Stars, Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero, to fill the third and fourth spots in the lineup. MacPhail traded for third baseman Mark Reynolds and shortstop J.J. Hardy in separate deals to complete the infield transformation.

Kevin Gregg — along with his 37 saves — was lured to Baltimore with a two-year, $10 million contract and a not-so-secret agreement to be the closer despite Koji Uehara’s success in the role last season.

After 15 games — yes, only 15 games — it’s not looking too hot.

Lee and Guerrero have looked the part of two aging sluggers with their best years long behind them. Lee’s average dipped to .204 after an 0-for-2 night in which he drew two walks. The first baseman’s plate discipline and defense are as good as ever, but his bat has looked slow, with only two extra base hits and struggling to get around on good fastballs.

The free-swinging Guerrero’s average fell to .242 after going 0 for 4 against the Twins. The slugger has yet to draw a walk in 62 at-bats this season and is slugging an anemic .306 with only two hits going for extra bases. Entering the night, his 2.97 pitches seen per plate appearance was the lowest among American League hitters with 50 or more at-bats.

Meanwhile, Guerrero’s occupation of the designated hitter’s spot has pushed Luke Scott to left field on an everyday basis, weakening the defense and putting more pressure on the inexperienced pitching staff.

It’s not exactly the return the Orioles had in mind after spending $15.25 million for the third and fourth spots in the order.

Reynolds has fared better than the latter two with a .692 OPS, but his .224 average isn’t going to make anyone forget his struggles from a season ago in Arizona. His defense has also been erratic, looking like a Gold Glover on one play but then struggling to make the simple throw on the next.

Of course, Hardy is currently rehabbing a strained oblique in Sarasota, leaving the Orioles with a giant hole in the No. 9 spot in the order currently occupied by the combination of Cesar Izturis and Robert Andino.

With an offense sputtering near the bottom of the American League in numerous statistical categories, the offseason discussion of the Orioles having one of the best lineups in the league seem downright preposterous.

“I’m still excited about [the lineup],” said center fielder Adam Jones, who hit his third home run of the season in the seventh inning. “You’ve never heard about anybody going in a slump? It’s [15 games] into the season or however many games. Not everybody is going to rake the entire season, so it’s a spell. Let’s get it all out of the way now and come back tomorrow ready to swing the bats.”

The Orioles hope the struggles of Gregg are also just a spell as he melted down again in the ninth inning on Monday, allowing two runs — one coming on a wild pitch — and walking two batters to transform a narrow 3-2 deficit into an insurmountable three-run hole. The right-hander left to a showering of boos reminiscent of Gonzalez’s early-season struggles last season.

The Orioles paid handsomely for Gregg’s 37 saves a year ago, ignoring his career 4.02 earned run average and 1.33 WHIP that suggest he’s a solid enough reliever, but not the guy you’re going to feel comfortable with in the ninth inning, night in and night out.

While shopping for inexpensive, short-term solutions in the lineup, MacPhail has  invested $22 million over the last two offseasons on middle-of-the-road closers in Gonzalez and Gregg. Regardless of how the duo fares the rest of the season, giving multi-year contracts to pedestrian relief pitchers just doesn’t pay off.

Of course, I realize it’s still early. The Orioles weren’t as good as their 6-1 start and aren’t as bad as the current 0-8 spell sparking nightmares of last season among the frustrated fan base.

Lee and Guerrero deserve — and will undoubtedly get — plenty of time to snap out of their early-season slumps. Their track records speak for themselves.

Perhaps Gregg will figure out his issues and rebound to become the closer the Orioles envisioned in the offseason.

But these were the guys brought to Baltimore to prevent these types of losing streaks and late-inning meltdowns from taking place as they did a season ago.

And so far, none of it has worked.

Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from Buck Showalter, Chris Tillman, and Adam Jones following the 5-3 loss to the Twins on Monday night.

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Orioles Series Preview: Home vs. Twins April 18th- April 21st

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Orioles Series Preview: Home vs. Twins April 18th- April 21st

Posted on 18 April 2011 by John Collingsworth

The Baltimore Orioles (6-8) head home Monday for a 4-game set against the Minnesota Twins (5-10).

Both ball clubs are limping into this series as the Birds have dropped 7 straight and the Twins are 2-6 in their last 8 games.

The Orioles seemed to unwind in Cleveland as they were swept by the Tribe, possibly having a hang-over effect from last Thursday night’s heart breaker against the Yankees in extra innings. Being outscored 20-7 during the weekend versus the Indians, the O’s look to thump the Twins and get back on their winning ways.

Joe Mauer, Minnesota’s all-star catcher, went on the 15-day DL last Thursday with what is described as a  “bilateral leg weakness”. It is the same left leg in which he had arthroscopic surgery last season. Manager Ron Gardenhire had significantly reduced his playing time during spring training to avoid this very situation.

Justin Morneau is day-to-day with what the Twins are describing as flu-like symptoms.

The Orioles are also prone to make another roster move Monday as RHP Chris Jakubauskas will head to the DL and LHP Clay Rapada will be promoted from AAA-Norfolk to join Mike Gonzalez as the only two left handed pitchers in the bullpen.

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Kevin Gregg

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Orioles finally close deal with their future closer in Kevin Gregg

Posted on 04 January 2011 by Ryan Chell

Kevin Gregg

The Orioles have been in talks with free agent reliever Kevin Gregg since the start of free agency, and finally the two sides were able to agree to a deal Tuesday to bring Gregg into Baltimore’s pitching mix.

Foxsports.com was the first to confirm the report, and the deal is believed to be two years, roughly in the market of 8-10 million dollars.

The deal is pending a physical.

Gregg had been a member of the AL East Rival Toronto Blue Jays last season, pitching in 63 games for Toronto while saving a career-high 37 with a 2-6 record and a 3.51 ERA.

Gregg, 32, has been in the league for eight seasons, mostly serving as a setup man for the Angels his first four years in the majors. In 2007, he became the full-time closer for the Florida Marlins; at the time former Orioles pitching coach Rick Kranitz was his mentor.

He had 32 saves that year in just 36 chances despite not being the closer for roughly the first two months of the season.

He is the third acquisition the Orioles have made this off-season to solidify the bullpen, joining the likes of the re-signed Koji Uehara(Showalter made him the closer late in 2010 where he saved 13 games) and ex-Blue Jays teammate Jeremy Accardo, who saved 30 games for the Blue Jays in 2007.

The Orioles also have left-hander Mike Gonzalez, a former closer in his own right for the Pirates and Braves, but all expectations now point to Gregg (122 saves in four seasons as full-time closer) getting the save opportunities for Baltimore in 2011.

What took the deal so long to pan out was that the Orioles and Gregg’s agent were roughly two million dollars apart as Gregg wanted as high as 12 million dollars from Baltimore while the Orioles waffled back and forth between eight and ten million dollars over the bargaining period, but the deal is believed to be in the Orioles’ price range this time.

Tune into WNST and WNST.net as we continue to follow the Ravens and Orioles in 2011! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 11 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because myself, the lovely “Boomer Sooner”, “The Luckiest Dang Roommate on the Face of the Planet” and “The Luckiest Dang Roommate’s Girlfriend on the Face of the Planet” all wandered up to Camden, New Jersey (which might be the single WORST place on the face of the planet) to check out the great Jimmy Buffett.

I would sit here and sing the praises of Jimmy Buffett (and/or the multiple Coronas we downed beforehand), but you already know just how great he is. Instead, I’ll let you know that my personal favorite Jimmy Buffett live song is “Southern Cross”…

And yes, you ARE allowed to pick a cover as your favorite song to see live. Of course, now that I found out that it is ALSO Boomer Sooner’s favorite song; I think I’m going to have to consider another. I mean, this is still relatively new for me. I can’t let her think that I respect/value her opinion, can I? She’s a girl!

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP says Birds crushed 4 homers against Justin Masterson, bullpen in win over Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field


Felix Pie, Corey Patterson, Matt Wieters and Luke Scott all homered last night (Luke Scott did something on the road?); and the team survived a shaky performance from Jake Arrieta to win their 7th in their last 8.

I don’t know what else to say. The fact is it DOESN’T matter as the team has won 7 of 8 but STILL has the worst record in Major League Baseball-although they’re just a half game in front (behind) of the Pittsburgh Pirates in that race. However, it is really nice to have a stretch like this. They’re not going to win 87.5% of their games the rest of the way; but if they can compete to stay around .500 the rest of the way, we’d all be entertained.

But it still wouldn’t REALLY matter.

What matters is what happens this offseason, and what happens next spring.

But if we’re going to have to watch the games, I guess we might as well be entertained. It’s either this or watching YouTube clips “Come On” highlights from Arrested Development and South Park…

Okay, that clip was more entertaining. Sorry to the O’s…

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

By the way, Arrieta’s final line last night was 6IP, 6R (5ER), 6H, 2BB, 3K. I feel like I’m going to hear someone describe his start as “gutty” at some point today.

You know the (new) drill here. You actually DO want to look at the numbers now, which is stunning. Do that, then look at this picture of Nikki Mitchell from The Smoking Jacket/Busted Coverage. Win/win I call it!


3. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Mike Gonzalez, Koji Uehara could take save opportunities from Alfredo Simon

I know Buck Showalter is all about winning games (and trust me, I’m GRATEFUL for that); but I don’t think Uehara makes sense.

Uehara’s 2 year, $10 million deal ends in a month and a half; and I just can’t fathom Andy MacPhail having future plans for him in Charm City. Then again, MacPhail was the guy who gave him stupid money and a stupid promised start in the rotation originally.

If Showalter wants to find out whether or not he has a closer on the roster for next season (and I’m guessing he doesn’t), he should go with Simon and Gonzalez. If he’s just hellbent on making sure Steve in Homeland loses his bet with Drew Forrester; maybe it’s worth taking a shot on ol’ “Sideburns.”

4. Seattle Times’ Geoff Baker says former Mariners manager Wakamatsu could join Buck Showalter’s Orioles staff

Apparently these two have a history that dates back to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and this would be a natural fit. I’d be fine with it, but I’d prefer they go out and get an actual PLAYER from the Emerald City. For example, is Ichiro available?

This of course is part of the question surrounding what the Orioles’ staff will look like a season from now. Few in Baltimore would be saddened to see Terry Crowley depart, but baseball minds will tell you he’s still amongst the better true hitting coaches in baseball. There’s an argument that the young pitchers on the Orioles staff would be better suited to have Rick Kranitz stick around for continuity, but there’s also an argument he hasn’t earned that right just yet.

With no offense to Gary Allenson, T-Bone Shelby or Jeff Datz; those jobs really aren’t significant enough to worry about who handles them. Should Buck Showalter have someone from his past (Toronto Blue Jays 3B Coach Brian Butterfield comes to mind) that he wants to fill the role; that’s fine. Should he decide to keep one or more of the current guys in place, that would be fine as well.

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Scott Moore homered in Norfolk Tides’ loss to Indianapolis Indians on farm

And before we move on from the Orioles, a few things:

-The Birds and Tribe face off again tonight, with first pitch from the Comeback City at 7:05pm on MASN. Brad Bergesen faces Josh Tomlin-whoever that is.

-Did you miss Hall of Famer Earl Weaver with Drew Forrester this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Drew and Earl talked about Buck Showalter, the anniversary of Cal Ripken’s MLB debut and much more. Head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today to check it out. Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Chorye Spoone (Bowie Baysox pitcher)-who joined Drew this morning to discuss his season in the O’s system
  • Orlando Alzugary (WQAM Miami)-who previewed the Miami Dolphins as we continue to preview AFC East teams this week in our look at the Baltimore Ravens’ schedule
  • Purple reports from Westminster with Luke Jones; as well as sound from McDaniel College Tuesday with John Harbaugh, Jameel McClain and Tom Zbikowski
  • Chris Chester (Ravens OL)-who joined Thyrl Nelson following practice Tuesday
  • Ken Singleton (YES Network)-who discussed the anniversary of Cal’s debut and some New York Yankees baseball with Rex Tuesday
  • Ryan Couture (Strikeforce fighter, son of Randy Couture) and Reed Harris (WEC General Manager)-who both joined Thyrl Nelson and John Rallo Tuesday during “The MMA Report”

It’s all there in the Audio Vault, meaning once again you have your day taken care of for you. As always, you’re welcome.

6. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Chris Carr, Jared Gaither likely to miss Ravens preseason opener tomorrow night vs. Carolina Panthers

We still don’t know about some of the other question marks on the roster, including Fabian Washington-who could be sat to protect him from the M&T Bank Stadium turf.

If Washington & Carr can’t play, it would be likely that Travis Fisher and Cary Williams would start. Wow.

They could still go out and make an acquisition. For example, I believe Paulina Stanek is available. (Thanks Don Chavez!)


7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Domonique Foxworth underwent knee surgery Tuesday performed by Dr. James Andrews

That’s right, the ugliest name in all of sports medicine-which also so happens to be one of the best.

It’s a long road back from an ACL tear-but there’s no question in my mind that Domonique can handle it both mentally and physically. Because of the timing of it, he should be in good shape to be back in time for Training Camp next season.

In the meantime…umm…does he maybe have a cousin who can come play for the Ravens???

8. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says Shayne Graham, Billy Cundiff to alternate kicks tomorrow night

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

-Training Camp is CLOSED to the public (and to the media) today, so if you head up to Carroll County-a trip to Chick-Fil-A will be about your only option. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Luke Jones will still be checking in throughout the day with Thyrl Nelson and Rex Snider today on AM1570 WNST as we prepare for the Ravens’ preseason opener tomorrow night.

-This morning’s “Training Camp Top 5” was “If you were to get in a fight with Pittsburgh Steelers fans in the upper deck at Heinz Field, which current or former Ravens would you want on your side?”

Here’s my list:

  1. Orlando Brown
  2. Steve McNair
  3. Bart Scott
  4. Tom Zbikowski
  5. Arthur Jones

Here’s Drew’s list:

  1. Rex Ryan
  2. Kelly Gregg
  3. Ray Lewis
  4. Jarret Johnson
  5. Frank Walker

And via Twitter (follow us @WNST), here’s Nestor Aparicio’s list…

  1. Orlando Brown
  2. Bob Sapp
  3. Sam Adams
  4. James Trapp
  5. Ray Lewis

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terrapins De’Onte Arnett, Taylor Watson to miss Training Camp in College Park

The Terps held their football Media Day yesterday at Byrd Stadium, and you will be able to hear from plenty of players (including Jamarr Robinson, Da’Rel Scott, Alex Wujciak, Poly’s LaQuan Williams, Antwine Perez, Torrey Smith and more) via WNSTv in the next few days/weeks.

It was a slightly awkward day at Media Day yesterday, as the cloud of last year’s 2-10 record and the uncertainty surrounding Ralph Friedgen and James Franklin (the man tabbed to be the program’s next head coach) remains. It will remain that way until (unless?) Maryland turns things around this season.

The other news to come out of Media Day was that LB Avery Murray has left the team for personal reasons, and Zach Kerr & Ronnie Tyler are still in summer school.

Patrick and I discuss Maryland’s O-Line, preview North Carolina and North Carolina State; and get into a spirited discussion regarding Navy football in this week’s “D1scast”-which you can hear now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.

10. LA Times’ Chris Dufresne names Navy 24th best team in country

What Patrick and I discussed yesterday surrounded the nature that this is CLEARLY the best team in Annapolis since maybe as far back as the Roger Staubach era; but all of the positive feelings could go away should Ken Niumatalolo’s Midshipmen lose just the season opener against Maryland.

Their schedule doesn’t allow for them to make too much noise the rest of the way (they face other ACC bottom-feeders like Duke and Wake Forest as well as a Notre Dame team that may or may not be a factor in the BCS this season). Should they suffer an early costly loss, it will be hard to maintain a Top 25 (or Top 25-range) status.

That being said, this is a FANTASTIC problem for the Mids to have.

You know who won’t have trouble staying in the Top 25 this season? Sophie Reade. (Thanks Guyism!)


And finally, I leave you with this.

I named “The Greatest Song of All Time This Week” earlier this week on Facebook (you can add me as a friend-just search for “Glenn Clark” and add the goofy looking guy sipping Orange Kool-Aid because he lost a bet to Ed in Park Heights). “Return of the Mack” by Mark Morrison isn’t just A comeback song, it is THE comeback song…

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…


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Good Luck, Buck

Posted on 04 August 2010 by Jay Trucker

After Buck Showalter’s first night as the Orioles skipper resulted in a 6-3 win, everyone at Oriole Park smiles. Well, everyone but Rick Dempsey, who told The Sun’s Dan Connolly on the day of the Showalter-opening home stand that hiring Bucky instead of The Dipper is “the biggest mistake made here in a long time.”

Really, Dempsey? Really? Worse than Garrett Atkins? Worse than Rich Hill? Worse than Ryan Freel? Worse than…oh, you get the point. Rick, that is one helluva mistake we’re talking about.

Anyhow, the MASN curmudgeon and 1983 World Series MVP aside, Tuesday night was an encouraging one for The Birds and their new front man.

The crowd was loud. The players, spirited. The pitching, solid. Heck, even Mike Gonzalez looked good in 1.2 innings of work.
A baseball lifer like Buck Showalter won’t be carried away by a single performance, but it was nevertheless good to hear the crowd give him a long cheer when he came out of the dugout to chat with manager Jerry Lane.

I, for one, am happy to see Showalter slide Nick Markakis into the number two spot in the lineup. Markakis is an on base guy, not a power guy, and it seemed that Dave Trembley refused to move him out of sheer stubbornness. This is a small sign, to be sure, but it is a sign that Showalter is going to put the lineup out there that he thinks has the best chance to win.

And that’s good because it would be nothing short of a miracle if Showalter were able to coax a .500 finale out of a squad that has not been in the playoff hunt since the second week of the season. Traditionally, bad teams fall off the cliff as the second grinds towards its anti-climactic conclusion, and the Orioles have been no exception. Last year, the club went 6-20 in September.

Perhaps Buck’s pre-game “chat” with his new team inspired their gritty performance on Tuesday night. Maybe the guys can respect a manager who has played the game before, not to mention a guy who has won the game as a manager before. It breeds confidence.

Tuesday’s win breeds confidence, too. Omens are silly, but starting a manager’s tenure with a 6-3 victory is certainly better than starting with, say, a 30-3 loss.

It will take more than a few chats to get this team back on track. But if he can help bring this sad franchise back to respectability, Buck Showalter will be hailed as a hero in Baltimore. For Orioles fans optimism is foolish. But hope and optimism are two different things, and we’re all at least hoping that Buck Showalter’s tenure is the start of a new era for the once-proud Orioles.

Good luck, Buck.


Everyone in Baltimore Except Rick Dempsey

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 22 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because after a one day hiccup yesterday (thanks to our buddy Dan Dinkin at Cobalt Consulting for getting us back up and running); I’m back at it today. It’s ALSO a Happy Thursday for me because my pal Barry Aparicio grabbed me this tasty adult beverage during his trip to New York…


Nicely done Barry.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Rafael Soriano came through as Rays held on to beat Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

I’ll be forced to admit that I watched absolutely NONE of the game yesterday.


I was out looking at potential new places to live yesterday, and the O’s game just wasn’t destination viewing for me. Or just about anyone else for that matter.

I remember there was a time back when Nestor Aparicio was on in the afternoons that if the Orioles were playing, he’d be off the air knowing no one would be listening. Now if the Orioles are on in the afternoon, we don’t really even think about it in terms of programming. In fact, I’d imagine there might be MORE folks listening as they’re trying to find an alternative to garbage.

The Birds did rally from down 4 runs again; they just couldn’t hold off Tampa Bay after that. Keeping it close yesterday actually might well have been enough to get a “bravo” from myself and others.

Of course, if I didn’t care enough to even bother to watch-it’s hard for me to consider caring enough to offer praise to losers.

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

Brad Bergesen survived the need to drop a starter (he should have thanked Chris Tillman on his way down), then turned around and gave up 5 earned runs on 9 hits and 3 walks over 5 and a third innings.

Don’t look at it. Just don’t. It will REALLY only cause you headaches. Instead, look at this picture of Carla Ossa. She’s a swimwear model from Columbia; which seems like a nice place. Report back after viewing. (Thanks NextRound.net!)


3. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Mike Gonzalez back, Josh Bell sent down, Kevin Millwood activated, Troy Patton promoted and demoted

I wonder if they even bothered giving Troy Patton a locker yesterday…

The roster flux isn’t over yet. Brian Roberts is set to return before the end of the week, and Matt Wieters should be just after that. Someone’s going to have to go, and there don’t appear to be trades on the immediate horizon.

A lot of folks believe Matt Albers will be one to go. Scott Moore could be another. Or maybe Jeremy Guthrie COULD end up being dealt. Someone is going to have to go, and it’s hard for me to imagine anyone being missed too terribly much.

Yeah, it’s one of those mornings when it comes to the Orioles. I just don’t have much positive to say. They’re 30-64. What the hell positive IS there to say?

Maybe I should say “Thank God for the Pittsburgh Pirates.” If it weren’t for them, there wouldn’t even be a RACE for the worst record in Major League Baseball. The Bucks are currently 4 games in front of the Birds-not that they’re in a rush to pick up too many more W’s.

4. Orioles Hangout’s Tony Pente says “actions speak louder than words” with Andy MacPhail

This is a great read.

Tony received the “Former Apologist of the Morning” award today from “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester. Tony really did a great job of breaking down the MacPhail era; and the fact that MacPhail really does care as much (if not more) about his bottom line than he does about wins and losses.

Of course, I feel like I’ve heard this point before. Somewhere on the AM dial I think. Or on a website…maybe the website you’re on currently.


5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Armando Gabino strong, Michael Aubrey crushed grand slam for Norfolk Tides on farm

Before we move on from the Birds, a few things (mostly because we have to)…

-The Orioles are back in action tonight; as they open a 4 game set with the Minnesota Twins at OPACY. First pitch between Carl Pavano and Kevin Millwood is at 7:05pm and the game can be seen on MASN if you’re interested. Ron Gardenhire may or may not be with the Twinkies for tonight’s game; he missed Wednesday’s series finale with the Cleveland Indians as he dealt with a personal matter.

-Did you miss Delmarva Shorebirds manager Ryan Minor with Drew Forrester today on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today to check it out. Also up in the Audio Vault are our chats with USA Today’s Jarrett Bell about Joe Flacco & the Ravens, FoxSports.com/CollegeFootballNews.com’s Pete Fiutak about Reggie Bush & USC; and our morning “Cheap Shots from the Bleachers.”

-Juan Samuel is still the interim manager, and Buck Showalter is still unemployed. I’m not trying to say that either thing should or should not be the case; I’m just letting you know that it IS still the case. That’s all.

6. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens QB Troy Smith ‘a fan of’ new teammate Marc Bulger

Which is the right thing for Troy to say, clearly. That’s sort of refreshing, because Troy Smith hasn’t exactly made a career of saying the right things. Maybe going through an offseason of not being wanted by any NFL team-including the hometown team you grew up with (Cleveland Browns) and needed a QB might be a humbling experience.


A number of players on the team appear to be a bit less than ‘thrilled’ about the addition of Bulger. Joe Flacco was the first to speak up about it, followed by Ed Reed this week. It’s clear that the players on this team felt as though the backup QB position WASN’T a position the team needed to upgrade.

I’ve stated before that I think Marc Bulger is probably a BETTER quarterback than Troy Smith; but I was “unmoved” by the addition. I didn’t feel like this was a place where the team needed an upgrade-and that Bulger wouldn’t make a difference in whether or not the team could win a Super Bowl should Flacco get hurt.

It’s clear I’m not the only one who felt that way.

7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says Ed Reed wants more ‘support’ from Ravens

Which all kinda dates back to when he initially suffered the neck/back injuries that now haunt him in his career. Ed very clearly wants a new contract (which he first told us in an interview on July 2nd); and the Ravens very clearly won’t give him one.

Ed’s said a lot of stuff this week to just about anyone who would listen. I’ll be forced to admit that I’m unmoved by most of it. I’m really getting to the point where I’m a bit surprised Ed hasn’t just gone ahead and retired. He’s not overly passionate about the game itself, and he IS genuinely risking his health to play.

More “support” from the Ravens, huh? Well…there’s plenty of things I want myself if we’re talking about it. For example, I want Busted Coverage to link to more pictures of Alyssa Sutherland…


8. WNST.net’s Ryan Chell says Eric DeCosta thinks Ravens ‘in a position to win’

Anyone gonna argue with him? I know I’m not.

DeCosta’s appearance was with our own Rex Snider over the last weekend, as part of our “Curing Cancer One Call At A Time” marathon to raise money for the Cancer Center at Harbor Hospital. If you missed it, it’s in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.

And if you haven’t donated to the cause yet; please make sure you click on the “Events” tab here at the top of the page and PLEASE DO SO.

9. Fox Sports’ Adam Caplan says Ravens cut C Digger Bujnoch

And as I said via Twitter this morning (follow us @WNST), that would mark the first time a lot of folks have known that there is a player named Digger Bujnoch was with the Ravens.

I would assume Digger Bujnoch is probably plenty disappointed today; but I think he should probably cheer up. Now that he doesn’t have football to worry about, he’ll have PLENTY of time to look at pictures of Jessica Hart and Ashley Hart (Thanks Guyism!)


10. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Navy to visit Penn State in 2012

I’m a BIT surprised that Navy would take a one-off game in Happy Valley without getting some sort of return (clearly not in Annapolis-but maybe at M&T Bank Stadium or even in Washington).

This has sorta been the biggest block to getting the Nittany Lions back on Maryland’s schedule; as the folks in State College have been more than willing to offer a game at Beaver Stadium, but haven’t been willing to commit to a game in College Park.

Navy got a return from Ohio State (I believe the location of the return is still undetermined), which makes me wonder why they couldn’t get a return from PSU. Maybe it’s something that could still be negotiated in the future, or maybe the Lions just feel like they don’t need the recruiting help in this area and drew a hard line.

The schedule will be particularly tough for the Midshipmen to open the 2012 season; as the Sept. 15 date at Penn State will be just 2 weeks after a season opening trip to Dublin, Ireland to face Notre Dame.

Does Roger Staubach have any availability left?

And finally, I leave you with this.

Don’t bother me at 10am Saturday.

I’ll be busy trying to track down tickets to the annual (free) Virgin Mobile Fest. T.I., Ludacris, Temper Trap, and the GREAT Jimmy Eat World?!?!?

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…


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