O’s, Ravens, and Hockey

September 08, 2007 | Ed Frankovic

I’m going to start this blog by saying one thing: The Orioles are an ABSOLUTE DISGRACE!!
There are no two ways about it and last night’s game just summed up what a fiasco this organization has become. Do you think we could get a referendum on the next Maryland election ballot that would put to a vote a forced change in ownership for the Orioles? I mean how much more do we all have to suffer with this disgrace of a franchise??!! This city and state deserve better and it’s time for the local businessmen and politicians to start putting serious pressure on Peter Angelos to sell the team.
On to football…watching the Colts absolutely dismantle the Saints in the 2nd half the other night re-affirmed to me that the Super Bowl game will once again be played somewhere along the line in the AFC playoffs (I could argue that the Ravens-Colts game last January was the real Super Bowl much the same way Patriots fans could argue that the AFC Championship game was the real Super Bowl). If the Saints are supposed to be one of the top teams in the NFC then it will be a long season for that conference. If the Ravens were in the NFC I’d be booking my flight to Arizona today.
On to hockey…the latest big story is that Scott Niedermayer will not be in training camp for the Defending Stanley Cup Champion Anaheim Ducks when they open up camp this week. Does that mean Niedermayer is retiring for good and Anaheim’s repeat chances have taken a serious hit? Not necessarily. While Niedermayer may not want to play right now we all know the NHL season is VERY long so don’t be surprised if come late December #27 doesn’t get the urge to lace ‘em up and come back for the last three months of the season plus the playoffs. An NHL source told me that Anaheim could it make it work from a salary cap standpoint as well. I know a lot of other Western Conference teams are hoping Scott is content with his 4 Stanley Cup rings and doesn’t come back.
More hockey…The Washington Capitals, that team that used to play and practice in Maryland and once had an AHL team in Baltimore, is now officially done with our state. Piney Orchard in Odenton is no longer the practice facility the Caps use for training camp and during the season. The Caps owner, Ted Leonsis, has built a brand new practice facility down in Virginia. Like many Baltimore area hockey fans I feel disenfranchised by Leonsis and his ownership group/style and admit I find it very hard to cheer for the very team I grew up rooting for and once worked for on game nights. But that is what an egotistical owner who craves the limelight and a poor GM (George McPhee) will do to a franchise. Speaking of the GM, if he thinks adding Tom Poti, Victor Kozlov, and Michael Nylander are going to turn the Caps around this season he is sorely mistaken. They may have a better power play, but how could it get any worse? The Capitals defense is still atrocious thanks to years of bad drafting and a lack of FA signings on defense. I will admit that Jeff Schultz has the potential to be a solid defensive defensemen and the Caps also lucked out in the draft this year by getting the best defensemen on the board (Karl Alzner), but it just isn’t enough to right the ship any time soon. Therefore I see the Caps as having no chance to make the playoffs and will likely finish last again in the Southeast division.