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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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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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Jays hoping former Oriole Guerrero can provide boost

Posted on 11 May 2012 by WNST Staff

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Andretti set to take over Baltimore Grand Prix

Posted on 11 May 2012 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE (AP) — Michael Andretti could soon be part of a new team that will run Baltimore’s troubled Grand Prix auto race, city officials announced Thursday.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced a proposed five-year agreement on Thursday with Race On, LLC, and Andretti Sports Marketing. It would be the third group to lead the Labor Day weekend event on a course that winds through the streets of downtown Baltimore.

A study found that the inaugural Grand Prix last year generated $47 million in economic impact. However, the city terminated its contract with Baltimore Racing Development after that group failed to pay $1.5 million owed to the city. In February, the city approved a contract with Downforce Racing LLC, but a new operator was sought after Downforce missed marketing deadlines for the event.

“The Grand Prix was a great event for Baltimore that boosted our local economy and showcased our city on the international stage,” Rawlings-Blake said in a statement. “This has been a difficult process, but Race On and Andretti Sports Marketing have what it takes to move forward and make this world-class sporting event successful for Baltimore.”

Andretti Sports Marketing, led by the retired driver and team owner, will provide a “turn-key” solution, including
sponsorships, public relations, marketing, hospitality, ticket sales, track construction, grandstand layout, and logistics, city officials said.

Andretti said his company has a history of resurrecting races in cities such as Toronto, Milwaukee and St. Petersburg, Fla.

“So, we are confident we can do the same for the Grand Prix of Baltimore,” Andretti said. “By combining our decades of
motorsports expertise with the substantial backing of local investors and community support, we believe the Grand Prix of Baltimore can become one of the most prominent sporting events on the Eastern Seaboard.”

The city’s Board of Estimates is scheduled to vote on the contract on Wednesday.


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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 30 April 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Soccer-MISL DC United @ San Jose Earthquakes (Wednesday 10:30pm from San Jose live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), DC United @ Toronto FC (Saturday 4pm from Toronto live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS); Pro Lacrosse-MLL Ohio Machine @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on Comcast SportsNet/ESPN3.com); Women’s College Lacrosse: NCAA Tournament-Monmouth @ Towson (Saturday 7pm Unitas Stadium)

10. Lynyrd Skynyrd (Friday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion), Chicago (Sunday 6pm Pier Six Pavilion); Lupe Fiasco (Thursday 8pm Patriot Center); Slash feat. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators (Thursday 7pm Rams Head Live), George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic (Friday 8pm Rams Head Live), P.O.D. (Sunday 6pm Rams Head Live); Marilyn Manson (Tuesday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Korn (Friday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); The Bad Plus (Tuesday 8pm Howard Theatre); fun. (Thursday 7pm Friday 8pm 9:30 Club), Eric Hutchinson (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club), Rusted Root (Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club), Willie Nelson and Family (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Bob Schneider (Wednesday 7:30pm Birchmere), Mint Condition (Thursday & Friday 7:30pm Birchmere); Norah Jones “Little Broken Hearts” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

If I were going to be in town, I’d head to the Inner Harbor to check out Chicago. Honestly…

I like Eric Hutchinson. I also like women. I understand this comes as a surprise to many.

Bob Schneider made one of the best tunes of 2012…

“This is a fun tune from Norah Jones” uttered the man for the first time EVER…

9. Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL (Saturday & Sunday 1st Mariner Arena); D.L. Hughley (Friday-Sunday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Gilbert Gottfried (Friday-Sunday DC Improv); “The Avengers” in theaters (Friday); “Haywire” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

I don’t like to speak out of line, but if you don’t go see “The Avengers” within hours of its’ release, you are almost certainly a terrorist.

Tony Stark is the greatest fake human being of all time.

Oh-and did you not remember Haywire? Haywire was the one where Gina Carano…you know I’m just going to go ahead and stop there.

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Jones, Davis Homer As Birds Sweep Jays

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Jones, Davis Homer As Birds Sweep Jays

Posted on 26 April 2012 by WNST Staff

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Live from Camden Yards: Reimold returns to lineup as Orioles go for sweep of Toronto

Posted on 26 April 2012 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE — With Brian Matusz taking the hill and desperately needing a quality start to aid his confidence, the Orioles lineup will be closer to full strength as they look for the three-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday.

After responding well to a batting practice session on Wednesday afternoon, left fielder Nolan Reimold returns to the leadoff spot after a four-game absence. Reimold remains tied for second on the club with five home runs and has homered in five of the last six games in which he’s played dating back to April 13.

“He’s going to give it a shot tonight,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s ready to go. See how that goes. He did a lot of work [Wednesday] and didn’t have any setbacks. I think we’ve done everything we can to go forward on that.”

Jim Johnson is improving and could be sent home from the hospital either late Thursday or early Friday morning. While Showalter could not specify a specific illness stemming from the bacterial issue, doctors have ruled out a number of more severe possibilities.

The Baltimore closer is now attempting to hold down solid food and has been hospitalized since Monday night with flu-like symptoms.

In his absence, 26-year-old Pedro Strop has converted saves in each of the last games but will likely be unavailable for the series finale. Showalter wouldn’t tip his hand regarding Strop or who he would use in a save situation on Thursday, but the most likely candidates would be Matt Lindstrom, Luis Ayala or even Troy Patton, depending on match-ups in the ninth inning.

“I do know what we’re going to do, but I kind of like having some bullets in the back,” Showalter said.

Second baseman Robert Andino will fly back to Baltimore on Friday morning and is expected to return to the lineup for the start of a three-game series with the Oakland Athletics this weekend.

Updating the Tsuyoshi Wada situation, the Japanese pitcher will fly to Los Angeles this weekend to get a second opinion on his injured elbow from Dr. Lewis Yocum. Wada revealed to reporters that Tommy John surgery is a possibility, confirming there is a tear in the elbow ligament.

Here are tonight’s lineups…

SS Yunel Escobar
3B Brett Lawrie
RF Jose Bautista
1B Edwin Encarnacion
LF Eric Thames
DH Ben Francisco
CF Rajai Davis
C J.P. Arencibia
2B Omar Vizquel

SP Drew Hutchison (1-0, 8.44 ERA)

LF Nolan Reimold
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Nick Markakis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
DH Chris Davis
3B Mark Reynolds
1B Nick Johnson
2B Ryan Flaherty

SP Brian Matusz (0-3, 7.98 ERA)

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Struggling Matusz Takes Ball For Birds Looking For Sweep of Jays

Posted on 26 April 2012 by WNST Staff

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Early return on Guthrie trade looking better than ever imagined for Orioles

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Early return on Guthrie trade looking better than ever imagined for Orioles

Posted on 26 April 2012 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Even the most optimistic fans struggled with the Orioles’ decision to trade de facto ace Jeremy Guthrie to the Colorado Rockies for what looked like a slightly-younger journeyman starter and a decent reliever in the days leading to the start of spring training.

A trade should always fulfill some combination of three purposes — to get better, younger, or cheaper — and the return of Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom didn’t seem to fulfill any of those stipulations in an overwhelming capacity short of Hammel being a few years younger than Guthrie and the club gaining an extra year of control of a starting pitcher.

Needless to say after four starts — and it is only four starts — the addition of Hammel is looking like an impressive feather in the cap of executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette after an offseason that lacked a major splash and included plenty of curious moves.

Hammel was dominant once again on Wednesday, pitching seven shutout innings and striking out seven as the Orioles blanked the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0 to improve to 4-1 against the team who owned more wins against them in the last two seasons than any American League East foe. The 29-year-old set the tone for his impressive start by carrying a no-hitter into the eighth inning on the first Sunday of the season and has continued that success with a 1.73 earned run average in his first 26 innings with the Orioles.

“I continue to work hard and pay attention to the league,” said Hammel in trying to explain the improvement after posting a 4.76 ERA with the Rockies last season and a 4.81 mark the year before. “I’m still learning a new league and seeing what everybody else is doing.”

The right-hander had the reputation in the past for relying too much on his plus-slider and curveball but didn’t have enough trust in his fastball, which has consistently sat in the low 90s. An improved feel for a two-seamer has allowed Hammel to pitch down in the strike zone, inducing ground balls and keeping hitters off balance with outstanding movement.

Despite averaging just over six strikeouts per nine innings in his first six seasons, Hammel has struck out 25 batters in 26 innings, baffling hitters with a mix of five different pitches.

“He doesn’t get too far ahead of himself,” manager Buck Showalter said. “It’s kind of like being on the 16th hole and thinking about the 17th and 18th hole. He’s dwelling on what he’s playing. If something happens that means he’s got to face another hitter, he goes and gets it.

Though he struggled in his final two seasons with the Rockies, Hammel took away valuable lessons he’s now applying at homer-happy Camden Yards. With Wednesday’s win to improve his record to 3-0 on the season, Hammel has now allowed one earned run in 15 innings of work at his home ballpark.

“In Colorado, you’ve got to keep the ball down,” Hammel said. “Coming over here — another hitter’s park — the focus should be the bottom of the zone, anywhere you pitch. But I really, really started to put a lot of emphasis on making sure my misses are going to be down.”

Just over two months later, it’s fair to say the early return on the trade has favored the Orioles as Guthrie has stumbled out of the gate with a 5.92 ERA in his first four starts for the Rockies. On top of Hammel’s success, Lindstrom was a key part of Wednesday’s win with a dominant eighth inning in which he fanned Yunel Escobar and Jose Bautista.

Lindstrom has pitched 8 1/3 scoreless innings in seven relief appearances.

“So far, it’s good,” said Showalter about the trade. “Jeremy’s going to pitch really well over there. He already is. You hope it works out for both teams, so the next time you have something in mind, we [can] look at it as quality for quality.”

Considered a slightly-worse version of Guthrie by those trying to put a positive spin on an otherwise unpopular trade when it was first made, Hammel has easily been one of the best pitchers in the American League in April.

And while it’s unreasonable to expect him to continue pitching with the same success, perhaps the Orioles have spun a former diamond in the rough in Guthrie for another one.

“For a long time, it took me a while to build confidence,” Hammel said. “I got hit around a bit. Only when I started to care about being a pitcher did my confidence go up. Obviously, the results are showing. I’m not overconfident, but I know what I need to do to be successful.”

In his first month with his new team, whatever he’s doing differently is definitely working.

Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear more from Jason Hammel here.

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Orioles pitcher Wada’s status in jeopardy after MRA reveals elbow ligament damage

Posted on 25 April 2012 by Luke Jones

The good vibes of a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays faded on Tuesday night when Orioles manager Buck Showalter delivered discouraging news on pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada.

An MRA revealed the Japanese southpaw has ligament damage in his pitching elbow, putting his status in doubt for the foreseeable future. Showalter would not specify how severe the damage was nor what treatment route the club and Wada would take, but Showalter met with executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette following Tuesday’s game.

“We’ll contemplate, along with him, what the next direction (is) to take, but it showed some damage in there with the ligament that didn’t show up in the physical he took when he signed,” Showalter said.

Without knowing the severity of the ligament tear, the two treatment options would presumably be the rest-and-rehab approach or surgery, which would presumably end his season. The 31-year-old had been durable during his career in Japan before signing a two-year, $8.14 million contract in December.

“I’m trying to be as frank with you without stepping into something I think he deserves to address,” Showalter said. “We were hoping for a little better news about when we might get him back, but it wasn’t all bad. But, it is still something he’s going to have to — along with our doctors — give their opinion on. I think he and his people are still [discussing] what direction to go in.”

Wada pitched in just two Grapefruit League games, allowing five runs in five innings, and was placed on the 15-day disabled list with an elbow injury at the end of the spring. After progressing nicely in extended spring training work, he was shut down after a disastrous rehab start for Triple-A Norfolk last Thursday in which he allowed six earned runs in 2 2/3 innings.

We’ll wait for the final verdict on the plan of attack for Wada’s elbow, but the tone on Tuesday night gave little reason for optimism.

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Hammel Looks To Continue Orioles’ Early Season Mastery of Jays Wednesday

Posted on 25 April 2012 by WNST Staff

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