Tag Archive | "Rex Snider"

Why don’t the Orioles have an annual Old Timer’s Day?

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Why don’t the Orioles have an annual Old Timer’s Day?

Posted on 27 June 2011 by Rex Snider

So, I’m browsing thru Twitter yesterday afternoon and I encounter an abundance of tweets/remarks regarding OLD TIMERS DAY, at Yankee Stadium. This year’s event was especially poignant, because Joe Torre was making his return after a four year absence.

It’s enough to give you goose bumps, huh?

And, yeah, I get it …..

The vaunted New York Yankees have the richest and most publicized history in baseball. A collection of the most notable talents who’ve ever played the game have donned the pinstripes.

While legends such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle and Joe Dimaggio have been gone years – if not decades, the Yankees still have a rich heritage to celebrate. And, CELEBRATE they do …. every single summer.
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We can name ‘em …..

Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Reggie Jackson and Goose Gossage are included among the Hall Of Famers who make the annual pilgrimage to Old Timers Day. They’re also joined by notables, such as David Cone, Oscar Gamble, Ron Guidry, Graig Nettles, Mickey Rivers, Roy White, Chris Chambliss and many, MANY others.

50+ to be exact …..

Widows of former Yankees greats are part of the group, as well. And, rightfully so.

Indeed, the wives of Bobby Murcer, Thurman Munson, Billy Martin and Elston Howard were fitting contributors to yesterday’s ceremonies. These ladies likely feel the same pride their late-husbands had in being part of the Yankees story.

With seeing this yearly rendition of a diverse but striking family reunion by former members of the Bronx Bombers past editions, I am inspired to ask if the concept is impractical in Baltimore? And, don’t fight me with “rich history” daggers, either.

The Baltimore Orioles organization boasts a half dozen LEGENDS who have been immortalized in Cooperstown, with Orioles caps affixed upon their plaques. And, all of them are still alive !!!!

How much longer will you be able to say that?

Life is fragile; that famous ’71 four-man staff of 20 game winners possesses just a lone living member today. That’s how easy your living, breathing history can disappear.
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Yet, there are so many names and personalities with distinct ties to the Orioles family. They might not be enshrined among baseball’s greatest talents. But, many of them merit a measurable tie to our collective hearts.

Tell me how special it would be to run into John Lowenstein, Lee May, Wayne Garland, Joe Nolan or Jesse Jefferson at the harbor on the night before the ceremony? How about seeing Bobby Grich, Storm Davis, Jeffrey Hammonds or Sammy Stewart around town?

There is only one way to lose one’s tie to its own tradition, and that’s to lose one’s tie to its own tradition.

Alas, the Yankees do just another thing better …..

Don’t tell me about fairness or how this particular discussion has nothing to do with the 2011 edition of the Orioles. It has EVERYTHING to do with this impressionable roster of players.

I will guarantee that Nick Swisher, CC Sabathia, Brett Gardner and Phil Hughes are moved by the traditions associated with Old Timer’s Day. Sure, they’re primarily inspired by financial security, but these guys loved baseball before they ever loved money.

Is Baltimore invested in its own history? Is there no desire carry on tradition? Is there no obligation to the Orioles past?

LEGENDS are not limited to Yankees pinstripes.

But, give ‘em credit. Among the greed, selfishness and exuberant excess of money’s attachment to the modern game, the Yankees still take a day to celebrate the purity of the organization’s intersection with the men who built it.

Such a devotion has no financial value. But, it’s every bit as important as the next big free agent addition.
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Westminster, Maryland …. a true victim of NFL selfishness

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Westminster, Maryland …. a true victim of NFL selfishness

Posted on 24 June 2011 by Rex Snider

In the wake of the Ravens announcement regarding the cancellation of training camp at McDaniel College, I have been carrying out an impassioned plea for the business community in the Westminster surroundings.

I have no direct stake in the race; no business interests or immediate family residing in the Carroll County area.

But, I do have a heart and sense of fellowship …..

At the core of this frustrating situation, from my perspective, is the reality of witnessing the very first casuaties of the National Football League’s battle among its division of owners and players.

I suppose that’s a given of “war” huh? The innocent always seem to get caught up in the crossfire – or they pay for simply being in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

I could probably spew a couple dozen analogies and clever quotes aimed at sensationalizing the plight of the Westminster business community as we’re now a couple days removed from the training camp cancellation.

But, I’ll just be blunt …..

The NFL owes Westminster.

Will Roger Goodell, along with 32 ownership groups and thousands of players see it at that way? Of course, NOT. After all, the self-serving audacity and nearsightedness of both factions have caused such a resulting problem.

Amid reports of renewed optimism and the possible immediacy of a resolution to the lockout, it appears owners and players might be championing a “deal struck” within the next week or so …..
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They’ll be certain to iron out differences regarding shared revenue, free agency, length of seasons and wage caps for rookies. But, will either side pull their head from the sand (or somewhere darker) to notice the carnage and financial loss suffered by a specific community supporting the NFL product?

Once again, no.

They’re too busy looking out for themselves.

As I said on Wednesday, this is not specifically the fault of the Baltimore Ravens organization. From the outside peripheree, we have monitored Steve Bisciotti living up to his word on how his organization would handle the crisis.

There has been no mudslinging, nor hardline public stances by ANYONE in Owings Mills. And, most Ravens players have been rather muzzled on issues, as well.

The Ravens have delivered championship-caliber football to Baltimore and its loyal surrounding of purple lovin’ communities. And, more importantly, the Ravens organization has been top notch stewards of good public relations.

The problems and associated fallout from Carroll County’s economic loss is at the hands of a bigger behemoth than the Ravens. That’s just the direct truth.

Make no mistake about it, the NFL owes Westminster’s business community some gesture or commitment of amending the upcoming loss of business.

The very businesses on and around that Route 140 corridor are symbolic and very authentic victims of the NFL’s stubborn manipulations.

As they come to an agreement, will either side step up and say, “before we nail this down, what are we going to do in helping the communities directly affected by this lockout?”

Yeah, right …. you’ll have a better chance seeing Joe Flacco, Lamar Woodley and Dhani Jones vacationing together at Disney World.

I don’t have the answers on how to help Westminster. But, I do know the NFL has an obligation to do it. Then again, they’ve probably missed living up to a number of such obligations over the last few months.

Once again, its not the direct fault, nor the direct responsibility of the Ravens to aid Caroll County’s businesses. But, saying “we’ll see ya in 2012″ is not a remedy, either.

I know fans haven’t reacted much, at all. That’s typical fandom, though. Wait ’til the end of July rolls around and thousands settle for a day or two of reassembled training camp observations at M&T Bank Stadium.

Kids will get over it. Adults will get over it. But, will all the businesses that depend on a stream of revenue flowing into the Westminster business community survive it? Maybe …. maybe not.

My hearty congratulations to every member of the National Football League, in anticipation of your upcoming labor deal. It’s certainly about time. Meanwhile, it’s a shame you had to sacrifice some “small guys” in the process.

But, that’s business in America, huh?

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Coach Rex Ryan on time in Baltimore: “It was ten great years and I met a lot of great people”

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Coach Rex Ryan on time in Baltimore: “It was ten great years and I met a lot of great people”

Posted on 24 June 2011 by Ryan Chell

Rex Ryan

Since leaving the Baltimore Ravens more than two years ago to become the head coach of the New York Jets,  Rex Ryan has had nothing but success as coach of Gang Green up in New York.

During that time as coach, Rex Ryan has taken the Jets to consecutive playoff appearances going as far as the AFC Title game in each trip.

His career record as the Jets coach is 20-12, and is 4-2 overall in the playoffs.

This after building up an impressive resume in Baltimore as defensive coordinator for the Ravens from 2005-2008 in which his defenses-anchored  by Ray Lewis-never finished less than sixth-overall in total defense.

Ryan spent 10 years on the Baltimore sidelines for both Brian Billick and John Harbaugh, but when a head coaching job for the Ravens wasn’t put in front of him, he couldn’t wait any longer for that opportunity to come his way, and he took advantage of another one.

But the one thing he has learned-and he details it in his new book, “Play Like You Mean It” which he introduced to Rex Snider last week on “The Afternoon Drive”, that it’s the people he’s been around who he has to thank for where he is today.

And a lot of them are still in the Baltimore organization, and despite knowing the organization holds John Harbaugh in high regard and that they chose him over Ryan, Ryan said he will always hold a place in his heart for the Ravens.

“I had ten great years in Baltimore that I am really proud,” Ryan told Snider. “And I still have a home in Baltimore. It was ten great years and met a lot of great people.”

One of the great people Ryan interacted with and had a great relationship with while in Baltimore was linebacker Ray Lewis.

“I was with Ray for all ten years and I talk about that he is one of the rare guys, a player that actually motivated me,” Ryan said. “That usually doesn’t happen. Usually it’s the coach motivating the player.”

Ryan said that Ray Lewis was  probably the most special person he’s been around in his 24-year coaching career.

“Ray was such a passionate leader and everything that we would motivate me as well as his teammates and things. He is a once in a lifetime player, an amazing talent and he is still going strong even today.”

Ryan became the Jets coach in 2009-ironically the same year that both Ravens linebackers Bart Scott and Ray Lewis were free agents on the market.

Ryan admitted that getting #52 to follow him to New York was definitely on his agenda.

He said he would be lying if he didn’t.

“It’s funny because when I went to New York the first thing right off the bat I wanted to get Ray Lewis to come and coach here and all that kind of jazz and let him play here,” Coach Ryan said.

Ryan took a lot from Baltimore up I-95 including several coaches, players, personnel, support staff and philosophy, but he admitted to Snider that there was nothing he could do to get Ray Lewis away from the city of Baltimore.

“Ray was not going to leave Baltimore anyway but it was not the right decision,” he said. “Ray’s team is the Baltimore Ravens, more so than Ozzie Newsome, or Steve Bisciotti, or anybody else.”

“But when you think of the Baltimore Ravens you think of Ray Lewis that is why there was no way I could take him away from Baltimore even if I wanted to, and was able to.”

Another player that Ryan didn’t have the longest amount of time to interact with but has high hopes for is a man on the other side of the ball than Ryan’s defense-that being quarterback Joe Flacco.

He remembers taking a look at Flacco just days into the first round of practices at Owings Mills and training camp and noticing that he was going to be something special despite the fact he came in projected to be the third quarterback on the depth chart behind Kyle Boller and Troy Smith.

“Joe Flacco was without a doubt is our best quarterback, and I remember mentioning that to Steve Bisciotti that in my opinion is wasn’t even close and that he ought to be our starting quarterback,” Ryan said.

“Joe Flacco is an outstanding talent, he’ got great arm strength, he’s got poise, and he is a better athlete than you think. I think he has all the tools to be a great quarterback in this league.”

But Rex was still the guy we have got used to in New York calling out the likes of Bill Belichick when he did admit that he’s biased when it comes to Joe Flacco winning championships.

Like Steelers LB LaMarr Woodley, he hopes Flacco wins none-at least at the expense of his teams.

“Well I hope he doesn’t win one, because I want to win them,” Ryan laughed. “And I am no different then those other guys; I mean I guaranteed a Super Bowl this year. But the funny thing is, that is how you have to think. It’s our team, I don’t care about anybody else’s team.”

One of those teams in particular that he doesn’t care about, but one that he has to keep his focus on at all times?

Why, that would be none other than Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots, who despite Rex Ryan’s previous statements about the Coach may have been construed as disrespect, Ryan would tell you otherwise.

He would do so because he had that same level of respect for the Pittsburgh Steelers as a member of the Baltimore Ravens.

“There is a huge amount of respect with the Steelers and the Ravens, I can promise you. But you also want to beat that team worse than anybody.”

He knows Ravens fans still take that statement to heart.

And now that he’s the enemy, he knows that he’s probably included in that as well.

“I know the Ravens want to beat the Steelers worse than anything, probably right there with the Jets for some reason.”

We’ll  find out this year Week 4 of the regular season at M&T in prime time.

WNST thanks Coach Rex Ryan for joining us! Be sure to check out a copy of his new book, “Play Like You Mean It”, for a great in-depth look inside the mind of one of the NFL’s biggest personalities!

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Orioles website pins Pittsburgh loss on 5th inning error …..

Posted on 23 June 2011 by Rex Snider

I am not usually known for critiquing the writing or reporting skills of others. Such a personal standard applies to my treatment of WNST brethren, as well as those reporting for other outlets.

I suppose it’s just a stylistic habit; I generally think in terms of describing my own views and opinions, as opposed to countering similarly based content of others. Once again, it’s just me …..

But, in yesterday’s Orioles loss in Pittsburgh, I found the lead article at Orioles.com to be salaciously inaccurate, and it pandered to the nearsightedness of wanting to pin blame on a single player.

The title of the article read, “Davis Costs O’s In Big league Debut” ….. (FIND ARTICLE HERE)

Naturally, I took exception to the title, itself. A mere glance at it gave me the impression yesterday’s loss was being pinned on the single actions of a rookie infielder, who was making his big league debut.

When I started reading the article, which was penned by Laura Myers, I encountered this paragraph near the very top:

“The crucial play came in the fifth inning, when a two-out ground ball from Josh Harrison skipped through the legs of second baseman Blake Davis, who was making his Major League debut. Two runs scored on the error, and the Pirates took a 5-4 lead, which they never relinquished as they beat the Orioles and won the three-game series at PNC Park.”

Really?

Yesterday’s loss hinged on ONE PLAY by a kid who made a blatant error in the 5th inning? No doubt, it was a frustrating situation and the miscue handed Pittsburgh the lead.

But, lets be clear about one thing …..

The Orioles lost yesterday’s game, because they failed to score a single run in the final five innings – while realizing the pressure of needing to manufacture one runner across the plate was vital to tying it up.

This lineup had 12 outs to get it done and they failed to do it.

That’s why the Orioles lost yesterday’s game. The inability to capitalize offensively, when needed most, was the telling factor in dropping the series finale’.

The game NEVER hinged on a 5th inning blunder by anyone. That’s just a convenient excuse, nothing more, nothing less.

This is not some underlying defense of Blake Davis, either. True, he was playing out position – he’s not a second baseman. But, he’s got to make that play …. period.

The miscue by Davis was representative of how errors can cost a team; 4 outs per inning, will eventually have an impact. And, it did yesterday afternoon.

But, the Orioles had 12 turns at the plate after that play. They needed to score ONE to tie and TWO to recapture the lead and they failed to do so.

That’s why they lost.

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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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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 20 June 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Pro Lacrosse-MLL Boston Cannons @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium); Arena Football: AFL Kansas City Command @ Utah Blaze (Friday 8pm from Salt Lake City live on NFL Network); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-John Molina vs. Robert Frankel (Friday 9pm from Temecula, CA live on ESPN2), Devon Alexander vs. Lucas Matthysse (Saturday 9:45 from St. Charles, MO live on HBO); WNBA: Indiana Fever @ Washington Mystics (Tuesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Tulsa Shock @ Washington Mystics (Sunday 4pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet)

10. Bad Teacher” and “Cars 2” out in theaters (Friday)

Both of these flicks appear to be watchable at worst. Bad Teacher looks particularly good, as it includes the great Jason Segel…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5ZtwbzUFZE[/youtube]

…Phyllis from “The Office”…

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

…and of course the great Justin Timberlake…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi7gwX7rjOw[/youtube]

9. Roots Fest (Wednesday-Sunday “Highway to Nowhere”-Route 40, Franklin and N. Gilmor)

Perhaps the highlight of the event? The dialogue on the future of Baltimore…with the cast of “The Wire.”

Given the folks involved, is it safe to say that the future of Baltimore somehow involves drugs?

I’d pay ten dollars just to go and watch the guys re-enact their interrogations. Pardon the language…it’s art.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EeFa8QOq_Y[/youtube]

8. Auto Racing: NASCAR Toyota/Save Mart 350 (Sunday 3pm from Sonoma, CA live on TNT); IndyCar Series Iowa Corn Indy 250 (Saturday 8pm from Newton, IA live on VERSUS)

Rex Snider said something on Twitter the other day about NASCAR TV ratings being up. I would have kept reading, but it involved NASCAR so I’m pretty sure no one cared.

Jeff Gordon recently won an event. With Cars 2 set to open soon, I will admit that I am much more concerned with how Jeff Gorvette is doing…

gorvette

7. Golf: PGA Tour Travelers Championship (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Cromwell, Conn.); Champions Tour Dick’s Sporting Goods Open (Friday 6:30pm Saturday & Sunday 7:30pm from Endicott, NY live on Golf Channel); Wegmans LPGA Championship (Thursday & Friday 12:30pm Saturday & Sunday 4pm from Pittsford, NY live on Golf Channel)

With the U.S. Open in the books (and Rory McIlroy still making a birdie somewhere at Congressional), all of us not named Drew Forrester now go right back to doing exactly what we were doing before-not really giving a crap about golf.

You know how that would change? More Bubba Watson in overalls and “ooh-da-lolly lolly.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PM2NocuEihw[/youtube]

Seriously…these guys need to make one of these videos every week, especially if Tiger Woods is going to totally stop banging whores.

I mean, what the hell else are we supposed to do? Talk about golf???

6. Mixed Martial Arts: UFC Live 4-Nate Marquardt vs. Rick Story (Sunday 9pm from Pittsburgh live on VERSUS); Strikeforce Challengers-Caros Fodor vs. James Terry (Friday 11pm from Kent, WA live on Showtime)

A couple of things. One-Is Kevin Connolly REALLY interested in making a movie about the life of one-time MMA star Kimbo Slice? REALLY? Is Mr. T available to play him???

And also-did you see this picture of Conor Heun that Bloody Elbow posted after the Strikeforce event Saturday night? Looks normal at first…but keep looking at his right arm. I’ll give you about 5 seconds before you exclaim “Ohhhhh…………”

heun

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Former Oriole Jake Fox on time as Oriole: “I think it’s no secret people know I can play everyday…I just wasn’t being used that way”

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Former Oriole Jake Fox on time as Oriole: “I think it’s no secret people know I can play everyday…I just wasn’t being used that way”

Posted on 20 June 2011 by Ryan Chell

At the beginning of the 2011 season, things looked very promising for Orioles catcher/utilityman Jake Fox.

Jake Fox

Fox had a very promising spring for manager Buck Showalter and the Orioles, belting ten home runs in Grapefruit League action and appeared to be prove that he was worthy of getting at-bats and full-time action when the regular season went underway.

He looked as if he was going to earn himself the necessary playing time to keep up his impressive hot streak-something that he did not earn from his previous stints in Oakland and the Chicago Cubs.

That was how he actually found his way in a Baltimore uniform as Oakland couldn’t afford to keep him on the bench, designating him for assignment on June 22, 2010 and trading him to the Orioles.

However, nearly a year later, the nightmare happened again for Jake Fox, as the 28-year old found himself yet again short of playing time and in the manager’s doghouse and eventually-off another big league club.

While listed as a catcher and having the ability to play multiple positions, Fox could not call one his own, and when pitcher Brian Matusz returned off the disabled list on the first of June, it was Fox’s name to easily came up-but for the wrong reason.

The Orioles designated the fifth-year man for assignment, and given his previous criticism of A’s management and his off-and-on relationship with Buck Showalter, it looked as if Jake Fox would be too proud to accept a minor league assignment should be passed waivers.

Jake Fox appeared as if he would burn yet another bridge to another organization as he did twice before, but that is where the third time indeed happened to be a charm.

Fox narrowly avoided finding his way up to Pittsburgh during his ten-day wait to either be traded or pass through waivers, but when no team called the Orioles to claim him, he found himself with a decision to make.

And Fox did, accepting the minor league assignment to the Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate, Norfolk, and has since started eight games for the Tides.

So far, he has hit .207 while hitting two home runs and has driven in seven RBIs.

Fox joined Rex Snider on “The Afternoon Drive” Friday afternoon to offer his thoughts on trying to prove to his parent club in Baltimore that the longtime star at the minor league level deserves another chance at a promotion-instead of his third set of walking papers.

“I’ve got to come down; show them I can play everyday, and show them I’m able to perform,” Fox told Snider. “Hopefully that will get me where I want to go.”

And for Fox, the biggest remedy to his troubles or worries so far this season should be fixed down at Norfolk by being used day-in and day-out by manager Gary Allenson.

He knows now that he both sides can help each other out, and that it’s mutually beneficial for both Fox and the Tides.

“I think its no secret people know I can play everyday on the big league level and I just wasn’t being used that way,” Fox said.” It’s hard to come out an perform when you’re only playing one or two days a week, and in order to get where I want to go in my career, it’s a necessary step.”

And Fox didn’t lie to Snider when he said that the experience so far has been nothing short of a good one for him.

“There are a lot of fun guys here… it’s a good club house,” Fox admitted.

Fox said the hardest part about the last several weeks was not actually leaving his teammates during the Seattle series on June 1st, but it was instead the period where his future landing spot was in limbo, whether it was through a trade, waiver claim, demotion, or outright release.

“I’ll tell you this…it’s a tough process,” Fox said. “The harsh part of it is you’re sitting dormant. You’re sitting around…you’re not playing, you’re not staying in shape, and you’re just kind of sitting there.”

Fox said he just continued to go about his business in preparing to suit up to play at the big league level night after night, but that didn’t mean the doubt didn’t eat at him every day.

“It’s just very difficult from that standpoint because you have no idea where you’re going, and no idea how they’re going to use you when you get there,” Fox said. “It could be anywhere from you’re going to get traded to a west coast team, and you’re expected to play the next day game.”

And when no major league club called the Orioles, he had a decision to make when it came to what appeared as a step-back to a major league ballplayer by going down to the minors. He made his choice, but nearly fourteen days since stepping in a batter’s box had Fox’s mind swirling yet again.

“Now you’re going to Norfolk… it’s two weeks since I played my last game, so how you get back in the swing of things and be successful right away?”, Fox asked himself.

And with his lack of playing time, he felt like his rustiness at the plate in Baltimore(.188, 9-for-48. 2 HRs, 4 RBIs) would resurface wherever he went.

Fox said inactivity can be so much more worse than going up against a good pitcher for a hitter such as himself.

“It affects hitters differently according to what kind of hitter they are,” said Fox. “Power hitters say timing is everything, and that’s one thing that it does disrupt. When you have time in between starts, and times when you don’t see pitching, it does disrupt your timing.”

Fox said he could never be a career pinch-hitter or someone of that nature. It just doesn’t fit with his preparation.

“I still believe that coming off the bench in the big leagues is one of the hardest things to do in the big leagues. Guys that can do it, and do it well should be paid a heck of a lot more then they are ’cause there’s not many guys that can do it.

But now, at least Fox will get what he wants most-playing time and at-bats-and he hopes with that going for him, he can prove to Buck Showalter and Andy MacPhail that he deserves another shot at being on the field at Camden Yards.

And he knows just what he needs to do to get it done.

“I think we all know what’s going to keep me in the big leagues is hitting the ball. I just need an opportunity to go out there and do that, that’s the hardest part,” Fox replied.

“I think that’s where it comes into play, just trying to get those consistent at bats. Once I get those consistent at bats I think you’ll see a lot more production.”

WNST thanks Jake Fox for joining “The Afternoon Drive” with Rex Snider! As you all might know, both Drew Forrester and Rex Snider fought over Jake Fox as their favorite Oriole for a short time! We wish him continued success and hope to be able to cover him in Baltimore yet again real soon! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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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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WHOOPS ….. SORRY ABOUT THAT !!!!
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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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