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Maier glove used to catch 1996 Jeter homer auctioned off

Posted on 16 February 2015 by Luke Jones

A week after former Ravens running back Jamal Lewis auctioned off a Super Bowl ring that was a gift from owner Steve Bisciotti, Baltimore fans now have an opportunity to own a piece of local sports infamy.

The glove Jeffrey Maier used to corral a Derek Jeter fly ball over the right-field fence at old Yankee Stadium against the Orioles in the 1996 American League Championship Series is being auctioned off this week. As of Monday evening, the leading bid at Heritage Auctions came in at $13,000.

While Maier was beloved in New York for his assist, the then-12-year-old was a villain in Baltimore as Jeter’s home run tied Game 1 and the Yankees went on to win the series opener on a Bernie Williams homer in the 11th. Orioles fans have long wondered if the series — won by the Yankees in five games — might have been different had fan interference been ruled on the eighth-inning fly that right fielder Tony Tarasco was camped under before Maier’s glove deflected it over the fence.

Many Orioles fans suggested on social media Monday that the glove needs be burned as a way to exorcise a curse as Baltimore hasn’t advanced to the World Series since 1983. The Orioles have been unsuccessful in three trips to the ALCS since their last championship, also falling in 1997 and 2014.

Of course, some fans quipped that umpire Rich Garcia should purchase the glove since it was his failure to call interference that was the real culprit of the Orioles’ controversial Game 1 loss in the Bronx.

 

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Ravens safety Hill reportedly facing legal problems in New Jersey

Posted on 29 January 2015 by Luke Jones

Another off-field problem has found Ravens safety Will Hill.

A warrant for the 24-year-old’s arrest has been issued in the state of New Jersey due to an alleged failure to pay more than $16,000 in child support, according to The Sun. However, the warrant was reportedly issued last March and Hill is not being actively pursued by police.

This is the latest chapter in a number of off-field missteps for Hill, who started eight games at safety in his first season with the Ravens after serving a six-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. It was Hill’s third suspension in three years in the NFL, which prompted the New York Giants to release him early last summer.

The University of Florida product was arrested in New Jersey in December 2013 for failing to pay child support.

In a season full of injuries and inconsistent play in the secondary, the Ravens found a bright spot in Hill, who emerged as the only clear-cut starter in a group of safeties that included 2013 first-round pick Matt Elam, Darian Stewart, Jeromy Miles, and rookie third-rounder Terrence Brooks. Hill collected 42 tackles, four pass breakups, and an interception returned for a touchdown in a late November win over New Orleans.

“He has a lot of talent, and it’s something that we always knew,” head coach John Harbaugh said at the end of the season. “He also has a great love for the game. He learned our defense throughout the course of the season, which it’s not easy to do that. We have a tough defense. We do a lot of good stuff back there. But he was running the show pretty well back there toward the end of the year. Having the offseason, having the [organized team activities], and the minicamp and the training camp is only going to really help him tremendously as far as being a really good safety for us.”

With No. 1 cornerback Jimmy Smith returning from a Lisfranc injury and veteran cornerback Lardarius Webb struggling at times in 2014 and carrying a $12 million figure, Hill might have been the Ravens’ surest bet in the secondary going into the offseason if you discount his off-field history.

Baltimore is expected to retain the restricted free agent, but Harbaugh said he issued the challenge for Hill to stay out of trouble at the end of the season. His current legal situation in New Jersey wouldn’t appear to be a healthy reflection of him getting the message after the Ravens gave him a second chance last summer.

“We put it on his plate a little bit. We’re challenging him for the next three or four months,” Harbaugh said. “‘Are you going to come back a better player than you were when you left here in January, and is that slate going to be clean?’ We fully expect it to be. He just had a baby. He’s doing great with his family, and we fully expect him to do a great job with that, and we’re going to try to help him anyway we can with that.”

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Ravens secondary coach Spagnuolo rejoining New York Giants

Posted on 15 January 2015 by Luke Jones

Ravens secondary coach Steve Spagnuolo is heading back to the Big Apple.

The assistant head coach to John Harbaugh has agreed to re-join the New York Giants as their defensive coordinator, a position he held there from 2007-2008 while guiding his defense to a win against the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Spagnuolo spent the last two years with the Ravens, serving as a senior defensive assistant in 2013 before being assigned to coach the secondary this past season.

A rash of injuries led to plenty of struggles in the secondary as the Ravens finished 23rd in pass defense, but the 55-year-old Spagnuolo was praised by Harbaugh at his season-ending press conference earlier this week. The pair worked together for eight years in Philadelphia under head coach Andy Reid.

“Steve is a great coach. He’s done a great job with the guys throughout the course of the season,” Harbaugh said. “Obviously, [he is] a tremendously experienced coach. He’s been a head coach, been a coordinator, and that’s not something that we would want to hold him back from as an opportunity.”

Spagnuolo beat out the likes of former Oakland head coach Dennis Allen, former Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris, and former Giants linebacker Pepper Johnson for the job.

As for who might replace Spagnuolo in Baltimore, assistant secondary coach Chris Hewitt would be a logical in-house replacement, but the Ravens would likely look outside the organization for other candidates. This marks the second straight offseason that Harbaugh will need to replace his secondary coach after Teryl Austin departed last January to become the defensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions.

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Ravens assistant general manager DeCosta staying put

Posted on 01 January 2015 by Luke Jones

A new year brought an old refrain from Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta.

He isn’t going anywhere.

According to an NFL Network report, DeCosta has turned down interview requests from the New York Jets and the Chicago Bears about their open general manager positions. The news comes as no shock as it’s well known that DeCosta is paid better than many general managers around the league and has publicly been referred to as the successor to longtime general manager Ozzie Newsome.

DeCosta’s wife is from the area, another factor that’s led to him having little interest in leaving the Ravens in the past.

The 43-year-old is considered one of the great personnel minds around the league and has regularly been pursued as a general manager candidate before turning away other teams in recent years. Previously serving as the organization’s director of college scouting and director of player personnel, DeCosta was formally promoted to the title of assistant general manager in 2012.

DeCosta joined the organization in 1996 after it relocated from Cleveland to Baltimore.

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Jets reportedly request interview with Ravens coordinator Kubiak

Posted on 30 December 2014 by Luke Jones

After leading the Ravens to their best offensive season in franchise history, first-year coordinator Gary Kubiak has already drawn interest from the New York Jets for their head coaching position.

The Jets fired head coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik on Monday and have requested to interview Kubiak, according to an ESPN report. New York also seeked interviews with Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Seattle assistant head coach Tom Cable, San Diego offensive coordinator Frank Reich, and Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

The former Houston Texans head coach guided the Ravens to single-season franchise records in points scored (409) and total yards (5,838). Baltimore finished eighth in points scored and 12th in total yards during the 2014 regular season.

In eight years as Houston’s head coach, Kubiak accumulated a 61-64 record and guided the Texans to two AFC South titles.

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Jerry’s Used Car Superstores Presents WNST Orange Baseball Bus to CitiField for Mets-Orioles (May 5, 2015)

Posted on 08 December 2014 by WNST Trips

Come see some Baltimore baseball in the “other” stadium in New York. We’re headed to Queens to see the Baltimore Orioles take on the New York Mets at CitiField in The Big Apple on Tuesday, May 5, 2015.

Tickets: $99 per person

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Ex-Orioles reliever Miller agrees to join Yankees

Posted on 05 December 2014 by Luke Jones

In a move that was expected after the Orioles hadn’t pursued him in free agency, left-handed relief pitcher Andrew Miller agreed to a four-year, $36 million contract to join the New York Yankees on Friday.

The news comes at the end of a very difficult week for the Orioles after they had already lost free-agent outfielders Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis to the Seattle Mariners and the Atlanta Braves, respectively. It remains undetermined whether Miller will assume the closer role in New York, but his deal would be the richest awarded to a non-closer relief pitcher in major league history.

Acquired from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez on July 31, Miller was a major part of the Orioles’ push for their first American League East title since 1997. The 6-foot-7 lefty pitched to a 1.35 ERA and struck out 34 hitters in 20 innings for Baltimore to close out the regular season, stepping into a late-inning role to set up for closer Zach Britton.

Miller’s work was even more dominating in the postseason as he pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings and allowed only one hit while striking out eight.

The Orioles were never in the picture in terms of keeping Miller as he was always expected to receive lucrative money, but his destination is bad news for the rest of the AL East.  Miller will join right-hander Dellin Betances in forming what could be the most dominating relief duo in the major leagues.

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Jerry’s Collision Center Presents WNST Wizards Hoops Bustrip to D.C. vs. New York Knicks (April 3)

Posted on 05 December 2014 by WNST Trips

We’re trying to get more aggressive and do even more WNST trips to Wizards games in D.C. than usual this season but can only do these trips based on demand. If you love the Wizards and the NBA and don’t like the drive before and after games, our trips have an eight-year track record of being easy, fun and affordable. We appreciate you supporting all that we’re doing to grow the hoops  community in Baltimore. If you know of other NBA and Wizards fans in Baltimore, please help us spread the word and fill some buses with hoops fans.

All aboard another Jerry’s Collision Center Wizards Bus to D.C. as Washington takes on the New York Knicks at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 3, 2015. Our Gunther Motorcoach will depart from the White Marsh Mall at 4:30 p.m. with a pickup from Catonsville/UMBC I-95 Park N Ride (at Rt. 166) at 5 p.m. All tickets are upper level in the Verizon Center and include a limited supply of cold beer (for those 21-and-over) en route and snacks, soft drinks and fun videos and giveaways.

We will be able to accommodate larger groups upon request and always keep groups together.

We hope you join us for a night of hoops and fun aboard the Jerry’s Collision Center WNST Wizards Bus to D.C. Families and children are welcomed and encouraged to join us! It’s a great night out!

Your PayPal receipt is your ticket and we always throw you an email 48 hours before the game to confirm everything. All you need to do is purchase and we’ll see you at the bus. We bring the game tickets with us. Nice and easy!

If you have any questions, throw me a note: nasty@wnst.net

COST: $90 per person

Pickup Location
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Former Orioles second baseman Roberts announces retirement

Posted on 18 October 2014 by Luke Jones

After 14 major league seasons, former Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts has decided to call it a career.

Spending all but one season in Baltimore, the 37-year-old was released by the New York Yankees in August and confirmed his retirement to multiple outlets on Friday. The two-time All-Star selection is a sure bet to be elected to the Orioles Hall of Fame as he ranks in the franchise’s top 10 in a number of categories including hits, walks, doubles, triples, runs, total bases, and stolen bases.

Of course, the injury-riddled end to Roberts’ time in Baltimore tarnished his legacy in many fans’ eyes as he averaged just under 57 games played per season over his last five years when he dealt with back, hamstring, hip, and concussion-related issues.This came on the heels of a four-year, $40 million extension that ran through the 2013 season.

Roberts signed a one-year deal with the Yankees last winter after the Orioles didn’t express any real interest in retaining his services.

He finishes his career with a .276 lifetime average with 97 home runs, 542 runs batted in, 367 doubles, and 285 stolen bases. His 56 doubles in 2009 set the franchise’s single-season record.

Roberts was a supplemental first-round pick in the 1999 amateur draft. He was named in the infamous Mitchell Report in 2007 and later said he tried steroids only once in 2003.

 

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 19 August 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: WNBA Playoffs-Washington Mystics vs. Indiana Fever (Game 1 Thursday 7pm from Indianapolis live on ESPN2 Game 2 Saturday 5pm from Verizon Center live on ESPN2 Game 3 Monday TBD from Indy live on NBA TV); MLL Championship Game: Denver Outlaws vs. Rochester Rattlers (Saturday 7pm from Kennesaw, GA live on CBS Sports Network)

10. Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival feat. Amy Schumer, Chris Hardwick, Bill Burr, Dave Attell, Jeff Ross, Hannibal Burress (Thursday 5pm Jiffy Lube Live); LaVell Crawford (Thursday-Sunday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Maryland State Fair (Friday-Monday Timonium Fairgrounds); Maryland Renaissance Festival (Saturday & Sunday Rennfest Fairgrounds); When The Game Stands Tall” and “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” out in theaters (Friday)

Let’s see how Towson’s own Amy Schumer handled the #IceBucketChallenge.

Sometimes when I’m at the State Fair I stop by strangers and offer to share my turkey legs with them.

9. Rod Stewart & Santana (Tuesday 7:30pm Verizon Center); Motley Crue (Friday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live), Miranda Lambert/Justin Moore (Saturday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live); Lyle Lovett & His Large Band (Friday 8pm Wolf Trap); Johnnyswim (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head Live), Yonder Mountain String Band (Friday 8pm Rams Head Live); Eli Young Band (Sunday 8pm Rams Head Center Stage); George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic (Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club); Sturgill Simpson (Tuesday 7:30pm Birchmere); French Montana (Friday 9pm Echostage); 38 Special (Friday 6:30pm Maryland State Fair); Jackson Browne (Saturday 8pm Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center); Brad Paisley “Moonshine In The Trunk”, Smokey Robinson “Smokey and Friends”, Avenged Sevenfold “Waking the Fallen: Resurrected”, Wiz Khalifa “Blacc Hollywood” and Benjamin Booker “Benjamin Booker” available (Tuesday)

There can NEVER be enough Hot Rod in T10BD.

Johnnyswim is amazingfantasticwonderfuloutstandingbeautifulawesomeincrediblewhereI’llbewithAllenMcCallumWednesdaynight.

This is Smokey Robinson doing “Tracks of My Tears” with Elton John. I share because I care.

You’ve been hearing Benjamin Booker as a rejoiner on “The Reality Check” recently. For good reason.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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