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Here Are Your 20 Candidates In “A Month Of Jerks”

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Here Are Your 20 Candidates In “A Month Of Jerks”

Posted on 28 May 2010 by Glenn Clark

Over the past month, Drew Forrester and I have nominated a local sports “jerk” from the state of Maryland each day on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST. Now that we’ve reached the end of the month, we want to know your thoughts on our list and we hope you’ll help us whittle the list down to the Top 10 over this Memorial Day weekend.

(Edit from GMC: Please remember-we did this in fun. If you’re offended by this, you’re not getting the point. This was lighthearted.)

Here are my 10 nominees…

Maryland Basketball Coach Gary Williams

gary

Sun Columnist Mike Preston

preston

Navy Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk

chet

Ravens QB Troy Smith

troysmith

WJZ’s Damon Yaffe

yaffe

Orioles Owner Peter Angelos

angelos

Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh

harbaugh

Orioles Manager Dave Trembley

trembley

Maryland Athletic Director Debbie Yow

debbieyow

Aegis Columnist Randy McRoberts

steelers
(Edit from GMC: I do not believe that to be Randy McRoberts. But Randy McRoberts IS a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, and that was the picture I found when I Google Image Searched “Steelers fan.”)

And Drew’s 10 Nominees…

WBFF’s Bruce Cunningham

bruce

WNST’s Nestor Aparicio

nestor

Olympic Swimmer Michael Phelps

phelps

WVIE’s Jerry Coleman

jerry

North Harford Football Coach Ken Brinkman

nhhs
(Edit from GMC: I assume the kid in the picture ISN’T a jerk. This was just the only picture I could find. Moving on…)

WNST’s Glenn Clark

glenn

WNST’s Drew Forrester

drew

Ravens LB Terrell Suggs

suggs

WNST’s Ray Bachman (on behalf of all Orioles fans who booed Mike Gonzalez on Opening Day at Camden Yards)

bachman

Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates Michael Busch

busch

There you have it. If you’re not sure of why a certain nominee made it to the list, an explanation of each is available in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net, just click the “Audio” tab at the top of the page. The reasons range from:

-Chet Gladchuk trying to stop the Navy/Maryland series because the Terps played a bowl game in Orlando

-Ken Brinkman thinking it was appropriate to bring the Pittsburgh Steelers to Harford County and Randy McRoberts promoting it

-Debbie Yow undermining her basketball coach and engaging him in a public feud with the Baltimore Sun and Washington Post; despite the fact that he’s a bit of a jerk himself

-Michael Phelps’ legendary run-ins with other human beings, including a famous incident in Ann Arbor where he allegedly said he was “majoring in” female anatomy at Michigan

-John Harbaugh bristling at the idea of being asked…well…anything at all…

-Jerry Coleman and Bruce Cunningham being…Jerry Coleman and Bruce Cunningham…

-Damon Yaffe enjoying the role of “jerk” so much he decided to be known as “The Bulldog”, while Nestor Aparicio enjoyed it so much he decided to be known as “Nasty”

-Michael Busch working to make sure slots wouldn’t come to the state of Maryland

It’s all there.

While Drew and I don’t know a whole lot about every subject in sports, this is certainly something we know all about. There’s an argument that no one in Baltimore knows more about being a jerk than we do. In fact, that’s why we’re both nominated on the list.

And by no means do we think that being a jerk is necessarily a bad thing. When it comes to head coaches and athletics directors, you sometimes NEED to be a jerk to get the job done.

We feel the same way about morning radio personalities.

Think about it, and let me know who your top choices are. We’ll announce the Top 10 after we return from our Memorial Day break.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 13 May 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

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

crab balls

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

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10-24.

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

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

As even Jay said yesterday via Facebook-

“Only Corey can save us now.”

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

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

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

Insert your own Kyle Boller joke here.

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

UNCOMFORTABLE?!?!?

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

Holy crap.

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

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

Umm….didn’t we already know that?

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

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

History made again!

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

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

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

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

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

I like to call that “Thursday.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

palmas

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

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

Sadly…it’s not in football.

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

Ugh.

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

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

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

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

umbc 

I can dig it. Go Retrievers!

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

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

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

ambrosio

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

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

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

Or at least whatever money I have leftover after alcohol.

And finally, I leave you with this…

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

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

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

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 15 April 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because…I FINALLY have a reason to be excited about the NHL Playoffs!!!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow9zaT8ebfQ[/youtube]

Look, Baltimore has never had a team. If we ever GET a team, I’ll root for them. I’d root for the Washington Capitals if I lived in Washington. Since I don’t, no thanks. I DID however live in Phoenix for 2 years, and went out of my way 25+ times each season to drive to the OTHER SIDE OF THE CITY in order to watch the ‘Yotes so I could see how great hockey really was.

The Desert Dogs weren’t any good at the time, but I knew there was something special about the NHL product. I badly want Charm City to get an arena and get a team, but in the meantime what is happening with out in Phoenix with the Coyotes means the WORLD to me.

Oh and also, “Crowd Chant” by Joe Satriani should be used at (intense) sporting events almost as much as “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC. Freaking great arena song.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Carlos Pena, BJ Upton crushed 3 run bombs as Rays swept Orioles

After what happened Tuesday night, you could kinda see it coming. They sorta pulled out “all of the stops” Tuesday night; with the orange pajamas, the goofy lineup, Brian Matusz, Luke Scott’s theatrics, Matt Wieters t-shirt night, extra innings, the whole deal.

And sadly, it all lead to a loss. Playing a game after a deflating loss like that leaves you dry emotionally, and the Orioles just had nothing left yesterday.

Of course, Brad Bergesen didn’t do much to help.

And it probably wouldn’t have mattered too much if he had, to be honest.

What else do we say?

There’s been a lot of talk over recent days about how it will be good for the team to “get away”, as if they will suddenly become a good baseball team just because they aren’t playing at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Look, we all know they’re not going to go 1-161 this season. They’re going to win at some point. They’ll probably win a couple of games. But it would take a MIRACLE for them to see .500 at some point this season-and I’m already starting to feel a bit uneasy about my prediction that they would win 74 games.

Of course, our “Apologist of the Morning” Neal S from the blog “The Loss Column” still thinks the team can “right the ship” and be 10 games under .500 at the All-Star Game.

If “righting the ship” includes being 10 games under .500 at the All-Star break, the ship is more of a disaster than the FREAKING TITANIC.

And even accomplishing THAT would take a minor miracle.

What a summer we have ahead of us.

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

It’s easy to figure out why a team lost when a game is close and individual plays REALLY matter. It would be all too easy to just point at Bergesen as being to blame for yesterday’s game (and certainly he deserves to shoulder it), but there are other things I didn’t like.

-Nick Markakis had a triple yesterday, which is pretty good. But he also struck out twice. There might be an argument that striking out twice is better than being nervous to swing at all-which is what it was starting to look like Markakis was going through early in the season-but it sure as hell isn’t good.

-Ty Wigginton went 2-4 yesterday, which we ALL know is a good thing. And while Dave Trembley is desperately working through a neverending quest to put together an effective lineup, Wigginton’s bat might look like a decent option for the number 2 spot. But asking someone whose baserunning abilities appear to represent “lumbering” at times to hit 2nd might not be the best idea. Wigginton was on 1st base in the 8th inning, yet failed to score on a 2 out double to RIGHT FIELD by Felix Pie.

And it wasn’t as if it looked like he wasn’t trying. He just isn’t quick, and shouldn’t be hitting 2nd. The run didn’t REALLY matter yesterday because the game was a blowout-but the run COULD’VE mattered.

-It’s hard to blame Cesar Izturis OR Miguel Tejada for Tejada’s error in the first inning. On a sunny afternoon, sometimes pop-ups are lost. Embarrassing? Yes. But they HAPPEN. However, it is a bit concerning to hear/read that the problem was communication. Two players-especially two players that don’t have a language barrier issue-should be able to let each other know what’s going on there.

Of course, Brad Bergesen needs to be able to pick his players up, but that’s another thing altogether.

-Jason Berken is the one guy worth applauding yesterday, and it certainly looks like long relief is a role that suits him just fine.

3. The AP says “closer” Mike Gonzalez placed on DL

Placed on the DL due to what I believe was listed officially as a “bruised ego.”

Could Mike Gonzalez REALLY be hurt? Sure, maybe. Is it very likely that Gonzalez is no more hurt today than he was on Opening Day? Yeah, that’s particularly likely.

Does it make it worse when the player placed on the DL isn’t available to speak to the media after a game? Yes, that makes it worse. Especially when even MASN (the TEAM-RUN “media outlet”) can’t get a quote. It makes it look particularly fishy.

Amber Theoharris said during yesterday’s broadcast that Kam Mickolio is expected to be called up today to take Gonzalez’s place. The only exciting part about that statement is that Amber Theoharris said it.

Of course, maybe Mickolio is a better option at closer than Gonzalez. I think the Orioles should go with Jim Johnson IF they ever get another chance to close another game, but at this point they might as well go with Willis Roberts to finish off games.

Welcome back to Baltimore, Kam.

4. SI’s Jon Heyman says no use for O’s to ‘worry’

And I completely get what he’s trying to say. Why “worry” when this team wasn’t going to do anything anyway against the likes of the Rays, Yankees, and Red Sox in the AL East?

You know what I’m going to spend my time worrying about instead of worrying about the O’s? Finding out more about whoever Nicky Whelan is…(Thanks Busted Coverage!)

whelan

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Jake Arrieta, Rhyne Hughes, Steve Johnson all sparked for Birds on farm

And when things are as bad at the major league level as they’ve been for the Orioles, what happens at Norfolk and at Bowie seems to get more and more notice. “Hey, the Orioles lost, but Steve Johnson threw 5 shutout innings for the Baysox!!!”

Before we move on from baseball, the Orioles return to action LATE tonight when the face the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum. First pitch is at 10:05, the game can be seen on MASN. David Hernandez returns to the hill for the Birds, he faces Ben Sheets. We’ll of course have our “Orange Crush” chat going at WNST.net, I think we’re opening it early if you want to talk about the Washington Capitals’ playoff game.

You can also follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for 24/7 commentary regarding the Birds. During yesterday’s game, I offered the classic quip “Don’t worry, Brad Bergesen says he’ll be fine by Opening Day!”

6. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Derrick Mason has sights set on winning Super Bowl this season

A couple of things:

1-Mike Preston apparently blogged yesterday that the Ravens held the press conference to “pacify” Derrick Mason; as the team doesn’t usually hold press conferences when a player re-signs, but they needed to hold one for Mason because they held press conferences recently for Donte’ Stallworth and Anquan Boldin. Apparently Mike forgot about the press conference the team held for Ray Lewis just a season ago-which also happened a couple weeks after HE signed because of scheduling issues.

2-I heard/saw a few local and national football analysts say “I bet the Ravens are regretting the fact that they traded for Boldin and didn’t hold out for Brandon Marshall knowing the price the Miami Dolphins got him for!”

HUH?

The Ravens were THRILLED to get Anquan Boldin, especially for the price they paid for him. While Brandon Marshall is taller and maybe could be more of a red zone target, he also has a MUCH MORE checkered past, and Ozzie Newsome and company never really appeared to TRULY be interested in him-especially not for the price the Fins paid.

If you missed Derrick this morning with Drew Forrester on AM1570, make sure you click on the “Audio” tab right above where you’re reading this; it will take you to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault, where you can hear the interview.

7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Morehouse OT Ramon Harewood has visited 1 Winning Drive

What do you need to know about Ramon Harewood? He’s certainly a beast at 6’6″, 341 pounds; and it does appear as though he will be drafted.

While OT might not jump out at Ravens fans as an area of great need, it will be an area they’ll look to upgrade no matter what happens with Jared Gaither.

Should they end up trading Jared Gaither, they’ll have an immediate need at OT, with Oniel Cousins, Marshal Yanda and Tony Moll their top options behind Michael Oher.

Should they end up KEEPING Jared Gaither, they’re still unlikely to give him an extension keep him here long-term, meaning they’ll need depth at the position anyway.

Either way, they’ll be in the market. Watch names like Vladimir Ducasse (UMass) and Jared Veldheer (Hillsdale College) as well.

8. The Sun’s Ken Murray says Morgan State WR EJ Morton-Green worked out with Jim Zorn in Owings Mills yesterday

If you missed Morton-Green with Drew Forrester this morning, click on that same “Audio” tab you used to listen to Derrick Mason.

As I’ve said before, Morton-Green is unlikely to get drafted, but thanks to his size (6’4″), he could certainly be an option for the Ravens to sign as an undrafted free agent and give him a look during Training Camp.

9. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says NFL schedule to be released Tuesday night at 7pm, Ravens will find out when they play AFC North, AFC East, NFC South teams

I wish I could say this would provide a nice distraction from the Orioles-but since the Birds are in Seattle, the game isn’t until 10pm. So after 3 hours of dissecting the schedule and figuring out what the Ravens are going to do, you’ll still have to watch the Orioles face the Mariners-who have suddenly looked a bit better recently.

IT NEVER ENDS!!!!

10. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Ralph Friedgen still wants to see more from Pete White

Does anyone get concerned that White might join the likes of Jared Gaither and Bruce Campbell amongst Terrapins O-Linemen who seem to have NFL level ability but just never really make it work at an All-ACC level in College Park? Or am I just too paranoid as a Terps fan?

Cue Black Sabbath…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aIhh9nFYv4[/youtube]

11. Inside Lacrosse says Maryland’s Grant Catalino, Brian Farrell; Loyola’s Jake Hagelin nominees for Tewaaraton Award

It’s a long list. There’s 4 players from the state of Maryland (including one from Salisbury), and ONE from a school in Baltimore.

Those things aren’t good.

You know what else is good? Pictures of Supaksorn Chaimongkol at Guyism.com…

chaimongkol

And finally, I leave you with this.

I usually don’t use this area for more “hot chicks” pictures, but I usually don’t find pictures of Edyta Sliwinska from “Dancing With The Stars” in Maxim…

dwts

…Yeah, she seems nice.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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An Opening Day Greeting From Andy MacPhail: Competition is “Insurmountable”

Posted on 09 April 2010 by Glenn Clark

I was working on Crabs & Beer this morning; celebrating a big Orioles win, preparing for Opening Day, and salivating over the Harborque that is on the way in to the studios at 1550 Hart Rd. when everything came to a screeching halt.

As I was preparing this morning’s “Apologist of the Morning” segment for Drew Forrester, I came across a story written in today’s USA Today by Bob Nightengale. The story is headlined “Parity? Yankees, Red Sox loom large for smaller market teams.”

Like most things Bob Nightengale scribes, it is a pretty good read. Unfortunately for Orioles fans, “pretty good” isn’t the only way I’d describe it. I’d also describe it as particularly “troubling.”

“Troubling” because of a quote in the story from Orioles President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail.

“There’s no baseball executive that thinks things should all be even,”

I’m with him there…

“but when payrolls are three times yours, it can become insurmountable.

As some callers this morning attempted to point out…maybe Andy MacPhail wasn’t necessarily talking about the Orioles, but in greater baseball context. Maybe he meant that the Pirates couldn’t necessarily compete with the Cardinals, or the Royals couldn’t compete with the White Sox.

However, in looking at 2009 MLB payrolls (via ESPN.com), I think I know exactly who Andy MacPhail was talking about…

New York Yankees $201,449,289
Baltimore Orioles $67,101,667

Hmm…one of these numbers appears to be almost EXACTLY 1/3 of the other. While there are other teams that are also competing with 1/3 of the payroll of a division competitor (including the Washington Nationals in comparison to the New York Mets); the O’s ARE one of those teams. Andy MacPhail WAS talking about the Orioles.

“Insurmountable.”

On a day that embodies the most hope baseball fans have felt in Baltimore in 10 or more years, the team has let you know that getting competitive is “insurmountable.”

Not “difficult.”

Not “tough.”

Not “something that we will have to diligently work through in a trying offseason.”

“Insurmountable.”

To make sure I fully understood what “insurmountable” means, I visited Dictionary.com to get a full definition. Here’s what I found…

“incapable of being surmounted, passed over, or overcome”

Incapable or being overcome.

Impossible.

On Opening Day 2010-the day that fans in Baltimore WANT to celebrate a new direction, with arguably the best roster the organization has fielded in some 10 years, the team is saying they can’t compete.

On the day fans in Baltimore are donning Matt Wieters, Brian Matusz, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts jerseys and high-fiving friends with the knowledge that baseball relevance is advancing rapidly, the team has said that it is impossible.

Happy Opening Day, Baltimore!

The team has said publicly that the 2010 team will be judged by “wins and losses.” For years, those near the organization have pointed towards 2011 as the year that the team will again be competitive.

In order to do so, most baseball fans believe that the team will need to acquire both one more power bat and one more front of line pitcher.

Players who will or could become free agents this offseason amongst the power bat corner infield crew include Victor Martinez (if he moves to 1B), Adam Dunn, Derrek Lee and Carlos Pena. Amongst the pitching crew; Javier Vasquez, Cliff Lee, Jorge De La Rosa and Brandon Webb will be available.

Should those players all have solid 2010 seasons, the hitters can be expected to make somewhere in the range of $15 million per season; while the pitchers can be expected to make somewhere in the range of $20 million per season.

Certainly not ALL of those players are going to cash in at that level. But given recent free agent history (which included a 7 year, $120 million deal for Matt Holliday last offseason to STAY with a franchise like the Cards), it will take an average of roughly $35 million for the Orioles to obtain a power hitting corner infielder and a front of the line starting pitcher.

That alone doesn’t guarantee that the team will win the AL East and run to the 2011 World Series; but I don’t think the team will be able to get there without it. For the Orioles to continue to compete beyond that, they would need to be able to retain their own talent; meaning that on top of the money already spent on Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts; they will need to invest future money in Matt Wieters, Adam Jones, Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, etc.

Before I get to far ahead of myself, I have to stop and ask…do you believe that a comment like the one Andy MacPhail made today leads you to believe that the team is willing to spend AT LEAST the $35 million average per season THIS offseason to make the team a REAL contender again?

Or do you believe that a comment like this one sets the team up for a future statement that “we believe we made the team greatly better in 2011, but the lack of balance in baseball has prevented us from actually being able to be competitive?”

I think you know how I feel.

The problem ISN’T that the Orioles have decided that they don’t want to overpay for players. In fact, it’s practically admirable. For every person who walks down the street and says “why do baseball players make so much money while teachers and police officers make so little?”, I AGREE.

Baseball players DO make too much money. Baseball (and all other sports) have become a ridiculous business to a level that is borderline shameful.

I’m personally thankful that they have, as the ridiculous business of sports has allowed a young man from Perry Hall High School like me to make a living doing nothing more than TALKING about sports. But I digress.

The problem facing the Orioles is that if they wish to do the ADMIRABLE thing-and try to limit their spending and encourage others in baseball to do the same thing is that they probably WON’T be able to compete.

The CBA isn’t changing for baseball this offseason. A salary cap isn’t likely to implemented now-or likely anytime in the future; as owners like George Steinbrenner aren’t likely to capitulate to their counterparts, and the MLBPA doesn’t appear to be particularly interested in making the change either.

While limiting salary remains admirable and probably a sounder financial model; it does NOT promote the ability to be competitive with teams who WILL be willing to spend money-like the teams the O’s will need to overtake in the AL East.

If they’re going to choose to do what we believe to be admirable and just NOT compete, they just need to tell us that (as Andy MacPhail has started to do this morning.)

Instead of allowing their bloggers to go on MASNSports.com and talk about how the team is building for 2011, have them go on there and say “it’s a shame we’re never going to be able to compete-but I hope you’ll support the team anyway.”

In fact, hang a banner at Oriole Park at Camden Yards today as fans enter the stadium that says “we know we can’t compete now or in the future.”

Just be honest and upfront about it. There are still fans in Kansas City despite the fact that the Royals have all but admitted that they’re not trying to win; and there would still be fans here in Charm City if the Orioles organization did the same thing.

But the issue is for the family of 4 who has to decide how to spend their money. Should they spend $100 to come out and watch David Hernandez face Dana Eveland tomorrow night at OPACY-thinking that they have a chance to see the players who ultimately made up the team that returned the organization to glory? Or should they take their $100 and head over to 1st Mariner Arena to see the circus, buy a couple t-shirts, and pick up some popcorn?

If that family knew in advance that the organization DIDN’T believe they could compete in the future, wouldn’t it be easier to make the decision to head over to the circus?

No one thinks the Orioles should just blindly throw money at ANY player who becomes available, but it ISN’T unfair to see that the team will NEED to be willing to spend money in order to compete.

It ISN’T “insurmountable.”

But apparently the team thinks so.

I just hope you know that before you decide how to spend your own money.

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 07 April 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because THIS was my dinner at Jimmy’s Famous Seafood in Dundalk last night…

crabsbeer

The beer was cold, the crabs were hot. Despite what happened at Tropicana Field, I call that a WIN.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s Fred Goodall says Mike Gonzalez suffered blown save in first appearance as Orioles lost to Rays

Where do we start?

I think I’ll start with local blogger Chris Stoner, who thought he should have won our “King of Baltimore Sports Talk” contest last year. Probably due to rock solid analysis like this…

“If anything, Oriole fans should be enthusiastic of the pure stuff Gonzalez showed. Jim Palmer was right, if Gonzalez fell off the mound any more, he would have looked like a Mitch Williams clone.

With one inning of work, it was very evident to see why Gonzalez averaged more than a K per IP in 2009 (90 in 74.1 innings) while allowing just 56 hits.”

Ho.Ly.Crap.

Look, I’m not going to try to tell you that the world came undone last night. As we know, last night’s loss was not Mike Gonzalez’s fault alone.

But…NOTHING about last night’s appearance from Mike Gonzalez should make Orioles fans “enthusiastic.”

He faced the BOTTOM of the Rays’ order. He threw a ton of pitches UP in the strike zone. Sean FREAKING Rodriguez started the rally. KELLY SHOPPACH absolutely crushed a ball. It wasn’t Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria who got hits ahead of Carl Crawford, it was SEAN RODRIGUEZ AND KELLY SHOPPACH.

Mike Gonzalez was TERRIBLE last night. It wasn’t all his fault, but he was TERRIBLE. Hence, Chris Stoner won our first “Apologist of the Morning” award from Drew Forrester and myself. But I’m putting Jenn Royle on notice. She said the Orioles would compete to finish .500 “if that was the last of Gonzalez’s struggles.”

And if Cesar Izturis manages to get 4 hits every game instead of 2, they might be better than that.

2. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Kevin Millwood ‘not brilliant’ as Birds fell in Tampa Bay

Luke Jones WAS our winner of last year’s “King of Baltimore Sports Talk” contest…and the competition wasn’t really close. Luke was a runaway victor, and his ability as an analyst is part of the reason why.

Kevin Millwood DID do enough to win, but he WASN’T great. Anyone who says that Kevin Millwood gave the Orioles a “great” start must have missed the fact that he gave up TEN baserunners in just 5 (plus) innings. He was OVERLY fortunate that when Matt Albers inherited runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs, he managed to work his way out of the 6th inning jam. Otherwise, Millwood’s numbers wouldn’t even look as good as they did.

The Orioles will need more than that if Millwood is to be their “ace.” I personally think the only hope the Orioles have of finding an ace on their current staff is Brian Matusz, but Millwood is the veteran #1 guy. He NEEDS to give them 6 innings (or more) in the bulk of his starts.

And I NEED to get 6 more pictures of Gemma Atkinson that look like this (Thanks Busted Coverage)…

gemma

3. WNST.net provides numerical evidence of O’s Opening Day loss

Of course, the most striking number from last night’s loss is “1-12″, which is what the Orioles hit with runners in scoring position; producing NO RBI.

For the record, I’m not surprised. This is NOT going to be the last time the Orioles post a number like that. What many of us talked about this week (I called it a “woefully incomplete” lineup) came to fruition last night. This team might have more representative hitters, but they DON’T have hitters that fit the roles necessary to win games.

Most importantly (in this case), they don’t have a prototypical #4 hitter that is capable of driving in a bunch of runs. It ISN’T Miguel Tejada. It ISN’T Luke Scott. It ISN’T Nolan Reimold. It ISN’T Matt Wieters (at least not yet). Those players are all capable of filling roles, but “run producer” is NOT that role.

This is what happens when Andy MacPhail and company go with the philosophy that “someone will do it” instead of going out and getting the right guy to do it. For everyone who said “you can’t overpay for Matt Holliday”-that’s fine. But if you don’t, you’re going to have a bunch of games like the one you saw last night.

Of course, most of them will come after things don’t REALLY matter anymore-so we probably won’t be so angry about them.

4. St. Petersburg Times’ Marc Topkin says Carl Crawford hero for Rays in win over Orioles

It wasn’t the first time Carl Crawford did the Orioles in. If he ends up signing with the Yankees (which is what EVERYONE expects), we’ll probably have many more YEARS of Carl Crawford nightmares ahead of us.

Before I move on from the Orioles-just a couple more things. Thanks to everyone who came out to Jimmy’s last night (including the gang from Camden Chat). We had a lot of fun, the staff knew better than to think they should put the Washington-Pittsburgh hockey game on, and there were free t-shirts for all.

Also, Jeremy Guthrie takes the hill for the Birds tonight at The Trop as they try to even the series against Matt Garza and the Rays. As Ray Bachman once said via Twitter (follow us @WNST), “somewhere right now, Jeremy Guthrie is dreaming about home runs flying over his head.”

5. The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Matt Stover, Mike Nugent, John Carney top free agent kickers available besides Shayne Graham

Go ahead and scratch Matt Stover off the list. Like my friends told me when ABC cancelled “Step By Step”, it’s time to move on.

You know who else moved on from “Step By Step”? Christine Lakin, who played Al Lambert…

lakin

I bet she’s good at math.

As far as kickers go, we’re all going to continue to assume that Graham will be the guy until we find out otherwise. I’m not ruling out the idea that the team might go with another young kicker to compete with Billy Cundiff, as they’re not going to be interested in giving money to ANYONE-including Shayne Graham.

6. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Greg Mattison attended workout for Florida State CB Patrick Robinson

He’ll almost certainly be available when the Ravens pick 25th in the NFL Draft. Yet, for the same reasons I think Kyle Wilson might not be a great choice, there are reasons why I don’t necessarily think Patrick Robinson would be a great choice.

Robinson is 5’11″, which isn’t BAD size for a corner-but the Ravens HAVE corners in that range. I know the Bengals are EXTREMELY HAPPY with 2 sub-6’0″ corners in Leon Hall and Jonathan Joseph; but that’s rare. The Ravens could REALLY use a corner who is an inch of two taller. That being said, they need SOMEONE.

Don’t forget that there’s another 5’11″ corner available…

frankwalker

7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Cory Redding will wear #93, Marcus Smith switches to #11

Smith of course had to change his number because the Ravens acquired some guy named Boldin who will wear #81. I like that Duff pointed out that #11 was Larry Fitzgerald’s number with the Cardinals. Marcus Smith can use as many positive omens as possible.

Cory Redding is just sliding into Dwan Edwards’ old number the same way John Harbaugh and company are having him slide into his old position. Hopefully he’ll also slide into the success Edwards finally found in Charm City a season ago as well.

8. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terps punter Travis Baltz ready to ‘bounce back’ from injury riddled ’09 season

The remarkable thing about Maryland last year is that even when Baltz went down, Nick Ferrara did at LEAST an adequate (if not better than that) job of handling the punting responsibilities in his stead.

BUT-the Terrapins would be better off from a punting (and holding) standpoint with Baltz healthy.

The same way I would be better off if I knew more about who Michelle Hunziker is (Thanks Guyism.com!)…

hunziker

9. UMBC Official Site previews tonight’s trip to Unitas Stadium to face Towson in lacrosse

Boy, could Don Zimmerman’s Retrievers EVER use a win.

Their ONLY WIN ALL SEASON was a 6-5 thriller at Rutgers.

Now, Towson hasn’t been overwhelming, but they’ve played better lacrosse of late-including a CAA win over Delaware.

And Unitas Stadium has hosted some solid primetime games in recent years, including Navy earlier this season and a CLASSIC with Johns Hopkins a season ago.

It’s worth going to watch some lacrosse tonight.

10. Terrapin Trail’s Aaron Kraut says new indoor football team playing at Cole Field House

They’re playing football at Cole Field House??? Is Lonny Baxter the WHOLE Offensive Line?

And finally, I leave you with this.

Last night was the 10th anniversary of the “Web Gems” segment on ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight.” In honor of that, I offer you the Mark Buehrle play from Monday that I couldn’t get a highlight of yesterday. As I said earlier, Ho.Ly.Crap.

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

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Opening Day Hangover: The Pros and Cons of Game One

Posted on 07 April 2010 by Jay Trucker

I woke up disappointed today, and not for the usual reasons. Last night’s Orioles regular season opener in Tampa reminded me of why I love to watch baseball. The Orioles looked impressive at times, building an early lead off of solo shots from Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, and Luke Scott. They held that lead through strong pitching performances. That is, until new closer Mike Gonzalez came on and let the lead slip away. The Rays only led once last night, but it was when it counted. Carl Crawford’s walkoff double sent the tepid Tampa crowd (did they even approach a sellout?) home happy and left Orioles fans wondering if 2010 will be just like 2009, 2008, 2007, 200…you get the point.

Here are my morning after impressions of the Opening Day loss.

Mr. Jones’ big day out

James Shields has a nasty arsenal, no doubt. But while he blew through most of the Orioles lineup, he couldn’t handle Adam Jones. Jones hit a hard double in his first at bat and a home run on a full count the second time around. The young centerfielder saw eight thousand pitches before clobbering one to right-center. Jones ended Shields’ day in the seventh by legging out an infield single to start the inning.

Wieters holds down the fort

Matt Wieters fielded a rocket from Nick Markakis in the third inning to nail Dioner Navarro, ending the inning. Sure, Markakis threw the ball perfectly to the plate, and Navarro is one of the slowest players in the AL. Still, Wieters stood his ground with 220 lbs barreling down on him. Plenty of catchers would have simply lunged a glove in Navarro’s general direction. Wieters was ready to pounce on Pat Burrell in the fifth inning, too, but Felix Pie’s throw from left was off the line.

Kevin Millwood, five up, one down

Millwood threw 92 pitches over 5 innings, giving up 1 run and striking out an average of 1 hitter per inning. He’s not the prototypical ace, but he is an upgrade. He controlled the tempo of this game and dealt in an out of the strike zone. So why did he come out for the sixth inning, during which he gave up a ginoromous home run to Evan Longoria? My guess is Millwood told manager Dave Trembley he was good for one more inning. He wasn’t, but it that situation Trembley is going to side with the veteran.

Pen’d up

Matt Albers pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, helping to stabilize the defense after Millwood got the hook. Will Ohman looked solid in his first inning as an Oriole. He didn’t give up any rocket ships. Maybe he can make us forget about Jamie Walker. Jim Johnson pitched admirably in his set-up role as well. The club wanted one inning from Millwood, but they got three solid innings from their ‘pen.

Tejada gets hot at the corner

Miguel Tejada made his regular season debut at 3rd base and he aced his first field test, nailing a couple of runners with his cannon arm. He looked a little awkward fielding balls off the hop, but the idea of moving him to third where his diminishing range will mean less and his rocket arm will mean more looks like it could be a winner.

Cold corners at the plate

There is a reason Nolan Reimold is fielding balls at first base. The Garrett Atkins signing was low risk. It might not be high reward. He went 1 for 4 at the plate in his Orioles debut but looked like he was pressing in early at bats. Opening Day jitters? It’s hard to say. But a starting first baseman should not be hitting eighth in a major league lineup. Indicators suggest that Atkins could end the season on the bench if he doesn’t hit early in the year. Miguel Tejada went 0 for 5 in his return to orange and black. He smoked a ball to left with the bases loaded but hit it right to Carl Crawford. Miggi also hit into a double play. He is not a prototypical cleanup hitter, and he’ll be moved down in the lineup if he continues to GNDP while guys like Wieters, Jones, and Scott bomb away.

Gonzalez blows the opener

Things were cruising along for eight and a half innings until Mike Gonzalez came out for the save. Slinking around with a very off-kilter delivery, Gonzalez gave up the walk off, and Tampa’s fans went home happy. Tampa didn’t lead until the walk off, but that’s when it matters. The Gonzalez signing was a bit of a mystery. In 80 appearances last year, Gonzalez had 10 saves. Andy MacPhail signed him to a big money two-year contract, so he’ll get his chances to save. But his first performance as an Orioles certainly didn’t inspire confidence.

The beauty of baseball, of course, is that we don’t have to sit around talking about a game for a week in between live action. The club will take on Tampa Wednesday night, putting Jeremy Guthrie on the mound against Matt Garza.

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Orioles circa 2010: We know they’ll lie, but will they lie down again?

Posted on 06 April 2010 by Nestor Aparicio

I know, I’m like a freaking broken record. Every year I write about how I’ve wrongfully had my media pass revoked and every year the Orioles make up some more lies to justify all of their mean-spiritedness and lack of professionalism. It’s Opening Day, I’ve again been deemed “not a media member” but that’s just the “off the field” stuff.

On the field, the word “improvement” has been thrown around all offseason in regard to the Orioles. As I’ve said many times, when you lose 98 games it’s hard NOT to improve the following season. It can’t get much worse, really.

As sickening as it is that I’ve taken a myriad of phone calls, emails and correspondence wondering “if the Orioles can win 78 games” – as though this disgracefully low bar somehow passes for “improvement” – I am officially one of the optimistic orange Kool Aid drinkers circa April 5th regarding the 2010 season.

It is my belief that this is the best team the Orioles have fielded this century. In 2004, the Orioles “best” performance was indeed 78 wins. Las Vegas has the 2010 Orioles over/under at 74 ½. If I were a betting man, I’d honestly take the “over” for the 2010 Orioles.

But this might be the year they finally prove they were right all along over these past 13 years of “rebuilding” and buying the bats and growing the arms.

Apparently, 78 wins will get a number of people here in Baltimore excited. At least that’s what people think until they realize that even that lofty “goal” would still be 25 games out of first place in AL East and the season would once again be effectively over right around June 20.

People have asked me every day for a month: “What do you think of the Orioles?”

My answer: “It begins with Kevin Millwood.”

Millwood is an unwitting victim of the wrong end of a big contract and the overlooking of putting Baltimore on his “not to visit” list when he inked his last contract in Texas. But, alas, he’s here now and needs to selfishly pitch well, even in MLB’s version of Siberia. He can set the tone with a big effort tonight in Tampa Bay.

It was different when guys like Scott Erickson and Sidney Ponson were poisoning the next generation of Erik Bedard’s with their antics of bush-league, lack of professionalism. Millwood needs to be the “anti-aging” Orioles starting pitcher. He needs to be more like Rick Sutcliffe and less like the aforementioned bunch of vermin who spread their foul temperament and antics through the franchise like baseball’s version of a clubhouse cancer.

I’m not sure what kind of guy Millwood is – and again, therein lies the Orioles ability to unlawfully deny me a chance to do my job after all of these years – but I hope he acclimates, pitches well and leads by example for kids like Brian Matusz, Brad Bergesen and Chris Tillman, who seem like the real thing.

Matusz might win 15 games this year if he stays healthy. And while that certainly IS progress, it’s not really much different than what Rodrigo Lopez and Eric Bedard both did twice in orange en route to meaningless, forgettable seasons for the Orioles.

But, as stated before, I’m bullish on the Orioles in 2010 in regard to “progress.” I think they might be OK and quite competitive against teams not named New York and Boston — if pieces fall into place and if good health can be found.

If the starting pitching can get them to the 6th or 7th inning five nights a week, that will allow for a more rested bullpen and a real chance for .500.

I’m sold on Miguel Tejada as a relevant third baseman in the AL East. I think he’ll hit .300 and be an RBI machine like he’s always been. He might be 50 years old for all we know, but I think he’ll be the least of the Orioles concerns at this point in his career. He’s coming as a complimentary player not the leader and “franchise” guy he was counted on to be six years ago. His lies, transgressions and B-12 shots will not even be a factor this summer in Baltimore.

Of course, this would be a good year for SOMEONE to step up and be the REAL franchise player.

Is it Nick Markakis, who is quietly putting together a nice Orioles career?

Or could it be Adam Jones, whose Tweets are fun to follow when he’s not up all night in San Diego?

Or will it be Matt Wieters, whose hype seemed justified over the final two months of 2009 when it appeared he was ready to become a star?

At least there are several All Star Game candidates in orange this summer. It’s not another summer of David Segui, B.J. Surhoff and Gregg Zaun playing out their late 30′s at Camden Yards.

I’m not a Dave Trembley fan – the team tanked and quit down the stretch last year and each of those 98 losses were well-earned late last summer. Again, when the owner is the cheapest in the game and when Trembley will manage for 1/10th of what the best managers in MLB yield for a salary, I get what the team is doing.

They’re making money. They’re hoping these kids pan out and selling it to what’s left of a tortured fan base and using their media moles to “plant the seed” of hope. At least they can say they “were patient” while Andy MacPhail built what this cake turns out to be circa 2013, when it allegedly will mature. (They’re always two years away from competing with the Yankees and Red Sox, aren’t they?)

So, are the baby Birds ready to fly? Can the team be relevant enough to compete through the All Star break without falling 15 games behind Boston and/or New York?

We’ll see. But for the first time in a long time, they can legitimately threaten to be a .500 team if they stay healthy and have some key young prospects step up the way the insider pundits around the sport believe they will.

If Matusz is real?

If Wieters is real?

If Adam Jones can improve?

If Nick Markakis can remain consistent?

If Brian Roberts’ back can stay healthy?

If all of the young starters can get to the 7th inning with consistency?

If Tejada still has it?

And this is before we start projecting the likes of Jeremy Guthrie, Garrett Atkins, Luke Scott, Felix Pie and Nolan Reimond, who are all a literal box of chocolates. Does anyone really know what any of these guys will wind up doing come mid-summer? And what does anyone know about the bullpen, led by Mike Gonzalez?

Again – it’s the worst run franchise in professional sports. It’s not even close. That much has been borne out in living color over the past 13 summers. That will never change, even if Brooks Robinson is throwing out the first pitch on Friday. They are the worst group of people I’ve met in my 42 years on the planet — pure evil in their deeds, intents and actions.

But, perhaps this is the summer that all of their bloody deeds since 1997 are justified and they get people in Baltimore truly excited and energized about baseball.

If Tampa Bay could do it two years ago there’s no reason to believe the likes of Matusz, Wieters, Reimold, Bergesen, Tillman and company can’t step up to become very productive, young major leaguers and all hit their stride this summer.

It’s certainly a lot more possible than during the era of Omar Daal, Marty Cordova and Kevin Millar or any of the past sins of Peter Angelos’ ugly stewardship as the suddenly disappearing owner.

My real prediction: 78 wins.

I don’t think they can be above .500 with 54 games coming in the division against New York, Boston and Tampa Bay. But I think they will certainly be far better and more interesting on the field than we’ve seen here in Baltimore over the last 13 years.

But given the history, let’s all sip the orange Kool Aid one ounce at a time…

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 06 April 2010 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Figure Skating-Smuckers Stars On Ice (Thursday 7pm Verizon Center); Soccer-MLS: DC United @ Philadelphia Union (Saturday 6pm from Philly live on Fox Soccer Channel); UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals 2nd leg: CSKA Moscow vs. Internazionale (Tuesday 12:30pm from Moscow live on Fox Soccer Channel), Barcelona vs. Arsenal (Tuesday 2:30pm from Barcelona live on Comcast SportsNet locally, Fox Sports Net nationally), Manchester United vs. Bayern Munchen (Wednesday 2:45pm from Manchester, England live on Fox Soccer Channel)

10. Arctic Monkeys (Wednesday 7pm Rams Head Live) Bone Thugs -N- Harmony (Thursday 7pm Rams Head Live), Temper Trap (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club), George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club), Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus (Wednesday-Sunday 1st Mariner Arena), US Air Guitar Championships-DC Regional (Friday 8pm 9:30 Club)

Maybe not the most overwhelming week of live music, but there’s good stuff there.

If you’re a fan of The Strokes or The White Stripes, you’d probably dig the Arctic Monkeys…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xm69M3jtZl4[/youtube]

This is technically Mo Thugs Family and NOT Bone Thugs, but does it really matter? This song RULES.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVm7Smq-T0c[/youtube]

And this song is either by Temper Trap or JESUS. I’m not 100% certain.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxKjOOR9sPU[/youtube]

9. Boxing: Evander Holyfield vs. Frans Botha (Saturday 9pm from Las Vegas live on Pay-Per-View), Andre Berto vs. Carlos Quintana (Saturday 10:30pm from Sunrise, FL live on HBO)

Umm….April Fool’s???

I seriously have no idea why (money) “The Real Deal” feels the need to step back into the ring at the age of 237; but if Bone Thugs -N- Harmony can play a gig in Baltimore this week, why shouldn’t we just go COMPLETELY 1996?

And since we’re thinking about 1996, I decided to Google Image search “Laura Winslow” (from the show “Family Matters”) to see how she was doing.

She’s doing well.

laura

8. NBA: Warriors @ Wizards (Tuesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Wizards @ Magic (Wednesday 7pm from Orlando live on Comcast SportsNet), Wizards @ Celtics (Friday 7:30pm from Boston live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), Hawks @ Wizards (Saturday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Wizards @ Knicks (Monday 7:30pm from New York live on Comcast SportsNet)

It is particularly cruel of NBA Commissioner David Stern to force the ‘Zards to finish the season. Seriously, couldn’t they just let them finish up after beating the Nets? They may be the Nets, but it ain’t getting any better the rest of the way.

Of course, if you ARE headed to a Wiz game the rest of the way (which can only make me think you’re also a glutton for punishment); you might want to wear this (Thanks Bullets Forever)…

bulletsforever

7. NASCAR Subway Fresh Fit 600 (Saturday 7:30pm from Phoenix live on FOX), IRL Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (Sunday 3pm from Birmingham live on VERSUS)

I remember when I went to my first ever NASCAR race (in Dover) back in 2006, I was told that I would be impressed by the attractiveness of the females in attendance.

I was lied to. My ex-girlfriend (“The FORMER Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet”) was BY FAR the most attractive gal there.

However, after moving to Arizona-I came to find out that there WERE tracks where attractive gals attended races. Of course, this is the place where the gals look like this…

asu

6. Hockey-NHL: Capitals @ Penguins (Tuesday 7:30pm from Pittsburgh live on VERSUS), Thrashers @ Capitals (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on NHL Network & Comcast SportsNet), Bruins @ Capitals (Sunday 12pm from Verizon Center live on NBC); NCAA Frozen Four: Miami (Ohio) vs. Boston College (Thursday 8:30pm from Detroit live on ESPN2), Wisconsin vs. Rochester Institute of Technology (Thursday 5pm from Detroit live on ESPN2)

Ah…the Caps are playing. If you root for teams from Washington, you’ll be excited!

Meanwhile, the Frozen Four is awesome. Hopefully MASN gives Gary Thorne the weekend off so he can call the games, but even if he doesn’t-it should be a great weekend of puck. It breaks my heart that the Bemidji State Beavers didn’t make it; but there’s no DOUBT I’m rooting for this team, especially if they end up playing BC…

rit

5. Harlem Globetrotters (Sunday 12pm & 4:30pm Towson Center; Saturday 1pm Verizon Center, Saturday 7:30pm Patriot Center)

The joke here is that while they’re over there, they might as well use Pat Kennedy’s Tigers as opposition. They’ll be about as effective as the Washington Generals, right?

(Edit from GMC: I’m kidding!!! Kinda.)

By the way-if you don’t love the Globetrotters, go ahead and move back to Moscow you commie…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyyZaJag2Fc[/youtube]

4. Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival (Friday 6pm, Saturday 12pm Timonium Fairgrounds)

Does anyone have a liver I can borrow this week???

Between our event Tuesday night at Jimmy’s Famous Seafood in Dundalk to celebrate the Orioles’ first game of the season; all of our Opening Day festivities Friday before the Birds play the Blue Jays (come by Luna Del Sea and I’ll allow you to buy be a few beers) and then THIS…BOY.

Seriously though; has any event ever been more appropriately named? You know what you’re getting here….

beer
bourbon
bbq
drunk

3. MMA: UFC 112-Anderson Silva vs. Demian Maia (Saturday 10pm from Abu Dhabi on Pay-Per-View)

“The Spider” is one of the GREAT champions in Mixed Martial Arts history.

“The Black Widow” is a billiards player who looks like this…

jeannette

So now you know.

2. College Lacrosse: Navy @ Maryland (Saturday 12pm from Byrd Stadium live on WMAR2 & ESPNU), Loyola @ Fairfield (Saturday 1pm from Fairfield, Conn. live on AM1570 WNST), UMBC @ Towson (Wednesday 7:30pm Unitas Stadium), Albany @ Johns Hopkins (Saturday 2pm from Homewood Field live on ESPNU)

Are the most important games of the weekend being played in East Rutherford? Yeah, no doubt about that. But since they’re happening in New Jersey-they really don’t count.

Unless of course it involves that gal “JWoww” from Jersey Shore…

Jwoww

1. Golf: The Masters (Thursday 4pm Friday 4:30pm live on ESPN, Saturday 3:30pm Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Augusta. Par 3 Tournament Wednesday 3pm live on ESPN.)

I’ve had plenty of fun with Tiger Woods’ whores in recent weeks. But if I’m going to have to watch golf this weekend, I hope this happens…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1I55z-x6zc[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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2010: The “Well Then?” Season

Posted on 05 April 2010 by Jay Trucker

For all of its history, complexity, and drama, every baseball season can be boiled down to a two word slogan. The Orioles have had their “Why Not?” campaign in 1989. They’ve also had a “Never Quit” year (’95), and a “What Happened?” era (2005). Last year, unfortunately, was the “Why Bother?” season.

But it’s Opening Day 2010. It’s a new season and time for a new slogan. That’s why I’m labeling 2010 the “Well Then?” season. That’s “Well Then” as in, “This club is finally coming together. Well then, let’s see what they’ve got.”

Will the team make the playoffs? Highly unlikely.

Are they much better on paper than they have been in a long time? Absolutely.

Are they in the toughest division in baseball? Definitely.

Will they finally parlay the fruits of Andy MacPhail’s “plan” into a .500 season? It’s hard to say.

Is this entire article going to be a series of self-directed rhetorical questions? Maybe, because this is sports commentary and that’s what sports commentators do.

Anyway, the 2010 season is the year in which MacPhail has stated publicily that the team will be judged by wins and losses. That’s because it’s the first year that all of his pieces are in place.

This is the first full campaign for 2007 1st rounder Matt Wieters and 2008 1st rounder Brian Matusz. It will be a year in which Matusz will be accompanied by fellow youngsters Brad Bergesen, David Hernadez, and sooner or later Chris Tillman. All of these pitchers are legitimate prospects.Compare them to ’09 Opening Day rotation members Alfredo Simon and Adam Eaton. While not all four of the young SPs will win 15 games, they are a clear upgrade in talent and potential.

Meanwhile, the Orioles have a rangy, young outfield that can hit for average. Heck, they even have two or three left fielders worth playing on a regular basis.

They brought in a veteran hitter in Miguel Tejada, who may not be a true number four hitter anymore, but he should be good for close to the 199 hits and 46 doubles he had in ’09. And youngsters Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, and Nolan Reimold, who accounted for a total of 43 home runs last year should each take a step forward in power production this season.

They have Brian Roberts at the top of the lineup, and they even upgraded their insurance policy in the event that Roberts’ back acts up when they traded a bag of balls for Julio Lugo. If you don’t like Lugo that much, keep in mind that he is an offensive upgrade over Robert Andino, and the Red Sox are paying 17/18 of his salary to play for the Orioles.

Kevin Millwood probably won’t reproduce his 3.67 ERA for a second consecutive year, but he will more than likely pitch 200 innings and provide better stability than last year’s de facto ace, Jeremy Guthrie.

The team faces a brutal first month of the season, playing 18 games against the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays, and 6 more games on the West Coast. Many of their players are young and untested. Key veterans like Roberts, Guthrie, and Garrett Atkins are have question marks.

But it’s April, a time for optimism. Overall, this team has a lot more potential than any Opening Day roster the Orioles have put on the field in quite some time. They have the potential to be the first O’s team to reach .500 since the invention of google. They have the potential to give the big boys in the AL East some trouble. They have the potential to make Baltimore care about baseball again.

Well then, let’s see what they’ve got.

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Monday’s PM Crab Cakes and Light Beer

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Monday’s PM Crab Cakes and Light Beer

Posted on 05 April 2010 by Chris Bonetti

Suggested Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video of the Day

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

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

Tweets of the Day

The President of the United States, Barack Obama – BarackObama

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

The Trips Tab at WNST.net – WNST

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

The Trips Tab at WNST.net – WNST

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

ESPN MLB Columnist, Jayson Stark – jaysonst

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

SI MLB Insider, Jon Heyman – SI_JonHeyman

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

New York Times College Basketball Columnist, Pete Thamel – PeteThamelNYT

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

WNST NFL Correspondent, Chris Pika – BlogAndTackle

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

FoxSports.com College Basketball Columnist, Jeff Goodman – goodmanonfox

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

SI.com NFL Columnist, Peter King – SI_PeterKing

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

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

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

ESPN NFL Insider, Chris Pika – Adam_Schefter

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

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