May 25
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issue 25
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palmer in hot water

Word quickly got back to Chris Davis on Wednesday night that O's team broadcaster Jim Palmer had some not-so-flattering things to say about him in the wake of an 11-1 loss in Chicago earlier that evening.

We covered Palmer's comments here at #DMD yesterday. You can scroll down to the Thursday edition to see them if you'd like.

Davis spoke out yesterday and he wasn't happy.

That's understandable. Palmer raked him over the coals on Wednesday night.

The first baseman was also indirectly questioned by the team's hitting coach, Scott Coolbaugh, who was brought into the situation by Palmer during his post-game roasting.

What makes everything uncomfortable is the basic fact that Palmer essentially "works for the team". It's no secret that most sports organizations go out of their way to connect their on-air announcing teams with the club itself. Jim Hunter, who serves as a play-by-play voice on radio and TV, is the O's emcee on opening day. He can call himself a "member of the media" if he wants, but the truth is he's not. He's a team broadcaster.

Jim Palmer is a team broadcaster. But he's paid to be a color "analyst", which now means his role will take on a slightly different responsibility. If he's doing his job correctly, there will undoubtedly be moments when Palmer has to question the players, the manager and, yes, even the organization.

Did O's broadcaster Jim Palmer cross the line on Wednesday night when he criticized slumping first baseman Chris Davis in a post-game rant?

Key words in that sentence above: If he's doing his job correctly.

Often times, the players and club can't handle the truth, to use a line from that great scene in A Few Good Men.

Palmer is a lightning rod, for sure. He says what's on his mind, sometimes doing it with open frankness and other times slipping things in along the way that make you stop and ask yourself, "Wait, did Palmer just get a dig in there?"

He's famous for railing on Manny Machado and his lack of hustle. "So Manny hits this one hard to the left field gap...makes great contact with it...and if he would have been running hard the whole time, he would have easily had himself a triple."

That's Palmer's way of saying "Manny didn't hustle". Except he didn't say "Manny didn't hustle".

Then there are times when Palmer goes with the "open frankness" approach, like he did on Wednesday night when he torched Davis.

Why he picked Wednesday night to go on his rant is beyond me. Davis has been terrible for the better part of two seasons now. I'm not sure why Wednesday was any different than April 18, or last September 18.

But Palmer's bashing of Davis got a little too personal, apparently, and the first baseman told members of the media on Thursday he was "disappointed" with the comments.

It's one thing to say "so and so isn't hitting the ball", it's another thing to basically say he isn't hitting the ball well because he doesn't care enough to change it. That's how Palmer came across on Wednesday night.

Davis says he does care.

He says he's tried everything to hoist himself out of this two-year slump.

Nothing's working, he says.

Maybe that's true.

But that's not how Palmer sees it. And given the scope of his duties at MASN, he should be allowed to voice his opinion(s) on baseball matters. And Chris Davis hitting .154 and striking out a couple of times a night is definitely a "baseball matter".

Unfortunately, this might wind up being the moment that costs Palmer his job.

An associate with the organization told me on Thursday, "This is going to be addressed (with Jim) and it could get ugly..."

I think I know what that means.

Chris Davis is a favorite of the owner and, I would assume by connection alone, his two sons who are now running the team.

They've employed Palmer and his eccentric style for over a decade now and, before that, he was part of the broadcast team when the games were aired on Comcast and other outlets.

At some point, the organization is going to have to make a stand that loosely says: "You can not criticize our players".

And they might have to make an example out of Palmer to etch that philosophy in stone.

My guess? My opinion? Palmer's Chris Davis rant is going to cost him his job.

I hope I'm wrong. I love Palmer's work. I love his honesty. I love his keen eye. I love the fact that he's beyond mortified at how much money the players make these days.

Honestly, I watch the games with more intent and interest when Palmer is the color analyst.

Mike Bordick? Nice guy and all. But he doesn't teach me anything when I'm watching the games and he's in the booth.

If you pay attention to Palmer, he'll teach you something about baseball almost every time he does a game.

But Bordick would never go nuts on a player in a post-game rant like Palmer did on Wednesday night. It would just never happen.

"Boy, Chris is having a tough time with the bat on this road trip," is about as critical as Bordick would ever get. And if he said that, you can bet he'd quickly follow it up with, "The good thing for the O's is he's still really solid defensively. He helps the team out in a lot of other ways than with the bat."

Bordick is what they call these days a "team broadcaster".

Palmer is a "color analyst".

They're sorta-kinda the same thing, but not really.

My hunch is this will be Palmer's final season in the booth. I can't imagine the team would fire him in mid-season. That would just cause more controversy.

But this time next year, Chris Davis won't have to worry about Palmer crushing him over his .154 average.

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about that anthem protest issue...

Someone said to me on Thursday, "I notice you don't write much about the anthem protest and the players kneeling."

"What's there to write about, really?" I asked.

"I've said from the start I think everyone -- not football player or athletes, everyone -- should stand for the national anthem," I reminded him.

I was raised that way. I was taught to stand up and put your hand over your heart when the national anthem is played. I'm 55 years old. I don't think I'm changing now.

I've raised my children to do the same thing. It warms my heart when I'm at a sporting event and I look over and my 7-year old daughter is standing with her right hand over her heart during the anthem.

With regard to NFL players who kneel, I've been consistent from the beginning on my personal stance. I wouldn't employ a player who didn't stand for the national anthem. If that violates someone's rights or if some stuffed suit with a law degree wants to accuse me of "collusion", I'll go ahead and wear that merit badge, I suppose.

But that's how I see it. If you can't stand for the anthem, you can't work for me. That doesn't mean I think you're a bad guy, by the way. There are people in my "world" who think it's OK to not stand up for the national anthem. We can still be friends. But they wouldn't work for me.

This week's announcement by the NFL that all team personnel on the field have to stand for the anthem next season has once again fanned the flames of an issue that was slowly starting to die off.

My social media timeline is filled with arguments between people, many of whom are friends.

It's getting ugly.

Because it's inevitable that touchy subjects often lead to overreacting, I'm seeing a lot of back-and-forth from people that is definitely over the top.

This is no longer about standing for the anthem.

It's about race.

It's about power.

It's about choosing sides.

It's awful, if we're being honest.

I don't write or talk much about it anymore because I feel like there's nothing left for me to say.

I'm definitely not changing.

And I suspect most of the people who have an opinion aren't changing either.

If the league suddenly said yesterday "no one has to stand for the anthem" anymore, I don't think I'd care enough to scream about it.

I have a family to protect and raise, a mortgage to pay and kids to put through school. If a bunch of football players want to grandstand in the middle of the field before the game, they can go ahead and knock themselves out.

If they want to see change in our country, they'll start by changing themselves.

That goes for anyone seeking some sort of change or improvement in their community.

It starts with you.

The rest of us yapping about it and writing about it and foaming at the mouth about it? It's just eye wash. What I think about Colin Kaepernick or any NFL player who doesn't stand for the national anthem doesn't matter one iota.

I'll watch the games next fall just like I always do. But I'd be fibbing if I said all of this garbage over the last year hasn't zapped my enthusiasm for the NFL. It definitely has.

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ncaa lax final four preview edition

So in a season full of parity in which a lower seed should have certainly made it to Championship Weekend in Boston, would it be considered a surprise upset if all 4 top seeds survive? Maybe, but let's not overthink it.

Rather let's enjoy two semi-finals that deserve to be finals on their own as all four teams have the right stuff to make it to Monday's championship. Let's see who will earn the right to play for a championship and take a look at our own local DIII power on the shore who continue to amaze.

#2 Albany vs #3 Yale (Saturday 12pm, ESPN2)

Why Yale Will Win - Professionalism. With 6 out of 10 players on the field drafted in this year's MLL draft, one could argue Eli's are their own pro expansion team. Tewaaraton finalist Ben Reeves leads this group of hungry players who looked like men against boys last weekend against a very good Loyola squad.

But Reeves is the only offensive player as the others defensive stars and FOGO Conor Mackie who handled Albany's TD Ierlan earlier this season when the Bulldogs took down the Great Danes 14-6.

Why Albany Will Win - Starpower. Connor FIelds and Tehoka Nanticoke headline the best scoring offense in the game which generates 14+ goals per game. The offense also includes MLL draft picks Justin Reh and Kyle McClancy. TD Ierlan leads the nation in face-off wins and handled the #1 drafted player (not FOGO, player) last weekend. Goalie JD Colarusso is saving shots at 57%. LSM Troy Reh was also drafted.

Who Will Win - Yale. This game should be exciting to watch and much closer than their previous match-up as both are playing for their first NCAA final appearance. Connor Fields and Justin Reh were just coming back from injury in their first matchup and looked good as the Danes took down a very solid Denver team last week. But the Bulldogs are playing with a purpose in this tournament and have been solid defensively. Yale goalie Jack Starr has been steaky so he may not dominate Albany like he did previously.

But I think he will save enough shots to give Yale an 11-9 victory over the Great Danes.

Maryland and coach John Tillman will be gunning for their second straight lacrosse title this weekend, but they'll have to get past Duke on Saturday just to reach the final game.

#1 Maryland vs #4 Duke (Saturday 2:30pm, ESPN2)

Why Maryland Will Win - Completeness. The Terps may very well be the most complete team in the NCAA. There really isn't a weakness on this team at any position, with the possible exception of midfield defense. Conor Kelly is one of the best offensive players in the game. Dan Morris is a great big game goalie. And they have 2 face-off specialist in Justin Shockey and Austin Henningsen who could start for 90% of DI teams.

Why Duke Will Win - Underestimated. Hard to believe, but with all the press going to others in the Final Four, no one has really been considering this team as a legitmate title contender. Justin Guterding, who should have been a Tewaaraton finalist last year, is literally setting the record straight this year as he leads the nation in total points with 104. Coach John Danowski teams usually peak in May and this team is doing the same. Duke has the 2nd best offense (13.8 goals per game) and the 10th best defense (8.4 goals allowed per game).

Who Will Win - Duke. These two are very evenly matched and should provide for a great chess match. And in chess, I'll side with the coach who has more rings, which is Danowski. Also I think this game will come down to possessions. And I think Duke's face-off specialist Brian Smyth has the edge over MD's Shockey and Henningsen given their performances against common FOGO opponent in Hopkins' Hunter Moreland. Smyth dominated his matchup against Moreland while the Terps struggled. And if you give the #2 offense an edge in possessions, you more than likely will be on the wrong side of the scoreboard.

Hate to type this, but I'll give Duke an 11-10 win over Maryland.

DIII Championship: #5 Wesleyan (Conn) vs #7 Salisbury (Sunday 1pm, NCAA Webstream)

Another local team has made it back to the championship as the Seagulls appear to have reloaded and are back to form. But is the young team ready for to carry the torch to get Coach Berkman his 13th ring?

Why Salisbury Will Win - Been There, Done That. After a tough (by Salisbury standards) 6-3 start to the season, the Seagulls have reeled off 14 straight W's including taking down then #1 York, #9 Dickinson and #3 Gettysburg to get to the final. While the offense has been solid, it's the defense who held those ranked opponents to 8 goals or less. Sophomore goalie Brandon Warren (Calvert Hall) has stepped up this season, saving 53.8%. The offense features 5 with 50+ points and are led by junior midfielder Corey Gwin (47 goals, 19 assists) and sophomore attackman Pierre Armstrong (24 goals, 36 assists).

Why Weslyan Will Win - On Fire. The Cardinals have also had a great post season run, taking down #8 Cabrini, #2 Tufts and #1 RIT to get to the championship. They also feature 5 players with 50+ points including 2 with 80 or more in junior attackman Carter Hawthorne (24 goals, 65 assists) and freshman attackman Ronan Jacoby (66 goals, 14 assists).

Who Will Win - Salisbury. Tough call on this one since the teams don't really have common opponents. The Seagulls are a goal better per game on offense (14.0 goals vs 12.9 goals), give up 2 goals less per game on defense (7.1 goals allowed vs 9.3 goals allowed), and clear much better (90.2% vs 82.2%). And Coach Berkman has 3 more championship game victories than the Cardinal Coach Raba has NCAA tournament game wins (12 to 9). Wesleyan should enjoy a hometown advantage which will keep this one close. But I see Salisbury getting their 13th championship, with a 12-10 win over the Cardinals.

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#dmd comments

ray ray     May 25
Mike From Catonsville

What is wrong with the confederate flag? where does anyone talk about that.

DF     May 25
I don't have an opinion on the Confederate flag so that one doesn't pertain to me.

mike from catonsville     May 25
Biff, you can't change certain things because you're right YOU don't have the control to change it.

Will you:

Call it out when you see it- YOU control that

Fire anyone that works for you wearing a confederate flag- YOU can control that

YOU can control those things, YOU.

ty slob     May 25

100% correct. He hated the Capitals,now says that is a certified fact that he is biggest Capital fan in Baltimore. I thought that the only thing that could get measured like that was the nobody hates making bogeys more than Tiger.

The real reason he likes than now? They indulge his fantasy of being a legitimate hockey reporter. He is so tiny,he doesn't take up much space. They can put him the kids chair with a booster seat,give him free food and drink and allow him to really do what he got into sports for....access to the lockeroom and watching guys undress.

Chris     May 25
Congrats Drew!!! When's the tournament you qualified for? Can spectators come out and watch?

George     May 25
There is a difference in the disrespect of the flag. Football players kneel during the anthem because it draws attention to a problem they would like to see addressed and corrected. The NFL and the PGA Tour increase their revenue because their PR identifies them with the flag and the military in the eyes of a patriotic public, and they feel entitled to use the flag as they want in commercial ventures. Football players’ disrespect of the flag is intentional. The NFL and PGA Tour disrespect the flag out of empty-headed stupidity mixed with whatever-we-do-is-right arrogance. I may be a pinko-Communist but I’m more irritated by the latter than the former.

Rich     May 25
Mike, that was pretty dumb on your part. You get some grief here and lots of times its over the top but today was pretty dumb.

Fireball Roberts     May 25
Mike Bowers was laid to rest yesterday. Rest In Peace Mike.

Fireball Roberts     May 25
I hope Palmer isn’t fired. I love how he can recall throwing a 3-2 curveball to Oscar Gamble, and striking him out , in the bottom of the ninth on a chilly evening in Yankee Stadium. I have to put the tv on mute when Boredick is in the booth. The pitcher is on the bump, the ball is coming off hot, so and so is heating up. I have heard enough of him..........I thought the guy on 1570 was a Predators fan. Didn’t he call the Washington team the Crapitals for the longest time ?

DF     May 25
@Mike -- You're smarter than this pal. I can't control the Americans at the Ryder Cup. I can't control what food they sell at the stadium. I can "control" who works for me, though. I'll worry about what I can control. You should worry more about YOU and what YOU can control. That's a good start. At least to me, anyway.

mike from catonsville     May 25
I hope Biff points out every disrespecting American at the Ryder Cup this year and outwardly calls for their eviction of the event until dressed properly.

I also hope Biff fires any employee who displays a confederate flag, on them personally or on a car, anywhere.

I also hope Biffs starts a movement to shut down all concessions and bathrooms at every stadium for the 2:45 the anthem is played.

I mean if were going to be respectful then lets be respectful. Hopefully Biff is "all in" on respecting the flag.

radio gal     May 25
@drew, just poking at you,I know you are not scared of that fraud.

In other news the Ravens website declares that Joe Flacco is "playing like he is in the best shape of his career".

Let's hope.

PB     May 25
The Maryland golf website says they played on the River course @Tim.

Josh     May 25

Understood, but.....You may want to qualify WHATEVER.... If you have an employee that doesn’t stand for the anthem due to his religion, that employee has rights that you’d be violating if you terminated him/her....


There are certain exceptions to this general rule which provide some protection to employees from illegal discrimination based on such categories as race, color, gender, national origin, religion, age, disability or marital status. Examples of other employment at-will exceptions include laws which protect employees from termination or retaliation for filing workers' compensation claims, for attempting to enforce rights to receive overtime or the minimum wage, for asserting rights to work in a safe and healthy workplace, for refusing to commit criminal acts, for reporting for jury duty or military service, or for being subject to a wage attachment for any one indebtedness. Terminating an employee for any of these specific

reasons may constitute a violation under the applicable State or federal law.

Tim Blankenship     May 25
Hey Drew, just wondering what Queenstown course you played yesterday for the qualifier? I play there regularly with my golf travel club. I prefer the River Course.

eta     May 25
If you played a drinking game that required you to imbibe every time Bordick says "ZONE", you'd be wasted by the 4th inning. It would be worse than the "Hi Bob" game from the Bob Newhart show of the 70's(played it a few times in college and woulD cringe when Bob entered a room). Or the really tough one. "Callahan", in the Dirty Harry movies,drinking a shot every time someone said Callahan and a double shot when they said it with derision(almost every time)

Palmer lied. He won't be fired,publicly. But if he is not back next year, they will massage it, but that means he was fired.

JEFWEL     May 25
Drew, I took your comment to mean someone who thinks it's ok not to stand for the anthem, which I believe is Brian's position, not that he personally doesn't stand. I mistook your meaning.

DF     May 25
@Radio Gal -- Ummm, the Capitals didn't play last night. They played on Wednesday night. There was coverage in Thursday's edition of #DMD. It was the headline story. Catch up, "Gal".

Rich     May 25
I think Drew is on to something about Palmer and his jabs at Davis. This might be the last straw. You know Brady is sensitive to player criticism.

Al     May 25
@Josh, Maryland is an at will work state. DF can fire anyone he wants anytime he wants for anything he wants.

Josh     May 25
Wow! Surprised to read such iron-fisted stance of DF. Not standing is peaceful protest. How bout if your employee burned American flags? That is much more offensive than taking a knee, but flag desecration is ok per the Supreme Court. Go ahead and terminate employees for their personal views all you want... You might find yourself out of business

Blue Tee Golfer     May 25
Hey Drew, just wanted to pass along congrats on qualifying for the Open yesterday. You and I played together back in 2010 if you recall. I know how hard it is to make that event so nice work yesterday.

radio gal     May 25
Drew is still scared of the LF(who declared on twitter that he is 5'9", a 4 inch lie,which is typical male lie). No Capitals coverage? I guess that is due to the edict that declares him the only one who has covered them, but not a by-line in sight.

Even though he got fired, good to see that Drew has such professional respect for a guy doing the best work of his career. The disjointed, copy and pasted,poorly researched(only find things that support your biases), just plain awful the Peter Principles is ALL the programming for the weekend. We can only hope(we being huge fans of incompetence and delusion) that the "loop" gets stuck on commercials only. We want unintential comedy.

Chuck P     May 25
One guy’s opinion. The media shares some blame over this whole kneeling at NFL games. Why show the players at all? While the anthem is playing show the band if it on the field, show the flag waving, pan the camera over the stands showing the fans standing and singing along. It’s not news if it isn’t reported. I just want to watch the game anyway.

Ed     May 25
Mike Bordick drives me insane with his refusal to say "strike out". The term "punch out" he uses is only sland for a called strike three when the umpire rings you up, not all strike outs. Fire him before he puts me to sleep with his pro team propaganda. I could listen to Palmer all day.

DR (the original)     May 25
1. There was a way that Palmer could have said what he said without fibbing about the Coolbaugh thing and Davis's work ethic. Like, if he just said "I watch Chris all the time, and to me he's not adjusting at all, and I don't get it." That's an opinion and Davis might not like it, but it wouldn't be lying.

2. True. If you want to seek change and improvement in your community, it starts with you. But going back to the beginning of all this, isn't that what Kap was doing? I think that's the biggest disconnect still. What's grandstanding to one person is, to someone else, using your influence to do something positive.

DF     May 25
@JefWel -- I don't recall Brien ever writing that he doesn't stand for the national anthem. Where did you get that? But, yes, to answer your (supposed) question. If you work for me and you don't stand when the national anthem is played then you would no longer be employed. That's correct.

Steve from Cape Coral     May 25
If they fire Palmer; then there are true idiots running the Orioles !!!

DELRAY RICK     May 25
TBE ORIOLES WIL HIT A NEW LOW IF THEY DUMP PALMER. I do not watch much basketball but took in last half of GS @HOUSTON game . I might be wrong but if GS didn't keep taking "WILD" 3 point shots they would have WON this easly. As soon as they came down the court--WHAM 3 point shot. What ever happen to "working the ball inside" for 2. Very sloppiness on both teams.

Hampstead Mike     May 25
I have to agree with the other comments here. We have put up with a lot of BS from the Orioles over the years, but if they can Jim Palmer for stating the obvious, then I might e done with them myself. Jim Palmer, and Gary Thorne are the only reason to tune into the games on MASN. Lots of time if I hear Jim Hunter or Mike Boredick (or God forbid, both of them), I just turn on some other game.

Me and my family are big baseball fans, and luckily we have the MLB Extra Innings package, so I can watch pretty much any of the games on a particular night. I get to see many of the home town TV broadcasters, and in my opinion Hunter and Boredick are two of the worst. IMO, the only worse broadcaster seems to be that FP Santangelo on the MASN Nationals games.

Chris in Bel Air     May 25
I love Palmer's honesty and insight. He bleeds oranges but isn't throwing a bunch of mindless bs at the viewers like Jim Hunter. He, Thorne and Joe Angel are great.

Tom J     May 25
Disappointed..??!!!?!! I only wish Palmer would’ve said “Davis SUCKS and he’s stealing money from the O’s” which is exactly what the fan base thinks. I think he was tame with his criticism. Davis’ only “disappointment “ should be directed at the guy in the mirror.....

JEFWEL     May 25
I forgot to mention that if the Orioles terminate Palmer for speaking the OBVIOUS truth, that about does it for me and the Birds. Not so much that I adore Palmer, but it would put to rest the idea that they have any respect for the fans. We are not blind or stupid (well a lot of us aren't).

We see the same stance and the same swing with no changes since this "slump" began almost three years ago. Been a fan since 1964, but enough is enough!

JEFWEL     May 25
Drew, I'm a bit confused by this line regarding someone who thinks it's ok to not stand for the anthem: "We can still be friends. But they wouldn't work for me". Don't you have one of those people (Brian) working for you?

Unitastoberry     May 25
If the Orioles do anything detrimental to Jim Palmer over this myself and many others especially seniors are done for good . Or until the Angelos family sells to someone else.

Idiot Caller     May 25
Big Treat down the dial on the am radio this morning! A tape of the LF is reading his Anti-Angelos "book" (diatribe?) on the air! We can only hope that he's taken the long weekend off, and we can hear it for 4 straight days!

"The best work of my career!"... Yeah, I guess. But that's not saying much.

John L.     May 24
Congrats Drew!

Neil     May 24
Chippling the alleged “Professor”: Before commenting on the education level of others, you should educate yourself on the correct use of apostrophes.

Mason     May 24
Let's congratulate our site host on qualifying for the Maryland Open today. Nice playing Drewski!

Judge Judy     May 24
Corporations do not, because they can not, infringe constitutional rights. The Constitution sets out the structure of the federal government and sets limits on its power. It is silent on what individuals and corporations may and may not do.

DR (the original)     May 24
Obviously Palmer said all that stuff on purpose so that the team would score nine runs immediately today. Bully...

Colonel mustard     May 24
Tower made the most sense, I noticed @Brien is not picking fights with him/her

Did Coolbaugh actually come out and refute Cakes?

Brien Jackson     May 24
Apparently you're name is apt because this should be easy.

Mike says:

" My brother Chris believed in "respect the flag" stuff. You might have heard of him. He died in Iraq while fighting for you and the freedoms you enjoy."

Then CJ says I'm un-American.

So I find a veteran who supports kneeling.

Now, is the veteran who agrees with me un-American, per CJ? Does his opinion still count? I'm shocked* that all ofyou goofballs have devoted all of the nonsense you've written today (Mark sure was projecting like a movie, wasn't he) to beat around that.

*I'm not really shocked.

Hard truths     May 24
So, smart guy, explain why a particular guy means anything about KAP?

He is just one guy.

Your so smart, what does it mean?

Brien Jackson     May 24


I'd say that the 93 year old man can feel anyway he wishes. YOUR mistake is to somehow make that one dude a totality of WWII veteran thought. "

These conversations would be so much more interesting if commenters actually read and thought about words before typing out the same troye nonsense everyday.

Hard Truths     May 24
Brien....see how easy this is. I was wrong about Davis. I was wrong about Palmer. Palmer was the liar. Coolbaugh confirmed that he worked with Davis 3 times in the off season.

Again not sure what point you are trying to make about KAP. He did what he did. He had the right to do it. What point you seem to make is this, Colin matter what he does, should be embraced by all. Since he kneeled for what ever reason, those that disagree with his stances are bigots or worse.

He made an action and people reacted to that. In a free society that is how market forces work.

What you are saying[I guess] is that we as a society can only be selectively tolerant. We must tolerate all things that could be perceived as Anti-American. He never clearly announced what he was protesting or his PR people did a crappy job of it. Wearing "Pig" socks did him no good.

You rail on white folks for not embracing a protest at a diversion.

I'd say that the 93 year old man can feel anyway he wishes. YOUR mistake is to somehow make that one dude a totality of WWII veteran thought. And that mindset shows a clear lack of layered thinking and a poor education.

You really should broaden your reading list. Marx may have been the greatest economic historian ever, but his solutions have proven monstrous. His fallacy is what you lack. All of your thought is based on stats, order and a quest for a perfect answers to everything, the world is imperfect and thank god for that. Creative spark moves the society forward, not a code of 'fairness" that never ends up being there has to be guys to decide what's fair and have to enforce that fairness.

The enforcement of fairness is EVIL, but Utopia is worse.

Wisdom is needed.

Uncle Sam     May 24
Brien Jackson. Not appropriate this close to Memorial Day.

Brien Jackson     May 24
I thought I was the one who couldn't make a point? Let's go everyone, ante up: Is the World War 2 veteran who supports Kaepernick un-American or not? That's a simple question right?

Chris in Bel Air     May 24
@Observation Tower, great post. Thanks.

Congrats to the Caps for getting the opportunity to capture the Cup. The NHL playoffs are such a grind and if you make it that far, you are certainly doing something right as a team. It has been fun to watch.

The O's? Not so much. Geez are they depressing.

Would be great to see both Men and Women's MD Lax teams advance this weekend.

George     May 24
@DelRay Rick -- I think you have me mixed up with someone else.

May 24
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ovechkin finally gets his "major" as caps roll to title series

There was a wonderful teaching moment in the aftermath of last night's 4-0 win for the Washington Capitals.

If you're a coach at any level, hopefully you picked up on it and can use it in the future.

When asked after the game how it felt to finally break through and advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in his Hall of Fame career, Alex Ovechkin moved the spotlight to the other players on the team.

"I'm just so happy for the other guys in the locker room," Ovechkin said. "I played for them tonight. It didn't matter if I scored one goal or five goals or no goals as long as we won and we made it to the Finals."

Later, he would echo those comments with another thought that should resonate with any coach. "This team is different," he said. "We don't care who scores or who gets the headlines. We just want to win."

Alex Ovechkin accepts the Prince of Wales Trophy after the Caps captured the Eastern Conference Championship with a 4-0 win in Tampa Bay on Wednesday night.

If you're trying to pinpoint how a franchise with over 40 years of playoff frustration -- yes, they made it to the Finals back in 1998 but hardly anyone remembers it or cherishes it -- can suddenly play over their heads for six weeks and beat some of the best teams in hockey, there you have it.

"I played for them tonight..."

On a personal note, I've used the quote from Harry S. Truman on many occasions in my own coaching endeavors: "It's amazing what you can accomplish when you don't care who gets the credit."

The Capitals apparently figured out that it doesn't matter who gets the credit.

And they're headed to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Ovechkin's moment in the sun is reminiscent of what Sergio Garcia went through in 2017 as he finally captured his elusive first major golf title at The Masters.

Interestingly, the two are cut from the same basic cloth. Garcia was a 19-year old golfing prodigy from Spain who broke through at the 1999 PGA Championship and finished runner-up to Tiger Woods. Most people felt like he would a half dozen majors, if not more.

Ovechkin was labeled "can't miss" when he showed up in D.C. back in 2005 as a 20-year old with extraordinary skills and athletic ability.

Garcia didn't win a major until he was 37 years old.

Ovechkin didn't get to the Finals until he had spent 12 grueling years in the NHL, coming up short time and time again and hearing whispers -- and loud chatter, too -- that the team was failing because he couldn't figure out a way to get them to the promised land.

This one's for Ovechkin. And, in some ways, not for him at all.

He finally discovered that he can't do it by himself.

There's a remarkable story about a meeting between Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan early in their player-coach relationship. Jackson said to Jordan, "You have a choice to make. You can either score 40 points a night, get all the glory, and we can lose more games than we can win. Or you can share the ball, get your teammates involved, let them get some of the spotlight, and we can win more games than we lose. It's up to you, though."

I think we all know the choice Jordan made.

Something happens when athletes -- especially the elite ones -- figure out that they have a better chance of succeeding if they'll let others share in the joy.

"We can achieve anything as long as we don't care who gets the credit."

To wit, while Ovechkin was terrific in the Tampa Bay Lightning series, if you're prone to giving "credit" to one player for turning the series in favor of the Caps, the spotlight would most certainly shine on goaltender Braden Holtby. He was sensational in Game 6 and Game 7, shutting down one of the league's most prolific scoring teams and helping rescue Barry Trotz's team from a 3-2 series deficit.

But no one is shelling out all of the credit to Holtby. Or anyone else. And that's why the Caps are heading to Las Vegas on Monday night to play Game 1 of the Finals.

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palmer on chris davis: "he's killing this club"

Jim Palmer might get a memo from the boss for this one.

It wasn't out of line, mind you. And he most certainly wasn't wrong. But the O's have a long history of not wanting their on-air announcers to bash the players.

In the aftermath of Wednesday night's 11-1 shellacking in Chicago, Palmer did some bashing. His subject was Chris Davis.

Among the bullet points: "He's killing this club," Palmer said about the first baseman who went 0-for-4 on Wednesday with two strikeouts.

"When you're struggling like he is, you have to make adjustments," Palmer continued. "I'm not seeing any adjustments from him. I don't see him trying anything different. It's the same approach night after night."

Palmer than hinted that Davis might have fibbed about his off-season work with hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh. "He told everyone in spring training that he worked with Scott Coolbaugh during the winter and that he was trying to get back to his old way of swinging the bat. I saw Coolbaugh and asked him about the work they put in together and Coolbaugh said 'We didn't work', so I don't know what to believe now."

O's first baseman Chris Davis was the subject of an epic post-game rant from Jim Palmer on Wednesday night after he went hitless in the O's 11-1 loss to the White Sox.

The Hall of Famer was also quick to point out that the team's woeful 15-34 record isn't just on Davis' shoulders. "He's not the only one who is struggling. It's not all on him (Davis). But he has to make some adjustments and get this figured out."

Davis is now hitting .154 on the season, yet Buck Showalter continues to trot him out there for some reason.

"I don't see any kind of adjustment from Chris," said Palmer. "No wider stance. Hands aren't on the bat any different. No adjustments at all."

It almost sounds like Palmer is accusing Davis of not caring. Maybe that's what $161 million does to a guy. If you're getting that kind of money no matter what happens, why would you be concerned about what happens?

Alex Cobb was lousy again last night, breaking a streak of four decent outings for the first year Orioles hurler.

"I like some things I see from him," Palmer said in the 4th inning as Cobb departed after allowing six runs. "But he can't lay the ball in there like this against any team, even the White Sox, and expect to get major league hitters out."

Fortunately for Cobb, Palmer had someone else on his mind, or the O's starter might have been the subject of a more lengthy rant.

Maybe next time...

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"The Keen Eye" of 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 Monday & Thursday, brought to you by Glory Days Grill.

another missed opportunity for baltimore

The NCAA College World Series begins three weeks from Saturday in Omaha, Nebraska, where it’s been held every year since 1950. In 2011, the event moved out of aging Rosenblatt Stadium into the new TD Ameritrade Park, built specifically for the CWS.

Meanwhile, two days from now, the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse championship weekend begins. For the fifth time, the event will be held at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

In 2021, after two years at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, the event will be played at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., ending an 18-year run at NFL stadiums. In those 18 years, M&T Bank Stadium will have hosted just six times, and just once in the final nine seasons.

All the talk about Baltimore being a permanent or semi-permanent home for lacrosse’s ultimate weekend was just that — talk.

The Ravens, the most important partners in hosting the event, decided that the ticket sales, marketing, advertising, and operations support required just wasn’t worth it for them.

Without the Ravens the local organizing committees, and the partnership between Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Towson and UMBC that helped with operating the weekend, didn’t have the clout to make it happen. The Ravens can talk all they want about potential scheduling conflicts with the Orioles, and I get it. There’s no way the Orioles would or should agree to play every Memorial Day weekend game on the road in perpetuity.

The Ravens can also talk all they want about one-off events like Navy football games against Army, Notre Dame and Ohio State that fill the stadium and, being arranged years in advance, allow the team to ask the NFL to play on the road that weekend if necessary.

Given Baltimore's lacrosse heritage it seems fitting and natural that Charm City would host the NCAA lacrosse champions at M&T Bank Stadium, but the event will once again be played in Foxborough this year.

And the media can continue harping on the not-fake news that the novelty of playing the games in NFL stadiums, in Baltimore or elsewhere, has worn off, and attendance for the three-day event has fallen in recent years.

The truth is that nobody really cared enough to make it happen. And that’s a shame, but more than that it’s a missed opportunity, for the city and the sport.

While lacrosse has grown by leaps and bounds in pockets throughout the country, participation on the men’s Division I level is stuck at 73 schools, only four of which are outside the Eastern Time Zone.

The lacrosse championship is a weekend that’s dying for a permanent home in the East. The national governing body of the sport, US Lacrosse, just built a new headquarters in Sparks.

It makes so much sense that the most publicized event in the sport would be here too.

Instead, in three years, they’ll be playing it in a medium-sized college stadium in a parking lot in the middle of Connecticut.

I just wonder if it had to be this way.

When the NCAA decided the championship had become big enough for a professional facility, and accepted bids for future sites as such, they chose Baltimore for a reason. Not only was the city the historic center of lacrosse, but the stadium was only a few years old. The Ravens, eager to establish an even greater connection to the community, brought the same level of passion and excitement to the event that they brought to gamedays in the fall.

After two years in Baltimore, when the NCAA went to an even-newer stadium in South Philadelphia, it seemed like a temporary detour. When the Ravens and the local committee bid again and hosted two years in a row, 2010 and 2011, it seemed like the stage was set for downtown to be the home of the championship more years than not, if not full-time.

It was only then that the process seemed to break down. Was the NCAA waiting for Baltimore to make a play for the full-time gig? Or did Baltimore make overtures to that effect, only to have the NCAA tell the local committee they weren’t interested? Were the Ravens, and the NCAA, simply scared off by the wane in attendance, not wanting to make any kind of long-term commitment only to suffer a certain amount of embarrassment?

All we really know is that the Ravens, and at least some local organizers, lost interest. We know some of the reasons, but others we’ll never know.

Which brings me back to Omaha, and the baseball College World Series that will kick off for the 69th time there in mid-June.

Two generations ago, from the earliest days until the mid-1960s, the CWS in Omaha was a losing proposition. Rosenblatt Stadium was a big stadium, though not as big as it would eventually become, and the interest wasn’t there. The game-changer that was ESPN, which gave the event a tremendous boost in publicity and visibility in the 1980s, was years away.

What saved the CWS in Omaha was the community itself.

In 1967 a group of residents, led by a gentleman named John Diesing, created a non-profit organizing committee for the CWS, now simply called College World Series of Omaha, Inc. The point was to grow the event, to make it synonymous with the city, to make the NCAA want to come back year after year. The board of directors consists entirely of volunteers who spend their time engaging community support—from businesses, the government, organizations and individuals.

The most amazing part? All that support keeps coming even though it’s the NCAA, with its own well-known sponsors, that runs the event. The NCAA is obsessed with its own branding and with television, making the actual site of an event almost inconsequential. The NCAA essentially forced the city’s hand about 10 years ago. We’ll agree to keep the CWS here for 25 more years, they said, if you agree to build a new stadium.

Yet those local contributors have kept the CWS in Omaha alive, with almost no recognition at all.

If you’re thinking altruism, they’ve done it because it means more than money to them. If you’re thinking cynicism, the NCAA has been using some nice Midwestern folks to do their bidding for 50 years and keeping most of the money.

Either way, it could have happened here with lacrosse; maybe not immediately, when the NFL stadiums were so new and exciting, but eventually, when the thrill was gone and the void was waiting to be filled.

There was no Lacrosse Championship Weekend of Baltimore, Inc., though. The push for it wasn’t dependent upon the cooperation of the Omaha Royals; the businesses of the Ravens and Orioles are a lot bigger than that. The NCAA of today certainly isn’t the NCAA of the 60s, 70s or 80s; there aren’t any grandfathered nostalgic feelings about Baltimore and Maryland being the true home of lacrosse.

Albany, Duke, Maryland and Yale will hit the field this weekend at a stadium in the middle of nowhere, halfway between Boston and Providence. The stands won’t be as filled as they once were, though they’ll still surpass anyone’s attendance dreams from 25 years ago.

In Omaha, meanwhile, the enthusiasm for the College World Series will jump off the television screen. When it ends, 10 or 11 days later, everyone involved will say they can’t wait until next year: same time, same place.

In this time when an historic Baltimore sporting event might be one year away from leaving the city, we missed a chance. And that chance isn’t coming back.

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May 23
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nfl owners can't be this dumb

Aren't billionaires supposed to be smart?

I can't imagine all 32 NFL owners -- nearly all of whom are worth at least a billion dollars, I assume -- stumbled into their wealth by accident. They're smart, right?

Based on the details that emerged from Tuesday's NFL owner's meeting, I'm not sure they're across-the-board intelligent after all.

They're still arguing about football players kneeling during the national anthem.

Really? You all haven't figured out the easy solution yet?

Before we provide the obvious answer here -- like we did in this space last winter, you might remember -- here are a handful of the considerations being bandied about again today when the meeting reconvenes.

Allow each team to implement its own policy and mandate that away teams follow it.

Impose penalties on teams and players that don't stand for the anthem.

Add contract language that requires players to stand.

Leave the current policy as is, which, basically, says all players "should" stand for the anthem.

They're also apparently considering the only smart and reasonable thing they should do -- Allow players who don't want to stand for the anthem to remain in the locker while the national anthem is being played.

Voila! There's your answer.

I can even rewrite the current rule and update the language to give players who don't want to stand the right to not participate in the anthem.

While the national anthem is being played, all players and team personnel who choose to be on the field will stand on their sideline, remove their helmet, and remain standing while the national anthem is played. Any player choosing not to participate in the national anthem will be permitted to remain in the locker room or in an area inside the stadium until the national anthem is completed.


Problem solved.

Everyone involved should be happy.

The fans can stand and sing, if they like, while the national anthem is being played.

Any team personnel or players who elect to be on the field during the anthem must stand. Those fans who object to players who kneel will no longer have that issue to worry about.

The league will remove itself from the week-to-week controversy caused by players who kneel during the anthem.

And the overly sensitive players who get their feelings hurt at the thought of being told what to do by their employer now get to semi-dictate their own working conditions.

They've won their battle. They can stay in the locker room and don't have to stand for the anthem. Now, can we just get back to football, please?

The only remaining issue, of course, is that players would no longer be allowed to put on a show at midfield and kneel during the anthem. Within the new language would be some kind of penalty system in place in the event a player bucks the system and comes out to midfield for the anthem and then kneels.

Players that don't want to stand for the anthem will get their way. But in return, they have to obligate themselves to not coming out on the field and kneeling.

Seems fair to me.

It's really hard to figure out why the NFL owners can't come to grips with this issue and resolve it quickly.

It's a no brainer. Any player who doesn't want to stand doesn't have to stand. He can lay down on the locker room floor and do snow angels if he wants. He can kneel, sit cross-legged, stand on his head -- who cares? As long as he does that inside the stadium, that's all that matters.

This is the easiest solution of all. And everyone is appeased.

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that loss belongs to buck

The managers win a few and lose a few over a 162-game season.

Sometimes it's not even easy to see when they're doing so. A move made in the 5th inning sets up a few other moves in the 7th and 8th and, unless you're really paying attention to the details of the game, you'd easily forget how those actions all influenced each other later on.

Last night's 3-2 loss in Chicago wasn't one of those games where it was hard to figure out how the manager was involved in the outcome.

The Birds led 2-0 heading into the bottom of the 8th inning.

Mychal Givens, who worked two innings in Monday's 3-2 win, got the final two guys out in the 7th inning to protect Kevin Gausman's lead, then headed back to the mound to start the 8th.

Mistake #1.

Start the 8th with Bleier or Castro there, but not Givens. He threw 28 pitches the night before and was outstanding in wiggling out of a 6th inning jam. He wound up throwing 33 pitches on Tuesday night because, in part, he was gassed from the night before.

Buck clearly loves Givens. But bringing him back to start the 8th was a bad move.

But it wasn't the worst blunder Showalter made on Tuesday night.

Daniel Palka led off the bottom of the 8th with a triple that Mark Trumbo shoulda-woulda-coulda caught, but the ball nicked his glove and bounced into the right corner. That opened the flood gates for a three-run uprising that dropped the O's to 15-33 on the season.

Why was Trumbo even in the game at that point? Sure, he was 3-for-3 at the plate (and finished 4-for-4 after a 9th inning single), but his work was finished for the night once the O's got the White Sox down to their final six outs.

Mistake #2.

Buck was obviously concerned about his defense in the 8th. He started the inning by removing Trey Mancini in left field and inserting Craig Gentry. Why leave Trumbo and that piano on his back out there in right field? Bring in Joey Rickard as a defensive replacement.

Even Trumbo himself admitted after the game he probably wasn't the guy for the moment.

"That's a tough play for anybody," Trumbo said. "I gave it what I personally had. There probably are some faster guys who would make that play a little easier."

Yep. Like Joey Rickard.

Buck's final faux pas was even more glaring. After a RBI single, a strike-out, another single and a walk, the skipper woke up from his in-game nap and removed Givens from the game.

He brought in Richard Bleier to face Yoan Moncada, who hit a sacrifice fly to the game at 2-2.

Mistake #3.

You go with the strikeout guy in that situation, Buck. Come on man. That moment called for Miguel Castro, not Bleier. When Yolmer Sanchez singled to give the White Sox the 3-2 lead, the manager then went to Castro who -- you knew this was coming -- promptly struck out Jose Abreu to end the inning.

But the damage had been done.

The manager's 8th inning snooze cost the Orioles a win last night.

It's fair to note the O's offense wasn't anything special (again) on Tuesday night, with just seven hits on the evening.

But this one was on the skipper.

15-33 with about 30% of the season gone.

Hard to believe...

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no matter what happens tonight, caps aren't chokers this time around

There have been plenty of years where the Capitals gagged it during the playoffs.

They've definitely earned most of the criticism that's been thrown their way, particularly in the Alex Ovechkin era.

But should they lose tonight's Game 7 in Tampa Bay, the Capitals will not be chokers in the 2017-2018 Stanley Cup playoffs.

I'm hoping like heck they win and avoid those charges against them, because you know they're coming if they go down there tonight and get beat. But anyone who calls them chokers this spring doesn't know what he or she is talking about.

The Caps have shown incredible resolve throughout this post-season, starting with the opening series against Columbus when the Blue Jackets won the first two games in D.C., only to see Washington bounce back with four straight wins.

Sure, this series is going to a 7th game because the Caps couldn't put the Lightning away after winning the first two games in Tampa Bay, but that's more about the Lightning being a really good team than it is anything else.

I said after the Caps beat the Penguins in Game 6 that their off-season was "made" with that series victory over their arch-rivals from Pittsburgh. And that's still true, now. No matter what happens tonight, the Capitals will be an easy off-season sell to their fan base.

It would obviously be great to win tonight, but if the Caps fail to do so, they're nothing at all like some of the past teams who tightened up in post-season play.

For once, calling the Capitals "chokers" won't be fair.

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expect woods, phil to play in france

A little more than four months from now, the U.S. Ryder Cup team will embark on perhaps the most important away event since they last won on foreign soil back in 1993.

Yes, that's true. The United States Ryder Cup team hasn't won away from home since their 1993 win at The Belfry.

But this year's team has the horses to end that losing streak.

Boosted by the emergence of world number one Justin Thomas and fellow young guns Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth, the U.S. team will tangle with Europe's best in Paris from September 28 through September 30.

A #DMD commenter recently asked me to make a guess on which 12 players will represent the U.S. team. I love a good challenge. So here we go.

The top eight point getters will automatically qualify for the team. Captain Jim Furyk will then have four additional picks to make before taking the squad to France.

Here are the top 12 point-getters as of today: 1) Patrick Reed, 2) Justin Thomas, 3) Dustin Johnson, 4) Jordan Spieth, 5) Bubba Watson, 6) Rickie Fowler, 7) Brooks Koepka, 8) Phil Mickelson, 9) Webb Simpson, 10) Matt Kuchar, 11) Brian Harman, 12) Aaron Wise.

First things first: Reed, Thomas, Johnson, Spieth and Watson are "in". It would almost be impossible for any of those five to fall below the 8th spot, which automatically puts them on the team.

Fowler and Koepka both probably need only a top 5 in one of the three remaining majors to secure their spot.

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have never won a Ryder Cup on foreign soil. Their final chance to do so might come this September in Paris, France.

Here's where I'll take a gamble and cast one of them aside just to mix things up.

I'll predict Fowler makes the team on points, finishing 6th, and Koepka winds up falling out of the top eight.

This is likely the last Ryder Cup possibility for Mickelson. Sure, he'll be a captain someday soon, but this might be his swan swan in the bi-annual event.

In his storied, Hall of Fame career, Mickelson has failed to do two things. He's never won the U.S. Open. And he hasn't won a Ryder Cup on foreign soil.

Mickelson will be on the team this year. If he doesn't make it on points, he'll be added to the team by Furyk.

The prediction here is that Phil does enough on the course to snatch one of the top eight spots. Let's call it a 7th place finish for Phil. On to Paris he goes.

The eighth and final spot will go right down to the wire. Webb Simpson is in great position after his win in The Players two weeks ago. Matt Kuchar always seems to play his best golf in the summer. He'll be a factor over the next couple of months.

Brian Harman would need to win a golf tournament or have a couple of high finishes in majors to garner a spot in the automatic-8. He's a gritty competitor, a mini-Patrick Reed, if you will, but the Ryder Cup might be a smidgen out of his element.

I'm going to give the 8th and final spot to Bryson DeChambeau. He's currently in 13th place, with 2.264 points. A top 3 in a major would go a long way for him. A victory in the U.S. Open, British Open or PGA and he's in for sure.

I think DeChambeau will scratch out enough points to get the 8th and final automatic spot on the team. His pedigree says it's not only possible, but likely, that he'll play at the very highest level. He beat everyone in college, he won the U.S. Amateur, he captured titles on the Web.Com and PGA Tours.

DeChambeau, distinct golf swing and all, is a winner.

So there's your automatic eight. Reed, Thomas, Johnson, Spieth, Watson, Fowler, Mickelson and DeChambeau.

What about the four captain's picks?

Well, there are actually only three picks available.

Tiger Woods will be added to the team by captain Jim Furyk. That's a done deal.

Woods, could, of course, make the team on his own accord with a win or two between now and the end of September. I'm still not convinced Woods will win this year...but he's definitely rounded into the kind of form that Furyk will embrace when it's time to announce his picks.

Tiger might not be able to put together four consecutive rounds of golf to win a PGA Tour event, but that's not what he faces in the Ryder Cup.

The first two days are "two-man" events and two of those four are alternate shot competitions. The singles event on Sunday is the only one where Woods would be responsible for his ball and his score throughout the entire 18 holes.

Woods has done everything a player could do in the world of golf. 79 wins, 14 majors, countless Player of the Year awards and so on. But, like Mickelson, he has yet to win a Ryder Cup away from the United States.

He'll get that chance this September in Paris.

The other three spots won't be a slam dunk.

One of those will go to the kid who just won this past weekend on the PGA Tour. Aaron Wise is the real deal. He was a butt-kicker in college, was a dominant amateur player and now, two years into his professional career, he's a winner on the PGA Tour.

Looking to add some fresh faces to the team, Furyk will go with Wise as one of his captain's picks. By the way, don't be completely shocked if Wise makes the team on points.

Furyk will likely have to go with at least the number nine guy in points, a nod to the grueling two year campaign and the effort some players put in to making the team, only to come up short.

That guy on the outside will be Webb Simpson. When he narrowly misses making the top eight, Furyk will add him to the team.

So who will be the last player added?

It will come down to Matt Kuchar, Jimmy Walker and Brooks Koepka.

All three have attributes that would make them sensible selections.

In the end, Koepka will finish 10th in the standings and that will be enough to convince Furyk he's the right player to take.

That's quite a formidable 12 player roster, if it pans out that way. None of them have ever won a Ryder Cup on foreign soil, though.

That stigma won't be sticking with them when the flight returns to the U.S. after the 2018 Ryder Cup.

This year's American squad is poised to win and win big over there.

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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.

As this lost season of Baltimore baseball meanders on towards the Memorial Day benchmark, one individual who has served as a lightning rod for all forms of discontent is Chris Davis.

The Orioles' $161 million man is off to a, shall we say, slow start, and looks downright out of place on a Major League field these days.

Normally this is the part where I employ the "swerve" and tell you why the popular narrative isn't exactly right, but in this case if you think that Chris Davis is having a terrible, no-good, very bad year, you're right. If anything, you might not even understand just how bad it is.

Here's the bottom line: Chris Davis is, right now, the worst first baseman in baseball. I'm not kidding, there's no other qualifying first baseball in all of Major League Baseball that has been as bad as Chris Davis this season.

His wRC+ (a metric that takes total offensive performance based on weighted on base average and adjusts it for park and league effects) entering play Monday night was an anemic 38.

Now if you don't know how wRC+ works, here's what you need to understand: it uses a scale where the league average hitter holds a mark of 100. Every point above or below 100 is a point above or below the average hitter in a player's league.

So what that means is that, as of May 20th, Chris Davis is 62% worse than an average American league batter. And since his defense is slipping as he ages, he's already a full win below a replacement level player according to Fangraphs, which is also dead last in all of baseball for first basemen.

So this is the part where I tell you why it's not that bad, and Davis should start bouncing back any day now, right? Sorry, I got nothing.

Everyone knows about his strikeout issues, as he's on pace to set the major league record in that category this year, but that only begins to scratch the surface of Crush's woes. In addition to the sheer number of strikeouts, his walk rate is well below where it's been for the past several seasons, at a level he hasn't been at since 2012.

He's swinging at more pitches than he has the previous two seasons, and making more contact to boot, but the real problem is that when he is making contact it's just not the good kind of contact very often anymore.

The frustrations continue to mount for Chris Davis, as he endures a two year drop off in productivity that has many people suggesting the Orioles should designate him for assignment.

He's hitting more groundballs and fewer line drives than ever according to Fangraphs' database. Likewise, his overall rate of "hard contact" is as low as it's been since 2011. Most distressingly, his overall power seems to have evaporated entirely.

Right now his ISOP (isolated power, a simple metric that isolates extra base hits by subtracting batting average from slugging percentage) stands at just .106 or, -- yep, you guessed it -- the lowest mark of Davis' career (not counting 2010 when he played just 45 games).

Even last year when he was otherwise abysmal, Davis still finished with an ISOP of .208. What that means is that Davis doesn't even have the virtue of being a threat to really get into one every so often even if he's only hitting somewhere around .200 anymore.

I'd say he's worthless right now, but that's giving him too much credit: The Orioles would be *better* off paying him to play for another team right now.

In no uncertain terms, that's where things stand with Chris Davis right now. In just the third year of his contact, he is most likely finished as a useful big league player, and the most responsible and effective thing for the Orioles to do would be to release him and pay him the rest of his owed salary NOT to play for them, or even to play for another team.

They aren't going to do that, of course, and I'm not even going to pretend that they will. We've already been through this with Ubaldo Jimenez and, to a lesser extent, Chris Tillman.

Heck it's been a struggle getting a lame duck manager to just drop him out of the middle of the batting order, forget about getting Peter Angelos to cut bait on a contract with so much money left on it.

So maybe we should settle for figuring out how the club got themselves into the mess of this contract in the first place, and how to avoid a similar mistake in the future.

It's not as though this came out of nowhere: There were plenty of warning signs that Davis wasn't worth nine figures in 2015, and I and plenty of others said any GM would be a fool to give Davis the kind of money he was asking for. And for a long time it looked like no one would, but ultimately the Orioles caved and bid against no one, really, for a first baseman whose agent had resorted to shopping him as a potential outfielder in an attempt to gin up any sort of market for his services.

Indeed, the team barely even haggled Scott Boras down from his original demands despite months of Davis fielding no other formal offers that we know of.

How did that happen? Drew has said in the past that Dan Duquette was opposed to the deal, placing the blame solely at the feet of ownership. That would be in keeping with my theory on how the team is run, with Angelos focused on keeping the core group of players from 2012-14, especially those most popular with fans, in town even if it doesn't make good baseball sense to do it at the price they're asking.

We saw it again this year when the Orioles ended up giving Alex Cobb a deal right around what the former Tampa Bay starter was said to be looking for despite the fact that he didn't sign until March, and other free agent starters having the compromise to get amenable deals.

The Orioles lack a poker face or any ability to think more than 3 months in advance, and that both predates Duquette in this city and was not a problem that afflicted his former teams during his time there.

All of which points to yet more reasons for Orioles fans to have a dim outlook on the near future of their team. Davis isn't going anywhere until his contract runs out, and he'll almost certainly continue to be terrible for the duration of that time.

And the guys actually calling the shots in the front office aren't changing anytime soon, and show no signs of realizing that they've caused this mess, which means they have no ability to figure out a way out of it.

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caps produce "perfect game", even series at 3-3

Before their Eastern Conference Final series with Tampa Bay kicked off, I predicted the Capitals would lose in seven games.

Well, I have the seven games right.

I just hope I have the winning team wrong.

T.J. Oshie's two goals on Monday night helped the Caps beat Tampa Bay, 3-0.

Facing an elimination game and an 0-7 lifetime home record against the Lightning in the post-season, the Capitals produced what many observers are calling "their best game ever" last night, winning 3-0 and sending the series to Tampa Bay for Wednesday's Game 7.

Indeed, on the night they needed it most, the Caps engineered hockey's version of a perfect game.

It was a night where both goaltenders stood on their head, with Braden Holtby recording the shutout for Washington and Andre Vasilevskiy looking like a cross between Ken Dryden and Dominik Hasek, as he made 31 saves in net for the Lightning.

T.J. Oshie scored twice and Devante Smith-Pelly notched a crucial third period goal for the Caps that gave them a 2-0 cushion. Oshie's second goal of the night was an empty netter.

"We played with desperation," said Caps defenseman Brooks Orpik. "We had to do that. If we would have lost, our season was over."

Tampa Bay forward Steven Stamkos noted the same thing afterwards. "You could tell they knew it was win or go home. I thought we matched their intensity for the most part. We knew the first goal was going to be big. They got it. And they won. We're just happy to have Game 7 at home."

The Caps can't be totally disappointed about going to Tampa Bay for Wednesday's decisive game. They won the first two games of the series down there and put up a spirited effort in Game 5 only to lose 3-2.

"We know we can win down there and so do they," Alex Ovechkin said after Monday's win. "We just have to go win a game now."

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May 21
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issue 21
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it's time we say "no" to old pimlico

From the file of No one asked me but I'll tell you what I think anyway.

The only thing more gloomy than the weather at Saturday's Preakness was the mood of Stronach Group officials who spoke on the record about the future of Pimlico Race Course and the Preakness.

In short, it doesn't sound like they want the track, or the race, to survive. Or, at the very least, they sure don't want to sink any of their own money into Pimlico, thus almost guaranteeing its demise and that of the Preakness in Baltimore.

The Stronach Group owns and operates both Pimlico and Laurel Park.

Let's first make sure this is said and emphasized: Nothing about last Saturday's event should be considered when evaluating the future of the race in Baltimore. It was beyond miserable in these parts all week, and Saturday was a complete washout. The mud was so day-wrecking, pigs called out sick.

So, yes, attendance was down in 2018. No big deal. What happened on Saturday doesn't count, in my opinion.

The infield at Pimlico gives that track a distinct advantage over Laurel Park, but officials from The Stronach Group believe the Preakness could still be a success in Laurel.

But what does count, obviously, is what the folks at The Stronach Group see for the future of Pimlico Race Course.

And to hear them talk on Saturday, there isn't much of a future.

“We’ve made it pretty clear that we’re not going to put any funds into it,” Stronach Group COO Tim Ritvo said on Preakness Saturday. “Number one, we don’t have any funds to put into it. We’re a privately owned company that has no debt and we’re in good shape. But at the same time we’re not looking to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into a facility here and continue to renovate Laurel.”

Laurel, of course, is The Stronach Group's ace in the hole. It's always been their fair-haired-child, with the proximity to Washington D.C. far more appealing than a dreary, broken down track in Northwest Baltimore.

To their credit, The Stronach Group has turned Laurel Park into something decent. Ritvo acknowledges the attendance for a Preakness at Laurel Park would drop somewhere into the 75,000 range, but improvements in the facility over the last five years have given them reason to believe an "elevated" experience at Laurel Park could offset the anticipated attendance dropoff on Preakness Saturday.

In case you don't know what that means, it's simple: The price of Preakness tickets, food, drinks, tents, merchandise and anything else will go up if the race moves to Laurel. It's the only way to bring in fewer people and raise the same -- or more -- money than before.

Ritvo sure sounds like a guy who personally wants the move to happen. Asked directly by members of the media on Saturday if he wants the race to shift from Pimlico to Laurel, Ritvo didn't back off. “That’s a hard to question to answer. Obviously from what I know now, yes. What I know with the train station coming through your property from Baltimore to Washington, it’s hard to beat that. Great grass course, great dirt track, I know the renovations we’ve done there, but if somebody was to spend $300 [million] to $500 milllion at Pimlico, I probably start to like this place, too.”

It's not all his call, obviously, but where there's smoke there's fire. The folks who own both tracks would clearly prefer if the race moved to Laurel Park.

Fortunately, it's not that easy.

In the next six months or so, the city of Baltimore and state of Maryland will come under great pressure to provide funding to renovate and upgrade Pimlico, in part to help keep the Preakness on Northern Parkway.

That's where the story really becomes interesting.

Do we really want the city and state to cough up $300 to $500 million to fix antiquated, dreary Pimlico?

I get it. Without those funds from the city and state, the track would likely lose the Preakness.

And as a guy who went to the Preakness when I was 18, 28 and 38 -- and lots of years in between -- I understand how losing the race would be another knife in Baltimore's gut.

But two factors are important to consider. First, while Pimlico would be losing the race, the market itself wouldn't be. We'd just drive south 30 miles to Laurel Park on the third Saturday of May.

Admittedly, we'd lose our territorial claim to one of the most anticipated days of sport in our country. The Preakness would no longer be in Baltimore. It would be in Laurel, or as the TV folks would no doubt say, "20 miles from Washington D.C."

Would it be the same? Of course not. The infield configuration at Laurel Park is different, for starters. The race would still be the race, but the party and the environment at Laurel Park would be much different than the one we've all grown up with at Pimlico.

Guess what? The football games at M&T Bank Stadium are much different than those we used to experience on 33rd Street. But it's still football, still "our" team and still available to us.

Yes, we'd have to drive to Laurel for the Preakness. It wouldn't feel like a home game anymore. But that might be the only option that exists in a few years.

The second factor, to me, is far more critical when it comes to evaluating Pimlico and the accompanying Preakness.

Could the city and state better spend $300 million?

I think we all know the answer to that one, even if you're an ardent horse racing enthusiast.

If, for example, you could spend that $300 million to keep our school children safe, I'd vote to spend the money on that effort long before I'd vote to spend it on a horse racing track.

Better schools with the $300 million? Check.

Better wages and benefits for teachers in our state? Check.

I'd spread $300 million around to teachers and educators way before I'd hand it over to The Stronach Group so they could all buy another beach house or a place in Vail.

Heck, I'd rather give our law enforcement and first responders more money than to hand it over to a private business so they can renovate a race track.

Would The Stronach Group fix Pimlico? Most likely, yes. They've done an excellent job at Laurel Park.

But they clearly don't want to spend their own money to do it. Ritvo and even Frank Stronach himself have said that publicly.

They want the city and state to pay for it.

I say "no" to that.

I hope others would, too.

With all due respect, it's just a horse race. It happens once a year. It's a fun day.

But the Preakness can move 30 miles south and we'd all survive.

Yes, I know we've bailed out football and baseball franchises with new stadiums, sweetheart lease deals and lots of other favorable benefits. But just because we did that doesn't automatically mean we should do it again. We're supposed to learn from our experiences, remember.

Those should be the last bail-outs we give the private sector. If The Stronach Group wants to make a gazillion dollars via the Preakness, let them figure out how to do it on their dime.

Let's spend our money on things that matter. It's time we focus on education, teachers and students...those we've ignored or shoved to the side for a long time.

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rain edition

You can’t get the whole story without asking the 5 Ws: Who? What? When? Where? and Why?


Golden Knights and Lightning

Since it’s been raining a little (we’ll get to that in a moment), let’s talk about some places known for the sun.

We are now one win away (sorry, Caps fans) from a Stanley Cup final between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

A loss from the Capitals in Game 6 or 7 will set up a sunny Stanley Cup Final between Tampa Bay and Las Vegas.

Since the NHL expanded into the Sun Belt, quite a few of those Southern teams have experienced success. The Lightning even won the Stanley Cup in 2004; more recently they went to the finals three years ago, losing to the Blackhawks in six games. The Los Angeles Kings, who were around before all the expansion, have also been successful recently.

If Tampa wins the series tonight or Wednesday, this year’s Stanley Cup finals will break new ground though. It’ll be the first time two Sun Belt teams face each other for the Cup.

It’s now been 25 years since a Canadian team won the championship, the 1993 Montreal Canadiens. Thanks to the dynasty that was the Edmonton Oilers, that was the rule rather than the exception back then.

Beginning in 1984, Canadian teams won the Cup eight times in 10 seasons, with Mario Lemieux’s 1991 and 1992 Penguins teams being the exception.

Of the seven Canadian teams currently in the NHL, only two made the playoffs in 2017-18. Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton and Vancouver all finished with losing records.

The fans in Las Vegas and Tampa are also watching demographic history in the league. This decade is the first where Canadian players make up less than half of the NHL player pool.



I have to admit that I wasn’t really paying attention to the fact that the fog had started rolling into Baltimore on Saturday just a few minutes after the rain had finally stopped.

I’m sure that NBC was thrilled to return from its final break before the Preakness to a Pimlico Race Course where you could basically see nothing.

The technology in television cameras these days is amazing, though. During the race, in the particularly foggy spots on the racetrack, you could see the camera operators adjusting their equipment in real time so that viewers could at least see the horses.

The ability to alter the lens iris on cameras is particularly useful during golf tournaments, which sometimes veer into near darkness in the hopes of finishing a tournament without extending into Monday. The cameras are so good that Jim Nantz and Dan Hicks are constantly having to remind viewers that it’s a lot darker in real life than it is on screen.

Yesterday, the race announcer, Baltimore native Larry Collmus, basically admitted that he’d be watching the race on the TV monitor in front of him. His binoculars were proving to be less than useful.

Both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness have been run in the slop this year. The Belmont isn’t for another three weeks, and during that time I’m sure we’ll find out whether there’s ever been a year when all three Triple Crown races have been run on sloppy tracks.


October 2, 1977

Like they were this weekend, the Orioles were in Boston that day. It was the final day of the regular season and both teams had 97 wins, but the Yankees’ 100 wins meant that both teams were eliminated. When the rains came without relenting, a meaningless game was rightly cancelled.

The fans that stayed before the game was called did get to see some great entertainment, though. That was the first time that Rick Dempsey pulled his rain delay stunt, for which he became more famous than winning World Series MVP honors six years later.

If you weren’t around, or too young like me, you’d see it on Orioles television during every rain delay for years. Dempsey stuffed his jersey with pillows in honor of Babe Ruth, stood in the pouring rain at home plate and “called his shot,” after which he splashed around the bases on the tarp and then belly flopped into home.

According to Dempsey, he got the idea from pitcher Sparky Lyle, with whom he played on the Yankees before being traded to Baltimore midway through the 1976 season.

Dempsey only did the act once at Memorial Stadium, in an early July game in 1978 against the same Red Sox. According to contemporaneous reports, the 20,000-or-so fans in attendance didn’t really get it. The cheers were tepid; perhaps the fans had seen it once and were bored by it. Or, as Dempsey’s teammate Ken Singleton said at the time, “maybe Boston fans are better mudders.”


Long Island

The areas northeast of Baltimore avoided much of the five days of gloom and downpours that plagued this area. The weather in New York was cool and cloudy but mostly free of rain.

That was until yesterday at around 12:30 p.m., just about the time the NCAA lacrosse tournament game between Loyola and Yale headed into the second quarter. It was a total deluge. ESPN even had to go to the reverse-angle low camera full-time because they couldn’t keep their main high-angle midfield cameras clear.

There were eight goals in the first quarter; it looked like a couple of high-scoring teams were headed for a shootout. In the last 45 minutes of the game, there were five total goals scored.

Players had trouble picking up ground balls they’d normally snatch with ease. Shooting went downhill fast: in the last three quarters, Loyola scored twice on 19 shots and Yale scored three times on 31 shots. Each team had two turnovers in the first quarter; there were 21 combined turnovers the rest of the game.

It’s always a shame when the biggest games of the year have the worst weather. In college lacrosse, I’m sure the players look forward to May when they’re playing in 30-degree weather in February.

Lacrosse is a game that’s played with equipment that, no matter how advanced it’s gotten, has a hard time standing up to that kind of downpour.

Yale was better on Saturday, and perhaps they would have been better on a sunny day too, but it was too bad we didn’t get to see that.



Unlike most of the rain that occurred from Wednesday through Saturday in Baltimore, Tuesday’s activity that (eventually) postponed the Orioles-Phillies game was convective, i.e. thunderstorms.

Usually, there’s a reason to wait out summer thunderstorms at a baseball game. They often move through quickly, bringing clear skies and a little relief from heat for a few hours. They often “pop up” somewhat randomly, meaning a storm in Hunt Valley doesn’t affect downtown.

So, I’m ok with the Orioles not cancelling Tuesday’s game at 4:00. By two hours later, though, it was almost inexcusable. At the very least, the rainout should have been announced before the 7:05 game time.

I’m not privy to the exact systems the team uses to get its weather forecasts. And yes, postponing even one Major League baseball game is a major decision—for the players, for ticketholders and for the bottom line.

Seriously, though. Did anybody with the team even look at the radar?

Not to be a weather geek, but there was a huge gust front at least 50 miles wide plowing directly south across the Pennsylvania line. Even behind the heavy rain, thunder and lightning, there was lighter but still steady rain. This time, it wasn’t a matter of if, just when.

On a related note, there probably should be an MLB time limit on when a night game can begin. I don’t think any game should be allowed to start after 10 p.m. local time unless there are extenuating circumstances.

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we're down to the final four

As expected, this was going to be very difficult to call these games this weekend. Also tough on local teams, as only one survives to play in the Final Four next weekend.

Interestingly, the NCAA got seeds 1 through 4 correct as all be playing next weekend. Let's take a look at how the games played out.

Yale 8 - Loyola 5 - The score in this defensive masterpiece was a lot closer than the final result as Yale dominated the face-off X and the game overall. The Bulldogs outshot the Greyhounds 42-27.

Loyola coach Charley Toomey saw his team's bid for another trip to the NCAA Final Four thwarted by Yale on Saturday afternoon.

But a career day for goalie Jacob Stover, who made 19 saves, kept the Greyhounds in this one. However, Yale goalie Jack Starr was also up to the task making 9 saves which included some great stops on what felt like sure goals by Greyhound superstar Pat Spencer to keep Yale ahead comfortably.

Spencer led the offense, but only finished with a goal and 2 assists. Ben Reeves was almost unstoppable early on scoring and finding open guys when drawing slides. Loyola's top defender Foster Huggins tried to keep him down, but one of the game's best still scored 3 goals and collected 3 assists. To say the Bulldogs were on a mission would be an understatement as they hounded the 'Hounds all over the field on offense, defense and clearing. Tough break for Loyola who didn't have their best stuff.

Albany 15 - Denver 13 - This game did go as the face-offs went, but not what I had expected. The battle at the X alone was worth the price of admission between the nations best, Albany's TD Ierlan and Denver's Trevor Baptiste.

In the end, the draws split dead even, 15-15. But then the offenses went to work, making this an exciting game that really wasn't resolved until the final few minutes.

Albany's offensive leader Connor Fields was clearly not at 100% and the stat sheet only shows him with 3 assists. But he ran the offense well and setup several other teammates who capitalized when he'd offer up hockey assists and draw other defenders. Albany had 4 players with 3 goals including Tehoka Nanticoke, Kyle McClancy, Sean Eccles, and Jakob Patterson. Denver was led by Colton Jackson's 4 goals and Joe Reid's 3 goals.

Tough to say Albany's defense was effective after giving up 13 goals. But they did the job, holding Denver's top scorers Austin French and Ethan Walker to just one goal total.

Maryland 13 - Cornell 8 - After several games of just getting by, the defending champs disposed of the upstart Big Red and played their best game in a while. The Terps opened up strong in the first half, opening up a 6-2 lead in the 2nd quarter. But Cornell cut the lead in half by halftime 6-4.

Then Maryland went on a roll in the 3rd, opening up an 11-4 lead then cruised the rest of the way. Both teams effectively took out each teams strength (Maryland's Connor Kelley held to 1 goal and Cornells Jeff Teat to 2 assists) so it was up to the other guys on each team. And Maryland's other guys, particularly Bubba Fairman (3 goals, 2 assists) and Jared Bernhardt (3 goals 1 assist) played better than Cornell's.

It also helped that Justin Shockey won 13 of 19 draws. I thought this would be closer, but the Terps played like the #1 team they were earlier this season. Which could spell trouble for the rest of the field on championship weekend.

Duke 14 - Johns Hopkins 9 - This seemed like a typical Hopkins game in which they start off slow, and then catch fire in the 2nd half to take the win. And just like the script was written, the Blue Jays were down to the Blue Devils 4-1 early. They fought back, but Duke eventually extended the lead to 7-3 at half.

Then Hopkins does as they always do, which is play strong in the second half, and made it a one goal game, 9-8, midway through the 4th. But this time, the other team punched back as the Blue Devils went on a 3 goal run thanks to 2 goals on ankle breaking dodges by Duke midfielder Nakeie Montgomery to extend the lead to 12-8 and basically seal the victory for Duke.

Tewaaraton finalist Justin Guterding led the Blue Devils with 3 goals and 2 assists and Blue Devil FOGO Brian Smyth surprising owned the face-off X over Blue Jays Hunter Moreland, winning 18 of 25 draws.

Duke's defense was on point holding Blue Jays' offensive leaders Joel Tinney, Shack Stanwick and Cole Williams to just 2 goals and 3 assists combined. Kyle Marr led the Blue Jays with 2 goals and an assist. As with the past few seasons, the Blue Devils unfortunately have had the Blue Jays' number.

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May 20
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issue 20
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celebrating because...we should

My Calvert Hall varsity golf team had its season-ending party last night. It was hosted by the parents of one of our players, complete with with everything you could possibly want; food, drinks, sports on TV, an indoor putting contest and basketball outside under the lights.

We have the event every year on Preakness Saturday because that also happens to be the championship match of the MIAA A-Conference at Caves Valley. My first year at Calvert Hall, 2013, we won the title over Gilman at 4:30 in the afternoon and just rolled right into the team celebration thereafter.

So, it's just become the easy, normal thing to do. Plan the season ending team party for Preakness Saturday and just turn it into a championship celebration if we're fortuate enough to win the whole thing.

That didn't happen for us this year. St. Paul's won the championship for the third straight year yesterday, beating Gilman at Caves, 15-6.

But we still celebrated last night. Had you flown in from Pluto at 6:30 pm and wandered into our event over in Glen Arm, you would have assumed it was us that won the title.

We finished the campaign at 5-7, missing the playoffs by inches. And when I say inches, I mean it.

The 2018 Calvert Hall varsity golf team.

Back on April 12 in a home match vs. Loyola, we narrowly missed a par putt at #8 and #10, both from inside four feet. Little did we know it then, but had both of those putts gone in, that 12-9 loss to Loyola would have been an 11-10 win for us and that victory would have been the margin we needed to make the post-season a month later.

Four weeks later, we were faced with winning three of our last four matches to make the post-season. At Spalding on May 8, we needed to make an 8-foot birdie putt on the last hole to earn a 10.5-10.5 tie. That tie, as it turned out, would have also been enough to get us in the post-season given the other results that followed later in the week. It missed by an inch or so. And we lost.

Speaking of "inches", the day before our loss to Spalding, they played host to McDonogh. On the final green of that match, a McDonogh player had a 3-foot putt to give them the win, which -- you're seeing a pattern here -- would have also put us in the playoffs given what happened in our final four matches. The putt didn't go in, the match ended in a 10.5-10.5 tie, and that deadlock, as it turned out, is what got Spalding in the playoffs over us.

Following our own loss to Spalding on May 8, we played and beat St. Joe and Spalding at home on May 9 and 10 to set-up a "win and we're in" scenario vs. Loyola on May 14.

Things started well for us in that match vs. the Dons, but their experience and some great play at the 6th hole sealed our fate. We lost our final regular season match to miss the playoffs.

Inches. Hold your thing and index finger an inch or two apart...that's how close we came to making a couple of putts that would have sent us to the post-season. All that work, from January to May, and that's what it ultimately came down to for us.

The funny part of it all is that's one of my favorite sayings with the team: "It's a game of inches".

You can miss a few putts by several inches over a round and go from shooting 74 to 78.

You can hit the ball out on the toe and mishit a shot...but if that ball was hit an inch (or less) more toward the middle of the club, you'd have a perfectly struck shot.

Your ball can travel 325 yards and come to rest in a fairway divot, leaving you with a difficult approach shot given your lie. If that ball travels one inch less, or one inch more, you're sitting up in the short grass with a standard, easy-to-play shot.

So last night we celebrated the fact that in a game of inches, we came up short. And we handled it with great humility and peace.

In the team prayer we recite prior to each match, there's a sentence that says, "When we win, give us humility, when we lose, give us peace."

In short, we're asking God to give us balance. Anyone that's ever played sports knows that's a difficult thing to achieve. You're sky high when you win and low, low, low when you lose.

We handled all of our outcomes the same way in 2018. We just moved on to the next match.

At our season-ending exit meeting last week, I wrote my favorite Bible verse on the white board in a Calvert Hall classroom. It's Corinthians 4-16:18.

(16) Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (17) For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (18) So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

That verse perfectly fits our 2018 team at Calvert Hall.

We will not lose heart. Our team this year contained just two seniors. We return five of six starters, plus we have several other young players ready to step in and compete for playing time. We are already into "next season". A friend of the program was at the team party last night and asked me what our record was this season. "We're 0-0," I replied. "Last season, we were 5-7."

What happened to us in the 2018 campaign, while disappointing, was truly a light and momentary trouble. Real trouble exists in our country every day, including on Friday in Texas and Georgia where high school events included shootings of teachers and students. Missing the playoffs by a couple of inches? That was troubling, sure. But it was "light" and "momentary".

We fix our eyes not what was seen, but what is unseen. What was "seen" about us in 2018 was our 5-7 record. What was "seen" about us was having a chance to make the playoffs on the final day of the regular season and coming up short. What was "seen" was a putt here or there that could have changed our fortunes. But all of those things that were seen were temporary. Brief moments. Here and gone.

What's unseen is what motivates us. The 2019 campaign is what we're focused on now. We can't see it, but we're fixed on it.

I shared that with the team last week in an effort to help them deal with missing the playoffs. It turns out, it helped me, too.

At the beginning of the year, way back in January, I met with the ten players who would comprise the roster for the 2018 season and asked them how they would define "success".

They each listed various things, most of them similar in nature, centered on things like winning (important), playing time (important), individual success (important) and improving their game (important).

"Here's the number one goal for each of you," I said.

"If you love golf more at the end of the season than you did at the beginning of the season, the season has been a success." That's what I told them.

My job, of course, was to help them do that. My job was to help them learn more about themselves and the great game they play.

Last night's celebration told me they all reached that goal.

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r.i.p. mike bowers

I was saddened on Saturday morning to learn of the passing of a longtime friend of mine who was a P1 listener of my old radio show and a frequent caller as well.

Mike Bowers -- "Mike in Fallston" -- passed away on Friday after a battle with cancer.

When #DMD went to a Caps-Flyers playoff game a few years ago, the bus was filled with red...until Mike walked on with his orange Flyers jersey. "Bowers, you're awfully lucky I like you," I teased.

On mornings after the Flyers would win the night before, he'd often call my show and ask a general sports question and we'd banter back and forth for a few minutes. Just prior to the call ending, he'd quickly throw in "Flyers 4, Bruins 2 last night" and then hang up. It was all good fun. Mike was a good man.

We played together once in a charity event and he was having a tough time getting off the tee. "Your grip is too weak," I told him. I moved his hands into a different position and he started hitting long, straight drives.

Nine holes later, he had reverted back to his old grip, somehow, and was again hitting weak pop-ups to the right. "Well, there goes that $100 I was going to give you for the lesson," he deadpanned.

I used to see Mike a lot when I was a member at Mountain Branch. Since leaving the air in 2014 and moving over to Eagle's Nest Country Club a short time later, I hadn't seen nearly as much of him in recent years. But we still communicated via Facebook and I knew he was battling cancer.

And battle he did.

May God grant him eternal rest.

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a night of losing

The early part of Saturday evening started off decently. For me, anyway. I had the $1 trifecta in the Preakness (7-8-6), but I shelled out $108 worth of bets to collect the $148 trifecta wager. I guess winning $40 is better than losing $40. And I didn't have to go to the track to place the bet. That's a win right there.

The Orioles and Caps, though. Not so lucky.

Roughed up again last night in Boston, Dylan Bundy fell to 2-6 on the season after the 6-3 loss to the Red Sox.

In Boston, the O's were again victimized by Mookie Betts, who clobbered a 2-run home run off Dylan Bundy in the 5th inning that helped pave the way for a 6-3 Red Sox victory.

The O's are now 14-31 on the season. They're 4-18 away from Camden Yards.

It was another night of listless offense for the Orioles, who managed just six hits on the evening. Last Sunday, the O's scored 17 runs vs. Kansas City. In the four games since, they've scored 13.

David Hess, who beat the Royals last Saturday in Baltimore, will get the start for Buck Showalter's team today at Fenway Park.

The good news? The O's have just one more visit to Boston this season. And they're headed to Chicago after today's game to take on a team -- if you can believe this -- that has a worse record than they do. The White Sox are 12-30.

Surely we can win three of four in Chicago, right? Right?

Down in Tampa Bay, the Capitals dropped a 3-2 decision to the Lightning that puts Barry Trotz's team in a must-win situation tomorrow night at home. Tampa Bay now leads the series, 3-2.

Things started poorly last night. The Caps gave up a goal just nineteen seconds into the game and trailed 2-0 before the first period reached the halfway point. Tampa Bay eventually extended the lead to 3-0 before a couple of Washington goals narrowed the gap to 3-2.

In the game's final fifteen seconds, John Carlson had a glorious scoring chance eight feet from the net but couldn't produce the game-tying goal. Had that same chance fallen to Ovechkin or Oshie, the contest might have gone to overtime. Alas, it didn't.

The Caps aren't dead yet, though.

You have to win four games, not three. And while the Lightning are an exceptional team, one Washington victory and it's back to Tampa Bay for a decisive game 7 -- in a building where the Caps have historically played well, including victories in Game 1 and Game 2 of this series.

Someone needled me on Twitter last night and wrote, "This has to be the Caps biggest choke job ever, right?"

"Not yet," I wrote. "They haven't lost the series."

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May 19
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issue 19
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duquette continues to amaze us

The Orioles won a game last night. On the road, even.

Yes, yes, you read that right.

The Birds are now 14-30 on the season after a 7-4 win at Fenway Park on Friday evening. Good fortune even smiled down upon Buck Showalter's team in the bottom of the eighth inning when Brad Brach was able to retire Mookie Betts with the bases loaded and two outs.

Betts was 3-for-5 last night and is hitting a scorching .371 on the season. Earlier in the game he hit his 14th home run of the campaign.

If Betts is the American League's top hitter, the guy who is a close second was also a factor in Friday's game at Fenway Park. Manny Machado went 3-for-5 to raise his average to .347 on the year.

Machado, in case you haven't noticed, is having a mammoth season thus far. It's early, of course, but Machado (and Betts, too, to be fair) has a legitimate shot at chasing baseball's Triple Crown this season, which is to lead the league in batting average, home runs and RBI. It's a feat accomplished just 17 times in the history of the game, most recently back in 2012 by Detroit's Miguel Cabrera.

Machado is also without a contract for the 2019 season. He becomes a free agent next November and is expected to be rewarded with an over-the-top contract once he can peddle himself to the highest bidder.

Speculation abounds that the Orioles will ship Machado to a contending team at the trade deadline. But Dan Duquette continues to say goofy things when asked about Machado and the potential to move him in July.

Whether it's with his glove or bat, Manny Machado is showing teams who might be interested in him in 2019 just how good he can be with a red-hot start to the 2018 campaign.

This is real head-scratching stuff if you ask me. But Duquette specializes in walking that fine line between baseball savant and baseball idiot. So when he speaks, you're never quite sure what he's really trying to say.

Take, for instance, an interview Duquette had with MLB Radio on Thursday of this week.

"If you're going to revamp your club and get better for the future, as an organization, you might want to take a look at all the options and players that are valuable to you who might be more valuable in the trade market," Duquette said. "I don't know. We haven't really made that determination. That's another consideration."

That, of course, is a head nod in the direction of the "Memorial Day" comment Duquette made a few weeks back when the O's started their season at 8-27. Duquette mentioned at that point he wouldn't really start thinking about trading players away and breaking up the team until they had a reasonable amount of evidence to weigh. He pointed to Memorial Day as an occasion when he and the organization might evaluate trading Machado and others.

Silly? Yes. You can wait until Memorial Day if you like, but the idea of not evening thinking about it until then is kind of goofy. The team started 8-27.

But there's more...and this is where it gets a little strange.

"The other consideration is: What if Manny Machado is having an MVP season and he's on his way to the Triple Crown? Is that a player that a club wants to trade? Even though their season may not be a championship season this year? So, there's a lot of different questions for the organization to answer, but it's really about timing. How many good players can you have together at the same time? And can you keep them together for a period of time to give yourself a chance to go again for the playoffs?"

"What if Manny Machado is having an MVP season and he's on his way to the Triple Crown?" If the club had a 30-14 record instead of a 14-30 mark, that might make a lot of sense.

But given the team's last place position in the A.L. East and what appears to be a 90-loss campaign on the horizon, does Duquette really think the pursuit of a Triple Crown is a reason for keeping Machado around? The issue of a player winning the MVP award or chasing the Triple Crown shouldn't have any bearing at all on trading that player, assuming he's a free agent at season's end like Machado is in 2018.

Not one person in Baltimore cares at all about trading away a guy "chasing the Triple Crown" if that player isn't going to be with the team the following season. Well, someone might care. But they don't know baseball in that case.

Here's where Duquette misses the boat every single time he speaks about Manny Machado.

He should openly put the burden on Machado. Every time.

"We'd obviously love to have Manny finish his career in Baltimore." Duquette should say that every time he speaks.

"But that's ultimately not up to us. It's up to Manny. We'd sign him tomorrow and keep him here forever if we could do that. But Manny wants to explore free agency." Duquette should also say that every time he speaks about his shortstop.

"The only reason we're going to explore our in-season options with Manny is because we can't get a long term commitment from him now." Duquette should repeat that phrase over and over.

Now, we also know the dirty little secret about the whole thing. If Machado walked in tomorrow and said, "OK, give me $250 million for 6 years and I'm yours", the Orioles would most likely balk at that offer.

Fortunately, the O's don't have to play that game because Manny isn't going to do that.

But this constant waffling by Duquette is maddening.

Stop trying to save face, Dan. We know it's not your fault that Machado is leaving for the Yankees. Heck, in that regard, it's not even the fault of Peter Angelos that Machado wants to be in pinstripes so bad he can taste it.

Machado is leaving because he wants to leave.

And good for him, too. He earned his big payday. Let him go enjoy it, wherever it might take him.

I'm not even mad at Manny. It is what it is. He's a free agent. He wants the big money and the spotlight. It's part of being in the game.

But I wish the Orioles would stop trying to make us all feel like they owe it to the community to keep Machado around as long as they can.

No. You don't owe the fan base that in any way.

You owe it us to improve the organization from top to bottom. You owe it to us to move forward, not backward. You owe it to us to be better in 2019, 2020 and so on.

Keeping Manny Machado around because we might get to see him win the Triple Crown is laughably dumb. We couldn't care less, really.

Here's what we'd all rather see: Winning.

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john pusateri
on lacrosse

Covering local college lacrosse for #DMD is an important task, and JOHN PUSATERI is more than capable of handling the job! His keen eye breaks down teams, players, tendencies and key statistical data that all fits together for outstanding coverage of college lacrosse. When it comes to covering local lacrosse, #DMD does it better than anyone around!

ncaa tournament 2nd round preview

Last weekend featured some great games. But nothing will top this weekend, with four toss-ups in store for the quarterfinals.

Indeed, all remaining 8 teams have a legitimate chance to win the title. Likewise, it wouldn't surprise me if any of these teams lose. So all games could very well come down a key play or key mistake.

Let's take a crack at what factors could decide each game. As with last week, we'll list teams by tournament seeds proceeded by national ranks. Also, all games will be broadcast on ESPNU, although Sunday's games will be at Navy-Marine Corp Stadium, which is a great venue for any sporting event if you have nothing to better to do on Sunday.

3-Yale(#4) vs 6-Loyola(#6) (Saturday 12 pm, Hempstead, NY)

Loyola needs a big game from Pat Spencer today if they hope to advance to next weekend's NCAA Lacrosse Final Four.

Strengths - Both have superstars on offense who can take over a game; Ben Reeves(53 goals, 43 assists) for Yale and Pat Spencer (33 goals, 58 assists) for Loyola. Both are great on offense averaging almost 14 goals per game and great on defense, allowing under 9 goals per game. Loyola is averaging 51.6% save percentage. The Greyhounds also force 10 turnovers per game. Yale is winning 61.4% of their face-offs.

Weaknesses - Tough to identify significant flaws for these two. But Yale turns the ball over 13.4 times per game and is only saving shots at 47%. The Greyhounds are only winning 43.2% of their face-offs and are only converting 27.4% of their man-up opportunities.

Outcome - It's a shame this game won't be played in Annapolis and might be the best of the weekend. Yale will definitely win more possessions in face-offs. But their turnover rate and Loyola's knack for causing turnovers should cancel out the possession advantage. Heck, they even lost to a common opponent, Bucknell, by one goal so we can't compare schedules. About the only thing to factor in is historical big game performance. If we consider that, Loyola has won it all and plays well in the tournament while Yale has historically underachieved in May. In a toss up, I see Loyola winning 12-11.

2-Albany (#2) vs 10-Denver (#9) (Saturday 2:30 pm, Hempstead, NY)

Strengths: By far the best two face-off specialists in the game will square off in this match when Albany's TD Ierlan (80% winning pct) takes on Trevor Baptiste (75% winning pct). The face-offs alone may be worth watching this game. Both teams have great defense, allowing less than 8 goals per game (Denver - 7.4 goals allowed, Albany 7.7). Of note, Albany's JD Colarusso has been great in the goal, saving 59%. Albany also has a clear advantage on offense scoring 14.6 goals per game while Denver scores 11.3 goals. Their offense is led by Tewaaraton candidate Connor Fields who averages 5.6 points per game (2.2 goals, 3.4 assists).

Weaknesses: Denver has struggled with goalie play only stopping 48.3% on the season, splitting time between Alex Ready and Josh Matt. While Albany has compiled a great record and held the #1 spot in the rankings this year, they've clearly played the easier schedule in the America East, which is much less challenging than the Big East for Denver.

Outcome: As I hinted last week, Albany was one of the teams I had flagged for an 'upset alert'. This game will go as the face-offs go. While TD Ierlan has the better winning percentage, Trevor Baptiste was the #1 overall draft pick in the MLL as he has been the best in the game over the past 3 seasons. Ierlan's poor performance in last year's playoff against Maryland's Jon Garino also has me concerned. In addition, Denver has played the tougher schedule overall. With this in mind, I'm thinking Baptiste will dominate the face-off X and limit Albany's possessions. Great Dane goalie JD Colarusso will limit Denver scoring. But I'm feeling a Pioneer upset, as Denver wins 11-10 over Albany.

1-Maryland(#1) vs 9-Cornell(#7) (Sunday 12 pm, Annapolis, MD)

Strengths: Offensive masters for both teams. Connor Kelly for Maryland (44 goals, 33 assists in 16 games) and Jeff Teat (37 goals, 60 assists) of Cornell are two of the best in the game. Teat is so effective he has been locked off the last few games by opposing defenses. Both teams also enjoy great goal tending. Maryland's Dan Morris is saving 53.1% while Cornell's Christian Knight has stopped 57.4% of shots on cage. Cornell overall has the 3rd ranked scoring offense in the nation, scoring 13.9 goals per game.

Weaknesses: Not much on either side. Cornell on the season has only won 44.7% of face-offs which could be trouble against the Terps two-headed monster of Justin Shockey and Austin Henningsen. Both of which could be a starter for almost any other team in the country. The Terps have a great record, but have struggled down the stretch (2-3 over last 5 games) and seem to play to the level of the competition.

Outcome: This game could very well be a final four game and should be an exciting one to watch. It will pretty much be a home game for the Terps who are only a 35 minute ride away from Navy-Marine Corp Stadium. However, its worth noting 2 of Maryland's 3 losses were at home. But Cornell is going to be traveling a long distance and gametime temps could be pushing the mid 80s, which isn't exactly upstate NY weather. I've gone back and forth on this game, but I'll give this one to the defending champs who will barely edge out Cornell 11-10.

4-Duke (#3) vs 5-Johns Hopkins (#5) (Sunday 2:30 pm, Annapolis, MD)

Strengths: Plenty of offense on both sides with Duke possessing the #4 scoring offense in the land, scoring 13.8 goals per game and the Blue Jays #9 in the nation, scoring 11.9 goals per game. Duke's Justin Guterding is one of the best attackmen in the country with 58 goals and 41 assists. The Blue Devils are converting an astonishing 53.1% of their man-up opportunities. And they also have the 10th ranked scoring defense only allowing 8.4 goals per game. Hopkins' Hunter Moreland has steadily been steadily improving in face-offs and currently holds a 58.4% winning percentage.

Weaknesses: Both teams are very solid. Hopkins is a slow starting team and often trails significantly to teams in the first half. While Blue Jay goalie Brock Turnbaugh has been playing well down the stretch, he might have returned to his old sub-.500% ways last weekend against Georgetown only saving 4 while allowing 9 goals. Duke has only won 50.5% of their face-offs all season which isn't exactly comforting in the playoffs.

Outcome: As with the Terps, Navy-Marine Corp Stadium is also a short drive way from downtown Baltimore. So the Blue Jays should enjoy a nice home crowd. As noted before, Hopkins often starts slow, then makes great adjustments in the 2nd half. Unfortunately, Duke could put the game away in the first half with all their offensive fire power if the boys from Homewood start off slow. Hunter Moreland should help limit Duke possessions and slow down their offense some. But this battle of the Blues will go by the way of the Blue Devils, who'll win 14-12 over the Blue Jays.

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final call for our u.s. open golf trip

#DMD is putting together a special one-day trip to the U.S. Open on June 15 at Shinnecock Hills GC on Long Island (NY) and we'd love for you to be part of it with us!

This is our final call for those interested in purchasing tickets. We will not take any more reservations after this Sunday, May 20.

We're billing it as a "Day with Dad", but you certainly don't have to bring your father along. We just think it will be fun if you do!

Defending champion Brooks Koepka will be in the field at Shinnecock Hills on June 15 when #DMD travels to Long Island for the second round of this year's U.S. Open.

We're heading to Shinnecock Hills to see the second round of the 2018 U.S. Open, departing Baltimore at 5:00 and arriving at the course roughly around 9:00 am. We'll spend the whole day on the course watching the best players in the world play on one of our nation's most iconic golf courses.

If you've never seen Shinnecock Hills in person, this is a must-do opportunity to experience one of our nation's most breathaking and scenic courses.

Our luxury motor coach will be limited to just 40 passengers, giving everyone room to spread out and enjoy the ride to Long Island. We'll enjoy breakfast, drinks and snacks on the ride to the course and we'll have more food and drinks for everyone on the ride home.

Oh, and there's U.S. Open trivia as well! A $100 cash prize is available for our trivia contest, so brush up on those needless facts about the U.S. Open.

Bring Dad along for a truly special day together at the U.S. Open. All of the best players in the world will be there...and the two of you can watch the tournament on Saturday or Sunday with the experience of having just walked the famous layout.

#DMD golf trips like this one are also excellent for employee and client reward. If you have a golfer or two that work in your business or if there's a special client you'd like to treat, we promise we'll great care of them on the trip to Shinnecock Hills!

For pricing and payment details go here.

May 18
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issue 18
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o's magic number is now 44

It seems a bit early to be in this kind of predicament, but the O's have put themselves there.

With last night's 6-2 loss in Boston, the Birds are now 13-30 on the season.

Baseball nerds use a bunch of fancy data, throw it into a computer, and out spits some forecasts for the season, including how many wins it will take to make the playoffs.

This season, in the American League, those projections have the second wild card winner needing to post a record of 88-74 to qualify for post-season play.

That seems about right. One of the wild card teams will win 90-something games and the other will need at least 88 wins to get in.

So, with their current mark of 13-30, the Orioles can only afford to lose 44 more games for the rest of the season.

That puts their awful 8-27 start into perspective, I suppose. It was over before it really got started.

After several strong starts in succession, Kevin Gausman was lousy on Thursday night in Boston, giving up six runs in five-plus innings of work as the O's lost 6-2.

The Orioles have done some strange things this season, starting way back in the winter when they pussy-footed around with Andrew Cashner and Alex Cobb. Both of those pitchers weren't signed until spring training was well underway, and neither broke out of the gates with their best stuff. They have a combined record of 1-10 thus far in 2018.

The dedication to keeping Rule 5 players around was silly, but the O's have been oddly connected to that endeavor for a half dozen years now. Only one of the three remains with the big-league team (Araujo) and his performance (6.86 ERA) isn't nearly good enough to warrant a spot on the 25-man roster. Yet, he's still with the club.

Signing a bunch of has-beens like Alvarez, Valencia and Rasmus didn't really surprise anyone. Dan Duquette has enjoyed the art of finding a needle in a haystack over the years. Too bad he didn't find any who made an impact.

But the decision on Thursday to send Caleb Joseph to the minor leagues and recall Andrew Susac is the head-scratcher of the season to date. It wasn't puzzling because Joseph is an established major leaguer and Susac isn't. Joseph's offensive performance this season was dismal, to say the least.

No, it was a head scratcher because the Birds opened a 4-game series in Boston on Thursday night and Joseph, if nothing else, has seen the Red Sox lineup on numerous occasions over the last few years and he's been an effective battery-mate for Kevin Gausman during that time as well.

If you want to call up Susac and give him a shot, fair enough. But doing it prior to a series at Fenway Park and shipping Joseph down to Norfolk? It makes no sense at all.

The Red Sox stole five bases off of Gausman last night. Prior to Thursday's game, no one had tried to steal a base off of Gausman all season. Read into that what you will.

For what it's worth, the O's complained about the strike zone last night. A lot. Time and time again, you could hear chirping from the dugout on close calls that went against the Birds and Gausman was noticeably irritated on several occasions, snatching the ball thrown back to him in a manner that suggested he wasn't happy with the strike zone.

"I'm very biased, but I didn't think he got a fair shake tonight," Buck Showalter said. "There were a lot of pitches that could have and should have gone his way."

Showalter was also the subject of a breach of baseball's silly unwritten rules on Thursday evening. After Xander Bogaerts hit a 3-run homer off of Gausman in the 5th inning, Showalter hustled to the mound, crossing the third base line just before Bogaerts himself reached third base.

Admittedly, you don't see the manager do that much. I'm sure the Red Sox will overreact to it. They have a tendency to do that.

All in all, it was just another lackluster performance from an O's team that has mastered the act of looking uninterested throughout the first eight weeks of the season. They were in danger of being shut out on four hits until Manny Machado's 2-out homer in the top of the ninth finalized the scoring at 6-2.

"Everyone in that locker room knows we need to win games," Showalter said afterwards. "That's the thing I like about those guys. They're not hiding from it. They're frustrated as they can be, but they'll come back tomorrow and be ready to play."

I'm comforted in knowing that. I'm sure you are, too.

Guys who make ten, fifteen and twenty million dollars will "come ready to play" tonight in Boston.

So -- we have that going for us. Which is nice.

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will justify have (good) magic in the preakness?

Tomorrow's running of the Preakness at Pimlico offers a variety of interesting angles for racing enthusiasts and the casual fan.

#DMD reader and former trainer Connie Deere offered to share her wisdom on what might happen on Saturday afternoon in the second Triple Crown race of the 2018 calendar.

Her analysis is below.

Let's first establish that there's a really good chance the horses will run on an "off" track tomorrow. Unless the weather predictions are completely off base, the facility will take on more rain both Friday and Saturday.

While it can't get much more sloppy than it was on Wednesday and Thursday, the more it rains over the next couple of days the less chance they have of racing on anything but mud and slop on Saturday.

The favorite Justify ran an outstanding race on a muddy, off track at Churchill Downs two weeks ago, but that doesn't automatically mean he'll duplicate that effort on Saturday.

Can Mike Smith and Justify make it 2-for-2 and win the second leg of horse racing's Triple Crown tomorrow at Old Hilltop?

He was able to run that race without any interference and never experienced the distraction of having mud kicked in his face. I bring that up to remind everyone that horses react differently to every race and every situation. Just because Justify ran well in the mud two weeks ago doesn't mean he'll automatically do the same on Saturday if the track conditions are similar to the ones he experienced at the Derby.

I know he's raced four times in 2018 but that's not much of a concern. It might be if he had four or six races as a two-year old, but that wasn't the case with Justify. He's as fresh as a horse can be who has raced four times in five months time.

There are also rumors about a hind leg injury but the horse has trained well this week and shows no real signs of an injury.

If you believe in numbers and past history, neither of those bode well for Justify. Five of the last seven Preakness favorites have lost, including last year's even money favorite, Always Dreaming.

A lot of people are high on Good Magic this week but I'm not one of them. My eyes and ears at Pimlico say he didn't travel well and hasn't taken to the sloppy track the last couple of mornings.

More importantly, the 2nd place runner in the Derby has rarely factored in the Preakness. I can't put my finger on why that is, but only 2 of the last 24 second place Derby runners (Exaggerator in 2016, Prairie Bayou in 1993) have gone on to win at Pimlico. I might feel differently about Good Magic if the reports I've been hearing were more favorable. In this case, I don't think we'll see much from him.

Quip is a horse that could jump out early and make some noise. On an off track, that sometimes makes a difference, like it did with Justify at the Derby. But I don't see Quip having enough in the tank to run the entire race out front.

Lone Sailor hasn't preferred the early pace in his career. There's no reason at all to believe that will change on Saturday. My guess is he falls behind early, sees he's out of his element, and doesn't pose a threat.

Tenfold has showed the ability to lead early and follow through, but none of that was ever on the kind of track we're going to see on Saturday at Pimlico. The same goes for Sporting Chance, who doesn't have a history of breaking fast out of the gate.

The horses I'm keeping my eye are on Diamond King and Bravazo, who ran gamely at the Derby.

I hear Wayne Lukas likes the way this horse has recovered from Churchill Downs and has quietly talked up his chances to those in his inner circle this week.

I liked Bravazo before I heard the whispers from the Lukas camp. I like him a little more now.

The race will ultimately come down to the first 20 seconds. If Justify breaks clean and quickly moves across the track to grab the lead, it could be over before it starts. This horse could win the race by ten lengths on Saturday.

But if there's any trouble at all, and Justify is forced into a position he isn't familiar with, that could unsettle things just enough to make it a horse race that we weren't expecting. I'm sure Mike Smith will do everything he can to be ahead at the first turn, but it doesn't always work out that way.

I'm going against the grain and picking Bravazo to win on Saturday, with Diamond King running second and Justify closing fast for third.

My heart wants to see a Justify victory so the Triple Crown possibility lives on, but the weather, history and my head say otherwise.

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kudos to the ravens

Given our choice, I think we'd all rather see winning football than reduced prices at the concessions stands, but the Ravens can only impact winning so much. The other team tries, too.

But on Thursday, the Ravens handled their own business and did it well, announcing a large-scale reduction in concesssion prices for the 2018 season.

The Atlanta Falcons did something similar prior to last season and actually experienced an overall increase in sales, which greatly helped offset the deficit caused by the price reduction.

Ravens President Dick Cass said on Thursday the club is expecting (and willing) to absorb a loss in revenue of $1.5 million dollars through the concession reductions.

When he met with the media in February, Steve Bisciotti mentioned he'd be willing to consider a reduction in concession prices for the 2018 season. Yesterday, the Ravens did just that.

In general, the team is reducing several items by 50% and reducing nearly all items by a total of approximately 30%. A 12 ounce beer will now be $5.00. That's almost a "bar price". More than fair, I'd say.

"We surveyed our customers and this was one of the things we heard consistently from them," Cass said in reference to the concession prices. "The more we studied it, the more we were determined to do something that would make our customers happy."

And that they've done.

It hasn't been the best of times for the Ravens over the last twelve months. The team lost out on a playoff spot by giving up a 4th and 12 touchdown pass to the Bengals in the final minute of the last regular season game on December 31.

A dozen players took a knee during the national anthem prior to the 44-7 drubbing in London last September, a moment that caused a season-long wave of discontent from a large portion of the fan base.

Attendance dipped throughout last season, with no-shows galore at several home games, including a December contest against the Lions and the aforementioned December 31st home loss to Cincinnati.

The Ravens have always been willing to listen to the fans.

Thursday's announcement about the reduced concession prices shows they're still paying attention.

Now, if they can just get those new wide receivers to catch the football...

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May 17
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issue 17
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retire #10? it has merit

Last Friday during my weekly appearance on Glenn Clark Radio, the show's host and my former on-air partner brought up an interesting idea connected to Orioles center fielder Adam Jones.

Clark believes the Orioles should retire the #10 jersey worn by Jones when his playing days in Baltimore end, which could be as early as this July if the Orioles trade him away (and Jones approves it).

Over the last few days, I've seen lots of social media banter about the idea of retiring number 10. If nothing else, Clark has stoked the fire of an interesting discussion.

My initial reaction when Clark asked me about it last Friday was that retiring the number was probably "too much".

It's here, though, where I should note that Jones is potentially my favorite Oriole of all-time. For decades now, that honor, if you will, has belonged to Eddie Murray. He was always my favorite. But I think Jones has passed him by. I wrote the word "potentially" above because I haven't really given it all that much consideration.

But if you press me to make a choice, I might go with Jones.

Yet, still, I'm not sure retiring his jersey number is the right thing to do.

I'll make the argument for the idea by simply noting that Jones has become an iconic player in Baltimore. Not only for what he's done on the field, but for what he's done in the community as well. In a day and age where players are apt to do less, Jones has actually done more.

The "number" itself isn't all that critical. If you walked through the mall today and asked people what number Jon Ogden wore, they might not know. If you ask them what number Jim Palmer wore, they might not know that, either. Ogden played a position "out of the limelight" and Palmer was on the field every fourth day. It wouldn't say anything less about those two if people didn't realize what number each of them wore.

What's important is that you recognize, by retiring the jersey number of a player, that it's unlikely anyone could ever wear that number again and surpass the contribution made by the player who previously wore it.

That's why you retire someone's uniform number. "No one will ever do it better than you did it," is what the club is saying.

To wit, no one could ever wear #52 again for the Ravens and be better than Ray Lewis. (Note: The Ravens, oddly, don't actually "retire" numbers. They simply say no one will wear #52 again.)

No Oriole could wear #5 and be better than Brooks Robinson.

That's where the argument begins against Jones and retiring his #10.

He's been an excellent major league player. But he won't go to the Hall of Fame. He might have to battle hard just to make the Hall of Very Good, if one existed.

For all that Jones has done in Baltimore, there's definitely a possibility the O's could give someone #10 in a few years and that player could put together a better career than he did.

But is that the final straw of the argument?

Aren't we also retiring numbers because we don't want anyone else to wear that number?

That's where the argument could circle back in favor of Jones. He's meant so much to the city of Baltimore that we don't ever want anyone to wear that number again as a tribute to the effort he's given over the last decade or so.

I offered a reasonable compromise last week on Glenn's show and I'm still inclined to stick with it today.

How about we simply say "No Ten For Ten" if Jones is traded this year? In other words, the Orioles agree to not let any newcomer wear the #10 for ten years.

It's not a jersey retirement, which is typically saved for Hall of Fame players. But it's a jersey "hiatus" that at least acknowledges how much the club appreciates the production and impact that Jones created while in Charm City.

I'd love to see the Orioles retire the number 10. Maybe if he decides to stick it out here, re-signs in the off-season, and plays four more years, retiring his number will make a little more sense to everyone.

But failing a scenario where retiring his number is the reasonable thing to do, why not consider my "No Ten For Ten" idea?

I think we'd all agree the Orioles haven't had a player since Cal Ripken Jr. who deserved to have their uniform number considered for retirement except for Jones. Right? So, if he's that close (discussing it means he's "that close"), at the very least let's not let anyone else wear it for a decade once he's gone.

I'd sign off on that.

But if the Birds retire Jones' number, I surely wouldn't argue against it, either.

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no, it's not "must win" tonight

I've seen it a lot over the last thirty six hours or so but they're wrong.

Those saying tonight's Caps-Lightning game is a "must win" for Alex Ovechkin and Company are incorrect.

It would be "nice" to win tonight, for sure. A Washington victory and they're up 3-1 and need just one more to reach their second ever Stanley Cup final.

But it's not "must" win.

The Capitals need a superb night in goal from Braden Holtby this evening if they hope to take a 3-1 series lead over Tampa Bay.

I get it. People consider it a "must win" because they're afraid of the Caps' post-season history, which suggests they're always on the verge of a collapse at any point in a playoff series.

Yep, history isn't on the side of the Capitals if they lose tonight, that's probably true.

But they've had plenty of resolve in this post-season, starting with when Columbus won the first two games of the opening series in D.C., only to have the Capitals rebound and win the next four games.

The Penguins won Game 1 in Washington, remember, and the Caps won four of the next five to claim that series in six games.

The Caps even showed some true resolve in the regular season. They were up, down, up, down and finally up again near the end of the 82-game campaign. They played some of their best hockey in late March and early April.

The Tampa Bay team we saw in Game 3 was the one we expected to see in this series. Lots of speed, precise puck movement and passing, solid transition from their end, and excellent goaltending.

That the Capitals beat the Lightning twice in Tampa Bay to open the series says more about the Caps than the Bolts, I think. But Tampa Bay didn't finish as the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference by accident.

If things don't go well for the Caps tonight, the series is still very much alive. "It's over" will be the favorite Twitter message if Tampa Bay wins this evening, but it won't be "over". Not by a longshot.

You have to win FOUR games. Not two. Not three. And sometimes, the fourth victory -- as the Caps have found out a bunch over the years -- is the hardest one to get.

This Caps team isn't the same one we've seen time and time again over the last ten years. There's something "different" about this group. That's why they have a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals, actually.

Game 4 is critical, for certain. But it's not "must win". Not with this group.

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"The Keen Eye" of 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 Monday & Thursday, brought to you by Glory Days Grill.

"and away they go…"

My grandmother, 100 years old, lives near Pimlico Race Course these days.

Twenty years ago, my other grandmother lived at what’s now called Weinberg Place, across Preakness Way from the backstretch. If you have a window facing west on a high floor, you can watch the race for which that street is named. Our version of Waveland Avenue, I guess, but only for two minutes every year.

As for me, you might be surprised to learn that I’ve never attended the Preakness. Some of my prime drinking years were spent out of town, and other times I was probably busy with a lacrosse game. By the time I had the time, the thrill was gone.

My greatest memories of Pimlico, ironically, have to do with an American racetrack that might be the polar opposite of Old Hilltop. For six weeks one summer, 25 years ago, I’d get to the decrepit old oval in Northwest Baltimore sometime after 5 p.m. a couple times per week and turn my attention to what had to be the most beautiful track in the world.

Del Mar. San Diego County. Where the turf meets the surf, they still say. The grandstand basically backs up to the crystal blue Pacific Ocean, for god sakes.

I still hear the unique voice of the track announcer, South African Trevor Denman, as he began the call of every race from a small claimer to a Grade 1 stakes. He’s retired now from Santa Anita, but still does the Del Mar meet every summer.

“And away they go…”

An overhead view of Del Mar race track in San Diego County, where "surf meets turf".

There was definitely something about the California setting that appealed to me. The Del Mar summer meet, which begins in mid-July and ends around Labor Day, coincides with the dog days of the Mid-Atlantic summer. When I walked into the Pimlico clubhouse, I was transformed to a place where air conditioning wasn’t necessary.

And the timing was just about perfect. When the Orioles play on the West Coast on a weekday, good luck staying up past midnight. Every day at Del Mar began at 2 p.m. sharp Pacific Time, about the time I was released from my boring summer job at a bank in Hunt Valley, where I used an electric typewriter (!) to complete property deeds.

So, away I went. I was usually met by brother, in his final summer of bachelorhood and the holder of a full-time job at a bank that was likely more boring than my summer job.

The best part of the Del Mar meet was, and I assume still is, the quality of the horses. The Southern California tracks always had the best, but the six weeks just north of San Diego took it to another level. The place was a showcase, and not just for the celebrities in the crowd. There was a great race every day, sometimes two or three.

I was never a great bettor, and I wasn’t the student of handicapping that my brother was. I never spent money I didn’t have and never got addicted to the track in any way.

But the greatest successes I had at the track came during the Del Mar meet. Quality makes handicapping easier, and it also means that a semi-longshot at a decent price might be a real winning possibility.

I always did poorly at Aqueduct and Belmont Park. I had no chance on the lousy third race at Laurel or Penn National. At Del Mar, though, I really paid attention.

I gave myself more time to think about combinations. I had real conversations with my brother about every race, as if we really knew what we were discussing. We thought we did, which was a lot of fun.

With the unknowns surrounding the Preakness and Pimlico after next year’s race, it’s interesting to see what a racetrack can be if it’s in the right place.

Del Mar is famous for its Opening Day festivities, which include a contest for the best hats in the crowd. The crowd is big every day there, but the first day is an event that’s been part of the social scene in Southern California for many years. The grandstand seats 44,000 and it’s full.

On Fridays during the meet, there’s a concert series at the track. As long as you pay admission before the last race, the concerts are free. You can buy a general admission ticket to stand on the stretch run for $6 and, immediately following the last race, see some pretty good acts.

The track does a “Family Fun Day” every year, with all the inflatable slides and trampolines you could ask for in the infield. Kids can also get their pictures taken with jockeys prior to the beginning of the day’s races.

My favorite promotion? It has to be “Camp Del Mar,” where for $24 a parent can drop off a child for a day of typical camp activities with trained counselors and teachers moonlighting for the summer.

Meanwhile, Dad or Mom, or both, heads to the track for a day of racing.

Say what you want about dumping your kids off for a few hours so you can gamble, but at least it encourages adults to patronize the meet. And I love the idea of parents getting to play at the same time as their kids do, with all of them doing it at the same place.

It’s not that Del Mar isn’t facing the same struggles that others in the industry are. Interest and attendance are down, even there, though I’m sure most places would kill for what Del Mar thinks is a bad year.

There’s a way to make horse racing about, well…horse racing, while at the same time offering other reasons for people to come. Thanks to its setting and timing, its history, its racing quality and, I assume, great management, Del Mar sets the standard for that model. I’m sure it’s been studied by every racing organization outside of California.

Beginning in 2014, Del Mar began hosting a late fall meet in addition to its summer showcase. That came about with the closing of Hollywood Park in Inglewood, a site that will soon host a 70,000-seat football stadium for the Rams and Chargers.

I was a little sad to read that Del Mar had another meet on its schedule, though I’m guessing it does little to make the summer meet less special.

Back in 1993, with my brother inside of a decaying track in a decaying part of my hometown, Del Mar seemed like the coolest place in the world. It turns out that, for years now, the track has been using another slogan besides “Where the turf meets the surf.”

Del Mar, says the marketing campaign, is “Cool as Ever.” Sounds right to me.

I’ve never seen the track except on those screens at Pimlico. The closest I’ve ever gotten was Torrey Pines Golf Course, but I was there in June well before the meet started. The place is still special to me, though, thanks to the boredom of a hot Baltimore summer all those years ago.

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final call for our u.s. open golf trip

#DMD is putting together a special one-day trip to the U.S. Open on June 15 at Shinnecock Hills GC on Long Island (NY) and we'd love for you to be part of it with us!

This is our final call for those interested in purchasing tickets. We will not take any more reservations after this Sunday, May 20.

We're billing it as a "Day with Dad", but you certainly don't have to bring your father along. We just think it will be fun if you do!

Defending champion Brooks Koepka will be in the field at Shinnecock Hills on June 15 when #DMD travels to Long Island for the second round of this year's U.S. Open.

We're heading to Shinnecock Hills to see the second round of the 2018 U.S. Open, departing Baltimore at 5:00 and arriving at the course roughly around 9:00 am. We'll spend the whole day on the course watching the best players in the world play on one of our nation's most iconic golf courses.

If you've never seen Shinnecock Hills in person, this is a must-do opportunity to experience one of our nation's most breathaking and scenic courses.

Our luxury motor coach will be limited to just 40 passengers, giving everyone room to spread out and enjoy the ride to Long Island. We'll enjoy breakfast, drinks and snacks on the ride to the course and we'll have more food and drinks for everyone on the ride home.

Oh, and there's U.S. Open trivia as well! A $100 cash prize is available for our trivia contest, so brush up on those needless facts about the U.S. Open.

Bring Dad along for a truly special day together at the U.S. Open. All of the best players in the world will be there...and the two of you can watch the tournament on Saturday or Sunday with the experience of having just walked the famous layout.

#DMD golf trips like this one are also excellent for employee and client reward. If you have a golfer or two that work in your business or if there's a special client you'd like to treat, we promise we'll great care of them on the trip to Shinnecock Hills!

For pricing and payment details go here.

May 16
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issue 16
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cano's suspension likely ends his cooperstown bid

Nothing surprises me in sports anymore, including baseball players who are on the juice. In fact, it doesn't shock me in the least when we see the blurb at the bottom of the screen that tells us another major leaguer has been suspended.

But daggone it, I always liked Robinson Cano's game. So yesterday's news about his 80-game suspension is a bit of a bummer.

I'm not shocked, though. Just disappointed.

The 80-game ban will likely end his chances for a spot in Cooperstown someday. And that's too bad, because he was just about a sure-fire Hall of Fame addition.

I often wonder why baseball players insist on leading the dirty life. Why can't they stay away from PED's? Are their bodies that brittle and broken down that they need something to help get them through the latter part of their career? Or is that smidgen of extra confidence they derive from using a PED that can't be ignored?

Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano was suspended for 80 games on Tuesday.

I'll follow protocol and mention that Cano's positive test and ensuing suspension were for Furosemide, a diuretic that is not considered a performance enhancing drug. However, Major League Baseball believed -- and apparently had some kind of proof -- that Cano was using Furosemide as a masking agent for a PED on their banned substance list.

Cano offered the obligatory statement about "respecting the integrity of the game" and some other garbage that essentially served to remind everyone he'd never do anything to knowingly break the rules.

Yeah, sure, Robinson. You'd never use PED's. Right...

How many other players in baseball have used the masking-agent-trick since testing became part of the league's drug and PED policy fifteen years ago?

Too many to count, I'd bet.

And now we've just lost a potential Hall of Famer from it.

I gave up a long time ago letting these suspsensions diminish my enthusiasm for baseball. These days, I just sort of assume they're all on "something", some of which we might consider worse than other stuff. I'm disappointed in the players, but I still watch the games anyway.

Maybe that's why I wasn't shocked yesterday when I heard the news about Cano.

"They got another one," I said to no one in particular as the message trickled across the bottom of the TV screen.

Indeed, it's sort of like fishing. All those guys in the're bound to hook one every now and then. Occasionally you're going to reel in a big name.

Selfishly, I continue to hope that none of our Orioles get nabbed. My 10-year old son would have a lot of questions.

It wouldn't surprise me, of course. I've had my suspicions about a handful of guys in orange for a while now, including some who have already been popped. But I'd be forced to have "that talk" with my son about why one of his favorite players isn't in the lineup for the next month or longer.

In the end, perhaps the Hall of Fame didn't matter all that much to Cano. Maybe that's why he was willing to risk that kind of legacy in the first place. No matter his stance, though, it's sad to see what was a terrific career now fall under the category of "Yeah, But..."

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birds whiff on tuesday night rain-out

I know the O's are used to striking out a lot, but they didn't have to go out of their way to do it on Tuesday night.

The Birds waited three hours to cancel Tuesday's scheduled game with the Phillies, even though every responsible weather professional (it's OK if you laugh) in the area was telling us the rain and storms that reached the area around 8 pm were likely going to stick around throughout the evening and well into the morning hours.

Earlier this season, the club called off a home game with Tampa Bay at 4:30 in the afternoon. That was a moment of sound decision making.

Last night...not so sound.

I don't know how many tickets were sold for the game, but acknowledging that the crowd might have been boosted by a decent amount of Phillies fans, it's fair to guess somewhere in the 15,000 range at the very least.

That was a bad way for 15,000 folks to spend their Tuesday evening, that's for sure.

The weather pattern for Tuesday -- and the rest of the week, really -- has been in play since the weekend, when the forecast started to take shape. In other words, the Orioles kind of knew two or three days in advance that there was a potential issue for both games against the Phillies.

I definitely realize this is easier said than done, but why not move Tuesday's game to a 4:05 pm start? Sure, it would have required some cooperation between both teams and that's not always easy to get, but it seemed like the logical thing to do.

Editor's note: Maybe the Phillies wanted to watch the Flyers in the NHL playoffs on Tuesday night. Wait, no, that can't be it. The Flyers were eliminated in the first round four weeks ago. Never mind...

We all know the most important part about every game is that it's played on the day it's scheduled. No team likes a rain-out. Off days, particularly in the summer months, are extremely valuable.

Now, the two teams have to play a game in Baltimore on July 12 -- a day they previously both were off.

Couldn't the teams have agreed sometime on Monday to play Tuesday's game at 4:05 pm? Or couldn't they have met earlier on Tuesday to come up with a game plan that would have saved everyone a trip downtown?

Yes, a game time change might have inconvenienced the fans. What stinks more? Finding out the game has been moved UP three hours or sitting in the rain for three hours only to find out the game isn't going to be played after all?

It's not like seats at Camden Yards are at a premium. The O's could have given everyone a voucher for another game to make up for the inconvenience and still allowed them into the adjusted Tuesday game if they could make it.

Ticket holders can, of course, come back on July 12 if they want.

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George McDowell

George McDowell is #DMD's foreign correspondent. His international reports are filed from a hardened outpost just across the U.S. / North Carolina border. He writes on sports topics that interest him that he feels might also interest some segment of the wildly esoteric #DMD readership. George has been a big fan of DF and his various enterprises since the last century, and for several seasons appeared as a weekly guest on his Monday evening radio show, Maryland Golf Live, delivering commentary as The Eccentric Starter. George also donates his time and talents to the less fortunate, and currently volunteers as secretary of the Rickie Fowler Fan Club.

the wit and wisdom of paul goydos

Paul Goydos won twice on the PGA Tour: at Bay Hill in 1996 and at the Sony Open in 2007. He won five times on the Senior Tour, the last in a playoff at the 3M Championship in 2017. He never played on a Ryder Cup team. His best finish in a major was T12 at the 1999 U.S. Open.

Paul appeared to be a shy man, one who enjoyed plying his occupation but was a little unsettled that it was played in the public eye. He never did master the art of trading blather with sportscasters who asked stupid questions and expected similar responses. It appears he assumed that if a reporter asked a question, that he truly wanted an answer to it, and Paul's responses over the years were memorable. We've collected Goydos quotes, and present them for the enjoyment of #DMD readers with droll senses of humor. Please to enjoy!

When it was pointed out in an interview that he had played a better round than defending champion Bernhard Langer, Goydos replied, "I'm Paul Goydos. I'm not Bernhard Langer, as I've proved over and over and over and over again."

One year Goydos held the 54-hole lead at the Players Championship. Bob Costa asked if had ever before held a 54-hole lead. Goydos said, "No, but I've only been on Tour for 16 years."

Goydos with interviewer Jessica Marksbury

At the same tournament [won by Kenny Perry], an announcer prefaced a question to Paul with the observation that those at the top of the leaderboard were veterans who were getting up in age. Goydos deadpanned his apparent agreement: Yeah, Casey Wittenberg's up there. What's he – eight, eight and a half?"

After finishing 15th at the 2017 Pure Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach during a period when many professional football players were taking a knee during playing of the National Anthem, Goydos was asked to characterize the social conscience of the Senior Tour players: "I'm middle-of-the-road politically, which makes me a pinko Communist out here."

Asked to comment on the difficulty of Oakland Hills before the 2008 PGA Championship: "This course is diabolical. It's like trying to play Scrabble without the vowels."

After losing a playoff to Sergio in the Players Championship, it was pointed out to Goydos that his name was the fifth-most Internet search-term of the weekend. Goydos said, "I'm trying to figure out what this nation is thinking about.”

When asked why he had no endorsements, Goydos replied: "I play golf for a living, I don't sell golf clubs for a living.”

When asked if there was anything at which he was better than Tiger Woods, Paul said, "I'm better at being older."

When asked why he always buttoned the top button on his golf shirts, he said, "If I didn't the shirt would slide off my shoulders."

After cashing for $936,000 for winning the Sony Open in Hawaii: "I had my best year ever today."

When asked to comment on the short-game skills of Mickelson and Ballesteros, he stated, "They are the free-hand artists in a paint-by-numbers world."

Goydos can take it as well as dish it out. After Paul shot 59 in the second round of the 2010 John Deere Classic, John Feinstein texted him and asked how many holes he had played. Goydos replied that he had played all 18. Feinstein texted back, "Congratulations on shooting your height!"

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final call for our u.s. open golf trip

#DMD is putting together a special one-day trip to the U.S. Open on June 15 at Shinnecock Hills GC on Long Island (NY) and we'd love for you to be part of it with us!

This is our final call for those interested in purchasing tickets. We will not take any more reservations after this Friday, May 18.

We're billing it as a "Day with Dad", but you certainly don't have to bring your father along. We just think it will be fun if you do!

Defending champion Brooks Koepka will be in the field at Shinnecock Hills on June 15 when #DMD travels to Long Island for the second round of this year's U.S. Open.

We're heading to Shinnecock Hills to see the second round of the 2018 U.S. Open, departing Baltimore at 5:00 and arriving at the course roughly around 9:00 am. We'll spend the whole day on the course watching the best players in the world play on one of our nation's most iconic golf courses.

If you've never seen Shinnecock Hills in person, this is a must-do opportunity to experience one of our nation's most breathaking and scenic courses.

Our luxury motor coach will be limited to just 40 passengers, giving everyone room to spread out and enjoy the ride to Long Island. We'll enjoy breakfast, drinks and snacks on the ride to the course and we'll have more food and drinks for everyone on the ride home.

Oh, and there's U.S. Open trivia as well! A $100 cash prize is available for our trivia contest, so brush up on those needless facts about the U.S. Open.

Bring Dad along for a truly special day together at the U.S. Open. All of the best players in the world will be there...and the two of you can watch the tournament on Saturday or Sunday with the experience of having just walked the famous layout.

#DMD golf trips like this one are also excellent for employee and client reward. If you have a golfer or two that work in your business or if there's a special client you'd like to treat, we promise we'll great care of them on the trip to Shinnecock Hills!

For pricing and payment details go here.

Drew Is Here.

Every Weekday.

Thursday, May 24

White Sox
WP: D. Bundy (3-6)

LP: L. Giolito (3-5)

HR: Mancini (7), Jones (9), J. Rondon (1)

RECORD/PLACE: 16-34, 5th

breakfast bytes

NBA: Paul injured in Rockets' 98-94 win over Golden State; Houston up 3-2 heading back to Golden State for Game 6.

Flacco on Lamar Jackson: "We welcome him here with open arms."

Bundy throws complete game 2-hitter, strikes out 14, O's salvage split in Chicago with 9-3 win over White Sox.

PGA Tour: Kevin Na (-8) leads Colonial Invitational in Fort Worth.