Thursday
June 22
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXXV
Issue 22
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


o's hang in there but lose again as manny jogs a couple out


I guess Manny Machado figured he was allowed to lollygag after his Tuesday night performance at Camden Yards where he belted two home runs, drove in four, and ignited a 7th inning surge with a leadoff double.

What other reason could he give for jogging down to first base on two ground outs in Wednesday night's 5-1 loss to the Indians?

The O's not only lost to fall below .500 again (35-36), but their record for consecutive games allowing at least five runs remained intact when Cleveland tacked on two runs in the top of the 9th, dinging Tuesday night's pitching hero -- Miguel Castro -- for five hits in about eight minutes of work.

The Orioles have now surrendered five or more runs in 18 straight games, two shy of tying the major league record held by the 1924 Philadelphia Phillies.

One night after serving as the team's offensive star, Manny Machado put forth little effort in the Orioles 5-1 loss to the Indians on Wednesday evening at Camden Yards.

Cleveland has a very good team, by the way. I know Houston is off to a sizzling start and all, but someone is going to have to play really well in October to beat the Indians.

The two Machado incidents most certainly weren't the first time this season he jaked it, but they were glaring nonetheless. In the bottom of the fourth, Manny's pace down the first base line was so slow he could have held a cherry snowball in his hand and nary a drop would have spilled out onto his pretty white uniform.

I even remarked via Twitter in the next inning that Cleveland's Francisco Lindor made it around the bases on his home run in a quicker time than it took Machado to scoot down to first base in the previous inning.

Eh, who cares, right?

I mean, if the manager doesn't care, why should we? Then again, I'm sure Showalter probably does care, but what's he going to do to Machado to get him to hustle? He could bench him for a night or even the start of a game, but all that's going to do is ruffle the kid's feathers.

As fate would have it, in the very next at-bat after Machado shuffled his way down to first and was thrown out by two steps on a ball hit well in back of third, Adam Jones busted his ass down to first base on an infield single to shortstop.

That's the difference between a guy who treats every at-bat with professionalism and one who wants $40 million a year but doesn't know how to earn it.

I'm sure Jones would love to say something to Machado about his pedestrian effort on the 4th inning ground out and another in the bottom of the 8th when he lumbered down to first with no real intention of getting there quickly, but the 24-year old would just say the same thing he says every time someone tries to "talk baseball" with him: "I got it handled manito."

Back to the actual game, the O's hung tough with Cleveland and Kevin Gausman delivered one of his best performances of the season, but still wound up the loser when he coughed up three runs in the fifth inning. For the night, Gausman allowed just six hits and struck out nine, although he did walk two Indians along the way.

The O's had a chance to get back in the game in the bottom of the 7th when they loaded the bases with no outs. But Andrew Miller came in and got Joey Rickard (pinch hitting) to ground out and then struck out Caleb Joseph and Ruben Tejada (pinch hitting) to keep the Birds scoreless.

I was at the ballpark (my son got a ball from Indians pitcher Nick Goody -- a nice guy he is), so perhaps I missed the information that a TV broadcast would generate, but why not send Welington Castillo to the plate to hit for Joseph in the 7th? Maybe his career numbers against Miller aren't all that good? That's OK. He's a better hitter than Joseph.

Failing to score there ended the night for the Birds, although they did spoil Cleveland's shutout in the 9th when Jonathan Schoop doubled in Trey Mancini to finalize the scoring at 5-1.

Speaking of Schoop and Mancini -- they bust their butt on every play. Those two kids can play on my team any day.

Machado? I'm not so sure anymore.


"the best 34 minutes of the week" returns


The latest #DMD podcast can be found below, as I welcome in Vic Biscoe of Primary Residential Mortgage for a half-hour (plus) chat about the Orioles, U.S. Open golf and a whole lot more.

Vic has played a gazillion rounds at Mount Pleasant, so I asked him to chime in on the current debate we're having about what the scoring would be at Mount Pleasant if the U.S. Open were ever held there.

There's a lot of good stuff --- so listen in, please.



BARCS banner ad

wisdom’s final round 57 caps off historic u.s. open triumph at mount pleasant



(Baltimore, MD) -- Parker Wisdom of Bloomington, Illinois is fond of golf courses called Mount Pleasant.

The 25-year old captured his first career major title on Sunday with a scorching final round of 57 at Mount Pleasant in Baltimore, Maryland, firing a 4-day total of 33-under par to win the U.S. Open by one shot over Brett Munson and Beau Hossler, who was looking to capture his second straight major after winning the Masters in a playoff in April.

Wisdom was 15 years old back in 2017 when he captured an AJGA event at a course called Mount Pleasant in suburban Wisconsin.

”Must be my lucky place,” said Wisdom after two putting for birdie at 18 on Sunday. “Honestly, when I first heard the U.S. Open was going to Mount Pleasant, I thought it was the course in Wisconsin where I won as a junior. I didn’t realize it was the course in Baltimore until I qualified in the sectionals and they congratulated me and said, “You’re on your way to Charm City! Pack a Kevlar vest for the trip.”

Two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson finished in 4th place at 31-under par. He led Wisdom by six shots heading into Sunday’s drama-filled final round.


U. S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP SCOREBOARD
Mount Pleasant Park Golf Club
Baltimore, Maryland
Place Player Total R1 R2 R3 R4 Strokes
1 Parker Wisdom -33 63 65 66 57 251
T2 Brett Munson -32 64 59 65 66 252
T2 Beau Hossler -32 58 66 66 62 252
4 Bubba Watson -31 63 63 62 65 253
5 Anthony Hog -29 67 65 65 58 255

”Shooting 65 at this popcorn course…I deserve to lose,” a disheartened Watson said afterwards. “I drove four of the par 4’s but only made two birdies. That was the difference in the tournament right there. And some kid darted out from the woods on number five and grabbed my ball. That was kind of unsettling, to be honest with you. I didn’t get penalized, but it still rattled me a bit.”

Sunday’s final round 57 from Wisdom wasn’t even the lowest round of the week at the 6700 yard layout that stretches through a neighborhood in North Baltimore and is pinched in between an ice rink and a parkway. 44-year old Dustin Johnson, seeking his second U.S. Open to go with three Masters titles, shot an opening round 55 on Thursday before falling behind on Friday and Saturday when he posted rounds of 66-67. Johnson drove five of Mount Pleasant’s par-4 holes in his 16-under round of 55 and made four eagles and two birdies on the outward nine.

Wisdom started his final round by hitting driver, 7-iron to the par-5 first hole, which measured 560 yards after tournament officials moved the first tee back to area adjacent to the practice putting green.

”That eagle got me started on the right track,” Wisdom said of the 12-foot putt he rolled in at #1. “I knew Bubba would be tough to beat today. I thought I might have to shoot 58 to win. Turns out 57 was the number I had to post to win by one.”

Wisdom then drove the 379 yard 2nd hole and narrowly missed a second straight eagle, tapping in for birdie to move into sole possession of 2nd place.

Watson, meanwhile, only managed a birdie at one and a par at the second hole. His 5-iron off the tee at #2 came up short in the front right bunker and he blasted out to 15-feet before missing his birdie attempt.

The third hole proved pivotal, as both Wisdom and Hossler drove the green. Wisdom’s eight foot eagle putt found the bottom of the cup while Hossler’s 35-footer for two slid past by six feet and the former University of Texas All-American missed the comeback attempt to settle for par.

Beau Hossler hugs his caddie on the 18th green after his eagle-2 at the finishing hole momentarily tied him for the lead. Moments later, though, Parker Wisdom made birdie at the final hole to win the U.S. Open at Mount Pleasant in Baltimore.

”That was a bad mistake on my part,” Hossler said afterwards. “I drove that green three of the four days and didn’t make eagle once. You have to take advantage of those short holes.”

Wisdom made par at 4 and 5, then birdied the 6th to take a two-shot lead. He drove the 391 yard par-4 7th hole when he blew his drive over the trees that line the right side of the hole.

”I saw the big scoreboard there and knew Bubba made par at 4 and 5 and thought this was my chance to take the tournament from him,” Wisdom commented. “That putt on seven was a scary one, but I rolled it in for eagle and I was off to the races at that point.”

He then drove the par-4 8th hole from 367 yards away but uncharacteristically three-putted from the back of the green.

”Club selection error there,” the champion said. “I went with the 3-iron off the tee to take those front bunkers out of play but 4-iron there would have been plenty long enough.”

After another par at 9, Wisdom made the turn at 8-under par for the day and owned a 3-shot edge on Hossler, Munson and Watson.

The onslaught continued at the par-5 tenth, where Wisdom hit 3-wood, sand wedge to 10-feet and made the putt to move to -10 in the final round.

”I mean, every hole there is short, but that one is particularly easy to navigate if you can get it all the way down to the bottom of the hill, which I was able to with my 3-wood off the tee,” Wisdom explained. “On Friday, I hit driver there, but I got it on the upslope. Even though I only had 144 to the hole, the second shot was pretty difficult. So today, I laid back with a 3-wood and had 152 in a flat area and could get sand wedge back there easily.”

But Hossler got back in the tournament with successive eagles at #12 and #13, driving both greens and rolling in lengthy putts to pull within one shot of the lead.

”I knew he wasn’t going to go away quietly,” Wisdom said of Hossler. “We played together in the 3rd round of the Masters this year and I know he’s a great player.”

Both players hit sand wedge into the 455 yard par-4 14th hole, but Wisdom was able to convert from 12-feet for birdie while Hossler missed a four-footer and settled for par.

”A gunshot or a car backfiring went off in my down stroke there,” Hossler remarked. “I couldn’t tell which it was, but it definitely shook me up me for a few minutes.”

With Watson making an improbable bogey (his first of the week) at #13 and Munson starting the back nine par-par-par, it became a two-man battle between Wisdom and Hossler.

Wisdom’s drive at #15 cleared the stream that borders the front of the hole, and he calmly chipped to three feet for a kick-in birdie to get to 12-under for the day. Hossler missed a 10-footer for birdie on the same hole.

At the 387 yard par-4 16th, Wisdom drove the ball to the front edge of the green and two-putted for birdie. Moments earlier, Munson, who birdied 14 and 15, holed out from the greenside bunker for eagle to pull within two shots of the lead. He would later make eagle-2 at the par-4 18th to finish at 32-under par.

Hossler stuffed his tee shot at 17 to three feet and made the putt. Wisdom hit a flare to the right off the tee that landed in amateur alley, his first missed green of the tournament, but was able to knock his second shot close for a tap-in par.

At the par-4 18th, Wisdom drove the green for the third consecutive day but was left with 50 feet for eagle. Hossler’s drive – with a 3-wood – nestled twelve feet below the hole.

Wisdom’s eagle putt came up four feet short and when Hossler poured in his eagle putt to finish at -32, it was up to Wisdom to make his four footer for the win. He calmly stepped in and knocked the putt home for the title.

”I knew where I stood,” Wisdom said. “I was very aware of the fact that I needed to make that putt to win.”

Baltimore native Anthony Hog survived a 2-stroke penalty in the final round to finish 5th in the U.S. Open at Mount Pleasant.

The players were enthusiastic in their support of Mount Pleasant, which was hosting its second USGA championship. The course was also the site of the 1939 U.S. Amateur Public Links championship.

”It’s a little short,” said Hossler after the event. “But it’s tricky. You’ve got the ice rink over there, kids running around, cars backfiring. We even had a twosome show up on Saturday saying they had reserved a time a month ago via some online tee-time system and they insisted they be allowed to play. There was a lot going on out there, but it was a fun test.”

Baltimore native Anthony Hog finished 5th, but started his final round with a two-shot penalty after getting into a confrontation with the tournament’s first tee announcer over the pronounciation of his last name.

”Three straight days they announced it right – it’s Hog, like ‘home’. Not Hog like a pig,” Hog said. “After he announced it wrong, I went into the trailer to complain to the USGA officials and when I came out, the group was already down the fairway and they docked me two shots. That’s big money I lost right there.”

Hog still managed to shoot 58 in the final round with the two-shot penalty included. He played the 17th and 18th holes with his hat on backwards in “rally cap” form, but it was too little to late at that point. On the day, Hog made two eagles and 11 birdies, with the lone blemish on his card coming at the first hole when he was penalized en-route to a double-bogey seven.

The 2026 U.S. Open will be played at Erin Hills, which hosted the 2017 championship that was won by Brooks Koepka. The yardage next June at Erin Hills is likely to tip out at 8,700 yards, or roughly 2,000 yards longer than Mount Pleasant played this week.

”We won’t be driving four or five par 4’s every day at that place, we all know that,” said Wisdom as he held the winner’s trophy. “But this place here in Baltimore will always hold a special place in my heart. I won the U.S. Open, shot 33 under par and only missed one green in 72 holes. I doubt I’ll ever play better than this, anywhere.”

And that, friends of #DMD, is what would happen if they held the U.S. Open at Mount Pleasant now, or in the future. I note in the comments section below where my buddy George McDowell -- sipping on some fine private stock down in North Carolina -- asks "if the modern player would tear up Mount Pleasant, how come the modern player hasn't torn it up?" That's an easy question to answer: The "modern" player hasn't come to Mount Pleasant and played in a golf tournament since the late 1950's. In the 1950's, 6700 yards was a fair test for the greats of the game. In 2017 (and 2025), 6700 yards at a municipal "park" like Mount Pleasant would get blistered. If 20 TOUR players showed up there tomorrow for an exhibition of some sort, at least one of them -- if not more -- would shoot in the 50's. That is, as long as we're not penalizing them for their ball disappearing in the 15th fairway. Oh, and by the way, there really IS a kid named Parker Wisdom from Bloomington, Illinois and he really DID win an AJGA event at a place called Mount Pleasant in Wisconsin back in April of this year. Watch out for him in 2025.

KELLY banner ad

thursday sports with David Rosenfeld

DAVID ROSENFELD is a former sports publicist who still keeps his eye on the game. Looking at the game, the news or the players on an in-depth level is what he likes to do. Follow his work here at #DMD every Thursday, brought to you by Glory Days Grill.


Tonight is the NBA Draft. I used to love the NBA Draft.

The guys whom I watched play in college for three or four years were sorted and sifted by the experts and compared against those particularly special players who had to come out earlier. For every Chris Webber, there was a Grant Hill. For every Allen Iverson, there was a Steve Nash.

Then came Kevin Garnett in 1995, ushering in the era of players being drafted directly out of high school. That lasted about 10 years, and also brought us Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. There was also Kwame Brown, the first high school player to be drafted No. 1 overall.

Drafting is an inexact science, I guess.

Villanova standout Josh Hart will be a rare breed tonight at the NBA Draft, as he'll be one of the rare "4-year" college players selected.

And now we have the NBA age-limit rule, which in turn has led to the “one-and-done” college basketball culture best exemplified by Kentucky and John Calipari, though it would be wrong to stop simply with him.

There’s a possibility, based on some mock drafts, that the first 10 players chosen tonight will have the same exact background: one season of college basketball. The presumed top pick, Markelle Fultz, didn’t even play in the NCAA tournament in his one season, just like last year’s No. 1, Ben Simmons.

I barely know them.

Through this entire time, of course, the international element of the draft has been in play. Some years it’s been more prevalent than others, but it’ll never go away. We still have a lot of the best players in the world here in the States, but we don’t have all of them.

And hopefully some of them will be easier to spell and pronounce than Giannis Antetokounmpo.

I don’t love the NBA Draft anymore. But that’s more about me, I think. The drafts in the 1980s and early 1990s were fun, but so were the days when teams took a few chances on high school players. And now, we have a little bit of a happy medium if you are an NBA enthusiast.

If you’re a fan of a big-time college team, it’s not necessarily happy, unless you win the NCAA title that year.

Times may change, but the point never changes. If a team is going to pick someone, is he the right guy? With the potential for injury, or accident, or some other kind of bad luck, even the most obvious choice might not work out.

I remember the NBA Draft on June 17, 1986. I watched because of Len Bias, who died two days later. In that draft, 17 of the first 20 players chosen were seniors who had completed their college eligibility, as was Bias.

The three who were not seniors? Chris Washburn, who played a total of 72 games in the NBA; William Bedford, who averaged four points per game and never played in more than 60 games in six NBA seasons; and John “Hot Plate” Williams, who had five serviceable seasons in Washington before being suspended by the team in 1991 because he was too fat to play.

Did this become a cautionary tale about drafting immature young players? Obviously not.

Plus, 1986 wasn’t the best year when it came to seniors either. Guys like Brad Daugherty and Johnny Dawkins were good players, but injuries shortened their careers. Ron Harper and John Salley had long careers as role players, not stars. The best college player besides Bias in 1986 was Walter Berry from St. John’s, drafted No. 14, and he was playing in Europe by 1989.

By 1996, the draft had changed considerably; high schoolers, European players and college freshmen and sophomores were the norm, not a novelty. Bryant and Jermaine O’Neal were drafted 13th and 17th respectively; in retrospect, they should have been taken in the top five. Peja Stojakovic, a Serbian, averaged 17 points per game in a 13-year NBA career. From the college ranks, Big East rivals Allen Iverson and Ray Allen were drafted in the top five, and each lived up to those choices.

Some experts say the 1996 draft was the second-best all-time, behind only the 1984 draft featuring Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and John Stockton, all Hall of Famers. Yet I’m sure that some dismissed it at the time, considering the “unproven” talents of so many of the draft choices.

Now, 21 years later, the draft is essentially a party for 19-year-olds, like the spring rush over at Kappa Sigma. Like it is with frat pledges, it’s not obvious who will make the best pick. Zach Collins was the backup center at Gonzaga last season; he averaged 17 minutes per game and played most of his games against teams like Pepperdine and Portland. He could be taken in the Top 10, and he could be really good.

De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk are the latest one-and-dones from Kentucky. Fox shot only 25% from the college three-point arc in his one season, while Monk scored 47 points in a game against North Carolina. Fox seems like more of a reach, but he might be taken ahead of Monk.

A 6-10 forward named Jonathan Isaac played at Florida State for one year; I don’t think I ever saw him play. Lonzo Ball played for one of the nation’s most famous programs at UCLA; thanks to his father, I don’t think there’s been a day in the last few months that I haven’t heard his name.

The NBA age limit and its effect on the college game is a hotly-debated topic, one for another time. If you’re interested in getting the Kentucky/Calipari version of it, the ESPN 30-for-30 entitled “One and Not Done” is a great watch.

The draft, however, is about the players, all of whom have wanted to play in the NBA since they were small children. They didn’t luck into their current situation, being fawned over by GMs and evaluated for flaws by scouts. They worked hard to even deserve consideration for the draft, and they should be celebrated, no matter how young they are or how few games they played in college.

Still, it’s interesting to look back at the old fashioned way. The first four-year college player drafted tonight will probably be Josh Hart, the native of Silver Spring who played at Villanova. According to Ken Pomeroy, he was the “best” player in college basketball last season, at least from an efficiency standpoint.

He should be celebrated too. There is more than one way to become an NBA player, just like there’s more than one kind of draft that can provide fodder and excitement for years to come.

PGA TOUR banner ad

woods leads phelps after day one of "ultimate winners" final voting


In golf terms, Tiger Woods has a narrow 2-shot lead over Michael Phelps as the two contestants reach the 10th tee.

Anything can still happen.

Woods (53%) has a slight edge over Phelps (47%) after day one voting in our "Ultimate Winners" final. You are still encouraged to vote below and help us determine the winner.

This match-up between Woods and Phelps pits two players with incredibly similar stories.

Woods was a child golfing prodigy who was destined for greatness once he reached his early teen years and won an unprecedented three consecutive U.S. Junior Amateurs and three consecutive U.S. Amateurs before turning professional in 1996 at age 20.

Phelps grew up in Baltimore and started drawing national attention as a potential Olympic hopeful at age 12, then went on to swim in three Olympic games, earning 23 gold medals and 28 overall.

But their similarities don't stop there.

Both were robbed of traditional childhood opportunities because of their dedication to their respective sports and each -- on different personal paths -- would wind up making national news and hitting the cover of tabloid websites and magazines while at the height of their competitive careers.

Woods was exposed in an infidelity scandal that ended his marriage and cost him roughly $500 million, then went through a series of medical issues that culmininated in his arrest on DUI charges in late May of 2017. He's currently undergoing treatment for an apparent addiction to pain medication.

Phelps was twice arrested for DUI, including once at age 19, and was also caught on camera with a bong in his hand while at a college party in 2009.

Personal hiccups aside, the two have also been winning for about as long as they've been competing.

In his prime, no one could come close to beating Woods. And in his prime, no one could rival Phelps.

And there's "winning" and then there's "winning when it matters most". Both Woods and Phelps were able to win when the spotlight was brightest. Woods captured 14 major golf championships before age 33 and seemed destined to shred Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors until infidelity and injuries shattered his quest.

Phelps was the best swimmer in the world at not one, not two, but three Olympic games, winning five gold medals in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Is one of them, though, a better "winner" than the other? That's why we'e here...to vote on that very question.

I again ask that you take a few minutes to read through each competitor's biographies and career stats to make the best vote you can.

You can find Tiger Woods' career information here.

You can find Michael Phelps' career information here.

Please take a few minutes today to really look through what each of the men has done and vote for your winner below. And remember, your vote counts. In the opening round of the contest, Roger Federer beat Michael Jordan by ONE vote.


 Drew's Morning Dish

#DMD Poll

Question: Which of these two is the better "winner"?
#1 seed, Tiger Woods
#3 seed, Michael Phelps
- x
- y
- z
Name
Email address


#dmd comments


George     June 22
@Robin -- Amen! Drew and these other self-satisfied know-it-alls won't give you an answer on why Merion, at only 200 yards longer than the Mount, humbled all who played it in 2013.

Drew and these other guys who live in their poor deluded minds won't give you an answer when you ask why Len Mattiace (a former Tour pro who in 2004 tied for the Masters and lost a playoff) didn't break par in (at least) two times around the Mount.

Drew and these other self-proclaimed experts won't give an answer to why Denny McCarthy, who plays on the Web.com Tour, never tore up the Mount in all the times he played it.

Drew and these other fools all say somebody COULD . . . and somebody WOULD . . . but all I know for a natural fact is, Tommy Bolt's record of 64 was set 60 years ago and still stands on a course that has had exactly one re-working in its history, and that renovation SHORTENED it.

The Mount will turn 83 next Friday, June 30th, and she's still the master of all who play her, except in the highly-suspect mind of Drew and those gullible enough to swallow his conditional sentences.

Robin Towson     June 22
As a charter member of the knucklehead tour at the Mount, I appreciate the romanticizing of the great venue.



It's great to think about all the public links events at the Mount. Standing on the first tee with miles of terra firma right, heck all the way to 10th fairway, I still found enough courage to hit the first tee ball of the tourney right into Hillen Rd and here someone say don't worry Arnie did that to.



George, the modern golfer, and Mt. Pleasant. I have not been there in many years, showed up last year with an ole friend, a modern golfer if you will. After chatting with our ole friend, the pro, we proceeded to the first tee for my friends inaugural trip around the classic layout, albeit shortened as you mentioned.



My friend kills a drive on 1, 5 wood into the left green, 2 putt birdie. He looks at me as we proceed to number 2 and states, "is the rest of this course that open?" I did not offer an answer.



After we shook hands on 18, and I added his 79 additional strokes to the 4 he made on 1st, I said no it's not really that open, he looked at me and said, " how in the hell did that happen?"



And I remember what our ole friend DF would say about the Mount and responded to question with, "not a lot of even lies out there."



God love the modern golfer.




Al     June 22
@CJ Great point on the whole Luke Jones thing. He "covers" the O's, but only home games! Meanwhile his boss flies all over going to concerts, which I am sure are business expenses. And Luke has press pass, but all he does is turn his phone on record while other reporters ask questions. It is high comedy indeed, like his "books".

Chris in Bel Air     June 22
In addition to trying to improve on the current roster, the O's front office has a lot of decisions to make on the current players. This team could look dramatically different when they take the field in 2019. According to Spotrac, here are the contracts for some notable O's:



kim - signed through 17

tillman - signed through 17

miley - signed through 17 with a club option for 18

smith - signed through 17

hardy - signed through 17 with a club option for 18

ubaldo - signed through 17

manny - signed through 18

britton - signed through 18

castillo - signed through 18

jones - signed through 18

brach - signed through 18



Trumbo, O'day and Schoop are all signed through 19

Robert     June 22
Maybe Machado's erratic efforts are his subtle way of saying he wants out (traded) or he's having a hard time handling the losing? Bad attitudes & big egos are very tough to treat by anyone other than the individual involved.

CJ     June 22
@the other guy

I am one of the six. It is horrible. That dude writes nonsense, writes without proper attribution, cuts and pastes and uses the wrong words at every turn. Every thing circles around his disdain for PGA. And anyone who has followed along his self destructive path knows that it all stems from 2 things. One, he thought he had a deal for some ad buys from the club and those fell through and Two he was squirted by the Oriole bird. He has zero credibility in most peoples eyes. A hack still trying for some relevance. His lack of caring for his employees is still in evidence. He complains that no one is allowed to ask the tough questions because he is not there to ask questions, yet he has a guy who works for him who is half a beat writer(only home games). Is he saying that his own employee is too stupid to ask questions? Only logical conclusion to be drawn.



Baseball winning is about talent and talent playing to their ability. Not happening overall for the team this year. Buck gives clues in his pressers. From what can be gleaned, he was saying the other night that Tillman is not in the best of shape and has suffered through this before. Buck made a huge point last year about Tillman being so much better in '16 than '15 because he was in better shape and hinted at it on Monday. I think that Tillman could get a lot better in the 2nd half, if he can shape up.

We have not seen many guys who lolly gag around here. But it happens in tons of cities in MLB. Watch Cespeda in NY. Puig in LA and on and on.



I think that the O's can make a run. Need some health and some guys to round into form. They have done it before. Like an old gelding that has not been running well and than starts to feel better, they can put it together and have shown a propensity to play hard. Let's let Ubaldo lead us.

Theotherguy     June 22
So, why does anyone get up in arms about the O's are "too cheap to pay this guy". Why should they??? Anyone thinking it's about the owner being cheap is just drinking the Former Employer's kool aid (and probably one of the half dozen or do reading his "book")

Trent     June 22
Brien,



Perhaps you should try learning a bit about the Orioles before going on your blow hard rants. You really don't have a clue. Maybe you are too far up DD's rear end to see the truth.



Please defend your quote "...whose team has the most wins in the American League during his tenure here." Do you actually know how the roster was built? Chris Davis, Jonathan Schoop, JJ Hardy, Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Chris Tillman, Zach Britton & Dylan Bundy were all in the organization before DD got here. It would be tough NOT to win when you inherit a core like that.

DR (the original)     June 22
All I know is that Manny is supposed to be Bryce Harper or Mike Trout and he has a .292 OBP this year. It's kind of shocking, really.

It would be great if he ran harder but it would be even better if he played even close to his actual ability.

TBone     June 22
Right you are Mike.

Safe to say the O's don't have a curfew. Lol

Mike     June 22
Manny goes hard in Canton and Fells Point though.

JohnInEssex     June 22
My son and I were at Monday night's game, and saw similar lacadasical (sp?) efforts from Manny. A ground ball was hit past his right side and he seemed to barely make an effort to catch it. He also took his good ol' time on two ground ball outs.



Remembering how he hit all line drives and constantly hustled when he first came up, it's sad that Manny has devolved into swinging for the fences and playing only when he feels like it...

John S. Cobb     June 22
Used to think BCC East would 'holdup' for an Open, until the Senior Tour came to town. Watched Dan Pohl hit driver, sand wedge into No. 1, from a temporary tee that was back by the entrance to the club. Did I mention these were the old guys?

mike from catonsville     June 22
Here's a DMD quiz for the patrons.

Where will Melo Trimble be dining tonight after the NBA draft?

A. Petit Louis

B. Sabatinnos

C. Samos restaurant

D. Tio Pepe

E. Cazbar

F. Das Bier Haus



Because he sure as hell isn't dining at the Prime Rib!

unitastoberry     June 22
People say to me if the Orioles were in first and Manny was hitting 315 you would not bust on him for jaking it? Wrong I still would.

We need a guy like Miller in our bullpen he's lights out. Oh wait a minute I think he did play here once and we got deep into the playoffs?

TA1892     June 22
Drew, love the podcast. Completely agree with you about Manny to Boston. If they give him 400 mill he would have no problem going there.

Tom     June 22
OMG. That U.S. Open story is the funniest thing I have ever read in my life! I love the part about the car "backfiring". Been there done that on that course. You're always ducking for cover! Drew, that was hilarious. And maybe even true. I tend to think you're more right than George in your scoring assessment. Either way this has been enjoyable to read and follow!!!

HERMAN     June 22
Played at Eagles Nest a few years back with a Florida tour pro practicing for the qualifier for the US Open they used to host. We got to the par five seventh hole. Playing from the blue-tee tips he hit driver, seven iron, and rolled in a five footer for what looked like the easiest eagle I've ever seen. Just reduced the hole to a pitch and putt.

I thanked him for teaching me why I'd never eagled the hole. Told him I never thought to hit driver seven iron to the green, considering I'm usually in the trees right off the tee and still about 320 out. I know that they didn't set the course record back when they hosted the qualifier, but give today's players that 6,850 layout and two looks, there'd be a bunch of scores below the course record.

George     June 22
BJ– Obviously you are one of the highly intelligent and extraordinarily perceptive readers and commenters of these pages.

We can only hope that this forum survives the pap that DF will deliver tomorrow to bolster his ridiculous assertions that one of this country’s classic golf courses would be destroyed by the Tour’s current players.

I urge you to parse his arguments in support of his thesis, searching for some tiny nugget of actual evidence that what he asserts would have some tiny chance of coming to pass. I doubt you will find it.

We ask why the predictions that Merion’s course would be similarly destroyed in 2013 by today’s modern bombers were so grossly wrong. We get no answer to this question. [Justin Rose won with a scorer of +1.]

Mt. Pleasant hasn’t been “renovated” since 1959, when it was re-routed and shortened because of the Perring Parkway incursion. Even after that 150-yard reduction in length, and the reduction in par from 72 to 71, Terrible Tommy Bolt’s 60-year-old course record of 64 still stands. We see no explanation for this fact.

Drew will not directly address this FACT, but will cowardly hide his arguments in saying what “everybody knows,” knowing that what “everybody” knows calls up the mob mentality to agree with him with numbers rather than pure reason.

The question boils down to, if [as he says] the course would be destroyed by today’s modern players, why hasn’t it been destroyed by today’s modern players?


BJ     June 21
As always, George delivers the goods! Thanks George, good read

Cheap Seats     June 21
Manny's gonna be Manny. Thought the story was Buck and Jones have both tried talking to him, he just ignores them. Gives credence to Brien's point that there might not be anything O's can do, other than be the high bidder, to hang onto this guy. And honestly, Buck might not even want him. Think his attitude will improve after he gets 400 mil? Yea, right.

KVV from SP     June 21
That's what I love about Jim Palmer, he is the only MASN announcer that will call it like it is! Mike Bordick would just say what a great player and great swing he had on that pitch?

DR (the original)     June 21
The next time I play at Mt. Pleasant after I hit my second shot on #16 I'm going to tee one up in rough to the left of the cart path and let it rip toward the 18th fairway. If there's somebody playing the hole, tough noogies...

Thisguy     June 21
"Fetishizes"??

mike from catonsville     June 21
So Phil and Bones break up after 25 years. It will be interesting to see if there's any kind of back story or maybe both honestly felt it would be good for both of them. The quotes were all very positive. Perhaps he just wants his brother to make a few more bucks before retirement because I'm certain we don't have to pass the hat for bones. Anyone that has caddied at a reasonably high level knows those premier jobs don't come around often. It will be interesting to see who picks him up. Also, will we see a book deal to tell us all the "inner Phil".

unitastoberry     June 21
I was watching too when Palmer in his own Oriole way dissed Manny for not running out of the batters box instead of admiring a possible home run. It was a triple if he ran from the get go. Little things like this used to be the Oriole way and when your star player showboats it you got a problem as a role model for the rest of the team. Earl would have cussed him out in his office after the game win or lose. But a 4/4 night with homers and hits to the opposite field is a good sign for the future gazillionaire.

Nestor     June 21
Instead of reading the team issued stuff here how about coming to my website and reading the Peter Principles where I tell you the truth about the owner and the team?

HERMAN     June 21
I can't imagine being a young twenty-something and signing endorsement contracts worth a hundred million like Ricky Fowler. It would have been Baker's Bay on steroids for me by comparison to his antics. The kid is charismatic, has extreme talent, and is good for the game. Young kids wear his colors, emulate the flat brim hat look, and are interested in golf because he is involved. Ricky bashing gets old. I know guys who, given a hundred million at 22, would have all been dead by 23. I live 20 minutes from Jupiter where a lot of these young guys, like Ricky, live. They may play hard, but they give back too, all are involved in charitable work.

When Ricky tees it up, I root for him, and ignore the immature Bakers Bay nonsense, it's tame compared to how around the bend I'd go with that kind of money at that age.

Chris from Idlewylde     June 20
The problem I see here is a false narrative where it's treated as obvious that the Orioles are the impediment to a contract extension and Machado is just a passive observer with no agency



Never said he had no agency.



Machado has never given any indication that he would sign an extension pre-market



He is a home grown Oriole. If he wants to go elsewhere, then that is his prerogative. All I'm saying is that we didn't treat him like he should have been treated, which is that he should have developed in the majors at the position that he played, shortstop, and that we should have made it clear, with lots of zeros, that we wanted him here. If he doesn't want to be here, I am not going to say that's all on him.



As far as Duquette being "as bad as he seems," well, I see a guy who built good teams in Montreal and Boston previously and whose team has the most wins in the American League during his tenure here. That's an odd way to define bad.



K. I think he's a jerk, but that's my opinion.



If Britton was healthy and Tillman and Gausman were even just performing up to their common preseason projections the pitching staff right now would be just about as good as any group that made the playoffs in this run in terms of top four starters and best five relievers. But his top two starters have ERAs over 6.00 and his stud reliever has been hurt most of the year.



That's what I'm saying, they're not as bad as they are playing this year. We should keep them.



And I really do not get the obsession with Machado and shortstop these days. Machado plays third base because the Orioles have J.J. Hardy, who still produces as one of the best defensive shortstops in the game.



Should have started his career at shortstop. I'm not going to budge from that position.



it doesn't exactly lend itself to the idea that he's selflessly looking for a below market value extension.



Yeah, I don't know what Manny wants. All I can say is that I think we wasted him, and that Duquette is an ass.



I appreciate your insight. You know a lot more than I do.



These are my opinions from a guy who like I said doesn't even watch a lot of their games.



Put me on the payroll, and I'd be more willing to go deeper than my shallow analysis ;-)



We'll see what happens. I've stated my positions, good or bad.



Go O's and thanks for your input.








Brien Jackson     June 20
The problem I see here is a false narrative where it's treated as obvious that the Orioles are the impediment to a contract extension and Machado is just a passive observer with no agency. And maybe they aren't making an effort, but at the same time Machado has never given any indication that he would sign an extension pre-market, and he's been represented by Scott Boras who famously advises his clients to get to free agency ASAP. You've got to at least allow for the possibility that Machado wants to get on the market and there's nothing short of making him the highest paid player in history or offering him a $400 million contract that will keep that from happening. And as far as money goes I think they can afford to add Manny on top of Davis' number. It probably means letting Adam Jones go and definitely letting Britton go, but that's not unreasonable. What they can't do is add two good starters for next season on top of existing commitments and THEN add a $350 million+ deal for Machado, in all likelihood.



And conversely, I'd argue that the Orioles front office has been too committed to trying to keep their players, and because of that made bad deals with Davis, Hardy, and O'Day.



As far as Duquette being "as bad as he seems," well, I see a guy who built good teams in Montreal and Boston previously and whose team has the most wins in the American League during his tenure here. That's an odd way to define bad. Even this year, Castillo and Smith are contributing meaningfully to the roster as new additions and Miley has been more than serviceable as a fourth starter. If Britton was healthy and Tillman and Gausman were even just performing up to their common preseason projections the pitching staff right now would be just about as good as any group that made the playoffs in this run in terms of top four starters and best five relievers. But his top two starters have ERAs over 6.00 and his stud reliever has been hurt most of the year.



And I really do not get the obsession with Machado and shortstop these days. Machado plays third base because the Orioles have J.J. Hardy, who still produces as one of the best defensive shortstops in the game. Trying to play Machado there with Hardy still on the roster would be an insanely stupid allocation of roster resources, and if Manny is legitimately super worked up over that it doesn't exactly lend itself to the idea that he's selflessly looking for a below market value extension.

Chris from Idlewylde     June 20
@Brien

I believe that the change needs to be made at the top, not so much the roster and definitely not the manager.

The Davis contract/no money for Manny debacle is the paramount example of why I do not like Duquette. Manny is Ripken. He should have been the one getting the big contract. He is an inspiring baseball player and should be, now that he's coming into his prime, a cornerstone player. Duquette has botched this whole thing. It's sad. To see Machado go makes the Orioles franchise look completely inept (once again). We could turn back into the 2000's Orioles. The 30-3 against the Rangers Orioles.

The Davis contract was such a huge mistake and the dominoes are falling. I have a feeling we might not be playoff bound for a few years or (many?) more if we do not build on what we have and keep Manny. That's my opinion. Of course, I don't run baseball teams, so I really only have an outsider's perspective. However, I am certain about one thing: how this franchise has treated Machado sends a message to the rest of the league. Will the Orioles be able to sign players when they give up potentially the best player they've had since Ripken?

Manny is imo a once in a generation player and imo he has been wasted by the Os. He should have been playing short, but we didn't make him the priority. Then Davis was the next priority. Why would Manny give a damn about the Orioles with the way they have treated him? I think this organization should have just LET HIM PLAY. Instead, we've micro managed him to death. We might not see another Machado in an Oriole uniform for a long time. We need to say: you are the future. Instead, we looked to win now while letting the future go to rot.

Baseball is a sport in which a team can be very bad for very long. Or not bad but not good enough. I love how it took the Cubs, oh how long was that, 108 years to win it all. Now if I was a Cubs fan, it would have been absurd and mind numbing. Of course, one can just watch the game for the love of baseball. Winning isn't everything. But you can't win if you don’t have great players. Many is one. And like DF says, to stop losing is difficult.

Imo, this mishandling of Machado is a symptom of a much bigger problem. I honestly see the O's not being able to turn this around for a while if they don't keep their players, do whatever it takes to keep Manny, and get a GM who understands the value of players. That is, if our owner is capable of hiring someone like that. The players need to be made to feel that they are the priority, not the whim of a GM who seems to operate with, for me, an uncomfortable detachment from the manager and the team. Just my opinion.

The window we have opening right now imo starts with continuity on the field and a change at the top. Hey, maybe Brady would make a great GM. I would think that he understands players better than a Duquette because he was one. That’s just a suggestion.

The players we have are not as bad as they are playing right now. But imo Duquette is as bad as he seems. I can't imagine what Buck is thinking right now.

New GM, sign Manny with whatever it takes, move him to shortstop, and show all of the players on this team what they are worth, that they are really worth what they know they are worth. The fans already know the value of Manny and all of the players, and to me it seems that Duquette doesn't get it. For the fans, losing Manny would be a HUGE question mark towards Duquette and even Angelos. It has the potential of being a baseball tragedy. Ever hear of the Curse of the Bambino?

Duquette to me breeds antagonism. And he has shown to be a mediocre GM with the way the team has plummeted this year. We got to the playoffs, but now we are potentially on the cusp of a severe drought. He has imo, mishandled this organization severely. I think we need a new vision. We can get better, but not under Duquette. The orioles need to show Many and the rest of the team appreciation and confidence. The way this team was set up this year and for what it potentially looks like for the near future seems bleak. The disregard for the players and Buck is why we are where we are. We can turn that around, but only if we instill a new resolution in our team. They are good enough to succeed if they are given the chance. To me, Duquette has run out of chances.



Anyway, that's my long-winded response. Thanks for the reply!


Brien Jackson     June 20
If Seth Smith is your definition of a 4A player, you need to re-check your baseball dictionary. Guy's hitting .272/.352/.468 this season and he's .271/355/.471 against RHP for his career. In both cases he's more than 15% better than league average.

mike from catonsville     June 20
Around the field:

Davis: iffy- but still will hit 30+ hr'

Schoop- keeper

Hardy- replace

Machado- keeper

Castillo- keeper

Kim/Mancini- keeper

Jones- keeper

Trumbo/Rickard/Smith- iffy- but Trumbo will hit 25-30 hr's Rickard and Smith are 4A players



So there really aren't a ton of holes- short/right field-

not totally inferior at the other 7 spots- IF THEY PLAY NEAR POTENTIAL



It's pitching- plain and simple- we just don't have it- not consistently- we have 4 inning pitchers- that's it- and sometimes not even that

Grumpy golfer     June 20
Toughest hole at MP is #15

Brien Jackson     June 20
@Chris



I think at this point they need to do much the opposite and just concede that they have very little chance of keeping Machado past next season. He's never given any indication that he's interested in a pre-market extension, so he's probably committed to hitting free agency and he's probably looking at ~$450 million on the open market. Unless he's terrible again next year.



So there's two ways to go here: tear it all down or push everything to 2018. I'd go with the latter, and here's a blueprint. Dump everyone from this team who you know isn't under control for next season. You move Castillo, Smith, Tillman, and Miley for whatever you can get, in other words. I'd at least shop Brach and Britton too, and I'd probably be open to dealing one of them just because the reliever market is so good.



Then in the offseason, you commit to adding two starters with max concern for the first year. You go after one of the better free agents with a backloaded deal and an opt out after the second season, for example. You round out the backend with a second or third tier starter from the free agent market or you trade Mancini for a starter. Or you do both. And then after next season Machado is gone (there's no way they'd have the cash in this scenario to keep him) and you tear it all apart. You hope those starter(s) we signed opt out and go somewhere else. You eat big chunks of Davis and Trumbo's contracts to trade them for whatever future value you can get. You let Jones and Britton walk and take your draft pick compensation for them. Maybe you try to lock up Schoop and Bundy for the long term, but otherwise literally everyone else you figure isn't going to be in town the next time you're contending, and you move them accordingly.

Cheap Seats     June 20
You all realize when DD leaves the job will go to Brady, right? I think DD stinks as a GM, but not sure Brady would be an upgrade. Guess one improvement might be no more "infighting" tho' lol

Chris from Idlewylde     June 20
Fire Duquette. Keep Buck. Keep your players. Just get through the year. Next year will be better. Duquette is an ass imo. New GM, get some free agents in the off season. This window has closed bit there's another already opening. Manny is at the center of that. We NEED to keep him. Keep Davis. Let's build on what we have, not set it on fire. It feels and looks horrible. I don't think it's as bad as that. We just need a new GM. Give someone young or unknown a try. We can start over without touching OPACY.

Mark L.     June 20
Hey Drew, hoping you might give us your thoughts on the toughest hole at Mount Pleasant and maybe what your favorite/least favorite holes are. Played there myself a lot back in the 1990's!

Alan     June 20
Pay up please. LOL

Brien Jackson     June 20
@Alan



If you want stupid and simplistic answers from people with no actual basis for their overly strong opinions, you might as well just stick with the bar or the radio.

Brien Jackson     June 20
@Tom



LOL. "Long winded answers" here of course means a recognition that there's good and bad, problems that are outside of his control, and that I don't have nearly enough information to have anything approaching an informed take on that question.



Duquette's made some bad moves that may or may not have been driven by ownership and that a generic GM may or may not have made. His teams have also won a lot of games while getting well above average production from the margins of his 25 man roster. There's nothing outwardly that really says whether or not they'd be better off with someone else, especially with no way of knowing who the replacement would be. Would I dump Duquette for Brady Anderson? Not a chance. But maybe there's internal strife or there's some other league exec who would do a better job or be a better fit. It makes no real difference to me here and now, but the bottom line is that a different GM would have absolutely no impact whatsoever on the problems the team has right now.

Alan     June 20
10 bucks says Brien can't answer that question with either "yes" or "no".



And..........go!

Steve from Vero Beach     June 20
Who in the hell would replace Danny D.??? And do people really want to work for the Angelos family ???

Tom     June 20
So Brien, should the Orioles part ways with Duquette? Yes or no please. None of your long winded answers. Just yes or no.

Steve from Pimlico     June 20
What no miniature golf stories. Toughest course I ever played was the par 72 Monster course at Tom Mitchell's. I shot a 75 there once

Brien Jackson     June 20
Wait, what? How is "all of these people are playing REALLY bad" equal to "blame no one?" Obviously someone is to blame for it, even if it's the players themselves. But who in the world says that the GM should get blamed because a player like Machado has been one of the worst hitters in the league to this point or because Kevin Gausman is suddenly terrible? Were you on them to send those two to the minors out of Spring Training because you expected them to be terrible? Do you think that getting a new GM and changing nothing else would be likely to improve player performance?



@Tom



Most of the reports at the time claimed Angelos as the primary driver of the Davis contract. Trumbo's a bit of a different issue because it's much smaller than Davis', and a far more reasonable price to pay even if Trumbo played in line with his career averages and never got back to his 2016 production.

Chris     June 20
Brien should work for the team. No one gets blame. It's just "one of those things". HA!

Brian M.     June 20
I thought Dan's contract was up after this season.

How can he fix it w/o a contract extension???

Tom     June 20
Who signed Davis? And Trumbo?



Just wondering if Brien knows those answers.

edward     June 20
best solution although it will only appease the fan base ..is fire duquette buck and the entire staff.. start from scratch .. deal manny britton and give davis away .. i could strike out 200 times a season and it would only cost you 50,000

Wednesday
June 21
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXXV
Issue 21
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


it comes down to tiger vs. phelps in our "ultimate winners" challenge


Well, #DMD readers deserve a lot of credit.

They got it right.

The original field of 16 in our "Ultimate Winners" challenge is now down to just two athletes, and we're left with what should be a rock-'em-sock-'em soccer Final with #1 seed Tiger Woods taking on #3 seed Michael Phelps.

Voting will be conducted today and tomorrow here at #DMD.

Phelps beat #15 seed Roger Federer in their semifinal match-up, 56%-44%, to earn his meeting with Woods, who eliminated Tom Brady in the other semifinal.

It's worth noting, I suppose, that three of the four semifinalists were "individual" athletes, with Brady winning the de facto title as the best "winner" of any team-oriented athlete.

This match-up between Woods and Phelps pits two players with incredibly similar stories.

Woods was a child golfing prodigy who was destined for greatness once he reached his early teen years and won an unprecedented three consecutive U.S. Junior Amateurs and three consecutive U.S. Amateurs before turning professional in 1996 at age 20.

Phelps grew up in Baltimore and started drawing national attention as a potential Olympic hopeful at age 12, then went on to swim in three Olympic games, earning 23 gold medals and 28 overall.

But their similarities don't stop there.

Both were robbed of traditional childhood opportunities because of their dedication to their respective sports and each -- on different personal paths -- would wind up making national news and hitting the cover of tabloid websites and magazines while at the height of their competitive careers.

Woods was exposed in an infidelity scandal that ended his marriage and cost him roughly $500 million, then went through a series of medical issues that culmininated in his arrest on DUI charges in late May of 2017. He's currently undergoing treatment for an apparent addiction to pain medication.

Phelps was twice arrested for DUI, including once at age 19, and was also caught on camera with a bong in his hand while at a college party in 2009.

Personal hiccups aside, the two have also been winning for about as long as they've been competing.

In his prime, no one could come close to beating Woods. And in his prime, no one could rival Phelps.

And there's "winning" and then there's "winning when it matters most". Both Woods and Phelps were able to win when the spotlight was brightest. Woods captured 14 major golf championships before age 33 and seemed destined to shred Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors until infidelity and injuries shattered his quest.

Phelps was the best swimmer in the world at not one, not two, but three Olympic games, winning five gold medals in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Is one of them, though, a better "winner" than the other? That's why we'e here...to vote on that very question.

I again ask that you take a few minutes to read through each competitor's biographies and career stats to make the best vote you can.

You can find Tiger Woods' career information here.

You can find Michael Phelps' career information here.

Please take a few minutes today to really look through what each of the men has done and vote for your winner below. And remember, your vote counts. In the opening round of the contest, Roger Federer beat Michael Jordan by ONE vote.


 Drew's Morning Dish

#DMD Poll

Question: Which of these two is the better "winner"?
#1 seed, Tiger Woods
#3 seed, Michael Phelps
- x
- y
- z
Name
Email address


BARCS banner ad

machado leads o's past tribe, back to .500


Manny Machado's bat heated up last night at Camden Yards and the result was a rare win for the Orioles, who scratched their way back to .500 on the season (35-35) with a 6-5 victory over the Indians.

Machado went 4-for-4 on the night, with two home runs, 4 RBI and a clutch 7th inning double that eventually brought him home with the game-winning run on an Adam Jones hit.

Chris Tillman allowed 11 base runners in four innings of work last night but the Orioles came back from 5-2 down to win, 6-5.

The Birds did manage to continue their streak of allowing at least five runs, though, and have now done so in 17 consecutive games, just three shy of tying the major league record held by the 1924 Philadelphia Phillies.

Cleveland led 5-2 before the Birds got even in the 5th on Machado's long home run to left-center field.

Chris Tillman got the start for the Orioles and was ineffective (again), allowing five earned runs in four innings of work before being lifted by Buck Showalter. Tillman has now failed to finish the fifth inning in four of his nine starts in 2017 and has thrown just six innings or more on two occasions this season.

Fortunately for the Birds, five relief pitchers teamed up to shut down the Indians after Tillman departed, with Miguel Castro doing the best work when he got out of a bases-loaded-one-out jam in the top of the 7th inning.

Brad Brach earned the save in the 9th, but the Indians had runners on 1st and 3rd with two outs before Yan Gomes flew out to deep right field to end the game.

Machado drew the ire of O's broadcaster Jim Palmer in the 7th inning when his blast to right field clanged off the top of the wall and the third baseman was only able to get to second base.

"And there's Manny, again, not running out of the box," Palmer said. "He should be on third base. But he gets caught watching the ball instead of running and that's what happens. You're at second instead of third."

It became a moot point on the first pitch to Jones, who lined a ball just inside the right right line for a double of his own, as Machado easily scored from second for the eventual game winning run.

With the Yankees (38-30) losing their 7th in a row, the Birds are again just 4.5 games out of first place. However, they're still in fourth place in the East, with Boston (40-31) now in first, followed by New York and then Tampa Bay (38-36). Toronto (34-36) occupies last place in the division, 5.5 games behind the Red Sox.

KELLY banner ad

from the desk of
brien jackson

BRIEN JACKSON's work at #DMD promises to provide some of Baltimore's best sports insight and commentary, brought to you by SECU, the official credit-union of Drew's Morning Dish. Brien has done sports media work with ESPN, CBS and NPR. His contributions to #DMD will focus on the Orioles, the Ravens, and national sports stories.


The Ravens got a big boost last week when free agent wide receiver Jeremy Maclin confirmed that we was coming to Baltimore for the 2017 season.

Just after losing Dennis Pitta to injuries for good, and with a big fat question mark behind Mike Wallace on the depth chart, adding another playmaker took on even more importance for the team, but a great sales pitch from Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh sealed the deal and plugged one of the most glaring holes on the roster.

Maclin himself confirmed the role that Ravens' senior management played in his choice. “I thought Baltimore was the right spot," Maclin to NBC Sports, " I’ve always had respect for the organization, even though I’ve never played here. Just the way they did things, the way they went about things. And Harbaugh, I heard all the good stories about Harbs when I got to Philly. He was a very respected guy in that locker room. You just kind of put everything together and like I said, it was just always Baltimore.”

After missing the playoffs in three out of four years since winning Super Bowl 47, the common theme about the team for at least the past two years is mostly "when will Harbaugh and/or Ozzie be fired?"

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome vowed to improve the team's defense and add a playmaker or two to the offense. It's only June, but they appear to have made good on those promises.

Every little move is critiqued, every decision put through a prism to find an argument that upper management is in on the hot seat. Sometimes this gets taken to downright comical levels. Remember how Steve Bisciotti forced Harbaugh to hire Gary Kubiak and, one 8-8 season removed from a Super Bowl title, was planning to fire Harbaugh and replace him with Kubiak at the first opportunity?

And a few months ago the new spin was that Harbaugh is being "allowed" to keep Marty Mornhinweg, an offensive coordinator with a strong track record of success in Philly and who is reportedly very well liked by the team's quarterback, with the understanding that he'll be fired if it doesn't "work."

But this constant search for better options obscures a pretty important fact: The Ravens still have one of the most well respected organizations in the league specifically because people in the industry hold Ozzie and Harbaugh in very high regard.

And that matters.

It matters when when they're competing with a team with more cap space for the same free agent. It matters when the battered remnant of an injury wrecked roster led by a castoff backup quarterback is still playing hard each and every game at the end of a lost 2015 season. Those things aren't a given in the NFL, and the Ravens are lucky to be in the position they are.

It's also worth pointing out that their recent "struggles" are overblown.

Every team in the league that drafts a franchise quarterback has to face the same problems when that quarterback's rookie contract expires, and the Ravens arguably had some unique challenges to address. The 2012 team that won the title was one with an aging cast that needed to be significantly overhauled, especially on defense.

The Ray Rice fiasco put them in a really difficult cap situation (though admittedly it was stupid to give a running back that contract in the first place but I digress). Multiple high draft picks like Breshad Perriman and Maxx Williams have had to deal with significant injury problems stunting their development track, as have key contributors like Jimmy Smith.

And despite all of that, the results are still pretty good. In a league that fetishizes parity, the rebuilding period Ravens have still only finished below .500 once AND won a playoff game in Pittsburgh during that stretch.

And now the rebuild just might be reaching its conclusion, because the Ravens have somewhat quietly put together the outline of what could be a very solid roster. They invested significantly in the secondary this offseason, dramatically overhauling the unit that's been their Achilles heel on defense for basically all of Harbaugh's tenure.

They didn't address the pass rush in quite as overt fashion, but all five of their 2nd and 3rd round picks in the past two seasons have been edge defenders, and 2017 picks Tyus Bowser, Tim Williams, Chris Wormley all have legitimate potential to make a real impact this year.

The offensive line has question marks, but there's plenty of reason to be confident that their internal options at right tackle and center will perform well if no other additions are made. The biggest hole was at receiver, with Ozzie gambling that someone would be available to add at this point in the calendar. That gamble paid off when Maclin (and Eric Decker for that matter) was released.

You have to give them credit for moving so aggressively and sealing the deal with a free agent they needed. And you have listen to free agents like Maclin when they say the presence of guys like Harbaugh and Ozzie is a big part of why they want to choose Baltimore over other teams to play for.

STECCO banner ad

fowler wins u.s. open at municipal course in baltimore


Baltimore, Maryland, USA — Special Report — The New York Times
[for national and overseas release]
June 22, 2025

Rickie Fowler overtook three players on the back nine to win the 2025 United States Open Championship at historic Mount Pleasant Park Golf Club in Baltimore. Fowler, 40, tagged with the dreaded title of “Best Player Never to Have Won a Major” for several years prior to 2020 before being surpassed and forfeiting that title to any of a score of incredibly talented new players, finally broke through to capture his first major crown. His victory came in spectacular style. The last contender on the course and down one stroke on the 72nd hole, Fowler drove the 435-yard 18th hole and sank his 20-foot eagle putt to claim outright victory with a nine-under-par score of score of 255.

Rickie Fowler eyes his drive on the par-three second hole of Mount Pleasant Park in the final round of the 2025 United States Open.

Dustin Johnson, an eight-time major winner with four U.S. Open titles to his credit, finished one shot back at 256. Ten-time major winner Justin Thomas tied rookie Nigerian sensation Mbiki Mbukuku for third place with a score of 257 on the par-66 course.

Fowler, the richest individual in the world since overtaking Sheikh Khalifa Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa and Bill Gates on the 2022 Forbes list of The World's Billionaires, appeared more relieved than pleased with his victory.

Fowler was asked in a post-round interview what this win meant to him.

"Only everything," he answered. "I was sick and tired of being mocked and disrespected by mopes with two or three majors who don't have two billion dollars to rub together. Hopefully now they will come to their senses and show some respect and envy."

The drive on Mount Pleasant Park's 18th hole that earned Fowler his victory only added to the controversy over the USGA's decision to permit holes on which tee shots travel directly over ground that forms part of another hole. When Mount Pleasant Park was awarded this year's Open Championship in 2018, the award was contingent on a re-design of the 18th hole that would add 71 yards to its then 364-yard length. The new 18th-hole tee box was built south of the 16th hole's fairway and rough, backing up to Lydonlea Way, requiring a drive directly over that fairway. A tunnel built under the 16th fairway allows golfers and caddies safely to traverse it after tee shots are struck.

The re-design allowed the hole to play to a maximum length of 435 yards. That Rickie Fowler was able to drive the hole serves to illustrate his resolve. Fowler ranks 107th in driving distance on the PGA Tour this year, averaging only 382.6 yards per drive. This is fully 35 yards less than John Daly II's Tour-leading average of 417.9 yards per drive. Fowler has been much criticized for sticking with his titanium-faced driver when almost every other player on Tour has switched to precursor-reactive technology for what used to be called, rather quaintly, "wood" clubs.

The decision to allow holes that cross over one another closely followed another of the USGA's series of controversial decisions – that to outlaw assigning a par to a hole greater than four. Noting the high percentage of players who reached the nearly 700-yard par fives at Erin Hills with two shots in 2017, and that the average score on the par-fives at the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills in 2018 was 3.92, the organization felt it had no choice except to concede that modern technology could – in every instance – outpace the ability of golf courses to increase their length in response to it.

The 17th hole at Mt. Pleasant, recently elongated to 317 yards. Most players in the U. S. Open will hit three- or four-irons to the hole, but longer hitters will require only five-irons to reach the surface.

President Trump [serving his third term as president because the Supreme Court had ruled that even though he hadn't been an official candidate in the 2024 election, the will of the people as expressed by the 76.4% of the popular vote he received as a write-in candidate carried greater weight than the Constitutional provision limiting a president to two terms] had proposed legislation requiring that residential or commercial property that stood in the way of golf-course expansion be taken instantly without trial by eminent domain. This legislation carried the House but failed in the Senate by one vote. Thus the golf-course versus golf-equipment war was ended, with the inevitable and unconditional surrender by the courses.

Every golf course in the world [except Merion Golf Club] began to make concessions to the staggering lengths that ball-, shaft-, and clubface-technology was enabling players to achieve. [Merion's spokesperson remarked that, even though it was only 6,996 yards long, it had had exactly three golfers finish below par in five U.S. Opens played on it.] Some courses resorted to trickery, mimicking Erin Hills' planting of fescue within seven yards of the fairways and growing it to over two feet in length. Others re-worked their greens so that other than perfect approach shots rolled off the greens into collection areas.

Mount Pleasant Park split the difference between Merion's insouciance and the trickery employed by other classic courses. It reduced par on its two par-fives, #1 and #10, to par four. Holes number two, eight, and thirteen were converted to par-threes. The course thus became the first golf course in history to have one, two, and three par-threes on its layout that were dogleg par-threes. The course, a municipal course normally set up for eight-minute tee times for amateur foursomes, cut its greens to a Stimp of 12.5 for the U. S. Open, which meant that even the best putters in the world would probably three-putt if their approaches ended up above the holes.

Fowler was only partially fazed by the changes to the course, changes that would become the norm for Open courses in future. Resigned to his transition over a relatively short time from one of the longer hitters on Tour to one of the shorter, Rickie was required to bring serious strategy into his game to remain competitive.

"This is almost like what I hear golf used to be in the old days," Rickie said at the party he hosted for course personnel and volunteers after his victory. "I had fun playing the course. I feel like I've been part of something that's real, and not the artificial 'he's making history' crap we hear every other week from the talking heads on TV and online. Where else on the Tour can you ask for a soda at the snack bar after the front nine and the woman behind the counter tells you to wait your turn, and that you ought to get a haircut while you're waiting?"

This contribution was provided by #DMD right-hand-man George McDowell, who remains convinced that the best players in the world of golf wouldn't tear Mount Pleasant apart if the jewel of Baltimore's public golf courses ever held a U.S. Open. Tomorrow, Drew gives his side of the argument.



#dmd comments


George     June 22
@Robin -- Amen! Drew and these other self-satisfied know-it-alls won't give you an answer on why Merion, at only 200 yards longer than the Mount, humbled all who played it in 2013.

Drew and these other guys who live in their poor deluded minds won't give you an answer when you ask why Len Mattiace (a former Tour pro who in 2004 tied for the Masters and lost a playoff) didn't break par in (at least) two times around the Mount.

Drew and these other self-proclaimed experts won't give an answer to why Denny McCarthy, who plays on the Web.com Tour, never tore up the Mount in all the times he played it.

Drew and these other fools all say somebody COULD . . . and somebody WOULD . . . but all I know for a natural fact is, Tommy Bolt's record of 64 was set 60 years ago and still stands on a course that has had exactly one re-working in its history, and that renovation SHORTENED it.

The Mount will turn 83 next Friday, June 30th, and she's still the master of all who play her, except in the highly-suspect mind of Drew and those gullible enough to swallow his conditional sentences.

Robin Towson     June 22
As a charter member of the knucklehead tour at the Mount, I appreciate the romanticizing of the great venue.



It's great to think about all the public links events at the Mount. Standing on the first tee with miles of terra firma right, heck all the way to 10th fairway, I still found enough courage to hit the first tee ball of the tourney right into Hillen Rd and here someone say don't worry Arnie did that to.



George, the modern golfer, and Mt. Pleasant. I have not been there in many years, showed up last year with an ole friend, a modern golfer if you will. After chatting with our ole friend, the pro, we proceeded to the first tee for my friends inaugural trip around the classic layout, albeit shortened as you mentioned.



My friend kills a drive on 1, 5 wood into the left green, 2 putt birdie. He looks at me as we proceed to number 2 and states, "is the rest of this course that open?" I did not offer an answer.



After we shook hands on 18, and I added his 79 additional strokes to the 4 he made on 1st, I said no it's not really that open, he looked at me and said, " how in the hell did that happen?"



And I remember what our ole friend DF would say about the Mount and responded to question with, "not a lot of even lies out there."



God love the modern golfer.




Al     June 22
@CJ Great point on the whole Luke Jones thing. He "covers" the O's, but only home games! Meanwhile his boss flies all over going to concerts, which I am sure are business expenses. And Luke has press pass, but all he does is turn his phone on record while other reporters ask questions. It is high comedy indeed, like his "books".

Chris in Bel Air     June 22
In addition to trying to improve on the current roster, the O's front office has a lot of decisions to make on the current players. This team could look dramatically different when they take the field in 2019. According to Spotrac, here are the contracts for some notable O's:



kim - signed through 17

tillman - signed through 17

miley - signed through 17 with a club option for 18

smith - signed through 17

hardy - signed through 17 with a club option for 18

ubaldo - signed through 17

manny - signed through 18

britton - signed through 18

castillo - signed through 18

jones - signed through 18

brach - signed through 18



Trumbo, O'day and Schoop are all signed through 19

Robert     June 22
Maybe Machado's erratic efforts are his subtle way of saying he wants out (traded) or he's having a hard time handling the losing? Bad attitudes & big egos are very tough to treat by anyone other than the individual involved.

CJ     June 22
@the other guy

I am one of the six. It is horrible. That dude writes nonsense, writes without proper attribution, cuts and pastes and uses the wrong words at every turn. Every thing circles around his disdain for PGA. And anyone who has followed along his self destructive path knows that it all stems from 2 things. One, he thought he had a deal for some ad buys from the club and those fell through and Two he was squirted by the Oriole bird. He has zero credibility in most peoples eyes. A hack still trying for some relevance. His lack of caring for his employees is still in evidence. He complains that no one is allowed to ask the tough questions because he is not there to ask questions, yet he has a guy who works for him who is half a beat writer(only home games). Is he saying that his own employee is too stupid to ask questions? Only logical conclusion to be drawn.



Baseball winning is about talent and talent playing to their ability. Not happening overall for the team this year. Buck gives clues in his pressers. From what can be gleaned, he was saying the other night that Tillman is not in the best of shape and has suffered through this before. Buck made a huge point last year about Tillman being so much better in '16 than '15 because he was in better shape and hinted at it on Monday. I think that Tillman could get a lot better in the 2nd half, if he can shape up.

We have not seen many guys who lolly gag around here. But it happens in tons of cities in MLB. Watch Cespeda in NY. Puig in LA and on and on.



I think that the O's can make a run. Need some health and some guys to round into form. They have done it before. Like an old gelding that has not been running well and than starts to feel better, they can put it together and have shown a propensity to play hard. Let's let Ubaldo lead us.

Theotherguy     June 22
So, why does anyone get up in arms about the O's are "too cheap to pay this guy". Why should they??? Anyone thinking it's about the owner being cheap is just drinking the Former Employer's kool aid (and probably one of the half dozen or do reading his "book")

Trent     June 22
Brien,



Perhaps you should try learning a bit about the Orioles before going on your blow hard rants. You really don't have a clue. Maybe you are too far up DD's rear end to see the truth.



Please defend your quote "...whose team has the most wins in the American League during his tenure here." Do you actually know how the roster was built? Chris Davis, Jonathan Schoop, JJ Hardy, Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Chris Tillman, Zach Britton & Dylan Bundy were all in the organization before DD got here. It would be tough NOT to win when you inherit a core like that.

DR (the original)     June 22
All I know is that Manny is supposed to be Bryce Harper or Mike Trout and he has a .292 OBP this year. It's kind of shocking, really.

It would be great if he ran harder but it would be even better if he played even close to his actual ability.

TBone     June 22
Right you are Mike.

Safe to say the O's don't have a curfew. Lol

Mike     June 22
Manny goes hard in Canton and Fells Point though.

JohnInEssex     June 22
My son and I were at Monday night's game, and saw similar lacadasical (sp?) efforts from Manny. A ground ball was hit past his right side and he seemed to barely make an effort to catch it. He also took his good ol' time on two ground ball outs.



Remembering how he hit all line drives and constantly hustled when he first came up, it's sad that Manny has devolved into swinging for the fences and playing only when he feels like it...

John S. Cobb     June 22
Used to think BCC East would 'holdup' for an Open, until the Senior Tour came to town. Watched Dan Pohl hit driver, sand wedge into No. 1, from a temporary tee that was back by the entrance to the club. Did I mention these were the old guys?

mike from catonsville     June 22
Here's a DMD quiz for the patrons.

Where will Melo Trimble be dining tonight after the NBA draft?

A. Petit Louis

B. Sabatinnos

C. Samos restaurant

D. Tio Pepe

E. Cazbar

F. Das Bier Haus



Because he sure as hell isn't dining at the Prime Rib!

unitastoberry     June 22
People say to me if the Orioles were in first and Manny was hitting 315 you would not bust on him for jaking it? Wrong I still would.

We need a guy like Miller in our bullpen he's lights out. Oh wait a minute I think he did play here once and we got deep into the playoffs?

TA1892     June 22
Drew, love the podcast. Completely agree with you about Manny to Boston. If they give him 400 mill he would have no problem going there.

Tom     June 22
OMG. That U.S. Open story is the funniest thing I have ever read in my life! I love the part about the car "backfiring". Been there done that on that course. You're always ducking for cover! Drew, that was hilarious. And maybe even true. I tend to think you're more right than George in your scoring assessment. Either way this has been enjoyable to read and follow!!!

HERMAN     June 22
Played at Eagles Nest a few years back with a Florida tour pro practicing for the qualifier for the US Open they used to host. We got to the par five seventh hole. Playing from the blue-tee tips he hit driver, seven iron, and rolled in a five footer for what looked like the easiest eagle I've ever seen. Just reduced the hole to a pitch and putt.

I thanked him for teaching me why I'd never eagled the hole. Told him I never thought to hit driver seven iron to the green, considering I'm usually in the trees right off the tee and still about 320 out. I know that they didn't set the course record back when they hosted the qualifier, but give today's players that 6,850 layout and two looks, there'd be a bunch of scores below the course record.

George     June 22
BJ– Obviously you are one of the highly intelligent and extraordinarily perceptive readers and commenters of these pages.

We can only hope that this forum survives the pap that DF will deliver tomorrow to bolster his ridiculous assertions that one of this country’s classic golf courses would be destroyed by the Tour’s current players.

I urge you to parse his arguments in support of his thesis, searching for some tiny nugget of actual evidence that what he asserts would have some tiny chance of coming to pass. I doubt you will find it.

We ask why the predictions that Merion’s course would be similarly destroyed in 2013 by today’s modern bombers were so grossly wrong. We get no answer to this question. [Justin Rose won with a scorer of +1.]

Mt. Pleasant hasn’t been “renovated” since 1959, when it was re-routed and shortened because of the Perring Parkway incursion. Even after that 150-yard reduction in length, and the reduction in par from 72 to 71, Terrible Tommy Bolt’s 60-year-old course record of 64 still stands. We see no explanation for this fact.

Drew will not directly address this FACT, but will cowardly hide his arguments in saying what “everybody knows,” knowing that what “everybody” knows calls up the mob mentality to agree with him with numbers rather than pure reason.

The question boils down to, if [as he says] the course would be destroyed by today’s modern players, why hasn’t it been destroyed by today’s modern players?


BJ     June 21
As always, George delivers the goods! Thanks George, good read

Cheap Seats     June 21
Manny's gonna be Manny. Thought the story was Buck and Jones have both tried talking to him, he just ignores them. Gives credence to Brien's point that there might not be anything O's can do, other than be the high bidder, to hang onto this guy. And honestly, Buck might not even want him. Think his attitude will improve after he gets 400 mil? Yea, right.

KVV from SP     June 21
That's what I love about Jim Palmer, he is the only MASN announcer that will call it like it is! Mike Bordick would just say what a great player and great swing he had on that pitch?

DR (the original)     June 21
The next time I play at Mt. Pleasant after I hit my second shot on #16 I'm going to tee one up in rough to the left of the cart path and let it rip toward the 18th fairway. If there's somebody playing the hole, tough noogies...

Thisguy     June 21
"Fetishizes"??

mike from catonsville     June 21
So Phil and Bones break up after 25 years. It will be interesting to see if there's any kind of back story or maybe both honestly felt it would be good for both of them. The quotes were all very positive. Perhaps he just wants his brother to make a few more bucks before retirement because I'm certain we don't have to pass the hat for bones. Anyone that has caddied at a reasonably high level knows those premier jobs don't come around often. It will be interesting to see who picks him up. Also, will we see a book deal to tell us all the "inner Phil".

unitastoberry     June 21
I was watching too when Palmer in his own Oriole way dissed Manny for not running out of the batters box instead of admiring a possible home run. It was a triple if he ran from the get go. Little things like this used to be the Oriole way and when your star player showboats it you got a problem as a role model for the rest of the team. Earl would have cussed him out in his office after the game win or lose. But a 4/4 night with homers and hits to the opposite field is a good sign for the future gazillionaire.

Nestor     June 21
Instead of reading the team issued stuff here how about coming to my website and reading the Peter Principles where I tell you the truth about the owner and the team?

HERMAN     June 21
I can't imagine being a young twenty-something and signing endorsement contracts worth a hundred million like Ricky Fowler. It would have been Baker's Bay on steroids for me by comparison to his antics. The kid is charismatic, has extreme talent, and is good for the game. Young kids wear his colors, emulate the flat brim hat look, and are interested in golf because he is involved. Ricky bashing gets old. I know guys who, given a hundred million at 22, would have all been dead by 23. I live 20 minutes from Jupiter where a lot of these young guys, like Ricky, live. They may play hard, but they give back too, all are involved in charitable work.

When Ricky tees it up, I root for him, and ignore the immature Bakers Bay nonsense, it's tame compared to how around the bend I'd go with that kind of money at that age.

Chris from Idlewylde     June 20
The problem I see here is a false narrative where it's treated as obvious that the Orioles are the impediment to a contract extension and Machado is just a passive observer with no agency



Never said he had no agency.



Machado has never given any indication that he would sign an extension pre-market



He is a home grown Oriole. If he wants to go elsewhere, then that is his prerogative. All I'm saying is that we didn't treat him like he should have been treated, which is that he should have developed in the majors at the position that he played, shortstop, and that we should have made it clear, with lots of zeros, that we wanted him here. If he doesn't want to be here, I am not going to say that's all on him.



As far as Duquette being "as bad as he seems," well, I see a guy who built good teams in Montreal and Boston previously and whose team has the most wins in the American League during his tenure here. That's an odd way to define bad.



K. I think he's a jerk, but that's my opinion.



If Britton was healthy and Tillman and Gausman were even just performing up to their common preseason projections the pitching staff right now would be just about as good as any group that made the playoffs in this run in terms of top four starters and best five relievers. But his top two starters have ERAs over 6.00 and his stud reliever has been hurt most of the year.



That's what I'm saying, they're not as bad as they are playing this year. We should keep them.



And I really do not get the obsession with Machado and shortstop these days. Machado plays third base because the Orioles have J.J. Hardy, who still produces as one of the best defensive shortstops in the game.



Should have started his career at shortstop. I'm not going to budge from that position.



it doesn't exactly lend itself to the idea that he's selflessly looking for a below market value extension.



Yeah, I don't know what Manny wants. All I can say is that I think we wasted him, and that Duquette is an ass.



I appreciate your insight. You know a lot more than I do.



These are my opinions from a guy who like I said doesn't even watch a lot of their games.



Put me on the payroll, and I'd be more willing to go deeper than my shallow analysis ;-)



We'll see what happens. I've stated my positions, good or bad.



Go O's and thanks for your input.








Brien Jackson     June 20
The problem I see here is a false narrative where it's treated as obvious that the Orioles are the impediment to a contract extension and Machado is just a passive observer with no agency. And maybe they aren't making an effort, but at the same time Machado has never given any indication that he would sign an extension pre-market, and he's been represented by Scott Boras who famously advises his clients to get to free agency ASAP. You've got to at least allow for the possibility that Machado wants to get on the market and there's nothing short of making him the highest paid player in history or offering him a $400 million contract that will keep that from happening. And as far as money goes I think they can afford to add Manny on top of Davis' number. It probably means letting Adam Jones go and definitely letting Britton go, but that's not unreasonable. What they can't do is add two good starters for next season on top of existing commitments and THEN add a $350 million+ deal for Machado, in all likelihood.



And conversely, I'd argue that the Orioles front office has been too committed to trying to keep their players, and because of that made bad deals with Davis, Hardy, and O'Day.



As far as Duquette being "as bad as he seems," well, I see a guy who built good teams in Montreal and Boston previously and whose team has the most wins in the American League during his tenure here. That's an odd way to define bad. Even this year, Castillo and Smith are contributing meaningfully to the roster as new additions and Miley has been more than serviceable as a fourth starter. If Britton was healthy and Tillman and Gausman were even just performing up to their common preseason projections the pitching staff right now would be just about as good as any group that made the playoffs in this run in terms of top four starters and best five relievers. But his top two starters have ERAs over 6.00 and his stud reliever has been hurt most of the year.



And I really do not get the obsession with Machado and shortstop these days. Machado plays third base because the Orioles have J.J. Hardy, who still produces as one of the best defensive shortstops in the game. Trying to play Machado there with Hardy still on the roster would be an insanely stupid allocation of roster resources, and if Manny is legitimately super worked up over that it doesn't exactly lend itself to the idea that he's selflessly looking for a below market value extension.

Chris from Idlewylde     June 20
@Brien

I believe that the change needs to be made at the top, not so much the roster and definitely not the manager.

The Davis contract/no money for Manny debacle is the paramount example of why I do not like Duquette. Manny is Ripken. He should have been the one getting the big contract. He is an inspiring baseball player and should be, now that he's coming into his prime, a cornerstone player. Duquette has botched this whole thing. It's sad. To see Machado go makes the Orioles franchise look completely inept (once again). We could turn back into the 2000's Orioles. The 30-3 against the Rangers Orioles.

The Davis contract was such a huge mistake and the dominoes are falling. I have a feeling we might not be playoff bound for a few years or (many?) more if we do not build on what we have and keep Manny. That's my opinion. Of course, I don't run baseball teams, so I really only have an outsider's perspective. However, I am certain about one thing: how this franchise has treated Machado sends a message to the rest of the league. Will the Orioles be able to sign players when they give up potentially the best player they've had since Ripken?

Manny is imo a once in a generation player and imo he has been wasted by the Os. He should have been playing short, but we didn't make him the priority. Then Davis was the next priority. Why would Manny give a damn about the Orioles with the way they have treated him? I think this organization should have just LET HIM PLAY. Instead, we've micro managed him to death. We might not see another Machado in an Oriole uniform for a long time. We need to say: you are the future. Instead, we looked to win now while letting the future go to rot.

Baseball is a sport in which a team can be very bad for very long. Or not bad but not good enough. I love how it took the Cubs, oh how long was that, 108 years to win it all. Now if I was a Cubs fan, it would have been absurd and mind numbing. Of course, one can just watch the game for the love of baseball. Winning isn't everything. But you can't win if you don’t have great players. Many is one. And like DF says, to stop losing is difficult.

Imo, this mishandling of Machado is a symptom of a much bigger problem. I honestly see the O's not being able to turn this around for a while if they don't keep their players, do whatever it takes to keep Manny, and get a GM who understands the value of players. That is, if our owner is capable of hiring someone like that. The players need to be made to feel that they are the priority, not the whim of a GM who seems to operate with, for me, an uncomfortable detachment from the manager and the team. Just my opinion.

The window we have opening right now imo starts with continuity on the field and a change at the top. Hey, maybe Brady would make a great GM. I would think that he understands players better than a Duquette because he was one. That’s just a suggestion.

The players we have are not as bad as they are playing right now. But imo Duquette is as bad as he seems. I can't imagine what Buck is thinking right now.

New GM, sign Manny with whatever it takes, move him to shortstop, and show all of the players on this team what they are worth, that they are really worth what they know they are worth. The fans already know the value of Manny and all of the players, and to me it seems that Duquette doesn't get it. For the fans, losing Manny would be a HUGE question mark towards Duquette and even Angelos. It has the potential of being a baseball tragedy. Ever hear of the Curse of the Bambino?

Duquette to me breeds antagonism. And he has shown to be a mediocre GM with the way the team has plummeted this year. We got to the playoffs, but now we are potentially on the cusp of a severe drought. He has imo, mishandled this organization severely. I think we need a new vision. We can get better, but not under Duquette. The orioles need to show Many and the rest of the team appreciation and confidence. The way this team was set up this year and for what it potentially looks like for the near future seems bleak. The disregard for the players and Buck is why we are where we are. We can turn that around, but only if we instill a new resolution in our team. They are good enough to succeed if they are given the chance. To me, Duquette has run out of chances.



Anyway, that's my long-winded response. Thanks for the reply!


Brien Jackson     June 20
If Seth Smith is your definition of a 4A player, you need to re-check your baseball dictionary. Guy's hitting .272/.352/.468 this season and he's .271/355/.471 against RHP for his career. In both cases he's more than 15% better than league average.

mike from catonsville     June 20
Around the field:

Davis: iffy- but still will hit 30+ hr'

Schoop- keeper

Hardy- replace

Machado- keeper

Castillo- keeper

Kim/Mancini- keeper

Jones- keeper

Trumbo/Rickard/Smith- iffy- but Trumbo will hit 25-30 hr's Rickard and Smith are 4A players



So there really aren't a ton of holes- short/right field-

not totally inferior at the other 7 spots- IF THEY PLAY NEAR POTENTIAL



It's pitching- plain and simple- we just don't have it- not consistently- we have 4 inning pitchers- that's it- and sometimes not even that

Grumpy golfer     June 20
Toughest hole at MP is #15

Brien Jackson     June 20
@Chris



I think at this point they need to do much the opposite and just concede that they have very little chance of keeping Machado past next season. He's never given any indication that he's interested in a pre-market extension, so he's probably committed to hitting free agency and he's probably looking at ~$450 million on the open market. Unless he's terrible again next year.



So there's two ways to go here: tear it all down or push everything to 2018. I'd go with the latter, and here's a blueprint. Dump everyone from this team who you know isn't under control for next season. You move Castillo, Smith, Tillman, and Miley for whatever you can get, in other words. I'd at least shop Brach and Britton too, and I'd probably be open to dealing one of them just because the reliever market is so good.



Then in the offseason, you commit to adding two starters with max concern for the first year. You go after one of the better free agents with a backloaded deal and an opt out after the second season, for example. You round out the backend with a second or third tier starter from the free agent market or you trade Mancini for a starter. Or you do both. And then after next season Machado is gone (there's no way they'd have the cash in this scenario to keep him) and you tear it all apart. You hope those starter(s) we signed opt out and go somewhere else. You eat big chunks of Davis and Trumbo's contracts to trade them for whatever future value you can get. You let Jones and Britton walk and take your draft pick compensation for them. Maybe you try to lock up Schoop and Bundy for the long term, but otherwise literally everyone else you figure isn't going to be in town the next time you're contending, and you move them accordingly.

Cheap Seats     June 20
You all realize when DD leaves the job will go to Brady, right? I think DD stinks as a GM, but not sure Brady would be an upgrade. Guess one improvement might be no more "infighting" tho' lol

Chris from Idlewylde     June 20
Fire Duquette. Keep Buck. Keep your players. Just get through the year. Next year will be better. Duquette is an ass imo. New GM, get some free agents in the off season. This window has closed bit there's another already opening. Manny is at the center of that. We NEED to keep him. Keep Davis. Let's build on what we have, not set it on fire. It feels and looks horrible. I don't think it's as bad as that. We just need a new GM. Give someone young or unknown a try. We can start over without touching OPACY.

Mark L.     June 20
Hey Drew, hoping you might give us your thoughts on the toughest hole at Mount Pleasant and maybe what your favorite/least favorite holes are. Played there myself a lot back in the 1990's!

Alan     June 20
Pay up please. LOL

Brien Jackson     June 20
@Alan



If you want stupid and simplistic answers from people with no actual basis for their overly strong opinions, you might as well just stick with the bar or the radio.

Brien Jackson     June 20
@Tom



LOL. "Long winded answers" here of course means a recognition that there's good and bad, problems that are outside of his control, and that I don't have nearly enough information to have anything approaching an informed take on that question.



Duquette's made some bad moves that may or may not have been driven by ownership and that a generic GM may or may not have made. His teams have also won a lot of games while getting well above average production from the margins of his 25 man roster. There's nothing outwardly that really says whether or not they'd be better off with someone else, especially with no way of knowing who the replacement would be. Would I dump Duquette for Brady Anderson? Not a chance. But maybe there's internal strife or there's some other league exec who would do a better job or be a better fit. It makes no real difference to me here and now, but the bottom line is that a different GM would have absolutely no impact whatsoever on the problems the team has right now.

Alan     June 20
10 bucks says Brien can't answer that question with either "yes" or "no".



And..........go!

Steve from Vero Beach     June 20
Who in the hell would replace Danny D.??? And do people really want to work for the Angelos family ???

Tom     June 20
So Brien, should the Orioles part ways with Duquette? Yes or no please. None of your long winded answers. Just yes or no.

Steve from Pimlico     June 20
What no miniature golf stories. Toughest course I ever played was the par 72 Monster course at Tom Mitchell's. I shot a 75 there once

Brien Jackson     June 20
Wait, what? How is "all of these people are playing REALLY bad" equal to "blame no one?" Obviously someone is to blame for it, even if it's the players themselves. But who in the world says that the GM should get blamed because a player like Machado has been one of the worst hitters in the league to this point or because Kevin Gausman is suddenly terrible? Were you on them to send those two to the minors out of Spring Training because you expected them to be terrible? Do you think that getting a new GM and changing nothing else would be likely to improve player performance?



@Tom



Most of the reports at the time claimed Angelos as the primary driver of the Davis contract. Trumbo's a bit of a different issue because it's much smaller than Davis', and a far more reasonable price to pay even if Trumbo played in line with his career averages and never got back to his 2016 production.

Chris     June 20
Brien should work for the team. No one gets blame. It's just "one of those things". HA!

Brian M.     June 20
I thought Dan's contract was up after this season.

How can he fix it w/o a contract extension???

Tom     June 20
Who signed Davis? And Trumbo?



Just wondering if Brien knows those answers.

edward     June 20
best solution although it will only appease the fan base ..is fire duquette buck and the entire staff.. start from scratch .. deal manny britton and give davis away .. i could strike out 200 times a season and it would only cost you 50,000

Tuesday
June 20
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXXV
Issue 20
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


at some point, duquette has to take heat for this fiasco


The Orioles set an American League record last night at Camden Yards.

Unfortunately, it wasn't a good one.

The Orioles became the first team in A.L. history to allow five or more runs in 16 consecutive games when they surrendered to the Indians, 12-0, last night. In case you care, the major league record is 20 straight games. I'd say the Birds are a good bet to set the mark this Saturday in St. Petersburg when they face the Tampa Bay Rays.

Last night's blowout was another in a recent string of smashings that exposed the Orioles pitching staff. If you weren't convinced the Birds had mound issues when they lost in New York 16-3 or 14-3, or if Friday night's 11-2 thrashing in Baltimore at the hands of a pretty bad St. Louis team didn't do the trick...then perhaps last night's ass kicking by the Indians sealed the deal for you.

This Orioles team is in big, big trouble.

Forget the weak offensive night from the O's on Monday. Corey Kluber of the Indians is one of the A.L.'s top pitchers and he was magnificent, striking out 12 and going the distance to improve to 6-2 on the year.

Yes, you're not going to win any games generating three hits. That's true. But last night was, again, about Baltimore pitching stinking up the joint.

The TV cameras catch up with Buck Showalter every inning now, his face tight, eyes flickering from side to side and his hands in his pockets. Showalter is outraged by this collapse, I'm certain of that, but he's also smart enough to know he's involved in a street fight and his buddies brought out a bunch of pillows for him to use.

When you're trotting Vidal Nuno and Gabriel Ynoa out there, you're not going to win. And Showalter knows that.

So when are we going to hear from the guy who gives Showalter those pillows?

Where is Dan Duquette and what does he think of this mess?

After all, he supplied the pitchers who haven't been able to get anyone out since May 10 when this losing skid started with a 7-6 loss at Washington. The Birds have gone 12-25 in the aftermath of that walk-off loss to the Nationals. And they've allowed 100 runs in their last 11 games.

Did you see that note above? They've allowed 100 runs in their last 11 games. Duquette has to answer some questions about the team's off-season decision making and how it came to pass that the Orioles went from 22-10 to 34-35 while setting an American League record for pitching futility.

At this point, though, the answers probably won't matter. It's not like anything Duquette says is going to repair the damage already done or the mess we're going to see over the last three months of the season before this whole thing mercifully ends on October 1st with the O's collecting -- perhaps -- 90 losses along the way in 2017.

I understand that injuries have played a role and Duquette can't necessarily be held responsible for them. I get it. But the farm system and the team's 40-man roster are his primary responsbility and in that area, the team is woefully understocked.

Showalter had a ragged month of May managing the club, yes. But Duquette's 2017 performance has been far worse than anything Nuno, Yboa or Ubaldo Jimenez, even, have done on the field.

At some point, the finger has to get pointed at the general manager. Maybe he's under the gun internally by owner Peter Angelos and we don't see it. His relationship with Showalter, rocky before the season started, has weakened even more over the last couple of months when the manager sees guys like Tyler Wilson, Mike Wright and Jimmy Yacobonis come up from Norfolk and try to get major league hitters out.

But Showalter doesn't hire and fire the general manager. It's up to Angelos to question Duquette on the roster development and put him on the spot for answers on how this is all going to get better between now and the end of October.

13,875 people jammed their way into Camden Yards last night. Sure, the late afternoon storms that blew through Baltimore might have kept some folks from attending, but if the team continues to lose 7 out of 10 games for the next three weeks, the ballpark will be a ghost town come mid-July. And that's what Angelos cares about more than anything: attendance.

Showalter cares about winning and Duquette hasn't helped him do that this season. The O's have won more games than any team in the American League since 2012 -- albeit without a World Series trip to show for it -- but the door has apparently shut on them now and it's looking like it's time to start rebuilding.

Who's going to do the rebuilding for the Orioles?

Can Duquette be trusted?

It's time to start asking that question and coming up with the answer.

BARCS banner ad

memories of mount pleasant


All of this talk in the comments section the last few days about Mount Pleasant Golf Course has triggered lots of fond memories for me.

I don’t get there much anymore, but the rounds of golf I played there from 1993 through 2006 or still indelibly etched in my mind.

I’m going to take a few days over the next week or so to revisit those days at “The Mount” and our resident Mount Pleasant historian, George McDowell, will chime in with his thoughts tomorrow here at #DMD.

George and I have an on-going debate about the difficulty of Mount Pleasant and what sort of scoring would occur there if the U.S. Open made its way there at some point in the future.

The challenging 17th hole at Mount Pleasant, with the clubhouse in the background.

I’ll save my blow-by-blow recap of what I think would happen for later this week, but safe to say George and I have completely different opinions on this subject.

What we don’t differ on, though, is the special place that Mount Pleasant was and continues to be.

At one point in the late 1950’s, they played a PGA Tour event at Mount Pleasant. A real, in-living-color professional golf tournament. Arnold Palmer played there. And won.

Back in the late 1950’s, the course was routed differently and, for those times, its length (6500 yards) was a challenge for even the best players in the country. Today, it’s essentially a pitch-and-putt course, even from the back tees, for high-ranking amateur players or professionals.

But don’t think for one minute that Mount Pleasant hasn’t been challenging over the years. Once the site of the Maryland Amateur Stroke Play Championship, the 36-hole cut was routinely around 14 over par for two days of play. They don’t hold the tournament there anymore, but when it was played, 120 amateurs from all over the state would show up to compete.

And more times than not, 90% of the field would go home wondering how a little course in the middle of Baltimore could torment them like it did.

Whenever someone asks me where I learned how to golf, I always say “Mount Pleasant”, even though my first keep-your-score rounds were played at the two Fort Meade Courses in the mid 1980’s and I later spent some time hanging around Rolling Road Golf Club, where Bill Bassler Sr. gave me my first “official” lesson on a scorching hot July day in 1987 (“It’s a hand’s game…always remember that.”).

I discovered how to play golf at Mount Pleasant. It wasn’t always in the greatest shape and the rounds occasionally touched on the 5-hour mark, but my friends were there and the golf was ultra-competitive and I always figured if you could shoot par at Mount Pleasant, you could do it anywhere else.

In the early 1990's, a weekend tee-time at Mount Pleasant was so popular and so hard to get that we would get to the course at 4:30 am just to get in line for one of the coveted "walk on" slots that would occasionally become available if someone showed up with less than four people in their group. I can vividly remember getting there just before 5 am and seeing a dozen names on the walk on list, grabbing a coffee and a breakfast sandwich, and either heading back home or driving three miles to Clifton Park to try our luck there.

I worked there part-time in the late 1990’s, mostly to avoid having to pay green fees, truth be told. I didn’t need the paltry sum they paid the part-timers, but I took it nonetheless. I just wanted to be around the place, and if they paid me for it, the joke was on them, I reasoned.

Looking for some weekly competitive golf, I created what was affectionately called "The Knucklehead Tour" at Mount Pleasant in 2000 or so. We'd play every Tuesday at 3 pm from May through September and typically at least sixteen players would show up to play -- at scratch -- with $5 bets and bragging rights on the line until we gathered again the next week to do it all over again.

I remember making a birdie putt at the 18th hole for 68 and striding off the green to collect my winnings, only to find out I finished in 3rd place that day. It's a tough league when you shoot 3-under and you have to pay out.

But that was Mount Pleasant. There were lots and lots of really good players who toured that piece of property.

I met one of my best friends there, Greg Ruark, and forged a lifelong relationship with him that included competing against and with him in some memorable tournaments.

Mount Pleasant is also where I met George McDowell, a story and a friendship I’ve previously documented here.

I met a lot of other interesting characters there. The place was filled with them.

Even the USGA knew Mount Pleasant was special way back in 1939 when they contested the U.S. Amateur Public Links tournament at the course on Hillen Road.

Ned Beatty routinely played at Mount Pleasant in the mid 1990’s when he was in town filming the show “Homicide”. I somehow got nominated to play in Beatty’s group once, but the round got rained out on the 4th hole when a thunderstorm came barreling through the course.

Because the group from the TV show didn't get to play much, they were particularly disappointed that the storm ruined their afternoon.

”I never understand why we quit during a thunderstorm,” one of the guys in the group bemoaned as we drove in. “How many people do you know in your life who have been struck by lightning?”

I wanted to say, “I don’t know any…because they all go inside when there’s lightning around.” But I just kept driving towards the clubhouse as the rain pelted us.

Baseball players showed up there on occasion as well. I remember Andy Pettitte once teed it up in the early morning with another member of the Yankees. I was working in the pro shop when he came in. When I asked him for $18.50 for the greens fee and cart, you would have thought I had asked for $180 instead.

It took him longer to peel out a $20 bill than it took for him to walk from the shop to the first tee.

”First time we’ve been charged to play golf,” I heard him mutter to his teammate as they walked out.

As I was leaving my shift around noon, I grabbed a cart and drove out to catch a glimpse of Pettite. He was on the 16th tee when I showed up.

”Everything going OK?” I asked, as if I cared.

”You guys should pay me 18 bucks for playing this place,” he said.

It warmed my heart a little when the Orioles cracked him wide open for eight runs the next night at Camden Yards.

In reality, little did Pettitte know, paying 18 dollars to play Mount Pleasant circa 1998 was one of the best deals in the country. While other places were charging $40, $50 and $60 to take advantage of the newly-created Tiger Woods golf-boom, Mount Pleasant hung in there as long as they could with green fees and such costing the consumer around twenty bucks.

That always attracted me to the Mount. It truly was the public player’s course.

With that, though, came some less than desirable competitors teeing it up there in search of a quick buck.

I remember once getting myself involved in a game with two other players, one of whom was a friend of mine and one that was a very well known amateur in the DC area who made the trip to Mount Pleasant on a summer afternoon.

”I don’t get interested until there’s 50 a side on the line,” the hotshot announced as we discussed the match on the tee.

”Let’s make it 100 a side,” my buddy countered. “I get real interested then.”

”You and I will do 50’s then,” the visitor said to me. “Keep it friendly…”

As we drove down the first fairway, my buddy said to me, “You have one job today. You keep your f***ing eye on him everywhere he goes. If he’s in the rough, you watch him like a hawk. If he goes in the woods to take a leak, you’re right behind him.”

Fifty dollars a side or a hundred dollars a side in 2017 is a lot of money. That much money at stake in 1996 or so constituted a “big game”. It was worth keeping your eye on your playing competitor at that point.

It seemed particularly unfair that I not only had to focus on my own golf game and my own potential $150 loss, but now I was being charged with keeping an eye on the competitor (which, granted, helped me as well) who was trying to take our money.

The hotshot flared his second shot down the right side of the first fairway and his ball bounded into the band of trees that are clumped a hundred yards away from the green.

”Keep your eye on him the whole time. I’ll look for his ball,” said my buddy.

We spent a few minutes in there, looking in the trees, but couldn’t find the ball.

I momentarily lost my focus on the task at hand – “keep your eye on him the whole time” – and looked for the ball myself. Within about five seconds of me turning my attention away from the hotshot, he cried out, “Got it!! Right here!”

My eyes shot over to my buddy, who was staring a hole through me that you could drive a golf through.

”I told you…keep your eyes on him the whole damn time,” he said, a dejected tone in his voice.

With a clear shot to the green from the forward portion of the trees, the visitor ran his ball up to about 15 feet and made an opening birdie.

”That might be a $100 lost ball he just found because we took our eyes off of him,” my friend claimed.

It dawned on me at that point that I probably didn’t want to play a fifty-dollar-nassau against a guy who likely cheated on the first hole, but I was in the game by then and couldn’t turn back.

I don’t remember much about the events of the day except the hotshot had a 5-foot birdie putt on 17.

Just as he was taking the putter back, my buddy, down on the back with a press on the line, “accidentally” dropped his golf ball out of his hand. The thud distracted the hotshot just enough that his putt wiggled off line and past the hole.

I figured a fight was coming up. Instead, nothing was said.

”Dude, you dropped your ball while he was putting,” I said to my friend as we drove to the 18th tee.

“Makes up for what he did to us at number one in the trees,” he replied.

It was at that point that I realized these two were playing a round of golf that I hadn’t before experienced.

But that was Mount Pleasant. Everyone was welcome, all kinds showed up and if you hung around there long enough, you wound up leaving with a story.

KELLY banner ad

phelps leads federer with one day left for voting


The champion swimmer? Or the champion tennis player?

Michael Phelps or Roger Federer? Who was the best "winner" of the two?

Phelps has a 57%-43% lead over Federer after day one of semifinal voting in our "Ultimate Winners" contest. If Phelps holds on to win, he'll face Tiger Woods in the Finals, which start tomorrow here at #DMD.

Roger Federer is the equivalent of two sets down to Michael Phelps after day one of "Ultimate Winners" voting. Can he come back and win today?

If you haven't yet voted on the Phelps-Federer semifinal match-up, please do so today.

I again ask that you take a few minutes to read through each competitor's biographies and career stats to make the best vote you can.

You can find Michael Phelps' career information here.

You can find Roger Federer's career information here.

Please take a few minutes today to really look through what each of the men has done and vote for your winner below. And remember, your vote counts. In the opening round of the contest, Roger Federer beat Michael Jordan by ONE vote.


 Drew's Morning Dish

#DMD Poll

Question: Which of these two is the better "winner"?
#1 seed, Tiger Woods
#3 seed, Michael Phelps
- x
- y
- z
Name
Email address


SAFFER banner

Monday
June 19
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXXV
Issue 19
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


pitta in the ring of honor? that's a "no"


I like Peter Schmuck, the longtime sports writer at the Baltimore Sun.

If for no other reason than he's the only guy left at the paper who covered the Orioles during their effortless decade of losing, I've always admired him.

But over the weekend, Schmuck teased Baltimore sports fans with one of the more blatantly backwards things he's ever written.

He (loosely) started campaigning for the Ravens to induct Dennis Pitta into the team's Ring of Honor.

Dennis Pitta's Ravens career included a Super Bowl ring, but lack of a Pro Bowl selection might keep him out of the team's Ring of Honor.

"Pitta deserves a proper sendoff, so the next time anyone should want to see him on the field is when the Ravens induct him into the team's Ring of Honor," Schmuck wrote on Saturday.

I like Dennis Pitta. Always have. Found him to be a pleasure to cover when I was on the air in town and have encountered him away from the field on several occasions and always enjoyed interacting with him.

But he's NOT a Ravens Ring of Honor candidate.

Or, at least, he shouldn't be.

The Ravens have never really divulged their criteria for selecting Ring of Honor members, but a while back a club official told me their first "unwritten rule" is that anyone in the Ring of Honor must have made a Pro Bowl while playing in Baltimore. And "making" the Pro Bowl means being selected to play, not being selected as a substitute after four other guys dropped out.

Every Ravens player in the Ring of Honor has made at least one Pro Bowl, in case you were wondering. Yes, even Matt Stover.

There are a couple of other stipulations the Ravens follow as well, but the most sensible one is definitely the Pro Bowl rule. That's the starter kit, if you will.

Before we go on, please don't bring up Earnest Byner's name in any discussion about the Ring of Honor. Yes, he's in there. No, he shouldn't be. We all know how that happened. Art Modell loved the guy and wanted a link between the Browns and the Ravens and Byner was it, basically.

So don't be a doofus and say, "Well, if Earnest Byner is in there, Dennis Pitta should be in there."

No, it doesn't work that way.

Pitta doesn't belong in the team's Ring of Honor because he wasn't a great player. He was a good player, yes, and was an important part of the team that won the Super Bowl in 2013, but he was not a GREAT tight end.

Nice guy? You bet. Outstanding company man? Indeed he was. But a Ring of Honor player, he's not.

Sorry Mr. Schmuck.

Derrick Mason hasn't made it into the "Ring" yet, either, and probably won't. He had a BETTER Ravens career than did Pitta, but he also never made a Pro Bowl in purple. That's an easy way out for the Ravens, and one they'd be right to take if Mason's name got pushed in their direction.

Brian Billick will likely be going in this year, although the Ravens might be hesitant to put a former coach in while the current coach -- who replaced him -- is still on the sidelines. One way or the other, though, Billick will go in someday, I'm sure.

Chris McAlister is also a potential Ring of Honor candidate but he made a mess of things when he departed and those sort of things don't sit well with the powers-that-be in Owings Mills.

In my opinion, the Ring of Honor is already somewhat watered down with the likes of Michael McCrary and Todd Heap in there. Both were very good players, yes. I'm not saying they don't belong in there. I'm simply saying you could make a reasonable argument that perhaps they don't belong.

You can make the same (easy) argument about Pitta. His 7-year career was a solid one, but not "honor worthy".

Players who make the Ring of Honor had to be the best of the best and, I'd argue, one of the top players at their position for a period of at least five years. Pitta doesn't fit that criteria.

There are a handful of current players who will no doubt be in the team's Ring of Honor someday. Terrell Suggs, Marshal Yanda and Joe Flacco are no-doubt-about-it qualifiers. Those three are in. So, too, is John Harbaugh.

I'm also guessing Haloti Ngata will go in someday as well, but he's not quite the slam dunk that Suggs, Yanda and Flacco are.

There's been a groundswell of support for Jarrett Johnson to go in, but he's essentially a defensive version of Dennis Pitta. Lots of great memories, big contributions, but no Pro Bowl appearances.

If Johnson isn't worthy (and he isn't) then neither is Pitta.

The last time the Ravens inducted someone was when Ed Reed went in back in 2015.

I can only assume the club isn't going two straight seasons without inducting anyone. They have a corporate sponsor attached to the Ring of Honor, so that's always a consideration anytime you're thinking "should we? or shouldn't we?".

My guess is Billick goes in this year.

There's also a slight chance the Ravens could push Matt Birk through and cite his winning of the Walter Payton Man-of-the-Year award -- while with the Ravens in 2011 -- as a fair substitute for not having made a Pro Bowl while in Baltimore. Birk did make six Pro Bowls -- but all of them came when he played for the Vikings.

I don't think the Ravens will ever go against-the-grain and induct someone who didn't make a Pro Bowl while they played in Baltimore. Doing so would open the doors for the Johnson's, Pitta's, Mason's, etc. But if they ever WERE going to put someone in without the Pro Bowl connection, Birk might be that guy.

If they can just get through these lean couple of years, there will be four or five guys waiting in the wings for induction over the next decade.

And if the Ravens ever loosen the criteria and allow for good players who had great moments to grace the facade of the stadium, the likes of Dennis Pitta and Derrick Mason might just make the Ring of Honor after all.

For now, there's no shame in their names not being up there.

My RideMyCause banner ad

koepka bombs his way to u.s. open victory


There's an old saying in golf, "You drive for show and putt for dough."

It's meant to show the difference between players who hit it a long way (and don't cash in) and players who make a bunch of putts (and rake in the money).

In the case of Brooks Koepka at the U.S. Open, he did both. He drove it a long way AND made the putts. And he won the golf tournament going away.

Starting Sunday's final round one shot behind the leader, Brooks Koekpa posted a 67 to finish at 16-under and win the U.S. Open on Sunday at Erin Hills.

Koepka's 16-under score was particularly sublime when you take into consideration he missed one green in regulation in Sunday's final round and hit 62 of 72 greens over four days at Erin Hills.

Hitting 62 of 72 greens at a regular PGA Tour event would be noteworthy. Doing it at the U.S. Open is almost unheard of.

The 27-year old from West Palm Beach, Florida is part of the new guard of American golf. He hits 350 yard drives, 175 yard 9-irons, and chips and putts like a guy who has eight major titles under his belt. He's similar in style to Dustin Johnson, the winner of the U.S. Open last year. In short, he's a remarkable athlete who became a champion golfer.

And this won't be the only time you hear Brooks Koepka's name. Lucas Glover or Ben Curtis -- he's not.

Sunday's final round was more what the USGA expected play to look like eight years ago when they awarded the 2017 U.S. Open to Erin Hills. 20 mph winds made nearly all of the holes two clubs shorter or longer than in Saturday's round, and a bunch of the downwind holes were of the "take your par and run" variety because you couldn't get the ball to stop close to the hole.

Not that the governing body of golf can ever control the weather, but if the conditions for Sunday's final round were also there on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, four under par would have been the winning score.

Everyone feasted on the course the first three days, prompting longtime NBC golf analyst to dub the event "The Greater Milwaukee Open" after he was asked to respond to the round of 63 authored by Justin Thomas during Saturday's third round.

That's true. It looked more like a mid-season TOUR event than the national golfing championship when guys were putting up 63's, 64's and 65's with alarming regularity. But Sunday's weather and the pressure of the final round brought things a little closer to normal.

Except Koepka didn't get the memo.

He drove the ball courageously all day, although he admitted after the round the players were generally surprised last Monday when they showed up and saw how expansive the fairway landing areas were for a tournament that typically narrows the fairway width considerably.

"I'm not saying they set it up to play easy intentionally," Koepka said last night while meeting with the media. "But the first few days, all you had to do was aim and pound it out there and it went forever. In today's round, I just kept the same philosophy on the tee. Get a good aiming spot and go after it."

It didn't work that way for some of the game's best players, however. Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day all went home early, failing to make the 36-hole cut. Justin Rose and Adam Scott were also Friday departures.

"I hate to say it," said Rose after his round on Friday. "But this turned out nothing like a lot of us expected. We thought it was going to play really hard. We figured based on all the chatter that over par might win the event. Turns out something in double digits is probably going to win."

Rose was right. 16-under par was the winning score. No one saw that coming, except for guys like Koepka, Thomas and Rickie Fowler, who hit a gazillion prodigious drives in the four days. Thomas hit a 300-yard 3-wood to eight feet at the last hole on Saturday, while Fowler reached the 675 yard par-5 18th hole with a 3-iron on Sunday afternoon.

Much discussion ensued about the golf course over the weekend. Here's the deal: Its yardage (7600) was particularly deceiving, given that nearly every non-par-3-hole had some sort of mounding or sloping that kicked balls forward by as much as 40-50 yards if the drive off the tee was far enough to reach those areas. And many times, they were. Yes, it's a long golf course, but 7600 flat yards would be much more difficult to navigate than the 7600 yards the players dealt with this weekend at Erin Hills.

When players are reaching par 5 holes measuring 675 yards in two shots, you know the routing of the course has something to do with that. I'm not saying that's a bad thing. I'm simply saying the 7600 yards the players faced wasn't nearly as daunting as it figured to be.

And the rain on Wednesday, in combination with little to no wind until Sunday, made getting the ball close to the hole much easier than was previously anticipated. Give a TOUR player eight birdie putts from within 15 feet and he's making three or four of them.

The course -- aided by the conditions -- just couldn't corral the best players in the world. They were too strong, too precise and too good to be defeated. And in the end, no one, including Erin Hills, could beat Brooks Koepka.


U.S. Open Player Grades --

Brooks Koepka (A) -- Never looked out of his element once on Sunday. Always in control. His back-nine putting display was spectacular.

Brian Harman (B+) -- Terrific tournament for the diminutive University of Georgia grad, but giving up 40+ yards off the tee to the likes of Koepka, Thomas and Fowler is too big of a hill to climb for him.

Hideki Matsuyama (B+) -- Scratched his way back into the tournament with a solid front nine on Sunday, but a couple of flared iron shots on the incoming nine combined with two costly missed putts left him "major-less" again.

Tommy Fleetwood (B) -- The moment might have been a bit too big for him, but he'll learn a lot from Sunday's experience. Don't be surprised if he's in the hunt at the British Open next month.

Bill Haas (B) -- There were only two players in the field with three rounds in the 60's at Erin Hills. One was was Brooks Koepka, the winner. The other was Bill Haas. Only an opening round 72 when scoring conditions were supreme kept him from possibly winning. He's one to watch at Quail Hollow in August (PGA Championship).

Justin Thomas (B-) -- No one's really talking about how poorly he played on Sunday, but Thomas was never in it from the opening tee shot. Everyone knew it would be hard to back up that Saturday 63 with something spectacular on Sunday, but he performed poorly in the final round, no two ways about it.

Rickie Fowler (B-) -- After opening the tournament with a 7-under par score of 65, he played the next 54 holes in just three under. Again, on Sunday, he was in position to win his first major and couldn't put together any kind of quality round. Clearly now he's wearing the "best player to not have a major" badge.

Charley Hoffman (B-) -- Was in the hunt at the Masters on Sunday and couldn't do it. In the hunt at the U.S. Open on Sunday and couldn't do it. Maybe he's just a check casher who can't close the deal?

Jordan Spieth (C-) -- More putting problems plagued the 2015 champion, particularly in the opening two rounds. If he doesn't win one of this season's final two majors -- or at least be in the hunt come Sunday afternoon -- questions will start to rise about whether or not 2015 was one of those "lightning in a bottle" campaigns that some players have from time to time.

KELLY banner ad

it's phelps vs. federer in today's "ultimate winners" semifinal battle


The champion swimmer? Or the champion tennis player?

Michael Phelps or Roger Federer? Who was the best "winner" of the two?

Phelps is likely finished with his career while Federer is in the November of his. It's safe to make an assessment of what they've won so far and assume they've probably reached their career threshold.

Both have been extraordinarily dominant in their respective sports.

The voting for the Phelps (#3 seed) vs. Federer (#15 seed) match-up will take place today and tomorrow. Tiger Woods, the #1 seed, is the finalist who will face the Phelps vs. Federer winner on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

I again ask that you take a few minutes to read through each competitor's biographies and career stats to make the best vote you can.

You can find Michael Phelps' career information here.

You can find Roger Federer's career information here.

Please take a few minutes today to really look through what each of the men has done and vote for your winner below. And remember, your vote counts. In the opening round of the contest, Roger Federer beat Michael Jordan by ONE vote.


 Drew's Morning Dish

#DMD Poll

Question: Which of these two is the better "winner"?
#1 seed, Tiger Woods
#3 seed, Michael Phelps
- x
- y
- z
Name
Email address


Primary Residential banner

we now only have one team opening left for the "nashville cup" in november


If you're a golfer and you'd like to participate in a meaningful three-day golf event that concludes with a Ravens road game, #DMD offers the perfect opportunity.

Best of all, you get to bring a guest to play with you. It's #DMD's "Nashville Cup," taking place November 1 to 5 in Nashville, Tennessee.

This event is only open to 16 players – eight two-man teams. We have seven teams already in, with one opening available.

You and a golfing friend might be coming home from Nashville with this beautiful trophy if you can beat the field in a three-day event centered around the Ravens-Titans game in November.

We'll play three days of golf down there at a stay-and-play Nashville resort, with eight two-man teams competing in a match-play "member-guest" format. You'll need legitimate USGA handicaps for you and your partner, as this will be a net event.

Our itinerary is set: We depart on Wednesday evening, November 1st, from BWI. We'll play golf Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. On Sunday we have 16 tickets, all seated together, for the Ravens-Titans game at 12:00 noon (Central Time). Then we head back to Baltimore early Sunday evening after the Ravens beat up on Marcus Mariota and the Titans.

Everything is included in the package: Airfare, four nights lodging at a cottage right on the property of the golf course where we'll be playing, ground transportation, golf fees, and the Ravens-Titans game ticket.

This is identical to the Ravens-Cardinals trip in Arizona that we put together a couple of years ago, and on which the 16 guys who went on the trip had a complete blast.

The price is $1,245 per player. Remember, you must sign-up as a two-man team, as this competition over three days will be team-based, not individually scored. A $445 per-person deposit will reserve your space, with the remainder due before September 15, 2017.

#DMD will cover the whole thing from Nashville as well, so you'll be putting your golfing prowess out there for everyone to see!

If you and your playing partner are interested in playing in our "Nashville Cup," please e-mail me directly: drew@drewsmorningdish.com

Sunday
June 18
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXXV
Issue 18
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


those guys are too good and
the course is just too easy


There was a time when finishing 54 holes at the U.S. Open with an under-par score was a monumental accomplishment.

If, somehow, you were good enough to be, say, four-under after three days of play, you were likely in the top five heading into Sunday’s final round.

Those days are long gone.

With three rounds in the books in the 2017 U.S. Open, guess how many players are under par? Take a guess.

If you said 42, you hit it right on the head.

Forty-two players are at one-under or better heading into Sunday’s final round.

Where, oh where, is the U.S. Open we all once knew and loved?

Justin Thomas shot 63 on Saturday. That was nine-under par for the day. And yet, he’s not leading the tournament.

Thomas isn’t leading because Brian Harman produced his second 67 in three days to finish at 12-under par and take a one-shot lead heading into Sunday’s closing 18 holes.

It’s far from a two-man race. Tommy Fleetwood and Brooks Koepka are right there with Thomas at 11-under par; Rickie Fowler is two back at -10; Si Woo Kim is at nine-under; and three players are eight-under par and still in the hunt.

How funny is that? Three guys are eight-under par in the U.S. Open after three rounds and there are six players ahead of them.

It’s actually not funny. It’s sad.

There was a day, circa 1995, when the U.S. Open was the greatest test in golf.

It drove even the best players completely batty. Firm fairways; shin-high rough; crusty, bumpy greens; and more bad breaks than good made the U.S. Open the ultimate test in patience and intestinal fortitude.

Imagine what Jon Rahm would have done in 1994 at the U.S. Open. He blew a gasket on several occasions in the first two rounds at Erin Hills – and the golf course was EASY. Lord only knows how he would have embarrassed himself two decades ago when the golf gods handed him a bad break.

Erin Hills was expected to be a tough test for this year’s field, but by the looks of the scoring we’ve seen thus far, everyone knew the answers before the professor handed out the exam.

Those guys are lighting up Erin Hills. Big time.

The biggest issue with today’s players and the set-up at Erin Hills is the accommodating width of the fairways. Twenty years ago, the fairway width at the U.S. Open would range from 21 to 28 yards.

This year, many fairways are 50 to 60 yards wide. That has turned the golf course into a pitch-and-putt facility, with plenty of guys hitting wedges and nine-irons for their second shots into 465-yard holes.

At the 18th on Saturday – a par-five measuring 667 yards – Justin Thomas hit a 367-yard drive and a 300-yard three-wood to eight feet. And then he made the putt for eagle.

Leading a major after three rounds for the first time in his career is former University of Georgia All-American Brian Harman.

There’s no real way to combat that kind of play, but tightening the fairways on every hole would have gone a long way in diminishing the scoring opportunities.

Maybe, though, this is what the USGA wants. Maybe they want guys to be 12-under and 11-under. Maybe they don’t mind seeing 63s, 64s, and 65s on the scoreboard, as if the tour had suddenly stopped at Mount Pleasant for a weekend event.

Today should be a memorable final round. No one in the top 16 has ever won a major championship, so unless Louis Oosthuizen somehow comes back from four-under par to win, we’re going to watch the coronation of a first-time major winner at Erin Hills.

I picked Justin Thomas to win the tournament last Wednesday here at #DMD so I’m certainly not changing now. But if Thomas doesn’t win, I still think this is Rickie Fowler’s tournament to lose. He has more “big game” experience than anyone inside the top 16 and has made some much-needed changes to his golf swing that should make it more reliable under the pressure of Sunday’s final round.


it might be time for rahm to take a seat


Jon Rahm is one of golf’s rising young stars.

He won earlier this year at Torrey Pines and has been a contender on several other occasions in this, his first full year on the PGA Tour.

He’s a wonderfully gifted player.

Jon Rahm attempts to send a subliminal message to spectators indicating that he thinks he has greater skill than the shot he just hit demonstrates that he has.

He’s also a horse’s ass.

In Friday’s second round, which fortunately was the last time we had to put up with Rahm’s idiotic shenanigans, he threw clubs, punched signs, kicked his golf bag, and acted like a nine-year-old who was just told he can’t have $2.00 for the ice cream truck.

If the USGA had any stones at all, they’d suspend Rahm from next year’s U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills. That might teach him the ultimate lesson about behaving on the golf course in a national championship.

And no, this isn’t an outcry designed to remind everyone that “kids are watching,” even though they most certainly are.

It’s simply an effort to remind the young Spaniard and anyone else who plays the game that golf has a simple set of standards to follow. It’s one thing to slam a club now and again or curse a bit after a bad break. Every player has reacted angrily at some point in his or her career.

Rahm, though, went overboard on Thursday and Friday with his brooding, and the every-hole outbursts likely didn’t sit well with his playing partners. This wouldn’t be the first time in 2017 that his behavior caused some concern.

Terrific player? Yes.

But Jon Rahm might need a visit from the Cleat of Reality to get him back on track.

Watching next year’s event on TV might get him started on the right path.

BARCS banner ad

even the woeful o’s pitching staff
couldn’t blow a 9-1 lead


The Orioles allowed the Cardinals to score seven runs on Saturday afternoon at Camden Yards.

If you’re keeping score at home, that’s eight times in the last ten games that the Birds have allowed six or more runs.

But they scored 15 runs themselves on Saturday, with five home runs and a seven-run outburst in the second inning all part of a 15-7 win over St. Louis.

And with the Yankees losing for the fifth straight game and the Blue Jays falling at home to the White Sox, the fourth- place Orioles are now only 5½ games behind New York.

Don’t worry, I’m not in any way of the mindset that the O’s are about to turn things around and go on some kind of three-week tear that gets them back in the hunt in the American League East.

They’re still in deep doo-doo.

But it was sure good to win one on Saturday afternoon and not have to sweat it out in the process.

That brief run of prosperity will likely end today when Ubaldo Jimenez takes the mound to start the series finale vs. the Cardinals. Alec Asher, who pitched in relief yesterday, was scheduled to start today’s game but Buck Showalter instead opted for Jimenez.

Asher . . . Jimenez . . . it doesn’t really matter. Neither of them is any good.

So the O’s will go for a series win today and try to stay out of last place in the process. It might take eight runs to come out on top, but as long as they have one more run than the Cardinals at the end of the game, that’s all that matters.

KELLY banner ad

we now only have one team opening left for the "nashville cup" in november


If you're a golfer and you'd like to participate in a meaningful three-day golf event that concludes with a Ravens road game, #DMD offers the perfect opportunity.

Best of all, you get to bring a guest to play with you. It's #DMD's "Nashville Cup," taking place November 1 to 5 in Nashville, Tennessee.

This event is only open to 16 players – eight two-man teams. We have seven teams already in, with one opening available.

You and a golfing friend might be coming home from Nashville with this beautiful trophy if you can beat the field in a three-day event centered around the Ravens-Titans game in November.

We'll play three days of golf down there at a stay-and-play Nashville resort, with eight two-man teams competing in a match-play "member-guest" format. You'll need legitimate USGA handicaps for you and your partner, as this will be a net event.

Our itinerary is set: We depart on Wednesday evening, November 1st, from BWI. We'll play golf Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. On Sunday we have 16 tickets, all seated together, for the Ravens-Titans game at 12:00 noon (Central Time). Then we head back to Baltimore early Sunday evening after the Ravens beat up on Marcus Mariota and the Titans.

Everything is included in the package: Airfare, four nights lodging at a cottage right on the property of the golf course where we'll be playing, ground transportation, golf fees, and the Ravens-Titans game ticket.

This is identical to the Ravens-Cardinals trip in Arizona that we put together a couple of years ago, and on which the 16 guys who went on the trip had a complete blast.

The price is $1,245 per player. Remember, you must sign-up as a two-man team, as this competition over three days will be team-based, not individually scored. A $445 per-person deposit will reserve your space, with the remainder due before September 15, 2017.

#DMD will cover the whole thing from Nashville as well, so you'll be putting your golfing prowess out there for everyone to see!

If you and your playing partner are interested in playing in our "Nashville Cup," please e-mail me directly: drew@drewsmorningdish.com


Royal Farms banner ad

#dmd comments


George     June 22
@Robin -- Amen! Drew and these other self-satisfied know-it-alls won't give you an answer on why Merion, at only 200 yards longer than the Mount, humbled all who played it in 2013.

Drew and these other guys who live in their poor deluded minds won't give you an answer when you ask why Len Mattiace (a former Tour pro who in 2004 tied for the Masters and lost a playoff) didn't break par in (at least) two times around the Mount.

Drew and these other self-proclaimed experts won't give an answer to why Denny McCarthy, who plays on the Web.com Tour, never tore up the Mount in all the times he played it.

Drew and these other fools all say somebody COULD . . . and somebody WOULD . . . but all I know for a natural fact is, Tommy Bolt's record of 64 was set 60 years ago and still stands on a course that has had exactly one re-working in its history, and that renovation SHORTENED it.

The Mount will turn 83 next Friday, June 30th, and she's still the master of all who play her, except in the highly-suspect mind of Drew and those gullible enough to swallow his conditional sentences.

Robin Towson     June 22
As a charter member of the knucklehead tour at the Mount, I appreciate the romanticizing of the great venue.



It's great to think about all the public links events at the Mount. Standing on the first tee with miles of terra firma right, heck all the way to 10th fairway, I still found enough courage to hit the first tee ball of the tourney right into Hillen Rd and here someone say don't worry Arnie did that to.



George, the modern golfer, and Mt. Pleasant. I have not been there in many years, showed up last year with an ole friend, a modern golfer if you will. After chatting with our ole friend, the pro, we proceeded to the first tee for my friends inaugural trip around the classic layout, albeit shortened as you mentioned.



My friend kills a drive on 1, 5 wood into the left green, 2 putt birdie. He looks at me as we proceed to number 2 and states, "is the rest of this course that open?" I did not offer an answer.



After we shook hands on 18, and I added his 79 additional strokes to the 4 he made on 1st, I said no it's not really that open, he looked at me and said, " how in the hell did that happen?"



And I remember what our ole friend DF would say about the Mount and responded to question with, "not a lot of even lies out there."



God love the modern golfer.




Al     June 22
@CJ Great point on the whole Luke Jones thing. He "covers" the O's, but only home games! Meanwhile his boss flies all over going to concerts, which I am sure are business expenses. And Luke has press pass, but all he does is turn his phone on record while other reporters ask questions. It is high comedy indeed, like his "books".

Chris in Bel Air     June 22
In addition to trying to improve on the current roster, the O's front office has a lot of decisions to make on the current players. This team could look dramatically different when they take the field in 2019. According to Spotrac, here are the contracts for some notable O's:



kim - signed through 17

tillman - signed through 17

miley - signed through 17 with a club option for 18

smith - signed through 17

hardy - signed through 17 with a club option for 18

ubaldo - signed through 17

manny - signed through 18

britton - signed through 18

castillo - signed through 18

jones - signed through 18

brach - signed through 18



Trumbo, O'day and Schoop are all signed through 19

Robert     June 22
Maybe Machado's erratic efforts are his subtle way of saying he wants out (traded) or he's having a hard time handling the losing? Bad attitudes & big egos are very tough to treat by anyone other than the individual involved.

CJ     June 22
@the other guy

I am one of the six. It is horrible. That dude writes nonsense, writes without proper attribution, cuts and pastes and uses the wrong words at every turn. Every thing circles around his disdain for PGA. And anyone who has followed along his self destructive path knows that it all stems from 2 things. One, he thought he had a deal for some ad buys from the club and those fell through and Two he was squirted by the Oriole bird. He has zero credibility in most peoples eyes. A hack still trying for some relevance. His lack of caring for his employees is still in evidence. He complains that no one is allowed to ask the tough questions because he is not there to ask questions, yet he has a guy who works for him who is half a beat writer(only home games). Is he saying that his own employee is too stupid to ask questions? Only logical conclusion to be drawn.



Baseball winning is about talent and talent playing to their ability. Not happening overall for the team this year. Buck gives clues in his pressers. From what can be gleaned, he was saying the other night that Tillman is not in the best of shape and has suffered through this before. Buck made a huge point last year about Tillman being so much better in '16 than '15 because he was in better shape and hinted at it on Monday. I think that Tillman could get a lot better in the 2nd half, if he can shape up.

We have not seen many guys who lolly gag around here. But it happens in tons of cities in MLB. Watch Cespeda in NY. Puig in LA and on and on.



I think that the O's can make a run. Need some health and some guys to round into form. They have done it before. Like an old gelding that has not been running well and than starts to feel better, they can put it together and have shown a propensity to play hard. Let's let Ubaldo lead us.

Theotherguy     June 22
So, why does anyone get up in arms about the O's are "too cheap to pay this guy". Why should they??? Anyone thinking it's about the owner being cheap is just drinking the Former Employer's kool aid (and probably one of the half dozen or do reading his "book")

Trent     June 22
Brien,



Perhaps you should try learning a bit about the Orioles before going on your blow hard rants. You really don't have a clue. Maybe you are too far up DD's rear end to see the truth.



Please defend your quote "...whose team has the most wins in the American League during his tenure here." Do you actually know how the roster was built? Chris Davis, Jonathan Schoop, JJ Hardy, Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Chris Tillman, Zach Britton & Dylan Bundy were all in the organization before DD got here. It would be tough NOT to win when you inherit a core like that.

DR (the original)     June 22
All I know is that Manny is supposed to be Bryce Harper or Mike Trout and he has a .292 OBP this year. It's kind of shocking, really.

It would be great if he ran harder but it would be even better if he played even close to his actual ability.

TBone     June 22
Right you are Mike.

Safe to say the O's don't have a curfew. Lol

Mike     June 22
Manny goes hard in Canton and Fells Point though.

JohnInEssex     June 22
My son and I were at Monday night's game, and saw similar lacadasical (sp?) efforts from Manny. A ground ball was hit past his right side and he seemed to barely make an effort to catch it. He also took his good ol' time on two ground ball outs.



Remembering how he hit all line drives and constantly hustled when he first came up, it's sad that Manny has devolved into swinging for the fences and playing only when he feels like it...

John S. Cobb     June 22
Used to think BCC East would 'holdup' for an Open, until the Senior Tour came to town. Watched Dan Pohl hit driver, sand wedge into No. 1, from a temporary tee that was back by the entrance to the club. Did I mention these were the old guys?

mike from catonsville     June 22
Here's a DMD quiz for the patrons.

Where will Melo Trimble be dining tonight after the NBA draft?

A. Petit Louis

B. Sabatinnos

C. Samos restaurant

D. Tio Pepe

E. Cazbar

F. Das Bier Haus



Because he sure as hell isn't dining at the Prime Rib!

unitastoberry     June 22
People say to me if the Orioles were in first and Manny was hitting 315 you would not bust on him for jaking it? Wrong I still would.

We need a guy like Miller in our bullpen he's lights out. Oh wait a minute I think he did play here once and we got deep into the playoffs?

TA1892     June 22
Drew, love the podcast. Completely agree with you about Manny to Boston. If they give him 400 mill he would have no problem going there.

Tom     June 22
OMG. That U.S. Open story is the funniest thing I have ever read in my life! I love the part about the car "backfiring". Been there done that on that course. You're always ducking for cover! Drew, that was hilarious. And maybe even true. I tend to think you're more right than George in your scoring assessment. Either way this has been enjoyable to read and follow!!!

HERMAN     June 22
Played at Eagles Nest a few years back with a Florida tour pro practicing for the qualifier for the US Open they used to host. We got to the par five seventh hole. Playing from the blue-tee tips he hit driver, seven iron, and rolled in a five footer for what looked like the easiest eagle I've ever seen. Just reduced the hole to a pitch and putt.

I thanked him for teaching me why I'd never eagled the hole. Told him I never thought to hit driver seven iron to the green, considering I'm usually in the trees right off the tee and still about 320 out. I know that they didn't set the course record back when they hosted the qualifier, but give today's players that 6,850 layout and two looks, there'd be a bunch of scores below the course record.

George     June 22
BJ– Obviously you are one of the highly intelligent and extraordinarily perceptive readers and commenters of these pages.

We can only hope that this forum survives the pap that DF will deliver tomorrow to bolster his ridiculous assertions that one of this country’s classic golf courses would be destroyed by the Tour’s current players.

I urge you to parse his arguments in support of his thesis, searching for some tiny nugget of actual evidence that what he asserts would have some tiny chance of coming to pass. I doubt you will find it.

We ask why the predictions that Merion’s course would be similarly destroyed in 2013 by today’s modern bombers were so grossly wrong. We get no answer to this question. [Justin Rose won with a scorer of +1.]

Mt. Pleasant hasn’t been “renovated” since 1959, when it was re-routed and shortened because of the Perring Parkway incursion. Even after that 150-yard reduction in length, and the reduction in par from 72 to 71, Terrible Tommy Bolt’s 60-year-old course record of 64 still stands. We see no explanation for this fact.

Drew will not directly address this FACT, but will cowardly hide his arguments in saying what “everybody knows,” knowing that what “everybody” knows calls up the mob mentality to agree with him with numbers rather than pure reason.

The question boils down to, if [as he says] the course would be destroyed by today’s modern players, why hasn’t it been destroyed by today’s modern players?


BJ     June 21
As always, George delivers the goods! Thanks George, good read

Cheap Seats     June 21
Manny's gonna be Manny. Thought the story was Buck and Jones have both tried talking to him, he just ignores them. Gives credence to Brien's point that there might not be anything O's can do, other than be the high bidder, to hang onto this guy. And honestly, Buck might not even want him. Think his attitude will improve after he gets 400 mil? Yea, right.

KVV from SP     June 21
That's what I love about Jim Palmer, he is the only MASN announcer that will call it like it is! Mike Bordick would just say what a great player and great swing he had on that pitch?

DR (the original)     June 21
The next time I play at Mt. Pleasant after I hit my second shot on #16 I'm going to tee one up in rough to the left of the cart path and let it rip toward the 18th fairway. If there's somebody playing the hole, tough noogies...

Thisguy     June 21
"Fetishizes"??

mike from catonsville     June 21
So Phil and Bones break up after 25 years. It will be interesting to see if there's any kind of back story or maybe both honestly felt it would be good for both of them. The quotes were all very positive. Perhaps he just wants his brother to make a few more bucks before retirement because I'm certain we don't have to pass the hat for bones. Anyone that has caddied at a reasonably high level knows those premier jobs don't come around often. It will be interesting to see who picks him up. Also, will we see a book deal to tell us all the "inner Phil".

unitastoberry     June 21
I was watching too when Palmer in his own Oriole way dissed Manny for not running out of the batters box instead of admiring a possible home run. It was a triple if he ran from the get go. Little things like this used to be the Oriole way and when your star player showboats it you got a problem as a role model for the rest of the team. Earl would have cussed him out in his office after the game win or lose. But a 4/4 night with homers and hits to the opposite field is a good sign for the future gazillionaire.

Nestor     June 21
Instead of reading the team issued stuff here how about coming to my website and reading the Peter Principles where I tell you the truth about the owner and the team?

HERMAN     June 21
I can't imagine being a young twenty-something and signing endorsement contracts worth a hundred million like Ricky Fowler. It would have been Baker's Bay on steroids for me by comparison to his antics. The kid is charismatic, has extreme talent, and is good for the game. Young kids wear his colors, emulate the flat brim hat look, and are interested in golf because he is involved. Ricky bashing gets old. I know guys who, given a hundred million at 22, would have all been dead by 23. I live 20 minutes from Jupiter where a lot of these young guys, like Ricky, live. They may play hard, but they give back too, all are involved in charitable work.

When Ricky tees it up, I root for him, and ignore the immature Bakers Bay nonsense, it's tame compared to how around the bend I'd go with that kind of money at that age.

Chris from Idlewylde     June 20
The problem I see here is a false narrative where it's treated as obvious that the Orioles are the impediment to a contract extension and Machado is just a passive observer with no agency



Never said he had no agency.



Machado has never given any indication that he would sign an extension pre-market



He is a home grown Oriole. If he wants to go elsewhere, then that is his prerogative. All I'm saying is that we didn't treat him like he should have been treated, which is that he should have developed in the majors at the position that he played, shortstop, and that we should have made it clear, with lots of zeros, that we wanted him here. If he doesn't want to be here, I am not going to say that's all on him.



As far as Duquette being "as bad as he seems," well, I see a guy who built good teams in Montreal and Boston previously and whose team has the most wins in the American League during his tenure here. That's an odd way to define bad.



K. I think he's a jerk, but that's my opinion.



If Britton was healthy and Tillman and Gausman were even just performing up to their common preseason projections the pitching staff right now would be just about as good as any group that made the playoffs in this run in terms of top four starters and best five relievers. But his top two starters have ERAs over 6.00 and his stud reliever has been hurt most of the year.



That's what I'm saying, they're not as bad as they are playing this year. We should keep them.



And I really do not get the obsession with Machado and shortstop these days. Machado plays third base because the Orioles have J.J. Hardy, who still produces as one of the best defensive shortstops in the game.



Should have started his career at shortstop. I'm not going to budge from that position.



it doesn't exactly lend itself to the idea that he's selflessly looking for a below market value extension.



Yeah, I don't know what Manny wants. All I can say is that I think we wasted him, and that Duquette is an ass.



I appreciate your insight. You know a lot more than I do.



These are my opinions from a guy who like I said doesn't even watch a lot of their games.



Put me on the payroll, and I'd be more willing to go deeper than my shallow analysis ;-)



We'll see what happens. I've stated my positions, good or bad.



Go O's and thanks for your input.








Brien Jackson     June 20
The problem I see here is a false narrative where it's treated as obvious that the Orioles are the impediment to a contract extension and Machado is just a passive observer with no agency. And maybe they aren't making an effort, but at the same time Machado has never given any indication that he would sign an extension pre-market, and he's been represented by Scott Boras who famously advises his clients to get to free agency ASAP. You've got to at least allow for the possibility that Machado wants to get on the market and there's nothing short of making him the highest paid player in history or offering him a $400 million contract that will keep that from happening. And as far as money goes I think they can afford to add Manny on top of Davis' number. It probably means letting Adam Jones go and definitely letting Britton go, but that's not unreasonable. What they can't do is add two good starters for next season on top of existing commitments and THEN add a $350 million+ deal for Machado, in all likelihood.



And conversely, I'd argue that the Orioles front office has been too committed to trying to keep their players, and because of that made bad deals with Davis, Hardy, and O'Day.



As far as Duquette being "as bad as he seems," well, I see a guy who built good teams in Montreal and Boston previously and whose team has the most wins in the American League during his tenure here. That's an odd way to define bad. Even this year, Castillo and Smith are contributing meaningfully to the roster as new additions and Miley has been more than serviceable as a fourth starter. If Britton was healthy and Tillman and Gausman were even just performing up to their common preseason projections the pitching staff right now would be just about as good as any group that made the playoffs in this run in terms of top four starters and best five relievers. But his top two starters have ERAs over 6.00 and his stud reliever has been hurt most of the year.



And I really do not get the obsession with Machado and shortstop these days. Machado plays third base because the Orioles have J.J. Hardy, who still produces as one of the best defensive shortstops in the game. Trying to play Machado there with Hardy still on the roster would be an insanely stupid allocation of roster resources, and if Manny is legitimately super worked up over that it doesn't exactly lend itself to the idea that he's selflessly looking for a below market value extension.

Chris from Idlewylde     June 20
@Brien

I believe that the change needs to be made at the top, not so much the roster and definitely not the manager.

The Davis contract/no money for Manny debacle is the paramount example of why I do not like Duquette. Manny is Ripken. He should have been the one getting the big contract. He is an inspiring baseball player and should be, now that he's coming into his prime, a cornerstone player. Duquette has botched this whole thing. It's sad. To see Machado go makes the Orioles franchise look completely inept (once again). We could turn back into the 2000's Orioles. The 30-3 against the Rangers Orioles.

The Davis contract was such a huge mistake and the dominoes are falling. I have a feeling we might not be playoff bound for a few years or (many?) more if we do not build on what we have and keep Manny. That's my opinion. Of course, I don't run baseball teams, so I really only have an outsider's perspective. However, I am certain about one thing: how this franchise has treated Machado sends a message to the rest of the league. Will the Orioles be able to sign players when they give up potentially the best player they've had since Ripken?

Manny is imo a once in a generation player and imo he has been wasted by the Os. He should have been playing short, but we didn't make him the priority. Then Davis was the next priority. Why would Manny give a damn about the Orioles with the way they have treated him? I think this organization should have just LET HIM PLAY. Instead, we've micro managed him to death. We might not see another Machado in an Oriole uniform for a long time. We need to say: you are the future. Instead, we looked to win now while letting the future go to rot.

Baseball is a sport in which a team can be very bad for very long. Or not bad but not good enough. I love how it took the Cubs, oh how long was that, 108 years to win it all. Now if I was a Cubs fan, it would have been absurd and mind numbing. Of course, one can just watch the game for the love of baseball. Winning isn't everything. But you can't win if you don’t have great players. Many is one. And like DF says, to stop losing is difficult.

Imo, this mishandling of Machado is a symptom of a much bigger problem. I honestly see the O's not being able to turn this around for a while if they don't keep their players, do whatever it takes to keep Manny, and get a GM who understands the value of players. That is, if our owner is capable of hiring someone like that. The players need to be made to feel that they are the priority, not the whim of a GM who seems to operate with, for me, an uncomfortable detachment from the manager and the team. Just my opinion.

The window we have opening right now imo starts with continuity on the field and a change at the top. Hey, maybe Brady would make a great GM. I would think that he understands players better than a Duquette because he was one. That’s just a suggestion.

The players we have are not as bad as they are playing right now. But imo Duquette is as bad as he seems. I can't imagine what Buck is thinking right now.

New GM, sign Manny with whatever it takes, move him to shortstop, and show all of the players on this team what they are worth, that they are really worth what they know they are worth. The fans already know the value of Manny and all of the players, and to me it seems that Duquette doesn't get it. For the fans, losing Manny would be a HUGE question mark towards Duquette and even Angelos. It has the potential of being a baseball tragedy. Ever hear of the Curse of the Bambino?

Duquette to me breeds antagonism. And he has shown to be a mediocre GM with the way the team has plummeted this year. We got to the playoffs, but now we are potentially on the cusp of a severe drought. He has imo, mishandled this organization severely. I think we need a new vision. We can get better, but not under Duquette. The orioles need to show Many and the rest of the team appreciation and confidence. The way this team was set up this year and for what it potentially looks like for the near future seems bleak. The disregard for the players and Buck is why we are where we are. We can turn that around, but only if we instill a new resolution in our team. They are good enough to succeed if they are given the chance. To me, Duquette has run out of chances.



Anyway, that's my long-winded response. Thanks for the reply!


Brien Jackson     June 20
If Seth Smith is your definition of a 4A player, you need to re-check your baseball dictionary. Guy's hitting .272/.352/.468 this season and he's .271/355/.471 against RHP for his career. In both cases he's more than 15% better than league average.

mike from catonsville     June 20
Around the field:

Davis: iffy- but still will hit 30+ hr'

Schoop- keeper

Hardy- replace

Machado- keeper

Castillo- keeper

Kim/Mancini- keeper

Jones- keeper

Trumbo/Rickard/Smith- iffy- but Trumbo will hit 25-30 hr's Rickard and Smith are 4A players



So there really aren't a ton of holes- short/right field-

not totally inferior at the other 7 spots- IF THEY PLAY NEAR POTENTIAL



It's pitching- plain and simple- we just don't have it- not consistently- we have 4 inning pitchers- that's it- and sometimes not even that

Grumpy golfer     June 20
Toughest hole at MP is #15

Brien Jackson     June 20
@Chris



I think at this point they need to do much the opposite and just concede that they have very little chance of keeping Machado past next season. He's never given any indication that he's interested in a pre-market extension, so he's probably committed to hitting free agency and he's probably looking at ~$450 million on the open market. Unless he's terrible again next year.



So there's two ways to go here: tear it all down or push everything to 2018. I'd go with the latter, and here's a blueprint. Dump everyone from this team who you know isn't under control for next season. You move Castillo, Smith, Tillman, and Miley for whatever you can get, in other words. I'd at least shop Brach and Britton too, and I'd probably be open to dealing one of them just because the reliever market is so good.



Then in the offseason, you commit to adding two starters with max concern for the first year. You go after one of the better free agents with a backloaded deal and an opt out after the second season, for example. You round out the backend with a second or third tier starter from the free agent market or you trade Mancini for a starter. Or you do both. And then after next season Machado is gone (there's no way they'd have the cash in this scenario to keep him) and you tear it all apart. You hope those starter(s) we signed opt out and go somewhere else. You eat big chunks of Davis and Trumbo's contracts to trade them for whatever future value you can get. You let Jones and Britton walk and take your draft pick compensation for them. Maybe you try to lock up Schoop and Bundy for the long term, but otherwise literally everyone else you figure isn't going to be in town the next time you're contending, and you move them accordingly.

Cheap Seats     June 20
You all realize when DD leaves the job will go to Brady, right? I think DD stinks as a GM, but not sure Brady would be an upgrade. Guess one improvement might be no more "infighting" tho' lol

Chris from Idlewylde     June 20
Fire Duquette. Keep Buck. Keep your players. Just get through the year. Next year will be better. Duquette is an ass imo. New GM, get some free agents in the off season. This window has closed bit there's another already opening. Manny is at the center of that. We NEED to keep him. Keep Davis. Let's build on what we have, not set it on fire. It feels and looks horrible. I don't think it's as bad as that. We just need a new GM. Give someone young or unknown a try. We can start over without touching OPACY.

Mark L.     June 20
Hey Drew, hoping you might give us your thoughts on the toughest hole at Mount Pleasant and maybe what your favorite/least favorite holes are. Played there myself a lot back in the 1990's!

Alan     June 20
Pay up please. LOL

Brien Jackson     June 20
@Alan



If you want stupid and simplistic answers from people with no actual basis for their overly strong opinions, you might as well just stick with the bar or the radio.

Brien Jackson     June 20
@Tom



LOL. "Long winded answers" here of course means a recognition that there's good and bad, problems that are outside of his control, and that I don't have nearly enough information to have anything approaching an informed take on that question.



Duquette's made some bad moves that may or may not have been driven by ownership and that a generic GM may or may not have made. His teams have also won a lot of games while getting well above average production from the margins of his 25 man roster. There's nothing outwardly that really says whether or not they'd be better off with someone else, especially with no way of knowing who the replacement would be. Would I dump Duquette for Brady Anderson? Not a chance. But maybe there's internal strife or there's some other league exec who would do a better job or be a better fit. It makes no real difference to me here and now, but the bottom line is that a different GM would have absolutely no impact whatsoever on the problems the team has right now.

Alan     June 20
10 bucks says Brien can't answer that question with either "yes" or "no".



And..........go!

Steve from Vero Beach     June 20
Who in the hell would replace Danny D.??? And do people really want to work for the Angelos family ???

Tom     June 20
So Brien, should the Orioles part ways with Duquette? Yes or no please. None of your long winded answers. Just yes or no.

Steve from Pimlico     June 20
What no miniature golf stories. Toughest course I ever played was the par 72 Monster course at Tom Mitchell's. I shot a 75 there once

Brien Jackson     June 20
Wait, what? How is "all of these people are playing REALLY bad" equal to "blame no one?" Obviously someone is to blame for it, even if it's the players themselves. But who in the world says that the GM should get blamed because a player like Machado has been one of the worst hitters in the league to this point or because Kevin Gausman is suddenly terrible? Were you on them to send those two to the minors out of Spring Training because you expected them to be terrible? Do you think that getting a new GM and changing nothing else would be likely to improve player performance?



@Tom



Most of the reports at the time claimed Angelos as the primary driver of the Davis contract. Trumbo's a bit of a different issue because it's much smaller than Davis', and a far more reasonable price to pay even if Trumbo played in line with his career averages and never got back to his 2016 production.

Chris     June 20
Brien should work for the team. No one gets blame. It's just "one of those things". HA!

Brian M.     June 20
I thought Dan's contract was up after this season.

How can he fix it w/o a contract extension???

Tom     June 20
Who signed Davis? And Trumbo?



Just wondering if Brien knows those answers.

edward     June 20
best solution although it will only appease the fan base ..is fire duquette buck and the entire staff.. start from scratch .. deal manny britton and give davis away .. i could strike out 200 times a season and it would only cost you 50,000

Saturday
June 17
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXXV
Issue 17
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


anything we say now is just piling on


When does Dylan Bundy make his next start?

That's seemingly about the only occasion we can honestly expect the Orioles to compete these days. "Bundy or Bust" should be the summer of 2017 marketing slogan.

Kevin Gausman allowed 12 base runners in 5.1 innings of work on Friday night and saw his ERA balloon to 6.60 in an 11-2 loss to the visiting Cardinals.

The O's bizarre freefall continued last night at Camden Yards, as the St. Louis Cardinals popped five home runs and battered Kevin Gausman, Gabriel Ynoa and Vidal Nuno in an 11-2 win. That's the fourth time in the last seven games that the Orioles have allowed the opposition to reach double digits in runs.

The Baltimore offense staggered around like Kyle Boller and Anthony Wright were at the helm, recording just five hits on the night and striking out 11 times, including eight K's against St. Louis starter Carlos Martinez.

And St. Louis isn't really all that good, mind you. They're 31-35 now. The Orioles are 32-34.

But the Birds were 22-10 at one point, remember. From 22-10 to 32-34. With no relief in sight.

Back to last night's fiasco for a second.

Ynoa and Nuno were brought up earlier in the day on Friday, the latest effort from Dan Duquette to stop the bleeding that has become Orioles pitching. Ynoa was terrible, allowing three home runs in 1.1 innings of work as the Cardinals erupted for six runs to blow open a somewhat-close game. Nuno also coughed up a 9th inning dinger for good measure.

It could get worse this afternoon (4:05 pm start) when Wade Miley takes the hill for the Birds. He hasn't made it to the fourth inning in either of his last two starts.

This swoon we're seeing from the Orioles rivals anything we saw from the club during the "Decade of Despair" when the team was a perennial doormat in the American League from 2001-2011. And it just might continue to be ugly, this ugly, for the unforseeable future. This really could be an epic collapse from the Orioles.

Their pitching is awful.

With the exception of Bundy, who has been decent just about all season, the Orioles have no one reliable to start games, and only one or two bullpen arms you can count on to get people out. And when you're losing 8-1 in the 7th inning, Brad Brach's not going to do you any good at that point.

Settle in, friends. Or "Buckle Up" as the O's like to say in their marketing endeavors. This ride is going to get rough.


it was a lost night for the a.l. east


If not for the Boston Red Sox, the A.L. East would have gone 0-fer on Friday night.

The Red Sox (38-29) nipped the Astros, 2-1, in Houston. Everyone else in the division lost.

The Yankees' bullpen squandered yet another late-game lead last night in Oakland, as the A's rallied for two runs in the bottom of the 8th inning to come back from a 6-4 deficit and win 7-6 to hand New York their fourth straight loss, three of which have come by one run.

Aaron Judge hit his 23rd home run of the season for New York (38-27) in the loss.

Tampa Bay (35-35) got squashed by the Tigers in Detroit, 13-4.

And Toronto (32-34) saved the Orioles from sole possession of last place when they lost at home to the White Sox, 11-4.

Don't look now, but Boston is just one game behind New York.

And the Orioles remain 6.5 games in back of the Yankees -- and fading fast.

BARCS banner ad

fowler stays in the hunt at erin hills


Much like it was simply Sergio Garcia's time -- finally -- to capture a major championship back in April at the Masters, perhaps this is the occasion where Rickie Fowler finally wins his first major.

Thirty-six holes have been completed at the U.S. Open and Fowler is in the mix, his 6-under score for two days just one shot off the lead.

And no one ahead of him on the leaderboard has been as successful as Fowler.

Paul Casey sits at 7-under. He has one career win on the PGA Tour.

Bill Haas (-4) has missed just one fairway in two days at Erin Hills and leads the event in greens in regulation (30 of 36) through two days of play.

Brooks Koepka is also at 7-under. Good player, yes. Worth fearing? Hardly. He also has one win on TOUR.

Brian Harman has himself in a share of the lead at 7-under. He has two wins in his career, but even the short-hitting Harman admits he'll need some help from others around him playing poorly to conquer the 7,700 yard beast that is Erin Hills.

Tommy Fleetwood is the fourth and final player at 7-under. Tommy who? Right.

That's not to say that one of those four can't win the U.S. Open. The course's quirky nature alone is more likely to yield a first-time major winner (which was one of the reasons why I picked Justin Thomas (-2) to win this week).

But Fowler's pedigree and résumé say it's his turn to win.

After an opening round 65, Fowler took a predictable step back yesterday, but still hung tough with a one-over score of 73.

Five years ago, he would have probably gone 65-77 and been an afterthought by the back nine of Saturday's third round. That's not the way Rickie Fowler plays anymore.

Despite the loud colors he wears and the "Team Rickie" approach his marketing folks apply to just about everything he does, underneath it all is a guy who drives the ball straight, hits his irons well and putts with more than enough acumen to win just about any week he tees it up.

He's been criticized as a guy who can't close. Much like Garcia did in April, the only way to shut those critics down is by going out there and winning.

When I look at the leaderboard and the two-day statistical data from the first 36 holes, three names besides Fowler jump out at me.

Si Woo Kim (-5), winner of The Players last month, is comfortably in position through two days. As we saw at TPC Sawgrass, he's a guy who can grind out a bunch of pars and throw a birdie or two in there along the way, which is essentially what he did on Thursday (69) and Friday (70).

Hideki Matsuyama (-5) recovered from an opening round 74 to post 65 on Friday and move right back into contention. He hit 13 of 14 fairways on Friday and 14 of 18 greens in regulation, two critically important stats at the U.S. Open. If you can't hit the fairway, you probably can't hit the green. If you can't hit the green, you can't stay under par.

But the guy playing the best golf of those a few shots off the pace is definitely Bill Haas (-4), who leads the Open in fairways hit (27 of 28) and greens in regulation (30 of 36). If Haas can continue that sort of stellar play tee-to-green, he might wind up holding the trophy on Sunday evening.

If he does win, Haas will likely have to hold off Fowler in the process. Rickie looks ready to win, the same way Garcia looked ready in April.

KELLY banner ad

woods beats brady in our "ultimate winners" semifinal


It was close throughout, but Tiger Woods (55%) beat Tom Brady (45%) on Thursday-Friday to win the first of our two "Ultimate Winners" semifinal match-ups and move into next week's Final.

Woods reaches the final by beating Annika Sorenstam (#16 seed) and Jimmie Johnson (#9 seed) in addition to ousting Brady this week in the semifinal.

Next Monday and Tuesday, the other semifinal has #3 seed Michael Phelps going up against #15 seed Roger Federer.

I again ask that you take a few minutes to read through each competitor's biographies and career stats to make the best vote you can.

You can find Michael Phelps' career information here.

You can find Roger Federer's career information here.

Voting will begin Monday morning here at #DMD.

Glory
Days banner ad
Friday
June 16
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXXV
Issue 16
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


they've turned the u.s. open into the bob hope desert classic


It seems like the United States Golf Association just can't get it right.

Even when they're on the right track, like they were this year at Erin Hills Golf Course, the USGA somehow fouls it up in the end.

The U.S. Open is supposed to be hard. Throughout the 1980's and 1990's, it was always the one tournament you could count on every year to make par count for something special. I remember, like it was yesterday, watching Curtis Strange beat Nick Faldo in a playoff at Brookline CC in 1988, the winner scratching out a couple of nerve-wracking pars on the back nine to claim the first of his two U.S. Open titles.

That was then. This is now.

When the players started to complain about the height of the fescue grass at Erin Hills, the USGA caved in and brought out the mowers on Monday and Tuesday.

Granted, the players today are much more powerful than they were circa 1990, and it's almost silly to think that a golf course could be built to counteract the length of today's professional golfers, but the USGA was heading in the right direction with the set-up of Erin Hills, an 11-year old course in Wisconsin.

They grew two foot high fescue to border the fairways at Erin Hills, putting a premium on driving the golf ball straight. They stretched the course out to a whopping 7,700 yards and said, basically, "Come on boys, try and break par on this course now."

The greens were huge and undulating, the course was firm and fast, and the temptation of predicting an over par score for the winner was almost too great to ignore.

And then, the USGA caved in.

Players showed up at the course as early as last weekend to start their prep work for the event and immediately took to social media with photos of the fescue grass they encountered the first time the ball didn't land in the fairway.

Kevin Na, Lee Westwood and others were quick to share photos and complain -- although both said later in the week they weren't complaining -- about the extraordinarily high grass that was situated just off the fairway.

Keep in mind the USGA had already made the fairways wider than ever before. On some holes, they were 50 and 60 yards wide. Remember that 1988 U.S. Open at Brookline I mentioned? The average fairway width that year was 24 yards.

Instead of telling this year's players, "shut up and go play the course", the USGA narrowed the fescue grass by three or four yards on both sides of the holes. They took what was already a 50-yard wide fairway and made it into, in some places, a 60-yard wide fairway.

The players, predictably, ate it up.

A record number of players (44) shot under par on Thursday, as the U.S. Open became the Bob Hope Desert Classic.

Still without a major championship, Rickie Fowler blistered defenseless Erin Hills with an opening round 65 on Thursday.

Rickie Fowler posted a record tying 7-under par round to start things off, with two players at 6-under par and three more at 5-under par.

Yes, those guys are good, as the familiar ad campaign reminds us, but they're especially good when you don't make the course hard.

And with Wednesday rain softening the greens, it was fire-at-the-flag day from the start.

But the story isn't Fowler or the scoring.

It's that the USGA continues to worry about what people are going to think about them if, God forbid, the golf course winds up being the winner for four days.

This all started back in 2004 when Retief Goosen (-4) and Phil Mickelson (-1) were the only two players to break par at Shinnecock Hills on Long Island. The golf course was the clear winner over those four days. It played hard, firm and fast, with the USGA fielding lots of criticism from the contestants who deemed the place "out of control".

It was certainly close to that in 2004, as a scorching week of early summer sun and no rain left the greens almost unputtable by Sunday. But Goosen and Mickelson were both able to play 72 holes in under par, which seemed more than reasonable -- to me, at least -- for the national championship.

Two years later at Winged Foot, 5-over par won the tournament. And then everyone really started to howl.

So, now, we have the U.S. Open in title only. The good old days of making the course difficult? They're gone.

Every year now, we get the same thing. The USGA vowing to set up a course that will challenge the best players in the world, then tempering their enthusiasm come tournament week and caving in to Twitter photos, Instagram posts and so on.

I'm not one of those golfing sadists that enjoys seeing the best players in the world "suffer" on the course. There's no fun in that. But I also believe that once a year, at a minimum, the golf course should be set up as difficult as it can be without being stupid about it.

Thirty yard wide fairways? Perfect. If you can't hit those, you better be good out of the rough.

And speaking of rough, whatever happened to just growing long, sensible rough and penalizing players who can't keep their ball in the short grass? It doesn't have to be eight inches deep. Four inches or so is just fine.

Make the greens firm and fast and let's go.

If the winning score for four days is over par, so be it.

And when the players start whining about the scoring afterwards, you can always remind them that they can skip next year's national championship if they like.

I do believe nature is going to win out this weekend at Erin Hills and that something like five or six under par will wind up winning the event. It is the U.S. Open, after all, and the mere thought of winning the tournament will cause nearly everyone to back up on Saturday and Sunday.

Plus, after 44 players broke par on Thursday, I'm sure the USGA will gradually start to make things more difficult.

But the die has been cast at this point. That fescue they cut down on Monday and Tuesday of this week is gone and it's not growing back by Sunday. The fairway widths can't be changed, unfortunately.

It's a shame the USGA is so afraid of player outcry that they caved in this year and turned a challenging course into Clifton Park.

Hopefully in 2018 they'll revert back to those aforementioned good old days -- the ones where they set up the course, made it a difficult test, and then turned the players loose to try and conquer it.

BARCS banner ad

birds limp home tied for last place


From 22-10 to 32-33.

It took a little more than a month for the O's to go from having the best record in baseball to being tied for last place with the Toronto Blue Jays, but that's where the Birds sit after Thursday's 5-2 loss at Chicago.

Yesterday's loss to the White Sox ended a 1-7 road trip for the O's, for those still paying attention.

The good news for the Birds? The Yankees are struggling on the west coast, losing their third game in four tries last night in Oakland, 8-7 in ten innings.

Chris Tillman allowed five earned runs in 5.1 innings on Thursday in Chicago, but deemed his start "much better" and a "step in the right direction".

At this point, though, the Orioles should be worried about catching the third place Tampa Bay Rays.

Chris Tillman got the start on Thursday and was decent enough that folks around town called it his "best start of the year". I don't know about that. 12 base runners and five earned runs in 5.1 innings of work isn't "best start of the year stuff" to me, but Tillman did manage to give the O's beleaguered bullpen a little bit of rest, which is better than getting lit up in the first or second inning like most everyone else has done over the last ten days.

Make no mistake about it, though. This Orioles team is really suffering.

With Chris Davis already on the disabled list and Seth Smith apparently headed there with a back strain, the quality of the 25-man roster is being impacted on a nightly basis. Yes, yes, I know Davis is going to strike out twice a night, but he's still capable of doing something special and Smith has been one of the team's better hitters so far in 2017.

And the guy the O's brought up to replace Davis, David Washington, isn't going to be a help to the big league club. Pedro Alvarez will probably get the call-up if Smith goes on the DL, but we all know Alvarez is limited, too. That's why he's in the minors, after all.

What the Orioles really need right now is a string of well pitched games, starting with tonight when Kevin Gausman opposes the St. Louis Cardinals at Camden Yards.

With the Baltimore offense down a couple of men, it's incumbent upon the pitching to pick up the slack. The question, of course: Can they?

Oh, and here's something even more concerning: The schedule.

After these three games with St. Louis, the Birds host the defending A.L. champion Indians for four games, then visit Tampa Bay and Toronto for three games each.

If the Orioles can't go at least .500 in those 13 games, they'll likely be ten games behind the Yankees at the end of June. The season won't be over, yet, but the coffin maker will be getting the hammer and nails ready.

Buyers or sellers at the deadline? That's the question most everyone around town who cares about baseball is asking these days.

It's looking like sellers at this point.

KELLY banner ad

woods takes day one lead over brady in our "ultimate winners" semifinal


Day one scoring is in the books for the first of our two final four match-ups in our "Ultimate Winners" contest, and Tiger Woods (54%) has established a narrow lead over Tom Brady (46%) with one day of voting remaining.

Woods is the #1 seed in the event, while Brady is #5.

We allow two days of voting in the semifinals and final, so today will conclude voting for the Woods-Brady contest.

Next Monday and Tuesday, the other semifinal has #3 seed Michael Phelps going up against #15 seed Roger Federer.

I again ask that you take a few minutes to read through each competitor's biographies and career stats to make the best vote you can.

You can find Tiger Woods' career information here.

You can find Tom Brady's career information here.

Please take a few minutes today to really look through what each of the men has done and vote for your winner below. And remember, your vote counts. In the opening round of the contest, Roger Federer beat Michael Jordan by ONE vote.


 Drew's Morning Dish

#DMD Poll

Question: Which of these two is the better "winner"?
#1 seed, Tiger Woods
#3 seed, Michael Phelps
- x
- y
- z
Name
Email address


ABC banner


O's SCOREBOARD
Wednesday, June 21st
Orioles
1

Indians
5
WP: C. Carrasco (8-3)
LP: K. Gausman (3-7)

HR: Lindor (14)

RECORD/PLACE: 35-36, tied for fourth

breakfast bytes

A.L. East: Yankees break 7-game losing streak, Red Sox lose in K.C., Toronto, Tampa Bay both win.

Scherzer carries no hitter into 8th inning at Miami, winds up losing 2-1 to the Marlins.

Capitals lose defenseman Nate Schmidt to Las Vegas in NHL expansion draft.

MLB: Puig's 30-second home run trots angers Mets.