Tag Archive | "ryan"

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Orioles appear to dump Ramon Hernandez off to the Reds

Posted on 09 December 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

As has been reported all day from the winter meetings in Las Vegas, it appears as though the Orioles and the Reds have finally completed the transaction to send catcher Ramon Hernandez to Cincinnati for outfielder Ryan Freel and a pair of prospects.

The $1 million in cash involved in the transaction will need to be approved by Bud Selig.

Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com was the first with the story. He’s had a phenomenal running blog from Sin City…

The rumors regarding Garrett Olson for Felix Pie continue to swirl. But they’re only rumors at this point.

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Beating the Giants would make Ravens a legit force in AFC

Posted on 16 November 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

As I wake this morning the Baltimore Ravens – and, yes, they used the word “Baltimore” before it was “comprehensive branding effort” – are 6-3 and could be in sole possession of first place in the AFC North if a series of positive events transpire later today at the Meadowlands and in Pittsburgh, where the Steelers host a desperate San Diego Chargers club coming east to play with their season in the balance.

No matter what, we’re gonna learn a lot about January today.

In my 13 years of fandom I’ve never seen a purple team this hard to read. Are they this good? Or were THEY that BAD?

I’m not really sure.

Here are the irrefutable facts:

• The Ravens have played nine games and have played eight of them well enough to win. That includes solid, representative efforts in Pittsburgh and here against the undefeated and “unstoppable” Tennessee Titans.
• The Ravens played one of the biggest turds in the history of the franchise in Indianapolis and any horse player might “throw this one out” if they can legitimately run with the New York Football Giants.
• Their only wins have come at the expense of the likes of the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals and Oakland Raiders – the literal dregs of the league and darlings of next April’s NFL Draft.
• The road has been far from a nuisance for rookie quarterback Joe Flacco, who after appearing to have been playing the rope-a-dope in that game against the Colts, has rebounded nicely with huge efforts in Miami, Cleveland and Houston.
• The injuries have mounted – Kelly Gregg, Chris McAlister, Marshal Yanda and Dawan Landry are all done for the season – and the “next man up” has gotten the job done. Winning teams do that!
• The team has a rookie head coach, a rookie quarterback, a rookie left tackle and aging players at a variety of positions from wide receiver to defensive line to middle linebacker and week after week they’ve brought impressive moxie to the field no matter the circumstance. The secondary has been ravaged but is still percolating and when the front seven brings the heat this is a 3-and-out waiting to happen.
• They know how to come back from behind on the road as was witnessed in Cleveland, where they effectively ended their bitter division rival’s playoff aspirations on Halloween weekend.
• And finally, the Giants are 8-1. So let’s just assume they’re pretty good.

These are the facts. But how this game sets up is anyone’s guess.

The Giants are a prohibitive favorite. The weather is slated to be kinda chilly at 49 degrees. And we’re taking 57 purple WNST fans up to the game via the “Miller Lite Roadtrips.”

The rest is why we take the video camera…

Will the Ravens defense shut down the Big Blue running game – Earth, Wind and Fire – which leads the league in rushing?

Will Rex Ryan’s blitz packages get after Eli Manning or will the Giants solid offensive line give him their signal caller a chance to exploit a depleted secondary?

And how will No. 5 fare up the Turnpike from his home in New Jersey as the Giants disguise packages and send the blitz of Justin Tuck and company?

This is why I love football.

Can the Ravens go into the Meadowlands and defeat the reigning World Champions today?

That’s what we’re all wondering…

The bus leaves at 7 a.m.

Casey Willett, Drew Forrester and I will all be at the Meadowlands.

Blogs, stories, videos and hopefully, a victory, will be coming back with us.

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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 11

Posted on 11 November 2008 by KZ

Fantasy Football What’s New For 11.11.08

Hey Check out the New Columns…CLICK HERE AND NEW THIS YEAR to FANS FANTASY FOOTBALL…your official FANTASY DRAFT GUIDE…not who but HOW to draft a winning Fantasy Football Team…CLICK HERE FOR THE WAY TO DRAFT THIS YEAR.

RANKINGS WILL BE OUT EVERY THURSDAY, CLICK HERE FOR THEM

and

REVIEW of the WEEK THAT WAS IN FANTASY FOOTBALL every TUESDAY RIGHT HERE ON THE WHAT’s NEW PAGE!

Some Notes from week 10:

  • Sorry but did not like Herm Edwards going for two…most over-rated head coach in the NFL!
  • What in the world was that at the end of the game for SF?
  • Big Ben is not healthy and its hurting the Steelers.
  • Tyler Thigpen, Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan could have won you a FF game this week.
  • Brett Farve, Jake Delhomme and Aaron Rodgers did not!
  • Larry Johnson will be a Fantasy Football impact player before the season is over!
  • Sage Rosenfels cost himself alot of money next year!
  • SELL HIGH…BUY LOW…greatest advice for any fantasy footballer.

TRADE BAIT(s): Addai (buy low if you can), Brett Farve (why have the headache), Larry Johnson (try and get him for cheap now), Maurice Jones-Drew (will never have more value)

STAR(S) OF WEEK (officially renamed the LT of the Week): Thomas Jones, Kurt Warner and Jay Cutler

DUD(S) of the Week: Addai (again), Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith, Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings, Cotchery

Hot Pick up(s) of the week: LAST WEEK: Jamaal Charles, Torian again if he is still there, Selvin Young, Ray Rice, Sage Rosenfelds, Brent Celek, Joe Flacco, Brady Quinn

THIS WEEK: P. Hills, Mark Bradley, Tyler Thigpen, Sammie Morris,

TEAM(s) of the WEEK: NY GIANTS...on the road in the Division….good win…8 – 1!

Ut Oh of the week: BUFFALO BILLS…lost 4 in a row…and can’t run the ball.

Fantasy Football Start Them This Week…

Check back weekly. We will never say start LT or AP that is too obvious and We will never tell you to sit someone, but here are some people we really like ….you can make the sit calls or email us for our view…track how accurate we are…..we have been as good as everyone else so check us out.

PLEASE READ THIS WEEKS COLUMS ON STARTS: CLICK HERE

QB’s: MUST STARTS: ROMO (HURT), BREES, CUTLER, WARNER, MCNABB, ROETHLISBERGER, RODGERS, P. MANNING

Other to consider this week: Rivers, Ryan, Garcia, Pennington, Delhomme and Orton (if he plays)
RB’s: MUST STARTS: LT, Adrian Peterson, Westbrook , Parker, Lynch, Portis, Barber, Gore, Steve Jackson, Addai, Jacobs, Forte and Ronnie Brown

Others to consider this week: Thomas Jones, Turner, Fargas, Chris Johnson, D. Williams (CAR), Hightower, Moore (if he starts)
WR’s/TE’s: MUST STARTS: TO, Greg Jennings, Randy Moss (still have to), Wes Welker (ppr), Fitzgerald, Boldin, Andre Johnson, Burress, Steve Smith, Calvin Johnson, Marshall, Wayne, Gates, Witten, Gonzales, Winslow

Other to consider this week: Jerrico Cotchery, Roddy White, Eddie Royal, Anthony Gonzales, D. Jackson, Lance Moore, Antonio Bryant, Josh Morgan, Donnie Avery and Lee Evans.

Top 10 to 15 or so starts for IDP’s:

DL: Jared Allen, Mario Williams, Aaron Kampman, Will Smith, Julius Peppers, Patrick Kearney, Aaron Schobel, Trent Cole, Terrell Suggs, Gaines Adams, Aaron Carter, Justin Tuck and Justin Smith.

LB: D. Ryans, P. Willis, R. Lewis, N. Barnett, D. Harris, M. Peterson, K. Morrison, J. Beason, W. Witherspoon, K. Rivers, L. Fletcher, B. Urlacher, D. Edwards, AJ Hawk, James Harrison, J. Beason, J. Vilma and F. Keiaho

DB: G. Wilson, A. Wilson. C. Tillman, A. Bigby, C. Finnegan, A. Winfield, T. Polamalu, B. Sanders, L. Landry, M. Trufant, B. Pollard, Q. Jammer,A. Cromartie, E. Coleman and Mike Adams.

Some Other Guys We Like This Week…

SLEEPER(s) OF THE WEEK….what DUD will become a STUD…at least for one week….we will try to give a QB, RB and WR/TE each week…

QB: Tyler Thigpen goes against New Orleans…worth a shot if you need one.
RB: Fred Jackson from Buffalo may start getting a few extra carries a week…
WR/TE: Mark Bradley has had 3 good games in a row…and play against New Orleans…hmmm, Mike Jenkins as well from ATL
Kicker and Defense: San Francisco Defense…..Jason Elam gets his kicks in

Locks Of The Week…

In a suicide pool? We can help. Once again track our success. We will give you three a week.

After two years we are 118 – 51 (69.8%)…not bad!! TRULY pretty damn good…we have checked others out and we are just as good as they are! 2007 record: 48 – 21.

2008 RECCORD: 28 – 7

WEEK OF 11/13/08:

  1. Indianapolis over Houston
  2. Philadelphia over Cincinnati
  3. New Orleans over Kansas City


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We All Love a Good List…well here are some lists…

Posted on 10 November 2008 by KZ

NFL LIST OF LISTS:

As the NFL clears the bye weeks hurdle after tonight’s game…time to start looking around a bit.

Top 5 Teams in the NFL:

1.      Tennessee Titans

2.      NY Giants

3.      Pittsburgh Steelers

4.      Carolina Panthers

5.      Baltimore Ravens

With the First pick in the 2009 NFL Draft:

1.      Detroit Lions

2.      Kansas City Chiefs

3.      Cincinnati Bengals

4.      Oakland Raiders

5.      St. Louis Rams

Fans Fantasy Football’s AFC Playoff Teams:

AFC:

1.      Tennessee Titans

2.      San Diego Chargers

3.      New England Patriots

4.      Pittsburgh Steelers

5.      Indianapolis Colts

6.      Baltimore Ravens

NFC

1.      Arizona Cardinals

2.      Carolina Panthers

3.      NY Giants

4.      Minnesota Vikings

5.      Atlanta Falcons

6.      Philadelphia Eagles

Top 5 Rookies of the year:

1.      Matt Ryan

2.      Joe Flacco

3.      Matt Forte

4.      Chris Johnson

5.      Eddie Royal

Fantasy Football MVP TOP 5:

1.      Drew Brees

2.      Kurt Warner

3.      Andre Johnson

4.      Adrian Peterson

5.      Clinton Portis

5 Top Fantasy Football Busts of 2008:

1.      Derek Anderson

2.      Ben Roethlisberger

3.      Joseph Addai

4.      Tory Holt

5.      Chad Johnson

Top 5 2009 Seniors in the NFL Draft:

1.      Rey Maualuga LB, USC

2.      Mickael Oher OT, Ole Miss

3.      James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

4.      Eugene Monroe OT, Virginia

5.      William Moore S, Missouri

Top Underclassmen Maybe coming out:

1.      Matthew Stafford QB, Georgia

2.      Andre Smith OT, Alabama

3.      Vontae Davis CB, Illinois

4.      Michael Crabtree WR, Texas Tech

5.      KnowShon Moreno RB, Georgia

Some Ravens Notes:

Rest of the season works this way:

Win 1 of 2 against NY Giants and the Eagles…win 7

Beat Cincy …win 8

Win 1 of 2 against Washington and Dallas…win 9

Win 1 of 2 against Pittsburgh and Jacksonville…win 10…who would have thunk!

Key to the Ravens as I say every week is simple…you must get pressure on the opposing QB and protect yours. Do that and it will not matter who our WR’s are or who our Secondary has left!!!

Figure out the kicking game…egos need to be checked…no reason to have Stover ever try a 50 yard FG with another kicker on the roster.

Coach Harbaugh, please figure out the challenge system…when to and not to…please.

 

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What Does it Take to Play QB in the NFL

Posted on 06 November 2008 by Brian Billick

As I prepare to do the Carolina Panthers at Oakland Raiders game this weekend I have had a chance to look extensively at JaMarcus Russell. This also was a week where we got a chance to get our first real look at Brady Quinn, who made his first start for the Cleveland Browns against the Denver Broncos last night.

Coming out of LSU, Russell was as highly-rated as I have ever seen on our draft board. That same year Brady Quinn came out of Notre Dame and was the 2nd quarterback taken in the draft. Both franchises find themselves still trying to establish the quarterback position for their respective teams. At the same time, we see Matt Ryan in Atlanta and Joe Flacco in Baltimore leading their teams as true rookies. We also have seen second-year quarterback Trent Edwards in Buffalo leading his team to a 5-3 start.

A few years back, I co-wrote a book with the legendary Bill Walsh called the “Winning Edge.” It was basically Bill’s legacy piece for the NFL. The book covered every aspect of the NFL and obviously he commented on the qualities he thought were essential to playing quarterback in this league.

I thought it would be interesting to revisit this critique.

I will leave it to you — the fan — to judge how your quarterback fares with these qualities.

***

From Bill Walsh:

I will begin with the quality of functional intelligence. That is the ability to organize and isolate different categories of tasks that you have to be able to perform. This is not strictly IQ that is constantly being measured and quantified. More, it is the ability to break things down in a more simplistic manner and not overcomplicate the response. This ability is the key to quickly processing information while under sever stress.

Next might be an instinctive intuition as to the mechanic of playing quarterback. I say instinctive only in the sense that the athlete may not know he posses these attributes, and simply has to be exposed to them to know that they exist. If, however, after a period of time it does not begin to manifest itself, you cannot develop or manufacture it. If it is not there you are wasting your time. Likewise, if a player shows a continual unraveling or anxiousness that removes his spontaneity and causes repeated mistake it is near impossible to change this.

A natural willingness to improve and learn from those he is working with is vital to a quarterback’s progression. There must be certain compatibility in the learning process with his teammates and coaches. Joe Montana had an uncanny ability to internalize information and grasp it very quickly. Steve Young, because of his strong intellect and study habits, would internalize the material as well but only after constant probing and questioning on his part.

Constant repetition is obviously a key factor. The ability to take the mechanics of the position and constantly work them within the proper confines of his abilities. Efficiency in a quarterback’s footwork is an excellent example of this. Working with the quarterback’s feet is probably the biggest thing a coach can do to impact his physical abilities as a quarterback.

This is an area many coaches are coming to recognize as being a major part of the quarterbacks ability to function particularly in less than ideal circumstance.

Coaches are finding that there are any number of people may have the pureness of mechanics to sit, unencumbered, in the pocket and efficiently set your feet, transfer weight from the back to front foot and efficiency follow through with the arm and shoulder. The problem is that few throws are made in this rarefied atmosphere outside of warm-up and 7 on 7. In the real game the quarterback must have the physical skills and mechanics to deliver the ball effectively while moving in the pocket, throwing off his back foot or scrambling for his life. An excellent example of this is Warren Moon who has an incredible ability to accurately, quickly and with tremendous strength delivers the ball no matter what position his feet are in.

Some people might find it interesting that I just now bring up the throw action of the quarterback. Notice I did not say arm strength. There are certain assumptions you make about the arm strength of any quarterback, particularly if he has had success in any degree. It is well documented that arm strength along is not a major determinate for a quarterback. The ability to put whatever touch on the ball is necessary in a smooth and efficient manner is much more important than pure power. Unfortunately this is an area you can least effect. I get a kick out of coaches who recommend a player saying, “well he doesn’t have a really great arm, and throws the ball sidearm, but you can correct that.” Well, no I cannot. There are certain mechanics that you can emphasis, like keeping the delivery above your shoulder and not letting the ball drop below your waste. But for the most part an individual has a certain ability to throw the ball or he doesn’t. What a coach can do is identify the basic mechanic of the quarterbacks throwing action, and if it is successful, now keep him true to those mechanics. If a quarterback has a 3/4 delivery and is successful with it, it is your job to identify those times he drops or raises the ball taking himself out of his normal throwing action.

Now this is not to say that you cannot develop the basic skills of a quarterback and help him progress in his ability to play the position. The constant repetition of working to maintain his throwing action, keeping his feet in good working mechanics, and helping him to make good decision all will be vital in his development. What I am simply saying is if he can’t throw, he can’t throw.

Dealing with quarterbacks emotions are a key aspect in his development. The best approach here is to education him to the process of dealing with the stress and pressures the position brings. You must find the threshold of any given quarterback as to how he will handle the emotions of the position. Like with regards to his basic instincts, he will either begin to show signs of being able to control and deal with his emotions within the framework of the game or you may be wasting your time.

The quarterback’s leadership abilities must come through his performance. We have all seen the player who has a casual, easy way about him that makes people naturally draw to him. Often this player will exhibit skills that naturally draw his teammates to him, but if he cannot deliver the goods, so to speak, his teammates and coaches will eventually gravitate elsewhere.

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Hats off to Philadelphia…

Posted on 29 October 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

Tonight, I’m a little jealous. I used to be a Phillies fan – a goober, drive up I-95 once a month, loved The Vet, pretzel-eating, NL-carpet loving Phillies fan.

In the box of my life’s sporting fandom, I probably have 100 ticket stubs from games I saw at The Vet from the first time I visited Philadelphia during the summer of 1981 with my paternal father during the last time I ever saw him in America. I had been in love with baseball my whole life – all 11 years of it. And I chased the Phillies’ dream of a World Series that would match all of the joy and fun of the 1980 run they had. (And I was a George Brett fan!) I actually became a fan AFTER they won the title.

But I honestly was one of those kids that just really loved baseball. And the National League was always more exotic.

So, I loved the Fightin’ Fhils. Loved them so much that I went to the Vet to chase them 6 to 12 times per year. I did weekends with hotel rooms where I saw all three games of a weekend series if the Padres were in town. I did live radio from an All Star Game there from the field. I also flew to Los Angeles and San Francisco and Chicago to see them play.

In 1993, with my first press pass, I chased them from Baltimore to Wilmington to Philly to Toronto. I went to all six games of that World Series and watched Joe Carter break their red hearts with that homer off of Mitch Williams.

But that was the 1980’s and most of the 1990’s. Right up until about 1998 or 1999, when they really sucked so bad, it was akin to being an Orioles fan now.

There was absolutely no hope.

Lately, since they moved into the new park, I kinda moved on. I suppose I could’ve hopped aboard the bandwagon this month, but I really didn’t. I was honestly rooting for my friend Rick Vaughn with Tampa Bay. I wanted him to get a ring.

I wish I were still a Phillies fan but I really did stop following them for some reason in the late 1990’s and my feelings about the Orioles have honestly clouded my opinion of the sport as a whole.

And then you grow up and realize that these are primarily the same people who love the Eagles and Flyers and you realize — yikes! — do I want to associate? And, again, I was an Eagles season ticket holder from 1985 til 1993 during the Buddy Ryan and Rich Kotite era. I NEVER was an Eagles fan, but I loved the NFL enough to want to do five or six games a year. And it was fun to feel the energy of The Vet for football.

But I still love baseball. And I follow baseball. And, obviously, the weekend the Eagles are here I’ll have no “soft spot” for the Phillies, cheesesteaks, pretzels or Eagles.

But as an old man of 40, I just now root for my friends and the people I like in each sport these days.

And I want people I like to have fun.

As I write this my friend Hockey Meg is exploding.

I’m wearing my oversized, autographed, 1983 Throwback, powder blue and bubble “P” Sixto Lezcano jersey and Hockey Meg is exploding in my condo.

It’s the last out.

The  fans are going crazy. It looks cold as hell at Citizens Bank Park. My wife is videotaping Meg jumping around my condo and we’re drinking beer. (Miller Lite Wheat right this moment because they’re not making it anymore.)

“THE PHILLIES ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!!!””

She’s now openly sobbing.

Skyrockets are going off. The Phillie Phanatic is waving a Phillies flag. Davey Lopes is hugging Shane Victorino. People are going bonkers. The Liberty Bell is ringing.

The set shot camera on every player at the end is incredible. Nice job, Fox!

Baseball can do crazy things to your emotions. And crazy things to communities that are truly linked by sports. By grandmothers and children. Women and men. Black and white. East and west. If you love sports, you should always love the night when a new champion is crowned because somebody somewhere is really having the time of their lives.

I’m an emotional guy, especially about the Orioles.

Put your TV on right now and pick pick a highlight – and call the person in your life who is from Philadelphia.

And you tell ME?

Will they remember tonight for the rest of their lives as something special?

Sure they will!

Brad Lidge is crying on TV calling the fans amazing. By the way, he had a PERFECT season. And he’s now capped it off with a World Series ring. Nice work, Lidge!

Jamie Moyer is talking about the struggles of the season for the Phils, but he looked so overjoyed. He’s hugging Jimmy Rollins. And these guys all seem like class acts.

I’m happy for Moyer, who I wrote about the other day at length. He’s a good egg. And he won for his hometown team in the hometown ballpark and pitched well enough and has now successfully completed his career with a bang if he wishes.

I’m happy for Davey Lopes, who had a helluva career and won a ring for the Dodgers in 1981 and has been a baseball lifer. He, too, was always a helluva good guy when he was a coach for the Orioles back in the mid 1990’s. He’s smart, witty, informed about the world in general and was always a joy to chat with. He’s in the midst of the celebration and I’m really happy for him.

And I’m happy for all of my long-suffering friends from Philly, including Hockey Meg who is still jumping for joy and on the phone with her brother, who managed to score a $300 ticket in left field yesterday and is there amidst the throng right now.

She’s talking to her family. It’s like an early Christmas for her and her family. Same as it was for my wife back in 2004. And every time the Patriots have played in the Super Bowl.

So Agent Orange and I are lamenting the fact that the Orioles give us no hope for an evening like this.

Says Agent Orange: “I’m numb to it. It’s like I’m watching a different sport. I think of the Super Bowl year and she and I running around and celebrating. From 1300 block of Charles Street to Fells Point. Just walking through the city. We were just screaming, hooting and hollering and the streets were flooded with people. I know Philadelphia is going to be 400 times nuttier than it was here.”

The fans are booing the mentioning of the Tampa Bay Rays. That’s SO Philly!

A sign that says: Mitch we forgive you sign!

And now the ultimately indignity, general manager Pat Gillick telling the crowd: “Let’s do it again!”

That’s “former Orioles GM” Pat Gillick, if you have the scorecard out!

Charlie Manuel in his southern drawl saying: “Whose da World Champeeens!?!?!”

And, they’re now holding up a Philly Inquirer newspaper (or is it a dinosaur) that says “CHAMPS!” with a pic of the team celebrating!

Cole Hamels is the MVP. He’ll also never have to buy a drink anywhere in southeast Pennslvania, Delaware and southern New Jersey. Hamels is thanking the fans. “We love these fans and we love the amount of red they’re wearing tonight!”

Hamels seems like a really “right” guy, as Charley Eckman would say.

Man it looks cold as hell there.

But not as cold and empty as Camden Yards and downtown Baltimore does tonight.

That’s what’s missing…

I could elaborate. But you should think about it if you’re watching the game tonight. Think about your friend from Philly tonight – give him or her a call and say hi. Ask them how they’re feeling.

And then remember what it’s like to be an Orioles fan. And remember what we’re being cheated out of a chance for on this kinda night in Baltimore.

Hockey Meg is now sitting on my floor, physically and emotionally exhausted. She’s been texting with all of her friends from home – a dozen friends she says. Friends from school (Delaware, Blue Hens, Newark) and from “home, Jersey”…”anyone I’m friends with.”

“This is sorta a big deal,” she says. “I can’t wait to buy my nephew a little baby outfit with the Phillie Phanatic wearing a 2008 World Champions on it. I’ll bet you his name will be Chase.”

The baby isn’t coming until late November.

“Would they really name their kid Chase?” I asked.

“Absof-inglutely!” she said, but she didn’t drop the u and the two consonants.
The baby – whatever his name will be – has a Phillies mobile. A little Phillie Phanatic, a baseball bat, a P – stuff like that hanging from a turning, rotating baby thing-a-majig. This child will be loved.

I have to go now. Meg wants to drag us all out to Magerks for a beer.

We’ll be at the Bel Air Magerks next Wednesday doing the Brian Billick Live show. Hope you join us.

Right now, I’m going to join a bunch of Phillies fans on Cross Street at Magerks and I’m going to wear my Sixto Lezcano jersey. More for kicks and just because I OWN it. And it’s kinda sharp. A shame they don’t wear them anymore.

This oughta be fun.

I’m just happy for them.

And I realize that as long as this ownership group is involved with the team and it continues to get run into the ground, this might the closest I ever get.

A pretend championship?

Nah. Just a few beers with my friend, who I’ve honestly never seen happier.

Good for Philadelphia.

I might even throw down some Tasty Cakes!

But I’ll still be hating on the Eagles, Flyers and Sixers all the way…

And laughing at their drunk fans acting like fools.

But perhaps we ALL acted like fools back on 1/28/01..

Didn’t we?

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More C-Mac talk,Rex – Rob Ryan,Suggs radio comments, Mike Singletary and Mike Nolan

Posted on 23 October 2008 by caseywillett

Here are some news and notes from Ravens today:

Here is Rex’s comments on C-Mac situation:

-Rex Ryan talked about how Jim Leonhard was in the game more than Ed Reed because of a certain package that the they had practiced more in it, but no one talked about it. Rex said it is his responsibility to get the job done no matter who is out there.

– As to who decides who starts on defense, Rex Ryan made is very clear, “it is my call, always on defense.”

-Rex mentioned that he owes it to this football team to do what they think is best with match ups, even if that means taking out Ray Lewis.

On his relationship with Rob Ryan:

– ” We were really close, we still are very close. With dad’s profession, I always had my best friend with me when we moved.”

-“you look forward to seeing him, maybe going out to eat or something. You have to feel bad for someone, might as well feel bad for him. It is all about the win, hopefully our team will come out on top.”

-The defensive guys have said that the guy to getting JaMarcus Russell is to wrapping him up and wait for help to come.

On Terrell Suggs comments on the radio:

” I am getting it all second hand, I do not know all the particulars on it, so I would rather not comment right now til I hear it myself.”

On Mike Singletary getting hired in San Fransico:

“I am excited for Mike Singletary to get that opportunity, I think he will do a tremendous job.He probably gives the best speeches I have ever heard a guy give. I think the lost a heck of coach in Mike Nolan, I hate to see one of my friends lose a job when the season is not even over. I think that is kind of ridiculous, it is what it is. I guess adversity to some comes opportunity for others, hopefully Mike Singletary will do a good job in stay in that position, but i sure feel for Mike Nolan.”

-Cam Cameron mentioned that Willis McGahee took 30 cc’s off of his knee before the Miami game and having the game he did was impressive. Cameron feels like McGahee is getting healthier and that will benefit the offense.

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Ravens news and notes and injury report

Posted on 22 October 2008 by caseywillett

Here are some notes from 1 Winning Drive today:

-The Chris McAlister saga will continue to roll on, as McAlister spoke with the media and commented on the situation which you can see in my previous blog. Coach Harbaughreemphasized today that playing time has nothing to do with discipline. It is simply they are putting the best 11 guys on the field against the Raiders. McAlister does in fact appear on the injury report this week, which you can scroll down to see.

– Buddy Ryan the father of Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan and Raiders defensive coordinator Rob Ryan will be at the game on Sunday.

-JaMarcus Russell was a big topic of discussion with several of the defensive players today. Trevor Pryce, Terrell Suggs, and Haloti Ngata all talked about how big and strong Russell is and how you have to wrap him up to get him down. Pryce mentioned that the thing you have to do when you get to Russell is ask him to lie down so you can get the sack. Suggs is concerned that he might get shrugged off if he gets to him and goes for a sack. Ngata pointed out that a big thing with Russell is that he will dump off passes to the running backs when you get to him and that is a dangerous thing. All of the guys compared sacking Russell to trying to sack Ben Roethlisberger, very difficult. Suggs compared sacking Russell to trying to sack Trevor Pryce.

– Jonathan Ogden who will be going into the Ravens Ring of Honor on Sunday, will be introduced with the team on Sunday.

– Terrell Suggs said early that he thought Troy Smith should be starting for the Ravens. Now Suggs has said ” I thought the question was about multiple packages. I said both quarterbacks should get a chance to play, like running back Ronnie Brown depending on the package. Joe is 3-3 as the starter and has done a good job. It’s not like we haven’t won any games.”

Suggs also has had controversy come up with his comments about a bounty on Hines Ward. Here is his response to that, ” there wasn’t any bounty. The reporter asked me if there was a bounty and I just said I’m going to keep a watch on the guy. He broke some guy’s jaw last week, and he tried to cheap shot Jarrett Johnson. He also cheap-shotted Ed Reed. We’re just going to be on alert the next time we play him. It’s like the guy in your neighborhood who always pulls your shorts down and your drawers show, well, you always have to be on the lookout. You have to be alert.”

Suggs has always been a media friendly guy, but I can not imagine these type comments set well with the new coaching regime

– Here is the injury report for the Ravens for Wednesday:

OUT: Samari Rolle(neck/shoulder) Dawan Landry(neck) Adam Terry (knee)

Did Not Participate: Yamon Figurs(knee) Ed Reed(thigh) Demetrius Williams(ankle)

Limited Participation: Jared Gaither(neck) Chris McAlister(knee) Willis McGahee(knee)

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Will benching be a wake up call for CMac?

Posted on 22 October 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

The Ravens report back to practice again today in preparation for the Oakland Raiders this Sunday.

The team is 3-3, far ahead of where many thought they’d be before the season began and are even about to go through the “soft spot” on their schedule with Oakland, Cleveland and Houston in the headlights. With a little luck, they could be 6-3 or 5-4 going up to the Meadowlands on Nov. 16th to play the defending World Champs. (BTW: Yes, seats are still available on our Miller Lite bus trip that day!)

So, what the Ravens and head coach John Harbaugh need least in the world right now is a player controversy. But, it appears, as long as Chris McAlister is on the team that won’t happen.

The team has now stated its “official” position on McAlister: he’s not one of the three best cornerbacks on the roster. He’s been demoted based on his “on field” play alone.

Personally, I find that hard to accept. But as one member of the organization said yesterday, “Did you see the Colts game? Did you see Marvin Harrison torch him?”

There are more rumors and opinions on McAlister’s personality, habits, activities and his decisions than I could list here. Most of you know about the marijuana allegations, the drinking allegations, the San Diego sendoff by Brian Billick, etc. And by now the story of three interesting young ladies who pranced out the front door of the team’s Miami hotel last weekend near the team bus is public record. (BTW: McAlister told the team they were just there for breakfast to pick up game tickets and the Ravens actually bring Baltimore police officers to guard each floor and unlike Billick, Harbaugh’s pre-game bed check is military quality.)

But the team’s position is this: “He’s not playing well. This has nothing to do with punishment. He got exposed. Fabian Washington and Frank Walker are playing better so they’ll play. Chris McAlister is No. 3 on the depth chart.”

But there’s obviously more here than meets the eye and the Ravens must believe they’re eliminating a distraction more than causing one. They maintain that they told McAlister last Wednesday that he’d be seeing less of the turf in Miami.

McAlister has had a hard time with authority from the very beginning. And Harbaugh, or “Hard Ass” as many of the players are finding out, knows that the ultimate way to punish a player is to not play him.

The message is clear: “Get better, work harder or you won’t play for me!” So much for bruised pride and strong egos.

When Samari Rolle is on the field, most teams will attack him first. Ditto Frank Walker.

So when Peyton Manning went after McAlister 10 days ago in Indianapolis and torched him, it apparently caused Rex Ryan to rethink the back end of the Ravens defense. Some thought the second TD was “a play a high school player should make.”

Apparently, some of his own teammates have lost their faith in him and don’t trust him on edge. (Players and teammates have had derogatory things to say about McAlister’s attitude and work ethic for years so this isn’t some shocking revelation.)

The Ravens have been very clear and quick to say this is an “on the field” demotion, having nothing to do with his off-the-field antics or decisions.

For the record, I don’t buy that, either.

If McAlister misses meetings or shows up late or chooses not to hit the gym (another rumor is that CMac doesn’t like going into the gym), Harbaugh and the organization can fine him under NFLPA guidelines. The fines could then lead to a suspension that would cost him real money.

But ultimately, Harbaugh’s strongest card is to say: “You’re not playing!”

But the scuttlebutt is that this was more defensive coordinator Rex Ryan’s decision. And, honestly, most coaches care more about winning than they do about the feelings of a mercurial 31-year old cornerback whose teammates question his dedication to football, the team and winning.

Harbaugh’s battle cry from the first press conference has been, “Team, team, team.”

Clearly, he and Ryan think the team is better with CMac on the pine. Right now,
Fabian Washington and Frank Walker are first-teamers.

One more quote from another member of the Ravens organization:

“If he were acting and playing like the Pro Bowler we think he is and we’re paying him to be, he’d be on the field.”

It’s only Week 7 for the Ravens. This will be interesting, seeing if the team can consistently win with Washington and Walker, or whether McAlister is willing to work hard enough and swallow his pride to get back on the field.

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Schmuckfest & the Fighting Phillies in the World Series

Posted on 17 October 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

So I’m home tonight after the Peter Schmuck roast (I worked “blue”…I was surprised by how many people don’t know what that term means but the FCC never allowed it and the Comedy Club did…it was a goof and Schmuck is a great guy), and I’m watching Pat Gillick, who was run out of Baltimore in disgrace right around the last time the Orioles didn’t suck.

Or least not suck as bad as my attempts at humor tonight. LOL.

So, while the Schmuckfest was a wonderful affair to benefit a nice cause, Cool Kids, it’s strange that roasting a guy who I know through baseball led me to stay up late to watch the Philadelphia Phillies go back to the World Series for the first time since 1993.

The Philadelphia Phillies are in the World Series.

Wow…

It’s been a strange week for me. We’re at the finish line to launching the new website and the images of everyone from John Steadman to Mike Fiorelli to a major tragedy we endured in our inner circle of friends last week, it’s been a wild week to turn 40.

Because everything significant in my life is marked by baseball, it’s just strange. I realized while talking to Mickey Cucchiella and Pete Eibner tonight that it was 25 years ago today that I drove to The Vet to see Game 4 of the World Series, Phillies vs. Orioles. I also told a guy today, whose birthday is today, that it’s Jim Palmer’s birthday today as well. By the way, Happy 63rd birthday to Cakes!

I went to that 1983 World Series Game 5 with my best pal, Kevin Eck (better know for “Ring Posts” at The Sun), a schoolmate named Kenny Andrews and my 10th grade English teacher, Miss Monday. Her adult name was Susan Monday and the last I heard she was doing morning AM news radio at The Big Talker WPHT 1210 in Filthy. She was a Phillies fan, even then. She was also one of my first interns in 1993 when I was doing sports radio on WWLG-AM 1360.

So, tonight I’ve been thinking about the old days of my love for the Phillies. And once Curt Schilling wound up there in 1992 (and there’s a long history there…just go read the book!), it was even more fun being a Phillies fan when Schilling left tickets for me and my son whenever we wanted to go to games.

Hell, I hope the Phillies win the World Series just for Miss Monday and anyone who stuck it out through Bill Giles bad days as an owner 10 years ago. It’s been a long time since Tug McGraw and the 1980 Phils “believed” and beat George Brett and hemorrhoids. The fans there and that ballpark deserve a chance at a championship. They’ve done a very, very nice job in Philadelphia lately with that baseball team. Utley, Howard, Hamels, Rollins – how do you root against these guys?

The Phillies were my favorite team as a kid – even moreso than the Orioles for a little while there when I had a twisted fascination with Veterans Stadium and artificial turf. They must be going crazy in Philadelphia tonight. I really wish I still loved baseball the way a few of my old baseball friends do.

Sadly, I kinda feel like the Orioles treatment of me, my business, my co-workers and the city in general (not to mention countless former employees I know) has made me not even care so much even about the Phillies any more.

I’ve moved on. I’m watching college football, hockey, the NFL, U.S. Soccer – all sorts of things. But, man, do I miss baseball. It’s just tragic, this loss of connection between the Orioles and Baltimore and here tonight is one more giant “F-U” from a guy who got back to the World Series with no help from Peter Angelos.

Pat Gillick, who not coincidentally was the general manager of the Orioles in 1996 and 1997 (if you can remember that far back) and the Blue Jays the entire time they were kicking our asses in the late 1980s and early 1990s. But no one here even writes about that stuff anymore.

Gillick is back in the World Series.

Even Davey Lopes, who I knew very well back during the summer when O.J. Simpson was on trial, is back in the World Series with the Phillies. He watched the trial in the clubhouse every day and was a fun guy to talk to and I rooted for him when he was the Milwaukee Brewers coach because he was a good, smart, decent guy.

I’m watching Joe Torre give his concession speech. He’s such a class act.

I’m not going to Philadelphia this week. Or at least I don’t think I am. I wish had “the fever” but I don’t. Who knows? Maybe I’ll wind up on the field there next week?

But the postseason has been a little boring this week. The Red Sox are getting killed (which isn’t hurting my feelings) but there’s been very little drama outside of the shot heard ‘round the Ravine – that blast by Matt Stairs (who was also always a phenomenal guy back in the days when the Orioles let me have a press pass – I had Stairs on the show many times. Good dude! Easy to root for…)

I’ll probably root for the Rays if they beat the Phillies, simply because my friend Rick Vaughn is the P.R. direction.

But I grew up such a looney, zany, wacky Phillies fan that it’s just sort of weird. And made weirder by the fact that we barely feel like we have a team here anymore. Like the Baltimore Orioles don’t even count. It’s just surreal and I hope one day movements like Free The Birds will change that.

But the last I checked, Angelos just got a check for $124 million from Comcast for MASN this year. And the team (or teams if you count the Washington Nationals) sucks.

This is just my two cents at midnight while I remember the celebration at The Vet in 1993 with Mitch Williams, Danny Jackson ripping his shirt off and a young Curt Schilling and an old Dutch Daulton. I went to every game of the 1993 World Series. It was magical. John Kruk, Rickey Henderson, long drives, that Joe Carter home run landed almost at my feet in the Skydome – I remember EVERYTHING, even the girl I went to Toronto with that weekend for Game 6 and my buddies who rolled overnight and almost hit deer on the road in upstate New York for Games 1 and 2. I remember the 35 run game. I remember the Madonna concert across the street. I remember doing my little radio show from the field.

I was so in love with baseball that I drove back and forth to Toronto both weekends to go to the game.

Now, the Series is 90 miles away. I don’t have tickets. I haven’t applied for a press pass. And I might not even go.

It sucks what the Orioles have done here. It really does.

And it feels like it never ends.

I’m 40 now (thanks to all for the well wishes).

I hope that I’m not 50 and 20 years of baseball, friendship, civic fun and the bonding is still not a stranger to me and to Baltimore. It’s just a crime, having to watch all of the joy of baseball from outside the fences.

I wish everyone in Philadelphia a great ride with a World Series team full of seemingly decent, honorable guys. Ryan Howard seems like a classy dude. Cole Hamels has a funny voice but must be the hottest property with the ladies since Chase Utley. And Jimmy Rollins did my show several times back in the days of Sporting News and was a super good guy.

Good for Charlie Manuel and the Fightin’ Phils.

Let’s see where the ALCS lands tomorrow night.

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