(Originally published as a prelude to the “Free The Birds” walkout in 2006, this is Part 13 of a 19 Chapter Series on How Bseball and the Orioles berthed WNST.net. Please save Thursday, April 5th for some civic action regarding the demise of the Orioles in Baltimore.)
There is very little question that Camden Yards only holds a handful of good memories for most of the “old school” Orioles fans who lived through the glorious Memorial Stadium days.
Maybe you consider the Bill Hasselman vs. Mike Mussina brawl in 1993 memorable. Or perhaps that Brad Pennington head-jerking launch toward The Warehouse by Ken Griffey Jr. on that Sunday afternoon in that pretty teal jersey jogs your memory a bit.
Opening Day and Sutcliffe in 1992 was also pretty outstanding.
The night Mussina almost threw that perfect game was memorable. And how about the night he took a liner off of his face?
And the ALCS games at Camden Yards in 1996 and 1997, while not victorious, were at least memorable.
The Marquis Grissom home run. The Todd Zeile incident. The Cecil Fielder home run. The Tony Fernandez home run. Darryl Strawberry, of all people, coming back to haunt the Orioles with home run after home run in October 1996.
Our community stole the Browns from Cleveland so we might have had karma working against us for that 1997 ALCS disappointment coming to us as fans — especially after that Robbie Alomar blast at The Jake the previous fall — but the Yankees thing in 1996 was just insufferable.
On second thought, maybe we CHOOSE to not remember some of the stuff during those two WINNING seasons because we got stuck watching the World Series on TV. And there’s very little doubt that the BALTIMORE Orioles were the best overall team in baseball throughout that ’97 season.
My feelings about those years are probably the same way my Pop would’ve felt about 1973 and 1974. He never talked about those years as particularly good (although he loved Rich Coggins) because 1966 and 1970 and, even 1969 and 1971, were so much better and more memorable for him.
Yeah, we were good in ’96 and ’97, and we had some big wins, but when it really mattered the most, in October — the big at-bats, the big pitches, the big plays, and in the case of Jeffrey Maier in 1996, the big calls — all were tilted mightily in the other direction when all was said and done and World Championship trophies were handed out.
Honestly, as close as we were, we CLEARLY weren’t very close at all when you saw how those games played out in October. And other than Mussina, Brady Anderson and Cal Ripken, none of those players made a dent in the heart of Orioles’ fans.
In his most recent public appearance/infomercial this past spring, Peter Angelos informed WJZ’s Denise Koch that “we were one pitch away from the World Series — you must remember that!”
The seats in the owner’s box must’ve shown a different set of games or “time” must’ve illuminated “the glory of their deeds.”
Because from where I sat, it looked like the better team won both years — with or without Jeffrey Maier —
Comments Off on Unlucky Chapter 13: ‘The Magic’ and ‘The Oriole Way’ got stranded on 33rd Street…
(Originally published as a prelude to “Free The Birds” walkout in Sept. 2006, this is Part 7 of a 19 Chapter Series on How Baseball and the Orioles berthed WNST.net. Follow @FreeTheBirds12 on Twiter for updated information regarding our April 5th events.)
Life was percolating along very nicely for me at the end of the summer of 1983.
There was that awesome trip to St. Louis, the Orioles were doing extremely well, the Phillies (again, I was an idiot!) were busting up Montreal in the NL East, I had a new girlfriend and my junior year at Dundalk High was coming.
Despite this “long distance” romance I was having with the Phillies, I was still VERY involved in going to Orioles games. I didn’t get to as many as I had before (again, once girls came along, it was all downhill for sports!), but I still did about 20 games on 33rd Street in 1983. And, like 1979, all in Sect. 10 General Admission seats, some with my Pop and some with my pals. All of those nights on those long, gold, aluminum benches, complete with the jar-rattling volume when banged on.
And the Phillies and Orioles, it would later be proved, were on a destiny’s collision course for the World Series in October.
But en route there was the AL Championship Series against the vaunted Chicago White Sox, led by Lamar Hoyt.
My Pop landed some right field seats for Games 1 and 2 of the ALCS at Memorial Stadium and we were all set. Right before the series my Dundalk buddy John Rafalides (at whose wedding I would later be the best man) gave me a buzz and told me his Dad, Pete, had an extra seat in Sect 39, Row 19 right behind home plate upstairs and asked if I wanted it since I was such an Orioles nut.
So, my Pop actually took my Mom to Game 2 and I went with Mr. Pete Rafalides, who was just a super cool guy. He was a realtor and connected with the Greek community. He loved talking sports with me and would always feed me cool munchies when I came to his home. And I mean he FED me! He always had the coolest snacks — Doritos, Dolly Madison cakes, Tastykakes, those chocolate malt balls, all sorts of great stuff!
I caught on quickly and made sure I got to go there every year for Thanksgiving! And later in life, when John became my roommate, I got the residual effect — the baklava, pastitsio, spanakopita, the grape leaves — from every Greek holiday!
But, for whatever reason, John’s dad liked me and off went we to Game 2 — me, Mr. Pete and two of his work friends. And we hung on every pitch! And Mike Boddicker pitched his ass off, a five-hit shuout over the White Sox, and we had a paaaaaah-tttaaaay in Sect. 39 that night. “Wild” Bill Hagy was going nuts over in Sect. 34. We had binoculars and I could see my folks over in right field having fun, too. That was just one of the greatest nights, even 23 years later.
I remember the smell of the air that night, the lights in the sky, how bright the field looked from up in that perch in Sect. 39. The steepness of the seats, the people crowded into that cozy ballpark and trees lined up in the outfield.
I can’t imagine my life without that night.
It was just a beautiful thing, that night. Life was perfect!
Two afternoons later Tito Landrum hit a 3-run homer off of Britt Burns that sent me and my 64-year old Mom onto Bank Street banging pots and pans with the shot heard ’round the beltway, a blast at Comiskey Park that sent the Orioles back into the World Series for the second time in four years and the sixth time in 17 years. I’ll say that again: the Orioles were in the World Series SIX times
(Originally published as a prelude to the “Free The Birds” walkout in Sept. 2006, this is Part 3 of a 19 Chapter Series on How baseball and the Orioles berthed WNST.net. If you’re as upset about the demise of the Baltimore Orioles, please save Thursday, April 5th for some civic action.)
I think the biggest part of my Pop’s revitalization as a person in the 1970’s after his son’s death wasn’t that he found a little sports buddy in me — as a bat boy and an avid baseball, football and basketball watcher — but in the abundance of energy it must’ve taken to keep up with me.
Can you imagine the energy it took a 60-year old, overweight steelworker after a full 90-degree, eight-hour day at Sparrows Point to chase a rambunctious 10-year old boy down from Section 34 in the summer of 1979? That happened every single night! Forty-two games that summer, I swear to God!
My Dad took great pride in volunteering as a Little League coach in my neighborhood, Colgate, near Eastpoint Mall. He won two league championships as the coach of the Colgate-Eastpoint Pirates in 1973 and 1974. It was a four-team league with a great parade through the neighborhood on Opening Day Saturday. It was very a very typical American kinda thing, I thought. I was the team batboy. We had our championship picture and clipping from The Dundalk Eagle on the kitchen wall from the day it was published through my father’s death in 1992. He loved coaching those kids and winning! I liked just being the batboy and being a part of baseball.
All of those “older” kids kind of took me under their wing and made me feel good. They played catch with me, pitched to me — stuff like that. And when you’re 4 or 5, that’s a pretty big deal! These kids were like 12 and 13 years old.
My Pop was such a little league wacko that one time he had a really talented kid named Ted Boccia, who wanted to be a catcher. Only problem was, he was LEFTHANDED!
He was adamant about catching and catching was my Pop’s FAVORITE position, the one he played as a kid. So, clearly being unable to find a left-handed catcher’s mitt anywhere in the known universe in 1973, he wrote to the Rawlings factory, told the story of this boy’s dream to be a left-handed catcher and they had one made and sent it to my Pop. I even think my Pop might’ve paid for it himself. Needless to say, the Eastpoint Pirates had an outstanding left-handed catcher, the only one I’ve ever seen in my life!
As for me during those years, I excelled at the greatest game ever played: waffle ball!
We played in my backyard and alley. All the neighborhood kids did.
There were no “fantasy” leagues or video games. There was APBA and Strat-o-Matic (we honestly didn’t discover those until adolescence and I loved me some “Strat” in the days when I got a little older), but we opted for good old-fashioned “put the bat through the glove” kinda ball.
ANY kind of ball, actually — wallball, wiffleball, kickball, rundown, pitcher’s handout or just plain, baseball — we’d play!
We’d play with pinkies (those soft spongy balls), we’d play with superballs, but mostly we’d play with tennis balls and wooden bats on the pavement at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church on the back side of Eastern Avenue. We’d play ANYTHING but softball,
I’m writing about my Mom (a.k.a. Liz, Lizzie, Eliza, Nan, Geezy) because I feel the need to share her final journey and attempt to have a sense of humor and some positive perspective about all of it – especially in light of the kind of 24-hour-a-day caregiving I was privileged enough to extend to my wife Jenn, keeping her safe and clean and alive over the past three years after two battles with leukemia.
Now that my wife has survived a pair of death-defying miracles and 155 nights in the hospital and is doing pretty darned well in the summer of 2017, we’ve now learned that my mom is preparing for her final journey on earth. She’ll be 98 on July 26th.
The doctors have told us the end is nearing for her because her lungs are beginning to fail. Her little body – now 66 pounds and all 4-feet-6 of her – is breaking down, a very natural human condition.
SHE’S ALMOST 98 YEARS OLD!!! Whew, what an incredible ride for the old girl from Abbeville, South Carolina!
But it’s been one helluva fight and I’m sure it will be right up until the final bell. She’s still feisty, fiery and funny when she delivers a line.
She doesn’t talk too much but when she does, chances are, it’ll be something comedic. And some of the time, she laughs at her own jokes and still humors me at my own twisted sense of humor. She says “yep” a lot. She demands cookies and beer whenever she feels like it. She gained a pound on our sofa over the past two weeks!
I ask her if she thinks my couch is a Holiday Inn and she says, “Yep!”
After two stints in the hospital with respiratory issues and two weeks in our home trying to recover, it’s become apparent that she needs professional care and after many back and forths with state government, county government, Johns Hopkins, Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, I can report that we believe my mom will be well cared for during her final days. From assisted living to nursing homes to rehabs and hospice care, it’s been a few weeks of trying to get educated on how America takes care of its elderly. I had no idea what “palliative care” meant. It’s the first time in a long time that I had to look
Comments Off on The Mom chronicles: Some summer laughs on the final journey for Queen of Dundalk
Yes, the most beautiful girl in the world is back at The Hotel – just in time for Christmas.
Sometimes you make a holiday wish and it really does comes true!
When she received a life-saving lymphocyte infusion on Nov. 19th, it was designed to do this – put her back into the hospital sometime between Day 30 and Day 60 post transfusion to experience GVHD (graft vs. host disease).
Now, we await the “natural chemotherapy” to take over and identify and attack her leukemia. The past month has been very difficult at home. She has rarely left bed over the past three weeks as this complex beast has taken over her body. As her blood counts rose and improved, her energy fell. As her bone marrow got stronger, so did the disease in attacking her.
It’s a helluva thing to witness – all of this. Jenn is very thin, very frail, and very uncomfortable. A friend asked me yesterday how she’s doing and all I’ve got for you is this: she truly hasn’t had a “good day” since August.
She spent 47 days at the hospital the first time. Then, four more after the cheesecake incident. Then, two more after the post-Thanksgiving pumpkin roll. We also did an all-nighter in the ER at Johns Hopkins (a.k.a. “hell”) on a Ravens game day morning.
Tonight, on Christmas Eve while her family gathers in New Hampshire for their traditional Polish kielbasa meal, Jenn will be spending her 112th night at Johns Hopkins in the cancer ward since March 2014.
As my mom has said: “She’s been through it…”
But it’s not over and we really don’t know where the end of this journey is leading or where the graft vs. host reaction will lead us in the coming weeks. I outlined the potential side effects here on Thanksgiving in my previous update about Jenn.
The doctors are using steroids to combat and control the GVHD. They’re also doing various things to keep her more comfortable and monitor her diabetes at the hospital. We expected a sunburn-ish rash but that hasn’t happened. Instead, it’s been high liver numbers and various cramping and all-over discomfort.
While she battles and heals, we’d love to remind you of some ways that you can help us help others in the fight.
There are two things you can do to help us during your holiday meals and visits.
Please encourage all of the healthy young people at your holiday meal to get on the bone marrow registry at deletebloodcancer.org or via www.ThereGoesMyHero.org. Tell them our story! This is how Jenn’s life was saved. We’re paying it forward by trying to get you to help us save more lives in the future.
Be a hero!
And if you’re still shopping after Christmas, please use our giveaspit.com app for your online purchases. This helps our partner at There Goes My Hero, who help local folks in the leukemia fight.
Please keep them in your thoughts as well. We lost a family friend’s daughter on Tuesday to leukemia. She was diagnosed 12 days ago and now she’s gone. It was so sudden, so incredibly sad and awful – simply beyond words.
She was 16. She was full of life. She loved sports. She was the niece of one of my incredible Dundalk High Class of 1985 classmates – a guy named Frank Vanik, who battled multiple sclerosis for three decades with such grace, dignity and “life” that it takes my breathe away.
I wanted to share this video of Michael Vick being kind to my pal Frank Vanik because it made him very happy toward the end of his journey on earth.
And we want to honor Frank’s memory – he was such an incredible pillar of strength and courage for Jenn and I and we think of him often – and his amazing, strong, beautiful family on this holiday as they’re suffering a tragedy at the hands of leukemia.
Keep them in your thoughts.
We’re sending massive holiday love to all who love us and strength to everyone who is in the fight…
Keep the faith!
Make someone happy! Eat! Drink! Love! Live!
Merry Christmas from us over at The Hotel
Comments Off on JennStrong2 update: A Merry Christmas Miracle from The Hotel
Sure, it might seem like a strange marriage – two, short, exceedingly handsome middle aged East Baltimore guys on one radio station mix in an era of instant mobile video delivery with a lot of sports, a ton of Baltimore institutional knowledge and a strange brew of comedy and conversation to break up the monotony. But, that’s where we’re headed at WNST.net & AM 1570 as we continue to grow, evolve, change and embrace a new day in local radio.
So, why will Mickey Cucchiella and WNST be a happy match for Baltimore radio listeners and social media fans in March of 2015? I’ll do my best to explain our rationale and plans. I’m also very appreciative that so many of you care about my radio station and our future plans for expansion and dominance with a distinct local flavor. I’m also forever indebted for the kindness many of you have expressed over the past 11 months while my wife, Jennifer, battled for her life and beat leukemia with a bone marrow transplant.
About 10 years ago, when I was still living in White Marsh, my phone rang at 6:30 in the morning and awakened me from a sound sleep. It was Mickey. He was new on morning FM radio at that point but certainly not new to comedy and he wanted to have me on 98 Rock as an impromptu guest. Of course, the “powers that be” at WBAL – two guys named Ed Kiernan and Jeff Beauchamp – despised me for years but I’m not sure Mickey knew that at the time when he tried to put me on his show (or their radio station). Cucchiella didn’t think of me as a “competitor” or “the enemy” like some did (and do) on TV Hill.
I was, simply, his old sports and rock and roll friend.
Those of you who have listened to the morning zoo radio format over the years know that this is the oldest trick in the book. The “celebrity/friend wake up call” is a staple of hilarity. You call super early, you wake someone up, they’re kinda pissed or clearly half awake and bewildered and some semblance of hilarity or a mini “punked” episode ensues and everyone winds up laughing about it if they have a sense of humor.
Being the wak-ee, I played along until I figured out that Mickey didn’t want to embarrass me or give me a hard time at all. He just had some crazy sports question that he couldn’t answer. In my previous life – before the internet when you couldn’t just Google stuff and get answers – this is what I did on the radio, played the role of expert and bar-bet judge and jury.
“If it’s a sports knowledge question, just call Nestor…he’ll know the answer!”
I can’t even remember what the topic was or why he woke me up but I do remember saying to Mickey repeatedly on 98 Rock that morning: “C’mon Mick, where’s the part where you insult me, embarrass me or punk me?”
But, nah – he never did. He just wanted a sports bet settled on the radio. I was actually a little disappointed that he was so nice to me.
It’s the only time I’ve ever had any sort of public conversation or done live radio with Mickey Cucchiella. Well, there have been a few times where I’ve gone to Burke’s half-drunk for the late show and heckled him from the crowd. But, always keeping in mind, that heckling a man of his height and intellect would surely bring about abrupt and ruthless repercussions. I wanted him to insult me like Don Rickles! It was a badge of honor to be annihilated by the best comedian to ever come from Baltimore!
I know Mickey from around town. I’ve known him most of my life. In my previous, Almost Famous life, I met him backstage at Hammerjacks in the 1980s when he was a manager there and I was the local music critic from The Evening Sun, who interviewed bands, wrote reviews and observed heavy metal groupies. Mickey later owned a bar in Fallston. Then he did stand up comedy. Then, he did radio at 98 Rock and became famous. We’ve always remained friends and always laughed whenever we’ve been in the same room.
Mickey will be the first to tell you that he isn’t a sports expert but he’s most certainly a sports fan and a radio personality that has been amongst the best and most successful of my lifetime in Baltimore.
If you know me – or if you know Mickey – and probably together we know roughly 92% of all Baltimoreans who’ve ever drank a beer on 33rd Street, attended a concert at Merriweather or Ramshead, cheered for the Ravens or Orioles, or wiped Old Bay off our fingers – you probably know us from our association to doing quality radio.
(BTW: please continue to give our regards to Jane Goldstrom, Andy Malis or any of the rest of the MGH crew who continue to believe that guys like Mickey and I would be a “bad fit” to market a uniquely Baltimore product like Old Bay or OCMD because no one listens to our little, AM radio station. Just ask Arbitron!)
No one has ever done a better Baltimore morning comedy radio show than our new addition at WNST.
Here’s the truth: I only pay to see one local comedian – Mickey Cucchiella.
Mickey makes me laugh. He’s always made me laugh. Sometimes, he’s made me laugh so hard that I’ve been spotted sobbing uncontrollably on the second floor above Burke’s (which by the way makes some fantastic fried chicken these days at what is now my local Royal Farms.) And sometimes he’s made me laugh when I just randomly bump into him in a parking lot in White Marsh or walking up to his perch at a Ravens game.
Mickey can speak to his own reasons and rationale for leaving 98 Rock a few years ago. Clearly, the past year has been a whirlwind for me and my wife and her battle for her life with leukemia and the bone marrow transplant.
Life changes, things happen, people move on and we all are looking for better life and a happy home. We’re all looking to be surrounded by people we like and who make us smile. We all want people who add color to our lives.
So, for the foreseeable future, Mickey will be hanging out at WNST – in a limited but ever-expanding role – doing what he does.
And he does it better than anyone.
In general, my role in doing sports conversations won’t change a bit. But in between my relevant, topical conversations with people I like who know a lot about sports, Mickey Cucchiella will be doing his own “Mickey Minutes,” which will be heard throughout the day to bring some levity, some local fun, color and humor and authentic Baltimore flavor to our radio mix.
Most of the time, Mickey will be doing his own thing interspersed throughout our daily programming but on Fridays and weekends, you’ll hear some segments where we’ll be chatting with each other and attempting to have some fun as a radio tandem. Concerts, Orioles, Ravens, Hammerjacks memories, comedy, business, life, kids, economy, movies, television, girls, politics, entertainment, plus local issues, events and flavor will all be on the agenda when we do radio segments together. We’ll also attempt to deliver these segments on video as often as we can.
There’s even a chance that Mickey will play the role of Dr. Melfi for me every week as I ask him to explain the world to me.
As I said, I’ve done about 12 minutes of radio in my life with Mickey Cucchiella so this will be a fun experiment.
Not much will change for what I’m hoping to accomplish as the owner of WNST. We want to deliver and produce authentic, quality, listenable conversations on our radio format that makes you want to “see what’s on WNST” when you first jump into your car.
Maybe I’ll be talking with Barry Trotz and you don’t like hockey? Maybe you’ll catch John Harbaugh hanging out with us and think it’s cool. Maybe Luke Jones and I will be talking about the Orioles from spring training (like we are all week from Sarasota despite me once again being banned from having a press credential by the biggest turd and serial liar in Baltimore sports history, Peter G. Angelos). Of course we’ll be following the Terps and Wizards and some lacrosse as well as everything going on with the Baltimore Ravens just about every day on WNST. Plus, I’m hitting the road from June 13 through July 15 visiting every MLB stadium in North America – 30 ballparks in 30 days – to raise awareness for There Goes My Hero and to save lives via the international bone marrow registry that saved my wife’s life last year when an anonymous 21-year old donor from Germany sent a bag of blood across the Atlantic Ocean to give her a second chance to laugh at Mickey.
In some cases, maybe it’ll be Mickey telling some jokes, ranting, bugging his friends to rant with him or maybe on some Fridays and weekends you’ll hear Mickey and I speaking our minds about any range of subjects – real or imagined.
I like Mickey. Mickey likes me. It’s pretty simple. We both have local sponsors and an audience that we’ve earned the HARD way – through hard work and legitimate sweat equity in our personal brands that extend far beyond what local “advertising agencies” currently measure. These days, in the digital and social media space, they call it “earned media.”
We’ve spent many months discussing whether we should try this local Abbott and Costello act.
So, who’s on first?
Beginning next week and for the foreseeable future, you’ll get a dose of both of us doing what we do – Baltimore style.
And both of us – as social media targets, lightning rods and oft-times piñatas – will continue to do what we do best.
We do talk radio. And we do it better than anyone from Baltimore has ever done it in the modern era.
(EVER! You can look it up…and it ain’t bragging if it’s true.)
We are the two most celebrated, decorated and excoriated radio show hosts to hail from Baltimore in the modern area. And to think it all came from Dundalk and Hamilton!
Tune in and find out. Grab us on your mobile device in the Buy A Toyota Audio Vault at WNST.net. Or download the Tune In Radio app and listen live anytime from anywhere in the world. Or subscribe to our free WNST Morning Newspaper and get it delivered to your email inbox every morning at 7:30 a.m. And feel free to talk amongst yourselves.
We hope you like what you hear.
Some of you will. Some of you won’t.
And that won’t shock us. We’re used to it.
Let the M & N era begin at WNST…
(And if you reach to him on the internet to applaud or criticize his decision to join us at WNST, please remind Mickey to keep his shirt on…)
Baltimore sports fans are irrational, unrealistic, unforgiving, and hard-to-fool. Baltimore sports fans are unlike any other sports fans, because they’re–as Toyota used to say–“simply the best.”
Every Wednesday, over the next 40-years or so, I’m going to author a semi-regular feature entitled “How to be a Baltimore Sports Fan.” The idea behind this stems back to a conversation I had with some college students during my time as an English professor at a local community college.
The conversation went something like this:
Me: “This season might be another ‘Why Not’ year.”
Student #1: “Why not what?”
Me: The “Why Not” season in 1989; the year the O’s went from worst to ‘almost’ first.
Student #2: I was born in 1992.
Me: Don’t you know any Baltimore history?
Student #3: Ain’t this English class?
Me: It is. But you’re clearly struggling with speaking the Queen’s language–and you’re from Baltimore.
Student #3: How you know dat?
Me: I can tell by your accent. I’m from Dundalk. I could pick out a Bal-murr accent halfway around the world in a room full of people screaming Chinese expletives.
Alas, it’s this conversation that has sparked this column. Some people–local youth, sheltered stepchildren, non-local-Ivy-Leaguers-of-the-“local media”–need some help on understanding what it means to be a Baltimore sports fan.
Without further ado.
How to be a Baltimore Sports Fan…
#1 Be Irrational: Fire Dave Wallace and release the entire starting rotation.
Miguel Gonzalez went five-and-two-thirds last night. Wei Yin Chen went five the night before. Ubaldo Jimenez hurled five-and-a-third on Sunday. All three pitchers topped the 100 pitch mark. It’s impossible, yes impossible, to win more than you lose when your starting rotation consistently throws a full-game worth of pitches at the half-way point in the game.
Show me a team who has a rotation that consistently gives way in the 6th and I’ll show you a sub-.500 record.
Perhaps we’re starting to see why Dave Wallace has been away from the Major Leagues since 2007. Even though he’s still been around baseball, you have to wonder if his tactics and his style are working, some seven years later.
Think about it, what were you doing seven years ago? Me, I was finishing college and chasing girls around Canton and Fed Hill. If my wife ditched me tomorrow and I jumped right back into the bar scene, I’d be as effective as water-logged firewood.
#2 Be Unrealistic: The Wizards are 2-0 in the NBA Playoffs, build an arena and give Baltimore the ball!
The Wizards look legit.
Down in the fourth-quarter of both games in Chicago, the Wiz–coincidentally, that’s my name too–have come out on top and carry a 2-0 series lead back to the Mid-Atlantic region–Baltimore sports fans refuse to use the word that describes the area in which Congress meets to discuss their vacation plans and fantasy football teams.
All this Wizards’ success means that Baltimore should definitely build a new arena and focus on attracting an NBA team.
#3 Be Unforgiving: Jonathan Schoop doesn’t belong in the Big Leagues.
He can hit. He’s got some talent. But he doesn’t understand the game of baseball and desperately needs to return to a slower-pace at Norfolk.
#4 Be Hard-To-Fool: The Ravens aren’t looking for character guys, they’re looking for cheap talent.
Like it or not, the Baltimore Ravens have shifted their focus. There was a time when the organization steered clear of troubled players–think of all the receivers they passed on during a time when the roster was devoid of anyone with play-making ability. Brandon Marshall was a head-case, Chad Ochocinco-Martinez-Wong-Abdullah-Kazamakos-Johnson-Smith was a jerk, and so on.
If the flirtation with Rolando McClain proved anything, it’s that the Ravens have given in when it comes to looking past a players’ off-the-field issues or personal flaws.
Maybe it’s just the state of the NFL and society, but if you told me that this organization would have allowed itself to be yo-yoed around and attached to the negative press that Rolando McClain created, I’d have bet you’d first see Peter Angelos doing the Wild Bill O-R-I-O-L-E-S cheer atop the Orioles’ dugout in game seven of the World Series.
#5 Be The Best: Ubaldo Jimenez needs some love.
This Friday night, in Baltimore, Jimenez will make his fifth start as an Oriole. It’ll come against a spry and aggressive Kansas City lineup. He’s ranged from horrendous to decent thus far. If you’re at the Yard on Friday night, get behind Baltimore’s $50Million man. Give him some love.
But if he gets chased after giving up more than five runs in less than five innings, boo him like he’s the lovechild of Billy Cundiff and Mark Teixeira
Comments Off on How to be a Baltimore Sports Fan: Issue One
OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Stevenson men’s lacrosse junior Tyler Reid (Clinton, Conn./Xavier) tied a career-high with five goals while
adding one assist for six points, one shy of his career-high, as the fourth-ranked Mustangs began their fourth NCAA Division III Men’s
Lacrosse Championship with a 13-2 win over Birmingham-Southern in the first round Wednesday at Mustang Stadium.
Stevenson (16-4) won their sixth NCAA tournament game with all six victories coming at home where they have posted a 6-1 record.
After Erik Klein scored his team-leading 62nd goal of the season with 12:33 left in the first quarter to give the Panthers an early 1-0
lead, the Mustangs scored the next 10-straight, including four from Reid, as they built a 10-1 advantage with 7:27 left in the third quarter.
Two of Reid’s goals came with on the man-up where Stevenson was 4-for-10 for the game. Three of the Mustangs’ final four goals came
with a man-advantage. After going 0-for-3 on the extra-man in the first quarter, Stevenson scored on four of its final seven extra-man
The Mustangs also did well at the face-off dot, winning 13-of-18 with freshman Sam Wyatt (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood) winning 10-of-13. He also had seven ground balls.
Freshman Billy Burgoyne (Boonton Township, N.J./Mountain Lakes) also had a career-high, totaling three points with two goals and one assist. Sophomore J.P. Coombe (Annapolis, Md./St. Mary’s) also had two goals while sophomore Chris Dashiell (Salisbury, Md./Parkside) and senior Kenny Whittaker (Dundalk, Md./Archbishop Curley) each had one goal and one assist.
Meanwhile, the Stevenson defense was led by 10 saves from senior Ian Bolland (Mountain Lakes, N.J./Mountain Lakes) while juniors Kyle Holechek (Reisterstown, Md./Loyola Blakefield) and Kyle Fendlay (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill) each had three caused turnovers.
Jacob McPherson finished with one goal and one assist for Birmingham-Southern who was making its first-ever appearance in the
NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse Championship in just its fourth season as a program. Andrew Huffman was credited with 15 saves.
The Mustangs host Gettysburg in the second round on Saturday. Game time will be announced on Thursday. The Bullets lead the overall
series with Stevenson 2-1 with the last meeting coming in the semifinals of the 2009 NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse Championship
with Gettysburg prevailing on the road, 12-7.
Comments Off on Stevenson blasts Birmingham-Southern in NCAA Tournament opener
DELAWARE, Ohio – Stevenson men’s lacrosse freshman Stephen Banick (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) led the team with two goals and three points, scoring both of his goals in a decisive third quarter as the No. 4 Mustangs wrapped up the regular season Saturday with a 10-5 non-conference road victory at Ohio Wesleyan.
Stevenson (15-4) finished the regular season with at least 15 wins for the fourth-straight year in anticipation of its fourth consecutive selection to the NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse Championship.
The NCAA selection show will take place Sunday, May 6 at 10:00 p.m., on NCAA.com.
As for Saturday, the Mustangs jumped out to a 3-0 lead before Ohio Wesleyan (11-4) scored three of the next four goals to pull within one when Spencer Schnell netted his second of the game just 54 seconds into the third quarter.
However, that would be as close as the Battling Bishops would get as Stevenson outscored them 5-2 in the third quarter, the last two of which came from Banick to give the Mustangs their biggest lead of the game at 9-4.
Stevenson outshot Ohio Wesleyan 16-5 in the third, but won just 2-of-7 face-offs. The Battling Bishops won 12 of the game’s 16 face-offs, but were 0-for-5 on extra-man opportunities.
The Mustangs, who committed a season-low 10 turnovers, received two goals each from Banick, sophomore Chris Dashiell (Salisbury, Md./Parkside), senior Kenny Whittaker (Dundalk, Md./Archbishop Curley) and senior Justin Lea (Elkridge, Md./Mount Saint Joseph).
Senior Nick Rossi (Baltimore, Md./Towson) also had two points with one goal and one assist.
Senior Ian Bolland (Mountain Lakes, N.J./Mountain Lakes) was credited with nine saves to lead a defense that allowed five goals or less for the 10th time in 19 games this season.
Schnell and Tommy Minkler each had two goals and one assist to lead Ohio Wesleyan while Ryan McMahon had 15 saves.
Comments Off on Stevenson wraps regular season with win at Ohio Wesleyan
OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Stevenson junior attack Tyler Reid (Clinton, Conn./Xavier) netted a hat trick, and scored the eventual game-winning goal with 7:46 remaining, as the fourth-ranked Mustangs advanced to the title game of the CAC Men’s Lacrosse Championship, 10-8, Wednesday night at Mustang Stadium.
Tonight’s victory sets up the 10th meeting between Stevenson and Salisbury in the last four seasons and the final time the two schools
will meet in the CAC Championship as Stevenson departs for the Middle Atlantic Conference.
The two teams have met in the Championship every season the Mustangs have been a member of the CAC except 2007, when they were ousted by the Seahawks, 8-7, in the semifinals.
Stevenson (14-3) would extend their lead to the largest of the game at 7-2 on an unassisted tally by senior midfielder Kenny Whittaker
(Dundalk, Md./Archbishop Curley) with 6:07 left in the third quarter.
The Seahawks (10-6) would score six of the next seven goals over the next 11:40 to knot the game at 8-8 after being held scoreless for over 28 minutes.
An otherwise statistically even game, both teams fired off 28 shots, while Stevenson held a slight edge in ground balls, 31-27. St. Mary’s
(Md.) held more than a 2-to-1 edge in faceoffs and capitalized on both extra-man opportunities. The Seahawks turned the ball over 23 times, four more than the Mustangs, including a critical turnover by Justin Harty with 1:00 remaining, that sealed the victory for Stevenson.
Senior goalkeeper Ian Bolland (Mountain Lakes, N.J./Mountain Lakes) made six saves, while his counterpart Stu Wheeler made nine.
The CAC Men’s Lacrosse Championship will be held at Salisbury on Saturday. Opening face-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Comments Off on Stevenson Tops St. Mary’s to Advance to CAC Championship Game