Tag Archive | "phillies"

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Original Baltimore Colts Charter, Unitas Super Bowl V Ring Sold at Saturday Auction

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.

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Wrapping Up A Week at Radio Row in Indy

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Wrapping Up A Week at Radio Row in Indy

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…)

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Remembering Only “Magic” I’ve Known

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.)

-G

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Here’s My Hall of Fame Suggestion: Take Steroid Era Out of Writers’ Hands

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Here’s My Hall of Fame Suggestion: Take Steroid Era Out of Writers’ Hands

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.

nytimes
(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.

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Top 10 Games of 2010

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)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxLnqWBi4GU[/youtube]

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)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3g2YHrYETk[/youtube]

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)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Et15M6wsPo[/youtube]

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)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJLrxjq5pJg[/youtube]

Holy hell.

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)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=On90ENNAQIg[/youtube]

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)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk8YWU8C6KY[/youtube]

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?

Honestly.

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)

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

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)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbn3rOPmR9w[/youtube]

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)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tllnSO9JOd0[/youtube]

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)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_koQujQ8Vg[/youtube]

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…

-G

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How Much Is a Buck Really Worth?

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How Much Is a Buck Really Worth?

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.

 

 

Here’s Where I’m Playing Right Now.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 30 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Friday!

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

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

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

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

frigo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I just have a bad feeling it might not happen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

jakkidegg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

shannonjames

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

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

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

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

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

Eh, one more time, why not?

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

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

And finally, I leave you with this.

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

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

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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A Look at Potential O’s Managerial Candidates

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A Look at Potential O’s Managerial Candidates

Posted on 10 June 2010 by Ryan Chell

Dave Trembley is out as Orioles manager, and Juan Samuel is in as interim manager for the time being. But the key word there is interim, and Andy MacPhail and Peter Angelos are already hard at working at bringing in about a dozen candidates to come in and interview for the job. No one is sure if these candidates would be hired immediately this season, or if it’s a process that will work itself out into the off-season and into next year.

Given the Orioles recent trend of hiring mangers with little to no managerial experience on the big league level( Lee Mazzilli, Sam Perlozzo, Dave Trembley), you would think that Orioles management would want to bring in a manager with some success  in the past. Some on this list have brought their teams a World Series title, or built a team up that eventually won a championship.

But the list of potential Orioles managers also includes those familiar with this organization, minor league coaches on the rise, and some who are guys that might have an ability to light a fire under these players. A former Oriole, like Rick Dempsey or B.J. Surhoff could be an option as well, in the hopes that they could return the team to the good old days and the “Oriole Way”.

Experienced Managers

1. Larry Bowa (418-435 as a manger)

Larry Bowa

The former Phillies and Padres manager is currently the third base coach for Joe Torre’s Dodgers. He last managed for the Phillies back in 2004, where he was the manager for four seasons. During that time, he was 337-308 with Philadelphia, including winning the Manager of the Year award in 2002 for bringing the Phillies within two games of winning the division after the team finished last the year previously.

As a player, he was a five-time all-star shortstop and a two-time Gold Glove winner, playing mostly for Philadelphia during his 15-year career. He along with Don Mattingly will be one of several Dodger assistant coaches the Orioles may take a look at for their managerial position.

2. Phil Garner (985-1054)

Phil Garner

Phil Garner has been around the block when it comes to managing in the big leagues, managing close to 2000 games. He is very competitive and has that fiery attitude that Orioles ownership might be be looking for in a manager. He played on the 1979 Pirates World Championship team that defeated the Orioles, and recently he saved the Astros’ 2005 season  by taking them to the World Series but they got swept by the Chicago White Sox. He has manged in both leagues, but he is probably a better fit in the National League.

3. Bobby Valentine (1117-1072)

Bobby Valentine

He is an early favorite for the coaching job, but he hasn’t managed in the majors since 2002 with the Mets. Including his managerial time with New York, who he took to one NLCS and World Series, and the Rangers, he also has manged the Norfolk Tides when they were the Mets’ Triple A team and had two stints over in Japan. His career record with the Mets is not bad (536-467). He is a player’s manager, but he also is a bit of a character as well. Everyone remembers when he got thrown out of a game, and came back from the clubhouse with a clever disguise.

Bobby Valentine

4. Buck Showalter (882-833)

Buck Showalter

A two-time AL Manager of the Year, he has manged the Yankees, Diamondbacks, and Rangers in his 14-year managerial career. He has turned around losing teams fast, and was probably the most successful during his time with the Yankees (313-268). He was hired two seasons before the expansion D-backs began playing to build the team on a personnel stage. He never played in the majors thanks to former teammate Don Mattingly, who was at first base when he was coming up in the minors. His only issues? He has had problems in the past with ownership, and is kind of a control freak.

The other funny thing? Both the Yankees and the D-backs won the World Series the year after he left. Maybe the O’s should just sign him for a year, then fire him, and expect a title the following year if the trend continues.

Another thing working in his favor? He used to work with the great Yankee Assistant to the Traveling Secretary George Constanza

Buck Showalter with Assistant to the Traveling Secretary, George Constanza.

5. Davey Johnson (1148-888)

Davey Johnson

Oriole fans know this man well. A former second baseman (1965-1972, 3 Gold Gloves and All-Star selections) and manager for the O’s, he has won three World Series in his career, two with the O’s as a player and one managing the Mets in 1986, thanks to some guy named Bill Buckner.

Bill Buckner

During his 14 year managerial career, his only losing campaign was in his second-to-last season with the Dodgers. He reached the league championship series five times in his career, including two with Baltimore in 1996 and 1997. After his MLB managerial career ended, he also served time as the US Manager in the World Baseball Classic and is currently an adviser for the Nationals.

The problems standing in his way to a return to the O’s? He has fought with owners before, including Reds owner Marge Schott and the much publicized tussle he had with Peter Angelos after the ’97 season. If Angelos were to stay away from Davey, he could be back in an Oriole uniform.

6. Bob Melvin (493-508)

Bob Melvin

Melvin, a former backup catcher with the O’s, recently was the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He played ten seasons in the majors, including three with Baltimore. He won 93 games with Seattle in his first year managing, and then after moving on to Arizona, he brought the D-backs an NL West title in 2007 and earned himself Manager of the Year honors. His hiring would be a combination of a fiery attitude, a former Oriole, and a man who knows baseball. He is currently a scout for the Mets organization.

7. Eric Wedge (561-573)
Eric Wedge

Wedge has been another name that has been mentioned a lot. His rise through the minor leagues in Cleveland was well-documented, as he was a 3-time Manager of the Year in different levels of the Indians organization. In 2001, he led the Triple A Buffalo Bisons to a 91-51 record. In 2002, at the age of 34, he was named the Indians’ 39th manager, and in 2005, he led the Indians to a 93-69 record, eighth best in franchise history.

He was runner-up for Manager of the Year, losing to AL Central rival, Ozzie Guillen of the White Sox. He saw success two years later again in 2007, when he led the Indians to a 96-66 record, winning the AL Central for the first time since 2001. They lost in the ALCS to the Boston Red Sox, who eventually went on to win the World Series. His problem? He needs good players around him in order to succeed.

8. Tom Kelly (1140-1244)
Tom Kelly

Andy MacPhail’s manager in Minnesota, where he won two World Series titles. He was only 36 years old when he was named manager of the Twins. The results? From 1986-1992, the Twins were one of the best teams in the league, winning those two World Series titles in 1987 and 1991. Kelly won the Manager of the Year award in that 1991 season. However, with star players like Kirby Puckett retiring and injuries plaguing the team, the Twins only saw two winning seasons from 1992 to 2001, his last in Minnesota. MacPhail would love to bring Kelly back for a reunion, but Kelly has already said that he’s not interested in managing, and he has been away from the game for quite some time.

“The Assistants”

1. Ryne Sandberg

Ryne Sandberg

Sandberg is an intriguing candidate for so many reasons. Sandberg does not have any major league managing experience, but he is familiar with Andy MacPhail as a player and as coach. He was the Cubs 2B for 14 seasons, was a 10x All-Star, won 9 Gold Gloves, and was the MVP of the 1984 season for the National League. He has manged every level of the Cubs’ organization and has quickly rose through the ranks.

He actually interviewed for the Cubs job back in 2006, and lobbied to be the manger, losing to Lou Piniella. Piniella thinks that the job is his when he is no longer the manager. The Cubs connection is probably a big hint that Andy MacPhail is going to be calling him regarding the O’s job. I’d keep an eye out on him, because if he doesn’t come here, he is either going to be the next Cubs manager or managing somewhere else.

2. Don Mattingly

Don Mattingly

Joe Torre’s protege for the last several years, Mattingly started out as a special instructor for the Yankees after retiring in 1995. He served in that role till 2003, when he was named the team’s hitting coach under Torre. In 2004, the Yankees set a franchise record in home runs with 242. After Lee Mazzilli left to manage the O’s in 2006, he replaced him as Torre’s bench coach.

Then, when Torre was fired by George Steinbrenner three years ago, he was considered the front runner for the job and interviewed for it. Instead, Joe Girardi was hired and Mattingly followed Torre to LA, serving the same role with the Dodgers. He is considered one of the top assistant coaches in the league and will be a manager somewhere soon.

3. Gary Allenson
Gary Allenson

The O’s Triple A manger was recently called up to be the third base coach when Juan Samuel moved into Trembley’s seat. He has been with the organization for years, including managing the Ottawa Lynx in 2003(79-65), the rookie level Bluefield Orioles in 2006 (31-37), and he has been the Tides’ manager since 2006, posting a 228-254 record over that span. He is another manager with attitude, but I would think there would be other candidates looked at before Allenson.

4. Jeff Datz
Jeff Datz
The current O’s bench coach spent nine years as an assistant for the Indians, where he was a big favorite of the players, especially Grady Sizemore, who had Datz pitch to him in the Home Run Derby a few years back. Again, I think others would be given a shot before Datz.

5. Juan Samuel
Juan Samuel

The Orioles could do what they have done in the past, where they just name the interim manager the permanent manager. He had been the Orioles 3B coach since 2006, and before that managed the Mets’ Double A team. He actually played against the Orioles in the 1983 World Series for the Phillies. If they are smart, the Orioles will not hire the interim manager a third time in a row.

6. Brad Komminsk

Brad Komminsk

Komminsk is currently the manager of the Bowie Baysox. A former Top 5 pick of the Atlanta Braves when he was a player, he spent seven seasons managing in the Cleveland organization, winning Carolina League Manager of the Year in 2001. The team he led during that time was the Kinston Indians to a 89-51 record.

Oriole Greats

1. Rick Dempsey
Rick Dempsey
If wanting the job the most was the qualifications for the manager’s position, Dempsey would win. The 1983 World Series MVP has lobbied for the job four times. and has been passed over time after time. He has spent 43 years in baseball, including 24 as a player. He has been a coach for the Orioles, and has managed at the minor league level for the Mets and the Dodgers. He currently serves as a studio analyst for MASN, and the last time he coached was 2006.

2. BJ Surhoff
BJ Surhoff
His passion for the Orioles, evidenced by when he cried after being traded to the Braves in the late 1990′s, is something maybe the Orioles could use in an effort to get things turned around.

3. Bill Ripken

Bill Ripken
Bill Ripken, now an owner of the Aberdeen Ironbirds, has little to no coaching experience, other than being the first base coach for the USA team in the WBC. Those that want a Ripken in the manager’s chair might have to be happy with Bill.

Tune into “The Morning Reaction” on 1570 WNST for more info regarding the Orioles’ managerial search!

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My Day at Citizens Bank Park

Posted on 20 May 2010 by dansoderberg

Philadelphia, PA – After attending two O’s games in April I decided it was time to see some actual  Major League Baseball action, so I packed up the family and headed to Philly to watch the Phils and the Cubbies.  I’ve always rooted for the Cubs and became a full fledged Cubs fan after taking a trip to Wrigley about 8 years ago, so I went to the game with a rooting interest.

First off, Citizens Bank Park is a very nice ballpark, it’s not quite Camden Yards but it is damn nice.  There is an open concourse all the way around the park so you can see the field from the concession lines and when walking to the restrooms.  I’ve been to Comerica in Detroit and PNC Park in Pittsburgh an they also have an open concourse.  It’s really the one thing those parks have all over Camden Yards, though the concourse at Camden Yards is much wider and easier to maneuver while carrying a 9 month old and a 3 year old, as I was today.

Citizens Bank Park also had a great play area for kids called the Phanatic Phun Zone.  We spent about 20 minutes there before the game letting my 3 year old son stretch his legs after the long car ride.  He had a great time and frankly would have stayed there all day had we let him.  The ballpark also features a Build-a-Bear workshop just in case you want to drop $80 bucks on a stuffed Phanatic, we passed.

Citizens Bank Park also features an area beyond the outfield called “Ashburn Alley”, which is Philly’s version of Eutaw Street.  Ashburn Alley had some  activities for kids, plenty of concessions (including Greg Luzinski’s “Bull’s BBQ) and some interesting exhibits on Phillies history.  The authenticity of the B&O Warehouse, and the fact that it’s the original, give Eutaw Street the edge on Ashburn Alley.

As for the game, the Phils beat the Cubbies 5-4.  The game featured a 3-run bomb from Jimmy Rollins and solo shots from Chase Utley and the Cubs Kosuke Fukudome.  If you’ve never had the chance to see him play, Chase Utley is ridiculously good.  Also, the Cubs 20 year old Shortstop Starlin Castro jut looks like a future star.  He exhibited tremendous range, quick reflexes, hustle on the bases as he beat out a dribbler for a single, and he stroked an RBI single to the opposite field for the Cubs first run.

Going to Citizens Bank Park and seeing the park packed with fans for a Thursday afternoon game really made me miss the spectacle that was Camden Yards in the 90′s.  Unlike Camden, Citizens Bank Park is not in the city center and is basically surrounded by parking lots and access roads.  The area around the park lacks the carnival type atmosphere that used to exist outside of Camden Station.  There are no street vendors or ticket scalpers to speak of; ome people may look at that as a positive but I missed the chatter and the activity.

If you’re looking to see some real Major League Baseball and are tired of waiting for the Orioles to become relevant again I’d strongly suggest making the trek to Philly.  Today the sky’s were blue without a cloud in sight and the temps were in the low to mid 80′s.  It was a great day for baseball, win or lose for the Cubs.

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 20 May 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because:

A-It was a thriller in Owings Mills yesterday, and a great lacrosse game is about as good of theater as there is in sport

and…

B-The 2012 Olympics may not have been awarded to Baltimore and Washington; but at least we didn’t come up with a stupid mascot like London did…

london

That might actually make the thing they used in Atlanta in 1996 look like a decent mascot. You remember, the thing that was so weird that they originally named it “Whatzit” before changing the name to “Izzy”…

izzy

What’s wrong with just making a Bear or a Tiger a damn mascot?!?!?

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s Stephen Hawkins says Nelson Cruz’s sac fly in 9th lead Rangers over Orioles

What a freaking mess this was last night…

-Jeremy Guthrie apparently spent after 6 innings (according to Dave Trembley via Rick Kranitz)
-Koji Uehara wiltering in the Texas heat
-SIX relievers in less than 3 innings
-Garrett Atkins being….Garrett Atkins
-Cesar Izturis doing his best Paul Molitor impression
-Josh Hamilton maybe…or maybe not…hitting 2 home runs
-Jim Hunter apologizing, Jim Palmer analyzing
-Dave Trembley getting mad at Palmer and Hunter for not being able to fight with C.B. Bucknor during MASN’s “Wired Wednesday” segment
-Atkins, Miguel Tejada, and Corey Patterson combining to be responsible for leaving 16 men on base
-A two run rally from the Rangers when they couldn’t get the ball out of the infield!
-Will Ohman’s wacky shtick
-Brian Roberts in the hospital?
-A walk-off win to send the crowd in Arlington home…happy?

It was just a WEIRD night at The Ballpark in Arlington. Maybe it’s best that the Birds are only playing two there.

I want to analyze this one, but it’s really hard to do.

Another nice effort from Guthrie, but I’d like some more info on why Kranitz thought he couldn’t go longer than 90 pitches. Was he hurt? Is he laboring? Was the heat really an issue in The Lone Star State?

And the biggest issue of course…WHY DO I EVEN CARE THIS MUCH?!?!?

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

You really don’t want to look at this.

As my buddy Brian Marston from Forest Hill pointed out, the Rangers were somehow actually WORSE than the O’s with RISP-but they still won!

You know, I’m going to do you a favor. Instead of looking at the box score, look at Antone DeJesus making some ridiculous home run-saving catch in the minor leagues…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5-fDeGBXDg[/youtube]

Trust me, that was much better than thinking about last night’s game any more.

3. WNST.net’s Jay Trucker says Brian Roberts hospitalized with pneumonia, Andy MacPhail not concerned

And why would he be???

This sounds awfully similar to the organization’s reaction when the original news about B-Rob’s troubles came down in Spring Training. While Buster Olney was reporting “kidney stones”, the organization was dismissing it as some form of back pain.

There really does appear to be something particularly troubling going on with Brian Roberts. Does it mean he won’t return in June? Not necessarily. But does it mean that we can probably expect it to be an issue in the future? I’m guessing yes.

Is it a bad sign when you read that Brian Roberts has pneumonia and you can’t possibly be surprised?

It really sucks being an Orioles fan.

4. ESPNDallas.com’s Calvin Watkins says umps admitted they missed call on what would have been home run for Josh Hamilton in Rangers’ win

As I said last night via Twitter (make sure you follow us @WNST), we’re all in agreement that Josh Hamilton is doing steroids, right? I said it because I wanted to dismiss Jeremy Guthrie giving up a bomb like the one he gave up for Hamilton’s first home run-more or less the 2nd one that ABSOLUTELY should have been a home run.

The real issue is that the replay system is totally screwed up. Dana DeMuth said that Ron Washington didn’t request a replay, but wouldn’t have granted it even if he did. How is that even possible?!?!? Umpires are going to defend each other’s calls, and the replay system should be in place to circumvent a situation like that.

If that’s the system, it needs to be fixed. Of course, had it helped the Orioles win last night-I probably wouldn’t be so miffed about it.

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Scott Moore, Chris Tillman had big night for O’s on farm

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

-I guess it’s a done deal that Michael Aubrey is coming up for the Nationals series. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Garrett Atkins’ tenure is over in Baltimore, but I would presume it marks the end of his tenure as everyday first baseman. The real question this weekend is what to do with Luke Scott? If Michael Aubrey plays first base, do you move Corey Patterson to center and put Luke Scott in left? Do you bench Patterson and have Adam Jones lead off again? Do you bench Scott-who is in the middle of his annual hot streak?

You can’t possibly call Michael Aubrey up and keep him on the bench with Luke Scott at first, can you???

-Congratulations to Steve Melewski for being named “Apologist of the Morning” today by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester. It was a frustrating morning for me after another loss, but I still can’t fathom writing 400 words and dedicating an entire segment of the pre-game show to a single Matt Wieters throw. It was a throw. It was fast. I’m glad he made it. I’m even happier that he’s leading the American League in caught stealing.

But again, it was a throw. PERSPECTIVE, please.

-If you missed Norfolk Tides 1B Brandon Snyder with Drew today on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, make sure you click on the Audio Tab and head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to listen. Snyder is mired in a terrible slump, and just really wanted to talk about it. Also this morning, Drew talked to Trenni Kusnierek from MLB Network, former Cubs/Phillies/Rangers OF and current ESPN analyst Doug Glanville, and Stevenson lacrosse coach Paul Cantabene.

-The O’s wrap their short series with the Rangers tonight in Arlington, Brian Matusz faces Scott Feldman. First pitch on MASN2 is at 8:05pm. Is anyone going out to Nats Park tomorrow night? I’m thinking about making the trip.

6. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Le’Ron McClain wants long term deal

Nothing to be concerned with here. Of COURSE Le’Ron McClain wants a long term deal. Any RFA wants a long term deal. And after reaching the Pro Bowl while getting the majority of carries in 2008, Le’Ron McClain is always going to want more carries.

As long as he doesn’t become a distraction in the process, there’s no reason to be concerned.

If YOU’RE looking for a distraction, I think the picture of Audrina Patridge from the cover of Ralph Magazine that Guyism posted yesterday will do the trick…

audrina

7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says WR Justin Harper, CB Cary Williams, S KJ Gerard signed exclusive rights deals

All 3 guys are really long shots to make the roster, but they each bring something different to the team. Justin Harper brings size and leaping ability, but unfortunately he offers little in terms of consistency.

KJ Gerard-the UFA out of Northern Arizona really impressed them in the offseason and Training Camp last year, enough that he was bumped from the practice squad to the active roster after Haruki Nakamura got hurt. But with Nakamura healthy and Ed Reed expected to return, it’s unlikely the Ravens will keep a 5th safety.

Cary Williams also has more size (6’1″) than the rest of the corners on the roster, but lacks experience. If Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington are healthy, it’s unlikely they’ll keep move than 5 corners. It sets up for a battle between Williams and Travis Fisher for the most part.

8. GoMustangSports.com says Richie Ford scored in OT to cap thrilling win over Roanoke in NCAA Tournament quarterfinals

I can’t even begin describe how awesome this game was. The Maroons (what a terrible name) actually got 72 shots in the game, 40 of them on goal! Geoff Hebert played out of his mind for the Stangs, as did Roanoke goalie Jake Dorsey.

I get it-it’s DIII lacrosse. If you can’t get excited for it, I’m not going to talk down to you. But it WAS exciting yesterday. It was THRILLING, frankly. There was a packed house at Caves Athletic Complex (maybe as many people as ventured into Oriole Park at Camden Yards Monday night), and they were treated to something special.

Up next for Stevenson is Salisbury in the NCAA semifinals; after Salisbury survived Haverford in overtime last night. The game will be Sunday at Sea Gull Stadium. If you’re in Ocean City this weekend, it’s worth stopping by on your way back.

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland seniors trying to avoid becoming first class since 1971 to graduate without reaching Final Four

I’ll just go ahead and say it. The Terps SHOULD be in the Final Four AT LEAST every four years. Some people (Patrick included) will remind me that making the Final Four ISN’T EASY, but I don’t buy it when it comes to the Terrapins. They HAVE better resources than almost any other team in the country, and they should compete at that level. I understand that academics makes it difficult, but it’s not an excuse for them to not reach that level.

For the record, I expect them to beat Notre Dame and get to the Final Four this year, but I won’t be celebrating. It means they met my expectations. I’m not going to apologize for having outrageous expectations, either. They have the monetary resources. They have the best talent in the country in their backyard. They SHOULD be there.

By the way, make sure you check out Patrick’s story about the shadow George Huguely is casting over Dom Starsia and the Virginia Cavaliers. It’s must-read stuff.

10. The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes, Landon Milbourne to graduate today-still think about loss to Michigan State

Myself-I DON’T want to think about it. Congratulations to the Maryland seniors, but I’m not discussing what happened in Spokane that day. Instead, Busted Coverage had some pictures of someone named Emma Taylor, I’d rather talk about that…

emma

And finally, I leave you with this.

Via With Leather, Jets QB Mark Sanchez may or may not be dating Jamie-Lynn Siegler. I may or may not hate Mark Sanchez…

jamie

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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