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Davis more than folk hero for Orioles in surprising 2012 season

Posted on 18 June 2012 by Luke Jones

Chris Davis might be the best example of what the 2012 Orioles are all about.

Entering the season with untapped potential and more failure than success at the big-league level, both Davis and the Orioles have blossomed in the first 2 1/2 months of the season, surpising critics and even the most optimistic fans in what’s been Baltimore’s best start since 2005.

The 26-year-old Davis has morphed into a fan favorite in his first full season with the Orioles, not only becoming one of the team’s most productive hitters but providing one of the craziest memories in club history when he pitched two innings to earn the win in a 17-inning marathon at Fenway Park on May 6.

Add a broken-bat home run against Pittsburgh last week and his first games in right field at the big-league level this past weekend in Atlanta and you have all the makings of a folk hero in Baltimore.

Much like the 39-27 Orioles, at times, it’s difficult to believe what you’re seeing when watching the designated hitter/first baseman/right fielder/pitching extraordinaire.

But there’s no understating how important Davis’ emergence has been this season, especially with stints on the disabled list by Nolan Reimold, Mark Reynolds, and Nick Markakis. Center fielder Adam Jones has emerged as a superstar by leading the Orioles in batting average, home runs, runs batted in, slugging percentage, and runs scored, but Davis ranks second or third in all five of those categories in becoming a legitimate middle-of-the-order threat in the lineup.

His 12 home runs and 60 strikeouts in 211 at-bats entering Monday night aren’t overly surprising given Davis’ reputation when the Orioles acquired him in the Koji Uehara trade last July, but his .294 average defies what we saw over his last three years in Texas where Davis went from looking like a future star in 2008 to a player fitting the mold of a “Quad-A” hitter before being dealt.

The raw power has never come into question — evident by his broken-bat homer to right field off Pittsburgh reliever Tommy Watson last Wednesday — as Davis hit 17 home runs and batted .285 in 295 at-bats during his rookie season with the Rangers in 2008. However, the left-handed slugger quickly earned the reputation of a hitter who struck out too much, didn’t walk enough, and struggled to handle plus-fastballs in the major leagues. Those flaws led his batting average to plummet to .238 in 2009 and .192 in 2010, causing Davis to bounce back and forth between the Rangers and Triple A in his final three years in Texas.

It was difficult to project Davis as anything more than a less-patient, less-powerful version of Reynolds entering the season, which didn’t speak highly for his potential when considering how flawed Reynolds is as a player.

In 2012, Davis hasn’t made any dramatic changes to his overall approach — 60 strikeouts to just 13 walks — but his improvement against plus-fastballs has led to the substantial increase in average. A career .204 hitter in 255 career at-bats against power pitchers (those in the top third in the league in strikeouts plus walks) entering 2012, Davis has handled them at a .286 rate in 42 at-bats this season.

Davis has also handled left-handed pitching at a far more successful clip, batting .327 in 53 plate appearances against southpaws in 2012 after hitting only .236 against lefties in 275 career at-bats entering 2012.

While his high strikeout and low walk totals aren’t indicative of a hitter that will continue to hover around the .300 mark, Davis has been a model of consistency through his first 57 games this season. Aside from an abysmal seven-game stretch in May in which he went 3-for-28 and struck out 14 times, the left-hander has consistently sat somewhere between .290 and .310 as we reach the final two weeks of June. His .355 batting average for balls put in play indicates Davis has been fortunate, but it’s actually lower than the .366 combined clip he posted last year for the Rangers and Orioles.

When seeing the ball well, Davis shows exceptional power to straightaway center and the opposite field has eight of his 12 home runs have traveled in either of those directions.

After Markakis was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a broken hamate bone, manager Buck Showalter turned to Davis to hold down the No. 3 spot in the order as the Orioles were depleted even further offensively. He’s hit only .206 in 34 at-bats batting third, but the lineup shift could present an interesting decision for Showalter when Markakis returns — projected to be some time during the next homestand, according to the right fielder.

Should Davis remain around the .300 mark, would you consider keeping him in the third spot and moving Markakis to the No. 2 slot? The move would allow Showalter to drop J.J. Hardy in the order, which would make sense with the shortstop hitting only .253 despite 11 home runs.

Whatever the Baltimore skipper decides, it’s a good problem to have.

For a team suffering its fair share of injuries and not receiving the same power numbers it enjoyed from Reynolds a season ago, Davis’ emergence has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the season.

His willingness to do whatever is asked of him reflects the spirit of the 2012 Orioles.

Need someone to pitch? Not a problem.

You want to put me in right field in a National League ballpark, even though I’ve never played there in the big leagues? Sure thing.

Whatever it takes to win.

Much like watching the Orioles, you keep waiting and wondering if it’s going to last, but Davis has given no indication of slowing down any time soon.

And he just might be realizing the potential so many saw in him when he first arrived in the big leagues.

 

 

 

 

 

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Future Terp Layman helps Team USA to win

Posted on 16 June 2012 by WNST Staff

Behind Shaq Goodwin’s (Southwest DeKalb H.S./Decatur, Ga.) 30 points that came on flawless 12-of-12 shooting from the field and 6-of-6 marksmanship from the foul line, the USA’s Men’s U18 Team opened 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship preliminary play Saturday afternoon with a high scoring, 105-42 pounding of U.S. Virgin Islands (0-1) in Sao Sebastiáo do Paraiso, Brazil.

“I thought we got much better in the second half. I thought we took advantage of our frontcourt players,” said USA and University of Florida head coach Billy Donovan. “In the first half we turned it over a little too much, but we did a great job getting to the free throw line, we went to the free throw line 33 times in the first half. The problem was we only converted 16-of-33, we left a lot of points out there. But I thought as the game started to unfold we did a better job of recognizing that we had a huge advantage up front and I thought Shaq Goodwin, Jarnell Stokes, Montrezl (Harrell), all those guys did a nice job finishing around the basket.”

Goodwin’s 30-point outpouring was the third highest single game scoring effort in USA Basketball U18 Championship history. His 12-12 shooting set a U.S. mark for highest field goal percentage in a U18 game.

“I think the chemistry really just built up towards the second half. I knew our guards we’re going to push it so I basically just had to run the floor and they put me in the best position to score,” said Goodwin. “I’ve never had a game like that before and I didn’t realize (perfect shooting) it (tonight). I was just playing basketball, I don’t know, I was just at the right place at the right time.”

Never trailing in the contest, the USA showed it was stronger, deeper and more talented than the undermanned U.S. Virgin Islands squad.

Pressing from the opening tip, the U.S. jumped out to a 6-0 lead with all of its points coming from the charity line. Just inside the halfway point of the opening quarter, following a Rasheed Sulaimon (Strake Jesuit College Prep/Houston, Texas) 3-pointer and a pair of free throws from Rodney Purvis (Upper Room Christian/Raleigh, N.C.), the Americans were firmly in control, owning a 15-3 lead.

Sinking just 10 of its 23 free throw attempts in the game’s first 10 minutes, the USA’s Jake Layman (King Phillip Regional H.S./Wrentham, Mass.) scored off an offensive rebound just before the horn for the quarter sounded, and the U.S. led 26-13.

U.S. Virgin Islands cut the U.S. advantage to 28-19 to start the second quarter, but Julius Randle (Prestonwood Christian Academy/ McKinney, Texas) scored four consecutive points and the USA closed out the first half comfortably ahead 48-24.

Outscoring U.S. Virgin Islands 28-8 in the third stanza, the USA closed the contest strong, outscoring the islanders 20-10 to take the 105-42 decision.

“We’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time. We’ve been working out really hard. W started a little bit slow, but once we got into the groove we just really started having fun out there. We were executing all the coaches’ plans, and we had a lot and I thought we did really well,” stated Sulaimon.

Further aiding the USA cause was Jarnell Stokes (Tennessee/Memphis, Tenn.) who finished with 19 points and eight rebounds, while Randle finished with 12 points and eight boards, and Sulaimon tossed in 12 points.

The USA dominated the glass 64-30, and Layman led the USA rebounding effort with 10. Nathaniel Britt, II (Gonzaga H.S., D.C./Upper Marlboro, Md.) and James Robinson (DeMatha Catholic H.S./Mitchellville, Md.) shared high assist honors, as each handed out five assists.

The Americans shot just 32-56 from the foul line, but U.S. Virgin Islands, which managed to shoot just 15.5 percent from the field (11-71 FGs), made 16 fewer free throws, shooting 16-of-24.

The 2012 USA U18 National Team is being led by a trio of experienced and successful college coaches, including USA head coach Billy Donovan of the University of Florida). Assisting Donovan along the sidelines are Gonzaga head coach Mark Few and Shaka Smart from Virginia Commonwealth University.

In the opening day’s second game, Canada (1-0) handled Puerto Rico (0-1) 77-51. The day’s final two games feature host Brazil facing Mexico, while Argentina tangles against Colombia.

Eight teams are competing in the 2012 U18 Americas zone qualifier, including the USA, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Mexico, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. The top four finishing teams in the tournament will qualify for next summer’s 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship.

The USA continues preliminary round against Mexico on Sunday (1 p.m. EDT), then finishes off Group A preliminary round action against host Brazil on June 18 (5 p.m. EDT). The top two teams from Group A and Group B will advance to play for 1st-4th place, while the No. 3 and No. 4 ranked teams play out for 5th-8th place. The semifinals will be played on June 19, and the final round games will be contested on June 20.

In the hunt for a sixth gold medal, USA men’s teams are 38-2 overall in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship (formerly known as the Junior World Championship Qualifier), and have captured gold in 1990, 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010, while winning a silver in 2008 and a bronze medal in 2002.

Serving as USA assistant coaches are Gonzaga head coach Mark Few and Shaka Smart from Virginia Commonwealth University.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 12 June 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: WNBA-Indiana Fever @ Washington Mystics (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet); Tennis: ATP Garry Weber Open (Tuesday-Saturday 1pm from Halle, GER on Tennis Channel)

10. Bonnie Raitt (Sunday 6pm Pier Six Pavilion); Beach Boys (Friday 6:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Neil Diamond (Thursday 8pm Verizon Center); Dave Matthews Band/Gary Clark Jr. (Saturday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live); Martina McBride (Wednesday 8pm Wolf Trap); Reel Big Fish (Friday 8pm Power Plant Live); Of Montreal (Thursday 8pm Recher Theatre); Lindsey Buckingham (Thursday 9pm Baltimore Soundstage), Lisa Marie Presley (Friday 8:30pm Baltimore Soundstage); Kelly Bell Band/Cris Jacobs (Saturday 7pm 8×10 Club); Robert Cray Band (Thursday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Grouplove (Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club); The Cult (Tuesday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Bouncing Souls (Tuesday 7:30pm Black Cat DC); Ziggy Marley (Wednesday 8pm Howard Theatre), Little Richard (Saturday 8pm Howard Theatre); Keane (Thursday 8pm Strathmore); Rush “Clockwork Angels” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I’ve already established that “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” is the greatest Beach Boys song of all time. Now I point out that I’m an absolute hack because I also enjoy this clip from Full House…

A lot of people know I’m a significant Dave Matthews fan. But do you know that I’ve proclaimed my all time favorite Dave Matthews tune to be THIS?…

And if you go see DMB don’t stay in the parking lot too long. Gary Clark Jr. is freaking AMAZING. You may remember him from a collaboration he had with Ray Lewis a few weeks back at the NFL Draft…

Wait…The Cult? Isn’t that the band that does the song from that commercial in that Super Bowl?

9. Star-Spangled Sailabration (Wednesday-Monday Inner Harbor, Fells Point, Locust Point); Rock of Ages” and “That’s My Boy” out in theaters (Friday); Gilbert Gottfried (Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Richard Lewis (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Gary Valentine (Thursday-Saturday DC Improv)

Ryan Chell and I are going to see That’s My Boy Tuesday night. It will probably make six billion dollars and everyone involved will get new cars. It used to piss me off because I don’t really find Adam Sandler’s shtick to be funny anymore, but there are a couple issues involved. One-Adam Sandler sat down with us at the Super Bowl and was really nice. He even opened up about my idol Chris Farley, which is something I found out later he really never does…

Two-over the past few months I’ve developed a unique friendship with Happy Madison star Peter Dante, who might be the best human being on the face of the planet. He’s the guy on the right below…

So now I hope the movie is funny and they make a billion dollars. Damn you, nice guys.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 05 June 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Golf-PGA Tour FedEx St. Jude Classic (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Memphis), Champions Tour Regions Tradition (Thursday & Friday 6:30pm Saturday & Sunday 7:30pm from Shoal Creek, AL on Golf Channel), Wegmans LPGA Championship (Thursday & Friday 12pm Saturday & Sunday 2pm from Pittsford, NY live on Golf Channel); WNBA: New York Liberty @ Washington Mystics (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet); Mixed Martial Arts: UFC on FX 3-Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall (Friday 9pm from Sunrise, FL live on FX); Pro Lacrosse: MLL Charlotte Hounds @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on Comcast SportsNet/ESPN3.com)

10. Gavin DeGraw & Colbie Caillat (Sunday 6pm Pier Six Pavilion); Foster The People (Sunday 5:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Carbon Leaf/Civil Twilight (Saturday 7pm Rams Head Live); Hawthorne Heights (Sunday 5pm Recher Theatre); Victor Wooten (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Edwin McCain (Thursday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Little River Band (Sunday 1pm Rams Head on Stage), Marshall Tucker Band (Sunday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Bootsy Collins (Monday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Jimmy Cliff (Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club); The Wailers (Tuesday 8pm Howard Theatre); Beach Boys “That’s Why God Made The Radio” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

There was a time in my life when I genuinely enjoyed the tunes of Gavin DeGraw. Maybe that’s not something I should be broadcasting…

Since Foster The People are coming to town and the Beach Boys are putting out a new record, here’s FTP’s EXCELLENT take on the greatest Beach Boys tune of all time…

Any excuse to share a Carbon Leaf tune is a good one…

I wish I could go to RHL Saturday night. Civil Twilight is excellent too…

9. “Prometheus” opens in theaters (Friday); Safe House“, “John Carter” and “Act of Valor” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Greg Proops (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Doug Benson (Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Honfest (Saturday & Sunday Hampden); Maryland Wine Week begins (Friday)

You know Prometheus as THAT MOVIE EVERYONE IN THE WORLD WANTS TO SEE. Well, at least until “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter” comes out, at which point they might as well just stop making movies.

Honestly, there is no single greater gift you could ever purchase me than this movie poster…

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Ravens officially sign rookie kicker Justin Tucker to roster

Posted on 29 May 2012 by Luke Jones

After performing well at the team’s rookie minicamp two weeks ago, rookie kicker Justin Tucker has finally made his way onto the roster after signing a contract with the Ravens on Tuesday.

Much confusion existed in the days leading up to and following the rookie camp over the former Texas kicker’s status, but his performance during the tryout led to the Ravens assuring him a spot on their off-season roster. Tucker was not present for the most recent round of organized team activities held last week, but there was much speculation he would eventually be added to the 90-man roster.

To clear a spot, the Ravens released wide receiver and return specialist Phillip Livas, who was signed to the practice squad late last season but became expendable after the additions of fifth-round pick Asa Jackson and veteran wide receiver Jacoby Jones to address the return game.

Tucker made 40 of 48 field goal attempts in his time with the Longhorns and made a 55-yard field goal in the first day of rookie workouts when he was awarded a tryout with the Ravens. In a practice open to the media, Tucker made all four attempts inside 50 yards before missing two attempts from 60 yards that showed impressive distance.

The Ravens have repeatedly expressed confidence in Billy Cundiff, but it would have been surprising had they not added another kicker to provide some level of a push during the preseason. It’s a common practice for teams to add an extra kicker during camp to ease the workload of its incumbents.

Cundiff will certainly have the upper hand, so it would be a stretch to label it a true competition between the two kickers. However, Tucker’s credentials at Texas would suggest him being a viable option should Cundiff struggle in the preseason while trying to shake off the 32-yard miss that would have sent the Ravens to overtime in the AFC Championship.

In his final season at Texas, Tucker was 1-for-2 in attempts of 50 or more yards and 4-for-4 on attempts between 40 and 49 yards.

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Tuani edged out for top Navy honor

Posted on 24 May 2012 by WNST Staff

Naval Academy Announces Major Athletic Award Winners

ANNAPOLIS, Md.– The United States Naval Academy announced its major athletic award winners Thursday morning at the annual Prizes and Awards Ceremony at Alumni Hall.

Cody Rome (Eagle, Idaho), a member of the cross country and track & field teams, was awarded the NAAA Sword for Men which is presented to that man of the graduating class who is considered by the Association’s Athletic Council to have personally excelled in men’s athletics during his years of varsity competition.

Rome is a five-time Patriot League track & field champion and a six-time runner-up.  He is the school record holder in the 3,000 meters and helped lead the Mids to four Patriot League cross country titles and two track & field titles.  He is a three-time All-Patriot League selection in cross country and was a 2011 CoSIDA Second-Team Academic All-American.   Rome was also the 2011 and 2012 Patriot League Indoor Track & Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year and a three-time NCAA track & field regional qualifier.

Rome is just the sixth dual cross country/track & field athlete to win in the 121-year history of the award and the first since Aaron Lanzel in 2003.

Other nominees for the NAAA Sword for Men included Andrew Faulk (gymnastics), Mark Meyer (swimming), Jabaree Tuani (football) and RJ Wickham (lacrosse).

Jess Palacio (Sun Valley, Nev.) of the cross country and track & field teams was awarded the Vice Admiral Lawrence Sword for Women, which is presented to that woman of the graduating class who is considered by the Association’s Athletic Council to have personally excelled in women’s athletics during her years of varsity competition.

Palacio earned 12 varsity letters and 10 N-Stars in her career on the cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field teams.  Earning 2012 Women’s Indoor Track Second-Team All-America honors in the mile, she in the program’s first indoor women’s track All-American.  Palacio holds five middle distance school records in track and field and is a four-time Patriot League Track-Athlete of the Meet.  She won 11 Patriot League individual track titles and helped lead the Mids to three track & field titles and two cross country titles in her career.  She was a Three-Time First-Team All-Patriot League selection in cross country and was the 2011 Patriot League Cross Country Individual Champion.

Palacio is the fourth dual cross country/track & field athlete to win the award in its 33-year history and the first since Amy Baxter in 2001.

Kierstin King from the women’s lacrosse team was also nominated.

Andrew Faulk (San Antonio, Texas) of the gymnastics team won the Thompson Trophy Cup, which is presented to that midshipman, male or female, who has done the most during the year to promote athletics at the Naval Academy.

Faulk, the gymnastics team captain, won 2012 ECAC titles in the all-around, pommel horse, parallel bars and high bar and was named the ECAC Gymnast of the Year.  He placed 13th in the all-around competition at the 2012 NCAA Championship and was one of six finalists for the Nissen-Emery Award, which is presented to the nation’s top senior gymnast.  He was ranked in the To 10 in the country in all-around average and finished first in the all-around competition in seven different meets.

Faulk is just the second gymnast to win in the 125-year history of the award and the first since N.C. Gillette in 1913.

Other nominees for the award included John Dowd (football) and Taylor Reynolds (lacrosse).

Will Race (Claremont, N.H.) of the men’s rowing team was awarded the men’s Coaches’ Calvert Award, which recognizes a graduating varsity letterwinner who displayed leadership, consistent effort, loyalty and dedication to the sport and who has taken their abilities beyond the expectations of the coach, peers and themselves.

Race was a three-year letterwinner and a member of Navy’s varsity eight boat.  This season he helped the varsity eight to a fifth-place finish in the Eastern Sprints, Navy’s best finish since 2004.  As a sophomore, Race helped the varsity eight to an eighth-place finish at the 2010 IRA National Championship.  He was selected to the under 23 U.S. National Rowing team where he rowed in the four without coxswain boat at the World Rowing Under 23 Championship in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Race is the fifth member of the rowing team to win in the 40-year history of the award and the first since Dean Phillips in 1997.

Erin Edwards (Hockessin, Del.) of the women’s basketball team was awarded the women’s Coaches’ Calvert Award, which recognizes a graduating varsity letterwinner who displayed leadership, consistent effort, loyalty and dedication to the sport and who has taken their abilities beyond the expectations of the coach, peers and themselves.

Edwards helped lead Navy to back-to-back Patriot League Championships including the school’s first women’s basketball championship in 2010.  Over her last two seasons, Edwards started 52 games and scored 329 points. Edwards, who was the 2011-12 team captain, improved her game as a senior scoring in double figures eight times after scoring in double figures only eight times her first three seasons combined.  She led the Patriot League in three-point field goal percentage both as a junior and senior.

Edwards is just the second women’s basketball player in the 23-year history of the award to be recognized and the first since Jennifer Bombinski in 2001.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 22 May 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Golf-PGA Tour Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Ft. Worth, TX), Champions Tour Senior PGA Championship (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on NBC. All golf from Benton Harbor, MI); High School Lacrosse: MPSSAA Class 2A/1A Final-Fallston vs. South Carroll (Tuesday 6pm UMBC Stadium), Class 4A/3A Final-Westminster vs. South River (Wednesday 4pm UMBC Stadium), Class 3A/2A Final-Hereford vs. Glenelg (Wednesday 8pm UMBC Stadium); WNBA-Tulsa Shock @ Washington Mystics (Wednesday 7pm Verizon Center)

10. Drake (Friday 7pm Verizon Center); One Direction (Thursday 7:30pm Patriot Center); Corey Smith (Friday 8pm Rams Head Live); Jason Isbell (Saturday 1pm Rams Head on Stage); Garbage (Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club); Collective Soul (Wednesday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Thrice (Wednesday 7:30pm Howard Theatre); John Mayer “Born and Raised” and Garbage “Not Your Kind of People” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

You know that I’m a “money over everything, money on my mind” type of guy, right?

I used to have the biggest crush on Shirley Manson. Hell, I probably still have  huge crush on Shirley Manson…

If you don’t want to go see Collective Soul we probably wouldn’t be much of friends…

John Mayer is apparently doing country music now. This is a classic example of when “success just simply isn’t enough.” See below.

9. Men in Black III” and “Chernobyl Diaries” open in theaters (Friday); Bob Marley (Wednesday-Sunday DC Improv); Cedric The Entertainer (Saturday 8pm Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric); Brew at the Zoo (Saturday & Sunday Maryland Zoo in Baltimore)

There’s simply no chance MIB3 is something I’ll want to go see. And while Cedric the Entertainer is funny, I’d rather talk about beer.

I have no idea whether or not Flying Dog Brewery will be unleashing canned Underdog Atlantic Lager on the Zoo this weekend, but I DO know that the campaign they used to roll it out in our nation’s capital was simply fantastic…

Brilliant.

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Loyola A Sawyer among Tewaaraton finalists playing in Final Four

Posted on 21 May 2012 by WNST Staff

WASHINGTON, May 21, 2012 – Two men’s and four women’s Tewaaraton Award finalists will compete at the NCAA men’s and women’s lacrosse championships this weekend in Foxborough, Mass., and Stony Brook, N.Y., respectively.

The Tewaaraton Foundation will announce the award’s 12th annual winners May 31 at the Tewaaraton Award Ceremony in Washington, D.C., at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.

Men’s finalists to reach championship weekend include C.J. Costabile (Duke) and Mike Sawyer (Loyola). Tewaaraton finalists are represented among each of the women’s national semifinalists, including Brittany Dashiell (Florida), Katie Schwarzmann (Maryland), Taylor Thornton (Northwestern) and Michelle Tumolo (Syracuse).

Senior midfielder C.J. Costabile (New Fairfield, Conn.) picked up 15 groundballs and won 14-of-20 face offs as No. 3 Duke advanced to the final four with a convincing 17-6 win over Colgate, marking the program’s sixth consecutive championship weekend appearance. With two ground balls in Saturday’s semifinal game against Maryland, Costabile will become the nation’s ground ball leader.

Junior attackman Mike Sawyer (Waxhaw, N.C.) scored his 51st goal of the season in Loyola’s 10-9 victory over Denver as the top-seeded Greyhounds advanced to their first NCAA final four since 1998, where they will face No. 4 Notre Dame. With the goal, Sawyer set a Loyola single-season record, eclipsing the 50 scored by Tim Goettelmann in 2000.

The five men’s finalists are Costabile, Sawyer, Colgate attackman Peter Baum, Massachusetts attackman Will Manny and Virginia attackman Steele Stanwick.

Junior midfielder Brittany Dashiell (Bel Air, Md.) led Florida’s balanced offense with three goals and two assists in a 15-2 quarterfinal win over Penn State. The top-seeded Gators, who will next face No. 4 Syracuse, are the second program in the 30-year history of the NCAA women’s lacrosse tournament to advance to the final four in only its third season.

Junior midfielder Katie Schwarzmann (Sykesville, Md.) racked up a career-high eight points (4 g, 4 a) in No. 3 Maryland’s 17-11 defeat of in-state opponent Loyola while adding seven draw controls and playing suffocating defense on the Greyhound’s top scorer, Marlee Paton. The Terrapins have reached the national semifinals in each of Schwarzmann’s three seasons and four consecutive seasons overall.

Junior midfielder Taylor Thornton (Dallas, Texas) turned in a solid all-around performance in No. 2 Northwestern’s 12-7 win over Duke, grabbing four ground balls, causing three turnovers and winning two draws to go along with one goal. Thornton and the Wildcats have advanced to their eighth consecutive national semifinals and will face Maryland in a rematch of the last two national title games.

Junior attacker Michelle Tumolo (Mullica Hill, N.J.) led No. 4 Syracuse to a thrilling 17-16 comeback win against North Carolina. Tumolo recorded a team-leading four goals and five points, including the game-winning goal with five seconds remaining in regulation. Tumolo saved her best work for the game’s final three minutes, rallying the Orange from a two-goal deficit and notching two goals, an assist and a crucial forced turnover. Tumolo and Syracuse will make their second final four appearance in three years.

The five women’s finalists are Dashiell, Schwarzmann, Thornton, Tumolo and North Carolina attacker Becky Lynch.

The Tewaaraton Award annually honors the top male and top female college lacrosse player in the United States. Finalists were selected from a pool of 25 men’s and 25 women’s nominees. The selection committees are comprised of 12 men’s and 10 women’s current and former college coaches.

For more information on the Tewaaraton Award or to attend the ceremony, visit www.tewaaraton.com. Like and follow The Tewaaraton Foundation at www.facebook.com/tewaaraton and www.twitter.com/tewaaraton.

About The Tewaaraton Foundation

First presented in 2001 at the University Club of Washington DC, the Tewaaraton Award is recognized as the pre-eminent lacrosse award, annually honoring the top male and female college lacrosse player in the United States. Endorsed by the Mohawk Nation Council of Elders and US Lacrosse, the Tewaaraton Award symbolizes lacrosse’s centuries-old roots in Native American heritage. The Tewaaraton Foundation ensures the integrity and advances the mission of this award. Each year, the Tewaaraton Award celebrates one of the six tribal nations of the Iroquois Confederacy – the Mohawk, Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca and Tuscarora – and presents two scholarships to students of Iroquois descent. To learn more about The Tewaaraton Foundation, visit www.tewaaraton.com.

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Ravens add five rookie free agents, release four

Posted on 15 May 2012 by WNST Staff

For Immediate Release

RAVENS ROSTER MOVES

The Baltimore Ravens have signed the following rookie free agents:

No.  Name                      Pos.      Ht.        Wt.       Birthdate      Exp.      College

89    Matt Balasavage    TE          6-4        256       2/15/89        R            Temple

42    Nigel Carr                LB          6-2        232       1/22/90        R            Alabama State

87    Bruce Figgins          TE          6-4        272       12/7/88        R            Georgia

41    Jordan Mabin         CB         5-11      180       10/31/88     R            Northwestern

1    Chester Stewart     QB         6-3        214       1/26/89        R            Temple
To make room for the additions, the Ravens released the following rookie free agents:

FB Jamison Berryhill (Texas)

DB Charles Brown (North Carolina)

LB Eltoro Freeman (Auburn)

TE Nick Provo (Syracuse)

 

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 15 May 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: WNBA-Chicago Sky @ Washington Mystics (Saturday 7pm Verizon Center); Mixed Martial Arts: UFC on FUEL TV 3-“Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung vs. Dustin Poirier (Tuesday 8pm from Patriot Center live on FUEL TV); Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Final-Josh Barnett vs. Daniel Cormier (Saturday 10pm from San Jose live on Showtime); Bellator Fighting Championships 69 (Friday 8pm from Lake Charles, LA live on MTV2); Golf: PGA Tour HP Byron Nelson Championship (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Irving, TX), LPGA Tour Sybase Match Play Championship (Thursday & Friday 6:30pm Saturday 3pm Sunday 4pm from Gladstone, NJ live on Golf Channel); Pro Lacrosse: MLL Chesapeake Bayhawks @ Hamilton Nationals (Friday 11am from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada live on ESPN3.com); Tennis: ATP Tour & WTA Tour Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Tuesday-Saturday 6am Sunday 7:30am from Rome live on Tennis Channel); Women’s College Lacrosse: NCAA Tournament-Loyola @ Maryland (Saturday 12pm Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex)

10. Infieldfest feat. Maroon 5, Wiz Khalifa, Little Big Town, The Darkness (Saturday 11am Pimlico Race Course); New Edition (Sunday 7pm 1st Mariner Arena); Black Keys/Arctic Monkeys (Friday 6:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion), Lucinda Williams/Drive-By Truckers (Saturday 6:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion), Lady Antebellum/Darius Rucker (Sunday 5:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Styx/REO Speedwagon/Ted Nugent (Friday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live); Buckcherry/Foxy Shazam (Thursday 7:30pm Power Plant Live), Mr. Greengenes (Friday 8pm Power Plant Live); 2 Skinnee J’s/All Mighty Senators (Friday 8pm Rams Head Live); Kenny Wayne Shepherd (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage, Thursday 8pm Howard Theatre); Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club), SOJA (Friday 7pm Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club); Fishbone (Thursday 7pm State Theatre); Less Than Jake/Ballyhoo! (Friday 8pm Rock N Roll Hotel); Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival feat. Jonny Lang, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Big Head Todd and the Monsters (Saturday & Sunday Sandy Point State Park); Justin Jones & The Driving Rain (Monday 7pm Ottobar); Night of 1000 Dylans (Friday 7:30pm Creative Alliance); Tenacious D “Rize of the Fenix” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

Totally underrated Black Keys tune? “I Got Mine.” See you at MPP Friday night…

If Maroon 5 promised to not play a song they’ve released in the last 10 years I’d be excited to see them Saturday. But if they did nothing but tunes from “Songs About Jane” I would be in…

If you haven’t seen Darius Rucker play country music, you’re going to have to trust me. He kicks a little ass…

I’m hoping Justin Jones will stop by the studio Monday. He’s quite talented…

9. Brian Regan (Friday & Saturday Warner Theatre); John Henton (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Bobby Slayton (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); “The Dictator” (Wednesday), “Battleship” and “Crooked Arrows” (Friday) open in theaters; “The Grey” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Preakness Crab Derby (Thursday 12pm Lexington Market); Preakness Frog Hop (Wednesday 12pm Patterson Park)

Crab races? Okay I guess. MUCH more kickass? PIG races.

And as far as the frog hop goes, I think you already know which frog I’ll be pulling for…

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