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This week’s #WNSTSweet16 comes faster than a speeding “Bullet”

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This week’s #WNSTSweet16 comes faster than a speeding “Bullet”

Posted on 08 June 2014 by Glenn Clark

We certainly got some people fired up last week.

We’re 22 weeks into our #WNSTSweet16 celebration, and we’re a week removed from perhaps the most controversial list of the year. It’s going to be a hard act to follow. The rest of our staff is grateful Nestor Aparicio handled last week’s prep list so that we could avoid the heat-and the difficulty.

If you’re not familiar with what I’m talking about (I mean…there’s always one), 2014 marks our 16th year of serving the Baltimore community as sports media leader here at WNST.net. We’re celebrating by taking a different “water cooler” topic every week and dissecting it before declaring an “official” list every Tuesday.

We then continue the celebration by yelling, screaming, name calling and then ultimately agreeing to hug it out. Well, most of us do anyway. Luke never really gets involved with the name-calling. Actually one time he did. He said “I have to be honest, I respectfully disagree” and then apologized for such an outburst.

If you’ve missed any of our #WNSTSweet16 lists thus far this year (including Nestor’s hotly debated list from a week ago), here’s your chance to catch up. (The #WNSTSweet16 is brought to you by Jerry’s Automotive!)

Week 22: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 all-time greatest local high athletes
Week 21: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 greatest local lacrosse players of all time
Week 20: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 most unsung Orioles
Week 19: Gary Quill-Sweet 16 all-time Maryland horse racing moments
Week 18: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 most important picks in Ravens draft history
Week 17: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 worst draft picks in Baltimore Ravens history
Week 16: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest players in Washington Capitals history
Week 15: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 games we’ve been treated to
Week 14: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 Masters moments of the last 30 years
Week 13: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 greatest pro wrestling moments in Baltimore history
Week 12: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports goofballs/personalities
Week 11: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 local sports saints-athletes who gave back
Week 10: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 events a Baltimore sports fan must attend
Week 9: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest Baltimore college basketball players
Week 8: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 Orioles who didn’t live up to the hype
Week 7: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 most underappreciated Maryland basketball players
Week 6: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local sports “Heartbreakers”
Week 5: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local Olympic sport athletes
Week 4: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local athletes who deserved to win a championship but didn’t
Week 3: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 local sports people who “had a dream”
Week 2: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports playoff moments
Week 1: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 “debuts” in local sports history

And in Week 23, we’ve got the NBA on our mind here at WNST.

I’m in the cockpit for this week’s #WNSTSweet16 for the second time in three weeks. We’re in the throws of the NBA Finals, with the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat offering a couple of classics to start the series.

With that in mind, we thought this week would be appropriate to look back on the area’s own professional basketball history. Our topic this week is the “Sweet 16 best ever Baltimore/Washington Bullets/Wizards”.

Sure, that sounds like a disjointed topic title, but we have to imagine you understand why. The pro franchise that currently plays down in DC’s Chinatown neighborhood once called Charm City home-beginning their existence playing games at the historic Baltimore Arena. We wanted to recognize Baltimore’s pro history (albeit brief) and then also recognize the players who played for the franchise in Washington since there are a number of Wizards fans in our area as well.

This means that not only are Earl “The Pearl” Monroe and Wes Unseld eligible for our list, but so are John Wall and Bradley Beal-and everyone in between.

I’m struggling already with the list. There are a couple of Hall of Famers that immediately go to the top of the list-but how does the list shake out after that? There were a number of players during the Bullets/Wizards’ lean years in the District that were good for a short time, but not for an extended period of time. Where does Gilbert Arenas fit into this picture?

These aren’t easy determinations to make.

I want your suggestions. You can leave them here in the comments on this blog post or email me (glenn@wnst.net). We will be discussing the list throughout the day Monday on AM1570 WNST.net. We’d love to have you Tweet with us or discuss the topic via Facebook by using the hashtag #WNSTSweet16.

On Tuesday morning, I will unveil the “official” list here at WNST.net and then discuss it with Drew and Luke on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” at 8am. I will then re-visit the list at 4pm Tuesday with Nestor on “The Happy Hours”.

I need to hear from old Baltimore Bullets fans and (frankly) younger Washington Wizards fans alike for this one. Who are the greatest players in franchise history? Make your voice heard!

-G

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Tony Wiz: The new guy at WNST

Posted on 04 June 2014 by Tony Wisniewski

Um, yea, don’t you know who I am?

I’m Tony Wisniewski, or, as my friends call me, Tony Wiz, and upon winning the Baltimore Sports Media Superstar competition in May, I’m the newest staff writer and on-air personality at WNST.

When I walked into the station yesterday morning, I realized this wasn’t little league anymore.

I saw Drew Forrester, the wily old veteran himself, through the glass of the studio, stringing together poetic brilliance before the seven-o’clock hour.  Then I shook hands with the legendary Luke Jones–and it took all I had to avoid paying him homage with a hearty and somewhat fan-boyishly creepy “Luuuuuuuuuke.”

Shortly thereafter, I was face-to-face with Pete DiLutis and the King of Baltimore Sports Talk himself, the Nasty One.

This string of events comes on the heels of being promised a Green Jacket by last year’s BSMS winner, Barry Kamen, receiving emails from Glenn Clark, having Twitter Tweet-versations with Ryan Chell, and sharing late night text messages with Brett Dickinson–um, it’s not what it sounds like.

Alas, for me, nothing will ever be the same–I’m in the Big Show now, baby.

Throughout the tenure of my broken-road of sports media contributions, I never truly thought I’d make it to this point.  And, while I facetiously exaggerate the details of meeting and joining the WNST staff, the  feelings of appreciation and humbleness serve as the true backdrop to  my excitement.

The BSMS competition was tough to compete in due to the expectation of skill, knowledge and polish; even tougher to win because of the talent-level that fiercely competed for the crown.  Worthy competitors like Tony Thornton, James Revere, Ethan Stewart, Josh Murr, et al, deserve all the credit in the world for having the cojones to step up for a shot at what I previously noted as “the life of kings.”  It’s not a business that’s suited for everyone, but there were certainly guys in this year’s contest who have a future should they truly choose to pursue it.

While I’ve always known that I know sports almost as well as anyone in town and I believed I could hang with the aforementioned big dogs of Baltimore’s only truth-telling all-sports-all-the-time station and media outlet, I never truly expected that I’d be here, writing this post and introducing myself to you, the true Baltimore sports fan that I’ve known, loved, and respected.

I ask this of you, true and real Baltimore sports fan: let’s hangout more often and talk Ravens, O’s, Terps, and even Wizards or Caps (if you must).  Let’s hang and grab a beer at WNST events.  Let’s rap on the air.  Let’s debate on social media.

At the end of the day, we’re cut from the same cloth.

We’re Baltimore people.

We’re sports fans.

We’re like no one else, anywhere else.  And it’s because of this that I want you to know who I am–almost as much as I’m looking forward to getting to know you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Former Ravens Safety Reed: “I Know I Can Still Play”

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Former Ravens Safety Reed: “I Know I Can Still Play”

Posted on 02 June 2014 by Ryan Chell

The last time Ravens fans heard from Ed Reed in M&T Bank Stadium, they were welcomed with a less-than-stellar rendition of the popular Eddie Money song, “Two Tickets to Paradise” after the Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.

The future Hall of Famer did indeed return to Baltimore Sunday for Lardarius Webb’s 5th annual Celebrity Softball Tournament, which was the first time the event took place at M&T Bank Stadium.

And while there showing off his softball skills, Reed sent a message to Ravens fans and the rest of the NFL that he’s still looking for and is ready for a ticket to ride with an NFL team.

“I’m definitely preparing to play,” Reed told reporters during the game. “If I wasn’t, you would have heard something  by now…I learned a lot about the process last year, and I know my worth.”

Reed, the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2004 and a 9-time Pro Bowler, played 11 seasons in Baltimore before signing a 3-year, 15 million dollar deal with the Houston Texans in March 2013.

However, Reed lasted just seven games in Houston before being waived. He ultimately reunited with former defensive coordinator Rex Ryan in New York, where he played seven games for the Jets (five starts) finishing with 22 tackles and three interceptions.

Battling hip problems to start the year, Reed clearly wasn’t the Defensive Player of the Year-caliber safety he was in his earlier years in Baltimore and many signaled that decline as the end of his dozen years in the NFL.

But don’t tell that to Ed Reed.

“I know I can still play,” he said. “It’s a matter of a right fit.”

And while the Ravens returned this week for voluntary OTAs in Owings Mills, Reed has been getting ready for an NFL call by training between Georgia and Louisiana.

And with Reed waiting for that call, he knows what he wants and how to approach the season. He said he learned a lot about his desire to play football this year from his preparation going into the 2013 year-his first outside Baltimore.

“I’m not going to anybody’s training camp, ” Reed said. “I sat and watched the league last year from a different perspective, and I learned a lot, and I saw they had teams that needed safeties in the latter part of the year.”

Reed didn’t make his Texans debut till Week 3 last season-a 30-9 loss in his return to Baltimore.  During training camp with Houston, he missed workouts on the active PUP-list, and he said he needed that rest to prepare for the season.

And for those who are concerned about that level of determination from the safety, Reed said he’s not concerned with how people think about him.

“Right now, I’m just about taking care of me and getting myself back…I know you guys may question it, but I’m not worried about that. It’s about how I feel.”

The thought of a banged-up, 35-year old safety who could only be a part-time player who’s best days are behind him might not be the biggest draw for an NFL team.

However, Reed, who looked to be enjoying himself Sunday and said it was a pleasure to be back in Baltimore, is content though if this is the end of his NFL dream.

“I’m not worried about the end. I’m not under contract. I’m already at the finish line. I don’t need to sign with anybody.”

“I don’t have to put in any papers. I don’t have to sign anybody’s contract. I don’t have to go to any organization. Ed Reed and Barry Sanders…they did it their own way.”

Those following the game would imagine that if that were to happen, he would follow other elite players of his level to the coaching ranks in an effort to stay apart the game he loved for so many years.

Reed said he would be open to it and that he got a taste of it in 2013 with the Ravens, Texans and Jets.

“Being around Coach Harbaugh, being around Coach Billick, having so many defensive coordinators-I had a different perspective when I left and I definitely learned a lot…I always say I did more coaching when I was in New York because they have a bunch of young guys up there and those guys kind of gravitated to me.”

He’s just hoping that an NFL GM or Coach will gravitate to his football knowledge if it doesn’t equate to continuing his playing career-hopefully in a place he’s all too familiar with in Baltimore.

“I think I can help pretty much any organization if I’m a position coach, a consultant or whatever…I could see me working in the organization here. I could see me working for Ozzie, those guys and Mr. Bisciotti because I put so much into it, I know how they work, and they taught me so much.”

If anything, you can count on Ed Reed making one more trip to M&T Bank Stadium for his guaranteed induction into the stadium’s Ring of Honor and he knows what kind of reaction he’ll get upon that return.

“It definitely brings back memories,” Reed said. “Anytime I come into Baltimore, it brings back memories.”

“It’s always great to see Ed Reed,” wide receiver Torrey Smith said. “He’s like a big brother and anytime you’re around him, it’s a good time.”

‘It’s great to see Baltimore still loves him.”

Follow me on Twitter at @RyanChell87! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

 

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Here’s a little “prep” you can enjoy for this week’s #WNSTSweet16

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Here’s a little “prep” you can enjoy for this week’s #WNSTSweet16

Posted on 01 June 2014 by Glenn Clark

We’re quickly approaching the midway point of 2014-which means we’re preparing to celebrate our 16 and a half(th?) birthday here at WNST. Yes, we’re also expecting a card from you for this one.

We’ve been marking our 16th year of being Baltimore’s sports media leader by going over some of the more significant “water cooler” topics of the WNST era. Each week we attempt to “define” the topic with a list we’re calling the #WNSTSweet16 here at WNST.net.

The concept doesn’t exactly take an Ivy Leaguer to figure out. In fact, we’ve noticed that even some of the folks who listen to the “other” station in town have managed to be able to participate. Remarkable.

If you’ve missed any of the first 21 Sweet 16 lists we’ve put together this year, here’s a look back. (The #WNSTSweet16 is brought to you by Jerry’s Automotive!)

Week 21: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 greatest local lacrosse players of all time
Week 20: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 most unsung Orioles
Week 19: Gary Quill-Sweet 16 all-time Maryland horse racing moments
Week 18: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 most important picks in Ravens draft history
Week 17: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 worst draft picks in Baltimore Ravens history
Week 16: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest players in Washington Capitals history
Week 15: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 games we’ve been treated to
Week 14: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 Masters moments of the last 30 years
Week 13: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 greatest pro wrestling moments in Baltimore history
Week 12: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports goofballs/personalities
Week 11: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 local sports saints-athletes who gave back
Week 10: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 events a Baltimore sports fan must attend
Week 9: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest Baltimore college basketball players
Week 8: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 Orioles who didn’t live up to the hype
Week 7: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 most underappreciated Maryland basketball players
Week 6: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local sports “Heartbreakers”
Week 5: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local Olympic sport athletes
Week 4: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local athletes who deserved to win a championship but didn’t
Week 3: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 local sports people who “had a dream”
Week 2: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports playoff moments
Week 1: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 “debuts” in local sports history

“The Nasty One” himself is back at the helm of the #WNSTSweet16 in Week 22 and taking on another very difficult list.

I had the pleasure of speaking at Aberdeen High School last week to a group of kids that included a great number of seniors. We discussed opportunity, preparation and reaching goals after graduating from high school. For so many of them, the chat was particularly important because they were less than a week away from joining the “real world”.

It is graduation season throughout the region, which made us think about some of the great athletes who have graduated from Charm City area high schools. This stream of consciousness should probably tell you that this week’s topic is the “Sweet 16 greatest local high school athletes”.

We have certainly been blessed in this area to have had the first opportunity to see quite a number of incredible athletes here in this area. We probably could have made a list using Dunbar basketball players alone, as the likes of Reggie Williams, Reggie Lewis, Sam Cassell, Skip Wise, Muggsy Bogues, Kurk Lee, David Wingate and Keith Booth are all really good options to make this list.

Just considering basketball alone you can lump names in like Carmelo Anthony, Rudy Gay, Will Barton, Juan Dixon, Gary Neal, Marvin Webster, Kim English, Aquille Carr and more.

We haven’t even considered football players (Tommy Polley, Tavon Austin, Antonio Freeman, Keion Carpenter, Jeff Grantz), baseball players (Mark Teixeira, Gavin Floyd, some fellas named Cal Ripken and…ummm…Babe Ruth?), lacrosse players (Kyle Harrison, Steele Stanwick, Ryan Boyle, Joe Cowan, etc.) or some of the amazing female athletes (Pam Shriver, Angel McCoughtry, etc.) who did their prep work in the area.

I do not envy…in any way…the responsibility Nestor has in putting this list together. We haven’t even talked about the soccer players, wrestlers, runners, swimmers and others who are certainly also deserving of consideration. This list is going to be REALLY tough.

Nestor wants your suggestions. You can leave them here in the comments on this blog post or email him (nasty@wnst.net). We will be discussing the list throughout the day Monday on AM1570 WNST.net. We’d love to have you Tweet with us or discuss the topic via Facebook by using the hashtag #WNSTSweet16.

On Tuesday morning, Nes will unveil the “official” list here at WNST.net and then discuss it with Drew and Luke on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” at 8am. He will then re-visit the list at 4pm Tuesday on “The Happy Hours”.

Shack Stanwick might be just the latest tremendous athlete we had the opportunity to see locally over the last school year. As it wraps up, let’s recognize the greatest we’ve ever seen. Make your voice heard!

-G

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Buck

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Showalter’s past–Baltimore’s Future?

Posted on 01 June 2014 by Tony Wisniewski

Don’t look now, but the past might be repeating itself.

There’s something to be said for being comfortable in your own skin—or in this case, you own spot in the batting order.

During the Buck Showalter era, the Orioles are no stranger to a lineup that has seen more shakeups than the Old Bay Crab Shuffle.

Nelson Cruz, the Major League Leader in home runs has yet to have a clear-cut spot in the order.

He’s batted in the two-hole, which is typically reserved for slap-hitters, table-setters, and guys who can spray the ball around the field while being able to run fairly well and steal a base or two.

He’s batted in the six-spot, which is generally reserved for a guy who can’t quite carry the load in the four-or-five hole, but can still drive the ball.

And, in the same breath, he’s batted third, fourth, and fifth throughout the season.

If you look atop the AL East, to a team like the Toronto Blue Jays, you’ll find the exact opposite, where slugger Jose Bautista has batted third all-season-long.  Alas, Edwin Encarnacion played a few games early-on as the number-five hitter, but has settled in nicely as the cleanup guy during his record-setting home run tear during the month of May.

The same can be said for the majority of ML teams who boast consistent all-star quality talent like the Orioles.

Perhaps the issue is that Showalter doesn’t truly understand how to manage big-talent in the Big Leagues.

Taking a step back, you’ll find that Showalter’s track-record shows that he starts to falter when his team makes the turn into a legitimate annual contender.

After being fired by the New York Yankees after the 1995 season, he went on to turn the Arizona Diamondbacks into a force to be reckoned with in the NL West—then he was fired after his third season.

Upon his departure from Arizona, he led the Texas Rangers’ organization to a major turnaround, only to falter the following two seasons—leading to his firing after a mediocre 2006 campaign.

Four years later, Showalter comes to Baltimore, leading the Orioles to a turnaround that others like Bobby Valentine said was impossible due to a franchise that’s “unfixable.”

There’s no question that Showalter did the improbable by re-molding Baltimore into a legit contender, but there certainly should be a question over whether or not he knows what to do with the franchise once it’s reached that level.

Part of Showalter’s success is due to his ability to manage average-talent and utilize a plug-and-play type of system.

While he’s terrific with shuffling fringe starters in and out, and getting the most out of guys who don’t really have much of a clear-cut Major League future, he lacks the ability to appropriately manage superstars and legitimate Major League talent.

A perfect example is the continued shuffling of the lineup and the inability to give a player like Nelson Cruz a stable spot in the batting order.

Certainly this isn’t to say that there’s no room to change a lineup from time to time, even the best of managers sometimes rearrange things to keep players on-alert, but to do it game-in and game-out is sophomoric and a glaring weakness of a manager who has proven in three other cities that he simply can’t handle the type of talent that removes his power to micromanage every facet of the roster, lineup, and game.

When Showalter took over in 2010, the Orioles were an unmitigated disaster. Now, in 2014, they’re not.  They’re a team who should have some continuity and consistency.

While there’s no solid argument to question his ability to turn a franchise around, there’s certainly room for concern and debate over whether he’s the right guy to get the job done moving forward.

Sitting at .500, there’s plenty of room to question whether or not Showalter’s past is destined to become Baltimore’s future.

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RickyWagner

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Ravens T Wagner on right tackle nod: “I definitely have to earn it”

Posted on 30 May 2014 by Ryan Chell

After an 8-8 season in which the Baltimore Ravens fell short of defending their Super Bowl title, many of John Harbaugh’s players are coming into this week’s OTAs with a huge chip on their shoulders in an attempt to get back to the playoffs.

However, that attitude is nothing new for Ravens 2nd-year offensive tackle Rick Wagner, who is getting a crack at the team’s starting right tackle spot going into OTAs-the position vacated by former first-round pick Michael Oher, who left via free agency to sign a contract with the Tennessee Titans.

Other candidates for the job include 2013 LG Kelechi Osemele, Jah Reid, Ryan Jensen, as well as undrafted rookie James Hurst.

Wagner, the team’s 5th round pick (168th overall) in the 2013 NFL Draft out of Wisconsin, has had an uphill battle since he was drafted by the Ravens last April.  Despite a high grade, he fell farther than his initial draft projection despite playing four years at Wisconsin-including 39 starts and Outland Trophy consideration.

The off-season was a disappointing one not only for Wagner in terms of becoming a starting NFL tackle, but also seeing his team fail to play deep into January for the first time in the John Harbaugh era.

“It’s not a good taste to have in our mouths right now,” Wagner told Glenn Clark on “The Reality Check” Thursday. “You can tell with the vets that they’re not used to that. “They’ve been making the playoffs for years here so we wanna get back and ultimately-that’s our number one priority.”

But behind the team goals, Wagner does find himself with a unique opportunity being tapped as the early candidate to start at right tackle for the Ravens going into training camp and ultimately in Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals on September 7th-a situation he fought his entire rookie year to try and achieve.

“I’m really excited, ” Wagner told Clark after practice. “Last year, I practiced like I was going start Week 1 because you never know what will happen with injuries, but [this year], I’m just trying to get the playbook down first, which I’m already feeling confident with in these first couple OTAs.”

That determination fueled Wagner going into his rookie year, and he earned playing time out of it-playing 13 games for the Ravens in 2013 and starting two as John Harbaugh’s “swing tackle” in Jumbo, short-yardage, and goal line situations. 

Wagner said playing his rookie year really gave him an edge in his short NFL career getting acclimated to the changing pace of the professional game.

“It’s such a change from college,” Wagner said. “The speed is so much more amped up, and that’s the real difference. That really helped me out last year, and I’m ready to go.”

Wagner said it definitely put things on perspective when it came to his own work ethic.

“Every player in the NFL is the best player you’ve faced in college.  It’s just a whole new intensity you have to get used to.”

But even with that experience under his belt, Wagner still understands that he’s going to have to compete for the right tackle job and that he won’t have it handed to him.

“I definitely have to earn it,” Wagner said.  ”There’s nothing set until Week 1. I’m just gonna keep working and hope I earn that title.”

What’s he is getting used to in OTAs is lining up next to some new faces, including 3x All-Pro guard Marshal Yanda and getting line calls from a new center in former Buccaneeer Jeremy Zuttah.

Wagner said he owes so much to the two of them.

“It’s incredible to have him right next to me,” Wagner said of Yanda. “He helps me out every day and makes it so much easier when you have a vet like him next to you.”

And in regards to Zuttah, despite the center being in a Ravens uniform for two months, Wagner felt like with Zuttah’s knowledge and expertise, it feels like he’s been in the meeting rooms and on the field for years.

“We’re real comfortable already…it seems like he’s been here awhile,” Wagner said.  ”He’s a real athletic guy and he’s fit right in since the first day.”

Now it’s all about the whole group grasping this new scheme being implemented by incoming offensive coordinator, Gary Kubiak. Despite the perceived complexity of a zone offense, Wagner though says it all comes down to execution despite the different terminology.

“Football is football,” Wagner said. “There isn’t really anything else we can do.”

What they do want to do is get back to establishing the running game to help out their quarterback in Joe Flacco.

“It’s a big emphasis. I’m really happy with the play-action stuff we have going this year-a lot different than last year.”

And while it’s been all business so far in camp, Wagner did say that he’s shared a few laughs so far seeing Flacco on some of Kubiak’s bootleg plays.

“He’s  a real athletic guy, and it’s good to see him getting out of the pocket and getting some runs going.”

WNST thanks Ricky Wagner for joining “The Reality Check!” Check out the entire conversation in the BuyaToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net! 

 

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Let’s go in the crease for this week’s #WNSTSweet16

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Let’s go in the crease for this week’s #WNSTSweet16

Posted on 27 May 2014 by Glenn Clark

The qualifications made this an impossible list. We really should have split this list into two different categories. I should have never opened up the list to anyone who was from Baltimore, played at an area high school, played at a local college or played locally at the professional level. I should have instead split that group up into two categories-players from Johns Hopkins or Maryland in one group and the rest in another category altogether.

You know how tough this list was? Think about the names I ended up leaving OUTSIDE the Top 16. I’d share them with you now, but I don’t want to give away anyone who missed the list. Here goes. (Thanks to Inside Lacrosse, the Baltimore Sun, the Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Loyola, Towson and UMBC for assists on info, pictures, etc.)

16. Jim Darcangelo

I’m not trying to get anything past anyone. The bottom four spots on the list are claimed by players who perhaps aren’t REALLY among the 16 greatest of all-time. But they all represent one of the area colleges who deserved to be recognized on the list. It became difficult to keep determining the NEXT greatest player in Hopkins history, so I decided to start looking elsewhere.

Darcangelo was a three time All-American as a midfielder for Towson, helping the Tigers claim the 1974 College Division National Championship. He was twice recognized as the Division II/III Player of the Year during his Towson career and went on to play for Team USA in three World Championships.

(Continued on next page…)

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And this week we’ll have a #WNSTSweet16 for all of the bros

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And this week we’ll have a #WNSTSweet16 for all of the bros

Posted on 25 May 2014 by Glenn Clark

16 years, lists of 16. It’s a pretty simple concept, right?

Unless you’ve spent the first four and a half months of 2014 helping CNN look for a missing plane, you’re probably aware that we’re celebrating our 16th year as Baltimore’s sports media leader here at WNST. And no, we’ve never been kissed but thanks for asking.

To celebrate our 16th birthday we’re looking over some of the “water cooler” topics of the WNST era and doing our damnedest to try to “define” them with “Sweet 16″ lists. Some lists have been better than others. For example, Drew Forrester has only been involved in a couple-so that’s good.

Here’s a recap if you’ve missed any of our first 20 lists thus far this year.

Week 20: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 most unsung Orioles
Week 19: Gary Quill-Sweet 16 all-time Maryland horse racing moments
Week 18: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 most important picks in Ravens draft history
Week 17: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 worst draft picks in Baltimore Ravens history
Week 16: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest players in Washington Capitals history
Week 15: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 games we’ve been treated to
Week 14: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 Masters moments of the last 30 years
Week 13: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 greatest pro wrestling moments in Baltimore history
Week 12: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports goofballs/personalities
Week 11: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 local sports saints-athletes who gave back
Week 10: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 events a Baltimore sports fan must attend
Week 9: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest Baltimore college basketball players
Week 8: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 Orioles who didn’t live up to the hype
Week 7: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 most underappreciated Maryland basketball players
Week 6: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local sports “Heartbreakers”
Week 5: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local Olympic sport athletes
Week 4: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local athletes who deserved to win a championship but didn’t
Week 3: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 local sports people who “had a dream”
Week 2: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports playoff moments
Week 1: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 “debuts” in local sports history

Which brings us to Week 21…and back to your favorite WNST personality.

I actually wrote this preview Saturday while sitting in the press box at the NCAA Lacrosse Final Four between Duke’s win over Denver and Notre Dame’s win over Maryland. I won’t be there to see the Blue Devils face the Fighting Irish Monday for the title, but I have no doubt that Satan will enjoy watching his two favorite teams closely.

This area certainly has a long history with the game of lacrosse at every level and we intend to recognize that with this week’s #WNSTSweet16 list. This week’s topic is the “Sweet 16 All-time Greatest local lacrosse players”.

This list would be WAY easier if I could minimize it to one of the three qualifiers we’re using for the list. Unfortunately for me, I have to combine all three groups to try to make one definite list. Here are the qualifiers.

A-Player played college lacrosse at a school in Maryland. Any of the area schools are options-Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, UMBC, Towson, Navy, Mt. St. Mary’s or even a Division III school like Salisbury or Stevenson.

B-Player played professionally for an area team. Certainly the most prominent pro teams in the area have been the now defunct Baltimore Thunder of the indoor game or the Baltimore/Chesapeake/Washington Bayhawks of the MLL on the outdoor side.

C-Player must have been originally from the immediate area and/or played lacrosse in high school locally. This means anyone who played either for a MIAA program or public school in the Baltimore area can be considered even if they went on to play at the college level outside of the area.

My head hurts just thinking about all of the possibilities. Ugh.

(For the record, I’m going to limit this to the greatest MALE players. It’s just to difficult to compare male vs. female lacrosse accomplishments. We will have opportunities to recognize female contributors to the sport in a later list.)

I’m pretty sure I know the greatest players in Thunder history as well as Johns Hopkins and Maryland history. I could probably use some help in EVERY other area of this list AND in trying to compare players in one group to players in another.

I want your suggestions. You can leave them here in the comments on this blog post or email me (glenn@wnst.net). We will be discussing the list throughout the day Monday on AM1570 WNST.net. We’d love to have you Tweet with us or discuss the topic via Facebook by using the hashtag #WNSTSweet16.

On Tuesday morning, I will unveil the “official” list here at WNST.net and then discuss it with Drew and Luke on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” at 8am. I will then re-visit the list at 4pm Tuesday on “The Happy Hours” with Nestor Aparicio.

In the midst of Championship Weekend here in Baltimore-who are the greatest lacrosse players in the history of the area? Make your voice heard!

-G

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It’s time to lower expectations on O’s

Posted on 23 May 2014 by Tony Wisniewski

Right now, the Orioles aren’t bad.  They aren’t good either.

By and large, they’re, shall we say, “Okay.”

With a lineup that features inconsistent contributions from guys like David Lough and Ryan Flaherty, and a bullpen that is starting to look like the train-wreck many feared coming into the season, it might be time to settle down on the notion that Baltimore will be featuring October baseball.

Prior to the start of the season, on paper, the Orioles looked like the next coming of Murder’s Row.  It didn’t seem out-of-reach to expect that there could be a run at team home run records.

Now, approaching the dog-days of summer, it’s ludicrous to believe that this Orioles lineup is any better than anything that the club featured through the early-to-mid 2000s.

Chris Davis hasn’t been Chris Davis of the last few years.  Perhaps it’s injury-related, maybe it’s the fact that he’s public-enemy-number-one when it comes to opposing pitchers and detailed scouting reports, but he hasn’t provided the production that this lineup needed.

Adam Jones hasn’t figured out patience.  Matt Wieters and Manny Machado are dealing with injury issues.  And JJ Hardy looks to have regressed back to his Minnesota days, when he became an afterthought in terms of a power-threat.

Realistically, if it weren’t for the resurgence of Nelson Cruz, this team would be floundering near the bottom of what’s turning out to be arguably the most mediocre division in baseball–what a difference a few years makes, eh?

It’s not unrealistic to expect that the Orioles will turn this thing around.  Given the parity in the AL East, this current crop of Birds is probably good enough to make a late-season run and steal the division.  But it’s hard to expect that something that radical will happen.

There are too many injury-questions and bullpen issues to expect anything other than a roller-coaster season. There are too many questions over role-players and which “just another guy” to trot out to left field each night to think that this team has any real shot at doing anything spectacular or out-of-the-ordinary in 2014.

Perhaps this is the new version of “Why Not” baseball.

Could the Orioles make a run, why not?  Could they finish 20-games below .500, why not?  Is it possible that they’ll continue to almost be good and almost be bad, depending on which night you watch them, why not?

Right now the Orioles are just okay.  Can that change?  Why not?

But just don’t expect too much.

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We think you’ll “sing” about this week’s #WNSTSweet16

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We think you’ll “sing” about this week’s #WNSTSweet16

Posted on 18 May 2014 by Glenn Clark

We’re starting to approach the midway point of 2014. There’s absolutely NO WAY you don’t know how this works, right?

We are celebrating our 16th year as Baltimore’s sports media leader here at WNST. As Dave Chappelle (playing the role of Rick James) might say…..you know what, maybe that’s not appropriate for here. You all know where I was going. If not, “Dave Chappelle” and “celebration” in Google will probably be fun for you.

Every week here at WNST we’re looking back on a “water cooler” topic that we’ve discussed during our 16 year run. After we think over it, we appoint a WNST personality to put together a definitive list about the topic. We call it the #WNSTSweet16. Yes it is pretty awesome, thank you for noticing.

We’ve made it through 19 weeks thus far. If you missed any of our lists, we encourage you to look over them here.

Week 19: Gary Quill-Sweet 16 all-time Maryland horse racing moments
Week 18: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 most important picks in Ravens draft history
Week 17: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 worst draft picks in Baltimore Ravens history
Week 16: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest players in Washington Capitals history
Week 15: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 games we’ve been treated to
Week 14: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 Masters moments of the last 30 years
Week 13: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 greatest pro wrestling moments in Baltimore history
Week 12: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports goofballs/personalities
Week 11: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 local sports saints-athletes who gave back
Week 10: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 events a Baltimore sports fan must attend
Week 9: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest Baltimore college basketball players
Week 8: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 Orioles who didn’t live up to the hype
Week 7: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 most underappreciated Maryland basketball players
Week 6: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local sports “Heartbreakers”
Week 5: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local Olympic sport athletes
Week 4: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local athletes who deserved to win a championship but didn’t
Week 3: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 local sports people who “had a dream”
Week 2: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports playoff moments
Week 1: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 “debuts” in local sports history

It’s Drew Forrester’s turn again to take over the reigns of the #WNSTSweet16 this week.

Earlier this year we recognized the “underappreciated” former Terps. We’re venturing down that path again this week for a different team.

We all know who the greatest Baltimore Orioles are of all-time. In some order you’d find Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Jim Palmer, Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray and obviously Felix Pie.

(I just can’t resist.)

But in recognizing these players as the greatest in franchise history, we also likely disqualify them from this week’s topic. Our topic this week is the “Sweet 16 Most unsung Orioles of all time”.

There are a few names that jumped out at me as I considered this list. The first was Dave McNally-who will never be a Hall of Famer but finished his career with a 3.24 ERA and 1.21 WHIP while pitching 13 of his 14 career seasons with the Birds. McNally had a remarkable career but his name is likely completely unknown by a younger generation of Birds fans.

Other names that came to mind included Don Buford, Scott McGregor, Melvin Mora, Gregg Olson and BJ Surhoff.

I’m not really sure how “underappreciated” and “unsung” are actually different. I’m sort of convinced we just wanted to come up with two different terms when we started mapping out the lists at the beginning of the year. For the record, the definition of “unsung” is “not celebrated or praised”. Do with that what you will.

So who’s on your list?

Drew wants your suggestions. You can leave them here in the comments on this blog post or email him (drew@wnst.net). We will be discussing the list throughout the day Monday on AM1570 WNST.net. We’d love to have you Tweet with us or discuss the topic via Facebook by using the hashtag #WNSTSweet16.

On Tuesday morning, Drew will unveil the “official” list here at WNST.net and then discuss it with Luke on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” at 8am. He will then re-visit the list at 4pm Tuesday on “The Happy Hours” with Nestor Aparicio.

Which players in Baltimore baseball history just haven’t received the recognition they deserved during the course of their career? Who are the most unsung players in franchise history? Make your voice heard!

-G

 

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