Tag Archive | "Rex Snider"

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For NFL players … this is not time for a two-minute drill

Posted on 22 July 2011 by Rex Snider

You can count me among the millions and millions of pigskin lovin’ Americans who simply want this NFL labor deal to be firmly in the rear view mirror.  I want football, period.

But, I also recognize the very sensitive nature of ongoing negotiations, especially as members of the NFLPA are at a juncture where ratification and commitment – a 10 year commitment – are mandated.

I’m not suggesting players should drag their feet, toss a lil’ more mud or procrastinate over the small, incidental stuff …..

But, I do think it’s prudent for the entire viewing audience to grant a little understanding of the players’ need to be methodical in their review of ownership’s offer.  From legal jargon to perceived contradictory clauses, the proposed labor deal is probably overwhelming for even the smartest of union members.

Did you understand … and more importantly, did you read the fine print of your most recent vehicle financing agreement?

If you’re a homeowner, did you take the time to comb through every last word of your mortgage, as the lender sat across the table and fed several dozen pages your way?

Many of us just streamline such processes, right?

Well, if you agreed and signed those deals, you’re compelled to abide by the very words of those contracts – even if you didn’t fully comprehend or review a given portion.

This is exactly where NFL players find themselves today.

While a given number of fans are also assuming “a few players are holding this up”, there really is no concrete evidence such a situation exists.  When you’re dealing with a serious, lengthy commitment, a responsibility to be fully engaged and knowledgeable of your future is warranted.

All of us are on the outside periphery of this labor drama, right?

Heck, many of us don’t really care about it …..

We just want football.

That said, if there is EVER a time to sympathize with players, this is it.  They’re being tasked with agreeing to working conditions for the next decade – and it’s a deal they won’t be able to escape, because there is no opt-out clause.

A 10-year deal with no danger of either side opting out is certainly good for fans.  We won’t face the possibility of this stuff for a long time.  And, that’s a great feeling ….

But, just as owners are committed to protecting their investments and the future financial health of the league, players are obligated to ensure they’re making a deal that guarantees their future security, as well as the THOUSANDS of men who will follow in their footsteps.

How many players will still be in the game when this new deal expires?  If you want to consider the Ravens for such a prediction, only SIX PLAYERS were members of the National Football League a decade ago.

I’m not siding with players, nor am I found in ownership’s corner.  I just think it’s responsible and quite sensible to ensure that every last part of this deal is understood and in the best interest of unity.

This is not a time to hurry the process.  However, it is a time to stay focused and devoted to finishing a new deal.  And, we have every reason to believe this is happening.

Don’t overreact …..

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I’ll admit it, I’m happy for Pittsburgh’s baseball fans ….

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I’ll admit it, I’m happy for Pittsburgh’s baseball fans ….

Posted on 20 July 2011 by Rex Snider

Admittedly, I am one of the most vigilant instigators when it comes to picking on Pittsburgh’s fans – especially of the Steelers variety. Part of it is envy, another part is disdain and well …. it’s just easy to do.

Yet, as we’re hopefully just a week away from the start of NFL training camps and the preliminary buildup of the season opener against Roethlisberger and company, I’m finding it very easy to be happy for Pittsburgh’s fans this morning.

Make that Pittsburgh Pirates fans …..

When it comes to long suffering supporters of baseball franchises, Pirates loyalists are absolutely the most tortured and resilient of the bunch. And, yes, this includes those of us who’ve suffered through 14 years of losing by the Orioles.

To see what’s happening in Pittsburgh, highlighted by these most recent successive shutouts of the Cincinnati Reds, is pretty uplifting. A crowd of 26,058 witnessed last night’s 1-0 win, at PNC Park. I wonder how often the Pirates have drawn 25,000+ for games in July, since PNC opened its gates a decade ago.
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With a record of 51-44, the Pirates sit atop the NL Central by a half game over the Milwaukee Brewers. Will they win the division? I doubt it …..

But, it’s a great story for baseball and more importantly a fitting reward for a fan base that has endured an ownership group that merits an established track record of pinching pennies, auctioning young stars and pocketing luxury tax monies.

Indeed, the situation in Pittsburgh differs greatly to what we experience …..

I’m not understating, nor diminishing the plight of anyone who loves or supports the Baltimore Orioles. We, too, are an aggrieved collection of victims. But, if both franchises operated to maximum capability, the birds would be in a far better set of circumstances.

Am I rooting for the Pirates? Nope.

But, I am rooting for their fans.

And, don’t give me the whole “79 World Series blah, blah, blah ….” either. I lived through all 7 games and distinctly recall how a world championship slipped outta Memorial Stadium, due to losing the most important games.

Many things have changed in the 32 years following that dreadful choke job. To this day, I hate hats with stars and the Sister Sledge – thanks to that damn song !!!!

Baseball has changed greatly and Pirates fans have undoubtedly been neglected, exploited and abused. And, what they’ve experienced is not fair, nor justifiable.

The last time the Pirates mattered, Jim Leyland was puffing on cigarettes in the dugout, Marylander Denny Neagle was a rookie on the staff and Barry Bonds weighed about 175 pounds – soaking wet.

So, I can sit here and be happy for Pirates fans. I don’t like their teams and without any reservation, I will continue to loathe the Steelers.

But, Pittsburgh’s baseball fans deserve what they’re seeing …..

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Why is JJ Hardy staying in Baltimore?

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Why is JJ Hardy staying in Baltimore?

Posted on 18 July 2011 by Rex Snider

You can count me among the collection of those who were a little surprised by Saturday’s announcement of JJ Hardy’s new deal with the Orioles.

From a financial perspective, I don’t dispute the commitment from the birds. The organization’s top prospect, Manny Machado, is learning his craft at Frederick and limited middle infield options appear on the horizon during the upcoming off-season.

An expenditure of $22 million over 3 years seems quite reasonable for the Orioles.

But, in viewing the deal from JJ Hardy’s side of the fence, I am a little perplexed. In fact, I think a few peculiar questions should exist …..

Given the perceived lack of shortstop depth in the 2012 free agent class, did Hardy’s representatives feel he couldn’t garner at least $8 million, per season, over the next few years?

Has the product of 3+ months on a last place Orioles team provided Hardy with a comfortable outlook over the next 36 months?

Is this deal really about financial security for a lifetime, as Hardy approaches his 29th birthday?
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I guess the preceding questions are a roundabout way of suggesting JJ Hardy and his agents huddled and ultimately said “let’s do the safe thing.” After all, the world knows the Orioles shortstop has realized a big league career littered with injuries and stints on the disabled list.

And, while he’s had a briefly respectable run in an Orioles uniform, it’s quite apparent Hardy is not the player envisioned during the summers of 2008 and 2008, in Milwaukee.

I’ve been quietly impressed with his transition to the leadoff role in Brian Roberts’ absence, and he’s flashed stellar defense with some consistent power potential through the first half of the season.

But, what possesses JJ Hardy to renew with the Orioles – for a modest raise – without testing the market? I’m not ranking him as the complimentary to Jose Reyes, but he would be a formidable consolation prize for a contender that needs a shortstop for the next few seasons.

Does he envision an Orioles team capable of doing something markedly better than what’s been achieved through 92 games? Maybe, he’s just comfortable here …..

Like I said, it’s a good deal for the Orioles. And, the shortstop obviously thinks it’s a contract fit for his immediate future. But, one question lingers for me …..

Why is JJ Hardy staying in Baltimore? I would really like to know.

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It’s time to name the GENIUS and JACKASS of the week …..

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It’s time to name the GENIUS and JACKASS of the week …..

Posted on 15 July 2011 by Rex Snider

Each Friday, Ryan Chell and I ponder the rosters of sports personalities that have made a GOOD or BAD impression throughout the week. We consider athletes, coaches, owners, media and just about anyone else with a connection to sports.

Fittingly, we call the segment GENIUS & JACKASS OF THE WEEK …..

Given the sparingly thin amount of sports action over the past seven days, I really had to dig deep for my current list of nominees. And, in keeping things fresh or ever changing, I have decided to list my potential recipients for your consideration:

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GENIUS OF THE WEEK

1)  Roger Goodell: by simply taking the high road and keeping his mouth shut regarding the James Harrison/Men’s Journal article, he merits support and a more positive image in the immediate future. And, God knows he needs it.
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2)  Vince McMahon: the dude has absolutely no shame and he’ll gladly be the butt of a joke or the proverbial “slapdick” when he walks into the rasslin’ ring in front of a national audience. This past Monday night, he emerged after months of seclusion to counter a good exchange with noted heel, but audience favorite, CM Punk. Do you think Vince knew he had some competition with the All Star Homerun Derby? Yep …..
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3)  Mark Reynolds: yeah, yeah, I know this incident actually took place last week, but we didn’t learn about it … OR the photo … OR the photoshopped images that would create such a buzz on the web, until just a few days ago. Say what you want, MILLIONS of people now know Reynolds wears #12 … and that he LOVES sunflower seeds.
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JACKASS OF THE WEEK

1) PacMan Jones: uh oh … you know what this means, right? Correct, PacMan ended up behind bars AGAIN. And, I know the world was shocked to learn he got arrested in a nightclub. After that, the story gets sketchy. Police say Pac’ resisted arrest. However, the Bengals misfit claims the cops are lying. Sure they are … and they probably fabricated the facts in the other 1,384, 277 incidents, as well.
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2) Steve Durham: I realize you probably don’t recognize the name, but he’s the federal prosecutor who entered prohibited evidence in the Roger Clemens trial. That’s correct, the long awaited perjury case ended in a mistrial during its FIRST WEEK. Hey, what’s a few million dollars of taxpayer money? We’ll see ya again, in September.
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3) Derek Jeter: the dude racks up his 3,000th hit while garnering adoration and accolades from an entire sports lovin’ nation, and what does he do to show his gratitude? He skips the freakin’ All Star Game !!!! Yeah, he’s nursing an injury. But, he looked fine, last weekend. I don’t care if he’s sore … he owed it to the FANS to show up in Arizona.
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Well, who would your choices be? You can find out my selections during today’s Afternoon Drive, which kicks off at 2pm …..

(NOTE: JAMES HARRISON IS BEYOND BEING A JACKASS; THUS, HE IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THIS AWARD)

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What is a Living Legend?

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What is a Living Legend?

Posted on 13 July 2011 by Rex Snider

During yesterday’s Afternoon Drive, we debated the topic of “Living Legends” in baseball. Along with Allen McCallum, we talked about what it takes to be regarded with such reverence.

The best description we could outline was “competitors that transcended the game” …..

During today’s show, we’re going to open the conversation to all sports. And, as a taste of what to expect, some of my LIVING LEGENDS can be found, below:

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We look forward to your thoughts during today’s show.  It all starts at 2pm …..

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I thought Adrian Gonzalez was boycotting Arizona …..

Posted on 12 July 2011 by Rex Snider

Before you start reading this blog, be assured of one thing; it has NOTHING to do with politics, immigration issues or Supreme Court decisions.  But, is has everything to do with holding athletes accountable for their words and actions.

A little more than a year ago, Adrian Gonzalez drew a line in the sand at the Arizona/Nevada border, or was it the Arizona/California border?  What the heck, I don’t know.  But, he did go public in proclaiming he would BOYCOTT the 2011 All Star Game, if selected to play in it.

Gonzalez’s reasoning was pointedly specific; he disagreed with Arizona’s new laws pertaining to illegal immigration and law enforcement’s investigative powers.

I thoroughly respect anyone’s opinions on just about anything.  And, I certainly believe Adrian Gonzalez is entitled to feel the way he feels about issues close to his heart.

But, when he opens his mouth and uses his stature as a pro athlete to make a stance and ultimate statement on a political issue, it’s done with a calculated purpose.  He knew those comments would fuel public reaction and he trusted such words would have an impact on the All Star Game’s destined unveiling in Phoenix.

Like many celebrities, Adrian Gonzalez ignorantly assumed his presence or threatened lack of presence would in some way handicap an industry’s showcase event.  He was wrong …..

Be clear about one thing – he wasn’t WRONG for feeling the way he felt – he was WRONG, because he entrusted the image of Adrian Gonzalez to be as big as the game.

And, it’s not.

Somewhere, somehow, Gonzalez came to an evident grip with his own reality and true appeal to the landscape of our pro sports culture.  While a distinct few personalities can impact an event, with their absence, he’s not one of them.

No single player is bigger than their game.

Adrian Gonzalez has obviously learned such a lesson and swallowed a little humble pie without much notice paid by the people who foot the bills; the fans.  Last night, he appeared at the Homerun Derby and gave those same fans the only real thing demanded, expected and desired of him.

He hit baseballs. 

Nothing more, nothing less.

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Yankees swindle a 23 year old kid who loves baseball …..

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Yankees swindle a 23 year old kid who loves baseball …..

Posted on 11 July 2011 by Rex Snider

Indeed, we are upon that time of summer when Baltimore’s baseball fans must start looking elsewhere for compelling storylines and boxscores.  I suppose spinning the recent Orioles vs. Red Sox series into a “beanball war” might drum a little interest, but do any of us really think the birds were a formidable opponent?

Of course not …..

But, as I’ve suggested, plenty of intriguing stories did result from a mid-July weekend of baseball.

Perhaps, the most notable was the goodwill gesture emerging from Yankee Stadium.  After weeks of awaiting the historical significance of Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit, it finally happened on Saturday night.

And, as if the moment was written from fictional lore, #3000 came in the form of a homerun. 

Oh yeah, it gets even better – schmoozier and more heartwarming …..

The fan who caught the ball, Christian Lopez, quickly came to grips with the most fitting destination for the historical baseball …..

Cooperstown?  Nope.

The Lopez family keepsake collection?  Nope.

A safety deposit box?  Once again, no.

Mr. Lopez decided the baseball was destined to be personal property of Derek Jeter, because “he worked so hard for it …. The ball should be his.”

I don’t deny, nor dispute Christian Lopez’s love for the game of baseball and the purity that accompanies being a fan of the sport.  But, I do question if he made the right decision and if the process in rendering such a quick conclusion is prudent for all parties involved.

That baseball is worth a LOT of money.  Conservative estimates by notable collectable experts valued it at a minimum of $250,000 or a cool quarter of a million bucks …..

That’s serious cash, huh?

Yet, in the spontaneous passion of the moment, the 23 year old man who coincidentally donned the same hat worn by Jeter, decided to hand the keepsake over to the Yankees shortstop.

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In exchange, he received tickets for the remainder of the season, along with articles of memorabilia.

Was it a fair deal?  That’s up to Christian Lopez …..

But, I’ll assert one very important consideration – it’s a deal and agreement that should’ve been discussed the following day.

Too many emotional and perhaps, personally inhibiting factors exist in the immediate moments following such a historical incident.

The fan is caught up in the massive celebration that accompanies the moment.  Such recipients are quickly sequestered from the ensuing bombardment of fellow fanatics.  That’s a good decision, because somebody will do everything in their power to steal that baseball.

I’m absolutely in support of ushering guys in the shoes of Christian Lopez away from the masses of gawkers, hawkers and stalkers …..

But, a more intriguing reason for getting the guy away from others is team officials want to “negotiate” or lean on them for a quick exchange of the ball for some trinkets and fodder.  Why not toss in a few bottles of whiskey and some beads, too?

After all, that’s the legitimacy and hoodwinking credibility that goes into such a transaction.

I’m not privy to Mr. Lopez’s financial status, although, he said he has plenty of time to make the money and he doesn’t really need it …..

Really?

How many 23 year olds (or thereabouts) do we know who couldn’t tangibly benefit from a $250,000 windfall?

Marston Hefner?  Taylor Swift?  Sam Bradford?

I look at a select group of young men who I would put into a situation just as Christian Lopez found himself on Saturday evening.  I’ll consider WNST’s Ryan Chell, Luke Jones and Glenn Clark …..

These guys love sports.  Heck, they eat, sleep and breath sports.  And, I can picture all three of them being caught up in a moment of significance at a sporting event.  Furthermore, I can reasonably picture each of them coughing up a valuable memento in the HEAT OF THE MOMENT.

They love Baltimore and the Orioles, for better or worse.

But, each of them could greatly benefit from $250, 000 …..

Better yet, $250,000 could and would impact their lives to a much greater extent than any gesture of gratitude from the Orioles or a legendary player.

Name it, buying a first house, paying off student loans or simply getting ahead in this dismal economy, each of these young men would be far better off by selling such a keepsake.  But, in the moments following their nabbing of history, I can envision them getting swindled – by a tugging of the heartstrings.

What are the chances Christian Lopez had a couple beers on Saturday evening – prior to the big moment?  I would reckon such odds are pretty good.  If so, a whole new can of worms opens up, if you get my drift …..

Let’s just call it like it is …..

The moment was a true piece of history.  That’s why Major League Baseball manufactured “special baseballs” when Jeter stood in the box for his 3000th hit.  That’s why a World Series atmosphere existed at Yankee Stadium on a muggy Saturday, in July.

The Yankees brass, like any other organization, knew the best chances of getting that baseball from the grip of Christian Lopez was RIGHT THEN and RIGHT THERE.  So, they took advantage of the circumstances.

In reality, and in legitimate surroundings, a “cool off” period should exist …..

The team should make contact with the fan and go thru the measurable steps to ensure the ball is secured.  They should even offer to put it in a safe deposit box for 24 or 48 hours.

If the fan really feels the player should have the ball, than so be it.  Will a “cool off” period change such heart driven feelings?  I wouldn’t think so.

What’s wrong with Yankees officials urging Lopez to talk with his parents?  Yeah, I know he’s an adult, but how many 23 year olds still seek the wisdom of a mother or father under such weighty situations?

Call it like it is, Saturday night’s festivities might appear to be one of those legendary fan and player symbolic exchanges.  But, the truth is the Yankees took every advantage of a 23 year old kid who loves baseball.

And, that’s wrong.

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Nearly a year later, are the Orioles starting to break Showalter?

Posted on 06 July 2011 by Rex Snider

In just a month’s time, Buck Showalter will be celebrating his one year anniversary as skipper of the Baltimore Orioles.

That’s right, if you fast forward 28 days on the calendar, you’ll arrive at August 3rd – which marks the day Buck first appeared in his black and orange garb, while sternly staring at the field from the Camden Yards dugout.

We recall that 6-3 win and ultimate sweep of the Angels to usher in Buck’s first series, right?

It seems like a long time ago.

Thus, I’m obliged to ask how much positive reflecting Showalter will be doing exactly four weeks from today?

He obviously doesn’t strike us as a guy who relishes significant dates on his respective resume’. Indeed, he seems a little more modest …. and a bit more focused on the project of his toils.

However, I do wonder if Buck Showalter, in one of his most private moments, has begun to question the wisdom and ultimate decision that led him back to managing a Major League team, and most specifically, the challenge known as the ORIOLES …..

Following last night’s collapse, is there a remote chance he savored a cold beer and revisited last year’s formed union with Andy MacPhail and Peter Angelos?

Is he begrudgingly awaiting tonight’s late night flight from his HOME to Logan Airport, in Boston?

Will he wakeup this morning, look in the mirror and simply say to himself “I’m 55 years old …. what in the hell was I thinking?”

These are all fair considerations, right?

After all, Buck Showalter finds himself managing a team that is now a season-low 11 games below .500 and 14.5 games off the AL East pace.

So much for changing the culture …..

So much for demanding better results …..

And, herein lies the question …..

As the title of the blog suggests, have the Orioles finally changed the man who supposedly had the character, toughness and no nonsense demeanor to remold them into the image of a contender?

Perhaps, the MacPhail and Angelos tandem are not living up to their end of the bargain. That wouldn’t be a surprise to any of us. And, at the same time, we’ll likely never no such a truth, because Showalter is not a “dirty laundry airing” kinda guy.

Yet, the blunt reality is the Orioles really are no better today, as opposed to the team that finished the 2010 season on a 34-23 run, under the watchful Showalter eye of accountability.

Professionalism and a commitment to fundamentals are part of the good talk that exists when a managerial change takes place. But, in the end, results are deemed by TALENT and the Orioles simply don’t have it.

There is no room for excuses. Injuries are part of the game. Slumps and inconsistent production are part of the game. Evaluating prospects beyond their true worth will always be part of the game.

You can probably attribute a mixture of the 3 components, listed above, as primary reasoning for what appears to be another failed season for the Baltimore Orioles franchise. At least they’re consistently inconsistent, huh?

I can’t imagine Buck Showalter didn’t examine the true lack of depth within the organization’s minor league system. He had to know about the stripped down scouting department. He had to gauge the MacPhail and Angelos track record of penny pinching.

So, he shouldn’t be surprised that he finds himself managing a last place team.

The optimism that brimmed with a new baseball season was dependent upon everything going right. And, well, that’s hardly been the case …..

Derrek Lee and Vlad Guerrero have not lived up to expectations.

Brian Roberts is hurt, again.

Brian Matusz has lost IT.

For every bright spot, there are equally bad spots to void any hope of a resurgence. That’s what happens when you gamble …..

In the end, even the best managers are HUMAN. They’re only capable of reaching the heights posed by the quality of their roster.

A year ago, Buck Showalter inherited a bad baseball team. A year later, he’s still managing a bad baseball team.

And, it’s beginning to appear they’ll break him before he changes them.

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On This 4th of July, I’m Grateful For WNST’s “Independence”

Posted on 03 July 2011 by Glenn Clark

I know a thing or two about format flips.

I remember exactly where I was sitting in January 2005 when I heard the final bars of “Last Goodbye” by Jeff Buckley (one of the greatest songs in music history) before hearing the following come from my radio…

“WHFS. Annapolis. Washington DC.” It was immediately followed by a lot of Spanish, but I think I remember the words “Siempre de Fiesta” and “Noventa-nueve punto uno eff eme.”

It was followed by some sort of latin song that if I knew I would curse it to this day.

21 years old at the time, I can honest to God say that the day 99.1 WHFS became 99.1 El Zol was one of the saddest days of my life. It honestly felt like losing a friend.

In my teenage years, I camped outside of Harford Mall, White Marsh Mall and even on York Road in Towson to get HFStival tickets. I tuned in late at night to hear Adam Carolla and Dr. Drew Pinsky (one of the greatest teams in broadcast history) sign off Loveline at 1am with Adam’s trademark Hawaiian “Maholo.” (I found out at an older age “maholo” actually meant “thank you”, not “goodbye.” I will admit that I am still confused as to why he used it.) I stayed tuned in to hear if at 1:05 Neci would play my favorite songs from Everclear, Stone Temple Pilots, Beck or Pearl Jam.

Hell, I even called and emailed Neci repeatedly hoping she would play the Candyskins’ version of “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield. I really did. There was nothing cooler to me in my life than when I became friends with Neci on MySpace. It was hard for me to admit that to her after we started working together.

It was my dream as a teenager to be a WHFS disc jockey. I ultimately got the chance to live that dream, but I still swear to God I shed a tear the moment I realized the latin sounds from my radio meant 99.1 WHFS was gone forever.

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Why would JJ Hardy EVER sign an extension with the Orioles?

Posted on 01 July 2011 by Rex Snider

Imagine you’re standing in the shoes of JJ Hardy’s representatives/agents at LSW Baseball & Associates …..

Better yet, just pretend you’re JJ Hardy, himself …..

As he’s approaching his 29th birthday and his first shot at free agency, rumors persist the Orioles are discussing a possible contract extension with Hardy’s legal team.  Smart move on Andy MacPhail’s part, huh?

If you think a mutual interest might exist on Hardy’s side, given his agent’s willingness to enter such conversations with the Orioles, you might want to consider the potential reasoning for their participation.

What does Hardy’s side have to lose?  The Orioles become the first team to show a distinct interest in his future services, and they probably lay the groundwork for the first bid on the shortstop.

Hey, the bidding has to start somewhere …..

But, if you take a look at JJ Hardy’s age – on the south side of 30 years, and the numbers he’s compiling on this 2011 season, there is little reason to suggest the player and his handlers will be inspired not to test the open market.

In the world of “what have you done for me lately”, Hardy has posted an offensive line of .307, with 11 homeruns and 12 doubles, in just 192 at bats.  And, he’s committed just a single error in 258 chances.

I know, I know …. lock him up, Andy !!!!

But, it’s not that simple.

Does Hardy mandate a contract offer similar to Brian Roberts’ deal of 4 years/$40 million?  Regardless of whether MacPhail’s intentions are to make such overtures, there’s a good chance the shortstop could exceed such a threshold when free agency commences.

The upcoming class of available players will be highlighted by Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and Jose Reyes.  And, there’s always the potential of JJ Hardy being a consolation prize for the clubs missing out on landing Reyes.

Thus, Hardy could benefit from being a subsequent alternative to the behemoth deal Reyes is expected to garner from a prospective suitor, weeks prior to Christmas.  Such dominos have fallen in past off-seasons.

Translation: signing JJ Hardy to an extension is probably a difficult task for the Orioles.

And, if he doesn’t agree to a deal before July comes to an end, does MacPhail resort to trading his shortstop?

Such a consideration opens up an entirely different discussion and blog.  But, the hard to swallow answer is probably “YES”.

Let the speculation begin …..

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