Tag Archive | "Roberto Alomar"

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To everyone who contributed to ’96-’97 Orioles celebration: Thanks and No Thanks

Posted on 23 July 2011 by Peter Dilutis

Glenn Clark and Thyrl Nelson had an awesome idea Friday in the midst of another losing season for the O’s and a strange “no football” period for the Ravens and NFL.

They spent a whole day honoring the 1996 and 1997 Orioles teams that exhilarated Baltimore with their playoff runs and exciting, hard-nosed baseball.

During the celebration yesterday, Nestor tweeted the following @WNST.

Nestor: This 96-97  conversation  is great & awful. Awesome memories, makes me realize how f**ked up current state of team is

Say what you want about Nestor’s opinion on the Orioles, Angelos, baseball, whatever…But I agree with that statement 100%. I was more depressed about the state of Orioles baseball last night than I have been in quite some time.

I heard a guy in B.J. Surhoff call in who just cared so much about winning that he really didn’t care about anything else. A guy who would be ticked off when he looked at his stat-line and saw that he was hitting .280. Someone who desperately wanted to be in Baltimore, and who cried when he was traded in a mismanaged fire-sale. Say what you want about his second stint with the Orioles, but the 2011 version of the Birds could sure use a few Surhoff’s.

We also heard from Sammy Perlozzo on Friday. Sam dedicated his life to coaching baseball, and was a mainstay either in the O’s third base coaching box or on the bench as the bench coach. He gets a well-deserved promotion to manager in 2005, and he is gone in less than two years. Maybe he wasn’t cut out to be a manager, but no one could have succeeded in the mess that was the 2006 and 2007 Orioles. No one. Sam, a Maryland native, has moved on to more winning ways as a coach on the Phillies’ staff.

Look at one of the main individuals that we celebrated yesterday in Pat Gillick. The guy is a Hall of Fame General Manager. Hall of Fame. Yeah, that Hall of Fame.

Peter Angelos thought he knew more about baseball than him. He really did. He didn’t allow Gillick to trade Bobby Bonilla and David Wells, believing the O’s had a playoff push in them. They did, and from then on, Angelos felt he had the pedigree to “assist’ his front office decision makers regarding baseball decisions. That line of thinking has led to the pitiful demise of the last 14 seasons.

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Celebrating Alomar and Gillick with Top 10 96-97 O’s Moments

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Celebrating Alomar and Gillick with Top 10 96-97 O’s Moments

Posted on 22 July 2011 by Glenn Clark

On Friday’s edition of “The Mobtown Sports Beat” on AM1570 WNST, Thyrl Nelson and I celebrated Sunday’s Cooperstown Hall of Fame inductions of Roberto Alomar and Pat Gillick with a four hour tribute to the 1996 & 1997 Baltimore Orioles.

During the show, I named my Top 10 moments during that special run in O’s history. As I explained last week, these Birds represented “The Only Magic I’ve Ever Known.”

(I didn’t include Jeffrey Maier or the season ending games in either season on this list. These were the memories we WANT to remember.)

10. Ripken passes Kinugasa (June 15, 1996)

ripkenkinugasu

When Cal Ripken played in his 2,216th consecutive game in Kansas City, he already owned the record for consecutive games played.

If he had stopped at 2,210 consecutive games, there would have been no argument that he didn’t hold the record.

With no offense to Sachio Kinugasa, but nothing that happens in Japan can be fairly compared to anything in Major League Baseball. When Ripken surpassed Lou Gehrig in 1995, the record was his.

That being said, the fact that Kinugasa was able to attend the game at Kauffman Stadium made the warm June night pretty special. The evident connection between the two men made the night even more fun for baseball fans.

If you ever get the chance to chat with CSNBaltimore.com writer (and longtime Baltimore Sun columnist) John Eisenberg about this night, please do. The stories are a LOT of fun. I’d tell you myself, but they aren’t my stories.

9. Mussina NEARLY perfect (May 30, 1997)

moose

I have never been more captivated by watching a baseball game than I was that Friday night.

At the time, Home Team Sports (HTS) was still a premium channel on Comcast in Baltimore County. Friday night games however were regularly available over the air (most on WNUV 54), allowing 8th graders like myself to sit at home and watch the games instead of hanging out with our friends.

I’ll never forgive Sandy Alomar for the hit that he managed off Mike Mussina in the 9th inning that night. His brother is my baseball idol, but his name is evil in my mind.

There’s been only one Orioles no-hitter in my lifetime (a combined effort from Bob Milacki, Mike Flanagan, Mark Williamson and Gregg Olson in 1991), never a solo no-hitter. I’ve seen the Orioles no-hit themselves a couple of times, but I’ve never seen an Orioles pitcher throw a no-no.

I really thought I was going to that night.

8. Wire to wire (September 25, 1997)

aleast

With their 9-3 defeat of the Blue Jays at the building formerly known as SkyDome, the O’s clinched their first AL East title since 1983.

More significantly, they became only the sixth team in MLB history to win the division title going “wire to wire”, in first place from Opening Day to Game 162.

It was a remarkable run for the Birds, although 14 year old Glenn Clark may not have fully realized how significant it was because he was too worried about playoff matchups and hoping to avoid the Yankees in the ALCS.

He got his way. Unfortunately it didn’t end up making much of a difference.

7. Brady gets 50 (September 29, 1996)

bradya

The legacy of Brady Anderson’s 50 home run season in 1996 can certainly be labeled as “clouded” at best.

That being said, whether the 50 home run campaign (which concluded with a dinger on the season’s final day in Toronto) was aided by substance or simply a result of a former leadoff hitter “reaching his athletic opus”, it still stands as the only time in Orioles history a player has reached the mark.

(Frank Robinson previously held the team record with 49.)

Despite the rumors, following Brady’s home run exploits in 1996 was fun for Orioles fans-especially the stretch were he lead off four straight games by going yard.

And no matter how we felt about it, there’s little chance the Orioles make a run to the ALCS in 1996 without those 50 home runs.

6. A walk off slam (May 17, 1996)

hoiles

Anderson’s “moment” was a season in the making. The Ripken “moment” was nearly 14 years in the making.

Hoiles’ “moment”? Roughly one swing in the making.

The Orioles trailed the Seattle Mariners 13-10 in the 9th inning. What happened next was something I had practiced in my back yard roughly 160,000,000,000 times.

With two outs, the bases loaded and a 3-2 count (of COURSE it was a 3-2 count), Chris Hoiles hit what can only be described as the MOST ultimate of “ultimate grand slams.”

Thank God I hadn’t stopped watching that night.

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Former O’s GM and 2011 HOF Inductee Pat Gillick: “I enjoyed the three years that I was in BAL…I just hope that the tradition can continue”

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Former O’s GM and 2011 HOF Inductee Pat Gillick: “I enjoyed the three years that I was in BAL…I just hope that the tradition can continue”

Posted on 18 July 2011 by Ryan Chell

Pat Gillick

Wherever Pat Gillick went to offer his services as general manager,  he left that team a winner.

And usually after his departure, the winning went with him as evidenced by the playoff droughts of three of the four clubs he ran in Seattle, Toronto, and of course, Baltimore.

But, his 27- year run making personnel decisions certainly caught the eye of his former associates in Cooperstown, as  Gillick was named to the 2011 Baseball Hall of Fame by his former comrades in the Veterans Committee.

He will be formally inducted on Sunday along with one of his former players in second baseman Roberto Alomar, but before then, he joined Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” to talk about what an honor it is to be considered a Hall of Famer.

In fact, he felt like his time would have to wait considering the loss of longtime Yankees owner George Steinbrenner last July.

“I was very stunned when I got the call that I was going into the Hall of Fame,” Gillick said. “I never thought it would happen until it actually did. I thought that Steinbrenner would get in. But, I was stunned and and very humbled.”

Like Alomar, Gillick will be inducted as a Toronto Blue Jay-who he brought five division titles and two world championships from 1985-1993.

But, Gillick was quick to point out to Nelson that his time in Baltimore from 1995-1998 was just as special to him, and said that he cherished his time in Charm City the most because of the relationships he built.

He told Nelson that he’s hurting right now along with the rest of Oriole Nation wanting the Birds to recapture their past success when he was making the baseball decisions.

“I enjoyed the three years that I was in Baltimore and the fans were great, “Gillick told Nelson. “That was a great time. Since I left, I just hope that the tradition can continue.”

Gillick-who was GM of four MLB franchises along with the Orioles including the Toronto Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners, and Philadelphia Phillies-has brought three championship trophies (two with Toronto in 1992-1993, one with Philadelphia in 2008) home in his management career and came close to World Series title runs on several more occasions.

A few of those instances included ALCS runs for the Orioles in 1996 and 1997-the last time Baltimore’s made the playoffs, and again reaching back-to-back league championship games with Seattle in 2000 and 2001.

The 2001 Mariners team tied a major-league record with 116 regular season wins, but failed to bring home a World Series title in both years.

Gillick said that in most cases, it would have taken him longer to get a team like the Orioles to playoff contention in the mid 90′s, but he said the team’s composition was in excellent shape and was ready for him to move right in and put a winning team together.

“I was very fortunate that the club had a very good nucleus,” Gillick said. “I just had to fill in the pieces. Anderson, Ripken, and Mussina were already here. So, I just tried to find the pieces to compliment them.”

One of those pieces was a winning manager who had been there before-Davey Johnson.

On the field, it was Gillick who pulled some strings toward getting one of  his former players in Toronto in Roberto Alomar-who he was paired with from 1991-1995 and won 2 World Series titles with-to come to Baltimore for a playoff run.

It was all about the relationships he built previously with guys like Alomar that made his job that much easier, Gillick said.

“With Alomar, I had a history with him,” Gillick said.And that was something that put it over the top. It’s really just finding the right part to fit with the established players already. Give the right players to the manager and get the right mix in the clubhouse.”

Gillick didn’t think twice to call Alomar the best second baseman he has ever seen, and he had some other good second baseman in Seattle with Bret Boone and Chase Utley in Philadelphia.

Now he’ll be re-united with him yet again this weekend receiving one of baseball’s most prestigious honor.

In fact, while Gillick said he could have waited to get into Cooperstown, he was insulted that Alomar didn’t get in his first year of eligibility in 2009.

“I think the incident against Toronto really affected him going in last time,” Gillick said. “He should have been first-ballot. He is the best second baseman I have ever seen.”

WNST thanks Pat Gillick for joining us and congratulates him for being inducted into Cooperstown! Check out the conversation at the BuyaToyota.com Audio Vault and be sure to tune into Friday’s Mobtown Sports Beat as we devote the entire show to Pat and Roberto! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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Remembering Only “Magic” I’ve Known

Posted on 15 July 2011 by Glenn Clark

I know just how frustrating the 2011 season has been for Baltimore Orioles fans.

I also know how frustrating the 2010 season was. And 2009. And 2008. And 2007. And 2006. And…I think you get the point.

I was born on September 6, 1983. Just over a month later (October 16) the O’s vanquished the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 5 to claim their third (and still most recent) World Series title. Despite being alive for 40 days when it happened, I’m ashamed to say I have no memories of the title.

The 1989 Birds were a special group. I’ve watched the “Why Not” video a number of times in my life, mostly thanks to my friends BJ and Chris Appel. While they finished short of winning the American League East crown, the team has left many folks in Charm City with special memories.

Unfortunately, I had just turned six years old when the season was cut short. My memories of the ’89 Orioles are extremely limited, and the team itself really didn’t mean much to me as a baseball fan.

I’ve made it quite clear that I am much more of a lacrosse person than I am a baseball person. I’ve made it obvious that certain things about baseball in recent years have made me turn from the game. That’s been made worse by the fact that the team here in Baltimore has given me almost nothing to enjoy for nearly 15 years now. Like many other fans in this city, the demise of our own team has lead to a lessened interested in the sport in general.

That wasn’t the case in 1996.

My 12th birthday was September 5, 1995. It was a special day to be an Orioles fan (like I need to tell you) as Cal Ripken passed Lou Gehrig by playing in his 2,131st consecutive game. My parents were kind enough to purchase me EXACTLY what I wanted for my birthday that year-an oversized Orioles “Starter” brand jacket.

(I know I wasn’t the only one who wore a Starter jacket at the time.)

I’m pretty sure I didn’t take that jacket off for two years-even in the summer.

Baseball was my most significant love in 1996. The Ravens came into existence during the offseason but wouldn’t “take over” the city for another three to four years. In fact, as rabid as we were in Baltimore for the return of the NFL, there were multiple games between Memorial Stadium and what was then known as PSINet Stadium in the early years of the Ravens’ existence that were “sold out”, but featured less than empty crowds.

It was a baseball town, and I loved the Orioles more than I even loved girls.

One of the most exciting moments of my life was the day I found out Home Team Sports (HTS) had been moved from the “premium” tier of Comcast programming in Baltimore County and instead became a basic cable channel.

I was that crazy about the Orioles.

In 8th grade, I was often caught not paying attention to teachers in class. While other kids were writing love notes, I was found to be drawing miniature baseball diamonds and impressing my friends with my ability to name the starting nine for every other team in Major League Baseball.

I was a complete and total nutjob when it came to baseball.

I’m not sure I can fairly explain how much those 1996 & 1997 teams meant to me as I hit puberty. My entire attitude was determined by what the Orioles had done the night before.

I still remember coming home from Perry Hall High School one late fall afternoon in 1995 to have my dad tell me the Orioles had signed Roberto Alomar. I didn’t believe him at first, but ultimately celebrated as if I had received straight A’s on my report card.

The 1996 & 1997 Orioles gave me some of the happiest memories of my life as a sports fan. They also of course gave me some of the saddest memories of my life, as they failed to advance past the ALCS in both years.

As far as “Orioles Magic” is concerned, the only thing I REALLY know about “magic” for the Orioles franchise happened during those two seasons.

I’ve explained my excitement about Alomar’s impending induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame many times. Part of my identity as a Baltimore sports personality is tied to my affection to the man who will take his place in Cooperstown next weekend.

I find it fitting that as Alomar enters the Hall of Fame, he will share the stage with the architect of those Orioles teams, former General Manager Pat Gillick. Gillick’s career is directly tied to Alomar, having brought the second baseman to the Toronto Blue Jays, where the pair would win two World Series titles. Gillick would go on to bring Alomar to Baltimore, where he would lead the O’s to their only Wild Card playoff berth and their first AL East crown in 14 seasons.

My guess is that most of the coverage surrounding next weekend’s induction ceremony will be about the time Alomar and Gillick shared with the Jays. But for Orioles fans, next weekend’s ceremony will be a reminder of a special (albeit short) era of success in Baltimore.

It’s with that in mind that I am happy to announce that Thyrl Nelson and I have come together to dedicate next Friday’s (7/22) edition of “The Mobtown Sports Beat” to the 1996 & 1997 Baltimore Orioles.

We’ll use the show to congratulate Alomar and Gillick on entering the Hall of Fame, as well as to honor the teams that were truthfully the most special in my lifetime.

We’ll talk to players, coaches, broadcasters and even fans who were around those teams. Some interviews will be live, some will be taped earlier in the week. As guests continue to confirm, I’ll do my best to pass them along.

Older Orioles fans might not look back on the ’96 and ’97 with the same fondness that I do. But this is all I’ve known of winning baseball in Baltimore…well…ever.

It’s going to be a lot of fun. I hope you’ll tune in next Friday to AM1570 WNST or online at WNST.net to join in the celebration. I hope you’ll chime in with calls, emails, Tweets (@WNST or @GlennClarkWNST on Twitter), Facebook messages and other memories of those teams.

It’s the only “Magic” I’ve ever experienced, and it doesn’t look like it will be changing soon.

(Eds. Note: A previous version of this post mistakenly stated the Ravens had experienced “multiple blackouts” in their early years.)

-G

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 04 July 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Arena Football-AFL Cleveland Gladiators @ Philadelphia Soul (Friday 8pm from Philly live on NFL Network); Canadian Football League: Montreal Alouettes @ Saskatchewan Roughriders (Saturday 4pm from Saskatchewan live on NFL Network), Hamilton Tiger-Cats @ Edmonton Eskimos (Saturday 7pm from Edmonton live on NFL Network); WNBA: Washington Mystics @ Chicago Sky (Tuesday 8pm from Chicago live on ESPN3.com); Boxing: Brandon Rios vs. Urbano Antillon (Saturday 10pm from Carson, CA live on Showtime), Paul Williams vs. Erislandy Lara (Saturday 10:15pm from Atlantic City live on HBO), Friday Night Fights-Francisco Sierra vs. Jesus Gonzales (Friday 9pm from Phoenix live on ESPN2)

10. Bela Fleck & The Flecktones (Thursday 6pm Rams Head Live), Charm City Devils (Saturday 7:30pm Rams Head Live), Old 97′s (Monday 7pm Rams Head Live); Frankie Beverly & MAZE (Saturday 6pm Pier Six Pavilion); Animal Collective (Saturday 6:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Def Leppard/Heart (Saturday 7:30pm Jiffy Lube Live); Marshall Tucker Band (Sunday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); John Witherspoon (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Rockapella (Thursday 7:30pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); The Bridge (Sunday 6pm Ladew Gardens)

The Old 97′s are the best band you’ve never heard of. (I’ve always wanted to say that!)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1nn7lXP7WQ[/youtube]

I’ve been trying to get you to support John Allan and CCD boys for years. Please start soon.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUB08-RuwdM[/youtube]

My favorite Def Leppard tune? Quite possibly “Photograph”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZ5bS3_BCDs[/youtube]

For the 15th time this year, PLEASE START LISTENING TO THE BRIDGE…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajY3mBuGVQk[/youtube]

9. “Horrible Bosses” opens in theaters (Friday); Boy Meets World Season 6 available on DVD (Tuesday)

I finally saw “Bridesmaids” over 4th of July weekend. How can Kristen Wiig not be funny at all on Saturday Night Live but then be genuinely funny in a really funny movie? Weird.

Critics are telling us Horrible Bosses is really funny, so I imagine I’ll see it. I am struggling with one of the plotlines being Charlie Day having problems with being sexually harassed by Jennifer Aniston however…

aniston

Nope. Not buying it.

And as far as BMW Season 6 goes, I remember the ridiculous range of emotions I experienced while watching the episode “Resurrection.” Tough to do this to a 13 year old kid, ABC.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIv8WCIfD4Y[/youtube]

8. Pro Lacrosse: MLL All-Star Game (Saturday 7pm from Boston live on ESPN2)

Lord…they’ve won the Super Bowl three times, the World Series twice, the NBA Championship, the Stanley Cup and four Frozen Fours since 2001 and now they’re taking the All-Star Game in OUR sport?

Jesus, this is too much. Seriously, can’t we just have anything in Charm City? I mean, are they going to take this from us next???

backriver

7. Cycling: Tour De France (Stage 3 Tuesday 8am Stage 4 Wednesday 7:30am Stages 5-8 Thursday-Sunday 8am all live on VERSUS)

I couldn’t tell you a damn THING about the Tour de France at this point, and I follow Lance Armstrong on Twitter.

Instead, I offer a picture of Buffalo Chicken Waffle French Fries for my food porn friends…

fries

Word.

6. Auto Racing: NASCAR Quaker State 400 (Saturday 7:30pm from Sparta, KY live on TNT); IndyCar Series Honda Indy Toronto (Sunday 2pm from Toronto live on VERSUS)

Something called David Ragan won this week’s NASCAR race in Daytona. So…that happened.

Look-if it had been Brian Regan, I would have been interested…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89frRi8GgGA[/youtube]

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 18 April 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Mixed Martial Arts-Bellator Fighting Championships 42 (Saturday 9pm from Concho, OK live on MTV2); Arena Football: AFL Kansas City Command @ Chicago Rush (Friday 8pm from Chicago live on NFL Network); Soccer: MLS-New York Red Bulls @ DC United (Thursday 8pm from RFK Stadium live on ESPN2); Tennis: ATP Barcelona Open BancSabadell (Friday 6:30am, Saturday & Sunday 4pm from Barcelona on Tennis Channel); Golf: PGA Tour The Heritage (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Hilton Head, SC); Champions Tour Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf (Friday 12:30pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 1pm live on CBS. All golf from Savannah, GA)

10. Rush (Friday 7:30pm 1st Mariner Arena); Coheed and Cambria (Tuesday 7pm Rams Head Live, Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club), Crack The Sky (Saturday 8pm Rams Head Live); Rooney (Wednesday 7pm Bourbon Street); John Popper & The Duskray Troubadours (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head On Stage, Thursday 8:30pm State Theatre), Bret Michaels (Thursday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); Michael McDonald (Thursday-Saturday DC Improv); Charlie Sheen (Tuesday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Stephen Kellogg (Friday 8:30pm Jammin’ Java-Vienna); Soulive (Saturday 9pm State Theatre); Local H (Sunday 8:30pm Rock & Roll Hotel), J Roddy Walston & The Business (Wednesday 8:30pm Rock & Roll Hotel); Saliva (Monday 7pm Jaxx); Gorillaz “The Fall” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I’m ABSOLUTELY done with the Charlie Sheen fascination. I’m done even with the morbid curiosity. Unless he’s donning a Cleveland Indians jersey and hurling fastballs, I’m simply not interested.

I AM interested however in a Charm City appearance by the holy trinity…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7DFsBcVMDA[/youtube]

Love Blues Traveler? You’re a good American. I loved Blues Traveler myself and will absolutely admit that I’m all in on John Popper’s new project…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6f5xq5bRaQU[/youtube]

Want to hear something that TOTALLY kicks ass? Here are Soulive and Robert Randolph doing Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JC_HXU-N3Ac[/youtube]

I’m not sure if anyone is still in the band, but I know Local H at least USED to be pretty awesome…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2Oe5YKhzCE[/youtube]

9. Glenn Clark’s Easter Plans (Sunday)

Here’s what I know. I DEMANDED Cadbury Cream Eggs Benedict from my girlfriend last year and she failed. It had better not happen again…

cadburycreameggsbenedict

This is proof that God exists…I think.

8. Mortal Kombat available on Playstation3/XBox360 (Tuesday)

11 year old Glenn Clark is FREAKING OUT RIGHT NOW.

If Streetfighter Turbo comes next, I might be in full blown panic mode.

While we’re on the subject of video games, how many folks do you know that are Grand Champions in NFL Blitz 2000?

The answer is at least one.

blitz

7. College Football: Navy Blue-Gold Spring Game (Friday 7pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on CBS Sports)

I won’t be able to make it out to Annapolis Friday night, but I do have a couple of thoughts related to College Football.

1-Alabama fans have to be at least a LITTLE embarrassed by the Nick Saban statue that was unveiled in Tuscaloosa, right? Of course, the more embarrassing part is that I’m SURE this means Auburn is rushing to get a Gene Chizik statue erected too.

2-Cliff Tucker is trying is hand as a receiver for the Maryland football team now that the whole hoops thing is over, huh? Seems like a good option, but I feel as though maybe I would have gone with Competitive Cheer…

cheer

6. NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference Quarterfinals-New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics (Game 2 Tuesday 7pm from Boston live on TNT, Game 3 Friday 7pm from New York live on ESPN, Game 4 Sunday 3:30pm from New York live on ABC); Atlanta Hawks vs. Orlando Magic (Game 2 Tuesday 7:30pm from Orlando live on NBA TV, Game 3 Friday 8pm from Atlanta live on ESPN2, Game 4 Sunday 7pm from Atlanta live on TNT); Chicago Bulls vs. Indiana Pacers (Game 3 Thursday 7pm from Indianapolis live on NBA TV, Game 4 Saturday 2:30pm from Indianapolis live on TNT); Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers (Game 3 Thursday 8pm from Philadelphia live on TNT, Game 4 Sunday 1pm from Philadelphia live on ABC); Western Conference Quarterfinals-Portland Trailblazers vs. Dallas Mavericks (Game 2 Tuesday 9:30pm from Dallas live on TNT, Game 3 Thursday 10:30 from Portland live on TNT, Game 4 Saturday 5pm from Portland live on TNT, Game 5 Monday from Dallas TBD); Denver Nuggets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (Game 2 Wednesday 8pm from Oklahoma City live on TNT, Game 3 Saturday 10pm from Denver live on ESPN, Game 4 Monday 10:30pm from Denver live on TNT); Memphis Grizzlies vs. San Antonio Spurs (Game 2 Wednesday 8:30pm from San Antonio live on NBA TV, Game 3 Saturday 7:30pm from Memphis live on ESPN, Game 4 Monday from Memphis TBD); New Orleans Hornets vs. Los Angeles Lakers (Game 2 Wednesday 10:30pm from Los Angeles live on TNT, Game 3 Friday 9:30pm from New Orleans live on ESPN, Game 4 Sunday 9:30pm from New Orleans live on TNT)

Let’s be honest…NBA basketball is AWFUL in the regular season and just sorta okay in the playoffs.

But Dwyane Wade and Jalen Rose (and Kyle Korver) did some pretty impressive things over the weekend…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC9H66odmrk[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=748HJrUPuys[/youtube]

5. NHL Playoffs: Washington Capitals @ New York Rangers Game 4 (Wednesday 7pm from New York live on Comcast SportsNet & VERSUS), New York Rangers @ Washington Capitals Game 5 (Saturday 3pm from Verizon Center live on NBC), Washington Capitals @ New York Rangers Game 6 if necessary (Monday TBD from New York live on Comcast SportsNet)

I know there are a few folks in Baltimore who have gone to the dark side and are rooting for the hockey team down in the Nation’s Capital.

That’s their choice…I won’t judge them. Much. I MIGHT however buy them a new Washington Redskins shirt to wear this football season while we’re all donning purple at M&T Bank Stadium.

To those that are still on the fence, I encourage you to root for the Rangers. If you’re not familiar with Sean Avery, let me introduce you to a few young ladies who ARE familiar with Mr. Avery…

Hilary Rhoda

rhoda

Elisha Cuthbert

cuthbert

Lake Bell

lakebell

And “Stacy’s Mom” herself, Rachel Hunter

rachelhunter

You seriously don’t think this guy is worth rooting for?!?!?

4. Charm City Heroes (Friday-Saturday Pikesville Hilton)

With no offense to Frank Robinson, Mike Curtis, Jim Palmer, Eddie Murray, Earl Weaver, Cal Ripken Jr., Brooks Robinson, Roberto Alomar, Lenny Moore, Gino Marchetti, Art Donovan, Raymond Berry, Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis, Brian Roberts, Buck Showalter or anyone else scheduled to attend this event (holy hell that’s quite the list), it’s not complete.

I mean…seriously…how about our city’s greatest Olympic champion?

phelps

Could anything say “hero” more than that picture?!?!?

3. Ravens Pre-Draft Luncheon (Tuesday 12:45pm 1 Winning Drive, airing 5:30pm on AM1570 WNST), Brian Billick Live! Pre-NFL Draft Show (Tuesday 7pm Mother’s Federal Hill)

I guess the excitement surrounding the NFL Draft has been a bit dampened because of the lockout. But that’s only because we haven’t spent time watching NFL DRAFT PORN!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkLG6LHNdXk[/youtube]

I want all of them.

2. Boxing: Top Rank-Roberto Marroquin vs. Frankie Leal (Saturday 11pm from Thackerville, OK live on Fox Sports Net nationally, Comcast SportsNet locally); Joseph Agbeko vs. Abner Mares (Saturday 10:30pm from Los Angeles live on Showtime); Friday Night Fights: Breidis Prescott vs. Bayan Jargal (Friday 8pm from Uncasville, CT live on ESPN2)

Of course this makes the list because Ravens S Tom Zbikowski is scheduled to fight on the undercard of the Marroquin-Leal fight.

By the way, if you haven’t seen “The Fighter”, you might as well just admit you hate America. How AWESOME is this clip?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oln0_q_x1lw[/youtube]

1. College Lacrosse: Navy @ Johns Hopkins (Saturday 8pm from Homewood Field live on ESPNU); Hobart @ Loyola (Saturday 12pm from Ridley Athletic Complex live on ABC2/ESPN3.com); Vermont @ UMBC (Saturday 1pm UMBC Stadium); ACC Lacrosse Tournament: Maryland vs. North Carolina (Friday 5pm from Durham, NC live on TheACC.com), ACC Championship Game (Sunday 3:30pm from Durham, NC live on Comcast SportsNet); CAC Tournament: St. Mary’s @ Stevenson (Wednesday 4pm Caves Athletic Complex), CAC Championship Game (Sunday 2pm from Caves Athletic Complex if Stevenson wins Wednesday)

I’ve posted this before I’m sure. I don’t care. Suck it, UNC!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0SnOgHx3eg[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Top 20 moments in Camden Yards history: No. 11

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Top 20 moments in Camden Yards history: No. 11

Posted on 25 March 2011 by Luke Jones

As we move closer to the start of the 20th season at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, I take a look back at the top 20 moments in the history of the ballpark. Selected moments had to relate directly to the action on the field at the time. No orchestrated events such as World Series anniversary celebrations or Orioles Hall of Fame inductions were eligible.

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Previous selections:
20. Wieters’ debut
19. Nomo tosses only no-hitter in Oriole Park history
18. Orioles rally from nine-run deficit against Boston
17. 30-3
16. Showalter takes the helm
15. Palmeiro homers in Oriole debut
14. Griffey’s Warehouse shot
13. Sparring with Seattle
12. Davis defies the odds

11. Hoiles’ dreamlike slam stuns Mariners - May 17, 1996

A unique moment in sports is occasionally so memorable that it takes on a life of itself.

An event where only several thousand were present gradually transforms into an occasion witnessed by hundreds of thousands, if only for its improbable nature and the euphoria its aftermath creates.

There’s nothing more cliched in sports than the boyhood dream of stepping to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with your team trailing by three runs.

Full count, two outs, and the bases loaded.

It’s the stuff of wide-eyed boys playing in the backyard on a July afternoon, dreaming of one day playing in the big leagues.

And it was the exact scenario presented to Chris Hoiles, who capitalized on that dream in one of the wildest games in Orioles history.

Hoiles

It was a typical slugfest that characterized the 1996 season. Both the Orioles and Seattle Mariners were short on pitching but could mash opponents into submission with an offensive onslaught — the two clubs hit a combined 502 home runs in 1996 — that wore out scoreboard operators around the league.

After jumping out to a 7-2 lead through five innings, the Orioles bullpen proceeded to surrender an inexcusable 11 runs in four innings of work. A grand slam by 20-year-old Alex Rodriguez off Alan Mills had given the Mariners an 11-9 lead in the eighth, and the lead grew to 13-10 as Seattle closer Norm Charlton worked in the bottom of the ninth.

Many of the 47,259 in attendance had gone home after the game had eclipsed the four-hour mark and appeared destined to be a deflating loss thanks to the ineffective bullpen. Even more at home had surely turned off the television set as the clock approached midnight.

Yet, what happened next would have many more thousands claiming they were there, or had at least hung on to watch the bottom of the ninth on TV.

The erratic Charlton — who would bring his high-wire act to Baltimore two years later to the tune of a 6.94 earned run average in 1998 — walked Roberto Alomar, allowed a Bobby Bonilla double, and issued a free pass to Cal Ripken in the process of getting the first two outs of the inning. Hoiles came to the plate with a chance to become the 20th man in major league history to hit a walk-off grand slam to erase a three-run deficit.

The count went full as the several thousand still in attendance rose to their feet with the imagined scenario playing out before their eyes. Then, Hoiles deposited the 3-2 pitch into the left field seats to give the Orioles an inconceivable 14-13 victory as the stunned Mariners walked off the field.

His teammates mobbed him at the plate as Hoiles became the only known player in history to hit his “ultimate” grand slam with a full count and two outs. The select fans who had stuck around Camden Yards that night had seen one of the most exciting moments in franchise history.

And thousands more would learn of it the next morning, kicking themselves for heading home early or turning off the tube the previous night.

Myself included.

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Better than the Monday paper: The logical reasons why Bordick, Alomar and Raffy aren’t Orioles HOF’ers

Posted on 21 March 2011 by Drew Forrester

I’ll make quick work of this one.

Mike Bordick isn’t an Orioles Hall of Famer.

Neither is Roberto Alomar.

And neither is Rafael Palmeiro.

At least to me, they’re not.

That’s that.

But I guess it wouldn’t be fair – or thoughtful reading – to just throw those three declarations in there and not at least give some reasoning.

So here it is:

Bordick was a good major league baseball player and had a nice 6-year run (separated by a brief stint in New York) in Baltimore.  Along the way, he had the makings of two very good offensive seasons (for him), which came in 1999 (.277) and 2000 (.297).  He was always more than capable defensively.

But Mike Bordick was a good player – you can use the word “solid” instead of good and I’ll accept that – who had a couple of forgettable seasons and two very good ones for the Orioles.

Hall of Fame worthy?

No.

Was he a quality member of the organization and a good representative of the franchise?

Without question, yes.

But that shouldn’t put him in the team’s Hall of Fame.

Alomar is a much different story, because he is a baseball Hall of Famer…so it only makes sense to just hand-over his Orioles HOF card.  But if you’re measuring Roberto Alomar on three seasons in Baltimore, there’s simply no way he belongs in the Orioles Hall of Fame.

For starters, I’d NEVER vote for someone who played three years in Baltimore unless those three seasons included world championships and league MVP awards or Cy Young honors.  Yes, I’m aware the powers-that-be in the front office say the minimum required stay to be considered for the team’s HOF is 3 years, so technically Robbie is eligible.  3 years?  Really? That’s like saying (continued on next page)

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

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

Posted on 07 January 2011 by Glenn Clark

What a wild week.

The Ravens are preparing for an AFC Wild Card playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.

Maryland football introduced former UConn coach Randy Edsall as Ralph Friedgen’s replacement after a very public flirtation with former Texas Tech Head Coach Mike Leach.

The Orioles (very unfortunately and tragically) saw pitcher Alfredo Simon turn himself into police as the main suspect in a Dominican Republic murder. This of course overshadowed their signing of reliever Kevin Gregg.

On top of that, we’re in the middle of BCS football games, the Washington Capitals won the NHL Winter Classic last Saturday night, and the Terps get their first crack at Duke this season Sunday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

In the sports media business, this is the type of week we love, as we spend much of the year looking for topics and storylines to write about and discuss.

Yet somehow this week, I’ve found myself captivated by the discussion surrounding the announcement of the 2011 induction class for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Much of my interest has to do with my personal affection for Roberto Alomar (the greatest Oriole I’ve been able to see play in my lifetime), but more of it has to do with my interest in the process itself.

nytimes
(Photo courtesy: New York Times)

Former Houston Astros slugger Jeff Bagwell was up for induction for the first time this year. As someone whose height of baseball fandom (I’ve never hidden from the fact that I’m no longer a “baseball guy” at this point in my life) coincided with the peak of Bagwell’s career, there was no doubt in my mind that Bagwell was deserving of induction to the Hall of Fame.

He didn’t have the “can’t miss” numbers (2,314 hits and 449 home runs); but he was clearly amongst the dominant players of his era at his position (four time All-Star, six times a Top 10 finisher in National League MVP voting).

I couldn’t imagine Jeff Bagwell NOT being considered a Hall of Famer.

Yet when Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) voters made their decision, only 41.7% of them agreed with me; more than 30% less than the 75% needed for election.

Jeff Bagwell never tested positive for steroids and no positive link exists whatsoever. Yet the biggest reason Bagwell wasn’t elected remained…steroids.

Here’s what BBWAA voter Dan Graziano (who now writes for Fanhouse) said in his column explaining his decision to NOT vote for Bagwell…

“No, I didn’t vote for Jeff Bagwell for the Hall of Fame. Yes, it’s for the reason everybody loves to hate. I don’t know for sure that Bagwell took steroids or any other performance-enhancing drugs to help him attain his Hall of Fame-caliber numbers. I don’t have evidence, like we do against Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro. But I’m suspicious. And this year, that suspicion was enough to make me send back my ballot without the Bagwell box checked. I’d rather withhold the vote based on suspicion than vote the guy in only to find out later that he cheated and I shouldn’t have.

Graziano explained his decision in further detail Wednesday morning during an appearance with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST.

“I’ve decided not to vote for the steroid guys” said Graziano. “Bagwell we don’t know. He’s not in the Mitchell Report, he hasn’t tested positive like (former Texas Rangers & Orioles slugger Rafael) Palmeiro did. But there’s enough suspicion on my part that I’m holding back. The suspicion in my mind overcomes his credentials for me as someone who doesn’t want to put cheaters in.

“If it turns out that I’m wrong and he was innocent then he has my apology” Graziano added. “There are people (like SI writer) Joe Posnanski and other high profile people that have written about the Hall of Fame that will tell you ‘I’d rather put in 100 cheaters than risk keeping one innocent guy out.’ I feel exactly the opposite. I’d rather risk keeping an innocent guy or two out than put in a single cheater. And if I find out five years from now, 10 years from now that there’s a guy in there I voted for that I shouldn’t have, that would be my bigger regret.”

That tells me just about everything I needed to know about how voting is going to go in the steroid era.

The BBWAA is going to punt.

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Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson says BWAA voters got it right

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Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson says BWAA voters got it right

Posted on 06 January 2011 by Ryan Chell

Thursday afternoon brought the news that Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven were voted into Cooperstown and Baseball’s Hall of Fame, and the president of that exclusive club not only spent his Thursday and Friday welcoming the two into his museum Thursday but also joined Drew Forrester and Glenn Clark on Thursday to share his thoughts regarding his two newest members.

Jeff Idelson

“For both guys, it’s a great day and a very deserving honor,” Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said. “No real surprise at all because the voting trends have shown that guys who get over that 705 mark almost always are selected the next year.”

Alomar in his second year of eligibilty received 90% of the votes and Blyleven received 79.7% of the vote. Alomar will be the third Puerto Rican inducted into Cooperstown while Blyleven will be the first ever Dutch player to be enshrined in the Hall.

Alomar, who played from 1988-2004 with eight different clubs including the Orioles from 1996-1998, was a 12-time All-Star selection at second base, achieving the mark in every year from 1990-2001.

He won ten Glove Awards-a record for second baseman and was a four-time Silver Slugger Award Winner at second base.

He owns a career .300 batting average(achieving the mark in nine seasons) with 2,724 career base hits and 210 home runs. He had six seasons where he scored 100 runs or more, and had two seasons with 100+ RBI under his belt.

And the resume continues to build, as he was also known as quite the base stealer, having a season where he stole at least 30 bases eight different times.

Blyleven meanwhile spent 22 years in the majors from 1970-1992, where he compiled a 287-250 record, was a two-time All-Star and a two-time World Series Champion with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1979(defeating the Baltimore Orioles in seven games) and 1987 with the Minnesota Twins.

Idelson said that in both cases-but mostly with Alomar-it helped the fact that these two guys played for so many teams in the major leagues that they were able to garner attention from all areas that the National Baseball Writers came from.

“For Robbie Alomar to earn election to the Hall of Fame, he couldn’t have done it without all the stops he made, so for all the fans in all the cities he played in, Alomar is a Hall of Famer for them as well. And when we announced his cap selection this morning, regardless of what team it was, every team should lay claim to him as their Hall of Famer, because he could not have made it to Cooperstown without a stop in that city.”

And all in all, while the best of baseball reside their in Cooperstown and inducting these two guys is certainly not a hard question to answer, it was difficult for Ideson to describe what exactly his building represents to the overall history of baseball.

“The title of our building is the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum,” Idelson said. “And if you walk into any history museum, you would see the history of whatever the museum was representing, and in the case of us, it’s baseball’s relationship with American culture.”

“It’s about the players, it’s about the social issues, it’s about the entirety of the game and how it’s played on the field and how it’s represented in America.”

Continue to follow WNST and WNST as we congratulate former Oriole Roberto Alomar as he is enshrined into Cooperstown! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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