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Larry Bowa

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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

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


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…


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”…


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…

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…


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…


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…


Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…


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Hell Freezes Over: Orioles Could Learn From…Gulp…Nationals

Posted on 04 May 2010 by Glenn Clark

This is particularly painful for me to write. As you know, I have absolutely NO positive feelings for the sports franchises in Washington-be it the Redskins, Capitals, Nationals or Wizards. My disdain for the Skins has lead to me despising all of the other teams that have the name “Washington” in front of the team name. As someone was born and grew up in Baltimore, I’ve been told that Baltimore was a “DC suburb” one too many times to EVER support ANYTHING that started with the word “Washington.”

Disliking the Washington Nationals hasn’t been particularly easy during their short history, as the Nats franchise has been mostly irrelevant since their inception. They finished .500 in their first year at RFK Stadium, and they got about a month’s worth of traction when the new Nationals Park opened, and a few days worth of traction when they drafted Stephen Strasburg.

Other than those times, the Nationals have struggled to garner any interest-even in their home town. Sports radio stations in DC rarely devote any team to Nationals discussion, and their flagship (WFED) is a news talk station, which prohibits them from spending the day promoting the baseball team. Their TV rights are owned by Peter Angelos, and his MASN TV network does little to help the Nationals gain traction. Their only “live” programming is a simulcast of a radio show in Baltimore.

There are of course bigger problems than that within the District. There was no guarantee when Major League Baseball moved the Montreal Expos to DC that the market was even ready for baseball. Even if the market was ready for a MLB franchise, there was no guarantee that a transient city would show passionate support for the team within the market. To this day, there remains a large number of Washington DC (and surrounding area) residents who choose to root for the Orioles, or the Philadelphia Phillies, or the New York Yankees, or the team in the city they were they were born.

With that in mind, the Washington Nationals have began the 2010 baseball season looking like a legitimate team. A 13-12 start might not be earth shattering in a number of cities, but in the District of Columbia, it is a real reason to be interested. Moreover, the team stands just one game out of first place in the NL East-and could realistically threaten to surge past the likes of the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves this season.

On top of that, the team has the appearance of being able to extend their decent start for at least some amount of time. They have a solid lineup-including young superstar Ryan Zimmerman, power-hitting outfielder Adam Dunn, and potential Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez. They also have a steady leadoff man in Nyjer Morgan, and have gotten contributions from Josh Willingham and Cristian Guzman.

Their pitching will likely be their undoing, unless Livan Hernandez continues to pitch at a Cy Young Award level. However, Stephen Strasburg will almost certainly reach the big leagues at around the same time Matt Wieters did a season ago; and he could give the staff a shot in the arm to help keep them respectable.

Bottom line-there’s a chance the Washington Nationals could be playing important baseball games after the All-Star Game this season.

Even so, fans haven’t exactly started streaming in to Nats Park. “Nats Fever” has yet to reach epidemic status in our nation’s capital. In fact, the team has averaged just 19,777 fans through 13 home games-inflated by an series against the Phils the week of Opening Day. They currently rank 25th amongst 30 Major League Baseball teams in terms of home attendance; despite being one of the Top 10 markets in the country.

For perspective-the Orioles (who won just 7 of their first 25 games this season) are 19th in attendance; averaging 24,163 fans per home game-numbers also likely inflated by home series against both the Yankees and Red Sox.

When asked about the small crowds at Camden Yards, O’s manager Dave Trembley had an interesting response last week:

“This is your team.  This is your city.  If you love your team, you love them through good times and bad times.  And you’ll want to be here when they turn things around.  This is our ballclub.  This is our city.  We’re very proud.”

Trembley directly faulted the fans for their choice to stay away from OPACY. He immediately used terms like “your” and “you’ll”.

Nationals team President Stan Kasten recently made an appearance on “The Mike Wise Show” on 106.7 WJFK in DC. Show co-host Holden Kushner used his Twitter account to post Kasten’s responses. Kasten was asked about HIS team’s attendance problems during the interview, and he gave THIS response…

“When we do OUR job, they’ll (the fans) come out”.

Interesting. Kasten didn’t use “your” or “you’ll”, but instead chose to say “we” and “our” first.

This is absolutely one of the BIGGEST problems facing the Orioles organization right now.

In DC, the leadership of the organization is looking to work WITH the fans to fix the problems that have plagued their organization. They want to make appearances on non-rightsholding radio stations, they want to accept blame for the disconnect within the market, and they’re not angry that the fans have decided to stay away.

The leadership of the Orioles decided to raise ticket prices, charge ticket premiums, continue to lose, and then directly blame the fans for the decision to stay away.

I like to consider myself a problem solver. I’ve been in a relationship now for nearly 2 years with a very pretty girl, and we’re the same age. We often disagree on a number of things. When I have a problem with something she does, I try to address it immediately. Unfortunately, she sometimes responds by saying something like “I’m sorry you feel that way.” My immediate response to that is always the same thing-“Don’t ever apologize for my feelings. If you think you did something wrong, apologize for that. If you don’t think you did anything wrong, don’t apologize-just explain youself, and let’s work together to solve the problem.

Our disagreements are remarkably civil after that.

The Orioles have every opportunity to do exactly that. They clearly don’t want to apologize for 13 seasons of losing and becoming a civic embarrassment. The next option is to give an explanation and work together with fans (who feel wronged) to solve the problem.

That’s apparently what they’re doing in DC.

God it pains me to realize that even THEY have moved ahead of the Orioles and into the realm of responsible, competent baseball organizations.

Maybe the Orioles can learn from the standard set.


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Baseball’s “Leading” Men are MIA

Posted on 04 May 2010 by dansoderberg

Those of us in Baltimore have watched the Orioles scuffle this season while their $10 million leadoff hitter looks on from the dugout with a herniated disk.  Roberts’ absence isn’t the sole cause of the O’s struggles, but it sure hasn’t helped matters.  Ty Wigginton has filled in admirably at 2nd base, putting up great offensive numbers and limiting his defenses lapses.  But the club is still searching for a competent leadoff hitter.  Dave Trembley has settled on Adam Jones in the leadoff spot for now, but he can’t be happy with Jones’ production.  Adam and his .312 career On Base % are miscast in the top spot of the lineup.  Coming into 2010 Jones appeared to be a budding power hitter but his OBP and Slugging % are both down this year and he’s clearly frustrated.

The Orioles aren’t the only team missing a premier leadoff hitter.  The recently swept Red Sox are playing, and struggling, without Jacoby Ellsbury.  The perennial AL East power is off to a 12-14 start and is just 2-4 against the Orioles this season.  The Boston offense has struggled to consistently produce runs with Ellsbury’s career .350 OBP and base stealing abilities on the bench nursing a rib injury.  Terry Francona is using journeyman shortstop Marco Scutaro to lead off and converted infielder Bill Hall in left.  I wouldn’t expect the Red Sox to make a turnaround until Ellsbury returns, which may not be anytime soon.

Jimmy Rollins, the Phillies extraordinary leadoff man is out with a calf injury and may not return before the end of the month.  The Phillies are off to a 14-12 start, but are just 4-6 in their last 10 games.  Philadelphia had an excellent in-house leadoff candidate in Shane Victorino and they’re getting by with journeyman Juan Castro at short.

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Comcast Morning Show 2010 MLB Picks

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

NL West:


San Francisco
Arizona (Wild Card)
Los Angeles
San Diego

San Francisco
Los Angeles
San Diego

NL Central:


St. Louis

St. Louis
Chicago (Wild Card)

NL East:


New York

New York

Cy Young:


Drew-Dan Haren
Glenn-Dan Haren



Drew-Prince Fielder
Glenn-Albert Pujols

Rookie of the Year:


Drew-Stephen Strasburg
Glenn-Jason Heyward

AL West:


Los Angeles

Los Angeles

AL Central:


Kansas City

Kansas City

AL East:


New York (Wild Card)
Tampa Bay

New York
Boston (Wild Card)
Tampa Bay

Cy Young Award:


Drew-Justin Verlander
Glenn-Scott Kazmir



Drew-Victor Martinez
Glenn-Mark Teixeira

Rookie of the Year:


Drew-Brian Matusz
Glenn-Austin Jackson

World Series:

Drew-Phillies over Tigers in 7


Glenn-Angels over Cardinals in 6


Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…


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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 22 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday……….I think.

Let’s just get this out of the way. Allow Michael Stipe and R.E.M. to set the tone for our day…

So….there you go.

Let’s see what everyone has to say….

1. The AP’s Nicholas K. Geranios says Korie Lucious’ heroics lifted Michigan State past Maryland in NCAA Tournament 2nd round

After avoiding SportsCenter and ESPNNews as much as possible yesterday-we will remember this once more, and then burn the tape….

6.6 seconds separated Greivis Vasquez from writing one more “greatest moment” in his own Maryland career.

Well, 6.6 seconds and the fact that Tom Izzo thought twice about taking a timeout in the background.

Spare me the “Maryland should have pressed there” comments. 1-Maryland’s press WAS successful late in the game, but had previously lead to a few hundred open looks from 3 for Durrell Summers. Maryland couldn’t have that there. 2-The ONE thing you CAN’T have there is a foul. If a kid hits a shot and beats you, so be it. But you CAN’T foul and give them free throws to win.

A lot of people think they know a lot about a lot of subjects. But yesterday’s game was fairly simple. One team nearly stole away a game with a miracle, the other team used a miracle to win. Read on…

2. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Lucious’ shot will be remembered amongst glorious March moments by hoops fans, yet will anger Terps fans for eternity

As I said in the blog, now we know how Kentucky fans feel every time they have to see a replay of Christian Laettner’s three ball.

If you’re not a college hoops fan, think about how Phillies fans must feel every time they see a replay of Joe Carter’s home run. Or how Bills fans feel every time they see a replay of the “Music City Miracle” against the Titans in Nashville. Or how Patriots fans feel every time they see a replay of David Tyree’s catch in Super Bowl XLIII. It HURTS them.

Prepare to deal with the hurt for some time. This time next week, CBS will be showing replays as Michigan State prepares to play Northern Iowa in the Sweet 16. This time next March, CBS and ESPN will be showing replays as Maryland (hopefully) and Michigan State prepare for the Big Dance. This time 5 years from now, there will be retrospectives and “Where are they now?” pieces on Korie Lucious.

It will still hurt then. It might not be the sting that it is today, but it will still hurt.

3. Spokane Spokesman-Review’s Steve Bergum says Spartans played 2nd half of win over Terrapins without former Big Ten Player of the Year Kalin Lucas

And clearly, it made a difference down the stretch-which we all knew it would. If Lucas was on the floor, it is likely that the Terps would have NEVER gotten back into the game late, as he would have been a crucial part of beating the Gary Williams press.

That being said-and we talked about this on “The Comcast Morning Show” this morning on AM1570-the players on the floor have to be able to beat the press. When Duke came back from down 10 in the final 54 seconds to beat Maryland at Cole Field House, Terps fans bellyached that things would have been different had Drew Nicholas not been forced to run the point with Steve Blake disqualified by fouls. That’s absolutely true, but Nicholas NEEDED to be able to make free throws-even as a sophomore-or he shouldn’t have been on the floor.

Whoever was on the floor for Michigan State-no matter the reason-SHOULD have been able to break the press. They couldn’t. Had they lost, there would have been plenty of people that would have said “they wouldn’t have lost had Kalin Lucas not been hurt.” They would have been right, and it would have been irrelevant.

Before I move on, I’m reminded of a REALLY good song by Unwritten Law. The spelling’s different, but the name remains the same….

Of course, that song name would have worked in this classic Family Guy scene that always makes me giggle.

(Edit from GMC: On days like today, it’s good to giggle.)

4. Washington Post’s Mike Wise says ‘stake through the heart’ necessary to end Greivis Vasquez’s tenure in College Park

Allright, I guess we have to move on from the subject-as what else can be said about the end to a TREMENDOUS career for Greivis Vasquez. The sad part about it is that for as good as he’s been, he played only 6 NCAA Tournament games in his 4 year career. That isn’t a great number. Juan Dixon played six….teen.

Before I move on, some quick thoughts on how I spent my first post-Maryland season Sunday night. As you all know, baseball doesn’t do a whole hell of a lot for me, and there is no lacrosse on Sunday nights. While we’ll still get one late-afternoon basketball game next week, this is really when Sunday nights go south until the fall.

I watched some of the UFC Fights, although I thought at one point that even I was going to be elbowed by Cheick Kongo in the process. My roommate made me watch some of the healthcare coverage, which only lead to my poor girlfriend (you know her, “The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet”) getting REALLY confused. I watched Family Guy, and did my damndest not to laugh at the Terri Schiavo musical scene. I really did.

I also watched a replay of another Andy Roddick failure (this time in the finals at Indian Wells) and some of the Tiger Woods interviews. It all left me wanting some more quality Sunday night television. Like, isn’t it about time this gal got a new show…


5. Inside Lacrosse’s Tommy Kehoe says hat tricks from Christian Pastirik, Matt Hughes not enough as Towson fell to Virginia at Unitas Stadium

Clearly, this lacrosse season is starting to shape up as a small group of “haves” (Virginia, Syracuse, North Carolina, Maryland, maybe Princeton, Cornell and Hofstra as well) and a big group of “have nots.”

A shakeup in my “OldLineLax7” Poll….

3-Johns Hopkins
6-Mt. St. Mary’s

If you would have told me the Mountaineers would have had more wins than either the Retrievers or the Tigers at this point, I would have said you were INSANE. Of course, they have played an easier schedule.

6. Maryland Official Site says Terps women topped East Carolina, advanced to third round of WNIT


Next up for Brenda Frese’s team is a Thursday night matchup against the Old Dominion/Providence winner at Comcast Center.


(Edit from GMC: I’d like to be excited about this. I really would. And for the record, I’m rooting for them. I’m also rooting for Syracuse, because…well….I could use the cash.)

7. MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki says Kevin Millwood solid as Birds topped Phillies in Clearwater

Which means that between the Orioles’ Top 2 pitchers in the rotation, 1 has had a good start during Spring Training.

One good start.

(Edit from GMC: I’m really not freaking about Kevin Millwood’s struggles during Grapefruit League play. I’m MUCH more concerned about Jeremy Guthrie’s struggles. He DOESN’T have the track record. I’m also MUCH more concerned about figuring out how a girl like the one pictured below could be from Philly…)


8. The Sun’s Peter Schmuck and Dan Connolly say Brian Roberts had ‘no problem’ taking swings from left or right side of plate

Please, please spare me the “switch hitter” jokes. Mostly because I’ve already thought of ALL of them.

I’m sure it goes without saying that the O’s are MUCH better off if B-Rob is in the lineup 2 weeks from tomorrow night at Tropicana Field. But….I’ll say it anyway, because that’s why I’m paid the big bucks.

That and because I was once again crowned the king of duckpin bowling Saturday night at Stoneleigh Lanes. I took 2 out of 3 games from Nestor Aparicio spawn Barry Aparicio…and he’s from Dundalk!

He wanted me to remind everyone that he actually posted the highest score of the night in the 3rd game. I reminded him that doing that is sort of like having a gal tell you that she thinks you look like Jack Black…..


I mean….it’s better than being told you like Ray Bachman….


9. Examiner Jay Trucker says Orioles sent Caleb Joseph, Blake Davis, Luis Bernardo, Miguel Abreu, Matt Angle, Michel Hernandez to minor league camp

And they’ll be missed.

It’s not REALLY all that bad going from Birds’ Spring Training in Sarasota to minor league Spring Training in Sarasota. I mean, other than the food. It’s sort of like going from Capital Grille…


to McDonald’s….


10. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ravens will learn whether they’re playing Monday Night Football opener/Thanksgiving night game, compensatory picks fate during annual NFL meetings in Orlando

No thanks to the trip to East Rutherford on Thanksgiving night. Yes please to a Monday Night Football game at M&T Bank Stadium to open the season.

That is all.

11. Baltimore Blast Official Site says regular season ended with 19-12 loss to KiXX in Philadelphia

Now the Blast open the playoffs Friday night in Monterrey-with Game 2 against La Raza next Monday in Charm City.

12. Fayetteville Observer says Baltimore Mariners roughed up Fayetteville Guard 59-0 at 1st Mariner Arena

It’s not that I’m NOT excited about Mariners football, I’m just MORE excited to find out if the Lingerie Football League team will be playing in the same building….


And finally, I leave you with this.

I won’t be able to watch Maryland anymore during CBS’ coverage of the NCAA Tournament, but I WILL be able to jam out to this Kevin Rudolf/Lil’ Wayne jam…..

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983….


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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 15 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a Happy Monday for me because-while my trip to Greensboro was disappointing (I know Georgia Tech is a tough team-but I did NOT expect a first round loss in the ACC Tournament), my trip to North Carolina was not.

First of all, kudos to WNST.net’s own Sam Angell-who directed me towards a place called Biscuitville. Much like many things in life, you don’t have to know you’ve been searching for something in order to find it….


I would also like to send a shout-out to a place called “The Cook-Out”, which was in the neighborhood of Elon University. How many freaking colleges are in that general area? And I’ll throw in a plug for Guilford Golden Ale….


…but I will not confirm nor deny that the current scrape on my nose has anything to do with trying to open a Guilford Golden Ale in my hotel room despite not having a bottle opener.

All rumors.

Let’s see what everyone has to say….

1. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Terps get 4 seed, headed to Spokane to face Houston

The 4 is even higher than I thought they would get. I presumed there were a definite 5 after the loss to the Yellow Jackets.

That being said, there’s no doubt in my mind that they would GLADLY trade spots with a team like Notre Dame just to get out of the INSANE Midwest region.

Talk about a gauntlet…

Kansas. Ohio State. Georgetown. Maryland. Michigan State. Tennessee. Oklahoma State. UNLV. Northern Iowa. Georgia Tech.

I feel like taking a page from Seth Meyers and Jerry Seinfeld and saying “REALLY?”

For as much of a sting as it is for Maryland, it is clearly much MORE of a sting for the Jayhawks-as the best team in the NCAA Tournament deserves better. Much better in fact.

That being said, this is the NCAA Tournament. Nothing is easy. I never thought Maryland was a Final Four team myself, but I think getting back to the Sweet 16 is an important measure for this team, and that won’t be easy with the Spartans potentially looming in Round 2.

2. The Sun’s Ken Murray says Morgan State got 15 seed, headed to Buffalo to face West Virginia

Todd Bozeman’s club certainly deserved to not be doomed to a Number 16 seed. We talked to Reggie Holmes last night on our “Selection Sunday” special on AM1570 WNST; and we pointed out that there is something-mentally-to be said about going into a game like this knowing that you only have to win a game-not rewrite history.

I know there is a history of #15 seeded MEAC teams beating #2 seeds (Coppin State over South Carolina, Hampton over Iowa State); and there MIGHT be an argument that the ‘Eers are similar to South Carolina or Iowa State-as those were teams with great guards but not a whole lot of size (Iowa State had lost Marcus Fizer a season earlier).

That being said, this WVU team has HORSES. De’Sean Butler and Devin Ebanks aren’t JUST good combo forwards. They’re absolute thoroughbreds. They control the offense and they’re 6’8″ and 6’7″ respectively.

There’s nothing the Bears can do to answer that, even if Kevin Thompson has some success inside.

3. CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd says Terrapins ‘dark horse’ candidate to reach Final Four from Midwest bracket

I guess.

I’ve never thought Maryland was a Final Four team myself-although I heard a few national analysts who were at the ACC Tournament tell me they were starting to think they might be.

If the Terps are going to be that “dark horse”, they’ll have to regain the emotional edge that CLEARLY was gone Friday night against the Jackets.

If they show up flat-they’ll struggle against Houston, and they’ll have no chance against Tom Izzo’s club.

If they show up with a chip on their shoulder, they’re capable of winning a lot of games.

But it will be hard to use the crowd at the Spokane Arena to try to create an edge.

4. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Gary Williams-Tom Penders provide intriguing coaching matchup

It is rare to get a 1st round matchup of coaches with 600+ wins. What makes this particular matchup special is the fact that you have two 600+ win coaches who have a history together.

Gary Williams is 2-1 all-time against Penders (he’s also 2-1 against Izzo for the record); splitting two meetings with George Washington in the BB&T Classic, and topping Texas in the 1995 NCAA Tournament.

And before we move on from the Maryland-Houston matchup, let me point out that there are two things I DO like about Houston. One-their city is the home of this person….


AND….It is hard for me to have that much venom towards a team called the Cougars…


5. Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Selection Sunday was more ‘relaxed’ at Comcast Center this year than last year

And of course it should have been.

That being said, as there was less tension, there was also less jubilation in College Park-as no one was overly thrilled with having to take a trip to Spokane. Eric Hayes mentioned that last night when he joined our “Selection Sunday” special on AM1570.

It’s not just because Spokane is kind of a lame city-it’s because asking family, friends and fans to try to travel from Baltimore, Washington or other points in the area to Spokane is very difficult.

I’ve never understood why the NCAA continues to deliver events to places like Spokane, Boise and Buffalo. The HSBC Arena in Buffalo got Tournament games back this year after hosting them just 3 years ago!

These cities make places like Detroit and Cleveland appear downright appealing!!!

6. The Daily Athenaeum’s Brian Gawthrop says Mountaineers ‘disappointed’ to get #2 seed, opener against Morgan

And after winning the Big East Tournament, they probably deserved a #1 seed. That being said, they’re not in a TERRIBLE bracket, as I think Kentucky is just as vulnerable as Duke amongst the top seeds. When your team is lead by freshmen (as the Wildcats are), there is a chance you might well lose early.

And no matter what happens Friday in Buffalo, there are DEFINITE areas where Charm City > West Virginia….


7. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Brian Matusz went 5 innings as Orioles beat Phillies Sunday

Which is a GREAT sign, as he became the first O’s pitcher to work through the 4th inning in Grapefruit League play.

That being said, they need to be seeing 5 innings from other pitchers now as we’re about halfway through Spring Training. But if this is a sign that Brian Matusz is ready to REALLY pitch come Opening Day, that’s a MAJOR plus for the Orioles.

8. Carroll County Times’ Rich Dubroff says Brian Roberts headed back to Baltimore to see back specialist

We KNEW this was a bigger situation than Dave Trembley and the Orioles wanted to let us know.

What do the Orioles do now? Stacey Long from Camden Chat threw out Mark Loretta during her visit with Drew Forrester this morning on “The Comcast Morning Show” on AM1570. That name makes sense, as he is a player that could be acquired without having to give anything up anything. Mark Loretta could wear Orange & Black until B-Rob was healthy again, and then make a decision about what to do with Loretta.

My suggestion was this guy…..


9. The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says ‘crawling to Cleveland’ probably no longer an option for Troy Smith

Has any team ever made it more clear that they WEREN’T interested in a player than the Browns have with Troy Smith?

“Troy wants to come to Baltimore, huh? Let’s go get Seneca Wallace. AND let’s go get Jake Delhomme. Is Craig Krenzel available?”

I’m still surprised the Cardinals haven’t made a move to acquire some QB depth. Not that I think Troy Smith would necessarily be any sort of answer, but I do know that there are a bunch of Ohio State fans in the Phoenix area. It would likely be a popular move.

10. Maryland Official Site previews matinee lacrosse battle with Penn today at Ludwig Field

Dave Cottle’s squad is off to a great start this season, and certainly should continue today against the Quakers-even if the game comes during Spring Break.

Here’s this week’s “OldLineLax7” Poll….

2-Johns Hopkins
6-Mt. St. Mary’s

Hopkins is fortunate that everyone else lost….

11. Daily Racing Form’s Marcus Hersh says Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra won’t face Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Zenyatta at Apple Blossom Invitational

Which means that horse racing’s one shot at relevance outside of Triple Crown season is now gone.

In the meantime, enjoy pictures of Rachel Hunter….


12. WNST.net says Baltimore Mariners topped New Jersey Revolution at 1st Mariner Arena

I heard some reports that before the game, there was plenty of fist pumping in the New Jersey locker room…..

And finally, I leave you with this.

I love Steve Francis. He had a HELL of a year for Gary Williams, even if the Terps lost to St. John’s in the Sweet 16. BUT….clearly his lack of playing time in Orlando is effecting his sideline demeanor…. (Thanks Deadspin!)

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983….


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A Completely New Look at Crabs and Beer

Posted on 04 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

Welcome to the 2010 version of “Crabs and Beer.” Instead of the tedious process of linking EVERY.SINGLE.LOCAL.SPORTS.RELATED.STORY.IN.THE.WORLD., I will now focus on the most important “Bullet Points” of the day, commenting on them individually. It will mean more of me-which I think we can all agree is the best possible thing. Most days, I will bullet point 10 items-while on Mondays I will probably bullet point 15 items to recap the entire weekend. Here we go……

1. The AP’s Josh Dubow says Ravens clinched AFC Wild Card with win in Oakland

As I said yesterday here at WNST.net, it is a significant accomplishment to reach to the playoffs, an even more significant accomplishment to reach the playoffs for 2 straight seasons. Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh can all breathe a bit easier today, as the critics who have said “that’s nice, but let me see them do it consistently” can no longer point out that the Ravens haven’t reached the playoffs in back to back seasons since 2000 & 20001. They’re in, and it is a major statement.

2. NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora says Ravens will look for first ever win over New England in AFC Wild Card round

Obviously, everyone inside the building at 1 Winning Drive was hoping for a trip to Cincinnati instead of a trip to Foxborough-and for good reason. The Ravens are 0-5 all time against the Pats, including a 27-21 loss earlier this season at Gillette Stadium that Mark Clayton would rather forget. I’m well aware of Tom Brady’s 3 broken ribs and broken finger, but I’m also well aware that he’s REALLY good in January. Like, historically good. Like, 3 Super Bowl rings good. Like, 4 AFC Championships good. The only good news is that the game is at 1pm on Sunday, which EVERYONE in Owings Mills prefers. It also means the game will be back on CBS with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms on the call, so Drew Forrester needs to put his pants back on.

3. The Official Site’s Ryan Mink says Willis McGahee put Ravens on back for 3 TD’s in win

My buddy Bill Romanowski is a Raiders postgame analyst for Comcast SportsNet in San Francisco. I think he said it best on Facebook yesterday….

“Hiram Eugene just got bitch slapped on a 77 yd run by McGahee.”

It was a hell of an effort from Willis yesterday. There’s NO argument that he should be the starter over a Pro Bowl back like Ray Rice, and there’s little validity that he should be getting more playing time. But it’s nice to know that there is a quality NFL running back to go in when Ray Rice comes off the field.

4. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Dannell Ellerbe “outstanding” with INT, fumble recovery in win

With no offense to JaMarcus Russell-the moment I saw Charlie Frye was going to be forced out of the game, my initial thought was “this one’s over.” JaMarcus Russell is just terrible, and obviously Dannell played the best game of his very short career here in Baltimore. Here’s a question for you-which was the better performance Sunday: Dannell Ellerbe or Charlie Daniels in the GEICO commercial???

Of course, the Ed “Too Tall” Jones one isn’t too bad, either…..

5. The Sun’s Mike Preston says Ravens won despite fact that Flacco “looked lost” on field

It was NOT his best performance. But as Preston also accurately pointed out, at least he didn’t turn the ball over. 102 passing yards won’t beat the Patriots next Sunday, that much I can say with assurance. It was a rather pedestrian performance if not poor, and has become all too common during the second season of the “Joe Cool” era. The play where he ran past the line of scrimmage and STILL overthrew Ray Rice was pretty bad. But with all of that being said, Joe Flacco will be leading a team into the playoffs for the 2nd time in his 2 year career-which is twice more than Kyle Boller…..

6. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terps blew out UNC-Greensboro in ACC Tournament preview trip

The only thing that really came from this win was the fact that the Terps were able to look at Greensboro Coliseum before they return in March. Greivis Vasquez and Landon Milbourne were outstanding, but they should have been-the Spartans stink. Maryland has a week off now to prepare for their ACC opener Sunday night against Florida State in College Park, and they will have to improve their play against better teams. They finish the bulk of their non-conference schedule 9-4, with the only win of note coming at Indiana-you know, the same Indiana that lost to Loyola. Ugh.

We do know that it is a MUCH nicer morning in College Park than it is for ACC for NC State, where the name Chandler Parsons will forever be remembered as a dirty word in Raleigh…..

7. Bob Haynie says Terps got better news Saturday than they did earlier in the week with commitment from Pe’Shon Howard

Does it make up for the loss of Terrence Ross? No, probably not. But certainly Pe’Shon Howard is a regarded talent out of Oak Hill Academy who would have been much more desired if not for his 6’2″ frame. He’s a natural point guard with the ability to play the 2 if necessary, although I’d be a bit worried he could be out-matched size-wise by a number of guards in the ACC. As I mentioned Saturday night (if you follow us on Twitter), the Terps will have 2 point guards in this class (Tucson’s Terrell Stoglin is the other), which has mostly worked with Eric Hayes and Greivis Vasquez.

The Sun’s Matt Bracken tracked down some Pe’Shon Howard highlights if you’d like to take a look.

8. Drew Forrester says Peter Angelos joined with Blow Horn Equity’s Jeff Seder in hopes to win Pimlico, Laurel auction


How can on our ongoing civic nightmare get worse?!?!?

Look, I still think that in the end-it will either be David Cordish or the Penn National group that wins this auction, as the tracks are just MORE VALUABLE to someone who owns a slots license than they are to someone who doesn’t. But Peter Angelos won’t be short on cash (check your Comcast or DirecTV statement to see the money he’s scraping so you can watch the Orioles on MASN), and clearly wants in. Friday is going to be a VERY interesting day.

9. Philadelphia Daily News says former Oriole Danys Baez spent weekend moving boxes up I-95 after signing with Phillies

No word on whether or not he’ll just leave the “S” in his name here in Charm City.

Look, Danys was not particularly good for the Birds last season, but they DEFINITELY could have had worse. For example, they could have had this guy…..


10. Corey Johns says UMBC opened America East play Saturday with loss at Vermont

Very clearly, Mike Lonergan’s Catamounts are an outstanding team and they are going to beat a LOT of teams at home-but the Retrievers are going to have to start winning games soon if they’re going to turn things around at all this season. It’s not as if they don’t have good players-Chauncey Gilliam and Chris De La Rosa are both very good, and Robbie Jackson should be able to overcome what he might not have in talent with his overwhelming size. But they have to figure out how to win. A visit from winless Penn Wednesday night will hopefully provide an elixir.

11. Towson Official Site says Tigers dropped CAA battle at Georgia State Saturday night

The impressive thing about Saturday night’s game was that the Tigers rallied from down 15 to get back into the game in Atlanta. The unimpressive thing about Saturday night’s game was that Pat Kennedy’s team couldn’t keep it going down the stretch. The Tigers shot just 34% from the field, and no Tiger scored more than Josh Thornton’s 14. The Tigers get a chance to wipe the taste of that loss away quickly with tonight’s tussle with Old Dominion at the Towson Center.

12. The AP says Loyola got 1st MAAC victory of season Saturday over Rider

This is a VERY good win for the Greyhounds. The mark of a program that is establishing itself as a team to beat is that they beat the other good conference teams at home. Jimmy Patsos’ Hounds made a statement by beating the Hoosiers, but games against Rider (and tonight’s opponent Siena) at Reitz Arena are MUCH more important in the long run. If they can finish the sweep tonight, they’ll be in a good place to make a conference run.

13. Maryland Official Site says Terrapins Women wrapped non-conference schedule with win over St. Joseph’s

The Terps finish their non-conference schedule 12-2 with no particularly impressive wins (only Minnesota could even be considered) and 2 arguably bad losses (the loss at Mississippi State is “bad” because it came by 29 points, the loss at Towson is forgivable, but still bad). Certainly the development of Diandra Tchatchouang (25 points Sunday) has been nice for Brenda Frese’s club.

14. Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski details gun fun Washington Wizards are having


This isn’t technically “local” in my book, but I would occasionally mix in something about the Capitals-so I’ll give the same courtesy to the Wiz, especially considering the surreal nature of this story.

Thanks to Gilbert Arenas for making my “most overrated athlete of the decade” pick look better by the moment…..

15. Morgan State Official Site previews tonight’s trip to Robert Morris

Not much to accomplish here, but I feel bad for Todd Bozeman’s crew for having to make a trip to Pittsburgh this time of year…..or any time of year. Also, please to be checking this out.

I leave you with this……Kanye West doing “Heartless” on his Vh1 Storytellers show. The show is out on CD tomorrow. Spoiler alert: It’s really good.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…..


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Dealin’ Aces

Posted on 15 December 2009 by dansoderberg

It was one helluva day to be a #1 starter in the big leagues. Three staff “Aces” are changing addresses and uniforms. Nothing creates a stir like a blockbuster trade and the Roy Halladay-Cliff Lee deal is no exception. It took 5 months, a World Series appearance, and the firing of JP Ricciardi but the Phillies finally got their man, Roy Halladay. In the rumored deal Halladay will go to the Phillies, Playoff hero Cliff Lee will head to Seattle and a slew of prospects will go to Toronto.

It may seem odd that the Phils are dealing Lee just a few months after acquiring him from Cleveland, but upon further review the deal makes a lot of sense for Philadelphia. Lee and Halladay are both free agents after the 2010 season. The difference is that Lee is apparently intent on testing the free agent waters while Halladay wants to play for a contender and will sign an extension. Rumor has it that Halladay will sign a 3 year extension with Philadelphia locking him up thru the 2013 season. Seattle will have Lee for just one season as they’ll need considerable funds to sign King Felix to a long term extension.

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. comes out smelling like a rose. He drove a hard bargain with former Toronto GM JP Ricciardi by refusing to deal his best prospects for Halladay back in July, instead settling on a deal for Lee that included lesser regarded youngsters. Now he turns around and deals Lee for Halladay and has Doc locked up for 3 years. Christmas has come early for Phillies fans.

Santa also paid a visit to Fenway Park, but not before dropping a big bag of money down John Lackey’s chimney. The Red Sox answered the Yankees’ Granderson deal with the Lackey signing. Lackey does a couple of things for the Red Sox: 1) He closes the gap with the Yankees and provides insurance for Josh Beckett who is a free agent after the season. 2) His departure weakens the perennial contender Angels. 3) He frees up a young pitcher (re: Clay Buchholz) to be included in a deal for a big bat like Adrian Gonzalez of the Padres.

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