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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 18 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because I have some new rules to unleash for “The Greatest Song of All Time This Week.” Previously, I handed just one honor out per week-but I’m going to mix that up. I will now be handing out both “New” and “Classic” versions of the honor.

If you’re friends with me on Facebook (feel free to search “Glenn Clark” and add the man who is sipping Orange Kool-Aid after losing a bet to Ed in Park Heights), you know that this week’s “Classic” version (the rule is that the song must be at least 5 years old) is “Out of My Head” by Fastball…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7reY8OyYmLI[/youtube]

This week’s new version of “The Greatest Song of All Time This Week” isn’t really even a song I like that much. Honest to God. Frankly, I find “The Boys of Fall” by Kenny Chesney to be a particularly insufferable song musically. BUT-the speech from New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton at the front of the video is so freaking epic that I’m going to give it the honor anyway.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlXDo5WhQXI[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Luke French, Seattle Mariners shut down Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Yeah, but how are you expected to get anything going against a Cy Young Award candidate like Jeanmar Gomez Luke French?!?!? The Buck Showalter era has been very good in Charm City, but there have still been a few puzzling pitchers to shut the O’s down.

What’s weirder? The fact that the Birds were able to muster just 3 hits against some fella named Luke French or the fact that Josh Bell had two of them?

It all wasted the best start made by Kevin Millwood arguably all season. He gave up just 3 hits and 3 walks over 7 and 2/3 innings, allowing just one run to cross the plate. Armando Gabino sadly wasn’t quite as effective.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had to remind everyone of this-but after the Birds have lost 3 of 4 for the first time under Showalter; I think it’s important.

You can’t win them all. You just can’t.

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

Rough night for Ty Wigginton-who went 0-4 with 2 strikeouts and left 3 men on base. Of course, it was a rough night for just about anyone else who was wearing orange and black too.

In one of those “at least it’s familiar” feelings; you REALLY don’t want to look at these numbers. Trust me. Instead, check out something else baseball-related. Sara Saco-Vertiz is the gall that got hit by a foul ball recently at a Houston Astros game down at Minute Maid Park when her boyfriend “Bo the Bailer” jumped out of the way. She’s also a very pleasant distraction from what happened in the Orioles game last night. (Thanks H8TORADE!)

sarasaco

3. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says MRI on Craig Tatum’s knee ‘shows no damage’

Good news!

Or at least “oh…okay” news.

You know what-if this is the most interesting thing going on with the Orioles’ roster, it IS good news.

You know what else is good news? The new Harvard Sailing Team video that Dave Carey linked to my Facebook page last night. Thanks Dave!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FukzyfIqYf8[/youtube]

4. USA Today’s Paul White says O’s ‘soaring’ under Buck Showalter, but team still needs to improve roster

This is the unfortunate part about the reasonable success the Orioles have had recently. As solid as they’ve been, it just doesn’t REALLY matter.

The fact remains that it is MUCH nicer for us as fans to watch the team win a few games at the end of the season than to continue to lose games at a historic rate. I’m not trying to take away from the value of that, as it bothers me to watch losing as much if not more than anyone.

But this season has been over for some time. There was nothing to tangibly gain from a strong (or even semi-strong) finish to the season.

If the Orioles don’t make significant roster upgrades during the offseason and field a legitimate team come Opening Day; they’ll lose games in April and May of 2011 under ANY manager. Even Buck Showalter.

Wins this season are like “warm fuzzies.” They’re nice to have around, but they don’t actually help with anything. When you’re cold, you need a blanket-not something the size of pocket lint.

The Orioles don’t need warm fuzzies. They need a massive overhaul. It has started with the manager. Now they need more.

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Bowie Baysox OF Xavier Avery had 4 RBI in win over Trenton Thunder on farm

A few things before we move on from the Orioles…

-The O’s and M’s wrap up their 3 game set tonight at OPACY. First pitch between Jeremy Guthrie and David Pauley is at 7:05pm and the game can be seen on MASN.

-Did you miss Xavier Avery this morning with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today to check it out. Other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Rich Dubroff (Carroll County Times)-who discussed all things Orioles with Drew
  • Peter King (SI/NBC)-who checked in from Westminster to preview this afternoon’s “Tweetup” at Amicci’s in Little Italy (4:30-6pm…make sure you come hang out!)
  • Seth Everett (ESPN Radio New York/ESPNNewYork.com)-who checked in with Drew to preview the Jets as we finished the AFC East in our preview of every team on the Ravens’ schedule
  • Our “Cheap Shots from the Bleachers”, including Drew’s shot at all parties involved in the Renee Gork Arkansas/Florida debacle and my shot at the Ravens’ “You Make the Cut” game
  • Plenty of audio from McDaniel College Tuesday-including John Harbaugh, Jim Zorn and Oniel Cousins
  • Todd Heap-who checked in with Rex Snider yesterday afternoon following Ravens practice
  • Matt Bowen (National Football Post)-who discussed his former teammate Brett Favre with Rex Tuesday as well

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so go check it out. Your day is planned now. You can thank me in form of cash money.

6. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says David Hale, Matt Birk, Davon Drew, Marcus Paschal, Brandon McKinney, Daniel Sanders, Stefan Rodgers, Jared Gaither all missed practice Tuesday at Ravens Training Camp

When it comes to Birk and McKinney, my initial thought is “I bet they’ll be plenty healthy when the team is in Owings Mills next week.”

I’m not quite as laid back about David Hale; as the team doesn’t really have much interior line depth. Birk, Ben Grubbs, Marshal Yanda and Chris Chester are there to handle the Top 4 spots; but the team clearly doesn’t want to have to use Chester as the reserve center.

Now-they could be more flexible if they had better tackle depth. Should they be able to start Gaither and Michael Oher with Cousins behind them; it COULD allow Tony Moll to play guard and have the team use Chester in a pinch as a reserve center.

The thing is-they need these guys to be healthy to do ANY of that. That’s an issue as of right now.

7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ed Reed has visited rehab specialist in Atlanta recently to ‘accelerate’ hip healing

You know what else might help Ed ‘accelerate’ his healing? Showing him this picture of Miss USA Rima Fakih. (Thanks Guyism!)

fakih

8. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Tavares Gooden working with first team defense at JACK LB spot

And before we move on from the Ravens, a few things here as well:

-I have no idea what to make of the JACK LB battle. The job appeared to be Jameel McClain’s to lose, but both Gooden and Dannell Ellerbe have gotten their chances to run with the 1′s after McClain started against the Carolina Panthers. At this point, I’ll still leaning towards McClain-but it will be interesting to see who works with the first unit at FedEx Field Saturday night.

-A reminder that the Ravens hit the practice field today-if you missed the 8:45am practice, you missed it. There’s a special teams practice at 2pm today. Today and tomorrow are the LAST TWO DAYS that you can see the Ravens practice in person at McDaniel College; as they are closed to the public Friday before Saturday’s preseason showdown with the Washington Redskins.

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland WR Emani Lee-Odai fractured pinkie during practice, Ralph Friedgen expects him to need surgery

This is a tough break for the senior; who was expected to play an important role in a surprisingly deep group of receivers.

Congratulations also to Terrapins LB’s Alex Wujciak and Adrian Moten; who were both named to the Butkus Award Watch List; and to Terps WR/KR Torrey Smith, who was named to the Paul Hornung Award Watch List-given to the nation’s most versatile player.

And if Maryland needs some depth at WR with Lee-Odai out, may I suggest Ann French? (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

annfrench

10. UMTerps.com says Gary Williams to join Babe Ruth, Johnny Unitas, Art Modell, Jim McKay, Brooks Robinson in inaugural “Hall of Legends” class at Sports Legends Museum

We could debate the names that AREN’T part of that list (Cal Ripken, Jim Palmer, Frank Robinson, Chuck Thompson, Jonathan Ogden, etc.); but that isn’t the point of this really. They’re going to have years to get all of these guys in this group, and this first group of 6 is absolutely outstanding.

The real question is…which year will it be when we see “Nasty” Nestor Aparicio inducted?

I’m sure it has to be soon, right?

And finally, I leave you with this.

The young lady in my life (whatever that means) is a Dallas Cowboys fan. I’m not proud, trust me. We call her “Boomer Sooner” around here. I hope I NEVER hear her singing this song. (Thanks Deadspin!)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KDuKAT5Apg[/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 12 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because days like today are the closest I’m going to feel to having a new child myself…at least that I know of. Today there was a new child born in the Chick-Fil-A family; which I count like my own family. Today’s new birth was in Hunt Valley (the mother of “The Artist Formerly Known as The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet” lives there-I wonder if I’m still welcome to visit?).

While Chick-Fil-A Nottingham Square remains my own personal location, I’m always happy to see an addition to the family. I was even HAPPIER when WNST’s new “Quality Control Director” Chris Cortezi came strolling through the front door at 1550 Hart Rd. with this gift, sent by our HERO Susan from Towson…

minis

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Donte’ Stallworth, Mark Clayton, Tom Zbikowski in mix to be punt returner

Punt return is a strange area this season. Chris Carr was the incumbent and did a decent job last season. Fans were disappointed with the number of times he signaled for a fair catch, but John Harbaugh and Jerry Rosburg were happy to know that he wouldn’t turn the ball over when it was sent to him.

The trouble is-the team now needs Carr to be a starter in the secondary; and they want to keep his focus there. Thus, the punt return job is available for one of these other guys to win. Donte’ Stallworth certainly has the speed to do it and Tom Zbikowski has admirably handled the duties in the past.

Clayton is a particularly interesting character in this cast. His role in the wide receiving corps is a bit diminished, but he still has plenty of speed and is a threat to make plays. That combination could make him a real impact guy in such a position.

2. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens remain in talks with Frank Walker, but he tried out with Miami Dolphins

I know Ravens fans aren’t thrilled with the idea of Frank Walker returning to Charm City, but he’s a legitimate option to be a “plug and play” guy with this team; and they will likely need at least ONE more corner with Cary Williams out for the first two games of the season-assuming Cary makes the roster.

Of course, there are plenty of other options for the team to consider besides Frank Walker. For example, Alessandra Ambrosio would be a tremendous option (Thanks Guyism!)…

alessandra

3. Fanhouse’s Milton Kent says Ravens preseason games to air in Washington, Harrisburg

And in a story that somehow went unnoticed, WBAL announced that the “Rave TV” weekly programming will air on WBAL Plus (I believe that’s 11.2 on your digital cable); including the “John Harbaugh Show.”

Make your appointments accordingly.

With no offense to the Ravens, WBAL, WBAL Plus, Rave TV, the John Harbaugh Show or people who watch 11.2 looking for an Oprah Winfrey rerun; I think this is a disappointing solution.

Plus, do they realize what they’re up against at 7:30pm? WNUV54 has “Family Guy”, WMAR2 has “Wheel of Fortune” and WUTB 24 has “The Office”! How am I supposed to choose “Purple Passion” ahead of THIS?!?!?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-wf2pP7T0Y[/youtube]

4. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Joe Flacco-Anquan Boldin TD on first drive tonight could send M&T Bank Stadium crowd into frenzy

And a few things before we move on from the Ravens…

-The Ravens of course open exhibition season tonight with a showdown against the Carolina Panthers at “The Bank.” The game can be seen live on ESPN-and will be relayed on WJZ13. Jared Gaither and Chris Carr are definitely expected to be out (besides all of the PUP guys); no definitive word on Fabian Washington’s status just yet. Either way, expect to see a lot of Chris Hawkins and Doug Dutch tonight-but don’t forget that the beer will still be the same price.

-Suzy Kolber and the Monday Night Football crew (Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Ron Jaworski, and Michelle Tafoya) are working the game for ESPN tonight. She joined Drew Forrester for a GREAT chat this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST; make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today to check it out. Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Eugene Robinson (Panthers Color Analyst, former Pro Bowl Defensive Back); who previewed tonight’s showdown with Drew
  • Orlando Alzugaray (WQAM Miami)-who previewed the Dolphins with Drew as we continue to go around the AFC East and look at the Ravens’ 2010 schedule
  • Our weekly “Cheap Shots from the Bleachers”, as I took to task the USTA and the lack of American men in the Top 10 in the World Tennis rankings; and Drew took Neal S from “The Loss Column” to task for calling out O’s fans

There’s plenty more in there from Rex Snider’s Show Wednesday and with Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”, so make sure you go check it out.

Your day? Planned. I’ll accept tips.

5. The AP says Brad Bergesen threw complete game two hitter to lift Orioles past Indians at Progressive Field

I just don’t know what to make of any of it.

As I’ve said before, it is impossible look at this stretch of 9 games and say “okay, it took them a long time-but they’ve finally developed into the type of team we thought they would be.”

Instead, we’re forced to wonder what any of it means. The danger is that Brad Bergesen isn’t just the pitcher who threw a gem in Cleveland last night, he’s a guy who has gone 4-9 this season with a 5.84 ERA. Do you keep a rotation spot in stone for a guy like that next season?

Brian Roberts added another home run last night. I like the Birds more when Brian Roberts is playing. Of course, everyone does.

6. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of another win

Unbelievably, you actually DO want to look at these numbers. Again. Brad Bergesen’s line enough is enjoyable.

But AFTER you look at the numbers, look at this picture of Christina Hendricks from whatever the hell that show is that she’s on that everyone likes so bad. Mad Men? True Blood? Tosh.0? Hell if I know. (Thanks Busted Coverage!)

hendricks

7. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Buck Showalter will allow Josh Bell to keep playing during slump

And with Miguel Tejada gone, there aren’t a whole lot of other options.

The only concern here is that somehow Bell’s confidence can be hurt between now and the end of the regular season; but the opposing argument would be that he’s a Major League Baseball player-and he just needs to suck it up.

I don’t think the team should be working under the assumption that Bell is ABSOLUTELY the Opening Day 3B next year. Mostly because I would like to see the team go out and get a real legitimate 3B in the offseason.

I’d also like a million dollars. But only the Barenaked Ladies got that wish.

8. LA Times’ Dylan Hernandez says former Oriole Jay Gibbons keeping paycheck he’s getting from Los Angeles Dodgers

Some might call Gibbons a hypocrite for that; but I wouldn’t be amongst them. The dude probably needs the paycheck at this point.

By the way, Jay Gibbons will join Rex Snider this afternoon at 3:15 on AM1570 WNST. My guess is that the words “Mitchell Report” will be uttered at some point.

9. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Nolan Reimold had two hits for Norfolk Tides in loss to Indianapolis Indians on farm

And before we move on from the O’s, a couple of things.

-The O’s wrap up a 3 game set with the Tribe tonight before heading to Tampa Bay this weekend to face the Rays. Kevin Millwood faces Jeanmar Gomez, first pitch is at 7:05pm and the game can be seen on MASN.

-Lou Montanez began a rehab assignment with the Bowie Baysox last night, Jim Johnson is expected to begin his tonight. I support the Bowie Baysox myself and think you should as well.

10. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland TE Lansford Watson limited with knee swelling

In that case, the Terrapins may be in need of some help at TE. May I suggest Ralph Friedgen and the Terps consider Bar Rafaeli??? (Thanks Don Chavez!)

barr

And finally, I leave you with this.

NEW JIMMY EAT WORLD! NEW JIMMY EAT WORLD! OMFG NEW JIMMY EAT WORLD!!!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWOsyA3To3o[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 04 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because I haven’t had a chance to post a “Greatest Song of All Time This Week” this week, and it gives me pass along the same message I passed along yesterday via Facebook (Feel free to add me as a friend-just search for “Glenn Clark” and find the guy in the Dan Wilcox jersey hanging out at Artscape).

I have no idea how Train-who I think is an overly solid band-managed to make such a garbage song as that “Hey Soul Sister” nonsense, but thank God their next single “If It’s Love” is much better…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxWK3qACDGk[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s Howard Fendrich says Jeremy Guthrie pitched Orioles past Angels in Buck Showalter’s debut

Yes-I lead with Jeremy Guthrie instead of Buck Showalter. Last night was much more about Jeremy Guthrie than it was about Showalter.

The one thing that Jeremy Guthrie has given this team for the better part of the year is a feeling that they have a chance to win a game.

The Birds couldn’t do much of anything against Trevor Bell last night, but thanks to Jeremy Guthrie keeping them in it-they were finally able to break through when Los Angeles (of Anaheim) went to the pen. Thanks Mike Scioscia!

That being said, you could tell there was a heightened sense of excitement in Baltimore last night, which is what SHOULD come in the first game under a legitimate MLB manager. The question now is whether or not that excitement can continue for SOME sort of prolonged period of time.

My guess is no-mostly because the players on the field are terrible. Not much can be done about that over the next two months. I’ll hope I’m wrong-but the evidence doesn’t suggest I would be.

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

Ho.Ly.Crap.

Felix Pie stole a base.

I thought it was a little strange when they stopped the game and removed the base; then brough Pie a mic for him to make a Rickey Henderson-type speech on the field. BUT-I understand that it was such a rare occurance they probably didn’t know how to handle it.

It was nice to see Pie have a solid night after fans were given Pie t-shirts. I’m not sure who picked up mine for me, but I’m at least one of you saevd one for me, right? It was also a big night for Matt Wieters, Josh Bell and of course Luke Scott. I hope we’ll see more of all of that.

Of course, I’m so used to saying “you don’t really want to look at the numbers” that I’m always confused when I don’t have to say that. With that in mind, why don’t you look at this picture of WWE’s Kelly Kelly (Thanks Don Chavez!) AND look at the numbers linked above. It’s a win-win!

kellykelly

3. Carroll County Times’ Rich Dubroff says Showalter spent Tuesday afternoon chatting with Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, O’s veterans

The fact is that if the Orioles are going to be competitive at ANY point in the next 4 years, they’re going to have to build around Nick Markakis and hopefully Matt Wieters. Brian Roberts still has 2 years under contract, but is no longer a franchise-type player even when healthy. Adam Jones has talent, but his mistakes and mentality make him more of a “commodity” than a cornerstone.

Markakis is the guy. He’s under contract for 4 more years. He may not be a REAL franchise player in Major League Baseball, but he’s the closest we have in Charm City. Matt Wieters is under control for a few more years as well, so that’s what you build around.

The team is hoping they can build a rotation around some young pitchers as well; but assuming that Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta or Chris Tillman are there already is a mistake. They cannot be penciled in yet.

That’s what Showalter has. Now he has to work with Andy MacPhail to improve it. I think it goes without saying that I’m not overly hopeful.

4. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Birds to open 2011 season at Tampa Bay Rays April 1, host Opening Day at OPACY April 4 against Detroit Tigers

It doesn’t reflect tradition, but I will admit that I really enjoyed having the home opener on a Friday this year. I was excited to hear that baseball was moving the opener to Friday; so I’m disappointed to hear that the Orioles’ opener will be on the road.

Of course, I’m mostly saying that because it impacts my beer drinking schedule. Day drinking on a Friday > day drinking on a Monday. If it drags into the evening hours, it’s way better to not have to wake up the next morning.

Of course-if you’re drinking Flying Dog Tire Bite; any day is a good day for day drinking…

tirebite

5. Baysox.com says despite continued torrid play from Joe Mahoney, Bowie couldn’t top Portland Sea Dogs on farm

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

-The Birds and Halos are back in action tonight at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. First pitch between Dan Haren and Jake Arrieta is at 7:05pm, and the game can be seen on MASN. Dan Haren has yet to pick up a win since coming to the American League. My guess it that will change tonight, but I’ll be rooting that it doesn’t.

-If you get the chance to check out Drew’s Rick Dempsey blog today at WNST.net, it’s worth the read. I feel SOMEWHAT bad for Rick, as I know he badly wants the job-but I think at this point the two parties are going to have to part ways.

-Did you miss Baysox pitcher Wynn Pelzer (the player acquired from the San Diego Padres in the Miguel Tejada deal) with Drew Forrester this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? If you did, make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net to check it out. Other guests this morning included:

  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk.com/NBC Sports)-who discussed the Brett Favre drama and all things NFL
  • Ryan Sharrow (Baltimore Business Journal)-who broke down the messy divorce between MASN and the Ravens
  • Brad Johansen (Cincinnati Bengals Radio PBP Voice)-who previewed Cincy as we go around the AFC North this week

They’re all in the Audio Vault now if you want to check them out. Some other things in the Audio Vault worth checking out include…

  • Fabian Washington (Ravens CB)-who joined Thyrl Nelson following practice Tuesday
  • Matt Williams (Arizona Diamondbacks 1B Coach)-the former D-Backs and San Francisco Giants slugger who played for Buck Showalter in Phoenix; who joined Rex Snider and Allen McCallum Tuesday afternoon
  • Sean Salisbury (former NFL QB)-who discussed Brett Favre and the Ravens with Rex Tuesday
  • All sorts of audio from Westminster Tuesday-including John Harbaugh, Jared Gaither, Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, Ralph Friedgen and Ken Niumatalolo

So there you go. Your afternoon is planned out for you. Enjoy!

6. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Ravens WR Derrick Mason hurt ankle at Training Camp Tuesday, but injury ‘doesn’t appear serious’

Of course the hit would come from Dawan Landry. I think that’s a rule at McDaniel College.

WNST.net’s Luke Jones reported that Mason did not practice Wednesday morning (follow us on Twitter @WNST)-but after talking to him yesterday, I don’t get the feeling that the injury will keep him out for an extended period of time. In fact, I bet we’ll see him on the field Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium if not before. Just a hunch on my part.

By the way, both Drew and I named Derrick Mason the Number 1 “Most Dramatic” player in Ravens history in our “Training Camp Top 5″ this morning. Drew’s list:

5-Matt Stover
4-Shannon Sharpe
3-Chris McAlister
2-John Harbaugh
1-Derrick Mason

My list:

5-Jermaine Lewis
4-Chris McAlister
3-Ed Reed
2-Ray Lewis
1-Derrick Mason

7. CSNBaltimore.com’s John Eisenberg says Jared Gaither plans to ‘put weight back on’

I’m really not all that concerned with Jared Gaither’s weight. He’s always been a more athletic tackle; and I think he will work things out in terms of body size.

What I’m more concerned about is what’s going to happen if and when Harbaugh stops flipping Gaither and Michael Oher between positions and finally decides to have Oher play LT and Gaither play RT. Gaither said yesterday he’d play anywhere the team wants him to and he’d “abide by” Coach Harbs; but we need to see that on the field to accept it.

You know who doesn’t need to put any weight on at all? Christina Moustaka. She’s just fine. (Thanks NextRound.net!)…

moustaka

8. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says WBAL, Comcast SportsNet options for Ravens after MASN partnership ended

We’ll make this easy. I don’t know how many people actually tuned in to watch the John Harbaugh Show or Purple Passion or whatever the hell those shows are called on MASN; but NOBODY will be tuning in to channel 11.1 to see them on WBAL’s digital subchannel. Fans might be willing to stream the shows on BaltimoreRavens.com, but they really need a better on-air alternative.

Using Comcast SportsNet PLUS, their COULD be room for them with CSN-but CSN is ABSOLUTELY intertwined with the Washington Redskins. These wouldn’t be strange bedfellows, these would be absolutely uncomfortable bedfellows. Of course, there aren’t many other options. Perhaps a WNUV 54 or maybe WUTB 24 could be options, but they wouldn’t be ideal.

It’s a shame these parties couldn’t get this worked out; hopefully something could still be figured out in the future.

Before I move on from the Ravens, a couple of things:

-Luke Jones is out at McDaniel College again today, where we are expected to hear from John Harbaugh, Matt Birk, Michael Oher and the commish-Roger Goodell. All of it will be up in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault later today.

-Jameel McClain continues to get the majority of the snaps inside next to Ray Lewis with the first team. It looks more and more like he’s moved ahead of Dannell Ellerbe and Tavares Gooden on the depth chart.

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen, Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo tell media in Westminster they’d like to face each other more often

There’s no doubt in my mind that the Terrapins and Midshipmen should get together every other year, and M&T Bank Stadium is the ideal location to host the “Crab Bowl Classic.”

The successor to Debbie Yow in College Park will have a large say in whether or not this gets done, but sources there have told me before that the school would LIKE to play a game in Baltimore every other year (and play a game at FedEx Field every other year as well).

You know what else I’d like to see more often? Denmark’s Celina Hilslev; who was apparently on the cover of something called M! (Thanks Guyism!)…

hilslev

10. NavySports.com says former Duke standout Greg Paulus joins Midshipmen staff as assistant coach

As a Terps alum, I won’t root for the Mids on Labor Day (or any other time they play Maryland in any other sport); but for the most part-I consider myself a Navy supporter.

So with that being said, how could they POSSIBLY hire a Dukie?!?!? Only John Feinstein could be happy about this!

I’ll wish Paulus the best on Billy Lange’s staff; but I certainly won’t shy away from channeling Peter Rosenberg once more…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYOgC2Qbqh4[/youtube]

And finally, I leave you with this…

I got the chance to wander up to Bel Air yesterday afternoon and play some kickball. No seriously. The good news was that was actually NOT the worst player on the field, nor was I the most out of shape. In honor of that, I rewarded myself with Qdoba and Natty Boh.

We weren’t great, but we certainly weren’t as bad as this…

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

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Finally, something to be excited about with Showalter

Posted on 02 August 2010 by Keith Melchior

The Orioles are the worst team in baseball this season with a record of 32-73, but today they finally gave the fans reason to believe they want to be competitive in the AL East by announcing Buck Showalter as the team’s 17th full-time  manager.

Am I excited about this, even with the start of Ravens training camp?

Damn right I am.

I am not an orange kool-aid drinker, but the hiring of Showalter fills a major piece of the puzzle — a legitimate major league manager. Since the Orioles last appeared in the playoffs, the team has gone 886-1160 for a .433 winning percentage. That is slightly better than their total winning percentage over the last 5 seasons. In 2004, I thought the hiring of Lee Mazzilli was a good move. Mazzilli came from a winning organization, learned quite a bit from Joe Torre and was hoping to instill that winning attitude in a team that had suffered through 6 straight losing seasons prior to his arrival. Sadly he was undermined by management when he was denied the opportunity to bring in his own coaching staff and was dismissed after finishing 11 games under .500 in a year and a half (the best winning percentage since 1999)

The other pieces of Andy McPhail’s original puzzle are already in place.  You know he wanted things to progress a helluva lot better than they have since he took over 3 years ago. There have been quite a few kinks in his original plan as they were forced to call up players who may not have been ready to assume a major league role just yet.  The “arms” Matusz, Tillman, Arietta, Guthrie, Bergesen, Hernandez, Berken, Albers, along with Wieters, Jones, Markakis, Roberts, Pie, Scott and Wigginton have seen playing time. Wait a minute…….those same guys are currently 32-73, surely that can’t be right, can it?

McPhail needs to, rather, HAS TO open the pocketbook to sign a legitimate #1 starter (not a retread on the down side of his career) along with bonafide power threats to be an everyday DH, play 1st base and left field. I realize Ty Wigginton and Luke Scott lead the team with 35 combined HRs, but Wigginton has broken down as the season wears on and Scott is consistently inconsistent. When not installed as a DH, those 2 offer something the Orioles haven’t had since the Benny Ayala days, viable pinch hitters that can be called upon when needed.

Buck Showalter will spend the final 57 games evaluating the players and trying to find the right combinations to win  baseball games. Even though it could be perceived as “coach speak,” I like what he said in his press conference today, which taken out of context was him basically saying, “the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays and Blue Jays aren’t going away, and MLB isn’t going to change the division, so we must get back to the winning ways the Baltimore Orioles were used to having in the past.”  Showalter does not want to dwell on the past 13 seasons but simply wants to start fresh and get rid of the losing smell that has been stuck to the team since 1998.

Yes, we’ve heard this before, but maybe this time  it will actually come true.  I predicted the Orioles would finish 70-92 this season. A 38-19 finish doesn’t seem likely based on the team’s remaining schedule plus their .305 winning percentage thus far.

If they can win 25 or more of those final 57 games season, I think most Oriole fans (at least the ones still showing some type of interest) will be happy and be looking  forward to what the front office does during the off season and hopefully not have to start that nasty roller coaster ride come opening day 2011.

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 30 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Friday!

It’s a Happy Friday for me because after the Ultimate Frisbee highlight on Deadspin the other day that I posted in my “Top 10 Baseball Distractions” column; apparently Deadspin got the idea that Ultimate Frisbee highlights may be even cooler than videos of guys getting dunked on…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kst2yrNJolY[/youtube]

Freaking awesome. I want to be exactly like Beaufort Kittredge. Other than the name-as long as I get to keep the trust fund.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Orioles ‘finally’ hired Buck Showalter as manager

I’ll save you the “I told you they’d hire him after the Ravens reported to Westminster” comments. Wait. Sorry!

I guess the “breaking” part of this “breaking news” is lessened because we knew this was coming-having been reported by Ken Rosenthal as a “done deal” before the All-Star Game. (Edit from GMC: Ken Rosenthal would know.) But it is still significant when a team hires a manager, even if it is a team that hasn’t played a meaningful game in well over a decade.

A handful of folks in town are excited about Showalter. The rest of the folks in town would only be excited if he could play CB. Count me in the group that’s interested, but by no means excited. I’d be excited if he was bringing Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling with him; as well as Mark Teixeira and Nelson Cruz. Otherwise, I’ll withhold excitement until I know that they’re going to get some real players.

Connie Mack would need better players to win in Charm City-and from everything I can tell, Buck Showalter is no Connie Mack. But I’d love to see him don a similar hat…

2. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Birds hoping Showalter can be ‘miracle worker’

There is a significant question about how much control Showalter is going to have of the organization, specifically personnel. He’s been known to be a control freak, but he’s going to be working for a President of Baseball Operations (Andy MacPhail) who laid the groundwork for the team’s “Plan”, and an owner (Peter Angelos) who has a history of meddling even when it’s been said that he gave up control.

Of course, this is where some will make the argument that the addition of Showalter could be a signal of the end of the MacPhail regime. That could very well be true. I’m not yet sure whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing yet.

If it’s a “miracle worker” the Birds were looking for, I’m not sure why they didn’t consider Francesca Frigo (Thanks Next Round!)…

frigo

3. The AP’s Bernie Wilson says O’s traded Miguel Tejada to San Diego Padres for RHP prospect Wynn Pelzer

In the words of Veronica Corningstone: Miguel Tejada, “Thanks for stopping by.”

There won’t really be too many memories of the 2nd Miguel Tejada tenure in Baltimore-although he played exactly as many meaningful games this time around as he did the first; but the team does get a player in exchange that could end up turning into…something?

Pelzer is by no means a “top prospect” in the Pads’ organization, but is a guy who could offer something moving forward. I talked to a couple of MLB personnel guys last night about Pelzer-and the responses I got ranged from “good arm” to “live arm” to “will be better as a reliever than as a starter” to “big league ready soon” to “needs to match mentally what he has physically.”

I never get too excited about a minor league player (no matter who they are), and that won’t change with Pelzer. Although-he IS a South Carolina guy, so hopefully we can chat about Hootie & The Blowfish. There just isn’t enough of that in the world.

4. WNST.net’s Ryan Chell says part of Andy MacPhail’s reasoning for Tejada trade was to get Josh Bell back to Baltimore

Which is fine-as long as the organization isn’t thinking that they have “the answer” at 3B and can’t consider an upgrade in the offseason. Josh Bell may end up being a very good player; but if the team wants to win-they need real major league players at every position; not a group of guys who might end up being real major league players.

That being said, my guess is that the organization’s brass will do everything in their power to make sure that Bell is the Opening Day 3B in April. If that’s the case, I hope he spends the rest of the year looking like Matt Williams.

I just have a bad feeling it might not happen.

5. The AP says Corey Patterson’s homer, Ty Wigginton’s sac fly lead Birds past Kansas City Royals in 11 innings

Hey Hey! That’s win number 1 after the season ended on Sunday-and it only took extra innings against one of the OTHER worst teams in baseball to get it done!

Brian Matusz threw 3 innings of no-hit ball last night. I’m not really sure what happened after that, but the three innings were really good! (Edit from GMC: Thank God we stopped the whole “Apologist of the Morning” thing. I’d win going away…)

Nice to see Corey Patterson playing the role of “hero” again after that grand slam to tie things up against the Texas Rangers in the 9th a few weeks ago in Arlington. He’ll savor these memories when he’s doing…whatever it is he’ll be doing…next season.

Of course, despite the new regime…I wouldn’t be stunned at all if Corey Patterson lined up in Left Field at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in April 2011…or at least on the bench. He’s exactly the type of player the organization loves.

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

I have no idea how to handle this. I’m so used to saying “you don’t want to look at this” that I don’t know how to go about saying “you might actually want to look at this.”

Nick Markakis also homered last night-which has been much to rare this season.

You know what, look at the numbers-celebrate them-and then take a look at Jakki Degg. It’s a win-win! (Thanks Barstool Sports!)

jakkidegg

7. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Chris Tillman struggled for Norfolk Tides, Joel Guzman homered for Bowie Baysox on farm

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

-The O’s and Royals are back at it in KC tonight. Jake Arrieta faces Sean O’Sullivan-with first pitch from Kauffman Stadium at 8:10pm on MASN2. Like I said yesterday, I’ll go with a split this weekend.

-Did you miss former MLB Scout Frankie Piliere on “The Morning Reaction” with Drew Forrester on AM1570 WNST discussing Wynn Pelzer and other trade deadline stuff? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today to check it out. Other guests included:

  • Craig Calcaterra (NBCSports.com “HardballTalk”)-who went around MLB, touching on Strasburg, Oswalt, etc.
  • Rich Dubroff (Carroll County Times)-who discussed the Showalter hiring and the impact it will have on the Birds
  • Dan Wilcox (Former Ravens TE)-who discussed Training Camp and more

It’s all in the Audio Vault if you want to check it out.

8. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Todd Heap placed on non-football illness list, Rodelin Anthony & Fabian Washington activated from PUP list

The Fabian Washington news is REALLY good news, and the Todd Heap news really isn’t that bad. The Rodelin Anthony news happened.

This team needs their top corners healthy. With no offense to Cary Williams or Travis Fisher or Walt Harris, they’re just not great options. At least one of them will end up making the team-but this organization is certainly better off not having any of them suit up.

Of course-early reports from practice today say neither Fabian nor Dominique Foxworth were practicing; so we’ll have to follow that. Just when all of the news was starting to be good…

9. USA Today’s Gary Graves says Ravens not ‘shying away’ from Super Bowl discussion as full Training Camp begins at McDaniel College

Nor should they be. They’ve been a Super Bowl contender ever since they acquired Anquan Boldin.

For the record, I’m not shying away from the fact that Shannon James is ridiculously hot despite the fact that she’s wearing a Philadelphia Phillies shirt (Thanks Busted Coverage!)…

shannonjames

10. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Ravens owner Bisciotti believes Sergio Kindle will be with Ravens for ‘long time’

Which is why the conversations about liability, etc. earlier this week were so ridiculous. The Ravens want to give Sergio Kindle a contract and are GOING to give Sergio Kindle a contract. He’s going to get plenty of money-but they’re not going to pay him for the time he wasn’t working. The contract structure will be the same, it will just reflect the fact that he wasn’t working for a while.

Questions continue regarding Kindle’s accident. It seems as though folks are accepting the possible narcolepsy explanation from his former Longhorns coach Mack Brown as a factual explanation-which is just as dangerous as accepting any of the possible explanations regarding alcohol, etc. that were thrown around earlier this week.

The fact remains that we still don’t know. Hopefully we will know soon.

11. ESPNNewYork.com’s Ohm Youngmisuk says former ST/WR David Tyree to retire with New York Giants

Eh, one more time, why not?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-aKfTK2LiM[/youtube]

(Edit from GMC: Watching that again just reminds me how terrible Joe Buck is. It was one of the greatest moments in Super Bowl history and he treated it like it was a routine first down in a regular season game. Ugh.)

And finally, I leave you with this.

“Dinner For Schmucks” opens tonight. It isn’t getting great reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but Zach Galifianakis is HILARIOUS…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TrY29ixBGc[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Orioles closer Mike Gonzalez: “I’m On the Comeback Path”

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Orioles closer Mike Gonzalez: “I’m On the Comeback Path”

Posted on 16 July 2010 by Ryan Chell

Orioles closer Mike Gonzalez's Opening Day Disaster
For Orioles closer Mike Gonzalez, he has had been successful in this league over the years for having a chip on his shoulder when he takes the mound to try and earn a save.

In Gonzalez’s eight year MLB career, he has an ERA of 2.67 and 55 career saves over three full seasons as a closer. His best year came in 2006 while in Pittsburgh where he was a perfect 24-for-24 in save opportunities.

That pedigree earned him a trade to Atlanta for the last three years, but when he struggled this year for the Orioles early on, it may have been because of the bone chips he might have in his shoulder. Or it could have been a lingering back injury that has bothered him the last couple of years.

Or he could have just been trying too hard.

From spring training, Gonzalez has had issues with his velocity and his location. Gonzalez immediately shrugged them off as rust from not playing baseball for months after signing a two year, 12 million dollar deal in the offseason to become the Orioles’ closer.

He didn’t want to believe anything was wrong with him.

I had no shoulder pain. The only thing that bothered me early on was the back,” Gonzalez told Drew Forrester of “The Morning Reaction” Friday. “I didn’t feel like it was a big deal, but I did start doing some things differently.”

But when those struggles continued into the regular season, when he struggled in the opening two series of the year, the Orioles had seen enough.

They immediately placed Gonzalez on the 60-day DL on April 14, and Gonzalez has been rehabbing both a back injury that has plagued him the last several seasons, and a shoulder injury that popped up during the offseason, which could explain why he was barely hitting the mid 80′s on his fastball in spring training.

And the Orioles were quick to point out to Gonzalez what his problem was through MRIs and the tape, and only then was Gonzalez able to see what was wrong with him. His body just wasn’t telling him otherwise.

“You really don’t feel it physically.” I had to sit back and watch the video, go along with what the coaching staff had to say. They told me it didnt look the same, and I thought it was okay. Once you start seeing things on video, you say ‘Wow that’s not me’.”

Mostly rehabbing down at Single-A Aberdeen, Gonzalez feels like he is on the path back to success and the parent club..

“I’m on the comeback trail,” Gonzalez said. “Its feeling a lot better. It’s a positive thing, and I’m looking days away from getting back.”

Pitching tonight in Triple-A Norfolk, he will probably have two more outings at Norfolk before the coaching staff makes the decision to reactive him.

It was certainly not the way Gonzalez wanted to start out with a new team after coming over from the Braves last year, a year in which he saved 10 games splitting time with Rafael Soriano, who is now the closer in Tampa Bay.

“It was a frustrating start just because it was a chain reaction,” Gonzalez said.  It started in spring training not that big of a deal…kind of a lower back kind of issue.”

Then Gonzalez said he tried to just shrug it off and that’s when he began to dig a deeper hole for himself.

“Then I tried to compensate for it, before you know it I’m doing something that I’m not supposed to be doing mechanically, and before you know it I have that shoulder problem a couple days into the season.”

And he knows exactly where it affected him the most. It affected his ability to get the ball over the plate. Regardless of how fast you’re pitching, if you can’t get the ball over home plate, no one is ever going to get out.

“I seriously did not know where the ball was going. And it was the second game. Im coming against Tampa trying to throw strikes. Mentally I’m there…mentally I didn’t have a problem once going into the game. It just wasn’t doing what I’m used to doing, and that’s what had me frustrated about the whole situation.”

And if his struggles in the opening series in Tampa weren’t enough, they followed him to Baltimore against the Blue Jays, where his poor outing on Opening Day cost his team the game and earned him the boo-birds from the Oriole faithful in attendance at Camden Yards.

But give credit to Gonzalez. He faced the media afterward and owned up to his performance to the fans and his teammates, who he said were the only people he cared about disappointing.

“Seriously you never want to be booed, especially like that. But that wasn’t the big deal to me. Obviously mine was the psyche of the team. They came out swinging and… played really well, and that’s where I needed to come in. That’s what I was signed for…to come in and shut the door.”

Gonzalez said he would have booed if he was a fan of the Orioles watching a pitcher choking away the ballgame like that with such high expectations coming into the year.

“In the fast perspective, I’m a fan. If I’m out in there in the stadium and I’m going to be booing also as a fan. You understand that you need to go and  get it done…it didnt bother me.”

Gonzalez told Forrester that being a good major league pitcher, especially in the bullpen, is having the ability to come back a day later and have a short memory- to not let bad feelings about you bother your psyche and confidence.

“I’m a major league ball palyer. I wouldn’t be here if I worried about those kind of things. Those are just reactions to what I went out there and did. And it was very, very poor. I didnt get it done and it was to be expected.”

Gonzalez says he also may be joining the team at just the right time too, as the team is coming back to work from the All-Star break after sweeping the first place Texas Rangers last weekend.

“Obviously they finished pretty well right before the half and went to Texas and regulated a little bit,” he said.

But he does realize that he is not on an 1-2 Orioles team anymore like it was the last time he pitched, he is now on a team with a new manager and 30 games below .500.

“It’s hard to see the talent that these guys have and see that they havent been competing the way they should be.”

In a way, Gonzalez says the team’s struggles have been just like his  this year-the talent is there, but luck is not.

“I think we did make some upgrades from last year, and just from the guys we have there, we have some talent there. We just haven’t been able to put it together, whether the offense is on that day and the pitching isnt getting it done.”

And Gonzalez said he actually learned a lot about himself during his trip to Aberdeen.

During his time at Single A, Gonzalez was able to pitch five innings of work, and he allowed five hits and struck out five.

His ERA was 5.40, but one thing Gonzalez said to Forrester was that he learned a lot from the determination his new young teammates had in trying to get to the big leagues.

“It was a fresh burst of energy,” Gonzalez said. “You see the passion that these guys have. They’re on a mission to get to the big leagues. And you have to sit back and remember that. Sometimes you forget its been six, seven years since the minor leagues, and its’ been 10- 11 years since the Aberdeen days.

“And it’s just going and seeing the enegy in these guys and being able to talk to these guys, and on the way on your comeback trail,  able to help some guys out in any way you can…whether it be questions asked or jsut being a professional and showing them how it’s done.”

Gonzalez did admit to Forrester that now when he does return to the Orioles in his second attempt at being a serviceable reliever, he has to know his limitations.

“It’s staying on top of the shoulder, and thats always been tough for me. I’ve got that mindset where you want to go out and throw great everyday. And last year was one of those things, where ‘I’m ready everyday’…’I'm ready everyday’-to the point now where I’m going to need a day off whether i like it or not. I’m not 21 years old.”

But he certainly did not want to give up that chip off his shoulder when it comes to being a closer either. The Orioles  just needs to make sure there aren’t any real bone chips in his shoulder or elbow first before coming back.

“I have to have that mindset where I’m going out there and giving whatever I have  everyday. I just have to go from there.”

Tune into WNST and WNST.net for more news regarding Mike Gonzalez’s path back to the Orioles and hopefully closing games for the Orioles once again. WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because someone found a YouTube video of a guy holding an AK-47 and lip-syncing or singing a karaoke version of “Hello” by Lionel Richie. There’s absolutely no reason for me to enjoy this video, but yet I do…

I have no idea WHY I’d enjoy this video so much, but for some reason…yeah…this…this is just fine.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pGBu6wYYkI[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Jason Berken, Ty Wigginton, Nick Markakis likely All-Star Game candidates for Orioles, Juan Samuel supports Adam Jones

And with that, congratulations to the Birds’ interim manager for winning his first ever “Apologist of the Morning” honor, as selected by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester. I’m well aware that Adam Jones is on an absolutely TORRID pace right now, but hitting well for a few weeks does not a season make. (How was that for poetry?)

Jones’ OBP is just .296. I know he’s hit 12 home runs this season, but he has just 8 walks. Those are NOT All-Star numbers. If the team had done anything before the last 5 days, I’d say he should be a candidate for American League Player of the Month; but getting hot quickly doesn’t qualify you to be an All-Star. Sorry Juan Samuel. Wigginton is in a similar boat. Hitting well to start the season and then falling off the face of the planet doesn’t qualify you as an All-Star either.

The reality is that if the player who has been the best for the O’s all season were to go to Anaheim, it would be Berken. He’s given up 8 earned runs all season, with just 12 walks and 32 strikeouts. He’s absolutely been fantastic. Does he have the pedigree of an All-Star? Of course not. But has he been the team’s “best” player this season from Opening Day until June 29th? I think there’s no doubt about that.

My choice to go to Angel Stadium remains Markakis. As far as someone who “belongs”, Markakis fits the bill. He’s been consistent throughout the season, although he clearly has lacked in the HR and RBI department. The fact remains that this team SHOULDN’T have an All-Star representative, but rules dictate that someone has to go. If someone has to go, I would certainly feel most comfortable with that player being Markakis.

2. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Garrett Atkins not interested in accepting AAA assignment to Norfolk

And as Drew stated so well via Twitter last night (follow us @WNST), the Tides reportedly responded by saying “Somehow, we’ll survive…”

In fairness, Norfolk already has a few Garrett Atkins’ on their roster in Nolan Reimold and Brandon Snyder. I’m not sure that this organization really needs another Garrett Atkins around. It just didn’t work here. For all parties involved (especially one Andy MacPhail), it’s probably best that the sides part ways cleanly.

As a note, I saw the Sun report that Brady Anderson is working with Nolan Reimold. I don’t know that it will make Nolan Reimold a major league baseball player again this season; but I certainly see no reason why it wouldn’t be a good idea. Having the likes of Brady Anderson, BJ Surhoff, Mike Bordick, etc. around is a perfectly good idea in my eyes.

3. The AP/STATS’ Mike Lipka previews O’s-A’s series starting tonight at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

First pitch tonight at OPACY is at 7:05pm, with Dallas Braden facing Brian Matusz. If you’re like me and not really interested in dealing with the heat; you can check the game out on MASN2. As Drew and I discussed this morning; the amazing thing here is that despite the fact that we’ve already seen Oakland 6 times this season-I still can’t name more than 5 or 6 position players off the top of my head.

Rajai Davis can ground out into a triple, I know him. Kevin Kouzmanoff has as many letters in his last name as he does significant hits in his career. Daric Barton is the only human being on the face of the planet with the name Daric. Kurt Suzuki is a worse option to hit cleanup than anyone Baltimore has trotted out this season. I’m pretty sure they have a Sweeney as well…Ryan Sweeney if I remember right.

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. Is Mark Ellis still on the roster? I know Eric Chavez got hurt, I used to be able to name him. I know the A’s pitchers have been pretty good this season. But in reality, the Birds still have a realistic shot at winning a few more games this week.

Of course, I’ve found myself thinking that before.

4. Virginian-Pilot says Chris George rocked in Tides’ loss to Louisville Monday night on farm

You know what else got rocked? MY MIND when I heard WWTDD had pictures of Kelly Brook from her vacation…

kellybrook

5. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens 6th round pick (Morehouse State OT) Ramon Harewood agreed to 3 year deal

This now leaves the Ravens with more SIGNED picks (Harewood, Dennis Pitta, Arthur Jones and David Reed) than they do UNSIGNED (Sergio Kindle, Terrence Cody, Ed Dickson). Nothing surprising here; as I’ve stated before that there’s no reason to think the team will have any trouble getting their picks signed this year.

As far as where Harewood fits in with the Ravens; he’s going to have an uphill climb to be on the roster Week 1 when the Ravens face the New York Jets on Monday Night Football. Michael Oher and Jared Gaither (who I’ve said before is expected to be on the roster come Week 1) are entrenched at the starting tackle positions. Behind them, Oniel Cousins has shown himself to be the #3 guy. Marshal Yanda’s flexibility kept Tony Moll from dressing much last season, but he was on the roster all season after being acquired from Green Bay.

The simple answer would for me to say that Harewood is competing with Moll for a roster spot. That’s not entirely true. Moll has some ability to go inside, which makes him more valuable on Cam Cameron’s offense-even if his natural ability isn’t at the same level as some others on the roster. Harewood is also going to be coming off a knee injury suffered in minicamp when he reports to Westminster. There is ABSOLUTELY a chance that the team could try to store him on IR or the practice squad.

Stefan Rodgers and Joe Reitz are also options at Tackle, and Harewood would have to stay ahead of them to have a shot at making the 53 out of Training Camp. I had him JUST off the bubble on my initial mock roster, I doubt that will change as we get closer to reporting to McDaniel College.

6. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says Greg Mattison thinks Tom Zbikowski playing like Ed Reed

And there isn’t much of anyone better in the world for Zbikowski to model himself after. Similarly, I try to get my girlfriend (you may be familiar with her-”The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet”), to try to be more and more like Mallilany Malin (Thanks Guyism!)…

malin

7. Yahoo! Sports’ Jason Cole says Ravens have 2nd best D-Line in NFL

With the Minnesota Vikings at Number 1, I can’t possibly argue with either of the rankings. Clearly the line with Kevin Williams, Pat Williams and Jared Allen HAS to be considered the best in the National Football League; but the Ravens have built something that deserves recognition as well.

Clearly the Ravens’ D-Line is anchored inside out; with the likes of Haloti Ngata, Terrence Cody and Kelly Gregg holding down the middle. The depth the team has built inside with the likes of Kelly Talavou, Brandon McKinney, Arthur Jones and Lamar Divens behind that.

The reason the Ravens couldn’t really even be CONSIDERED ahead of the Vikes is the lack of a true premier rush end. There was a time that Trevor Pryce WAS that guy, but he isn’t anymore. The team believes that Pryce and Cory Redding can combine to anchor the position moving forward; and I don’t doubt that they can. There’s still a hope that Paul Kruger can develop into a true rush end; but obviously he isn’t there yet.

8. UMTerps.com says Randy Eaton named interim Athletic Director at Maryland

Which is a MUCH too logical decision for the University to make. Eaton has been VERY involved with the program in the role of CFO in recent years, and has been hands on in important decisions with finances, scheduling and personnel. There is no question that if there is someone on staff who at least deserves CONSIDERATION for the job permanently, it would be Eaton.

If you’re interested, Eaton will join Drew Forrester tomorrow morning at 9:00am to talk about his new role. I think Eaton will do a great job in the role, which he could have to fill for some time. With no timetable to complete the search to replace C.D. Mote as University President, the search to find a new Athletic Director could certainly extend into the academic year.

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Debbie Yow will make basically same salary at NC State as she did in College Park

If you missed Debbie Yow’s appearance this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, it is absolutely worth the listen. You can head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net now to check it out.

Maryland soccer coach Sasho Cirvoski joined the show to go around the World Cup, and Washington Capitals GM George McPhee recapped the NHL Entry Draft as well. It’s all there in the Audio Vault if you want to check it out.

Also, the new weekly episode of the “D1scast” with myself and Patrick Stevens is also available now in the Audio Vault. We talk at length about Debbie Yow, Randy Eaton, Greivis Vasquez, the NBA Draft, and the great 4th of July scene in “The Sandlot.” It’s must listen…if you must.

10. Inside Lacrosse’s Terry Foy says former Terrapins lacrosse coach Dave Cottle has interviewed at Harvard

I have no idea if Cottle would be a good fit in the Ivy League. Regionally, he has no coaching experience in New England-but he IS a hell of a coach.

As sad as he was to leave his players, do you get the feeling Dave Cottle felt WORSE about leaving when he found out that the girls in the Undie Run were hanging out with Testudo???

undierun

And finally, I leave you with this.

If you haven’t picked up Drake’s new disc “Thank Me Later”, I suggest you do. I’m FEELING “Miss Me”, even if I’d fight Drake over his desire to marry Nicki Minaj…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84N0xXE_WjM[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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10 Things I’d Like To See This Summer

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10 Things I’d Like To See This Summer

Posted on 23 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

With “The Morning Reaction” wrapping early this morning so Drew Forrester and I can go root for Team USA to top Algeria at Looney’s in Canton; I won’t have enough time to post a full Crabs & Beer update.

Instead, I figured I’d go “simple column” this morning. We’re on Day 3 of summer today, although it’s been hot enough to feel like each day lasts for 3 days this summer. Between now and September 22 when summer officially ends, there are some things I’d like to see…

10. 1 more game from Team USA in the World Cup

soccer

This is Number 10 because it’s the event closest to now. An appearance in the Round of 16 won’t really be all that historic for the Americans, as they’ve reached at least the round of 16 in 2 of their last 4 trips to the World Cup. BUT-here in town, having the Americans play significant games has been really nice in this area. We had a packed house in Bel Air last Friday for the Slovenia match, and Patriot Plaza in Towson was packed for the England match before that.

During matches, Facebook and Twitter have been wild with Team USA discussion. This area has really been galvanized by having a team that we root for play significant games. I don’t need to even begin to explain that it doesn’t happen in baseball anymore.

Selfishly, I’d like to see the Americans play two or even THREE more games before the World Cup ended. As close as we could get to the start of Training Camp would be really nice. That being said, I’ll be realistic. Just one more game would be particularly nice to keep folks in this area excited about…well…anything.

9. Robert Randolph in Baltimore

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkDH1wON7UU[/youtube]

If you didn’t go to Artscape last year, you might not understand. The most electric night of the year in Charm City last summer was the night Robert Randolph rocked Artscape (see above). I guess you could argue that Bruce Springsteen playing 1st Mariner Arena in the fall was more electric because it was in front of a bigger crowd, but there was just something so unbelievably special about that night at Artscape.

It was the type of night that was unbelievably Baltimore. The crowd was as diverse a group of people as you could imagine seeing on a street corner. The show was as good as you would expect from Robert Randolph (and the Family Band), but it was BETTER because it was free, it was in Baltimore, and it was at an event that is attended by folks from all walks of life in town.

I have no doubt that Wale will play a great set at Artscape this year, as acts like Citizen Cope and The Roots have done in the past. There’s a chance that I might go see Robert Randolph in Philadelphia or Dewey Beach this summer as well. But it won’t quite be the same. What happened last summer was SPECIAL. I’d love to see a way that it could happen again in Baltimore this summer.

8. A tall receiver makes the Ravens roster

harper

Honestly, I’m not entirely sure that Demetrius Williams, Justin Harper or Eron Riley (or even Rodelin Anthony for that matter) are any good. Williams and Harper have had their chances on the active roster, and have little to show for it. Harper has played in just two games (both last season), and Williams caught just 4 TD’s in his 4 year career.

That being said, in past years-the team has had no option but to let them on the roster. That’s not the case this season. The Ravens HAVE receivers. Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason and Donte’ Stallworth are ALL going to make the team. Mark Clayton, Marcus Smith, David Reed and the receivers listed above are all in the mix to make the team as well. If one of the tall receivers makes the team, it’s NOT going to happen just because the team has no other choice. All of these guys are going to have to go to Westminster and make an impact at Training Camp.

The Ravens offense appears to be primed for their best season in team history. Joe Flacco, Michael Oher, Ray Rice and Anquan Boldin are enough pieces to have some pundits (like Bill Matt Williamson at ESPN.com) say that the team has the best offense in the AFC North. The only thing missing is a legitimate threat from a tall receiver. Hopefully one of these guys will separate themseves at McDaniel College and prove that they can be counted on.

7. Brock Lesnar beats Shane Carwin

brock

I consider myself a UFC fan. Heck, I consider myself a fan of all Mixed Martial Arts in general. That being said, on a scale of 1-10, I’m probably a 6 when it comes to my MMA fandom. I attend John Rallo’s “Shogun Fights” events, I went to the UFC Pay-Per-View in Philly last summer, I watch “The Ultimate Fighter” on SpikeTV, and I even occassionally wander over to Hooters or somewhere that shows the fights for free.

That being said, the only time in MY LIFE when I have plunked down 50 bucks of my own money to watch a fight was last July when Brock Lesnar faught Frank Mir. I wasn’t the only one. In fact, the fight did 1.6 million PPV buys, making it the most purchased PPV event of the year. It was the biggest event in UFC history, and gave the sport some absolute juice.

What made the event better was the fact that despite it being headlined by a former WWE champion, it had real legitimacy to it. The fight was an honest-to-God fight for the UFC Heavyweight title between two deserving fighters. It wasn’t Kimbo Slice. It wasn’t Herschel Walker. The best thing for the UFC is to have more events like that in the future.

For that to happen, Brock Lesnar needs to beat Shane Carwin. I hope he does.

6. Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne get real chances to make NBA rosters

tersp

Greivis Vasquez is going to hear his name called Thursday night during the NBA Draft, and there’s no question in my mind that he will be on a NBA roster when the season tips off. (When does the season tip off, by the way?)

But the other two Maryland seniors aren’t nearly that type of sure thing. Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne have each spent the last month or so traveling the country and trying to prove themselves capable of playing in the NBA. Teams like the Washington Wizards, Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers have given them looks, but it’s unlikely that either of them will hear their name called Thursday night.

That being said, I firmly believe both guys will end up in Las Vegas this summer playing in the NBA Summer League. I hope that after that, they each end up on a Training Camp roster with a REAL shot at making a team. Something tells me they’ll both end up in Europe eventually (I happen to think that Milbourne’s game is particularly well-suited for Europe), but I hope they both get a real chance to make it in the NBA first. Eric Hayes is NOT Steve Blake, but there’s a chance he could be Tim Legler.

These are both guys who were great competitors in College Park and made Terrapins alumni proud. They’re easy to root for, and I will absolutely be hoping for the best for both of them.

5. Maryland-Navy sold out on Labor Day, Inter Milan-Manchester City sold out in July

marylandnavy

Despite the fact that some folks think I should change my middle name to Testudo, I’m not excited about Terps football this season. I have a bad feeling that there isn’t enough talent to win the close games that Ralph Friedgen’s team lost a season ago.

That being said, having attended the last “Crab Bowl Classic” at M&T Bank Stadium, there are few football games in the world that I would be as excited to attend this season as I am about the Terrapins and Midshipmen on a day that just so happens to also be my birthday. The atmosphere when these teams met in 2005 was unbelievably electric. It was quite possibly the best atmosphere for any college football game I’ve ever attended, with MAYBE the exception of the Boise State-Oklahoma Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona.

Inter Milan-Man City this summer clearly doesn’t have the juice of last summer’s AC Milan-Chelsea matchup, despite Inter winning the UEFA Champions League this season. But the event is still a world class soccer match, and it will provide a gauge for how Baltimore is viewed as a viable location for future major soccer events in town.

I like having big, exciting sporting events in town. With only 8 regular season NFL games (the two exhibition games aren’t really big or exciting) and Opening Day for the Orioles providing real juice, it helps to have one-off events that generate a spark in the area. To continue getting those events, the events that do come here must be well attended. I don’t really think both of these events will sell out (heck, I’m not sure either of them will), but it would go a long way for getting more events like these in the area.

4. Someone…making SOME sort of progress on the arena situation in Baltimore

arena

A lot of great things have happened in this state since Terry Hasseltine has been hired to get big events. Hasseltine has helped to bring the IndyCar Series to town, make strides in college football and soccer events, and make sure to keep the Preakness here in town.

That being said, there’s one area where NOTHING has happened that is unbelievably frustrating for sports fans in town.

24 months ago, the Baltimore Development Corporation reported that a new arena would be built downtown where the current 1st Mariner Arena sits. Since that time…ummm….well…have you heard anything new?

I’m not stupid. I don’t expect ground to be broken on an arena this summer. But it would be really nice to hear SOMETHING from Stephanie Rawlings-Blake or the leadership of the city about progress being made in the area. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

3. Andy Roddick playing on the 4th of July

roddick

This of course has EVERYTHING to do with the fact that I’m an obsessed A-Rod fan myself, but it is more than that as well. Tennis had a real chance for a resurgence in this country last summer when Andy Roddick took Roger Federer to the 5th set in the longest (game-wise) final in Wimbledon history. Roddick eventually fell short as Federer surpassed Pete Sampras to become the greatest grand slam champion in the history of the sport, but a Roddick win could have done wonders for the sport of tennis in America.

Andy Roddick has always played his best tennis in London. Despite having won his only grand slam at Flushing Meadows, he’s reached the finals three times at Wimbledon-having lost all three to Federer. The way he lost last year has to make you feel that if he REACHES the final again, he’d have a real chance to get over the hump.

He’s not a better player than Federer or Rafael Nadal. But if he can win at Wimbledon, it would lead to a much better American atmosphere surrounding the U.S. Open.

2. An acceptance that “The Plan” was a joke to begin with

macphail

I’m not going as far as to say the Birds should consider parting ways with Andy MacPhail. I just don’t want to hear any more about “The Plan.” “The Plan” has gone 19-51 this season, and there is just no reason to believe that the O’s will be any better next season despite the “young core” assembled.

I want to know what the team is going to do to WIN. And I want to know what they’re going to do to win in 2011. That was the promise all along, right?

I just don’t want to hear about “The Plan” ever again. Unless “The Plan” is no more than a plan to WIN.

1. A Ravens win Sept. 13 in East Rutherford

jets

As I’ve told to anyone who would listen, I really believe the Baltimore Ravens are Super Bowl contenders. That being said, I also think the New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots and San Diego Chargers are Super Bowl contenders.

For the positive vibes to keep flowing, a win at the Meadowlands would go a long way.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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

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

Posted on 21 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

opacy
(Photo courtesy of The Sun)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unfortunately, they didn’t.

Thank God Peter Schmuck was there to cover for him.

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

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

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

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

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

-G

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 04 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Friday!

It’s a Happy Friday for me because…well…because it’s Friday. Sure, I got kicked out of Yankee Stadium yesterday just for being an Orioles fan…which SHOULD be an “ejectable offense” the more I think about how silly it is to root for this team.

Before we get to “Trembley Watch 2010″, how about we start this thing on a positive? Deadspin posted a soccer goal the other day that makes me think even I could participate in the World Cup…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p1Eq1AOoTo[/youtube]

I can play goalie AT LEAST as well as that guy.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s Mike Fitzpatrick says A-Rod homered, Rivera closed out solid Sabathia start as Yanks finished sweep of Birds

Well, the few innings that I got to see of it-it looked just like Orioles baseball to me.

It was hard to even be excited when Luke Scott and Adam Jones homered, as we knew it meant a rally wasn’t coming. Kevin Millwood wasn’t up to the level of effectiveness that we’ve come to expect from him this season, but who can blame him?

Plus, the Yankees ARE really good. Alex Rodriguez wasn’t even TRYING to hit a homerun when he did. They have a lineup that is so good that a guy who would quite possibly be the AL MVP right now (Robinson Cano) is hitting 5th! They have a lineup that is so good Mark Teixeira is barely hitting better than Mark Wahlberg thus far, and the team is mostly unconcerned.

It doesn’t make it unfair that the Orioles have to compete against the Yankees in the AL East. It makes it unfair that the Orioles don’t TRY to compete against the Yankees in the AL East.

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

Three hits again yesterday. Or in other words, fewer hits than Third Eye Blind had…ON THEIR FIRST ALBUM.

(Edit from GMC: Of 3eb’s hits, my personal favorite was “How’s It Gonna Be”…)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuAGVr-O-3E[/youtube]

And by the way, don’t take a look at the MLB standings at any point (unless for some strange reason you absolutely have to). The only thing you’ll see is that the Birds are currently 15.5 games back…of FOURTH PLACE.

Can’t we just start Training Camp tomorrow?

3. ESPN.com says Trembley to be fired, Juan Samuel to take over as manager

So…get excited!

In the end, there will be no crying over the end of Dave Trembley’s tenure, as no one REALLY thinks Dave Trembley is a good manager. That being said, he was never given a respectable group of players capable of actually winning…anything.

No sadness today for Dave Trembley, who might well be a nice guy (as Roch Kubatko said), but never really showed himself to be capable of managing.

As far as Juan Samuel is concerned…umm…okay? I know this isn’t a permanent move, but it isn’t inspiring long term OR short term. The Orioles will presumably start looking for a manager in the Bob Melvin/Buck Showalter/Tom Kelly/etc. crowd, although there is an argument that they should let Samuel finish the season and then actually conduct a FULL search in the offseason.

For the record, I’d sign off on Bob Melvin being hired. Having covered him in Phoenix when he managed the Arizona Diamondbacks, I’ve seen him take a team to the NLCS whose best players were Chris Young and Eric Byrnes. That being said, no one should have any reason to believe the team will get any THIS season under any manager. They’re not a good team, and some of the players who HAVE performed may well be shipped elsewhere.

Hopefully there will be both a respectable manager in the dugout and a respectable team on the field come Opening Day 2011. In the meantime, this remains hopeless no matter who’s managing.

4. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says if Trembley fired, Andy MacPhail replaces him on hot seat

And I had him on my hot seat even before now.

The blood is on MacPhail’s hands. He’s in charge, and he didn’t give the manager a REAL chance to win-despite the fact that the manager really wasn’t any good.

MacPhail’s “plan” looks almost laughable at this point, with only the young pitchers (and Nick Markakis) looking like actual major league players right now. This is a CRUCIAL offseason for MacPhail, as the team HAS to be better next season for there to be any reason for any of us to believe that MacPhail actually does know what he’s doing in Baltimore.

Yes, I’m talking about the offseason 54 games into this season. What else would I do?

It’s like a broken damn record, but GOD does it ever suck to be an Orioles fan right now.

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says night on farm headlined by Tides’ Brandon Erbe falling to 0-9

And before we move on from the Orioles…

-Congratulations to “Apologist of the Morning” Peter DiLutis, who we have decided that we will also “fire” from AOTM consideration today. Peter has toed the line of “Apologist” and “Idiot” for the better part of the season, and today’s thoughts that the Trembley firing would “spark fan interest” went down the “idiotic” role. Drew Forrester “The Great Arbitrator” selected him over Roch Kubatko AND Dave Trembley, and I will apologize to both of them for being mentioned in the same sentence as the kid.

-The Orioles actually DO play again tonight, but only because they have to. They’ll open a weekend set with the Boston Red Sox; with first pitch on MASN from Oriole Park at Camden Yards at 7:05pm. Chris Tillman makes the start for the Birds, Clay Buchholz opposes him for the Sox. I’ll assume a sweep-but I would probably assume a sweep against just about anyone.

6. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens sign kicker Shayne Graham, give him $1.5 million base salary

Finally.

As I said yesterday via Twitter (follow us @WNST), it is safe to call Graham the favorite in his competition against Billy Cundiff this summer in Training Camp; but he’ll have to show that he’s moved past the issues that lead him to miss two big kicks in the Cincinnati Bengals’ Wild Card loss to the New York Jets. If he struggles, Cundiff will still have a chance to leave Westminster with NFL employment.

Graham has the chance to make up to $2.5 million this season via incentives. Hopefully those incentives include NOT MISSING KICKS.

And with all of this said, there’s still another part of the equation here. Matt Katula HAS to have a better season snapping the ball. If he struggles again, this could look very similar to the Steve Hauschka – Graham Gano competition from a year ago.

7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says John Harbaugh believes ‘pass coverage’ Sergio Kindle’s “Achilles’ heel”

Which is sorta why my expectations (FOR THIS SEASON) are higher for Terrence Cody than they are for Sergio Kindle. He has to learn a new position (as he was mostly a pass rusher at Texas) that is particularly complicated. I think Sergio Kindle is going to be a very impressive player, I just don’t know that it’s going to be at the Rookie of the Year caliber level that he is hoping to perform at this season.

By the way, if you missed Sergio Kindle (and Terrence Cody and Ed Dickson and Arthur Jones) at our Miller Lite Purple Rookies Show Wednesday night at Casey’s in Towson; you can hear from ALL of them in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault right here at WNST.net.

8. WNST.net’s Ryan Chell says Texas State QB Brad George tried out Thursday at 1 Winning Drive during Ravens Rookie Camp

Brad George’s chances of making the team?

Let’s just say I have a better shot at getting to know Karina Flores (Thanks Busted Coverage!)…

karinaflores

9. Inside Lacrosse’s John Jiloty says Gary Gait not a candidate to replace Dave Cottle as Maryland lacrosse coach

Not that he ever really WAS a candidate this time around. Gait has done a nice job coaching the women at Syracuse, but his coaching experience just really doesn’t fit the bill of what’s necessary for the Terps as they look to replace Dave Cottle.

Also cross Rick Sowell off the list, as the Stony Brook coach received a contract extension to stay put there.

The list is still LONG. Kevin Corrigan, Mike Pressler, Jeff Tambroni and Don Zimmerman are still probably the most likely candidates…probably. At least maybe.

You know…who knows???

10. UMTerps.com says Terrapins senior Caitlyn McFadden claimed Women’s Tewaaraton award

And Duke’s Ned Crotty won the award on the men’s side. Crotty was clearly the best player in the game this year, I just couldn’t have voted for him because I am particularly opposed to the 5th year Blue Devils.

That being said, both are very deserving honors for the best players in college lacrosse.

And we’re very deserving of looking at pictures of Rose Byrne from GQ, as posted by Guyism…

rosebyrne

11. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland-Morgan State will kickoff at 6pm on ESPN3.com, Maryland-West Virginia will kickoff at 12pm on ESPNU

Effing ESPN3.

I understand why ESPN3 if good for the ACC and company, but the league needs to work out a way that games shown on ESPN3 can also be shown over the air in local markets. For example, if the game is on ESPN3 (the old ESPN360)-there should be an option for Comcast SportsNet to carry the ESPN broadcast.

ESPNU is good for no one…unless of course you have ESPNU. I do not. And I’m the most important person here.

12. WNST.net’s G.Q. picks Fly Down to win tomorrow’s Belmont Stakes

For a differing opinion, Rick from Reisterstown selected the favorite (Ice Box) to win when he called the race this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST. I’ll pick Make Music For Me, mostly because he has the best name in the race.

If you missed Rick this morning, you can hear it in the Audio Vault. It will be available later via WNSTv. Other guests from this morning you can hear in the Audio Vault include Baseball America’s Jim Callis, NBC Sports’ Craig Calcaterra (HardBallTalk) and NESN Sox pre-game host Tom Caron.

I prefer Rick myself.

And finally, I leave you with this.

“Get Him To The Greek” opens today. I have fairly high hopes…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kbLFrbDeic[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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