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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 28 May 2012 by WNST Staff

Honorable Mention: Boxing-Antonio Tarver vs. Lateef Kayode (Saturday 9pm from Carson, CA live on Showtime), Gabriel Rosado vs. Joel Julio (Friday 9pm from Bethlehem, PA live on NBC Sports Network); WNBA: Minnesota Lynx @ Washington Mystics (Wednesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet); Pro Lacrosse: MLL Chesapeake Bayhawks @ Denver Outlaws (Saturday 9pm from Denver live on ESPN3.com)

10. Zac Brown Band (Thursday 5:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Capital Jazz Fest feat. Indie.Arie, Bill Cosby (Friday-Sunday Merriweather Post Pavilion); Radiohead (Sunday 7:30pm Verizon Center); Miranda Lambert/Jerrod Niemann (Sunday 4pm Jiffy Lube Live);  City and Colour (Wednesday 7pm Rams Head Live); Smile Empty Soul (Saturday 5pm Recher Theatre); Crossfade (Monday 7pm Baltimore Soundstage); Dandy Warhols (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club); The Used (Wednesday 7:30pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Victor Wooten (Thursday 8pm Howard Theatre); Dr. John (Friday 7:30pm Birchmere); Rhett Miller (Monday 8pm Jammin Java)

I’d watch ZBB do just about anything, but this was as good as anything I’ve seen them do…

My favorite tune from Thom Yorke and the boys?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKd06s1LNik

For more traditional country folk, I sorta dig this Jerrod Niemann tune…

I wish I didn’t have to admit to digging this tune…

9. Great Grapes Wine & Food Festival (Saturday & Sunday 12pm Oregon Ridge); Guy Torry (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Corey Holcomb (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); “Man on a Ledge” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Glenn Clark’s first ever “Hogfest” (Saturday)

That’s right. For the first time in my (still?) young life, I will be roasting a pig Saturday. It’s all thanks in part to ABC Rental Store in Rosedale. A talented young man I listen to on the radio is always talking to me about them. I think his show is called “The Reality Check.” I PRAY my results make me as happy as George W. Bush…

Also, I will be hosting a qualifier for the Olympic KanJam team Saturday (more on Twitter @OlympicKanJam). I expect the day to look much like this…

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Monday's PM Crab Cakes and Light Beer

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Monday’s PM Crab Cakes and Light Beer

Posted on 22 March 2010 by WNST Interns

The Swinging Bunt

Terps terminated at the buzzer.  Twenty-four hours later… and still, wow.  Yesterday’s Maryland-Michigan State contest was truly a great game.  It featured two perennially successful programs; the regular season co-ACC Champs against the regular season co-Big Ten Champs, both armed with rabid fan-bases and, oh by the way, national title winning coaches.  Could we really have expected any less?  Expectations are a funny thing, aren’t they?  To be competitive in the NCAA Tournament and make ‘a run,’ different guys need to step up at different times.  But, before the moment comes, you never know who it’ll be.  It could be those you expect, like one of three seniors trying to will their team back from behind to play another day, like Maryland’s Eric Hayes, Landon Milbourne and most particularly Greivis Vasquez… or it could be a guard who himself never would’ve expected the ball to be in his hands for the big shot, like MSU’s Kori Lucious.  Sunday afternoon in Spokane, a spectacular second half was played between two teams ready for their respective moments, and thrilling drama ensued.  In the final four minutes, Maryland’s full court trap was carried out to a textbook equivalent level and Vasquez, playing his last game in a Maryland uniform, was simply incredible.  The only problem was that injured All-Big Ten point guard Kailin Lucas’ backup, Korie Lucious, a sophomore from Milwaukee, had the final opportunity to step up… and he did… as time inevitably expired on Maryland’s 2009-2010 season. Tournament heroes can emerge from anywhere, even Tom Izzo’s bench.  And who could’ve expected that?

Sweet Sixteen.  So how about that?  Absolutely phenomenal opening weekend, huh?  … And please, I really don’t care about how bad your bracket is, everyone’s is down the toilet; earlier today Ryan the Intern told me I stayed out of the “bottom quarter” and that I’m only in the “bottom third” of our WNST In-House Pool.  Yikes.  But anyways, it all started Thursday afternoon with the first three tips of the tourney – ODU over Notre Dame by a point, Richmond taking ‘Nova to OT, and Florida bowing to BYU in double-OT  – and the action hasn’t disappointed anyone since (except for you Terps fans, I guess).  When teams with double-digit little numbers next to their name, and we’ll throw No. 9 Northern Iowa in there too, move on to the Sweet 16 everyone goes nuts; we all love upsets, cheering on the ‘little engines that actually DO.’  That said, I tip my hat – figuratively, of course, I’m not actually wearing a hat – to you: Horizon League, Ivy League, Missouri Valley Conference, and West Coast Conference.  You are a collective 9-1 in this year’s Big Dance.  And that’s pretty awesome.

Tiger speaks to ESPN‘s Tom Rinaldi and the Golf Channel‘s Kelly Tilghman.  A few highlights from Ms. Tilghman’s interview…  On returning April 8th to the Masters: “I’m excited to get back in the game.  I miss playing.  I miss competing, … I’m starting to get my feel back.”  On therapy: “As far as my schedule going forward I don’t know what I’m going to do… I don’t know how it will affect my future.  What I know I have to do is become a better person and that starts with going to more treatment.” On his crash Thanksgiving night and how he crashed his car: “It’s all in the police report… I wasn’t going very fast, but ahhh… unfortunately I hit a few things.” On his father’s death and absence through his time of infidelities: “He’d be very disappointed in me, we’d have numerous long talks… I miss his guidance, I know he’d be able to straighten me up.”  On what he wants his legacy to be: “Just like I ever wanted before, golf is my vehicle to help other people.  My dad always said… ‘in order to help other people, you must first learn to help yourself.  And going into the treatment center for 45 days I’ve learned a lot.   I’ve learned how to help myself and that’s how I can help other people in the future.”

Scanning the Blogosphere

WNST.net:  Glenn Clark says, “Ravens agree to a 2-year deal with Cory Redding.”

WNST.net: Rex Snider says, “What a Weekend.”

FanHouse: Jay Mariotti says, “Tiger Fooling Nobody with 5-Minute Blips.”

Big League Stew: “Done Deal: Joe Mauer signs with Twins for $184 million.”

The Big Lead: They have their 64-subject, “2010 Culture Tournament” almost down to the Sweet 16.

Pro Football Talk:  NFL Draft hopefuls C.J. Spiller and Arrelius Benn may not be ‘smarter than a 5th grader.’

Peter King, SI: “MMQB” Mike Tomlin: “I’m highly concerned for our franchise and for Ben personally.”

SI.com: In photos, “Baseball’s 100 Million Men.”

With Leather:  Sorry Bill Self and all you ‘Rock Chalkers’, “Toto, we’re not in the Tourney anymore!”

SI.com: Extra Mustard alerts us that Pete Rose will host WWE’s Monday Night Raw this evening.

Video of the Day

Tim Brando: “Draymond Green finds Lucious, for the win… He got it!  Spartans move to the Sweet 16!”

Tweets of the Day

— WNST Ravens Analyst, Glenn Clark after he spoke with new Ravens DL Cory Redding – WNST

#Redding: “Love the program, love the facility, love the organization. Respect the men who play there.” #Ravens

— Baltimore Ravens Head Coach, John Harbaugh on the signing of Cory ReddingWNST

#Harbaugh “Sideline to sideline type of player. He’s excited to be a Raven. He fits us. Plays with a high motor, plays with great energy.”

— The Nasty One, Nestor Aparicio, from the NFL Owners’ Meetings in Orlando – WNST

Nestor: #Ravens denied compensatory picks in April draft. Guess when you don’t lose, you don’t gain?

— The Nasty One, Nestor Aparicio, from the NFL Owners’ Meetings in Orlando – WNST

Nestor: No word on #Ravens potential Thanksgiving nite game w/#Jets expected today. #NFL will leak nat’l game sked Tuesday here in #Orlando

— WNST NFL Correspondent, Chris Pika – BlogAndTackle

One anniversary of note today: 1989 – Pete Rozelle announced his retirement as #NFL commissioner after 29 years (via SI.com).

— ESPN NFL Insider, Adam Schefter – Adam_Schefter

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger: “At the appropriate time, I’ll be meeting with Ben.”

–ESPN AFC North Blogger, James Walker – espnafc_north

Last year Baltimore lost starters such as LB Bart Scott, S Jim Leonhard and C Jason Brown but got zero comp picks in return. Interesting.

— TheBigLead.com Editor, Jason McIntyre – TheBigLead

bad news, Gus Johnson fans: He’s going to have two more blowouts thursday: Syracuse>Butler, KState>Xavier. http://is.gd/aTpum

The Day’s Final Thought

So just who has been the 2010 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player thus far through the opening weekend of play?

I have three nominations:  Ali Farokhmanesh, G. Northern Iowa; Omar Samhan, C. Saint Mary’s; and Ryan Wittman, G. Cornell.

Ali Farokhmanesh had such a good weekend in Oklahoma City he went from someone I’ve never heard of before to someone whose last name I don’t need to double-check for spelling anymore.  Thursday night with the game tied 65-65 against UNLV, he nailed the game winning 3-ball from where seemed like Stillwater with 5-seconds left to knockout the Runnin’ Rebs… and that wasn’t even his most dramatic dagger of the weekend.  His ‘you take it, you better make it’ three pointer Saturday evening to push UNI up 4 over Kansas with 34 seconds to play sent shock-waves through college hoops and eliminated the No. 1 overall seeded Jayhawks.  In his pair of games, Farokhmanesh was in total 9-19 from beyond the arc and tallied 33 points in Northern Iowa’s unlikely run to the round of 16.

Omar Samhan from Saint Mary’s is not Blake Griffin, 2009 College Basketball Player of the Year.  However, if you just look at Samhan’s numbers from victories over No. 7 Richmond and No. 2 Villanova, you’d think he’s every bit the All-American Griffin was.  The brash 6’11, 260 pounder rang up 29 points and 12 rebounds in the first round and 32 points, on 13-16 shooting, and 7 boards against in the second.  His domination of Jay Wright’s Wildcat big men prompted Samhan to question why his opposition didn’t double team him, he said in the post-game presser, “I get it, I’m a slow white guy, and I’m overweight. So maybe you don’t respect me because I have good numbers. But after I kill you the first half, what are you waiting for. I don’t know what he [Coach Wright] wanted. Did he want me to have 40?”  I respect you Omar.

And last, but certainly not least,

I’ll bet Ryan Wittman knew a week ago his team would be headed to Syracuse for the East Regional Semifinals.  C’mon, he’s a smart guy; he goes to Cornell.  Wittman’s also a really good basketball player, surrounded at all times on the floor by four other really good basketball players.  Getting to see Cornell play against Temple and Wisconsin over the weekend you really begin to recognize why the 3-time defending Ivy League champs have been considered a threat since November.  Ryan Wittman is dangerous.  He’s a true triple-threat player playing in a system that complements his repertoire and with teammates who feed off his versatility.  He’s averaged 22 ppg in 36 mpg so far on basketball’s biggest stage.  Cornell and Ryan Wittman will have to throw everything they have at new field-favorite Kentucky in the next round… SAT scores and all.

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Wednesday Morning's Crab Cakes and Light Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crab Cakes and Light Beer

Posted on 11 March 2009 by WNST Interns

The Swinging Bunt

Ray’s staying, even longer than you thought!  As it turns out the new deal Ray Lewis agreed to with the Ravens is actually 7 years in length, contrary to the 3 years most outlets have reported.  Ray will be 41 years old when that contact ends, almost surely he will not be playing middle linebacker for the Ravens by then.  It makes me think about what Ray might be doing those last few years… being Steve Bisciotti and Ozzie’s very own “Office Linebacker,” serving as scouting director in charge of recruiting ‘The U’ specifically and joining with his good friend Deion Sanders to create the “God is my true Head Coach, Church.”  Can’t you see it now?  Ahhh yes, Prime-Time and #52 using their platforms to prophesying the importance of loyalty, modesty, and temperance to the next group of wayward young play-makers all over the nation.

High Expectations for Wieters.  I’m a big fan of Baseball Prospectus, I hit their website almost daily, believe in their analysis of statistics, and find things like PECOTA, VORP, and WARP interesting… and yes, I do know what they mean.  However, I must say their projections for Matt Wieters seem a little unrealistically high.  Perhaps the most outrageous number is the 649 plate appearances they’re forecasting…  jeez don’t they know about silly things like “contract service time” and “Gregg Zaun.”  However, if he does get all those PA’s, I think any O’s fan would take the 30+ homers and 100+ runs and RBI’s they think he’ll contribute.

Scanning the Blogosphere

Chris Bonetti’s WNST Blog has “The Wednesday Morning CMS Top-5: ‘What’s on your sports bucket-list?”

Pro Football 24X7 has all the particulars about the new Ray Lewis and Matt Birk contracts, and their effects on the cap.

CMS Video of the Day

The Golf Channel has the best new programming on television. I swear to it. Trust me.

“The Haney Project with Charles Barkley,” which airs live Monday’s at 9pm might be the funniest reality TV going right now.  The Golf Channel’s resident Pro, Hank Haney (no relation to Bob), makes an attempt to correct maybe golf’s worst swing ever.  It’s unreal that a professional athlete the caliber of Barkley’s has such a bad looking swing.

The Morning’s Final Thought

Unfortunately for the Orioles, it seems as though the Yankees will not be seeking a trade for a ‘big-name’ to replace Alex Rodriguez in their lineup for the next 9-10 weeks.

I thought it might be the perfect opportunity for The Birds to take advantage of their high spending division rivals by offering up Melvin Mora, or less optimally Aubrey Huff, to the Yanks.  I think the Orioles could have shopped them and then held out for a high end prospect or two, to aid in the rebuilding process.

In fact, I would still strongly consider moving Mora right now for the right deal.  Huff is more valuable to the Orioles because of the power he brings to the lineup every night, so I’d look to hang on to him for a little while.

Back to my main point, there are two guys on the roster right now who could man third base more than respectably in his absence… new free agent acquisitions Ty Wigginton and Ryan Freel.

I honestly don’t think the drop off of productivity would be too sharp at all.  Hustle and grit can go a long, long way in baseball.

By season’s end if the O’s are out of contention by the deadline, Mora and Huff will be hot names for teams needing a bat for their playoff push, anyways.

The future of the team is by all indications is just that… still in the future.  When Tillman, Arrieta, and Matusz come up and are throwing strikes to Wieters in the next few seasons, the goal of the O’s should be to have as many young and talented guys threatening  to break into the lineup as possible.  The team then grows together and learns to win together.

Mora and Huff aren’t those guys who will still be around then.  Whether their expendable now or later… they’re expendable.

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