Tag Archive | "Maryland Terrapins"

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Pe’Shon Howard arrested outside College Park restaurant

Posted on 29 April 2012 by WNST Staff

Maryland point guard Pe’Shon Howard has had a tough year.

After missing most of the 2011-2012 basketball season with a broken leg and a knee injury, the soon-to-be junior point guard saw action in 14 games this year averaging 6.5 points-per-game for first year coach Mark Turgeon.

But it got even harder for Howard Sunday morning, as he was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct outside Shanghai Cafe in College Park.

Howard appeared to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, as he was apparently yelling over participants in a fight outside the establishment, but reportedly was not involved in the scuffle.

He was asked by police to step back, but refused initially. He was taken into custody, but was not held for long Sunday.

He will appear in court when a date is scheduled.

Howard’s incident stems off assistant coach Dalonte Hill being arrested on a DUI-charge earlier in the year.

The Diamondback was one of the first to report the story after the University police released a statement.

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NFL.com Analyst Bucky Brooks Talks Playing for Randy Edsall

Posted on 01 December 2011 by WNST Staff

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Breeders

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Top Ten Reasons Breeders Cup Is Better Than…

Posted on 01 November 2011 by Gary Quill

The Breeders’ Cup is thoroughbred horse racings “Fall Classic”. For the past 25 years during this time of year, the Breeders’ Cup has represented the very best in the sport of horse racing. For the past 40+ years I have followed thoroughbred horse racing with a passion that rivals the most ravenous Ravens fan, the most die-hardest Orioles fan as well as the most Capitals ice hockey, Maryland Terp and NASCAR fan.

                               Breeders' Cup logo

So with tongue in cheek, for the first time in over three years of blogging on WNST.net, I offer up my very first “list”. Something you have come accustom to when listening to 1570 AM in Baltimore and/or reading other blogs on this website.

 

 Animal Kingdom and Graham Motion   Strike and Lockout photo

#10 – Thoroughbreds never go on strike and horse owners never lockout their athletes
          from the training facilities (re: any professional sport over the past 30 years).

 

 Racing in the rain    Charlie Brown baseball rainouts      

 #9 – No rainouts (re: MLB)

 

 Churchill Downs race into first turn     NASCAR photo

 

 #8 – 15 exciting chase scenes (re: NASCAR just one real long one)

 

  pari-mutuel tickets       Cartoon Bookie

 

#7 – When you make a wager and win, you ALWAYS get paid off (re: your bookie of choice)

 

Uncle Mo scratched from Derby      NBA player injured

 #6 – No injury reports to worry about (re: all Fantasy Games). Sure, horses get scratched,
         but horseplayers just pick the next best selection to play.

 

 Looking At Lucky winning the Preakness      John Harbaugh arguing with referee

 

#5 – No bad calls or Instant Replays to delay action (re: NFL, MLB and NBA)

 

 

        Suck 4 Luck

 #4 – Horses won’t suck on purpose since there is no draft (re: NFL and Andrew Luck)

  

Zenyatta and Blame phto finish    Texas Rangers choke       

 #3 – When a horse gets beat at the wire, those who bet on him/her never complain that
         their horse “Choked” (re: Texas Rangers)

 

 

 Best entertainment   Movie theatre

Football fans fighting   Ice Hockey Fan fighting

#2 – Best entertainment value: Breeders’ Cup offers over 10 hours of action and 
        numerous chances to WIN money, compared to…
        … 90 minute movie… 2 tickets + popcorn + 2 sodas = $50

        … 3½ hour MLB game…2 box seat tickets + 2 hot dog + 4 beers = $125

        … 3 hour NFL game… 2 tickets + 8 beers + hearing unlimited “F Bombs” = $450

        … 2 hour NHL game… 2 tickets + nachos + 4 beers = $180

        … 2 hour NBA game… Oooops, there are none!

   

 Kegasus                  Oriole Bird Sad 

 #1 – You will never have to endure 14 straight losing seasons (re: Baltimore Orioles)  

 

 

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Et15M6wsPo&NR=1 [/youtube] 

 

After watching the stretch drive from the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic, maybe then you might get just a bit curious and checkout the Breeders’ Cup races this weekend?

 

Follow me on Twitter @HorseRacingNut

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Maryland beats Navy 17-14

Posted on 07 September 2010 by WNST Interns

My Dad grew up a Baltimore Colt fan, and while as he went through college and started a family he probably lost his “die-hard” tag, to this day he still has a Baltimore Colt trash can in his garage. To this day I think he probably likes Fidel Castro a bit more than Robert Irsay, who moved the Colts to Indianapolis when I was three years old. While when it came to professional football I grew up rooting on the burgundy and gold, I also spent a lot of Saturday afternoons at Byrd Stadium with my Dad and his college buddies. While those are great memories with my father, there was always a certain bitterness that I sensed from him towards the entire football establishment. As I got older (and more and more infatuated with sports), I realized that his team was taken from him by a drunk hack of an owner.

Unfortunately, Irsay was probably well ahead of his time in that the reason he moved the team was due to the fact that the city wouldn’t build him a state-of-the-art stadium with luxury suites. (10-15 years later, it would become commonplace for teams in all sports to hold cities hostage if they balked on a stadium deal.) That aside, my Dad and I went to yesterday’s Maryland Terrapin season opener against Navy at M & T Bank Stadium. It was his first time attending a game at the stadium that’s become the home of Baltimore football. Our seats were on the club level at the 50-yd line (a friend of my Dad’s that came with us bought them off some guy on the street for half price). He was absolutely stunned when he entered the stadium and saw what a great place it was. I don’t think he would ever admitt it, but I think he was somewhat moved by all of the pictures and murals on the walls of the concourse depicting the old Baltimore Colts. Furthermore he was very impressed with the fact that on the Ravens ring of honor they had a banner that said “Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts.”

The game itself was a great defensive battle. The Terps scored on their first two drives of the game (without even having to put the ball in the air), which had me wondering if they might run Navy out of the stadium. However the Mids battled back to tie it at 14 in the third quarter. It was fairly obvious to me that Jamarr Robinson doesn’t have the confidence of Ralph Friedgen. Robinson had six pass attempts in the entire game, completing two for 11 yards. That’s almost unheard of in contemporary college football. The one time he did take a shot down the field the pass was picked off. Midway through the third quarter Ralph Friedgen appeared to lose confidence in Robinson, as he inserted Danny O’Brien in at QB, however that was short lived. Speaking for myself, I’d love to see Maryland with a more balanced attack offensively. In all seriousness, they might not win another game this season if they can’t get downfield through the air.

Defensively the Terps seemed to struggle with Navy’s triple-threat option between the 20’s. When the Mids got inside the red zone the Terrapin defense tightened, and was solid. The Terps got strong efforts from Adrian Moten and Kenny Tate. Moten caused Navy QB Ricky Dobbs to fumble in the third quarter when he “supermaned” over the line to tackle him inside the five yard line. On Navy’s final drive of the game, Moten also got flagged for what I think was a bogus facemask penalty after the Terps had stopped Dobbs on third and eight. Replays appeared to show Moten’s hand brushing across Dobbs’ helmet; definitely what I would call a ticky-tack penalty, especially in the fourth quarter. Furthermore, the officials seemed to let both teams play for the entire game, but started throwing laundry out on the field in the last 15 minutes. To make that call at such a critical juncture of the game is…ticky-tack as I put it. With the Terps having kicked a go-ahead field goal, Maryland led 17-14 on that last drive. Dobbs drove the ball down to the one, where Navy had it fourth and goal with thirty seconds left. Conventional wisdom says you kick a field goal; Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo wanted to win it outright at that moment, so he went for the TD. Long story short, Kenny Tate stopped Dobbs short of the goal line, giving Maryland the victory in one of the best football games I’ve ever seen. While I’m ecstatic that Maryland won, Niumatalolo’s decision should not be second guessed. Going for it on fourth and goal was one of the gutsiest calls I’ve ever seen a coach make, and he should be applauded for trying to win it as opposed to settling.

Overall, it was a great day for football, but more importantly for me I’m glad that I got to be there with my Dad. While he’d shrug it off now as being overly sentimental, I know that the Baltimore Colts meant a lot to him when he was younger, and those memories still resonate with him to this day. To be able to attend a game with him in the stadium that is now the Colts’ legacy was very special. However the real winner was the state of Maryland, who can boast both the Mids and the Terps as great programs.

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What do you expect from the Terps’ football team in 2010?

Posted on 26 August 2010 by WNST Interns

On Labor Day, we’ll get our first look at the Maryland Terrapins’ football team this year when they take on Navy at M & T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. As we unfortunately remember, the Terps posted their worst finish under Ralph Friedgen in 2009 with a 2-10 record. However it is worth noting that quarterback Chris Turner was injured towards the end of the season, but also suffered injury problems through most of the year. As is the case with any football team at any level, it all begins and ends with the quarterback position. Much like a lead off hitter in baseball, a quarterback streamlines the entire offense and in many cases the entire team. This year junior Jamarr Robinson will be the starting quarterback for Maryland, who we saw fill in for the injured Turner in the final two games of last season.

So given that the Maryland offense struggled for most of the year in 2009, what makes anyone think that won’t be the status quo in 2010? First off, there’s a big difference in terms of preparation between being the starting quarterback and being a backup. Friedgen is on record as saying that he’s seen a sizable change in Robinson in terms of being a vocal team leader, as well as improving upon his reads and timing with his receivers. At the wideout position Robinson will be complimented on either side by Torrey Smith and Adrian Cannon, both of whom figured into the offense last season. The offensive line will return three of five starters, and Robinson will also have tailbacks Davin Meggett and Da’Rel Scott at his disposal. However as I said, everything begins and ends with the quarterback position in football; the success or failure in Maryland’s season will bank on the play of Robinson. From what Coach Friedgen has said, Robinson appears ready to take the reins as the Terps’ next quarterback. I suppose you could look at Robinson’s two starts at the tail end of last season (both losses) similar to preseason games in the NFL. Luckily for him he was able to gain some in-game experience under center, and now he needs to build upon that going into 2010.

On the defensive side of the ball the Terps are only returning five players from last year’s group, however one of them is (linebacker) All-American candidate Alex Wujciak. The defense struggled last season in that they couldn’t make key stops in a lot of close games, and in a few others they allowed Maryland to simply be blown out (the loss to Va Tech comes to mind). So in that sense perhaps heavy turnover isn’t such a bad thing, however the starting defense will be very young this season. In Maryland’s final seven games of the season (all losses), four of them were by seven points or less. Many of those games featured Maryland having the lead, and having the opposing team drive down the field at the end of the game for a winning score. Consistency on the defensive side of the football might well be as important to this team as the play of Jamarr Robinson on offense.

As is the case every year, the schedule itself will play into how Maryland finishes the year. The Terps start things off with the above-mentioned game against Navy in Baltimore. That should be a great day for local college football fans, with the best of the Old Line State on display in the heart and soul of the state of Maryland, the city of Baltimore. Maryland then heads to Byrd Stadium in week two for it’s official home opener, before hitting the road for a tough game at West Virginia in week three. Speaking for myself, I don’t get into the whole thing of teasing WVU fans about burning sofas and so forth, however…can I just state my complete and utter disdain for the West Virginia Mountaineers?! Throw the Virginia Tech Hokies into that mix as well. Maryland will also host Florida International in week four prior to starting the ACC schedule, which will ultimately tell the tale of the season. The Terps went 1-7 in conference play last year, so in my opinion a reasonable goal would be to go .500 in 2010. While this was a very bad team last year, keep in mind that you only need six wins to in theory qualify for a bowl game. So that makes the WVU game that much bigger seeing that if the Terps finish the year at 6-6, they’d be on the bubble in theory. A big win at a quality opponent always looks good. That aside, this team lost a lot of close games last season, so perhaps given those experiences the contingent of players that remain from that injury-plauged roster can help them to win some close ones in 2010.

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Gary Williams to be inducted into the Hall of Legends

Posted on 19 August 2010 by WNST Interns

My parents met at the University of Maryland in the early 1970’s; I came along four years after they got married. That’s good family planning, huh?! Nevertheless, I spent a lot of autumn afternoons at Byrd Stadium, and many winter days and nights at Cole Field House rooting on the Terps. I have only a few memories of the final years of Lefty Drisell, however the coach that I’ve known and loved for most of my life has been Gary Williams. I’ve been involved in sports in various capacities since I was a small child in that I’ve played, coached, and most importantly been a fan. I’ve met my share of sports figures (current and retired), but there are few that would literally make me get nervous when I met them. Coach Gary Williams falls into that category, as probably do Cal Ripken Jr, and Coach Joe Gibbs. On September 30th Gary Williams will be honored by being inducted into the Hall of Legends in Baltimore, joining such notable figures such as Johnny Unitas, Art Modell, and Brooks Robinson.

There’s no question that this is an honor that is well-deserved on Gary’s part. We all know his story, so I won’t bore you with the specific details. However needless to say he’s won 649 career games as a head coach (American University, Boston College, Ohio State, and Maryland), a national title, and an ACC crown. But perhaps more importantly than that, he picked up a program that was very near and dear to his heart when it was down and forgotten. In 1989 when he took the job, who would have thought that Maryland would be the 2002 National Champions? We all know that Gary’s a big time yeller on the sidelines during the games, and that he takes his team very seriously. How many times have we seen him scream at guys on the bench for something that happened on the court? How many times have we seen him go after officials after a bad call against the Terps? This is all part of the Gary Williams lore, and there’s no question that the program wouldn’t be where it is today if not for all of those aspects.

I don’t know Gary Williams personally, but I have met him twice in my life. The first time he was kind enough to sign my copy of his book, Sweet Redemption. However it was the second time I spoke with him (approximately a year later) that told me a lot about what kind of person he really is. At the time, my father was undergoing chemotherapy during cancer treatments. Gary Williams was doing an appearance at a local restaurant, and I asked if he wouldn’t mind signing a new Terp hat that I had bought; I asked him to make it out to my father, who was getting chemo at the time. I could see his entire demeanor change, and he spoke to me for the better part of five minutes about my Dad, and how he felt bad for our family to have to go through this and so forth. I’ve known for a long time that he was heavily involved in Coaches vs. Cancer and so forth, but I could tell that he was very genuine in his comments about my father, and that meant a lot to me. He finished the conversation by telling me that he’d keep my Dad in his thoughts and that the team would include him in a special prayer that they would do before the Coaches vs. Cancer game that season. I’m not big on public displays of emotion, but I had to go in the bathroom and “compose” myself, because that really meant a lot to me.

Gary Williams has been written off more times than I’d care to mention, and yet he’s always proved his critics wrong. How often was Grevis Vasquez criticized during his stint at Maryland, and thus how often was Gary criticized by extentsion? When most people think back on Gary’s career at Maryland, they’ll probably think about the national title, or perhaps even the ACC title. I think that when it’s all said and done with, I’ll probably remember one specific memory. As we remember in 2008-2009, the Washington Post did a series of articles outlining Gary’s shortcomings as a recruiter. At the time, he was very much on the hot seat. However Maryland rattled off win after win after win (including a Grevis Vasquez-inspirined victory against UNC which will probably always be one of Williams’ biggest wins at Maryland), propelling them into the NCAA tournament. As a result, I firmly believe that the team came back much stronger in 200-2010, and ultimately won a share of the ACC title. That was clinched on the last day of the regular season with a victory at Virginia. I’ll never forget at the end of the game, the cameras caught a shot of Gary Williams calmly walking off the court. And I think that’s how I’ll remember him when it’s over; just sort of walking away, victory in hand.

In my mind, being inducted into the Hall of Legends is well deserved for a coach who hasn’t gotten nearly the accolades that he should. Maryland has always been a program that’s unfortunately had trouble getting out of the shadow of Duke and Carolina, but Gary Williams brought that dream to reality in winning the title in 2002. If there’s one thing you can never do, it’s count out a Gary Williams-led team, or the man himself. His defeated critics line the road down which he’s walked in order to get to where he is today. Also lining that route are the thousands upon thousands of grateful Maryland Terrapin fans.

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Terps Lax

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Rooting on (The State of) Maryland in NCAA Lacrosse

Posted on 26 March 2010 by WNST Interns

Terps Lax

Last Saturday I attended my first NCAA men’s lacrosse game of the 2010 season (Thanks to ESPN Zone Baltimore for the free tickets!) Watching UMBC take on Maryland, I didn’t really care who won, I just wanted to see a competitive game. I’m a UMBC alum, but a fan of all things Terps (as readers of this blog know), and of the two, the Terps have a much better shot at bringing a National Championship home to Maryland sooner. With UMBC having won the previous three in the series, I expected a hard-fought game. Maryland, though, dominated from the opening whistle, winning easily 13-7. The Retrievers struggled to hit the net all day, as shot after shot flew wide of the pipes.

Dave Cottle’s Terrapins are now 5-0 and ranked fourth in the USILA coaches poll.

On the flip side, the loss dropped UMBC to 1-5. To their credit, they have played an absolutely BRUTAL schedule thus far, losing four games to teams ranked in the Top 8 nationally. They will likely need to win the America East Conference to get into the NCAA Tournament in May.

Don Zimmerman’s Retrievers aren’t the only local team struggling to start the season, though. Perennial power Johns Hopkins finds themselves in a very unfamiliar position, outside of the Top 10. Likewise, the Towson Tigers had a rough March, sitting at 1-4.

With so many local programs threatening to have down years, we face the prospect of the Old Line State being laregely underrepresented at M&T Bank Stadium on Memorial Day Weekend.

If it comes down to non-Maryland teams in the Final Four and/or Championship Game, I have a backup strategy for lacrosse rooting interests: pull for the team with more kids from Maryland on their roster.

Lacrosse is unique among college sports in that, for most of it’s history, the teams on the highest levels were stocked with players from pretty much only two areas of the country: Baltimore and Long Island, NY. Unless there is some sort of NCAA Crab-Picking Championship that I’m unaware of, lacrosse is the easiest sport in which to find Maryland athletes participating. In particular, the MIAA A conference, with school such as Gilman, Boys Latin, and Loyola, routinely sends players to the top programs.

With that in mind, let’s look at the current Top 10, and the number of players that played high school ball here in MD:

#1 – Virginia (8 out of 41 players are from Maryland, or 19.5%)
#2 – Syracuse (0/50)

Hang on a second…REALLY? Really, John Desko? You couldn’t find ONE kid from Maryland worth of your precious roster? Despite ‘Cuse’s “run ‘n gun” offense being a blast to watch, they are now my LEAST favorite team. Congrats, Cuse, you are now the Duke of College Lacrosse. I’m now that much happier about Butler beating the Orange in the Sweet 16 last night.

Moving on…

#3 – North Carolina (10/44 – 22.7%)
#4 – Maryland (20/47 – 42.6%)
#5 – Princeton (8/47 – 17%)
#6 – Hofstra (2/43 – 4.7%)
#7 – Duke (5/46 – 10.9%)
#8 – Lafayette (1/42)
#9 – Cornell (3/43)
#10 – Georgetown (15/47 – 31.9%)

And, for good measure:
#12 – Johns Hopkins (12/50 – 24%)
NR – Towson (23/47 – 48.9)
NR – UMBC (27/48 – 56.3)

First off, big ups to my alma mater for representing proper (make your own joke about win correlation and % of Maryland players).

Let’s now make a new top 10 – in the order that a National Championship would do Maryland proud.

1. UMBC
2. Towson
3. Maryland
4. Georgetown
5. Johns Hopkins
6. North Carolina
7. Virginia
8. Princeton
9. Duke
10. Hofstra

When I was playing high school lacrosse in the late-90’s, I remember hearing about how much the sport was growing. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I’m guessing a similar “Top 10” from a decade ago would have featured higher percentages of Maryland athletes. Scanning the rosters these days though, it’s much less rare to see kids from not only all over the eastern seaboard, but from well west of the typical lacrosse hotbeds. California, Colorado, Florida, and other states now routinely produce top-level NCAA athletes in lacrosse.

A recent Associated Press article reported that 32 new lacrosse programs (20 women, 12 men) debuted in the NCAA this year.

While it may be a little disappointing on one hand to see Baltimore losing our grip on lacrosse ever so slightly, it’s also promising to see the sport continue to grow. It would be nice one day to have an ACC that features more than just four teams, or to see traditional touchdown and interception rivalries like Ohio State-Michigan or Texas-Oklahoma played out with bounce shots and split dodges as well.

In the meantime, cheer for our Maryland boys…and anyone who plays against Syracuse.

Edit: Somehow Navy slipped my mind on the first stab at this post. I certainly don’t want to disrespect any Middies or their fans out there. Eighteen out of 60, or 30%, of Coach Richie Meade’s roster is from Maryland, which puts Navy in between Georgetown and Johns Hopkins (#5) on the above Top 10. Navy is currently 4-4, unranked in the USILA Coaches Poll.

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What A Weekend .....

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What A Weekend …..

Posted on 22 March 2010 by WNST Interns

Well, to an end comes a very eventful weekend. Of course, some good and some bad was felt by all of us. Here’s my take …..

Maryland’s ONE & DONE …..
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For me, the weekend starts on Friday night. Thus, this particular weekly sabbatical got off on the right foot. The Terps looked sharp against Houston, after resisting a quick start by the overmatched Cougars. As we predicted, the Phi Slamma Jamma traits were not inherited through generations.

While Aubrey Coleman basically matched his NCAA-leading season average, the Cougars were outplayed in every aspect by a better Maryland team – period. A total Terrapins effort, including a very impressive 84% from the line ensured Houston’s inevitable doom, midway thru the second half.

And, this guy savored his FINAL victory in a Terps uniform …..
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That’s right, it all came crashing down, yesterday.

I never, EVER forget to qualify my thoughts and opinions on basketball ….. I’m a casual fan. I like to think I know most aspects of the game, but I’m by no means an expert. That said, I thought the Terps looked like a “different” team, yesterday. They appeared to play recklessly through the first half and missed prime opportunities to cut the lead before halftime.

The beginning of the second half didn’t look any better and I seriously contemplated changing channels when Michigan State held a 14 point lead, with less than 7 minutes remaining. I was prepared to talk about a thumping during today’s REX & RAY SHOW.

Yet, the Terps amazed me. Their comeback was as exciting as it gets. I was yelling and dancing like Icky Woods …. in the Snider’s family room …..
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My wife’s dogs had every reason to assume I lost my mind – or the Ravens were playing in March.

It was a nail biter to the end. I don’t have a bitter, nor bad thing to say about Maryland Basketball. Yeah, I feel for guys like Bob Haynie and Glenn Clark – it’s in their blood. But, the Terps entertained me. They showed tremendous heart and character in fighting back.

Should they have been in such a situation? Probably not, but I’ll leave that subject to the experts. I always remind myself ….. THEY’RE KIDS. And, they did a helluva job.

I wish Greivis Vazquez and the other seniors much success – IN LIFE …..
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There is no reason to hide from anything or anyone. Back in November, I had no idea that such an exciting basketball season awaited me. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks, Terps.

Now, somebody PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE beat Duke.
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You Gotta See BROOKLYN’S FINEST …..
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On Saturday evening, my wife demanded that we escape from SPORTS HELL for a few hours. She absolutely had enough NCAA Basketball, NASCAR @ Bristol, O’s Spring Training and Fantasy Baseball flowing around our household.

So, we headed to the Hoyts Nursery Road Cinema 14, to catch a movie and relax for a bit. It was a great decision. Beyond Hoyts’ friendly staff and safe/secure environment, they’ve got the best popcorn and a diverse selection of the latest movies.

We saw the new Richard Gere movie, BROOKLYN’S FINEST …..
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It was a fantastic diversion. Not only did I get away for a couple hours, I broke a personal string of seeing “so-so” movies. Over the last few months, I’ve seen a collection of flicks that have left me disappointed, to include, District 9, Brothers and Invictus.

Brooklyn’s Finest was worth every penny and the time I took to see it.

I usually don’t jump at chances to see “cop movies.” Such experiences usually find me breaking down the legitimacy of the content, while whispering “that’s not accurate” or “police don’t do that,” in my wife’s ear. She hates that – and with good reason.

I thought Brooklyn’s Finest succeeded on an original, but complex storyline. You gotta pay attention. But, it’s intriguing and just as Leonardo DeCaprio “out-acted” his peers in The Departed, a certain actor really delivered a powerful performance in Brooklyn’s Finest …..
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Ethan Hawke is absolutely tremendous. His portrayal of Sal Porcida, a cop who’s desperately drowning in need of a new home for his family, nailed the role.

Overall, it was a very entertaining, as well as interesting movie. Of course, I saw things that don’t really happen in the REAL world of law enforcement. But, I’ve learned to ignore those moments – or it’ll ruin my own experience.

Catch Brooklyn’s Finest – it’s worth it.
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Jimmie Johnson Wins Again & I’m Okay With It …..
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If you’re my Facebook Friend, disregard the posting I made yesterday morning – I didn’t really consider all likely scenarios.

That’s right, at about 11am, on Sunday, I used my Facebook platform to endorse ANYONE, but Jimmie Johnson in the Food City 500, at Bristol.

And, throughout most of the race, my stance didn’t change. I don’t dislike Jimmie Johnson. I just want to see other drivers win races ….. and championships. Like many observers, I’ve just reached my saturation point on seeing the #48 Chevy doing donuts as the checkered flag falls.

Alas, I’m not too tired of Jimmie Johnson. I would certainly rather see him win a race over a couple other competitors. And, as the laps wound down on Sunday, a familarly despised car in the Snider home was leading the race …..
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It’s quite safe to suggest I’d rather see ANYBODY win a race, instead of Tony Stewart.

In fact, take a car owned by George Steinbrenner, while driven by ben Roethlisberger and I will root for IT before hoping to see Tony Stewart win a race. In case you haven’t heard or read my thoughts on Stewart, they’re blunt …..

He’s not very nice to people – media, included. Better yet, he goes out of his way to embarrass and admonish others – especially those who stand in a vulnerable spot. He’s a phony on camera and a nasty dude beyond it.

So, give me Jimmie Johnson in victory lane …..
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While his residency atop the standings and in winner’s circles around NASCAR has become a habitual sight, the guy still knows how to treat people. And, such qualities are priceless.

Jimmie Johnson rose to the occasion, on Sunday. With just 3 laps remaining, he passed Tony Stewart for the lead and victory.

Funny thing, he passed Tony Stewart in CLASS a long time ago.
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Joe Mauer Gets A HUGE Raise …..
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I’m happy for the fans of Minnesota. This is what they wanted – and it’s likely to set a precedent in the game.

No, I’m not talking about positive growth, either. The Minnesota Twins have a STANDARD to which they operate. They’re a small market organization and they know it. In fact, their small market principles have been the steadying force in rendering the Twins a perennial contender.

I fear that’s about to change. I’m not suggesting they’ll start falling apart this year, or even next season. But, it’s likely coming. They overpaid Joe Mauer – plain and simple. As much as he’s an excellent ballplayer, they paid him to wear this uniform for the foreseeable future …..
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I get it – they’ve got a spankin’ new ballpark. What would it look like without Joe Mauer? The answer is it would look the same. But, the Twins delivered on a big demand by their fan base. In an era of selfishness and teams doing as they wish, it’s hard to beatup on the Twins organization.

But, I think they screwed it up and beat themselves in a bidding war. More to come on this topic, tomorrow.

Well, that was my weekend – for better or worse.

I’ll talk to you, at 2pm …..

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A Long, Hard Look At Nolan Reimold .....

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A Long, Hard Look At Nolan Reimold …..

Posted on 03 March 2010 by WNST Interns

As we sat around on March 3rd, 2009, our respective outlooks on a lot of things looked differently …..

Aside from the sting of absorbing another Steelers Super Bowl victory and a Terps basektball team that served up frustrating and disappointing performances with regularity, baseball fans wanted to believe the Orioles would break their streak of losing seasons.

And, why not? The birds were sporting a brand new look ….. full of retreads.

The starting pitching staff included Adam Eaton, Mark Hendrickson, Alfredo Simon and Koji Uehara. We thought they would perform poorly – yet, they still managed to be even worse.

The bullpen was a mess – and, that’s a polite way of putting it.

And, Gregg Zaun anchored the starting catcher’s position with a .111 batting average throughout the first month.

Still, Orioles fans had HOPE. Regardless of the above listed pile of “misfit toys” nobody else wanted anywhere near their bench, we still hoped things would get better before getting any worse. In fact, I distinctly recall the theme beckoned by many …..

“If the veterans can just tread water until the KIDS arrive ….. after the All Star break.”

Well, we all know how that pipedream ended …..
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As predicted, the pitching was absolutely horrible and those veterans who we hoped could “tread water,” ended up drowning. Indeed, the young prospects started streaming through Bowie and Norfolk, enroute to their ultimate destination, BALTIMORE, a little earlier than expected.

Brad Bergeson pitched very well. And, the heralded arrival of our savior, Matt Wieters, turned out to be a success, too.

Yet, as the orange carpet was being rolled out for Wieters’ first big league at-bat, on May 29th, another prospect was settling comfortably into the lineup, after making his debut just a couple weeks earlier.

One of the first players to struggle, in 2009, was the opening day left fielder, Felix Pie. Touted as a five tool, CAN’T MISS prospect throughout his minor league career, Pie was doing something the experts said he wouldn’t (or should I say CAN’T ….) do, with his impressive talents.

Through the month of April, Pie struggled at the plate with a .157 batting clip. And, if you recall, he looked even worse …..

By mid-May, the Orioles had seen enough – so ALL OF US thought. On May 14th, a move was made and another rookie was added to the lineup …..
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Nolan Reimold made an immediate impact upon seizing the role as starting left fielder. Heck, his first homerun came off Mariano Rivera – and he went deep another 14 times, in just 400 at bats.

It was an impressive rookie campaign and it fueled a starving fan base that has waited beyond rightful understanding to see the “Baby Birds” develop before our eyes. And, to a point Reimold’s success and overall “splash” was kinda unexpected.

While we awaited the eventual promotions of Wieters, Matusz, Tillman and Hernandez, seeing Reimold’s impact was certainly the promising surprise of another dreadful season. And, after those 400 at-bats, everybody is ready to annoint the streaking sophmore part of the long term future of Baltimore’s baseball landscape.

In fact, as the 2010 season is fast approaching and the Orioles assemble the makings of their most promising roster, in more than a decade, many experts and casual observers are penciling Nolan Reimold’s name in the left field slot.

Better yet, most enthusiasts are writing Reimold’s name with a SHARPIE.

I hope we’re right. I will never, EVER root against any player wearing an Orioles uniform. That included, Reggie Jackson, Albert Belle and most recently, Aubrey Huff. So, I absolutely hope to see a less-heralded guy like Nolan Reimold make it.

Nothing would make me happier than to see #14 on Birdland highlight reels for years to come …..
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But, admittedly, I have some reservations. Call me a pessimist or detractor, if you wish. Yet, I’m just trying to be honest with myself, and YOU.

Most observers are hoping Nolan Reimold’s name accompanies Matt Wieters, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis into the long term future of the Baltimore Orioles franchise.

However, I have real concerns.

Did you know Reimold is older than all of the above mentioned players? Yeah, yeah, he’s only a month older than Markakis. But, he’s going to be 27, this year. Not the optimal age for a sophmore season, huh?

Here’s a piece of future trivia for developing an eventual question – Nolan Reimold was born on the day the Orioles won their last HOME World Series game.
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Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dissuaded from hoping Reimold can be a fixture in this town, for a while. He’ll turn 27 AFTER the season – but, I still acknowledge he’s not that optimal aged prospect, if you know what I mean.

To compound my doubts or overall concerns, Reimold has a pretty consistent injury history. In fact, he’s been on the Disbaled List during 4 of his 5 professional seasons. The injuries have been varied and, at times, substantial. He’s had back issues – which concern me with anyone.

Say what you will, players tend to fight the injury bug as they get older.

My final cautionary consideration on Nolan Reimold is I’m not 100% certain he’s the best left fielder on this Orioles team. Being open minded, I believe he has some competition from within the 25 man roster.

Last August, I witnessed a DIFFERENT Felix Pie. He was disciplined, yet, aggressive at the plate. And, that HUGE hole in his swing was gone !!!! Pie looked comfortable and confident whenever he stepped in the box; heck, he looked like he was having fun …..
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While Nolan Reimold probably offers a little more power, Felix Pie has speed on his side. He’s more dangerous on the basepaths and covers more territory in the outfield. He’s been widely touted as the “5 Tool” player, as I’ve mentioned. And, the man who first took a chance on him (Andy MacPhail) hasn’t abandoned hope.

The intangible factors favoring Pie is he’s a little younger (so we think ….) and his injury history suggests he’s a healthier player. Pie has been on the DL only 2 times, in 8 seasons.

Look, I’m not trying to initiate a positional feud – I just think the Orioles are still very much within a phase where long term projections and in-house competition are a GOOD THING.

Heck, in a perfect scenario, Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold both make the most of the respective situations and opportunities. If so, I’d reckon Luke Scott will lose playing time – if anybody does.

As I said during yesterday’s show, I think Nolan Reimold has the makings of a potentially solid big league career. But, I also think Felix Pie might be one of those “diamonds in the rough” or “late bloomers,” if you know what I mean.

If either has a sliver of SUPERSTAR potential, I feel it’s safe to say it’s Pie. But, he could also end up being the biggest disappointment.

Regardless, I don’t think we’re anywhere near approaching a situation similar to the most famous outfield platoon, in Orioles history …..
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I’ll just be happy if Nolan Reimold or Felix Pie translates into a solid, everyday left fielder for this Orioles team. Heaven forbid they’re both successful – that’s a GREAT problem to consider.

I just hope they both get a REAL shot …..

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williams

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Comcast Morning Show Live Blog (1/19/10)

Posted on 19 January 2010 by WNST Interns

9:15-

Andy Glockner, Sports Illustrated bracketologist is the next guest. He starts off by discussing William & Mary who Glockner has as a 7 seed in his latest bracket. Glockner explains that the Tribe has already built a very strong resume. He next talks about the Terps. He states that Maryland is probably better than their resume at this point. He says that at this point they have nothing good to put on their profile. Maryland must compile quite a few quality wins to get back in the NCAA picture.

9:07-

Rick is next up. Drew tells Rick that he must pick a station at some point. Rick makes it clear that he will choose WNST. He wants to talk about Martin Luther King Day yesterday. He calls it “wonderful” that we are able to celebrate.

8:45-

Merton is next up. Drew mentions that Merton refrained from calling the week before the game in case his team lost. Merton wants to make sure that those in Baltimore know that the Colts will get revenge for Super Bowl III.

8:37-

Ed in Park Heights calls in to talk about the Orioles increase in ticket prices. He and Drew discuss the responsibilities of an owner. He also talks about the Ravens briefly. He explains that he does not understand why so many are talking about Rex Ryan being a better coach than John Harbaugh. Harbaugh reached the AFC Championship in his first season as well.

8:16-

Patrick Stevens joins Drew. He firmly believes that the Terps will walk over Longwood. He thinks it will be a big night for James Padgett. Gary Williams insists that Padgett will be an important part of the rotation despite his lack of play time this far. He thinks that it may make sense for Dino Gregory to lose a few minutes in favor of Padgett. Stevens next moves on to Jordan Williams. He compares Williams to Lonny Baxter. Stevens also discusses the CAA with Drew. At this point, it seems likely that two teams could get into the NCAA tournament.

williams

7:56-

Bob in Parkville calls in. He talks about the CBA talks going on in the NFL. He points out that the players are already getting 60% of every dollar. The players also do not need to worry about profit. Bob explains that he would lock the players out. He next moves on to the news that the Orioles will charge an extra fee for those who walk up to buy tickets for games. He rips this and many other decision my owner Peter Angelos.

7:30-

Mike Gillian, head coach of the Longwood basketball team is on to talk with Drew. He discusses his team’s game against the Terps tonight. He talks about the importance of these games against big conference teams like Maryland. He also brings up the fact that his currently independent team belongs in the Big South conference.

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