Tag Archive | "Rex Snider"

Big bucks rolling into Baltimore .....

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Big bucks rolling into Baltimore …..

Posted on 20 June 2011 by Rex Snider

While it’s no secret a soured economy has negatively affected the core of our nation, a window of hope and renewed prosperity will impact Baltimore over the next ten days or so …..

That’s right, an influx of money is headed this way. It will be in the form of entertainment dollars from local residents, as well as loyal tourists of a few given products.

With all due respect and love for the local landmarks, I am not referring to Ft. McHenry, Babe Ruth’s birthplace or the lure of Camden Yards, amid its quaint reputation among summer-traveling baseball enthusiasts.

Baltimore’s downtown restaurants, hotels, parking garages and mitigating businesses are about to get a GREEN shot in the arm, with thanks to some huge personalities who’ll bring their displays of talent and attraction to local venues …..
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I have never watched half-naked men grapple with each other, while drinking cold beers with Glenn Clark. But, that will change tonight as rasslin’ returns to 1st Mariner Arena.

Randy Orton and his choreographing cohorts will be certain to attract the dollars of several thousand squared-circle drama pheens. Turnbuckles, tag teams and total chaos is bound to rule tonight’s LIVE television event.

Can Glenn and I co-exist amid our propensity to disagree on just about everything … and with alcohol involved? Stay tuned …..
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What can I say about the legend of U2? They’re coming to town on Wednesday night and 50,000+ wallets and purses will be opened up by visitors and residents, alike.

For many music lovers, this is a pilgrimage in witnessing one of the GREATEST rock bands ever. And, Wednesday’s event also serves as the largest collection of consumers to ever see a concert, in Baltimore.

With or without you … Bono and his bandmates will most certainly bring an awesome energy to our city. It’s a grand celebration, even in a mid-week atmosphere. By the way, WNST and Bud Light have organized a pub crawl in the hours preceding the show. Nestor will be at the Tiki Barge at noon, and the Stalking Horse at 4pm.  Stay tuned to WNST for further information.
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When a sports franchise from Cincinnati comes to Baltimore, it’s rarely observed as a major windfall. But, in this case we’re not talking about the Bengals …..

The last time the Cincinnati Reds played a baseball game in this town, Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and Tony Perez comprised the primary parts of the BIG RED MACHINE. They were among the best players of that era.

This coming weekend, the Reds will return for an inter-league series with the Orioles. While this Cincy team is not nearly as revered as the 1970’s product, they have spawned some of the best up an coming talents in baseball.

Joey Votto is the defending National League MVP, and his supporting cast of Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips are pretty good, too. The Reds are a popular team and their collection of young stars will seize the convenience of a weekend opportunity to produce attendance figures similar to visits by the Red Sox and Yankees.
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Keep your fingers crossed on this final potential cash-cow opportunity for Baltimore’s business community over the next ten days …..

Albert Pujols is regarded as the best player in baseball, period. His steady cache’ of triple crown-caliber statistics, combined with a hulking presence and goodwill nature make him the most embraceable player in the game.

But, he’s hurt.

In yesterday’s game against the Royals, Pujols sprained his wrist in a collision with Wilson Betemit. Further information concerning the injury will be relayed later today.

It’s simple … if Albert Pujols plays, it will be three days of Yankees/Red Sox type crowds, again. If he doesn’t play, the series will probably be more resembling of a visit by another National league team.

Of course, I hope he’s healthy and capable of putting on a power display on Eutaw Street, next week. And, downtown businesses are undoubtedly hoping for the same thing.

Show Baltimore the MONEY !!!!!  Oh yeah, and if you want to save some money, while enjoying local restaurants and entertainment, please check the WNST Save Baltimore Coupons page, RIGHT HERE

I will chat with you at 2pm ….

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Rex Ryan joins me on today's show

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Rex Ryan joins me on today’s show

Posted on 16 June 2011 by Rex Snider

As the title of the blog confirms, we will have a ROCKSTAR quality guest during today’s edition of the Afternoon Drive. We will be chatting with former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator and current New York Jets head coach, Rex Ryan.

We will emphasize the conversation on his new book, Play Like You Mean It, which provides the reader with an insightful look into Rex’s childhood and his earlier days of coaching, as well as a thorough account of his time in Baltimore and New York.
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Of course, we’ll take a few moments to chat about how much his career and life have changed in the few short years following his move up I-95.

How does Rex Ryan the HEAD COACH differ from the same man who once commanded a Ravens defense that was feared throughout an era in the National Football League?

Have public demands and obligations accompanied his rise to coaching stardom?

Do the Jets and Patriots share that same intense disdain we see between the Ravens and Steelers? And, does he mention Bill Belichick in the new book?

You’ll find out the answers to these questions and much, today at 4:05pm …..

You can order Play Like You Mean It online, RIGHT HERE

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Baseball's BEST uniforms .....

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Baseball’s BEST uniforms …..

Posted on 15 June 2011 by Rex Snider

What is this quirky attraction we have to sports apparel? Whether it’s uniforms, logos, hats, helmets or just about anything else worn collectively by athletes, nearly all of us have an opinion on the best and worst of the bunch.

I merely mentioned the topic last week and phone lines jammed up. That’s the unpredictable nature of sports fans, I suppose …..

Today, I’ll tackle my list of the BEST baseball uniforms of the modern era. I qualify “modern” by suggesting my personal knowledge and observations go back as far as the mid-70’s. Uniforms dating to earlier times can be judged by some who actually saw such fashions, in person.

So, if we are considering the last 35 years, this is my list of the FIVE best uniform designs …..
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Tomorrow, I will have the 5 WORST uniforms from the modern era. Stay tuned …..

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Admit it, you wanted to see Lebron James lose

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Admit it, you wanted to see Lebron James lose

Posted on 13 June 2011 by Rex Snider

Yes, you can count me among the MILLIONS and MILLIONS of casual basketball fans who wanted to see Miami melt under the pressure of its own HEAT …..

This entire story of contempt, envy and ultimate disdain possessed by most observers, culminated with watching Lebron James and his teammates walk away from the biggest game of their season as LOSERS.

That’s the way we wanted it, right?

Seeing Miami eliminated in an earlier round by Philly, Boston or Chicago just wouldn’t have been this delightful. When it comes to enjoying the failures of others, nothing compares to seeing it happen on the grandest stage.

Why did so many of us want to see the Miami Heat lose? More importantly, why did guys like me – who don’t really invest much emotion in the NBA – want to see such a result?

I can only speak for myself, but I never like seeing teams primarily assembled thru a free agency spending spree in the context of one off-season.

Perhaps, I’m a little more old fashioned. Or, in today’s world, I guess I’m one of those guys who likes seeing a franchise primarily develop from within its own system, while subsidizing needs thru outside expenditures.

But, I’m still a more casual observer of the NBA product and that’s not going to change.

Lebron James has compelled me to watch and pay a little more attention, especially in the wake of everything that’s unfolded since “The Decision” took place, nearly a year ago.
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It’s been one weird turn after another for Lebron …..

Last night, he didn’t disappoint those who like to pick apart his every move. For the record, I’m not part of such a crowd. I’m way too busy living my own life to know what he said following his poor performances, last week.

However, I heard his words following the championship loss …..

“All the people that were rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day, they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems they had today.”

Childish and trite? Yep. The guy obviously has a problem yielding to good judgement when dealing with the pitfalls of stardom.

A simple look at the traditional way STARS are born, groomed and flicker into eventual obscurity can probably be relied upon in forecasting the ultimate future of Lebron James.

He was vaulted as the high school talent with freakishly awesome talent. He lived up to the hype and rose to stardom. The fans lifted him up as the modern day dominator.

Now, he’s in that stage of being torn down …..

That’s the way it goes. James is criticized for every move he makes and it’s not over, yet.

But, he’ll be built back up, again.

When that happens, he’ll hopefully recognize his surroundings and the perceived status from a more mature perspective. You can pretty much bet on that happening. He will live an learn.

Someday, he’s gonna retire and fade into that obscure road. He will have a championship ring or three on his resume’ and he’ll likely own some very impressive career records.

In the meantime, Lebron James will likely grow up a little bit. Rubbing the commonality of most people’s lives in their faces, during a post-game press conference, is really reaching low.

He’s better than that. Or, is he …..

Time will tell.

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We can learn a lot from a 15 year old girl …..

Posted on 09 June 2011 by Rex Snider

Are you mad at someone you love, or holding a bitter grudge that just can’t escape your heart?

Are you unhappy in your job?

Are you trying to forget the past, while hoping for the future?

Are you growing tired of the NFL labor dispute?

Are you already becoming weary of hot weather?

Are you disgusted with gas prices?

Are you frustrated by the Orioles inconsistencies?

Are you still angry at Bush?

Are you even angrier with Obama?

Are you pissed off at your fantasy baseball team?

Are you numb toward reality shows?

Are you deafened by the sounds of others complaining?

Are you still hating the Steelers?

Are you disappointed by a bad economy?

Are you ready to throw in the towel on anything?

Well, if any of the above situations applies to your daily plight, I might have the perfect elixir to bring the simple treasure of LIFE back into focus.

I spent most of yesterday kicking a few frustrations around. And, unlike most days I took those very displeasures home with me.

That’s correct, my bad mood carried into the evening and stood to affect my effort in gaining a good night’s sleep.

But, then something special happened …..

As I was monitoring breaking sports news and keeping up with the personalities I follow on Twitter, a story – a truly authentic plight of a girl named Alice Pyne – started trending via the social media giant.

One tweet, two tweets, three tweets …..

Before long, Alice Pyne was dominating Twitter and internet news feeds worldwide. Meanwhile, she was likely tucked in her bed and had no idea of the outpouring of love and support that awaited her, this morning.

In the handful of hours since Alice’s message became public, it has been verified and reported by most major news networks. It’s the real thing and so is she …..

I’m not urging you to see her story. That’s up to each and every individual. But, it helped me to re-focus, while remembering that our daily piles of small stuff are just that; small stuff.

If you want to see what the world is talking about this morning, it’s right HERE

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MLB Draft: high school talent can be undeniable

Posted on 08 June 2011 by Rex Snider

In the wake of Baltimore’s selection of Dylan Bundy, in Monday’s first round of the Major League Baseball draft, a noticeable amount of Orioles fans and followers have openly questioned the reasoning of the choice.

And, in like many circumstances, it seems like some “catch phrases” and overblown beliefs are spreading like a bad cold. Some of the things we’ve heard, include:

“we need a college player, because they’re more Major League ready”

“we don’t know how a high school player will develop”

“a college player is closer to being a sure thing”

This particular blog is not invested in trying to shoot down or discount any of the above suggestions. To a point, each phrase has its own merit and can be attributed to failures of past draft picks.

However, a more significant reality exists …..

Each player drafted atop any respective class can best be described as an individual freak of nature. They possess physical skill sets and a hand/eye coordination that exceeds a level most of us could ever fathom.

In being individuals, they also have respective levels of intelligence, discipline, maturity and abilities to lead or succeed in a competitive environment. To a degree, some of these qualities can be attributed to age, and the difference between 18 and 22 can be a distinguishing window of growth and development.

Far more humans make better, wiser decisions when they’re four years removed from their 18th birthdays. Young men can and will make stupid decisions off and on the baseball field.

Just consider Bryce Harper’s antics after homering on Monday evening ……

That said, each player is different and there really is no foolproof mathematical or scientific gauge for determining whether an 18 year old is going to fail in comparison to a player a few years older.

I don’t care about overall statistics regarding demographics. Each player is different, with respective personal physical qualities and character traits. Dismissing a player from consideration, simply because they’re a high school athlete is near-sighted and a disservice to the future of the organization.

After all, past history suggests high school players can and will succeed at the highest level. Consider this list of former high school athletes drafted within the last 15 years:

Wade Davis, John Danks, Zack Greinke, Cole Hamels, Jon Lester, Josh Johnson, Matt Cain, Matt Latos, Jeremy Hellickson, Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Cahill, Roy Halladay, CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Josh Beckett, Tommy Hanson, Phil Hughes, Chad Billingsley, Jonathan Broxton, Gavin Floyd and Zach Britton

Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, Jay Bruce, Stephen Drew, Adam Jones, Prince Fielder, James Loney, Denard Span, Brian McCann, Joe Mauer, David Wright, Adrian Gonzalez, Grady Sizemore, Josh Hamilton, Alex Rios, Carl Crawford, Brandon Phillips, Justin Morneau, Adam Dunn, Jayson Werth, Vernon Wells and Jimmy Rollins

Trust me, in the above lists, I omitted a plethora of average players – meaning guys who have been sporadic contributors, or those who experienced a rather common existence in the big leagues. But, many of them still made an impact on the game.

The message I’m trying to convey is each player is unique and plenty of pedigree exists at the high school level. There is no certain formula or recipe to determining whether an amateur player will convey to the highest level of baseball.

If an organization commits to selecting the given players possessing the most upside, with blended character traits, the best likelihood for success exists. It is what it is …..

As we stand here today, I like the Bundy pick, regardless of anything else.

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Orioles & Bundy are a perfect fit, but will it get complicated?

Posted on 07 June 2011 by Rex Snider

As high schools around the United States are in the midst of graduating senior classes, most affected kids are hoping for the typical gifts …..

 

Such rewards for accomplishment might include earmarked funds for impending college tuition, some disposable cash for a senior-week vacation and the customary token gestures, like gift cards and personal goods.

 

But, for Dylan Bundy, a rarity as obscure as winning a lottery jackpot is about to become a reality in his young, 18 year old life.  Indeed, he’s just a couple months away from becoming a millionaire.

 

Make that a multi-millionaire …..

 

Last night, the Orioles selected Bundy with the #4 overall pick in Major League Baseball’s amateur draft.  No surprise, right?  The birds did very little to conceal their adoration for the Owasso, Oklahoma native.

 

The only question heading into yesterday’s festivities regarded Bundy’s availability and whether he would still be on the board when Andy MacPhail and company were afforded their selection.

 

I’ll bet there was some nervous tension in the Orioles “Sarasota War Room” as baseball nerds watched Bud Selig walk to the podium the first few times.  Gerrit Cole?  GONE.  Danny Hultzen?  GONE.  Trevor Bauer?  GONE.

 

And, so it was to be …..

 

Following a couple months of subtle flirting and some casual conversation between Joe Jordan and “Camp Bundy”, the birds found no further obstacles in the path leading to the coveted, right-handed phenom.

 

Yeah, I’ve heard the rumored price tag attached to Dylan Bundy’s services.  It’s the old “$30 MILLION PIPE DREAM”.  A simple Google search will reveal the consistencies between the heralded selections in recent drafts and the so-called whispers of wanting a cache of money that DOUBLES any figure ever awarded to a draft pick.

 

Stephen Strasburg wanted $30 million.  He settled for $15 million.

 

Bryce Harper wanted $30 million.  He settled for $10 million.

 

Dylan Bundy wants $30 million.  He ain’t getting it.

 

And, don’t believe the coy message sent when the world saw Bundy sporting a Texas Longhorns shirt on television, last night.  He’s not opting for the Longhorns baseball program over an offer of millions from Baltimore.

 

He might as well be wearing that shirt as a symbolic gesture of support for Sergio Kindle.

 

I suppose a constructively optimistic sign can be distinguished in knowing Scott Boras is not representing Dylan Bundy.  That’s right, take your collective sigh of relief …..

 

Bundy is actually represented by B.B.I Sports Group, and its founder, Jay Franklin.  Yep, that’s the same Jay Franklin many of us recall as a pitcher for the Texas Rangers.  Have a look at the B.B.I. website, right HERE

 

If you scroll down to the 7th member of the B.B.I. organization, you’ll likely notice a name that helps in understanding why Dylan Bundy is NOT represented by Scott Boras. 

 

Denver Bundy – Dylan’s father, is employed by B.B.I. and according to his bio, the elder Bundy negotiated the contract for Bobby Bundy, in 2008.  Yep, that’s Dylan’s older brother and current member of the Bowie Baysox.

 

I know what a couple readers might be thinking …..

 

The last time a father negotiated a top draft pick’s deal with the Orioles, Larry McDonald created some hard feelings and strained relations with the ballclub.  In the end, Ben McDonald signed with the birds, but not before ensuring an acrimonious relationship moving forward.

 

It does not appear that Denver Bundy anchors the same stubborn positioning as Larry McDonald.  Bundy has experience in negotiating with professional baseball franchises.  Larry McDonald worked for Exxon; that was the extent of his credentials.

 

But, whenever the heart gets involved, strange things can happen. 

 

Scott Boras doesn’t really love Gerrit Cole.  Nor, does he love Anthony Rendon.  But, Denver Bundy loves his son, and such realities can cloud reasonable thinking.

 

Perhaps, Jay Franklin really will take the reigns in these negotiations.  From everything I’ve read, that’s the case.  And, it’s probably the right thing to do, regardless of the success in inking Bobby Bundy to a lucrative $600,000 deal – which was a record for 8th round selections.

 

Am I worried?  Nope.

 

Dylan Bundy is signing with the Orioles.  My guess is the figure will be in the $7 million range, or a little less.

 

A full ride to college is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Getting drafted so highly can be construed as a similar situation.  But, in taking the money NOW, Bundy can pay for any college if his career doesn’t materialize.

 

He’ll take the money.  Bet on it.

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Here are 5 ways to improve the MLB draft ....

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Here are 5 ways to improve the MLB draft ….

Posted on 06 June 2011 by Rex Snider

Tonight, when the clock strikes 6pm, Major League Baseball’s Studio-42 will become abuzz with excitement as the first player selected in the 2011 edition of the amateur draft is announced.

And, for sporadic moments shortly thereafter, some emphasis of attention will re-focus to the MLB epicenter, in Secaucus, New Jersey, as subsequent “high profile” players are awarded to a collection of the worst teams in the game.

Sounds compelling, huh?

Perhaps, you can already assess the problem, or perceived problem of relevance, by simply recollecting what you’ve already read. Indeed, if we’re searching for a way to improve or publicize Major League Baseball’s version of ushering in tomorrow’s superstars, some of the clues can be found in the above text.

Where is Secaucus? It’s located just few miles outside Manhattan, between the Lincoln Tunnel and Meadowlands sports complex. But, don’t think you’ll ever be making a roadtrip to personally observe a draft unfold.

After all, Studio-42 has a measly capacity of 95. That’s right, under ideal circumstances, only 95 patrons, contest winners or special invitees would be able to attend the annual event. So much for fans making a pilgrimage, huh?

By the way, who are those “high profile” players I cited a few paragraphs ago? I know the names of the prime prospects atop the rankings, but I wouldn’t criticize your expertise for not knowing such personas.

Yet, from a public exposure perspective, the reality attached to the sport’s fanbase not knowing, nor really caring about the names of top amateur talents is a fundamental problem, when trying to solve the indifference fans feel toward the draft, or in remedying this non-event.

I understand the challenge and by all means, I concede Major League Baseball will never rival the coverage and celebrations regarding draft-day hype enjoyed by the NFL and NBA communities.

Gerrit Cole cannot claim the intramural stage dominated by Cam Newton, and the same applies to Anthony Rendon and Greg Odon. The same can be said about the nation’s best high school prospect, Dylan Bundy, as nobody outside Oklahoma knew his name just a few months ago.

We know the deal; NCAA football and basketball are much more popular than baseball, as part of the American sports scene. The game of baseball has a genuine appeal that is uniquely limited to the very highest talent, in the big leagues, or if we have a loved one playing at a lesser level.

That’s the truth.

To be blunt, I don’t know if Major League Baseball can transition its draft day festivities into a product most fans and insiders would wanna witness. But, I can think of five distinct ideas that would make the event more appealing.

You can find my five ideas on the next page …..

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The struggles of Markakis are becoming a national story

Posted on 04 June 2011 by Rex Snider

With each passing day, many of us are eagerly anticipating an awakening of the Orioles offensive attack. The production, or lack thereof, is becoming a predictable expectation for opposing teams and their followers.

Friday’s edition of the Toronto Star previewed this weekend series as an easier task than a few recent slugfests involving the Blue Jays, especially given the “light hitting” Orioles attack.

Truth hurts, huh?

I won’t suggest the birds clubhouse is brewing with finger wagging and varied versions of the blame game; plenty of accountability and resulting culpability exists among the ranks.

But, a sobering reality is the Orioles find themselves at 25-30 and in familiar digs; they’re occupying the cellar of the American League’s Eastern Division, as the final days of spring trickle into summer.

The seasonal change means there is a LOT of baseball remaining. Can this lineup awaken from a season-long slumber? Doubts are growing by the day, and a prominent name that usually evades criticism, locally and nationally, is starting to feel the heat.

Welcome to the current plight of Nick Markakis …..

I am making certain to police my views and opinions on this very subject, because I have been especially critical of Nick’s star power and value among Orioles fans. And, my strong assessment can be attached to prior seasons.

Do I think he’s a good ballplayer? Without question, YES. However, I have never subscribed to the belief he’s one of the best young talents in the game, nor have I thought he was a foundational player for the franchise.

That said, I think Markakis has displayed a consistency in his first five seasons that suggests he’s a dependable offensive threat. Through his big league career, he has rewarded normal expectations of a top of the lineup hitter.

Over the past 4 full seasons, he’s averaged: .299 avg, 45 doubles, 18 homers, .466 slugging

When such numbers are yielded with consistency, a resulting expectation ensues. That’s the deal, period. And, such accomplishments eventually translate into a more global sense of demand, specifically on the national stage.

So, when Sports Illustrated released yesterday’s figurative roster of baseball’s MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYERS thru the first couple months, I was not surprised to see Nick Markakis as a prominent part of it.

He’s hitting .239, with 4 doubles, 4 homers and a putrid .311 slugging line. Do you realize how difficult it is to achieve such a low slugging percentage? Better yet, have you considered how difficult it will be to keep a player with such poor numbers at the top of a lineup?

For all his well publicized struggles in the first couple months, freakin’ Derek Jeter has a higher slugging percentage than Markakis. Yes, that’s how bad it really is …..

As I stated, there is plenty of “blame sandwich” for just about all of the Orioles hitters to gets a substantial bite, but expectations should not be ignored when it comes to the failures at the plate.

Mark Reynolds? He is exactly what last season evidenced …..

Derrek Lee? In 14 fewer games, most of his production exceeds that of Markakis …..

Yet, they’re the lightning rods for most of the scorn emanating from the impassioned souls of Orioles fans. Why is that? Well, as always, Markakis gets a notable “pass” with the baseball loving people in this city.

“He is the future”

Damn, if I had a couple bucks for every caller who made that statement.

Perhaps, we shouldn’t be shocked by lesser numbers and production from Nick Markakis – his doubles, homeruns and slugging percentage have flattened or decreased over the span of the last 3 seasons.

But, disappointment and frustration should exist given the lack of overall production, in 2011. Maybe it’s time to reassess the pedigree of Markakis. Better yet, it’s absolutely time to reevaluate the lofty reputation he’s garnered.

Don’t misunderstand my message, it’s not his fault that fans have overrated his abilities and true existence from a threat perspective. He’s not peddling “Nick Markakis” via Twitter or any other social marketplace.

He’s very much himself; a guy who doesn’t appear to say much or carry a leadership quality among teammates. Give him credit on this one – he’s not pretending to be a more demonstrative presence.

Lets just be honest about the season and the failures of the Orioles lineup …..

Nick Markakis is tasked with a responsibility to spark this offense, while also driving in runs. That’s why he gets paid the big bucks. That’s why he’s gonna get paid even bigger bucks, next season, and beyond.

A significant portion of the Orioles weak offensive production rests upon his shoulders. He needs to figure it out …. NOW. As I’ve said, I have never believed he’s as good as many hometown followers suggest. But, he’s not this bad, either.

Nick Markakis has been disappointing. And, I didn’t need a national publication to point it out.

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Zach Britton dishes on the best hitter he's faced

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Zach Britton dishes on the best hitter he’s faced

Posted on 03 June 2011 by Rex Snider

Yesterday’s edition of the Afternoon Drive served up an interesting and exciting cast of guests, highlighted by a conversation with Orioles rookie phenom, Zach Britton, as he promoted an upcoming event benefiting the Wounded Warriors Project.

And, of course, we talked a little baseball …..

Our conversation covered Adam Jones’ amazing catch during Wednesday’s game, the rigors of a west coast roadtrip, the butterflies experienced during the MLB draft and a commitment to winning.

However, it was my final question and Britton’s response that inspired me to reassess some of the latest rumblings we’ve heard about overrated and/or “over the hill” players.

Pointedly, I asked “who is the best hitter you’ve faced at the big league level?”

Britton qualified his answer by citing the amazing increase in talent among Major League hitters, in comparison to the lineups he faced in the minors.

Surprising to hear? Of course, not.

As for the best hitter he’s faced, Britton feels it’s Alex Rodriguez …..
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In a very brief window, A’Rod has faced the Orioles southpaw just 3 times …. and he’s 3 for 3 in those opportunities. On an optimistic note, the hits were singles.

Ironically, Alex Rodriguez highlights a current Sports Illustrated article that reveals the “Most Overrated Players In Baseball”, in accordance with a survey of current players.

Hmmm …. Britton’s response has caused me to wonder how many American League starting pitchers were polled for the SI article. Perhaps, some envious positional counterparts were personal in their choices?

On the flip side, Britton’s experience on a big league mound is limited; he hasn’t faced a handful of the American League’s lineups, yet. He has yet to throw a pitch that counts to the likes of Miguel Cabrera, Joe Mauer or Jose Bautista.

In blunt honesty, I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. Zach Britton has struck me as a humbly modest, yet fiercely competitive individual. You can hear the interview in its entirety HERE

We are appreciative of Zach’s time and generosity in spending a few moments with us, especially on a rare off day; upon returning from the west coast.

To that extent, it’s only fitting to elaborate on the primary reason for yesterday’s conversation, which emphasized on Zach’s commitment to supporting military personnel and specifically, the Wounded Warriors Project.

The Orioles will be represented by pitchers Zach Britton and Jake Arrieta during an upcoming event at the Under Armour Warehouse, where they’ll participate in assembling backpacks of gear for injured soldiers.

It’s a fitting tribute and act of fellowship, as Britton and Arrieta have active and veteran military personnel among family members. The event is scheduled for June 7th, and you can learn more about it HERE

Lip service is a cheap and easy way to suggest support for our real American heroes. Yet, Zach Britton and Jake Arrieta are selflessly committing time to help those who have made real sacrifices, and that’s a refreshing reality.
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