Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

August 13, 2008 | Glenn Clark

Brian Cazeneuve has it right. As of this moment, we REALLY have to consider whether or not Michael Phelps is the greatest/most dominant athlete in the world.

I am going to take a pass on questioning the world records; as EVERYONE ELSE in swimming is also breaking records. Former swimmers are saying that there is no reason to be suspect. Every swimmer is competing on a level playing field. I’m not going to question it; I don’t think there is anything to question.

What I WILL question is whether or not Michael Phelps will return to Baltimore and become an ambassador not only for the sport of swimming, but for the city. The story of Phelps receiving an autographed Ravens jersey and having it mean more to him than his gold medal is one that touches all of us; but good feelings aren’t enough. It was Peter Parker’s great uncle Ben who said “With great power comes great responsibility.” Michael Phelps returns to Baltimore as arguably the greatest athlete in the world; and the question now is whether or not he will show the maturity and responsibility necessary to truly represent the title here in Charm City.

Michael Phelps’ focus leading up to an event is incredible. Maybe the IPod is the most significant invention in sports preparation, as Michael seems to be unflappable as he gets ready. I was forced to sit through the women’s gymnastics as I was waiting for his second race; and it was incredible to see the difference in watching the athletes prepare. Michael remains totally unfazed right up until the moment he hits the pool; whereas the gymnasts appear almost as though they are going to faint right up until they reach the moment. It is truly unreal to compare.

I have to admit, I didn’t even realize how much I would be caught up in this. Michael Phelps truly is the most significant athlete in Baltimore. He’s in the argument as the most significant athlete in Baltimore history. We’re all watching. We’re all captivated. We’re all talking about it. If he’s racing against the Ravens game Saturday night; I genuinely might stay home to watch.

Let’s see what everyone else has to say….

Best of Tuesday’s WNST Blogs:

Drew Forrester says time for Suggs to report to practice

Casey Willett says Troy ‘has not been great’, but Boller and Flacco haven’t either

Marc Bouchard says 52 helping 85

Rob Long getting ‘anxious’ (the bad kind) about ’08 Ravens

Keith Melchior thinks some legends missing from museum

OLYMPICS:

The Sun’s Kevin Van Valkenburg says Phelps now stands alone as greatest Olympic Champion with 11 gold medals

The Sun’s Kevin Van Valkenburg says suits amongst reason Phelps, etc. breaking records in Beijing

The Sun’s Rick Maese says Phelps, Hoff have busy mornings

Chicago Tribune’s Philip Hersh says Hoff fails to medal in two events

The Sun’s Rick Maese says Phelps not from ‘mean streets’

The Sun’s Rick Maese says Hoff not ‘disappointment’ at Olympics

The Sun’s Rick Maese says Malaythong also representing Maryland in Beijing

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck wonders if IOC has taken steps to get Spitz to Beijing

Scripps Howard News Service says Phelps emotional over gold record

Frederick News-Post’s Adam Behsudi/The AP say major stars checked out Phelps in Cube

Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga says Phelps now 5/5 in Beijing

Washington Post’s Sally Jenkins says Phelps had to race with water in goggles

NBCOlympics.com’s Alan Abrahamson says relay gold came as Phelps & Company smashed world record

ESPN.com’s Pat Forde says Phelps now ‘greatest Olympian ever’

Fox Sports’/New York Post’s Mike Vaccaro says no more adjectives exist to describe Phelps

SI’s Brian Cazeneuve says Phelps in argument for greatest athlete in world

Yahoo! Sports’ Charles Robinson says Phelps ‘speechless’ after setting record

ORIOLES:

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Markakis RBI tied things in 7th, but Indians touch up J. Johnson for 2 in 8th

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of loss

The Official Site’s Amanda Comak says Guthrie tries to turn things around tonight vs. Reyes

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Birds won’t change rotation yet

Indians Official Site’s Andrew Gribble says 21k see Indians take 2nd from Birds

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says defensive woes continue in loss

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Birds, Matusz ‘far apart’; but Matusz hopes to get deal done

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says four run first doomed Olson, Birds in loss

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Neal could allow McClain to take snaps at RB

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Birds commit four errors in loss

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck expects Mickolio to be next reliever called up

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Matusz looking for fair ‘but not record breaking’ deal

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says 50th millionth could very well be Red Sox fan

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Liz turns in solid start on farm

The Examiner’s Sean Welsh says Markakis’ average up to .303 with two hits last night

The Examiner’s Jay Trucker says Payton, Castro combined for big defensive play

The AP says A. Cabrera lead charge for Indians

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Ravens sign veteran FB Neal

The Official Site says Harbaugh likes Neal’s history with Cameron

The Official Site’s Geoff Peckham says smoking rules changed at M&T

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Stover’s 48 yard boot gave Ravens afternoon off

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Kracalik’s starting position still undecided

The Sun’s Edward Lee & Jamison Hensley say players ‘respect’ Neal

The Sun’s Ken Murray says Yanda giving Ravens boost at guard

The Sun’s Rick Maese says Ravens jersey more valuable to Phelps than gold medal

The Sun’s Mike Klingaman says former Colts not sympathetic to Ravens’ tough Camp

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Flacco best of QB’s in Camp Tuesday

The Sun says M. Smith wants to ‘fly’

The Sun’s Ken Murray says coaching could be in B. Jackson’s future

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Reed has ‘neck injury’

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Figurs absent due to birth of child

The Sun’s Mike Preston likes Neal acquisition

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Boller started Tuesday well, but struggled after

Aaron Wilson says Martin, Prude, Pittman competing for roster spot

Aaron Wilson says Neal has blocked for 11 consecutive 1,000 yard rushers

Aaron Wilson says Harbaugh wanted afternoon practice, but thought players deserved day off

Aaron Wilson says T. Smith maybe ‘too excited’ for Saturday start

The Examiner’s Eric Detweiler says Barnes making impression in Suggs’ absence

The Examiner’s Eric Detweiler says Stover thought practice kick had more pressure than game winner

The Examiner’s Eric Detweiler says Scott busy making plays yesterday

The Examiner’s Phil Macek not skeptical about Neal signing

The AP says Cameron excited to work with Neal again

ESPN.com’s James Walker wonders if Neal, Cameron can recreate San Diego ‘super’ magic

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Cody ‘still rookie’

Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer gives Ravens no chance to make playoffs

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says C. Jackson stars at goal line in tenth practice

The Official Site says former Terp Abdur-Ra’oof will lead M Club

The Sun’s Matt Bracken says Terps have borderline Top 25 recruiting class right now

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says fans getting impatient on QB decision

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Ivey, Russell to each miss at least 3 weeks

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Ralph clearly respects Steffy

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens thinks Oquendo will beat Tyler for return job

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh looks at banged up Ivey (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh discusses Ralph’s post-scrimmage thoughts (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem says NJ LB prospect back on campus (must subscribe)

Turtle Sports Report’s Seth Hoffman looks at those whose stock has risen over summer (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

The Examiner’s Dylan Waugh says former Terp Jones trying out in Romania

TERRAPINS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL:

Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter checks in on more prospects from DC event (must subscribe)

NAVY FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says Niumatalolo using multiple slots with Bryant back at QB

The Sun’s Don Markus says Mids preparing for Sept. 30 as if Bryant to be starter

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Deliz not first former captain to play for Mids

Go Mids’ Christian Swezey says fans will be important factor in Navy’s tilt with Rutgers

Go Mids’ Matt Alkire checks in with prospect Phillipy (must subscribe)

TOWSON LACROSSE:

Inside Lacrosse’s Christian Swezey says Buggs Combs resigns as assistant (Gordy’s son)

MORGAN FOOTBALL:

The Examiner’s Dave Carey says Bears bring back 50 players from last year’s team

CRYSTAL PALACE USA:

The Examiner’s Dave Carey says Palace opens playoffs tonight against Harrisburg

LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES:

The Sun’s Bill Ordine says Hagerstown undefeated during run to Williamsport

HORSE RACING:

Thoroughbred Times says Eight Belles to be memorialized at Churchill Downs

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-I have to disagree with Rick Maese regarding Katie Hoff. Without a gold medal, the 2008 Olympics WILL be a disappointment for Katie Hoff; as I know her expectations were to win gold in Beijing. That being said, she still has her chances.

-I REALLY like the Lorenzo Neal acquisition. I think it shows that the Ravens are concerned about their RB’s getting beat up; and they want to do something to address the problem. 37 year old Lorenzo Neal might not be as good as 32 year old Lorenzo Neal; but he MIGHT be as good as 32 year old Sam Gash. That’s better than Justin Green or Le’Ron McClain. It doesn’t make this a 10 win team though.

-Why wait to make the Hayden Penn move? Do you really want to see Dennis Sarfate again?

-Brian Matusz should take whatever the Orioles offer. I actually won’t be that angry if for some reason the Birds don’t get the job done. If his slotted value is $5 million; he should get it. If it isn’t, he should stop making demands.

-Speedy recoveries to Travis Ivey and Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku Enhada.

-Get out to UMBC and root on Crystal Palace in the playoffs tonight.

Crabs and Beer will be off the next two days; as I will be hosting the Comcast Morning Show with Thyrl Nelson. Make sure you tune in! Talk to you then, and talk to you on here Monday!

-G

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