Posted on 10 March 2012 by WNST Staff
Comments Off on Matusz Sharp as Orioles Bank Phillies
Posted on 10 March 2012 by Nestor Aparicio
(Originally posted as a prelude to the “Free The Birds” walkout in Sept. 2006, this is Part 6 of a 19 Chapter Series on How Baseball and the Orioles berthed WNST.net.)
One day my Pop came home from work in the Spring of 1983 and during dinner announced that we should go on a vacation in the upcoming summer.
Other than Venezuela in 1972, when we took my lone airplane ride, and Disney World in 1978 when we took Amtrak, I had never been much past Ocean City (I had only been there a handful of times because my Uncle Omar had a joint on 28th Street Bayside behind the Jolly Roger amusement park).
We usually just went “home” to South Carolina to visit my Mom’s family and chilled while she visited all her old neighbors and friends. My Pop and I would spend those summer days almost entirely at the Abbeville Civic Center. It wasn’t at all like OUR Baltimore Civic Center with seats and stuff. It was just a little gym with a lobby and my Pop and I would shoot baskets for hours in that hotbox gym. There wasn’t anything else to do in the tiny little South Carolina town. All of my relatives were older than my Mom and she’s now 87. So every one of them was well into their 70’s then and have since passed away.
My Aunt Earline made eggs and bacon and biscuits in the morning and fried chicken in the afternoon. Her sister, my Aunt Edna — she was a cool old lady, she took me to the NWA wrestling matches in Greenwood, S.C. one night! — made the world’s best chocolate fudge (I recently found the recipe!) and fresh peach ice cream in a churn for dessert on alternating days. We picked pecans off the tree in the back yard on Ellis Street and tossed them into a batch of that incredible fudge. And I would throw a super-sized Superball (they were bigger than the normal ones and very rock solid) against the siding of my Aunt Eleanor’s house up the street, pretending I was Nolan Ryan when I wasn’t in that hot gym.
That was vacation for me. There were no other kids, and the black/white thing in Abbeville, S.C., even then in the late 1970’s, was kind of in the backdrop as well. I ran around, dreamed and chased these weird, techni-color grasshoppers they had all over the place.
Kind of Napoleon Dynamite pathetic, huh?
But it’s really true, as I look back upon it.
I was bored as hell (except when my Aunt Edna was involved) and all I really wanted to do was stay at home in Colgate and play baseball on the church lot with my friends, anyway. But I did get to eat some great food in South Carolina. And, one time, a pretty Southern girl painted an orange Clemson paw print on my face at a park called Hickory Knob State Park!
So, when my Pop announced a chance at a trip, he looked to me. I was 14, it was the summer of 1983 and where would I want to go or what would I want to do?
Clearly, it had to involve baseball. And if involved baseball in 1983, it definitely
Comments Off on Chapter 6: Baseball punched me a ticket to see The World
Posted on 09 March 2012 by Nestor Aparicio
(Originally published as a prelude to the “Free The Birds” walkout in Sept. 2006, this is Part 5 of a 19 Chapter Series on How baseball, my father and the Orioles created WNST.net. We are planning some civic action on Thursday, April 5. Please plan to join us…)
This is probably the story that I hate to admit the most on the radio. It involves youthful ignorance, disgusting twists and turns and, ultimately, I think more than just a tad bit of old-fashioned adolescent rebellion.
I don’t think anyone could ever picture me as a rebel, right?
If what I really say about comparing the Baltimore sports scene is true — “the Ravens are my girlfriend, but the Orioles are my wife” and I DID warn you that I can find a baseball analogy for virtually ANY situation in life, or vice versa — then at one point I had a few “flings.”
A couple of those steamy, whirlwind romances that feel so good you don’t even feel GUILTY about it in the morning. It’s a “new” love, a satisfaction that only something “fresh” will give you.
My first one occurred back in the 1970’s, really the first day that the “fan” came out in the fanatic.
My Pop took me to my first Colts game on Sept. 23, 1973 to see “Broadway” Joe Namath and the New York Jets. No need to run you through the whys and wherefores of Super Bowl III (if I gotta do THAT, you probably shouldn’t be reading or hearing this!), but suffice to say this city had what my Pop would describe as a “hard on” for the Jets — to say the least!
I was three weeks shy of my 5th birthday, so I was technically 4 years old and off to a Colts’ football game we go. Unlike my memories of my first Oriole game being a little more cloudy and distant, my recollections of my first Colts game is so vivid it’s really kinda spooky.
The Colts lost that game 34-10, and even though I don’t need to look that up, I AM staring at the program from that game just six inches to my left. The fact that I can move my left hand and touch this program and, somehow, touch my father through it and touch the smell of the air that day is incredible — a powerful, powerful thing.
But that’s just how good sports can be and why The Rally on Sept. 21st downtown is important.
On that day in September 1973, Johnny Unitas had just left, the franchise was in a shambles and the embryo that would birth an exit from Baltimore, “Tiger” Bob Irsay and his drunken ownership hijinks, was gestating. Marty Domres was the starting quarterback and Bert Jones was a puppy, but the team had the key compenents to what would go on to be a fabulous team to watch from 1975 through 1977 — a team that gave Pittsburgh and Oakland a run for their money each year as a solid AFC East team. Lydell Mitchell, Ken Mendenhall, Joe Ehrmann, David Taylor, Mike Barnes — they were all there that day.
Stan White knocked Joe Namath out of the game that day and, 33 years later, I get to compete with him every day on Baltimore radio. I just think that’s kinda cool, even if he never has! Stan White was a hero of mine as a kid because he smacked Joe Namath in the mouth (or in the case, the shoulder).
My Pop didn’t think that sucked, either!
We sat in the middle of centerfield — or at least that’s what it was to me, the bleacher seats. I thought it was kinda nifty that we got to actually WALK on the baseball field. I remember how BIG everyone was and how gigantic the stadium looked from centerfield. I remember the band and I’m sure it was the first time I ever heard the “Colts Fight Song.”
At some point during the blowout, my Pop and I left, resigned to grabbing the No. 22 bus back to Highlandtown. En route, I wanted to stop and get a souvenir. I wanted to get something that had something to do with Johnny Unitas. I didn’t really know who Johnny Unitas was but I knew he was
Comments Off on Chapter 5: The Orioles and Colts weren’t the only teams that mattered
Posted on 04 February 2012 by WNST Staff
EXTON, PA—February 4th, 2012— An anonymous bidder paid $46,000 for a 2011 game used Tom Brady jersey at The Super Bowl XLVI Live Auction in Indianapolis Saturday tripling the presale estimated value. Hunt Auctions had estimated the jersey’s value at $10,000-$15,000 prior to the sale. The jersey was worn by New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady during the October 16th, 2011 game against the Dallas Cowboys.
“The record price for the Tom Brady jersey illustrates the appreciation for high quality game used items relating to the premier players in the game today. Hunt Auctions is honored to have once again partnered with NFL Auction to bring the very best of football memorabilia to fans and collectors across the country,” said David Hunt, president of Hunt Auctions.
In addition to the Brady jersey other top bids in the auction included the certificate of membership to the NFL given to the Baltimore Colts in 1953 which sold for $34,500, a Johnny Unitas Baltimore Colts 1970 Super Bowl V championship ring which sold for $14,375 and a 2003 Carolina Panthers NFC Championship ring which realized $10,436. Also impressive in today’s auction was a 2011 Denver Broncos Tim Tebow game used jersey which also tripled the presale estimate of $2,000-$4,000 selling at $14,950.
In it’s 4th year, The Super Bowl XLVI Live Auction is an annual event produced by Hunt Auctions, in partnership with NFL Auction and the NFL Players. A portion of the auction proceeds benefit NFL Charities.
The final selling prices of all the auction items is available online at www.huntauctions.com.
AUCTION HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
Tom Brady game worn New England Patriots jersey (Presale estimate $10,000-$15,000) SALE PRICE $46,000
Baltimore Colts Certificate of Membership to the NFL c. 1953 (Presale estimated $20,000-$40,000) SALE PRICE $34,500.00
October 23, 2011 Tim Tebow autographed game worn Denver Broncos jersey. (Estimated Price $2,000-$4,000) SALE PRICE $14,950
Johnny Unitas Baltimore Colts 1970 Super Bowl V Champions 10K gold ring (salesman’s sample). SALE PRICE $14,375
2003 Carolina Panthers NFC Championship 14K gold ring (Player’s ring). SALE PRICE $10,436
Ben Roethlisberger autographed game worn Pittsburgh Steelers jersey with 9/11 patch. SALE PRICE $10,102.75
ABOUT HUNT AUCTIONS: Exton, Pennsylvania based Hunt Auctions has been a leader in the sports memorabilia auction industry for close to two decades. Numerous former players and their families have trusted their collections with Hunt Auctions including Joe DiMaggio (HOF), Whitey Ford (HOF), Curt Flood, Leo Durocher (HOF), Robin Roberts (HOF), Earl Weaver (HOF), Commissioner Bowie Kuhn (HOF), Clem Labine, Mickey Vernon, Jake Pitler, Thurman Munson, Roy Campanella (HOF), Bucky Walters, Walter Johnson (HOF), Bill McKechnie (HOF), Willie Mosconi, and Norm Van Brocklin (HOF). Hunt Auctions is also the Official Auction Company of Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory and the Official Auctioneer of Major League Baseball All-Star FanFest. Hunt Auctions has worked with numerous institutions to include: The National Football League, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, National Baseball Hall of Fame, Chicago Bulls, National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, and Baseball Assistance Team.
Comments Off on Original Baltimore Colts Charter, Unitas Super Bowl V Ring Sold at Saturday Auction
Posted on 04 February 2012 by Glenn Clark
It was another incredible week of Super Bowl coverage for us here at AM1570 WNST.net. Both “The Morning Reaction” with Drew Forrester and Luke Jones as well as “The Reality Check” with Glenn Clark emanated from Radio Row at Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis every day. “Nasty” Nestor Aparicio was also part of the daily fun.
In case you missed anything we did, here is a list of the guest segments available for your consumption right now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.
–Adam Sandler (Actor)
–Matt Birk (Baltimore Ravens C)
–Chuck Pagano (Indianapolis Colts Head Coach, former Ravens DC)
–Curt Schilling (Former Baltimore Orioles/Boston Red Sox/Arizona Diamondbacks/Philadelphia Phillies Pitcher)
–Shannon Sharpe (Former Baltimore Ravens/Denver Broncos Hall of Fame TE, CBS)
–AJ Green (Cincinnati Bengals WR)
–Ingrid & Sarah Harbaugh (Wives of John & Jim Harbaugh)
–Jim Schwartz (Detroit Lions Head Coach)
–Mike Smith (Atlanta Falcons Head Coach)
–Marcus Allen (Hall of Fame RB)
–Larry The Cable Guy (Comedian)
–Priest Holmes (Former Baltimore Ravens/Kansas City Chiefs RB)
–Vanilla Ice (Musician/Actor)
–Will Forte (Actor/Comedian/Saturday Night Live alum)
–Lynn Swann (Former Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame WR)
–Greg Ballard (Mayor of Indy)
–Dustin Keller (New York Jets TE)
–Jason Taylor (Former Miami Dolphins DE)
–Frank Caliendo (Comedian)
–Jay Mohr (Actor/Comedian)
–David Feherty (Golf Channel)
–Mike Haynes (Former New England Patriots Hall of Fame CB)
–Brian Billick (Former Baltimore Ravens coach FOX/NFL Network)
–Herm Edwards (Former New York Jets/Kansas City Chiefs coach, ESPN)
–Dick Vermeil (Former Super Bowl winning St. Louis Rams coach)
–Marv Levy (Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame coach)
–Joe Theismann (Former Washington Redskins QB, NFL Network)
–Lorenzo Neal (Former Baltimore Ravens/San Diego Chargers FB)
–Rich Gannon (Former Oakland Raiders QB, CBS)
–Antonio Pierce (Former NY Giants LB)
–Jack Youngblood (Los Angeles Rams Hall of Fame DE)
–Dhani Jones (Former Cincinnati Bengals LB)
–Robbie Gould (Chicago Bears Kicker)
–Morten Anderson (Former New Orleans Saints/Atlanta Falcons Kicker)
–Bonnie Bernstein (ESPN/University of Maryland alum)
–Peter King (SI/NBC)
–Lesley Visser (CBS)
–Sal Paolantonio (ESPN)
–Laura Kaeppeler (Miss America 2012)
–Chrissy Teigen (SI Swimsuit Issue model)
–Will Witherspoon (Tennessee Titans LB)
(More on Page 2…)
Posted on 15 July 2011 by Glenn Clark
I know just how frustrating the 2011 season has been for Baltimore Orioles fans.
I also know how frustrating the 2010 season was. And 2009. And 2008. And 2007. And 2006. And…I think you get the point.
I was born on September 6, 1983. Just over a month later (October 16) the O’s vanquished the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 5 to claim their third (and still most recent) World Series title. Despite being alive for 40 days when it happened, I’m ashamed to say I have no memories of the title.
The 1989 Birds were a special group. I’ve watched the “Why Not” video a number of times in my life, mostly thanks to my friends BJ and Chris Appel. While they finished short of winning the American League East crown, the team has left many folks in Charm City with special memories.
Unfortunately, I had just turned six years old when the season was cut short. My memories of the ’89 Orioles are extremely limited, and the team itself really didn’t mean much to me as a baseball fan.
I’ve made it quite clear that I am much more of a lacrosse person than I am a baseball person. I’ve made it obvious that certain things about baseball in recent years have made me turn from the game. That’s been made worse by the fact that the team here in Baltimore has given me almost nothing to enjoy for nearly 15 years now. Like many other fans in this city, the demise of our own team has lead to a lessened interested in the sport in general.
That wasn’t the case in 1996.
My 12th birthday was September 5, 1995. It was a special day to be an Orioles fan (like I need to tell you) as Cal Ripken passed Lou Gehrig by playing in his 2,131st consecutive game. My parents were kind enough to purchase me EXACTLY what I wanted for my birthday that year-an oversized Orioles “Starter” brand jacket.
(I know I wasn’t the only one who wore a Starter jacket at the time.)
I’m pretty sure I didn’t take that jacket off for two years-even in the summer.
Baseball was my most significant love in 1996. The Ravens came into existence during the offseason but wouldn’t “take over” the city for another three to four years. In fact, as rabid as we were in Baltimore for the return of the NFL, there were multiple games between Memorial Stadium and what was then known as PSINet Stadium in the early years of the Ravens’ existence that were “sold out”, but featured less than empty crowds.
It was a baseball town, and I loved the Orioles more than I even loved girls.
One of the most exciting moments of my life was the day I found out Home Team Sports (HTS) had been moved from the “premium” tier of Comcast programming in Baltimore County and instead became a basic cable channel.
I was that crazy about the Orioles.
In 8th grade, I was often caught not paying attention to teachers in class. While other kids were writing love notes, I was found to be drawing miniature baseball diamonds and impressing my friends with my ability to name the starting nine for every other team in Major League Baseball.
I was a complete and total nutjob when it came to baseball.
I’m not sure I can fairly explain how much those 1996 & 1997 teams meant to me as I hit puberty. My entire attitude was determined by what the Orioles had done the night before.
I still remember coming home from Perry Hall High School one late fall afternoon in 1995 to have my dad tell me the Orioles had signed Roberto Alomar. I didn’t believe him at first, but ultimately celebrated as if I had received straight A’s on my report card.
The 1996 & 1997 Orioles gave me some of the happiest memories of my life as a sports fan. They also of course gave me some of the saddest memories of my life, as they failed to advance past the ALCS in both years.
As far as “Orioles Magic” is concerned, the only thing I REALLY know about “magic” for the Orioles franchise happened during those two seasons.
I’ve explained my excitement about Alomar’s impending induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame many times. Part of my identity as a Baltimore sports personality is tied to my affection to the man who will take his place in Cooperstown next weekend.
I find it fitting that as Alomar enters the Hall of Fame, he will share the stage with the architect of those Orioles teams, former General Manager Pat Gillick. Gillick’s career is directly tied to Alomar, having brought the second baseman to the Toronto Blue Jays, where the pair would win two World Series titles. Gillick would go on to bring Alomar to Baltimore, where he would lead the O’s to their only Wild Card playoff berth and their first AL East crown in 14 seasons.
My guess is that most of the coverage surrounding next weekend’s induction ceremony will be about the time Alomar and Gillick shared with the Jays. But for Orioles fans, next weekend’s ceremony will be a reminder of a special (albeit short) era of success in Baltimore.
It’s with that in mind that I am happy to announce that Thyrl Nelson and I have come together to dedicate next Friday’s (7/22) edition of “The Mobtown Sports Beat” to the 1996 & 1997 Baltimore Orioles.
We’ll use the show to congratulate Alomar and Gillick on entering the Hall of Fame, as well as to honor the teams that were truthfully the most special in my lifetime.
We’ll talk to players, coaches, broadcasters and even fans who were around those teams. Some interviews will be live, some will be taped earlier in the week. As guests continue to confirm, I’ll do my best to pass them along.
Older Orioles fans might not look back on the ’96 and ’97 with the same fondness that I do. But this is all I’ve known of winning baseball in Baltimore…well…ever.
It’s going to be a lot of fun. I hope you’ll tune in next Friday to AM1570 WNST or online at WNST.net to join in the celebration. I hope you’ll chime in with calls, emails, Tweets (@WNST or @GlennClarkWNST on Twitter), Facebook messages and other memories of those teams.
It’s the only “Magic” I’ve ever experienced, and it doesn’t look like it will be changing soon.
(Eds. Note: A previous version of this post mistakenly stated the Ravens had experienced “multiple blackouts” in their early years.)
Comments Off on Remembering Only “Magic” I’ve Known
Posted on 07 January 2011 by Glenn Clark
What a wild week.
The Ravens are preparing for an AFC Wild Card playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
Maryland football introduced former UConn coach Randy Edsall as Ralph Friedgen’s replacement after a very public flirtation with former Texas Tech Head Coach Mike Leach.
The Orioles (very unfortunately and tragically) saw pitcher Alfredo Simon turn himself into police as the main suspect in a Dominican Republic murder. This of course overshadowed their signing of reliever Kevin Gregg.
On top of that, we’re in the middle of BCS football games, the Washington Capitals won the NHL Winter Classic last Saturday night, and the Terps get their first crack at Duke this season Sunday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
In the sports media business, this is the type of week we love, as we spend much of the year looking for topics and storylines to write about and discuss.
Yet somehow this week, I’ve found myself captivated by the discussion surrounding the announcement of the 2011 induction class for the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Much of my interest has to do with my personal affection for Roberto Alomar (the greatest Oriole I’ve been able to see play in my lifetime), but more of it has to do with my interest in the process itself.
(Photo courtesy: New York Times)
Former Houston Astros slugger Jeff Bagwell was up for induction for the first time this year. As someone whose height of baseball fandom (I’ve never hidden from the fact that I’m no longer a “baseball guy” at this point in my life) coincided with the peak of Bagwell’s career, there was no doubt in my mind that Bagwell was deserving of induction to the Hall of Fame.
He didn’t have the “can’t miss” numbers (2,314 hits and 449 home runs); but he was clearly amongst the dominant players of his era at his position (four time All-Star, six times a Top 10 finisher in National League MVP voting).
I couldn’t imagine Jeff Bagwell NOT being considered a Hall of Famer.
Yet when Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) voters made their decision, only 41.7% of them agreed with me; more than 30% less than the 75% needed for election.
Jeff Bagwell never tested positive for steroids and no positive link exists whatsoever. Yet the biggest reason Bagwell wasn’t elected remained…steroids.
Here’s what BBWAA voter Dan Graziano (who now writes for Fanhouse) said in his column explaining his decision to NOT vote for Bagwell…
“No, I didn’t vote for Jeff Bagwell for the Hall of Fame. Yes, it’s for the reason everybody loves to hate. I don’t know for sure that Bagwell took steroids or any other performance-enhancing drugs to help him attain his Hall of Fame-caliber numbers. I don’t have evidence, like we do against Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro. But I’m suspicious. And this year, that suspicion was enough to make me send back my ballot without the Bagwell box checked. I’d rather withhold the vote based on suspicion than vote the guy in only to find out later that he cheated and I shouldn’t have.”
Graziano explained his decision in further detail Wednesday morning during an appearance with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST.
“I’ve decided not to vote for the steroid guys” said Graziano. “Bagwell we don’t know. He’s not in the Mitchell Report, he hasn’t tested positive like (former Texas Rangers & Orioles slugger Rafael) Palmeiro did. But there’s enough suspicion on my part that I’m holding back. The suspicion in my mind overcomes his credentials for me as someone who doesn’t want to put cheaters in.
“If it turns out that I’m wrong and he was innocent then he has my apology” Graziano added. “There are people (like SI writer) Joe Posnanski and other high profile people that have written about the Hall of Fame that will tell you ‘I’d rather put in 100 cheaters than risk keeping one innocent guy out.’ I feel exactly the opposite. I’d rather risk keeping an innocent guy or two out than put in a single cheater. And if I find out five years from now, 10 years from now that there’s a guy in there I voted for that I shouldn’t have, that would be my bigger regret.”
That tells me just about everything I needed to know about how voting is going to go in the steroid era.
The BBWAA is going to punt.
Comments Off on Here’s My Hall of Fame Suggestion: Take Steroid Era Out of Writers’ Hands
Posted on 30 December 2010 by Glenn Clark
Yep, it’s another list. It’s the end of the year. It’s what I do.
This one is also compiled by the law offices of…Glenn Clark.
This used to be an annual ESPN SportsCenter special every year.
All sports, everywhere…what were the best games?
Here’s my list.
10. WEC 53: Anthony Pettis def. Benson Henderson (December 16 Glendale, AZ)
The easy choice for fight of the year (RIGHT?) is remembered much more for how it finished than anything that happened for the better part of three rounds.
This was a really good fight BEFORE Anthony Pettis channeled Keanu Reeves with a kick that could have been taken right out of The Matrix.
It was awesome.
The final curtain for WEC before merging with UFC provided the greatest moment in the promotion’s history; and the greatest moment in Mixed Martial Arts in 2010.
9. NCAA Lacrosse Final Four: Duke 14, Virginia 13 (May 29 Baltimore, MD)
As I wrote in my “Top 10 Local Sports Moments of the Year” roundup, this game was the definition of an “Instant Classic.”
The buildup that went into the game (including the Yeardley Love tragedy and George Huguely fallout in Charlottesville; the presence of the last class of “Super Seniors” at Duke following the 2006 rape allegation scandal) was intense.
Amazingly, the game lived up to the hype…and then some.
8. Breeders’ Cup Classic (November 6 Louisville, KY)
Usually horse racing has NO relevance outside of Triple Crown season. This year horse racing was actually MORE relevant outside of Triple Crown season.
The buildup that surrounded Zenyatta’s quest to finish off a perfect record at Churchill Downs was intense, yet once again it was lived up to.
Never before has a favored competitor lost…but yet somehow found themselves praised as if they had won. The celebration of the late charge from the filly was almost poetic in nature, with even regularly irreverent folks like Deadspin waxing poetic in their analysis.
The movie would have been better had Zenyatta managed to get past Blame.
Then again…maybe not.
7. NFL Playoffs: NFC Wild Card Round-Arizona Cardinals 51, Green Bay Packers 45 (OT) (January 10 Glendale, AZ)
I have to admit that I didn’t get to see this game the first time around, as sadly I was on a bus on the way back from Foxborough after the Ravens had defeated the Patriots.
I’m glad the NFL Network exists so that folks like me get a second chance.
This was incredible drama, with Aaron Rodgers matching Kurt Warner right up until the final overtime fumble.
It was fitting that this allowed us one more opportunity to celebrate Warner before he would retire. An improbable future Hall of Famer; Warner gave us a lot of memories. This was a great one to tie a career together.
6. MLB Playoffs: NLDS Game 1-Philadelphia Phillies 4, Cincinnati Reds 0 (October 7 Philadelphia, PA)
A lot of folks should feel proud to have been involved with games that are on this list.
The Cincinnati Reds probably shouldn’t include themselves in that group.
In fairness to the Reds, Roy Halladay would have been dominant against just about ANY team at Citizens Bank Ballpark that night. Maybe not no-hitter dominant, but dominant nonetheless.
For the rest of eternity, Halladay will be able to hear his name with Don Larsen’s every time a pitcher flirts with a postseason no-no. It’s a pretty cool club to join.
Baseball doesn’t provide us as many of these “hairs on your arms raised” moments as it once did-but when they come around, they’re still pretty special.
This one definitely qualifies as special.
5. NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Game: Duke 61, Butler 59 (April 5 Indianapolis, IN)
Drew Forrester and I were discussing this recently on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST.
Had Gordon Heyward’s shot gone in at the buzzer…would it have been the greatest moment in the history of sports?
The Bulldogs’ run to the Final Four (which was of course in their hometown in Indy) was so improbable it HAD to be compared to the movie “Hoosiers.”
If the shot had gone in…this movie would have been better.
What makes me think the shot would have been the greatest moment in the history of sport is the fact that the shot was MISSED yet we still put it in lore.
How would history have been different had David stood toe-to-toe with Goliath for 10 rounds only to see a final slingshot toss just miss?
4. Wimbledon: John Isner def. Nicholas Mahut 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68 (June 24-25 Wimbledon, England)
Despite the surreal (I’m not kidding, I’m still in a state of disbelief about this epic clash) nature of this showdown, it WASN’T better than the Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal final two years ago. In fact, it wasn’t better than Federer’s final clash with Andy Roddick in 2009 either.
But it was an AMAZING two days.
Two players no one had ever heard of (not named Glenn Clark anyway) caught the attention of the entire world, nearly shutting down Twitter in the process.
It wasn’t always high-level tennis; but it was about impossible to comprehend.
It was MORE meaningful because it just so happened to come on the heels of #3…
3. World Cup: Team USA 1, Algeria 0 (June 24 Pretoria, South Africa)
As far as “best moment of the year” is concerned, the video above is all of the evidence you would need to certify this as your winner.
When Landon Donovan finally delivered salvation to the Yanks, strangers hugged strangers across the country.
A number of those strangers won’t find themselves watching soccer again until 2014.
The game wasn’t necessarily as good from start to finish as others on this list, but it was damn compelling. The storyline WOULD have been an incredible amount of missed opportunities for the Americans had Tim Howard never hurled a football toss towards midfield in stoppage time.
Of course, that wouldn’t have made this list.
2. Super Bowl XLIV: New Orleans Saints 31, Indianapolis Colts 17 (February 7 Miami, FL)
As football fans, we’ve been treated to a number of really good Super Bowls recently.
This was absolutely amongst the best.
The game was compelling; with Drew Brees outdueling Peyton Manning. The drama was better; as Sean Peyton’s decision to go for an onsides kick to start the second half will be remembered amongst the all time great calls in football history.
The celebration…and the belief that winning the Super Bowl truly represented “hope” in the city of New Orleans…made this even better.
1. Olympics Ice Hockey Gold Medal Game: Canada 3, Team USA 2 (February 28 Vancouver, ALB)
We were in the airport in Indianapolis (it was the weekend of the NFL Scouting Combine) as this game was happening.
Every human being in the airport was GLUED to a television.
Had it been Patrick Kane scoring the game winner instead of Sidney Crosby, there would be no argument about what was the game of the year.
In fact, we would probably think of Ryan Miller in a similar way we think of Jim Craig.
With no offense to the NHL…they could never give us this.
Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…
Comments Off on Top 10 Games of 2010
Posted on 11 August 2010 by Thyrl Nelson
What a difference a week makes. It’s hard to believe that in just over a week’s time under the watchful eye of Buck Showalter, the Orioles have gone from the laughing stock of baseball, to a team to be reckoned with. Maybe that’s because we shouldn’t be so quick to believe what we’ve been seeing. Like most of us, I’d like to believe, that with Showalter came the magical elixir for all that ailed the Orioles, and from here on out the moribund existence that we’ve come to expect from this team is nothing more than a distant memory. But that can’t be true, right?
First of all, even if Showalter does have all of the answers that the Orioles have been looking for, which I’m quite sure he doesn’t, it’s inconceivable, based on the type of play that we’ve seen from this club Pre-Buck, that he could have given all of those answers to the O’s already. How much organizational philosophy can one impart in the course of a single week? More likely, what we’ve seen from the O’s is a combination of factors, coming together at the right time to create the perfect storm of circumstance that we’ve watched unfold in the last week plus.
First is the simple market correction. It simply stood to reason, if baseball people, both inside and outside the Orioles’ organization know anything at all about talent, that this is not one of the worst teams in the history of baseball. That is though, the tune that they’ve been playing to for most of the season. Sooner or later a hot streak was bound to bail them out.
This team is still bad no doubt, but not that bad, not historically bad. Heck, it’s not even the worst O’s team we’ve seen in the last 14 years. Say what you want about this current group, but they’re miles ahead of the team that featured Jay Gibbons, Jeff Conine and Luis Matos at the top of the order, with Rodrigo Lopez on opening day…miles ahead.
Second has to be the return of Brian Roberts. All year we’ve talked about the impact of losing a leadoff hitter has on a team. The Phillies are the easy comparison, as they floundered offensively through most of the summer without leadoff hitter Jimmy Rollins. And while Roberts is no Jimmy Rollins, he’s a lot closer to Rollins than those charged with carrying the middle of the O’s order are to Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez. Moreover, Roberts approach is infectious. In each of the O’s last 4 wins, Roberts has seen upwards of 20 pitches. Teammates have seemingly picked up on his example. The result has meant the difference between being into opponents’ bullpens in the 6th or 7th inning as opposed to the 9th. Of course that helps win ballgames, and it’s easily been the difference in a couple of the O’s recent wins. The returns of Matt Wieters, Mike Gonzalez and a finally healthy and functional Koji Uehara certainly haven’t hurt Buck’s cause either.
What Buck seemingly has brought to the team however, is a sense of urgency and accountability. That much is evident from simply watching them. In last night’s game, a 14-6 laugher in the bottom of the 8th, as the camera panned to Luke Scott’s exit from the dugout, everyone was on the top step, with only coaches enjoying seats in a game all but over. That’s clearly different.
The other big change, and the toughest to explain, has been the starting pitching. How do you explain that? O’s pitchers are clearly taking back the inside part of the plate, an issue which they’ve failed to address all year, and are still stumbling though at present. It’s hard to say that O’s pitchers though are stumbling through anything right now, as all of their success has been predicated on good pitching so far under Buck, a trend that we can only hope to see continue.
Throughout the season we’ve listened with interest as team legend and TV broadcaster Jim Palmer has taken the team to task. But his seemingly favorite, and redeeming stat has been that when the O’s score 4 runs they win. (By my unofficial count, now 34-19 when they score 4 or more runs) As hard as it is to believe that in 113 games the Orioles have managed 4 or more runs just 53 times, it’s almost impossible to conceive that a team 35 games below .500 on the season would stand at 15 games above .500 when that simple benchmark is achieved. In the AL East, that has to be the standard offensively.
Maybe they’re closer than most would allow themselves to think. Maybe the Showalter syndrome is infecting my brain a bit. And maybe, in regard to his timing on this one at least, MacPhail is working his plan. It’s sure been fun thinking so.
ESPN’s Streak for the Cash is the safest way to gamble on the web. Compile the longest monthly winning streak for a chance at $25,000. Join My Group.
MLB’s Beat the Streak challenges you to pick one hitter per day and make a run at Joe DiMaggio’s all-time hitting streak for $3,000,000. Also links to Beat the Homerun Streak and MLB Survivor. Join My Group.
Comments Off on How Much Is a Buck Really Worth?
Posted on 30 July 2010 by Glenn Clark
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…
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!)…
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.
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!)
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:
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!)…
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?
(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…
Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…
Comments Off on Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer