Wednesday
June 26
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#1766



manny and the fans both deliver


If only Manny Machado and the Padres could visit every Tuesday night, huh?

Well, except for the 8-3 final score, that is. We wouldn't necessarily want to be on the bad end of that result every Tuesday.

Other than getting blasted by the Padres, Tuesday's home game was a smashing success at Camden Yards. The Orioles welcomed their newest hopeful-hero, showed appreciation for one they once had, and over 21,000 came out on a near perfect summer night in Charm City.

Take away the loss and a handful of inexusable Dwight Smith Jr. mistakes and it was a flawless evening.

Machado did his part. In a big way.

Manny Machado waves to the crowd after receiving a loud ovation in the first inning of last night's game at Camden Yards.

He didn't make any spectacular highlight reel plays at third, but that's because there weren't any scorchers hit his way. But #13 did everything else you'd expect of him, with a mammoth 455 foot home run in the 3rd inning serving as the cake topper. He also added a RBI single and even jogged out a fly pop out to Trey Mancini in the 9th inning, making it about 10 steps down the first base line before giving up and turning back to the San Diego dugout before Mancini had even gloved the ball for an out.

Just like old times...

Before the game, Machado played around with his former teammates near the batting cage and out near 2nd base. Admitting to being "a weird kind of nervous", Machado also strolled down the third base line during batting practice and signed autographs for five minutes.

His initial at-bat in the first inning was met with a loud ovation. Most people in the stadium were standing, but certainly not everyone. I personally only heard a smattering of boos near me, a few goofs in Section 13 yelling something about "buying more necklaces with all that money you have now".

And one local radio personality in town stood up in the upper deck and followed through on his promise to boo Manny in his first at-bat.

But it was an overwhelming reaction and show of appreciation for Machado for the most part. Oddly enough, you could hear more boos the second and third time he came to the plate. I thought that was kind of strange.

On the field, it was more of what we've seen all year. The Padres hit four home runs -- it seemed like eight -- and lit up Jimmy Yacobonis for four runs in the 2nd inning. In an interesting touch of irony, the whole inning was kept alive on a sharp liner to third that got past Hanser Alberto and rolled into the left field corner. It was -- yep, you guesssed it -- precisely the type of ball Machado snagged at third base 100 times during his six years in Baltimore.

Dwight Smith Jr. contributed to the 8-3 loss with two bonehead throws to home plate and a baserunning miscue at third base. After hitting a ball down the right field line with the Birds trailing 5-1 in the bottom of the third, Smith Jr. somehow over-ran third base and was tagged out to end the inning.

There are lots of reasons why the Orioles are the worst team in Major League Baseball. Throwing to the wrong spot on the field and not being able to slide properly into third base are just two of them.

Adley Rutschman was introduced to the crowd during the game. Earlier in the day, he took batting practice with the O's. Hopefully the former Oregon State catcher didn't actually watch the on-field product last night. He might want to return to grad school, if so.

But it really was, by every account except the result, a perfect night for the O's organization. Their first draft pick was in town to size up the stadium, a former fan favorite came back for a rare visit to Charm City, and Hanser Alberto upped his July trade value by going 4-for-5 and raising his average to .318.

Who knows? Maybe the next time Machado is in Baltimore, he'll be here in October -- and not to take in a Ravens game.

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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.



Never let it be said that the NCAA isn't good for anything. At a time when a hectic schedule had me looking at a serious case of writer's block, NCAA President Mark Emmert stepped up in a big way, basically putting one right on a tee for me.

In a story you likely haven't seen or heard much about, the state of California recently passed a bill that would, beginning in 2023, protect the right of all NCAA athletes in the state to own, control, and profit from their name, image, or likeness. In other words, the bill would prohibit the NCAA and universities from enforcing rules against players, say, signing autographs for money or otherwise trading on their celebrity to make money.

And the move was far from controversial, passing the chamber by a margin of 31-4. The bill faces a difficult procedural hurdle to be enacted soon (it has to clear committee in the state house by July 11th) but at the least it looks like a good bet to be passed by next year at the latest.

Not that it's going anywhere, but a similar bill has been introduced in the United States House of Representatives by a North Carolina Republican.

"Name, image, and likeness" rules have long been both the low-hanging fruit of the college reform effort and a major battle ground for the NCAA. This is the ground on which they lost the landmark O'Bannon case, which led to them deciding to cancel two entire lines of profitable video games rather than share proceeds with former college players whose likenesses had been used in the NCAA Basketball game.

If anyone can explain how to keep a kid from profiting off of his or her name, it's the leader of the NCAA, Mark Emmert.

That's because the NCAA has always been on shaky ground in expropriating the athletes' images in this fashion without compensating them at all. Payments to O'Bannon and his co-plaintiffs would have almost certainly led to lawsuits on behalf of current players over issues like video games and jersey sales, and at the least there's no solid ground to argue that the NCAA is within its right to insist (pinky-promise!) that those Duke jerseys with number 1 on the front and back aren't actually Zion Williamson jerseys, so they don't need to pay him royalties of any kind on their sale.

For reformers, this area is low hanging fruit because it's the easiest place to make progress, and also where the NCAA's position is most absurd. As anyone who bothers to think seriously about the question of how you would go about paying players if that's what you were going to do will admit, figuring out how such a scheme should be structured really isn't easy. You've got to decide what the pay scales should be, where the money is coming from, how wages would be divided between men's and women's teams, and how many different sports programs would or would not be covered (basically no one thinks you need to pay the archery team, after all).

It's not easy!

But as a first step, reversing the NCAA policy in this area IS easy: Each athlete can market themselves, and what they get is what they get. Higher profile and more popular athletes in the attention getting revenue sports will earn more than other athletes, but you won't have money coming directly from the school/conferences. It's also not as radical as it sounds within the concept of "amateur" athletics, as the NCAA is virtually alone amongst "amateur" governing bodies in enforcing a blanket ban on these earnings.

Critics are often very quick to point out that the Olympics, for example, see no conflict in having their athletes doing endorsements for brands like Subway while still being considered amateurs.

With that in mind, the NCAA is fighting, and will fight, so hard on this for exactly the reason you'd think they will: It's only about the money. The NCAA doesn't care one whit about "amateurism," but they care a great deal about making sure that the athletes continue to get nothing of the ginormous revenue pie college athletics bakes every year...so that there's that much more available to be shared out to dime-a-dozen football coaches at third tier Power 5 schools or random school/conference bureaucrats and administrators.

Oh, and the bowl game committee members. Can't forget about the all of the hard work they definitely do putting on a single legacy football game once a year.

So while the NCAA's response really ought to be shocking, it really just isn't, because it's pretty much exactly what I expect from the craven, amoral, barely-even-pretending organization that its fully embraced being under Emmert. After some quasi-negotiations between the state and NCAA that involved the latter promising to for a "working group" to examine the issue and the former considering delaying legislation while including language making it clear that they weren't going to get sandbagged by NCAA stalling tactics, it was reported on Monday that last week Emmert sent exactly the sort of tone-deaf statement wrapped in oblivious self-regard that you ought to expect from Emmert.

Specifically, he warned that if the legislature went ahead and passed the bill, California's colleges might be ineligible to compete for any NCAA championships under current rules.

In other words, Emmert couldn't help but threaten to blackball the state's universities, under the clear pretense that the NCAA supersedes the government of the state of California.

They're not going to do that, of course. For one thing, there's money involved here. Four of California's schools are Pac-12 members, making up a full 1/3 of that conferences membership and including their marquee teams in both football and basketball. Oh, and both of those teams happen to play in the Los Angeles media market. How do you think TV networks are going to feel about the value of the Pac-12 championship game if, say, USC is prohibited from being in the game?

And for another thing, the NCAA isn't actually bigger than the government. If Emmert were to go through on this threat, California would almost certainly sue them in federal court arguing that it's a de facto end run around state law and an example of the NCAA exceeding its actual authority as a private cartel with a monopoly of somewhat dubious legality. The NCAA knows this too, and are actually somewhat careful in treading around government lawyers. When a group of DOJ lawyers threatened potential legal action against them over a blanket prohibition on guaranteeing athletic scholarships for more than a single season at a time on the grounds that the NCAA simply didn't have the authority to tell public universities what they can do with scholarship funds in that manner, the NCAA quickly backed down.

They punted the issue to conferences, gave everyone the option to provide multi-year guarantees, and in quick order the policy was effectively reversed. I have an awfully low opinion of NCAA decision makers, but even I don't believe they've got the stones to walk into federal court to argue for their right to punish public universities simply for complying with state law.

But that they've moved to threats of that nature says quite a bit about the state of leadership and the state of the industry. Again, the basic dynamic of college sports is ensuring that the "student-athletes" don't get any money so that there's more money for everyone else involved to pocket. That model is under attack like never before in a variety of forums and fronts, and in Emmert's defense he's not wrong to recognize that giving an inch on this question will likely amount to losing a mile.

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#dmd comments


mike from catonsville     June 26
@Cal, you must not have read Cash Is Kings comments, this site is ONLY for sports related comments. GET ON BOARD MAN!

3,2,1 HERE COMES cik.....wait for it, almost here



@NO, Clinton was morally bankrupt, cheated in golf and on his wife certainly no fan of that, a deplorable individual when it came to morals. The difference, even as his personal life was disgusting he has a brain and he could think and talk and read and understand complex issues, he actually could read position papers and didn't need pictures or powerpoint to understand them as opposed to the disaster we have currently.



And that will be the last word, on to sports.



Watched the Yankees old timer celebration the other night. It took them a long time to get to names that anyone would or could even recognize. Nice to see Jeff Nelson, Catonsville High grad introduced. He was a middle of the pack announcement as they moved to recognizable players.

Mark in Perry Hall     June 26
Drew, any thoughts on the retirement and career of Keith Mills?

Cal     June 26
Hey Drew, been checking your Twitter and FB pages and haven't seen you mention Bruce's new album. What do you think about it?

Delray Rick     June 26
JIM M...Went to POLY and my class mate was all STATE in baseball named outstanding athlete that year over every high school player. He could pitch ,run like wind. He got drafted by PITTSBURGH. HE COULD NOT MAKE IT BECAUSE HE WAS HOME SICK.Washed out and ended up making HORSES SHOES.

Jim M     June 26
People are strange. Streets are uneven when you're down.



I read here and the times I listen to sports radio I hear/read a lot about fundamentals....or the lack of them.

Do you ever wonder about the greatest athlete in your school and what happened to their athletic career?

People[after the fact] always say, "how could he overthrow the cutoff man". A guy like Dwight Smith IS where he is[this is the last chance saloon for high draft talents} because he makes mistakes. It is in his make-up.

Years ago...SAM HORN was a prospect. I am paraphrasing when a coach was speaking to another coach." If you hit him a million ground balls he might be able to be a below average fielder....I've already hit him his first million". Horn was a good athlete, he couldn't learn how to do it. Smith Jr. can't be coached, end of story. Something is NOT processing in his brain. And YET we read/ hear that "this is something that 8 year old should be able to learn"....NOPE, many of them can't. He can't. It isn't as easy as people think, even though it seems it should be.



This team makes a ton of them, because they are flawed guys. Put in another way, these guys[who are either fringe Major Leaguers or washouts] have always been superior athletes. Always the best in their area. SUPERIOR athletic ability sometimes allows you to flout the rules as the best of the best can just do so many things better than anyone else.

There is a reason that these guys are cast aside by other clubs. You can tell a guy a million times to do something and when the heat of the game goes on, their flaws are exposed.

The greatest athlete at my HS was drafted by the Angels. All County in FB, BB and Baseball. 6'2", strongly built. Fast. Made it to AA...and that was it. He told me years later that he couldn't steal bases even though he was the fastest guy on the team. They tried to teach him...but he couldn't do it.

Brien Jackson     June 26
@Alister



It should have specified that the California Senate passed the bill, but the House hasn't yet.

Alister     June 26
In the second paragraph of Brien Jackson’s article, he tells us that California has passed a bill protecting the rights of NCAA athletes.



In the third paragraph, he tells us that the bill faces a difficult procedural hurdle to be enacted.



Out of mild curiosity, I’m wondering which is correct.

Rich     June 26
Rapinoe running her big mouth again about President Trump. Almost hoping U.S. women lose to France on Friday.

PB     June 26
Hey @Drew, I have a few golf questions for you.



1. What did you think of Woodland's win at the Open? Fluke or more of the same to come from him? Will he win another major?



2. Give me the name of one young gun that we don't really know all that well that you think will win a major championship.



3. Who wins The British Open this year?



4. Will Tiger win another tournament this season?

political observer     June 26
Is @Neutral Herman's cousin?

SDK     June 26
Thanks for covering last night's game, Drew. I give you credit for sitting down and actually writing about it all. I didn't make it past the 5th inning.

Neutral Observer     June 26
Clinton was known to cheat in golf as well. I'm sure The Brown Man took more than one mulligan over 18 holes. Why? Because they can. Give the President bashing stuff a rest. You had your chance and HRC couldn't deliver. Still crying about an election that was held 2 years ago?

mike from catonsville     June 26
@NO, I believe there's a difference between born as and sprayed on- just sayin'- and to keep it sports related-read Rick Reilleys book- very old axiom, play golf with people anmd you learn a lot about the person- he cheats-

Neutral Observer     June 26
@Mike in Catonsville. Just curious. I assume you were a fan of "the brown man" right?

unitastoberry     June 26
Just 4 more weeks until the Ravens open camp. 6 weeks until the first exhibition game. Hang in there !

mike from catonsville     June 26
@CIK, the orange man cheats at golf and on his wives. He's "not my type".



Sports related! That should "make your day".

H     June 26
You might not of heard it since it seems like you were at the game but Dave Johnson on the radio took Manny to task for not running out that fly ball like you mentioned. He said "For 30 million bucks a year you should run everything out."

El Duque     June 26
Manny met with several fans before last night's game. I spoke with him in Spanish for a few seconds. One of the things he said was, "I should have signed in New York so I could come back here 10 times a year and hit about 25 home runs against this organization."

Someone seems salty.

Brien Jackson     June 26
I don't understand how anyone can stand to listen to Jerry Coleman

John L.     June 26
I am really starting to get concerned that the Orioles aren't going to win 43 games. Look at their schedule and tell me where 21 more wins are coming this season.

Doug     June 26
Not wanting to speak for Drew but the walkout by WNST and last night's booing episode by J. Cole are not comparable. Coleman didn't send any kind of message last night. At least the walkout drew national media coverage.

Cash Is King     June 26
@MFC



Nice job not referencing the POTUS in the last post. And it seems like you gave up on that silly ticket idea. I guess you can teach an old Gael new tricks. (Btw it is spelled gnat...so much for higher education).



I was surprised by the crowd's reaction to Machado. I thought it would of been more in line with the treatment Harper received in DC.




mike from catonsville     June 26
@CIK, I kept it topical and my comments related to the blog. You have spent two messages trolling and trying but failing with disparaging remarks. Try following your comments because you've made two with zero references to sports.

It's a nice day, get the people off your lawn and go for a walk, a long one.



Now that that nat has been swatted Manny delivered on all accounts last night. He literally covered all the bases except for some magical play in the field.



Sad that fundamentals do not seem to be drilled into these players. Anyone can leanr findamentals. You may not be the best athlete but you can learn the fundamentals and put them to use. That concerns me more about our manager. What in the world did he do during spring training. Defense can at least keep you in games, as long as the ball stays in the park, which it doesn't, but to watch these mistakes has me really concerned.

Bill P.     June 26
People are comparing Jerry's Coleman's act last night to the famous "Free The Birds" walkout.



DF, what do you think about that comparison?

Delray Rick     June 26
CLASS act by fans and MANNY last night.

Chris K     June 25
Drew,

You have some pretty terrible and demeaning “fans” in your comments section. I know in the past you’ve monitored it to keep things tasteful. Could you possibly do it again. It’s just a little trashy and disappointing.

Cash Is King     June 25
MFC acts like today is the 1st day he has ever mentioned The POTUS in DMD’s comment section.

Fact: You and your brother have been whining about it on social media, podcasts, etc, for the last 3 years.

Opinion: this isn’t the correct forum to bitch about politics.


B     June 25
Take a moment and read this column

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/dcunited/megan-rapinoe-isnt-here-to-make-you-comfortable/2019/06/25/af08fda0-977c-11e9-8d0a-5edd7e2025b1_story.html


B     June 25
Take a moment and read this column

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/dcunited/megan-rapinoe-isnt-here-to-make-you-comfortable/2019/06/25/af08fda0-977c-11e9-8d0a-5edd7e2025b1_story.html


B     June 25
Take a moment and read this column

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/dcunited/megan-rapinoe-isnt-here-to-make-you-comfortable/2019/06/25/af08fda0-977c-11e9-8d0a-5edd7e2025b1_story.html



“Rapinoe isn’t anti-American for refusing to smile and sing through her disappointment. She’s simply a disappointed American. But few ever ask why and listen to her concerns. Instead, they make ridiculous statements about waiting for a proper time to protest. When is the time right? When no one’s paying attention? When no one’s around to feel uncomfortable?



The point of civil disobedience is to make the ignoring stop.”

mike from catonsville     June 25
@CIK, I counted 6 mentions of "anthems" in a 9 paragraph blog does that not count as a "political" message. You are very funny but unfortunately off base on this one on so many levels.

Cash Is King     June 25
MFC obviously has a political agenda. His brother supports all of Johhny O’s socialist ideas...yeah he is on the government payroll. And there is nothing wrong with any of that. The problem is that MFC can’t leave his political agenda off of a non political, sports based message board. Kind of pathetic

Lisa V.     June 25
Must feel really good every morning to wake up and be perfect like @Herman.

HERMAN     June 25
Which Tiger should we just automatically grant with the "Open" trophy this year Drew, "Playful fist bump Tiger", or "Mug shot Tiger", maybe "Chased with a 7 iron Tiger", or "Perkins Pancake House Tiger". Then there is "Sexual Addiction rehab Tiger", and "Blood spinning Tiger", and.....


Delray Rick     June 25
RALPH..Get use to it because he's got ANOTHER 4 YEARS COMING. Move to Canada or Mexico

Jason M     June 25
Ah the anthem issue...it's like the zombie issue of our time, you think it's dead, and then it comes back to life. I agree with DF that it's sad that Rapinoe doesn't participate in the anthem, I doubt she realizes how many veterans and their families she offends. We have a ton of combat wounded vet;'s walking around with artificial limbs that didn't have the option to not participate. I also think it's sad that she lets politics drag down her feelings for her country and her countrymen. And since when is the President is the beneficiary of every public playing of our anthem? That's an acknowledgment of all of us and who we are as a nation. She is representing all of us when she wears the US uniform, not just the President. So yeah, I'm sad that somewhere in her formative years, no social studies or civic teacher, family member or coach every broke that down for her. Does she have a right not to participate, of course, she and I both are noticed by our first amendment, but having the right doesn't make it right.

Hubris is thy name     June 25
@MFC

So glad that you speak for our entire country. "Our country is embarrassed every single day". Not by a long shot.

Now I have no qualms that this silly young female feels the way she does. She lives in a bubble....and all of her experience is not really wide ranging. For a gal so talented in soccer, what expertise does she have other than "feelings".

Trump- First President in History to ALWAYS be for Gay Marriage. Obama was AGAINST it until it became politically ''safe" for him to for it.

Trump runs concentration camps? Seem to be the only concentration camps in HISTORY that you can avoid...by NOT coming here. And if they are so bad....looks like they might be better than where these people came from...or why come?

mike from catonsville     June 25
@Tom, I'm guessing Rapinoe is "not the orange mans type". Our country is embarassed every single day and you're worried about a female soccer player that 98% of America have no idea who she is.

Frank     June 25
I'm starting to detect some real "women of power" issues here at DMD. Now they have to sing and cry when the National Anthem is played to make ya'll happy???

HERMAN     June 25
How often do women's athletics rise to the top of the front of the sports pages? In any given year when does women's sports get the agate type, the lead story, becomes a topic that transcends sports and leads the news in general?

Maybe once a year?

So instead of discussing a gritty win, team effort, individual accomplishments, the public interest, the impact on young female athletes all across our country, we are left to focus on the selfish negative motives of one extreme talent.

A woman being well paid and well promoted to represent the US. A woman who cannot recognize the better nature of our collective e pluribus unum but chooses to trumpet our divide, and on the world stage no less.

I do hope that as with our old disgruntled goalie from a past US team that this malcontent also passes into obscurity and is quickly forgotten. She is an embarrassment to the country. She gets away with such behavior on talent, a sad commentary on the state of sports today. If she were the marginal last hire we wouldn't know her name, she'd have been left off the squad. regardless of yesterday's tallies I wish she had been.




Rich     June 25
Sideline Observer = Brainwashed Liberal.

Chris in Bel Air     June 25
You would think as women's professional soccer player and a member of the UNITED STATES NATIONAL team she would show more appreciation for the opportunities provided by her country. Rapinoe clearly revels in being counter culture and is another another example of an attention seeking, fashionable protester.

sideline observer     June 25
Saying these National teams are all about “representing our country” is akin to saying the NCAA is all about “representing college institutions”.

Patriotisms sells now, more than ever. You can debate the reasons for that, but there’s no debating the number of people looking to profit from this trend.

The irony is Rapinoe could profit more if she played along with the Patriotism Sells mantra, which would partially address her faux “pay equality” issue. I think we call that irony.


G-Man     June 25
Poor Michele Wie. A female with legitimate issues gets overshadowed at The Dish by a disgruntled millionaire.

Tom     June 25
"JK" and the other libs don't get it. They never will. No one is saying you have to "Obey the King". As far as I know, this country's problems as they stand today started way before Donald Trump took office. Of course, the libs forget they had a lib Prez for 8 years before Trump. Rapinoe isn't a hero. She's a publicity stunt.

Rich     June 25
I have an "F-You" for Miss Rapinoe.

Guess who I'm giving it to?

HER.

JK     June 25
Rapinoe is a hero to women all across this land. She is demonstrating her passion for her rights. You can be sad all you want but it's freedom to not sing the anthem. There is no requirement to sing. I have seen the USMNT and other professional team players never sing the anthem. This is some weak BS phone forced patriotism on whoever criticizes one for demonstrating their rights as Americans. The words I read here in this blog and keep your mouth shut and obey our supreme leader. All hail to the King. Our founders built this country and the complete opposite thinking of this sheep like mentality to just lay down and not protest your beliefs and rebel when needed. My goodness this some serious sexist mentality prevailing here.

Go Megan keep on keeping on!

Dennis     June 25
Agree with @TimD. If Rapinoe wants to stand up and be counted she should just sit out.

Ralph     June 25
Tom S and B. You two should be the ones doing more research. Shame on you. Here are just 4 quotes from Rapinoe that you can find on the internet.



“I am not going to fake it, hobnob with the president, who is clearly against so many of the things that I am [for] and so many of the things that I actually am. I have no interest in extending our platform to him.”



"It's an F-you to Trump. I won't even honor him by calling him the President. He's not the leader of me or anyone I associate with."



"As long as he and his administration are in charge, I won't show any kind of respect to this country. That's just how I feel."



"If I could give him more than two middle fingers, I would."




TimD in Timonium     June 25
Maybe Megan could more capably "resist" by refusing to play for the United States Womens National Team.



In any case, she looks pretty miserable on the field.



Tuesday
June 25
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#1765



things that make me sad...


I watch the women's World Cup as much as I can and something struck me yesterday that made me sad. I'm not sure why it took yesterday's events to hit home, but nonetheless, it did.

Prior to the U.S. vs. Spain game, the folks at FS1 show the playing of both national anthems. The Spanish girls were clearly moved by the sound of their song, almost every single one of them singing along, smiling, a few with tears welling up in their eyes.

In the game after the opener, pitting Canada vs. Sweden, the Canadian girls seemed particularly moved by the playing of O'Canada. The Swedish team also enjoyed their moment, it seemed, with several singing and smiling as they heard the country's national anthem.

Megan Rapinoe no longer "participates" in the national anthem because of her dislike for President Donald Trump.

Sadly, a few girls on the United States team didn't seem to enjoy their moment. Many did, mind you. There were several of them in the starting line who were singing along. Every player except for one had her hand over her heart, which was pleasing to see.

But Megan Rapinoe's defiant stance during the anthem and her obvious lack of respect for the United States made me sad.

It's not a "U.S. thing", either. The U.S. men's national team all look like they're enjoying the moment during the playing of the national anthem prior to Gold Cup matches. They're singing along, smiling, looking every bit like the fortunate athlete they are to be representing their country on one of soccer's biggest stages.

Ms. Rapinoe, unfortunately, doesn't seem to be enjoying the moment.

Here's the kicker, no pun intended. She had an important role in Monday's 2-1 win over Spain, scoring both goals for the Americans on penalty kicks. On a day when she could have been -- and should have been -- extra happy, Megan Rapinoe was her usual off-putting self.

It's sad to see an American athlete not openly honoring the country during the playing of the national anthem.

After rounds of 84-82 to start the LPGA PGA Championship last week, Michelle Wie talked about retiring from professional golf.

She's not giving it up because she stinks and can't play any longer. She simply can't do it physically these days, with several mid-career injuries really taking their toll now.

But wait. She's "only" 29. How can she be "mid-career"?

Fair question.

Michelle Wie started playing competitively at age 13 and actually qualified for the U.S. Women's Open at that age. She turned professional at age 16.

There was a time when she was golf's new prodigy, a female version of Tiger Woods, hopefully, who was poised to dominate the sport and create a new landslide of young female golfers who wanted to grow up and "be" Michelle Wie.

Michelle Wie is on the verge of retiring from professional golf, no longer able to overcome a wrist injury she suffered in a car accident several years ago.

Sadly, that never really happened.

She did manage to win 5 times on the LPGA Tour and captured the 2014 U.S. Women's Open at Pinehurst. She made a lot of money playing golf.

But the injuries have derailed her. And it's very likely her golfing career will never venture into her 30's.

It's sad.

And it's also a reminder to parents everywhere of not only the dangers of mental burnout from youth sports, but the physical side as well.

Wie, you might recall, has suffered from both. She went through a stretch of time where she "fell out of love" with golf. But the physical side is what's ending her career. She simply can't compete any longer with the wrist pain she's forced to endure on a daily basis.

A reminder to parents and coaches: Give your young athletes MANDATORY days off. Tell them they can't pick up a bat or a ball or a stick or a club tomorrow. And maybe even the next day, too.

Every once in a while, put your foot down and tell them to get away from it for a day or two. They'll come back refreshed 48 hours later and their body will appreciate the rest, even if the young athlete doesn't quite understand it all yet.

I see Michelle Wie and it makes me sad. She could have become an icon in women's golf. Instead, at age 29, she can no longer swing a club without experiencing pain.

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it's gift-giving time


The Orioles have a pretty cool promotion tonight at the ballpark. It's "Halfway to Christmas" night, with prizes and gifts for folks who are coming out to see Manny Machado's return to Charm City.

Get it? Christmas falls on December 25. Today is June 25. We're six months from Christmas. Novel idea by the O's promotions folks. I like it.

That said, it got me to thinking about some mid-year gifts I'd like to give out. So here goes.

I'd give the Dodgers a World Series title. They've lost the last two Fall Classics, including losing Game 7 at home two years ago to Houston. This year looks very promising, though, as the Dodgers have the best record in baseball and are almost on cruise control at this point and we haven't even reached the All-Star Game yet. Put the World Series in a box, wrap it up, and let's give it to them, eh?

Another Claret Jug for Tiger next month?

Let's give Tiger Woods the British Open next month. That would do two things. It would tie Sam Snead's career PGA Tour wins record of 82 and it would give Woods 16 major championships, just two fewer than the great Jack Nicklaus. If Tiger can get to within two, that would really create a surge in interest in the four majors in 2020. The thing is, there are likely only two major titles Tiger can win these days. He can still win at Augusta and he can still win a British Open. Those are the two tournaments where the length and general condition of the course doesn't change from year to year. Augusta is Augusta -- Woods knows it as well as anyone alive. And the British Open doesn't add 400 yards every other year and grow the rough up or make the greens 14 on the stimp meter. They just open the course and say, "Play it and we'll give the trophy to the guy with the lowest score." I don't think Woods is winning at Royal Portrush next month, but that would be a great gift.

It would be awesome to see Chris Davis' batting average get above the .200 mark and stay there. I know, that's kind of a lame gift. But we've all received a lame gift occasionally. In this case, it's the best gift Davis could get. Mired in a 3-year slump, the only thing Davis is doing these days is collecting a check. OK, sure, his defense remains solid. But he's paid $23 million to hit. Defense is worth about $31,000 of that $23,000,000. It would be really cool to see Davis "find it" again, and not just because that would make him legitimate trade bait, but because he's suffered long enough. Cue the jokes about "suffering" while making over $150 million playing baseball. I get it. But I'd love to see Davis start hitting again and get that average over .200 for the rest of the season. Santa Claus? A little help, please.

I'd give the Ravens the gift of a healthy pre-season, where no one gets hurt and they enter the regular season with their full 53-man roster completely intact. There's no way they'll go through the entire campaign without a significant injury or two. I think we all know that. But it sure would be nice to see them get through training camp and the pre-season games without an injury. There's no telling how far the Ravens can go in 2019. It's going to be fun to watch, if nothing else. But a healthy team is important.

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#dmd comments


mike from catonsville     June 26
@Cal, you must not have read Cash Is Kings comments, this site is ONLY for sports related comments. GET ON BOARD MAN!

3,2,1 HERE COMES cik.....wait for it, almost here



@NO, Clinton was morally bankrupt, cheated in golf and on his wife certainly no fan of that, a deplorable individual when it came to morals. The difference, even as his personal life was disgusting he has a brain and he could think and talk and read and understand complex issues, he actually could read position papers and didn't need pictures or powerpoint to understand them as opposed to the disaster we have currently.



And that will be the last word, on to sports.



Watched the Yankees old timer celebration the other night. It took them a long time to get to names that anyone would or could even recognize. Nice to see Jeff Nelson, Catonsville High grad introduced. He was a middle of the pack announcement as they moved to recognizable players.

Mark in Perry Hall     June 26
Drew, any thoughts on the retirement and career of Keith Mills?

Cal     June 26
Hey Drew, been checking your Twitter and FB pages and haven't seen you mention Bruce's new album. What do you think about it?

Delray Rick     June 26
JIM M...Went to POLY and my class mate was all STATE in baseball named outstanding athlete that year over every high school player. He could pitch ,run like wind. He got drafted by PITTSBURGH. HE COULD NOT MAKE IT BECAUSE HE WAS HOME SICK.Washed out and ended up making HORSES SHOES.

Jim M     June 26
People are strange. Streets are uneven when you're down.



I read here and the times I listen to sports radio I hear/read a lot about fundamentals....or the lack of them.

Do you ever wonder about the greatest athlete in your school and what happened to their athletic career?

People[after the fact] always say, "how could he overthrow the cutoff man". A guy like Dwight Smith IS where he is[this is the last chance saloon for high draft talents} because he makes mistakes. It is in his make-up.

Years ago...SAM HORN was a prospect. I am paraphrasing when a coach was speaking to another coach." If you hit him a million ground balls he might be able to be a below average fielder....I've already hit him his first million". Horn was a good athlete, he couldn't learn how to do it. Smith Jr. can't be coached, end of story. Something is NOT processing in his brain. And YET we read/ hear that "this is something that 8 year old should be able to learn"....NOPE, many of them can't. He can't. It isn't as easy as people think, even though it seems it should be.



This team makes a ton of them, because they are flawed guys. Put in another way, these guys[who are either fringe Major Leaguers or washouts] have always been superior athletes. Always the best in their area. SUPERIOR athletic ability sometimes allows you to flout the rules as the best of the best can just do so many things better than anyone else.

There is a reason that these guys are cast aside by other clubs. You can tell a guy a million times to do something and when the heat of the game goes on, their flaws are exposed.

The greatest athlete at my HS was drafted by the Angels. All County in FB, BB and Baseball. 6'2", strongly built. Fast. Made it to AA...and that was it. He told me years later that he couldn't steal bases even though he was the fastest guy on the team. They tried to teach him...but he couldn't do it.

Brien Jackson     June 26
@Alister



It should have specified that the California Senate passed the bill, but the House hasn't yet.

Alister     June 26
In the second paragraph of Brien Jackson’s article, he tells us that California has passed a bill protecting the rights of NCAA athletes.



In the third paragraph, he tells us that the bill faces a difficult procedural hurdle to be enacted.



Out of mild curiosity, I’m wondering which is correct.

Rich     June 26
Rapinoe running her big mouth again about President Trump. Almost hoping U.S. women lose to France on Friday.

PB     June 26
Hey @Drew, I have a few golf questions for you.



1. What did you think of Woodland's win at the Open? Fluke or more of the same to come from him? Will he win another major?



2. Give me the name of one young gun that we don't really know all that well that you think will win a major championship.



3. Who wins The British Open this year?



4. Will Tiger win another tournament this season?

political observer     June 26
Is @Neutral Herman's cousin?

SDK     June 26
Thanks for covering last night's game, Drew. I give you credit for sitting down and actually writing about it all. I didn't make it past the 5th inning.

Neutral Observer     June 26
Clinton was known to cheat in golf as well. I'm sure The Brown Man took more than one mulligan over 18 holes. Why? Because they can. Give the President bashing stuff a rest. You had your chance and HRC couldn't deliver. Still crying about an election that was held 2 years ago?

mike from catonsville     June 26
@NO, I believe there's a difference between born as and sprayed on- just sayin'- and to keep it sports related-read Rick Reilleys book- very old axiom, play golf with people anmd you learn a lot about the person- he cheats-

Neutral Observer     June 26
@Mike in Catonsville. Just curious. I assume you were a fan of "the brown man" right?

unitastoberry     June 26
Just 4 more weeks until the Ravens open camp. 6 weeks until the first exhibition game. Hang in there !

mike from catonsville     June 26
@CIK, the orange man cheats at golf and on his wives. He's "not my type".



Sports related! That should "make your day".

H     June 26
You might not of heard it since it seems like you were at the game but Dave Johnson on the radio took Manny to task for not running out that fly ball like you mentioned. He said "For 30 million bucks a year you should run everything out."

El Duque     June 26
Manny met with several fans before last night's game. I spoke with him in Spanish for a few seconds. One of the things he said was, "I should have signed in New York so I could come back here 10 times a year and hit about 25 home runs against this organization."

Someone seems salty.

Brien Jackson     June 26
I don't understand how anyone can stand to listen to Jerry Coleman

John L.     June 26
I am really starting to get concerned that the Orioles aren't going to win 43 games. Look at their schedule and tell me where 21 more wins are coming this season.

Doug     June 26
Not wanting to speak for Drew but the walkout by WNST and last night's booing episode by J. Cole are not comparable. Coleman didn't send any kind of message last night. At least the walkout drew national media coverage.

Cash Is King     June 26
@MFC



Nice job not referencing the POTUS in the last post. And it seems like you gave up on that silly ticket idea. I guess you can teach an old Gael new tricks. (Btw it is spelled gnat...so much for higher education).



I was surprised by the crowd's reaction to Machado. I thought it would of been more in line with the treatment Harper received in DC.




mike from catonsville     June 26
@CIK, I kept it topical and my comments related to the blog. You have spent two messages trolling and trying but failing with disparaging remarks. Try following your comments because you've made two with zero references to sports.

It's a nice day, get the people off your lawn and go for a walk, a long one.



Now that that nat has been swatted Manny delivered on all accounts last night. He literally covered all the bases except for some magical play in the field.



Sad that fundamentals do not seem to be drilled into these players. Anyone can leanr findamentals. You may not be the best athlete but you can learn the fundamentals and put them to use. That concerns me more about our manager. What in the world did he do during spring training. Defense can at least keep you in games, as long as the ball stays in the park, which it doesn't, but to watch these mistakes has me really concerned.

Bill P.     June 26
People are comparing Jerry's Coleman's act last night to the famous "Free The Birds" walkout.



DF, what do you think about that comparison?

Delray Rick     June 26
CLASS act by fans and MANNY last night.

Chris K     June 25
Drew,

You have some pretty terrible and demeaning “fans” in your comments section. I know in the past you’ve monitored it to keep things tasteful. Could you possibly do it again. It’s just a little trashy and disappointing.

Cash Is King     June 25
MFC acts like today is the 1st day he has ever mentioned The POTUS in DMD’s comment section.

Fact: You and your brother have been whining about it on social media, podcasts, etc, for the last 3 years.

Opinion: this isn’t the correct forum to bitch about politics.


B     June 25
Take a moment and read this column

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/dcunited/megan-rapinoe-isnt-here-to-make-you-comfortable/2019/06/25/af08fda0-977c-11e9-8d0a-5edd7e2025b1_story.html


B     June 25
Take a moment and read this column

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/dcunited/megan-rapinoe-isnt-here-to-make-you-comfortable/2019/06/25/af08fda0-977c-11e9-8d0a-5edd7e2025b1_story.html


B     June 25
Take a moment and read this column

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/dcunited/megan-rapinoe-isnt-here-to-make-you-comfortable/2019/06/25/af08fda0-977c-11e9-8d0a-5edd7e2025b1_story.html



“Rapinoe isn’t anti-American for refusing to smile and sing through her disappointment. She’s simply a disappointed American. But few ever ask why and listen to her concerns. Instead, they make ridiculous statements about waiting for a proper time to protest. When is the time right? When no one’s paying attention? When no one’s around to feel uncomfortable?



The point of civil disobedience is to make the ignoring stop.”

mike from catonsville     June 25
@CIK, I counted 6 mentions of "anthems" in a 9 paragraph blog does that not count as a "political" message. You are very funny but unfortunately off base on this one on so many levels.

Cash Is King     June 25
MFC obviously has a political agenda. His brother supports all of Johhny O’s socialist ideas...yeah he is on the government payroll. And there is nothing wrong with any of that. The problem is that MFC can’t leave his political agenda off of a non political, sports based message board. Kind of pathetic

Lisa V.     June 25
Must feel really good every morning to wake up and be perfect like @Herman.

HERMAN     June 25
Which Tiger should we just automatically grant with the "Open" trophy this year Drew, "Playful fist bump Tiger", or "Mug shot Tiger", maybe "Chased with a 7 iron Tiger", or "Perkins Pancake House Tiger". Then there is "Sexual Addiction rehab Tiger", and "Blood spinning Tiger", and.....


Delray Rick     June 25
RALPH..Get use to it because he's got ANOTHER 4 YEARS COMING. Move to Canada or Mexico

Jason M     June 25
Ah the anthem issue...it's like the zombie issue of our time, you think it's dead, and then it comes back to life. I agree with DF that it's sad that Rapinoe doesn't participate in the anthem, I doubt she realizes how many veterans and their families she offends. We have a ton of combat wounded vet;'s walking around with artificial limbs that didn't have the option to not participate. I also think it's sad that she lets politics drag down her feelings for her country and her countrymen. And since when is the President is the beneficiary of every public playing of our anthem? That's an acknowledgment of all of us and who we are as a nation. She is representing all of us when she wears the US uniform, not just the President. So yeah, I'm sad that somewhere in her formative years, no social studies or civic teacher, family member or coach every broke that down for her. Does she have a right not to participate, of course, she and I both are noticed by our first amendment, but having the right doesn't make it right.

Hubris is thy name     June 25
@MFC

So glad that you speak for our entire country. "Our country is embarrassed every single day". Not by a long shot.

Now I have no qualms that this silly young female feels the way she does. She lives in a bubble....and all of her experience is not really wide ranging. For a gal so talented in soccer, what expertise does she have other than "feelings".

Trump- First President in History to ALWAYS be for Gay Marriage. Obama was AGAINST it until it became politically ''safe" for him to for it.

Trump runs concentration camps? Seem to be the only concentration camps in HISTORY that you can avoid...by NOT coming here. And if they are so bad....looks like they might be better than where these people came from...or why come?

mike from catonsville     June 25
@Tom, I'm guessing Rapinoe is "not the orange mans type". Our country is embarassed every single day and you're worried about a female soccer player that 98% of America have no idea who she is.

Frank     June 25
I'm starting to detect some real "women of power" issues here at DMD. Now they have to sing and cry when the National Anthem is played to make ya'll happy???

HERMAN     June 25
How often do women's athletics rise to the top of the front of the sports pages? In any given year when does women's sports get the agate type, the lead story, becomes a topic that transcends sports and leads the news in general?

Maybe once a year?

So instead of discussing a gritty win, team effort, individual accomplishments, the public interest, the impact on young female athletes all across our country, we are left to focus on the selfish negative motives of one extreme talent.

A woman being well paid and well promoted to represent the US. A woman who cannot recognize the better nature of our collective e pluribus unum but chooses to trumpet our divide, and on the world stage no less.

I do hope that as with our old disgruntled goalie from a past US team that this malcontent also passes into obscurity and is quickly forgotten. She is an embarrassment to the country. She gets away with such behavior on talent, a sad commentary on the state of sports today. If she were the marginal last hire we wouldn't know her name, she'd have been left off the squad. regardless of yesterday's tallies I wish she had been.




Rich     June 25
Sideline Observer = Brainwashed Liberal.

Chris in Bel Air     June 25
You would think as women's professional soccer player and a member of the UNITED STATES NATIONAL team she would show more appreciation for the opportunities provided by her country. Rapinoe clearly revels in being counter culture and is another another example of an attention seeking, fashionable protester.

sideline observer     June 25
Saying these National teams are all about “representing our country” is akin to saying the NCAA is all about “representing college institutions”.

Patriotisms sells now, more than ever. You can debate the reasons for that, but there’s no debating the number of people looking to profit from this trend.

The irony is Rapinoe could profit more if she played along with the Patriotism Sells mantra, which would partially address her faux “pay equality” issue. I think we call that irony.


G-Man     June 25
Poor Michele Wie. A female with legitimate issues gets overshadowed at The Dish by a disgruntled millionaire.

Tom     June 25
"JK" and the other libs don't get it. They never will. No one is saying you have to "Obey the King". As far as I know, this country's problems as they stand today started way before Donald Trump took office. Of course, the libs forget they had a lib Prez for 8 years before Trump. Rapinoe isn't a hero. She's a publicity stunt.

Rich     June 25
I have an "F-You" for Miss Rapinoe.

Guess who I'm giving it to?

HER.

JK     June 25
Rapinoe is a hero to women all across this land. She is demonstrating her passion for her rights. You can be sad all you want but it's freedom to not sing the anthem. There is no requirement to sing. I have seen the USMNT and other professional team players never sing the anthem. This is some weak BS phone forced patriotism on whoever criticizes one for demonstrating their rights as Americans. The words I read here in this blog and keep your mouth shut and obey our supreme leader. All hail to the King. Our founders built this country and the complete opposite thinking of this sheep like mentality to just lay down and not protest your beliefs and rebel when needed. My goodness this some serious sexist mentality prevailing here.

Go Megan keep on keeping on!

Dennis     June 25
Agree with @TimD. If Rapinoe wants to stand up and be counted she should just sit out.

Ralph     June 25
Tom S and B. You two should be the ones doing more research. Shame on you. Here are just 4 quotes from Rapinoe that you can find on the internet.



“I am not going to fake it, hobnob with the president, who is clearly against so many of the things that I am [for] and so many of the things that I actually am. I have no interest in extending our platform to him.”



"It's an F-you to Trump. I won't even honor him by calling him the President. He's not the leader of me or anyone I associate with."



"As long as he and his administration are in charge, I won't show any kind of respect to this country. That's just how I feel."



"If I could give him more than two middle fingers, I would."




TimD in Timonium     June 25
Maybe Megan could more capably "resist" by refusing to play for the United States Womens National Team.



In any case, she looks pretty miserable on the field.



Monday
June 24
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#1764



hey, it could have been more like 17-3


A beautiful sunny Monday in Balwmer deserves an optimist's view of Sunday's 13-3 shellacking in Seattle.

Here's the truth: It could have easily been more like 15-3, 16-3 or even 17-3. The Mariners loaded the bases in the 7th inning but Miguel Castro was able to wiggle out of the jam and keep the score at 13-3.

Our battlin' Birds never gave up, even after giving up an 8-spot in the 3rd inning. The loss left them with a 1-6 road trip through Oakland and Seattle. The sweep in Oakland? Kind of expected. Losing 3 of 4 to the lowly Mariners? Kind of a bummer. Then again, if the Mariners are "lowly", what are the O's, right?

The good news from the road trip? Trey Mancini's wrist wasn't broken from that pitch in Oakland. And Andrew Cashner performed well, again, increasing his trade value along the way.

Oh, and that pesky 10-game losing streak is a thing of the past after the 8-4 win in Seattle on Saturday.

You see, I told you I'd provide some optimism in there somewhere.

Another solid start from Andrew Cashner on Saturday in Seattle was hopefully noticed by some of the contenders in MLB.

If you're a fan of laying the occasional wager on a baseball game, I have a small-term investment you should make. Give it 20 days and see if you're an overall winner. I bet you will be.

Bet the "over" in the Orioles game. Every night.

Of the last 12 the team has played, the over has hit in nine of them.

Heck, sometimes the other team hits the over themselves, it's that much of a lock.

And with the O's coming home to sultry Camden Yards this week for five games (two with San Diego and three with Cleveland), give it a try and see how the numbers play out.

The over hit in 10 of 15 MLB games on Sunday, by the way. It's summertime. Those baseballs are flyin' around.

I swear to you, I never heard of or knew Zack Sucher before this week's PGA Tour event in Cromwell, CT. And I fancy myself fairly up-to-date on the professional golf circuit.

When I saw his name on the Friday leaderboard, I quickly googled him to find out more. And to sorta-kinda reconfirm that I didn't know who he was in the first place. And, I didn't know him. Never heard of him, in fact.

Now, in fairness, I don't think many other folks had heard of Zack Sucher either. He was apparently on the TOUR back in 2017, but missed of 11 of 14 before bowing out with a knee injury.

His lifetime earnings of $856,000 was made mostly on the Korn Ferry (nee Web.com) Tour.

Look up the word "journeyman" in the dictionary and there's a photo of Zach Sucher. Just trying to hang on, make a cut or three, carve out a decent living for his family, and play golf in some pretty cool places all over the country.

All of that changed yesterday.

Zucher finished T2 at The Travelers Championship, thanks to a bizarre sequence in the final hour. With Chez Reavie locked in a battle with Keegan Bradley for the title, Zucher started to slip back midway through his round. He was hanging on for dear life and trying to make a big check, but nothing was working.

Suddenly, he made birdie at 15. He was in 5th place now. Then, a birdie at 16. Up to 4th place. Another birdie at 17. Suddenly, Zucher is in 3rd place and set to make a nice check, something in the $375,000 range. Great pay for a week's worth of work, eh?

Then, his fortunes changed. Bradley double-bogeyed the 17th hole to drop into a tie with Zucher. And at the 18th green, Zucher chipped in for par to finish tied for second and earn $633,600. Life. Changed. Forever.

He would have still made out nicely if that chip wouldn't have settled at the bottom of the cup, but that shot -- alone -- was worth $216,000 more because he finished T2 instead of T3 with Vaughn Taylor.

"Here you go, kid. Chip this ball into the hole and it's worth $216,000. But you only get one crack at it. Go..."

Great story. Great shot, too.

As a side note, I remember once trying to qualify for the old Kemper Open when it was held at then-TPC Avenel. The qualifier was at Glenn Dale Golf Club. This would have been circa 1992'ish. I recall that Bill Glasson won the tournament.

Prior to teeing off in the 4-spot Monday qualifer, they gave everyone details on the Kemper Open and on it was a projected payout list for those players making the cut. I remember it like it was yesterday. The winner's check would be $198,000.

Yesterday, a guy made $216,000 for chipping in on ONE hole.

Not even 30 years ago, the guy who played four straight days and won the tournament made $198,000.

I'm sure Zucher has already sent Tiger Woods a thank you e-mail by now.

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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.


yesterday, today and tomorrow


This Week’s Subject: The greatest

Yesterday…

You can believe in the sabermetric baseball idea of Wins Above Replacement (WAR) as much as you’d like.

There are those who’d like to use it to determine Most Valuable Players and Cy Young Award winners, or at least to differentiate between top candidates for those awards. There are many, like me, who see it as a great way to compare players that are not easily comparable, whether by era or position. I guess a few baseball fans wish they’d never heard of it.

Though certain small differences remain in how the stat is calculated, Barry Bonds is at the top of the career list of position players no matter how it’s calculated. According to Baseball Reference, over 22 seasons, he compiled a career WAR of 162.8. For a 22-year career, that averages to 7.4 per season. If 8+ indicates MVP quality, then Bonds averaged nearly an MVP-type season every year. In real life, he won seven MVPs.

Cal Ripken played 20-plus years and averaged a 4.6 WAR. Sounds about right…some of his years were All-Star quality, 5+, but not all of them, even though he made the All-Star Game every year but his rookie year.

The leader among current position players is Albert Pujols, now in his 19th year, who was on an almost-Barry Bonds track in his first 10 years or so. Then the Angels decided to overpay for him, even though they had to know there was no way he’d be nearly the player he was in his 20s.

Here’s an interesting note. Taking away position players from the 19th century (seriously), those afflicted with the steroid curse, players not yet eligible and Pete Rose, the highest-ranked player in career WAR not in the Hall of Fame is Lou Whitaker, who earned only 2.9 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility (2001) and dropped off the ballot.

In the top 100, infielders Graig Nettles and Ryne Sandberg both have the same career WAR, 68. Sandberg did that in 16 years, however, while Nettles did it in 22. Sandberg is in the Hall of Fame; Nettles was on the ballot for four years in the 1990s before dropping off.

In the postwar era, which I’d consider modern baseball, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron are at the top of the list, if you take Bonds out of the equation. In recent times, Alex Rodriguez is by far the highest on the list, and it’s unlikely the 39-year-old Pujols will get anywhere near him.


Today…

Here’s why all of that matters, as we get up in the morning every day during the 2019 baseball season. It’s Mike Trout.

Lots of people are saying it and the numbers are starting to back it up. When his career is over, Mike Trout will be the baseball player of our lifetime.

Trout is only in his eighth full season in the Majors. He’s missed at least a small amount of time due to injury in three of those years. Yet, by WAR, the 27-year-old is on a Bonds-like pace. He’s on his way to one of the top five careers of all-time.

Miguel Cabrera, now 36, has been a full-time player in the Majors since 2004. He’s a certain Hall of Famer, likely on the first ballot. Yet Trout is only a few games away from passing Cabrera on the career WAR list.

Trout played in 40 games as a 19-year-old late in the 2011 season for the Angels. In the next seven seasons, he averaged 110 runs scored. If you take his 162-game average, it breaks down to 122 runs per season.

If you’re just looking at an individual, and not concerned with anything else, just that number alone is frightening. You can’t possibly score that many runs without reaching base in a way that’s equally off the charts.

In each of the last four years, including this one, Trout’s on-base percentage has been .441 or higher. This year it’s .468, which would blow by even his best year so far. He’s working on three straight seasons with an OPS (on-base plus slugging) of 1.071 or better; Willie Mays and Hank Aaron never did that.

Trout, like any modern baseball player, is strikeout-prone. In fact, he’s never played a full season without striking out at least 124 times. In 2014, he actually led the league in strikeouts with 184. There’s no other player who even comes close, however, to “making up” for all those swings and misses. In his last 935 plate appearances, he’s walked 189 times. If you add in the 20 times where he was hit by a pitch, he’s reached base without getting a hit almost 25 percent of the time.

For a while, baseball geeks liked to talk about Trout, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado in the same sentence. All three of them are of similar age, and all started their All-Star careers very young. The comparisons, however, are now over.

It’s quite possible that Harper, now in Philadelphia, and Machado, now in San Diego, will make the Hall of Fame, whether or not they were quite worth the contracts they received from those teams. Meanwhile, it’s quite possible that Mike Trout will be considered the best player of all-time.


Tomorrow...

The only thing that might keep Trout from that consideration, assuming he keeps on going, is the amazing mediocrity of the team he plays for.

Trout has played in exactly one playoff series in his career, an American League Division Series against the Royals in 2014. Kansas City swept that series 3-0; Trout, uncharacteristically, had one hit in 12 at-bats, though with three walks he probably wasn’t getting great pitches to hit.

That’s it. This year, the Angels, under new manager Brad Ausmus, are once again a .500 team. They have a less than five percent chance of making the postseason, even with Trout’s potentially historic season.

Their division rivals, the Astros, have separated themselves from the division pack, and that could continue for quite a few years to come. The Angels, and the other three teams, are really playing for a Wild Card spot these days.

By the time the Angels win the AL West again, even the Orioles might be a good team, like they were in 2014 when they won 96 games, two fewer than the 98 for Trout and the Angels.

And remember, Trout is likely to be an Angel for life. He signed a record-setting 12-year, $430 million extension back in Spring Training. Instead of being a free-agent after the 2020 season, which would have set off an interesting frenzy among the teams that could afford him, he will now be a free agent after the 2030 season, when he’s 39 years old.

Nobody is really questioning whether Trout is worth the $35.4 million per year he’ll earn over the next 12 years, which is amazing in its own right. He’s that good. The question, I suppose, is if he’s earning that money for the right team.

I’d answer that affirmatively. There’s no rule that every future Hall-of-Famer has to play for the Yankees, or play more games in primetime on the East Coast so that more of the American population can see him. The Angels took advantage of the fact that 21 other teams didn’t take Trout in the first round of the 2009 draft, and they ought to be able to reap the rewards from that choice.

Plus, the Angels tend to act like a big-market team; they could make a real run at making their team more than just Mike Trout, especially when Pujols is gone.

In any event, it’s highly unlikely that Trout will ever wear a different uniform, at least while he’s a full-time player. He’s doing enough…it’s time for his team to start making up for lost time.

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Sunday
June 23
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#1763



maybe there's hope yet...


No, I'm not talking about the Orioles. Although there's a rumor floating around that they won their 22nd game of the season yesterday.

I'm talking about hope for the U.S. men's national soccer team.

Granted, the first two games of the Gold Cup were supposed to be wins for the American side, but they've scored 10 goals in the last 180 minutes of soccer, including a 6-0 thrashing of Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday night in Cleveland.

That win puts the U.S. team into the knockout stage of the event, but they have one more game in Group play before reaching the quarterfinals. Up next is a Wednesday night contest against CONCACAF rival Panama.

On form last night in Cleveland, Christian Pulisic helped turn a 1-0 halftime lead into a 6-0 rout of Trinidad and Tobago.

The most impressive thing about Saturday's win? Oh, that's easy. His name is Christian Pulisic. The Chelsea newcomer was completely dominant in the win over Trinidad and Tobago, scoring one goal and artistically setting up two other American tallies. You could call his play "sensational" and I might argue that you're shortchanging him.

Yes, it's fair to point out that the visitors pretty much quit with 25 minutes left in the contest. The T&T defensive group gave new meaning to the term "mailing it in". It was a pathetic performance by the whole team, but a complete stinker from their defensive players.

But all in all, it was a dominant American outing, one that can give us a little bit of hope for not only this Gold Cup, but 2022 World Cup qualifying as well, which is roughly one year away.

Paul Arriola seems to have found a home on the left wing, even though his first touch is still shaky. Tyler Boyd might be the team's new Eric Wynalda clone. And Gyasi Zardes, who scored twice on Saturday, is working hard to shed his label as a guy who misses more quality chances than he converts.

Goalkeeper Zach Steffen hasn't been overly tested in the first two games, but he turned in several nice saves in both wins. Early days, yes, but it looks like Gregg Berhalter might have found himself a competent, reliable netminder.

But Pulisic makes it all happen.

He is, without question, the best soccer player the United States has produced in this "modern era" (since 1990). Yes, better than Landon. And better than Reyna. Better than all of them. By far.

There is a lot of soccer left between now and 2022. Qualifying for the Qatar World Cup is not going to be easy by any means. There will be other young players who squeeze their way onto the roster between now and next November when qualifying starts. But as they look and play, now, there's hope for the future.

It all starts with Pulisic. And Berhalter has to be able to coach them at the highest level, which is something he's never done before. So, yes, there are plenty of "ifs" connected with the American team. But for a few days, at least, there's some light at the end of the tunnel.

Winning the Gold Cup isn't any kind of predictor of things to come. It's a tune up exam, basically, for what lies ahead. But in the case of the U.S. team, clearly embarking on a new era with new players and coaches, advancing to at least the semifinals would be a nice foundation for Qatar 2022.

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speaking of booing and "teaching the kids"...


With Manny Machado's visit to Charm City coming up on Tuesday, the chatter around town still centers on whether or not the former O's infielder deserves to hear boos on Tuesday evening.

A lot of this talk was drummed up by the local sports talk station in town, but even without that, there would certainly be people going out there on Tuesday who would feel the need to boo Machado because of his defection to the Padres over the winter.

Back in St. Louis for the first time since leaving as a free agent in 2012, Albert Pujols was greeted with a standing ovation on Friday night.

This is where I should remind everyone that the Orioles would never have paid Manny $350 million. Never, ever. So he didn't really defect. He was no longer wanted in Baltimore. Not at that price, most certainly.

If you need to see how a community supports a former star player, look no further than to St. Louis this weekend, where the Cardinals were hosting the Angels and one Mr. Albert Pujols. It seems strange, yes, but Friday night's game was the first time Pujols returned to St. Louis with the Angels since signing with the A.L. West club in 2012. Weird, I know.

Upon coming to the plate on Friday, Pujols was treated to a standing ovation by the St. Louis baseball faithful. It lasted nearly one full minute. The St. Louis players came to the top of the dugout to join in the moment. Cards' catcher Yadier Molina walked away from home plate to allow for the ovation to continue as long as it could possibly last.

On Saturday, Pujols homered in the 7th inning of a game the Cardinals were leading 4-0 at the time. Pujols was urged to come out for a curtain call by the St. Louis faithful. OK, that might have been a tad over the top...he plays for the other team, now. But the St. Louis fans reacted that way to show appreciation for the 11 years he gave them. Sure, Pujols did far, far more for the Cardinals than Machado did for the Orioles. Part of that was based on time spent, part of that was because Pujols helped the Cards win division titles and world championships, and part of that was based on his active role in the St. Louis community.

But on Tuesday night, Manny Machado should be welcomed back with warm applause at the very least. Standing ovation? Maybe so, yes. It doesn't have to be a minute long or anything like that. Machado wasn't Adam Jones, for example. But he earned his stripes in Baltimore and should be applauded, not jeered or booed.

Enough on that subject.

If you're going out there on Tuesday evening, don't be a jerk.


Saturday
June 22
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#1762



major league baseball can't be that dumb


You might have heard by now that the Tampa Bay Rays are contemplating playing a significant part of their home schedule in Montreal, presumably as early as 2020.

Montreal. The place where baseball tried and failed under the Expos moniker. A city with one professional sports team, the Canadiens. That's Montreal.

It's one thing if they've somehow caught baseball fever up there and they desperately want an expansion franchise. We all know how that works. Build a big, new baseball only stadium that seats 45,000 or so. Pre-sell enough season tickets to convince the powers-that-be that this is a new Montreal and that baseball will work this time around.

Do that and maybe, just maybe, you might warrant consideration for an expansion franchise. That's sorta-kinda what the Nationals did, remember, although they played in old dumpy RFK Stadium for a couple of years until their new ballpark was ready.

But on merit alone, if Montreal really wanted to get back into the major leagues, they could certainly prove their worth and ask for consideration.

These days, a crowd -- like this one -- of 10,000 is considered "acceptable" by the Tampa Bay Rays.

Baseball might work there. "Might" being the important word in that sentence.

Here's what won't work: Tampa Bay playing 30 home games in Florida and 51 home games in Canada.

That will not work. Period. End of sentence.

Who on earth really, in their hearts of hearts, thinks a split schedule configuration like that can work? What's the name of the team going to be? Is it Tampa Bay's team and they just happen to play more games in Montreal than they do in Tampa Bay? Will they still be called the Tampa Bay Rays? Or will MLB be forced to come up with a new name, logo, uniforms, etc.?

It's such a dumb idea.

Lots of folks are opining that the rumor itself is nothing but a ploy to get Tampa Bay government officials to get off their rear ends and help get a new stadium in place for the Rays before they bolt for another town.

Those must be some pretty dumb government folks if they fall for this one. This is worse than the banana-in-the-tailpipe trick Eddie Murphy used on those two officers in Beverly Hills Cop.

During my weekly appearance on Glenn Clark Radio yesterday, the show's ultra-talented host (Glenn) threw out a "just for discussion purposes" scenario in which the city of Baltimore would split an NBA team with another city. He used Seattle as the "other home city".

That's an equally dumb idea, one that Baltimore most certainly would never support. I suggested that the NBA wouldn't draw 200,000 to the Royal Farms Arena for a 22-game home schedule that included a decent number of Friday and Saturday night home games and visits from four or five of the league's better drawing franchises. They couldn't average 10,000 per-game in Baltimore. Friday night with the Sixers in town? Might draw 10,000 or so. Tuesday night against the Miami Heat? Lucky to have 7,000 in the place.

Baltimore has a tough enough time selling out eight football games. They'll sell out one or two baseball games this season and that's it. Heck, even opening day this year wasn't really a sell-out. They announced that it was, but it most certainly wasn't. If this town's sports fans are finicky with our teams, imagine how they'd treat the Seattle Baristas when they played half their schedule in Baltimore and the other half in the Pacific Northwest.

Oh, and there's no evidence whatsoever that shows Baltimore cares about basketball. Or, attending basketball games, I should say. Every winter, UMBC, Towson, Loyola, Morgan State and Coppin State play to meager crowds for nearly every home game. A crowd of 3,500 at one of those venues is considered outstanding.

The split-city NBA idea is a dud. It would flop -- in Baltimore -- big time. $80.00 to watch our-team-for-half-the-games play against the Detroit Pistons? Sorry. Not paying for it. Not going.

The same would happen in Major League Baseball if this idiotic Tampa Bay/Montreal thing comes to fruition. If Tampa Bay can't support a baseball franchise any longer, go ahead and move it. But stringing those folks along down there and playing more games in Montreal than in Tampa Bay is ridiculous.

I'm not sure what the solution is to the problems they're having in Tampa Bay, but I know what the solution isn't. I don't know that building them a new stadium will be the magic elixir everyone thinks it might be. They might draw 30,000 the first year or two while it's still novel to see the place, but then the Tampa Bay sports fan will slip back into his familiar summer slumber and 9,302 people will be there in mid-July to see the first-place Rays take on the Red Sox.

A new stadium might work.

Playing half the games in Tampa Bay and the other half in Montreal? Will not work.

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looking at the ravens schedule


Lots of people did this back in mid-April when the schedule first came out.

That's always too soon for me. You have to wait until you see who gets drafted before you can even think about doing the "win that one", "lose that one" thing. And there are, of course, still going to be training camp cuts that could influence rosters in Baltimore and elsewhere.

But given what we know now, let's play the game today and go through the schedule.

All of this, of course, presupposes that everyone on every team stays healthy. We know that's not going to happen, obviously, but it's the only way to forecast the schedule this far in advance. For instance, if Tom Brady is injured on November 3rd, the Ravens are beating the Patriots. Right now, with Brady scheduled to play, it's a loss. At least in my book.

So, away we go.

September 8 at Miami -- For whatever reason (probably because the Dolphins usually stink), the Ravens eat these guys up in South Florida. Can't imagine Josh Rosen is beating the Ravens on opening day. RAVENS WIN.

September 15 vs. Arizona -- The return of Terrell Suggs. That's going to be a hoot, for sure. There won't be but three or four automatic wins on the schedule this year, but this is definitely one of them. The Cardinals stink. Kyler Murray isn't coming to Baltimore and beating the Ravens. RAVENS WIN.

September 22 at Kansas City -- Wish I had better news to report on this one. RAVENS LOSE.

September 29 vs. Cleveland -- This will be a really good early season test.....for the Browns. The darlings of the AFC North will get a supreme test in Charm City in week four. Are the Browns improved? Most certainly. Are they going to be compete with the Ravens for the division title? Most likely. But they're not winning in Baltimore in this game. RAVENS WIN.

Baker Mayfield and the Browns come to Baltimore for an early season showdown on September 29.

October 6 at Pittsburgh -- It's going to be so much fun watching the Steelers go 6-10 this season. And one of those 10 losses comes at Heinz Field on October 6. RAVENS WIN.

October 13 vs. Cincinnati -- Remember those "automatic wins" I referenced earlier? A home game against the Bengals classifies as automatic. RAVENS WIN.

October 20 at Seattle -- This one will have lots of hype, as Earl Thomas returns to his old stomping grounds. Every year, the Ravens seem to pluck a road game that shows they're better than people might think they are. Last year, that win came in L.A. against the Chargers. This year, it comes in Seattle. RAVENS WIN.

November 3 vs. New England -- Sunday Night Football in Baltimore! This is going to be a great one. Unfortunately, speaking of great ones, the New England QB will outplay the Baltimore QB. Bummer. RAVENS LOSE.

November 10 at Cincinnati -- Another laugher. Poor Bengals. RAVENS WIN.

November 17 vs. Houston -- Hate to do this, but there's usually been one home upset per-season in recent years. The trend continues in 2019. This is going to be the one. RAVENS LOSE.

November 25 at Los Angeles (Rams) -- We're not going out to L.A. and beating those guys, right? Nope, we're not. Outclassed in Los Angeles. RAVENS LOSE.

December 1 vs. San Francisco -- I suspect the 49'ers will be much improved in 2019, but not nearly good enough to fly across the country and beat the Ravens in Baltimore. RAVENS WIN.

December 8 at Buffalo -- There's no way the Bills are gonna be any good, are they? Can't be. Won't be. But the Ravens have a tendency to throw up one mega-road-stinker every year and up there in frigid Buffalo it's easy for visiting teams to do that. This one's ugly. RAVENS LOSE.

December 12 vs. NY Jets -- I guess the Jets are going to be better than they were last year. They have to be, right? Le'Veon Bell and C.J. Mosely sure help. But the Jets are not winning in Baltimore with the playoffs on the line. No way. RAVENS WIN.

December 22 at Cleveland -- A late-season 10-day rest will definitely help the Ravens, but not enough to beat the Browns in Cleveland. It's always painful to lose in Cleveland. Like losing to the Flyers in Philly. RAVENS LOSE.

December 29 vs. Pittsburgh -- A perfect post-Christmas gift for 'dem Stillers: Their 10th loss of the season! (har har). Ravens win in a blowout. Mike Tomlin gets canned at season's end. Yummy. RAVENS WIN.

If you're a Flyers fan, put the calculator away. I have the final details for you. Ravens go 10-6.

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#dmd comments


mike from catonsville     June 26
@Cal, you must not have read Cash Is Kings comments, this site is ONLY for sports related comments. GET ON BOARD MAN!

3,2,1 HERE COMES cik.....wait for it, almost here



@NO, Clinton was morally bankrupt, cheated in golf and on his wife certainly no fan of that, a deplorable individual when it came to morals. The difference, even as his personal life was disgusting he has a brain and he could think and talk and read and understand complex issues, he actually could read position papers and didn't need pictures or powerpoint to understand them as opposed to the disaster we have currently.



And that will be the last word, on to sports.



Watched the Yankees old timer celebration the other night. It took them a long time to get to names that anyone would or could even recognize. Nice to see Jeff Nelson, Catonsville High grad introduced. He was a middle of the pack announcement as they moved to recognizable players.

Mark in Perry Hall     June 26
Drew, any thoughts on the retirement and career of Keith Mills?

Cal     June 26
Hey Drew, been checking your Twitter and FB pages and haven't seen you mention Bruce's new album. What do you think about it?

Delray Rick     June 26
JIM M...Went to POLY and my class mate was all STATE in baseball named outstanding athlete that year over every high school player. He could pitch ,run like wind. He got drafted by PITTSBURGH. HE COULD NOT MAKE IT BECAUSE HE WAS HOME SICK.Washed out and ended up making HORSES SHOES.

Jim M     June 26
People are strange. Streets are uneven when you're down.



I read here and the times I listen to sports radio I hear/read a lot about fundamentals....or the lack of them.

Do you ever wonder about the greatest athlete in your school and what happened to their athletic career?

People[after the fact] always say, "how could he overthrow the cutoff man". A guy like Dwight Smith IS where he is[this is the last chance saloon for high draft talents} because he makes mistakes. It is in his make-up.

Years ago...SAM HORN was a prospect. I am paraphrasing when a coach was speaking to another coach." If you hit him a million ground balls he might be able to be a below average fielder....I've already hit him his first million". Horn was a good athlete, he couldn't learn how to do it. Smith Jr. can't be coached, end of story. Something is NOT processing in his brain. And YET we read/ hear that "this is something that 8 year old should be able to learn"....NOPE, many of them can't. He can't. It isn't as easy as people think, even though it seems it should be.



This team makes a ton of them, because they are flawed guys. Put in another way, these guys[who are either fringe Major Leaguers or washouts] have always been superior athletes. Always the best in their area. SUPERIOR athletic ability sometimes allows you to flout the rules as the best of the best can just do so many things better than anyone else.

There is a reason that these guys are cast aside by other clubs. You can tell a guy a million times to do something and when the heat of the game goes on, their flaws are exposed.

The greatest athlete at my HS was drafted by the Angels. All County in FB, BB and Baseball. 6'2", strongly built. Fast. Made it to AA...and that was it. He told me years later that he couldn't steal bases even though he was the fastest guy on the team. They tried to teach him...but he couldn't do it.

Brien Jackson     June 26
@Alister



It should have specified that the California Senate passed the bill, but the House hasn't yet.

Alister     June 26
In the second paragraph of Brien Jackson’s article, he tells us that California has passed a bill protecting the rights of NCAA athletes.



In the third paragraph, he tells us that the bill faces a difficult procedural hurdle to be enacted.



Out of mild curiosity, I’m wondering which is correct.

Rich     June 26
Rapinoe running her big mouth again about President Trump. Almost hoping U.S. women lose to France on Friday.

PB     June 26
Hey @Drew, I have a few golf questions for you.



1. What did you think of Woodland's win at the Open? Fluke or more of the same to come from him? Will he win another major?



2. Give me the name of one young gun that we don't really know all that well that you think will win a major championship.



3. Who wins The British Open this year?



4. Will Tiger win another tournament this season?

political observer     June 26
Is @Neutral Herman's cousin?

SDK     June 26
Thanks for covering last night's game, Drew. I give you credit for sitting down and actually writing about it all. I didn't make it past the 5th inning.

Neutral Observer     June 26
Clinton was known to cheat in golf as well. I'm sure The Brown Man took more than one mulligan over 18 holes. Why? Because they can. Give the President bashing stuff a rest. You had your chance and HRC couldn't deliver. Still crying about an election that was held 2 years ago?

mike from catonsville     June 26
@NO, I believe there's a difference between born as and sprayed on- just sayin'- and to keep it sports related-read Rick Reilleys book- very old axiom, play golf with people anmd you learn a lot about the person- he cheats-

Neutral Observer     June 26
@Mike in Catonsville. Just curious. I assume you were a fan of "the brown man" right?

unitastoberry     June 26
Just 4 more weeks until the Ravens open camp. 6 weeks until the first exhibition game. Hang in there !

mike from catonsville     June 26
@CIK, the orange man cheats at golf and on his wives. He's "not my type".



Sports related! That should "make your day".

H     June 26
You might not of heard it since it seems like you were at the game but Dave Johnson on the radio took Manny to task for not running out that fly ball like you mentioned. He said "For 30 million bucks a year you should run everything out."

El Duque     June 26
Manny met with several fans before last night's game. I spoke with him in Spanish for a few seconds. One of the things he said was, "I should have signed in New York so I could come back here 10 times a year and hit about 25 home runs against this organization."

Someone seems salty.

Brien Jackson     June 26
I don't understand how anyone can stand to listen to Jerry Coleman

John L.     June 26
I am really starting to get concerned that the Orioles aren't going to win 43 games. Look at their schedule and tell me where 21 more wins are coming this season.

Doug     June 26
Not wanting to speak for Drew but the walkout by WNST and last night's booing episode by J. Cole are not comparable. Coleman didn't send any kind of message last night. At least the walkout drew national media coverage.

Cash Is King     June 26
@MFC



Nice job not referencing the POTUS in the last post. And it seems like you gave up on that silly ticket idea. I guess you can teach an old Gael new tricks. (Btw it is spelled gnat...so much for higher education).



I was surprised by the crowd's reaction to Machado. I thought it would of been more in line with the treatment Harper received in DC.




mike from catonsville     June 26
@CIK, I kept it topical and my comments related to the blog. You have spent two messages trolling and trying but failing with disparaging remarks. Try following your comments because you've made two with zero references to sports.

It's a nice day, get the people off your lawn and go for a walk, a long one.



Now that that nat has been swatted Manny delivered on all accounts last night. He literally covered all the bases except for some magical play in the field.



Sad that fundamentals do not seem to be drilled into these players. Anyone can leanr findamentals. You may not be the best athlete but you can learn the fundamentals and put them to use. That concerns me more about our manager. What in the world did he do during spring training. Defense can at least keep you in games, as long as the ball stays in the park, which it doesn't, but to watch these mistakes has me really concerned.

Bill P.     June 26
People are comparing Jerry's Coleman's act last night to the famous "Free The Birds" walkout.



DF, what do you think about that comparison?

Delray Rick     June 26
CLASS act by fans and MANNY last night.

Chris K     June 25
Drew,

You have some pretty terrible and demeaning “fans” in your comments section. I know in the past you’ve monitored it to keep things tasteful. Could you possibly do it again. It’s just a little trashy and disappointing.

Cash Is King     June 25
MFC acts like today is the 1st day he has ever mentioned The POTUS in DMD’s comment section.

Fact: You and your brother have been whining about it on social media, podcasts, etc, for the last 3 years.

Opinion: this isn’t the correct forum to bitch about politics.


B     June 25
Take a moment and read this column

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/dcunited/megan-rapinoe-isnt-here-to-make-you-comfortable/2019/06/25/af08fda0-977c-11e9-8d0a-5edd7e2025b1_story.html


B     June 25
Take a moment and read this column

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/dcunited/megan-rapinoe-isnt-here-to-make-you-comfortable/2019/06/25/af08fda0-977c-11e9-8d0a-5edd7e2025b1_story.html


B     June 25
Take a moment and read this column

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/dcunited/megan-rapinoe-isnt-here-to-make-you-comfortable/2019/06/25/af08fda0-977c-11e9-8d0a-5edd7e2025b1_story.html



“Rapinoe isn’t anti-American for refusing to smile and sing through her disappointment. She’s simply a disappointed American. But few ever ask why and listen to her concerns. Instead, they make ridiculous statements about waiting for a proper time to protest. When is the time right? When no one’s paying attention? When no one’s around to feel uncomfortable?



The point of civil disobedience is to make the ignoring stop.”

mike from catonsville     June 25
@CIK, I counted 6 mentions of "anthems" in a 9 paragraph blog does that not count as a "political" message. You are very funny but unfortunately off base on this one on so many levels.

Cash Is King     June 25
MFC obviously has a political agenda. His brother supports all of Johhny O’s socialist ideas...yeah he is on the government payroll. And there is nothing wrong with any of that. The problem is that MFC can’t leave his political agenda off of a non political, sports based message board. Kind of pathetic

Lisa V.     June 25
Must feel really good every morning to wake up and be perfect like @Herman.

HERMAN     June 25
Which Tiger should we just automatically grant with the "Open" trophy this year Drew, "Playful fist bump Tiger", or "Mug shot Tiger", maybe "Chased with a 7 iron Tiger", or "Perkins Pancake House Tiger". Then there is "Sexual Addiction rehab Tiger", and "Blood spinning Tiger", and.....


Delray Rick     June 25
RALPH..Get use to it because he's got ANOTHER 4 YEARS COMING. Move to Canada or Mexico

Jason M     June 25
Ah the anthem issue...it's like the zombie issue of our time, you think it's dead, and then it comes back to life. I agree with DF that it's sad that Rapinoe doesn't participate in the anthem, I doubt she realizes how many veterans and their families she offends. We have a ton of combat wounded vet;'s walking around with artificial limbs that didn't have the option to not participate. I also think it's sad that she lets politics drag down her feelings for her country and her countrymen. And since when is the President is the beneficiary of every public playing of our anthem? That's an acknowledgment of all of us and who we are as a nation. She is representing all of us when she wears the US uniform, not just the President. So yeah, I'm sad that somewhere in her formative years, no social studies or civic teacher, family member or coach every broke that down for her. Does she have a right not to participate, of course, she and I both are noticed by our first amendment, but having the right doesn't make it right.

Hubris is thy name     June 25
@MFC

So glad that you speak for our entire country. "Our country is embarrassed every single day". Not by a long shot.

Now I have no qualms that this silly young female feels the way she does. She lives in a bubble....and all of her experience is not really wide ranging. For a gal so talented in soccer, what expertise does she have other than "feelings".

Trump- First President in History to ALWAYS be for Gay Marriage. Obama was AGAINST it until it became politically ''safe" for him to for it.

Trump runs concentration camps? Seem to be the only concentration camps in HISTORY that you can avoid...by NOT coming here. And if they are so bad....looks like they might be better than where these people came from...or why come?

mike from catonsville     June 25
@Tom, I'm guessing Rapinoe is "not the orange mans type". Our country is embarassed every single day and you're worried about a female soccer player that 98% of America have no idea who she is.

Frank     June 25
I'm starting to detect some real "women of power" issues here at DMD. Now they have to sing and cry when the National Anthem is played to make ya'll happy???

HERMAN     June 25
How often do women's athletics rise to the top of the front of the sports pages? In any given year when does women's sports get the agate type, the lead story, becomes a topic that transcends sports and leads the news in general?

Maybe once a year?

So instead of discussing a gritty win, team effort, individual accomplishments, the public interest, the impact on young female athletes all across our country, we are left to focus on the selfish negative motives of one extreme talent.

A woman being well paid and well promoted to represent the US. A woman who cannot recognize the better nature of our collective e pluribus unum but chooses to trumpet our divide, and on the world stage no less.

I do hope that as with our old disgruntled goalie from a past US team that this malcontent also passes into obscurity and is quickly forgotten. She is an embarrassment to the country. She gets away with such behavior on talent, a sad commentary on the state of sports today. If she were the marginal last hire we wouldn't know her name, she'd have been left off the squad. regardless of yesterday's tallies I wish she had been.




Rich     June 25
Sideline Observer = Brainwashed Liberal.

Chris in Bel Air     June 25
You would think as women's professional soccer player and a member of the UNITED STATES NATIONAL team she would show more appreciation for the opportunities provided by her country. Rapinoe clearly revels in being counter culture and is another another example of an attention seeking, fashionable protester.

sideline observer     June 25
Saying these National teams are all about “representing our country” is akin to saying the NCAA is all about “representing college institutions”.

Patriotisms sells now, more than ever. You can debate the reasons for that, but there’s no debating the number of people looking to profit from this trend.

The irony is Rapinoe could profit more if she played along with the Patriotism Sells mantra, which would partially address her faux “pay equality” issue. I think we call that irony.


G-Man     June 25
Poor Michele Wie. A female with legitimate issues gets overshadowed at The Dish by a disgruntled millionaire.

Tom     June 25
"JK" and the other libs don't get it. They never will. No one is saying you have to "Obey the King". As far as I know, this country's problems as they stand today started way before Donald Trump took office. Of course, the libs forget they had a lib Prez for 8 years before Trump. Rapinoe isn't a hero. She's a publicity stunt.

Rich     June 25
I have an "F-You" for Miss Rapinoe.

Guess who I'm giving it to?

HER.

JK     June 25
Rapinoe is a hero to women all across this land. She is demonstrating her passion for her rights. You can be sad all you want but it's freedom to not sing the anthem. There is no requirement to sing. I have seen the USMNT and other professional team players never sing the anthem. This is some weak BS phone forced patriotism on whoever criticizes one for demonstrating their rights as Americans. The words I read here in this blog and keep your mouth shut and obey our supreme leader. All hail to the King. Our founders built this country and the complete opposite thinking of this sheep like mentality to just lay down and not protest your beliefs and rebel when needed. My goodness this some serious sexist mentality prevailing here.

Go Megan keep on keeping on!

Dennis     June 25
Agree with @TimD. If Rapinoe wants to stand up and be counted she should just sit out.

Ralph     June 25
Tom S and B. You two should be the ones doing more research. Shame on you. Here are just 4 quotes from Rapinoe that you can find on the internet.



“I am not going to fake it, hobnob with the president, who is clearly against so many of the things that I am [for] and so many of the things that I actually am. I have no interest in extending our platform to him.”



"It's an F-you to Trump. I won't even honor him by calling him the President. He's not the leader of me or anyone I associate with."



"As long as he and his administration are in charge, I won't show any kind of respect to this country. That's just how I feel."



"If I could give him more than two middle fingers, I would."




TimD in Timonium     June 25
Maybe Megan could more capably "resist" by refusing to play for the United States Womens National Team.



In any case, she looks pretty miserable on the field.



Friday
June 21
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#1761



friday musings


The Orioles lost again last night, falling 5-2 in Seattle. Taking a cue from some of the folks here, I go into every game now just expecting the team to lose. Then, if they win, it's a complete shock.

The Birds churned out a grand total of four hits last night. But that's OK. I mean, we're rebuilding, right? Why get 11 hits and win when you can get 4 hits, lose, and continue the march for next year's #1 draft pick?

Dylan Bundy lost again, as the Mariners nipped him for 4 earned runs in 5.1 innings of work. He's now 3-9 on the season. But, hey, 3-9 is better than 2-10, right?

Silver lining? You bet. The O's recorded no errors defensively last night. Not a one. Perfect in the field.

More optimism? Chris Davis didn't strike out last night. No sir, he did not. (Davis didn't play, but details, schmetails).

I like this new way of seeing things. Want one more source of delight?

We're not in 6th place in the A.L. East.

Matt Wolff made his professional debut on Thursday with a round of even par at The Travelers Championship.

The world of professional golf welcomed four new play-for-pay guys yesterday, each of whom joins the PGA Tour after sterling college careers. Matthew Wolff (Oklahoma State), Viktor Hovland (Oklahoma State), Collin Morikawa (California) and Justin Suh (USC) all made their professional debuts yesterday at The Travelers Championship in Hartford, CT.

Wolff was the NCAA Individual Champion in 2018-2019, while Hovland just finished T12 at the U.S. Open after a four day score of 4-under par. Morikawa and Suh both played in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach as well.

While all four can certainly play at a high level, Wolff and Hovland will be the two who garner most of the early attention on the TOUR. Wolff is the crazy-long, wacky-swing guy who hits the tee ball 330 yards on command. In the NCAA tournament earlier this month, he routinely hit "stock" 7-irons 215 yards. Most TOUR players hit their 7-iron 180 yards, maybe 190 at best.

Hovland already has a TOUR short game, as he showed at Pebble Beach. He's not shabby off the tee, either, averaging 310 yards per-drive. All four of those young men are going to make a lot of money playing professional golf.

Check that. All four already have made money playing professional golf and they haven't even made their first cut. Wolff signed an equipment and bag deal with TaylorMade that industry experts say might have garnered him as much as $7.5 million for three years. Hovland inked a deal with Ping that might provide him a similar amount of money.

While none of the four college newcomers have any kind of status on the TOUR yet (they're all playing this week on a sponsor's exemption), the mere fact they have money in their pockets already is going to make it much easier on them over the next year. Gone are the days when you borrowed $60,000 from friends and "sponsors" to pay for TOUR expenses, ate Ramen noodles, slept in your car, and tried to make a go of it on a shoestring budget.

These days, the nation's best college players are rolling in dough before they make their professional cut.

For the record, I'll take Hovland to be the first of the four to win a professional event of some kind, whether that's on the PGA Tour or the Korn Ferry (nee Web.com) Tour.

Buzzing through the Major League standings yesterday, I couldn't help but notice that things are starting to take shape in several divisions. It's all but over in the N.L. West, where the Dodgers are up by 10 games over the Rockies. L.A. owns the best record in baseball (51-25) and has the best run differential as well (+127).

The Twins are still up by 9 games in the A.L. Central. At one point, they owned a 12.5 game advantage over Cleveland.

And despite losing their last six games and playing a huge chunk of the season without several key players, including Jose Altuve, the Astros are 7.5 games up on the Rangers in the A.L. West.

After their recent 3-game home sweep of the Rays, the Yankees have moved 4.5 games ahead of Tampa Bay/Montreal, but the Red Sox have started to make a move in June. New York's going to win the division, of course, unless the Orioles really go on some kind of crazy tear in the final half of the campaign. It's baseball. You never know...

Back in late March, I dipped my toe in the prediction pool and came up with these teams moving on to play in October:

In the American League, I went with Boston, Minnesota, Houston, with the Yankees and Seattle as wild card teams. I might very well wind up with four of the five playoff teams in the American League. Something tells me the Mariners are probably out.

In the National League, I had the Phillies, Cubs and Rockies as division winners, with the Dodgers and Braves as wild card teams. I could go 5-for-5 there.

I had the Astros beating the Phillies in the World Series. That one is still very much alive.

If you'll give me a World Series mulligan, right now, I'll go with the Yankees and Dodgers in the Fall Classic.

Oh, and in case you don't remember, I had the Orioles going 55-107. If you count the Orioles' 12 spring training wins, I might actually hit that "55" number right on the button. Stay tuned.

It was really cool to see Zion Williamson's emotional reaction last night when he was officially selected by the Pelicans with the 1st pick in the NBA Draft.

That young man seems so authentic and "real", it's almost too good to be true. How he wound up at Duke is anyone's guess, right?

The Wizards took some guy from Gonzaga. They could have had Duke's Cam Reddish instead of Rui Hachimura, but passed on him. There's your Wizards update.

Maryland's Bruno Fernando went in the second round to the Atlanta Hawks. Just like that, Fernando is rich. Maybe he can pay off all of those unpaid parking tickets he still has on his account down at College Park.

The only other interesting pick, to me at least, was Purdue's Carsen Edwards, who went to the Boston Celtics in the second round. I always liked what I saw of him whenever the Boilermakers faced the Terps. I know none of us really follow the NBA here, but Edwards will be interesting to watch in Boston and in the NBA.

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new lacrosse league visits baltimore


We'll have a lot more on this early next week, but the nation's newest lacrosse league comes to Baltimore this weekend for its "festival" of games.

Former Calvert Hall star Stephen Kelly of the Archers will be in town this weekend as the PLL visits Charm City.

The Premier Lacrosse League, with several well-known local players from various high schools and colleges, sets up shop at Johns Hopkins University on Saturday and Sunday.

Three weeks into their inaugural season, the PLL has averaged roughly 12,000 fans per-weekend. There's no data showing how many of those tickets were paid, complimentary, etc.

Their multi-media platform numbers have been encouraging. Internet and social media activity has been in the millions in all three weekends to date.

The lacrosse itself has been "moderately impressive" to borrow a term from a national lacrosse magazine. Without any real, formal practices, the players on the respective teams are still getting to know one another. There have been moments of lacrosse excellence, but overall most lacrosse people haven't been blown away with the on-field quality over the first three weekends.

There's also been some light criticism about early-season fighting in the PLL. Fighting in lacrosse is rare, but it's happened on several occasions throughout the first three weekends of the league's inaugural season.

Baltimore will be a key weekend for the PLL. The weather looks outstanding and the rosters of the six teams are littered with players from Calvert Hall, Boys' Latin, St. Paul's and so on. If ever there was going to be a huge attendance weekend for the new league, this might be it. Actually, this should be it.

League developer Paul Rabil has poo-poo'd attendance numbers when he gets the chance, but the reality is attendance matters. You don't have to draw 40,000 a weekend, but you can't be drawing crowds of 4,000, either.

My guess? They'll announce 14,000 for the weekend festival of games.

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Thursday
June 20
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#1760



you're booing the wrong guy


The FM sports talk radio station in town has spent a lot of time recently brewing up a story for Manny Machado's visit to Baltimore next Tuesday and Wednesday.

"To boo...or not to boo."

Obviously the idea of booing isn't all that new, but it starts to gain a foothold on social media once the on-air guys and promotional ads are focused on the question.

I haven't listened to the station enough to know which on-air folks are promoting the booing and which are opposed to it, but I'm sure there's someone in each camp.

I'll be out there on Tuesday night, eager to experience it all for myself.

For the record, I will not be booing Manny Machado. I've never been a "booer", unless of course, the public address announcer says, "Ladies and gentlemen, the Philadelphia Flyers..."

So, yes, I will be among those who choose not to boo Machado next Tuesday night. It's just not my style. Machado couldn't care less, for starters, and if you think booing him is going to disrupt or poison his play, you're crazy.

This is what you're mad about?

But perhaps the biggest reason I'm not booing Machado is this: If you're that upset with Machado leaving, how upset must you be at the Orioles organization for the gross mismanagement of the 40-man roster over the last three years?

You want someone to boo next Tuesday?

Start with the top and work your way down.

Now, granted, most of the folks in charge of wrecking the franchise are no longer around, hence one of the reasons why they're not in Baltimore in 2019. But there are still folks attached to the club this season who were involved last season and beyond that. You can boo them all you want, and feel OK doing it. That's my opinion anyway.

I'm on board with the rebuild, as painful and, at times, comical as it might be. I understand the whole idea of intentionally losing to get better draft picks and stuff like that. But the reason you're intentionally losing is because, at some point, you failed to deliver on your obligation to maintain a competitive baseball team. I might be wrong on this, but I don't remember seeing the Cardinals or Dodgers or Yankees lose 110 games for five years while they got their act (back) together.

So, while I continue to shell out money to support the organization via my 13-game plan, I also own the right to call it like I see it. I saw the Dave Matthews Band in concert last Saturday and thought the setlist was pretty weak. Band sounded great, but I didn't pay money to hear Dave and his crew sing Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer, Steve Miller Band's Fly Like An Eagle and Bob Dylan's All Along The Watchtower (although that one has long been a DMB concert staple). Play your music. I'd much rather hear So Damn Lucky, What You Are or The Dreaming Tree before I hear you and the band cover one of Peter Gabriel's six good songs.

I bring up the Dave Matthews Band comparison to simply point out that you can love something and still be critical. I love baseball and the Orioles. But this fiasco of a two seasons we're watching is a disgrace. They win two games a week, if they're lucky, and they're allowing double digit runs nearly once a week, sometimes more. And you're going out there on Tuesday to boo Manny Machado?

The way I see it, you're welcome to boo anyone who has their hand in Chris Davis still being on the team. If you consider this to be piling on, so be it. It's not my fault Davis is hitting .159. But the mere fact they're still trotting him out there with a bat in his hand is shameful. The money no longer matters. He's getting it no matter what. But in no way does he deserve to be scarfing up playing time. And anyone who has a part in Davis being on the roster at this point deserves scorn.

The trades from last season have been -- thus far -- about as productive as, well, Chris Davis. The Orioles got rid of Brad Brach, Darren O'Day, Zach Britton, Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop. Thus far, the only real current major leaguer we've seen from those deals is Jonathan Villar and he was an incumbent 7-year veteran. The Diaz kid looks like he might be legit. Same with Kremer, the pitcher. But of the others we've seen, there are no standouts or "diamonds in the rough".

Boo the organization next Tuesday for giving away five key pieces -- including two VERY significant players -- and getting back two first-class tickets to Hawaii and some gift cards to The Cheesecake Factory. That's what you should be miffed about, friends.

At least Manny Machado performed above and beyond his expectations in Baltimore, even if he did mail it in after the awful start to the 2018 season.

None of this exonerates Manny and some of the bush league stuff he did hear over the last few years. Jogging to first base, fighting with people, and just his general attitude were remarkably off-putting. No one's excusing his "act", which really wore thin by the time he was dealt to L.A. last July. But none of that connects to why folks in town are aggravated enough to buy a ticket and jeer him.

The Orioles are 21-53 and people are on the radio talking about how they're going to boo Manny Machado next Tuesday because "he did us wrong"?

To borrow a phrase from Mr. Hand in Fast Times At Ridgemont High, "What are you people...on dope?"

You're mad at Manny Machado? But you're OK with the team losing 115 games two years in a row? And three, if you're already counting next year.

I get it. They're drawing crowds (real crowds) of 6,000 or so for most weeknight home games. Some would say that's the way people are "booing"...by not going out there and paying to see another 9-2 loss. That's true to an extent.

But if you're one of those folks who are jacked up about going next Tuesday to boo Machado, you're clearly aiming your disgust at the wrong person. Machado did his part while he was here. He doesn't deserve your ridicule. Sure, he chose $350 million over going 45-117 in 2019 and 54-108 in 2020. Who wouldn't?

Some folks might take the radio station to task for creating this uproar in the first place, but what else are they going to talk about in late June, the women's World Cup or Lamar Jackson missing an open receiver during mini-camp?

Go on out next Tuesday and boo Machado if you want, but you're booing the wrong guy if you ask me. The Orioles have done you far worse than Machado ever did.

Unless, of course, the PA announcer says next Tuesday at 7:01 pm, "And now, ladies and gentlemen, throwing out the first pitch tonight is a special guest. Please welcome, from the Philadelphia Flyers, Claude Giroux." You are then free to boo long and hard. I'll be right there with you.

Otherwise, ownership and management deserve your boos. They've cooked this meal you're enjoying on Tuesday. And for the most part, it's awful.

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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.


nothing to laugh about…


I have to admit…I laughed.

Last week, Ravens’ defensive tackle Michael Pierce told an Alabama radio station that, in the offseason, he “mismanaged his running a little bit.”

Yup, that’s what it was. Thusly, noted running expert John Harbaugh told Pierce to get off the practice field immediately at minicamp, lest he collapse after a few more stretches.

When asked about all this, defensive coordinator Don “Not that Wink” Martindale said that he was disappointed in Pierce’s “conditioning,” but also let on that his own kids had forwarded some of the social media responses to the Pierce story, and he was pretty disappointed in those too.

“Sounds like he managed to get to McDonald’s regularly…”

“Mismanaged his running? I think he mismanaged his biscuit intake…”

“The only thing that his nose guarded was his refrigerator door…”

My personal favorite: “His blood type is Crisco-positive…”

Sorry Wink, but I laughed at those too. Mostly in good fun, they were. And they had a point, which Pierce and every other adult in the world surely understands…one needs to manage his or her diet as much or more as his or her exercise.

And maybe, next January, Pierce and his teammates might look back on that mismanagement and laugh a little bit. He’s hardly the first player to report out-of-shape for an NFL minicamp or training camp, and out-of-shape for an interior lineman looks a little different than out-of-shape for a cornerback.

Then I thought a little more about it, and besides ridiculous soundbites and smart-ass commenters, it just isn’t funny at all.

It’s not exactly a news flash that interior defensive linemen in the NFL are fat; they have to be, in order to accomplish their jobs at the highest level. The story isn’t that they’re fat; it’s how amazingly athletic they are despite their weight. In that way, the athleticism of a man like Pierce is even more impressive than that of Lamar Jackson.

Michael Pierce (#97) showed up out of shape for the team's mini-camp two weeks ago and was promptly removed from practice by John Harbaugh.

The slope is extremely slippery, though. In the football sense, a few pounds one way or the other can limit the number of effective plays for someone like Michael Pierce, who’s proven to be a very effective player. In the life sense, nobody of a normal size (Pierce is listed at only six feet tall) is meant to carry that much weight.

He’s an obese man. That’s not a joke or an insult. Because he’s a professional athlete, he’s usually as healthy as an obese man can be. But it’s now become clear that he has a hard time handling it, even when it comes to his livelihood. And that’s not funny.

In the cafeteria at Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills, they’ve got food for every taste. As a caveat, however, the team puts a colored label on everything. If it’s green — say broccoli — go ahead and eat as much as you want. If it’s yellow — let’s say grilled chicken — make sure you’re careful about how much you put into your body.

If it’s red? Well, we’d rather you not eat that, assuming you’re a player on the team and not the assistant director of marketing or something. But we also understand that a guy occasionally wants a cheeseburger. So, keep it to a bare minimum, please, but life can’t be all about denying yourself all pleasures, even if you’re trying to win the Super Bowl.

The problem is that Michael Pierce only spends part of the year eating in that cafeteria. The NFL has a long offseason, and veterans get a certain amount of leeway to miss certain out-of-season activities. And now, Pierce looks like a guy who can’t be trusted. Or, because football players are people too, it’s possible that other issues got in the way. Either way, it’s nothing to laugh at.

On May 1, about six weeks before the Ravens saw what Pierce looked like, the fourth-year player from Samford signed what’s known as a restricted free agent tender. Here’s how that works: the team placed a second-round tender on Pierce after last season. Had he been offered a contract by another team, the Ravens would have had the exclusive right to match the offer or receive a compensatory second-round pick in return.

Pierce went on to sign the one-year tender in Baltimore, for somewhere near $3 million. He was excited about it, at least according to Twitter, where he thanked the team and said he was “blessed to have one more year with the BROTHERHOOD!” And signing the tender didn’t mean that he and the team couldn’t eventually agree on a long-term deal; even if that doesn’t happen, he can go anywhere as an unrestricted free agent after this season.

That was less than two months ago. He was, by far, the highest-graded defensive player on the Ravens in 2018. The outstanding website Pro Football Focus rated him the fifth-best interior defensive lineman in the league last year. Doesn’t it seem like it’s really hard to run the ball effectively against the Ravens? Thank Pierce for a bunch of that success.

And now what, exactly?

Depending on their experience and status, NFL players have certain rights, and it was Pierce’s right to not attend any of the Ravens’ offseason conditioning or voluntary practices. Like many others in his restricted free agent situation, he also did that for leverage, and like many others he had to settle for the one-year deal when the team didn’t bite. Both he and his representation must have expected that to occur in the exact way it unfolded.

There’s a caveat beneath of all that, kind of the same as those colored labels on the food in the cafeteria. No matter what happened, it surely behooved him to be in green-label status, whatever that might be five months after the season. And he failed to come anywhere close.

The Ravens’ first full training camp practice this year is Thursday, July 25. That’s 35 days from now. It’s quite possible that Michael Pierce will show up at training camp near the weight he was listed at last year—340 pounds. It’s also possible that he’ll be below that weight, considering the embarrassment of being asked to leave the field by the head coach during minicamp. If he comes in above 340, I sure hope it’s not too far from it.

Even if he looks more like he did the moment last year’s Wild Card game ended, however, there won’t be the same amount of trust from the coaching staff, and maybe even some of his teammates. And what about the long-term deal, or the bigger deal he might sign somewhere else after another highly-graded season stuffing the run?

How are those looking for Pierce right now? It’s hard to say, but it’s definitely not something to laugh about.

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Wednesday
June 19
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#1759



don't give them one nickel


Man, the Maryland Jockey Club sure has some nerve.

While Pimlico Race Track sits there crumbling, the MJC continues to spend money on their fair-haired-boy, Laurel Race Track, and is now seeking to have half of a recent $8.7 million improvement expenditure reimbursed to them by the state of Maryland.

Really? Are you serious?

It's your track in Laurel. And it's your responsibility.

But there's a lot more to this story. The nerve of the Maryland Jockey Club is staggering.

While Pimlico Race Track and the Preakness waste away, the Maryland Jockey Club continues to spend millions fixing Laurel Park.

The Baltimore Sun is reporting that over the last five years, MJC has spent about 87% of a $45 million "improvement account" on -- you know where this is going -- sprucing up Laurel Park.

That's right. The state of Maryland, through a fund called the Racetrack Facility Renewal Account, has forked over roughly $39,000,000 to the Maryland Jockey Club so they can improve Laurel Park, all while Pimlico sits in ruins and 7,000 seats were deemed "unsafe for use" during the recent running of the Preakness Stakes.

I'm not sure who we should be more furious with...the Maryland Jockey Club -- for ignoring Pimlico -- or the state of Maryland and its racing commission, for not having their fingers on the pulse of this "improvement account" that has clearly been used to benefit Laurel Park while Pimlico wastes away.

Just move the Preakness to Laurel already and get it over with. It's very obvious that's the intent of the Jockey Club. It has been for a while now. And will continue to be.

Oh, but do not give them one nickel of reimbursement for that recent $8.7 million improvement bill they handed over. No. No. No. If they want Laurel to look that pretty, let them pay for it themselves.

This is like your ex-wife's husband asking you to chip in for her breast implants. "Well, you do still get to see her at family functions," he says to you while giving you the "opportunity" to give him $2,000 so you can admire her new body at the 4th of July picnic and Christmas dinner.

The Maryland Jockey Club has poor-boyed Pimlico long enough. It's always been their secret plan to let it rot away, which, of course, it has been doing now for more than a decade. The proof of that comes from The Baltimore Sun and their research that shows the Jockey Club has spent $39 million on Laurel and $6 million on Pimlico through the "improvement account" over the last five years.

Checkmate.

There's no getting out of it now. The Jockey Club has sought to spruce up and improve Laurel Park while allowing Pimlico to decay.

So they should be paying for Laurel's upgrade in full. And the state should just go ahead and close down Pimlico, move the Preakness to Laurel, and get it over with.

Take whatever money you've been wasting on Pimlico and hire more police officers to get Baltimore City under control. That's a good start.

But in no way should the state of Maryland give the Jockey Club another nickel for Laurel Park. If they've spent $39 million on it over the last five years and it's not up to their standards, perhaps they've been doing it wrong all along. Either way, the time has come for the state to start saying "no" to the Maryland Jockey Club, in the same way you'd say "no" to your ex-wife's husband.

Pay for it yourself.

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"discovering something"


Look, I completely realize that in the middle of an 11-2 game, announcers and analysts are looking for any morsel of information they can pass along to try and kill time.

If you think it's miserable getting shellacked in a baseball game as a player, it's even worse for the men and women forced to sit there and talk about it.

So, we have to excuse O's color analyst Jim Palmer for his Tuesday night critique of pitcher Dan Straily.

After Straily gave up a 3-run homer to Khris Davis -- he's the one who actually swings the bat -- in the 6th of last night's 16-2 O's loss at Oakland, Palmer opined that Straily had a unique opportunity at hand.

Dan Straily allowed 6 earned runs in 2.1 innings of work last night as the O's got roasted in Oakland, 16-2.

"This game's obviously in the books," Palmer said. "But Straily can still use the rest of the time he's out there to try and discover something." I spit out my late night cup of Royal Farms coffee when I heard that one.

A few minutes later, Straily discovered something alright. He discovered that his ERA was going up again after allowing yet another 3-run homer.

I might be wrong on this one. If so, check back in here later today, around 3 pm EST, and say, "Straily's still on the team." But there's simply no way Dan Straily can be on the team's roster for this afternoon's game. He has to go. Not because he's a bad guy or a bad professional. He's just not a major league pitcher.

His current ERA is 9.82. Sure, Gabriel Ynoa also allowed three home runs last night. But Ynoa's ERA is "only" 5.65. Straily can't get anyone out. Or, at the very least, he can't get people out until the other team has smashed him for six runs and has grown tired of running around the bases.

I understand the team's roster plight. It's hard to bring someone up from Norfolk when you don't have anyone down there that you think is better than, say, Straily or Ynoa. Heck, they brought Ynoa up from Norfolk and you see what that's getting them. Nothing.

But trotting Straily out there to get hammered two or three times a week isn't helping anyone.

This rebuilding project is a real hoot.

The Orioles are now 21-52. In 12 of those 52 losses, they've surrendered double digit run totals. That's 23%. I have to type it out again to make sure I'm presenting it correctly. In 23% of the team's losses this year, they've allowed 10 or more runs.

And we think the Maryland Jockey Club has been intentionally allowing Pimlico to crumble, huh? These last two lost seasons for the Orioles really are complete works-of-art, albeit under two different management teams.

They lost to the A's last night, 16-2. By the way, the Birds have played Oakland six times this season. They're 1-5 against them. The A's have scored 54 runs in those six games.

For those of you who are longing for a modest 2-game win streak, hang in there. After they lose in Oakland this afternoon, the Birds head to Seattle for a 4-game series with the Mariners, who are 31-46 and in the beginning stages of their own tear-down. Brandon Hyde and Company might actually win a couple of games in the Pacific Northwest this weekend.

Let's just hope Dan Straily's not part of the traveling party later on this afternoon.

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Tuesday
June 18
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#1758



trade him or keep him?


No, not Chris Davis. We can't trade him. No one will take him.

The subject, of course, is the one definitive trade commodity the Orioles have who might actually fetch something of reasonable quality: Trey Mancini.

Even the national writers and pundits are starting to ask the question now: "Should the Orioles trade Trey Mancini this summer?"

He went 1-for-4 last night in Oakland (the O's lost, 3-2, in case you stopped following along in late April) and is now hitting .309 on the season. His other numbers are just as impressive. Mancini's on-base-percentage is .363, along with 16 home runs and 35 RBI.

His only curse, if you can call being 27 years old a curse? He's 27 years old. Adam Jones has showed that baseball players can still play into their mid 30's, but Mancini's age is certainly an issue as far as the Orioles are concerned. He'll likely just be coming up on his free agency period right about the time the Orioles start threatening to win half of their games again. And at that point, he might be too "old" to dump a big contract on, if that makes any sense at all.

Should the Orioles actively try and move Trey Mancini at the trade deadline?

So.....trade him now? Or keep him?

This story has been bubbling throughout the season, but as we head into June's home stretch and approach the month of July, it's well worth revisiting. Mancini is the team's most competent player at this point. He'll be an American League All-Star next month and, unless something really freaky happens, the team's MVP as well for 2019. That is, if he makes it the entire season in Baltimore.

Mike Elias hinted recently on the team's flagship station that Mancini isn't going anywhere. That, I think most of us suspect, was probably just talk radio fodder, an effort by the team's new GM to not create a story where perhaps there isn't one in place. After all, there's no real trade talk until another team calls about one of your players.

But it would seen almost natural for Elias to try and get something of value for Mancini if, in fact, he can do that. The argument in favor of the deal is simple: Mancini isn't going to help you win over the next few years. And when the rebuilding project fully takes hold and the Orioles start winning again, Mancini likely won't be part of that group anyway.

In the meantime, though, this stinky O's team with 21 wins would probably only have 17 or 18 if not for Mancini. He's having a terrific season to date, one of only a handful of guys on the team actually over-performing at this point.

Can you really get rid of a guy who is actually helping you win? When you do win, that is.

Oh, and in case it matters, people in Baltimore actually like Mancini. Maybe it's because he's hitting .309 and making a representative salary. Baltimoreans tend to appreciate those guys, more, let's say, than the guy hitting making $23 million who is hitting .160 on the campaign through 72 games.

To say Mancini is a fan favorite would be stating the obvious. But, in fairness, most of the fans don't know most of the players. Ask someone in the local mall today who Renato Nunez is and they'd probably say "a soccer player".

So does it make sense to trade away the team's most popular player, with three years of service remaining, just because his value is higher now than it might be ever again?

Rebuilders would say "yes!" to that.

Fans of the team would likely say "no".

Me? I think it would probably depend on the deal. I feel like I'm saying the same thing right now I said last year at this time when there was talk of trading other "under control" guys like Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman, just to name two. It's hard to ship a guy away that you control for a few years. But if you're losing with him anyway, and you can make a favorable deal, you have to consider it.

Not that Gausman is lighting it up in Atlanta (he isn't), but that trade hasn't produced anything favorable for the Orioles. Not yet, anyway. That day might come, but for now, that deal looks pretty useless. For both teams.

Maybe Mike Elias is better at trading players than was Dan Duquette. He deserves that benefit of the doubt. If he winds up moving Mancini at the deadline, I'll be anxious to see what kind of haul he gets in return. "Haul" might be a strong word. Mancini's a good player, but certainly not a franchise-changer. Still, he's a valued commodity at this point and should bring back something of value in a mid-season trade, especially with three years of service remaining.

And you? What do yo say about trading away Mancini at this point? Please use the comments section below.

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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.



With a fair amount of regularity these days, I find myself thinking about a girl I knew in middle school. She went to a neighboring school, and despite the fact that she lingers in my mind nearly 20 years later I really didn't know her very well at all.

We had quite a few mutual friends, but she herself wasn't much more than an acquaintance I would see/hang out in large groups with at the kind of events one does those sorts of things at when you're growing up in small town, rural Ohio. Her name was Brittanie Cecil, and if you're a sports fan you almost certainly know her story, even if her name has long since faded from your memory.

On March 16, 2002, Brittanie was struck in the head by a wayward puck while sitting in the crowd at a Columbus Blue Jackets game. The blow fractured her skull and tore an artery in her head, injuries that were not immediately detected after she was transported to the hospital.

Two days later she was dead.

I must confess that there's no existential reason for me to be thinking about her 17 years later. As I said, we weren't any more than casual acquaintances and I probably learned more about her from news articles after her death than I'd learned from any of the times we happened to be in the same place with the same people. And despite the tragedy of the event and the fact that we grew up in such a small area, I can't even honestly say that her death was some sort of immense, world changing tragedy in the local community either.

The Cubs' Albert Almora Jr. was stunned and inconsolable after hitting a young girl with a foul ball recently. Fortunately, she was fine after being hospitalized overnight.

It was a big event to be sure, but life went on and after a while it was shockingly easy to forget what had happened, despite our home town's brush with national infamy.

No, what has Brittanie on my mind so often these days is the recognition that there's going to be another story just like hers at a Major League Baseball stadium one day, perhaps sooner rather than later.

This isn't the kind of thing statisticians track, but at first glance it appears that incidences of fans being injured by foul balls are on the rise. Last week, a fan was hit in the head at a Nats-White Sox game in Chicago and was seen bleeding from her head as she walked the steps to seek medical attention. Less than a month ago now, a 4 year old girl was struck by a foul ball in a Cubs-Astros game, an incident that received tremendous amounts of attention in large part because of the devastated reaction of Albert Almora Jr., the Chicago outfielder who hit the fateful foul ball.

Both of these fans are fine, so far as we know, but how many more times can anyone sitting in the line of fire, so to speak, count on that kind of good fortune to save them? The ball that hit the fan in Chicago came off the bat in excess of 100 MPH before striking her flush in the head. It was all too reminiscent of what happened to Brittanie Cecil back in 2002, and there's no reason whatsoever to think that, but for the grace of God, those kind of injuries couldn't have taken her life as easily as Brittanie lost hers.

Major League Baseball's shameful reaction is predictable, I suppose. Commissioner Rob Manfred promised to "study" the problem, but indicated that nothing was likely to be done on the matter until next year....at the earliest. Something about it being a facilities problem or something, as though every team couldn't hire someone to rig up new netting within two weeks if they wanted to.

Oh well, it's short sighted on their part too. Should the worse happen, MLB will have to pay up for their indifference through lawsuits and bad publicity that will pile up on top of the cost of the netting they'll certainly install then. That's not an acceptable trade off by any means, of course, but at least there will be a cost for their cravenness.

On the other hand, I can't fathom what it is that makes a certain segment of fans turn into raving, idiotic, mongos online and on radio call in shows whenever this topic comes up. To hear these knuckleheads tell it, expanding the netting down the foul line will ruin the very fabric of the game itself. Oh sure there's already netting at the parks, and has been for as long as I can remember.

And yes, the seats behind those nets are still the most expensive in the park, so apparently they're not so terrible as to induce the people who can afford to to move farther away from the field for the privilege of seeing the actions sans netting. But push it further down the foul lines, at least all the way through the infield? I'm not kidding when I say that the mere suggestion actually turns people into angry, ranting, morons.

Their arguments are predictably bad, as you would expect. "Pay attention," they say, falling back on the old saw that the problem is that there are too few "real fans" at the ballparks these days, people who are spending time doing things other than paying attention to the game. And yes, this is as dumb an argument as you can possibly make, and if you try to use it on me in earnest I'm going to have to conclude that you aren't actually much of a baseball fan at all, and certainly don't know how to properly enjoy taking in a game in person.

Because you know what watching a baseball game in the stands is absolutely, positively, NOT supposed to amount to? Sitting in a seat at rapt attention watching nothing but the ball itself at any given moment. You can do that on your couch. The whole stadium experience is about the OTHER things that live baseball can provide at its best. It's watching the aspects of the game you don't see on TV. It's a kid spending the innings when the home team is in the field watching his favorite player play right field or third base instead of focusing on the pitcher and batter.

And yes, it's about things that don't have anything to do with the game on the field itself. It's checking out the trivia facts about players on the big screen as they bat. It's about knowing that the UDF "frosty chocolate malt" vendor only comes around twice a game if you're lucky, and you damn sure don't want to miss him when he does (yes this was me as an 8 year old, and yes I was a MASSIVE fan who used to score the games I went to. Which also amounted to a distraction).

Sometimes it can mean nothing more than enjoying some beautiful spring/summer weather with whomever is accompanying you to the ballpark. In high school a group of my friends and I would probably make it to at least 10-12 Reds games a year just for the heck of it. We were 17-18 and the Reds weren't very good, so the games didn't have our full attention all the time but we still loved baseball and I'm pretty sure the team and the league were glad to have our ticket money all the same. And we had a lot of fun on those outings, and still have stories from them that we talk about to this day.

But putting all of that aside, telling people to "pay attention" is just meaningless because, well, it's not enough. Balls already come off the mat at 100MPH+, and pitchers are throwing harder than ever while batters are putting more and more emphasis on hitting balls as hard as they can rather than simply making contact with the ball. That's going to increase the velocity of those foul balls, further reducing the time you'll have to react and get out of the way from a window that already isn't very long.

Pay attention all you want, it absolutely does not guarantee you'll have the time/reflexes to avoid a frozen rope into the seats.

Let me end by making sure there's no beating around the bush at all here: Put up the damn nets already. Do it now. ASAP.

Take it from me, the life that's saved may actually be one you know.

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Monday
June 17
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#1757



now we know: god watches the pga tour


Gary Woodland did the near impossible on Sunday. He stood up to golf's ultimate test, with the game's best player breathing down his neck, and held on to a lead for the third straight day on his way to winning the United States Open title.

The phrase "couldn't happen to a better guy" is often overused, but in this case, it's completely appropriate. There was no one on Sunday more deserving of a major championship victory than the very guy who wound up holding the trophy at day's end.

Gary Woodland said afterwards he was "made for this". Trying his best to not sound conceited, Woodland sat in the media room, stone faced, and commented on a number of occasions, "I knew I could do this and play this kind of golf. I just had to let it happen."

So why now? Why, at age 35, would a guy with a so-so track record at both the U.S. Open and Pebble Beach suddenly emerge victorious?

It was not a fluke, mind you. No, no, no. Woodland didn't just hang around for a few days and suddenly cobble together a back nine 33 on Sunday that gave him the title after the leaders all stumbled on Pebble Beach's incoming holes. Gary Woodland didn't back into winning, that's for darn sure.

So, again...why now?

I believe the foundation for Woodland's victory was actually laid in late January in Phoenix. I believe in these things. You might not. That's OK. But I sure do.

It was at that tournament that organizers of the Phoenix Open asked Woodland if he would allow a young lady from the local Special Olympics program to play one hole with him during Wednesday's practice round. Her name was Amy Bockerstette. Woodland agreed to do it. That decision might have changed his life.

Let's strike "might" from that sentence above. That decision changed Gary Woodland's life.

The video from that day is below. If you've already seen it, go ahead and watch it again. You're probably about 103 views behind me, I'd guess. If you haven't seen it yet, please watch it.



#DMD HD-TV


I believe God rewards people who are warm and kind. I believe he's even more appreciative of those acts of kindness when they involve children and/or people with disabilities.

I think Gary Woodland won the U.S. Open on that January afternoon in Phoenix when he embraced Ms. Bockerstette and gave her a memory she'd never forget. As we've all seen over the last day, he's made her into a national hero of sorts.

Sure, Gary Woodland hit that 260 yard 3-wood at #14 yesterday. God didn't hit it.

It was Gary Woodland with that amazing chip on the front edge of the 17th green on Sunday. God didn't hit that shot.

But I believe it was God's intervention that paved the way for Woodland to win in the first place.

Nothing about Woodland's history or stat page showed this was the tournament where he'd get that major championship monkey off his back. He'd never played the Pebble Beach Pro-Am particularly well, although it's fair to note most of his "off" rounds came on the other courses in the rotation that weren't Pebble Beach. But heading into this week's U.S. Open, Woodland was ranked 160th in putting for the year and near the bottom in every "short game" category you could dig up.

Something happened this week, though.

Woodland's nerves were calm. He was resolute, but not overamped. He followed up any bad shot -- and there weren't many -- with a great one. Time after time after time, when faced with a moment that could swing the tournament in someone else's favor, Woodland delivered a key shot.

In the end, he won because he played the best, with just four -- that's right, four -- bogeys in 72 holes of golf on one of the toughest tests in golf.

But he also won because God favors people who shine their light on others who aren't as fortunate.

Nothing will ever convince me otherwise. God bless Gary Woodland. He made a little girl famous and gave her a memory that she'll cherish forever.

And he'll always be a U.S. Open champion, too.

We can strike "U.S. Open" from that sentence if we'd like. Gary Woodland is, simply, a champion.

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weekend musings


Gary Woodland won the U.S. Open, but there are definitely others who will wake up this morning and say "what if?". Woodland "only" shot 69 on the final day, finishing at 13-under par when his 30 foot birdie putt fell into the hole at #18. He could have been run down, by several people in fact, but no one could nose past him throughout Sunday's final round. Justin Rose was one behind after making birdie at the first hole, but his otherwise extraordinary short game finally left him by the time the leaders reached the back nine. Truth be told, Rose hit the ball terribly -- for him and his level of golf -- for the first three days, but his work around and on the greens saved him. At some point, he'd have to play better golf. And he couldn't.

A final round 69 gave Gary Woodland the U.S. Open trophy on Sunday.

Brooks Koepka hung in there and gave it a valiant effort, but his missed 10-footer at #18 was a huge part of Sunday's theatrics. If Koepka would have made that one, Woodland would have led only by a shot heading to the final tee. Koepka's runner up finish gives him a 1st, a 2nd, and a T2 in the three majors thus far in 2019. It's very Tiger-like, for sure. And you just know he's going to be in the hunt next month at Royal Portrush for the British Open.

Speaking of Woods, he stunk it up early on Sunday, then rallied for six birdies in the final 12 holes to post a respectable four day score of 2-under par. Casual golf observers will look at Tiger's performance and say, "He's still one of the best." Those with a more detailed eye saw a 43-year old guy with tape all over his body, playing his heart out, but clearly showing the signs of physical wear and tear that might not ever be fully resolved. That he won the Masters in April is even more and more impressive given his body's obvious limitations.

Sunday's pace of play was never once brought up by any of the TV analysts, but Woodland and Rose finished a hole and a half behind Koepka and Chez Reavie. At one point late in the round, Koepka was putting out on the 17th green just as Woodland was finishing his par putt on #15. The final duo made up a little ground coming in, but they were still woefully behind throughout much of the back nine.

Remember the name Viktor Hovland. Just remember it.

The Orioles lost again. I know we're not really supposed to cover the losses any longer. People's nerves are already frayed and it's not even July yet. But the three game series vs. Boston included some of the worst fundamental baseball this side of the Cape Cod League. Frankly, that might be doing the Cape Cod League some injustice.

Yesterday's goat, predictably, was once again relief pitcher Mychal Givens, who gave up a 1-out homer in the top of the 9th to tie the game at 3-3 after the O's had scored twice in the bottom of the 8th to pull ahead 3-2. Givens then allowed additional runs in the top of the 10th when the Red Sox blew the game open with a five running inning.

Saturday's game featured perhaps the worst moment of the entire season. Yes, I realize that's incredibly difficult to pick out, but I think I've done it. With the O's trailing 4-2 in the eighth, manager Brandon Hyde summoned Chris Davis to pinch hit with runners at the corners and two outs. This was one of those rare chances for Davis to actually make a real contribution...and he never took the bat off his shoulder. Not once. Strike one (looking). Ball one. Strike two (looking). Strike three (looking). I'm not necessarily one for overreacting when the team is 21-49 (at the time), but if ever there was a moment to just say to a guy, "You know what? That's garbage. You make $23 million a year and you can't even swing the bat. You're not playing for me any longer." That was the moment.

Carli Lloyd's subdued post-goal celebration on Sunday included a quiet "golf clap" after her first of two goals.

That's enough about the baseball team. It's depressing. They're 21-50. That says it all.

The U.S. Women's soccer team produced a 3-0 win over Chile on Sunday that could have been 8-0 if not for the out-of-this-world play from the Chilean goalkeeper.

Carli Lloyd scored twice in the first half for the Americans, and added some fodder to the recent "celebration" discussion when she scored the game's opening goal and calmly clapped her hands together in "golf clap mode" rather than running around like a maniac and celebrating.

After the game, the U.S. women confirmed their toned down post-goal theatrics were in response to the criticism they received for their outbursts late in the 13-0 win over Thailand on June 11. In some ways, it's good to know the players realize they might have gone overboard a touch. In other ways, it looks like they're just giving their detractors the middle finger with the "golf clap" idea. What would have been better than toned down celebrations would have been a simple acknowledgement from the team members that their behavior in the win over Thailand was over the top.

By the way, the U.S. handled Chile with ease on Sunday and two of their most important players -- Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan -- didn't even see the field. How's that for depth?

There are a handful of really good teams in this World Cup, but none of them are even close to on par with the U.S. side. It's clearly their tournament to lose. No doubt about that.

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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.


yesterday, today and tomorrow


This Week’s Subject: Golfers

Yesterday…

The great sportswriter Dan Jenkins passed away earlier this year. He covered almost everything in sports, but was certainly best known for his golf writing, first in Sports Illustrated and then later for Golf Digest.

Back in the 1970s, when golfers and writers had a different kind of relationship, Jenkins spent an evening (and early morning) at a watering hole near a tournament site with Tom Weiskopf, more than a quarter century before Weiskopf stopped drinking and probably saved his life.

The story, as Jenkins told it, went like this. A terribly hungover Weiskopf blundered through the first two holes the next morning in 6-6, then called for a PGA Tour official on the third tee. Weiskopf told the official that he wouldn’t be able to continue unless he had an egg sandwich, a vanilla milkshake and three aspirin…and quickly.

By the time Weiskopf finished the third hole, he had what he needed. He went on to make eight birdies and shoot 66. Jenkins arrived at the course after Weiskopf had finished his round, and when he saw the score declared that it was “the greatest round of golf ever played by a dead man.”

So Jenkins had a way with words. And he happened to have been there to see just how dead Weiskopf seemed. Still, you’d have to imagine the situation was one that occurred relatively often in those days, even if other players didn’t have the clout or the gall to demand an egg sandwich.

Much is made about Tiger Woods being the first pro golfer to “look like that,” and that’s certainly true in some ways. Still, there were plenty of great all-around athletes who played the game well before Woods. I’d bet that many of them were better athletes than Woods, who concentrated almost solely on golf from the time he was two years old.

There’s little doubt, however, that the way players “prepared” for their rounds of golf has changed immensely.

On this weekend’s U.S. Open coverage on Fox, Paul Azinger noted how early tournament leader Gary Woodland had arrived at the course. His tee time was 2:45 local, and it was only around noon. Azinger then mentioned that the great Spaniard José María Olazábal, in the 1990s, was the first player he saw do that.

Weiskopf was a talented player, one who never quite reached his immense potential. I’m sure he had a lot of fun on those nights before all those morning tee times, but you wonder how much more fun he would have had with a few more victories.


Today…

I haven’t been to a million golf tournaments, but one thing that’s stood out from my visits is just how much some of these guys, well, stand out.

I didn’t realize how big Phil Mickelson is until I stood 10 feet away watching him hack some kind of mid-iron out of the rough at Baltusrol. For some reason, officials let me and a friend walk across a fairway there just about the time that Geoff Ogilvy was walking by. Major champion. Big dude.

On the same U.S. Open broadcast the other day, Azinger, now pushing 60, said that players like Woodland and Brooks Koepka might seem like midgets and/or non-athletes compared to players in 15 or 20 years.

There’s a reason that players like Woodland and Koepka, or even smaller guys like Rory McIlroy, look like they do. It’s not just because people who might have chosen some other sport a while back grew up watching Woods and decided to choose golf instead.

It’s the anti-Weiskopf philosophy, really. You can’t look like that without preparing to look like that, almost every day.

The Englishman Justin Rose was always a precocious talent. He showed that as a teenager, when he finished in the top 5 at the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, and he showed it in recovering from a very poor start to his pro career to eventually become a top-ranked player and major champion. He’s an incredibly consistent player, in a way that even other major champions like McIlroy haven’t been.

I read once why Rose thinks he’s been able to get that way. At a certain point, he realized that he was preparing inconsistently.

If he had an earlier tee time, he did what many of us do. He tried to sleep as late as he could and still be ready for his round. If he was playing in the afternoon, obviously, he didn’t have to do that. He could be more leisurely, or maybe the opposite, arriving at the course earlier than he might usually.

At a certain point, as he grew older, Rose decided to change all that. If his tee time was 8:30, he decided to wake up at 4:30, so he could mimic the feeling of being well-awake that he had playing later in the day. He eats at a similar point before a round, even if he’s not particularly hungry, and if at all possible arrives at the course in a similar time window, even if it’s still dark.

It seems obvious that a player would want to feel as good as possible before playing, but it wasn’t always that obvious.


Tomorrow...

Azinger, who does this often, brings up an interesting question. Who is the golfer of the future, exactly? What does he or she look like?

We know that people keep getting bigger, which in the general population is mostly a negative. In sports, however? It’s the opposite, when it comes to performance.

Nutrition, exercise and sport-specific training is more detailed and more advanced than ever. Strength can be developed (naturally), and not just come from genetics, more than ever before. In golf, the revolution has really come from speed; even smaller players can develop technique that makes up for what they lack.

So, to me, it’s not so much what the golfer of the future will look like or how he’ll fill out the shirt from his sponsor. There will always be a wide variety of body types, and swings, and preferences on the best way to get from Point A to Point B.

The question is how much more advancement can be made in the off-the-course aspects of athletic performance.

Mickelson, for instance, has done something to jump into the top of the tour statistics this year in driving distance, despite turning 49 years old yesterday. Will the next generation of top players be able to compete well into their 50s, with players 30 years younger? Is there a Tom Brady out there?

How much more can equipment advance, and what rules might need to change surrounding equipment, if any? We know that the players are going to keep getting stronger, faster and more powerful, but what about the clubs and balls that they use? Will the technology keep up?

And that’s before you even start talking about golf courses, which is a somewhat unmanageable problem. We won’t be able to simply stop using hundreds of courses and build hundreds more to make up for their obsolescence.

What we do know for sure is that preparation will continue to become a bigger industry.

There will likely be more coaches for more aspects of the game, and players will start to work with them earlier in their lives. Justin Rose was in his 30s when he changed some things up; for players of the future, that will start much earlier in their lives as well.

It’s almost comical to think that any great player of this generation would show up to his morning tee time with a bad hangover, and that a sportswriter or anyone else would think that was funny. Maybe we’ve lost out on some of the fun of the old days, but I’m ok with that particular change.

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Sunday
June 16
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#1756



are o's somehow worse than last year?


First off, Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. I hope you have a wonderful celebration today.

Now, on to business.

I understand it doesn't really matter that the Orioles are terrible.

We all knew they were going to lose this year. And lose a lot.

I'm just asking this for discussion purposes more than anything else.

Are the 2019 Orioles worse than the 2018 edition?

Dylan Bundy allowed 10 base runners in five innings of work on Saturday and fell to 3-8 on the year as the Birds lost to Boston.

It doesn't seem possible, right? I mean, last year's team went 47-115 and mailed it in by mid-July. Once the trade deadline came and went and the roster was almost completely gutted, the last two months were nothing but the mere exercise of playing baseball. All reality was gone in August and September of last season, although I do recall the O's one-hit the Astros on the final day of the regular season and won 4-0.

Wait, maybe it was the other way around? See what I mean? It's nearly impossible to remember anything about the final two months of last season.

With yesterday's 7-2 shellacking at home, the O's dropped to 21-49. The 70-game mark seems like a reasonable occasion to do some numbers-crunching. So...we will.

To finish with 48 wins and actually have a better record than last season's fiasco-of-a-team, the Birds need to go 27-65 the remainder of the way. Yikes.

Disclaimer: I know the record this season doesn't actually matter. I know, I know, I know. But as much as I realized the rebuild was going to be painful, I have to say I assumed -- and still do -- that the Birds would be able to eclipse the 50-win mark this season.

Now, I'm not so sure.

I guess the good news is that the Yankees and Red Sox both have just one Camden Yards visit remaining this season. There should be enough baseballs left in the storage closet at Camden Yards to get through those two series', although if I'm the O's, I probably order another 100 just for emergency sake.

If this is even possible, I'd say the hardest part of the schedule is in the rear view mirror. I get it, when you're the worst team in the American League, everyone you play is an upgrade, but we all know there are really good teams (a few), good teams (a few) and then everyone else sorta-kinda stinks. The Orioles probably stink a little worse than, say, the Royals and the Blue Jays, but you know what I'm getting at.

To get to 55 wins, which is where I figured they'd land this season, the Birds have to go 34-58 from now until the end of the season. I think we both know that's not going to happen.

But back to the original headline question.

Is the team worse than last year's?

At the 70-game mark in 2018, the O's were 20-50, thanks to a 10-4 win over Miami on June 17. They're now 21-49. So, for a moment anyway, the 2019 club is a hair better than the one we saw last year.

But that also means this year's team isn't out of the woods yet as far as discussion goes for beating the 40-win New York Mets, who set the futility record from 1960-present with a 40-120 campaign in 1962. Among those teams that played 162 games, the 2003 Detroit Tigers went 43-119, so that figure looms ahead for the O's as well.

I get that the team is terrible, but they'll win 40 and 43 games this year. You can count on that.

Really, you can.

I think...

There's no way this year's team is worse than last year's, even though it feels like they are. Maybe I'm wrong on this. After all, the 2019 Birds are giving up double digits at an alarming rate, including twice on this current home stand.

But a loss is a loss is a loss, no matter if it's by 4-3 or 12-3.

I know we're a bad ballclub and I knew this was going to happen, but I'm still wondering if we're somehow worse than last year? If so, that's an accomplishment all on its own.

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u.s. open day three: woodland clinging to one shot lead


If Gary Woodland is going to win his first major championship, he's going to have to earn it later today at Pebble Beach.

As it should be.

Woodland posted a third consecutive under par round on Saturday, shooting 2-under 69 to finish his 54-hole journey at 11-under, one shot better than Justin Rose. Lurking just off the pace, still within striking distance, is 2-time defending champion Brooks Koepka at 7-under.

Matt Kuchar was 4-under through 7 holes on Saturday and just one shot off the lead, but eventually fell back to 7-under and four shots off the pace heading into today's final round at Pebble Beach.

Woodland has his work cut out for him later today, that's for certain.

Here are notes from Saturday's third round --

Woodland hit just 9 of 14 fairways on Saturday, but followed that up by hitting 11 of 18 greens in regulation, which ranked him T13 for the day. His short game saved him. Woodland chipped in for par at the 12th hole from some 35 feet away, then rolled in a 40 par putt at the 14th hole. Those two shots alone are what has him ahead of Rose instead of behind him going into the final round.

Phil Mickelson's quest for the career grand slam is over after a 3rd round 75. Mickelson needed a big round on Saturday and wasn't able to produce it, although he did produce a handful of impressive, prodigious drives, including one at #9.

Likewise, Tiger Woods won't be adding to his major championship total this week after he scratched out an even par round of 71 on Saturday. To his credit, Woods hung in there on a day where he clearly didn't have anything close to his best stuff. It's been that way all week for the 15-time major champion, who never once got his name on the first page of the leaderboard. On Saturday he hit 10 of 14 fairways and 11 of 18 greens, but wasn't able to capitalize on the early stretch of holes (1-7) where players have a wedge or less into five of those seven greens. By the time his putter showed some life on the back nine, the tournament was over for Woods.

Matt Kuchar was, at one point, just one shot out of the lead on Saturday after a rousing 4-under start to his round, but back-to-back bogeys to close out the front nine derailed him and "Kooch" wound up finishing the day with a score of 70 and a three round total of 5-under. He could still win today, but would need significant assistance from those above him on the leaderboard.

Brooks Koepka is one of only two players to have three rounds in the 60's so far -- Woodland is the other -- and is perched in perfect position heading into the fourth and final round. He'll need a little help as well, but given his recent performance in major championships, there's no reason to think Koepka isn't capable of a magical final day performance. You know Woodland is very aware of where Koepka sits on the leaderboard.

And then there's Chez Reavie, who #DMD had in their Top 10 heading into the week. Reavie sits at 7-under along with Koepka (and Oosthuizen) and has kept himself in the tournament each and every day. He plays Pebble Beach very well. Asking him to produce a mid 60's round today might be a little ambitious, but Reavie is not a fluke. He needs help to win, but he's capable of doing it if the leaders don't hold up their end of the bargain.

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner

breakfast bytes

Yankees set new MLB record by homering in their 28th straight game in 4-3 win over Toronto.

Red Sox beat White Sox, 6-3, as Price improves to 5-2 and lowers ERA to 3.36.

Caps' Orpik retires after 16 NHL seasons.

Bengals' top pick, Williams, out for the 2019 season after undergoing shoulder surgery.


O's SCOREBOARD
Tuesday, June 25
Orioles
3

Padres
8
WP: L. Allen (2-0)

LP: J. Yacobonis (1-2)

HR: Machado (17), Tatis Jr. (9), Mejia (2), Margot (3)

RECORD / PLACE: 22-57 / 5th


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