Saturday
May 25, 2024
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#3564


give that fan......a contract


We've never awarded a #DMD contributor with the honor of "Best Comment of the Year", but if we started doing that in 2024, Paul from Towson would most certainly be the clubhouse leader with his published comment from yesterday's edition.

And as Forrest Gump once famously said -- That's all I'm going to say about that.

There are a lot of things wrong with this country and a lot of things right with this country, too. Because we live in a society where the bad gets spotlighted and the good gets moved to the backburner (watch any nightly newscast, on any channel), what's wrong draws most of the attention.

Paul's comment from Friday's edition of #DMD is what's right with this country. Namely, someone who makes an argument about a topic or presents their side or contrary opinion and does it without spewing hate or ignorance or causing a disruption in other people's daily lives.

We've lost the ability to do that in this country, somehow.

Look no further than the college protests this month where students organized disrespectful and unlawful gatherings in an effort to prove a point that was, if we're being honest, above their paygrade and probably foreign to them and their senses.

I wouldn't go as far as to say Paul's comment from Friday was a "work of art", but we've lost our way in this country when it comes to the art of conversation and disagreement.

This isn't news to all of you, of course. If you've been paying attention over the last 20 years, you've seen it all unfold in high definition.

And, so, when a sports figure like Harrison Butker offers his opinion that women should follow their God-given calling of, first, staying true to their birth gender and, second, bearing children within a family structure, those comments are somehow considered to be offensive, disrespectful and off-putting?

Paul from Towson handled it better than any of us could.

He made a great argument and did it the right way.

As the great Rex Barney was fond of saying --- "Give that fan......a contract."


On a somewhat related note, Scott K. from Hampstead sent an e-mail to me that was a bit of a personal attack but also highlighted another thing "wrong with this country."

"Drew, please help me understand how a good, decent conservative Christian like you can endorse and support far left commies like Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews and Eddie Vedder. It just doesn't add up."

There was more to Scott's e-mail. He threw in Phil Mickelson and Gregg Popovich, too. I like Mickelson's coffee, yes. But I don't like the fact that he jumped to LIV Golf. I don't know much about his politics and couldn't care less, either.

Should Gregg Popovich's political leanings connect in any way how he's judged as a basketball coach?

Popovich? Great coach. Truly great. His politics don't matter to me. He's not running for office. He's a basketball coach.

But to address Scott's main point, I don't care what Springsteen, Matthews or Vedder thinks about the government or politics.

They're musicians. I respect them for their music talents. Their respective efforts in song writing and singing are the only things I consider "important" about them.

In fact, the fact that the three of them will occasionally pontificate about politics during their concerts is a turn-off to me. I'd rather hear Springsteen sing Thunder Road. Or Matthews sing "Granny". Or Vedder sing "Jeremy".

I already know what the three of them think about Donald Trump. I knew it when I bought the concert ticket. I don't care what you think about him, for starters, and I don't need you to remind me of where you stand on the subject.

That said, I can balance my disdain for their public bellyaching with the fact that I have an incredible admiration for their musical skill set(s).

Perhaps some of you can't do that. If not, no worries. But I don't have to align with Springsteen politically to value him as a musician.

Oh, and Scott, don't look now, but a huge part of Springsteen's catalog has religious imagery framed within the lyrics he writes. The same with Eddie Vedder.

There are things about the church that Springsteen disagrees with and he isn't afraid to make those known.

He has a platform that 50 years in the music business have afforded him and he chooses to use them to his liking.

I'm no Bruce Springsteen, of course, but I have a (very) small platform that I've created and I use mine in whatever way I choose, too.

Whether you read my opinions and align with them or read my opinions and disagree with them is the game we play, but I'm not ever entering into a discussion here with the hope of changing the world. I tell you what I think and what I believe in and that's sorta-kinda where it all ends.

You're smart enough to figure out what you like or don't like without being influenced by me, in the same way I'm smart enough to isten to a Bruce Springsteen song or album and not be influenced by him if I so choose.

Athletes have been trying to get us to buy sneakers, rental cars, mortgages and soft drinks for a long, long time. They take 30 seconds or 1 minute telling you how great Nike is and they urge you to rush out and see for yourself by purchasing a pair of their tennis shoes.

Some of you do that. Some of you don't.

It's up to you if you're influenced enough by someone you admire to do as they ask of you.

When I hear a musician tell me who to vote for or who not to vote for, my general (unsaid) response to them is: What on earth makes you think I care what you think about the President, Governor and so on?

Just because I bought a ticket to your concert?

I just want to hear you play the guitar and sing a little bit. Give me two and a half hours of entertainment and I'll be on my way. Happy.

I hope that answered your question, Scott.

It was a fair one, I suppose, even though I think the answer was really pretty simple.


The Orioles scratched out a 6-4 win in Chicago last night, but it was, let's say, an "uncomfortable" victory.

The Birds produced a workmanlike 4-0 lead and were in great shape with Corbin Burnes on the mound, but then he started to fizzle in the bottom of the 5th, allowing Chicago to score three times and trim the lead to a single run.

Burnes got through the 6th inning unscathed and then turned things over to Yennier Cano in the 7th, but he promptly gave up a home run to tie the score at 4-4.

Dean Kremer found his way to the 15-day injured list on Friday with a triceps strain.

An Adley Rutschman two-run single in the 8th inning proved to be the difference in the 6-4 win.

The good Craig Kimbrel showed up in the bottom of the 9th and retired the side in order to preserve the O's second straight win in Chicago.

One night after collecting two hits, Cedric Mullins reverted back to being Cedric Mullins, going 0-for-3 to lower his batting average to .195.

Not to be outdone, Austin Hays also went 0-for-3 to see his average fall to .167.

Two of the team's three starting outfielders aren't hitting .200. That's.....not.....good.

Oh, and speaking of "not good", Dean Kremer went on the injured list yesterday with a triceps strain.

That's not good.

Now, let's point out that perhaps Kremer is suffering from a "triceps strain". If you know what I mean.

Either way, the Birds will shelve him for a couple of weeks.

And so, now, that's Means out (elbow) and Kremer out, too. Burnes, Bradish and Gray-Rod are the team's etched-in-stone starters and Cole Irvin can be brought into the rotation if necessary.

If the Means and Kremer injuries are serious, does Elias start doing some trade-deadline shopping-for-pitching now instead of waiting until July?

The Birds will almost assuredly go after a 2nd baseman or significant utility infielder in July, too. But with Mullins continuing to scuffle at the plate and Jackson Holliday still struggling to find his offensive groove in Norfolk, a veteran 2nd baseman at the deadine would help free up a temporary shift to centerfield for Jorge Mateo.

Will Elias get a jump start on the deadline stuff with a June trade? Or will the trades he engineers come in the traditional manner like July 20, July 25, etc.?

I'm all for adding quality newcomers now, in case you care.

45 additional, "extra" games with an upgraded roster?

Yes, sign me up for that, please.

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#dmd comments








The Real Ricky     May 24
@ Paul From Towson: Preach, brother!

@ Drew: As a fellow devout "Loud" Catholic, I appreciate you standing up for your (our) faith. Keep up the good Christian work!

Dan     May 24
If someone (let's call him "Larry") does not like a speech by a devout Catholic given at a private Catholic school than said loser (again, "Larry") should not listen to it thus sparing the rest of us your phony, manufactured outrage.

Steve of Pimlico     May 24
Who would you have preferred for a graduation speaker,Butker or P Diddy.

Jon     May 24
*scrolls right past Paul……

Paul from Towson     May 24
What a time to be alive in these, the UNITED States of America!!! Where drag queens reading to elementary school children and 5 year olds tipping said drag queens at strip clubs (look it up if you don't believe me) is perfectly fine. BUT an NFL place kicker is vilified for giving a commencement speech to a group of graduating Catholic seniors, where he spoke fondly of women looking forward to marriage and motherhood. HOW DARE HE!!!! THIS, ladies and gentleman, IS exactly what's wrong with this country. And yes, @Jason M, it is the liberal mainstream media, that took this 4 minute sound bite, and ran all over the world with it. Leading many on the Left to suffer complete and total mental breakdowns. How dare a white, male athlete tell a group of women that marriage and motherhood are two of the greatest things they will accomplish in their lives. I suppose they would rather he just beat, abuse, harass, threaten, and sexually assault these women (as is per usual for NFL players) instead of wishing them blessings on the positive things in life. Or have these athletes continue the trend of fathering 11 kids with 10 women an taking care of a grand total of none of them (looking at you Travis Henry and Antonio Cromartie). Or maybe fathering 5 kids with 6 women before they turn the ripe old age of 25.



You people really need to get your heads examined.



If you have an issue with what Harrison Butker said to the point where you need to go on social media or any other platform and rail against him, and in many cases, try to CANCEL him....!!?? Then YOU, are what is wrong with this country. Why can't we just say, "I kind of disagree with that." And leave it be??? Last time I checked, he wasn't forcing anyone to live their lives by these guidelines. He was merely encouraging those women who choose to be a wife and mother and expressing his own cherished values and beliefs. Since when was that a terrible way to live ones life? He also said that many of them will embark on successful careers!!! I have a brilliant 25 year old daughter who is currently serving in the United States Navy after receiving a degree in Chemical Engineering from Auburn University. She has set herself up nicely to have a wonderful and fulfilling life, which will include marriage to her Secret Service agent fiance' and eventually a few children.



In a world where every day we are witness to appalling and heinous behavior displayed by athletes, politicians celebrities, and regular every day idiots, Harrison Butker's comments should be a refreshing take on core family values that were said to a group of folks who share his same values and beliefs. Instead, they're viewed as just another example of this imaginary oppression that drives the false narrative of the leftist victimhood which refuses to take responsibility for their own poor decisions and instead blames the good, decent members of society for the ills that befall them. When in turn they could just say, "You know what, I disagree with you, Mr. Butker" and leave it at that. John Wayne once said, "I disagree, vehemently, with everything Hanoi Jane (that piece of treasonous trash Jane Fonda) says, but I'll defend to the death her right to say it." Funny...I didn't hear these same people cry out when the current president told a group of graduating young black men that their country hates them. To me, that's way worse than anything Harrison Butker said. Whether I agree with him or not.



And again, THAT is what's wrong with this country.

Unitastoberry     May 24
Anyone who takes advice from celebrities is seriously got a problem. Take advice from clergy,doctors,lawyers ,cpas ,etc. Not field goal kickers, singers, actors,keyboard warriors,even politicians.

CLIFF     May 24
It was a “win-win” for @DF - Orioles victory AND his “buddy Gavin Sheets” had a good game, getting on base four times. At least today’s O’s segment was straight news, with the name-dropping toned down. We get it; the site owner is friends with a (fringe) major leaguer. Sheesh.


Jason M     May 24
Oh please Drew, I agree on that the Butker thing is a nothing burger, he gets to have an opinion and we get to ignore it, agree with it or whatever, but to please don;t wave the Liberal Media flag. People were interested in his remarks, it was newsworthy, and the news media are not going to play his entire 25 minute speech, they are going to cut to the newsworthy parts. The article in the newspaper I read started with the controversial parts and the reaction but by the 5th paragrapgh described the entirety of the speech. TV news is too sound bite, compelling pictures and bleeding and ledeing, if you want a more fully formed news, I turn to sources like the Dish, the Sun, the Banner, and the Post. There is a ton of conservative leaning media out there (hello Sinclair broadcasting, hello new ownership version of the Sun, hello NewsMax, Fox News, News One) so I really reject the dated notion of the liberal media. BTW Butker, a lot of us need two incomes to make it and be able to afford to support stuff like the NFL, we can't all be NFL Players working 6 months a year for millions.

Tom J     May 24
I hope Scotty and his team and lawyer sue the living crap out of the Johnny Bad A$$ cop and that CLOWN SHOW of a police department in Louisville. There's no reason any person should have been pulled from that car and cuffed a minute later for that. And you're correct, instead of owning this and saying "sorry", they continue to double down and dig their hole deeper........



The O's bullpen and lack of trustworthy closer will be their Achilles Hell and down fall as well as trying to hit every pitch 600 feet.



Why does anyone care about what any athlete, musician or actor says about anything???? Who cares????????

ej     May 23
Does @JJ know golf tournaments have more than one round?

J.J.     May 23
@DF says "Go with Finau and Harman this week in golf."

Finau and Harman immediately are near the lead. LMAO

Chris in Bel Air     May 23
Like Drew said, I considered the O's streak of not being swept ending last fall in the playoff series against Texas. Still, it was an impressive regular season run and another gauge of their success is their lack of losing streaks and length of losing streaks. Starting with Adley's arrival in May 2022 (spanning 330 games and if my research is correct), O's have had a total of 7 losing streaks of 3 games or more and the most is a 4-game streak. Again, pretty impressive and as their winning pct shows, they tend to shake off losses quickly and get back to the WIN column.

hal     May 23
We need the trade of a DFA player for a backup to the backup C to show us Elias is "paying attention to every department of the on field product"? That is pretty disrespectful if you ask me. I have zero doubts that Elias pays attention to everything EVERY day. Deciding not to do something is as hard, or harder, than doing something. I'll trust Elias until I see tangible reasons to not trust him. Hyde, eh, he might not have quite the same level of trust, but like it is with Harbs, if you decide to move on from him, who you gonna bring in that will do better? Lee Mazzilli lol?

Unitastoberry     May 23
Expecting Judge and Stanton to get injured isn't a good approach to winning the divison. Tons of baseball left but I'm seeing cracks and as you said Hyde made some bad calls.

Stats Nerd     May 23
If nothing else I hope this case opens some people's eyes to the fact that police should not always be given the benefit of the doubt. Brutal job...no question. But this is Keystone Cops type stuff that frankly isn't an isolated situation

TimD in Timonium     May 23
"He was booked at Metro Corrections at 7:28 a.m. before being released at 8:40 a.m. Scheffler was charged with 2nd degree assault of a police officer, 3rd degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding signals from officers directing traffic."



So, Scottie gets a gentle slap on the wrist the morning of the "misunderstanding," but will get the book thrown at him when he next appears in court? That's very doubtful. there's The Elite, and then there's all of us. Different rules apply.



O-for-St. Louis? Oh, no. Going 3-1 against the Sox would be nice.


Steve of Pimlico     May 22
If Scheffler goes to jail I'm starting a group GLM( golfers lives matter).Storm the Bastille with 9 irons to free Scottie

RC     May 22
Poor Mitch, he must listen to the goofs in the local media who like to harp on "the need to lock up their young talent" as if the decision is totally up to Elias and the Orioles alone. There is no magic number that would "force" any of these guys to sign a long-term deal now.

DMD is correct that Mitch answers his own question - if the amount needed is just gonna go up and up, so why would any player sign "now"?? Easy to blame Boras but most agents will have that same view. Injury is the only compelling risk, but most young athletes are not going to fear injury.

Buying out arbitration years sounds nice in theory, but what does it get you really? One or two years on the back end is not worth overpaying for those arbitration years.

The best thing Elias can do is keep the pipeline full of talent. So far, he seems to be doing just that. It would be nice to have a handful of guys stay long term but that's just not how the system is designed. If it happens great, if not, having young replacements who are ready to replace departing FA's is the way to go.

Howard     May 22
Let’s get real. It’s not a coincidence that a little over 24 hours after he was arrested and jailed that Scheffler played a round of golf over par when everyone else was smoking the course.



And he still has the sword of Damocles over his head. The charges have not been dropped and he faces the possibility of going to jail for a long time for assaulting a police officer.



If I’m him, I’m talking to LIV to see what they’ll give me up front. My guess is that LIV would roll the dice and sign the #1 player in anticipation of a hot shot lawyer getting him off.








Chris in Bel Air     May 22
Indeed, Gunnar is a sensational player. Just the game the other night was he was something. 3-run bomb and two eye-popping plays in the field. I sure hope he's here for the long haul but at the price he (and Boras) will demand, I don't have a warm and fuzzy feeling on that.

You know who else has been impressive so far? Westburg. Hitting and fielding. His 2.0 WAR is tied with the Phillies Bohm for tops of all MLB 3B and Westburg's OPS is 5th in MLB. Like O'Hearn, he's just a 'ball player'. Bring your lunch pail every day and go to work.

Dan     May 22
The Billy Squier video and comments are DMD gold.

jeffwell     May 21
Totally agree with comments about Billy Joel live. Like Springsteen, you always get your money's worth at his concerts. From the quality of the music, the energy of the entire band, to the length of the show, it is always money and time well spent.

MFC     May 21
KJ,KJ,KJ I have you enrolled in our RC101 class and you my friend will sit in the first row. Please re-read the sentence. If you don't understand the reference, you live a hermit style life.



Congrats to Spalding on their baseball championship.CH put up a good fight but Spalding is really, really good.



Kremer hadn't pitched in 8 days, it showed. Not sure that's the way to go giving him that much rest.



Thank God, Rubenstein has $3 billion + because he's going to give at least 1/2 of it to Henderson. He might be the best all-around player in baseball.



There's a cost just to open the stadium. John Brown told me when he was heading the Sports Authority that it cost $50,000 to open the football stadium as I was lobbying for Friday night high school doubleheaders. And that was close to 20 years ago or more.



I've had the opportunity to see Billy Joel twice in Baltimore. Unbelievable show.






kj     May 20
So @MFC defends himself by saying HE "lives in a Kardashian world"?? Now that's funny.

Barry     May 20
Geno and JR can call out Larry but Larry can't respond? Weird.

MFC     May 20
Larry needs RC 101, summer session opening up now and maybe we throw in an added session on "how to troll successfully".



This is a headline from writer Carlos Garcia, cutting and pasting the entire article is unnecessary as the headline tells the story. I did not write the headline.



"Rory McIlroy, Amanda Balionis Cheating Rumor Goes Viral"



We cared or were interested when it was Tiger, we're invested. In the scheme of things does it matter, only if you're one of the participants or offspring. Would it be the same if it were Billy Horshel, Martin Laird or even Denny McCarthy, probably not because we don't see them as much. But we are invested, we see them so much we feel like we know them, even though we don't. We live in a Kardashian world.



Better luck next time Larry.


larry     May 20
Yes, apparently I do need to offer up a mea culpa. Had no idea so many grown men perusing a sports opinion website would have so much interest in the love life of one pro golfer. Also had no idea "media reports" have become so accurate they are to always be believed. Man, learn something new at DMD every day.

David Rosenfeld     May 20
From what I've read, it's somewhat likely that Valhalla will be off the rotation because the PGA of America sold it to a small group of its members. That was only 2 years ago, so it was well after the event was scheduled for this year.

Played behind a group at a local course yesterday and it was just exasperating. Yes, carts were on the path, but take a couple clubs to your ball and hit it. Stop imitating the pros on the green and marking 2 foot putts. Also, notice how your group never has to wait but the group behind you is always waiting for you.

Geno     May 20
@Larry looking pretty foolish. Mea culpa time.

J.R.     May 20
I don't want to fan the flames of a Larry/MFC war but the Rory/Amanda story has been circulating for at least a month.

Rory's wife was having a fling with a waiter in West Palm and she got caught last September.

Everyone knows that.

The Rory/Amanda stuff started right after Arnie's event in Orlando in March.

I'm not trying to defend MFC but he's not making up gossip.

Kevin     May 20
Spot on about Immelman/CBS. He's been a big whiff.

larry     May 20
How can @MFC ever expect anyone to take ANY of his opinions seriously when he comes out here with high school level gossip about Rory and who he's "heard" he's hooking up with now? Beyond embarrassing for a grown man.

CJ     May 20
Sorry, Nantz. Not Nance.

CJ     May 20
Agree with Drew about Immelman. He's beyond awful IMHO. Chamblee made his bed with all of his LIV hate but he would be great next to Nance.

Tom J     May 20
@Paul from Towson, no, you are 100 percent spot on. She is terrible along with Melanie Newman. Just awful..... It's not because they are women, it's because they are just horrible announcers and are horrible at their jobs. The Orioles have to get this feedback as you see people saying the same thing on multiple websites and message boards.

Stats Nerd     May 20
@MFC Tightening the fairways simply increases the advantage between long and short hitters. It's easier to hit shorter irons out of the rough than longer ones, obviously.

The best way to defend the golf course is to have it play hard and fast particularly the fairways and the greens/surrounds.

MFC     May 20
I read that 63,000 passed through Pimlico's gates Friday and Saturday. The PR spin is that they'd rather have less numbers to increase the fan experience, aka bet real $. DF said it right, they'd rather have $80,000 tent rentals than 50,000 more in the infield.

Hopefully for the 150'th they set big goals for attendance and market to reach them. How great would it be to really see a crowd there again, regardless of their "experience" spin. Maybe not have the O's playing home, that's a start.



I'll say it again, they can't make the courses long enough. Again, agree with DF, tighten those fairways. Doesn't diminish one bit what the X man did.



If you're bored this afternoon travel down to Joe Cannon stadium and watch CH VS Spalding for the baseball championship. It's really good ball, great seats.



BTW, the rumors are rampant on Rory hooking up with Amanda Balionis (formerly Renner). Of course there are non-substantiated reports coming in. I wouldn't be surprised and do feel sorry for Rory's ex. I was hoping his was going to be a fairytale life but as stated earlier, life happens. There could be some fire in this smoke.



The AAU basketball season is here and already kids trading teams in the same weekend. Parents screaming at coaches, coaches screaming at kids. It's a wonderful world.

Paul from Towson     May 19
Great season, Drew!! Congratulations to you and your young men!!



Went to the O’s game again today and as much as I’ve loved going to games the past few years, I have one complaint. The PA announcer is ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE! There are some parts of the stadium where you can’t hear anything she says. The music between innings sometimes drowns her out and she sounds like she would be better served in a minor league stadium. Aberdeen for starters. I know we were spoiled for many years with Rex Barney, but in my opinion, she is awful. Anyone else share my opinion? Or am I off base here? I’ve been to a couple Nats games in DC, and the dude there is awesome. Makes ours sound like they picked some random person off the street.

Tom J     May 19
Congrats on a great season Drew. You are teaching those kids how not only to win with class but lose with class as well.



@Howard, why would Sheffler go to LIV because of that? They kill people over there for that......



It would be nice if the O's scored more than 2 runs again today for Burnes.....

DJ     May 19
As a family friend of one of the young men on your team, let me just tell you what they say.



"He cares so much about them as young men and golfers. Even though my son didn't play a lot he made him feel important."

MFC     May 19
Any championship at any level is hard to win. Winning 1 is hard, back to back is extremely difficult, especially in a great league. It’s not like you’re a mediocre team in a weak league. You were there, you had a chance, you were the “man in the arena”.



Exciting race despite rain, conditions of the facilities.



Tiger didn’t win them all and neither will Scheffler. It’s golf and things happen.

They can’t seem to make the courses long enough. It looks like close to 20 under will win. With players hitting 220. Yd 6 irons every par 4 needs to be 500+yards and even that’s not long enough.

TimD in Timonium     May 19
Seatlle's not a bunch of scrubs, but the O's could use a Corbin Burnes WIN today.



And some sunshine.

Steve of Pimlico     May 18
@,Lou/ Palo Alto.Your must be really old

Howard     May 18
If I were Scheffler my phone call from jail would have been to Greg Norman to make me an offer.

Having your arm yanked, being pulled out of the car, being thrown against the car and then being handcuffed could have resulted in injury.

And now he risks being convicted of a felony.

Show me the money!

lou@palo alto     May 18
apart from the mile track in maryland, racing started going dnhill in the early, mid 60s when the racing commission closed the half mile tracks--these were feeder tracks for families and kids w dads learning the races (like me)--sure the mile tracks were cool and my dad went all time, me occ. but we used to go to the Bel Air track a lot and it was great fun, a faded memory

Jon     May 18
So report i read was that the golfer dragged the officer with his car and the officer was bruised….im confused (if accurate) how the police over reacted- if that happened- who continues to drive with a person draped on their car?

Mario     May 18
Good luck today!

MFC     May 18
@Billy, those comments were directed in my direction in a feeble attempt at trolling.

The better team won and I wish them well in the championship.



What's the over-under for the Preakness attendance today? Will 50,000 venture out?



Again, it really wasn't Tigers driver, his short game is an 8 handicap right now. He did however play the last 14 holes in 1 under. You can't make triple much less two of them. His tournament was over on the second hole. He seemed to walk ok, he was just bad. He looked old and tired walking off 18. I guess +7 will do that.



Lots of sports today, Preakness ( who cares right?), golf, lacrosse and baseball. Good day to be a couch potato.



Congrats to McDonogh upsetting #1 Boys Latin in lax. And belated congrats to St. Pauls upsetting McDonogh girls.




Hank ( The Fake One)     May 18
Thanks CIK but not sure about that

Fighting off the Derby Champ #5 and 2 others ?

CIK     May 18
When handicapping, being “keen” is a good thing. But you definitely don’t want the horse to be “keen”.



@Hank

I would assume the 2 others are the 8 & 5.

Friday
May 24, 2024
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3563


friday nuggets


The Orioles almost were thoroughly embarrassed last night in Chicago.

The Louisville police were thoroughly embarrassed on Thursday. No "almost" about it.

And Larry Harmison was trying to embarrass me, I think, but really wound up embarrassing himself in the long run.

The ballgame in the Windy City went the O's way last night, but it got scary in the 9th inning, where the lowly White Sox reeled off four runs, down 8-2, and looked like they might pull off an improbable comeback before Craig Kimbrel produced a weird, wacky game ending double play to finalize things at 8-6.

Craig Kimbrel got the O's out of a tight spot in the bottom of the 9th inning last night in Chicago.

Things were on cruise control heading into the 9th, with the Birds ahead by six runs despite stranding what felt like 30 guys on base earlier in the contest.

But then the whole thing turned into a fiasco. Jonathan Heasley tried to put the game away in the 9th but couldn't do it. Yennier Cano came in to get things settled down and he, too, failed. Gavin Sheets knocked in two runs with a single and there were runners on first and second with no outs. It wasn't looking good at that point.

Cano managed to get a strike out on the board and then in came Kimbrel to either sew things up or give up a 3-run homer to end one of the more heartbreaking losses of the Brandon Hyde (regular season) era.

Alas, the good Kimbrel -- somehow -- showed up, getting a game-ending double play on a bizarre fly out/runner's interference combo that likely hasn't ever happened before in the history of Major League Baseball.

It was one of those plays that you love when it goes your way and you're howling at the moon if it doesn't.

By rule, Andrew Vaughn was guilty of runner's interference. That said, his interference had zero to do with the actual ball hit in the air.

O's faithful were overjoyed at the ump show getting it right. O's faithful would have gone ballistic had that been Jordan Westburg called out for runner's interference to end the game. What's the old saying? To the victors go the spoils.

But that one would have left a bruise had it gone south on Kimbrel's watch, that's for sure.

A win's a win, even one that made you sweat like that at the end.

Grayson Rodriguez wasn't exceedingly sharp but improved to 5-1 by picking up the win. He had no command at all, walking 5 guys -- including Sheets three times -- in 5 innings, but struck out 7 and allowed just two earned runs along the way.

Danny Coulombe (perfect inning with 3 K's) and Jacob Webb (one hit in one inning) were excellent.

But Heasley and Cano were lousy, mandating the use of Kimbrel on a night when Brandon Hyde probably thought he wouldn't have to run through three pitchers in the final two frames of a blowout.

The good news? It's the White Sox. The O's might not have to worry about any of the three remaining games of the series on the South Side.

Then again, this hasn't been the best (recent) two weeks for the Orioles. If Chicago wins one of the next three, that's fine. Two of the next three, not cool.


Several videos of last Friday's arrest of Scottie Scheffler surfaced on Thursday and in the one that shows the entire incident, it's fairly clear -- based on what was seen on that clip -- that the arresting officer fabricated a significant part of the police report he filed in the aftermath of the incident in Louisville.

In perhaps the biggest fib, the officer was not dragged 10 yards by Scheffler's vehicle. He was never in contact with the ground. He didn't suffer bruises to his legs as a result of the incident.

The video that surfaced showed Scheffler gently easing his way around a parked bus when the officer, Bryan Gillis, runs up alongside of Scheffler's vehicle and smacks the windshield with some sort of instrument in an effort to force Scheffler to bring the car to a stop.

Once Scheffler stopped the vehicle, the officer went into arrest mode and the rest is history.

Scottie Scheffler is due in court early next month despite video surfacing on Thursday that shows the incident at the PGA Championship was nothing like it was entered on the initial police report.

That the Louisville police department haven't yet dropped these silly, baseless charges is a complete joke. That the arresting officer has a personnel file littered with misconduct and other related charges that would make Antonio Brown blush is also a source of (hopeful) embarrassment for them.

Gillis is one of the rare law enforcement officials who apparently picks and chooses when to take his task seriously.

It's not easy for police officers to admit they went over-the-line, particularly in this day and age when plenty of police officers who do their job well and the right way still fall under unfair scrutiny.

But in this case, officer Gillis, who was officially reprimanded for not engaging his body camera during the arrest, deserves intense scrutiny for the arrest and the false report he filed afterwards.

Scheffler has taken the embarrassing situation in stride, although it's fair to point out the whole thing could have cost him a chance to win last week's PGA Championship at Valhalla.

Why the folks in Louisville haven't just manned up and taken "the L" on this one is the ultra-weird part of the story now. It's obvious the arrest was bogus. It's very clear the officer pulled a Barney Fife and made the whole thing out to be a much bigger deal than it ever was.

With each passing day that the Louisville police department doubles down on this, they look more and more bush league.


Our #DMD Comments buddy Larry Harmison surfaced with an e-mail on Thursday that I have included below because Larry pulled the old, tired routine: "I know you won't publish this".

Earlier this week, I offered a short commentary on the Harrison Butker situation, essentially saying I didn't see any reason to comment on what he said at the college graduation.

I explained, clearly, I thought, that there were things about Butker's speech I agreed with and things I didn't agree with. But I defended his right to state his opinion, particularly in light of the fact that the college in question invited him to be their graduation speaker.

In other words: They asked for him to speak. And he did.

Larry sent me the following e-mail:

"I know you're a devout, practicing, extra loud Catholic, so it isn't a surprise you refused to be critical of Harrison Butker with all of his Catholic favoritism. I also know you won't publish this, but do us all a favor and just admit that you're afraid to be critical of Butker because it might offend your friends at IHM church and other Catholics who read the website. You and I both know that your personal views are a lot closer to Butker's than you're willing to admit. Don't dodge it. Admit to it."

I don't even know where to start.

Yep, I'm a devout, practicing Catholic. I'm not sure what "extra loud" is supposed to mean, but I assume that's a dig of some sort. All good there.

I don't see any reason to be "critical" of what Butker said because he was simply passing along the virtues he believes in. Some of the things he touched on -- gender-by-birth in particular -- I agreed with him on. Some of the other context -- women belong mainly in the home -- is probably not something I align with.

I believe Butker has the right to his opinion. I, like you, have the right to opine on his opining if I so choose. If I vehemently disagreed with all of it, I'd say (write) that. I agreed with some of what he authored. And I disagreed with some of it, too.

I know how the (in this case, liberal) media works in this country. They take a 25-minute speech and carve out the 4-6 minutes of it they can use for their agenda.

The 4-6 minutes of Butker's speech painted him into the picture the (liberal) media wants to portray him. Everyone knows that.

If you watch the entirety of his speech, it's not nearly as combustible as the 4-6 minutes the media carved out for scrutiny.

But, again, there were parts of the speech I agreed with and parts of it I didn't. But I agree, for sure, that Butker was allowed to give his opinion because that's what the school asked of him.

No one's dodging anything.

And I don't see where anyone has anything to admit to, either.

Like most everything else in our country, the media created a "gotcha" moment with his speech because that's what gets them clicks, readers and viewers.

It was a massive overreaction. The guy was asked to speak. He spoke. Nothing burger.

Thanks, I guess, to Larry, for pushing me to opine more on a subject I thought wasn't in need of further examination.

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faith in sports


One of the best things about my work at FCA is that high school student-athletes who are just starting to forge their faith journey can take that passion on with them to college.

We've had numerous FCA athletes at Calvert Hall go on to lead "huddles" in college, including several who actually started their huddle at school.

The University of Arkansas has a vibrant FCA membership both within the school itself and within the various athletic programs.

The video below is only 2:30 but it's a really strong representation of what FCA is all about.

If your son or daughter is heading off to school later this summer, ask him or her if FCA has a huddle there. If not, reach out to the school's student affairs department and ask how one can be organized. We'd love to have FCA in every college across the country.

Thanks, as always, to our friends at Freestate Electrical for their continued support of #DMD and our "Faith in Sports" segment every Friday here at #DMD.



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Thursday
May 23, 2024
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3562


swept away in st. louis


Even though the streak actually ended last October when the Birds were summarily dismissed by the Rangers in the ALDS, the record keepers say it ended yesterday in St. Louis.

For the first time in 107 series' of two games or more, the O's were swept by the Cardinals when they dropped a 5-4 decision on Wednesday afternoon.

Nothing lasts forever. And a 106-series run of not being swept is pretty daggone good, even if it doesn't really mean anything at all in the long run.

There's a gazillion baseball games left in the 2024 campaign, but the O's are now 3 games behind the New York Yankees in the A.L. East. Baltimore has played four fewer games than the Yankees, too, I might add.

What does the elbow injury to John Means do to the O's pitching concerns for the rest of the 2024 campaign?

The Orioles have also played 27 home games to date and only 20 road contests. Not a big deal, either, but just giving you the facts of how things are starting to take shape.

The Birds are off to Chicago to face the White Sox in a 4-game holiday weekend series that should net three or four wins over the beleaguered pale hose. I hope my buddy Gavin Sheets for 10-for-20 in the 4-games but the White Sox lose all four. Sorry, Gavin.

As I wrote here recently at #DMD, I assume the Yankees will soon face their annual quandary with the injured list once guys like Judge, Stanton get their hamstring strain, toe fracture or some other ailment that routinely plagues each of them. But for now, at least, the Yankees are looking like the real deal.

The O's, you might have heard, made a small trade on Wednesday, sending embattled relief pitcher Mike Baumann and minor league catcher Michael Perez to Seattle for minor league catcher Blake Hunt.

I have no idea what that means.

Baumman, of course, is eye wash in the deal. He had recently been designated for assignment and was slowly start to ease his way out of the team's 2024 plans.

Perez was just a guy playing catcher in the minors. He wasn't going to be graduating to Camden Yards someday soon.

So why Blake Hunt? What does his addition mean?

The guess here is Mike Elias simply wanted to get "something" for Baumann if he could. And the Mariners needed bullpen help. And Hunt was the guy they offered. Perhaps Elias flips him elsewhere sometime in '24 or '25. Maybe he's insurance in the event something happens to James McCann this season.

The O's have some flaws that need to be addressed, of course, and the deal with the Mariners shouldn't be looked at as anything other than getting a piece (Hunt) for a piece (Baumann). But it shows, at least, that Elias is paying attention to every department of the on field product.

Baumann, as anyone who has followed the team knows, is very hot and cold. He had a decent 2023 campaign with a 10-1 record and 3.76 ERA, but that earned run average was (is) a half-of-a-run-per-inning too high for a relief pitcher. And this year, he had 16 strikeouts and 9 walks in 18.1 innings of work.

His departure to Seattle is a nothing burger, respectfully.

But with the news from Wednesday that John Means is struggling with elbow discomfort, the wheels are likely really starting to turn for Mike Elias.

For now, Cole Irvin simply slides back in as a starter and off they go. No big deal.

But that move depletes a bullpen that (now) loses Irvin and the jettisoned Baumann. So where do the O's go from here?

There's almost no question Elias is going to start chasing after pitching help sometime soon. Who he gives up to get it is anyone's guess, but you have at least two minor leaguers (Kjerstad and Norby) who could draw legitimate interest. Coby Mayo (currently injured) would also probably be an attractive trade piece this summer.

It's inevitable that one, two or all three of those guys might have to eventually be shipped elsewhere. The guess here is Norby is the one most readily available, followed by Mayo and then Kjerstad. That said, Kjerstad is the one most potential trade partners are going to press for given his power and minor league hitting numbers.

The sweep in St. Louis might wind up being a good thing at the end of the day.

It ends "the streak", for starters, which is probably best for everyone involved, even though it was fun while it lasted. More importantly, though, it serves as a gentle reminder to Elias and Brandon Hyde that this team can, in fact, lose three straight games.

Oh, and speaking of Hyde.

The series in St. Louis wasn't his best work by a long shot.

Yesterday, in particular, he handled the suspended game and the "regular" game with the touch of a blacksmith.

In the opener, he removed Jacob Webb for Keegan Akin in the 6th inning despite the fact that lefties hit .148 against Webb. Akin, of course, immediately gave up a 2-run homer to...yes...a left handed hitter, Nolan Gorman.

But those pitching decisions he made that didn't work are all hindsight now. It's easy to beat him up for what transpired once you see none of them really worked.

That said, Hyde is becoming the master at attempting to get three (or less) outs with multiple pitchers. It's not "maddening" yet, but it's closing in on that.

The Means news isn't season-breaking or anything of that nature, but it certainly means Irvin slides back into a spot of importance in the rotation and also puts more emphasis on the quality the club will need from Akin and Cionel Perez.

It's far from panic time.

But these days matter just as much as the ones that come in August and September when the end of the season is just around the corner.

Our faith in Mike Elias is unwavering.

Our faith in Brandon Hyde...not quite as emphatic.

But the bet here is Elias starts making moves sometime next month in an effort to get a jump on the deadline and, hopefully, acquire pieces he really wants rather than pieces that were available because those were the crumbs left to snag.


A quick note of thanks to four of you who stepped up yesterday, plus another last night, to help make our first FCA Maryland Golf junior clinic a success on Wednesday at Pine Ridge.

Scott Manning (not the ex-Blast goalkeeper, "the better looking Scott Manning" he likes to say), Mark McGrath (no, not the lead singer of "Sugar Ray", the "better looking Mark McGrath"), longtime #DMD supporter Mike Mohler and James Chenowith all contributed $50 to help defray our expenses last night.

We had 15 juniors come out for the clinic and they spent 75 minutes learning the basics of the golf swing; grip, stance and posture, plus tips on compressing the ball with irons and getting the ball in the air with the driver.

And then, last night, Mike Gentry reached out to say he'll match any $50 donation we receive for the June clinic. So we're excited to put that together for next month's clinic. Yesterday, here, I mentioned our June clinic was going to be held on June 12, but that's actually not going to work.

I'll be back soon with the date of the June clinic.

Our first FCA junior tournament of the year is set for Tuesday, June 18 at Bulle Rock. If you have a junior golfer who plays tournament golf, this event is a great way to start their competitive summer. Please e-mail me (drewfcamdgolf@gmail.com) to get more information.

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Wednesday
May 22, 2024
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3561


odds and ends


If you're reading this and you have a child in your midst, ages 8-18, this will pertain to you.

If not, you can read on, but please know this isn't going to connect with you.

If you have a son, daugther, grandchild, niece, nephew or just a family friend who is a budding junior golfer, ages 8-18, tonight is the first of our free junior FCA Maryland Golf clinics at Pine Ridge driving range.

We'd love for you to bring them out.

Junior golfers ages 8-18 are welcome to attend tonight's free golf clinic at Pine Ridge from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm.

The clinic begins at 5:30 pm and runs until 7:00 pm. We provide free golf instruction from both FCA coaches and area PGA professionals. It's a great way for beginners to learn the basics. And if you're a junior with some basic golfing skills, you're sure to pick up some new techniques at the clinic.

This is all part of the FCA Maryland Golf program that I help run.

Each month from May through October we host these free clinics at Pine Ridge. We welcome boys and girls of all skill levels to the clinics. Parents are also welcome to attend and observe.

FCA Maryland Golf also features a very active junior tournament schedule, with 7 events planned for 2024 throughout the state of Maryland. Our kick-off event is on Tuesday, June 18 at Bulle Rock GC.

These events are all one-day, 18-hole tournaments (except the TOUR Championship, which is two days) and are designed to familiarize junior players with tournament conditions and rules of the sport.

This year, we're excited to share that our two point getters from the season long standings receive an exemption into the Denny McCarthy Invitational at Argyle CC, October 19-20.

We're looking for four supporters for tonight's free clinic at Pine Ridge. Four sponsorship contributions of $50 covers the cost of golf balls, snacks for the junior golfers and a small stipend for our PGA professional who is on hand to assist us.

Would you consider being one of the four?

I'll happily give you kudos here at #DMD tomorrow, plus you're welcome to come out yourself tonight and see the clinic in person to know where your contribution goes.

If you're interested in helping out, your $50 can be sent to us via Venmo: @MarylandJuniorGolf

We'll post some pictures of the clinic in tomorrow's edition of #DMD.

And for those who can't make it tonight, our next clinic is set for Wednesday, June 12.


#DMD reader Mitch reached out to me witih a question about Gunnar Henderson. I bring it up today because it's going to continue to be a pressing issue throughout the 2024 season if Henderson maintains the kind of numbers he's produced through the first two months of the campaign.

Mitch asks: "Why wouldn't the Orioles try to lock up Gunnar now and give him an incredible $400 million deal for 10 years or something like that? He's only going to be worth more as the years go on. You might as well just lock him up now. Am I missing something, Drew?"

Mitch actually sorta-kinda answered his own question when he wrote, "He's only going to be worth more as the years go on."

The only way Henderson (via Scott Boras) would sign something now would be if it took away the final four years of the club's control and only added, say, two more years on the back end.

There's almost no way he'd agree to some kind of 10 or 12 year extension right now. At least that's the way Boras would advise him, I'm guessing.

Gunnar Henderson and a long term extension? Everyone but Gunnar says "yes!"

But if the Orioles want to give him $150 million for the next six years? That might have some appeal. He's going to make far more that way (over six years) than he otherwise would have and he'll still be a free agent at the ripe age of 28.

The O's, though, already have him under control for four of those six years at a fairly low price (in comparison). Is it worth two additional years to give him $150 million?

That's for Mike Elias to decide.

By the time Henderson becomes a free agent, per-season salaries for the top players will easily exceed $50 million. Henderson might even be in the $60 million per-year range by the late 2020's.

Just saying "sign him now" is fine. But "signing him now" isn't nearly as easy.

The good news, at least from 35,000 feet, is that Henderson grew up in Mobile and Selma, Alabama and attended Auburn University. Why is that good news? He doesn't have a hometown or home state team to favor when free agency rolls around.

That doesn't mean he didn't have a favorite team growing up, obviously. But it's not like he's from the Atlanta area originally and grew up with posters of Chipper Jones all over his bedroom, dreaming of someday playing for the Braves.

Most Major League players with a high pedigree eventually understand they're in it to make the most money they can. Because every huge contract they sign along the way makes it all the more lucrative for the guys who come along 5 or 10 years down the road.

I think the idea of signing Henderson now is great. I hope the Orioles are trying to figure out a way to make the money and the math work.

But I don't see it happening.

He'll get a nice raise through arbitration anyway, and won't have to "suffer" on the paltry $700,000 minimum salary he's living on right now.

And eventually his rookie deal will expire and someone will have to cough up $500 million for him.

Yes...$500 million.

Teach your kids to play shortstop and hit a baseball, mom and dad.

Great question, Mitch. I wish I was confidently able to give you the answer I know you were hoping for, but I can't.


The PGA Tour heads to Fort Worth for the Colonial Invitational this week, where it's expected that Scottie Scheffler will return to being Scottie Scheffler.

In other words, he wins and doesn't get arrested.

It's a home game for Scheffler, who lives in the Dallas area. Despite a pedestrian third round of 73 in last week's PGA Championship, Scheffler still managed a T8 finish at Valhalla. If he doesn't win this week, everyone will be surprised.

But what if he doesn't win? Who might claim the victory? I'm glad you asked.

We're favoring four additional golfers with our picks this week. We were fortunate to produce a winning week at the PGA on the heels of McIlroy, Morikawa and Noren, but this field in Fort Worth is a little more difficult to study.

The golf course isn't overly long. It typically rewards excellent putters, too, which you'll see below is one of the reasons why certain guys show up on our wagering sheet.

Four names really stand out this week:

Tony Finau (35-1) has finished in the top 20 in four of his eight visits to Colonial. He was lurking through one round of the PGA last week before his putter went south. His ball striking numbers over the last 10 TOUR events are Top 5 in several categories. This is a great spot for Finau to pick up a win.

Is this the week Denny McCarthy finall breaks through with his first ever PGA Tour win?

Brian Harman (40-1) has eight top-30 finishes in 11 appearances at Colonial, including three top-10 finishes. He is one of the game's premier iron players. When his putter is on, he's a threat to win anywhere, but the small piece of property at the Colonial should really be to his liking.

Denny McCarthy (50-1) is still looking for that elusive first win on TOUR, but there might not be another better place for his game to shine than Colonial CC. He leads the TOUR in virtually every putting stat and his "bogey avoidance" and "scrambling" numbers are at the top of the list, too. The weaker field at Colonial gives guys like McCarthy and Harman -- two shorter hitters by TOUR standards -- a chance to break through.

Aaron Rai (70-1) should be helped greatly by the short, tight layout at Colonial CC. He was second in Driving Accuracy last week at the PGA, hitting 46 of 56 fairways (82.1%) and was fifth in Scrambling (21/28 – 75%). He finished 12th last year at Colonial, which shows -- at least in one attempt -- that the course suits him well.

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RANDY MORGAN
on American soccer


Americans are playing more and more of a vital role in international soccer these days, and Randy Morgan has his eyes on all of them for #DMD. Each week here, he looks at recent performances of American players and highlights upcoming games of importance.


european soccer year in review


The European soccer season is rapidly coming to its close. The English Premier League concluded this past weekend along with the German Bundesliga and French Ligue 1.

Spain’s La Liga and the Italian Serie A will both play their final rounds next weekend, accompanied by the cup finals in England and Germany.

The Europa League final between Bayer Leverkusen and Atalanta takes place this Wednesday and the season will conclude with the crown jewel, the Champions League Final on Saturday June 1st.

With everything winding down, we’ll review the final standings in the big four leagues and I’ll give my team of the season for each.


Champions League –

The Champions League final is set, with Real Madrid a game away from hoisting the trophy yet again. They will meet the surprise of the tournament, Borussia Dortmund, who have had a magical Cinderella run through the knockout rounds.

After beating Manchester City in the quarterfinals, Real Madrid prevailed over Bayern Munich in the semis, conjuring a 2-1 come from behind win in the second leg in Madrid to secure a 4-3 aggregate.

Madrid worked their Champions League black magic as they looked left for dead, down 1-0 with only minutes remaining in regulation, when substitute striker, Joselu, came on and scored goals in the 88th and 91st minute to put the Madridistas into their sixth final of the last ten years.

Borussia Dortmund was not supposed to be here. They struggled to live up to their expectations in the Bundesliga this season, coming in fifth and just barely qualifying for next season’s Champions League thanks to the extra spot awarded to Germany.

It has been a different story in the Champions League, where they have consistently outplayed their underlying stats to surprise their opponents in each round. The semifinal was no different with Dortmund riding a Mats Hummels header in the 50th minute to a 1-0 win in Paris to complete a 2-0 aggregate win over the Mbappe led Paris St. Germain.

As in each previous round, Dortmund conceded way more chances but came ahead on the scoreboard. They will be heavy underdogs in the final, but they may just have the magic elixir to compete with Madrid’s Champions League witchcraft.


England –

The Premier League was the only league with title drama on the final weekend and for a short period, the title seemed fully up for grabs. After taking a 2-0 lead in the first 18 minutes on goals from Phil Foden, Manchester City let some doubt creep in when West Ham scored just before halftime.

Erling Haaland once again led the Premier League in goals as Manchester City won the league title.

However, the reigning champions quickly quelled any suspense with a Rodri goal early in the second half that put them up 3-1 and set them on their way to a fourth straight Premier League title.

Arsenal held up their end of the bargain with a 2-1 win over Everton, but ultimately fell just short, finishing two points behind City in the battle to the finish.

It was fully appropriate that Foden and Rodri led Manchester City to victory on the final day. Though Erling Haaland took home his second straight EPL Golden Boot, leading the league with 27 goals, it was Foden and Rodri who were the crucial players in this title run.

The two were neck and neck down the stretch for my Premier League Player of the Year. Rodri was the spine of the team and the metronome of City’s possession heavy attack.

He touched the ball far more than anyone else and completed an excellent 92.5% of his passes. Nearly every attacking build up went through Rodri as he quarterbacked the offense, picking at the weaknesses of the defense. From his spot in central midfield he also managed to supply 8 goals and 9 assists, bested only by attack minded midfielders Martin Odegaard and Bruno Fernandes.

But as good as Rodri was this season, the nod for Player of the Year goes to Phil Foden. The English star came into his own at age 23 this season and capped off the fantastic year with two more goals in the finale.

Foden finished the season with 19 goals and 8 assists, the fifth most goals and assists in the league. He also added four more goals and three assists in the Champions League.

For Foden, it wasn’t just about totals, it was timing, the young attacker seemed to deliver in the clutch every time City needed him. In addition to his timely scoring, the quality of his goals were unmatched, he produced numerous thunder strikes to the corner that left the goalie with no chance.

Joining City in qualifying for next season’s Champions League from England were Arsenal, Liverpool and Aston Villa. Down at the bottom of the table it was Luton Town, Burnley and Sheffield United who were relegated from the league. They will be replaced by Leicester City and Ipswich, who earned automatic promotion from the Championship. Leeds United and Southampton will duel for the final promotion spot in the playoff final.


Season Best XI –

G: Vicario - Tottenham

D: Robinson - Fulham; Saliba - Arsenal; Van Dijk - Liverpool

M: Rodri - Man City; Rice - Arsenal; Odegaard - Arsenal; Palmer - Chelsea

F: Foden - Man City; Haaland - Man City; Saka - Arsenal

Player of the Year: Phil Foden


Germany –

The German Bundesliga concluded its first season in twelve years with a champion other than Bayern Munich. Bayer Leverkusen more than earned the title, finishing off an undefeated season with a 2-1 win over Augsburg. Leverkusen finished with 28 wins, 6 draws and 0 losses.

Not only did they claim the league title, but they are scheduled to play in the Europa League final on Wednesday and the German Cup final next weekend, for a chance to complete a version of the “treble” and finish unbeaten in all competitions.

There is a very good argument that despite not being in the Champions League, Leverkusen was the best team in Europe this season. They will get their chance to prove themselves in that competition next year.

Joining them in the Champions League next season will be Stuttgart, who remarkably finished second, also ahead of Bayern Munich, who finished third. RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund round out the five Champions League spots from the Bundesliga.


Best XI –

G: Kobel - Dortmund

D: Grimaldo - Leverkusen; Hummels - Dortmund; Tah - Leverkusen; Kimmich - Bayern

M: Xhaka - Leverkusen; Simons - Leipzig; Musiala - Bayern

F: Wirtz - Leverkusen; Kane - Bayern; Openda - Leipzig

Player of the Year: Harry Kane


Spain –

Real Madrid clinched the La Liga title a while back and turned their focus to the Champions League, leaving little drama in the final weeks of the season. Barcelona finished in second well behind them and Girona and Atletico Madrid claimed the other two Spanish spots in the Champions League.

Best XI –

G: Gazzaniga - Girona

D: Cancelo - Barcelona; Blind - Girona; Kounde - Barcelona; Savio - Girona

M: Gundogan - Barcelona; Kroos - Real Madrid; Bellingham - Real Madrid

F: Vinicius Jr. - Real Madrid; Dovbyk - Girona; Griezmann - Atletico

Player of the Year: Jude Bellingham


Italy –

Inter Milan ran away with the Serie A title. The only drama down the stretch was for the final Champions League spot, but that is mostly settled heading into the final weekend. AC Milan, Bologna and Juventus are locked in at 2nd-4th and Atalanta is set to take the fifth and final Champions League place barring a miracle from 6th place Roma.

Best XI –

G: Di Gregorio - Monza

D: Theo - AC Milan; Bastoni - Inter; Buongiorno - Torino; Danilo - Juventus

M: Calhanoglu - Inter; Koopmeiners - Atalanta; Dybala - Roma

F: Leao - AC Milan; L. Martinez - Inter; Pulisic - AC Milan

Player of the Year: Hakan Calhanoglu

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Tuesday
May 21, 2024
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3560


tuesday topics include butker, blast and billy


It must be a day of the "B's".

Not every question in today's romp through the e-mail inbox deals with a "B", but three of the questions do.

I thought that was unique enough to make them all part of today's #DMD.

Before we get to that, we'll throw out a quick snippet about the O's and their 6-3 loss at St. Louis last night.

A 6-3 win over Seattle on Sunday.

A 6-3 loss to the Cardinals on Monday.

Kinda weird, I guess.

Anyway, let's get to the snippet.

In yesterday's edition of #DMD, Randy Morgan posed a question about the O's and their rain out policies and wondered if, perhaps, the team simply strings things out in an effort to get folks in the stadium to buy more food and drink while they wait for the first pitch.

I would never say never on that one. It's very devious, obviously, and the O's haven't been perfect over the years, but I don't think they'd stoop to that level, honestly.

What I think happens in baseball is actually rather simple. The umpires have way more control over the situation than perhaps both perception and the rules suggest they might. Working in concert with the home team's head groundskeeper -- who is working with a local weather expert for his/her information -- the umpires run point on when the game should start, when it might need to be stopped, and so on.

I can't speak to the specifics of what happened on Saturday in Baltimore. That was definitely a bit overly chaotic. But I'm guessing the weather patterns continued to shift in the early evening and that, more than anything, made it difficult for the umpires to find a window where they could comfortably start the game and get at least 4 or 5 innings completed.

There are other things taken into consideration, of course. Day of the week, visiting team's next game, ability to reschedule the game later on in the season, etc.

Had Saturday's game vs. Seattle been against, say, Tampa Bay or Boston, there's almost no doubt they would have simply called the game off and played it at another point in the season when those two teams returned to Baltimore. But with it being Seattle in town, the need to get the game finished on Saturday was paramount.

I know the O's have been capable of doing some underhanded things over the years, but stalling a weather-related decision to sell more soft drinks, pretzels and beers just doesn't seem like something they'd do now.


Art asks -- "Hi Drew, I haven't seen you offer a thought on the Harrison Butker situation and was wondering if you planned on writing about it one day?"

DF says -- "I don't think there's anything to gain from writing about it, honestly. It was a masssive overreaction from people who don't see things the same way Butker sees them.

And I'm not saying I agree with everything he said (I don't) and I'm not saying I disagree with everything he said (I don't).

But the whole thing was blown way out of proportion, as has become our specialty here in the U.S. over the last decade or so.

Let's just move on to other things. More important things."


Tim Darvey asks -- "Drew, on your radio show this past Sunday you talked about the concept of the best player who doesn't have a major championship. I am in a U.S. Open contest where you have to pick 6 players and only 2 are allowed to have majors and the other 4 can't have majors. Schauffele would have been on my list but now that he won I need someone else. If you were in the contest who would your 4 be? And who would your 2 be who have won a major?"

Tom Kim a threat at Pinehurst in next month's U.S. Open? #DMD says he might be, yes.

DF says -- "Well, Scheffler is obviously one of the two I'd take who have won a major before. Based on what we saw from him over the weekend and the way Pinehurst sets up, I think DeChambeau has a decent shot as well. Those would be my 2 who fulfill the "major winner" category.

The four without a major? This one's tough. I have to do a lot more research about ball striking data before I start thinking about my lineup for Pinehurst.

But, in general, I'd say my 4 "non major winners" for the U.S. Open would be: Aberg, Fleetwood, Tom Kim and maybe an outsider like Russell Henley or Harris English. Pick one of those two, add the 3 others, and go get 'em!"


R.T. asks -- "Are the Yankees legit, Drew? I'm starting to think they're going to be a problem this year. Do you still think the O's are division winners?"

DF says -- "They look legit. And they're doing it without Gerrit Cole, which is impressive. But, here's the thing. You know Judge is eventually going on the injured list. So is Stanton. Those two can't come anywhere close to playing a full season. I suspect Soto will eventually wind up on the injured list for a spell, too.

But, yes, I'd say they're going to be hanging around all summer based on what we've seen through 50 games.

And, yes, I also think the O's are still the front runner to win the division. The Birds aren't flawless, but they don't have many holes, either. A deadline deal or two will also help, don't forget.

This current edition of the Orioles is not the same roster they'll be displaying in September."


Steve asks -- "I don't know how much you follow the Blast these days but how is it possible that they can't sell out the Towson University arena that only holds 3,500 fans? Weren't they drawing 6,000 fans on average at the old arena downtown before they moved out to the county?"

DF says -- "I don't follow them much at all, honestly. Sad to say, I didn't make it out to one of their home games in 2023-2024, which was the first time since 1980 that I didn't see them play a home game.

I don't know what's going on with them attendance wise. When you look at the attendance numbers in the league (which I just did for the first time in an effort to answer this question), the numbers are very similar with all of the teams. 3,000, 3,500, the occasional crowd of somewhere in the 4,000 range.

You also see a lot of crowds in the 1,500 range, too, which is obviously not good.

I don't know why the numbers are what they are in Baltimore, but a crowd of 2,500 or so at the Towson arena is about 80% capacity given a bunch of seats that are obstructed view and are the last ones to be sold.

I also have no idea what they would draw if they moved back downtown. Would they generate better crowds being in a bigger building? Maybe. But perhaps they wouldn't. I just don't follow them enough any longer to know what's going on with them, attendance wise.

In the last year or two of my tenure with the team, we were averaging roughly 5,000 or so per-game, but we were losing money.

If they're only averaging 2,000 or 2,500 but they're making money, that's better than drawing 5,000 and losing money."


Mark Jerns asks -- "I know you're an old school music guy so I thought we'd have some fun with "Billy" and see what order you would rank these three: Billy Joel, Billy Squier and Billy Idol. Thanks, Drew!"

DF says -- "This is a good one! And not quite as easy it might first seem. I think all three of them were (are) outstanding.

Let me say this first. Billy Idol (real name: William Broad) was actually very underrated. I know we got "White Wedding" and "Rebel Yell" shoved down our throats by MTV, but if you skip past those two and look more in depth at his catalog, you're going to find a lot of really good music.

"Catch My Fall" was a great song by Billy Idol.

Billy Squier was awesome. I know his run was pretty short-lived, but if you put his 12 best songs on a "Best of" CD, it's pretty freakin' impressive.

Sadly, the video for "Rock Me Tonight" was a bit of a career killer for him, which was probably more a sign of the times than anything else.

These days, a guy rolling around on the floor or dancing like he did in the video wouldn't be given a second thought. Back then, though, it didn't go over well, as the stories about his career decline told us.

His music was awesome, though.

But......

When it comes to "Billy", there's only one.

Billy Joel is the man.

If you want to put his best songs on a CD, you'll need two of them, at least. The dude has more hits than Tony Gwynn.

I've had the pleasure of seeing him in concert at MSG in New York five times over the last decade or thereabouts. He's still a master showman. And even though there are some parts of his songs he can no longer reach, vocally, his production crew does a great job of backing him out of those situations in a way that you don't even realize it. He can no longer sing "River of Dreams" in totality, for example. But you'd never know it unless you were really paying attention.

So, if you want a formal ranking, it's Joel, Squier and Idol. But all three were really good.

And in case you didn't see the video that killed Billy Squier's career, here it is below. The comments in the video are...well...they're something else."


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#dmd comments








The Real Ricky     May 24
@ Paul From Towson: Preach, brother!

@ Drew: As a fellow devout "Loud" Catholic, I appreciate you standing up for your (our) faith. Keep up the good Christian work!

Dan     May 24
If someone (let's call him "Larry") does not like a speech by a devout Catholic given at a private Catholic school than said loser (again, "Larry") should not listen to it thus sparing the rest of us your phony, manufactured outrage.

Steve of Pimlico     May 24
Who would you have preferred for a graduation speaker,Butker or P Diddy.

Jon     May 24
*scrolls right past Paul……

Paul from Towson     May 24
What a time to be alive in these, the UNITED States of America!!! Where drag queens reading to elementary school children and 5 year olds tipping said drag queens at strip clubs (look it up if you don't believe me) is perfectly fine. BUT an NFL place kicker is vilified for giving a commencement speech to a group of graduating Catholic seniors, where he spoke fondly of women looking forward to marriage and motherhood. HOW DARE HE!!!! THIS, ladies and gentleman, IS exactly what's wrong with this country. And yes, @Jason M, it is the liberal mainstream media, that took this 4 minute sound bite, and ran all over the world with it. Leading many on the Left to suffer complete and total mental breakdowns. How dare a white, male athlete tell a group of women that marriage and motherhood are two of the greatest things they will accomplish in their lives. I suppose they would rather he just beat, abuse, harass, threaten, and sexually assault these women (as is per usual for NFL players) instead of wishing them blessings on the positive things in life. Or have these athletes continue the trend of fathering 11 kids with 10 women an taking care of a grand total of none of them (looking at you Travis Henry and Antonio Cromartie). Or maybe fathering 5 kids with 6 women before they turn the ripe old age of 25.



You people really need to get your heads examined.



If you have an issue with what Harrison Butker said to the point where you need to go on social media or any other platform and rail against him, and in many cases, try to CANCEL him....!!?? Then YOU, are what is wrong with this country. Why can't we just say, "I kind of disagree with that." And leave it be??? Last time I checked, he wasn't forcing anyone to live their lives by these guidelines. He was merely encouraging those women who choose to be a wife and mother and expressing his own cherished values and beliefs. Since when was that a terrible way to live ones life? He also said that many of them will embark on successful careers!!! I have a brilliant 25 year old daughter who is currently serving in the United States Navy after receiving a degree in Chemical Engineering from Auburn University. She has set herself up nicely to have a wonderful and fulfilling life, which will include marriage to her Secret Service agent fiance' and eventually a few children.



In a world where every day we are witness to appalling and heinous behavior displayed by athletes, politicians celebrities, and regular every day idiots, Harrison Butker's comments should be a refreshing take on core family values that were said to a group of folks who share his same values and beliefs. Instead, they're viewed as just another example of this imaginary oppression that drives the false narrative of the leftist victimhood which refuses to take responsibility for their own poor decisions and instead blames the good, decent members of society for the ills that befall them. When in turn they could just say, "You know what, I disagree with you, Mr. Butker" and leave it at that. John Wayne once said, "I disagree, vehemently, with everything Hanoi Jane (that piece of treasonous trash Jane Fonda) says, but I'll defend to the death her right to say it." Funny...I didn't hear these same people cry out when the current president told a group of graduating young black men that their country hates them. To me, that's way worse than anything Harrison Butker said. Whether I agree with him or not.



And again, THAT is what's wrong with this country.

Unitastoberry     May 24
Anyone who takes advice from celebrities is seriously got a problem. Take advice from clergy,doctors,lawyers ,cpas ,etc. Not field goal kickers, singers, actors,keyboard warriors,even politicians.

CLIFF     May 24
It was a “win-win” for @DF - Orioles victory AND his “buddy Gavin Sheets” had a good game, getting on base four times. At least today’s O’s segment was straight news, with the name-dropping toned down. We get it; the site owner is friends with a (fringe) major leaguer. Sheesh.


Jason M     May 24
Oh please Drew, I agree on that the Butker thing is a nothing burger, he gets to have an opinion and we get to ignore it, agree with it or whatever, but to please don;t wave the Liberal Media flag. People were interested in his remarks, it was newsworthy, and the news media are not going to play his entire 25 minute speech, they are going to cut to the newsworthy parts. The article in the newspaper I read started with the controversial parts and the reaction but by the 5th paragrapgh described the entirety of the speech. TV news is too sound bite, compelling pictures and bleeding and ledeing, if you want a more fully formed news, I turn to sources like the Dish, the Sun, the Banner, and the Post. There is a ton of conservative leaning media out there (hello Sinclair broadcasting, hello new ownership version of the Sun, hello NewsMax, Fox News, News One) so I really reject the dated notion of the liberal media. BTW Butker, a lot of us need two incomes to make it and be able to afford to support stuff like the NFL, we can't all be NFL Players working 6 months a year for millions.

Tom J     May 24
I hope Scotty and his team and lawyer sue the living crap out of the Johnny Bad A$$ cop and that CLOWN SHOW of a police department in Louisville. There's no reason any person should have been pulled from that car and cuffed a minute later for that. And you're correct, instead of owning this and saying "sorry", they continue to double down and dig their hole deeper........



The O's bullpen and lack of trustworthy closer will be their Achilles Hell and down fall as well as trying to hit every pitch 600 feet.



Why does anyone care about what any athlete, musician or actor says about anything???? Who cares????????

ej     May 23
Does @JJ know golf tournaments have more than one round?

J.J.     May 23
@DF says "Go with Finau and Harman this week in golf."

Finau and Harman immediately are near the lead. LMAO

Chris in Bel Air     May 23
Like Drew said, I considered the O's streak of not being swept ending last fall in the playoff series against Texas. Still, it was an impressive regular season run and another gauge of their success is their lack of losing streaks and length of losing streaks. Starting with Adley's arrival in May 2022 (spanning 330 games and if my research is correct), O's have had a total of 7 losing streaks of 3 games or more and the most is a 4-game streak. Again, pretty impressive and as their winning pct shows, they tend to shake off losses quickly and get back to the WIN column.

hal     May 23
We need the trade of a DFA player for a backup to the backup C to show us Elias is "paying attention to every department of the on field product"? That is pretty disrespectful if you ask me. I have zero doubts that Elias pays attention to everything EVERY day. Deciding not to do something is as hard, or harder, than doing something. I'll trust Elias until I see tangible reasons to not trust him. Hyde, eh, he might not have quite the same level of trust, but like it is with Harbs, if you decide to move on from him, who you gonna bring in that will do better? Lee Mazzilli lol?

Unitastoberry     May 23
Expecting Judge and Stanton to get injured isn't a good approach to winning the divison. Tons of baseball left but I'm seeing cracks and as you said Hyde made some bad calls.

Stats Nerd     May 23
If nothing else I hope this case opens some people's eyes to the fact that police should not always be given the benefit of the doubt. Brutal job...no question. But this is Keystone Cops type stuff that frankly isn't an isolated situation

TimD in Timonium     May 23
"He was booked at Metro Corrections at 7:28 a.m. before being released at 8:40 a.m. Scheffler was charged with 2nd degree assault of a police officer, 3rd degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding signals from officers directing traffic."



So, Scottie gets a gentle slap on the wrist the morning of the "misunderstanding," but will get the book thrown at him when he next appears in court? That's very doubtful. there's The Elite, and then there's all of us. Different rules apply.



O-for-St. Louis? Oh, no. Going 3-1 against the Sox would be nice.


Steve of Pimlico     May 22
If Scheffler goes to jail I'm starting a group GLM( golfers lives matter).Storm the Bastille with 9 irons to free Scottie

RC     May 22
Poor Mitch, he must listen to the goofs in the local media who like to harp on "the need to lock up their young talent" as if the decision is totally up to Elias and the Orioles alone. There is no magic number that would "force" any of these guys to sign a long-term deal now.

DMD is correct that Mitch answers his own question - if the amount needed is just gonna go up and up, so why would any player sign "now"?? Easy to blame Boras but most agents will have that same view. Injury is the only compelling risk, but most young athletes are not going to fear injury.

Buying out arbitration years sounds nice in theory, but what does it get you really? One or two years on the back end is not worth overpaying for those arbitration years.

The best thing Elias can do is keep the pipeline full of talent. So far, he seems to be doing just that. It would be nice to have a handful of guys stay long term but that's just not how the system is designed. If it happens great, if not, having young replacements who are ready to replace departing FA's is the way to go.

Howard     May 22
Let’s get real. It’s not a coincidence that a little over 24 hours after he was arrested and jailed that Scheffler played a round of golf over par when everyone else was smoking the course.



And he still has the sword of Damocles over his head. The charges have not been dropped and he faces the possibility of going to jail for a long time for assaulting a police officer.



If I’m him, I’m talking to LIV to see what they’ll give me up front. My guess is that LIV would roll the dice and sign the #1 player in anticipation of a hot shot lawyer getting him off.








Chris in Bel Air     May 22
Indeed, Gunnar is a sensational player. Just the game the other night was he was something. 3-run bomb and two eye-popping plays in the field. I sure hope he's here for the long haul but at the price he (and Boras) will demand, I don't have a warm and fuzzy feeling on that.

You know who else has been impressive so far? Westburg. Hitting and fielding. His 2.0 WAR is tied with the Phillies Bohm for tops of all MLB 3B and Westburg's OPS is 5th in MLB. Like O'Hearn, he's just a 'ball player'. Bring your lunch pail every day and go to work.

Dan     May 22
The Billy Squier video and comments are DMD gold.

jeffwell     May 21
Totally agree with comments about Billy Joel live. Like Springsteen, you always get your money's worth at his concerts. From the quality of the music, the energy of the entire band, to the length of the show, it is always money and time well spent.

MFC     May 21
KJ,KJ,KJ I have you enrolled in our RC101 class and you my friend will sit in the first row. Please re-read the sentence. If you don't understand the reference, you live a hermit style life.



Congrats to Spalding on their baseball championship.CH put up a good fight but Spalding is really, really good.



Kremer hadn't pitched in 8 days, it showed. Not sure that's the way to go giving him that much rest.



Thank God, Rubenstein has $3 billion + because he's going to give at least 1/2 of it to Henderson. He might be the best all-around player in baseball.



There's a cost just to open the stadium. John Brown told me when he was heading the Sports Authority that it cost $50,000 to open the football stadium as I was lobbying for Friday night high school doubleheaders. And that was close to 20 years ago or more.



I've had the opportunity to see Billy Joel twice in Baltimore. Unbelievable show.






kj     May 20
So @MFC defends himself by saying HE "lives in a Kardashian world"?? Now that's funny.

Barry     May 20
Geno and JR can call out Larry but Larry can't respond? Weird.

MFC     May 20
Larry needs RC 101, summer session opening up now and maybe we throw in an added session on "how to troll successfully".



This is a headline from writer Carlos Garcia, cutting and pasting the entire article is unnecessary as the headline tells the story. I did not write the headline.



"Rory McIlroy, Amanda Balionis Cheating Rumor Goes Viral"



We cared or were interested when it was Tiger, we're invested. In the scheme of things does it matter, only if you're one of the participants or offspring. Would it be the same if it were Billy Horshel, Martin Laird or even Denny McCarthy, probably not because we don't see them as much. But we are invested, we see them so much we feel like we know them, even though we don't. We live in a Kardashian world.



Better luck next time Larry.


larry     May 20
Yes, apparently I do need to offer up a mea culpa. Had no idea so many grown men perusing a sports opinion website would have so much interest in the love life of one pro golfer. Also had no idea "media reports" have become so accurate they are to always be believed. Man, learn something new at DMD every day.

David Rosenfeld     May 20
From what I've read, it's somewhat likely that Valhalla will be off the rotation because the PGA of America sold it to a small group of its members. That was only 2 years ago, so it was well after the event was scheduled for this year.

Played behind a group at a local course yesterday and it was just exasperating. Yes, carts were on the path, but take a couple clubs to your ball and hit it. Stop imitating the pros on the green and marking 2 foot putts. Also, notice how your group never has to wait but the group behind you is always waiting for you.

Geno     May 20
@Larry looking pretty foolish. Mea culpa time.

J.R.     May 20
I don't want to fan the flames of a Larry/MFC war but the Rory/Amanda story has been circulating for at least a month.

Rory's wife was having a fling with a waiter in West Palm and she got caught last September.

Everyone knows that.

The Rory/Amanda stuff started right after Arnie's event in Orlando in March.

I'm not trying to defend MFC but he's not making up gossip.

Kevin     May 20
Spot on about Immelman/CBS. He's been a big whiff.

larry     May 20
How can @MFC ever expect anyone to take ANY of his opinions seriously when he comes out here with high school level gossip about Rory and who he's "heard" he's hooking up with now? Beyond embarrassing for a grown man.

CJ     May 20
Sorry, Nantz. Not Nance.

CJ     May 20
Agree with Drew about Immelman. He's beyond awful IMHO. Chamblee made his bed with all of his LIV hate but he would be great next to Nance.

Tom J     May 20
@Paul from Towson, no, you are 100 percent spot on. She is terrible along with Melanie Newman. Just awful..... It's not because they are women, it's because they are just horrible announcers and are horrible at their jobs. The Orioles have to get this feedback as you see people saying the same thing on multiple websites and message boards.

Stats Nerd     May 20
@MFC Tightening the fairways simply increases the advantage between long and short hitters. It's easier to hit shorter irons out of the rough than longer ones, obviously.

The best way to defend the golf course is to have it play hard and fast particularly the fairways and the greens/surrounds.

MFC     May 20
I read that 63,000 passed through Pimlico's gates Friday and Saturday. The PR spin is that they'd rather have less numbers to increase the fan experience, aka bet real $. DF said it right, they'd rather have $80,000 tent rentals than 50,000 more in the infield.

Hopefully for the 150'th they set big goals for attendance and market to reach them. How great would it be to really see a crowd there again, regardless of their "experience" spin. Maybe not have the O's playing home, that's a start.



I'll say it again, they can't make the courses long enough. Again, agree with DF, tighten those fairways. Doesn't diminish one bit what the X man did.



If you're bored this afternoon travel down to Joe Cannon stadium and watch CH VS Spalding for the baseball championship. It's really good ball, great seats.



BTW, the rumors are rampant on Rory hooking up with Amanda Balionis (formerly Renner). Of course there are non-substantiated reports coming in. I wouldn't be surprised and do feel sorry for Rory's ex. I was hoping his was going to be a fairytale life but as stated earlier, life happens. There could be some fire in this smoke.



The AAU basketball season is here and already kids trading teams in the same weekend. Parents screaming at coaches, coaches screaming at kids. It's a wonderful world.

Paul from Towson     May 19
Great season, Drew!! Congratulations to you and your young men!!



Went to the O’s game again today and as much as I’ve loved going to games the past few years, I have one complaint. The PA announcer is ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE! There are some parts of the stadium where you can’t hear anything she says. The music between innings sometimes drowns her out and she sounds like she would be better served in a minor league stadium. Aberdeen for starters. I know we were spoiled for many years with Rex Barney, but in my opinion, she is awful. Anyone else share my opinion? Or am I off base here? I’ve been to a couple Nats games in DC, and the dude there is awesome. Makes ours sound like they picked some random person off the street.

Tom J     May 19
Congrats on a great season Drew. You are teaching those kids how not only to win with class but lose with class as well.



@Howard, why would Sheffler go to LIV because of that? They kill people over there for that......



It would be nice if the O's scored more than 2 runs again today for Burnes.....

DJ     May 19
As a family friend of one of the young men on your team, let me just tell you what they say.



"He cares so much about them as young men and golfers. Even though my son didn't play a lot he made him feel important."

MFC     May 19
Any championship at any level is hard to win. Winning 1 is hard, back to back is extremely difficult, especially in a great league. It’s not like you’re a mediocre team in a weak league. You were there, you had a chance, you were the “man in the arena”.



Exciting race despite rain, conditions of the facilities.



Tiger didn’t win them all and neither will Scheffler. It’s golf and things happen.

They can’t seem to make the courses long enough. It looks like close to 20 under will win. With players hitting 220. Yd 6 irons every par 4 needs to be 500+yards and even that’s not long enough.

TimD in Timonium     May 19
Seatlle's not a bunch of scrubs, but the O's could use a Corbin Burnes WIN today.



And some sunshine.

Steve of Pimlico     May 18
@,Lou/ Palo Alto.Your must be really old

Howard     May 18
If I were Scheffler my phone call from jail would have been to Greg Norman to make me an offer.

Having your arm yanked, being pulled out of the car, being thrown against the car and then being handcuffed could have resulted in injury.

And now he risks being convicted of a felony.

Show me the money!

lou@palo alto     May 18
apart from the mile track in maryland, racing started going dnhill in the early, mid 60s when the racing commission closed the half mile tracks--these were feeder tracks for families and kids w dads learning the races (like me)--sure the mile tracks were cool and my dad went all time, me occ. but we used to go to the Bel Air track a lot and it was great fun, a faded memory

Jon     May 18
So report i read was that the golfer dragged the officer with his car and the officer was bruised….im confused (if accurate) how the police over reacted- if that happened- who continues to drive with a person draped on their car?

Mario     May 18
Good luck today!

MFC     May 18
@Billy, those comments were directed in my direction in a feeble attempt at trolling.

The better team won and I wish them well in the championship.



What's the over-under for the Preakness attendance today? Will 50,000 venture out?



Again, it really wasn't Tigers driver, his short game is an 8 handicap right now. He did however play the last 14 holes in 1 under. You can't make triple much less two of them. His tournament was over on the second hole. He seemed to walk ok, he was just bad. He looked old and tired walking off 18. I guess +7 will do that.



Lots of sports today, Preakness ( who cares right?), golf, lacrosse and baseball. Good day to be a couch potato.



Congrats to McDonogh upsetting #1 Boys Latin in lax. And belated congrats to St. Pauls upsetting McDonogh girls.




Hank ( The Fake One)     May 18
Thanks CIK but not sure about that

Fighting off the Derby Champ #5 and 2 others ?

CIK     May 18
When handicapping, being “keen” is a good thing. But you definitely don’t want the horse to be “keen”.



@Hank

I would assume the 2 others are the 8 & 5.

Monday
May 20, 2024
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3559


one putt...changes everything


There's almost nothing better in sports than someone who finally grabs the brass ring.

Peyton Manning chased a title for a long time and had several near-misses before he eventually snagged the Lombardi Trophy.

Alex Ovechkin was "Cup-less" for his career until the Caps made an improbable run in 2017-2018 and hoisted the coveted Stanley Cup.

Clayton Kershaw had everything a baseball player could have except a championship ring, but he finally earned one of those in 2020.

In golf, Xander Schauffele was widely known as the "best player without a major championship" heading into the 2024 campaign.

That all changed yesterday.

AFter 12 top 10 finishes in major championships, Xander Schauffele finally claimed a trophy on Sunday at the PGA.

Schauffele made a birdie on the 72nd hole of the PGA Championship to win his first major golf championship, a feat that was starting to look more and more elusive with each passing season.

One of the good guys earned his wings on Sunday at Valhalla GC in Louisville.

It was great to see.

Schauffele, the record will show, didn't just hang on to win by a shot. Instead, he threw up a 7-birdie, 1-bogey round of 65 to hold off Bryson DeChambeau and Viktor Hovland, both of whom shared the final round lead at some point on Sunday afternoon.

DeChambeau bettered Schauffele's final round 65 by a shot, with a birdie at the 18th hole punctuating a closing 64.

Hovland had an 8-foot putt to tie DeChambeau at 20-under, but he badly missed that birdie effort and the next one, too, to finish in solo third at 18-under par.

Schauffele, meanwhile, was handed a lousy break on the 18th hole when his drive ended up a foot from a fairway bunker, giving him virtually no chance to get home in two on the par 5 finishing hole.

He then faced perhaps the most important decision and shot of his career.

Lay up with an 8 or 9 iron and leave yourself 100 yards to the hole?

Go for the green in two and risk losing your balance in the bunker and shanking the ball into the water that bordered the final 175 yards of the hole on the right?

"X" chose the gung-ho option, whisking a 4-iron out over the water and hooking it left of the green to a nice spot some 15 yards short of the putting surface. It won't make any highlight reels of the greatest shots ever hit, but it should receive strong consideration.

He then pitched the ball to six feet and was left with that putt for the title.

Prior to Sunday, Schauffele had finished in the top 10 in major championships on 12 separate occasions. The 30-year old was developing a characteristic no professional athlete wants attached to his/her pedigree: He couldn't finish the job.

A six foot putt would either loosen that albatross hanging around his neck or tighten it even more.

It's amazing how one moment in sports can change everything.

"I didn't hit the greatest putt," Schauffele said afterwards. "I was a bit confused about the break. I knew it was going left to right just a hair but I kept thinking to myself that it looked a shade right to left. I decided to just hit it in the middle."

The ball started on the inside left of the hole and stayed there. At the last second, it started to leak left. The ball caught the high left corner of the cup, reeled around the back part of the hole, and fell in.

Major championship won.

Albatross lifted.

Xander Schauffele was no longer the guy who "couldn't close the deal".

And there's now no telling what his career might do given he finally got that monkey off his back.

He's a gifted driver of the golf ball and a top 10 iron player in the world. His short game isn't the greatest, but he can make birdies in bunches when his putter cooperates like it did at Valhalla.

Scottie Scheffler is certainly a threat to capture the career grand slam.

Schauffele is as well.

Ardent #DMD readers will recall we had Schauffele winning at Augusta National in April. He finished T8 there, but once again surfaced at a major championship and earned another top 10 along the way.

Now that he's grabbed that brass ring, anything can happen.

He can win in April, May, June and July, which is all it takes in golf. The bet here is he wins another major title in 2024 or 2025.


PGA Championship Winners and Losers --

Loser: The golf course -- "Disaster" would be too strong, but Valhalla is quickly starting to prove unworthy of hosting a major championship. Traffic was chaotic all week. A man lost his life early Friday morning after being hit by a shuttle bus. Players had to abandon their cars and walk 2 miles to get into the property. Nothing improved over the weekend, either. The golf course itself provided for great drama, but it was simply far too easy for the best players in the world. Sure, rainy weather on Wednesday helped soften it up a bit, but the reality is 21-under to win a major is laughable. The PGA of America likely won't return there anytime soon.

Justin Thomas posted four straight rounds in the 60's for his best major finish since winning the 2022 PGA.

Winner: Justin Thomas -- He only finished one shot better than Rory at 13-under-par, but the outlook was 180 degrees different for J.T., who this time last year couldn't find a fairway with a GPS system. While he was never truly a threat to win at Valhalla, he produced four straight rounds in the 60's and ranked near the top of several statistical categories. And, for the first time in maybe two years, he "looked" like the old Justin Thomas. Smiling, hitting great shots, and looking like a guy who might someday soon return to the major championship winner's circle.

Loser: Rory McIlroy -- It's 10 years running now for McIlroy, who last one a major in 2014 at Valhalla. This time, though, he was primed to get back in the winner's circle. A week removed from a huge Sunday finish at the Wells Fargo, where he won for the fourth time, Rory got off to a 5-under start on Thursday and seemed ready to break that 10-year skid in majors. Alas, he didn't much from there, shooting 12-under for four days and a T12 finish. He didn't "awful" golf, obviously, but he needed a big weekend and couldn't produce one. The malady lingers on.

Winner: Bryson DeChambeau -- He didn't win, but his golf was outstanding. And he showed he can compete with his new, "return to college" body, as he called it. DeChambeau is still a total weirdo. He's playing something called "3D developed irons" and prattled on at length over the weekend about golf's linear capabilities and other bizarre lingo no one could understand. His putting stroke still looks like something your grandfather would employ at the par-3 course in Ocean City. But the guy is supremely talented and an incredible driver of the golf ball. Look out for him at Pinehurst next month.

Loser: CBS Sports -- I don't know all the ins-and-outs of how they choose their commentating crew, but a year into the Trevor Immelman experiment, it looks like CBS might have shanked that one. Immelman just doesn't have it. The 18th hole announcing spot isn't easy, that's for sure. Faldo was decent enough, but even he wasn't the answer. Johnny Miller (NBC) was the best of them all, but he hit too many nerves with some of his honesty. Why or how CBS settled on Immelman is unknown, but he's drab and dreary in a spot that calls for depth and conviction. The answer in that position is Brandel Chamblee of The Golf Channel, but it's unlikely CBS would be willing to hand the keys over to a controversial figure like him. At this point, anyone other than Immelman would be an upgrade.

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"Randy On The O's"


Randy Morgan takes #DMD readers through the recent week in Orioles baseball as the Birds try to win a second straight A.L. East title.


orioles week in review


Week Record: 3-2

Season Record: 29-15

AL East Standing: 2nd (2 GB NYY)

Player of the Week: Adley Rutschman .353 AVG 3 HR 5 RBI 1 BB

It was another light week for the Orioles with a rainout on Tuesday and an off day on Thursday. The Birds managed to make it a winning week, coming out ahead on Sunday to finish the week 3-2.

Despite the positive week the O’s lost ground on the streaking Yankees, who went undefeated on the week, sweeping through the Twins and the hapless White Sox to take a two game lead in the AL East (four in the win column, none in the loss column).

Although they’re second in the division, the O’s have the second best record in the American League and third best in MLB, with the Phillies the only other team with a better winning percentage.

Adley Rutschman hit .353 with 3 HR and 5 RBI to capture #DMD's "Player of the Week" honors.

The week opened with a tough 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays on Monday. It was another strong Corbin Burnes start where the offense let him down. Burnes went six innings giving up only a run, but Adley Rutschman’s two homers were the only Orioles offense and Daulton Varsho took Yennier Cano deep in the 8th inning before the Jays won in the 10th.

After a rainout on Tuesday, the O’s avoided yet another “sweep” on Wednesday when Adley Rutschman went deep with a high fly that just cleared the fence in right field for a walk-off two-run homer.

The only other offense was a leadoff homer from Jordan Westburg. In between, Kyle Bradish wasn’t quite as sharp in his third start back from injury, but he only gave up two runs and the bullpen kept a clean sheet for five innings to set up the walk off win.

Over the weekend, AL West leading Seattle came to town with one of the top pitching staffs in the league. You wouldn’t have known it on Friday, as the Orioles quickly jumped on Bryce Miller, with a Gunnar Henderson leadoff homer leading to a five-run 1st inning rally. John Means delivered another solid start, going six strong innings before the O’s padded the lead with a three-run 7th en route to a 9-2 win.

On Saturday Grayson Rodriguez returned from the Injured List to start and after a lengthy rain delay, he quickly quieted any questions about a rehab start. Rodriguez no-hit the Mariners into the 6th inning, finishing with six innings, one run and seven strikeouts.

Unfortunately two of the most reliable members of the bullpen blew the lead, with Danny Coulombe and Yennier Cano combining to allow four runs. A Gunnar homer in the 9th couldn’t spark a rally and the O’s fell 4-3.

The week ended on a winning note Sunday. After Corbin Burnes struck out the side in the first, Gunnar Henderson hit his second leadoff homer of the week and his league-leading 15th of the year. Burnes was spectacular in this one, striking out eleven and surrendering just one run in six innings.

This time he actually did get some run support as well, with a Ryan O’Hearn homer sparking a small rally in the 3rd inning to extend the lead to 5-1 and Cedric Mullins breaking out of his slump with two RBI singles.

Cole Irvin pitched two scoreless innings from the bullpen before Craig Kimbrel returned to the closer role, at least for the afternoon, and picked up an efficient save in a 6-3 win.

The stars shined for the Orioles this week, as the three candidates for Player of the Week were Gunnar Henderson, Adley Rutschman and Corbin Burnes. Henderson homered in each game in the Seattle series, batting .263 on the week with the three homers and four RBI.

Corbin Burnes led the staff with two stellar starts, throwing a combined twelve innings while giving up just two runs and striking out thirteen, finally getting some run support on Sunday.

However, the week belonged to Adley Rutschman. Despite getting a rest on Sunday, Rutschman hit three homers, batting .353 on the week with three straight multi-hit games to start the week, including the dramatic game winner on Wednesday.


Down on the Farm –

In Norfolk the lead news item was not positive. Hot-hitting prospect Coby Mayo looks like he’ll miss a few weeks with injured ribs after crashing into the dug out while chasing a foul pop up.

Mayo goes to the injured list as the International League leader in homers, but the injury will delay any impact he has on Baltimore this summer.

The news on the top prospect on the system was only slightly better. I managed to watch most of Jackson Holliday’s at-bats this week and he looks like he still has a lot to figure out in AAA. I’m starting to think he won’t be back in Baltimore until after the All-Star break at the earliest.

Holliday managed a home run earlier in the week, but in general he is lacking power, rolling over for a lot of weak ground balls to the right side of the infield, similar to his time in Baltimore.

He is walking more and striking out less, but he really needs to start driving the ball more consistently if he’s going to force his way back into the Orioles lineup. Right now, Coby Mayo, Heston Kjerstad and Connor Norby all look like more major-league ready bats.

Speaking of Kjerstad, he went back down to Norfolk and homered in his first at-bat. Then he capped the weekend off with a game-winning grand slam in the 12th inning on Sunday.

Top pitching prospect Cade Povich had another solid start on Saturday, throwing six innings with one earned run and eight strikeouts to run his season ERA to 2.08. While he doesn’t always look dominant, without top end velocity, Povich still leads the International League with 65 strikeouts in 47.2 innings pitched.

Down in AA Bowie there weren’t a ton of standouts, but 2022 draft pick Dylan Beavers continued a strong start to the season, batting .400 on the week with two homers to raise his season OPS to .890.

Beavers appears on his way to earn a midseason promotion to AAA and could soon be another option in a crowded O’s outfield.


Question of the Week –

How can the O’s optimize their roster for the stretch run?

At this point we are more than a quarter of the way through the season and it's pretty clear the Orioles will be competing for a division title once again, barring some major hiccup.

This team looks every bit as strong as the one that led the American League in wins last season. So the question becomes, where can the O’s make incremental improvements to stay ahead of the Yankees in the division race and ultimately get over the next hurdle in the playoffs.

Despite the struggles of a few veteran outfielders, the Orioles are among the top of the league in most offensive categories. Likewise, the starting rotation has been surprisingly effective, in spite of injuries to Bradish, Means and Rodriguez. The likes of Cole Irvin and Dean Kremer have outperformed expectations to round out one of the better rotations in the league.

The one area that has been a little shaky is the bullpen. Craig Kimbrel has disappointed after being brought in to replace Felix Bautista in the closer role.

Though he’s looked better since losing his hold on the 9th inning, it will be hard to trust Kimbrel fully for the rest of the season. Much of the rest of the bullpen has been up and down with even the most reliable options getting touched up here and there.

When stacked against their top contenders, this appears to be the one area the Orioles could make significant improvements. The next question is how to do that. Who might the Orioles part with to bring in more solid relief options?

Would they consider moving one of their veteran outfielders to make room for some of the talented rookies knocking on the door in Norfolk?

This would come with plenty of risk as they’ve seen several recent promotions have extended struggles in the transition to the majors. It's also hard to estimate the impact trading a player like Austin Hays or Anthony Santander would have on the mood in the clubhouse.

From a purely practical standpoint, Santander would make the most sense to move, since he is a free agent after the season and likely has the highest current value of the three as an impact bat.

You could easily imagine a trade where Santander brings back a solid if not spectacular back end bullpen piece. However, it seems fairly unlikely the team would move such an important veteran. It’s a lot easier to move a player like Connor Norby who hasn’t been with the team all season.

If it’s not one of the soon to be free agent veterans then which prospects might the Orioles be willing to part with? In a search for bullpen help there should be plenty of options towards the deadline, but finding the right fit can be a challenge.

The O’s don’t necessarily need a long term solution at closer, with Felix Bautista set to return in 2025. So they probably won’t mortgage the future.

Holliday is clearly untouchable in any trade and I imagine Coby Mayo and Samuel Basallo are as well. With the possible pending departures of Corbin Burnes and John Means next season, it's unlikely the front office would let go of top pitching prospects Cade Povich or Chayce McDermott.

My guess is Mike Elias and crew will look to deal from the system’s depth more than its top gems. Maybe if there is a really attractive option they could part with someone like Heston Kjerstad, but it would need to be a truly special reliever to give up years of team control of a promising power hitter.

Connor Norby is probably the next most likely player to headline a trade, but even he could have a valuable utility role on the team in the near future.

The team may look to make multiple lower profile moves to try to strike gold like they have several times before with relievers. Players like Dylan Beavers, Jud Fabian or Luis de Leon may be able to return some bullpen help with less certainty but still high upside.

The front office still has plenty of time to work through potential solutions, including testing out some of the internal options before making any desperate moves.

If recent history is any guide, they are unlikely to mortgage the future for a short term rental, especially after the acquisition of Jack Flaherty fell flat last season.


Bonus Question of the Week –

Why can’t the Orioles provide any updates or timeline to fans during rain delays?

This question comes from a personal experience this weekend. With an afternoon start on Saturday, my wife and I decided to take our two young children down to see the game.

I fully realize that any time you purchase tickets to an outdoor sporting event you are taking a risk that weather will scramble your plans and I monitored the iffy forecast all week contemplating exchanging the tickets for another game.

However the forecast ultimately looked decent enough and there wasn’t another good opportunity on the upcoming schedule to get the whole family to the game, so we stuck with the plan.

As we left our house on Saturday to head downtown, the forecast looked promising, it seemed the rain would mostly stop in the early afternoon. Now I’m fully aware that the Orioles can’t control the weather and that they need to make the best decision for the health of the players.

However, what the Orioles can control is their communication with their fans, especially those who paid money to be in the stadium.

When we arrived there was no more than a drizzle for over an hour and yet the game was delayed with no more information than that. There was no indication of when the game may start or how long we might have to wait.

I’m sure such a data-driven organization as the Orioles must have a pretty good idea of the time they hope to start the game when they decide to delay the start in totally playable conditions.

So why do they refuse to provide any update to the fans? The only conclusion that really makes any sense is that they just want to hold everyone captive to sell more highly marked up concessions.

Which, if so, is hopefully one of the last remnants of the budget-driven approach of the John Angelos era that will soon be rectified.

If the delay had been merely twenty or thirty minutes that would be one thing, but we ended up sitting in the stands (under cover thankfully) with our two small children for almost two hours before finally calling it and heading home without seeing a pitch and having spent more than the ticket prices on concessions.

The game finally started about the time we got back home and started putting the kids to bed. To their credit, the Orioles are offering to exchange the tickets for a weekday game later in the season (that isn’t blacked out). Which is something, although not quite the same as the Saturday afternoon game we paid for.

Ultimately, if the Orioles had just been more honest with their communication and given the hint that the game may not start for several hours, we would have left much earlier with some mild disappointment, but not wasted our time and left somewhat infuriated at the lack of respect.

Perhaps Drew can shed some more light on this, having been on the team side of the equation at one point. But it just seems like a complete lapse from an organization who has been getting most things right this season.

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Sunday
May 19, 2024
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3558


it's tough to repeat


Two greats failed in their bid to repeat on Saturday.

A great horse.

And a great golf team.

I'll focus mainly on the one you all care more about. Mystik Dan failed in his effort to capture the Preakness yesterday, coming up just short on a muddy Pimlico track.

Seize the Grey was the winner.

And my Calvert Hall golf team also fell on a muddy track of sorts, as we failed in our bid to win back-to-back MIAA championships, losing to St. Paul's, 14.5 to 6.5 at Mountain Branch.

There were some other funny similarities.

Seize the Grey led wire to wire yesterday to hold off Derby winner Mystik Dan at the Preakness.

Seize the Grey led wire to wire, which is not something you often see in the Triple Crown series. It wasn't easy for anyone to make up ground on the eventual winner, even though Mystik Dan closed the gap late.

Calvert Hall fell behind early, too, just like Mystik Dan. But we rallied along the midway point before we eventually ran out of time.

I saw this last night from the trainer of Mystik Dan: "My colt's a fantastic colt. I'm proud of him," Kenny McPeek said. "It just wasn't his day, but he'll live to race again."

And it was almost surreal. Because a couple of hours earlier, I had said the exact same thing to my team as we gathered for a moment of appreciation and reflection next to the 12th green.

"You young men are a fantastic team and I'm proud of you. It just wasn't our day. But we'll be back here again."

I'm sure McPeek had a few minutes to quickly try to figure out what wrong with his Derby champion. Did the track bother him? Was there anything the jockey could have done? Or did he simply get outrun?

As I said to my team after the match, "I don't need to do a full autopsy on what just happened. I'd rather just talk about what a great season we had and how great these last two years have been."

The reality is it just wasn't our day. We didn't make enough birdies. The margin for error at the level of golf we play in the MIAA is very thin. If you fall behind a couple of holes, it's hard to make it up against quality players like our opponents featured on Saturday.

Last year when we beat the same team in the championship match at Hayfields, all the big moments went our way. Yesterday, nearly all of the big moments went against us. The other team is trying, too.

I would have really enjoyed seeing Mystik Dan win yesterday, providing a nice 3-week build-up to the Belmont and a potential Triple Crown winner in 2024. Alas, Seize the Grey wouldn't let that happen.

Based on what I read and saw online, the Preakness "event" yesterday matched the weather in Balwmer -- drab and dreary.

"No activity in the infield."

"It's dead in the infield."

"Doesn't feel like the Preakness."

Now, obviously, I wasn't there. So I'm just going off of social media posts and pictures.

And the entire event at Pimlico on the 3rd Saturday in May is "make or break" based largely on the weather. It's an outdoor activity, obviously. If it's dreary and drizzly, a lot fewer people are going to wake up and say, "Let's go to Pimlico."

The other thing no one likes to talk about at parties is that Maryland Jockey Club officials aren't all that worried about getting the great unwashed to come out to the Preakness.

It isn't that they don't care about the attendance. It's about who they want there.

They'd rather just sell at $80,000 tent for the day then worry about getting 2,000 people to buy a $50 ticket to get in.

And in the end, what the Jockey Club really wants is for people to gamble on the races.

That's why we've seen less and less marketing over the years and a smaller degree of emphasis on the attendance and a larger emphasis on "the handle".

It's not the Jockey Club's fault that the weather was lousy on Saturday. They deal with the weather as it comes. And, for all we know, there were people who bought infield tickets in advance, saw the rain forecast and the drizzle on Saturday morning, and simply said, "I'm not going out there in that weather. It's only 50 bucks. Who cares?"

The race itself? That was a winner.

Seize the Grey was fantastic and the Derby winner came calling late to make it very interesting.

There won't be a Triple Crown this year, which is a bummer. But there's always next year.

There also won't be a repeat golf champion in the MIAA A-Conference, either, and that's a bummer. At least to me. But there's always next year.


Is this finally the day Xander Schauffele wins that elusive major championship? Once again, he's right there with 18 holes to go. But can he finish the job?

Schauffele doesn't own the lead outright heading into today. He shares it with Collin Morikawa at 15-under-par. But he's once again presented himself with an incredible opportunity to shed a large monkey off of his back.

Shane Lowry sits just two shots behind Xander Schauffele and Colin Morikawa heading into today's final round of the PGA Championship.

The 30-year old San Diego native has 12 -- yes, 12 -- top 10 finishes in major championships since 2017. He finished 8th in this April's Masters. If he's not the best player in the world without a major golfing title, who is?

But it's not going to be easy for him today.

Morikawa has been there with him almost shot-for-shot over the last two days. And he does have a major championship pedigree, with two of them to his credit (PGA and British Open).

This won't be Schauffele's last brush with a major if he doesn't win today. But this is probably the one that is either going to relieve all the pressure that's built up or turn it up to a level that might start being uncomfortable.

I won't go quite as far as calling this "career defining" today. But this is a massively important round of golf for Xander Schauffele.

People in golf don't like to use the word "choke" very much. In Schauffele's case in particular, it's kind of laughable to call a guy a "choker" who has 7 PGA Tour wins, an Olympic gold medal, and has been a stalwart on both Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams. You don't do those things without having incredible talent.

But major championships do funny things to people.

Just ask Greg Norman. He shoulda, coulda, woulda won 10 of them. Instead, he won 2.

Ask Colin Montgomerie. Or Lee Westwood. Or Ian Poulter. They were three of Europe's best players of the last 50 years. Not a major title between them.

Ask guys in the U.S. like Kuchar, Fowler and, yes, Schauffele. No majors between them, either.

Sahith Theegala is lurking, too. He's at -14. Theegala is a supremely talented player that we've been bragging about here at #DMD for the last three years. Today might be his day, who knows? But if Theegala doesn't pull it off, no one is going to say anything about his inability to close the deal.

Schauffele needs to win today.

Shane Lowry, Bryson DeChambeau and Viktor Hovland are just two back at 13-under par. Hovland doesn't have a major yet. Lowry and DeChambeau both do. Hovland almost withdrew last week because his golf swing is under repair. But here he is, with a chance to win as well.

This is going to be a wild final day at Valhalla. One for the ages, perhaps.

The only bummer, speaking of winning all the big ones, is that Scottie Scheffler's bid to win all four majors in one year is 98% done after he posted an unthinkable OVER PAR round on Saturday (73). Scheffler sits at 7-under par. He's the best player in the world and all, but even he can't pull himself out of this dilemma.

I'm pulling for Schauffele today even though I have a nice investment on Morikawa. Either way, I'm good. But for his sake, I'd love to see Schauffele finally come through on a Sunday and get that monkey off his back.

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#dmd comments








The Real Ricky     May 24
@ Paul From Towson: Preach, brother!

@ Drew: As a fellow devout "Loud" Catholic, I appreciate you standing up for your (our) faith. Keep up the good Christian work!

Dan     May 24
If someone (let's call him "Larry") does not like a speech by a devout Catholic given at a private Catholic school than said loser (again, "Larry") should not listen to it thus sparing the rest of us your phony, manufactured outrage.

Steve of Pimlico     May 24
Who would you have preferred for a graduation speaker,Butker or P Diddy.

Jon     May 24
*scrolls right past Paul……

Paul from Towson     May 24
What a time to be alive in these, the UNITED States of America!!! Where drag queens reading to elementary school children and 5 year olds tipping said drag queens at strip clubs (look it up if you don't believe me) is perfectly fine. BUT an NFL place kicker is vilified for giving a commencement speech to a group of graduating Catholic seniors, where he spoke fondly of women looking forward to marriage and motherhood. HOW DARE HE!!!! THIS, ladies and gentleman, IS exactly what's wrong with this country. And yes, @Jason M, it is the liberal mainstream media, that took this 4 minute sound bite, and ran all over the world with it. Leading many on the Left to suffer complete and total mental breakdowns. How dare a white, male athlete tell a group of women that marriage and motherhood are two of the greatest things they will accomplish in their lives. I suppose they would rather he just beat, abuse, harass, threaten, and sexually assault these women (as is per usual for NFL players) instead of wishing them blessings on the positive things in life. Or have these athletes continue the trend of fathering 11 kids with 10 women an taking care of a grand total of none of them (looking at you Travis Henry and Antonio Cromartie). Or maybe fathering 5 kids with 6 women before they turn the ripe old age of 25.



You people really need to get your heads examined.



If you have an issue with what Harrison Butker said to the point where you need to go on social media or any other platform and rail against him, and in many cases, try to CANCEL him....!!?? Then YOU, are what is wrong with this country. Why can't we just say, "I kind of disagree with that." And leave it be??? Last time I checked, he wasn't forcing anyone to live their lives by these guidelines. He was merely encouraging those women who choose to be a wife and mother and expressing his own cherished values and beliefs. Since when was that a terrible way to live ones life? He also said that many of them will embark on successful careers!!! I have a brilliant 25 year old daughter who is currently serving in the United States Navy after receiving a degree in Chemical Engineering from Auburn University. She has set herself up nicely to have a wonderful and fulfilling life, which will include marriage to her Secret Service agent fiance' and eventually a few children.



In a world where every day we are witness to appalling and heinous behavior displayed by athletes, politicians celebrities, and regular every day idiots, Harrison Butker's comments should be a refreshing take on core family values that were said to a group of folks who share his same values and beliefs. Instead, they're viewed as just another example of this imaginary oppression that drives the false narrative of the leftist victimhood which refuses to take responsibility for their own poor decisions and instead blames the good, decent members of society for the ills that befall them. When in turn they could just say, "You know what, I disagree with you, Mr. Butker" and leave it at that. John Wayne once said, "I disagree, vehemently, with everything Hanoi Jane (that piece of treasonous trash Jane Fonda) says, but I'll defend to the death her right to say it." Funny...I didn't hear these same people cry out when the current president told a group of graduating young black men that their country hates them. To me, that's way worse than anything Harrison Butker said. Whether I agree with him or not.



And again, THAT is what's wrong with this country.

Unitastoberry     May 24
Anyone who takes advice from celebrities is seriously got a problem. Take advice from clergy,doctors,lawyers ,cpas ,etc. Not field goal kickers, singers, actors,keyboard warriors,even politicians.

CLIFF     May 24
It was a “win-win” for @DF - Orioles victory AND his “buddy Gavin Sheets” had a good game, getting on base four times. At least today’s O’s segment was straight news, with the name-dropping toned down. We get it; the site owner is friends with a (fringe) major leaguer. Sheesh.


Jason M     May 24
Oh please Drew, I agree on that the Butker thing is a nothing burger, he gets to have an opinion and we get to ignore it, agree with it or whatever, but to please don;t wave the Liberal Media flag. People were interested in his remarks, it was newsworthy, and the news media are not going to play his entire 25 minute speech, they are going to cut to the newsworthy parts. The article in the newspaper I read started with the controversial parts and the reaction but by the 5th paragrapgh described the entirety of the speech. TV news is too sound bite, compelling pictures and bleeding and ledeing, if you want a more fully formed news, I turn to sources like the Dish, the Sun, the Banner, and the Post. There is a ton of conservative leaning media out there (hello Sinclair broadcasting, hello new ownership version of the Sun, hello NewsMax, Fox News, News One) so I really reject the dated notion of the liberal media. BTW Butker, a lot of us need two incomes to make it and be able to afford to support stuff like the NFL, we can't all be NFL Players working 6 months a year for millions.

Tom J     May 24
I hope Scotty and his team and lawyer sue the living crap out of the Johnny Bad A$$ cop and that CLOWN SHOW of a police department in Louisville. There's no reason any person should have been pulled from that car and cuffed a minute later for that. And you're correct, instead of owning this and saying "sorry", they continue to double down and dig their hole deeper........



The O's bullpen and lack of trustworthy closer will be their Achilles Hell and down fall as well as trying to hit every pitch 600 feet.



Why does anyone care about what any athlete, musician or actor says about anything???? Who cares????????

ej     May 23
Does @JJ know golf tournaments have more than one round?

J.J.     May 23
@DF says "Go with Finau and Harman this week in golf."

Finau and Harman immediately are near the lead. LMAO

Chris in Bel Air     May 23
Like Drew said, I considered the O's streak of not being swept ending last fall in the playoff series against Texas. Still, it was an impressive regular season run and another gauge of their success is their lack of losing streaks and length of losing streaks. Starting with Adley's arrival in May 2022 (spanning 330 games and if my research is correct), O's have had a total of 7 losing streaks of 3 games or more and the most is a 4-game streak. Again, pretty impressive and as their winning pct shows, they tend to shake off losses quickly and get back to the WIN column.

hal     May 23
We need the trade of a DFA player for a backup to the backup C to show us Elias is "paying attention to every department of the on field product"? That is pretty disrespectful if you ask me. I have zero doubts that Elias pays attention to everything EVERY day. Deciding not to do something is as hard, or harder, than doing something. I'll trust Elias until I see tangible reasons to not trust him. Hyde, eh, he might not have quite the same level of trust, but like it is with Harbs, if you decide to move on from him, who you gonna bring in that will do better? Lee Mazzilli lol?

Unitastoberry     May 23
Expecting Judge and Stanton to get injured isn't a good approach to winning the divison. Tons of baseball left but I'm seeing cracks and as you said Hyde made some bad calls.

Stats Nerd     May 23
If nothing else I hope this case opens some people's eyes to the fact that police should not always be given the benefit of the doubt. Brutal job...no question. But this is Keystone Cops type stuff that frankly isn't an isolated situation

TimD in Timonium     May 23
"He was booked at Metro Corrections at 7:28 a.m. before being released at 8:40 a.m. Scheffler was charged with 2nd degree assault of a police officer, 3rd degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding signals from officers directing traffic."



So, Scottie gets a gentle slap on the wrist the morning of the "misunderstanding," but will get the book thrown at him when he next appears in court? That's very doubtful. there's The Elite, and then there's all of us. Different rules apply.



O-for-St. Louis? Oh, no. Going 3-1 against the Sox would be nice.


Steve of Pimlico     May 22
If Scheffler goes to jail I'm starting a group GLM( golfers lives matter).Storm the Bastille with 9 irons to free Scottie

RC     May 22
Poor Mitch, he must listen to the goofs in the local media who like to harp on "the need to lock up their young talent" as if the decision is totally up to Elias and the Orioles alone. There is no magic number that would "force" any of these guys to sign a long-term deal now.

DMD is correct that Mitch answers his own question - if the amount needed is just gonna go up and up, so why would any player sign "now"?? Easy to blame Boras but most agents will have that same view. Injury is the only compelling risk, but most young athletes are not going to fear injury.

Buying out arbitration years sounds nice in theory, but what does it get you really? One or two years on the back end is not worth overpaying for those arbitration years.

The best thing Elias can do is keep the pipeline full of talent. So far, he seems to be doing just that. It would be nice to have a handful of guys stay long term but that's just not how the system is designed. If it happens great, if not, having young replacements who are ready to replace departing FA's is the way to go.

Howard     May 22
Let’s get real. It’s not a coincidence that a little over 24 hours after he was arrested and jailed that Scheffler played a round of golf over par when everyone else was smoking the course.



And he still has the sword of Damocles over his head. The charges have not been dropped and he faces the possibility of going to jail for a long time for assaulting a police officer.



If I’m him, I’m talking to LIV to see what they’ll give me up front. My guess is that LIV would roll the dice and sign the #1 player in anticipation of a hot shot lawyer getting him off.








Chris in Bel Air     May 22
Indeed, Gunnar is a sensational player. Just the game the other night was he was something. 3-run bomb and two eye-popping plays in the field. I sure hope he's here for the long haul but at the price he (and Boras) will demand, I don't have a warm and fuzzy feeling on that.

You know who else has been impressive so far? Westburg. Hitting and fielding. His 2.0 WAR is tied with the Phillies Bohm for tops of all MLB 3B and Westburg's OPS is 5th in MLB. Like O'Hearn, he's just a 'ball player'. Bring your lunch pail every day and go to work.

Dan     May 22
The Billy Squier video and comments are DMD gold.

jeffwell     May 21
Totally agree with comments about Billy Joel live. Like Springsteen, you always get your money's worth at his concerts. From the quality of the music, the energy of the entire band, to the length of the show, it is always money and time well spent.

MFC     May 21
KJ,KJ,KJ I have you enrolled in our RC101 class and you my friend will sit in the first row. Please re-read the sentence. If you don't understand the reference, you live a hermit style life.



Congrats to Spalding on their baseball championship.CH put up a good fight but Spalding is really, really good.



Kremer hadn't pitched in 8 days, it showed. Not sure that's the way to go giving him that much rest.



Thank God, Rubenstein has $3 billion + because he's going to give at least 1/2 of it to Henderson. He might be the best all-around player in baseball.



There's a cost just to open the stadium. John Brown told me when he was heading the Sports Authority that it cost $50,000 to open the football stadium as I was lobbying for Friday night high school doubleheaders. And that was close to 20 years ago or more.



I've had the opportunity to see Billy Joel twice in Baltimore. Unbelievable show.






kj     May 20
So @MFC defends himself by saying HE "lives in a Kardashian world"?? Now that's funny.

Barry     May 20
Geno and JR can call out Larry but Larry can't respond? Weird.

MFC     May 20
Larry needs RC 101, summer session opening up now and maybe we throw in an added session on "how to troll successfully".



This is a headline from writer Carlos Garcia, cutting and pasting the entire article is unnecessary as the headline tells the story. I did not write the headline.



"Rory McIlroy, Amanda Balionis Cheating Rumor Goes Viral"



We cared or were interested when it was Tiger, we're invested. In the scheme of things does it matter, only if you're one of the participants or offspring. Would it be the same if it were Billy Horshel, Martin Laird or even Denny McCarthy, probably not because we don't see them as much. But we are invested, we see them so much we feel like we know them, even though we don't. We live in a Kardashian world.



Better luck next time Larry.


larry     May 20
Yes, apparently I do need to offer up a mea culpa. Had no idea so many grown men perusing a sports opinion website would have so much interest in the love life of one pro golfer. Also had no idea "media reports" have become so accurate they are to always be believed. Man, learn something new at DMD every day.

David Rosenfeld     May 20
From what I've read, it's somewhat likely that Valhalla will be off the rotation because the PGA of America sold it to a small group of its members. That was only 2 years ago, so it was well after the event was scheduled for this year.

Played behind a group at a local course yesterday and it was just exasperating. Yes, carts were on the path, but take a couple clubs to your ball and hit it. Stop imitating the pros on the green and marking 2 foot putts. Also, notice how your group never has to wait but the group behind you is always waiting for you.

Geno     May 20
@Larry looking pretty foolish. Mea culpa time.

J.R.     May 20
I don't want to fan the flames of a Larry/MFC war but the Rory/Amanda story has been circulating for at least a month.

Rory's wife was having a fling with a waiter in West Palm and she got caught last September.

Everyone knows that.

The Rory/Amanda stuff started right after Arnie's event in Orlando in March.

I'm not trying to defend MFC but he's not making up gossip.

Kevin     May 20
Spot on about Immelman/CBS. He's been a big whiff.

larry     May 20
How can @MFC ever expect anyone to take ANY of his opinions seriously when he comes out here with high school level gossip about Rory and who he's "heard" he's hooking up with now? Beyond embarrassing for a grown man.

CJ     May 20
Sorry, Nantz. Not Nance.

CJ     May 20
Agree with Drew about Immelman. He's beyond awful IMHO. Chamblee made his bed with all of his LIV hate but he would be great next to Nance.

Tom J     May 20
@Paul from Towson, no, you are 100 percent spot on. She is terrible along with Melanie Newman. Just awful..... It's not because they are women, it's because they are just horrible announcers and are horrible at their jobs. The Orioles have to get this feedback as you see people saying the same thing on multiple websites and message boards.

Stats Nerd     May 20
@MFC Tightening the fairways simply increases the advantage between long and short hitters. It's easier to hit shorter irons out of the rough than longer ones, obviously.

The best way to defend the golf course is to have it play hard and fast particularly the fairways and the greens/surrounds.

MFC     May 20
I read that 63,000 passed through Pimlico's gates Friday and Saturday. The PR spin is that they'd rather have less numbers to increase the fan experience, aka bet real $. DF said it right, they'd rather have $80,000 tent rentals than 50,000 more in the infield.

Hopefully for the 150'th they set big goals for attendance and market to reach them. How great would it be to really see a crowd there again, regardless of their "experience" spin. Maybe not have the O's playing home, that's a start.



I'll say it again, they can't make the courses long enough. Again, agree with DF, tighten those fairways. Doesn't diminish one bit what the X man did.



If you're bored this afternoon travel down to Joe Cannon stadium and watch CH VS Spalding for the baseball championship. It's really good ball, great seats.



BTW, the rumors are rampant on Rory hooking up with Amanda Balionis (formerly Renner). Of course there are non-substantiated reports coming in. I wouldn't be surprised and do feel sorry for Rory's ex. I was hoping his was going to be a fairytale life but as stated earlier, life happens. There could be some fire in this smoke.



The AAU basketball season is here and already kids trading teams in the same weekend. Parents screaming at coaches, coaches screaming at kids. It's a wonderful world.

Paul from Towson     May 19
Great season, Drew!! Congratulations to you and your young men!!



Went to the O’s game again today and as much as I’ve loved going to games the past few years, I have one complaint. The PA announcer is ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE! There are some parts of the stadium where you can’t hear anything she says. The music between innings sometimes drowns her out and she sounds like she would be better served in a minor league stadium. Aberdeen for starters. I know we were spoiled for many years with Rex Barney, but in my opinion, she is awful. Anyone else share my opinion? Or am I off base here? I’ve been to a couple Nats games in DC, and the dude there is awesome. Makes ours sound like they picked some random person off the street.

Tom J     May 19
Congrats on a great season Drew. You are teaching those kids how not only to win with class but lose with class as well.



@Howard, why would Sheffler go to LIV because of that? They kill people over there for that......



It would be nice if the O's scored more than 2 runs again today for Burnes.....

DJ     May 19
As a family friend of one of the young men on your team, let me just tell you what they say.



"He cares so much about them as young men and golfers. Even though my son didn't play a lot he made him feel important."

MFC     May 19
Any championship at any level is hard to win. Winning 1 is hard, back to back is extremely difficult, especially in a great league. It’s not like you’re a mediocre team in a weak league. You were there, you had a chance, you were the “man in the arena”.



Exciting race despite rain, conditions of the facilities.



Tiger didn’t win them all and neither will Scheffler. It’s golf and things happen.

They can’t seem to make the courses long enough. It looks like close to 20 under will win. With players hitting 220. Yd 6 irons every par 4 needs to be 500+yards and even that’s not long enough.

TimD in Timonium     May 19
Seatlle's not a bunch of scrubs, but the O's could use a Corbin Burnes WIN today.



And some sunshine.

Steve of Pimlico     May 18
@,Lou/ Palo Alto.Your must be really old

Howard     May 18
If I were Scheffler my phone call from jail would have been to Greg Norman to make me an offer.

Having your arm yanked, being pulled out of the car, being thrown against the car and then being handcuffed could have resulted in injury.

And now he risks being convicted of a felony.

Show me the money!

lou@palo alto     May 18
apart from the mile track in maryland, racing started going dnhill in the early, mid 60s when the racing commission closed the half mile tracks--these were feeder tracks for families and kids w dads learning the races (like me)--sure the mile tracks were cool and my dad went all time, me occ. but we used to go to the Bel Air track a lot and it was great fun, a faded memory

Jon     May 18
So report i read was that the golfer dragged the officer with his car and the officer was bruised….im confused (if accurate) how the police over reacted- if that happened- who continues to drive with a person draped on their car?

Mario     May 18
Good luck today!

MFC     May 18
@Billy, those comments were directed in my direction in a feeble attempt at trolling.

The better team won and I wish them well in the championship.



What's the over-under for the Preakness attendance today? Will 50,000 venture out?



Again, it really wasn't Tigers driver, his short game is an 8 handicap right now. He did however play the last 14 holes in 1 under. You can't make triple much less two of them. His tournament was over on the second hole. He seemed to walk ok, he was just bad. He looked old and tired walking off 18. I guess +7 will do that.



Lots of sports today, Preakness ( who cares right?), golf, lacrosse and baseball. Good day to be a couch potato.



Congrats to McDonogh upsetting #1 Boys Latin in lax. And belated congrats to St. Pauls upsetting McDonogh girls.




Hank ( The Fake One)     May 18
Thanks CIK but not sure about that

Fighting off the Derby Champ #5 and 2 others ?

CIK     May 18
When handicapping, being “keen” is a good thing. But you definitely don’t want the horse to be “keen”.



@Hank

I would assume the 2 others are the 8 & 5.

Saturday
May 18, 2024
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3557


rain, rain go away


Well, Scottie Scheffler certainly has a story to share with his new son, Bennett, at some point down the road, huh?

"So, son, you see there was this traffic back-up..."

In one of the great misunderstandings in the history of misunderstandings, Scottie Scheffler was arrested on Friday morning after a police officer believed Scheffler was disobeying his signal not to use the median to avoid entering the grounds at Valhalla GC in Louisville, Kentucky.

Scheffler, though, was only doing what the PGA of America told the players they had been approved by the Louisville police to do; namely, avoid a traffic back-up at the course by using the median to bypass the long line of cars and get to the course and their tee-time on time.

"So Scottie, tell me about that Friday at the PGA Championship in 2024. You remember, don't you? The one where you shot 66."

Anyway, no sense in going through everything that happened. The Louisville police overreacted, obviously, and Scheffler was hauled into jail, processed, and then released. He'll appear in court this Tuesday, where most or all of those charges will be dropped and the whole thing will be a distant, odd, memory.

But it was a wild start to an interesting day at Valhalla, for sure.

Scheffler, defying the human condition, shrugged off the arrest, the mug shot and all that goes with it and shot a 2nd round 66 to stay in the hunt at 9 under par, just three shots behind midway leader Xander Schauffele.

Tiger Woods, to no one's surprise, is headed home early after a second round 77 left him at +7 for the two days. Woods has some golf game left, of course, but not nearly enough to compete any longer. He's pretty much now "just another player", which is part and parcel of never really playing golf tournaments any longer.

The leaderboard is littered with interesting names well within striking distance.

Collin Morikawa, a #DMD pre-tournament pick, is at -11 after rounds of 66-65. Morikawa already has one PGA title in his career and clearly finds Valhalla to his liking. If you're looking to sprinkle some weekend money on a guy in the top 10 right now, you could do a lot worse than Morikawa. Other than Scheffler, I'd consider him the favorite to win after 36 holes.

Sahith Theegala is at 10-under par and looking like a guy who is primed and ready to break through, as a lot of people have suspected he might do in 2024. He's a big, powerful guy with an incredible short game. He is also worth investing on today if you're the wagering type.

The golf tournament is wide open. With Schauffele at 12-under, the reasonable expectation is that he's going to set the pace at something around 18-under par by Sunday afternoon. That leaves anyone currently at 6-under par with a realistic chance of getting to that figure with rounds of 65-65 on the weekend.

Truth of the matter, as Schauffele showed on Thursday with his 62, someone could do something dramatic on the weekend like 64-62. In the event that's possible, even the guys all the way back at 4 under have a chance.

But the guess here is that the 6-unders or better are the only ones who really have a chance at this point.

It's very much still Scottie Scheffler's tournament to lose, despite the 5-shot head start he gave Schauffele on Thursday. He birdied his first hole yesterday after doing some light stretching in his jail cell just 90 minutes earlier, a notation on his bubble gum card in the future that no one else could ever author.

Scheffler is simply so much better at golf -- right now -- than anyone else, it's not even fair. As a lot of national golf folks are starting to realize, this, what we're seeing now, is precisely the way Tiger played when he was at his zenith. And truth of the matter, as the stat nerds are also discovering, is that Scheffler's ball striking in 2023-2024 is actually far superior to what Woods produced 25 years ago.

It was a crazy Friday.

Saturday might not be as newsworthy, but it's going to be memorable just the same.

Oh, and the PGA of America will never again return to Valhalla for a major championship of this kind. We'll tackle that part of the story sometime next week.

For now...let's stick to golf.


The Preakness is upon us and I know you're so excited you can't see straight.

I'm so pumped up I'm actually going to make a race prediction for you.

Alas, I wouldn't be taking out a loan to use my wagering advice. Horse racing ain't my thing any longer.

Bob Baffert (right) brings "Imagination" to Pimlico today for the 2024 Preakness.

There was a time, 15 years ago or so, where I was into "the horses" on a somewhat serious scale. But, like almost everyone else in Maryland, I lost interest for whatever reason.

I still try to stay "keen" on the ponies in May and June because the Triple Crown series is still, I think, supremely important in our national sports landscape.

But I'd be fibbing if I said I follow horse racing like I once did.

That said...

Say bye-bye to the Triple Crown in 2024. Mystik Dan doesn't get it done today at Old Hilltop.

Bob Baffert and Imagination are headed to the winner's circle, fighting off the Derby champion and a late, spirited run from two others.

We're going with the 9-8 exacta of Imagination and Tuscan Gold, with #5 Mystik Dan hitting the board in third.

Selfishly, we hope we're wrong and Mystik Dan comes out on top to make the Belmont worth watching in three weeks at Saratoga.

But our money today goes on Bob Baffert and Frank Dettori.


On a personal note, my Calvert Hall golf team plays for the MIAA A-Conference title today at 1 pm at Mountain Branch.

It's the first time since 1996-97 that the Cardinals have appeared in back-to-back championship matches, a fact we're extremely proud of in an wildy competitive A-Conference. We finished 9-3 a year ago, then defeated Loyola and St. Paul's (today's opponent as well) in the playoffs to earn the 2023 crown.

We compiled the identical record in 2024 -- 9-3 -- and went undefeated at home (7-0) for the second straight year, another "first" for Calvert Hall golf. The program has never once won 14 consecutive home matches. We made it a goal at the outset of 2024 to not lose at Hillendale CC and we fulfilled that quest with a 6-0 regular season and a playoff win over Mount Saint Joseph on Thursday.

Today is for all the marbles.

But, really, it isn't.

At least I don't think it is.

Sure, you want to win the title. That's the goal.

But the reality is you measure seasons like the one we had by the totality of it. The journey is what makes the year "great", "good" or "disappointing".

If you started every season by saying, "If we don't win the championship this year, the season is a complete bust", you'd have a whole bunch of busted, disappointing seasons.

It's really hard to win, especially when you have so many talented programs competing for only four playoff spots.

We're ready for today's challenge. We split with our opponent during the regular season. We've seen the golf course enough over the last couple of weeks to have a nice feel for it.

It might help that I was a member at Mountain Branch for 12 years. I can't hit shots for anyone, obviously, but I do know some nuances about the place that a lot of other people playing today might not.

In the end, the team that plays the better golf today will win.

I believe we're set up to play great golf today.

If that's good enough, that's awesome.

If it's not, we'll look back on this year with an incredible amount of pride.

Get the rain gear out and let's go.

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Friday
May 17, 2024
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3556


friday quick hits


Good morning and let me be the first to remind you: The Preakness is, in fact, tomorrow.

Please don't rush to your calendars. It's true. The race is tomorrow.

Eight horses will run in the race. That's probably another fact you didn't know. One of them is Mystik Dan, the Kentucky Derby winner from two weeks ago.

The Derby remains horse racing's version of the Daytona 500. It's the king of kings, horse racing wise. The Preakness and Belmont are just add-ons.

There was a time, back in what we jokingly (?) call "the good old days" when the Preakness mattered in these here parts. But there was also a time when they had horse racing regularly at Pimlico and "lovely Larrr-elll" as Charley Eckman called it.

Heck, you might be old enough to remember people like Jack Dawson, Vince Bagli and John Buren actually reading the race results from the 6th, 7th and 8th races on their nightly sportscasts. Yes indeed, that really did happen.

I've written here for quite some time that the Preakness has lost its luster. I'm not telling you anything you don't know, of course. Unless you're either just refusing to talk about the truth or you've been in a cave, you know that's true.

The Preakness was, at one time, the biggest day of the year in Baltimore.

In fact, the week of the Preakness was the biggest week of the year in Baltimore.

Now, it's just a horse race on the third Saturday in May that a lot of people bet on, but the community at large has mostly shunned.

I say it's mostly about marketing.

There is none to speak of, frankly.

Some folks -- here and elsewhere -- feel like the race and the track are simply collateral damage from a city that has long ago ruptured and is still bleeding. I guess there's validity in that. But I still think the event can be salvaged, damaged city or not.

It's simply not marketed properly. Plain and simple.

But let's table that discussion for the next two days and just look at the eight horses in the race.

Can Mystik Dan pull off a second straight win and head to Saratoga in three weeks with a chance to win the Belmont and the Triple Crown?

We'll tell you tomorrow here at #DMD.


You might recall a couple of weeks ago Indianapolis Star columnist Gregg Doyel was suspended for two weeks and ordered not to cover the WNBA's Indiana Fever team in person after a too-close-for-comfort press conference exchange with their new star player, Caitlin Clark.

The reaction of the newspaper was almost assuredly "too much", but as my friend Glenn Clark and a couple of other people in the business have since opined, there's a chance it was the Indiana team who -- ahem -- suggested to the newspaper that perhaps Doyel should be removed from having access to Clark, and the team, if the newspaper wanted to continue having a decent relationship with the franchise.

Caitlin Clark was just 2-for-8 from the field in her home debut last night, scoring 9 points in Indiana's loss to New York.

That seems like the kind of thing an organization might do if they were looking to flex their muscles a bit. Clark and some others are quick to point out they don't know anything concrete, but there are reasons to connect the dots and assume it was the team who politely -- but firmly -- urged the newspaper to consider not having Doyel in Clark's presence for a while.

A number of respected national media members suggested Doyel should have threatened to quit the newspaper if they did, in fact, ban him from covering the games live and in person. But the man has children in college. And he has to eat. And there's a mortgage to pay.

Meanwhile, Doyel authored a column earlier this week after Indiana's season opening road loss to Connecticut and people in town were flummoxed and outraged at his continued coverage of the team and Ms. Clark.

The newspaper quickly reminded everyone: Doyel is allowed to "write" about the team and their new star player. He can cover the team from the comfort of his home. He's just not allowed to attend games in person and/or cover team events in person.

This is what you get from an overreaction.

Banning Doyel from covering the team because of fairly benign comment made to Clark in a public setting was always going to somehow come back to haunt the newspaper or, at the very least, create further additional friction when he decided to cover the games from his home.

And, now, here's the worst part: Clark scored just 9 points last night in Indiana's 36 point home loss to New York. Clark wasn't the only Fever player who stunk it up, but the 17,000 people who came out for the game were there to watch her, not the other players no one knows or cares about.

Doyel, in a normal world, would have the liberty of writing any kind of column he wants in the aftermath of a lousy performance by both Clark and the team. Instead, he probably has to treat the whole thing with kid gloves.

Caitlin Clark will be fine, of course. She's an incredibly talented basketball player. Her team might struggle for a year or two, but at some point down the road, Clark will help them play winning basketball.

And when that happens, will the team then want Doyel to write about them and cover them in the favorable light that winning brings to the table?

Or will Doyel push back and say, "Remember that press conference?"


Maybe it's finally Xander's time. The wildly-talented Xander Schauffele posted a 9-under round of 62 on Thursday to take an early 3-shot lead in the PGA Championship at Valhalla.

Schauffele, you might recall, also started last June's U.S. Open at L.A. Country Club with an opening round of 62, but it was Wyndham Clark, not X, who wound up in the winner's circle.

At #3 in the world now, Schauffele is almost clearly "the best player without a major championship." That tag used to belong to guys like Colin Montgomerie, Lee Westwood, Matt Kuchar and Rickie Fowler. But, in fairness, Schauffele is a better player -- at least on the PGA Tour -- than any of those four were in their heyday.

But the San Diego native has had a hard time closing the deal in his TOUR career. He's incredibly talented. And he does win on occasion. But he's in position to win quite often. And he somehow wins far less than he should.

Xander Schauffele made 9 birdies and 9 pars in Thursday's opening round of the PGA Championship.

Maybe this is his week.

Valhalla is a bomber's paradise, but you still have to be able to putt.

Chilean Joaquin Niemann was near the top of every ball striking category on Thursday but was ranked 134th in putting. He coulda, shoulda, woulda shot 66. Instead he shot 73.

Schauffele struck the ball great and putted even better. Here's perhaps hit craziest stat of the day: He didn't make back-to-back pars until the final two holes of his round, #8 and #9.

Tony Finau, who is also one of those "great players without a major" is at 6-under par along with Sahith Theegala and Mark Hubbard.

Rory McIlroy, who won a major title at Valhalla 10 years ago, is comfortably hanging around at 5-under par. You wouldn't get much return on your investment at this point, but Rory would be a good Friday morning wager to make. He looks primed to win on Sunday.

Scottie Scheffler is pretty good at golf, too, you might have heard. He holed out his first iron shot of the day on Thursday from 169 yards out and made just two bogeys therefter to produce an opening round 67, trailing Schauffele by five shots.

It's still anyone's game, obviously. But Valhalla isn't playing nearly as hard as the 7,600 yard layout might suggest it would.

Something in the 16 to 18 under par range is likely going to win, although rainy weather over the next couple of days might impact scoring a hair.

Tiger Woods?

What are his chances?

Not great. But they weren't great before the event.

He posted a 1-over par round of 73 that would have been 77 if not for some great putting early on in his round.

Tiger's ball speed was down almost 7 MPH from what he produced at Augusta National. That directly leads to less distance off the tee, which is not a good thing at a big layout like Valhalla.

No one is saying anything out loud, but losing 7 MPH on your ball speed is like a pitcher who once threw 97 MPH showing up and throwing "only" 92 MPH. In other words...something's wrong.

Tiger was never winning anyway, of course. But he'll need a round in the 60's today just to have a chance at making the cut, which is likely going to fall at either 1 under or, perhaps, 2 under.

Meanwhile, Schauffele is in great position to finally break through.

Can he? Sure.

Will he? We'll see.


On a personal note here at #DMD, congratulations to our friends at Royal Farms for being named the nation's top "Gas Station for Food" by USA Today.

That's a big, big, deal.

And any of you who patronize Royal Farms for breakfast, lunch or dinner know it's true. Their food is fantastic.

And so, too, is their coffee.

From the press release citing Royal Farms' selection as "Best Gas Station for Food":

Royal Farms has become a favorite destination for those seeking a quick and satisfying meal on the go. Renowned for its World-Famous fried chicken, freshly prepared sandwiches, and round-the-clock breakfast options, Royal Farms has become synonymous with delicious, high-quality fare that exceeds expectations. Each item is meticulously crafted using premium ingredients and served with a commitment to outstanding service, reflecting Royal Farms' dedication to providing customers with delightful experiences that happen Real Fresh, Real Fast.

So, a hearty congratulations to our longtime friends, Royal Farms! It's always good to see the local team come out on top!

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faith in sports


Let's go north of the border for this week's edition of "Faith in Sports".

They play football in Canada, you might be aware. It's not exactly the same as the NFL, but it's still football.

And Daniel Adebobeye is a big time player for the Toronto CFL franchise.

God's message comes from all parts and places. Here in Baltimore, we don't know much about the CFL. But in Toronto, the Argonauts are a big deal.

Adebobeye's faith is on full display in this 14 minute video. We hope you'll sit back and enjoy the interview as he professes his testimony for all to see and hear.

Thanks, as always, to our friends at Freestate Electrical for their continued support of #DMD and "Faith in Sports" here every Friday.


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Thursday
May 16, 2024
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3555


"that schedule is brutal"


The NFL schedule is very much like the NFL draft.

No one knows what to make of it four months in advance.

But everyone has an opinion on it.

"We got jobbed!"

"That schedule is brutual!"

The Ravens will take on C.J. Stroud and the Texans in Houston on Christmas Day, the 2nd straight year that John Harbaugh's team has played on that holiday.

"Who did we piss off in the league office?"

The Ravens have to play in Houston on Christmas Day, which is a Wednesday. But in a wonderfully kind gesture, the league gave the Ravens a Saturday home game against Pittsburgh (12/21) instead of making them play a Sunday-Wednesday slate. So kind of them.

Baltimore also hosts two games in four days in November; the 3rd against Denver and the 7th, a Thursday evening, against Cincinnati.

If you're going to play on a Thursday night, it's definitely better to play the previous Sunday at home, I'd think. So that was a small bonus from the league office.

But all in all, I have no idea what's going to happen in 2024, schedule wise.

For all we know, C.J. Stroud might be on the fast track to the MVP award before spraining his knee with three weeks left in the regular season. And when the Ravens go marching into Houston on December 25 for a late-season showdown, Stroud might be on the sidelines with his knee in a brace.

Sure, "on the surface", the Ravens have a challenging 2024 campaign.

They play the Bengals twice. Houston, Kansas City, Buffalo, Philadelphia and Dallas are all likely going to be good-to-great in 2024. That's 7 of Baltimore's 17 regular season games right there. All of them might be considered a coin flip at this point.

The Browns and Steelers are also on the schedule. Twice, in fact. So 11 of their 17 games are against formidable foes.

But we also know it won't work out that way.

Two or three of those teams will inexplicably stink it up next season. For all we know, Houston, Buffalo and Philadelphia all take a step backwards in 2024.

Maybe Dallas isn't all that good. They always seem to do something along the way to goof things up.

I don't know.

But I know I'm not worried about the schedule at this point.

You play who they put in front of you when they tell you to play them.

The way I see it, the Ravens are either going 14-3, 12-5 or 8-9.

After all, that schedule is.......(insert your word here).


The PGA Tour and LIV Golf "alliance" that still hasn't happened is very much among the top talking points at this week's PGA Championship.

It was almost a year ago this time when the shocking news hit the sports world. After fighting with one another for the better part of two years, LIV and the PGA Tour had a "framework agreement" in place that would turn the two parties into one happy golfing family.

But here we are...and there's no agreement in place.

Greg Norman and Phil Mickelson pushed for an agreement between LIV and the PGA Tour but, one year later, nothing is on paper.

I'm not right all the time. Some of you would say I'm rarely right.

But I was spot on, dead on, 100% right on that occasion a year ago when I said, "I don't see the two sides reaching any kind of formal agreement anytime soon."

They are still arguing about the nuts and bolts of the agreement now...12 months later. It's impossible to iron out given the ego of the LIV folks and the long history of credibility the PGA Tour is trying hard not to squander.

The only reason the PGA Tour ever really wanted an agreement in the first place was to stop all of the legal bills that were piling up as a result of LIV taking them to court every other month.

Once LIV caved in and signed an agreement stating they would dissolve all current and future legal cases with prejudice, the game was pretty much over at that point. The PGA Tour had won.

Why they didn't just wave bye-bye to LIV right then and there is beyond me.

You got what you wanted: no more court cases, attorney fees, etc.

Just move on.

Let LIV be LIV.

And you continue being the PGA Tour.

Let LIV pay Jon Rahm $450 million. They can have him.

You keep running the PGA Tour the way you've been running it. Keep Scottie happy. And Tiger. And Rory. And that's just about all you need.

The billion dollars that got kicked in by the various sports owners came in handy, obviously. They were able to give some free money to guys like Woods and McIlroy and thank them for not jumping ship. Purses have increased dramatically over the last year, in part due to the LIV money being thrown around.

But the best golf is still played on the PGA Tour. And it's not even close, really.

In the end, that's what's most important. At least it is to me, as a golf enthusiast.

The best players and the best golf is still in this country on the PGA Tour.

I don't know why the TOUR still wants to wed LIV. It's a terrible marriage. Leave LIV at the altar and just keep being single.


Preakness? When? Where? It's not this Saturday, is it? It's hard to tell.

In what might be the worst build-up EVER to the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness is apparently this Saturday and it "feels" like no one in town knows or plans on going.

Now, this was a very simple, non-scientific moment of research on Wednesday.

The Preakness is running this Saturday at Old Hilltop. But you know that. Or do you?

I asked 14 people if they were going on Saturday.

All 14 said no.

These folks ranged in age from 20-something to 50-something. 10 men and 4 women.

14 asked. 14 said "not going".

Here's the terrible part.

8 of the 14 had no idea the race was this Saturday.

Maybe I just stumbled on to a weird statistical outlier. Sort of like that time a few years back when those 101,000 people in that one Wisconsin county all voted for Joe Biden.

I could have asked 14 more people one hour later and all 14 of them might have been going on Saturday. Who knows, right?

I created a quick poll last night on Twitter that had three options for voting:

"I'm going to the race."

"Not going, but interested."

"I couldn't care less."

The poll received 40 votes in 2 hours.

Two (2) people said "I'm going."

20 people said, "Not going, but interested."

18 people said, "I couldn't care less."

By far from any kind of formal focus group or anything like that...but semi-telling nonetheless.

The race has just lost its place in the community calendar around here for whatever reason(s).

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#dmd comments








The Real Ricky     May 24
@ Paul From Towson: Preach, brother!

@ Drew: As a fellow devout "Loud" Catholic, I appreciate you standing up for your (our) faith. Keep up the good Christian work!

Dan     May 24
If someone (let's call him "Larry") does not like a speech by a devout Catholic given at a private Catholic school than said loser (again, "Larry") should not listen to it thus sparing the rest of us your phony, manufactured outrage.

Steve of Pimlico     May 24
Who would you have preferred for a graduation speaker,Butker or P Diddy.

Jon     May 24
*scrolls right past Paul……

Paul from Towson     May 24
What a time to be alive in these, the UNITED States of America!!! Where drag queens reading to elementary school children and 5 year olds tipping said drag queens at strip clubs (look it up if you don't believe me) is perfectly fine. BUT an NFL place kicker is vilified for giving a commencement speech to a group of graduating Catholic seniors, where he spoke fondly of women looking forward to marriage and motherhood. HOW DARE HE!!!! THIS, ladies and gentleman, IS exactly what's wrong with this country. And yes, @Jason M, it is the liberal mainstream media, that took this 4 minute sound bite, and ran all over the world with it. Leading many on the Left to suffer complete and total mental breakdowns. How dare a white, male athlete tell a group of women that marriage and motherhood are two of the greatest things they will accomplish in their lives. I suppose they would rather he just beat, abuse, harass, threaten, and sexually assault these women (as is per usual for NFL players) instead of wishing them blessings on the positive things in life. Or have these athletes continue the trend of fathering 11 kids with 10 women an taking care of a grand total of none of them (looking at you Travis Henry and Antonio Cromartie). Or maybe fathering 5 kids with 6 women before they turn the ripe old age of 25.



You people really need to get your heads examined.



If you have an issue with what Harrison Butker said to the point where you need to go on social media or any other platform and rail against him, and in many cases, try to CANCEL him....!!?? Then YOU, are what is wrong with this country. Why can't we just say, "I kind of disagree with that." And leave it be??? Last time I checked, he wasn't forcing anyone to live their lives by these guidelines. He was merely encouraging those women who choose to be a wife and mother and expressing his own cherished values and beliefs. Since when was that a terrible way to live ones life? He also said that many of them will embark on successful careers!!! I have a brilliant 25 year old daughter who is currently serving in the United States Navy after receiving a degree in Chemical Engineering from Auburn University. She has set herself up nicely to have a wonderful and fulfilling life, which will include marriage to her Secret Service agent fiance' and eventually a few children.



In a world where every day we are witness to appalling and heinous behavior displayed by athletes, politicians celebrities, and regular every day idiots, Harrison Butker's comments should be a refreshing take on core family values that were said to a group of folks who share his same values and beliefs. Instead, they're viewed as just another example of this imaginary oppression that drives the false narrative of the leftist victimhood which refuses to take responsibility for their own poor decisions and instead blames the good, decent members of society for the ills that befall them. When in turn they could just say, "You know what, I disagree with you, Mr. Butker" and leave it at that. John Wayne once said, "I disagree, vehemently, with everything Hanoi Jane (that piece of treasonous trash Jane Fonda) says, but I'll defend to the death her right to say it." Funny...I didn't hear these same people cry out when the current president told a group of graduating young black men that their country hates them. To me, that's way worse than anything Harrison Butker said. Whether I agree with him or not.



And again, THAT is what's wrong with this country.

Unitastoberry     May 24
Anyone who takes advice from celebrities is seriously got a problem. Take advice from clergy,doctors,lawyers ,cpas ,etc. Not field goal kickers, singers, actors,keyboard warriors,even politicians.

CLIFF     May 24
It was a “win-win” for @DF - Orioles victory AND his “buddy Gavin Sheets” had a good game, getting on base four times. At least today’s O’s segment was straight news, with the name-dropping toned down. We get it; the site owner is friends with a (fringe) major leaguer. Sheesh.


Jason M     May 24
Oh please Drew, I agree on that the Butker thing is a nothing burger, he gets to have an opinion and we get to ignore it, agree with it or whatever, but to please don;t wave the Liberal Media flag. People were interested in his remarks, it was newsworthy, and the news media are not going to play his entire 25 minute speech, they are going to cut to the newsworthy parts. The article in the newspaper I read started with the controversial parts and the reaction but by the 5th paragrapgh described the entirety of the speech. TV news is too sound bite, compelling pictures and bleeding and ledeing, if you want a more fully formed news, I turn to sources like the Dish, the Sun, the Banner, and the Post. There is a ton of conservative leaning media out there (hello Sinclair broadcasting, hello new ownership version of the Sun, hello NewsMax, Fox News, News One) so I really reject the dated notion of the liberal media. BTW Butker, a lot of us need two incomes to make it and be able to afford to support stuff like the NFL, we can't all be NFL Players working 6 months a year for millions.

Tom J     May 24
I hope Scotty and his team and lawyer sue the living crap out of the Johnny Bad A$$ cop and that CLOWN SHOW of a police department in Louisville. There's no reason any person should have been pulled from that car and cuffed a minute later for that. And you're correct, instead of owning this and saying "sorry", they continue to double down and dig their hole deeper........



The O's bullpen and lack of trustworthy closer will be their Achilles Hell and down fall as well as trying to hit every pitch 600 feet.



Why does anyone care about what any athlete, musician or actor says about anything???? Who cares????????

ej     May 23
Does @JJ know golf tournaments have more than one round?

J.J.     May 23
@DF says "Go with Finau and Harman this week in golf."

Finau and Harman immediately are near the lead. LMAO

Chris in Bel Air     May 23
Like Drew said, I considered the O's streak of not being swept ending last fall in the playoff series against Texas. Still, it was an impressive regular season run and another gauge of their success is their lack of losing streaks and length of losing streaks. Starting with Adley's arrival in May 2022 (spanning 330 games and if my research is correct), O's have had a total of 7 losing streaks of 3 games or more and the most is a 4-game streak. Again, pretty impressive and as their winning pct shows, they tend to shake off losses quickly and get back to the WIN column.

hal     May 23
We need the trade of a DFA player for a backup to the backup C to show us Elias is "paying attention to every department of the on field product"? That is pretty disrespectful if you ask me. I have zero doubts that Elias pays attention to everything EVERY day. Deciding not to do something is as hard, or harder, than doing something. I'll trust Elias until I see tangible reasons to not trust him. Hyde, eh, he might not have quite the same level of trust, but like it is with Harbs, if you decide to move on from him, who you gonna bring in that will do better? Lee Mazzilli lol?

Unitastoberry     May 23
Expecting Judge and Stanton to get injured isn't a good approach to winning the divison. Tons of baseball left but I'm seeing cracks and as you said Hyde made some bad calls.

Stats Nerd     May 23
If nothing else I hope this case opens some people's eyes to the fact that police should not always be given the benefit of the doubt. Brutal job...no question. But this is Keystone Cops type stuff that frankly isn't an isolated situation

TimD in Timonium     May 23
"He was booked at Metro Corrections at 7:28 a.m. before being released at 8:40 a.m. Scheffler was charged with 2nd degree assault of a police officer, 3rd degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding signals from officers directing traffic."



So, Scottie gets a gentle slap on the wrist the morning of the "misunderstanding," but will get the book thrown at him when he next appears in court? That's very doubtful. there's The Elite, and then there's all of us. Different rules apply.



O-for-St. Louis? Oh, no. Going 3-1 against the Sox would be nice.


Steve of Pimlico     May 22
If Scheffler goes to jail I'm starting a group GLM( golfers lives matter).Storm the Bastille with 9 irons to free Scottie

RC     May 22
Poor Mitch, he must listen to the goofs in the local media who like to harp on "the need to lock up their young talent" as if the decision is totally up to Elias and the Orioles alone. There is no magic number that would "force" any of these guys to sign a long-term deal now.

DMD is correct that Mitch answers his own question - if the amount needed is just gonna go up and up, so why would any player sign "now"?? Easy to blame Boras but most agents will have that same view. Injury is the only compelling risk, but most young athletes are not going to fear injury.

Buying out arbitration years sounds nice in theory, but what does it get you really? One or two years on the back end is not worth overpaying for those arbitration years.

The best thing Elias can do is keep the pipeline full of talent. So far, he seems to be doing just that. It would be nice to have a handful of guys stay long term but that's just not how the system is designed. If it happens great, if not, having young replacements who are ready to replace departing FA's is the way to go.

Howard     May 22
Let’s get real. It’s not a coincidence that a little over 24 hours after he was arrested and jailed that Scheffler played a round of golf over par when everyone else was smoking the course.



And he still has the sword of Damocles over his head. The charges have not been dropped and he faces the possibility of going to jail for a long time for assaulting a police officer.



If I’m him, I’m talking to LIV to see what they’ll give me up front. My guess is that LIV would roll the dice and sign the #1 player in anticipation of a hot shot lawyer getting him off.








Chris in Bel Air     May 22
Indeed, Gunnar is a sensational player. Just the game the other night was he was something. 3-run bomb and two eye-popping plays in the field. I sure hope he's here for the long haul but at the price he (and Boras) will demand, I don't have a warm and fuzzy feeling on that.

You know who else has been impressive so far? Westburg. Hitting and fielding. His 2.0 WAR is tied with the Phillies Bohm for tops of all MLB 3B and Westburg's OPS is 5th in MLB. Like O'Hearn, he's just a 'ball player'. Bring your lunch pail every day and go to work.

Dan     May 22
The Billy Squier video and comments are DMD gold.

jeffwell     May 21
Totally agree with comments about Billy Joel live. Like Springsteen, you always get your money's worth at his concerts. From the quality of the music, the energy of the entire band, to the length of the show, it is always money and time well spent.

MFC     May 21
KJ,KJ,KJ I have you enrolled in our RC101 class and you my friend will sit in the first row. Please re-read the sentence. If you don't understand the reference, you live a hermit style life.



Congrats to Spalding on their baseball championship.CH put up a good fight but Spalding is really, really good.



Kremer hadn't pitched in 8 days, it showed. Not sure that's the way to go giving him that much rest.



Thank God, Rubenstein has $3 billion + because he's going to give at least 1/2 of it to Henderson. He might be the best all-around player in baseball.



There's a cost just to open the stadium. John Brown told me when he was heading the Sports Authority that it cost $50,000 to open the football stadium as I was lobbying for Friday night high school doubleheaders. And that was close to 20 years ago or more.



I've had the opportunity to see Billy Joel twice in Baltimore. Unbelievable show.






kj     May 20
So @MFC defends himself by saying HE "lives in a Kardashian world"?? Now that's funny.

Barry     May 20
Geno and JR can call out Larry but Larry can't respond? Weird.

MFC     May 20
Larry needs RC 101, summer session opening up now and maybe we throw in an added session on "how to troll successfully".



This is a headline from writer Carlos Garcia, cutting and pasting the entire article is unnecessary as the headline tells the story. I did not write the headline.



"Rory McIlroy, Amanda Balionis Cheating Rumor Goes Viral"



We cared or were interested when it was Tiger, we're invested. In the scheme of things does it matter, only if you're one of the participants or offspring. Would it be the same if it were Billy Horshel, Martin Laird or even Denny McCarthy, probably not because we don't see them as much. But we are invested, we see them so much we feel like we know them, even though we don't. We live in a Kardashian world.



Better luck next time Larry.


larry     May 20
Yes, apparently I do need to offer up a mea culpa. Had no idea so many grown men perusing a sports opinion website would have so much interest in the love life of one pro golfer. Also had no idea "media reports" have become so accurate they are to always be believed. Man, learn something new at DMD every day.

David Rosenfeld     May 20
From what I've read, it's somewhat likely that Valhalla will be off the rotation because the PGA of America sold it to a small group of its members. That was only 2 years ago, so it was well after the event was scheduled for this year.

Played behind a group at a local course yesterday and it was just exasperating. Yes, carts were on the path, but take a couple clubs to your ball and hit it. Stop imitating the pros on the green and marking 2 foot putts. Also, notice how your group never has to wait but the group behind you is always waiting for you.

Geno     May 20
@Larry looking pretty foolish. Mea culpa time.

J.R.     May 20
I don't want to fan the flames of a Larry/MFC war but the Rory/Amanda story has been circulating for at least a month.

Rory's wife was having a fling with a waiter in West Palm and she got caught last September.

Everyone knows that.

The Rory/Amanda stuff started right after Arnie's event in Orlando in March.

I'm not trying to defend MFC but he's not making up gossip.

Kevin     May 20
Spot on about Immelman/CBS. He's been a big whiff.

larry     May 20
How can @MFC ever expect anyone to take ANY of his opinions seriously when he comes out here with high school level gossip about Rory and who he's "heard" he's hooking up with now? Beyond embarrassing for a grown man.

CJ     May 20
Sorry, Nantz. Not Nance.

CJ     May 20
Agree with Drew about Immelman. He's beyond awful IMHO. Chamblee made his bed with all of his LIV hate but he would be great next to Nance.

Tom J     May 20
@Paul from Towson, no, you are 100 percent spot on. She is terrible along with Melanie Newman. Just awful..... It's not because they are women, it's because they are just horrible announcers and are horrible at their jobs. The Orioles have to get this feedback as you see people saying the same thing on multiple websites and message boards.

Stats Nerd     May 20
@MFC Tightening the fairways simply increases the advantage between long and short hitters. It's easier to hit shorter irons out of the rough than longer ones, obviously.

The best way to defend the golf course is to have it play hard and fast particularly the fairways and the greens/surrounds.

MFC     May 20
I read that 63,000 passed through Pimlico's gates Friday and Saturday. The PR spin is that they'd rather have less numbers to increase the fan experience, aka bet real $. DF said it right, they'd rather have $80,000 tent rentals than 50,000 more in the infield.

Hopefully for the 150'th they set big goals for attendance and market to reach them. How great would it be to really see a crowd there again, regardless of their "experience" spin. Maybe not have the O's playing home, that's a start.



I'll say it again, they can't make the courses long enough. Again, agree with DF, tighten those fairways. Doesn't diminish one bit what the X man did.



If you're bored this afternoon travel down to Joe Cannon stadium and watch CH VS Spalding for the baseball championship. It's really good ball, great seats.



BTW, the rumors are rampant on Rory hooking up with Amanda Balionis (formerly Renner). Of course there are non-substantiated reports coming in. I wouldn't be surprised and do feel sorry for Rory's ex. I was hoping his was going to be a fairytale life but as stated earlier, life happens. There could be some fire in this smoke.



The AAU basketball season is here and already kids trading teams in the same weekend. Parents screaming at coaches, coaches screaming at kids. It's a wonderful world.

Paul from Towson     May 19
Great season, Drew!! Congratulations to you and your young men!!



Went to the O’s game again today and as much as I’ve loved going to games the past few years, I have one complaint. The PA announcer is ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE! There are some parts of the stadium where you can’t hear anything she says. The music between innings sometimes drowns her out and she sounds like she would be better served in a minor league stadium. Aberdeen for starters. I know we were spoiled for many years with Rex Barney, but in my opinion, she is awful. Anyone else share my opinion? Or am I off base here? I’ve been to a couple Nats games in DC, and the dude there is awesome. Makes ours sound like they picked some random person off the street.

Tom J     May 19
Congrats on a great season Drew. You are teaching those kids how not only to win with class but lose with class as well.



@Howard, why would Sheffler go to LIV because of that? They kill people over there for that......



It would be nice if the O's scored more than 2 runs again today for Burnes.....

DJ     May 19
As a family friend of one of the young men on your team, let me just tell you what they say.



"He cares so much about them as young men and golfers. Even though my son didn't play a lot he made him feel important."

MFC     May 19
Any championship at any level is hard to win. Winning 1 is hard, back to back is extremely difficult, especially in a great league. It’s not like you’re a mediocre team in a weak league. You were there, you had a chance, you were the “man in the arena”.



Exciting race despite rain, conditions of the facilities.



Tiger didn’t win them all and neither will Scheffler. It’s golf and things happen.

They can’t seem to make the courses long enough. It looks like close to 20 under will win. With players hitting 220. Yd 6 irons every par 4 needs to be 500+yards and even that’s not long enough.

TimD in Timonium     May 19
Seatlle's not a bunch of scrubs, but the O's could use a Corbin Burnes WIN today.



And some sunshine.

Steve of Pimlico     May 18
@,Lou/ Palo Alto.Your must be really old

Howard     May 18
If I were Scheffler my phone call from jail would have been to Greg Norman to make me an offer.

Having your arm yanked, being pulled out of the car, being thrown against the car and then being handcuffed could have resulted in injury.

And now he risks being convicted of a felony.

Show me the money!

lou@palo alto     May 18
apart from the mile track in maryland, racing started going dnhill in the early, mid 60s when the racing commission closed the half mile tracks--these were feeder tracks for families and kids w dads learning the races (like me)--sure the mile tracks were cool and my dad went all time, me occ. but we used to go to the Bel Air track a lot and it was great fun, a faded memory

Jon     May 18
So report i read was that the golfer dragged the officer with his car and the officer was bruised….im confused (if accurate) how the police over reacted- if that happened- who continues to drive with a person draped on their car?

Mario     May 18
Good luck today!

MFC     May 18
@Billy, those comments were directed in my direction in a feeble attempt at trolling.

The better team won and I wish them well in the championship.



What's the over-under for the Preakness attendance today? Will 50,000 venture out?



Again, it really wasn't Tigers driver, his short game is an 8 handicap right now. He did however play the last 14 holes in 1 under. You can't make triple much less two of them. His tournament was over on the second hole. He seemed to walk ok, he was just bad. He looked old and tired walking off 18. I guess +7 will do that.



Lots of sports today, Preakness ( who cares right?), golf, lacrosse and baseball. Good day to be a couch potato.



Congrats to McDonogh upsetting #1 Boys Latin in lax. And belated congrats to St. Pauls upsetting McDonogh girls.




Hank ( The Fake One)     May 18
Thanks CIK but not sure about that

Fighting off the Derby Champ #5 and 2 others ?

CIK     May 18
When handicapping, being “keen” is a good thing. But you definitely don’t want the horse to be “keen”.



@Hank

I would assume the 2 others are the 8 & 5.

Wednesday
May 15, 2024
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3554


you can win the pga championship


Sorry, I left out the word "contest" in the headline above.

You can't win the PGA Championship, obviously. You're here in Baltimore. The tournament starts tomorrow at Valhalla in Kentucky. And, unless I'm missing something, you didn't qualify for the event anyway.

But that doesn't mean you can't win.

The headline above should have read: You can win the PGA Championship contest.

You can win. But you have to get in the contest first.

Tiger Woods would be all smiles if you'd help out Maryland FCA Golf by entering the PGA Championship contest at #DMD.

Would you consider helping me and the Maryland FCA Golf program I run by entering our PGA Championship Contest, please?

It's very easy. You don't have to do anything except pay the $10 entry fee (as many times as you like) and and follow along with the three players you receive that are your "team". That's it. You don't have to know anything about golf. The computer will pick your three player team from the top 50 guys in the rankings who are in the event.

Everyone who enters the contest gets a different team. The total amount of prize money your three players collect at the end of the tournament is added up. The entry with the most prize money from the PGA Championship wins our contest.

You get half of the entry fee pot as your prize. The other half goes to the Maryland FCA Golf program I run.

And because there are over 15,000 possible combinations of three player teams, you can enter as often as you like.

Where does that money go? Thanks for asking.

Every month -- starting next Wednesday, May 22 at Pine Ridge -- we run a free junior golf clinic at Pine Ridge. We provide free instruction to anyone who attends and provide them with drinks and snacks at the end of the clinic. Each clinic costs us roughly $125 for golf balls and snacks and such.

We'll use the money we raise through the PGA Championship contest to offset the costs of the clinics over the next six months.

The entry deadline is 5 pm tonight. We'll let the computer pick the teams at that point and we'll send them out to everyone who enters early this evening.

You can Venmo your $10 entry fee to: @MarylandJuniorGolf

Please put "PGA Championship" in the subject box. We will send you the 3-player team via the Venmo "comment" option later tonight.

This is a great, easy way to help me and the FCA Golf program I run. If you can join the contest, I'd greatly appreciate it.


I've never quite understood the uproar over NFL schedule leaks, but we had one in Baltimore yesterday that got everyone overly excited a day in advance of tonight's 2024 schedule release.

The leak that surfaced yesterday has the Ravens and Chargers, predictably, playing on Thanksgiving night in Los Angeles. You might have heard...the Harbaugh brothers both coach in the NFL and, well, you can probably write the 5-minute pre-game piece in your sleep.

We already knew the Ravens will open the season in Kansas City on September 5.

There's also -- according to the leak -- a Sunday night home game against Buffalo and a season-ending home game against the Bengals.

All of that, remember, is according to the schedule that was leaked out.

I have zero idea if that schedule is right, other than I'm 95% sure the Ravens and Chargers are playing on Thanksgiving Night and 100% sure the Ravens and Chiefs are playing on September 5.

But I still don't understand the whole idea about "leaking" the schedule in advance of its distribution.

Cui bono?

Who benefits from the schedule being released a day early?

Are you rushing out (yesterday) to buy airfare for the October 20 game in Cleveland? Is the price going to change in one day?

My former boss used to delight in leaking the schedule, but that was more to stick a red hot poker in the Ravens' face than anything else. It would drive them nuts that he got the schedule a day early and it invigorated him that it drove them nuts. So, every year, he'd get his hands on the schedule a day early, until one April he was misled, and that ended the early-schedule game.

But even back then, I didn't get the whole concept of leaking the schedule.

Back in 2007 when Bruce Springsteen's new album, Magic, was released, someone I knew in the radio industry got me a copy of it two weeks before its formal release in late September. I remember "trading" him a pair of Ravens tickets for the new album.

I thought that was cool. I had it two whole weeks before the general public. I wasn't going to that particular Ravens game anyway, so giving him the tickets in exchange for the CD was a no brainer to me.

I don't think I would have done the deal, though, had he slipped me the CD a day in advance of its formal release. What's one day? But two weeks out? I felt like Eddie Haskell at that point. "I got it...and you don't. Oh, hi Mrs. Cleaver. You look wonderful today."

Anyway, I just don't get the schedule leak thing.

If you're right, who cares? You couldn't do anything with it anyway.

And if you're wrong, you're a doofus.

Oh, and as a side note: "Magic" is Springsteen's most underrated album ever. As big of a Bruce fan as I am, I'd say it was his last truly GREAT song writing album. Both "Wrecking Ball" and "Western Stars" had some great writing on them, but, as an album, "Magic" was......wait for it......magic.


A meteorologist I'm not, but I sure didn't get the whole Orioles-Blue Jays rain out thing last night.

Did they -- pun intended -- whiff on that one?

Is Corbin Burnes getting innings pitched advice from his agent?

I mean, it wasn't a Chamber of Commerce evening in Charm City, obviously. They would have played in spitting drizzle throughout most of the evening for sure.

But don't teams do that all the time?

And I thought Major League players had great disdain for doubleheaders?

The bigger story that surfaced on Tuesday was sports radio discussion about Corbin Burnes' post-game comments from Monday's 3-2 loss to Toronto, where he said he was "gassed" in the 4th inning and approved of Brandon Hyde removing him after throwing just 85 pitches.

Talk radio speculates that perhaps Scott Boras is behind those kinds of moments from Burnes, who stands to rake in a gazillion dollars from the Dodgers, Yankees or Rangers this off-season.

In other words, Boras is advising Burnes to carefully watch his innings output and arm "life" this season on the verge of his life changing contract this winter.

I think we'd all be naive if we think those sorts of conversations between the agent and star player don't occur.

I have no idea if, specifically, Scott Boras is advising Corbin Burnes to limit his pitch count or innings thrown. For all I know, Boras might drop that hint to Burnes and the O's pitcher might tell him to blow it out his backside.

But that's certainly the type of "high stakes poker" an agent plays with a star pitcher.

"You're getting $350 million for 8 years whether you go 20-7 this year with 210 innings pitched or 17-7 with 180 innings pitched. But if you throw too many innings in the first four months of the season and you get shut down in mid-August for some reason, I can't guarantee you anything. Don't be dumb about this. Throw the 180 innings."

Like I said, I have no idea if that conversation actually did occur. But it wouldn't surprise me in the least if it occurred.

Agents care about two things: The 4% commission they receive on that $300 million. And how many square feet their house is going to be in Jackson Hole or Vail.

Scott Boras couldn't care less if the Orioles win, lose or draw. He wants Burnes to do well, of course. But if Burnes only throws 85 pitches in a May home game against Toronto and the Birds lose, the agent doesn't give a flip.

I realize talk radio needs content, especially on a Tuesday in mid-May when nothing much is going on in the world of sports.

And, on the surface, agent "pressure" on the pitcher to underperform is a topic worthy of discussion. But in this case, I just don't know if it's a legit story or not.


The Preakness is going to be run in the rain this Saturday at Pimlico. Unless the weather forecasters really miss Saturday's forecast, it's not going to be a great day out there.

What Preakness?

Is that what you're asking?

The Preakness. You know, the second jewel of the Triple Crown. We even have the Derby winner, Mystik Dan, in town for Saturday's big race.

But there's just not much enthusiasm for the race.

I heard a news-talk host in town offer an explanation yesterday that was interesting. "The election (yesterday) has totally overwhelmed the Preakness this year."

I have no idea if that's true.

Would that particular AM news-talk host spent Tuesday morning talking more about the Preakness if the election wasn't held yesterday in Baltimore?

I mean, sure, maybe.

But I kind of doubt it.

There are lots of reasons why the Preakness isn't top of mind this week.

I don't know that I have the energy to devote two or three days to exploring the various reasons, but I'll just say this: I don't think the event is marketed very well.

Conventional wisdom might say: "It's the Preakness, it doesn't need advertising or marketing."

But that's simply not true.

I don't feel any real promotional enthusiasm from the Maryland Jockey Club about the Preakness. Perhaps they spend their marketing dollars on Friday's race card and assume the Preakness will take care of itself. Maybe that's their plan of attack.

But I'm out and about a lot, listen to the radio a lot, and spend a lot of time perusing social media -- and I just don't see the marketing push for Saturday's race.

And now......here comes the rain.

I hope the doom and gloom of the weather forecast doesn't dampen the enthusiasm for Saturday's big event.

How much less enthusiasm could there be, after all?

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Tuesday
May 14, 2024
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3553


a $53 million qb?


I know this is splitting hairs, but I'll go ahead and split.

$53 million for Jared Goff?

$170 million of that guaranteed?

What planet are these people living on?

I have no idea what would even be "fair" for Jared Goff. Hence the splitting hairs reference above.

Is he a $45 million quarterback?

$40 million?

We're at the stage in the NFL where "nice" quarterbacks get $53 million per-year.

I know what the answer is, of course.

"He's worth whatever deal his agent negotiates for him."

And, "If Lamar Jackson gets $52 million per-year, my guy definitely deserves $53 million."

It's all about what everyone else gets.

I guess this would be like Ryan Phillippe getting $51 million for a film. Good actor and all. But don't the best actors get $50 million per film?

Anyway...

Lamar Jackson should have held out for another year, it looks like. If Goff's worth $53 million, Lamar's worth $63 million. That's what I think, anyway.

I don't know how these owners and general managers come to terms with these outlandish contracts they're being strong armed into signing. If ever there was a need for real collusion in the NFL, it's probably now.

OK, that was a joke. Collusion is wrong.

Sometimes it's necessary. But it's still wrong.

In the case of the Lions, though, they've just forked over $53 million annually for the next four years for Carson Palmer 2.0.

I understand all about the NFL. It's a quarterback's league and all. If you have a great QB, you can beat almost anyone. The Lions, we might forget, actually made it to the NFC Championship Game a year under the watchful eye and explosive arm of one Jared Goff.

And he parlayed that into a $170 million payday (at a minimum).

These salaries, man. I don't see them going down anytime soon.

Nor do I see them making sense, either.


I wrote here yesterday that it wasn't time for the Orioles to panic despite some recent offensive struggles.

And while I wouldn't classify yesterday's demotion of Heston Kjerstad as a "panic move", it's interesting nonetheless to see Mike Elias give up on him -- temporarily -- after only 17 plate appearances in 17 games with the big league club.

Then again, Kjerstad was hitting .143. If you're gonna lose interest in someone, it probably should be the guy hitting a buck forty three.

And his defense -- which certainly wasn't why he got called up, admittedly -- isn't Major League caliber, either.

Kyle Stowers was brought up to replace Kjerstad but he didn't make an appearance in last night's 3-2 home loss to the Blue Jays.

Later on Monday, Elias returned Austin Hays to the O's after a stint on the injured list and sent Ryan McKenna packing. That's not the sort of move that will propel the Birds to a 10-game winning streak or anything like that, but it does show us that the team's general manager isn't sitting in the penthouse drinking Dom Perignon while his club's offense continues to falter.

Corbin Burnes got no help last night despite another outstanding start. The Birds managed three hits on the night, two of them coming on solo homers from Adley Rutschman.

Cedric Mullins went 0-for-4 on Monday evening to drop his average on the year to .185. They're going to keep giving him chances, of course, but at some point a decision will have to be made on the extent of his regular playing time if he can't get the average and on-base-percentage up to a reasonable mark.

But this too shall pass, as the saying goes.

The offense will click again soon. For now, though, it's an ongoing struggle at the plate and, particularly, with runners in scoring position.

Stowers will get a shot over the next five games, at least. Hays will also pick up some playing time and at bats. With Cowser cooling off a bit, it's not like the Birds will be losing ground by giving some of his plate appearances to Stowers and/or Hays.

It's not time to panic.

Despite last night's meager offensive output and 3-2 loss, the runs and the production will return again sometime very soon.

The O's have too much talent and too much firepower to not get this figured out.

Oh, and let's not forget. They've played 25% of their schedule and they're on pace to win 104 games. I think we can take that and smile along the way, don't you?


So it's the Ravens at Kansas City in the season opener on Thursday, September 5. For my money, that's the very best time to face the Chiefs.

That it's the Thursday opener and all is perfect. The Ravens will be -- assuming all goes well in training camp -- completely healthy for that contest and will have all pre-season to do as much game planning as possible for that one opponent.

Baltimore then gets 10 days off after that, so you get your toughest (likely) opponent out of the way right out of the gate and then you get ten days to prepare for your next opponent.

I think it's the best way to start the season. That is, if you have to play Kansas City on the road.

The only thing left to wonder is this: Why did the Orioles move their September 8 home game from 1:35 pm to 12:05 pm? It seemed logical to assume that game time switch was done to help prepare the football stadium for use later that evening.

So...what happened?

I'm not sure we'll ever find out, but it looks like perhaps the league had its eyes set on another NFL opener in Kansas City and something happened along the way that necessitated a change to the Ravens playing in K.C. on opening night.

It remains to be seen if the Birds will shift that September 8 game back to 1:35 pm.

The 2024 Ravens schedule will be released tomorrow.

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#dmd's pga championship top 10


The PGA Championship, now being referred to as "The Scottie Scheffler Invitational", takes place at Valhalla Golf Club from May 16-19.

Valhalla has hosted three previous PGA Championships, with Mark Brooks, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy all winning major titles at the Louisville, Kentucky course.

#DMD will preview the PGA Championship with our top 10 picks, leading up to Wednesday, May 15. On May 15, we'll publish the up-to-date betting odds on all 10 of our picks.

Is Max Homa finally ready to break through and win a major championship? #DMD thinks so.

#10 was Chris Kirk. #9 was Si Woo Kim. #8 was Wyndham Clark. #7 was Collin Morikawa. Our #6 was Alex Noren. #5 was Brooks Koepka. #4 was Corey Conners. Ludvig Aberg is #3. Rory McIlroy is #2.

Before we get to our #1 pick, it's important to remind everyone that Scottie Scheffler should be on any wagering endeavor you plan on undertaking.

I realize he and his wife just had a baby.

And I know he hasn't played tournament golf in three weeks.

I'm not sure any of that matters. I fully expect Scheffler to contend and (likely) win the PGA this week. How can you bet against him at this point? But for purposes of this exercise, I'm not listing him at #1 because everyone who follows golf assumes he's going to be right there on Sunday.

So my Top 10 is, yes, really a Top 11. You have to bet on Scheffler.

But if Scheffler doesn't win...

#1, Max Homa -- I think his time has arrived. After a super effort at Augusta National in April, Max Homa is ready to win that elusive first major championship.

Valhalla seems like a great fit for him.

He drives it plenty far enough.

His irons and approach to green stats are more than competitive with other top players.

His short game is underrated.

And his putting, when "on", is as streaky-solid as anyone on TOUR.

Max Homa just needs confidence.

And the guess here is that Augusta National gave him a massive jolt of confidence in April.

The PGA Championship has supplied a vast number of first-time major winners throughout the last 25 years; Rich Beem, Shaun Micheel, Y.E. Yang, Jimmy Walker, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Jason Day and Justin Thomas.

I think Max Homa has a great chance to join that list this weekend.

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Monday
May 13, 2024
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3552


rory deserves some "good"


Rory McIlroy boat-raced Xander Schauffele yesterday at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, NC.

Had it been a heavyweight fight, they would have stopped it after the 14th hole. Too much blood from Schauffele and nothing left to prove from McIlroy.

It was Rory's 26th career win and, it seemed, about the 26th time in X's career he failed to cash in on a 4th round lead.

I know, I know. Schauffele hasn't frittered away 26 leads in his career, but it sure does feel that way. It's getting so bad Greg Norman is laughing at X's play on Sunday afternoons.

Yesterday was different, though.

Schauffele has a propensity for stinking it up in final rounds when he has the tournament in the palm of his hand. He wasn't terrible yesterday, though. McIlroy was just blistering hot. Scorching, red hot. And when Rory started throwing haymakers, Xander had nothing to offer himself.

Rory McIlroy's final round on Sunday included two eagles en-route to a 5-shot win over Xander Schauffele.

I wondered this aloud on my Sunday afternoon golf radio show as I watched it unfold on the TV in the studio.

"Could the way he's lost this tournament haunt Schauffele this coming week at Valhalla?"

"And is this the kind of performance that McIlroy can carry into the PGA Championship, where he's looking to win a major for the first time since 2014?"

I think the answer to both questions is a resounding "yes".

I'm not one to put a lot of stock in the impact of one tournament into the next, but I have to wonder if Schauffele isn't a bit rattled by what Rory did to him on Sunday. And with the PGA just four days a way, does Schauffele have time to rebound from that woodshed treatment he received from McIlroy?

As you'll see below, I'm bullish on McIlroy this week at Valhalla. Now, I'm the first to admit I think a guy winning this week dampens his chances of winning next week, but if anyone can parlay what they did on Sunday into four days of great golf at the PGA, it's McIlroy.

If, say, Sungjae Im or Tommy Fleetwood would have won yesterday, I would be 90% sure they weren't winning again this week at Valhalla.

But with Rory, I think it's a help, not a hurt. He's a guy who swashbuckles with the best of them when his game is "on". And if he gets off to a good start on Thursday with something under par in round one, watch out.

There's also another element of winning that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy for Rory.

He deserves it.

Like, really deserves it.

Yes, I'm aware he won the two-man event a couple of weeks ago with Shane Lowry. That's half-a-win, basically. And while they'll take the money and the points and the other stuff that goes with winning, there's no way Rory or Shane would claim that winning that event in New Orleans "felt" like a real golf victory.

So, yesterday's win for McIlroy was his first on the PGA Tour since last July when he won the Scottish Open. That's a long time between visits to the winner's circle.

And it was ultra-deserving considering what McIlroy has gone through over the last 3 years with regard to the PGA Tour/LIV Golf feud. While others scooped up the money and deserted the very entity that made them rich and famous, McIlroy stood firm and stayed the course.

Along the way he fought Greg Norman, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Bryson DeChambeau and others who bolted for LIV. It had to drive McIlroy crazy that guys like Dustin Johnson and Talor Gooch -- both of whom are barely half the player of McIlroy at this point -- were making $40 million playing golf while he was "getting by" on just $10 million.

But he fought the good fight with Jay Monahan and the PGA Tour, often times in an embarrassing sort of way as more and more players left the TOUR for LIV.

Yes, the TOUR helped make it right, a little bit, by handing him $50 million last week as part of their "make good" to the big names who stuck around. $50 million isn't chump change to anyone, even a guy like McIlroy.

So now that an alliance of some sort seems to almost finalized, McIlroy will wind up playing once again with the very guys who left the TOUR in search of more money and greener pastures.

He hasn't said much about it, but it has to drive him crazy that he stuck with the PGA Tour through thick and think and those creeps from LIV are going to wind up "winning" in the end once the deal is done.

So a victory like the one he scored yesterday at Quail Hollow is not only big for his golf game, it's good for him, personally, too. He deserves some "good", does Rory.

The fight continues, yes. But, for a day at least, Rory and the PGA Tour were the big winners on Sunday afternoon in Charlotte.


When you're 26-13 at the 1/4 pole of the MLB season, there's no reason at all to panic. So I won't panic.

But...

I'm sure Mike Elias has some of the same concerns I have. You might follow suit, too.

What's the ultimate plan in the infield?

Mountcastle at first, Gunnar at short. We know that much.

Should Mike Elias be concerned about Anthony Santander's .218 batting average through the first quarter of the 2024 season?

Westburg at 3rd if Holliday comes back and can hit MLB pitching. We can fairly assume that.

Mateo is the infield super-sub. Check.

But what if, just what if, Holliday doesn't turn it around and is on again/off again with the big league club?

Elias is going to need to make a move of some kind. Ramon Urias isn't the answer.

There are trade pieces in Norfok and beyond, but what quality of player will our prospects garner?

Do the O's give Holliday one more 15-20 game stint to see if he's figured it out? And if he hasn't, do they try to add a third baseman or second baseman at the deadline and chalk this first year up to "rookie nerves" for Holliday?

The team's power numbers are good. The batting average, though? Not so much.

A 6 for 14 stretch changes a lot of things, obviously, but right now you have guys like Santander, Mullins and Kjerstad struggling at the plate. Cowser has simmered down after a scorching start, but that was to be expected. Had he continued at his April pace he would have hit .400 for the season.

So, while there are certainly bullpen issues still being addressed, there's also the everyday lineup that also needs monitoring.

That is, if the Orioles are gung-ho on fielding a World Series contender in 2024.

We've sorta-kinda known this all along, right? That all of those minor league prospects weren't going to be able to play for the big league club at the same time. Something had to give, which is why Joey Ortiz was available in the deal for Corbin Burnes in January.

And something might have to give later this summer, whether that's Mayo, Kjerstad, Cowser or another name that's coming up through the system with fanfare but no spot on the big league roster.

It's not time to panic.

But it is time to plan.

Elias is a lot smarter than all of us. I assume he's thinking about October now as well. I know I am.

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#dmd's pga championship top 10


The PGA Championship, now being referred to as "The Scottie Scheffler Invitational", takes place at Valhalla Golf Club from May 16-19.

Valhalla has hosted three previous PGA Championships, with Mark Brooks, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy all winning major titles at the Louisville, Kentucky course.

#DMD will preview the PGA Championship with our top 10 picks, leading up to Wednesday, May 15. On May 15, we'll publish the up-to-date betting odds on all 10 of our picks.

Ludvig Aberg's first ever major was last month at the Masters and he produced a runner-up finish to Scottie Scheffler.

#10 was Chris Kirk. #9 was Si Woo Kim. #8 was Wyndham Clark. #7 was Collin Morikawa. Our #6 was Alex Noren. #5 was Brooks Koepka. #4 was Corey Conners. Ludvig Aberg is #3.

#2, Rory McIlroy -- I can't think of the last time I listed Rory McIlroy as one of my pre-tournament favorites at a major championship.

It's been a while, for sure.

But this week at Valhalla feels different.

Editor's note: I was locked in on Rory at #2 before he won yesterday. Part of me thinks it's tough for anyone to win two weeks in a row, so I considered dropping him today for someone else. But if there's any player who can piece together two great weeks in a row, it's the 4-time major champion. So I'm sticking with him.

McIlroy hasn't won a major since 2014. That win? At Valhalla, in fact.

With all due respect to the TOUR's best drivers of the golf ball over the last two decades, none of them have done it anywhere close to McIlroy. He could be -- big statement here, but the numbers back it up -- the best driver of the golf ball in the history of the sport.

This year alone, he's hit more drives of over 340 yards than he has hit under 295 yards. Think about that one for a second.

If his wedge game livens up at Valhalla and he putts accordingly, he has a real chance of winning. The only thing that tends to hold McIlroy back are his wedges in the final round. He didn't really need them at Wells Fargo over the weekend, but he'll need them at Valhalla.

I'm thinking the 10-year major-less drought my end in Louisville.

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"Randy On The O's"


Randy Morgan takes #DMD readers through the recent week in Orioles baseball as the Birds try to win a second straight A.L. East title.


orioles week in review


Week Record: 3-2

Season Record: 26-13

AL East Standing: 1st (0.5 ahead of NYY)

Player of the Week: Westburg .473 AVG 4 XBH 2 BB


It wasn’t quite a banner week for the Orioles, needing to pull off some Orioles Magic to escape a two-game sweep down in Washington, but the Birds managed to come out with a winning week to maintain their spot at the top of the American League.

In a light week with two off days, the O’s won two of three from the reigning National League champion Arizona Diamondbacks, to finish 3-2.

After a rest day on Monday, the O’s traveled down I-95 for a two game set with the Nationals. In the opener on Tuesday, the Birds managed to spoil yet another solid Corbin Burnes start.

Jordan Westburg's week included a game-winning hit in extra innings on Saturday in the O's win over Arizona.

Burnes hasn’t been as spectacular as his opening day gem recently, but he keeps the team in every game he starts. Unfortunately the O’s have failed to score more than two runs in any of his last three starts, getting shutout by journeyman Nats starter Trevor Williams. Burnes conceded just three runs in his 6.1 innings while striking out six.

The Orioles bounced back on Wednesday, taking the lead with homers from Anthony Santander and Gunnar Henderson after a strong but short, five inning, nine strikeout outing from Kyle Bradish.

They appeared on their way to a split with a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the 9th, but Craig Kimbrel collapsed once again, allowing a homer to Eddie Rosario before walking the next two and leaving Keegan Akin a mess to clean up. Akin gave up a single to CJ Abrams to tie the game but managed to get the O’s to extra innings.

In extra frames, Ryan Mountcastle gave the Birds a leg up with a two-run homer in the 11th, but the bullpen once again squandered the lead.

The O’s remained resilient however, regaining the lead in the 12th on a Jorge Mateo single, followed by Mateo scoring on a wild pitch. This time it proved to be enough to secure a 7-6 win and avoid a sweep once again.

The good vibes carried into Friday’s opener with the Diamondbacks, where Cole Irvin maintained his impressive run of starts, limiting Arizona to two runs over 5.2 innings with six strikeouts to lower his season ERA to 2.90, just behind Burnes. Gunnar and Jordan Westburg led the offense, each providing an RBI double in a 4-2 win.

The team secured the winning week on Saturday afternoon with another dramatic win. John Means started strong in his second outing of the season, but he faded fast in the fifth inning, ultimately giving up four runs over 4.2 innings.

The O’s rallied back with homers again from Santander and Gunnar to pull even at 4-4 in the 8th inning.

The game then went to extra innings once again, with Craig Kimbrel redeeming himself somewhat with a 1-2-3 11th before Jordan Westburg played hero, capping off a 4-5 day with a game winning opposite field single.

The week ended on a sour note as Dean Kremer was solid early on Sunday but came apart after some defensive miscues and left in the sixth inning after giving up six runs (only three earned).

This time the bullpen couldn’t provide a chance for a comeback as they poured gas on the fire, with Cionel Perez allowing three more runs as the Diamondbacks pulled away for a 9-2 win to avoid the sweep.

The Player of the Week was fairly simple this edition. Though Gunnar Henderson had a solid week, batting .250 with his 11th and 12th homers of the season, and Ryan Mountcastle had several big games, Jordan Westburg was the man this week. The second year infielder hit for a .473 average with two walks and four extra base hits, including the game-winner on Saturday.

Westburg’s breakout season has been a slightly under the radar story for the O’s this year. He’s been the most consistent O’s hitter outside stars Gunnar and Adley and his defensive versatility has allowed them to play matchups with their other third and second base options.


Down on the Farm –

Down in Norfolk a few prospects continued to push for front office attention.

Coby Mayo had a cold start to the week but heated up over the weekend, tallying five hits and adding two more homers to his league-leading total of 13. With a .293 average and .977 OPS it seems like just a matter of time and the right opportunity before Mayo gets his chance in Baltimore.

Top prospect Jackson Holliday has yet to fully regain the dominant form that preceded his call-up, but he made strides this week, hitting safely in all but one game while putting up a .500 OBP for the week, though with just two extra-base hits.

The O’s have two pitching prospects that are starting to look close to major-league ready. Cade Povich continued to lead the Norfolk staff. He wasn’t quite as impressive as the last few weeks but still managed to strike out twelve over 9.1 innings in two starts, giving up fourteen hits, three walks and six runs. He currently sports a 2.16 ERA with a 1.1 WHIP on the season.

Chayce McDermott followed his no-hit outing last week with a decent effort, striking out eight in five innings with five hits surrendered and two runs. McDermott now has a 3.00 ERA on the season and his 49 Ks in 33 innings are second only to Povich.

In AA Bowie, Austin Hays returned from injury for a rehab stint. Hays played in five games for the Baysox, looking healthy with two homers. He appears set to return to Baltimore this coming week.

Also in Bowie, 2022 67th overall pick, Jud Fabian, had a big week, going 7-18 with two homers, two walks and seven RBI to raise his season OPS to .826 with six homers.


Question of the Week –

Have the Orioles shifted their team hitting philosophy?

This question came to mind after reading an article on Fangraphs last week which highlighted the greatly increased aggressiveness of Adley Rutschman at the plate this season.

Anecdotally, it seemed that Gunnar Henderson and perhaps several other Orioles were also taking a more aggressive approach, so I decided to dive into some of the numbers to see if this may represent a team or organization-wide shift in philosophy.

Over the past few years the O’s have had a reputation as one of the most selective teams at the plate, led largely by their two super prospects. The organization, and by extension the home-grown players, seemed to put an emphasis on patience at the plate, valuing walks and high on-base percentage.

This year, however, there seems to be a strategic change to get more aggressive at the plate, sacrificing some walks for harder contact and higher slugging percentages. After a fairly deep dive, the stats seem to confirm what my eyes were seeing.

In 2023 the O’s had an 8.4% walk rate, which surprisingly was only the 20th best in MLB. That went along with the 10th best slugging percentage (.421), 16th best OBP (.321), 17th best hard-hit percent (32.5%), 22nd best HR/FB rate (11.6%), and 7th best average exit velocity (89.4).

This season, they have dipped in walk rate, all the way down to 29th in the league at 6.8%, and 19th in OBP, but that has been buoyed in every other category. With the seemingly more aggressive approach, the O’s are 2nd in slugging (.440), 1st in hard-hit percent (34.1%), 1st in HR/FB rate (14.3%), and 2nd in average exit velocity (90.3).

The numbers are even more convincing when looking at the individual players, where we can also see the plate discipline stats showing how often hitters are seeing and hitting pitches inside and outside the strike zone.

Many of the O’s key hitters have been more aggressive at the plate this season with mostly positive results. Gunnar Henderson has seen his walk rate dip from 9% to 7.8% and his swing rate at pitches in the strike zone (Z-Swing on Fangraphs) has increased each year of his career, going from 67.3% in 2022 to 69.5% to 71.8% in 2024.

Gunnar is actually swinging at fewer pitches outside the strike zone as well (O-Swing) and seeing more pitches in the strike zone (44.7% compared to 43.9%). This was a somewhat surprising trend for most of the O’s hitters, that opposing pitchers seem to be throwing them more strikes this season.

For Gunnar, these changes have begun to push him to a new level, as he is among the top in the league for hard-hit rate, as well as most power numbers. His slugging percentage is up to .583 from .489, hard-hit rate up 4.3% to 56% and he is second in the league with twelve homers.

As the Fangraphs article pointed out, Adley has had one of the most dramatic shifts, dropping from a 13.4% walk rate in 2023 to just 4.8% this season. His slugging percentage has risen marginally as well as his exit velocity. Adley is swinging more at balls both in the zone and out of the zone, while also seeing a 3.4% rise in the amount of strikes thrown to him.

These trends were consistent across several other O’s hitters. Jordan Westburg has similar increases in swing rates at pitches in and out of the zone as well as jumps in exit velocity, slugging, and hard-hit rate, paired with a drop in walk rate.

Though not as pronounced, Anthony Santander and Ryan Mountcastle each exhibited similar trends.

So was this a calculated move by the Orioles front office to encourage more aggressiveness at the plate? Perhaps they crunched the numbers in the offseason and determined that their patience was costing them too much in explosiveness with the bats.

An alternative is that the team was zagging against their reputation, guessing that their well-known patience may encourage opposing teams to throw more strikes and shifting to take advantage of the increase in hittable pitches.

This made me wonder if this trend extended to the minors as well. While it was harder to determine for Norfolk since the plate discipline stats are not available, it does seem that this philosophical shift is organization-wide.

Of the few players who had significant time at Norfolk in both 2023 and 2024, the numbers reflect the same trend. Coby Mayo has seen his walk rate drop from 15.7% to 8.9% while increasing his slugging from .512 to .594.

Kyle Stowers likewise dropped his walk rate from 14.1% to 7.5% with the corresponding increase in slugging from .511 to .545.

Connor Norby was the one player who has actually increased his walk rate this season, but he also has increased his slugging from .483 to .497. Even non-prospect Norfolk catcher Maverick Handley has seen a drop in his walk rate and a rise in his slugging.

If this is indeed a change in hitting tactics it appears to be working quite well. As shown above, the Orioles are at or near the top of the league in nearly every important hitting category, so perhaps this has unlocked a new level for a young team.

The next question is obviously how other teams and opposing pitchers may counter this change. One might expect that pitchers may try to start throwing more pitches out of the zone to see if they can entice the Orioles to chase bad pitches.

However, the Fangraphs article pointed out that thus far, that adjustment hasn’t taken place, with Adley Rutschman and most of the other Orioles still seeing more strikes than last year. It will certainly be something to keep an eye on as the season progresses.

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Sunday
May 12, 2024
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3551


happy mother's day!


We are admittedly a sports "business" that interacts far more with men than women. It doesn't have to be that way, mind you, but it just is what it is.

That said, we do have plenty of female readers here at #DMD.

And I'm guessing a number of them also fill out the most valuable role on the team: mother.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you!

I recently saw an interesting video clip featuring Coach K of Duke from a decade or so ago. He was coaching high school age players at a camp or clinic of some kind and got into a discussion about toughness and how it applies to basketball.

In one part of the discussion, he says to the kids, "If you ever need inspiration, all you have to do is look at the toughest people you've ever known. And you all know who I mean: Your mother."

Coach K then went into detail about how tough moms are. "When they're sick, they still get up and make you breakfast and get you ready for school."

"They have to get ready for work at the same time they're getting you ready for school. They don't complain. It's part of their duty as your mother."

He went on with several other poignant examples and praises for moms. It was a cool scene to say the least.

I find myself liking Coach K more and more in the years since his retirement. It was hard to like him when he was actively coaching at Duke. Now, the more you know of him, the more respect you have. Or, at least, I do.

My mom passed away when I was just 24 years old. But in those 24 years, I got to see exactly what Coach K was talking about when he referenced "mom toughness".

I might have been an only child but I made the mess of three kids, probably, and was a "3-kid handful" at home. I was always playing a sport of some kind. Always in need of a ride somewhere. Always in need of my parents to do something for me.

My dad was in the car sales business, so his schedule was wonky. A lot of my sports obligations had to be met, in part, by my mother.

She never complained. Not once.

My wife and the mother of our two children is cut from the same cloth. Works full time, mothers full time, and, never, utters a complaint about it.

God wired women to be different than men. They're able to do things we men simply couldn't do. Motherhood is an incredible balance of patience, compassion, energy and discipline that men struggle to maintain.

Almost every man reading this right now has his mother to thank for what he's become in his life. It can all be summed up right there.

So, Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms reading this. We owe you everything. May God bless you all.


For one game, anyway, all was right with the Orioles. Well, not quite "all". We'll get to some of that stuff in a second.

But a lot of things went right in the 5-4 win over Arizona, including Craig Kimbrel pitching for the second straight day and looking efficient in his one inning (11th) of work. Kimbrel even picked up the victory after Jordan Westburg's hit plated the winning run in the bottom of that 11th inning.

The Birds improved to 26-12 on the year, a game better (after 38) than last year's early surge that saw them go 25-13.

It wasn't a great start for John Means, unfortunately. He went 4.2 innings and allowed 6 hits and 4 earned runs. The Diamondbacks spent most of the first four innings hitting lasers off of the Baltimore southpaw.

Ryan Mountcastle had two doubles and a triple in Saturday's 5-4 win over Arizona.

It also wasn't a day to remember for Heston Kjerstad, either. He went 0-for-3 at the plate to see his average dip to .143 and he was an adventure-in-the-making on any ball hit his way in left field.

Cedric Mullins got most of the day off. He came in to pinch hit late and struck out. He's hitting .192 now. It's not pretty.

Others, though, were bright spots on Saturday.

The aforementioned Westburg went 4-for-5 in addition to knocking in the winning run. He's off to a really nice start in 2024: .301/.345/.522

Ryan Mountcastle was 3-for-5 on Saturday with a pair of doubles. He's hitting .288.

And don't look now, but Jorge Mateo is once again slowly starting to creep into the territory of "has to play more". He got the start at second base yesterday with Westburg at third and went 1-for-4 at the dish and handled his position well defensively. His only guaranteed starts over the last year have come against southpaw starters. But that might have to change if he continues to hit .250 (ish) and plays outstanding defense.

Another nice weekend crowd of 27,000 plus was on hand to see the win.

Toronto and Seattle come to town this week. That feels like 5 or 6 more wins.

The beer is going to be ice cold by Memorial Day, I'm guessing.


Don't forget, I'll be on the air from 4-6 pm today on 105.7 The Fan for "Fairways and Greens", Baltimore's only homegrown golf radio show.

Guests on today's show include Gilman's Bennett Espenshade, who just won the MIAA Individual Championship, and Michael Crowley of Loyola University, who advanced through U.S. Open local qualifying earlier this week and will also tee it up with his Greyhounds in the NCAA tournament starting tomorrow in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

If you have any questions for the show, you can e-mail them to me today (18inarow@gmail.com) or you can call in between 4 and 6 pm at 410-583-1057.

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#dmd's pga championship top 10


The PGA Championship, now being referred to as "The Scottie Scheffler Invitational", takes place at Vahalla Golf Club from May 16-19.

Valhalla has hosted three previous PGA Championships, with Mark Brooks, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy all winning major titles at the Louisville, Kentucky course.

#DMD will preview the PGA Championship with our top 10 picks, leading up to Wednesday, May 15. On May 15, we'll publish the up-to-date betting odds on all 10 of our picks.

Ludvig Aberg's first ever major was last month at the Masters and he produced a runner-up finish to Scottie Scheffler.

#10 was Chris Kirk. #9 was Si Woo Kim. #8 was Wyndham Clark. #7 was Collin Morikawa. Our #6 was Alex Noren. #5 was Brooks Koepka. #4 was Corey Conners.

#3, Ludvig Aberg -- I'm just as worried as you (if you're a golf enthusiast) about Aberg's WD from the Wells Fargo due to a knee injury, but I have to assume that was more out of precaution than anything else. If you wager on the big Swede and he winds up not playing, you'll get your money back.

Now, if he tees off on Thursday, plays 18 holes, shoots 77 and WD's, you're not getting your money back. So, wager accordingly.

That said, I'm going to assume he's healthy and ready to go.

And if he's healthy and ready to go...Valhalla GC is the absolute perfect place for him to win his first major.

They're going to stretch the place out to 7,500 yards this week. I just don't see how guys like Denny McCarthy, Brian Harman and other short-ish hitters can prosper there. But Aberg will have no trouble handling the 7,500 yard test.

Assuming he's going to have a full, healthy PGA Tour career, this kid is going to win a lot of golf tournaments. And multiple majors, too. If you pressed me for an answer right now to the question: "Who wins more majors, Aberg or McIlroy?", I'd take Aberg and he's already four behind.

As we saw from him at Augusta National last month, the moment is not too big for him. All he knows is tee it up and pound it. Find it, usually in the fairway, and hit it on the green.

He's the real deal.

If his knee is OK this week, he has a great chance to win.

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Saturday
May 11, 2024
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3550


and this is what's wrong...


Regular readers of #DMD probably know by now that my weekly visit on Glenn Clark Radio (every Wednesday, 10 am - 12 noon) has recently included a new segment called, "This is what's wrong with our country."

It started on a lark, really. I don't remember exactly what I was upset with the day we invented the 10-minute segment, but it probably had something to do with lunatic drivers on Baltimore roads or coffee shop workers who mumble instead of looking you in the eye and saying, "Hi, how can I help you?"

Clark and I both try to take the segment seriously. It's not hard to do, honestly, since I think all of us, all the time, find things embedded in our society that are part and parcel of "what's wrong with our country".

A majority of the things I find wrong with our country generally fall under either common sense, kindness or self entitlement.

I was taking my son to an early morning dentist appointment on Wednesday of this past week. As is typically the case at 7:45 am, the Beltway was a fiasco. It was bumper-to-bumper as we passed over Perring Parkway in the direction of Towson. It was still moving along at a snail's pace as we closed in on the Loch Raven Blvd. exit.

Suddenly, to my right, a small car buzzed along the shoulder, passing all of his who were sitting there patiently trying to navigate our way to wherever it was we were going.

The vehicle continued unchecked all along the right shoulder at probably 40 miles per-hour.

As a rule, that's precisely the kind of stuff I point to with Clark when I say, "This is what's wrong with our country."

The driver of that vehicle was saying, very clearly, "Whatever needs you all have don't compare to mine. My morning and my destination are more important. I know you're waiting. But I'm not going to wait. I have somewhere to be."

Now...here's the quick qualifier. And I pointed this out to my son.

"Maybe he or she cut their hand and they're rushing to the hospital," I said.

Perhaps they woke up late and were hustling to make it to their job by 8 am. Maybe they've been late twice recently and the boss said, "Next time you're late, you're fired."

For all I know, their 84 year old mother slipped and fell in the kitchen earlier in the morning and was being rushed to GMBC.

Or, maybe it was as simple as, "I'm not sitting here in traffic waiting around when I can just drive on the shoulder and get to where I'm going."

The optics of it just didn't look good. Thousands of cars in traffic and one person basically giving the impression that what he or she had going on was far more important than anything they have going on.

It's a small thing, of course. A Wednesday morning in suburban Baltimore and a traffic situation involving thousands of people who were kind vs. one goof who decided he/she didn't want to wait in traffic. But it's a microcosm of one of things that's wrong with our country; people have little regard for other people.

And, so, on an unrelated note, we move to Florida, where this week a story surfaced that is also worthy of discussion in the "This is what's wrong with our country" segment on Glenn Clark Radio.

It's a slippery slope because over the last 20 years or so our country has picked up an almost-puzzling fear of God and His impact on the direction of our lives.

So, anytime religion or faith gets broached these days, there's a segment of the population that gets very jittery.

But this story in Florida deserves scrutiny and a massive thumbs-down.

An elementary school was forced to dissolve their Fellowship of Christian Athletes weekly "huddle" after the Freedom From Religion Foundation forced them to do so.

We just can't have those 5th graders meeting up once a week to learn more about God and their faith, I guess.

When they're in 6th grade, the FCA huddle is "allowed". But while you're in a public elementary school, in Florida, the FCA meeting falls under separation of church and state regulations, says the FFRF.

Never mind that participating in the FCA huddle is completely voluntary. We run one every Thursday at Calvert Hall. It's in Room 108. The door is open. Enter if you like.

We don't stand outside the door like a carnival barker urging people to come in. If you're interested in FCA, the invite is there. Please join us.

So, the FCA huddle at the elementary school in Florida was similar in nature. Anyone could attend. It was voluntary.

But the religious freedom people still got very nervous. And they filed a complaint.

"Students have the First Amendment right to be free from religious indoctrination in their public schools. While the Equal Access Act protects students' right to form religious clubs in secondary schools, it does not apply to elementary schools," an attorney argued in her letter to the school board.

"Elementary students are too young to truly run a club entirely on their own initiative with no input from school staff or outside adults," she claimed.

Yeah, we can't have those elementary school students showing leadership qualities at a young age. That would be terrible, wouldn't it?

So, the Florida school board caved in, but along the way they reminded the students that once they got to middle school, groups like FCA would be available for them to join and enjoy.

In Florida, middle schools can have groups like FCA and it somehow doesn't relate to the goofy separation of church and state stuff.

It's just those 5th graders, you know. We can't have them learning about God and faith in 5th grade.

What's wrong with our country isn't the fear of God starting to trickle down to various parts of our every day lives.

What's wrong with our country is that people get involved in stuff that is of no concern to them whatsoever.

The FCA huddle at the Florida elementary school was voluntary. Perhaps that's a word that the guys and gals running FFRF don't understand with their limited education(s), but no one was forced to attend the huddle or participate in any religious activities.

If a 5th grader wants to attend a FCA huddle, why get in his or her way?

If a 5th grader wanted to attend the Beekeeper's Club or the Guitar Club, they'd be "mature enough" to make that decision on their own.

But if they want to attend the FCA huddle, that's a no-no. Now, we have to get in your way.

The only reason you get in their way is because you've decided it's your mission to make sure people don't discover more about God.

The Florida school board caved in. I wish they wouldn't have.

I was hoping a rival group would surface in Florida. "People Against Religious Freedom People". Alas, it hasn't happened.

But it's probably time to start thinking about writing the charter.

And I'd love to see a Florida 5th grader serve as the group's first President.

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#dmd's pga championship top 10


The PGA Championship, now being referred to as "The Scottie Scheffler Invitational", takes place at Vahalla Golf Club from May 16-19.

Valhalla has hosted three previous PGA Championships, with Mark Brooks, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy all winning major titles at the Louisville, Kentucky course.

#DMD will preview the PGA Championship with our top 10 picks, leading up to Wednesday, May 15. On May 15, we'll publish the up-to-date betting odds on all 10 of our picks.

Canadian Corey Conners is among the tour's best ball strikers but needs his putter to heat up at next week's PGA.

#10 was Chris Kirk. #9 was Si Woo Kim. #8 was Wyndham Clark. #7 was Collin Morikawa. Our #6 was Alex Noren. #5 was Brooks Koepka.

#4 - Corey Conners -- The Canadian feels so much like this generation's version of Davis Love III it's not even funny. Throughout his career, Love was a great driver of the golf ball and a sublime iron player.

He was, unfortunately, a generational talent who was never a great putter. Love III only won one major title, the 1997 PGA Championship at Winged Foot.

Corey Conners is cut from the same cloth.

Very few golfers in the world hit the ball like he does. He's just not a great putter.

He's a good putter, obviously. You'd never be a top 20 player in the world by being a terrible putter.

But he's not a great putter. He has weeks where the flat stick works well and that's when he contends. But he putts "good" more often than he putts "great".

Look at the data this year alone: 43d in shots gained, total.

23rd in shots gained, off the tee.

4th in shots gained, approach to green.

30th in total driving (combination of accuracy and distance).

160th in shots gained, putting.

That's why Corey Conners doesn't win.

160th on TOUR in putting.

All that said, the difference between 160th and an acceptable number like, 80th, is miniscule. It's one more made 10-foot putt every two or three rounds.

I'm confident he's going to win a major championship someday. And, like Love III, I think it might be a PGA. And next week's journey around Valhalla seems like a good time for him to snag that elusive first major.

He's playing well at Wells Fargo this week. And that's a similar set-up/layout to Valhalla. If he just putts decently at Valhalla...

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner
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Friday
May 10, 2024
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3549


we're not doing a lot of "connecting"


The great Jim Morrison once said it best: "People are strange..."

Our beloved Orioles have played great baseball over the last two seasons. They're already on the fast track to another 100-win season in 2024.

And yet there's a rumbling of trouble in Birdland.

It has nothing to do with Craig Kimbrel.

Or Cedric Mullins.

It's actually a problem that has zero to do with anything except superstition.

The team is having a difficult time playing "Orioles baseball" in what are called their "City Connect" uniforms.

The uniforms were unveiled last year as part of a league-wide campaign by Nike and MLB to provide an alternative jersey that would better connect the team with their hometown.

Yes, it's loosely disguised as just another way to cop $150 from all of you who wanted one, that much is true. But, still, the idea was solid, even if the eventual product -- in some cases -- was "meh" at best.

When the BALTIMORE City Connect uniforms were first used in 2023, people in town fell in love with them.

A year later, divorce papers are on file.

My buddy Glenn Clark is one of the campaign leaders, in fact, for the divorce. He believes the team needs to abandon them. Like...now.

The record over two seasons reflects poorly on the new uniforms, if that sort of thing matters to you. The Birds are 5-9 in their black shirts, including 0-3 this season. Perhaps even more problematic is the team generally also fails to hit when they're wearing the City Connect "kit".

Oh, and if you're heading out to the ballpark tonight for the chilly, drizzly home encounter with the Arizona Diamondbacks, you'll be seeing the City Connect shirts up close and personal, as the ballclub wears them for all Friday home games.

So is there a legitimate connection -- see what I did there? -- between bad Orioles baseball and a bad baseball jersey that the club has to wear as part of the league-wide deal with Nike?

Or are people just crazy about things that don't matter?

Clark doubled down on Wednesday during my weekly appearance on his show and said, "Whatever the fine is for not wearing them, the Orioles should just pay that and move on."

I actually don't even think that's possible. But it would certainly be interesting if the league said, "Sure, you don't have to wear them 24 times this season as the contract states...but it's $100,000 for each game under 24 you fall short."

For the record, I have no idea what the actual league mandate is for each team to wear them, but I'm sure there's a number, per the contract. There are still some teams who haven't even unveiled their City Connect shirts yet. Detroit, in fact, just became the latest team to debut their new uniforms earlier this month.

But it's interesting to hear people like Clark just come out and say it. "Stop wearing them and pay whatever the fine is that's associated with your insubordination."

Now that's some real superstition on display right there.

And Clark's not the only one who says that.

There are lots and lots of Orioles fans who think the uniforms have to be folded up and packed away for an auction later on down the road.

Me?

I don't think the team's 5-9 record while wearing City Connect uniforms has anything at all to do with the actual City Connect uniforms.

I think people try to figure out "what's wrong?" and see a 5-9 record and say, "We're never 5-9 in any other circumstance except when we wear these shirts."

But I also know this: Baseball players are incredibly superstitious. If they eat peanut butter and jelly mixed with raisins and olives before a game and go 4-for-4, they're eating peanut butter and jelly mixed with raisins and olives the next day, too.

At some point down the road, if, say, the team is 7-18 in their first 25 games wearing those things, the club might have to figure out "something" to tell the league.

I can hear Mike Elias now.

"So, you know those City Connect uniforms? The weirdest thing happened. Our players all developed a bad allergic reaction to them. Must be something in the material. We'll have to get new ones next season and get our team doctors to figure out what's going on. For now, though, under medical advice, we're not going to be able to wear them any longer."

For all I know, Elias thinks it's funny the team's 5-9 wearing them the same way I do. And not "funny" as in "I don't care", but funny as in, "Yeah, that's a weird one, but it's not actually important."

But if the team keeps on losing when they wear those uniforms, a player or two will snuggle up next to him on a team flight at some point and say, "Hey, Mike...about those City Connect uniforms."

Baseball players are strange, man.

If they're 5-9 when they are wearing a certain uniform combination, it's because of the uniform combination. It's not because of them.


There was an interesting situation at yesterday's Wells Fargo Championship involving first round leader Xander Schauffele. If "X" goes on to win, the incident on Thursday will certainly be talked about quite a bit.

On the 8th hole in yesterday's first round, Schauffele hit a poor drive that went into a wooded area near a fence that borders the perimeter of the property.

He thought the ball might be out of bounds, so he played a provisional tee ball, per the rules.

Upon arriving at the scene, Schauffele discovered the ball was in play, but in a penalty area. Technically, he should have been forced to abandon that ball and play the provisional he hit. But Schauffele wiggled out of that dilemma by explaining to the rules official he believed that part of the golf course did not contain a penalty area (red stakes) and was playing a provisional tee ball for an out-of-bounds penalty.

The rules official agreed with him and allowed him to play the original tee ball.

Here's what it really got murky.

Schauffele's only play in the general direction of the green was to hit a low screamer under about 30 trees and overhanging limbs. The odds on pulling that shot off to perfection were probably about 2.5%. But about 80 yards up, in front of the area he was going to have to play the shot, was a tower that was temporarily erected on the course to provide satellite scoring and statistical information to the PGA Tour media center.

Schauffele asked for relief from a "temporary immovable obstruction" -- the Shotlink Tower -- and it was granted, despite the fact that under almost no circumstances at all could he have actually hit the shot he was intending to hit from the penalty area. It was possible, yes, but about as possible as Charlize Theron accepting your invite for a cocktail in your hotel room.

It was very obvious that Schauffele was grasping for straws and pulled one out, perfectly. He couldn't have pulled off the shot. But that wasn't really the point.

He then took the free relief granted to him by the rules official, played a shot up close to the green, and eventually made a par.

After a first round 64, Xander leads the event by three shots.

The internet lit up with criticism of Schauffele and the PGA Tour for allowing him to maneuver his way out of what most certainly would have likely been at least a bogey, if not higher.

"Why not make him play the shot he said he wanted to play? And if he hits the tower, then allow him to either replay the same shot or take relief then?" That was the question asked by a lot of people on the internet and, frankly, it's the one that makes the most sense.

There are courses all over the place (Briarwood in PA has this issue, in fact) that have telephone wires running all throughout the golf course. If your ball hits one of them during its flight, you're allowed to replay the shot, per the rules. You don't take relief from them before you hit the shot. You simply replay the shot, if, in fact, they interfere with your ball flight.

Golf has some weird nuances.

You can hit a tee shot right down the middle, 300 yards, but wind up in a 5 inch divot and have to play your next shot out of an area that is clearly "under repair" or "damaged".

But you can then hit your tee shot 50 yards off line into the woods and claim your next shot might be impacted by a tower that is likely not even close to being in your way and you get free relief.

If Schauffele goes on to win by one or two shots, this story won't die away quickly.

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#dmd's pga championship top 10


The PGA Championship, now being referred to as "The Scottie Scheffler Invitational", takes place at Vahalla Golf Club from May 16-19.

Valhalla has hosted three previous PGA Championships, with Mark Brooks, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy all winning major titles at the Louisville, Kentucky course.

#DMD will preview the PGA Championship with our top 10 picks, leading up to Wednesday, May 15. On May 15, we'll publish the up-to-date betting odds on all 10 of our picks.

One more major win for Brooks Koepka and he ties Phil Mickelson with six career major titles.

#10 was Chris Kirk. #9 was Si Woo Kim. #8 was Wyndham Clark. #7 was Collin Morikawa. Our number 6 was Alex Noren.

#5 - Brooks Koepka Valhalla just feels like a place where Brooks Koepka will shine. It's a huge ballpark, he's a guy that just "athletes it around", and the whole PGA vibe is perfect for his style, as evidenced by the fact that he's won 3 of them in his career.

That he just won recently on the LIV Tour is probably good for him, per se, but I'm not sure it has much to do with him playing well next week at Valhalla.

What will serve him well at Valhalla will be the array of shots he's capable of hitting. He can power it out there 320 when the hole calls for it and he can chip it out there 220 off the tee when the hole suggests that's the best play. And his wedge game is always spot-on during major championship weeks.

Koepka's putter is always the chief concern in his bag, but he's a much better putter than people give him credit for. You don't win five majors if you're not a great putter along the way.

He's only 34 years old. If Koepka can snag a 6th major in 2024, he can probably make a legitimate run at double digits. He's always going to be a threat at Augusta National and his record at the U.S. Open isn't too shabby, either.

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faith in sports


Newcomers to #DMD, please do yourself a great favor today and watch this video for 9 minutes.

#DMD veterans, you've probably seen it here before. I try to run this Inky Johnson video once a year. I show it, at some point, to all of my Calvert Hall golfers.

Inky Johnson was a college football player at the University of Tennessee who suffered a life changing injury.

But that's not the biggest part of his story.

You have to watch the video to find out more about Inky Johnson.

And once you watch this Inky Johnson video, you'll probably do the same thing I've done over the last 3 years and watch every video and every speech he's done since the day of his injury.

Inky Johnson is one of the most powerful people in the world of sports. God put him on this planet to change the way people look at Him and at life.

Please take 9 minutes today to watch this.

Thanks, as always, to our friends at Freestate Electrical for their continued support of #DMD and our "Faith in Sports" segment every Friday.


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Thursday
May 9, 2024
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3548


"how's your shoulder, craig?"


I don't think the Orioles are at the end of the Craig Kimbrel experiment, but it's time to put it on pause at the very least.

Last night was the latest episode and, despite the O's eventually pulling out a 7-6 win, it was Kimbrel's 9th inning disaster that extended the game in Washington D.C.

I can't see the Birds outright cutting Kimbrel at this point and effectively admitting to a $13 million mistake.

But it's time for a reset with the veteran closer.

And that might mean the famous "shoulder inflammation" diagnosis for Kimbrel, followed by the accompanying trip to the Injured List.

Yeah, it's time.

Brandon Hyde: "Sorry to hear about your shoulder, Craig."

Kimbrel: "Huh? My shoulder? It's fine, skip. Just had some trouble locating my fastball tonight."

Another lousy outing in D.C. last night has Craig Kimbrel on the hot seat.

Hyde: "No, your shoulder's not good, Craig."

Kimbrel: "It's fine, Brandon."

Hyde: "We'll get it taken care of when we get back home. The docs we have are great. They'll get you back on the mound in no time."

Kimbrel: "But, skip, I feel --"

Hyde: "We're right here with you every step of the way. The docs will figure it out, don't worry."

Now, that doesn't mean the O's late-game woes are fixed.

It just means, for now at least, Kimbrel won't be contributing to any 9th inning collapses.

Something has to be done.

Give the closing role to a committee; Cano, Suarez, Akin, Webb.

Or just give it to Webb for a series and see how he does.

Start putting together some potential trade options and improve the situation that way, if possible.

Just know that Kimbrel is looking more and more like he's not the answer. It's a costly lesson the O's have learned, but sometimes that's the way it goes.

The Orioles have some other pressing issues as well. Yes, the closer situation is probably the one garnering the most attention, but someone needs to check Cedric Mullins and make sure he's OK.

After last night's 0-for-5 performance at the plate, he's now hitting .200 with a woeful OBP of .254.

Yes, Mullins is almost irreplaceable in center field. But you have to be able to hit, too. His defense is great. But at the plate, it's starting to become very concerning.

Colton Cowswer had also been scuffling -- big time -- before going 2-for-4 last night. Let's hope he's starting to get back on track.

The good news: Baltimore did win last night's game, though, even after Kimbrel coughed up a 2-run 9th inning lead (although Akin technically gave up the hit that plated the second run), followed by Suarez doing the same thing in the bottom of the 11th after the O's had gone up 5-3 earlier in the inning.

So, despite the bullpen woes on Wednesday evening, the Birds did prevail in a nailbiter.

But Kimbrel's performance was the story of the night, unfortunately.

Mike Elias, the ball is now firmly in your court.

Do something, please.


Shohei Ohtani's former interpreter agreed yesterday to plead guilty to federal bank fraud and tax evasion charges in the wake of stealing almost $17 million from the Japanese star to help pay off his gambling debts.

Ippei Mizuhara is expected to enter his guilty plea in the coming weeks. His arraignment is scheduled for next Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Shohei Ohtani's former interpreter stole nearly $17 million from the Dodgers superstar.

A sentencing date has not been set. The total maximum sentence Mizuhara could receive for both crimes would be 33 years imprisonment and fines of $1.25 million, but in exchange for his plea -- outlined in the agreement released Wednesday -- prosecutors will recommend a reduced sentence.

Ohtani and the Dodgers both refused comment on Wednesday.

Mizuhara began making bets with an illegal bookmaker in September 2021.

As his losses quickly grew, he began to exploit his access to Ohtani's financial accounts to pay off his gambling debts.

Mizuhara took many steps to deceive Ohtani, including changing contact information on the baseball player's bank accounts so communication would come to Mizuhara.

He also impersonated Ohtani on the phone with calls to the bank, which he did at least 24 times, according to the plea agreement that was made available to the media on Wednesday.

In one of those instances, on Feb. 2, 2022, Mizuhara called a representative of a bank seeking help to complete a wire transfer for what Mizuhara said was a "car loan" and verified the transaction with a six-digit code sent via text message, which went to Mizuhara's phone instead of Ohtani's. The interpreter had already changed the information on the account to receive the texts to his phone.

Last September, Mizuhara told Ohtani he needed $60,000 for dental work, which Ohtani arranged to give him via a check drawn from a business account. However, Mizuhara pocketed that money and instead used Ohtani's debit card to pay the $60,000 dental bill.

This is obviously a terrible, terrible story. Ohtani's out almost $17 million and there's little chance Mizuhara will ever be able to pay him back.

Ohtani also lost some credibility when the story first circulated two months ago. People in the U.S. and elsewhere believed Ohtani was either involved in gambling himself or, at the very least, was working in conjunction with Mizuhara.

The IRS Criminal Investigation Team discovered Ohtani had no knowledge at all of his former employee's gambling debts or the deception involved in changing bank and phone records.

A lot of folks owe Ohtani an apology.

And one guy owes him almost seventeen million bucks.

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#dmd's pga championship top 10


The PGA Championship, now being referred to as "The Scottie Scheffler Invitational", takes place at Vahalla Golf Club from May 16-19.

Valhalla has hosted three previous PGA Championships, with Mark Brooks, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy all winning major titles at the Louisville, Kentucky course.

#DMD will preview the PGA Championship with our top 10 picks, leading up to Wednesday, May 15. On May 15, we'll publish the up-to-date betting odds on all 10 of our picks.

Alex Noren is poised to make some noise next week at the PGA Championship.

#10 was Chris Kirk. #9 was Si Woo Kim. #8 was Wyndham Clark. #7 was Collin Morikawa.

#6 is Alex Noren -- Ludvig Aberg has been getting the most attention as the new "Swede Superstar", but he's not the Swede with six straight Top 25 finishes. That honor belongs to Alex Noren.

He's coming off of a 3rd place finish at last week's TOUR event at TPC Craig Ranch and he's in the field this week at the Wells Fargo in Charlotte. The 41-year old is playing some of the best golf of his career of late and we're thinking next week might be his unofficial coming out party on the TOUR.

He's among TOUR leaders in several shots gained categories and is ranked #1 in scrambling.

His short game wizardry is well known. He just hasn't been among the TOUR's best putters over the years or he'd have a handful of victories instead of just a handful of money.

Henrik Stenson didn't win his major until somewhat late in his career. We're thinking Noren just might follow in his footsteps next week in Louisville.

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#dmd comments








The Real Ricky     May 24
@ Paul From Towson: Preach, brother!

@ Drew: As a fellow devout "Loud" Catholic, I appreciate you standing up for your (our) faith. Keep up the good Christian work!

Dan     May 24
If someone (let's call him "Larry") does not like a speech by a devout Catholic given at a private Catholic school than said loser (again, "Larry") should not listen to it thus sparing the rest of us your phony, manufactured outrage.

Steve of Pimlico     May 24
Who would you have preferred for a graduation speaker,Butker or P Diddy.

Jon     May 24
*scrolls right past Paul……

Paul from Towson     May 24
What a time to be alive in these, the UNITED States of America!!! Where drag queens reading to elementary school children and 5 year olds tipping said drag queens at strip clubs (look it up if you don't believe me) is perfectly fine. BUT an NFL place kicker is vilified for giving a commencement speech to a group of graduating Catholic seniors, where he spoke fondly of women looking forward to marriage and motherhood. HOW DARE HE!!!! THIS, ladies and gentleman, IS exactly what's wrong with this country. And yes, @Jason M, it is the liberal mainstream media, that took this 4 minute sound bite, and ran all over the world with it. Leading many on the Left to suffer complete and total mental breakdowns. How dare a white, male athlete tell a group of women that marriage and motherhood are two of the greatest things they will accomplish in their lives. I suppose they would rather he just beat, abuse, harass, threaten, and sexually assault these women (as is per usual for NFL players) instead of wishing them blessings on the positive things in life. Or have these athletes continue the trend of fathering 11 kids with 10 women an taking care of a grand total of none of them (looking at you Travis Henry and Antonio Cromartie). Or maybe fathering 5 kids with 6 women before they turn the ripe old age of 25.



You people really need to get your heads examined.



If you have an issue with what Harrison Butker said to the point where you need to go on social media or any other platform and rail against him, and in many cases, try to CANCEL him....!!?? Then YOU, are what is wrong with this country. Why can't we just say, "I kind of disagree with that." And leave it be??? Last time I checked, he wasn't forcing anyone to live their lives by these guidelines. He was merely encouraging those women who choose to be a wife and mother and expressing his own cherished values and beliefs. Since when was that a terrible way to live ones life? He also said that many of them will embark on successful careers!!! I have a brilliant 25 year old daughter who is currently serving in the United States Navy after receiving a degree in Chemical Engineering from Auburn University. She has set herself up nicely to have a wonderful and fulfilling life, which will include marriage to her Secret Service agent fiance' and eventually a few children.



In a world where every day we are witness to appalling and heinous behavior displayed by athletes, politicians celebrities, and regular every day idiots, Harrison Butker's comments should be a refreshing take on core family values that were said to a group of folks who share his same values and beliefs. Instead, they're viewed as just another example of this imaginary oppression that drives the false narrative of the leftist victimhood which refuses to take responsibility for their own poor decisions and instead blames the good, decent members of society for the ills that befall them. When in turn they could just say, "You know what, I disagree with you, Mr. Butker" and leave it at that. John Wayne once said, "I disagree, vehemently, with everything Hanoi Jane (that piece of treasonous trash Jane Fonda) says, but I'll defend to the death her right to say it." Funny...I didn't hear these same people cry out when the current president told a group of graduating young black men that their country hates them. To me, that's way worse than anything Harrison Butker said. Whether I agree with him or not.



And again, THAT is what's wrong with this country.

Unitastoberry     May 24
Anyone who takes advice from celebrities is seriously got a problem. Take advice from clergy,doctors,lawyers ,cpas ,etc. Not field goal kickers, singers, actors,keyboard warriors,even politicians.

CLIFF     May 24
It was a “win-win” for @DF - Orioles victory AND his “buddy Gavin Sheets” had a good game, getting on base four times. At least today’s O’s segment was straight news, with the name-dropping toned down. We get it; the site owner is friends with a (fringe) major leaguer. Sheesh.


Jason M     May 24
Oh please Drew, I agree on that the Butker thing is a nothing burger, he gets to have an opinion and we get to ignore it, agree with it or whatever, but to please don;t wave the Liberal Media flag. People were interested in his remarks, it was newsworthy, and the news media are not going to play his entire 25 minute speech, they are going to cut to the newsworthy parts. The article in the newspaper I read started with the controversial parts and the reaction but by the 5th paragrapgh described the entirety of the speech. TV news is too sound bite, compelling pictures and bleeding and ledeing, if you want a more fully formed news, I turn to sources like the Dish, the Sun, the Banner, and the Post. There is a ton of conservative leaning media out there (hello Sinclair broadcasting, hello new ownership version of the Sun, hello NewsMax, Fox News, News One) so I really reject the dated notion of the liberal media. BTW Butker, a lot of us need two incomes to make it and be able to afford to support stuff like the NFL, we can't all be NFL Players working 6 months a year for millions.

Tom J     May 24
I hope Scotty and his team and lawyer sue the living crap out of the Johnny Bad A$$ cop and that CLOWN SHOW of a police department in Louisville. There's no reason any person should have been pulled from that car and cuffed a minute later for that. And you're correct, instead of owning this and saying "sorry", they continue to double down and dig their hole deeper........



The O's bullpen and lack of trustworthy closer will be their Achilles Hell and down fall as well as trying to hit every pitch 600 feet.



Why does anyone care about what any athlete, musician or actor says about anything???? Who cares????????

ej     May 23
Does @JJ know golf tournaments have more than one round?

J.J.     May 23
@DF says "Go with Finau and Harman this week in golf."

Finau and Harman immediately are near the lead. LMAO

Chris in Bel Air     May 23
Like Drew said, I considered the O's streak of not being swept ending last fall in the playoff series against Texas. Still, it was an impressive regular season run and another gauge of their success is their lack of losing streaks and length of losing streaks. Starting with Adley's arrival in May 2022 (spanning 330 games and if my research is correct), O's have had a total of 7 losing streaks of 3 games or more and the most is a 4-game streak. Again, pretty impressive and as their winning pct shows, they tend to shake off losses quickly and get back to the WIN column.

hal     May 23
We need the trade of a DFA player for a backup to the backup C to show us Elias is "paying attention to every department of the on field product"? That is pretty disrespectful if you ask me. I have zero doubts that Elias pays attention to everything EVERY day. Deciding not to do something is as hard, or harder, than doing something. I'll trust Elias until I see tangible reasons to not trust him. Hyde, eh, he might not have quite the same level of trust, but like it is with Harbs, if you decide to move on from him, who you gonna bring in that will do better? Lee Mazzilli lol?

Unitastoberry     May 23
Expecting Judge and Stanton to get injured isn't a good approach to winning the divison. Tons of baseball left but I'm seeing cracks and as you said Hyde made some bad calls.

Stats Nerd     May 23
If nothing else I hope this case opens some people's eyes to the fact that police should not always be given the benefit of the doubt. Brutal job...no question. But this is Keystone Cops type stuff that frankly isn't an isolated situation

TimD in Timonium     May 23
"He was booked at Metro Corrections at 7:28 a.m. before being released at 8:40 a.m. Scheffler was charged with 2nd degree assault of a police officer, 3rd degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding signals from officers directing traffic."



So, Scottie gets a gentle slap on the wrist the morning of the "misunderstanding," but will get the book thrown at him when he next appears in court? That's very doubtful. there's The Elite, and then there's all of us. Different rules apply.



O-for-St. Louis? Oh, no. Going 3-1 against the Sox would be nice.


Steve of Pimlico     May 22
If Scheffler goes to jail I'm starting a group GLM( golfers lives matter).Storm the Bastille with 9 irons to free Scottie

RC     May 22
Poor Mitch, he must listen to the goofs in the local media who like to harp on "the need to lock up their young talent" as if the decision is totally up to Elias and the Orioles alone. There is no magic number that would "force" any of these guys to sign a long-term deal now.

DMD is correct that Mitch answers his own question - if the amount needed is just gonna go up and up, so why would any player sign "now"?? Easy to blame Boras but most agents will have that same view. Injury is the only compelling risk, but most young athletes are not going to fear injury.

Buying out arbitration years sounds nice in theory, but what does it get you really? One or two years on the back end is not worth overpaying for those arbitration years.

The best thing Elias can do is keep the pipeline full of talent. So far, he seems to be doing just that. It would be nice to have a handful of guys stay long term but that's just not how the system is designed. If it happens great, if not, having young replacements who are ready to replace departing FA's is the way to go.

Howard     May 22
Let’s get real. It’s not a coincidence that a little over 24 hours after he was arrested and jailed that Scheffler played a round of golf over par when everyone else was smoking the course.



And he still has the sword of Damocles over his head. The charges have not been dropped and he faces the possibility of going to jail for a long time for assaulting a police officer.



If I’m him, I’m talking to LIV to see what they’ll give me up front. My guess is that LIV would roll the dice and sign the #1 player in anticipation of a hot shot lawyer getting him off.








Chris in Bel Air     May 22
Indeed, Gunnar is a sensational player. Just the game the other night was he was something. 3-run bomb and two eye-popping plays in the field. I sure hope he's here for the long haul but at the price he (and Boras) will demand, I don't have a warm and fuzzy feeling on that.

You know who else has been impressive so far? Westburg. Hitting and fielding. His 2.0 WAR is tied with the Phillies Bohm for tops of all MLB 3B and Westburg's OPS is 5th in MLB. Like O'Hearn, he's just a 'ball player'. Bring your lunch pail every day and go to work.

Dan     May 22
The Billy Squier video and comments are DMD gold.

jeffwell     May 21
Totally agree with comments about Billy Joel live. Like Springsteen, you always get your money's worth at his concerts. From the quality of the music, the energy of the entire band, to the length of the show, it is always money and time well spent.

MFC     May 21
KJ,KJ,KJ I have you enrolled in our RC101 class and you my friend will sit in the first row. Please re-read the sentence. If you don't understand the reference, you live a hermit style life.



Congrats to Spalding on their baseball championship.CH put up a good fight but Spalding is really, really good.



Kremer hadn't pitched in 8 days, it showed. Not sure that's the way to go giving him that much rest.



Thank God, Rubenstein has $3 billion + because he's going to give at least 1/2 of it to Henderson. He might be the best all-around player in baseball.



There's a cost just to open the stadium. John Brown told me when he was heading the Sports Authority that it cost $50,000 to open the football stadium as I was lobbying for Friday night high school doubleheaders. And that was close to 20 years ago or more.



I've had the opportunity to see Billy Joel twice in Baltimore. Unbelievable show.






kj     May 20
So @MFC defends himself by saying HE "lives in a Kardashian world"?? Now that's funny.

Barry     May 20
Geno and JR can call out Larry but Larry can't respond? Weird.

MFC     May 20
Larry needs RC 101, summer session opening up now and maybe we throw in an added session on "how to troll successfully".



This is a headline from writer Carlos Garcia, cutting and pasting the entire article is unnecessary as the headline tells the story. I did not write the headline.



"Rory McIlroy, Amanda Balionis Cheating Rumor Goes Viral"



We cared or were interested when it was Tiger, we're invested. In the scheme of things does it matter, only if you're one of the participants or offspring. Would it be the same if it were Billy Horshel, Martin Laird or even Denny McCarthy, probably not because we don't see them as much. But we are invested, we see them so much we feel like we know them, even though we don't. We live in a Kardashian world.



Better luck next time Larry.


larry     May 20
Yes, apparently I do need to offer up a mea culpa. Had no idea so many grown men perusing a sports opinion website would have so much interest in the love life of one pro golfer. Also had no idea "media reports" have become so accurate they are to always be believed. Man, learn something new at DMD every day.

David Rosenfeld     May 20
From what I've read, it's somewhat likely that Valhalla will be off the rotation because the PGA of America sold it to a small group of its members. That was only 2 years ago, so it was well after the event was scheduled for this year.

Played behind a group at a local course yesterday and it was just exasperating. Yes, carts were on the path, but take a couple clubs to your ball and hit it. Stop imitating the pros on the green and marking 2 foot putts. Also, notice how your group never has to wait but the group behind you is always waiting for you.

Geno     May 20
@Larry looking pretty foolish. Mea culpa time.

J.R.     May 20
I don't want to fan the flames of a Larry/MFC war but the Rory/Amanda story has been circulating for at least a month.

Rory's wife was having a fling with a waiter in West Palm and she got caught last September.

Everyone knows that.

The Rory/Amanda stuff started right after Arnie's event in Orlando in March.

I'm not trying to defend MFC but he's not making up gossip.

Kevin     May 20
Spot on about Immelman/CBS. He's been a big whiff.

larry     May 20
How can @MFC ever expect anyone to take ANY of his opinions seriously when he comes out here with high school level gossip about Rory and who he's "heard" he's hooking up with now? Beyond embarrassing for a grown man.

CJ     May 20
Sorry, Nantz. Not Nance.

CJ     May 20
Agree with Drew about Immelman. He's beyond awful IMHO. Chamblee made his bed with all of his LIV hate but he would be great next to Nance.

Tom J     May 20
@Paul from Towson, no, you are 100 percent spot on. She is terrible along with Melanie Newman. Just awful..... It's not because they are women, it's because they are just horrible announcers and are horrible at their jobs. The Orioles have to get this feedback as you see people saying the same thing on multiple websites and message boards.

Stats Nerd     May 20
@MFC Tightening the fairways simply increases the advantage between long and short hitters. It's easier to hit shorter irons out of the rough than longer ones, obviously.

The best way to defend the golf course is to have it play hard and fast particularly the fairways and the greens/surrounds.

MFC     May 20
I read that 63,000 passed through Pimlico's gates Friday and Saturday. The PR spin is that they'd rather have less numbers to increase the fan experience, aka bet real $. DF said it right, they'd rather have $80,000 tent rentals than 50,000 more in the infield.

Hopefully for the 150'th they set big goals for attendance and market to reach them. How great would it be to really see a crowd there again, regardless of their "experience" spin. Maybe not have the O's playing home, that's a start.



I'll say it again, they can't make the courses long enough. Again, agree with DF, tighten those fairways. Doesn't diminish one bit what the X man did.



If you're bored this afternoon travel down to Joe Cannon stadium and watch CH VS Spalding for the baseball championship. It's really good ball, great seats.



BTW, the rumors are rampant on Rory hooking up with Amanda Balionis (formerly Renner). Of course there are non-substantiated reports coming in. I wouldn't be surprised and do feel sorry for Rory's ex. I was hoping his was going to be a fairytale life but as stated earlier, life happens. There could be some fire in this smoke.



The AAU basketball season is here and already kids trading teams in the same weekend. Parents screaming at coaches, coaches screaming at kids. It's a wonderful world.

Paul from Towson     May 19
Great season, Drew!! Congratulations to you and your young men!!



Went to the O’s game again today and as much as I’ve loved going to games the past few years, I have one complaint. The PA announcer is ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE! There are some parts of the stadium where you can’t hear anything she says. The music between innings sometimes drowns her out and she sounds like she would be better served in a minor league stadium. Aberdeen for starters. I know we were spoiled for many years with Rex Barney, but in my opinion, she is awful. Anyone else share my opinion? Or am I off base here? I’ve been to a couple Nats games in DC, and the dude there is awesome. Makes ours sound like they picked some random person off the street.

Tom J     May 19
Congrats on a great season Drew. You are teaching those kids how not only to win with class but lose with class as well.



@Howard, why would Sheffler go to LIV because of that? They kill people over there for that......



It would be nice if the O's scored more than 2 runs again today for Burnes.....

DJ     May 19
As a family friend of one of the young men on your team, let me just tell you what they say.



"He cares so much about them as young men and golfers. Even though my son didn't play a lot he made him feel important."

MFC     May 19
Any championship at any level is hard to win. Winning 1 is hard, back to back is extremely difficult, especially in a great league. It’s not like you’re a mediocre team in a weak league. You were there, you had a chance, you were the “man in the arena”.



Exciting race despite rain, conditions of the facilities.



Tiger didn’t win them all and neither will Scheffler. It’s golf and things happen.

They can’t seem to make the courses long enough. It looks like close to 20 under will win. With players hitting 220. Yd 6 irons every par 4 needs to be 500+yards and even that’s not long enough.

TimD in Timonium     May 19
Seatlle's not a bunch of scrubs, but the O's could use a Corbin Burnes WIN today.



And some sunshine.

Steve of Pimlico     May 18
@,Lou/ Palo Alto.Your must be really old

Howard     May 18
If I were Scheffler my phone call from jail would have been to Greg Norman to make me an offer.

Having your arm yanked, being pulled out of the car, being thrown against the car and then being handcuffed could have resulted in injury.

And now he risks being convicted of a felony.

Show me the money!

lou@palo alto     May 18
apart from the mile track in maryland, racing started going dnhill in the early, mid 60s when the racing commission closed the half mile tracks--these were feeder tracks for families and kids w dads learning the races (like me)--sure the mile tracks were cool and my dad went all time, me occ. but we used to go to the Bel Air track a lot and it was great fun, a faded memory

Jon     May 18
So report i read was that the golfer dragged the officer with his car and the officer was bruised….im confused (if accurate) how the police over reacted- if that happened- who continues to drive with a person draped on their car?

Mario     May 18
Good luck today!

MFC     May 18
@Billy, those comments were directed in my direction in a feeble attempt at trolling.

The better team won and I wish them well in the championship.



What's the over-under for the Preakness attendance today? Will 50,000 venture out?



Again, it really wasn't Tigers driver, his short game is an 8 handicap right now. He did however play the last 14 holes in 1 under. You can't make triple much less two of them. His tournament was over on the second hole. He seemed to walk ok, he was just bad. He looked old and tired walking off 18. I guess +7 will do that.



Lots of sports today, Preakness ( who cares right?), golf, lacrosse and baseball. Good day to be a couch potato.



Congrats to McDonogh upsetting #1 Boys Latin in lax. And belated congrats to St. Pauls upsetting McDonogh girls.




Hank ( The Fake One)     May 18
Thanks CIK but not sure about that

Fighting off the Derby Champ #5 and 2 others ?

CIK     May 18
When handicapping, being “keen” is a good thing. But you definitely don’t want the horse to be “keen”.



@Hank

I would assume the 2 others are the 8 & 5.

Wednesday
May 8, 2024
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3547


strange times in the midwest


Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star is a fairly well respected sports columnist in our country.

He's been around a long time.

As is the case with most veteran columnists, his "act", if you want to call it that, is very polarizing. In fairness, that's sort of the way the newspaper likes it.

Half the people read his work because they like him and value his opinion, the other half can't stand him and want to see what "idiotic stuff that clown wrote today."

Former Iowa star Caitlin Clark was involved in a weird situation at the April 17 press conference to announce her signing with the WNBA's Indiana Fever.

Either way, the people are reading, which is ultimately all the newspaper cares about.

Doyel was suspended for two weeks yesterday by the newspaper for an awkward exchange he had with Caitlin Clark at her introductory press conference with the WNBA's Indiana Fever back on April 17.

He was also ordered to not attend any Fever games live this season as part of the punishment. I'll let you decide if that's actually a "punishment" or not.

But anyway...

During the press conference, Doyel made the gesture of a heart with his two hands when it was his turn to ask Clark a question.

"You like that?" Clark said, with a smile that seemed to indicate she assumed the exchange was just silly banter.

"I like that you're here," Doyel said to her. Suddenly the mood changed.

"Yeah, I do that (the heart gesture) at my family after every game," Clark explained.

"Start doing it to me and we'll get along just fine," Doyel shot back.

And that was it.

But that was enough. More than enough, in fact.

Social media blew up with video of the incident. Doyel, naturally, got raked over the coals.

"Pervert."

"Creepy."

"Sketchy."

"Weirdo."

And those were the kind things people wrote.

It got much worse as the video circulated and went viral.

There was also another very brief interaction at the press conference between Doyel and the Fever's head coach in which the newspaper columnist nodded in Clark's direction and said to the coach, "You just got the keys to THAT. What are you going to with it?"

That might not have been as weird as the "heart" dialogue, but it was still borderline awkward nonetheless.

Yesterday, finally, the word came out. Doyel has been suspended for two weeks and can't cover Clark/Indiana "live" throughout the upcoming WNBA season.

For what it's worth, Doyel penned an apology column after the incident and gave the best mea culpa he could.

While it certainly read like it was sincere, the damage had already been done. Apology or not, the newspaper had to act on the incident and prove they were not OK with what transpired.

The genesis of the back-and-forth between Doyel and Clark last month is probably neither here nor there, but what, exactly was Doyel's intended effort by introducing the whole "heart" angle?

Was it just playful banter that got off track?

Or was it open, public flirting that was clearly way off base?

He couldn't possibly have been openly "coming on" to Clark. Right? Right? I mean, it's highly unlikely Doyel's advances would have netted him much attention from her, anyway, but he's certainly not naive and/or dumb enough to think he could make a romantic play for Caitlin Clark in front of the rest of the Indianapolis media. Right?

What, exactly, did Gregg Doyel hope would be the result of that whole 15 second conversation?

It was very strange indeed.

And now to be suspended for it?

It was a 15 second conversation. In public. It wasn't like he approached her at her locker and whispered, "Greggy-poo has the hots for you."

Perhaps a suspension is the right reaction.

Some people thought he should have been fired, even.

In these situations, particular with public entities like the Indianapolis Star, you're likely going to find more overreaction than underreaction. That's the safest avenue.

But it wasn't like Doyel and/or the newspaper could have been sued for that quick exchange during the press conference. It wasn't that kind of "bad".

It was more about the public's perception that writers have to show zero favoritism to the subjects they cover and the awkwardness of an exchange that was lightly charged with an emotional or sexual component.

Me? I think the whole thing can be labeled as "weird". I don't know Gregg Doyel, but I don't think he's a creep or a pervert or sketchy. But the whole episode was just....plain....weird.

The newspaper probably felt backed into a corner.

If they don't do anything at all, they're essentially saying, "Oh, come on you guys. He was joking around with her. Relax for cryin' out loud. Stop being so sensitive."

By suspending him, even if it's not really clear what the heck was even going on, the Star can now say to their detractors, "We won't tolerate even a smidgen of sexism or sexual tension between a reporter and an athlete. We're drawing a very clear line. Don't cross over it, even if you're Gregg Doyel and we're very fond of you."

I don't know what to think.

This is definitely a candidate for "Weirdest Sports Story of 2024."

And we're only in May.


On the heels of yesterday's piece about David Rubenstein and his emergence on social media since assuming ownership of the team, #DMD reader Mark Jurno sent me an e-mail I thought had an interesting follow-up question.

"Do you think there's a specific reason why Rubenstein is immersing himself into the spotlight in the ways that were pointed out?"

Thanks for the note, Mark.

I have no idea what David Rubenstein is thinking.

That said, if I had to make a guess, it's probably three-fold.

First, he's going out of his way to show that this ownership tenure (and group) is going to be far more publicly connected to the fan base. I don't think he's doing that to point out the inefficiency of the Angelos family. But I do think he's doing it to say, basically, "We're going to be doing things much differently around here."

Second, I think he probably believes his public personality can make a difference in the way the community views the organization as a whole. "They get it now...even the owner is out there playing the role of Mr. Splash. We're all in this together."

And third and probably least important of them all is the one no one wants to talk about at parties. He paid a billion dollars for the team and part of the trade off of that sort of expense is being seen, applauded, appreciated and glad-handed. Anyone who says they don't like it when people praise them for their efforts is probably not telling the truth.

But my guess is Rubenstein has immersed himself (Marks's words) in the public spotlight mainly to show the community he plans on doing things differently than the previous ownership regime.

Whether he can maintain this level of enthusiasm and activity is another story for another day. But for now, at least at the outset, he's doing it quite well.


I admittedly haven't done a whole lot of extra research on this week's Wells Fargo Championship on the PGA Tour. I've had a busy week, personally, with lots of Calvert Hall and FCA Golf stuff. And I just haven't had time to devote to any in-depth studying as I generally do on Sunday and Monday leading up to making my picks on Wednesday.

Can Cameron Young make the Wells Fargo Championship his first PGA Tour win ever this week?

So here's who I like this week. I think we're going to see something similar to last year when Wyndham Clark won in Charlotte and used that as a platform for his big U.S. Open win.

These are just hunches that follow that same trail of logic that we saw in 2023.

Ready?

Cameron Young. He's +2500.

Sahith Theegala. Also at +2500.

Sam Burns. He's +4000.

I'll throw a few bucks at those three and see what comes of it.

They're all similar to Wyndham Clark in that they just need a breakthrough "big win" in order to start their rise.

Burns is the most distinguished of the three, of course, but he's still in need of a signature victory to get his career back on the right path. Young and Theegala are both wonderfully talented. Once they get that first big win, the world is their oyster.

If you won your friendly nassau last weekend have an extra few bucks to spare this week, maybe consider tossing some in the direction of Corey Conners as well. He's the one guy I did check out who matches up well, statistically, with the golf course. And he's a juicy +5000 this week, too.

So there you go. Four names. All familiar ones, sure, but they each offer a nice return on your investment if they hit.

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#dmd's pga championship top 10


The PGA Championship, now being referred to as "The Scottie Scheffler Invitational", takes place at Vahalla Golf Club from May 16-19.

Valhalla has hosted three previous PGA Championships, with Mark Brooks, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy all winning major titles at the Louisville, Kentucky course.

#DMD will preview the PGA Championship with our top 10 picks, leading up to Wednesday, May 15. On May 15, we'll publish the up-to-date betting odds on all 10 of our picks.

Could Collin Morikawa join the likes of Jordan Spieth, Vijay Singh and Nick Price with his 3rd career major title next week at the PGA Championship?

#10 was Chris Kirk. #9 was Si Woo Kim. #8 was Wyndham Clark

#7 Collin Morikawa-- This 2024 edition of the PGA Championship is shaping up to be one where the big names flourish and dominate the leaderboard.

Look at the two most recent winners of the PGA at Valhalla; Tiger and Rory. You've heard of those two over the years.

We might feature one "off the radar" guy in our top 6, but the names you'll be seeing -- like the one today -- are mostly going to be elite-type players.

This course seems like a great fit for Collin Morikawa.

The only thing he needs is a cooperative putter.

Everything else is a perfect fit for him, including the par-5 holes. So far this year, the 2-time major champions has played 116 par 5's and he's made birdie on 65 of them for a percentage of 56%.

We're bullish on the big names next week, as you'll see when our Top 10 is complete, and Morikawa is one of the bigger ones we're really starting to like.

His 2020 PGA win was at large piece of property, Harding Park in San Francisco. Valhalla will probably feel very similar to him next week. It has a unique mix of tough, long holes and short, challenging holes. You can make 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 on almost every hole at Valhalla. It's both punishing and rewarding.

We think Morikawa's going to be in the hunt come Sunday.

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Tuesday
May 7, 2024
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3546


can we ever get "too much owner"?


#DMD reader Ryan Flach checked in with an e-mail yesterday that I thought was very interesting.

As he notes in the e-mail, I actually first broached this topic on Glenn Clark Radio a week or two after David Rubenstein's ownership of the Orioles became official.

Is it possible for a team owner in sports to be "too involved" from a public standpoint?

Ryan notes in his Monday e-mail to me that Rubenstein appears to be "doubling down" (Ryan's words, not mine) on his new-found stardom.

Should we be concerned?

That's the gist of Ryan's e-mail.

And with that, let's get to it.

Drew, a couple of weeks back I heard you and Glenn Clark talking about how much the new Orioles owner has been putting himself out there on social media. At first I didn't think anything about it. But recently I've noticed him more and more on their X account. It's almost like he's doubling down and wants to be seen in almost every possible way. Today (Monday), I saw where he will be the Guest Mr. Splash this weekend. Do you think there's any way Rubenstein might wind up being more like Jerry Jones instead of like Steve Bisciotti? I hope not.

Thanks for the note, Ryan.

This is a very delicate situation, because David Rubenstein is two months into his ownership, pretty much. From the outset, I'll just make sure everyone understands this: I think he's just having fun.

David Rubenstein will appear in the right field bleachers this weekend as part of the "Mr. Splash" promotion.

But, yes, I did bring it up to Glenn a few weeks back. And, sure, it's something that's easy to follow because "X" is still the most visible social media platform out there.

And because we never saw Peter Angelos on social media and hardly ever see Steve Bisciotti on social media, the idea that David Rubenstein is going to be active on social media is, I'll say, "odd" in its appearance.

It doesn't mean Rubenstein's going to be a bad owner.

It simply means that, here in Baltimore, we're not particularly familiar with our sports owners being in the spotlight.

It's also important to remember that lots of sports owners who thrust themselves into the spotlight instead of remaining in the background are, in fact, "solid" owners of their respective teams.

Jerry Jones loves the spotlight. He might not be a great general manager, but he's a terrific owner of the Cowboys.

Say what you will about Robert Kraft in New England, another spotlight guy, but he's a great owner.

Mark Cuban in Dallas? The spotlight called and said, "Where can I find you?" By all accounts, though, he's been a terrific owner.

I could go on and on, but I don't have to do that.

The point is simple: If you're "high profile" as a sports owner, it doesn't automatically mean you're going to run your franchise into the ground.

But.......

We're just not used to seeing our sports owners in Baltimore station themselves in the outfield bleachers and squirt people with a water gun.

They're used to their owner being front and center in New York or Boston. We haven't seen much of that here in Batlimore.

It's going to take some getting used to, I think, to see Rubenstein making himself part of the show and grabbing some of the spotlight on a (somewhat) regular basis.

Should we be concerned? That's what Ryan wants to know.

My answer: I don't think so.

Does it look a little weird to have the owner up front and center? Sure, maybe.

But it's the honeymoon period of owning the team. When you pay a billion dollars for something, you have the right to flaunt it a little bit to the rest of the world.

Three years from now, I doubt Rubenstein will be "Mr. Splash". For now, though, he wants to show the local baseball community that he's completely, totally "all in". And that's a good thing, I think.

It's definitely different. Peter Angelos wouldn't have been out there shooting an oversized water gun at the fans. I don't know what the equivalent is in football, but Steve Bisciotti wouldn't be roaming the stands buying people beers and taking selfies with Ravens fans.

It wasn't Angelos's style and it's not Bisciotti's, either.

But Rubenstein is apparently different. And I don't think there's anything wrong with that, although I do see where people like Ryan and others would get a little squirmy.

As long as its "occasional" and doesn't take away from the team's ability to win on the field and successfully promote their product, I don't see a problem.

Oh, and if he gets roasted for a few days on "X" or some other social media platform, the new owner will likely say to himself, "Yeah, I don't need this every week."

David Rubenstein's a smart man.

If he feels at all like he might be going overboard, I bet he'd be the first one to pull the plug.

He didn't become a billionaire by being dumb. I'm sure he can read the room quite well.


Chris P. asks -- Hi Drew, I have a question for your Morning Dish mail bag. How many of those horses in the Kentucky Derby field had no business actually being in the race? Every year it's the same thing. 20 horses at the Derby. 8 or 10 in the Preakness. 8 or 10 in the Belmont. Why is that? Thanks and Go O's and Go Hall!"

DF says -- "I have no way of knowing, but I'll guess that 6 of those horses on Saturday had almost zero chance of winning the race. They were in the race because their owners have a lot of money and, in fairness to them, the mystique and cachet of being in the Derby means something to them in terms of their "horse business".

But, sure, every year you see 4 to 6 horses who are clearly not capable of competing. Perhaps their ownership group is new to the racing world and wants to get their feet wet. Maybe they're simply trying to become a "player" in the industry and this helps them do that.

The Kentucky Derby is still a huge deal in horse racing. It's their Daytona 500. Anyone who is anyone in horse racing is there and involved, somehow, in the race.

I don't know why there's such a significant drop off two weeks later at Pimlico, but it's probably part and parcel of the whole "Derby experience" I just described. Some owners get in, drop a bunch of money, run 17th, and realize, quickly, it's "expensive fun".

And they also see their horse doesn't have what it takes to compete, too.

It should also be said, again, that there's a massive difference, within the racing world, in the perception of the Derby and Churchill Downs vs. the Preakness and Pimlico. It's like eating at Joey Chiu's on Falls Road or opting for Panda Express instead."


Jason asks -- "As you look at golfers every week for your betting picks, is there one stat on the PGA Tour you lean on more than any of them? I know you're on a really good hot streak so maybe you don't want to divulge it, but if you're O.K. with sharing please do."

DF says -- "From a statistical standpoint, I'd say the one stat I look at more and more is strokes gained: tee to green. This is where you see the players who are playing the best until they get to the green. It encompasses driving the ball and hitting your irons.

Look at the top 10 who currently lead that stat category: Scheffler, Matsuyama, Schauffele, Si Woo Kim, Finau, Kirk, Mitchell, Thomas, Noren and Lowry.

But more than stats, I tend to look at two things almost equally: 1. Form in the last 2-3 tournaments they've played. 2. Their history on the golf course they're playing that week.

Golf is a "horses for courses" sport. Players tend to play courses they know they like and/or have played well in the past. If Denny McCarthy hasn't played TPC Craig Ranch well in two or three years, it's unlikely he'll go back there.

So I look at each event, the course, the history of the players playing there, and see who stands out."

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#dmd's pga championship top 10


The PGA Championship, now being referred to as "The Scottie Scheffler Invitational", takes place at Vahalla Golf Club from May 16-19.

Valhalla has hosted three previous PGA Championships, with Mark Brooks, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy all winning major titles at the Louisville, Kentucky course.

#DMD will preview the PGA Championship with our top 10 picks, leading up to Wednesday, May 15. On May 15, we'll publish the up-to-date betting odds on all 10 of our picks.

#10 was Chris Kirk. #9 was Si Woo Kim.

Wyndham Clark is looking for his 2nd career major championship at Valhalla next week.

#8 Wyndham Clark -- A year ago this time, we would have never considered Wyndham Clark a "must play" in any of the major championships.

Then he won the U.S. Open. And his fine play continued over the summer and again at the start of the 2024 campaign.

Now?

Clark is closing in on "elite American" status. If you're not factoring him in whenever he's in the field, you haven't been paying attention to Wyndham Clark.

He's a beast.

Sure, he's light years behind Scottie Scheffler, but if you're thinking Scheffler might not have his "A" game next week, Clark should be one of your "next man up" guys for sure.

Great putter. Awesome short game. Drives it on a string. Hits his irons great.

That he won the U.S. Open last summer also shows he has grit, which is a necessary component for those endeavoring to win one of the four major championships.

Wyndham Clark is a complete player.

Last year's U.S. Open victory in L.A. wasn't a fluke.

And a win at Valhalla next week certainly wouldn't be a surprise, either.

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#dmd comments








The Real Ricky     May 24
@ Paul From Towson: Preach, brother!

@ Drew: As a fellow devout "Loud" Catholic, I appreciate you standing up for your (our) faith. Keep up the good Christian work!

Dan     May 24
If someone (let's call him "Larry") does not like a speech by a devout Catholic given at a private Catholic school than said loser (again, "Larry") should not listen to it thus sparing the rest of us your phony, manufactured outrage.

Steve of Pimlico     May 24
Who would you have preferred for a graduation speaker,Butker or P Diddy.

Jon     May 24
*scrolls right past Paul……

Paul from Towson     May 24
What a time to be alive in these, the UNITED States of America!!! Where drag queens reading to elementary school children and 5 year olds tipping said drag queens at strip clubs (look it up if you don't believe me) is perfectly fine. BUT an NFL place kicker is vilified for giving a commencement speech to a group of graduating Catholic seniors, where he spoke fondly of women looking forward to marriage and motherhood. HOW DARE HE!!!! THIS, ladies and gentleman, IS exactly what's wrong with this country. And yes, @Jason M, it is the liberal mainstream media, that took this 4 minute sound bite, and ran all over the world with it. Leading many on the Left to suffer complete and total mental breakdowns. How dare a white, male athlete tell a group of women that marriage and motherhood are two of the greatest things they will accomplish in their lives. I suppose they would rather he just beat, abuse, harass, threaten, and sexually assault these women (as is per usual for NFL players) instead of wishing them blessings on the positive things in life. Or have these athletes continue the trend of fathering 11 kids with 10 women an taking care of a grand total of none of them (looking at you Travis Henry and Antonio Cromartie). Or maybe fathering 5 kids with 6 women before they turn the ripe old age of 25.



You people really need to get your heads examined.



If you have an issue with what Harrison Butker said to the point where you need to go on social media or any other platform and rail against him, and in many cases, try to CANCEL him....!!?? Then YOU, are what is wrong with this country. Why can't we just say, "I kind of disagree with that." And leave it be??? Last time I checked, he wasn't forcing anyone to live their lives by these guidelines. He was merely encouraging those women who choose to be a wife and mother and expressing his own cherished values and beliefs. Since when was that a terrible way to live ones life? He also said that many of them will embark on successful careers!!! I have a brilliant 25 year old daughter who is currently serving in the United States Navy after receiving a degree in Chemical Engineering from Auburn University. She has set herself up nicely to have a wonderful and fulfilling life, which will include marriage to her Secret Service agent fiance' and eventually a few children.



In a world where every day we are witness to appalling and heinous behavior displayed by athletes, politicians celebrities, and regular every day idiots, Harrison Butker's comments should be a refreshing take on core family values that were said to a group of folks who share his same values and beliefs. Instead, they're viewed as just another example of this imaginary oppression that drives the false narrative of the leftist victimhood which refuses to take responsibility for their own poor decisions and instead blames the good, decent members of society for the ills that befall them. When in turn they could just say, "You know what, I disagree with you, Mr. Butker" and leave it at that. John Wayne once said, "I disagree, vehemently, with everything Hanoi Jane (that piece of treasonous trash Jane Fonda) says, but I'll defend to the death her right to say it." Funny...I didn't hear these same people cry out when the current president told a group of graduating young black men that their country hates them. To me, that's way worse than anything Harrison Butker said. Whether I agree with him or not.



And again, THAT is what's wrong with this country.

Unitastoberry     May 24
Anyone who takes advice from celebrities is seriously got a problem. Take advice from clergy,doctors,lawyers ,cpas ,etc. Not field goal kickers, singers, actors,keyboard warriors,even politicians.

CLIFF     May 24
It was a “win-win” for @DF - Orioles victory AND his “buddy Gavin Sheets” had a good game, getting on base four times. At least today’s O’s segment was straight news, with the name-dropping toned down. We get it; the site owner is friends with a (fringe) major leaguer. Sheesh.


Jason M     May 24
Oh please Drew, I agree on that the Butker thing is a nothing burger, he gets to have an opinion and we get to ignore it, agree with it or whatever, but to please don;t wave the Liberal Media flag. People were interested in his remarks, it was newsworthy, and the news media are not going to play his entire 25 minute speech, they are going to cut to the newsworthy parts. The article in the newspaper I read started with the controversial parts and the reaction but by the 5th paragrapgh described the entirety of the speech. TV news is too sound bite, compelling pictures and bleeding and ledeing, if you want a more fully formed news, I turn to sources like the Dish, the Sun, the Banner, and the Post. There is a ton of conservative leaning media out there (hello Sinclair broadcasting, hello new ownership version of the Sun, hello NewsMax, Fox News, News One) so I really reject the dated notion of the liberal media. BTW Butker, a lot of us need two incomes to make it and be able to afford to support stuff like the NFL, we can't all be NFL Players working 6 months a year for millions.

Tom J     May 24
I hope Scotty and his team and lawyer sue the living crap out of the Johnny Bad A$$ cop and that CLOWN SHOW of a police department in Louisville. There's no reason any person should have been pulled from that car and cuffed a minute later for that. And you're correct, instead of owning this and saying "sorry", they continue to double down and dig their hole deeper........



The O's bullpen and lack of trustworthy closer will be their Achilles Hell and down fall as well as trying to hit every pitch 600 feet.



Why does anyone care about what any athlete, musician or actor says about anything???? Who cares????????

ej     May 23
Does @JJ know golf tournaments have more than one round?

J.J.     May 23
@DF says "Go with Finau and Harman this week in golf."

Finau and Harman immediately are near the lead. LMAO

Chris in Bel Air     May 23
Like Drew said, I considered the O's streak of not being swept ending last fall in the playoff series against Texas. Still, it was an impressive regular season run and another gauge of their success is their lack of losing streaks and length of losing streaks. Starting with Adley's arrival in May 2022 (spanning 330 games and if my research is correct), O's have had a total of 7 losing streaks of 3 games or more and the most is a 4-game streak. Again, pretty impressive and as their winning pct shows, they tend to shake off losses quickly and get back to the WIN column.

hal     May 23
We need the trade of a DFA player for a backup to the backup C to show us Elias is "paying attention to every department of the on field product"? That is pretty disrespectful if you ask me. I have zero doubts that Elias pays attention to everything EVERY day. Deciding not to do something is as hard, or harder, than doing something. I'll trust Elias until I see tangible reasons to not trust him. Hyde, eh, he might not have quite the same level of trust, but like it is with Harbs, if you decide to move on from him, who you gonna bring in that will do better? Lee Mazzilli lol?

Unitastoberry     May 23
Expecting Judge and Stanton to get injured isn't a good approach to winning the divison. Tons of baseball left but I'm seeing cracks and as you said Hyde made some bad calls.

Stats Nerd     May 23
If nothing else I hope this case opens some people's eyes to the fact that police should not always be given the benefit of the doubt. Brutal job...no question. But this is Keystone Cops type stuff that frankly isn't an isolated situation

TimD in Timonium     May 23
"He was booked at Metro Corrections at 7:28 a.m. before being released at 8:40 a.m. Scheffler was charged with 2nd degree assault of a police officer, 3rd degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding signals from officers directing traffic."



So, Scottie gets a gentle slap on the wrist the morning of the "misunderstanding," but will get the book thrown at him when he next appears in court? That's very doubtful. there's The Elite, and then there's all of us. Different rules apply.



O-for-St. Louis? Oh, no. Going 3-1 against the Sox would be nice.


Steve of Pimlico     May 22
If Scheffler goes to jail I'm starting a group GLM( golfers lives matter).Storm the Bastille with 9 irons to free Scottie

RC     May 22
Poor Mitch, he must listen to the goofs in the local media who like to harp on "the need to lock up their young talent" as if the decision is totally up to Elias and the Orioles alone. There is no magic number that would "force" any of these guys to sign a long-term deal now.

DMD is correct that Mitch answers his own question - if the amount needed is just gonna go up and up, so why would any player sign "now"?? Easy to blame Boras but most agents will have that same view. Injury is the only compelling risk, but most young athletes are not going to fear injury.

Buying out arbitration years sounds nice in theory, but what does it get you really? One or two years on the back end is not worth overpaying for those arbitration years.

The best thing Elias can do is keep the pipeline full of talent. So far, he seems to be doing just that. It would be nice to have a handful of guys stay long term but that's just not how the system is designed. If it happens great, if not, having young replacements who are ready to replace departing FA's is the way to go.

Howard     May 22
Let’s get real. It’s not a coincidence that a little over 24 hours after he was arrested and jailed that Scheffler played a round of golf over par when everyone else was smoking the course.



And he still has the sword of Damocles over his head. The charges have not been dropped and he faces the possibility of going to jail for a long time for assaulting a police officer.



If I’m him, I’m talking to LIV to see what they’ll give me up front. My guess is that LIV would roll the dice and sign the #1 player in anticipation of a hot shot lawyer getting him off.








Chris in Bel Air     May 22
Indeed, Gunnar is a sensational player. Just the game the other night was he was something. 3-run bomb and two eye-popping plays in the field. I sure hope he's here for the long haul but at the price he (and Boras) will demand, I don't have a warm and fuzzy feeling on that.

You know who else has been impressive so far? Westburg. Hitting and fielding. His 2.0 WAR is tied with the Phillies Bohm for tops of all MLB 3B and Westburg's OPS is 5th in MLB. Like O'Hearn, he's just a 'ball player'. Bring your lunch pail every day and go to work.

Dan     May 22
The Billy Squier video and comments are DMD gold.

jeffwell     May 21
Totally agree with comments about Billy Joel live. Like Springsteen, you always get your money's worth at his concerts. From the quality of the music, the energy of the entire band, to the length of the show, it is always money and time well spent.

MFC     May 21
KJ,KJ,KJ I have you enrolled in our RC101 class and you my friend will sit in the first row. Please re-read the sentence. If you don't understand the reference, you live a hermit style life.



Congrats to Spalding on their baseball championship.CH put up a good fight but Spalding is really, really good.



Kremer hadn't pitched in 8 days, it showed. Not sure that's the way to go giving him that much rest.



Thank God, Rubenstein has $3 billion + because he's going to give at least 1/2 of it to Henderson. He might be the best all-around player in baseball.



There's a cost just to open the stadium. John Brown told me when he was heading the Sports Authority that it cost $50,000 to open the football stadium as I was lobbying for Friday night high school doubleheaders. And that was close to 20 years ago or more.



I've had the opportunity to see Billy Joel twice in Baltimore. Unbelievable show.






kj     May 20
So @MFC defends himself by saying HE "lives in a Kardashian world"?? Now that's funny.

Barry     May 20
Geno and JR can call out Larry but Larry can't respond? Weird.

MFC     May 20
Larry needs RC 101, summer session opening up now and maybe we throw in an added session on "how to troll successfully".



This is a headline from writer Carlos Garcia, cutting and pasting the entire article is unnecessary as the headline tells the story. I did not write the headline.



"Rory McIlroy, Amanda Balionis Cheating Rumor Goes Viral"



We cared or were interested when it was Tiger, we're invested. In the scheme of things does it matter, only if you're one of the participants or offspring. Would it be the same if it were Billy Horshel, Martin Laird or even Denny McCarthy, probably not because we don't see them as much. But we are invested, we see them so much we feel like we know them, even though we don't. We live in a Kardashian world.



Better luck next time Larry.


larry     May 20
Yes, apparently I do need to offer up a mea culpa. Had no idea so many grown men perusing a sports opinion website would have so much interest in the love life of one pro golfer. Also had no idea "media reports" have become so accurate they are to always be believed. Man, learn something new at DMD every day.

David Rosenfeld     May 20
From what I've read, it's somewhat likely that Valhalla will be off the rotation because the PGA of America sold it to a small group of its members. That was only 2 years ago, so it was well after the event was scheduled for this year.

Played behind a group at a local course yesterday and it was just exasperating. Yes, carts were on the path, but take a couple clubs to your ball and hit it. Stop imitating the pros on the green and marking 2 foot putts. Also, notice how your group never has to wait but the group behind you is always waiting for you.

Geno     May 20
@Larry looking pretty foolish. Mea culpa time.

J.R.     May 20
I don't want to fan the flames of a Larry/MFC war but the Rory/Amanda story has been circulating for at least a month.

Rory's wife was having a fling with a waiter in West Palm and she got caught last September.

Everyone knows that.

The Rory/Amanda stuff started right after Arnie's event in Orlando in March.

I'm not trying to defend MFC but he's not making up gossip.

Kevin     May 20
Spot on about Immelman/CBS. He's been a big whiff.

larry     May 20
How can @MFC ever expect anyone to take ANY of his opinions seriously when he comes out here with high school level gossip about Rory and who he's "heard" he's hooking up with now? Beyond embarrassing for a grown man.

CJ     May 20
Sorry, Nantz. Not Nance.

CJ     May 20
Agree with Drew about Immelman. He's beyond awful IMHO. Chamblee made his bed with all of his LIV hate but he would be great next to Nance.

Tom J     May 20
@Paul from Towson, no, you are 100 percent spot on. She is terrible along with Melanie Newman. Just awful..... It's not because they are women, it's because they are just horrible announcers and are horrible at their jobs. The Orioles have to get this feedback as you see people saying the same thing on multiple websites and message boards.

Stats Nerd     May 20
@MFC Tightening the fairways simply increases the advantage between long and short hitters. It's easier to hit shorter irons out of the rough than longer ones, obviously.

The best way to defend the golf course is to have it play hard and fast particularly the fairways and the greens/surrounds.

MFC     May 20
I read that 63,000 passed through Pimlico's gates Friday and Saturday. The PR spin is that they'd rather have less numbers to increase the fan experience, aka bet real $. DF said it right, they'd rather have $80,000 tent rentals than 50,000 more in the infield.

Hopefully for the 150'th they set big goals for attendance and market to reach them. How great would it be to really see a crowd there again, regardless of their "experience" spin. Maybe not have the O's playing home, that's a start.



I'll say it again, they can't make the courses long enough. Again, agree with DF, tighten those fairways. Doesn't diminish one bit what the X man did.



If you're bored this afternoon travel down to Joe Cannon stadium and watch CH VS Spalding for the baseball championship. It's really good ball, great seats.



BTW, the rumors are rampant on Rory hooking up with Amanda Balionis (formerly Renner). Of course there are non-substantiated reports coming in. I wouldn't be surprised and do feel sorry for Rory's ex. I was hoping his was going to be a fairytale life but as stated earlier, life happens. There could be some fire in this smoke.



The AAU basketball season is here and already kids trading teams in the same weekend. Parents screaming at coaches, coaches screaming at kids. It's a wonderful world.

Paul from Towson     May 19
Great season, Drew!! Congratulations to you and your young men!!



Went to the O’s game again today and as much as I’ve loved going to games the past few years, I have one complaint. The PA announcer is ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE! There are some parts of the stadium where you can’t hear anything she says. The music between innings sometimes drowns her out and she sounds like she would be better served in a minor league stadium. Aberdeen for starters. I know we were spoiled for many years with Rex Barney, but in my opinion, she is awful. Anyone else share my opinion? Or am I off base here? I’ve been to a couple Nats games in DC, and the dude there is awesome. Makes ours sound like they picked some random person off the street.

Tom J     May 19
Congrats on a great season Drew. You are teaching those kids how not only to win with class but lose with class as well.



@Howard, why would Sheffler go to LIV because of that? They kill people over there for that......



It would be nice if the O's scored more than 2 runs again today for Burnes.....

DJ     May 19
As a family friend of one of the young men on your team, let me just tell you what they say.



"He cares so much about them as young men and golfers. Even though my son didn't play a lot he made him feel important."

MFC     May 19
Any championship at any level is hard to win. Winning 1 is hard, back to back is extremely difficult, especially in a great league. It’s not like you’re a mediocre team in a weak league. You were there, you had a chance, you were the “man in the arena”.



Exciting race despite rain, conditions of the facilities.



Tiger didn’t win them all and neither will Scheffler. It’s golf and things happen.

They can’t seem to make the courses long enough. It looks like close to 20 under will win. With players hitting 220. Yd 6 irons every par 4 needs to be 500+yards and even that’s not long enough.

TimD in Timonium     May 19
Seatlle's not a bunch of scrubs, but the O's could use a Corbin Burnes WIN today.



And some sunshine.

Steve of Pimlico     May 18
@,Lou/ Palo Alto.Your must be really old

Howard     May 18
If I were Scheffler my phone call from jail would have been to Greg Norman to make me an offer.

Having your arm yanked, being pulled out of the car, being thrown against the car and then being handcuffed could have resulted in injury.

And now he risks being convicted of a felony.

Show me the money!

lou@palo alto     May 18
apart from the mile track in maryland, racing started going dnhill in the early, mid 60s when the racing commission closed the half mile tracks--these were feeder tracks for families and kids w dads learning the races (like me)--sure the mile tracks were cool and my dad went all time, me occ. but we used to go to the Bel Air track a lot and it was great fun, a faded memory

Jon     May 18
So report i read was that the golfer dragged the officer with his car and the officer was bruised….im confused (if accurate) how the police over reacted- if that happened- who continues to drive with a person draped on their car?

Mario     May 18
Good luck today!

MFC     May 18
@Billy, those comments were directed in my direction in a feeble attempt at trolling.

The better team won and I wish them well in the championship.



What's the over-under for the Preakness attendance today? Will 50,000 venture out?



Again, it really wasn't Tigers driver, his short game is an 8 handicap right now. He did however play the last 14 holes in 1 under. You can't make triple much less two of them. His tournament was over on the second hole. He seemed to walk ok, he was just bad. He looked old and tired walking off 18. I guess +7 will do that.



Lots of sports today, Preakness ( who cares right?), golf, lacrosse and baseball. Good day to be a couch potato.



Congrats to McDonogh upsetting #1 Boys Latin in lax. And belated congrats to St. Pauls upsetting McDonogh girls.




Hank ( The Fake One)     May 18
Thanks CIK but not sure about that

Fighting off the Derby Champ #5 and 2 others ?

CIK     May 18
When handicapping, being “keen” is a good thing. But you definitely don’t want the horse to be “keen”.



@Hank

I would assume the 2 others are the 8 & 5.

Monday
May 6, 2024
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3545


monday musings


I've missed a lot of three and a half foot putts in my life, but I've never missed one that meant as much as one the Ben Kohles missed yesterday afternoon at the Byron Nelson.

Kohles pulled a 40 inch putt to make bogey six at the easy par 5 18th hole and the ensuing birdie by Taylor Pendrith gave the Canadian the win and his first triumph on the PGA Tour.

The loss robbed Kohles, a former University of Virginia star, of the opportunity to tee it up in next April's Masters.

If he makes that 3.5 footer on 18 and then wins in the playoff that followed, he would have been heading to Augusta.

He might still get there. Who knows? But it was all out in front of him at the 18th hole when he owned a one-shot lead standing on the final tee of regulation.

Augusta...here we come.

But then those pesky nerves popped up.

The bogey by Kohles was set up by a bad drive, an iffy second shot, a lousy pitch and a wonderful chip. The par effort, to send the event to a playoff, was a bad mix of poor contact and a misread.

"I hit a bad putt. Wrong time to do it, for sure," said Kohles afterwards.

Pendrith played the hole expertly, with a 325 yard drive, an iron into the green, and a 35 foot eagle putt that stopped just 28 inches from the hole.

When he brushed in the birdie for the win, he all but assured himself of a spot on the International team in this fall's Presidents Cup in Montreal.

"Playing at home, in Canada, in an international event. It doesn't get any better than that," Pendrith told the media.

Things change quickly in golf.

Just 15 minutes earlier, it looked like Kohles was going to pull through with his first-ever PGA Tour triumph after making birdie at 16 and 17 to pull one ahead of Pendrith.

Then he missed the fairway off the tee at the 18th hole and that's when things went south.

It didn't help Kohles that Pendrith roasted one right down Broadway and was standing there with an iron in his hand while Kohles faced a difficult shot out of the rough.

10 minutes later, Pendrith rolled his eagle putt up close and it was up to Kohles to make his three-and-a-half-footer to send the two back to the 18th tee for a sudden death playoff.

And you now know how that ended.

Golf's a cruel game, sometimes.

Make that...most of the time.


#DMD reader Phil C. checked in yesterday with an e-mail question that I think is worth pondering over the next two weeks.

"Do you think the Preakness will ever return to the glory days of the 1980's and 1990's? And if so, how will they get it back to that point?"

The quick answer is the obvious one: No.

No, the race will never get back to what it once was.

But I don't know why that should be looked upon as the barometer for whether the Preakness still has "life" left in it.

Here's the way I see it.

If you're a horse racing fan, you're probably gung-ho for the Preakness. And rightfully so.

If you're not a horse racing fan, I assume you're not all that interested in going. I mean, that seems kind of simple.

Except lots of people who don't know what the Daily Double is have attended the Preakness over the years. If you're a Baltimore native, going to the Preakness was (is) a rite of passage.

How do the folks at the Maryland Jockey Club restore the race to the greatness it once experienced? That's the question.

I've always loved the Preakness. I've lost count of how many times I've attended the race in person, but I'm thinking somewhere around 20.

I went several times as a youngster with my Dad and have attended the race at least 15 times as an adult. But I haven't been since the year Mike Smith forgot how to ride a horse and let Astrology get passed in the last 200 yards to cost me $8,800.

If you're going to semi-boycott something, what better reason than losing $8,800, right?

For the record, I'm not "semi-boycotting" the Preakness. I'm not sure I'll ever go again, but that's more about things going on in my life in mid-May and less about my affection for the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

So, yes, I've long appreciated and supported the Preakness. Going back to my days on the radio, people will remember I was one of the only media people in town who actually talked about the plight of horse racing, breeding and training in our state.

But the race itself got dinged up with the controversial decision to no longer allow folks to bring in their own booze.

The track -- as an entertainment venue -- is a nothing burger. It's like having your daughter's wedding in a barn. Who wants that?

The publicity generated from the alcohol change wasn't good. The folks at the Maryland Jockey Club put a stop to the only thing that kept the event alive: Drunks having a good time.

These days, a lot of people who were regulars in the early 2000's no longer attend the race and try to use the alcohol policy change as their reason for staying away.

The reality is, the lives of those people have also changed. They're 40 now, not 25. And they have a wife. And kids who play soccer or baseball on Preakness Saturday.

Once upon a time, those guys and gals went to the Preakness, got banged up, ran on top of toilets, and thought to themselves, "This is the greatest thing ever."

Now, on the third Saturday in May, they're loading up lawn chairs and seltzers in the mini-van so they can go watch Haley's U10 soccer game in Columbia.

Times change. But more than that, people change.

The Preakness, as an event, is still very much worthwhile, even if the horse racing business, in Maryland, is close to kaput.

I have no idea what the actual, real crowd will be on May 18. The Jockey Club hasn't disclosed their true attendance figures in forever.

But whatever it is, 90% of the people on the property aren't there to actually watch horse racing. They're in attendance to be seen, to enjoy a great event and, in a lot of cases, experience a party unlike anything else they might see in 2024.

If 100,000 people are there on May 18, 90,000 of them won't be able to name four jockeys in the Preakness Stakes.

And that's OK.

As long as they're in attendance, and spending money, all's well that ends well.

I realize we long for the days where the entire week leading up to the Preakness was filled with downtown events and social gatherings.

Those were great times, indeed.

Painters Mill Music Theater was also once a thing, too, you might recall. I saw Al DiMeola and John McLaughlin there once. What a place to catch a show.

Alas, things change. Times change.

No one goes downtown much in 2024, so pre-race festivities have gone the way of the dinosaur.

And Pimlico isn't exactly Beverly Hills these days.

Folks can now stay home, wager, imbibe and have friends over to watch the race without the headache and hassle of navigating their way in and out of Northern Parkway with 30,000 other vehicles.

But the truth is this: People have changed a lot more than the Preakness has changed.

Sure, the track is second rate and the area around the facility isn't the best. But, for one day, none of that should matter at all.

It's still the Preakness. It's still in Baltimore. And it is, for now at least, still "our" race.

Let's hope people in Maryland remember that on May 18.


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#dmd's pga championship top 10


The PGA Championship, now being referred to as "The Scottie Scheffler Invitational", takes place at Vahalla Golf Club from May 16-19.

Valhalla has hosted three previous PGA Championships, with Mark Brooks, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy all winning major titles at the Louisville, Kentucky course.

#DMD will preview the PGA Championship with our top 10 picks, leading up to Wednesday, May 15.

#10 was Chris Kirk.

Former Players champion Si Woo Kim is 12-for-12 in making cuts in the 2024 PGA Tour campaign.

#9 is Si Woo Kim -- Call it a hunch. But we're thinking Kim is due for a big week at Valhalla.

He's made 12 of 12 cuts thus far in 2024. You can't get much better than that.

While he only has one Top 10, he does have 8 other finishes inside the top 25.

And he's just streaky enough to pop up out of nowhere next week and make some noise.

He ranks 10th in shots gained: total.

He's 15th in shots gained: off the tee.

And he's 17th in shots gained: approach to green.

He drives it great. And hits his irons just as well.

His putting data? Not that good. That's always been what's held him back.

He ranks 143rd in shots gained: putting. But here's the thing. He's a quarter-of-a-stroke per-round from being in the top 50 in putting.

So there are weeks when he putts well enough to finish in the top 10 but not well enough to win.

He just needs a week where it all comes together and he could wind up in the winner's circle.

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"Randy On The O's"


Randy Morgan takes #DMD readers through the recent week in Orioles baseball as the Birds try to win a second straight A.L. East title.


orioles weekly recap


Week Record: 6-1

Season Record: 23-11

AL East Standing: 1st (1 GM up on NYY)

Player of the Week: Adley Rutschman .345 AVG 1 HR 4 XBH 5 RBI

Led by an outstanding week from a reinforced starting rotation, the Orioles completed a near perfect week, going 6-1 and making a statement against the division rival Yankees in a high stakes early season showdown.

The O’s took three of four from the pretenders to the north before traveling to Cincinnati for a sweep where the Reds managed just two runs over three games.

The pitching staff got a boost from the returns of Kyle Bradish and John Means, though it came at the expense of Grayson Rodriguez, who headed to the IL for a, hopefully short, stretch with shoulder inflammation.

John Means made his first Orioles start of the 2024 season on Saturday in Cincinnati and helped the O's shut down the Reds, 2-1.

Gunnar Henderson jump-started the week with a leadoff homer off Clarke Schmidt, his 10th before the end of April. Gunnar later scored the second run in the 8th inning when “star” Yankees prospect Anthony Volpe booted a routine grounder that would have ended the inning. That was all the O’s needed as Grayson Rodriguez combined with Cionel Perz and Danny Coulombe to shut out the much-hyped Yankee lineup for a 2-0 win.

On Tuesday, another Yankee error allowed the O’s to take an early lead, which they built on with a 4th inning rally to go up 4-1. The Yanks only managed one more run, when Juan Soto made a complete clown of himself, flipping his bat and staring down Dean Kremer after his solo homer in the 6th inning for no apparent reason.

He was quoted after the game saying “I bet he [Kremer] didn’t like the homer”. I bet Kremer didn’t care because he went seven innings with two runs for the win, meanwhile, Soto probably didn’t like taking the loss, or maybe he did, because he is a loser. The bullpen was lights out for a second straight night, with Jacob Webb striking out three for the save.

Wednesday was the only game the O’s dropped on the week, struggling to figure out hot Yankees starter Luis Gil, who shut them down for 6.1 innings. They didn’t fare any better against the bullpen, ruining another good start from Corbin Burnes, who delivered six innings of two-run pitching with six strikeouts.

Burnes nearly matched Gil’s shutout, but got touched up when a grounder up the middle narrowly escaped Gunnar Henderson and was followed by an Oswaldo Cabrera homer that just snuck inside the foul pole.

The O’s made no doubt in the series finale, peppering the overpriced Carlos Rodon for seven runs in the first four innings. That was more than enough for Kyle Bradish, who held the Yankees to one run in 4.2 innings on his season debut, striking out five. Keegan Akin, Danny Coulombe, Jacob Webb, and Cionel Perez combined to close it out, surrendering just one run between them for a 7-2 win.

For a second time in the series, Soto made a fool of himself, pausing the game for several minutes to force a police officer to move out of his sight in center field, only to strike out on the next pitch. Soto is clearly a very talented hitter, but he is also a clown and a sub-par defensive outfielder. I hope he enjoys looking up at the Orioles in the standings for the rest of the season.

The Orioles carried the momentum into Cincinnati on Friday, winning the opener 3-0 behind Cole Irvin’s third straight scoreless outing. Irvin gave up just two hits in 6.1 innings before the bullpen closed it out with Craig Kimbrel striking out the side for the save. A three-run rally in the 7th inning led by an Adley double and a Ryan O’Hearn homer was all the offense the O’s needed.

The Birds won another low-scoring affair on Saturday, with John Means twirling a gem in his season debut. Means went seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits while striking out eight and walking none. Jorge Mateo and Adley went deep in the 4th and 5th innings to provide the run support.

Craig Kimbrel provided a scare in this one, with a shaky save attempt before Cano came on to close it out. Kimbrel has looked dominant at times this season, but it is becoming apparent he can’t be relied upon on consecutive nights.

On Sunday, the O’s cruised to a sweep with an 11-1 win behind Dean Kremer’s second outstanding start of the week. A two-out, three-run rally in the 1st inning put the Birds up early, with an RBI single from Anthony Santander before a two-run homer from Jordan Westburg. Santander then put the cap on the sweep with a 9th inning grand slam that pushed the lead to 11-0.

There were plenty of standout performers this week, with some incredible pitching and some unlikely offensive contributors.

Dean Kremer made a great case for keeping his rotation spot, surrendering just two runs in thirteen innings while striking out eleven in his two wins. As mentioned above, John Means was masterful in his first start of the season as well. Jorge Mateo and Ryan McKenna both had big weeks at the plate, with some surprising power.

However, the Player of the Week goes to Adley Rutschman. The star catcher hit .345 on the week, hitting safely in six of the seven games. Rutschman drove in five runs with four extra base hits including one homer. He has quietly put up a .324 season average with an .837 OPS and remains the backbone of this team.


Down on the Farm –

The Norfolk Tides swept the International League Player of the Month awards, with Heston Kjerstad winning the award for top hitter and Cade Povich similarly for top pitcher.

Kjerstad earned himself a promotion with the hot start, but plenty of hitting remains in Norfolk. Coby Mayo continued his destruction of the league, hitting homers in four straight games earlier in the week. Mayo is doing everything he can to knock down the door to Baltimore, bringing his season average to .309 with a league-leading eleven homers and a 1.003 OPS.

Jackson Holliday continued to slump a bit in his return to AAA, but he started to turn it around toward the end of the week, reaching base three of five times with a double on Sunday to bring his AAA OPS to .928.

After some early season struggles, top pitching prospect Chayce McDermott led the way for a combined no-hitter on Friday. McDermott went 6.2 innings with no hits and eleven strikeouts, lowering his season ERA to 2.89.

Further down the system in AA Bowie, the Orioles number two overall prospect, Samuel Basallo began to heat up after a slow start hampered by injury. Basallo hit two homers in four starts this week and drove in seven runs, while returning to catching duties for the Baysox.


Question of the Week –

Are the Orioles the best team in baseball?

As we closed out the first calendar month of the season, the Orioles sit at 23-11, the best record in the American League and just a half-game behind the Phillies for best in MLB. The Birds are currently on pace for 109 wins (which would tie a team record).

They have the best run differential in the AL at +55, with only the Dodgers better, although with two extra games. The O’s are fourth in runs scored per game and lead the league in homers. They are second in Baseball Reference’s OPS+ and sixth in ERA.

Before the season, you might have expected the O’s to have a strong April, as it appeared they had a fairly easy schedule. However, with the surprise starts from teams like Kansas City and Oakland, the Orioles actually played one of the tougher slates to start the season.

The O’s have the most wins in the league against teams with winning records at 14-5, and that doesn’t include the sweep of the Reds, who are over .500 in games not against Baltimore.

Now, there are a few other teams who could stake a claim to the best as we begin May. The Phillies have the best record in the league at 24-11, but they have played just six games against winning teams, going 3-3, so their record has largely been built off an easy schedule.

The Dodgers probably have the best shout outside of Birdland, with a 23-13 record, including 10-5 against winning teams. They lead the league in runs per game and fall just a few spots behind the O’s in runs allowed per game.

The Dodgers also have the runaway favorite for NL MVP in Mookie Betts and the top star in the game in Shohei Ohtani, not to mention Freddie Freeman, Tyler Glasnow, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, etc. The team is loaded, with a payroll approximately 100x that of the Orioles.

The Atlanta Braves also have an incredible lineup, even with star Ronald Acuna Jr. not quite firing on all cylinders. However, their pitching staff took a big hit with the loss of Spencer Strider for the season.

The Cleveland Guardians could also make a case at 22-12 with eleven wins over winning teams and one of the best run differentials in the league.

However, any way you cut it, the Orioles are among the cream of the crop after just more than a month played. They have done all of this without All-Star caliber starters Kyle Bradish and John Means who returned this week and looked as good as expected. The O’s also had their most hyped prospect already receive a call-up and struggle enough to get sent back to the minors.

That’s ok though, because they just rotated up the AAA league leader in home runs, for whom they can barely find room in the lineup. In his absence, his Norfolk teammate has taken over as the league home run leader with homers in four straight games.

The Orioles finished April with the AL Player of the Month (Gunnar Henderson), AL Rookie of the Month (Colton Cowser), as well as the AAA hitter and pitcher of the month.

As much as I want to let some air out of this early season over-exuberance, it seems that reality is the Orioles are a really good team. All signs point to the answer to the above question being “yes”.

If we want to throw some cold water on the excitement, Fangraphs gives the Orioles just an 86.9% chance to make the playoffs and still projects the Yankees to finish with a better record (heavy eye roll), for whatever that is worth.

In an AL East that looks highly competitive once again, with a rejuvenated Boston and still-dangerous Toronto and Tampa, it will be hard to continue this torrid pace.

So, though this version of the O’s seems unlikely to keep their current pace and match the 1969 Orioles for a franchise win record, they do appear capable of breaking the 100-win threshold and possibly matching or exceeding last season’s 101 wins.

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Sunday
May 5, 2024
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#3544


cano, means, business


This dude Craig Kimbrel is going to drive us all to drink.

I mean, it's only May 5 and he's a 3-run inning waiting to happen almost every time he takes to the mound.

Friday night in Cincinnati, he mowed down three straight Reds hitters like he was the next coming of Cy Young.

Last night he was dreadful, giving up 2 hits, a walk and an earned run in the bottom of the 9th before Brandon Hyde rescued him from another blown lead and turned things over to Yennier Cano.

Cano eventually got out of the jam but not before he had everyone chewing their nails, too. After a walk to load the bases, he was able to dismiss the final two Cincy hitters and the O's earned a 2-1 win to extend their record to 22-11 in the A.L. East.

Craig Kimbrel failed to close out last night's 2-1 win in Cincinnati, instead giving way to Yennier Cano with one out in the 9th inning.

We wrote this here three weeks ago and again last week. And it still bears repeating: Mike Elias has to start formulating a plan for a closer in the second half of the season.

Whether it's someone currently on the staff -- other than Kimbrel, obviously -- or a veteran acquired before the trade deadline, the O's are eventually going to need someone else to sew things up in the 9th inning. Kimbrel's not the guy.

I'm not 100% sure Cano's the guy to close games, either. He wiggled his way out of that jam last night, sure, but I think he's far better suited for the 8th inning, personally.

Some folks on social media were clamoring for Jacob Webb in the 9th last night. Eh, I don't know. Maybe.

Others would like to turn things over to Tyler Wells if he can ever stay healthy long enough to establish himself in the closer's role.

The "committee" idea isn't terrible. But you need confidence in all three or four guys in order to successfully pull off that concept.

And if you're factoring Kimbrel into that conversation as part of the committee, you better have some Jim Beam ready.

The good news from last night? John Means was terrific. He went 7 shutout innings, struck out 8, walked none and allowed just 3 hits.

As we chronicled here yesterday at #DMD, if Means does, in fact, return to the mound and look like the John Means of old, his emergence only adds to the issues facing Mike Elias.

He looked the part last night, that's for sure.

It remains to be seen if that's what the Birds are going to get from Means night in and night out, but if the starting pitching continues to shine like it has in the first 6 weeks of the '24 campaign, the O's are looking at another 100-plus win season.

Even on nights when their offense isn't all that great -- they've scored 5 total runs in two games vs. Cincy, let's not forget -- the pitching is solid enough to turn things over to a 9th inning closer.

Last weekend against Oakland, Kimbrel blew leads on Friday and Sunday. He looked "back" on Friday night vs. the Reds. He looked "lost" last night.

It's going to be an adventure if the Birds stick with him in the 9th inning.


Mystik Dan won the Kentucky Derby yesterday in one of the closest finishes in the race's 150 year history.

They classified it as a photo finish at Churchill Downs, with the winner holding off Sierra Leone and Forever Young to win $3.1 million of the $5 million purse.

Mystik Dan didn't win by a nose. He won, perhaps, by a flared nostril. It was remarkably close.

Pre-race favorite Fierceness (3-1) is still running this morning. It was a brutal trip for him.

The crowd of 156,000 enjoyed a Chamber of Commerce Saturday in Kentucky, with blue skies and warm temperatures making the card thoroughly enjoyable for those in attendance.

Sadly, the race itself is no longer the showcase event it once was on a national level.

I get it. Times change. Nothing stays as it is. But the Derby's starting to look a lot like Leave it to Beaver. In other words: "Man, that sure was good for a long time."

It's still a huge, "must attend" event in Louisville. Nothing will change that.

But outside of Louisville, the Derby's star has fallen.

I wish I knew why.

If I knew, I'd bottle it up and sell the information to horse racing folks and buy myself a new car.

The Derby used to be a really, really big deal.

It's now just a "deal", mostly. It's lost the "big" part of the description.

The Preakness will roll around in two weeks and, in these parts at least, we'll take the whole event pretty seriously. But we also know there will probably be somewhere between 8 and 10 horses in the race and the quality of the field will likely diminish from what we saw at Churchill Downs yesterday.

40 years ago, the Preakness was the single biggest day in Baltimore sports.

20 years ago, race officials started to get nervous about the debauchery that was making the Preakness famous and they made some massive changes to the way they ran things in the infield.

While those changes were actually reasonable and, in some cases, necessary, something happened right around that time that took the shine off of the Preakness.

Let's hope the next two weeks are a beneficial build-up to this year's race on May 18.

Baltimore could sure use the race being important again. And so, too, could horse racing.


Bart asks -- "Looking at the Ravens opponents in 2024, any guesses on who they'll play on national TV?"

DF says -- "Speaking of that, isn't the schedule always released in April, before the draft? Or am I wrong on that one?

Anyway, I'm guessing they'll play four national TV games: At Cincinnati will be on a Thursday night. At Houston will be on a Monday night. Home vs. Buffalo will be on a Sunday night. Home vs. Cleveland will be on a Sunday night.

My guess is CBS will protect the Chiefs/Ravens game in K.C. and use that for the 4:25 pm time slot."


Rich asks -- "I assume you agree with Tiger's exemption into the U.S. Open. But I'm wondering how many of those exemptions you think he will get over the next few years?"

DF says -- "Of course. If you can't give Tiger Woods a special exemption from qualifying for the U.S. Open, no one else on the planet should ever get one. Right?

That said, I don't think he has an endless supply of exemptions.

I don't know exactly what their protocol is, but I have to assume the USGA will give him more than one exemption. The 2027 U.S. Open is at Pebble Beach. I have no idea if Woods will still be playing competitively in 2027, but that seems like a logical location to give him a freebie into the tournament.

But for all I know, the powers-that-be in the USGA might have already said, behind closed doors, "Tiger can have an exemption any year he wants one." He is Tiger Woods, after all."

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#dmd's pga championship top 10


The PGA Championship, now being referred to as "The Scottie Scheffler Invitational", takes place at Vahalla Golf Club from May 16-19.

Valhalla has hosted three previous PGA Championships, with Mark Brooks, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy all winning major titles at the Louisville, Kentucky course.

#DMD will preview the PGA Championship with our top 10 picks, leading up to Wednesday, May 15.

#10, Chris Kirk -- It really feels like Chris Kirk is closing in on Stewart-Cink-status, which means he's going to win a major when everyone sort of forgets he's a "major caliber" player.

Chris Kirk hits 71% of the fairways, a stat that should favor him greatly at this year's PGA Championship.

Kirk is having a tremdendous last 12 months.

He has a win in 2024, has made 9 of 10 cuts, and is currently 7th in FedEx Cup points.

The only stat of his that is "off" is strokes gained: putting. Everything else is impressive.

He's 17th in shots gained: total.

He's 10th in shots gained: off the tee.

And Kirk is 35th in shots gained: approach to green.

In other words, he's driving it great, hitting his irons well and putting decently enough to win and make 9 of 10 cuts. While his putting "numbers" aren't impressive, he's streaky enough with the flat stick to be a threat at Valhalla.

Kirk doesn't kill it off the tee, averaging "only" 295 yards per-measured-drive. But he hits 71% of the fairways, which is not only seriously impressive, but should be a critical component at Valhalla.

If Stewart Cink can win a major, so, too, can Chris Kirk.

We're bullish on Kirk in two weeks. Don't be shocked to see him hanging around the leaderboard come Sunday morning.

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breakfast bytes


A.L. East roundup: Rodon improves to 6-2 as Yankees blank Padres in San Diego, 8-0; Brewers batter Red Sox in Boston, 7-2; Detroit beats visiting Toronto, 6-2; Rays lose at home to Royal, 8-1.

NHL: Rangers even series with Florida at 1-1 after 2-1 home OT win on Friday night.

NBA: Mavericks go up 2-0 in Western Conference Final with 109-108 road win at Minnesota.

Golf: Davis Riley (-10) leads rain-impacted event at Colonial CC in Fort Worth, Texas; Scheffler posts second round 65 to easily make the cut at 3-under par through 36 holes.



O's SCOREBOARD
Friday, May 24
Orioles
6
White Sox
4
WP: Y. Cano (3-2)

LP: J. Brebbia (0-3)

HR: Henderson (17), Vaughn (4)

RECORD / PLACE: 31-18, 2nd





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