Tag Archive | "minnesota"

Duquette hoping lightning can strike same place twice

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Duquette hoping lightning can strike same place twice

Posted on 03 November 2012 by Glenn Clark

You are aware it isn’t true, right?

There is a well known idiom that says “lightning never strikes the same place twice.” The origins of the idiom are not fully known, although it has been attributed to writers like P.H. Myers and Mary Roberts Rinehart over the years.

Lightning can not only strike the same place twice, but could strike the same location an infinite number of times. There are no geographical laws for where lightning can strike, although we can certainly accept the notion that a lightning strike is more likely to hit a tall building than a sidewalk.

If for some reason you’re still REALLY interested in understanding this, here’s a little tutorial Accuweather put together to explain the phenomenon…

I went with this lede because I had to admit it was close to my initial response upon hearing the Baltimore Orioles believed the acquisition of 2B Alexi Casilla had solved their problems at second base.

In fact, I believe my quote was something like “does Dan Duquette really think lightning can strike the same place twice?”

If the Birds’ Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations had been in the room, he could have looked back at me calmly and said “well…it can.”

After claiming Casilla off waivers from the Minnesota Twins, Duquette declared second base to be addressed. He told team-owned entity MASN, ”I think we have enough people on our roster to man the position.”

The O’s second year man Ryan Flaherty at the position with Brian Roberts also perhaps a candidate to retain to the field after hip surgery. Veteran Robert Andino is also an option if the Orioles choose to tender him an offer. Omar Quintanilla is unlikely to return to the team after seeing very little time down the stretch and being left off the postseason roster. Touted prospect Jonathan Schoop may or may not be ready to come to Baltimore at some point in 2012.

Casilla comes to Charm City off a year in Minnesota where he hit .241 and got on base at a .282 clip over 106 games. He added 17 doubles and a home run, but his 21 stolen bases and .980 fielding position have been the saving grace for those applauding the acquisition.

I won’t mix words here. I don’t think much of the addition of Alexi Casilla. I would have preferred the Orioles acquire an actual legitimate major league second baseman this offseason, not another player to add into the mix with some hope it might actually work out. I’m aware the free agent market isn’t particularly deep at second base (Marco Scutaro, Kelly Johnson and Jeff Keppinger stand out), but I’d prefer someone from that group to a “by committee” scenario.

It’s further concerning because it reinforces the idea that the O’s aren’t going to suddenly become the “sleeping giants” of the offseason the way some (including ESPN’s Buster Olney) have suggested.

I instead believe it further reinforces what Dan Duquette said back in May during the press conference to announce OF Adam Jones’ six year contract extension. When our own Luke Jones asked if the $85.5 million deal was a sign that the team was more willing to spend money in free agency, Duquette declared “I don’t think the way to build a team is through free agency.”

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Orioles claim former Twins infielder Casilla off waivers

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Orioles claim former Twins infielder Casilla off waivers

Posted on 02 November 2012 by WNST Staff

PRESS RELEASE

The Orioles announced Friday that they have claimed infielder Alexi Casilla off waivers from the Minnesota Twins. Additionally, the Orioles have outrighted outfielder Lew Ford, infielder Steve Tolleson, and left-handed pitcher Zach Phillips to Triple-A Norfolk and reinstated right-handed pitchers Oliver Drake and Stup Pomeranz, left-handed pitcher Tsuyoshi, second baseman Brian Roberts, and outfielder Nolan Reimold from the 60-day disabled list.

Casilla, 28, played in a career-high 106 games for Minnesota in 2012, batting .241/.282/.321. He also stole 21 bases in 22 attempts.

Ford, 35, batted .183/.256/.352 with three home runs in 25 games for the Orioles in 2012, his first major league action since 2007 with Minnesota.

Tolleson, 29, batted .183/.227/.310 in 29 games over four stints with the Orioles in 2012.

Phillips, 26, pitched to a 6.00 ERA (6.0IP, 4ER) in six games with the Orioles in 2012. He made 42 relief appearances for Triple-A Norfolk, going 2-2 with a 3.17 ERA (54.0IP, 19ER).

Drake, 25, was recalled on September 29 and placed on the 60-day DL with right shoulder tendonitis. He made three starts for Double-A Bowie, going 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA (18.0IP, 3ER).

Pomeranz, 27, pitched to a 3.00 ERA (6.0IP, 2ER) in three appearances for the Orioles. He was placed on the DL on May 26 with a left oblique injury.

Wada, 31, had left elbow ligament replacement surgery, performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum, on May 11 and missed the entire 2012 season.

Roberts, 35, appeared in 17 games for the Orioles, batting .182/.233/.182. He ended the season on the DL with a right groin strain and had right hip surgery on August 2.

Reimold, 29, batted .313/.333/.627 in 16 games for the Orioles before being placed on the DL on May 1 with a herniated disc in his neck.

With these moves, the Orioles have 39 players on the 40-man roster.

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The Reality Check Week 7 NFL Power Rankings

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The Reality Check Week 7 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 17 October 2012 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Rankings…

32. Kansas City Chiefs (31)

It was only a matter of time.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (30)

I STILL think they find a way into the bottom spot.

30. Cleveland Browns (32)

It must be a proud moment for whoever is actually going to still be around next year.

29. Carolina Panthers (27)

So…Ron Rivera thinks he knows what the problem is? I guess it will just be fixed tomorrow…

28. Oakland Raiders (26)

Perhaps Carson Palmer can start practicing tackling…

27. Indianapolis Colts (24)

I don’t understand. Should we have seen this coming?

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (28)

Calm down, they were playing the Chiefs. Everyone blows out the Chiefs, right?

25. Tennessee Titans (29)

We can’t thank you enough for that, Titans.

24. New Orleans Saints (21)

Market correction. I still think they’re on the way up.

23. St. Louis Rams (20)

Wait…Brandon Gibson?

22. Buffalo Bills (25)

I didn’t see that coming.

21. Miami Dolphins (23)

Best Dolphins quarterback since…Cleo Lemon, I guess?

20. New York Jets (22)

If they beat the Patriots…

19. Dallas Cowboys (16)

I probably dropped them too far. I don’t feel bad.

18. Cincinnati Bengals (14)

You can’t do that against the Cleveland Browns.

17. San Diego Chargers (13)

But at least it was hilarious.

(16-1 on Page 2…)

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The Reality Check Week 6 NFL Power Rankings

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The Reality Check Week 6 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 10 October 2012 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Rankings…

32. Cleveland Browns (32)

But at least the folks in Cleveland have absolutely nothing else going for them.

31. Kansas City Chiefs (27)

They don’t have a very good quarterback, they don’t have a very good coach. They still nearly beat the Ravens.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (30)

What do you think the Jags’ elimination number is?

29. Tennessee Titans (23)

Would they really listen to trade offers for Chris Johnson?

28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (26)

But technically in second place.

27. Carolina Panthers (24)

Just like we all none of us saw coming.

26. Oakland Raiders (25)

They DID still beat the Steelers though.

25. Buffalo Bills (20)

I hate myself for ever giving them the benefit of the doubt.

24. Indianapolis Colts (31)

The whole “I’m pulling like crazy for Chuck Pagano” thing kinda outweighs the whole “I really despise Indianapolis” thing.

23. Miami Dolphins (29)

Kinda hard not to buy into Ryan Tannehill, isn’t it?

22. New York Jets (19)

Kinda hard to buy into ANYTHING about them, isn’t it?

21. New Orleans Saints (28)

The highest ranking a 1-4 team could possibly have.

20. St. Louis Rams (22)

I get a funny feeling that without Danny Amendola it will be hard to stay there.

19. Detroit Lions (21)

They’ll start winning soon, right?

18. Washington Redskins (16)

And Mike Shanahan still thinks the option is a good idea.

17. Seattle Seahawks (18)

Everyone in the NFC West is over .500.

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Former MLB star Milton named Maryland interim coach

Posted on 28 June 2012 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Assistant coach Eric Milton has been elevated to interim head coach of the University of Maryland baseball team, director of athletics Kevin Anderson announced Thursday.

Milton, who played at Maryland from 1994-96 and had an 11-year Major League career, joined the Terrapin coaching staff as volunteer assistant in September 2011.

“I’m honored to accept this position and look forward to working with our players and recruits in the coming months,” said Milton. “My goal when I came here was to help develop our players for professional careers and build a winning tradition at my alma mater. That goal remains the same.”

“Eric’s knowledge of the game of baseball, as well as this institution, makes him the right person to guide the program at this time,” said Anderson. “In his 11-year Major League career and during his time as an assistant last season, Eric has proven his ability as an elite talent and teacher. We couldn’t be happier to have him serve in this role.”

With Milton serving as interim coach, Maryland will move forward with a national search for a head coach.

Milton was an American League All-Star for the Minnesota Twins in 2001 and won 89 games in his major-league career, also pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds and L.A. Dodgers.

In his career, Milton started 270 games, pitched over 1,500 innings and faced nearly 7,000 batters, giving him a wealth of experience at the highest level of baseball.

A first-round draft pick of the New York Yankees in the 1996 amateur draft, Milton made his Major League debut at the age of 22 for the Twins.

From 1999-2001, he averaged 160 strikeouts per season, ranking in the top 11 of the American League each year. He was an All-Star in 2001 when he went 15-7 with a 4.32 ERA and a career-high 220 2/3 innings pitched.

He won 41 games for the Twins from 2000-2002 and helped them reach the American League Championship Series in ’02.

Milton led the Philadelphia Phillies with a 14-6 record in 2004, when he topped the 200-inning mark for the fourth time in his career. He went on to pitch for the Reds for three seasons and finished his career with the Dodgers in 2009.

At Maryland, Milton racked up 236 strikeouts in his three-year career, which ranks third in school history. In his last season, 1996, Milton struck out 118, a mark that stands as the second most in a season in program annals.

 

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Your Monday Reality Check-A mountain of misinformation

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Your Monday Reality Check-A mountain of misinformation

Posted on 17 June 2012 by Glenn Clark

I honestly still can’t believe some of the things I read/heard/saw last week about Baltimore Ravens OT Bryant McKinnie.

If you missed it, McKinnie was not on the fall last week in Owings Mills during mandatory minicamp at the Under Armour Performance Center. When asked why McKinnie was not practicing, head coach John Harbaugh said “Bryant McKinnie is a guy that we held out just for conditioning purposes. We’re going to probably continue to do that and continue to try and get him in good shape. I think practice-wise, he’s just as well doing the conditioning part of it.”

Let me start this post by saying I fully understand a few things. One is that Harbaugh has never felt the need to share more information than necessary about any of his players. Another is that the information was new to reporters, so asking follow up questions might not have seemed pertinent. I wasn’t present at minicamp (media availability was scheduled during my radio show “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net each day) and was unable to fully grasp exactly what was going on.

With no media availability scheduled before the start of Training Camp, reporters felt it necessary to question Harbaugh later in the week for more information about McKinnie’s status. Unfortunately the coach was again vague, offering “we will leave that between us. That’s something that is an in-house type of thing right now. Bryant has done a good job, he’s worked hard. It’s not as simple as some of you guys want to make it. It’s just a situation where we are going to do what is best for the team, what is best for Bryant. We want him here; there’s no reason he wouldn’t be here. He has worked hard, so you try to do what’s most beneficial for every guy in every situation, and it’s always individualized.”

Now’s the part where I offer some examples of various stories I’ve read about Bryant McKinnie.

Here’s this from SI.com…

“Cut last season by the Vikings, Bryant McKinnie, who sat out Thursday’s practice, may be on the verge of extending an ignominious streak. Here is a player who has a history of being overweight and struggled with the same problem last season. He also reportedly has financial problems, yet can’t get into good enough shape to participate in minicamp. You have to question his commitment and when a team starts signing veteran offensive linemen and McKinnie gets held out of minicamp, it could be a sign of things to come.”

And this from SB Nation…

“The Baltimore Ravens gave veteran left tackle Bryant McKinnie a $500,000 roster bonus earlier this spring, but now might be regretting the outlay of cash. McKinnie came to Baltimore after the Minnesota Vikings cut him last summer for reporting to camp overweight. The Ravens rounded him into shape and he had a pretty solid year, allowing the team to shift Michael Oher over to right tackle and solidify that side of the offensive line.

McKinnie reportedly was on his way to getting in good shape earlier this year, but the most recent news was that the team held him out of the mini-camp this past week for “conditioning reasons.” This does not bode well for either the Ravens nor McKinnie.

Bryant is on the short end of a legal case where he defaulted on a $4 million loan he took out during the NFL Lockout last year and seriously needs a full season paycheck to pay it back. If he does not report to the Ravens Training Camp in six weeks in excellent shape, there is a very good chance that the team may decide to cut ties with him and let him go.”

Allow me to be fair again for a second. The SI.com blurb was a clear re-write with no author attached. While SB Nation does have a handful of experienced journalists and columnists, their sites are still largely made up of part-time writers/editors with no actual experience truly covering a team.

So perhaps CSNBaltimore.com’s veteran writer Ray Frager would be a better source.

“Offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie’s conditioning issues have been a big part of the Ravens chatter over this week. There is speculation he is around that 400-pound summit that caused him to lose his job in Minnesota.”

Maybe even the Baltimore Sun’s Mike Preston would be a better option.

“The entire McKinnie episode is strange and you wonder if he is going to be around when training camp opens. Here is a player who has a history of being overweight and struggled with the same problem last season.

He also reportedly has financial problems, yet can’t get into good enough shape to participate in minicamp. You have to question his commitment and when a team starts signing veteran offensive linemen and McKinnie gets held out of minicamp, it could be a sign of things to come.”

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Panthers sign former Morgan TE Bryant

Posted on 12 June 2012 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE, Md. – Former Morgan State tight end Lamont Bryant has been signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Carolina Panthers and will take part in Carolina’s minicamp that begins today.
The 6-5, 225-pound Bryant started 11 games in 2012 and ranked as the team’s leading receiver with 21 receptions (371 yards) and two TDs. He capped the season by being selected to the All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference First-Team.
Bryant’s stock rose on draft boards with a standout performance at the Morgan State Pro Day held in March. Bryant measured in at 6’5, 225, had an 80 1/4″ wingspan, ran the 40 in 4.45 and put up 19 reps on bench. He also registered a 10’3″ broad jump, a ridiculous 43″ vertical jump, and ran the short shuttle in 4.38.
In 2010, he recorded five catches for 55 yards (11.0 avg) in eight games. In ’09, he caught 18 passes for 251 yards (13.9-yard average) and two touchdowns on his way to first-team all-conference honors in 10 games.
The Newport News, Va., native was moved from quarterback to tight end in ’08 and saw action in five games on special teams, where he blocked two punts.
The last MSU tight end to enter the NFL was Visanthe Shiancoe who was drafted in the third round (91st overall) in the 2003 NFL Draft by the New York Giants and currently plays for the Minnesota Vikings.

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Your Monday Reality Check-Shouldn’t Rice & Flacco deals have been done by now?

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Your Monday Reality Check-Shouldn’t Rice & Flacco deals have been done by now?

Posted on 04 June 2012 by Glenn Clark

It was as if there were some in the sports broadcasting universe that wanted to remind me that the Baltimore Orioles have been struggling mightily as of late.

Sure, they’re just one game out of first place at the time I type this, but the Birds sadly appear to be in a downward spiral that unfortunately most of us expected.

I’ve been a regular “Baltimore expert” for SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio since the channel’s inception, and I rotate having conversations with hosts about the O’s and the Baltimore Ravens. When I received a call last week asking me to appear on the channel, I assumed the conversation would go in the direction of the O’s, as I’ve made about four Orioles-related guest spots already this season.

But when the producer asked me if I’d be interested in talking some Ravens football, I was admittedly caught off guard. “It’s still baseball season” I thought. Just one night later I received a call from another producer on the channel, also asking me to make an appearance to discuss the Purple & Black.

So on both Friday & Saturday night of this past weekend I found myself talking Ravens football across the country on SXM. It was perhaps the single greatest reminder that in Charm City, a “June Swoon” is a great reminder that Training Camp isn’t particularly far away.

As the 2011 football season ended, there were two main narratives surrounding the defending AFC North Champs. One was surrounding the pending free agency of RB Ray Rice. The other surrounded the future of QB Joe Flacco, who was set to enter the final year of his rookie contract. The Ravens’ season ended 132 days ago in Foxborough (at least as of the time I wrote this) and yet seemingly little progress has been made regarding either situation.

It leads to the question (at least for me), “what’s taking so long to get this stuff done?”

ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio said in a recent appearance on “The Reality Check” (an excellent afternoon radio program on AM1570 WNST.net) that Rice’s agent Todd France was dead set on getting a deal similar to contracts given to Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (seven years, $100 million with $36 million guaranteed) or Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson (four years, $53 million with $30 million guaranteed). The Ravens are believed to be more interested in a deal similar to those recently given to Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy (five years, $45 million with $20.76 million guaranteed) or Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (five years, $43.5 million with $20.75 guaranteed).

On top of that, a source with knowledge of talks revealed to me in recent weeks the Rice camp has a desire to see the running back’s deal exceed the overall value of Flacco’s.

A Carroll County Times report this weekend indicated the Ravens “aren’t anywhere close” to getting a deal done with Flacco. Flacco’s negotiating ability has been limited by the fact that contracts signed by quarterbacks not named Peyton Manning this offseason have been less than overwhelming financially. Manning landed a five year, $96 million deal, but if he’s healthy the Denver Broncos believe him capable of being Peyton Manning. The highlights of other QB contracts this offseason have been San Francisco 49ers QB Alex Smith (three years, worth up to $33 million with with $16.5 million guaranteed) and Seattle Seahawks QB Matt Flynn (three years, $26 million with $10 million guaranteed).

Neither deal is helpful to Flacco’s agent Joe Linta, although despite all of the goofy conversation nationally about Flacco’s standing against other National Football League quarterbacks, there simply could not be any argument either of those two quarterbacks have accomplished as much as Flacco. Humorously, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo’s deal is up a season after Flacco’s. There had been rumors the Chicago Bears were interested in getting a new deal done with QB Jay Cutler, a decision that could have been helpful in figuring out the parameters of a Flacco contract.

Remember when I asked “what’s taking so long to get this stuff done?” Yeah, I’m aware that I’ve essentially answered my own question.

In both of my chats on SiriusXM this weekend I was asked what expected would ultimately happen with these situations. It was remarkably difficult to answer.

(Continued on Page 2)

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Shingler named to Towson hoops staff

Posted on 01 June 2012 by WNST Staff

BRUCE SHINGLER NAMED ASSISTANT MEN’S BASKETBALL COACH AT TOWSON UNIVERSITY
Shingler Joins Tiger Coaching Staff From Morgan State

TOWSON, Md. – Towson University men’s basketball coach Pat Skerry has announced the hiring of Bruce Shingler as an assistant coach for the Tigers. He replaces Kenny Johnson who was recently named assistant coach at Indiana University.

Shingler, who served as an AAU head coach of the DC Assault 17-and-Under team, spent last season as an assistant coach on the Morgan State University staff.

“I’ve gotten to know Bruce the last few years and we’re excited to get him here on our staff,” said Skerry. “He’s young, a great communicator and extremely energetic. He provides us with a really strong recruiting presence in the Maryland, DC and northern Virginia areas. We’re excited to have him on board.”

Prior to his year at Morgan State, Shingler was the head coach at Bladensburg (Md.) High School. While at Bladensburg, he led the Mustangs to an 18-5 record and a No. 12 ranking in the Washington Post final poll.

With DC Assault, Shingler coached several prominent players, including McDonald’s All-Americans Michael Beasley (Kansas State/Minnesota Timberwolves), Wally Judge (Rutgers), Quinn Cook (Duke) and approximately 40 other Division I players.

Prior to his years at the AAU and high school levels, Shingler spent a season as an administrative assistant at Kansas State University under Coach Frank Martin.

“Bruce is one of the bright young stars in this business,” said Martin. “He is a former high school teacher and coach who has a tremendous rapport with kids.”

Shingler was a four-year starter and Academic All-American point guard at St. Augustine’s College from 2001-to-2005. He averaged six points and more than seven assists per game. Shingler earned his Bachelors of Science Degree in Communications in 2005.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 28 May 2012 by WNST Staff

Honorable Mention: Boxing-Antonio Tarver vs. Lateef Kayode (Saturday 9pm from Carson, CA live on Showtime), Gabriel Rosado vs. Joel Julio (Friday 9pm from Bethlehem, PA live on NBC Sports Network); WNBA: Minnesota Lynx @ Washington Mystics (Wednesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet); Pro Lacrosse: MLL Chesapeake Bayhawks @ Denver Outlaws (Saturday 9pm from Denver live on ESPN3.com)

10. Zac Brown Band (Thursday 5:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Capital Jazz Fest feat. Indie.Arie, Bill Cosby (Friday-Sunday Merriweather Post Pavilion); Radiohead (Sunday 7:30pm Verizon Center); Miranda Lambert/Jerrod Niemann (Sunday 4pm Jiffy Lube Live);  City and Colour (Wednesday 7pm Rams Head Live); Smile Empty Soul (Saturday 5pm Recher Theatre); Crossfade (Monday 7pm Baltimore Soundstage); Dandy Warhols (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club); The Used (Wednesday 7:30pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Victor Wooten (Thursday 8pm Howard Theatre); Dr. John (Friday 7:30pm Birchmere); Rhett Miller (Monday 8pm Jammin Java)

I’d watch ZBB do just about anything, but this was as good as anything I’ve seen them do…

My favorite tune from Thom Yorke and the boys?

For more traditional country folk, I sorta dig this Jerrod Niemann tune…

I wish I didn’t have to admit to digging this tune…

9. Great Grapes Wine & Food Festival (Saturday & Sunday 12pm Oregon Ridge); Guy Torry (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Corey Holcomb (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); “Man on a Ledge” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Glenn Clark’s first ever “Hogfest” (Saturday)

That’s right. For the first time in my (still?) young life, I will be roasting a pig Saturday. It’s all thanks in part to ABC Rental Store in Rosedale. A talented young man I listen to on the radio is always talking to me about them. I think his show is called “The Reality Check.” I PRAY my results make me as happy as George W. Bush…

Also, I will be hosting a qualifier for the Olympic KanJam team Saturday (more on Twitter @OlympicKanJam). I expect the day to look much like this…

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