Friday
May 20, 2022
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#2825


koch, jones need to be celebrated


It's with great disappointment that I admit here I didn't see one shot of yesterday's opening round of the PGA Championship.

I was even at a golf course for the better part of the day and still didn't see a moment of the televised coverage from Southern Hills CC.

I do have the internet, though, and I see some guy named Rory McIlroy is leading. I hope you remember me fondly this Sunday night when you're cashing that ticket.

Justin Thomas is just two shots back after round one of the PGA Championship.

The golf course is going to wind up being the winner when all is said and done this weekend. There are already high'ish scores through 18 holes with more to come. Patrick Cantlay, last year's best player, shot 6-over par, Brooks Koepka was at +5 and Jon Rahm and Dustin Johnson both posted +3. Some great players need to light it up today in the second round or they're heading home early.

Tiger started the day in fine form with a couple of early birdies but not much else went right from there as he finished the day at 4-over 74. According to media reports (I didn't see it myself), Woods was noticeably limping earlier this week in his practice rounds and again on Thursday. My guess, if he fails to make the cut today, is that Tiger will sit out the U.S. Open in mid-June in an effort to fully prepare for the British Open at St. Andrews in July. Tiger knows better than anyone that you can't play hurt.

I didn't list Woods in my top 10 and wasn't at all surprised to see him struggle yesterday. He might not ever be able to play well again. It's a miracle of sorts that he's even competing. If the sun has set on his career, so be it. There's obviously nothing for him to be ashamed of in terms of his golf legacy. He changed the sport, which, funny enough, is precisely what his dad, Earl, said he would do in 1996 when Tiger turned professional.

Five of my projected top 10 players are in the top 15 after round one (McIlroy, Zalatoris, Schauffele, Gooch and Finau). Scanning the leaderboard, I see two additional names I like right now for those looking to make a mid-tournament wager.

Justin Thomas at 3-under par is a very inviting candidate. Thomas works the ball both ways with his irons and with the wind direction changing on Saturday and Sunday, he'll be a player who won't be impacted by the new conditions. Lots of guys on TOUR only work the ball one way. Thomas is one of the best iron players in the world.

Joaquin Niemann (-2) is another guy to watch. He can hit it right to left or left to right with the driver, which should come in very handy over the weekend. Niemann is sneaky-good. He might be one of the most underrated players in the world.

By Sunday afternoon, Southern Hills CC will be the winner. The weather (60's and windy) over the weekend will make it feasible for someone "off the radar screen" to come back and make a run. It's going to be fun to watch.


Ravens punter Sam Koch announced his retirement yesterday after 16 seasons with the team. He's a top five all-time underrated performer in Baltimore. Year in and year out, Koch was Mr. Reliable. People who don't know football say stupid things like "punters and kickers" aren't real football players", which, of course, is one of the dumbest things you can say.

Koch wasn't "just" the punter. He was also the holder for Justin Tucker on all of his field goals and extra points. You might recall that Tucker hit some pretty important kicks for the Ravens since 2008. Koch was involved in all of those.

Sam Koch retired on Thursday after 16 years with the Ravens.

The Ravens and Orioles have an interesting dilemma on their hands, but one they should both be able to solve quite easily.

Both organizations need to figure out a way to honor the careers of Sam Koch and Adam Jones.

The Ravens should induct Koch into their Ring of Honor. They can go ahead and wait "x number of years" if they so choose, but Koch is more than worthy of entry into the organization's Hall of Fame. His accomplishments and career should be celebrated. If we're being honest, Koch was more important to the Ravens in his 16 seasons than were Michael McCrary and Peter Boulware.

And the Orioles, as I wrote here last year, should do "something special" with the uniform number of Adam Jones (10). Jones will no doubt be in the team's Hall of Fame someday, but that's not enough recognition for a guy who was brought in during the darkest of days and was the catalyst for a franchise rebirth that truly never got fully appreciated by the local sports community.

The only way to fully commemorate what Jones did for the organization would be to remove #10 from the active list of available numbers. They don't have to "retire" his number. The Ravens, for example, haven't formally retired #52. But no one will ever wear that number again, I would assume. The O's can do the same with Jones. Just simply don't allow anyone to wear #10 moving forward.

Now, if the Orioles did want to "formally retire" #10, I'd be all for it. He deserves that tribute, in my opinion.

But if nothing else, that #10 should be put away by the O's and never brought back. Adam Jones personified everything you could want in a professional athlete representing your city.


Next Wednesday, May 25, from 6-7:30 pm, I'll be hosting another free Maryland FCA Golf clinic at Pine Ridge Driving Range. It's open to anyone, of any age, but we're particularly interested in seeing as many junior golfers as we can next Wednesday.

I'll be joined by Michael Crowley, a member of the Loyola University golf team, who recently advanced through the local qualifying event for the U.S. Open. Crowley played three years for me at Calvert Hall and has a great message to share about his development in golf.

The clinic is totally free. We'll provide the golf balls and the teaching. You just come out and have fun. We'll end the clinic with a 20-minute "huddle" where we'll share some testimony and discussion about FCA and the Maryland Golf chapter of FCA.

I hope you can make it out, and please, bring a junior golfer or two along with you.


Roughly every 4 months or so, I come here and give a quick "state of #DMD" message on a subject that is front and center, whether that involves the comments section or some other part of the website.

I received an e-mail last week from an ardent reader and longtime supporter of mine who was upset that someone else was posting commentary under "his" name. He asked that I resolve the problem.

I told him what you would expect I'd tell him: I have no way of "fixing" that. The platform we use simply doesn't allow for me to figure out who is "J.R.", who chimes in as "J.R." even when they're not really "J.R." and so on and so forth.

I have no idea why people are afraid to use their real names here or why they impersonate some other reader/poster. I stopped trying to figure it out a long time ago.

In lieu of that, I asked that you at least include initials or a name just so there's a level playing field. I noticed someone posted something yesterday under "Stardust". I'll remove that comment today. Just man-up and use a name or initials of any kind so I don't have to patrol the entries. I don't think that's too much to ask.

All that said...

One of my initiatives to be completed by the end of 2022 will be to configure our platform in such a way that you will be required to "register" (one time) as a commenter and provide an e-mail address that will serve as your method of commenting here.

One option we're reviewing and considering: After registering with us and being "confirmed" via e-mail, you will receive a code which will be unique to you and will be the method by which you'll log in. Every time you post a comment here, you'll insert that code instead of your name, initials, etc. The site will then change your code to the name you registered with and that will rid us of people hopping on and using other people's names.

This will put you out for a total of about one minute, which is how long it will take you to initially register with #DMD. Once we've confirmed your e-mail and your identity, you'll get your code and apply whatever fake name you want. But once you've created that name and you have your code, there's no changing it. You can't log in as "John" today and "Bill" tomorrow. It won't work that way.

If you're not willing to endure this quick, simple process in an effort to "clean up" what we do here, I guess we'll shake hands and part on friendly terms. I'd like to have this up and running by the start of the football season. There's some backroom work that needs to be done to the website that is far, far outside of my capabilities, so I'm at the disposal of the I.T. people who would put it in place.

In the meantime, have some decency and post whatever you want using your name or initials. Don't post under other people's names and/or initials. It's really not that hard to do.

I do understand the nature of *some* people. They come here just to stir the pot. I get it. I don't understand it, but I get it. It comes with the territory of the internet. I'll do my best to figure out a way to diminish their activity here, but where there's a will, there's a way. People who want to wear #clownshoes will always find a place to buy them.


You might know this and you might not, but the Preakness is being run tomorrow in Baltimore at Pimlico Race Track.

Yes, I'm serious.

I know what you're thinking: "I had no idea."

It's incredible how much the race has fallen off the radar screen in these parts over the last 5 years or so. Times change. People change. For whatever reason, the Preakness is no longer the thing that it was 30, 20 or even 10 years ago.

We'll "preview" the race tomorrow for the 129 people in town who actually care about it.

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faith in sports


Speaking of FCA and athletes who serve Jesus, the video below is one of my favorites to show a group of young athletes who are trying to figure out if FCA is right for them.

These words, from athletes you know quite well, are better than anything I could ever say to a young golfer, soccer player, lacrosse player, etc.

I have this video on my phone for easy access. I love watching it and sharing it.

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


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#dmd comments








unitastoberry     May 20
The 2 best punters ever in Baltimore football history. Sam Koch and David Lee. Glad there's no pressure on the kid from Pedo St....lol

Ricky     May 20
I don't understand the Site Owner's fascination with Adam Jones. I admit, Jones was a very good player here and represented the city well, but so did plenty of other Orioles. If you're going to "retire" Jones' number, then I believe you should also "retire" Boog Powell's (#26), Mike Cuellar's/Mike Mussina's (#35), Dave McNally's (#19), Mike Flanagan's (#46), and Ken Singleton's (#29) numbers. IMHO, they were also very good players that represented the city and franchise very well and contributed more to the franchise and fanbase (World Series, anyone?) than Adam Jones did.

Also, the Preakness is all but gone. I'd love to know what the actual crowds are for Black Eyed Susan and Preakness Day are, and not the Propaganda that the Maryland Jockey Club announces. My guess is that it's a fraction of what it was 30, 20, and even 10 years ago.

TJ     May 20
There is some rich irony in that comment from Herman.

Pokey     May 20
What a guy Garry is. Just like the frosted one, name dropping. 'I sat with two people from the Racing Form, look at me.'

Gary must be related to LF.

Delray RICK     May 20
Love to see LUCAS win with the FILLY.

Greg     May 20
Here's a fun fact for "Garry".



My wife works for a Baltimore Sports apparel company. Her boss sent an e-mail yesterday that said the company has 120 tickets to their tent and the race. Guess how many they originally had? 150.



The e-mail said "We kindly ask that you bring 3 guests if you plan on attending. We need to fill the tent. The food and beverage has been ordered for 150 people."



I just asked her how many are left. "105".They can't even give the tickets away tomorrow.

JK     May 20
You know what else is weird?

@Garry and @Monk are the same person.

How weird is it that @Garry says "I met Monk" when he is in fact, @Monk? So strange. His other moniker "@JerryH" hasn't been heard from here in a while.

Garry     May 20
Weird that this site and the radio empire are singing the same tune about the Preakness. We were out there yesterday. Met Monk, whose best bet of the day of the day took a lot of late money(6-1 as the gate was loading, won easy at 3-1). Monk was sitting with 2 DRF(Daily Racing Form) columnists. Pre-sale tickets are very brisk. Expecting 55k today and over 100k tomorrow. The box seats we were in are sold out both days at 600 dollars a piece.

I guess that two social media influencers like the 2 Baltimore sports icons with less than 10k combined Twitter followers know more about a sport that they ignore 50 weeks/year than the folks who promote it.

Horse racing has plenty of problems. But to just crap all over it fits the mindset. The O's are another whipping boy. Terps, D and O coordinators, fans, players.

Negativity sells and that is where we have lost our way. Joy is missing.

Fast facts. Saudi Arabia allows abortion..if the life of the mother is in jeopardy. They average about 25/year. USA kills over 600,000 a year. Who are the barbians?

Tom J     May 20
That's fine if the O's never issue #10 again but in no way should it be officially retired. That honor is reserved for the HOF'ers and the greatest Orioles ever. Jones was very good but certainly not in that class.....

Herman     May 20
Why doesn't the site owner use my name in his commentary? I do have a name, you know? Geez, is it that hard?

Rich     May 20
Love the video today for Faith in Sports! My favorite DMD segment of the week. Thanks Drew and thanks Free State for supporting it. God Bless!

Jason M     May 20
Maybe tonight is the night for Adley at the plate. We could use some joy in Mudville. A 95 degree Preakness is tough on everyone from the people working at the track to the horses and the spectators - hope everyone stays hydrated. I'll be watching and betting from home, my wife is nuts enough to run a Spartan race tomorrow.

Erick     May 20
Great work by Unitas below- enjoyed that

JohnInEssex     May 20
Drew, your description of Lorenzo Sanz Jr. regarding his demeanor doesn't surprise me. He's just like his Dad, in a good way!

hal     May 19
Fake Herman is a total embarrassment.

Agree that Judge crying is total non-story. And Mancini did not "make a statement", he was asked about the whining from the Yankees.

Saban is right, the NIL cat is out of the bag and will damage the game eventually. I do agree big time players ought to get paid, so just pay them and stop pretending it's being done in a good way. Develop a pay scale and make the pay the same across the board. Pay to play or play amateur football like D II or D III. With gambling no longer considered "bad" for any sport, not sure why college athletes getting paid is a big deal any more.

stardust     May 19
Tiger tied with Garrett Higgo in 123rd place.

unitastoberry     May 19
We don't need no Trey Mancini. We don't need no Elias control. No tons of fans in the stadium. All in all it's just another Angelos in the wall.

Ricky     May 19
Uh, oh...

Looks like the Site Owner, the SOD, and the SOT (generally the same people) are NOT going to be happy.

Their hero Tiger Woods shot +4 today and is in danger of missing the cut at the PGA.

In all seriousness, Tiger has made great progress coming back from his serious injuries, but he might not be ready yet for major championship play.

Chris in Bel Air     May 19
Aesthetically, I don't like the hard, 90 degree corner wall by the bullpens. I would have preferred to see it more angled. Nevertheless, I don't think the concerns are just the wall. Batting totals are down to start the year across the league. The top team BA for the AL is Cleveland (.248). Not one AL team above .250. For reference, 5 teams ended last year above .248. There were 4 in 2020 and 8 in 2019. So while it may be a little early to completely state, and it may be a little more of a poke to hit it out at the Yard, the league isn't exactly tearing the cover off regardless.

Buckie (C.S.)     May 19
Why does anybody here care what Aaron Judge thinks about the new dimensions? He shouldn't be so shocked that not everyone is on his side. We sure have our nerve, not acting in the best interests of Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees. I haven't heard him mention anything about the cheap homers he has gotten from the little league dimensions at his park. People do pay to see the games for reasons other than him, not that the, dare I say, "crowds" at Camden Yards support that statement very well.



As for Mancini, the Orioles have made it obvious that if he hits well enough, they will trade him out of town. Plus they have made his job more difficult with the dimensions. So if he doesn't feel the warm cocoon of love coming from the warehouse, I get it. He deserves a shot to play in the playoffs. With any luck we will get someone back who we will someday hear of.

Hank     May 19
I love the new wall! These coddled athletes are bigger and stronger than ever before. They don't have to sell shoes in the off season like former Baltimore stars once did. A home run is not the be all end all and at age 53 I could reach the old power alley (on a batting practice pitch). So shut shut up buttercups and adjust your game.

HERMAN     May 19
Once again an "imposter post". I don't bet chalk. And I don't put much stock in touts.

Please allow me out of the posting game and stop posting using my name. It isn't amusing nor does it demonstrate class.

Herman     May 19
I won't vomit if Rory wins. I put a Benjamin on him to win when the site owner picked him. I'm no dummy.

DJ     May 19
LOL, Rory gonna run away with this and Herman is gonna vomit.

Delray RICK     May 19
Check out prices at PGA this week. $19 dollars for beer!!

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
As for N Saban its amazing the media cant see whats really going on....these coaches understand that if all these boosters and schools spend more and more for players its gonna eventually hurt coaches salaries

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
What did people expect? Either hitters or pitchers will be mad. I thought it was foolhardy. Didnt have trouble attracting J Key D Wells K Brown and other pitchers when you were good and had payroll second to Yanks from 93 to 98. Never heard Mussina mention dimensions as reason for leaving ...was the lowball offer. Spend it and they will come. Dimensions are meant to distract us from their cheapness and lazy media fell for it

Hal     May 19
Take a bow yourself, Drew. You have done an outstanding job with those young CHC golfers. Three straight wins in three years is impressive. Well done to you and the CHC golfers.

Frank P     May 19
Got word from Monk last night. He will be at Pimlico on Thursday. Told me that #10 Berks in the 5th is a bet if he looks good in the paddock. I'll meet him there, we sit in the boxes overlooking the finish line.

Brett B.     May 18
This KJ character is quite the boot licker for Herman. Talk about carrying someone's water for them.

Pauly D     May 18
Happy 85th Birthday Brooks!

kj     May 18
Love the geniuses with the "if you have different opinion than Drew" that must equate to "disdain for Drew". Brilliant take!

But best part was right after this trash take on Herman, we get "I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy....".

SOD is right, can't buy this comedy on the street (huh??) and my all time favorite: "must be a plant" lol




Delray RICK     May 18
MY comments on DEM O'S wil be posted at the 1/3 mark which is a true evaluation and not a silly 20 game start. And it an't going to be good.

Mark in Perry Hall     May 18
Herman doesn't post any longer because "someone is using my name." Then suddenly out of nowhere he starts posting again and on his first post back he craps on DF to stir the pot.



But he's not a plant, right? Sure.

Don from Catonsville     May 18
Why some people post in the comments here when they seem to have such disdain for Drew is beyond me. Herman for example or he who claims to be Herman. Just move on to some other sports site.

At the same time I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy with the outrage over the Saudi Golf league. The NBA and life in general is wrapped around depending on China . China makes the Saudi seem like just schoolyard bullies IMO

Biff H     May 18
Here they come to save the day. SOD….SOD….SOD…..SOD…..

GM     May 18
Larry with the home run comment of the day. "I've stopped posting, but here's a post."

Larry     May 18
LOL.

Herman writes: Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting.

And then he posts 1,000 words anyway.

You can't buy this comedy on the street. It's priceless.

HERMAN     May 18
Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting. That along with the ridiculous takes by both the site owner and majority of commentators. The holier-than-thou pontification about the new Saudi league, and joy found over the trials and tribulations of Phil and Ricky are not just sad to read but a bit disgusting. The ways in which your daily life is intertwined with both the Saudis and China, two abhorrent governing bodies, is so pervasive as to make each of us complicit. Every visit to the pump places you in direct connection with the Saudis. Every visit to any market puts you in touch with China. This idea that the Saudi League is "tainted" by association is completely ridiculous. Drive a gas powered vehicle you enrich the Saudis, an electric you enrich the Chinese. So woven are they both in our daily lives. The Saudi money is involved in just about every venture, the Musk buy of Twitter revealed them to be a major investor. Has that stopped our "Hooded4Iron" site owner from posting on Twitter?

Spare me the outrage over Phil's dance with them. Competition is good, just the threat has already influenced purses and compensation from the PGA. Why the hate for an organization shoving extreme amounts of cash into the game you love? From our government, to our major companies, to the pump the Saudis touch everything, and thereby touch you. You'd have to be monastic to avoid it.

And the Ricky Fowler bashing, Good God. He made it to the show, he competed at the highest levels, got rich doing it, lives a life here in nearby Jupiter that would be the envy of all. If his career is "done", and he goes the way of so many others that saw only brief success on tour, so be it. But he got there, he tried, he succeeded against the best in the world. Every blue tee I know would kill to have his life and lifestyle. Yet guys not fit to shine his golf shoes seem to revel in his struggle. It's ridiculous.

Who the site owner picks to win a major means no more to me than the next guy I pass on the street. His love of the Messiah is well documented here. As is my own disdain.

Enjoy the tournament.


Eric in Gaithersburg     May 18
I love how the expert throws out Aberdeen record cause it doesnt fit his narrative lol. He will make a great employee at PMSNBC ot FoxNews. Or the fact that Adley has had 30AB or that many of Norfolk best have been up with Os or that minor league records are useless. The fact that Grayson, Prieto, G Henderson and many others are playing well or that Stowers and Westburg are struggling are what matters.

Paul T.     May 17
They had 12,200 in the stadium last night to see the O's? I'd call that a miracle based on the 4,000 crowds they had earlier in the season. Business is picking up.

Lee     May 17
I agree with JP that it would be really funny to see Herman's head blow off if he saw Drew pick Tiger to win in tomorrow's edition of the Dish.

Jon     May 17
Unless he changes his mind, Drew said on his golf radio show last Sunday that Rory is his pick to win the PGA.

TimD in Timonium     May 17
Rickie's crossed the $40M threshold in career earnings on the PGA. Nice work."He is the Mercedes Benz global ambassador since 2016 after being their brand ambassador in the US since 2013. Fowler is also associated with other top companies like Cobra (Puma), Rocket Mortgage, and Farmers Insurance." So, do your sponsors follow along to the Saudi tour? Maybe Mercedes does.

CIK     May 17
My source tell me DF picks Rory to win

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Drew is picking Spieth to win.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Frew is picking Spieth to win.

kj     May 17
Poor @JP. Guess it's just me, can't see any reason why anyone would care a) who DF picks and b) what Herman's reaction might be. But hey, whatever floats your boat right?

I get the disdain for this league that is "doing business with the Saudis", but if somehow this format was put together without involving despots and murderers, would it be viewed more positively as an alternative to the current PGA Tour format? Perhaps that is not viable without oil money or China, just wondering if the "improvements" Phil and now Fowler reference have some legs on their own merit.

I get not wanting to support Saudis, not questioning that at all. Just wondering if this different pay for play model might be an improvement over the current setup, from a financial standpoint, for most players? Or not really?

BTW, finishing T33 every week seems like a good living to me, where can I sign up for that lol??

J.P.     May 17
If @DF picks Tiger Woods to win the PGA just to dig at @Herman, I'll laugh all day tomorrow.

Chris     May 17
Great article on Fowler today. Seems like you've hit it right on the head. If he still wants to make $$ playing golf he'll probably have to jump to one of those renegade groups to do it. So long Ricky!

Thursday
May 19, 2022
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2824


mancini, judge not fans of new look opacy


There's an old saying that goes like this: "Build it and they will come."

Well...

What if you build it and they wind up not coming as a result?

The Orioles might have a case of that on their hands after reconfiguring the left field wall in the off-season. The early returns are in and voters aren't pleased.

Trey Mancini didn't mince words about the new and improved Camden Yards: "Nobody likes it."

Aaron Judge hit two home runs on Tuesday night but was robbed of another one because of the deeper left field wall at Camden Yards. Through the first month of the season, home runs in Baltimore are down considerably, particularly those hit to left field. Judge wasn't bashful in his assessment of the new look in Baltimore.

"It looks like a create-a-park now. It's a travesty what they've done to it," the Yankees slugger said after New York's 5-4 win.

Mike Elias and the Orioles had good intentions when they moved the wall back 30 feet and raised it 5 feet in height over the winter. They wanted the park to be more accommodating to O's pitchers, many of whom bemoaned the fact that in Baltimore, a well hit long fly ball would often result in a home run, where in other stadiums, it would merely be an out.

The theory has worked thus far, it's worth noting. Home run totals are down, but for both teams. The O's themselves have been robbed of home runs because of the bigger left field area.

After Judge griped on Tuesday night, Trey Mancini jumped in with his commentary. And, perhaps much to everyone's surprise, the Orioles' star didn't come to the defense of his ballpark. In fact, he agreed with the Yankees' slugger.

"Nobody likes it," Mancini said, in a statement that probably didn't endear him to Elias.

Ouch.

Come on Trey. Couldn't you have said something like, "We're still getting used to it."???

"Nobody likes it." That's pretty direct.

“We play half our games here,” continued Mancini. “I know Judge's ball probably should be a homer, but yeah, we’ve had quite a few, too, that should have been. We play half our games here, so it's not great as a right-handed hitter."

Mancini added, “It’s still our job to go out there and play, so complaining about it’s not going to help us out. But that doesn’t mean we necessarily like it, either.”

You can only imagine if Mancini feels that way, most of the rest of the O's do, too. It's one thing to care, or not, about what visiting players think of the new stadium configuration. Who cares what *they* think, after all?

It's another thing, though, to have your own players not care for it. File this one under the "nature of unintended consequences".

The O's changed their stadium to hopefully someday be able to attract front line pitching to Baltimore.

And that strategy might, in fact, work, once the numbers are more concrete over a couple of years. If pitchers see their numbers won't balloon at Camden Yards, they might be more interested in signing with the O's.

But what about attracting free agent hitters? Is there a possibility that the new left field wall could actually keep players from signing in Baltimore in the future?

The guess here is that Elias and his crew didn't really think much about that last winter when the shovels went in the ground and the new dimensions were carved out.

But if the early returns are any indication, it might give hitters reason to pause when their agent calls and says, "You know, the Orioles have reached out."


Nick Saban lowered the boom on Texas A&M last night at a Birmingham event for local businessmen that is certainly not going to make him a favorite of the folks in College Station, Texas, anytime soon.

Finishing 2nd to Texas A&M in recruiting last year didn't sit well with Nick Saban.

Saban said: "We were second in recruiting last year. Texas A&M was first. A&M bought every player on their team -- made a deal for name, image and likeness. We didn't buy one player, all right? But I don't know if we're gonna be able to sustain that in the future because more and more people are doing it. It's tough."

The Alabama coach noted that 25 of his players "made three million dollars" last year but they created all of their own NIL deals. The school and/or football program didn't create any of those agreements. You can believe that if you so choose.

NCAA rules prohibit a school or its employees only from paying athletes directly for their NIL rights. "A school can not use name, image and likeness to entice a player to attend their school", the rule reads. That one seems a little vague, if you ask me.

Colleges are now pooling money from supporters and local businessmen and helping their student-athletes produce deals that earn them lucrative sums of money during their college career. There aren't many rules in place at this point. To wit, a University of North Carolina basketball player was funded via his NIL deal by a Baltimore seafood restaurant. How many crabcakes he'll sell for them in Chapel Hill, NC is unknown, but if a seafood restaurant in Baltimore wants to support a basketball player in North Carolina, the rules completely allow for that at this point.

Saban says Alabama didn't do any of the work for their players. Saban also says Texas A&M did all of the work for their players. Therein lies the rub. The Crimson Tide coach fired a warning shot of sorts last night, adding, "I'm not sure how much longer we can keep doing it the way we're doing it."

That's code word for: "You boys done gone and messed around with the wrong people. Our folks in Tuscaloosa blow their noses with $500 bills. You want to buy high school athletes? We'll see who wins that battle."

Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher, a former Saban assistant, will likely have something to say about all of this today once he has a chance to digest what the Alabama coach said on Wednesday night.

One thing for sure: The bear has been poked.


Proud coaching moments come in all shapes and sizes and I'm thrilled to say I had one of them yesterday at Eagle's Nest when Lorenzo Sanz, a Calvert Hall senior, won the MIAA Individual Championship for the second consecutive year. Sanz posted rounds of 69-68 to win by three shots and become the first Cardinal golfer in 74 years to win back-to-back MIAA individual titles.

A rare double-eagle 2 helped propel Lorenzo Sanz to his second straight MIAA Individual title on Wednesday.

Sanz's victory yesterday gives Calvert Hall three straight individual titles overall. Prior to Lorenzo winning in '21 and '22, Michael Crowley captured the crown in 2019. There was no event in 2020 due to Covid-19.

Lorenzo's Wednesday round included a double-eagle "2" at the par-5 9th hole, where the Loyola University-bound competitor holed a 7-iron from 160 yards for the rarest of golfing achievements; an albatross.

The win caps off an amazing four years for Sanz, who came to Calvert Hall through the First Tee of Baltimore. He started all 36 matches in his high school career, missing the 2020 campaign due to Covid-19. It's worth noting, though, that he would have played every match that season as well, barring injury or illness. It's rare for a 9th grader to play "full time" in the MIAA. It's even more rare for a player to play every match in his high school career.

I can say, without a doubt, there was never a moment when I pondered a playing roster for our next match and considered leaving Lorenzo out. His name was always "in Sharpie", as the saying goes.

His list of accomplishments at Calvert Hall are extraordinary. He set a record (during my tenure, at least) for "points in a season" when he accumulated 32.5 out of 42 possible points as a freshman in 2019. Over the three years he recorded 16 "sweeps" of his playing opponent, meaning he won the front six, back six and overall points. He'll earn his second All-Conference award later this month when post-season honors are announced.

And on top of that, he's a great young man. Lorenzo is only the third player in my ten years to serve as a captain in back-to-back years.

Yesterday, as I watched him complete his final round representing Calvert Hall, I couldn't help but continue to think about how well he represented the school and the golf program during his four years with me. I always stress to my players -- or anyone that plays competitive golf for that matter -- that I should be able to look at you from two fairways over and have no idea if you're playing well or playing poorly.

Body language, I'd say, is one of the most important parts of playing good golf. Don't get too high, don't get too low. Just play. When the round is over, do the math, add up your score, and own your work.

Sanz fit that profile perfectly. You couldn't tell if he made a birdie or a bogey. He'd roll in a 15-foot backbreaker on the 12th and final hole and look like he just made a 2-footer for par. You never knew if he was winning or losing.

I've been blessed to coach 59 different players in my ten years at Calvert Hall. I've seen lots of young men, at varioius levels of playing ability, in the MIAA A-Conference. I haven't seen anyone play the kind of golf Lorenzo Sanz played for me for three years.

Lorenzo is heading off to Loyola University this September to play for my longtime friend, Chris Baloga. I suspect Baloga will be singing his praises in four years just like I am this morning.

We'll miss him at Calvert Hall.

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#dmd comments








unitastoberry     May 20
The 2 best punters ever in Baltimore football history. Sam Koch and David Lee. Glad there's no pressure on the kid from Pedo St....lol

Ricky     May 20
I don't understand the Site Owner's fascination with Adam Jones. I admit, Jones was a very good player here and represented the city well, but so did plenty of other Orioles. If you're going to "retire" Jones' number, then I believe you should also "retire" Boog Powell's (#26), Mike Cuellar's/Mike Mussina's (#35), Dave McNally's (#19), Mike Flanagan's (#46), and Ken Singleton's (#29) numbers. IMHO, they were also very good players that represented the city and franchise very well and contributed more to the franchise and fanbase (World Series, anyone?) than Adam Jones did.

Also, the Preakness is all but gone. I'd love to know what the actual crowds are for Black Eyed Susan and Preakness Day are, and not the Propaganda that the Maryland Jockey Club announces. My guess is that it's a fraction of what it was 30, 20, and even 10 years ago.

TJ     May 20
There is some rich irony in that comment from Herman.

Pokey     May 20
What a guy Garry is. Just like the frosted one, name dropping. 'I sat with two people from the Racing Form, look at me.'

Gary must be related to LF.

Delray RICK     May 20
Love to see LUCAS win with the FILLY.

Greg     May 20
Here's a fun fact for "Garry".



My wife works for a Baltimore Sports apparel company. Her boss sent an e-mail yesterday that said the company has 120 tickets to their tent and the race. Guess how many they originally had? 150.



The e-mail said "We kindly ask that you bring 3 guests if you plan on attending. We need to fill the tent. The food and beverage has been ordered for 150 people."



I just asked her how many are left. "105".They can't even give the tickets away tomorrow.

JK     May 20
You know what else is weird?

@Garry and @Monk are the same person.

How weird is it that @Garry says "I met Monk" when he is in fact, @Monk? So strange. His other moniker "@JerryH" hasn't been heard from here in a while.

Garry     May 20
Weird that this site and the radio empire are singing the same tune about the Preakness. We were out there yesterday. Met Monk, whose best bet of the day of the day took a lot of late money(6-1 as the gate was loading, won easy at 3-1). Monk was sitting with 2 DRF(Daily Racing Form) columnists. Pre-sale tickets are very brisk. Expecting 55k today and over 100k tomorrow. The box seats we were in are sold out both days at 600 dollars a piece.

I guess that two social media influencers like the 2 Baltimore sports icons with less than 10k combined Twitter followers know more about a sport that they ignore 50 weeks/year than the folks who promote it.

Horse racing has plenty of problems. But to just crap all over it fits the mindset. The O's are another whipping boy. Terps, D and O coordinators, fans, players.

Negativity sells and that is where we have lost our way. Joy is missing.

Fast facts. Saudi Arabia allows abortion..if the life of the mother is in jeopardy. They average about 25/year. USA kills over 600,000 a year. Who are the barbians?

Tom J     May 20
That's fine if the O's never issue #10 again but in no way should it be officially retired. That honor is reserved for the HOF'ers and the greatest Orioles ever. Jones was very good but certainly not in that class.....

Herman     May 20
Why doesn't the site owner use my name in his commentary? I do have a name, you know? Geez, is it that hard?

Rich     May 20
Love the video today for Faith in Sports! My favorite DMD segment of the week. Thanks Drew and thanks Free State for supporting it. God Bless!

Jason M     May 20
Maybe tonight is the night for Adley at the plate. We could use some joy in Mudville. A 95 degree Preakness is tough on everyone from the people working at the track to the horses and the spectators - hope everyone stays hydrated. I'll be watching and betting from home, my wife is nuts enough to run a Spartan race tomorrow.

Erick     May 20
Great work by Unitas below- enjoyed that

JohnInEssex     May 20
Drew, your description of Lorenzo Sanz Jr. regarding his demeanor doesn't surprise me. He's just like his Dad, in a good way!

hal     May 19
Fake Herman is a total embarrassment.

Agree that Judge crying is total non-story. And Mancini did not "make a statement", he was asked about the whining from the Yankees.

Saban is right, the NIL cat is out of the bag and will damage the game eventually. I do agree big time players ought to get paid, so just pay them and stop pretending it's being done in a good way. Develop a pay scale and make the pay the same across the board. Pay to play or play amateur football like D II or D III. With gambling no longer considered "bad" for any sport, not sure why college athletes getting paid is a big deal any more.

stardust     May 19
Tiger tied with Garrett Higgo in 123rd place.

unitastoberry     May 19
We don't need no Trey Mancini. We don't need no Elias control. No tons of fans in the stadium. All in all it's just another Angelos in the wall.

Ricky     May 19
Uh, oh...

Looks like the Site Owner, the SOD, and the SOT (generally the same people) are NOT going to be happy.

Their hero Tiger Woods shot +4 today and is in danger of missing the cut at the PGA.

In all seriousness, Tiger has made great progress coming back from his serious injuries, but he might not be ready yet for major championship play.

Chris in Bel Air     May 19
Aesthetically, I don't like the hard, 90 degree corner wall by the bullpens. I would have preferred to see it more angled. Nevertheless, I don't think the concerns are just the wall. Batting totals are down to start the year across the league. The top team BA for the AL is Cleveland (.248). Not one AL team above .250. For reference, 5 teams ended last year above .248. There were 4 in 2020 and 8 in 2019. So while it may be a little early to completely state, and it may be a little more of a poke to hit it out at the Yard, the league isn't exactly tearing the cover off regardless.

Buckie (C.S.)     May 19
Why does anybody here care what Aaron Judge thinks about the new dimensions? He shouldn't be so shocked that not everyone is on his side. We sure have our nerve, not acting in the best interests of Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees. I haven't heard him mention anything about the cheap homers he has gotten from the little league dimensions at his park. People do pay to see the games for reasons other than him, not that the, dare I say, "crowds" at Camden Yards support that statement very well.



As for Mancini, the Orioles have made it obvious that if he hits well enough, they will trade him out of town. Plus they have made his job more difficult with the dimensions. So if he doesn't feel the warm cocoon of love coming from the warehouse, I get it. He deserves a shot to play in the playoffs. With any luck we will get someone back who we will someday hear of.

Hank     May 19
I love the new wall! These coddled athletes are bigger and stronger than ever before. They don't have to sell shoes in the off season like former Baltimore stars once did. A home run is not the be all end all and at age 53 I could reach the old power alley (on a batting practice pitch). So shut shut up buttercups and adjust your game.

HERMAN     May 19
Once again an "imposter post". I don't bet chalk. And I don't put much stock in touts.

Please allow me out of the posting game and stop posting using my name. It isn't amusing nor does it demonstrate class.

Herman     May 19
I won't vomit if Rory wins. I put a Benjamin on him to win when the site owner picked him. I'm no dummy.

DJ     May 19
LOL, Rory gonna run away with this and Herman is gonna vomit.

Delray RICK     May 19
Check out prices at PGA this week. $19 dollars for beer!!

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
As for N Saban its amazing the media cant see whats really going on....these coaches understand that if all these boosters and schools spend more and more for players its gonna eventually hurt coaches salaries

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
What did people expect? Either hitters or pitchers will be mad. I thought it was foolhardy. Didnt have trouble attracting J Key D Wells K Brown and other pitchers when you were good and had payroll second to Yanks from 93 to 98. Never heard Mussina mention dimensions as reason for leaving ...was the lowball offer. Spend it and they will come. Dimensions are meant to distract us from their cheapness and lazy media fell for it

Hal     May 19
Take a bow yourself, Drew. You have done an outstanding job with those young CHC golfers. Three straight wins in three years is impressive. Well done to you and the CHC golfers.

Frank P     May 19
Got word from Monk last night. He will be at Pimlico on Thursday. Told me that #10 Berks in the 5th is a bet if he looks good in the paddock. I'll meet him there, we sit in the boxes overlooking the finish line.

Brett B.     May 18
This KJ character is quite the boot licker for Herman. Talk about carrying someone's water for them.

Pauly D     May 18
Happy 85th Birthday Brooks!

kj     May 18
Love the geniuses with the "if you have different opinion than Drew" that must equate to "disdain for Drew". Brilliant take!

But best part was right after this trash take on Herman, we get "I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy....".

SOD is right, can't buy this comedy on the street (huh??) and my all time favorite: "must be a plant" lol




Delray RICK     May 18
MY comments on DEM O'S wil be posted at the 1/3 mark which is a true evaluation and not a silly 20 game start. And it an't going to be good.

Mark in Perry Hall     May 18
Herman doesn't post any longer because "someone is using my name." Then suddenly out of nowhere he starts posting again and on his first post back he craps on DF to stir the pot.



But he's not a plant, right? Sure.

Don from Catonsville     May 18
Why some people post in the comments here when they seem to have such disdain for Drew is beyond me. Herman for example or he who claims to be Herman. Just move on to some other sports site.

At the same time I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy with the outrage over the Saudi Golf league. The NBA and life in general is wrapped around depending on China . China makes the Saudi seem like just schoolyard bullies IMO

Biff H     May 18
Here they come to save the day. SOD….SOD….SOD…..SOD…..

GM     May 18
Larry with the home run comment of the day. "I've stopped posting, but here's a post."

Larry     May 18
LOL.

Herman writes: Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting.

And then he posts 1,000 words anyway.

You can't buy this comedy on the street. It's priceless.

HERMAN     May 18
Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting. That along with the ridiculous takes by both the site owner and majority of commentators. The holier-than-thou pontification about the new Saudi league, and joy found over the trials and tribulations of Phil and Ricky are not just sad to read but a bit disgusting. The ways in which your daily life is intertwined with both the Saudis and China, two abhorrent governing bodies, is so pervasive as to make each of us complicit. Every visit to the pump places you in direct connection with the Saudis. Every visit to any market puts you in touch with China. This idea that the Saudi League is "tainted" by association is completely ridiculous. Drive a gas powered vehicle you enrich the Saudis, an electric you enrich the Chinese. So woven are they both in our daily lives. The Saudi money is involved in just about every venture, the Musk buy of Twitter revealed them to be a major investor. Has that stopped our "Hooded4Iron" site owner from posting on Twitter?

Spare me the outrage over Phil's dance with them. Competition is good, just the threat has already influenced purses and compensation from the PGA. Why the hate for an organization shoving extreme amounts of cash into the game you love? From our government, to our major companies, to the pump the Saudis touch everything, and thereby touch you. You'd have to be monastic to avoid it.

And the Ricky Fowler bashing, Good God. He made it to the show, he competed at the highest levels, got rich doing it, lives a life here in nearby Jupiter that would be the envy of all. If his career is "done", and he goes the way of so many others that saw only brief success on tour, so be it. But he got there, he tried, he succeeded against the best in the world. Every blue tee I know would kill to have his life and lifestyle. Yet guys not fit to shine his golf shoes seem to revel in his struggle. It's ridiculous.

Who the site owner picks to win a major means no more to me than the next guy I pass on the street. His love of the Messiah is well documented here. As is my own disdain.

Enjoy the tournament.


Eric in Gaithersburg     May 18
I love how the expert throws out Aberdeen record cause it doesnt fit his narrative lol. He will make a great employee at PMSNBC ot FoxNews. Or the fact that Adley has had 30AB or that many of Norfolk best have been up with Os or that minor league records are useless. The fact that Grayson, Prieto, G Henderson and many others are playing well or that Stowers and Westburg are struggling are what matters.

Paul T.     May 17
They had 12,200 in the stadium last night to see the O's? I'd call that a miracle based on the 4,000 crowds they had earlier in the season. Business is picking up.

Lee     May 17
I agree with JP that it would be really funny to see Herman's head blow off if he saw Drew pick Tiger to win in tomorrow's edition of the Dish.

Jon     May 17
Unless he changes his mind, Drew said on his golf radio show last Sunday that Rory is his pick to win the PGA.

TimD in Timonium     May 17
Rickie's crossed the $40M threshold in career earnings on the PGA. Nice work."He is the Mercedes Benz global ambassador since 2016 after being their brand ambassador in the US since 2013. Fowler is also associated with other top companies like Cobra (Puma), Rocket Mortgage, and Farmers Insurance." So, do your sponsors follow along to the Saudi tour? Maybe Mercedes does.

CIK     May 17
My source tell me DF picks Rory to win

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Drew is picking Spieth to win.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Frew is picking Spieth to win.

kj     May 17
Poor @JP. Guess it's just me, can't see any reason why anyone would care a) who DF picks and b) what Herman's reaction might be. But hey, whatever floats your boat right?

I get the disdain for this league that is "doing business with the Saudis", but if somehow this format was put together without involving despots and murderers, would it be viewed more positively as an alternative to the current PGA Tour format? Perhaps that is not viable without oil money or China, just wondering if the "improvements" Phil and now Fowler reference have some legs on their own merit.

I get not wanting to support Saudis, not questioning that at all. Just wondering if this different pay for play model might be an improvement over the current setup, from a financial standpoint, for most players? Or not really?

BTW, finishing T33 every week seems like a good living to me, where can I sign up for that lol??

J.P.     May 17
If @DF picks Tiger Woods to win the PGA just to dig at @Herman, I'll laugh all day tomorrow.

Chris     May 17
Great article on Fowler today. Seems like you've hit it right on the head. If he still wants to make $$ playing golf he'll probably have to jump to one of those renegade groups to do it. So long Ricky!

Wednesday
May 18, 2022
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2823


it's time for rory's "return to glory"


When Tiger Woods won the 2019 Masters to collect his first major championship since 2008, Jim Nantz authored one of the greatest summaries in the history of televised sports.

"The return...to glory," Nantz said as Tiger rolled in a short putt on the 18th green to win his 5th green jacket.

That was it in a nutshell and Nantz hit it perfectly.

"The return...to glory."

Will we see a Rory fist pump on Sunday afternoon at Southern Hills CC?

It's a shame Nantz used that in 2019 because it would be incredibly spot-on this Sunday afternoon when Rory McIlroy stands in the winner's circle at Southern Hills to win his first major championship since 2014.

"And now, here's Rory for par at 18," Nantz would whisper as McIlroy settles in over an 18 inch putt.

"It must be comforting to know you can three putt from here and still win," Nick Faldo adds, for pretty much no reason at all.

As McIlroy takes the putter back and through and the ball disappears into the cup, Rory raises his arms in triumph.

"The return...to glory," Nantz would quickly announce.

Except Nantz can use that line this Sunday when Rory, our projected winner at #DMD, captures the PGA Championship.

A win for Rory this Sunday would, indeed, mark a return to glory for the 33 year old from Northern Ireland. McIlroy has been one of the game's top 5 players for the last decade, with four career majors and 20 total wins on the PGA Tour, but he hasn't won a major since capturing the 2014 PGA Championship, which was then played in August every year.

It's not like McIlroy has become a stiff or anything like that. He's still one of the top 10 players in the world, no matter what the rankings actually say. But he won four majors in radid-fire fashion from 2011 to 2014 and much was expected of him. That Rory hasn't won a major in 8 years is probably the biggest surprise story of the PGA Tour during that time span.

Despite not winning in eight years, McIlroy has performed well in majors, though, which is one reason why we consider him our "favorite" heading into tomorrow's first round. He has 7 top-5 finishes and 7 more top-10 finishes in majors since his win at the 2014 PGA, so it's not like McIlroy has suddenly become Ken Duke or anything like that.

The only piece of data that sticks out against Rory contending and/or winning this week is his driving accuracy percentage, which sits at 59.85% and puts him in the bottom third of TOUR players at 115th. If Rory only hits 60% of the fairways this week at Southern Hills, he could be in trouble. That number, come late Sunday afternoon, will have to be more like 65% in order for him to be in the hunt. Hitting it long is important over the next four days, but so, too is hitting it in the fairway off the tee.

Otherwise, Rory's play in 2022 has been excellent. He's second on the entire TOUR in scoring average at 69.45 and he's 40th in birdie average (per-round) at 4.12.

He's played 7 events, made the cut in 6 of them, and has finished inside the top 10 in his last two events, the Masters and the Wells Fargo. That he's only played one TOUR event since mid-April might be a concern this week, but it's Rory McIlroy we're talking about here. He knows what he's doing.

We've been thinking about Rory at Southern Hills all spring. It seems like the perfect backdrop for his 5th career major title. The pre-tournament talk has been mostly about Tiger, Phil, Saudi golf, Spieth, Scheffler and...Tiger, Phil and Saudi golf. No one has given Rory much thought or attention, which is probably a much-needed bonus for him.

Editor's note: We'll jump in here to say that we were really, really gung-ho about McIlroy's chances right up until yesterday's pairings were released by the PGA of America and Rory will play Thursday and Friday with Tiger and Jordan Spieth. Now we're just "gung ho" about his chances this week. We're still calling a Rory win because that's what we've been thinking for a month or more, but that pairing could wind up hurting McIlroy for sure. It's here where we'll give you one other name to consider winning -- someone we didn't even list in our top 10: Hideki Matsuyama. He's played great golf for 18 months now and his once-troublesome-putting has really come around over the last 12 months. The "gung ho" we lost on McIlroy has been heaped onto Matsuyama. So our top 10 is now a top 11, if you will.

There's no telling what Jim Nantz will say early Sunday evening when the winner knocks in the winning putt at Southern Hills. If you believe him -- and he's told me this in various interviews over the years -- Nantz doesn't think of his "winning call" in advance of the event. He might give it some thought during the final round of the tournament as the leaderboard starts to take shape, but Nantz has said often that he doesn't have it prepared in advance.

What would he say, for instance, if Tiger somehow wins on Sunday at Southern Hills?

"No one has ever won more," Nantz might shout if Woods wins the PGA for his record-breaking 83rd career victory.

"It's Spieth's grand triumph," he might say if Jordan Spieth winds up winning on Sunday to complete the grand slam.

"That's two straight for Scottie," could be the commentary if Scottie Scheffler wins and captures his second major in as many tries.

But what about Rory?

"The return...to glory," has already been used.

So?

"The long wait...is over," might be a perfect way to describe Rory's win this Sunday.

It's been a long wait indeed. Eight years, in fact. And it's time for McIlroy to triumph once again.

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The Stats Nerd
And His Numbers


Contributed by #DMD's data and numbers analyst
The Stats Nerd


can't measure heart, eh?


With the Stanley Cup playoffs set to start Round 2 on Tuesday evening, the Caps are, of course, no longer participating. In the end, the goaltending they got was *fine*. But by all metrics they were largely outplayed throughout the series. I don’t think this is surprising considering they played the President’s Cup winners without Tom Wilson.

I thought they were fairly even (perhaps even a bit better) in the first 3 games but the last 3 games the stats were heavily skewed in favor of the Panthers. The ice was tilted in hockey parlance.

There have been times in the past where they were clearly the “better team” but did not win. Such was not the case this year. The Caps looked old and slow because, well, they are old and slow. That doesn’t mean they couldn’t have won but neutral zone turnovers, failure to get pucks in deep and failure to capitalize on breakaway opportunities doomed them in the series.

How much of Alex Ovechkin's and the Capitals' playoff loss to Florida was about "heart"?

I remember vividly the Caps coming off their 2009-2010 President’s Cup season running into a red hot Jaroslav Halak and the Canadians and ultimately bowing out in Game 7. That one hurt.

In hockey, perhaps more than any other sport, one team can outplay the other and still lose due to one player: the goalkeeper. I’m not sure there is a comparable figure in any sport whose impact can be so outsized. We saw an example of that in this year’s first round with the Penguins and Rangers. For context: I’m the biggest Pens hater around..hate the uniform, hate the stupid towels and hate Sid’s face. But they were by far the better team in the 7 game series.

By virtually any metric the Penguins were the better team on the ice. They had far more Expected Goals than the Rangers, they had far better shooting metrics and nearly double the high and medium danger shots as their opponent. If you prefer traditional statistics, they had one more goal, had over 40 more shots on goal, had fewer penalty minutes and won the faceoff battle 57%-43%. It could have been a bloodbath.

Why didn’t that happen? A goalie. The Rangers had Igor Shesterkin who is likely to win the Vezina this year as the league’s best goalie. The Penguins were forced to use essentially an AHL goalie in the form of Louis Domingue. Shesterkin wasn’t necessarily that great in this series. He was above average but not otherworldly as he had been for large parts of the season.

In every statistical category the Penguins goaltending was horrid. Amongst goalies that played at least 3 games their goalie ranked dead last in virtually every category: Goals Saved Above Expected-last, Save % Above Expected-last, WAR-last, you name it he was the worst goalie in round 1.

So when New York Post columnist Larry Brooks wrote Monday morning that “The analytics community still has not devised a formula that measures heart”, I had to chuckle. This had nothing to do with “heart” whatever the hell that means.

If heart were the issue would the ice have been so completely tilted in favor of the Pens? Wouldn’t that heart have manifested itself in a better showing amongst the Rangers skaters? No it wasn’t heart. A lazy, indecipherable phrase that really means nothing. It’s not descriptive and it clearly wasn’t something seen on the ice in this series.

What actually occurred was one goalie was above average and carried his team while the other goalie was terrible. That’s it. If either team has an average goalie in net for the series, The Rangers are playing golf today. Fortunately for them they have Shesterkin.

This doesn’t diminish the Rangers at all. They have elite level talent all over the ice. Panarin and Zibanejad are two of the best players in the world. Adam Fox is amongst the 3 or so best D-men in the game.

And the goalie is one of the 6 players on the ice at any given time and is the only player that remains on it for the whole game. He is a vital part of any team. It’s perfectly reasonable to say the skaters for Pittsburgh were far superior throughout the series but the guy in net won them the series.

I don’t know why people love to hate data so much. It’s really odd. All the data does is support the eye test. The Penguins were running the Rangers out of the building for most of the series. Except they had poor goaltending. Bottom line.


Well I went 6 for 8 in my picks for the first round of the NHL playoffs. But I was completely off on the flow and expectation in most of the series. So let’s try again and see what I can come up with for Round 2. (Note: All predictions were made prior to any games played on Tuesday evening.)

Eastern Conference –

Lightning vs. Panthers – The Caps did some good things at times against the Panthers (PK and PP for example). I would expect the Lightning to do the same. Honestly I wasn’t as impressed with Florida as I expected to be. They are vulnerable. But Tampa will be without arguably their best player (Brayden Point) for potentially several games. I also don’t think the whole comeback thing that the Panthers have relied upon is a sustainable approach. At some point that jumps up and bites them in the rear. I think this is the place where it ends. Lightning in 7.

Rangers vs. Hurricanes – For some reason, I’m not a buyer of Carolina. Statistically they should be the better team here. They won a fairly even series in 7 with Boston. The Rangers have the better goalie again and while their skaters were thoroughly outplayed in the Penguins series I think they have more to offer. Really torn on this series but I just have a hard time seeing Shesterkin bailing them out again so I’ll reluctantly go Hurricanes in 7.

Western Conference –

Avalanche vs. Blues - Avs are a track meet on ice. They are so much fun to watch. If there is going to be a sweep in this round I would guess this is the series it comes from. Too much top line talent for Colorado so I like Avs in 5.

Oilers vs. Flames - The Flames were a disappointment to me in Round 1. They played an inferior Dallas team and were taken to 7 games. I thought they would have overwhelmed them. Edmonton relies so much on 4 or 5 players (2 if we are being completely honest) that I can’t see them going too far. In the end I think they figure their stuff out and so I go Flames in 7.


In my last article, I presented the NCAA’s findings of average games played by NFL players drafted in each round. My takeaway is that a lot of draft choices don’t play very long in the NFL and generally I agree with The Ravens goal of trying to increase draft capital (picks). That increases their odds of hitting on quality starters just by virtue of increased chances.

Someone asked me in the comments to apply the NCAA study methodology to the Ravens draft picks and see what those results look like. As a reminder the period covered was the 2012-2021 drafts.

Round/Average Games Played (NFL)/Average Games Played (Ravens)

1 / 62 / 51

2 / 56 / 68

3 / 48 / 45

4 / 44 / 42

5 / 41 / 34

6 / 33 / 32

7 / 28 / 20

I would be careful to read a ton into this. First, we are taking a somewhat large 10 year sample (somewhere around 320 players each round over 10 years) and applying it to a relatively small sample of Ravens draft picks. Secondly, the Ravens had 6 1st round selections but only 1 2nd round selection in the period 2018-2021. Therefore, the numbers are skewed a bit in these sample populations.

For example, Baltimore had 2, 2021 1st rounders. By definition, they could only have played 17 games each thus dragging down the 1st round average. Alternatively, the LA Rams have not made a 1st round selection since 2016 so presumably their average would be much higher relatively.

I think the league wide statistic is more meaningful than a team specific statistic in this case.

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"Regular Joe"
on the 2022 Orioles and their minor league teams


"Regular Joe" has been following the Orioles for the better part of four decades. He'll be our eyes and ears in 2022 on both the Orioles and their various minor league teams as the Birds look to rebuild a winner in Baltimore.


oriole letdown, and the yankees are really good


It is time to take a look around the major leagues, and maybe pick a favorite team to root for in 2022, since the Orioles certainly won’t be a factor in the playoff races.

must say this past week was a cluster for the Orioles, both on the field but even more so in the front office. If I were Brandon Hyde, I may have called in sick last weekend, once he realized the team Mike Elias and company provided in Detroit.

Injuries to Mountcastle, Hays and Mateo have hurt, and because the Orioles chose not to maintain a major league caliber bench and thus can’t withstand injuries, the Os left Detroit after scoring 3 runs and garnering 16 hits over the entire three games. We were swept easily by the worst team in the American League.

Aaron Judge hit two HR's for the Yankees last night as New York improved to 27-9 on the year.

If that isn’t enough of an absolute embarrassment, our much-heralded farm system, except for the Aberdeen Ironbirds, now sit more than 20 games below .500. Number one prospect Adley Rutschman is batting under .200 at Triple A, delaying his call-up despite our best homestand of the year. In the meantime, the big club will continue to trot out catchers Robinson Chirinos and Anthony Bemboom, neither of whom are hitting .150.

I will stop there, and hope we can be competitive in a few of these next 8 games, which are all against the Yankees and the Rays. I was at Tuesday night’s contest, and despite being a close game, looked like the men against the boys out there. I know it doesn’t matter to the Orioles, but to me losing is the worst.

As I look around the AL, I must admit I vastly underestimated the Yankees. They are threatening to run away with the East, as they already lead the persistent Rays by 5 games. I picked them to not win 93 games; at 27-9 they may reach that total by Labor Day. Their “x” factor will be injuries – if they stay healthy (still a big “if”), the Yanks will be tough to catch. Toronto has been a disappointment at 20-17, despite outstanding starts from pitchers Kevin Gausman and Alek Manoah, who have combined to go 7-2 with a 2ish ERA. The Red Sox and Orioles are both looking up from the basement and will likely miss their win totals as predicted.

In the Central, the Twins are off to a nice 21-15 start, and have a 3 game lead over the White Sox and Guardians. Only OF Byron Buxton (11 HRs) is hitting the ball well, but they may have found a good starter in Joe Ryan, who is 4-2 with a low ERA. Their pitching will be challenged though, as starter Chris Paddack has been placed on the 60 day IL and the other starters are retreads Dylan Bundy, Chris Archer and Sonny Gray. I expect the White Sox to recover after a slow start owing to an unusual rash of injuries. The Royals and Tigers are in the Orioles and Red Sox category noted above.

Out West, we also have the theme of the haves and the have nots. The Astros and Angels are both ten games over .500, while the Mariners, As and Rangers are awful. Houston and Los Angeles are both balanced, ranking in the top 7 in pitching and hitting across the majors. Mike Trout has reminded us he is still one of baseball’s best players, hitting over .300 with 20 RBI. It is hard to believe he is only 30, as Trout is already in his 12th season.

In the National League, Buck Showalter’s Mets have been outstanding, going 24-14 and opening up a 5 game lead on the Phillies. New York’s starters have carried the team, led by off-season acquisitions Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt, who have combined for 8 wins already over 86 innings. The defending world champion Braves are floundering, and need their star outfielder Ronald Acuna to bolster their lineup after almost a month on the injured list. The Nationals will fight the Orioles all year for worst team in the Baltimore-Washington area, and maybe the whole eastern seaboard.

Milwaukee and St Louis are the only relevant teams in the NL Central. I have to give credit to the Brewers, who just win games without flashy stars or stats. They are led by their pitching, with above average starters who already have 14 wins, and a lights out closer, ex-Oriole Josh Hader, who has 14 saves. This is a very weak division and Milwaukee is primed to run away with it. The Reds, who have been relatively hot after a 3-21 start, will struggle to win 50 games.

The NL West is baseball’s best so far, and it is not close. The division is 25 games over .500, and the Dodgers, Padres, and Giants should battle it out all year for one of baseball’s best races. Los Angeles’ starters are already 18-4, led by my pre-season Cy Young choice Walker Buehler. Ex-Oriole Manny Machado is leading the majors in hitting at almost .360 for the Padres, and Eric Hosmer, who spent the spring on the trading block is hitting .350 with a .900+ OPS.

We are at the approximate quarter pole for MLB, and we can already see who most of the real contenders are for playoff spots. In my opinion this is a big problem for major league baseball, where fans in many cities like our own are already packing it in for the season.

It seems to me MLB should be looking for ideas from the NFL and NBA to help develop a way to level the playing field. In my mind, baseball needs spending floors and tanking penalties (or something similar), to make more teams relevant through the summer.

As you can probably tell, I am growing tired of the Orioles’ major league product and promises for a brighter future. I hope they prove me wrong.

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner
Tuesday
May 17, 2022
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2822


for fowler, new start might make most "cents"


Sense.

Cents.

Both words work for Rickie Fowler, who yesterday kicked off his preparations for this week's PGA Championship by stunning the assembled media at Southern Hills with a declaration that he's still not sure if he's staying on the PGA Tour or bolting for one of the rival circuits that have popped up in the last year.

In all fairness to Rickie, it makes total sense for the one time #4 player in the world to move on to either the Saudi Golf League or Premier Golf League. His days on the PGA Tour aren't numbered or anything like that, but it's clear to Fowler and everyone else watching that he's no longer able to beat any of the top players.

He can still make a nice living out there, scooping up hundreds of thousands in prize money and another million or more from his loyal-to-a-fault corporate sponsors. Have no worry for Rickie Fowler -- he'll never again look at the price of the Tomahawk steak on any chop house menu. But the reality is, he's not making nearly what he once did when he was actually playing outstanding golf.

Would Rickie Fowler really jump ship at this stage in his career?

So when the Saudi Golf League or the Premier Golf League pushes their offer in front of Fowler, he'd be foolish to not give it a long, hard look, which is exactly what he admitted to on Monday when he met with the media at Southern Hills CC.

“To be straightforward with you guys, I haven't necessarily made a decision one way or the other,” Fowler said. “I've mentioned in the past, do I currently think that the PGA Tour is the best place to play? I do. Do I think it can be better? Yes."

Fowler, who has one top 5-finish in the last year, didn't stop there.

“So I think it's an interesting position. Obviously there's the LIV and Premier, as well. These tours or leagues or whatever, they wouldn't really be coming up if they didn't see that there was more opportunity out there … I think competition ultimately makes people better, whether it's business, sport. So it's interesting, that's for sure.”

The Saudi Golf League has a platform that includes guaranteed "salaries", if you will, for players who sign up for all of their events, plus lucrative tournament purses that could include as much as $20 million for winning just one time. The Premier Golf League is giving players an equity position in the company in addition to other forms of guaranteed monies and tournament purses.

Fowler would be smart to jump on with one of those other two and admit what everyone else has seen over the last three years; his time as a world class golfer on the PGA Tour has reached its expiration date.

Oh, sure, Rickie Fowler could still put together four decent rounds and win again on the TOUR. He could beat a lukewarm field in Napa, California in October or maybe win one of those tournaments in Puerto Rico or the Dominican when the good players are all playing in a major championship and the rest of the great unwashed get to play at some other obscure location. Fowler could win again, someday, but his days making Ryder Cup teams and contending at majors are likely finished.

And it could turn out to be a match made in heaven, particularly for Greg Norman and the Saudi Golf League, who would probably look at Fowler as a major coup in their continued quest to turn the PGA Tour upside down.

Fowler wouldn't be a major coup, of course. He's just a player now, no better or worse than, say, Jason Kokrak or Kevin Na, two other names you've heard floating around recently that seem bound to sign on with the Saudi circuit. Fowler is much more well known than either of those two, but golf-wise, the three are fairly comparable. The Saudis, though, are looking for flash over substance, which Fowler clearly specializes in these days.

Joining forces with those despicable people that oversee the Saudi Golf League would be a terrible look for Fowler, don't get me wrong. He'd move right to the top of "sell your soul for money" list. But Fowler might not have any other options, unless he wants to just continue scrambling to make cuts and finishing T33 in most events he enters on the PGA Tour.

If Rickie wants to diminish the amount of character questions he'd no doubt endure, jumping over to the Premier Golf League (assuming it actually does get started at some point) might be the better way to go for him. The Premier League is run by a group of English businessmen, which is a far cry from the dirty money being doled out by the Saudis.

Fowler really has three choices; He can keep "digging it out of the dirt" and try to find his game again on the PGA Tour, which could take months, years or, sadly, it might not ever come around to the extent that he returns to top form. But Fowler has made a great living on the TOUR over the last 15 years and there are certain comments about Rickie "owing it to the TOUR" to stick around and make the best of the situation he's created for himself.

Fowler could jump to one of the rival leagues, which would definitely make his golfing life much easier. Heck, as it stands right now, Rickie would be odds-on-favorite to go toe-to-toe with Sergio Garcia in the first LIV Golf (Saudi) tournament in London early next month. Once Fowler tees it up in that event, though, his career on the PGA Tour is all but done. I assume he knows that. And perhaps he doesn't care at this point.

Rickie Fowler has always been looked upon as a great ambassador of the sport. His countless corporate sponsorships would indicate that he's a guy you want on your team. Good golf or bad golf, one thing you can say about Fowler is that he helped grow the game in a fairly big way in the United States over the last 15 years. He'd done as much for golf as golf has done for him, I'd say.

But he's a perfect fit for the Saudi Golf League. Once that circuit realized they couldn't coax the game's greatest players into playing for them, they went for the next best thing: marquee value. And Fowler, despite not being able to contend on the TOUR any longer, still has lots of that left.

Sense. And cents. Either way, Fowler probably realizes his time on the PGA Tour has come to an end, and a move to one of the new golf leagues is, quite sadly, his new, best, and perhaps only option.


Make that four losses in a row for our Baby'ish Birds, who fell to the Yankees last night in Baltimore, 6-2.

Not that anyone needs any convincing that attendance at OPACY is a legitimate concern, but the "crowd" on Monday evening was 12,228.

To see the Yankees.

Anthony Santander had two HR's for the O's in Monday's 6-2 loss to the Yankees.

Oriole accountants must be sick to their stomachs.

That's what happens, though, when the schedule makers don't grace the O's with a weekend home series with the Yankees, as they did earlier this season. In that instance, droves of Yankees fans make the trek to Camden Yards and spend gobs of money watching the Bronx Bombers play in what we all jokingly refer to as "Yankee Stadium South".

On a Monday night? In May? A school night and all? 12,228 is what you get.

To see the Yankees.

If it's the Mariners or Rangers or Tigers in town on a Monday night in May, you'd probably do handstands if 12,228 jammed their way into the stadium. But 12,228 to see the Yankees? Not. Very. Good.

Alas, we're hoping those days are coming to an end in Baltimore, right? Once the team gets good again, you'll stop seeing those kinds of attendance numbers in Baltimore. That's the plan, anyway.

The Yankees, meanwhile, are off to a scorching start to the '22 campaign, currently sitting at 26-9 after last night's win over the O's. They already have a 5.5 game lead in the A.L. East.

As for our Baby'ish Birds, two home runs from Anthony Santander were all they could produce on Monday evening. The O's only had three hits in total last night.

It might not get much better in the next day or two, either, as the Yankees send Jameson Taillon and Gerrit Cole to the mound on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. Taillon has allowed just 10 earned runs in 30 innings of work this season and Cole, when he figures out a discreet, convenient place to hide the Spider Tack he uses to doctor the ball, is one of the league's top starters.

The Birds will counter with Spenser Watkins tonight and Jordan Lyles on Wednesday, in case you care.

Based on last night's attendance, you probably don't care. But you will soon enough, friend. It's all going to start changing in the near future and you'll be back.


Our friend Stats Nerd mentioned in the comments yesterday that Kevin Van Valkenburg of ESPN.com helped produce a lengthy piece about the recent fall of Phil Mickelson.

It is, as Stats Nerd asserted, an outstanding piece about Phil, who will miss this week's PGA Championship while still "battling" whatever it is that he's battling.

And so here's the story, for those who want to check it out.

It's a brilliant look at the last year of Mickelson's life and how this week should have been a celebration of sorts and, instead, turned into a weird collection of stories about Phil and how everything in his life crumbled in rapid fashion.

Oddly, Phil's appearance this week might have offset the Tiger Woods story that continues to percolate. Woods will always get his press, of course, but Mickelson playing at Southern Hills CC would have been a major story in its own right. Now, the only *real* story lines are Woods, Scheffler and Spieth. Everything else is just eye-wash, basically.


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our pga championship top 10


I still can't get used to this PGA Championship in May situation, but it's growing on me. I grew up in a time when the PGA was always in mid-August and was a fitting conclusion to the four major championships in golf.

Now that it's in May, it sort of sneaks up on me.

The second major of the '22 TOUR season is May 19-22 at Southern Hills CC in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Nick Price (PGA) and Retief Goossen (U.S. Open) both won major championships there. So did a guy named Tiger Woods, back in 2007. He captured the PGA at Southern Hills.

There are several interesting storylines heading into this year's second major.

Can Masters champion Scottie Scheffler continue his torrid 2022 season and capture the 2nd of this year's majors?

Is it finally the year Jordan Spieth completes the career grand slam and wins the PGA?

Are we going to see another "return to glory" for Tiger, who made the cut at Augusta National in his first tournament in 18 months.

Could this be the year one of golf's young newcomers steps into the major champion winner's circle? Someone like Viktor Hovland, maybe?

#DMD will give you our Top 10 and take you all the way up to day one of the PGA on Thursday, May 19.

#10 was Tony Finau. Talor Gooch came in at #9. Xander Schauffele was #8. We have Dustin Johnson at #7. Sam Burns was #6. Viktor Hovland is our #5. Will Zalatoris is #4. Masters champion Scottie Scheffler is #3.

Max Homa is yet another young American player who is ready for his breakthrough "major" moment.

#2 is Max Homa -- OK, a bit of an admission here. I was going to pick Homa to win right up until he won the Wells Fargo two weeks ago at TPC Potomac. Then I went with the odds and figured Homa isn't winning back-to-back starts. So I'm picking someone else to win in tomorrow's edition.

But I can't shy away from the fact that I love, love, love Homa's recent play and his emergence as a guy to watch this week at Southern Hills CC. I really think he has a great chance to perform well.

All of his important numbers are solid. Drives it far enough (302 yards), is accurate off the tee (62% of the fairways) and hits plenty of greens (66%). He ranks 29th on TOUR in birdies per-round at 4.20.

But more important than those numbers? Homa clearly believes he is a great player now. He knows he can win. He's having a terrific 2022 season. And we're of the mindset that he's going to play well this week at Southern Hills.

You can get him at 50-1 to win, which we think is a phenomenal number for a guy who has won twice this season already. If you have a spare $100 laying around, you could do a lot worse than throwing it on Homa to win this week.

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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 Tuesday here, he looks at recent performances of American players and highlights upcoming games of importance.


american and european soccer recap


This was a positive week for Americans abroad and at home in MLS. Several US attackers got on the scoreboard for their clubs in one of the final weekends of the European season. Two young prospects impressed in substitute appearances in the Dutch Eredivisie. In MLS several Americans continued their hot scoring streaks as they look to earn a spot on the roster for the USMNT in June.

In the European title races the drama heightened in the English Premier League, with Man City unable to clinch the crown. In Italy the top remained the same heading into the final weekend. There were some key results in the race for the final Champions League spots in both England and Germany. There was also a dramatic conclusion to the English FA Cup final between Liverpool and Chelsea.

Americans –

Tim Weah headlined the contributions from Americans this weekend. The Lille attacker delivered a goal and an assist in their 3-1 win over Nice. Starting on the wing, Weah assisted on the second Lille goal, receiving the ball wide on the right wing and cutting into the box then hitting a low cross in for Jonathan David to finish.

He then scored the third goal, intercepting a pass high up the field and then dribbling past the defender and the goalie to score on an open net. In addition to the goal and assist, Weah completed 23 of 34 passes and added five interceptions and six ball recoveries on defense. Weah should play a key role for the US in June.

Another important player for the US attack in June will be Christian Pulisic, who is playing his best soccer of the year at the conclusion of the season. Pulisic started for Chelsea in their midweek game against Leeds and scored a goal. He nearly had another later on in the 3-0 win. The goal came when Pulisic received the ball in space at the top of the box and bent a left footed shot around the keeper into the corner.

Pulisic was in the starting lineup again for Chelsea’s highly anticipated FA Cup final clash with Liverpool on Saturday. The Hershey, PA native was a strong performer again, but could not quite find the back of the net. He set up a good chance in the 20th minute by driving at the defense and playing left back Marcos Alonso into the box.

In the 23rd minute he had a good look in the box but hit his shot just wide of the post then later he set up Alonso again and then had a shot of his own that forced a tough save from the keeper.

The game was a tight defensive struggle, with Liverpool holding a slight edge in possession but neither team finding any major chances. Liverpool generated more shots but each team only ended with two shots on target.

Liverpool got off to a hot start to the game and had a few good chances through Luis Diaz who was dangerous throughout the game. They also had a couple of good looks from Diogo Jota, but ultimately neither team found the net in regulation time or overtime and the game went to a penalty shootout.

n the shootout, Cesar Azpilicueta missed for Chelsea, putting Liverpool in the driver’s seat, but then Sadio Mane’s penalty was saved as well. However, a Mason Mount miss set up left back substitute Konstantinos Tsimikas to seal the victory for Liverpool, with a 6-5 shootout win.

It was another devastating loss for Chelsea who lost to Liverpool in a shootout in the League Cup final as well in addition to their dramatic exit from the Champions League. For Liverpool the win keeps alive the hope of an unprecedented “Quadruple”, as they have now secured the League Cup and FA Cup and remain in contention for the Premier League title and the Champions League title.

Elsewhere in Europe, two young Americans made good impressions in late season sub roles in the Netherlands. Richard Ledezma subbed on early in the second half for PSV and had an outstanding game, scoring the game winning goal off a long ball over the top of the defense in a 2-1 win. Ledezma was 10 of 12 passing and won 5 of his 7 duels. The effort should put him on the radar for a larger role with the team next season.

Cole Bassett was a halftime sub for Feyenoord in a 1-0 win over Go Ahead Eagles. Bassett was solid in his appearance, connecting on 14 of 17 passes and creating two good chances.

Striker Haji Wright continued to pad his stats in his breakout season in Turkey. Wright scored a goal and assisted another in Antalyaspor’s 4-2 win over Kasimpasa. Wright has been on fire as the Turkish season comes to a close and has done everything he can possibly do to earn a call up to the US roster in June.

Back home in MLS, Djordje Mihailovic and Jesus Ferreira both extended their scoring streaks. Mihailovic got on the end of a cross in the box for a goal in a 2-0 win over Charlotte for CF Montreal.

Ferreira scored two goals in a 3-1 FC Dallas win over the LA Galaxy. The goals put Ferreira top of the league in goals scored. In addition he helped create two other chances, one of which ended in a goal for fellow USMNT member Paul Arriola. Midfielder Paxton Pomykal also stood out with a good performance in the win for Dallas as he looks for a chance to win one of the final midfield spots for the US in June.

In Seattle, Cristian Roldan scored an impressive long range goal for the Seattle Sounders in their 3-1 win over Minnesota. The USMNT midfielder helped create three other chances and also won a penalty kick for Seattle.

England –

While Liverpool was off from the league for the weekend to play in the aforementioned FA Cup final, Man City had a chance to lock up the title with a win away to West Ham. After going down 2-0 in the first half, Man City fought back and tied the game in the second half on an own goal forced by a dangerous Riyad Mahrez free kick.

City then earned a penalty late in the second half when Gabriel Jesus was fouled in the box. This set the stage for a Riyad Mahrez penalty that could put them on their way to the title. It was not to be though, as the West Ham keeper saved the Mahrez penalty and the Hammers held on for a 2-2 draw.

The draw leaves Man City in first with a three point lead, but Liverpool has two games remaining to just one for Man City. Despite that, Man City still controls their own destiny and a win next weekend against Aston Villa will make them the Champions. Liverpool will need to beat Southampton on Tuesday and Wolves on Sunday and get some help from Aston Villa if they want to capture the third leg of their quadruple quest.

Further down in the standings, there was a shakeup in the race for the final Champions League spot. Tottenham beat Arsenal 3-0 on Thursday in a head to head North London showdown between fourth and fifth place. They carried that momentum into the weekend and squeaked by Burnley with a 1-0 win on a Harry Kane penalty. Arsenal was then upset by Newcastle on Monday in a 2-0 loss which drops them below Tottenham.

The results leave Tottenham in fourth place with a two point lead over Arsenal heading into the final weekend. Tottenham will face Norwich City while Arsenal will take on Everton.

At the bottom of the table, Jesse Marsch and Leeds bounced back from their midweek loss to Chelsea with a last second equalizer to pull out a draw over the weekend. The draw keeps their hopes of staying in the Premier League alive going into the final weekend, but they will likely need a win and some help to avoid relegation.

Italy –

In the Italian Serie A the top two remained locked in place with AC Milan inching closer to the title after a 2-0 win over Atalanta. Winger Rafael Leao and left back Theo Hernandez provided goals to defeat a tough Atalanta team. Hernandez’s goal was one of the best of the season anywhere in Europe as the defender picked up the ball near the edge of his own box and dribbled the length of the field through multiple defenders before slotting a shot past the keeper. Inter Milan won their game against Cagliari as well, keeping pace at two points behind the leaders heading into the final weekend.

Germany –

The German Bundesliga concluded its season this weekend. The only real drama was in the race for the fourth and final Champions League spot. RB Leipzig needed at least a draw to stay ahead of Freiburg and they got just that against Arminia Bielefeld. Holding on for a 1-1 draw in a disappointing effort against the relegated team. However, third place Bayer Leverkusen did Leipzig a favor, beating Freiburg 2-1 and securing the Champions League spot for Tyler Adams and RB Leipzig.

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner
Monday
May 16, 2022
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2821


what could have been...


I hate to start Monday off with a "shoulda, coulda, woulda" column, but man, this could have been some kind of week for good ol' Bawlmer.

Just imagine, for a second, if you will.

The Preakness is run this Saturday (*checks notes to make sure*) and we have a complete upstart coming to town with a Kentucky Derby shocker under his belt. The talk all week will be about Rich Strike and the question that follows him around: "Can he do it again?"

Except...

The Derby winner not showing up at Pimlico? He better have a valid doctor's note.

The horse isn't coming to Pimlico after all. No Triple Crown threat, no upstart on the scene and, needless to say, far less interest in the race than we might have been seen had the Derby winner entered the Preakness.

What a bummer.

But someone else not showing up in Baltimore today is an even bigger disappointment. Preakness? Who really cares? But Adley Rutschman was supposed to make his Major League debut tonight against the Yankees at Camden Yards. That moment, much to everyone's chagrin, has been temporarily delayed for reasons no one knows.

We could have had ourselves a week in Baltimore, huh?

Rutschman comes up, against the Yankees no less, and starts his six-year Orioles tenure with a 7-game homestand. And then we have the Preakness on Saturday with Rich Strike looking to nail down the second leg of horse racing's Triple Crown.

Alas, neither of those are happening. At least not as far as we know at this point, anyway. Rutschman could still be brought up at any point, although you have to assume the O's are looking at the financial benefits far more than the baseball benefits, which means it might be early June before we see the former #1 pick behind the plate in Baltimore.

As for Rich Strike, that horse's legs better be ready to fall off, that's all I have to say. Passing up the Preakness after you've won the Derby? #clownshoes

Sure, I'm more hurt for Baltimore than I am the race itself or the horse and his shot at glory or anything like that. I mean, in the end, it's just a horse race. And based on the enthusiasm level for the event that we've seen diminish in Baltimore over the last decade, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who actually knows the inner workings of Rich Strike's decision and how/why it was done in the first place.

Most people see a horse and say, "It's a race, put him in there and let him run around the track for 2 minutes."

What Baltimore lost, sadly, was the build up this week and the idea that perhaps something special might happen at Pimlico. Who *really* cares if the horse would have finished 7th or 1st? It's the anticipation, the discussion and the excitement that make the Preakness an event worth attending. The actual race itself? Over before you know it.

But instead of Adley and Rich Strike we get Orioles vs. Yankees and a Preakness that no one cares about.

It was shaping up to be a wild week in Baltimore. Then, out of nowhere, it turned into a dud.


There's nothing like playoff hockey, other than Game 7 playoff hockey, and then there's nothing at all like playoff Game 7 hockey that goes to overtime.

We got two of those last night. Game 7 at the Garden went to overtime and so, too, did Game 7 in Calgary.

Man, the folks in the NHL have to figure out a way to get playoff intensity into their regular season. If they could do that, hockey would be the #1 spectator sport in the country.

The Rangers nipped the Penguins in overtime to win that series, 4-3, as New York came back from a 3-1 series deficit to eliminate Pittsburgh. To a lot of Capitals fans, seeing the Penguins get ousted is akin to seeing the Steelers miss a late field goal that would have sent them to the AFC playoffs. Personally, the Pens never bothered me all that much, but I get it.

The Rangers and Hurricanes will now play in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Semifinals, with Tampa Bay and Florida doing battle in the other ECS.

In the other sudden death thriller, Calgary finally got rid of pesky Dallas with a 3-2 home win that took almost 16 minutes of overtime to decide. Both teams had chances to win it earlier in the extra session and the hockey displayed between the two teams was glorious.

Meanwhile, yesterday, the Caps were doing what they normally do in mid-May: playing golf.

The organization will start the process of trying to figure out "what happened" in the '21-22 campaign and how a better team can be constructed next season, but this is clearly a franchise on the downturn and the only thing they really have going for them at this point is Ovechkin's pursuit of Gretzky's career goal scoring mark, which could still take the better part of two full seasons to materialize and take shape.

In a perfect world, this would probably be the time you let Ovechkin wander off to another team to finish out his Hall of Fame career and the Caps, in response to that, would start rebuilding for the future. But the goal-scoring record is a business enterprise all on its own. The Capitals stand to make a lot of money in a couple of years, assuming Ovi stays healthy and eventually gets in the mid 850's for career goals scored.

So there will be some changes in D.C., for sure, but Ovechkin's going nowhere and the basic nuts and bolts of the on-ice product will stay intact.

What's that mean for '22-23? Unless they make a major trade or snag a key free agent or two (with limited cap space unless they get creative), you're probably looking at a Caps team that will have to fight like crazy for a wild card playoff berth next season. This is *not* a club on the upswing, in other words.


We almost had a popular winner on the PGA Tour yesterday, but Jordan Spieth's eagle chip at the last hole just missed going in and K.H. Lee fired a final round 63 to win the Byron Nelson Classic for the second straight year.

Spieth is rounding into great shape for this week's PGA Championship, which starts Thursday at Southern Hills CC in Tulsa. The PGA is the only major the former University of Texas star has never won.

In the wake of "Phil Gate" and this fiasco the Saudi Golf League has created, golf needs something *special* to happen at the PGA. Tiger winning would be special. Scottie Scheffler going 2-for-2 in '22 majors would be special. But Spieth winning? Honestly, other than Tiger, that would be the ultimate story from this week in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Despite the emergence of Scheffler and some recent successful and entertaining play from the likes of Max Homa, the American that everyone wants to see get back in the limelight is Spieth. He's no needle mover like Tiger, or even Rory for that matter, but Jordan can still create a stir when he's in town for a tournament. And unlike a fellow American who lost his way and hasn't made it back yet -- Rickie Fowler -- Spieth has been to the dark side and has recovered nicely, with a win last season and another one a month ago at Hilton Head.

He's coming into the PGA in fine form, is Spieth.

If it can't be Tiger or Scheffler this week, let it be Jordan who holds up the trophy on Sunday evening.

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I still can't get used to this PGA Championship in May situation, but it's growing on me. I grew up in a time when the PGA was always in mid-August and was a fitting conclusion to the four major championships in golf.

Now that it's in May, it sort of sneaks up on me.

The second major of the '22 TOUR season is May 19-22 at Southern Hills CC in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Nick Price (PGA) and Retief Goossen (U.S. Open) both won major championships there. So did a guy named Tiger Woods, back in 2007. He captured the PGA at Southern Hills.

There are several interesting storylines heading into this year's second major.

Can Masters champion Scottie Scheffler continue his torrid 2022 season and capture the 2nd of this year's majors?

Is it finally the year Jordan Spieth completes the career grand slam and wins the PGA?

Are we going to see another "return to glory" for Tiger, who made the cut at Augusta National in his first tournament in 18 months.

Could this be the year one of golf's young newcomers steps into the major champion winner's circle? Someone like Viktor Hovland, maybe?

#DMD will give you our Top 10 and take you all the way up to day one of the PGA on Thursday, May 19.

#10 was Tony Finau. Talor Gooch came in at #9. Xander Schauffele was #8. We have Dustin Johnson at #7. Sam Burns was #6. Viktor Hovland is our #5. Will Zalatoris is #4.

Can Scottie Scheffler complete half of the single-season grand slam with a win this week at the PGA? #DMD thinks he can.

#3 is Scottie Scheffler -- There's just no way you can plot the PGA Championship, consider a bunch of potential wagers, and not have Scottie Scheffler on your list.

He's just playing too well to ignore.

The Masters champ has four wins this season. Four. And we're in May. And he comes into this week's PGA at Southern Hills on the heels of making the cut and playing good golf at the Byron Nelson this past weekend. So what's not to like, right?

There's no need to trot out the statistics to show why Scheffler's a solid choice this week. He's doing everything well. And, as we saw at Augusta National, he has the intestinal fortitude necessary to win a major.

We wouldn't be at all surprised if he's your winner this week. Scheffler's odds are anywhere from 10-1 to 12-1 depending on your source, but you'd be foolish not to throw something on him to win and/or to finish top 10.

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#dmd comments








unitastoberry     May 20
The 2 best punters ever in Baltimore football history. Sam Koch and David Lee. Glad there's no pressure on the kid from Pedo St....lol

Ricky     May 20
I don't understand the Site Owner's fascination with Adam Jones. I admit, Jones was a very good player here and represented the city well, but so did plenty of other Orioles. If you're going to "retire" Jones' number, then I believe you should also "retire" Boog Powell's (#26), Mike Cuellar's/Mike Mussina's (#35), Dave McNally's (#19), Mike Flanagan's (#46), and Ken Singleton's (#29) numbers. IMHO, they were also very good players that represented the city and franchise very well and contributed more to the franchise and fanbase (World Series, anyone?) than Adam Jones did.

Also, the Preakness is all but gone. I'd love to know what the actual crowds are for Black Eyed Susan and Preakness Day are, and not the Propaganda that the Maryland Jockey Club announces. My guess is that it's a fraction of what it was 30, 20, and even 10 years ago.

TJ     May 20
There is some rich irony in that comment from Herman.

Pokey     May 20
What a guy Garry is. Just like the frosted one, name dropping. 'I sat with two people from the Racing Form, look at me.'

Gary must be related to LF.

Delray RICK     May 20
Love to see LUCAS win with the FILLY.

Greg     May 20
Here's a fun fact for "Garry".



My wife works for a Baltimore Sports apparel company. Her boss sent an e-mail yesterday that said the company has 120 tickets to their tent and the race. Guess how many they originally had? 150.



The e-mail said "We kindly ask that you bring 3 guests if you plan on attending. We need to fill the tent. The food and beverage has been ordered for 150 people."



I just asked her how many are left. "105".They can't even give the tickets away tomorrow.

JK     May 20
You know what else is weird?

@Garry and @Monk are the same person.

How weird is it that @Garry says "I met Monk" when he is in fact, @Monk? So strange. His other moniker "@JerryH" hasn't been heard from here in a while.

Garry     May 20
Weird that this site and the radio empire are singing the same tune about the Preakness. We were out there yesterday. Met Monk, whose best bet of the day of the day took a lot of late money(6-1 as the gate was loading, won easy at 3-1). Monk was sitting with 2 DRF(Daily Racing Form) columnists. Pre-sale tickets are very brisk. Expecting 55k today and over 100k tomorrow. The box seats we were in are sold out both days at 600 dollars a piece.

I guess that two social media influencers like the 2 Baltimore sports icons with less than 10k combined Twitter followers know more about a sport that they ignore 50 weeks/year than the folks who promote it.

Horse racing has plenty of problems. But to just crap all over it fits the mindset. The O's are another whipping boy. Terps, D and O coordinators, fans, players.

Negativity sells and that is where we have lost our way. Joy is missing.

Fast facts. Saudi Arabia allows abortion..if the life of the mother is in jeopardy. They average about 25/year. USA kills over 600,000 a year. Who are the barbians?

Tom J     May 20
That's fine if the O's never issue #10 again but in no way should it be officially retired. That honor is reserved for the HOF'ers and the greatest Orioles ever. Jones was very good but certainly not in that class.....

Herman     May 20
Why doesn't the site owner use my name in his commentary? I do have a name, you know? Geez, is it that hard?

Rich     May 20
Love the video today for Faith in Sports! My favorite DMD segment of the week. Thanks Drew and thanks Free State for supporting it. God Bless!

Jason M     May 20
Maybe tonight is the night for Adley at the plate. We could use some joy in Mudville. A 95 degree Preakness is tough on everyone from the people working at the track to the horses and the spectators - hope everyone stays hydrated. I'll be watching and betting from home, my wife is nuts enough to run a Spartan race tomorrow.

Erick     May 20
Great work by Unitas below- enjoyed that

JohnInEssex     May 20
Drew, your description of Lorenzo Sanz Jr. regarding his demeanor doesn't surprise me. He's just like his Dad, in a good way!

hal     May 19
Fake Herman is a total embarrassment.

Agree that Judge crying is total non-story. And Mancini did not "make a statement", he was asked about the whining from the Yankees.

Saban is right, the NIL cat is out of the bag and will damage the game eventually. I do agree big time players ought to get paid, so just pay them and stop pretending it's being done in a good way. Develop a pay scale and make the pay the same across the board. Pay to play or play amateur football like D II or D III. With gambling no longer considered "bad" for any sport, not sure why college athletes getting paid is a big deal any more.

stardust     May 19
Tiger tied with Garrett Higgo in 123rd place.

unitastoberry     May 19
We don't need no Trey Mancini. We don't need no Elias control. No tons of fans in the stadium. All in all it's just another Angelos in the wall.

Ricky     May 19
Uh, oh...

Looks like the Site Owner, the SOD, and the SOT (generally the same people) are NOT going to be happy.

Their hero Tiger Woods shot +4 today and is in danger of missing the cut at the PGA.

In all seriousness, Tiger has made great progress coming back from his serious injuries, but he might not be ready yet for major championship play.

Chris in Bel Air     May 19
Aesthetically, I don't like the hard, 90 degree corner wall by the bullpens. I would have preferred to see it more angled. Nevertheless, I don't think the concerns are just the wall. Batting totals are down to start the year across the league. The top team BA for the AL is Cleveland (.248). Not one AL team above .250. For reference, 5 teams ended last year above .248. There were 4 in 2020 and 8 in 2019. So while it may be a little early to completely state, and it may be a little more of a poke to hit it out at the Yard, the league isn't exactly tearing the cover off regardless.

Buckie (C.S.)     May 19
Why does anybody here care what Aaron Judge thinks about the new dimensions? He shouldn't be so shocked that not everyone is on his side. We sure have our nerve, not acting in the best interests of Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees. I haven't heard him mention anything about the cheap homers he has gotten from the little league dimensions at his park. People do pay to see the games for reasons other than him, not that the, dare I say, "crowds" at Camden Yards support that statement very well.



As for Mancini, the Orioles have made it obvious that if he hits well enough, they will trade him out of town. Plus they have made his job more difficult with the dimensions. So if he doesn't feel the warm cocoon of love coming from the warehouse, I get it. He deserves a shot to play in the playoffs. With any luck we will get someone back who we will someday hear of.

Hank     May 19
I love the new wall! These coddled athletes are bigger and stronger than ever before. They don't have to sell shoes in the off season like former Baltimore stars once did. A home run is not the be all end all and at age 53 I could reach the old power alley (on a batting practice pitch). So shut shut up buttercups and adjust your game.

HERMAN     May 19
Once again an "imposter post". I don't bet chalk. And I don't put much stock in touts.

Please allow me out of the posting game and stop posting using my name. It isn't amusing nor does it demonstrate class.

Herman     May 19
I won't vomit if Rory wins. I put a Benjamin on him to win when the site owner picked him. I'm no dummy.

DJ     May 19
LOL, Rory gonna run away with this and Herman is gonna vomit.

Delray RICK     May 19
Check out prices at PGA this week. $19 dollars for beer!!

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
As for N Saban its amazing the media cant see whats really going on....these coaches understand that if all these boosters and schools spend more and more for players its gonna eventually hurt coaches salaries

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
What did people expect? Either hitters or pitchers will be mad. I thought it was foolhardy. Didnt have trouble attracting J Key D Wells K Brown and other pitchers when you were good and had payroll second to Yanks from 93 to 98. Never heard Mussina mention dimensions as reason for leaving ...was the lowball offer. Spend it and they will come. Dimensions are meant to distract us from their cheapness and lazy media fell for it

Hal     May 19
Take a bow yourself, Drew. You have done an outstanding job with those young CHC golfers. Three straight wins in three years is impressive. Well done to you and the CHC golfers.

Frank P     May 19
Got word from Monk last night. He will be at Pimlico on Thursday. Told me that #10 Berks in the 5th is a bet if he looks good in the paddock. I'll meet him there, we sit in the boxes overlooking the finish line.

Brett B.     May 18
This KJ character is quite the boot licker for Herman. Talk about carrying someone's water for them.

Pauly D     May 18
Happy 85th Birthday Brooks!

kj     May 18
Love the geniuses with the "if you have different opinion than Drew" that must equate to "disdain for Drew". Brilliant take!

But best part was right after this trash take on Herman, we get "I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy....".

SOD is right, can't buy this comedy on the street (huh??) and my all time favorite: "must be a plant" lol




Delray RICK     May 18
MY comments on DEM O'S wil be posted at the 1/3 mark which is a true evaluation and not a silly 20 game start. And it an't going to be good.

Mark in Perry Hall     May 18
Herman doesn't post any longer because "someone is using my name." Then suddenly out of nowhere he starts posting again and on his first post back he craps on DF to stir the pot.



But he's not a plant, right? Sure.

Don from Catonsville     May 18
Why some people post in the comments here when they seem to have such disdain for Drew is beyond me. Herman for example or he who claims to be Herman. Just move on to some other sports site.

At the same time I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy with the outrage over the Saudi Golf league. The NBA and life in general is wrapped around depending on China . China makes the Saudi seem like just schoolyard bullies IMO

Biff H     May 18
Here they come to save the day. SOD….SOD….SOD…..SOD…..

GM     May 18
Larry with the home run comment of the day. "I've stopped posting, but here's a post."

Larry     May 18
LOL.

Herman writes: Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting.

And then he posts 1,000 words anyway.

You can't buy this comedy on the street. It's priceless.

HERMAN     May 18
Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting. That along with the ridiculous takes by both the site owner and majority of commentators. The holier-than-thou pontification about the new Saudi league, and joy found over the trials and tribulations of Phil and Ricky are not just sad to read but a bit disgusting. The ways in which your daily life is intertwined with both the Saudis and China, two abhorrent governing bodies, is so pervasive as to make each of us complicit. Every visit to the pump places you in direct connection with the Saudis. Every visit to any market puts you in touch with China. This idea that the Saudi League is "tainted" by association is completely ridiculous. Drive a gas powered vehicle you enrich the Saudis, an electric you enrich the Chinese. So woven are they both in our daily lives. The Saudi money is involved in just about every venture, the Musk buy of Twitter revealed them to be a major investor. Has that stopped our "Hooded4Iron" site owner from posting on Twitter?

Spare me the outrage over Phil's dance with them. Competition is good, just the threat has already influenced purses and compensation from the PGA. Why the hate for an organization shoving extreme amounts of cash into the game you love? From our government, to our major companies, to the pump the Saudis touch everything, and thereby touch you. You'd have to be monastic to avoid it.

And the Ricky Fowler bashing, Good God. He made it to the show, he competed at the highest levels, got rich doing it, lives a life here in nearby Jupiter that would be the envy of all. If his career is "done", and he goes the way of so many others that saw only brief success on tour, so be it. But he got there, he tried, he succeeded against the best in the world. Every blue tee I know would kill to have his life and lifestyle. Yet guys not fit to shine his golf shoes seem to revel in his struggle. It's ridiculous.

Who the site owner picks to win a major means no more to me than the next guy I pass on the street. His love of the Messiah is well documented here. As is my own disdain.

Enjoy the tournament.


Eric in Gaithersburg     May 18
I love how the expert throws out Aberdeen record cause it doesnt fit his narrative lol. He will make a great employee at PMSNBC ot FoxNews. Or the fact that Adley has had 30AB or that many of Norfolk best have been up with Os or that minor league records are useless. The fact that Grayson, Prieto, G Henderson and many others are playing well or that Stowers and Westburg are struggling are what matters.

Paul T.     May 17
They had 12,200 in the stadium last night to see the O's? I'd call that a miracle based on the 4,000 crowds they had earlier in the season. Business is picking up.

Lee     May 17
I agree with JP that it would be really funny to see Herman's head blow off if he saw Drew pick Tiger to win in tomorrow's edition of the Dish.

Jon     May 17
Unless he changes his mind, Drew said on his golf radio show last Sunday that Rory is his pick to win the PGA.

TimD in Timonium     May 17
Rickie's crossed the $40M threshold in career earnings on the PGA. Nice work."He is the Mercedes Benz global ambassador since 2016 after being their brand ambassador in the US since 2013. Fowler is also associated with other top companies like Cobra (Puma), Rocket Mortgage, and Farmers Insurance." So, do your sponsors follow along to the Saudi tour? Maybe Mercedes does.

CIK     May 17
My source tell me DF picks Rory to win

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Drew is picking Spieth to win.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Frew is picking Spieth to win.

kj     May 17
Poor @JP. Guess it's just me, can't see any reason why anyone would care a) who DF picks and b) what Herman's reaction might be. But hey, whatever floats your boat right?

I get the disdain for this league that is "doing business with the Saudis", but if somehow this format was put together without involving despots and murderers, would it be viewed more positively as an alternative to the current PGA Tour format? Perhaps that is not viable without oil money or China, just wondering if the "improvements" Phil and now Fowler reference have some legs on their own merit.

I get not wanting to support Saudis, not questioning that at all. Just wondering if this different pay for play model might be an improvement over the current setup, from a financial standpoint, for most players? Or not really?

BTW, finishing T33 every week seems like a good living to me, where can I sign up for that lol??

J.P.     May 17
If @DF picks Tiger Woods to win the PGA just to dig at @Herman, I'll laugh all day tomorrow.

Chris     May 17
Great article on Fowler today. Seems like you've hit it right on the head. If he still wants to make $$ playing golf he'll probably have to jump to one of those renegade groups to do it. So long Ricky!

Sunday
May 15, 2022
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2820


mail on sunday? yes sir!


Take two out of three in St. Louis and then lose the series in Detroit?

That's our Birds.

And unless they can piece together a win today in the series finale in the Motor City, the Orioles are going to drop all three to the lowly Tigers.

Thankfully we don't *care* if the team wins or loses this season. I think I heard that somewhere recently.

More important than winning in St. Louis or losing in Detroit is what happens tomorrow in Baltimore. Or, apparently, what isn't going to happen tomorrow in Baltimore.

Unless the Orioles do the dumbest thing of all time and announce sometime today that Adley Rutschman's Major League debut is tomorrow night at Camden Yards vs. the Yankees, it would seem as if the club has changed its mind about using Monday's game to unveil their former #1 pick.

I have no idea why the decided against it, but as soon as I saw the ticket price rollback the club announced late last week, I figured Rutschman wasn't going to debut on Monday night. Maybe they'll wait until Friday night against the Rays? Still at home, even a better drawing date, and it gives him a handful more games at Triple A to work on stamina and such.

But, as a friend of mine said on Friday as we strolled the fairways of Eagle's Nest, "Don't ever underestimate the Orioles' ability to (mess) this whole thing up." In the back of my mind, I do realize that, even though I pressuposed there was no way the organization could flub the Rutschman debut. It's the no brainer of all no brainers.

However, it is the Orioles we're talking about. You always have to remember that.


The mailbag was fairly light this week, but we still have several worthy questions to ponder. Feel free to add your insightful commentary below if you feel so inclined.

Rich asks -- "If you could take any player in baseball and put him on the Orioles, who would it be?"

DF says -- "I guess this one is so easy that I'm going to mess it up, right? I mean, there's only one answer isn't there? Is that the point of the question? Shohei Ohtani's the answer, right? I mean, who else would it be? Mookie Betts? Bryce Harper? Mike Trout? All three of those guys are great. Trout might be the best all around player since Mickey Mantle. But you'd have to take Ohtani. He'll get you 6 or 7 innings every four days and hit you 2 home runs a week on top of that. It's like having the chance to sign Babe Ruth and saying, "No thanks, we're good here." It has to be Ohtani."


Walt asks -- "Hoping for some help, Drew, and also thought this would be a great Q&A question for The Dish. Every year, I am in a pool with 15 friends. One week after the Ravens schedule is released we all turn in our wins and losses for the upcoming season. If you were in the contest with us what would your record for the Ravens be in 2022 and please point out the games you think they'll lose. Thanks!"

DF says -- This is easy to do right up until 30% of the starters get hurt like last year and then you're left with six straight losses an an 8-9 record! OK, I'll take a shot. Here's how I'll break it down. They're go 6-2 at home and 6-3 on the road for a 12-5 record. Now that we've established that, their home losses will be to Buffalo and one of the AFC North teams. They're road losses will be at New England, Tampa Bay and one of the AFC North teams. If you're pressing me to follow the rules, I'll say they lose at home to Cleveland and away to the Bengals."


John L. asks -- "Hey Drew, with no word yet on Lamar's contract, is it safe to assume he's playing the '22 season without a new deal and if you had to choose, is that more of his doing or more of the Ravens doing? Thanks!

DF says -- "Well, the Ravens have said, publicly, they'd like to get a deal done, so you have to assume what's happening right now is all Lamar's work. I mean, the Ravens wouldn't say "we'd love to sign Lamar" and then not mean it. He'd sniff that out right away. I have no idea why Lamar wouldn't sign something right now unless one of three things is happening: 1) He's secretly trying to play out the contract string in Baltimore so he can eventually wind up in Miami or perhaps Tampa Bay. 2) He wants to win a Super Bowl so he can secure a "break the bank" kind of contract that's unprecedented in the NFL. 3) He won't sign anything long-term while Greg Roman is still in charge of the offense.

It seems to me Lamar is probably just letting the ground settle a little more before he decides his next move. It's not like he's working for $24.00 an hour this year. He's going to make more money this season than he'll ever be able to spend in a lifetime. But perhaps he is waiting to see what happens with Greg Roman or maybe the quarterback situation with the Dolphins is intriguing to him. I'm not sure why he hasn't been signed yet, but I'd bet it's more about Lamar than the Ravens at this point."


A.J. asks -- "I played in a new golf group in my men's league this week and two of the guys kept saying "press" after every hole and I was totally confused. I'm a beginning golfer (two years in) and had no idea what they were saying but they gave me $12 at the end so I guess I did something right. Can you explain what happens when you hear "press" in a golf league match?"

DF says -- "It can get confusing, I know. Especially when there are several presses "alive", so to speak. I assume your men's league is 9 holes. So on the first tee your opponent says, "I'll play you in a 9-hole match for $5.00." After the third hole, let's say you go up 2 holes. And he says "press". What that means is that you're starting a new bet from that spot, but the first bet is still intact. In other words, now you have two bets going on. And let's say you win the 4th hole. You're now "3 up" on the first bet and "1 up" on the second bet. He might say "press" again. Now you have three bets in the air for the 9 holes. They're always "live". You just keep adding the totals hole by hole. Congrats on winning the 12 bucks, even if you're not sure how it happened!"


Marco asks -- "What chances do you give Tiger Woods of winning the PGA Championship and is it worth throwing some money on him just in case?"

DF says -- "It's always worth throwing *something* on Tiger. If he's in the tournament, he could potentially win. I think the golf course sets up very well for him. It's a second-shot course and doesn't require as many draw shots into the greens as we saw him faced with at Augusta National. And he won there before, don't forget, although the course is much different than it was in 2007. You can get Tiger right now anywhere in the 50-1 to 65-1 range depending on your wagering source. I think either of those are accommodating levels for Tiger next week. I don't see him winning, but I certainly would never be surprised if he did win. My guess is you see a similar performance from him than the one we saw at Augusta National. He'll shoot a couple of under the first day, around even the second day, and finish up in the T25 range for four days."


Connor P. asks -- "I grew up just outside of Cleveland and all of the big high school sports games were televised. Nothing is televised here in Baltimore. Why is that?"

DF says -- "You didn't say when you grew up, but obviously "televising" things has taken a back seat to internet streaming these days, so in that regard, everything is televised. As an example, you could have watched almost every Calvert Hall lacrosse or baseball game live this spring, on your computer or your phone. At least the home games at CHC, if nothing else. High school sports has always been a difficult sell for whatever reason. Back in my radio days, I used to hear that all the time. "You guys should be doing a (football) game of the week on your station." Then when we went out and asked businesses for $200 to sponsor the broadcast, we didn't see much interest. These days, though, streaming has taken over and you can watch almost any sport, somehow."

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I still can't get used to this PGA Championship in May situation, but it's growing on me. I grew up in a time when the PGA was always in mid-August and was a fitting conclusion to the four major championships in golf.

Now that it's in May, it sort of sneaks up on me.

The second major of the '22 TOUR season is May 19-22 at Southern Hills CC in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Nick Price (PGA) and Retief Goossen (U.S. Open) both won major championships there. So did a guy named Tiger Woods, back in 2007. He captured the PGA at Southern Hills.

There are several interesting storylines heading into this year's second major.

Can Masters champion Scottie Scheffler continue his torrid 2022 season and capture the 2nd of this year's majors?

Is it finally the year Jordan Spieth completes the career grand slam and wins the PGA?

Are we going to see another "return to glory" for Tiger, who made the cut at Augusta National in his first tournament in 18 months.

Could this be the year one of golf's young newcomers steps into the major champion winner's circle? Someone like Viktor Hovland, maybe?

#DMD will give you our Top 10 and take you all the way up to day one of the PGA on Thursday, May 19.

#10 was Tony Finau. Talor Gooch came in at #9. Xander Schauffele was #8. We have Dustin Johnson at #7. Sam Burns was #6. Viktor Hovland is our #5.

Will Zalatoris just hits it far too good to not be in the hunt at Southern Hills next week.

#4 is Will Zalatoris -- OK, so his driving accuracy numbers are awful. And if he sprays it all over the place at Southern Hills, Zalatoris will be going home early. We know that. But we're banking on Willy Z. being able to either figure out his driving woes or going with more three woods and hybrids off the tee if necessary.

One of the premier ball strikers on TOUR, Zalatoris just needs a "fair" week with the driver and he'll contend. His early season putting woes have been improved upon recently and, despite missing the cut this week in Dallas, there are signs that he's on the upswing just in time for next week's second major of the season.

There's no doubt he has the talent to win. Almost every player on TOUR envies his impact position with the irons. Zalatoris just needs a good week driving the golf ball and he could be the man to beat at Southern Hills.

Zalatoris is currently 33-1 to win. Throw $50 his way and maybe a "first round leader" wager of $50 as well.

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#dmd comments








unitastoberry     May 20
The 2 best punters ever in Baltimore football history. Sam Koch and David Lee. Glad there's no pressure on the kid from Pedo St....lol

Ricky     May 20
I don't understand the Site Owner's fascination with Adam Jones. I admit, Jones was a very good player here and represented the city well, but so did plenty of other Orioles. If you're going to "retire" Jones' number, then I believe you should also "retire" Boog Powell's (#26), Mike Cuellar's/Mike Mussina's (#35), Dave McNally's (#19), Mike Flanagan's (#46), and Ken Singleton's (#29) numbers. IMHO, they were also very good players that represented the city and franchise very well and contributed more to the franchise and fanbase (World Series, anyone?) than Adam Jones did.

Also, the Preakness is all but gone. I'd love to know what the actual crowds are for Black Eyed Susan and Preakness Day are, and not the Propaganda that the Maryland Jockey Club announces. My guess is that it's a fraction of what it was 30, 20, and even 10 years ago.

TJ     May 20
There is some rich irony in that comment from Herman.

Pokey     May 20
What a guy Garry is. Just like the frosted one, name dropping. 'I sat with two people from the Racing Form, look at me.'

Gary must be related to LF.

Delray RICK     May 20
Love to see LUCAS win with the FILLY.

Greg     May 20
Here's a fun fact for "Garry".



My wife works for a Baltimore Sports apparel company. Her boss sent an e-mail yesterday that said the company has 120 tickets to their tent and the race. Guess how many they originally had? 150.



The e-mail said "We kindly ask that you bring 3 guests if you plan on attending. We need to fill the tent. The food and beverage has been ordered for 150 people."



I just asked her how many are left. "105".They can't even give the tickets away tomorrow.

JK     May 20
You know what else is weird?

@Garry and @Monk are the same person.

How weird is it that @Garry says "I met Monk" when he is in fact, @Monk? So strange. His other moniker "@JerryH" hasn't been heard from here in a while.

Garry     May 20
Weird that this site and the radio empire are singing the same tune about the Preakness. We were out there yesterday. Met Monk, whose best bet of the day of the day took a lot of late money(6-1 as the gate was loading, won easy at 3-1). Monk was sitting with 2 DRF(Daily Racing Form) columnists. Pre-sale tickets are very brisk. Expecting 55k today and over 100k tomorrow. The box seats we were in are sold out both days at 600 dollars a piece.

I guess that two social media influencers like the 2 Baltimore sports icons with less than 10k combined Twitter followers know more about a sport that they ignore 50 weeks/year than the folks who promote it.

Horse racing has plenty of problems. But to just crap all over it fits the mindset. The O's are another whipping boy. Terps, D and O coordinators, fans, players.

Negativity sells and that is where we have lost our way. Joy is missing.

Fast facts. Saudi Arabia allows abortion..if the life of the mother is in jeopardy. They average about 25/year. USA kills over 600,000 a year. Who are the barbians?

Tom J     May 20
That's fine if the O's never issue #10 again but in no way should it be officially retired. That honor is reserved for the HOF'ers and the greatest Orioles ever. Jones was very good but certainly not in that class.....

Herman     May 20
Why doesn't the site owner use my name in his commentary? I do have a name, you know? Geez, is it that hard?

Rich     May 20
Love the video today for Faith in Sports! My favorite DMD segment of the week. Thanks Drew and thanks Free State for supporting it. God Bless!

Jason M     May 20
Maybe tonight is the night for Adley at the plate. We could use some joy in Mudville. A 95 degree Preakness is tough on everyone from the people working at the track to the horses and the spectators - hope everyone stays hydrated. I'll be watching and betting from home, my wife is nuts enough to run a Spartan race tomorrow.

Erick     May 20
Great work by Unitas below- enjoyed that

JohnInEssex     May 20
Drew, your description of Lorenzo Sanz Jr. regarding his demeanor doesn't surprise me. He's just like his Dad, in a good way!

hal     May 19
Fake Herman is a total embarrassment.

Agree that Judge crying is total non-story. And Mancini did not "make a statement", he was asked about the whining from the Yankees.

Saban is right, the NIL cat is out of the bag and will damage the game eventually. I do agree big time players ought to get paid, so just pay them and stop pretending it's being done in a good way. Develop a pay scale and make the pay the same across the board. Pay to play or play amateur football like D II or D III. With gambling no longer considered "bad" for any sport, not sure why college athletes getting paid is a big deal any more.

stardust     May 19
Tiger tied with Garrett Higgo in 123rd place.

unitastoberry     May 19
We don't need no Trey Mancini. We don't need no Elias control. No tons of fans in the stadium. All in all it's just another Angelos in the wall.

Ricky     May 19
Uh, oh...

Looks like the Site Owner, the SOD, and the SOT (generally the same people) are NOT going to be happy.

Their hero Tiger Woods shot +4 today and is in danger of missing the cut at the PGA.

In all seriousness, Tiger has made great progress coming back from his serious injuries, but he might not be ready yet for major championship play.

Chris in Bel Air     May 19
Aesthetically, I don't like the hard, 90 degree corner wall by the bullpens. I would have preferred to see it more angled. Nevertheless, I don't think the concerns are just the wall. Batting totals are down to start the year across the league. The top team BA for the AL is Cleveland (.248). Not one AL team above .250. For reference, 5 teams ended last year above .248. There were 4 in 2020 and 8 in 2019. So while it may be a little early to completely state, and it may be a little more of a poke to hit it out at the Yard, the league isn't exactly tearing the cover off regardless.

Buckie (C.S.)     May 19
Why does anybody here care what Aaron Judge thinks about the new dimensions? He shouldn't be so shocked that not everyone is on his side. We sure have our nerve, not acting in the best interests of Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees. I haven't heard him mention anything about the cheap homers he has gotten from the little league dimensions at his park. People do pay to see the games for reasons other than him, not that the, dare I say, "crowds" at Camden Yards support that statement very well.



As for Mancini, the Orioles have made it obvious that if he hits well enough, they will trade him out of town. Plus they have made his job more difficult with the dimensions. So if he doesn't feel the warm cocoon of love coming from the warehouse, I get it. He deserves a shot to play in the playoffs. With any luck we will get someone back who we will someday hear of.

Hank     May 19
I love the new wall! These coddled athletes are bigger and stronger than ever before. They don't have to sell shoes in the off season like former Baltimore stars once did. A home run is not the be all end all and at age 53 I could reach the old power alley (on a batting practice pitch). So shut shut up buttercups and adjust your game.

HERMAN     May 19
Once again an "imposter post". I don't bet chalk. And I don't put much stock in touts.

Please allow me out of the posting game and stop posting using my name. It isn't amusing nor does it demonstrate class.

Herman     May 19
I won't vomit if Rory wins. I put a Benjamin on him to win when the site owner picked him. I'm no dummy.

DJ     May 19
LOL, Rory gonna run away with this and Herman is gonna vomit.

Delray RICK     May 19
Check out prices at PGA this week. $19 dollars for beer!!

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
As for N Saban its amazing the media cant see whats really going on....these coaches understand that if all these boosters and schools spend more and more for players its gonna eventually hurt coaches salaries

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
What did people expect? Either hitters or pitchers will be mad. I thought it was foolhardy. Didnt have trouble attracting J Key D Wells K Brown and other pitchers when you were good and had payroll second to Yanks from 93 to 98. Never heard Mussina mention dimensions as reason for leaving ...was the lowball offer. Spend it and they will come. Dimensions are meant to distract us from their cheapness and lazy media fell for it

Hal     May 19
Take a bow yourself, Drew. You have done an outstanding job with those young CHC golfers. Three straight wins in three years is impressive. Well done to you and the CHC golfers.

Frank P     May 19
Got word from Monk last night. He will be at Pimlico on Thursday. Told me that #10 Berks in the 5th is a bet if he looks good in the paddock. I'll meet him there, we sit in the boxes overlooking the finish line.

Brett B.     May 18
This KJ character is quite the boot licker for Herman. Talk about carrying someone's water for them.

Pauly D     May 18
Happy 85th Birthday Brooks!

kj     May 18
Love the geniuses with the "if you have different opinion than Drew" that must equate to "disdain for Drew". Brilliant take!

But best part was right after this trash take on Herman, we get "I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy....".

SOD is right, can't buy this comedy on the street (huh??) and my all time favorite: "must be a plant" lol




Delray RICK     May 18
MY comments on DEM O'S wil be posted at the 1/3 mark which is a true evaluation and not a silly 20 game start. And it an't going to be good.

Mark in Perry Hall     May 18
Herman doesn't post any longer because "someone is using my name." Then suddenly out of nowhere he starts posting again and on his first post back he craps on DF to stir the pot.



But he's not a plant, right? Sure.

Don from Catonsville     May 18
Why some people post in the comments here when they seem to have such disdain for Drew is beyond me. Herman for example or he who claims to be Herman. Just move on to some other sports site.

At the same time I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy with the outrage over the Saudi Golf league. The NBA and life in general is wrapped around depending on China . China makes the Saudi seem like just schoolyard bullies IMO

Biff H     May 18
Here they come to save the day. SOD….SOD….SOD…..SOD…..

GM     May 18
Larry with the home run comment of the day. "I've stopped posting, but here's a post."

Larry     May 18
LOL.

Herman writes: Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting.

And then he posts 1,000 words anyway.

You can't buy this comedy on the street. It's priceless.

HERMAN     May 18
Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting. That along with the ridiculous takes by both the site owner and majority of commentators. The holier-than-thou pontification about the new Saudi league, and joy found over the trials and tribulations of Phil and Ricky are not just sad to read but a bit disgusting. The ways in which your daily life is intertwined with both the Saudis and China, two abhorrent governing bodies, is so pervasive as to make each of us complicit. Every visit to the pump places you in direct connection with the Saudis. Every visit to any market puts you in touch with China. This idea that the Saudi League is "tainted" by association is completely ridiculous. Drive a gas powered vehicle you enrich the Saudis, an electric you enrich the Chinese. So woven are they both in our daily lives. The Saudi money is involved in just about every venture, the Musk buy of Twitter revealed them to be a major investor. Has that stopped our "Hooded4Iron" site owner from posting on Twitter?

Spare me the outrage over Phil's dance with them. Competition is good, just the threat has already influenced purses and compensation from the PGA. Why the hate for an organization shoving extreme amounts of cash into the game you love? From our government, to our major companies, to the pump the Saudis touch everything, and thereby touch you. You'd have to be monastic to avoid it.

And the Ricky Fowler bashing, Good God. He made it to the show, he competed at the highest levels, got rich doing it, lives a life here in nearby Jupiter that would be the envy of all. If his career is "done", and he goes the way of so many others that saw only brief success on tour, so be it. But he got there, he tried, he succeeded against the best in the world. Every blue tee I know would kill to have his life and lifestyle. Yet guys not fit to shine his golf shoes seem to revel in his struggle. It's ridiculous.

Who the site owner picks to win a major means no more to me than the next guy I pass on the street. His love of the Messiah is well documented here. As is my own disdain.

Enjoy the tournament.


Eric in Gaithersburg     May 18
I love how the expert throws out Aberdeen record cause it doesnt fit his narrative lol. He will make a great employee at PMSNBC ot FoxNews. Or the fact that Adley has had 30AB or that many of Norfolk best have been up with Os or that minor league records are useless. The fact that Grayson, Prieto, G Henderson and many others are playing well or that Stowers and Westburg are struggling are what matters.

Paul T.     May 17
They had 12,200 in the stadium last night to see the O's? I'd call that a miracle based on the 4,000 crowds they had earlier in the season. Business is picking up.

Lee     May 17
I agree with JP that it would be really funny to see Herman's head blow off if he saw Drew pick Tiger to win in tomorrow's edition of the Dish.

Jon     May 17
Unless he changes his mind, Drew said on his golf radio show last Sunday that Rory is his pick to win the PGA.

TimD in Timonium     May 17
Rickie's crossed the $40M threshold in career earnings on the PGA. Nice work."He is the Mercedes Benz global ambassador since 2016 after being their brand ambassador in the US since 2013. Fowler is also associated with other top companies like Cobra (Puma), Rocket Mortgage, and Farmers Insurance." So, do your sponsors follow along to the Saudi tour? Maybe Mercedes does.

CIK     May 17
My source tell me DF picks Rory to win

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Drew is picking Spieth to win.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Frew is picking Spieth to win.

kj     May 17
Poor @JP. Guess it's just me, can't see any reason why anyone would care a) who DF picks and b) what Herman's reaction might be. But hey, whatever floats your boat right?

I get the disdain for this league that is "doing business with the Saudis", but if somehow this format was put together without involving despots and murderers, would it be viewed more positively as an alternative to the current PGA Tour format? Perhaps that is not viable without oil money or China, just wondering if the "improvements" Phil and now Fowler reference have some legs on their own merit.

I get not wanting to support Saudis, not questioning that at all. Just wondering if this different pay for play model might be an improvement over the current setup, from a financial standpoint, for most players? Or not really?

BTW, finishing T33 every week seems like a good living to me, where can I sign up for that lol??

J.P.     May 17
If @DF picks Tiger Woods to win the PGA just to dig at @Herman, I'll laugh all day tomorrow.

Chris     May 17
Great article on Fowler today. Seems like you've hit it right on the head. If he still wants to make $$ playing golf he'll probably have to jump to one of those renegade groups to do it. So long Ricky!

Saturday
May 14, 2022
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2819


if it's may, you know what that means


The Kentucky Derby.

Indy 500.

The Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of summer.

And...

Caps forward T.J. Oshie scored 6 goals in the playoff series loss to Florida, including the game-tying tally late in Friday's series-ending 4-3 OT defeat.

If it's May, you also know the Caps will be losing a first-round playoff series to (insert opponent's name here).

And so, as anyone who has followed the Washington Capitals knew would happen, the '21-22 season came to an abrupt end last night in D.C. when Florida notched the series-clinching goal early in overtime to post a 4-3 win.

That the Caps tied it late in regulation and then fell in overtime was very fitting.

Caps gonna Caps, as the saying (now) goes.

They couldn't lose 6-2 and take the suspense out of it by falling behind early, 3-0.

No, no, no.

This one had to be a nailbiter, just so the pain of the loss would make more of an impact.

Right before OT, a friend texted and asked what I thought of the impending sudden death period.

"You know we're gonna lose," I said in my reply. "I assume Verhaeghe will get the game-winner. We haven't marked him well the whole series."

And, voila!, early in the OT, it was, in fact, Carter Verhaeghe who slipped into the crease and neatly backhanded a pass into the net for the game-winner. I wish I could have bet it.

So, that's that.

Alex Ovechkin was pretty much a no-show in the series, scoring just once in six games. When Ovi isn't scoring, the Caps usually aren't winning. The goaltending wasn't as awful as some of the experts expected it might be, but it didn't remind anyone of Ken Dryden's days in Montreal, either. And the loss of Tom Wilson to injury early in the series was a significant moment for the Caps.

So, for the fourth straight year, the Capitals don't get out of the first playoff round. Yes, sure, they've made the post-season 14 of the last 15 years now and, of course, won the Stanley Cup in 2018. But four consecutive post-season ousters in the first round? Not very good.

That said, it's the Capitals we're talking about.

Of course they're gonna do something goofy in the post-season. They're the Caps.

This May, they stole Game 1, won Game 3 to take a 2-1 series, and then missed an empty net opportunity that would have sealed Game 4 before the Panthers tied it and won it in overtime.

Caps gonna Caps.

Every May.


Rich Strike ruined the Preakness on Friday when it was announced the Derby winner wouldn't be coming to Baltimore next week for the second leg of horse racing's Triple Crown.

Thanks for nothin', horse.

The race at Pimlico on May 21 will still take place, obviously, but the only reason the whole trip around the track matters is because the Derby winner is (usually) in the field and going for a special piece of racing history by winning the Derby and Preakness. Without Rich Strike there...who cares?

I don't know much about the inner-workings of horse racing, but it sure seems like a low blow to the sport to tell everyone eight days in advance that the race isn't going to really matter all that much. Why wouldn't the owner and/or trainer at the very least bring Rich Strike to Baltimore, let him jog around the track for a few days, and then make the call on Thursday or even Friday of next week? If you have to remove him from the field next week, at least you helped build some momentum for the event while you were in Baltimore.

I realize it costs money to ship, stall and work out a horse. I think Rich Strike made enough last week at Churchill Downs to handle a few thousand bucks in expenses while you're in Charm City for a few days.

It just seems odd for a sport in dire need of any kind of favorable publicity to have the Derby winner flick a booger on the Preakness eight days before the race.

Take a hike, Rich Strike.

How's that for a tee-shirt idea?


Phil Mickelson won't be playing the PGA next week, tournament officials announced late on Friday. Mickelson is the defending champion and was exempt for the '22 PGA Championship at Southern Hills CC.

A year after gloriously winning the PGA Championship, Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from next week's event in Tulsa.

There's clearly something going on with Mickelson as it relates to his participation in PGA Tour events. He's been seen recently in the San Diego area playing golf, so his "self-exile" from the sport doesn't necessarily mean he hasn't touched a club since late February, when the 6-time major champion announced he was taking a leave from the PGA Tour.

Mickelson's playing golf. He's just not playing on the PGA Tour. And even though next week's event is run by a separate entity, the PGA of American, Phil's still on the sidelines.

Speculation continues to run rampant that Mickelson doesn't want to face the media when the unauthorized biography of Phil's life and career is released next Tuesday. Written by longtime golf journalist Alan Shipnuck, the book contains damaging pages of content about Mickelson's gambling habits and his alignment with the Saudi-based "LIV Golf" circuit being run by Greg Norman.

It's a shame Phil won't be there. There aren't many needle movers in golf, but Phil definitely is one of them. And now, perhaps, even more than ever. His fans want to support him like they never have before and his critics want to roast him louder and longer than ever. Not showing up for the PGA Championship won't change any of that, I'm guessing.

There are also whispers that perhaps Mickelson has made it known that he's signed with the Saudi Golf League and fears he'll show up at Southern Hills only to be told "You're suspended and not eligible to play." That story was making the rounds on Wednesday of this week when rumors of Mickelson's withdrawal first started bubbling in the golf underworld.

I don't think the PGA of America would do that to Mickelson or any former champion. Allow him to fly in, get his housing situated and then, when he shows up at the course on Sunday or Monday, tell him he can't play? I realize the PGA Tour has it out for him and rightfully so, but I really don't think the PGA of America would stoop to that level and wait until Phil arrived in Tulsa to deliver the bad news.

So why isn't he playing, then?

As he nears 52 years old, Phil's chances of winning majors are dwindling by the month. He has 6, wants 7 or 8, I'm assuming, and not playing next weekend just robs him of one more opportunity. So why not play?

It must be the book, right?

He just doesn't feel like facing the music in Tulsa, where media from all over the world will be on hand. That has to be it. The Shipnuck book probably has more juicy stuff about Phil's gambling or personal life and he'd rather let things cool down before having to answer questions.

That's too bad.

His win last year at Kiawah was one of the greatest triumphs in the history of golf. Phil deserved to be back in the limelight next week, basking in the glow, a year later, of that improbable win.

I have no idea why he isn't there, but like Rich Strike and the Preakness, Mickelson's decision is a weird one.

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our pga championship top 10


I still can't get used to this PGA Championship in May situation, but it's growing on me. I grew up in a time when the PGA was always in mid-August and was a fitting conclusion to the four major championships in golf.

Now that it's in May, it sort of sneaks up on me.

The second major of the '22 TOUR season is May 19-22 at Southern Hills CC in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Nick Price (PGA) and Retief Goossen (U.S. Open) both won major championships there. So did a guy named Tiger Woods, back in 2007. He captured the PGA at Southern Hills.

There are several interesting storylines heading into this year's second major.

Can Masters champion Scottie Scheffler continue his torrid 2022 season and capture the 2nd of this year's majors?

Is it finally the year Jordan Spieth completes the career grand slam and wins the PGA?

Are we going to see another "return to glory" for Tiger, who made the cut at Augusta National in his first tournament in 18 months.

Could this be the year one of golf's young newcomers steps into the major champion winner's circle? Someone like Viktor Hovland, maybe?

#DMD will give you our Top 10 and take you all the way up to day one of the PGA on Thursday, May 19.

#10 was Tony Finau. Talor Gooch came in at #9. Xander Schauffele was #8. We have Dustin Johnson at #7. Sam Burns was #6.

Viktor Hovland attended Oklahoma State University. Will his first major win come in that state as well?

#5 is Viktor Hovland -- Our projected Masters winner didn't fare well in Augusta in April, but we're going back to the well with him at the PGA. We love the golf game of Viktor Hovland.

Every number that matters is solid for Hovland. He's 48th in driving distance (305 yards), 37th in driving accuracy (65%) and 17th in greens in regulation (70%).

As everyone knows, Viktor's not a great chipper of the golf ball. But when you hit 12 or 13 greens every round, you don't need to be a great chipper.

Hovland's 2022 campaign hasn't been all that great, but he has a win this season (November) and two top finishes during the California swing in February. Next week at Southern Hills, he should be more than capable of handling the length of the golf course and his accuracy off the tee will be a big reason why.

He's currently at 20-1. If you can get a Hovland top 30 bet, snag that one. It seems like the no brainer of all no brainers.

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#dmd comments








unitastoberry     May 20
The 2 best punters ever in Baltimore football history. Sam Koch and David Lee. Glad there's no pressure on the kid from Pedo St....lol

Ricky     May 20
I don't understand the Site Owner's fascination with Adam Jones. I admit, Jones was a very good player here and represented the city well, but so did plenty of other Orioles. If you're going to "retire" Jones' number, then I believe you should also "retire" Boog Powell's (#26), Mike Cuellar's/Mike Mussina's (#35), Dave McNally's (#19), Mike Flanagan's (#46), and Ken Singleton's (#29) numbers. IMHO, they were also very good players that represented the city and franchise very well and contributed more to the franchise and fanbase (World Series, anyone?) than Adam Jones did.

Also, the Preakness is all but gone. I'd love to know what the actual crowds are for Black Eyed Susan and Preakness Day are, and not the Propaganda that the Maryland Jockey Club announces. My guess is that it's a fraction of what it was 30, 20, and even 10 years ago.

TJ     May 20
There is some rich irony in that comment from Herman.

Pokey     May 20
What a guy Garry is. Just like the frosted one, name dropping. 'I sat with two people from the Racing Form, look at me.'

Gary must be related to LF.

Delray RICK     May 20
Love to see LUCAS win with the FILLY.

Greg     May 20
Here's a fun fact for "Garry".



My wife works for a Baltimore Sports apparel company. Her boss sent an e-mail yesterday that said the company has 120 tickets to their tent and the race. Guess how many they originally had? 150.



The e-mail said "We kindly ask that you bring 3 guests if you plan on attending. We need to fill the tent. The food and beverage has been ordered for 150 people."



I just asked her how many are left. "105".They can't even give the tickets away tomorrow.

JK     May 20
You know what else is weird?

@Garry and @Monk are the same person.

How weird is it that @Garry says "I met Monk" when he is in fact, @Monk? So strange. His other moniker "@JerryH" hasn't been heard from here in a while.

Garry     May 20
Weird that this site and the radio empire are singing the same tune about the Preakness. We were out there yesterday. Met Monk, whose best bet of the day of the day took a lot of late money(6-1 as the gate was loading, won easy at 3-1). Monk was sitting with 2 DRF(Daily Racing Form) columnists. Pre-sale tickets are very brisk. Expecting 55k today and over 100k tomorrow. The box seats we were in are sold out both days at 600 dollars a piece.

I guess that two social media influencers like the 2 Baltimore sports icons with less than 10k combined Twitter followers know more about a sport that they ignore 50 weeks/year than the folks who promote it.

Horse racing has plenty of problems. But to just crap all over it fits the mindset. The O's are another whipping boy. Terps, D and O coordinators, fans, players.

Negativity sells and that is where we have lost our way. Joy is missing.

Fast facts. Saudi Arabia allows abortion..if the life of the mother is in jeopardy. They average about 25/year. USA kills over 600,000 a year. Who are the barbians?

Tom J     May 20
That's fine if the O's never issue #10 again but in no way should it be officially retired. That honor is reserved for the HOF'ers and the greatest Orioles ever. Jones was very good but certainly not in that class.....

Herman     May 20
Why doesn't the site owner use my name in his commentary? I do have a name, you know? Geez, is it that hard?

Rich     May 20
Love the video today for Faith in Sports! My favorite DMD segment of the week. Thanks Drew and thanks Free State for supporting it. God Bless!

Jason M     May 20
Maybe tonight is the night for Adley at the plate. We could use some joy in Mudville. A 95 degree Preakness is tough on everyone from the people working at the track to the horses and the spectators - hope everyone stays hydrated. I'll be watching and betting from home, my wife is nuts enough to run a Spartan race tomorrow.

Erick     May 20
Great work by Unitas below- enjoyed that

JohnInEssex     May 20
Drew, your description of Lorenzo Sanz Jr. regarding his demeanor doesn't surprise me. He's just like his Dad, in a good way!

hal     May 19
Fake Herman is a total embarrassment.

Agree that Judge crying is total non-story. And Mancini did not "make a statement", he was asked about the whining from the Yankees.

Saban is right, the NIL cat is out of the bag and will damage the game eventually. I do agree big time players ought to get paid, so just pay them and stop pretending it's being done in a good way. Develop a pay scale and make the pay the same across the board. Pay to play or play amateur football like D II or D III. With gambling no longer considered "bad" for any sport, not sure why college athletes getting paid is a big deal any more.

stardust     May 19
Tiger tied with Garrett Higgo in 123rd place.

unitastoberry     May 19
We don't need no Trey Mancini. We don't need no Elias control. No tons of fans in the stadium. All in all it's just another Angelos in the wall.

Ricky     May 19
Uh, oh...

Looks like the Site Owner, the SOD, and the SOT (generally the same people) are NOT going to be happy.

Their hero Tiger Woods shot +4 today and is in danger of missing the cut at the PGA.

In all seriousness, Tiger has made great progress coming back from his serious injuries, but he might not be ready yet for major championship play.

Chris in Bel Air     May 19
Aesthetically, I don't like the hard, 90 degree corner wall by the bullpens. I would have preferred to see it more angled. Nevertheless, I don't think the concerns are just the wall. Batting totals are down to start the year across the league. The top team BA for the AL is Cleveland (.248). Not one AL team above .250. For reference, 5 teams ended last year above .248. There were 4 in 2020 and 8 in 2019. So while it may be a little early to completely state, and it may be a little more of a poke to hit it out at the Yard, the league isn't exactly tearing the cover off regardless.

Buckie (C.S.)     May 19
Why does anybody here care what Aaron Judge thinks about the new dimensions? He shouldn't be so shocked that not everyone is on his side. We sure have our nerve, not acting in the best interests of Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees. I haven't heard him mention anything about the cheap homers he has gotten from the little league dimensions at his park. People do pay to see the games for reasons other than him, not that the, dare I say, "crowds" at Camden Yards support that statement very well.



As for Mancini, the Orioles have made it obvious that if he hits well enough, they will trade him out of town. Plus they have made his job more difficult with the dimensions. So if he doesn't feel the warm cocoon of love coming from the warehouse, I get it. He deserves a shot to play in the playoffs. With any luck we will get someone back who we will someday hear of.

Hank     May 19
I love the new wall! These coddled athletes are bigger and stronger than ever before. They don't have to sell shoes in the off season like former Baltimore stars once did. A home run is not the be all end all and at age 53 I could reach the old power alley (on a batting practice pitch). So shut shut up buttercups and adjust your game.

HERMAN     May 19
Once again an "imposter post". I don't bet chalk. And I don't put much stock in touts.

Please allow me out of the posting game and stop posting using my name. It isn't amusing nor does it demonstrate class.

Herman     May 19
I won't vomit if Rory wins. I put a Benjamin on him to win when the site owner picked him. I'm no dummy.

DJ     May 19
LOL, Rory gonna run away with this and Herman is gonna vomit.

Delray RICK     May 19
Check out prices at PGA this week. $19 dollars for beer!!

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
As for N Saban its amazing the media cant see whats really going on....these coaches understand that if all these boosters and schools spend more and more for players its gonna eventually hurt coaches salaries

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
What did people expect? Either hitters or pitchers will be mad. I thought it was foolhardy. Didnt have trouble attracting J Key D Wells K Brown and other pitchers when you were good and had payroll second to Yanks from 93 to 98. Never heard Mussina mention dimensions as reason for leaving ...was the lowball offer. Spend it and they will come. Dimensions are meant to distract us from their cheapness and lazy media fell for it

Hal     May 19
Take a bow yourself, Drew. You have done an outstanding job with those young CHC golfers. Three straight wins in three years is impressive. Well done to you and the CHC golfers.

Frank P     May 19
Got word from Monk last night. He will be at Pimlico on Thursday. Told me that #10 Berks in the 5th is a bet if he looks good in the paddock. I'll meet him there, we sit in the boxes overlooking the finish line.

Brett B.     May 18
This KJ character is quite the boot licker for Herman. Talk about carrying someone's water for them.

Pauly D     May 18
Happy 85th Birthday Brooks!

kj     May 18
Love the geniuses with the "if you have different opinion than Drew" that must equate to "disdain for Drew". Brilliant take!

But best part was right after this trash take on Herman, we get "I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy....".

SOD is right, can't buy this comedy on the street (huh??) and my all time favorite: "must be a plant" lol




Delray RICK     May 18
MY comments on DEM O'S wil be posted at the 1/3 mark which is a true evaluation and not a silly 20 game start. And it an't going to be good.

Mark in Perry Hall     May 18
Herman doesn't post any longer because "someone is using my name." Then suddenly out of nowhere he starts posting again and on his first post back he craps on DF to stir the pot.



But he's not a plant, right? Sure.

Don from Catonsville     May 18
Why some people post in the comments here when they seem to have such disdain for Drew is beyond me. Herman for example or he who claims to be Herman. Just move on to some other sports site.

At the same time I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy with the outrage over the Saudi Golf league. The NBA and life in general is wrapped around depending on China . China makes the Saudi seem like just schoolyard bullies IMO

Biff H     May 18
Here they come to save the day. SOD….SOD….SOD…..SOD…..

GM     May 18
Larry with the home run comment of the day. "I've stopped posting, but here's a post."

Larry     May 18
LOL.

Herman writes: Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting.

And then he posts 1,000 words anyway.

You can't buy this comedy on the street. It's priceless.

HERMAN     May 18
Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting. That along with the ridiculous takes by both the site owner and majority of commentators. The holier-than-thou pontification about the new Saudi league, and joy found over the trials and tribulations of Phil and Ricky are not just sad to read but a bit disgusting. The ways in which your daily life is intertwined with both the Saudis and China, two abhorrent governing bodies, is so pervasive as to make each of us complicit. Every visit to the pump places you in direct connection with the Saudis. Every visit to any market puts you in touch with China. This idea that the Saudi League is "tainted" by association is completely ridiculous. Drive a gas powered vehicle you enrich the Saudis, an electric you enrich the Chinese. So woven are they both in our daily lives. The Saudi money is involved in just about every venture, the Musk buy of Twitter revealed them to be a major investor. Has that stopped our "Hooded4Iron" site owner from posting on Twitter?

Spare me the outrage over Phil's dance with them. Competition is good, just the threat has already influenced purses and compensation from the PGA. Why the hate for an organization shoving extreme amounts of cash into the game you love? From our government, to our major companies, to the pump the Saudis touch everything, and thereby touch you. You'd have to be monastic to avoid it.

And the Ricky Fowler bashing, Good God. He made it to the show, he competed at the highest levels, got rich doing it, lives a life here in nearby Jupiter that would be the envy of all. If his career is "done", and he goes the way of so many others that saw only brief success on tour, so be it. But he got there, he tried, he succeeded against the best in the world. Every blue tee I know would kill to have his life and lifestyle. Yet guys not fit to shine his golf shoes seem to revel in his struggle. It's ridiculous.

Who the site owner picks to win a major means no more to me than the next guy I pass on the street. His love of the Messiah is well documented here. As is my own disdain.

Enjoy the tournament.


Eric in Gaithersburg     May 18
I love how the expert throws out Aberdeen record cause it doesnt fit his narrative lol. He will make a great employee at PMSNBC ot FoxNews. Or the fact that Adley has had 30AB or that many of Norfolk best have been up with Os or that minor league records are useless. The fact that Grayson, Prieto, G Henderson and many others are playing well or that Stowers and Westburg are struggling are what matters.

Paul T.     May 17
They had 12,200 in the stadium last night to see the O's? I'd call that a miracle based on the 4,000 crowds they had earlier in the season. Business is picking up.

Lee     May 17
I agree with JP that it would be really funny to see Herman's head blow off if he saw Drew pick Tiger to win in tomorrow's edition of the Dish.

Jon     May 17
Unless he changes his mind, Drew said on his golf radio show last Sunday that Rory is his pick to win the PGA.

TimD in Timonium     May 17
Rickie's crossed the $40M threshold in career earnings on the PGA. Nice work."He is the Mercedes Benz global ambassador since 2016 after being their brand ambassador in the US since 2013. Fowler is also associated with other top companies like Cobra (Puma), Rocket Mortgage, and Farmers Insurance." So, do your sponsors follow along to the Saudi tour? Maybe Mercedes does.

CIK     May 17
My source tell me DF picks Rory to win

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Drew is picking Spieth to win.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Frew is picking Spieth to win.

kj     May 17
Poor @JP. Guess it's just me, can't see any reason why anyone would care a) who DF picks and b) what Herman's reaction might be. But hey, whatever floats your boat right?

I get the disdain for this league that is "doing business with the Saudis", but if somehow this format was put together without involving despots and murderers, would it be viewed more positively as an alternative to the current PGA Tour format? Perhaps that is not viable without oil money or China, just wondering if the "improvements" Phil and now Fowler reference have some legs on their own merit.

I get not wanting to support Saudis, not questioning that at all. Just wondering if this different pay for play model might be an improvement over the current setup, from a financial standpoint, for most players? Or not really?

BTW, finishing T33 every week seems like a good living to me, where can I sign up for that lol??

J.P.     May 17
If @DF picks Tiger Woods to win the PGA just to dig at @Herman, I'll laugh all day tomorrow.

Chris     May 17
Great article on Fowler today. Seems like you've hit it right on the head. If he still wants to make $$ playing golf he'll probably have to jump to one of those renegade groups to do it. So long Ricky!

Friday
May 13, 2022
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2818


at the 20% mark


Don't look now, but we're at the 20% mark of the '22 MLB season and our Baby'ish Birds are making progress.

On second thought, go ahead and look at the standings. Seriously, take a look. There you'll see it.

4. Baltimore, 14-18

Below "Baltimore" at 14-18, you'll see the Red Sox in 5th place in the A.L. East at 11-20. Sure, by mid-June it's likely Boston will be ahead of the Orioles, but that's neither here nor there right now. With 20% of the season in the books, the O's are exceeding expectations and the Red Sox...are not.

Editor's note: There was a point in the late 90's and early part of the '00's where the Orioles franchise instructed employees to never refer to the team as the "Baltimore" Orioles. This was part of the master plan to keep baseball out of Washington D.C. by endeavoring to make the Orioles a "regional" team, and by not mentioning the word "Baltimore", ownership thought perhaps more people in Silver Spring, Herndon and Georgetown would identify with "Orioles" more than "Baltimore" Orioles. Radio and TV broadcasters were reminded on a daily basis to not call the team the "Baltimore" Orioles. #clownshoes history moment for today.

Brandon Hyde...battling for a new contract in addition to battling the A.L. East?

So with yesterday's 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals, the Birds -- of Baltimore -- have a better record than A.L. foes Boston, Kansas City, Detroit, Texas and Oakland. Sure, only Boston was a legitimate playoff consideration at the start of the campaign, but it's been a long time since the Orioles were better than anyone in the American League at virtually any part of the season, let alone five teams.

Two guys you've never heard of were key parts of yesterday's win. Some dude named Rylan Bannon (don't fret, I don't know who he is, either) delivered a hit in his first MLB at bat and made several nice plays at third base to help limit the Cardinals to just two runs. And Anthony Bemboom, who is apparently a catcher, hit a home run in the 7th inning to help lift the O's to the win.

I have no idea who those guys are, but that's part of the charm of rebuilding from the ground up. Occasionally guys will get a week's worth of playing time and you'll laugh and say, "Never heard of him in my life...but that was a pretty big home run he just hit."

I'm pretty much on cruise control at this point as it relates to my pre-season prediction of 63-99 for the O's. Heck, they're more of a threat to win 73 than 63 at this point. Sure, they could make a mid-July trade or two that might diminish their quality for the final 60 games of the season, but I don't see them dealing any legitimate, key players, other than perhaps Mancini. And while we all love Trey, the O's are going in the tank for the last two months of the season because they trade away Trey Mancini.

As for Monday and the visit by the Yankees...

Unless the Birds have a crafty plan that no one knows about or can figure out, one would have to assume the debut of Adley Rutschman has been put on hold.

The first piece of evidence was, as I mentioned here yesterday, the reintroduction of "1992 pricing" for the homestand that begins on Monday with the Yankees. There's no reason at all to let people into the stadium for $4 to see Rutschman when everyone would pay five times that amount for the privilege of seeing the rookie catcher stand in the batter's box for the first time as a Major League player.

I know marketing hasn't always been the team's biggest strength, but the Rutschman debut is the no-brainer of all no-brainers. Get him in orange and black and sell some tickets. Lots of tickets. Perhaps they thought better of using a Monday against the Yankees for his debut, instead looking more for a Friday, like they did with Matt Wieters when he made his debut.

How about next Friday, May 20 vs. Tampa Bay? Or Friday, June 3 vs. Cleveland? Those are the next two "Friday night at home" opportunities for the Birds and neither opponent would be much of a draw on their own accord.

Heck, by the time Rutschman eventually makes it to Baltimore, our Baby'ish Birds might be at the .500 mark or better. I can just see the September 12 newspaper headlines now.

Ravens drop opener to Jets; Rutschman drives in 4 as O's stay 2 games ahead in playoff race

I know exactly what you're thinking.

"There's no way the Ravens are losing to the Jets."


Speaking of the Ravens and Jets and September 11, that's the date and opponent of the '22 season opener for John Harbaugh's team.

There's nothing like a lay-up on opening day. On the road, no less. Thank you schedule makers.

In the weirdest of weird scheduling quirks, the Ravens will play their first four games against AFC East teams, opening with the Jets, then hosting the Dolphins on September 18, visiting New England on September 25, and hosting Buffalo on October 2nd. That's not the easiest start to a schedule I've ever seen, but the 4th game of the season seems like a really good time to face the Bills, if nothing else. You assume you'll have worked out the kinks by that point and be operating at full strength in early October.

At this point, the Ravens only have three prime time games, which makes John Harbaugh very happy, I assume.

They host the Bengals for a Sunday night encounter on October 9, travel to Tampa Bay on October 27 for a Thursday night showdown with Tom Brady and Company, and play the Saints in New Orleans on Monday, November 7. Late season games against the Browns and Bengals (both away) could wind up being Saturday (night) games instead of Sunday, but for now, at least, the Ravens only have 3 "night" contests next season.

Let the predictions begin.

I joked on Twitter last night that I can see the Ravens going 13-4.

Or 11-6.

Or 8-9.

Or 5-12.

In other words...who knows?

The schedule always features a few non-division teams you're worried about (Buffalo, Tampa Bay, New England) and a few you're not worried about at all (Jets, Falcons, Giants). And what usually winds up happening is one or two of the ones you worry about aren't any good and the ones you think are pushovers somehow wind up being better than you figured they'd be.

It just always seems to work that way.

But given what we know about the schedule and assuming the Ravens will eventually be at full strength, they sure do look like a 12-5 team at the very least. I can see a great season of 13-4 or something like 10-7 if they lose two they shouldn't, but 12-5 seems about right to me given the teams they're facing in 2022.

We all know what the key is to a successful '22 campaign: Lamar has to stay healthy. If he does, the playoffs are pretty much a done deal. If he doesn't stay healthy, they won't make the playoffs.


One day after my Calvert Hall golf team's season came to a close, I received a great gift from the coaching gods on Thursday when one of my recent standout players, Michael Crowley, advanced through local U.S. Open qualifying at Hillendale Country Club.

Crowley shot 3-under 68 to share co-medalist honors with Matt Oshrine, who also played at Loyola University, where Crowley currently plays for former Calvert Hall grad Chris Baloga.

Loyola University's Michael Crowley advanced through U.S. Open local qualifying on Thursday.

I'm proud to say there's a lot of Calvert Hall there. Baloga is a longtime friend of mine, an outstanding player in his own right, and an extremely successful college coach. Crowley started at Calvert Hall as a lacrosse player before picking up golf and making the move to my varsity team in 2018.

He was almost an immediate standout for me at Calvert Hall. He started as a sophomore (having never played competitive golf in his life) and then won the MIAA Individual Championship as a junior. Our 2020 MIAA campaign was canceled due to Covid-19, but later that summer he won the Maryland Junior title.

I rarely ever use the word "natural" in golf because it's totally a technique-driven sport and one just doesn't "naturally" play it well, but Crowley was indeed a "natural" when he came to me in 10th grade and announced he'd like to be considered for the golf team and would transition from lacrosse in order to do so.

Not only was Michael an outstanding young player, but he was also a great student and team leader. He was a "natural" at those things, too.

I had an interesting 20-minute visit with Michael this past Tuesday at Country Club of Maryland, where my Cardinals were preparing for our semifinal match with St. Paul's and Crowley was practicing in advance of yesterday's U.S. Open local qualifier. He had played the previous day in a Maryland Open qualifier and hadn't performed well. By his own admission, he was feeling down about his golf game, which is precisely why I shared something with him that I had given to my players on Monday in prepararation for our playoff encounter with St. Paul's.

It was a transcript from Max Homa's press conference following his win at TPC Potomac last Sunday.

In his visit with the media after the win, someone asked Homa about his breakthrough moment in golf. After a successful college career, Homa got off to a slow start before finally winning on TOUR. He's now won four times.

"My breakthrough came when I stopped telling myself that I suck and that I'm terrible and that I'm never going to beat these guys," Homa said on Sunday. "Once I stopped trying to convince myself of all of that stuff and started focusing on positives rather than negatives, I got better right away. It was almost immediate. The negative commentary was keeping me down."

I shared that with Crowley on Tuesday, a day after I shared it with my own team. I stuck the paper I distributed to my players in my own golf bag, in fact. I need to remind myself, in addition to reminding those I coach or once coached.

I stopped by Hillendale yesterday to see a few friends who were playing in the event and later saw the on-line scoring that had Crowley at 3-under par 68. He'll next head to U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying in a couple of weeks and will need to step up his game even more in order to secure one of the coveted spots for the U.S. Open at Brookline CC in mid-June.

But yesterday was a "breakthrough" moment for Crowley, I think. I sent him a text afterwards congratulating him and in his reply, he mentioned the visit we had on Tuesday. "The Max Homa paper you showed me helped a lot," he wrote.

One day after a disappointing end to my Calvert Hall season, I received a great gift from Crowley. A coach never knows what morsel of advice or information he (or she) might share that impacts a player. So you keep providing that advice and information and hope someone benefits from it along the way.

Michael has a great chance to play well at the Sectional Qualifying event in early June. I'll shoot him a text the day before and remind him about the Max Homa paper...again.

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faith in sports


Former NFL quarterback Drew Brees has been featured here previously at #DMD. But we love bringing videos back around once a year to showcase some truly exceptional content, and the Brees video is definitely exceptional.

Follow along with the future NFL Hall of Famer, please. He offers some poignant thoughts on how faith helped him navigate the tough terrain of a professional football career.

Thanks, as always, to our friends at Freestate Electrical for their continued support.


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our pga championship top 10


I still can't get used to this PGA Championship in May situation, but it's growing on me. I grew up in a time when the PGA was always in mid-August and was a fitting conclusion to the four major championships in golf.

Now that it's in May, it sort of sneaks up on me.

The second major of the '22 TOUR season is May 19-22 at Southern Hills CC in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Nick Price (PGA) and Retief Goossen (U.S. Open) both won major championships there. So did a guy named Tiger Woods, back in 2007. He captured the PGA at Southern Hills.

There are several interesting storylines heading into this year's second major.

Can Masters champion Scottie Scheffler continue his torrid 2022 season and capture the 2nd of this year's majors?

Is it finally the year Jordan Spieth completes the career grand slam and wins the PGA?

Are we going to see another "return to glory" for Tiger, who made the cut at Augusta National in his first tournament in 18 months.

Could this be the year one of golf's young newcomers steps into the major champion winner's circle? Someone like Viktor Hovland, maybe?

#DMD will give you our Top 10 and take you all the way up to day one of the PGA on Thursday, May 19.

#10 was Tony Finau. Talor Gooch came in at #9. Xander Schauffele was #8. We have Dustin Johnson at #7.

Sam Burns has won twice this season and could be an "off the radar" contender next week at the PGA Championship.

#6 is Sam Burns -- We whiffed on Burns at the Masters in April, but that has changed our enthusiasm level for him heading into next week's second major of the year at Southern Hills.

We still think Burns is capable of winning the PGA.

His recent form isn't all that great, as evidenced by yesterday's +1 round to start the Byron Nelson in McKinney, Texas. But at this stage, Burns might be more focused on the PGA than the current event in which he's playing. No one cares who wins the Byron Nelson, but everyone cares who wins the PGA.

Burns' numbers in 2022 are wildly impressive. He's 29th in driving distance (307 yards/average) and 10th in greens in regulation (70%). He's also 7th in birdies per-round at 4.60. Sam Burns, to borrow a phrase, can golf his ball.

He's only played in two PGA Championships; in 2019 he finished T19 and last year he withdrew at Kiawah with a wrist injury. His record at the PGA is limited, obviously. But that doesn't mean much to us. He's won twice this year and has emerged as a top American player. We think he'll show up in a big way next week at Southern Hills.

Burns is currently at 40-1 for the PGA Championship. Sprinkle $50 of win money on him, we say, along with a little bit of "Top 20" money on him as well. We love his chances of being in the hunt.

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"Regular Joe"
on the 2022 Orioles and their minor league teams


"Regular Joe" has been following the Orioles for the better part of four decades. He'll be our eyes and ears in 2022 on both the Orioles and their various minor league teams as the Birds look to rebuild a winner in Baltimore.


it’s getting more interesting…


Some good signs are emerging from the Orioles in the last 10 days, some of which is due to a step-down in competition.

They have gone 7-4 in May on the field, with their continued effective pitching now finally getting some assistance from the bats – more on that later. The big club stands at 14-18, and they’re actually ahead of the last place Red Sox in the AL East. But I especially like some of the more intangible or under-the radar stuff, such as:

* Starting to push off the guys we know are not going to help the major league club – see McKenna, Gutierrez, Stewart

* Consistent with the above, beginning the process of advancing DL Hall and Adley Rutschman through the system, albeit helping the minor league clubs generate some support

* Players developing some personality and demonstrating camaraderie – the home run chain necklace is fun

* We won an away series against the Cardinals, who are a solid team

* Lastly, and most importantly, I LOVED Brandon Hyde pulling Dillon Tate on Tuesday night in St. Louis as he was struggling to close the game. The past few years Hyde would have left him in there to succeed or fail, but by making the switch to 100 mph throwing Felix Bautista, he sent a message that he is holding the players accountable and winning means something again.

Offensively, some players are trending up after slow starts, but the Os are still 18th in the majors with a .234 BA, while 22nd in OPS. Scoring is down across the majors, apparently due to more tinkering with the baseball, as the Rockies lead the majors with a .256 BA.

Individually, Austin Hays has been our best hitter, keeping his average close to .300 and his OBP above .350. Cedric Mullins has begun the road trip well and leads the team with 14 XBH, but needs to cut down his strikeouts. Anthony Santander has cooled off considerably in May; he and Trey Mancini need a hot streak to revive what little trade value they may have.

Ryan Mountcastle missed the last two games of the Cardinal series with a sore wrist. He has started the season very slowly again – the most disappointing aspect being his lack of plate discipline with 4 walks and 29 Ks in 112 ABs.

Shortstop Jorge Mateo has settled into a regular role, and if he can hit around .250 and add some stolen bases, we should all be satisfied. It is nice to finally see an Oriole with some speed besides Mullins.

The rest of the offense is pathetic, plain and simple, and not worthy of mention. INF Rylan Bannon is getting a look, and Tyler Nevin has played this past week due to others’ injuries. Let’s hope they keep trying the younger guys down on the farm, particularly OF Yusniel Diaz.

As for the pitching, the Os are middle of the pack in the majors with a 3.74 ERA. I am still encouraged that, despite a few clunkers like Spenser Watkins had in St. Louis on Wednesday night, the starters still give us a chance to win games. I believe the pushed back left field wall at Camden Yards has really helped the pitchers’ confidence.

Loyola Blakefield grad Bruce Zimmerman continues to make like John Means, throwing strikes and avoiding big innings. Tyler Wells has had two consecutive solid starts, and Jordan Lyles eats innings as intended.

But the big news on the starting front lately was rookie Kyle Bradish’s 7 inning, 11 strikeout, no walk outing against the Cardinals Tuesday night. We need a workhorse starter for the future and he could be the guy.

With Chris Ellis out for the year and Alexander Wells possibly not far behind on the injury front, the issue that will creep up for the Os during the second half of the season will be finding enough pitchers to throw innings.

No matter whether a young pitcher is in the majors or the minors, the team will be counting innings for any pitcher we are depending on the next few years, so guys like Bradish, Wells, DL Hall and Grayson Rodriquez will be limited.

This will severely tax the organization’s pitching depth for the rest of 2022. Thankfully the bullpen has been great – if Felix Bautista can keep closing games we might get some trade value for Jorge Lopez.

Overall, the Orioles have made things a bit more interesting these past two weeks. Aside from the 0-6 record they put up in April at Tampa and at New York, their play has been more than respectable. After this weekend’s set at Detroit, the Os come home for a week against the Yankees and Rays, followed up by another 3 games in the Bronx.

This is a key 10 game stretch where a 4-6 or 5-5 record wouldn’t be bad, especially if we stay competitive in most of the contests. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see Adley Rutschman be called up for the homestand, a move that might help counter-balance the amount of fans from New York. I will be there Tuesday night.

Next week we will go around the major leagues and check in on my predictions for team wins at the approximate quarter pole of the season.

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Thursday
May 12, 2022
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2817


at least we didn't get shut out


OK, so that 10-1 loss to the Cardinals last night wasn't exactly what the Orioles were looking for on the heels of their series opening win in St. Louis on Tuesday evening.

But Robinson Chirinos -- he of the .145 batting average -- produced a RBI double. So there's that.

Losing 10-1 is better than losing 10-0, right?

Trey Mancini went 1-for-4 last night in St. Louis as the Birds saw their modest 3-game win streak snapped by the Cardinals.

There should probably be some sort of Kangaroo Court punishment for the pitcher that yields a RBI hit of any kind to Chirinos, who is definitely more glove than bat these days. I mean, the dude's hitting .145. Heck, I could probably hi -- wait, never mind. It's etched in my memory that some folks around here can't take a joke.

But I'm serious about the Kangaroo Court punishment. "You allowed Robinson Chirinos to produce a run off of you? That's a $500 donation to your favorite charity and you have to wear women's underwear in the locker room for one hour before tomorrow night's game."

Meanwhile, in Baltimore, the streets are jam packed with Adley Rutschman rumors, as the organization is apparently set on having him make his Major League debut -- as we mentioned here last week -- next Monday, May 16 against the Yankees in Baltimore.

Why the O's wouldn't release that information today is anyone's guess. Maybe they will, in fact. But if they're looking to build some momentum and ticket-buying enthusiasm for Monday night, wouldn't today be the day to break the news that "the future" is joining the team in Baltimore on May 16?

But wait.

If, in fact, the Orioles are going to introduce Rutschman next Monday against the Yankees, why would the organization reintroduce their "1992 ticket pricing" concept, as they announced yesterday?

That definitely seems weird. You can buy a ticket for the upcoming Yankees or Rays home series for as low as $4.00. Wouldn't it make sense for the Birds to gouge their people with 2022 pricing? I mean, as they've displayed to us a gazillion times over the years, they are a businss, after all.

So maybe they've changed their mind on Rutschman? At least for now...

I don't know what to think. Monday, May 16 was the long-discussed arrival date for the former #1 draft pick. According to a team "associate", the organization has been pre-ordering additional amounts of food and beverage for the upcoming Yankees and Rays series and added extra stadium staffers. All signs point to Rutschman making his debut next Monday.

But why wouldn't the team announce that news now? And give people a chance to make plans for Monday?

It's weird.

Maybe not as weird as seeing Robinson Chirinos collect his 4th RBI of the season last night in St. Louis, but it's weird, man.


Without walking outside last night and enjoying a warm, breezy spring evening in Bawlmer, how do you know it's May in these parts?

That's easy.

You watch the Caps cough up a 3-0 lead in Game 5 of a playoff series, which they did last night in Florida, eventually losing 5-3 to now trail in the series, 3-games-to-2.

Alex Ovechkin has just 1 goal in 5 games against the Panthers in the Caps current playoff series.

Yep, that's really what happened. Washington bolted out to a 3-0 lead last night and were in prime position to finish off a Game 5 road win and head home with the chance to wrap up the series tomorrow night.

We joke a lot in football season about the misfortunes of the Cleveland Browns with a corny saying: Browns gonna Browns.

Well...

Caps gonna Caps.

Of course, if you've been following this franchise since 1975, you're not surprised in the least at least night's turn of events. It's May. It's playoff hockey. Of course the Capitals are going to do something that makes your stomach turn. They (almost) always do.

Once it got to 3-3 last night, you knew it was over. Watching the Capitals in the post-season and being shocked at their inability to win is akin to be alarmed when the coyote has the cliff break out from under him just as he's ready to finally get his hands around the roadrunner's neck. You've seen the show a million times. What, you think the coyote is actually going to "win"?

The Capitals did win once, in 2018, but deep down most of us knew that was a gift from the hockey gods. It wasn't a "fluke", per se, but it was definitely an outlier, which is a kinder, softer way of calling it a fluke. Die-hard Caps fans appreciated that gift from the hockey gods, but we also knew nothing would really change in the future.

Caps gonna Caps.

I'm used to it. They've been my favorite team in, well, forever. But I know what happens when it's May and the playoffs roll around.


My Calvert Hall golf team's season came to an end yesterday with a spirited, narrow 12.5 - 8.5 loss to an excellent St. Paul's team at Baltimore Country Club. We put up a great fight, but came up short.

"You the golfer are responsible for the consequences of the ball you hit."

That's the best thing about golf, from a competitive standpoint, I believe. You don't have an offensive tackle to blame when the hole doesn't open up. You can't blame the referees. You can't claim you were fouled. And you can't avoid the other team's best player by intentionally walking him.

In golf, you are responsible for the consequences of the ball you hit. I love it.

We hit a lot of great shots yesterday. We hit a few not-so-great shots. We hit a couple of shots that were, literally, 3 yards from being perfect and instead jumped into heavy greenside rough, where making par became almost impossible.

But we went toe-to-toe with the best team in the conference, at their home course, and threw a legitimate scare into them along the way. We don't do the "shoulda, coulda, woulda" thing at Calvert Hall Golf. We were close, but a loss is a loss.

Our #2 and #5 players earned rare, 3-point sweeps of their opponents. At their home course, no less. Our #6 player lost the front six 2-down and came back to win the back six 2-up and collect 1.5 valuable points.

Every Calvert Hall player yesterday made a birdie (or more) in 12 holes. We played well, maybe even above our heads a smidgen, which is what we needed to do to have a shot at winning. In the end, it wasn't enough.

My closing message to the team was simple: "All 12 of you are better golfers now, on May 11, than you were on March 1st. That's really all that matters. At the core of coaching, that's my #1 responsibility. To help all of you become better golfers. If you're better golfers, which I think you all are, I'm satisfied."

We only graduate 3 players out of our 12-man roster. Our JV program just completed a perfect 13-0 season with a victory in the title match against Loyola on Monday. We'll add a few new players from that successful JV team and be ready to go again next January when pre-season workouts begin.

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our pga championship top 10


I still can't get used to this PGA Championship in May situation, but it's growing on me. I grew up in a time when the PGA was always in mid-August and was a fitting conclusion to the four major championships in golf.

Now that it's in May, it sort of sneaks up on me.

The second major of the '22 TOUR season is May 19-22 at Southern Hills CC in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Nick Price (PGA) and Retief Goossen (U.S. Open) both won major championships there. So did a guy named Tiger Woods, back in 2007. He captured the PGA at Southern Hills.

There are several interesting storylines heading into this year's second major.

Can Masters champion Scottie Scheffler continue his torrid 2022 season and capture the 2nd of this year's majors?

Is it finally the year Jordan Spieth completes the career grand slam and wins the PGA?

Are we going to see another "return to glory" for Tiger, who made the cut at Augusta National in his first tournament in 18 months.

Could this be the year one of golf's young newcomers steps into the major champion winner's circle? Someone like Viktor Hovland, maybe?

#DMD will give you our Top 10 and take you all the way up to day one of the PGA on Thursday, May 19.

#10 was Tony Finau. Talor Gooch came in at #9. Xander Schauffele was #8.

Dustin Johnson has been close at the PGA on several occasions. Will 2022 be the year he finally gets to the winner's circle?

#7 is Dustin Johnson -- OK, we finally introduce a major champion into our projected Top 10. Southern Hills "feels" like the kind of course that should suit D.J. and his play over the years in the PGA has been exceptional, with six finishes within the top 10 and a pair of runner-up finishes in 2019 and 2020.

Johnson's '21-22 season hasn't been great. His best finish is a 4th and his stats aren't all that impressive, but maybe it was the wedding that threw him off. Who knows? But if Johnson drives the ball well next week, he can win. Period.

And it seems like he's destined to capture the 3rd leg of golf's career Triple Crown at some point along the way. "Off" season or not, Johnson is still an extraordinarily talented player who can win on any given week.

His current 18-1 odds to win are more of a career reward than anything else, but he'd return a tidy sum on a $50 "win" wager. You might also investigate what you can get him at as the first round leader next Thursday.

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner
Wednesday
May 11, 2022
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2816


can we change our minds?


I'm wondering something this morning.

Can the Orioles issue a moratorium on the so-called theme of "not caring if we win or lose" this season?

I'm asking for a friend.

After last night's 5-3 road win over the Cardinals, our battlin' Baby Birds are suddenly 13-17 at the 30-game mark. I know we still have a long way to go to be the Braves of the mid 90's, but 13-17 is not only "OK" for our O's, it's actually quite promising.

Did you see Kyle Bradish last night? The rookie hurler struck out 11 in the win and looks -- can we even *think* this? -- like he might be a keeper. Of course, Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta and Dylan Bundy also had early flashes of brilliance, too. But I digress...

Sadly, we've been tweaked into considering 2022 a "lost season", one where winning and losing don't matter. It was always going to be 2023 where wins were a little bit important and then, in 2024, we were going to be in "win or bust" mode.

Cedric Mullins went 4-for-5 last night in the O's 5-3 win over St. Louis, raising his average to .262.

Sure, some of that thinking was propped up by fans who didn't want to demand anything from the organization for fear of being let down. I get that. Five years of el stinko baseball can turn even the most ardent supporter into someone who gives up on the idea of requiring competence in exchange for their loyalty.

But the team's artistry in spinning the whole winning and losing thing has been magnificently done from the first day Mike Elias took the reins. It must be soothing to know you have, say, a 5-year window to justify your hiring. And that's not a shot at all at Elias, because any young baseball executive with half-a-brain would have negotiated the same sort of situation if the Orioles came calling.

"You want me to fix that #clownshoes thing you call a baseball team? Sure thing. Give me 5-years, leave me alone, and pay me way more than you thought you'd have to pay me."

That's roughly what Elias was thinking when he left Houston and who could blame him. Trying to fix the Orioles might have been considered career-suicide by some in the industry, but Elias took on the task and, to me at least, has done a borderline extraordinary job -- thus far.

But is this O's team actually *ahead* of schedule? Maybe?

Just doing the math here, but if the O's somehow win their next two and sit at 15-17 at the 32-game mark, they'll be on pace for a 75-win season. Even if they lose the next two, they're looking at 65 wins or thereabouts. I was no math expert at Glen Burnie High, but 75 or 65 is much better than 55. Unless you're talking about a golf score, that is.

The fans are in an interesting position right about now, one they haven't experienced since the "Year of the Nap", when the O's made the post-season but fell in the wild card game at Toronto, 5-2, in 2016. The Birds are close to playing baseball that might actually matter. AFter the three games in St. Louis and three in Detroit, the O's return home to face the Yankees. Could we see a .500 team in Baltimore next Monday night when the O's host Aaron Judge and Company? It's a possibility.

There's still a long way to go, obviously, but I feel good about my predicted win total of 63. In fact, I'd say the O's win total for betting purposes -- now that we've seen them start 13-17 -- is something more like 61.5.

These O's, at least early on, are doing the job at the plate. They started slow with the lumber, but they've definitely kicked it up a notch recently. And the pitching, shockingly, has been outstanding from day one. This team isn't going to the World Series or anything, but they do have a chance to be hanging around the .500 mark into June, which would be something to relish given that the season has pretty much been over in Baltimore on May 16th in the four previous years.

It's a shame we've all been waterboarded into believing winning and losing don't matter this season. Maybe it doesn't matter. But that philosophy might need to be abandonded if these O's keep -- wait for it -- winning.


Speaking of winning and losing, my Calvert Hall varsity golf team takes on #1 seed St. Paul's today in the A-Conference semifinal playoffs at Baltimore Country Club.

It's been an interesting season for the Cardinals, who finished 6-6 in the conference to earn the 4th and final playoff seed. The top two teams (St. Paul's and Gilman) separated themselves from the rest of the pack. We were one of only two teams to beat Gilman, which was quite a feather in our cap.

We'll have our hands full with St. Paul's today. They beat us twice in the regular season, although, interestingly enough, our best performance of the year, score-wise, came at BCC on April 12 when the Crusaders beat us 16-5. On any other day against any other team, our performance would have been enough to win, but not on that occasion.

As I told the folks at the MIAA website, the one good thing about being a huge underdog is you do get the opportunity to free-wheel it a bit more than normal. St. Paul's, as the #1 seed, with a 10-1-1 record, and playing at home, has everything to lose today. They're supposed to win. That's what the records say, at least.

We have nothing to lose today, which came out a bit on Monday when we went to Rolling Road and beat Mount Saint Joseph. Monday was the most "free" golf we played all season. We had secured our playoff spot late last week, and with the stress of that situation gone, we just went out and played good, comfortable golf on Monday.

If we can reproduce that kind of golf today, we'll represent ourselves well. Whether it's enough to win is, as they say, why we play the games in the first place. But no one thought we'd be here, heading to BCC today, so in that regard we've already "won". Half of our team are 10th graders. We're young, but eager to compete.

Before we tee off today, I'll share a story with my guys about the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team. I'll tell them about Jim Craig, Mike Eruzione and Herb Brooks. No one thought they could win, either.

"Do you believe in miracles?"

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pga tour makes their stand


The war, if you will, between the PGA Tour and the Saudi Golf League is, now, officially on.

Until yesterday, TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan had mostly played nice. He made a few idle threats at a March meeting about not allowing players to play in U.S. based Saudi Golf League events and spoke at length about players needing to make a choice and so on. But yesterday the whole thing reached a new level.

PGA Tour players were denied a release to play in the debut Saudi Golf League event in June. Will Phil Mickelson abide or play in the event anyway?

The first Saudi Golf League event is scheduled for June in London. Typically, the TOUR would grant its players a release to play in events outside of the U.S., but on Tuesday, Monahan and the TOUR dropped a bombshell yesterday when they denied a release to anyone seeking to play in the London tournament next month.

Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson, Robert Garrigus and Lee Westwood are, at this point, the only known players who asked for a release to play in Greg Norman's first event. They can, of course, go play in the event still, but the TOUR will almost certainly suspend them if they do that. The bet here is Garcia and Westwood are definites. Mickelson is "likely" and Garrigus might think better of it. There are other names out there who have secretly filed their Saudi Golf League entry form and they, too, will have a decision to make.

Norman, the Commissioner of the Saudi funded golf circuit, didn't take yesterday's news very well. Who knew, right? Norman is still of the opinion that the TOUR just allow their players to gypsy their way all over the world playing golf, even when the Saudi events conflict with TOUR stops.

Not that this will come as a surprise to anyone, but here's the skinny on Greg Norman: He's nuts.

Norman believes the TOUR is stopping players from playing golf. No, they aren't. Players can play the Saudi Golf League all they want. They just can't play the PGA Tour and the Saudi Golf League. They have to make a choice, just like MMA fighters have to choose between the UFC and Bellator. You can't fight in both.

There's no appeal at all to the Saudi Golf League if not for the money they're waving around. It really is that simple. The courses and the tournaments and the courtey cars will all look the same. The folks at LIV -- the government funded group promoting and running the Saudi League that employs Norman -- are simply throwing stupid money at golfers with the hope of stealing them from the TOUR.

This is all just getting started, by the way. Someone, maybe Mickelson, will wind up being the Saudi Golf League's poster boy when they eventually take the PGA Tour to court. The central argument in the case will be the concept of "independent contractor" and what that means, legally, when it comes to a contract stipulating work requirements.

Not surprisingly, both sides claim their lawyers have looked over the details and feel safe in saying "we're right". That's why it will all end up in court at some point down the road.

In the meantime, though, it's getting to be enjoyable watching the losses pile up on Greg Norman's desk. Once one of golf's most popular figures, Norman has figured out a way to soil an otherwise solid reputation.

Much like his career at Augusta National, Norman will eventually come up on the short end of this fight, too.

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our pga championship top 10


I still can't get used to this PGA Championship in May situation, but it's growing on me. I grew up in a time when the PGA was always in mid-August and was a fitting conclusion to the four major championships in golf.

Now that it's in May, it sort of sneaks up on me.

The second major of the '22 TOUR season is May 19-22 at Southern Hills CC in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Nick Price (PGA) and Retief Goossen (U.S. Open) both won major championships there. So did a guy named Tiger Woods, back in 2007. He captured the PGA at Southern Hills.

There are several interesting storylines heading into this year's second major.

Can Masters champion Scottie Scheffler continue his torrid 2022 season and capture the 2nd of this year's majors?

Is it finally the year Jordan Spieth completes the career grand slam and wins the PGA?

Are we going to see another "return to glory" for Tiger, who made the cut at Augusta National in his first tournament in 18 months.

Could this be the year one of golf's young newcomers steps into the major champion winner's circle? Someone like Viktor Hovland, maybe?

#DMD will give you our Top 10 and take you all the way up to day one of the PGA on Thursday, May 19.

#10 was Tony Finau. Talor Gooch came in at #9.


#8 is Xander Schauffele -- Schauffele is this generation's version of Davis Love III, Corey Pavin, Fred Couples and Tom Kite. Sure, he won't win as much as those guys did in their respective careers on TOUR, but, like those four, he's so talented that he almost has to win at least one major championship along the way.

An Olympic Golf Medal and PGA Championship?

This year's PGA Championship might be his starting point.

He's coming into the event in decent form, having just teamed up with Patrick Cantlay for a win in New Orleans a few weeks ago. His record in majors is impressive to say the least. He's played in 21 majors over the last six years and has 9 finishes of Top 10 or better.

Schauffele has 5 TOUR wins, but he's known more for not winning, ironically. He recently broke a 3-season winless streak on TOUR with that victory in New Orleans.

The PGA at Southern Hills could be his big moment. Schauffele's ability to drive it well and hit greens in regulation will be critical next week. We love his chances.

Xander is currently 25-1 to win. A more accommodating wager for him might be a top 10 finish. Find that offer and throw $50 on it and see what you get out of it.

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner
Discover the Difference
Tuesday
May 10, 2022
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2815


you can add nestor to the "rat fink list"


I had to think about the list last night, remembering the folks who made it for various reasons.

Danny Briere, the former Philadelphia Flyer, was probably the inaugural member of my "rat fink list". If you're a hockey fan, you remember Briere. Overrated, overhyped and generally the guy late in the game who would fall short when given a glorious scoring opportunity for the Flyers. Pesky, chippy, and, of course, at times even downright dirty. That was Briere. A real rat fink if there ever was one.

Jockey Mike Smith made the list, too, and, like Briere, will never come off of it. There's a story behind it. One that cost me about $8,800, when Smith, riding Astrology in the 2011 Preakness, forgot to keep the horse engaged for the final 300 yards and let Animal Kingdom roar past him and into 2nd place at Pimlico. I vowed that day to never let anyone ever again utter a kind word about that rat fink Mike Smith.

Claude Giroux joined the list a few years back. He played for the Philadelphia Flyers, too. Obviously, the dirty little secret here is that anyone who ever played for the Flyers has a certain degree of "rat finkness" in their blood. It just is what it is.

There are definitely others on the list. Joey Porter, the erstwhile Steelers linebacker. A rat fink, for sure. He wasn't even one of those guys you secretly wanted on your team, like Hines Ward.

Ward was one of those players you couldn't stand to even think about when he was playing for the other team (in this case, Pittsburgh) but deep down, in places you didn't talk about at parties, you would have gladly taken him on *your* team at the drop of a hat.

You wanted Hines Ward on that wall. You needed him on that wall. Sadly, he enjoyed great success in Pittsburgh, but we always wished he'd spend a year or two in Baltimore, sort of like what Steve Smith Sr. did when he came over from Carolina.

But Joey Porter? Porter was just a rat fink from the get-go. No thanks. You keep him.

When he was an Oriole, Nestor Cortes Jr. couldn't get anyone out. Now in New York, no one can get a hit off of him.

Don Lemon of CNN is a rat fink, too, but that's not a debate for this forum. Anyone that smarmy, fulsome and condescending has a level of "rat fink" in them, though, that pretty much can't be argued. Anyway, we'll handle Lemon on another occasion.

But now I'm starting to consider officially adding a new name to the rat fink list.

Nestor Cortes Jr. of the New York Yankees.

Why him?

Have you seen his stats?

Out of nowhere, the dude has developed into the next coming of Ron Guidry. A Rule 5 pick of the Orioles back in 2018, he was so bad he allowed two grand slams six days apart early in the season and was returned to the Yankees before Easter. Somewhere in here, if you dig deeply enough, there's a dramatic theme about Cortes, Easter and his career being resurrected. I'll let you do that work.

Cortes was a bum in Baltimore in 2018. He made the opening day roster, then allowed a grand slam to Josh Reddick on April 3, walked in a runner with the bases loaded a few days later, then gave up a Josh Donaldson grand slam on April 9. I remember the Donaldson grand slam quite well. Donaldson took longer to round the bases that day than Rich Strike took to win the Derby last Saturday.

Come to think of it, you can add Josh Donaldson to the rat fink list. He's definitely a team captain, in fact. Dude's a total menace.

Back to Cortes.

He couldn't get Pedro Cerrano out with a curveball in 2018 when he was briefly an Oriole and now...he's looking like Clayton Kershaw.

Of course that's the way it goes.

Last night in New York, Nestor the Rat Fink took a no hitter into the 8th inning, eventually surrendering a hit in a 1-0 Yankees win. On the night, Cortes struck out 11 in lowering his ERA to 1.41 on the year. He didn't factor in the win on Monday evening because the Yankees didn't score until the bottom of the 8th.

Earlier this season, he pitched one of the rare "immaculate innings" vs. ---- you guessed it, the Orioles. Cortes has made 6 starts in 2022, pitched 32 innings, and allowed just 20 hits. Out of nowhere, this guy went from totally geek to totally shic, to borrow a line from the great movie, Can't Buy Me Love.

I have a bad feeling Cortes is going to torture the Orioles in 2022 and beyond. Four years ago he couldn't get anyone out. Now, no one can get a hit off of him.

You just made the list, Nestor. I'd like you to meet Danny, Mike and a few other guys. Real rat finks, just like you.


Right on cue, the Caps came up with another playoff gem last night in D.C., blowing a late 2-1 lead and then failing to get off a shot in four minutes of overtime. Predictably, the Florida Panthers tallied in sudden death to post a 3-2 victory and even the series at 2-2.

This -- or "that" -- is Caps playoff hockey.

Up 2 games to 1 with a chance to put the third of four nails in Florida's coffin, Washington had the game all but won when the visitors pulled their goalie with three minutes to play. But a goal with 2:04 remaining tied it up. Sam Reinhardt scored the game-tying goal, which seems more like a name for a guitar player than a hockey player.

And then, in overtime, the Caps provided that almost annual piece of April heartbreak all Caps fans are accustomed to tasting. A win and they're up 3-1. A loss and it's a brand new series.

It's the Caps. You already knew what was coming before the overtime puck was dropped. The only question was: How will Florida score?

Here's the thing, though. As I wrote here on Monday, this Caps team *appears* to be different. I figured they'd lose last night (although I predicted a 3-1 score) and then shockingly rebound to win Game 5 in Florida on Wednesday. I got half the equation right thus far. And I'm guessing the Caps will still steal Game 5 tomorrow before doing what we all know they're going to do in Game 6 and Game 7.

There was a silver lining last night, though.

At least that rat fink Claude Giroux didn't score the game-winner for Florida. That would have been a tad too much to handle.


How many holes-in-one do you have? If you've ever made one (or more), you know exactly where they occurred, I assume. I know where my six have come.

#6 at Mount Pleasant (back left flag, ball hit 20 feet above/right of the hole and spun back into the cup: June 4, 1995)

Editor's note: You always remember your first one, vividly. Right guys?

#4 at Grandview

#14 at Clifton Park (the uphill par 3 next to Lake Clifton H.S.)

#14 at Mountain Branch (on New Year's Day, 2007; I think I made the first hole in one in Maryland in 2007, but that's never been officially documented)

#3 at Regent's Glen

#9 at Oakland Golf Club

Why do I bring those up?

Well, because holes-in-one are rare birds indeed. My old friend Bill Bassler Sr. estimated he played 10,000 rounds of golf in his life (40,000 par-3 opportunties) and never made a hole in one. Never. Not one. And his course, Rolling Road, has five par 3's and on one of them, the 10th, you can kick the ball onto the green from the tee box. It's 100 yards, downhill. And Bassler still couldn't make an ace there.

So I bring up holes-in-one because, get this: Parker Coody, a senior who plays for the University of Texas, made two of them on Monday.

Yes, you read that right. He made two holes-in-one on the same day. But it gets better. He didn't make one at 9:30 am playing with some friends and then again later on that afternoon playing a nine-hole event with his team.

He made both of his aces in one round. And in the U.S. Open local qualifier to boot.

Poor Bill Bassler must be checking the internet in heaven this morning and laughing hysterically. He couldn't make one in 70 years of playing golf and Coody made two in four hours on Monday.

Golf is a crazy game, man.

I'll talk about this on Sunday's edition of "Fairways and Greens" (12-1 pm, 105.7 The Fan). If you'll post your first hole in one in the comment section below, I might even mention it on the air. They're always worth talking about and remembering, especially if you make two in the same round.

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our pga championship top 10


I still can't get used to this PGA Championship in May situation, but it's growing on me. I grew up in a time when the PGA was always in mid-August and was a fitting conclusion to the four major championships in golf.

Now that it's in May, it sort of sneaks up on me.

The second major of the '22 TOUR season is May 19-22 at Southern Hills CC in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Nick Price (PGA) and Retief Goossen (U.S. Open) both won major championships there. So did a guy named Tiger Woods, back in 2007. He captured the PGA at Southern Hills.

There are several interesting storylines heading into this year's second major.

Can Masters champion Scottie Scheffler continue his torrid 2022 season and capture the 2nd of this year's majors?

Is it finally the year Jordan Spieth completes the career grand slam and wins the PGA?

Are we going to see another "return to glory" for Tiger, who made the cut at Augusta National in his first tournament in 18 months.

Could this be the year one of golf's young newcomers steps into the major champion winner's circle? Someone like Viktor Hovland, maybe?

#DMD will give you our Top 10 and take you all the way up to day one of the PGA on Thursday, May 19.


One of the more underrated young players in the game, Talor Gooch could be a name to watch next week at Southern Hills.

#9 is Talor Gooch -- If you stick around these parts, you'll see a common theme in our PGA Championship Top 10. We're bullish on guys who have more than enough quality to win a major championship but just need that breakthrough moment.

Talor Gooch is definitely one of those guys.

He does everything well.

Driving distance? No problem, he averages 301 yards per-drive.

Driving accuracy? Middle of the pack, at 61%. He hits plenty of fairways.

Greens in regulation? One of the best on TOUR, at 70% (19th).

Birdies? Makes gobs of 'em. 20th on TOUR with an average of 4.24 per-round.

This 30-year old from Oklahoma State University is totally legit. He's not a flash in the pan. He's a player. My guess is his name will be heavily in the mix next summer when we're talking about Ryder Cup picks.

I love his game and the fact that he's going "back home" to Oklahoma for the PGA, where he was part of the successful Oklahoma State golf program.

Gooch is currently listed at 65-1. I like him not only for a win wager, but perhaps a "first round leader" wager as well. Put some money on both of those categories.

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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 Tuesday here, he looks at recent performances of American players and highlights upcoming games of importance.


american and international soccer report


This week most of the significant contributions from American players came in MLS, with the contingent abroad relatively quiet. One MLS team featuring several US players scored a historic victory over a Mexican team for a regional trophy. There was also more concerning injury news from this weekend’s MLS games.

In the rapidly closing European season, the Champions League final is now set, after the dramatic semifinal second leg matches last Tuesday and Wednesday. Over the weekend there were some key results in the English Premier League title race and top four competition. Meanwhile in Italy the status quo was maintained at the top of the league. The German Bundesliga also had a shakeup in the race for the final Champions League spot.

Americans –

Christian Pulisic was one of the few significant contributors among Americans in Europe this week. The USMNT star got the start for Chelsea against Wolverhampton this weekend. Playing as an attacking midfielder behind two strikers, Pulisic had a solid all around game. He created four chances in the game, setting Timo Werner up for a couple chances that weren’t converted before delivering the assist on the second Chelsea goal.

Christian Pulisic continues to play impressively for Chelsea, as the English Premier League enters its final month of the '21-22 campaign.

In the 58th minute, Pulisic intercepted a pass and made a quick pass to lead striker Romelu Lukaku at the edge of the box and the Belgian struck it past the goalie for a 2-0 lead. Unfortunately Chelsea collapsed in the final minutes and squandered the lead for a 2-2 draw. In addition to the chances he created, Pulisic did a good job consistently making dangerous runs off the ball, even if they weren’t always rewarded.

Erik Palmer-Brown was the other American who played a big role in Europe this weekend. The 25 year old center back started for Troyes against French league winners Paris St. Germain. It was a tough task for Palmer-Brown, matching up against the attacking quartet of Leo Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, and Angel Di Maria.

While it wasn’t all positive for the American, he did acquit himself well on the day. He nearly got on the scoreboard in the early minutes when he got on the end of a free kick, but couldn’t connect well enough to direct it on goal. Most of his day was spent defending deep and watching for runs from Mbappe. He was composed on the ball on the few occasions Troyes had possession.

The low point for Palmer-Brown came when he gave up a penalty making a diving tackle while trying to recover on an Mbappe run into the box. Neymar converted the penalty that put PSG up 2-0, but Troyes fought back to tie the game at 2-2 in the second half. Palmer-Brown did well down the stretch to win several balls in the box and help preserve an impressive draw for his team. Given the latest injury news, he could become a key figure for the US team heading into the World Cup.

There were several standout American performances in MLS this weekend, but first the bad news. The aforementioned injury came out of Atlanta on Saturday, where Miles Robinson reportedly tore his Achilles tendon. It’s a devastating break for a player that burst onto the national team scene last year to establish himself as a stalwart of the US back line.

The timeline for recovery is not completely clear, but this likely will rule Robinson out for the World Cup. The US will need to look to depth options like Chris Richards, Mark McKenzie, Erik Palmer-Brown, Aaron Long or Cameron Carter-Vickers to step in. This also could be the spark that forces Berhalter to reconsider John Brooks for the team.

The good news from the MLS weekend was multiple Americans scoring goals for their teams. Djordje Mihailovic and Jesus Ferreira each continued their outstanding seasons. Mihailovic scored early in a 4-1 Montreal win over Orlando City and Ferreira scored his league leading 7th goal of the season in a 2-0 win for FC Dallas over Seattle. Paul Arriola contributed to the setup of the Ferreira goal and also scored one himself later in the win.

A pair of defenders also got on the board, with Aaron Long scoring off a corner kick for the only NY Red Bulls goal in a 1-1 draw with Portland and DeJuan Jones scoring for New England in a 2-2 draw against Columbus.

The other big MLS story of the week was the Seattle Sounders beating Mexican club Pumas 3-0 at home to win the CONCACAF Champions League in front of a record crowd. Seattle became the first MLS team to win the top club trophy in the region after a long period of domination by the often better funded Mexican teams.

Jordan Morriswas a key contributor helping to set up the second and third Seattle goals and USMNT veteran Cristian Roldan also played a big part over the two legs. Another American prospect, 16 year old Obed Vargas impressed after being forced into the game due to a first half injury. The win means Seattle will move on to next season’s Club World Cup to face off against the top clubs in the world.


Champions League –

Speaking of the top clubs in the world, the Champions League final is now set. It will be Liverpool and Real Madrid facing off in Paris on May 28. Both of the semifinal games featured unexpected twists and turns.

On Tuesday, Liverpool traveled to Villarreal behind a 2-0 lead from the first leg. Right off the bat it was apparent the English team wouldn’t be able to coast to an easy victory. Villarreal came out pressing high up the field with a ton of energy. The pressing caused an early turnover which set up Villarreal left back Pervis Estupinan for a cross from the left wing. The cross found Etienne Capoue at the back post and he tapped it across to an open Boulaye Dia for a 3rd minute goal.

The goal set the tone and gave the underdogs the belief that they could pull off a major comeback and upset the giants from Liverpool. They kept the pressure on throughout the first half and were rewarded just before halftime. In the 41st minute Capoue picked up a ball down the right side and cut a cross back that found Francis Coquelin for a header in the box that beat the keeper and put the hosts up 2-0, tying the aggregate score.

It was all to play for in the second half and Liverpool brought on winger Luis Diaz to help spark their attack. The substitution helped them gain more control of the game after halftime. Then, in the 62nd minute, Liverpool found the goal they needed to turn the tide. Mo Salah controlled the ball on the edge of the box then played a pass into an overlapping Fabinho. The Brazilian hit a low hard shot that went right through the keeper Rulli’s legs for a goal.

That put Liverpool back in the driver’s seat and they would not relinquish control. They pounced on the momentum and poured in two more goals in the next twelve minutes aided by some questionable goalkeeping. First Luis Diaz scored a header off a cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold and then Sadio Mane beat the Villarreal keeper to a ball well outside his box and scored on an empty net.

The deluge broke the home team’s spirit and sent Liverpool on the way to their third Champions League final appearance under Jurgen Klopp.

Wednesday’s match to determine their opponent lived up to its considerable hype after an entertaining first leg. The second leg in Madrid delivered yet another instant classic. Manchester City entered with the 4-3 lead from their home leg and largely controlled the play early on, testing Thibaut Courtois a few times but not troubling the Madrid keeper too much.

Neither side gave much ground throughout the first half and they went into the break scoreless. Coming out of halftime Real Madrid nearly evened up the aggregate score with the clearest chance of the game to that point. A Dani Carvajal cross found Vinicius Jr. open at the back post but the Brazilian phenom couldn’t quite get on the end of it to steer it into goal.

City seemed to heed the warning shot and tightened up their defense and maintained the edge in possession. Then in the 73rd minute they appeared to strike the final blow to Real Madrid’s hopes. A quick turn and pass from Ilkay Gundogan in midfield found Bernardo Silva with acres of space to run into. The Portuguese midfielder drove the ball towards the box, drawing in the Madrid defense and then laid a perfect pass to an open Riyad Mahrez who curled a powerful shot past Courtois.

The goal gave City a two goal aggregate lead and seemed to have them inches away from their second Champions League final in a row. In the 87th minute they nearly put the game to bed when Jack Grealish burst into the box and hit a shot past Courtois but Madrid left back Ferland Mendy made an outstanding sliding save off the goal line to keep the lead at two.

City held that lead entering the final seconds before injury time when Madrid found a glimmer of hope. Substitute midfielder Eduardo Camavinga hit a cross that found Karim Benzema near the back post and the French striker headed it into the path of substitute winger Rodrygo who poked it in for a goal.

With the lead cut to just one goal and a few minutes of injury time on the board, Real Madrid had another chance to work its magic. One minute later they did just that. Dani Carvajal hit another sharp cross and again it was Rodrygo popping up in the box to head it past the keeper. The goal tied the aggregate at 5-5 and sent the game to overtime.

Buoyed by a jubilant crowd and carrying all the momentum, Madrid didn’t waste time pushing for the win. Just three minutes into overtime Camavinga received the ball from Courtois and made a dribbling run deep into the Man City end, eventually finding Rodrygo on the right wing, who played a pass back across the box. City defender Ruben Dias committed a clumsy foul trying to break up the pass, sending Benzema to the penalty spot. The Ballon D’Or (player of the year) candidate drove home the penalty and put Madrid on their way to the final.

Real Madrid will be the underdogs going into the final with Liverpool, but this club and this iteration especially, seem to have some kind of dark magic to get exactly the plays they need just in time to stave off defeat. The final will be a rematch of the 2018 Champions League final where Madrid came out on top 3-1. Liverpool would surely like to exact their revenge at the end of May.


England –

Man City managed to rebound from their devastating Champions League exit with a thoroughly dominant 5-0 win over Newcastle on Sunday. The win pushed them to the brink of a title, with Liverpool faltering against Tottenham in a 1-1 draw.

Tottenham went up 1-0 on a goal from Korean attacker Son just after halftime in that game. Liverpool fought back and tied the game and seemed likely to pull out the win, but couldn’t find the goal they needed. The draw drops them three points behind City with just three games left on the schedule.

The draw was also a poor result for Tottenham, who lost ground on Arsenal in the race for fourth place and the final Champions League ticket. Arsenal took care of business with a 2-1 win over Leeds, giving them a four point edge on Tottenham.


Italy –

In Italy the top remained the same in the title race with AC Milan and Inter Milan both winning. Inter went down two goals against Empoli but fought back for a 4-2 win behind two goals from Lautaro Martinez. AC Milan was in peril as well, going down early to Hellas Verona, but they too charged back for a 3-1 win thanks to a dominant performance from winger Rafael Leao and midfielder Sandro Tonali.


Germany –

In Germany the chase for the fourth and final Champions League place took another turn this weekend. RB Leipzig jumped back into the final spot with a 4-0 win over Augsburg, spurred by two goals from breakout star Christopher Nkunku. Tyler Adams and Ricardo Pepi both subbed on in the second half on opposite sides, but neither had a big impact. The win combined with Freiburg’s 4-1 loss to Union Berlin put Leipzig two points ahead going into the final weekend.

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May 9, 2022
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just 7 days away?


It's almost Adley Time.

I'm trying to get a lawyer-friend of mine to see if I can get a quick patent on that: Adley Time.

The Orioles are home today finishing up a weekend series with the Royals and then they're off to the midwest for a 3-game set vs. the Cardinals and a 3-game set vs. the Tigers.

They'll finish up in Detroit next Sunday and then return home to face the New York Yankees.

From #1 pick to on the verge of making his big league debut in Baltimore. It's almost "Adley Time".

There's a rumor floating around -- a strong one -- that the Orioles will promote catcher Adley Rutschman from Triple-A Norfolk next Sunday and on Monday, May 16, he'll make his Major League Baseball debut vs. the Yankees.

The Birds will hope to take advantage of "Adley Mania" for the week, as they host New York for four and the Tampa Bay Rays for three. I'm also checking in about the value of "Adley Mania". My lawyer-friend is on it.

At some point soon, the O's are also going to call up pitcher D.L. Hall. That one might not come until the end of the month, but Hall and his 100 MPH are coming north at some point in the near future.

The rebuild is officially close to being switched to "on".

I know, I know. This is still not a season where we're allowed to worry about winning and losing. The brainwashing tactics have worked on me, too. I get it.

But Rutschman and Hall are two of the central pieces of the Mike Elias rebuilding effort. There's nothing in Rutschman's baseball history that would suggest he won't be up for his next task, but the pressue on him to succeed will be immense. A baseball franchise's future essentially depends on the former #1 pick's success at the big league level.

7 days away, it would appear.

Editor's note: My lawyer-friend checked in and said "Adley Time" and "Adley Mania", while cute phrases, aren't really worth the time or money to patent. "It will cost you more to register them then you'll make off of them," he just texted me.

Shucks. I was going to use that extra cash to buy some tickets to the game next Monday night. You can get in for $2 this afternoon to see the Royals (seriously, there's a ticket on the internet available for $2) but I don't think there will be many $2 tickets floating around next week when the Yankees come to town.

In fact, once Adley Time starts, I doubt you'll see many $2 tickets any longer no matter who the opponent or day of the week.


Kevin Gausman finally issued a walk on Saturday. Yes, he did. After 35.2 innings pitched this season, Gausman issued his first base on balls of 2022 in the Jays 8-3 win over Cleveland.

Gausman is returning to the American League after a stint with the Reds, Braves and Giants in the National League. He hasn't pitched in the American League since 2018 when he was with a certain team you might know situated between Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. Enough said there.

Thus far, Gausman's return to the A.L. is going great. He's 3-1 with a 2.18 ERA has struck out 46 batters thus far and walked just one. It's far too early to start creating "early Cy Young" favorites. We really can't do that until the All-Star Break. But if we were producing an "early, early list", Gausman would be on it for sure.

I'm sure the Braves, Reds and that *other team* Gausman used to pitch for are wondering why they didn't get "this" Gausman when he toiled for each of them. So far in Toronto, he's been lights out.


The Caps are home tonight with a 2-1 series lead vs. Florida and it looks like Washington might just have the goods to beat the Panthers in this opening round.

Yeah, I said it.

A possibility once again? Only if the Caps can pull off this upset of Florida.

No, I don't really mean it.

I sure *hope* the Caps can pull it off, but I'm pretty certain I know how this is going to go.

The Caps will lose tonight, 3-1. They'll outshoot the Panthers 13-4 in the opening period but skate to a scoreless tie. Washington will lead 1-0 after 2, but Florida will strike early in the 3rd period to tie the game at 1-1. The Panthers will then strike with less than five minutes remaining and then dump one into the empty net to close out the scoring. Series tied at 2-2.

But this Caps team is different.

They'll go to Florida for Game 5 and win there, 5-3.

Game 6 at home will be one of those instant classics. The Caps will rally from 2-0 down and 4-2 down to send the game to overtime. They'll hit the post twice in the first overtime and then fail to score on a power play in the second overtime. The Panthers will then get a gift penalty when some poor soul for the Caps sends the puck over the glass for a delay of game call and Florida will win the game and stave off elimination on a puck that deflects in off of someone's shin pan during a scrum in front of the net.

And...well...you know what happens in Florida in Game 7.

We're talking about the Capitals here. They have a Doctorate degree in losing playoff series' in weird ways. Except for one glorious post-season run in 2018, we all know what happens to the Caps in April and May.

I'm fully anticipating some sort of heartbreaking loss in this Panthers series. There was a time when I used to get mad -- and sad -- when the Caps squandered a playoff series they looked like they might, or should, win. No more. I already fully expect them to not hold on to this series edge vs. Florida.

And if the Caps should somehow pull off this mini-miracle and beat Florida, I'll just pre-assume they'll figure out a way to cough up the next series after taking a 3-0 lead.

It's a lot easier to handle when you just expect them to lose.


James shot me a quick e-mail on Saturday night and asked about the Kentucky Derby and why it seemed like this year's event had little pre-race attention.

I have no idea, frankly, but it's a question worth pondering in the aftermath of Saturday's shocker from Churchill Downs, where an 80-1 longshot -- Rich Strike -- came out on top.

Why wasn't the race a big deal on Saturday?

I saw a flurry of commentary below from folks who went to ESPN.com and couldn't find "anything" on the race. That wasn't entirely true, but you did have to scroll down through four or five "stories" before you found information on the Derby.

It's indeed sad to see things like UFC and European soccer get better platform treatment than the Kentucky Derby. That said, I'm only saying that because I don't really follow the UFC or European soccer all that much. Like a lot of Americans -- well, let's say "nearly every American" -- I don't care at all about horse racing but I do care about the Triple Crown races. And I assume ESPN operates off of the same theory.

But back to James' e-mail about Saturday's race.

Some of the "national interest" in the race could stem from what NBC had been showing over the previous few weekends leading up to the Derby. I'm guessing they ran a bunch of Derby promotional ads to remind everyone they'd be airing the race on May 7, but if you weren't watching NBC on that given day/occasion, you missed it.

If you asked most casual sports fans when the Derby is run, they'd say, "In the spring...May sometime?"

If you asked a horse racing enthusiast that same question, they'd say "The Derby is always run the first Saturday in May."

So what happened this year?

Here's a dumb answer, but one we all know is true. Fewer and fewer people are "horse racing enthusiasts" these days. There are gobs of reasons for that. We'll delve into that in a couple of weeks when the attendance numbers are revealed for the Preakness. But, in general, people can bet on the races at home now and also bet on just about anything else from the comfort of their living room chair.

For whatever reason, national interest in horse racing *feels* like it's at an all-time low. I wish it weren't that way. But it sure seems like it is.

But wait. Here's an interesting note about Saturday's Derby that contrasts sharply with the theme of "no one knew the race was happening". The 2022 Derby featured the largest betting handle ever, at $179 million. And here's the funniest part: only $501,000 of that was bet on Rich Strike in the win pool. But $179 million of wagering seems like a good thing for racing, even if ESPN.com didn't give the race the attention it deserved on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the folks at the Maryland Jockey Club got a diamond hand-delivered to them on Saturday when Rich Strike won the Derby. They now have an actual living, breathing storyline that *anyone* can identify with. It won't only be horse racing people who tune in on May 21st to see the Preakness. Just regular folks who casually follow sports will be aware of the race and the fact that this four-legged version of the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team has a shot at another piece of improbable glory.

At least I think they'll be aware.


To whatever degree you think Sergio Garcia is a big name in the world of golf, it would appear the Saudi Golf League has their first "real player" in the 2017 Masters champion.

Garcia, you might have seen, pitched a fit last Thursday after he got a bad ruling down at TPC Potomac and basically confessed, albeit perhaps by accident, that he was heading to Greg Norman's circuit in early June for the first Saudi event in London.

Headed to the Saudi Golf League and very few people really care.

Even at 42, Garcia is still a known commodity in U.S. golf circles. He's not the superstar-caliber of a Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka or Jordan Spieth, but he's a name.

He's also not the most popular guy on TOUR, either.

In fact, Eamon Lynch of Golfweek doesn't care much for Garcia, as we saw this past Friday when he roasted the Spaniard for the better part of 1,500 words.

Lynch wrote: Garcia checks all of the traits common among players associated with the Saudi bid to hijack professional golf: best days are in the rearview, has accomplished all that seems likely in major championships, not playing well enough consistently to benefit from increased purses on the PGA Tour, not sufficiently well-liked to reap fan engagement bonuses, endowed with a stout sense of entitlement, and consumed with petty grievances (mostly imaginary).

Wow. Lynch touched every base with that one. He ridiculed Garcia for his play, past and present, and took a swipe at his oft-criticized personality. The Golfweek writer blasted Norman two weeks ago and Garcia this past week. I have to imagine Ian Poulter knows something's coming his way soon enough.

Lynch rolled on with more digs at Garcia in his piece on Friday.

Since he scissor-kicked his way to fame in 1999, Garcia has earned $54 million on the PGA Tour, but his career has been defined by petulance. To cite but a few instances: flinging his shoe into a gallery; spitting into a cup, leaving the loogey for those unfortunate groups behind him; flipping off fans (I’d forgive him that—Bethpage galleries were obnoxious); blaming bunker-rakers and unseen forces for his loss in the ’07 Open at Carnoustie; listlessly apologizing for a racially-charged crack about Tiger Woods; being DQ’d from the Saudi International in ’19 for intentionally damaging five greens by tomahawking his club.

And in the end, Lynch zeroed in on the one thing I've been saying about the likes of Garcia, Westwood, Poulter, Stenson and any of the European names we've heard connected with the Saudi Golf League. Their departure(s) won't impact the PGA Tour one bit. No disrespect intended; they were all really good players at one point. But now? Well, they're no Max Homa, let's just say that.

Garcia shares another attribute with his peers who are also heavy petting with the bonesaw enthusiasts: their absence from the PGA or DP World tours would scarcely be noticed. That’s the disconnect at the heart of the Saudi seduction. The sums offered by LIV Golf convince players they’re elite, but just entertaining the overture is acknowledgment that they’re not, that their ability to compete against the world’s best is greatly diminished, that they’ll trade a potential hall of fame berth for an assured spot in the hall of shame.

"Heavy petting" with the bonesaw enthusiasts.

That's a good one.

Garcia is actually smart for catching on with the Saudi Golf League at this point. His best days on the PGA Tour are gone, as Lynch noted so eloquentely. But that he's reached the expiration date on his PGA Tour calendar isn't here nor there with Greg Norman and Company. He's still a "name" in golf, albeit a fading one.

Sergio knows how to play the professional-golfer-game. He'll say all the right things about the new tour, will smile and shake hands with the right corporate folks and will likely sell a ticket or three for the new circuit when they set up camp in Portland, Oregon in late June for their first U.S. based event.

If only Garcia's golf was good enough to be a top player on the PGA Tour. He wouldn't need the Saudi Golf League, if that were the case.

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I still can't get used to this PGA Championship in May situation, but it's growing on me. I grew up in a time when the PGA was always in mid-August and was a fitting conclusion to the four major championships in golf.

Now that it's in May, it sort of sneaks up on me.

The second major of the '22 TOUR season is May 19-22 at Southern Hills CC in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Nick Price (PGA) and Retief Goossen (U.S. Open) both won major championships there. So did a guy named Tiger Woods, back in 2007. He captured the PGA at Southern Hills.

There are several interesting storylines heading into this year's second major.

Can Masters champion Scottie Scheffler continue his torrid 2022 season and capture the 2nd of this year's majors?

Is it finally the year Jordan Spieth completes the career grand slam and wins the PGA?

Are we going to see another "return to glory" for Tiger, who made the cut at Augusta National in his first tournament in 18 months.

Could this be the year one of golf's young newcomers steps into the major champion winner's circle? Someone like Viktor Hovland, maybe?

#DMD will give you our Top 10 and take you all the way up to day one of the PGA on Thursday, May 19.


Tony Finau is looking for his first major championship next week at Southern Hills.

#10 is Tony Finau -- This event seems like a perfect one for Finau to finally break through with that "big win" in his career. The PGA is notorious for giving quality players that elusive first major title (Elkington, Love III, Toms, Thomas, Morikawa) and doing so at a time, perhaps, when it was least expected.

Finau isn't having a great year by any means, but there are signs that he's coming around. He finished T2 a couple of weeks back in Mexico and made the cut at sloppy TPC Potomac this past weekend.

A long golf course where driving accuracy is criticial might not necessarily suit him, but all he needs to do is figure out what's hampering him off the tee and Finau could certainly be a threat next week.

He's made four straight cuts and 10 of 14 overall this season. Whether he has the "closing ability" to win a major is the big question, but we like Finau's chances to be in the hunt at Southern Hills, particularly if the scoring falls in the 12-14 under par range, which is the projected total right now.

Finau is a nice wager at 50-1. Throw $50 on him and see what comes of it.

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#dmd comments








unitastoberry     May 20
The 2 best punters ever in Baltimore football history. Sam Koch and David Lee. Glad there's no pressure on the kid from Pedo St....lol

Ricky     May 20
I don't understand the Site Owner's fascination with Adam Jones. I admit, Jones was a very good player here and represented the city well, but so did plenty of other Orioles. If you're going to "retire" Jones' number, then I believe you should also "retire" Boog Powell's (#26), Mike Cuellar's/Mike Mussina's (#35), Dave McNally's (#19), Mike Flanagan's (#46), and Ken Singleton's (#29) numbers. IMHO, they were also very good players that represented the city and franchise very well and contributed more to the franchise and fanbase (World Series, anyone?) than Adam Jones did.

Also, the Preakness is all but gone. I'd love to know what the actual crowds are for Black Eyed Susan and Preakness Day are, and not the Propaganda that the Maryland Jockey Club announces. My guess is that it's a fraction of what it was 30, 20, and even 10 years ago.

TJ     May 20
There is some rich irony in that comment from Herman.

Pokey     May 20
What a guy Garry is. Just like the frosted one, name dropping. 'I sat with two people from the Racing Form, look at me.'

Gary must be related to LF.

Delray RICK     May 20
Love to see LUCAS win with the FILLY.

Greg     May 20
Here's a fun fact for "Garry".



My wife works for a Baltimore Sports apparel company. Her boss sent an e-mail yesterday that said the company has 120 tickets to their tent and the race. Guess how many they originally had? 150.



The e-mail said "We kindly ask that you bring 3 guests if you plan on attending. We need to fill the tent. The food and beverage has been ordered for 150 people."



I just asked her how many are left. "105".They can't even give the tickets away tomorrow.

JK     May 20
You know what else is weird?

@Garry and @Monk are the same person.

How weird is it that @Garry says "I met Monk" when he is in fact, @Monk? So strange. His other moniker "@JerryH" hasn't been heard from here in a while.

Garry     May 20
Weird that this site and the radio empire are singing the same tune about the Preakness. We were out there yesterday. Met Monk, whose best bet of the day of the day took a lot of late money(6-1 as the gate was loading, won easy at 3-1). Monk was sitting with 2 DRF(Daily Racing Form) columnists. Pre-sale tickets are very brisk. Expecting 55k today and over 100k tomorrow. The box seats we were in are sold out both days at 600 dollars a piece.

I guess that two social media influencers like the 2 Baltimore sports icons with less than 10k combined Twitter followers know more about a sport that they ignore 50 weeks/year than the folks who promote it.

Horse racing has plenty of problems. But to just crap all over it fits the mindset. The O's are another whipping boy. Terps, D and O coordinators, fans, players.

Negativity sells and that is where we have lost our way. Joy is missing.

Fast facts. Saudi Arabia allows abortion..if the life of the mother is in jeopardy. They average about 25/year. USA kills over 600,000 a year. Who are the barbians?

Tom J     May 20
That's fine if the O's never issue #10 again but in no way should it be officially retired. That honor is reserved for the HOF'ers and the greatest Orioles ever. Jones was very good but certainly not in that class.....

Herman     May 20
Why doesn't the site owner use my name in his commentary? I do have a name, you know? Geez, is it that hard?

Rich     May 20
Love the video today for Faith in Sports! My favorite DMD segment of the week. Thanks Drew and thanks Free State for supporting it. God Bless!

Jason M     May 20
Maybe tonight is the night for Adley at the plate. We could use some joy in Mudville. A 95 degree Preakness is tough on everyone from the people working at the track to the horses and the spectators - hope everyone stays hydrated. I'll be watching and betting from home, my wife is nuts enough to run a Spartan race tomorrow.

Erick     May 20
Great work by Unitas below- enjoyed that

JohnInEssex     May 20
Drew, your description of Lorenzo Sanz Jr. regarding his demeanor doesn't surprise me. He's just like his Dad, in a good way!

hal     May 19
Fake Herman is a total embarrassment.

Agree that Judge crying is total non-story. And Mancini did not "make a statement", he was asked about the whining from the Yankees.

Saban is right, the NIL cat is out of the bag and will damage the game eventually. I do agree big time players ought to get paid, so just pay them and stop pretending it's being done in a good way. Develop a pay scale and make the pay the same across the board. Pay to play or play amateur football like D II or D III. With gambling no longer considered "bad" for any sport, not sure why college athletes getting paid is a big deal any more.

stardust     May 19
Tiger tied with Garrett Higgo in 123rd place.

unitastoberry     May 19
We don't need no Trey Mancini. We don't need no Elias control. No tons of fans in the stadium. All in all it's just another Angelos in the wall.

Ricky     May 19
Uh, oh...

Looks like the Site Owner, the SOD, and the SOT (generally the same people) are NOT going to be happy.

Their hero Tiger Woods shot +4 today and is in danger of missing the cut at the PGA.

In all seriousness, Tiger has made great progress coming back from his serious injuries, but he might not be ready yet for major championship play.

Chris in Bel Air     May 19
Aesthetically, I don't like the hard, 90 degree corner wall by the bullpens. I would have preferred to see it more angled. Nevertheless, I don't think the concerns are just the wall. Batting totals are down to start the year across the league. The top team BA for the AL is Cleveland (.248). Not one AL team above .250. For reference, 5 teams ended last year above .248. There were 4 in 2020 and 8 in 2019. So while it may be a little early to completely state, and it may be a little more of a poke to hit it out at the Yard, the league isn't exactly tearing the cover off regardless.

Buckie (C.S.)     May 19
Why does anybody here care what Aaron Judge thinks about the new dimensions? He shouldn't be so shocked that not everyone is on his side. We sure have our nerve, not acting in the best interests of Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees. I haven't heard him mention anything about the cheap homers he has gotten from the little league dimensions at his park. People do pay to see the games for reasons other than him, not that the, dare I say, "crowds" at Camden Yards support that statement very well.



As for Mancini, the Orioles have made it obvious that if he hits well enough, they will trade him out of town. Plus they have made his job more difficult with the dimensions. So if he doesn't feel the warm cocoon of love coming from the warehouse, I get it. He deserves a shot to play in the playoffs. With any luck we will get someone back who we will someday hear of.

Hank     May 19
I love the new wall! These coddled athletes are bigger and stronger than ever before. They don't have to sell shoes in the off season like former Baltimore stars once did. A home run is not the be all end all and at age 53 I could reach the old power alley (on a batting practice pitch). So shut shut up buttercups and adjust your game.

HERMAN     May 19
Once again an "imposter post". I don't bet chalk. And I don't put much stock in touts.

Please allow me out of the posting game and stop posting using my name. It isn't amusing nor does it demonstrate class.

Herman     May 19
I won't vomit if Rory wins. I put a Benjamin on him to win when the site owner picked him. I'm no dummy.

DJ     May 19
LOL, Rory gonna run away with this and Herman is gonna vomit.

Delray RICK     May 19
Check out prices at PGA this week. $19 dollars for beer!!

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
As for N Saban its amazing the media cant see whats really going on....these coaches understand that if all these boosters and schools spend more and more for players its gonna eventually hurt coaches salaries

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
What did people expect? Either hitters or pitchers will be mad. I thought it was foolhardy. Didnt have trouble attracting J Key D Wells K Brown and other pitchers when you were good and had payroll second to Yanks from 93 to 98. Never heard Mussina mention dimensions as reason for leaving ...was the lowball offer. Spend it and they will come. Dimensions are meant to distract us from their cheapness and lazy media fell for it

Hal     May 19
Take a bow yourself, Drew. You have done an outstanding job with those young CHC golfers. Three straight wins in three years is impressive. Well done to you and the CHC golfers.

Frank P     May 19
Got word from Monk last night. He will be at Pimlico on Thursday. Told me that #10 Berks in the 5th is a bet if he looks good in the paddock. I'll meet him there, we sit in the boxes overlooking the finish line.

Brett B.     May 18
This KJ character is quite the boot licker for Herman. Talk about carrying someone's water for them.

Pauly D     May 18
Happy 85th Birthday Brooks!

kj     May 18
Love the geniuses with the "if you have different opinion than Drew" that must equate to "disdain for Drew". Brilliant take!

But best part was right after this trash take on Herman, we get "I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy....".

SOD is right, can't buy this comedy on the street (huh??) and my all time favorite: "must be a plant" lol




Delray RICK     May 18
MY comments on DEM O'S wil be posted at the 1/3 mark which is a true evaluation and not a silly 20 game start. And it an't going to be good.

Mark in Perry Hall     May 18
Herman doesn't post any longer because "someone is using my name." Then suddenly out of nowhere he starts posting again and on his first post back he craps on DF to stir the pot.



But he's not a plant, right? Sure.

Don from Catonsville     May 18
Why some people post in the comments here when they seem to have such disdain for Drew is beyond me. Herman for example or he who claims to be Herman. Just move on to some other sports site.

At the same time I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy with the outrage over the Saudi Golf league. The NBA and life in general is wrapped around depending on China . China makes the Saudi seem like just schoolyard bullies IMO

Biff H     May 18
Here they come to save the day. SOD….SOD….SOD…..SOD…..

GM     May 18
Larry with the home run comment of the day. "I've stopped posting, but here's a post."

Larry     May 18
LOL.

Herman writes: Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting.

And then he posts 1,000 words anyway.

You can't buy this comedy on the street. It's priceless.

HERMAN     May 18
Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting. That along with the ridiculous takes by both the site owner and majority of commentators. The holier-than-thou pontification about the new Saudi league, and joy found over the trials and tribulations of Phil and Ricky are not just sad to read but a bit disgusting. The ways in which your daily life is intertwined with both the Saudis and China, two abhorrent governing bodies, is so pervasive as to make each of us complicit. Every visit to the pump places you in direct connection with the Saudis. Every visit to any market puts you in touch with China. This idea that the Saudi League is "tainted" by association is completely ridiculous. Drive a gas powered vehicle you enrich the Saudis, an electric you enrich the Chinese. So woven are they both in our daily lives. The Saudi money is involved in just about every venture, the Musk buy of Twitter revealed them to be a major investor. Has that stopped our "Hooded4Iron" site owner from posting on Twitter?

Spare me the outrage over Phil's dance with them. Competition is good, just the threat has already influenced purses and compensation from the PGA. Why the hate for an organization shoving extreme amounts of cash into the game you love? From our government, to our major companies, to the pump the Saudis touch everything, and thereby touch you. You'd have to be monastic to avoid it.

And the Ricky Fowler bashing, Good God. He made it to the show, he competed at the highest levels, got rich doing it, lives a life here in nearby Jupiter that would be the envy of all. If his career is "done", and he goes the way of so many others that saw only brief success on tour, so be it. But he got there, he tried, he succeeded against the best in the world. Every blue tee I know would kill to have his life and lifestyle. Yet guys not fit to shine his golf shoes seem to revel in his struggle. It's ridiculous.

Who the site owner picks to win a major means no more to me than the next guy I pass on the street. His love of the Messiah is well documented here. As is my own disdain.

Enjoy the tournament.


Eric in Gaithersburg     May 18
I love how the expert throws out Aberdeen record cause it doesnt fit his narrative lol. He will make a great employee at PMSNBC ot FoxNews. Or the fact that Adley has had 30AB or that many of Norfolk best have been up with Os or that minor league records are useless. The fact that Grayson, Prieto, G Henderson and many others are playing well or that Stowers and Westburg are struggling are what matters.

Paul T.     May 17
They had 12,200 in the stadium last night to see the O's? I'd call that a miracle based on the 4,000 crowds they had earlier in the season. Business is picking up.

Lee     May 17
I agree with JP that it would be really funny to see Herman's head blow off if he saw Drew pick Tiger to win in tomorrow's edition of the Dish.

Jon     May 17
Unless he changes his mind, Drew said on his golf radio show last Sunday that Rory is his pick to win the PGA.

TimD in Timonium     May 17
Rickie's crossed the $40M threshold in career earnings on the PGA. Nice work."He is the Mercedes Benz global ambassador since 2016 after being their brand ambassador in the US since 2013. Fowler is also associated with other top companies like Cobra (Puma), Rocket Mortgage, and Farmers Insurance." So, do your sponsors follow along to the Saudi tour? Maybe Mercedes does.

CIK     May 17
My source tell me DF picks Rory to win

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Drew is picking Spieth to win.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Frew is picking Spieth to win.

kj     May 17
Poor @JP. Guess it's just me, can't see any reason why anyone would care a) who DF picks and b) what Herman's reaction might be. But hey, whatever floats your boat right?

I get the disdain for this league that is "doing business with the Saudis", but if somehow this format was put together without involving despots and murderers, would it be viewed more positively as an alternative to the current PGA Tour format? Perhaps that is not viable without oil money or China, just wondering if the "improvements" Phil and now Fowler reference have some legs on their own merit.

I get not wanting to support Saudis, not questioning that at all. Just wondering if this different pay for play model might be an improvement over the current setup, from a financial standpoint, for most players? Or not really?

BTW, finishing T33 every week seems like a good living to me, where can I sign up for that lol??

J.P.     May 17
If @DF picks Tiger Woods to win the PGA just to dig at @Herman, I'll laugh all day tomorrow.

Chris     May 17
Great article on Fowler today. Seems like you've hit it right on the head. If he still wants to make $$ playing golf he'll probably have to jump to one of those renegade groups to do it. So long Ricky!

Sunday
May 8, 2022
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2813


that's "richard" strike, to you


In one of the oddest plot twists in recent sports history, here are two facts about what happened on Saturday at Churchill Downs.

At 7:30 am yesterday, 99% of the sports fans in the country had no idea the Kentucky Derby was set to be run later that day.

At 7:30 pm yesterday, 99% of the sports fans in the country knew about Rich Strike's monumental upset.

Word travels fast.

The most unpublicized and least followed Derby of the last 20 years became one of the most memorable in the race's storied history when Rich Strike, an 80-1 longshot who didn't even get in the field until Friday, soared past the two leaders in the final 100 yards to finish off a stirring upset victory.

Everyone loves a good story. And Rich Strike is certainly a good story. He'll come to Baltimore in two weeks and probably finish 6th by 17.5 lengths, but they'll never be able to take that Derby victory from him.

I was thrilled to see Rich Strike win yesterday.

"You had some money on him, Drew?" Is that your question?

Nope, no money on him. But Rich Strike winning meant Taiba didn't win, which meant that rat fink Mike Smith didn't get to enter the Derby winner's circle for a 3rd time.

Mike Smith and the Flyers. Pretty much on my forever list.


Happy Mother's Day to all the great moms out there, including my late mother, who passed away when I was 24, and my wife, who is a remarkable mom to our two children.

Anyone who played sports growing up almost certainly had a mom that cared about and supported their various athletic endeavors. Whether it was getting you to and from practice and games, participating in the neighborhood car pool, or working the baked goods table, moms were no doubt a huge part of your youth sports memories.

My mom got to watch me play baseball, football, ice hockey and soccer when I grew up in Glen Burnie. The only one of those she wasn't fond of was ice hockey, which she thought was "too rough". She took in a practice or two at Benfield Ice Rink and then watched a few games early in my first season (U13) and politely asked me to stop playing.

"Can't you find something else to do in the winter? You played basketball for a couple of years, can't you do that again?" she pleaded.

"No," I replied. "I stink at basketball. I don't even like it, honestly. I love ice hockey. It's my favorite sport," I replied.

My mom would drive me to practice or games and then sit in the car and do crossword puzzles or read. Once when we had a game at Bowie Ice Rink I told her to come in and sit in the lobby.

"You don't have to watch," I said to her. "Just sit in the lobby where it's warm."

"No," she replied. "I can hear you crashing into the boards and I can hear the sticks hitting the glass. I shudder every time I heard those sounds."

But she still got me to practice and games and still supported me. She just didn't like watching me get plowed into the dasherboards, which is understandable. I didn't care for that, either.

If you're fortunate enough to still have your mom with you today, be sure and tell her how much you love and appreciate her. Today is her day.


I've seen a lot of things from the world of golf in my day. I've played some of the great courses, traveled to England to play on several occasions and even qualified for a major championship in 2021. I also worked at a municipal course in Baltimore 25 years ago and saw "public golf" from a completely different angle.

But I've never seen anything like what we all got to witness yesterday at TPC Potomac during the 3rd round of the Wells Fargo.

40-year old tour pro James Hahn has won $11 million in his PGA career. That doesn't count the millions he's scooped up from sponsors who afix their logo to his bag, hat, clothes and so on. He's no Tiger Woods or anything like that, but James Hahn has made a great living playing golf.

James Hahn missed a putt on Saturday in D.C., with rain pouring down, and blamed a fan eating potato chips.

Yesterday, after leaving a 24-foot birdie putt about 30 inches short of the hole, he blamed a person eating potato chips for that miss.

I'm serious.

And so was he.

As the putt rolled to a stop short of the hole, Hahn glared at the spectator to his right.

"I can hear you eating those chips, man."

Now, I've been to professional golf tournaments on numerous occasions and even had the privilege of playing in a professional tournament. Here's a quick list of things you hear at any given time.

Security helicopters flying overhead.

Port-a-pot doors slamming.

Plates and utensils clinging from the various corporate tents.

The roar of the crowd from other holes on the course.

People in the corporate tents talking, laughing, etc.

There's almost never complete silence in your midst.

And James Hahn lit into a guy yesterday for eating potato chips while he was putting.

Old James wouldn't have fared too well on some of the beautiful city courses we have in Baltimore. I can just hear him now.

"Hey man, I can hear those police sirens all the way over here while I'm trying to putt..."

I don't know if the PGA Tour has a #Clownshoes Moment of the Year, but if they do, we know who has the lead thus far. And unless something really crazy happens between now and late August, I'd say Hahn has the award on lockdown.

"I can hear you eating those chips, man."

Unreal.

It was so embarrassing that the PGA Tour removed the initial tweet and the accompanying video early Saturday evening. I'm sure Hahn's social media world blew up with people laughing at him and he got a hold of someone in the Tour's media relations department and made them take it down.

I don't blame him for doing that. The scene was bad enough without having the TOUR spread it to all corners of the world on Twitter.

Potato chips. What a distraction.


In the world of Twitter, there's a thing called "verified" which is accompanied by a blue check mark next to your Twitter handle.

I have no idea at all how one acquires that blue check mark. I've seen people with 3,000 followers have a blue check mark and you'll see people with 30,000 followers not have one. There's apparently some sort of "activity math" that's used to determine who gets verified. The more activity you generate, the more Twitter needs to verify you're "real", I suppose.

Better than Deshaun Watson? A football expert on Twitter doesn't think so, apparently.

I don't think you get money or anything like that for getting the blue check mark, but maybe you do? I have no idea.

As someone who is "fairly active" on Twitter (at least one or two tweets per-day, sometimes more if there's something specific going on that I'm following), I probably should know a lot more about the rules of engagement and the nuts and bolts of the blue check mark, but I've never really been all that interested in finding out the details.

The industry thought, if you will, is that people who get verified are supposedly more "expert" in their field than others who just post stuff for the sake of posting it.

"Oh, (so and so) is verified on Twitter. He/she must really know (baseball, football, basketball, etc.)."

That's what people *think*, anyway.

This is not me lobbying for a blue check mark. Not in the least. Like I wrote above, I don't even know what you *get* once you're bestowed with the blue check mark next to your name. And unless it's golf, Bruce Springsteen or the movie Training Day, I'm not really an expert on much of anything.

But I do peruse Twitter and admittedly see "verified" people and just assume they're an expert in the field of their choosing.

Some dude with a blue check mark next to his name yesterday authored this:

My current AFC North QB Rankings

1. Deshaun Watson

2. Joe Burrow

3. Lamar Jackson

4. Baker Mayfield

5. Mitchell Trubisky

6. Kenny Pickett

Now, I generally don't care all that much about what people post on Twitter because 80% of the reason Twitter is even a thing in the first place is because it gives goofy people a forum to post goofy commentary.

But that one, yesterday...

Twitter gave that author a blue check mark and said, "Now this guy, right here, really knows his football."

On what planet would someone -- even a dummy with a Flyers jersey on -- rank Deshaun Watson ahead of either Joe Burrow or Lamar Jackson?

Watson hasn't played a meaningful football game since 2020.

Even when he did play for Houston, he never really won anything of substance. He was a good college quarterback, for sure, but so was Ken Dorsey.

Deshaun Watson might turn out to be a great fit in Cleveland once he gets the chance to play. But you're nuts if you think, right now, he's better than Joe Burrow or Lamar Jackson.

And, no, this isn't a gripe about Lamar being third or falling behind Burrow on the list. I'd take Burrow over Lamar if you gave me the keys to an expansion team and allowed me to take one of those two as my QB.

I'm merely pointing out that people are insane.

That's all.

Deshaun Watson...

Come on, man. You're a football expert (supposedly) and you think he's better than Burrow and Lamar?

That whole commentary about Watson really rubs me the wrong way.

Too soon?

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#dmd comments








unitastoberry     May 20
The 2 best punters ever in Baltimore football history. Sam Koch and David Lee. Glad there's no pressure on the kid from Pedo St....lol

Ricky     May 20
I don't understand the Site Owner's fascination with Adam Jones. I admit, Jones was a very good player here and represented the city well, but so did plenty of other Orioles. If you're going to "retire" Jones' number, then I believe you should also "retire" Boog Powell's (#26), Mike Cuellar's/Mike Mussina's (#35), Dave McNally's (#19), Mike Flanagan's (#46), and Ken Singleton's (#29) numbers. IMHO, they were also very good players that represented the city and franchise very well and contributed more to the franchise and fanbase (World Series, anyone?) than Adam Jones did.

Also, the Preakness is all but gone. I'd love to know what the actual crowds are for Black Eyed Susan and Preakness Day are, and not the Propaganda that the Maryland Jockey Club announces. My guess is that it's a fraction of what it was 30, 20, and even 10 years ago.

TJ     May 20
There is some rich irony in that comment from Herman.

Pokey     May 20
What a guy Garry is. Just like the frosted one, name dropping. 'I sat with two people from the Racing Form, look at me.'

Gary must be related to LF.

Delray RICK     May 20
Love to see LUCAS win with the FILLY.

Greg     May 20
Here's a fun fact for "Garry".



My wife works for a Baltimore Sports apparel company. Her boss sent an e-mail yesterday that said the company has 120 tickets to their tent and the race. Guess how many they originally had? 150.



The e-mail said "We kindly ask that you bring 3 guests if you plan on attending. We need to fill the tent. The food and beverage has been ordered for 150 people."



I just asked her how many are left. "105".They can't even give the tickets away tomorrow.

JK     May 20
You know what else is weird?

@Garry and @Monk are the same person.

How weird is it that @Garry says "I met Monk" when he is in fact, @Monk? So strange. His other moniker "@JerryH" hasn't been heard from here in a while.

Garry     May 20
Weird that this site and the radio empire are singing the same tune about the Preakness. We were out there yesterday. Met Monk, whose best bet of the day of the day took a lot of late money(6-1 as the gate was loading, won easy at 3-1). Monk was sitting with 2 DRF(Daily Racing Form) columnists. Pre-sale tickets are very brisk. Expecting 55k today and over 100k tomorrow. The box seats we were in are sold out both days at 600 dollars a piece.

I guess that two social media influencers like the 2 Baltimore sports icons with less than 10k combined Twitter followers know more about a sport that they ignore 50 weeks/year than the folks who promote it.

Horse racing has plenty of problems. But to just crap all over it fits the mindset. The O's are another whipping boy. Terps, D and O coordinators, fans, players.

Negativity sells and that is where we have lost our way. Joy is missing.

Fast facts. Saudi Arabia allows abortion..if the life of the mother is in jeopardy. They average about 25/year. USA kills over 600,000 a year. Who are the barbians?

Tom J     May 20
That's fine if the O's never issue #10 again but in no way should it be officially retired. That honor is reserved for the HOF'ers and the greatest Orioles ever. Jones was very good but certainly not in that class.....

Herman     May 20
Why doesn't the site owner use my name in his commentary? I do have a name, you know? Geez, is it that hard?

Rich     May 20
Love the video today for Faith in Sports! My favorite DMD segment of the week. Thanks Drew and thanks Free State for supporting it. God Bless!

Jason M     May 20
Maybe tonight is the night for Adley at the plate. We could use some joy in Mudville. A 95 degree Preakness is tough on everyone from the people working at the track to the horses and the spectators - hope everyone stays hydrated. I'll be watching and betting from home, my wife is nuts enough to run a Spartan race tomorrow.

Erick     May 20
Great work by Unitas below- enjoyed that

JohnInEssex     May 20
Drew, your description of Lorenzo Sanz Jr. regarding his demeanor doesn't surprise me. He's just like his Dad, in a good way!

hal     May 19
Fake Herman is a total embarrassment.

Agree that Judge crying is total non-story. And Mancini did not "make a statement", he was asked about the whining from the Yankees.

Saban is right, the NIL cat is out of the bag and will damage the game eventually. I do agree big time players ought to get paid, so just pay them and stop pretending it's being done in a good way. Develop a pay scale and make the pay the same across the board. Pay to play or play amateur football like D II or D III. With gambling no longer considered "bad" for any sport, not sure why college athletes getting paid is a big deal any more.

stardust     May 19
Tiger tied with Garrett Higgo in 123rd place.

unitastoberry     May 19
We don't need no Trey Mancini. We don't need no Elias control. No tons of fans in the stadium. All in all it's just another Angelos in the wall.

Ricky     May 19
Uh, oh...

Looks like the Site Owner, the SOD, and the SOT (generally the same people) are NOT going to be happy.

Their hero Tiger Woods shot +4 today and is in danger of missing the cut at the PGA.

In all seriousness, Tiger has made great progress coming back from his serious injuries, but he might not be ready yet for major championship play.

Chris in Bel Air     May 19
Aesthetically, I don't like the hard, 90 degree corner wall by the bullpens. I would have preferred to see it more angled. Nevertheless, I don't think the concerns are just the wall. Batting totals are down to start the year across the league. The top team BA for the AL is Cleveland (.248). Not one AL team above .250. For reference, 5 teams ended last year above .248. There were 4 in 2020 and 8 in 2019. So while it may be a little early to completely state, and it may be a little more of a poke to hit it out at the Yard, the league isn't exactly tearing the cover off regardless.

Buckie (C.S.)     May 19
Why does anybody here care what Aaron Judge thinks about the new dimensions? He shouldn't be so shocked that not everyone is on his side. We sure have our nerve, not acting in the best interests of Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees. I haven't heard him mention anything about the cheap homers he has gotten from the little league dimensions at his park. People do pay to see the games for reasons other than him, not that the, dare I say, "crowds" at Camden Yards support that statement very well.



As for Mancini, the Orioles have made it obvious that if he hits well enough, they will trade him out of town. Plus they have made his job more difficult with the dimensions. So if he doesn't feel the warm cocoon of love coming from the warehouse, I get it. He deserves a shot to play in the playoffs. With any luck we will get someone back who we will someday hear of.

Hank     May 19
I love the new wall! These coddled athletes are bigger and stronger than ever before. They don't have to sell shoes in the off season like former Baltimore stars once did. A home run is not the be all end all and at age 53 I could reach the old power alley (on a batting practice pitch). So shut shut up buttercups and adjust your game.

HERMAN     May 19
Once again an "imposter post". I don't bet chalk. And I don't put much stock in touts.

Please allow me out of the posting game and stop posting using my name. It isn't amusing nor does it demonstrate class.

Herman     May 19
I won't vomit if Rory wins. I put a Benjamin on him to win when the site owner picked him. I'm no dummy.

DJ     May 19
LOL, Rory gonna run away with this and Herman is gonna vomit.

Delray RICK     May 19
Check out prices at PGA this week. $19 dollars for beer!!

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
As for N Saban its amazing the media cant see whats really going on....these coaches understand that if all these boosters and schools spend more and more for players its gonna eventually hurt coaches salaries

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
What did people expect? Either hitters or pitchers will be mad. I thought it was foolhardy. Didnt have trouble attracting J Key D Wells K Brown and other pitchers when you were good and had payroll second to Yanks from 93 to 98. Never heard Mussina mention dimensions as reason for leaving ...was the lowball offer. Spend it and they will come. Dimensions are meant to distract us from their cheapness and lazy media fell for it

Hal     May 19
Take a bow yourself, Drew. You have done an outstanding job with those young CHC golfers. Three straight wins in three years is impressive. Well done to you and the CHC golfers.

Frank P     May 19
Got word from Monk last night. He will be at Pimlico on Thursday. Told me that #10 Berks in the 5th is a bet if he looks good in the paddock. I'll meet him there, we sit in the boxes overlooking the finish line.

Brett B.     May 18
This KJ character is quite the boot licker for Herman. Talk about carrying someone's water for them.

Pauly D     May 18
Happy 85th Birthday Brooks!

kj     May 18
Love the geniuses with the "if you have different opinion than Drew" that must equate to "disdain for Drew". Brilliant take!

But best part was right after this trash take on Herman, we get "I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy....".

SOD is right, can't buy this comedy on the street (huh??) and my all time favorite: "must be a plant" lol




Delray RICK     May 18
MY comments on DEM O'S wil be posted at the 1/3 mark which is a true evaluation and not a silly 20 game start. And it an't going to be good.

Mark in Perry Hall     May 18
Herman doesn't post any longer because "someone is using my name." Then suddenly out of nowhere he starts posting again and on his first post back he craps on DF to stir the pot.



But he's not a plant, right? Sure.

Don from Catonsville     May 18
Why some people post in the comments here when they seem to have such disdain for Drew is beyond me. Herman for example or he who claims to be Herman. Just move on to some other sports site.

At the same time I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy with the outrage over the Saudi Golf league. The NBA and life in general is wrapped around depending on China . China makes the Saudi seem like just schoolyard bullies IMO

Biff H     May 18
Here they come to save the day. SOD….SOD….SOD…..SOD…..

GM     May 18
Larry with the home run comment of the day. "I've stopped posting, but here's a post."

Larry     May 18
LOL.

Herman writes: Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting.

And then he posts 1,000 words anyway.

You can't buy this comedy on the street. It's priceless.

HERMAN     May 18
Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting. That along with the ridiculous takes by both the site owner and majority of commentators. The holier-than-thou pontification about the new Saudi league, and joy found over the trials and tribulations of Phil and Ricky are not just sad to read but a bit disgusting. The ways in which your daily life is intertwined with both the Saudis and China, two abhorrent governing bodies, is so pervasive as to make each of us complicit. Every visit to the pump places you in direct connection with the Saudis. Every visit to any market puts you in touch with China. This idea that the Saudi League is "tainted" by association is completely ridiculous. Drive a gas powered vehicle you enrich the Saudis, an electric you enrich the Chinese. So woven are they both in our daily lives. The Saudi money is involved in just about every venture, the Musk buy of Twitter revealed them to be a major investor. Has that stopped our "Hooded4Iron" site owner from posting on Twitter?

Spare me the outrage over Phil's dance with them. Competition is good, just the threat has already influenced purses and compensation from the PGA. Why the hate for an organization shoving extreme amounts of cash into the game you love? From our government, to our major companies, to the pump the Saudis touch everything, and thereby touch you. You'd have to be monastic to avoid it.

And the Ricky Fowler bashing, Good God. He made it to the show, he competed at the highest levels, got rich doing it, lives a life here in nearby Jupiter that would be the envy of all. If his career is "done", and he goes the way of so many others that saw only brief success on tour, so be it. But he got there, he tried, he succeeded against the best in the world. Every blue tee I know would kill to have his life and lifestyle. Yet guys not fit to shine his golf shoes seem to revel in his struggle. It's ridiculous.

Who the site owner picks to win a major means no more to me than the next guy I pass on the street. His love of the Messiah is well documented here. As is my own disdain.

Enjoy the tournament.


Eric in Gaithersburg     May 18
I love how the expert throws out Aberdeen record cause it doesnt fit his narrative lol. He will make a great employee at PMSNBC ot FoxNews. Or the fact that Adley has had 30AB or that many of Norfolk best have been up with Os or that minor league records are useless. The fact that Grayson, Prieto, G Henderson and many others are playing well or that Stowers and Westburg are struggling are what matters.

Paul T.     May 17
They had 12,200 in the stadium last night to see the O's? I'd call that a miracle based on the 4,000 crowds they had earlier in the season. Business is picking up.

Lee     May 17
I agree with JP that it would be really funny to see Herman's head blow off if he saw Drew pick Tiger to win in tomorrow's edition of the Dish.

Jon     May 17
Unless he changes his mind, Drew said on his golf radio show last Sunday that Rory is his pick to win the PGA.

TimD in Timonium     May 17
Rickie's crossed the $40M threshold in career earnings on the PGA. Nice work."He is the Mercedes Benz global ambassador since 2016 after being their brand ambassador in the US since 2013. Fowler is also associated with other top companies like Cobra (Puma), Rocket Mortgage, and Farmers Insurance." So, do your sponsors follow along to the Saudi tour? Maybe Mercedes does.

CIK     May 17
My source tell me DF picks Rory to win

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Drew is picking Spieth to win.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Frew is picking Spieth to win.

kj     May 17
Poor @JP. Guess it's just me, can't see any reason why anyone would care a) who DF picks and b) what Herman's reaction might be. But hey, whatever floats your boat right?

I get the disdain for this league that is "doing business with the Saudis", but if somehow this format was put together without involving despots and murderers, would it be viewed more positively as an alternative to the current PGA Tour format? Perhaps that is not viable without oil money or China, just wondering if the "improvements" Phil and now Fowler reference have some legs on their own merit.

I get not wanting to support Saudis, not questioning that at all. Just wondering if this different pay for play model might be an improvement over the current setup, from a financial standpoint, for most players? Or not really?

BTW, finishing T33 every week seems like a good living to me, where can I sign up for that lol??

J.P.     May 17
If @DF picks Tiger Woods to win the PGA just to dig at @Herman, I'll laugh all day tomorrow.

Chris     May 17
Great article on Fowler today. Seems like you've hit it right on the head. If he still wants to make $$ playing golf he'll probably have to jump to one of those renegade groups to do it. So long Ricky!

Saturday
May 7, 2022
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2812


"can i ask you a question?"


Mike Mussina was a great pitcher in Baltimore but not always the most popular guy amongst media members who had to deal with him on a daily basis while the right hander was in Charm City.

Mussina, a Stanford grad, didn't suffer fools. His time was valuable and, more times than not, you probably regretted asking him "for a minute or two" once the question and answer session was finished. He wasn't a bad guy, per se, he just didn't particularly care for people asking him about his profession when they, themselves, didn't know how to do it.

Anyway, Mussina was famous for terse one-liners when he was approached by media members he didn't know or recognize.

"Hi, Mike, do you mind if I ask you a question," one would say.

"Apparently I don't. I just let you ask one," Mussina would reply.

Or this one, the most famous of his retorts.

"Hey, Mike, can I ask you a quick question?"

Mussina, without looking up from his New York Times crossword puzzle: "You just did."

And there was also this:

"Mike, can I ask you a few questions?"

"Well, that's one out of the way. What are your other two?" Mussina would ask.

Fortuntely here at #DMD, I don't have quite the bite of Mussina.

You're welcome.


John in Reisterstown asks: "Now that you've seen the Ravens draft and their 2022 schedule of teams, what's your thought on their record this coming season?

DF says: "Ahhh, the old, "what's their record gonna be?" in May question. Love it. I think you still have to wait and see what they do in free agency. As of this (Saturday) morning, there's some internet chatter about the Ravens being a potential landing spot for wide receiver Jarvis Landry. He might help.

I could also see them possibly bringing in a veteran linebacker, perhaps. But all things being equal -- adding a player or two of Landry's quality, let's say -- I think the Ravens are a 12 or 13 win team. That is, of course, if Lamar stays healthy. But I think they're a 12-5, 13-4 team."


Collin Morikawa has 2 major titles in the early stages of his career. How many will he finish with?

James Privito asks: "Golf question for you. My regular foursome at Geneva Farms got into this last Sunday and thought we'd get your opinion. When their careers are all over, who has more major championships, Spieth, Thomas, Morikawa or Scheffler? Thanks, Drew!

DF says: "Well, you're talking about four great players, obviously. Spieth (with 3) has a head start on them, but he's also older than the other three. It would be easy to buy into the Scheffler hype right now, but I think, of those four you listed, Spieth will wind up the top guy. He'll figure out a way to win another Masters someday and maybe even something else. Morikawa could also win 4 or 5. He has 2 already, obviously. Thomas is the enigma of the group. As solid as he is, he should win a lot more. He just doesn't putt well enough, it seems.

I'll say Spieth finishes with 4, Morikawa wins 4, Scheffler wins 3 and Thomas wins 2. Check back in 20 years and let's see how I did with this one, OK?"


Paul T. asks: "I'm looking forward to introducing my 10-year old son to golf this summer (sorry, he goes to middle school in Carroll County so he's not a candidate for The Hall) and was wondering if you have one driving range tip I can make sure I pass on to him. Thanks!"

DF says: "Sure thing, but be aware the "tip" has nothing at all to do with his golf swing or anything like that. Here's the best driving range tip I can give him: "Don't be a raker". And by that, I mean, don't just stand there and hit a ball, rake another one in front of you, hit that one, rake another one in front of you, hit that ball, rake another one, etc. Those people are "rakers". Those people don't get much better.

If you get a bucket of balls that has, say 80 golf balls in it, it should take you (or him) approximately 40 minutes to finish that bucket, at a minimum. After each ball, you should be mentally storing away how the ball felt at impact, what the flight and trajectory of the ball looked like (did it curve right? left? low? high?) and how far it carried, approximately. Your son should be working on a pre-shot routine before each ball he hits. How does he "step into the shot" so that his grip, stance and posture are correct before he takes the club back?

All of that is far more important than just hitting the ball, raking another one in front of you, raking that ball, hitting another one, etc. Good luck. Please bring him to Pine Ridge for one of our free Maryland FCA Golf clinics. The next one is Wednesday, May 25 at 6 pm."


Rich asks: "What did you think of last night's (Wednesday) incident involving umpire Dan Bellino and Madison Bumgarner?"

DF says: "Just another #clownshoes moment for those goofy umpires. It's unreal how they think, night after night, the game is about them. In fairness to Bellino, he did apologize on Friday for the entire incident, as well he should. But this constant tension they create with players who even *remotely* question them is insane. If you even look back at them in what they think is "odd", you're on their radar. It's awful.

But credit to Bellino, he realized how much of a buffoon he appeared to be in the Wednesday incident and apologized for it. That's more than about 95% of the other umps do when they try and soak up the spotlight."


Curtis asks: "A lot of websites like yours create a paywall version where some of the stuff is free and some you have to pay for. Have you ever thought of doing a paid version of your site?"

DF says: I think the term you're looking for is "premium content". There are lots of anti-DMD folks who would say "premium content" and "Drew's Morning Dish" collide about as often as "Orioles" and "had a great week". But it's a legitimate question for anyone who owns a web-based platform, whether it's written, audio or video. Anyway, the answer is "no". The website will always be free, no matter if the content is just OK, good or "premium" in your estimation. It's been free since August 25, 2014 and will always be free, unless my son takes it over someday and changes the format and business model.

In return for the site being free, I just ask that you patronize the corporate partners that you see on the site. I had someone send me a nice note last week about a plumbing issue they recently had. They consulted with Saffer Plumbing, who did a quick 1-day job for them at their house in Rosedale, and all went well. He told the Saffer representative he saw their ad here at Drew's Morning Dish. That's better than any "paywall" I could have. Thanks for the question. It's a good one."


Eric DeCosta, Ravens General Manager.

Rico asks: "I know you don't like grading the NFL draft but I was wondering what you think of the job Eric DeCosta has done for the Ravens? It seems like he's getting a lot more criticism than Ozzie ever did. Is that fair?"

DF says: What I'm about to write will hopefully not be misconstrued in any way. Ozzie was a great general manager. Period. But Ozzie also got a career lifetime pass in Baltimore because he drafted Ray Lewis and Jon Ogden. Those two players built the foundation of the franchise when it moved from Cleveland to Baltimore. There was almost nothing Ozzie could do to diminish his status in town after choosing those two players.

And Ozzie was a "name". He played in the NFL, was a Hall of Famer, and people just assumed (and rightfully so) that he really knew what he was doing. So he pretty much got left alone. And, remember, during Ozzie's first 10 years or thereabouts, Twitter wasn't thriving as the #1 source for information exchange in social media. Eric is the GM smack-dab in the middle of Twitter-mania, where everyone who wants a podcast or a website has one.

Eric's done fine, in my opinion. Does he have some draft "whiffs" on his record? Of course he does. So does every GM, including Ozzie. I think Eric is a terrific general manager and talent evaluator."


Steve in Hunt Valley asks: "We're a little more than six months into the whole NCAA "NIL" thing and I was curious what you think about it? Have you formed an opinion?"

DF says: "Sure, I have an opinion. I think it was a massive overreaction to a problem that could have easily been handled by the NCAA a few years back. Giving a basketball player (example only, here) from North Carolina the opportunity to make $500,000 playing a season or two of college sports seems to totally contradict the very reason they were there in the first place: to get an education.

If the NCAA had a brain at all, they would have have conceived a plan of some kind that *rewarded* college athletes who stay in school and get their diploma in their chosen major. You want a basketball or football player to collect $250,000 or $500,000? That's a great idea. Make them stay in school and get their diploma. When they graduate, hand them a check and say, "Well done, student-athlete."

There are lots of nuts and bolts to that concept that I don't have time to figure out right now, but you get the idea. "We get to use your name and likeness to promote your participation as an athlete at our school and we'll give you free tuition and a check when you graduate in exchange for that." If they only stay 2 years, they still receive money from the school when they leave, but it's greatly reduced from what they would have received had they stayed all 4 years and graduated. Kind of like the penalty you pay for pulling money out of your IRA early, as an example.

Pretty simple, huh? Even a dummy from Glen Burnie can figure that one out."


Pete asks: "Thanks for recognizing Adam "MCA" Yauch today (Wednesday). He was a pioneer in the rap world. I was just curious what your 5 favorite Beastie Boys songs are? Thanks, Drew.

DF says: I'd have to really think long and hard about that one. There are 25-30 great songs that I love. Here's my all-time favorite though. It's kind of an obscure song from the last album they did again. I like that it's a different sound for them. It shows their growth as a band but also gives them the opportunity to show off their varied skills with the mic."


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#dmd comments








unitastoberry     May 20
The 2 best punters ever in Baltimore football history. Sam Koch and David Lee. Glad there's no pressure on the kid from Pedo St....lol

Ricky     May 20
I don't understand the Site Owner's fascination with Adam Jones. I admit, Jones was a very good player here and represented the city well, but so did plenty of other Orioles. If you're going to "retire" Jones' number, then I believe you should also "retire" Boog Powell's (#26), Mike Cuellar's/Mike Mussina's (#35), Dave McNally's (#19), Mike Flanagan's (#46), and Ken Singleton's (#29) numbers. IMHO, they were also very good players that represented the city and franchise very well and contributed more to the franchise and fanbase (World Series, anyone?) than Adam Jones did.

Also, the Preakness is all but gone. I'd love to know what the actual crowds are for Black Eyed Susan and Preakness Day are, and not the Propaganda that the Maryland Jockey Club announces. My guess is that it's a fraction of what it was 30, 20, and even 10 years ago.

TJ     May 20
There is some rich irony in that comment from Herman.

Pokey     May 20
What a guy Garry is. Just like the frosted one, name dropping. 'I sat with two people from the Racing Form, look at me.'

Gary must be related to LF.

Delray RICK     May 20
Love to see LUCAS win with the FILLY.

Greg     May 20
Here's a fun fact for "Garry".



My wife works for a Baltimore Sports apparel company. Her boss sent an e-mail yesterday that said the company has 120 tickets to their tent and the race. Guess how many they originally had? 150.



The e-mail said "We kindly ask that you bring 3 guests if you plan on attending. We need to fill the tent. The food and beverage has been ordered for 150 people."



I just asked her how many are left. "105".They can't even give the tickets away tomorrow.

JK     May 20
You know what else is weird?

@Garry and @Monk are the same person.

How weird is it that @Garry says "I met Monk" when he is in fact, @Monk? So strange. His other moniker "@JerryH" hasn't been heard from here in a while.

Garry     May 20
Weird that this site and the radio empire are singing the same tune about the Preakness. We were out there yesterday. Met Monk, whose best bet of the day of the day took a lot of late money(6-1 as the gate was loading, won easy at 3-1). Monk was sitting with 2 DRF(Daily Racing Form) columnists. Pre-sale tickets are very brisk. Expecting 55k today and over 100k tomorrow. The box seats we were in are sold out both days at 600 dollars a piece.

I guess that two social media influencers like the 2 Baltimore sports icons with less than 10k combined Twitter followers know more about a sport that they ignore 50 weeks/year than the folks who promote it.

Horse racing has plenty of problems. But to just crap all over it fits the mindset. The O's are another whipping boy. Terps, D and O coordinators, fans, players.

Negativity sells and that is where we have lost our way. Joy is missing.

Fast facts. Saudi Arabia allows abortion..if the life of the mother is in jeopardy. They average about 25/year. USA kills over 600,000 a year. Who are the barbians?

Tom J     May 20
That's fine if the O's never issue #10 again but in no way should it be officially retired. That honor is reserved for the HOF'ers and the greatest Orioles ever. Jones was very good but certainly not in that class.....

Herman     May 20
Why doesn't the site owner use my name in his commentary? I do have a name, you know? Geez, is it that hard?

Rich     May 20
Love the video today for Faith in Sports! My favorite DMD segment of the week. Thanks Drew and thanks Free State for supporting it. God Bless!

Jason M     May 20
Maybe tonight is the night for Adley at the plate. We could use some joy in Mudville. A 95 degree Preakness is tough on everyone from the people working at the track to the horses and the spectators - hope everyone stays hydrated. I'll be watching and betting from home, my wife is nuts enough to run a Spartan race tomorrow.

Erick     May 20
Great work by Unitas below- enjoyed that

JohnInEssex     May 20
Drew, your description of Lorenzo Sanz Jr. regarding his demeanor doesn't surprise me. He's just like his Dad, in a good way!

hal     May 19
Fake Herman is a total embarrassment.

Agree that Judge crying is total non-story. And Mancini did not "make a statement", he was asked about the whining from the Yankees.

Saban is right, the NIL cat is out of the bag and will damage the game eventually. I do agree big time players ought to get paid, so just pay them and stop pretending it's being done in a good way. Develop a pay scale and make the pay the same across the board. Pay to play or play amateur football like D II or D III. With gambling no longer considered "bad" for any sport, not sure why college athletes getting paid is a big deal any more.

stardust     May 19
Tiger tied with Garrett Higgo in 123rd place.

unitastoberry     May 19
We don't need no Trey Mancini. We don't need no Elias control. No tons of fans in the stadium. All in all it's just another Angelos in the wall.

Ricky     May 19
Uh, oh...

Looks like the Site Owner, the SOD, and the SOT (generally the same people) are NOT going to be happy.

Their hero Tiger Woods shot +4 today and is in danger of missing the cut at the PGA.

In all seriousness, Tiger has made great progress coming back from his serious injuries, but he might not be ready yet for major championship play.

Chris in Bel Air     May 19
Aesthetically, I don't like the hard, 90 degree corner wall by the bullpens. I would have preferred to see it more angled. Nevertheless, I don't think the concerns are just the wall. Batting totals are down to start the year across the league. The top team BA for the AL is Cleveland (.248). Not one AL team above .250. For reference, 5 teams ended last year above .248. There were 4 in 2020 and 8 in 2019. So while it may be a little early to completely state, and it may be a little more of a poke to hit it out at the Yard, the league isn't exactly tearing the cover off regardless.

Buckie (C.S.)     May 19
Why does anybody here care what Aaron Judge thinks about the new dimensions? He shouldn't be so shocked that not everyone is on his side. We sure have our nerve, not acting in the best interests of Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees. I haven't heard him mention anything about the cheap homers he has gotten from the little league dimensions at his park. People do pay to see the games for reasons other than him, not that the, dare I say, "crowds" at Camden Yards support that statement very well.



As for Mancini, the Orioles have made it obvious that if he hits well enough, they will trade him out of town. Plus they have made his job more difficult with the dimensions. So if he doesn't feel the warm cocoon of love coming from the warehouse, I get it. He deserves a shot to play in the playoffs. With any luck we will get someone back who we will someday hear of.

Hank     May 19
I love the new wall! These coddled athletes are bigger and stronger than ever before. They don't have to sell shoes in the off season like former Baltimore stars once did. A home run is not the be all end all and at age 53 I could reach the old power alley (on a batting practice pitch). So shut shut up buttercups and adjust your game.

HERMAN     May 19
Once again an "imposter post". I don't bet chalk. And I don't put much stock in touts.

Please allow me out of the posting game and stop posting using my name. It isn't amusing nor does it demonstrate class.

Herman     May 19
I won't vomit if Rory wins. I put a Benjamin on him to win when the site owner picked him. I'm no dummy.

DJ     May 19
LOL, Rory gonna run away with this and Herman is gonna vomit.

Delray RICK     May 19
Check out prices at PGA this week. $19 dollars for beer!!

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
As for N Saban its amazing the media cant see whats really going on....these coaches understand that if all these boosters and schools spend more and more for players its gonna eventually hurt coaches salaries

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
What did people expect? Either hitters or pitchers will be mad. I thought it was foolhardy. Didnt have trouble attracting J Key D Wells K Brown and other pitchers when you were good and had payroll second to Yanks from 93 to 98. Never heard Mussina mention dimensions as reason for leaving ...was the lowball offer. Spend it and they will come. Dimensions are meant to distract us from their cheapness and lazy media fell for it

Hal     May 19
Take a bow yourself, Drew. You have done an outstanding job with those young CHC golfers. Three straight wins in three years is impressive. Well done to you and the CHC golfers.

Frank P     May 19
Got word from Monk last night. He will be at Pimlico on Thursday. Told me that #10 Berks in the 5th is a bet if he looks good in the paddock. I'll meet him there, we sit in the boxes overlooking the finish line.

Brett B.     May 18
This KJ character is quite the boot licker for Herman. Talk about carrying someone's water for them.

Pauly D     May 18
Happy 85th Birthday Brooks!

kj     May 18
Love the geniuses with the "if you have different opinion than Drew" that must equate to "disdain for Drew". Brilliant take!

But best part was right after this trash take on Herman, we get "I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy....".

SOD is right, can't buy this comedy on the street (huh??) and my all time favorite: "must be a plant" lol




Delray RICK     May 18
MY comments on DEM O'S wil be posted at the 1/3 mark which is a true evaluation and not a silly 20 game start. And it an't going to be good.

Mark in Perry Hall     May 18
Herman doesn't post any longer because "someone is using my name." Then suddenly out of nowhere he starts posting again and on his first post back he craps on DF to stir the pot.



But he's not a plant, right? Sure.

Don from Catonsville     May 18
Why some people post in the comments here when they seem to have such disdain for Drew is beyond me. Herman for example or he who claims to be Herman. Just move on to some other sports site.

At the same time I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy with the outrage over the Saudi Golf league. The NBA and life in general is wrapped around depending on China . China makes the Saudi seem like just schoolyard bullies IMO

Biff H     May 18
Here they come to save the day. SOD….SOD….SOD…..SOD…..

GM     May 18
Larry with the home run comment of the day. "I've stopped posting, but here's a post."

Larry     May 18
LOL.

Herman writes: Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting.

And then he posts 1,000 words anyway.

You can't buy this comedy on the street. It's priceless.

HERMAN     May 18
Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting. That along with the ridiculous takes by both the site owner and majority of commentators. The holier-than-thou pontification about the new Saudi league, and joy found over the trials and tribulations of Phil and Ricky are not just sad to read but a bit disgusting. The ways in which your daily life is intertwined with both the Saudis and China, two abhorrent governing bodies, is so pervasive as to make each of us complicit. Every visit to the pump places you in direct connection with the Saudis. Every visit to any market puts you in touch with China. This idea that the Saudi League is "tainted" by association is completely ridiculous. Drive a gas powered vehicle you enrich the Saudis, an electric you enrich the Chinese. So woven are they both in our daily lives. The Saudi money is involved in just about every venture, the Musk buy of Twitter revealed them to be a major investor. Has that stopped our "Hooded4Iron" site owner from posting on Twitter?

Spare me the outrage over Phil's dance with them. Competition is good, just the threat has already influenced purses and compensation from the PGA. Why the hate for an organization shoving extreme amounts of cash into the game you love? From our government, to our major companies, to the pump the Saudis touch everything, and thereby touch you. You'd have to be monastic to avoid it.

And the Ricky Fowler bashing, Good God. He made it to the show, he competed at the highest levels, got rich doing it, lives a life here in nearby Jupiter that would be the envy of all. If his career is "done", and he goes the way of so many others that saw only brief success on tour, so be it. But he got there, he tried, he succeeded against the best in the world. Every blue tee I know would kill to have his life and lifestyle. Yet guys not fit to shine his golf shoes seem to revel in his struggle. It's ridiculous.

Who the site owner picks to win a major means no more to me than the next guy I pass on the street. His love of the Messiah is well documented here. As is my own disdain.

Enjoy the tournament.


Eric in Gaithersburg     May 18
I love how the expert throws out Aberdeen record cause it doesnt fit his narrative lol. He will make a great employee at PMSNBC ot FoxNews. Or the fact that Adley has had 30AB or that many of Norfolk best have been up with Os or that minor league records are useless. The fact that Grayson, Prieto, G Henderson and many others are playing well or that Stowers and Westburg are struggling are what matters.

Paul T.     May 17
They had 12,200 in the stadium last night to see the O's? I'd call that a miracle based on the 4,000 crowds they had earlier in the season. Business is picking up.

Lee     May 17
I agree with JP that it would be really funny to see Herman's head blow off if he saw Drew pick Tiger to win in tomorrow's edition of the Dish.

Jon     May 17
Unless he changes his mind, Drew said on his golf radio show last Sunday that Rory is his pick to win the PGA.

TimD in Timonium     May 17
Rickie's crossed the $40M threshold in career earnings on the PGA. Nice work."He is the Mercedes Benz global ambassador since 2016 after being their brand ambassador in the US since 2013. Fowler is also associated with other top companies like Cobra (Puma), Rocket Mortgage, and Farmers Insurance." So, do your sponsors follow along to the Saudi tour? Maybe Mercedes does.

CIK     May 17
My source tell me DF picks Rory to win

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Drew is picking Spieth to win.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Frew is picking Spieth to win.

kj     May 17
Poor @JP. Guess it's just me, can't see any reason why anyone would care a) who DF picks and b) what Herman's reaction might be. But hey, whatever floats your boat right?

I get the disdain for this league that is "doing business with the Saudis", but if somehow this format was put together without involving despots and murderers, would it be viewed more positively as an alternative to the current PGA Tour format? Perhaps that is not viable without oil money or China, just wondering if the "improvements" Phil and now Fowler reference have some legs on their own merit.

I get not wanting to support Saudis, not questioning that at all. Just wondering if this different pay for play model might be an improvement over the current setup, from a financial standpoint, for most players? Or not really?

BTW, finishing T33 every week seems like a good living to me, where can I sign up for that lol??

J.P.     May 17
If @DF picks Tiger Woods to win the PGA just to dig at @Herman, I'll laugh all day tomorrow.

Chris     May 17
Great article on Fowler today. Seems like you've hit it right on the head. If he still wants to make $$ playing golf he'll probably have to jump to one of those renegade groups to do it. So long Ricky!

Friday
May 6, 2022
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2811


buck...yeah!


Thursday was one wild day in the world of sports.

Really wild, in fact.

We found out Phil Mickelson lost $40 million via gambling and that his old caddie, Jim "Bones" Mackay, actually fired Phil in 2017 because the lefthander wasn't paying him.

Sergio Garcia became unglued down in Bethesda, MD at the PGA Tour stop and told a rules official "I only have to deal with you for a couple of more weeks", an obvious reference to Garcia's imminent move to the Saudi Golf League.

Last night, the New York Mets scored 7 runs in the 9th inning in Philadelphia to beat the Phillies, 8-7. Two things stand out about that comeback. We'll get to those momentarily.

Buck Showalter and the Mets pulled off an improbable comeback last night in Philadelphia.

Shohei Ohtani continued to one-up Babe Ruth as he recorded 11 strikeouts in seven innings on the mound and produced two hits at the plate in the Angels' 8-0 win over the Red Sox at Fenway.

There was playoff hockey overtime again last night, which is still, in my opinion (and I'm sure you trust me), the single best "playoff atmosphere" of any sport, anywhere. This time it was a 2-1 Colorado home win over Nashville, in a game that could have gone either way about six times in sudden death.

And I know winning and losing don't matter when it comes to the Orioles, but we talk sports here and they're a sports team and, yes, they figured out a way to win last night at home over the Twins, 5-3. A fairly robust crowd of 8,652 jammed their way into Camden Yards to see six home runs in the victory, which pushes the Orioles out of last place in the A.L. East.

OK, OK, nitpickers will say "they're still in last place", but that's only because the Birds are tied for fourth with Boston. I don't know, maybe that's not technically last place? It's fourth place. There are five teams in the division. Is it last place? Heck, I don't know. I just know our battlin' Birds are 10-16 and have won two straight. You like apples? How 'bout them apples?

And now the Royals comes to town for a 3-game series. Heck, before you know it, the O's might be a .500 baseball team. In May. I know, I know: "It doesn't matter". Well, show me someone who is OK with losing and you know what I'll show you? A loser.

That's one of the better sports axioms I've encountered in my lifetime. "Show me someone who is OK with losing and I'll show you...a loser." Vince Lombardi and Martina Navratilova (what a combo, huh?) both lay claim to coining that phrase. I have no idea who came up with it first, but anyway, the O's won again last night and it's better than losing.


This book coming out in two weeks about Phil Mickelson is going to be a doozy. Author Alan Shipnuck doesn't completely filet Mickelson, but he certainly comes close to it. As Shipnuck pointed out yesterday while making the media rounds after releasing a key excerpt from the book, there's plenty of "good" about Mickelson in the unauthorized biography. But the only reason there's occasionally some "good" is to balance out the "awful" that's in there as well.

Mickelson gambled away $40 million. And in an apparent (the book gives the details) effort to minimize some of those losses, he got himself involved in some insider trading that resulted in a $970,000 "give back" to the government. Anyone else would have probably gone to jail. Phil got a fine and a slap on the wrist.

Phil's relationship with longtime caddie Jim "Bones" Mackay was always thought to be good. When the two parted company a while back, each guy went to great lengths to speak glowingly about the other.

Shipnuck uncovered a different finale to their friendship and business relationship.

It turns out Phil wasn't paying Bones. So Mackay, at one point, fired Mickelson. It's usually the other way around in golf. Player fires caddie. But Mackay got tired of being stood up on payday and told Phil to find another caddie.

Imagine that. You're working for -- arguably -- the second best player in the world and you can't get paid because he had the Lakers minus 7.5 last night and they only won 102-100. And people think Tiger's nuts, right?

Shipnuck's book would likely be a career-ruiner (not sure if "ruiner" is a word, but that's the charm of using it) if not for the fact that Phil's already in the December of a storied 3-decade run on the PGA Tour. The book, even if Shipnuck didn't intend to portray Phil this way, shows Mickelson to be a complete loose cannon. A coniver. A viperish, sneaky and at times even unethical guy who used his incredible golf talent to shield everyone from the fact that he had derailed.


It's not really a surprise that Sergio Garcia got irritated at a rules official yesterday down at TPC Potomac during the first round of the Wells Fargo. Sure, he's mellowed quite a bit over the years, but Garcia has always had the capability of running hot, even at the slightest of perceived slights.

Sergio Garcia all but told the golfing world on Thursday that he's leaving the PGA Tour later this month and signing on with the Saudi Golf League.

On Thursday, a PGA Tour rules official screwed up and cheated Sergio out of, let's say, 40 seconds, in an effort to find a lost ball. Rules say you have 3 minutes to find your ball "from the moment you arrive in what is believed to be its general location". Garcia needed to cross a small body of water to get to that area, but the rules official started his watch as soon as Garcia left the fairway and got into the heavy grass.

When informed his 3 minutes had expired, Garcia lit into the rules official.

"I can't wait to leave this tour. ... I can't wait to get out of here, my friend."

After walking through the waist-high grass a little longer, Garcia said, "A couple of more weeks, I don't have to deal with you anymore."

I guess there's something funny about a guy who has made $54 million on the PGA Tour complaining about the very entity that made it possible for him to make that money. People are weird, man.

So not that it comes as any surprise, but Garcia is apparently headed off to lock arms with Greg Norman and the Saudi Golf League in a few weeks. That Garcia spilled the beans yesterday should make for a fun weekend, particularly if he makes the cut and has to face the media at some point. Yesterday, he refused to speak to the press after his opening round of 3-under par.

Personally, I always thought Garcia got a bit of a bad shake from the U.S. media. He was a hothead and they knew if they pounced on him it would make his temperature rise even more. He was "in the right" yesterday, as it turns out, but once his comments were overheard and splashed on the internet, the only thing anyone cared about is that Garcia apparently confessed that he's one of the names headed to the Saudi tour.

And once he pitches his tent with the Saudi government, Garcia's reputation as a human being takes a massive direct hit. $54 million in career PGA Tour earnings will probably help heal any wounds he receives as a result of joining forces with those people.

Oh, yeah, about the golf tournament itself. Denny McCarthy, a Silver Spring native that we've featured here quite a bit and was recently a guest on my radio show on 105.7 The Fan, is in the hunt at his hometown event after a 5-under par opening round. Jason Day -- remember him? -- is the leader after a 7-under par 63 on Thursday.

Heck, I almost forgot...

There was even a Rickie-Fowler-on-the-leaderboard-sighting on Thursday. The former #4 player in the world shot 4-under 66. No, that's not his "net" score. It was a real, true "66".


Baseball has those weird unwritten rules about "blow out games". It's a good thing the New York Mets didn't subscribe to them last night in Philadelphia. Despite trailing 7-1 going into the top of the 9th inning, the Mets kept trying. And trying some more. And, wouldn't you know it, the Mets actually came back to win, 8-7.

Brandon Nimmo delivered a tying, two-run single, then scored on Starling Marte's tiebreaking double to end a string of 857 consecutive losses by MLB clubs when trailing by six runs or more in the ninth, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

That's quite an accomplishment by the Mets.

Here's how it unfolded: With the Mets trailing 7-1, Marte led off the inning with an infield single against James Norwood and scored on Francisco Lindor's two-run homer. Mark Canha added an RBI infield single, and J.D. Davis had a pinch-hit RBI double before Nimmo's 2-run single tied the game and Marte finished off the inning.

The best part? It happened in Philadelphia.

Why is that good, you ask?

Because in the stands in Philadelphia last night were Phillies fans. And, by geographic connection alone, some of those people -- maybe even a lot of them -- are also fans of the Philadelphia Flyers.

That Flyers fans left the stadium disappointed and frustrated last night is just awesome.

Anyone else becoming a Mets fan now that they have Buck Showalter at the helm?

Yeah, me too.


I mentioned playoff hockey above and even referenced the Colorado-Nashville thriller from Thursday night. That one was ultra-exciting.

The Caps-Panthers clash in Florida last night? Not such a thriller.

The visitors returned to their playoff sleepwalking ways as Washington scored just once in a 5-1 loss. The series is tied at 1-1 now and shifts to D.C. for Game 3 tomorrow.

It was a night to forget for goaltender Vitek Vanececk, who was nicked for five goals in 40 minutes. Only a Nicklas Backstrom power play goal in the second period kept the Capitals from getting blanked.

Game 3 of a best-of-7-series is deemed by most folks to be the most important contest. It certainly rings true in this case. The Caps now have home ice advantage (3 of the last 5 in D.C., if it gets played to the max), but a Game 3 loss would shift things favorably to the Panthers, who were the overwhelming favorite heading into the series.

Given what we know of the Capitals and the playoffs, you can expect some sort of heartbreaking 3-2 double overtime defeat tomorrow where the Caps have a power play in both the first and second overtime periods but fail to cash in, only to see Florida score the eventual game-winner on a harmless puck thrown into the crease from the corner that deflects off of John Carlson's skate and goes into the net.

Yeah, I'm a lifelong Caps fan. I know what's coming.

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faith in sports


The story of a picture that appeared in the New York Times is the centerpiece of this 4 minute video featuring Tim Tebow. Just four minutes. That's all you need to set aside today and watch this. It takes four minutes to drink a cup of coffee or tea. Please take four minutes today and watch Tebow talk about the photo that rocked the world in 1993.

As always, thanks to our friends at Freestate Electrical for their continued support of our "Faith in Sports" segment.

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Thursday
May 5, 2022
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#2810


thursday things


I bumped into a longtime friend yesterday that I don't usually see much until the summer months. He coaches youth baseball in the spring and I'm busy with Calvert Hall Golf. Once the pool opens at Eagle's Nest and our kids are there on a daily basis, we bump into each other quite a bit.

"How do you decide what to write every morning?" he asked me yesterday when I saw him in a Timonium eatery.

"Good question," I replied. "Sometimes I know a day in advance, sometimes it's the morning of."

"Like, what are you writing about tomorrow (Thursday) morning? Do you know yet?"

I laughed.

"Well, I'm not allowed to write about the Orioles winning or losing," I said.

"People are so nervous about former players doing well I can't even reference them," I said with a laugh.

"And I can't write about the attendance, either."

"I took the boys to a game against the Brewers the first week of the season and the place was empty," my friend recalled.

"I know," I stated. "But people get agitated when you mention that. Or, when I mention that, I should say. Heck, people get irritated when I mention attendance in other cities besides Baltimore."

"I have a guy -- he's called "Regular Joe" -- writing Orioles stuff on a regular basis now and it works out perfectly," I continued. "He follows the big league club and the minor league teams and it's much better to have his insights and opinions on what's going on. When you're a new writer, you're kind of exempt from getting harangued for a while."

Alas, I won't mention last night's 9-4 win over Minnesota or the 7,400 who witnessed it. But those two things are matters of public record. I heard a rumor Trey Mancini had a big night, which is always good.

There was even a former O's pitcher who got nicked up last night in Baltimore for the Twins -- but no one cares about that. Once they're gone, they're gone.

Speaking of the Twins, they play in the A.L. Central Division. So, too, do the White Sox. My friend Gavin Sheets, who is part of our local Fellowship of Christian Athletes group in Baltimore, went 1-for-4 last night with a RBI in the White Sox 4-3 win over the Cubs.

It's such a shame the Orioles didn't draft Gavin back in 2017. A Baltimore kid and all. His dad played for the Birds. Power, good with the glove, etc.

Oh, that's right. They had Chris Davis in 2017. Never mind.


If you're starting to think about Father's Day gifts and your dad is a golfer, I have something that might interest you. Or, rather, Bob Harig has something that might interest you.

Harig is the golf writer for SI.Com and his new book, detailing the 25-year rivalry between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, has hit newstands everywhere.

Tiger & Phil, Golf's Most Fascinating Rivalry looks back at the twists and turns of the relationship between the best two players in the game since 1996. They are at the point now where they're (mostly) friendly, but it certainly wasn't always that way.

Like Jack and Arnold, who put on a good public face but weren't always all that nice to one another priviately, Woods and Mickelson were fierce competitors on the course, neither willing to give the other much leeway.

When grouped together, their head-to-head mark was close, with Tiger holding a 19-15-4 edge and taking 2,653 strokes compared to Phil’s 2,678. That’s just a 25-strokes difference over 38 rounds. But not much else about their respective careers was close.

Tiger has 82 wins, Phil has 45. Not much rivalry there.

Tiger has 15 majors, Phil has 6. Rivalry? Eh, not much.

Tiger spent 683 weeks as the world's #1 ranked player. Phil? Never spent a week there. Heck, even Tom Lehman made it to #1 at one point.

But here's the thing.

Despite the cavernous differences in their careers, there very much was a rivalry. Phil resented Tiger's extraordinary golfing abilities and Tiger resented Phil's popularity despite not winning as much as Woods won.

And whether Tiger would admit it or not, he probably thought it was ludicrous that Mickelson got big bucks from corporate clients and was splashed all over TV every weekend, despite clearly playing second fiddle to Woods.

Harig uncovers the trail of their rivalry in his book. I won't give away everything the pages tell, but I'll say, at least, that the last few chapters detail an interesting twist to the rivalry and their friendship.

I'm endeavoring to have Harig join me on a future edition of "Fairways and Greens" on 105.7 The Fan. I'll let you know if that happens.

In the meantime, I'm rolling through the copy of the book I received. Rich Beem has just won the PGA Championship and Woods, who finished 2nd, laughed in the locker room and said "Rich Beem one, Phil Mickelson zero." Mickelson hadn't yet won a major title and Woods thought that was hilarious.

So...apparently there was a rivalry after all.

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"Regular Joe"
on the 2022 Orioles and their minor league teams


"Regular Joe" has been following the Orioles for the better part of four decades. He'll be our eyes and ears in 2022 on both the Orioles and their various minor league teams as the Birds look to rebuild a winner in Baltimore.


One Month In – A Closer Look at the O’s Minor League Affiliates


As the big club continues to display solid pitching and miserable hitting through the first four games of the homestand, let’s take a closer look at our minor league clubs after one month of activity.

First, a few notes about my first in-person experience of the year, as I attended the Akron Rubber Ducks vs the Baysox contest in Bowie ten days ago. This was my first ever visit to Prince George’s Stadium, and frankly turned out to be great.

O's prospect Gunnar Henderson, as seen from the stands at Bowie.

The stadium is easy to find right off route 3, although save plenty of time if coming from the north around 5pm. And trust me, you want to get there early for the happy hour before the first pitch. Goose Island IPA drafts are $3, and domestics are $2 during that hour, which makes the $13 senior ticket a bargain.

Given the damp gray skies, it was easy to get a seat about 12 rows from the field, without stepping up to the “box” seats.

The Baysox were stymied by the RubberDucks lefty for six innings, but Bowie’s lefty Drew Rom kept us in the game until Bowie finally broke through on some shoddy fielding by Akron and won 3-2. It was a game clearly dominated by the pitchers (more on that later). All in all, a great evening and I highly encourage the readers to make the trip.

Here we go through the affiliates, starting at the top in AAA (stats shown below are through Monday unless noted):

Norfolk (14-12) –

The Tides are 13th (of 20 teams) in hitting with a .244 batting average and 14th in pitching with a 5,05 ERA. Both of these are very disappointing given how well Norfolk started the season.

Infielders Tyler Nevin (before his call-up) and Terrin Vavra (before his injury) have carried the offense thus far, both with OBPs above .400. Infielders Richie Martin and Jahmai Jones are reinforcing that they are not major league prospects, as they struggle to hit .200..

Norfolk needs Yusniel Diaz back from another injury and Kyle Stowers to hit better to win more games, and more importantly to see if these two can help the big club after Santander and Mancini are likely traded later this summer.

As for the pitchers, we know Kyle Bradish and Grayson Rodriquez can both pitch, even if Rodriquez has gotten hit around lately. Beyond that, the Tides starters have been awful – probably time for the organization to cut loose guys like Cody Sedlock, Zac Lowther and Blaine Knight, none of whom can get AAA hitters out.

Several relievers are pitching well, like Tim Naughton, Nick Vespi and former Ray Marcos Diplan; expect to see each of them at OPACY sometime this summer.


Bowie (10-12) –

The Baysox have also come out of the gate slowly in the South Atlantic League, which so far has been very pitching dominant. Bowie is 4th of 12 teams hitting with just a .240 batting average, and rank 8th with a 4.68 ERA.

Bowie only has two hitters of note through last Monday. Outfielders Hunter Haskin (.345 BA) and Dylan Harris (.412 BA) have been the most consistent hitters. Haskin is only 23 and looks like a legit prospect.

After a slow start, the highly touted 20 year old infielder Gunnar Henderson is batting .250, but with a .427 OBP. He is 6’2 and 210 pounds at a young age and should progress nicely with that batting eye. Also the victim of a slow start, 2020 first round pick Jordan Westburg is only hitting .200 but does have 5 homers. I would think both of these players would be in Baltimore some time in 2023 given the abysmal state of the big club’s infield.


Aberdeen (16-6) –

The Ironbirds are clearly the class of the Orioles farm, and one of the best across all the minor leagues. They are ranked 1st of the 12 teams in the South Atlantic League in batting with a .271 BA and a respectable 6th in pitching with a 4.20 ERA.

Aberdeen has some exciting young offensive prospects. They are also impressive because of their physical tools at a young age. It is too early to bank on them being major league talents, but the odds are encouraging for now. Four to keep an eye on:

* IF Cesar Prieto – signed in the last year out of Cuba, Prieto is hitting .328 with 7 round-trippers to lead the Os system.

* OF John Rhodes – a 3rd round pick just last year, Rhodes is only 21 and a solid 6 ft and 200 pounds. He is leading the Ironbirds with a .339 BA and has chipped in 13 rbi.

* OF Donta Williams - 2021’s 4th round pick. Williams OBP is over .400 and he has 8 steals.

* IF/OF Coby Mayo – 6 homers and 20 rbi through 20 games. As mentioned before, Coby is a physical freak at 6’5 and 215 pounds and only 20 years old.

On the pitching side, Aberdeen’s starters have been average but the bullpen is excellent. As a staff they have only walked 59 batters in 20 games, which is good at any level but especially High A.

Although they both have high ERAs, I am keeping my eye on young righties Jean Pinto and Ignacio Feliz – through last night’s game they had combined to strike out 58 hitters in 34 innings, against only 14 walks.


Delmarva (7-16) –

As good as the Ironbirds have been, that is unfortunately how bad the Shorebirds are. They are woeful across the board, ranking 11th of 12 in batting with a .210 BA, and last in the Carolina League in pitching at an ERA of 5.52 (sounds like the Orioles of 2021).

I only notice two batters to keep our eye on at present. 20 year old shortstop Darell Hernaiz continues to mature, as the 2019 draftee has grown to 6’1 and 190 pounds. He is hitting .313 with 5 homers and 16 RBI. CF Isaac Bellony is only 21 and stands 6’2 215 lbs., and is hitting .279 with 3 homers. I hope we have more batters to highlight after May.

The pitching is beset with command issues; Delmarva has walked a staggering 117 in the first 21 games. A few to watch though are 2 young international signees – 19 year old Juan de los Santos with a 1.59 ERA and 1.06 WHIP, and 18 year old Moises Chace, who is already 6’1 and 210 lbs, and has struck out 18 hitters in 11 innings.

Along the way, I haven’t mentioned top prospects Adley Rutschman and DL Hall, who have begun their trek back from injuries and have just been promoted to Bowie from Aberdeen. Absent any further health setbacks, I would hope to see both in an Orioles uniform before July 4.

I would summarize the Orioles system like this: The Os are counting on Rutschman to be the centerpiece of the offense for the next 7 years. He needs to be an All Star, and nothing less (another Matt Wieters isn’t good enough). Of the top 3 starter prospects. Grayson Rodriquez, Kyle Bradish and D.L. Hall, two of them have to be solid big league starters by 2023.

I say that because I believe the pitching depth is very thin throughout the system (note that only 1 pitcher was selected in their first ten draft picks last year) – I believe this year’s draft will lean much heavier towards pitching. The offensive depth across the farm is much better, and hopefully we can create a credible major league lineup in the next 2-3 years internally as most of the 2022 team is traded off.

I also think the pandemic and the lack of minor league games in 2020 will push off the Os being competitive at the major league level, which I would now target as 2024. I hope I am wrong, but patience is a virtue…

Fans can follow progress at milb.com, the one stop shopping for all things minor leagues. If you haven’t noticed, the minors have adopted a six game per week schedule against the same team at the same location, with Mondays as a travel day. Next month’s report will include a review of the fan experience at a game in Aberdeen – stay well all.

PS – if you need to tune in to something after the Os games wear you out this week, try to catch the Memphis – Golden State NBA playoff series. The Grizzlies’ Ja Morant is the real deal, an incredible ball handler combined with unreal hops and mojo – he has several highlight reel finishes already in the playoffs (one at the buzzer to beat the Twolves last week). And on the other side is Steph Curry, who is still fun to watch. The series is tied 1-1 after Memphis hosted the first two games, and resumes Saturday at Golden State. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

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Wednesday
May 4, 2022
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#2809


a decade later...


There are very few entertainer/celebrity deaths in my lifetime that will impact me.

I remember being a teenager, with my mom in Ocean City, when news broke that Elvis had passed away. She heard it on a radio while we were sitting on the beach at 44th Street. She cried, as did others around at the time.

Women that didn't even know one another stood together on the sand, embracing and crying while the radio DJ talked about Elvis and played "Blue Suede Shoes".

I recall thinking to myself, "You all don't even know Elvis, why does it matter to you that he died?"

Adam Yauch was just 47 years old when he passed away ten years ago today.

Kids, huh?

These days, the only celebrity I can say, without question, that would impact me the way Elvis impacted my mom would be to learn that Bruce Springsteen has passed away. I'm quite certain I'll cry when The Boss dies.

Ten years ago today, Adam Yauch died. May 4, 2012. I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news, via text, from a friend of mine. I didn't cry. But I might as well have. I was deeply saddened by his passing and every May 4 since then, I take a minute or two to remember him.

Here at #DMD, I've annually tried to post something about Yauch and his impact on the music world on the anniversary of his death.


Here's an excerpt from his obituary:

Adam “MCA” Yauch, a founding member of the pioneering rap band Beastie Boys, died Friday (May 4, 2012) after a nearly three-year battle with cancer, the band’s publicist said.

The Beastie Boys, who blended punk and rap, burst on the music scene in 1986 with the album “Licensed to Ill,” which included hits such as “(You Gotta) Fight for the Right (to Party”), an anthem to teen angst; “Brass Monkey” and “No Sleep Till Brooklyn.”

Yauch was the oldest of the Beastie Boys, an only child who grew up in Brooklyn Heights and was proud to be considered a lifetime "New Yorker". The band, which also featured Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Adrock” Horovitz, sold more than 40 million records and had four No.1 records.

The Beastie Boys’ success in hip-hop was notable at a time when the music form was dominated by African-American performers.

"We never saw it as a 'color thing'," Yauch once said. "We were just three kids who loved music and enjoyed the fact that all of us could play an integral role in the sound and the delivery of it. That we were white never fazed us. We were embraced by everyone in the music field from day one."

“The group’s music crossed genres and color lines, and helped bring rap to a wider audience,” said Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy.

Yauch converted to Buddism in the 1990s after visiting Nepal and hearing the Dalai Lama speak in Arizona, he told the Buddhist magazine Shambhala sun in 1995.

The conversion led him to have second thoughts about the bawdy party-boy image the band portrayed in the 1980s, he told the Boston Globe in 1998.

“I didn’t realize how much harm I was doing back then and I think a lot of rap artists probably don’t realize it now,” the newspaper quoted him as saying. “I said a lot of stuff fooling around back then, and I saw it do a lot of harm. I had kids coming up to me and saying, ‘Yo, I listen to your records while I’m smoking dust, man.’ And I’d say, ‘Hey, man, we’re just kidding. I don’t smoke dust.’ People need to be more aware of how they’re affecting people.”

As a Buddhist, Yauch became an advocate for Tibetan freedom.

He founded the Milarepa Fund, which helped raise money for the effort, and organized charity concerts involving the Beastie Boys and other acts, including the first Tibetan Freedom Concert in 1996. Several similar concerts followed.

The Milarepa Fund also organized a 9/11 benefit concert for residents deemed least likely to get aid from other sources.

Yauch also founded Oscilloscope Laboratories, which was active in independent video distribution. Its founder directed the basketball documentary “Gunnin’ For That #1 Spot,” released in 2008.


From the very first time I heard The Beastie Boys, I was hooked. Yauch, in particular, always stood out to me as the "engineer" of the group even though all three would publicly say none of them were above the other or the "leader of the band". But it always felt to me like Yauch was the straw that stirred the drink.

Today, whenever I get the opportunity, I'll listen to Beasties music. At some point, I'm sure, my wife will say, "Why are you listening to them so much today?" and I'll explain why. And she'll get it.

One of the great things about Yauch and The Beastie Boys was their ability to just get into a room or on stage and rap without the need for any kind of props or other attention-grabbing elements to make their music enjoyable. Three guys, a DJ, and a mixing/sound board...that's all they were.

The video below from AOL Sessions in 2004 shows them in perhaps their best light. The song "Ch-Ch-Ch-Check it Out" is one of my favorites. Yauch, in case you don't know, is the one in the gray hoodie. He's the one stirring the drink.



There were two pieces of good news from the hockey world on Tuesday night. The Capitals got off to a great start in their series with Florida, shocking the Panthers, 4-2, to take a 1-0 series lead in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

The loss for the Panthers was the first time all season they led at home going into the 3rd period (2-1) and lost in regulation. The Caps got three third period goals, including an empty netter, to support the solid goaltending of Vitek Vanecek.

T.J. Oshie's 3rd period goal lifted the Caps in Floriday on Tuesday night, as Washington took a 1-0 series with a 4-2 win.

There's a lot of series left to play and by no means are the Caps now a lock to win the best-of-7-series. I'm sure the Caps recall their 2018 opening round against Columbus when the Blue Jackets won the first two games in D.C. and then lost the next four.

But for one night, anyway, Washington looked like a "real" playoff team who could be dangerous over the next six weeks. The only bit of unsettling information from the 4-2 win was the loss of both Tom Wilson and John Carlson to in-game injuries. More details will be shared about those two sometime today.

Oh, right, I told you above there were two pieces of good news from Tuesday. The Caps and their 4-2 win was one piece.

The other?

Right after the Capitals won their series opener, I worked the TV remote to find the Flyers playoff game to see how they were faring.

I searched.

And I searched.

And I searched some more.

Finally, like everyone does 2022, I asked the person who would know.

"Alexa, what channel is the Flyers game on tonight?"

Alexa said: "I'm sorry, but the Flyers didn't make the playoffs."

Ahhhhhhhhhhh...talk about more good news, huh?

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The Stats Nerd
And His Numbers


Contributed by #DMD's data and numbers analyst
The Stats Nerd


I tend to agree with Drew and others on this board that “grading” the draft a few days after it ends is relatively pointless. From an analytical perspective the draft DOES provide a little bit of a glimpse into how a team is building for the future and whether teams value the same things that the rest of the league values.

For example, the Ravens were largely hailed for their use of the draft this year (and generally have been for a number of years). What they are typically lauded for is their seeming allegiance to the BEST PLAYER AVAILABLE approach as opposed to simply drafting for need in a vacuum. Eric De Costa has also made no bones about the fact that he values picks in volume.

Will Ravens #1 pick Kyle Hamilton play more or fewer than the 62-game average of 1st round picks from 2012 through 2021?

Analytic types generally believe that it is difficult, if not impossible, to “beat the draft”. Much like investing in the stock markets it is difficult to believe that one GM will have a long term edge over other GMs. There is so much information available to any team that wants to access it. That may not have been the case in the past but it certainly seems to be the case now.

GMs that don’t understand the modern game and construct rosters poorly (see the New York Giants Dave Gettleman) aren’t retained long term. Football Outsiders did a thorough job analyzing data between 2010-2019 and came to the conclusion that there is just as much luck as skill in drafting in the NFL.

People hate to admit the value of luck in something like the NFL. But things like injuries, coaching stability and late blooming players all play into success at the NFL level. For every Richard Sherman in the 5th round or Russell Wilson in the 3td round or Tom Brady in the 6th round there are many, many players picked earlier that just don’t pan out.

If everyone knew Tom Brady would be Tom Brady they would have picked Tom Brady before the 199th pick in the 2000 draft. People like to praise Belichick for selecting Brady but let’s be honest, him developing into who he developed into is as much luck for the New England franchise as some great, forward looking drafting insight.

I tend to think casual fans simultaneously overvalue and undervalue later round draft choices. What do I mean? I think they overvalue them when a specific player is drafted in, say, the 5th round. That player is statistically likely to play just over 40 regular season games in the NFL (2012-2021 data). Obviously average means there are players like the aforementioned Richard Sherman who will play 129 games (through 2021) and Ravens 2019 5th round draft choice Daylon Mack who has suited up for a grand total of 1 NFL game.

Fans undervalue the picks in the sense that the more picks a team has in a particular round the more likely they are to hit on a player that exceeds the average. Landing a player like Tyreek Hill or Stefon Diggs or George Kittle (all 5th round draft picks) requires a good bit of luck. And the more picks a team has the more likely they are to get lucky in those later rounds.

But back to the value of the picks. The NCAA recently published a report that shows the average length of career in the form of games played for draft choices in the 10 years ended with the 2021 season. Nothing surprising here: higher draft picks play considerably more games on average than lower drafted players:

Round Selected (Avg Games Played)

1 (62)

2 (56)

3 (48)

4 (44)

5 (41)

6 (33)

7 (28)

(Note that because recently drafted players have had a much smaller sample of game “availability” the number of games played by each draft group will be higher after time). It’s also important to note that, particularly with the later rounds, 1 or 2 players that become quality players in, say the 6th round, will have a profound impact on the round average.

Another interesting study was done by Pro Football Reference and covered the 20 year period ending with the 2016 NFL season. They put together a draft metric that rated the value of players based on how well they performed for their drafted teams. What they found was worth keeping in mind (note this covered all drafted players across all rounds):

* 16.7% of drafted players NEVER played for the team that drafted them. In some cases they were traded but mostly just never made the squad they were drafted by.

* 37% were deemed USELESS. This means they rarely or never saw the field for the team that drafted them.

* 15.3% were considered POOR performers. These were borderline busts that had little to no impact on the success of their team on the field.

To paraphrase Drew: for the Flyers fans out there that means nearly 70% of the players drafted by teams were busts or near busts. They may have gotten some time on the field but their impact was at or below that of a replacement player (think WAR).

So when we see all of these “Experts” throwing grades on various team’s drafts note that it is next to impossible to know which specific players will become elite players or even major contributors. I really like some of the players that the Ravens selected. And there are players that I wish they would have gotten. But my opinion of them as players is more likely to be wrong than it is to be right, statistically.

So yeah take all of the grades of each team’s draft with a grain of salt. I like that the Ravens had a lot of picks. I think that greatly increases the chances that one or several of them become Good or Quality players. But historically a bunch of them will show little to no impact on the field.


NHL Playoffs –

I am writing this part on Tuesday morning so 4 of the first round games have already occurred on Monday evening. By the time this is posted the remaining 4 series will have begun. I gave some of the analytical stats a quick review but this is really just my gut projection for each of the round 1 series.

Eastern Conference –

Capitals vs Florida Panthers - This feels like a terrible matchup for the Caps. I think they will be fortunate to play 6 games in the series. Unless they find some quality play from their goaltenders and Ovechkin/Kuznetzov can drag the team along offensively this has all the looks of Panthers in 5.

Toronto vs Tampa Bay - It’s time for the Leafs to live up to all the hype. Their goaltending isn’t as good as Tampa’s but they just have too much fire power. Of course, they won big on Monday night so I guess this makes it easier but Toronto in 6.

Pittsburgh vs New York Rangers- Rangers could be my (somewhat) darkhorse this season to raise the Cup. They have Panarin, Kreider, Zibanejad and one of the best young D men in the league in Adam Fox. Add to that the likely Vezna award winner (goalie) in Shesterkin and I like the Rangers in 6.

Carolina vs Boston -This is a weird one. Carolina plays such a unique style but it works for them. They are a little shaky in goal with their primary goalie out but the Bruins aren’t much better in that department. Before last night’s shellacking I thought this might go 7 but I’ll change it now and say Hurricanes in 6.

Western Conference –

For obvious reasons, I don’t watch as much of the Western Conference but the series out west could be just as entertaining if you can just stay up.

St. Louis vs Minnesota -This should be a heavy weight brawl. If you like tough physical hockey this is the series for you. Although the Blues won last night I like Minnesota in 7 with maybe just a bit more high end goal scoring.

LA vs Edmonton - Probably the team I have watched the least in this year’s playoffs is LA. But without their best defender (Doughty) I thought they would struggle and lose in 5. I’ll change that to EDM in 6 given Monday’s result.

Nashville vs Colorado - Colorado is so much fun to watch. They are a sports car running at their peak. Just elite skill all over the ice. If you like hockey they are a load of fun to watch. Colorado in 5

Calgary vs Dallas - Good luck Stars. This will be a short one for you. The Stars may be the most outmatched team in their series. Could be a sweep but I’ll say Calgary in 5. The Flames are my pick to win it all.

I’ll check back in after Round 1 and see how poorly I did with these picks.

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#dmd comments








unitastoberry     May 20
The 2 best punters ever in Baltimore football history. Sam Koch and David Lee. Glad there's no pressure on the kid from Pedo St....lol

Ricky     May 20
I don't understand the Site Owner's fascination with Adam Jones. I admit, Jones was a very good player here and represented the city well, but so did plenty of other Orioles. If you're going to "retire" Jones' number, then I believe you should also "retire" Boog Powell's (#26), Mike Cuellar's/Mike Mussina's (#35), Dave McNally's (#19), Mike Flanagan's (#46), and Ken Singleton's (#29) numbers. IMHO, they were also very good players that represented the city and franchise very well and contributed more to the franchise and fanbase (World Series, anyone?) than Adam Jones did.

Also, the Preakness is all but gone. I'd love to know what the actual crowds are for Black Eyed Susan and Preakness Day are, and not the Propaganda that the Maryland Jockey Club announces. My guess is that it's a fraction of what it was 30, 20, and even 10 years ago.

TJ     May 20
There is some rich irony in that comment from Herman.

Pokey     May 20
What a guy Garry is. Just like the frosted one, name dropping. 'I sat with two people from the Racing Form, look at me.'

Gary must be related to LF.

Delray RICK     May 20
Love to see LUCAS win with the FILLY.

Greg     May 20
Here's a fun fact for "Garry".



My wife works for a Baltimore Sports apparel company. Her boss sent an e-mail yesterday that said the company has 120 tickets to their tent and the race. Guess how many they originally had? 150.



The e-mail said "We kindly ask that you bring 3 guests if you plan on attending. We need to fill the tent. The food and beverage has been ordered for 150 people."



I just asked her how many are left. "105".They can't even give the tickets away tomorrow.

JK     May 20
You know what else is weird?

@Garry and @Monk are the same person.

How weird is it that @Garry says "I met Monk" when he is in fact, @Monk? So strange. His other moniker "@JerryH" hasn't been heard from here in a while.

Garry     May 20
Weird that this site and the radio empire are singing the same tune about the Preakness. We were out there yesterday. Met Monk, whose best bet of the day of the day took a lot of late money(6-1 as the gate was loading, won easy at 3-1). Monk was sitting with 2 DRF(Daily Racing Form) columnists. Pre-sale tickets are very brisk. Expecting 55k today and over 100k tomorrow. The box seats we were in are sold out both days at 600 dollars a piece.

I guess that two social media influencers like the 2 Baltimore sports icons with less than 10k combined Twitter followers know more about a sport that they ignore 50 weeks/year than the folks who promote it.

Horse racing has plenty of problems. But to just crap all over it fits the mindset. The O's are another whipping boy. Terps, D and O coordinators, fans, players.

Negativity sells and that is where we have lost our way. Joy is missing.

Fast facts. Saudi Arabia allows abortion..if the life of the mother is in jeopardy. They average about 25/year. USA kills over 600,000 a year. Who are the barbians?

Tom J     May 20
That's fine if the O's never issue #10 again but in no way should it be officially retired. That honor is reserved for the HOF'ers and the greatest Orioles ever. Jones was very good but certainly not in that class.....

Herman     May 20
Why doesn't the site owner use my name in his commentary? I do have a name, you know? Geez, is it that hard?

Rich     May 20
Love the video today for Faith in Sports! My favorite DMD segment of the week. Thanks Drew and thanks Free State for supporting it. God Bless!

Jason M     May 20
Maybe tonight is the night for Adley at the plate. We could use some joy in Mudville. A 95 degree Preakness is tough on everyone from the people working at the track to the horses and the spectators - hope everyone stays hydrated. I'll be watching and betting from home, my wife is nuts enough to run a Spartan race tomorrow.

Erick     May 20
Great work by Unitas below- enjoyed that

JohnInEssex     May 20
Drew, your description of Lorenzo Sanz Jr. regarding his demeanor doesn't surprise me. He's just like his Dad, in a good way!

hal     May 19
Fake Herman is a total embarrassment.

Agree that Judge crying is total non-story. And Mancini did not "make a statement", he was asked about the whining from the Yankees.

Saban is right, the NIL cat is out of the bag and will damage the game eventually. I do agree big time players ought to get paid, so just pay them and stop pretending it's being done in a good way. Develop a pay scale and make the pay the same across the board. Pay to play or play amateur football like D II or D III. With gambling no longer considered "bad" for any sport, not sure why college athletes getting paid is a big deal any more.

stardust     May 19
Tiger tied with Garrett Higgo in 123rd place.

unitastoberry     May 19
We don't need no Trey Mancini. We don't need no Elias control. No tons of fans in the stadium. All in all it's just another Angelos in the wall.

Ricky     May 19
Uh, oh...

Looks like the Site Owner, the SOD, and the SOT (generally the same people) are NOT going to be happy.

Their hero Tiger Woods shot +4 today and is in danger of missing the cut at the PGA.

In all seriousness, Tiger has made great progress coming back from his serious injuries, but he might not be ready yet for major championship play.

Chris in Bel Air     May 19
Aesthetically, I don't like the hard, 90 degree corner wall by the bullpens. I would have preferred to see it more angled. Nevertheless, I don't think the concerns are just the wall. Batting totals are down to start the year across the league. The top team BA for the AL is Cleveland (.248). Not one AL team above .250. For reference, 5 teams ended last year above .248. There were 4 in 2020 and 8 in 2019. So while it may be a little early to completely state, and it may be a little more of a poke to hit it out at the Yard, the league isn't exactly tearing the cover off regardless.

Buckie (C.S.)     May 19
Why does anybody here care what Aaron Judge thinks about the new dimensions? He shouldn't be so shocked that not everyone is on his side. We sure have our nerve, not acting in the best interests of Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees. I haven't heard him mention anything about the cheap homers he has gotten from the little league dimensions at his park. People do pay to see the games for reasons other than him, not that the, dare I say, "crowds" at Camden Yards support that statement very well.



As for Mancini, the Orioles have made it obvious that if he hits well enough, they will trade him out of town. Plus they have made his job more difficult with the dimensions. So if he doesn't feel the warm cocoon of love coming from the warehouse, I get it. He deserves a shot to play in the playoffs. With any luck we will get someone back who we will someday hear of.

Hank     May 19
I love the new wall! These coddled athletes are bigger and stronger than ever before. They don't have to sell shoes in the off season like former Baltimore stars once did. A home run is not the be all end all and at age 53 I could reach the old power alley (on a batting practice pitch). So shut shut up buttercups and adjust your game.

HERMAN     May 19
Once again an "imposter post". I don't bet chalk. And I don't put much stock in touts.

Please allow me out of the posting game and stop posting using my name. It isn't amusing nor does it demonstrate class.

Herman     May 19
I won't vomit if Rory wins. I put a Benjamin on him to win when the site owner picked him. I'm no dummy.

DJ     May 19
LOL, Rory gonna run away with this and Herman is gonna vomit.

Delray RICK     May 19
Check out prices at PGA this week. $19 dollars for beer!!

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
As for N Saban its amazing the media cant see whats really going on....these coaches understand that if all these boosters and schools spend more and more for players its gonna eventually hurt coaches salaries

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
What did people expect? Either hitters or pitchers will be mad. I thought it was foolhardy. Didnt have trouble attracting J Key D Wells K Brown and other pitchers when you were good and had payroll second to Yanks from 93 to 98. Never heard Mussina mention dimensions as reason for leaving ...was the lowball offer. Spend it and they will come. Dimensions are meant to distract us from their cheapness and lazy media fell for it

Hal     May 19
Take a bow yourself, Drew. You have done an outstanding job with those young CHC golfers. Three straight wins in three years is impressive. Well done to you and the CHC golfers.

Frank P     May 19
Got word from Monk last night. He will be at Pimlico on Thursday. Told me that #10 Berks in the 5th is a bet if he looks good in the paddock. I'll meet him there, we sit in the boxes overlooking the finish line.

Brett B.     May 18
This KJ character is quite the boot licker for Herman. Talk about carrying someone's water for them.

Pauly D     May 18
Happy 85th Birthday Brooks!

kj     May 18
Love the geniuses with the "if you have different opinion than Drew" that must equate to "disdain for Drew". Brilliant take!

But best part was right after this trash take on Herman, we get "I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy....".

SOD is right, can't buy this comedy on the street (huh??) and my all time favorite: "must be a plant" lol




Delray RICK     May 18
MY comments on DEM O'S wil be posted at the 1/3 mark which is a true evaluation and not a silly 20 game start. And it an't going to be good.

Mark in Perry Hall     May 18
Herman doesn't post any longer because "someone is using my name." Then suddenly out of nowhere he starts posting again and on his first post back he craps on DF to stir the pot.



But he's not a plant, right? Sure.

Don from Catonsville     May 18
Why some people post in the comments here when they seem to have such disdain for Drew is beyond me. Herman for example or he who claims to be Herman. Just move on to some other sports site.

At the same time I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy with the outrage over the Saudi Golf league. The NBA and life in general is wrapped around depending on China . China makes the Saudi seem like just schoolyard bullies IMO

Biff H     May 18
Here they come to save the day. SOD….SOD….SOD…..SOD…..

GM     May 18
Larry with the home run comment of the day. "I've stopped posting, but here's a post."

Larry     May 18
LOL.

Herman writes: Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting.

And then he posts 1,000 words anyway.

You can't buy this comedy on the street. It's priceless.

HERMAN     May 18
Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting. That along with the ridiculous takes by both the site owner and majority of commentators. The holier-than-thou pontification about the new Saudi league, and joy found over the trials and tribulations of Phil and Ricky are not just sad to read but a bit disgusting. The ways in which your daily life is intertwined with both the Saudis and China, two abhorrent governing bodies, is so pervasive as to make each of us complicit. Every visit to the pump places you in direct connection with the Saudis. Every visit to any market puts you in touch with China. This idea that the Saudi League is "tainted" by association is completely ridiculous. Drive a gas powered vehicle you enrich the Saudis, an electric you enrich the Chinese. So woven are they both in our daily lives. The Saudi money is involved in just about every venture, the Musk buy of Twitter revealed them to be a major investor. Has that stopped our "Hooded4Iron" site owner from posting on Twitter?

Spare me the outrage over Phil's dance with them. Competition is good, just the threat has already influenced purses and compensation from the PGA. Why the hate for an organization shoving extreme amounts of cash into the game you love? From our government, to our major companies, to the pump the Saudis touch everything, and thereby touch you. You'd have to be monastic to avoid it.

And the Ricky Fowler bashing, Good God. He made it to the show, he competed at the highest levels, got rich doing it, lives a life here in nearby Jupiter that would be the envy of all. If his career is "done", and he goes the way of so many others that saw only brief success on tour, so be it. But he got there, he tried, he succeeded against the best in the world. Every blue tee I know would kill to have his life and lifestyle. Yet guys not fit to shine his golf shoes seem to revel in his struggle. It's ridiculous.

Who the site owner picks to win a major means no more to me than the next guy I pass on the street. His love of the Messiah is well documented here. As is my own disdain.

Enjoy the tournament.


Eric in Gaithersburg     May 18
I love how the expert throws out Aberdeen record cause it doesnt fit his narrative lol. He will make a great employee at PMSNBC ot FoxNews. Or the fact that Adley has had 30AB or that many of Norfolk best have been up with Os or that minor league records are useless. The fact that Grayson, Prieto, G Henderson and many others are playing well or that Stowers and Westburg are struggling are what matters.

Paul T.     May 17
They had 12,200 in the stadium last night to see the O's? I'd call that a miracle based on the 4,000 crowds they had earlier in the season. Business is picking up.

Lee     May 17
I agree with JP that it would be really funny to see Herman's head blow off if he saw Drew pick Tiger to win in tomorrow's edition of the Dish.

Jon     May 17
Unless he changes his mind, Drew said on his golf radio show last Sunday that Rory is his pick to win the PGA.

TimD in Timonium     May 17
Rickie's crossed the $40M threshold in career earnings on the PGA. Nice work."He is the Mercedes Benz global ambassador since 2016 after being their brand ambassador in the US since 2013. Fowler is also associated with other top companies like Cobra (Puma), Rocket Mortgage, and Farmers Insurance." So, do your sponsors follow along to the Saudi tour? Maybe Mercedes does.

CIK     May 17
My source tell me DF picks Rory to win

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Drew is picking Spieth to win.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Frew is picking Spieth to win.

kj     May 17
Poor @JP. Guess it's just me, can't see any reason why anyone would care a) who DF picks and b) what Herman's reaction might be. But hey, whatever floats your boat right?

I get the disdain for this league that is "doing business with the Saudis", but if somehow this format was put together without involving despots and murderers, would it be viewed more positively as an alternative to the current PGA Tour format? Perhaps that is not viable without oil money or China, just wondering if the "improvements" Phil and now Fowler reference have some legs on their own merit.

I get not wanting to support Saudis, not questioning that at all. Just wondering if this different pay for play model might be an improvement over the current setup, from a financial standpoint, for most players? Or not really?

BTW, finishing T33 every week seems like a good living to me, where can I sign up for that lol??

J.P.     May 17
If @DF picks Tiger Woods to win the PGA just to dig at @Herman, I'll laugh all day tomorrow.

Chris     May 17
Great article on Fowler today. Seems like you've hit it right on the head. If he still wants to make $$ playing golf he'll probably have to jump to one of those renegade groups to do it. So long Ricky!

Tuesday
May 3, 2022
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2808


tuesday points to ponder


Greg Norman is still working hard. Give the man credit.

But, like a half dozen or major championship opportunities he squandered, this, too, looks like an endeavor that will fall short of the winner's circle.

Norman is still trumpeting the Saudi Golf League to all that are willing to listen and yesterday he delivered another piece of epic news. The "League" had 30% of the world's top 50 players in its stable in early February and was ready to announce their first wave of signings, many of whom are (supposedly) PGA Tour members. Then the excerpts of a soon-to-be-published book came out where Phil Mickleson said some not-so-nice-things about the Saudi government and -- poof! -- those 15 players went bye-bye.

"There's no question Phil's comments hurt," said Norman, the CEO of LIV Golf Investments, a Saudi-based governmental agency that's funding the new golf circuit. "It hurt a lot of aspects. It hurt the PGA Tour. It hurt us. It hurt the game of golf. It hurt Phil. So yeah, across all fronts. It wasn't just specifically to us. But it definitely created negative momentum against us."

Greg's a funny guy.

"We had 30% of the world's top 50 players..."

No, you didn't. You "talked" to 15 of them, perhaps, and bought them a big enough steak and bottle of wine at dinner somewhere in Florida to have them say, "I don't know, I might want to play in an event or two down the road", but we all know who those guys were, Greg. They were the likes of Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Francesco Molinari, Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace and so on.

In other words, you had 15 players that no one in the U.S. gives a hoot about. If Tommy Fleetwood signs with the Saudi Golf League and never plays another PGA Tour event, who cares? No disrespect intended, Tommy. We're all fond of your beard and long hair.

But please don't try and make everyone think you were ready to drive a lance into the belly of the PGA Tour by taking big names away. You had no one of note, except for Mickelson, obviously. And you might still get him, but no one on the PGA Tour will shed a tear if Phil jets for the new Saudi league.

"It hurt the PGA Tour..."

Really? How? Please explain how your renegade golf circuit funded by an unlawful and unethical regime "hurt" the PGA Tour? Because you created strife and tension within their player base? That actually strengthened the PGA Tour, Greg. Those players, the ones you tried to extort into playing for your tour, now have a much better understanding of the differences between the PGA Tour and any other circuit that comes along with unlimited funds but without the integrity to match.

"It hurt the game of golf..."

This is the LOL moment of the entire Norman commentary from Monday.

Golf is in worse shape today because you tried to start a professional tour and just assumed the best players in the world would follow your "sportswashing" enterprise?

I need to find a term that's bigger than #clownshoes for that silly statement. Clowns would laugh at those shoes.

The game of golf hasn't been impacted one iota by the failed Saudi Golf League. Zero. Zilch. Not one person in the entire world has said this morning, "Well, I was thinking about taking up golf (or "playing a round of golf today") but now that the Saudi Golf League hasn't been able to sign guys like Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson, I think I'll just stick to playing poker."

Norman grew up in Australia, moved to Florida later in life and, now, resides in Fantasy Land.

Phil Mickelson didn't cost you the players you sought and tried to lure to your side. Not one bit. But go ahead and keep spewing that garbage in an effort to garner sympathy.

And don't forget, Greg, you still have Kevin Na, Jason Kokrak and Ian Poulter. You're in great shape.


Yesterday here, I noted that Kevin Gausman had produced something extraordinary in his first five starts of the '22 season. Gausman has recorded 41 strikeouts and 0 walks thus far, in 31.2 innings of work.

I think that's remarkable. That he's a former Oriole was included in the commentary, but if, say Dylan Cease of Chicago (who had 11 strikeouts and 1 hit allowed in 7 innings last night) would have accomplished the same thing in 5 starts, I would have mentioned him instead.

"Larry" got his feathers ruffled for some weird reason and offered a comment that included the following: If you want to discuss "why" Gausman is suddenly good, I am all ears. I am not smart enough to know what turns any of these Ps around, and I suspect a lot of teams don't know either. To me, that's the stories that I'd be interested in, not yet another "why did the O's dump this guy, must be the cheap owner" pandering for the know it all twitter-heads.

Not once, not even close to once, did I reference anything about the Orioles "dumping" Gausman and I certainly never even hinted at a commentary directed at the cheap owner.

You folks have to let go of this weird habit you've developed of assuming everything you read about the Orioles is some kind of veiled criticism.

I was merely pointing out that Gausman is off to a great start with a new team and that the Orioles will get to see him up close and personal on several occasions this season.

I never said they were wrong for letting him go, to cheap to pay him or anything of the sort. I merely pointed out a pitcher has 41 strikeouts and 0 walks and that's really good. Oh, and he used to pitch in Baltimore.

As they would say in Pittsburgh, "yinz gotta read better."


Speaking of the Orioles, the fans in Oakland are apparently fed up with the franchise's annual salary dump and what always appears to be a lack of interest in fielding a competitive team.

So what are they doing about it?

They're not going to the games in Oakland.

Last night, 2,488 people showed up out there to see the Rays beat the A's, 6-1.

Yes, you read that right. 2,488 was the attendance last night. The reported attendance, that is.

Crowds like this one have been commonplace in Oakland so far this season.

These crowds are all part of an effort in the Bay Area to stage an "in-season" boycott of sorts. 2,488 people apparently didn't get the memo or have the internet in Oakland.

Here's what I'll say to those folks out there: Keep up the fight.

At some point, people involved with the organization will give in and up their game.

Something similar happened once in Baltimore, you might remember, and the organization definitely noticed. That they didn't make any sort of immediate effort to improve was more about their bull-headed-ways and less about the fact they had run the club into the ground, but it did eventually get better.

Now, there are other factors in Oakland that Baltimore didn't encounter. They don't have a real baseball stadium out there. That's a blemish, for sure. People are tired of going to see baseball games in an old, delapidated football facility. That's understandable.

There are gobs of other sports attractions in the Bay Area, especially now with the Warriors knee-deep in the playoffs and the Giants playing nearby. And the Giants, it's worth nothing, play in a real ballpark and try to win every year.

Oakland is sorta-kinda like Baltimore, in that they generally live in the shadow of San Francisco, lost their football team and apparently have government officials who make wrong decision after wrong decision.

We've been there, done that and we have the tee shirt in Baltimore. The bigger and broader Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia became in the 1980's and 1990's, the more apparent it became that the NHL, NBA and MLS would rather set up their tents down there than in Baltimore.

If not for the new baseball stadium at Camden Yards in 1992, we'd be Oakland right now, with the O's playing in beat up old Memorial Stadium (as glorious as she was).

Back to the fan boycott...

My advice to those people in Oakland is to dig in and don't give up. Not going to the games does send a message, no matter what the sports philosophers out there might say otherwise.

Even if the boycott is more aimed at government officials and the "stadium issues" they face in Oakland, it's all still worth it. Maybe those people will wake up when they realize the team might eventually move to Las Vegas, just like their football team did.

And if the boycott is intended to alarm the baseball organization itself, that's all well and good. Keep it up. You don't have to go to the baseball games. You get to go to the baseball games. But you also have to pay to get there and, right now anyway, it doesn't seem like there's a proper return on your investment.

We felt the same way on September 21, 2006 in Baltimore and 1,800 people showed up -- paid for a ticket -- and sat in the left field bleachers, only to walk out in "protest".

A google search of that endeavor includes the line from a national baseball reporter "nearly a thousand disgruntled Orioles fans walked out of Baltimore's game en masse", but the number was actually 1,800.

The reason I bring up that nugget? To remind the folks in Oakland that the media out there is likely never going to side with them or portray their activities accurately. We didn't have a robust Twitter or social media account to fan the flames back in 2006. It was all done via the radio and word-of-mouth. And we still got 1,800 people to come out and show their dismay for what had developed on the field in Baltimore.

So...Oakland. Keep doing your thing. The media surely won't help you, but the ticket revenue numbers will. Once team accountants tell the owner(s), "We need you to put some cash in so we can meet payroll", the organization will wake up. And if they don't wake up soon, the team will be known as the Las Vegas Athletics instead of the Oakland Athletics.

Oh, and Oakland, here's a tip from the top. "Free The Athletics.Com" is available, by the way. I checked it out. You might want to start there.

BARCS banner ad

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 Tuesday here, he looks at recent performances of American players and highlights upcoming games of importance.


weekend soccer recap


This week featured two Americans going head to head in the Europa League semifinals and another pair facing off in the French league. A couple of attackers continued their hot streaks in MLS while two others are on fire in mid tier European leagues.

The Champions League semifinal first leg results pushed us closer to an all English final between Manchester City and Liverpool. Meanwhile the title races in both England and Italy remained tight at the top.

Americans –

On Thursday two USMNT players saw their teams go head to head in the semifinals of the Europa League. Tyler Adams got the start for RB Leipzig as they hosted Rangers with James Sands on the bench.

U.S. national team member Tyler Adams continues to shine for RB Leipzig.

Adams had a standout performance in the 1-0 Leipzig win, providing his typical energetic defense in midfield while doing an improved job pushing into the attack. Adams had an impressive dribbling run that sparked a dangerous counter attack in the second half. Then he helped to set up the game's only goal late in the match.

Just five minutes from the end of regulation time, Adams forced a leaping save from the keeper with a powerful left footed shot from the top of the box. Leipzig scored off the ensuing corner kick on an outstanding long range strike from left back Angelino to secure the 1-0 victory.

Adams was one of the more active players on the field, with 103 touches, completing 89% of his passes and racking up eight ball recoveries and two interceptions. James Sands came on as a sub for the final ten minutes but didn’t have much impact.

The result is one both teams can take solace from. Leipzig will be happy they came away with a win, but Rangers will feel confident they can overturn the deficit when they return to Scotland next week.

In France the matchup of Troyes vs Lille featured Americans in both starting lineups. Erik Palmer-Brown started at center back for Troyes and Tim Weah at left wing for Lille. Palmer-Brown had the better game of the two, doing an admirable job containing Lille’s veteran striker Burak Yilmaz. On several occasions Palmer-Brown showcased his good recovery speed to break up dangerous balls behind the Troyes defense.

Weah had a few decent moments but struggled after Lille went down to nine men due to two red cards. Troyes got a 3-0 win with the help of the two man advantage and gave themselves some extra breathing room with a five point cushion from the relegation zone.

In Germany, John Brooks had another strong outing in Wolfsburg’s 1-1 draw with Stuttgart. Brooks scored the only Wolfsburg goal with a 13th minute header off a corner kick. In addition he completed 88% of his passes and had eight clearances and four ball recoveries. The win ensured that Wolfsburg will stay up in the Bundesliga for next season, while the loss put Stuttgart and American coach Pellegrino Matarazzo in grave danger of being relegated.

In a couple of the mid tier leagues in Europe two American strikers continued impressive scoring streaks. Jordan Pefok built on his league leading goal tally with a penalty kick goal in Young Boys 2-1 win over Sion in the Swiss League. It was the fifth goal in the last four games for the Swiss scoring leader.

In Turkey, 24 year old Haji Wright scored a goal and created two other good chances in a 2-2 draw for Antalyaspor against league leaders Trabzonspor. Wright now has six goals in his last five games, hitting a hot streak at the perfect time to get himself on the USMNT radar for the next round of games in June.

In MLS, a pair of attackers built on their breakout seasons. Jesus Ferreira scored his sixth goal of the season for FC Dallas in a 2-2 draw with Sporting Kansas City. Ferreira was played into the channel by fellow USMNT teammate Paul Arriola where he picked up the ball and cut inside, beating his defender and then rifling a shot past the keeper.

The Texan is off to a great start to the season as a full time striker after Ricardo Pepi’s departure to Europe. At this moment, he has to be considered the favorite to start at striker for the US in the next meaningful game.

Fellow attacker Djordje Mihailovic was a difference maker once again for CF Montreal. Assisting the first goal in a 2-1 win over Atlanta United. Mihailovic delivered a picture perfect cross on a fourth minute free kick that found the head of defender Kamal Miller for an early goal. He is another player peaking at the right time to earn a call up in June.

Champions League –>/p>

On Tuesday, Real Madrid traveled to Manchester City to kick off the Champions League semifinals. City came out of the gates strong and looked like they might run away with the matchup early on. Kevin De Bruyne opened the scoring in just the second minute with a headed goal off a cross from Riyad Mahrez. Nine minutes later City doubled the lead when De Bruyne whipped a pass into the box and Gabriel Jesus beat defender David Alaba to the ball and slotted it past Thibaut Courtois.

At that point it looked like it would be a lopsided affair that would leave little doubt of City advancing. They continued to pour on the pressure, but failed to capitalize on several good chances that could come back to haunt them. Real Madrid was not shaken by the early deficit and continued to press Man City high up the field. Eventually leading to a loose ball out of the back and Madrid took advantage with Ferland Mendy finding Karim Benzema with a cross into the box and the Frenchman pulling off an acrobatic finish to cut the lead to 2-1.

The game continued at a frantic end to end pace in the second half and City regained control with a headed goal from Phil Foden after substitute right back Fernandinho sparked a counter attack. However, Real Madrid answered right back, exploiting the speed disparity between winger Vinicius Jr. and the aging Fernandinho, the former took off on a long dribbling run form the midway line into the box and beat the keeper to make it 3-2.

Man City found another goal from a rocket shot at the edge of the box by Bernardo Silva to push the lead to 4-2. Once again Madrid clawed back in the 82nd minute when a cross hit the hand of a Man City defender and Benzema calmly dispatched the penalty kick with a “panenka.”

At the end of the day it is City who will feel like they lost despite the 4-3 victory. With 60% of the possession and six big chances versus just two from Real Madrid, they easily could be going into the second leg with a much larger advantage. Madrid will take the one goal difference in the return leg and look to pull off some of their trademark Champions League magic to book a trip to the final. If Wednesday’s second leg is anything like the first, it will be a can’t-miss game.

The other semifinal on Wednesday didn’t deliver quite the same excitement, but was a solid game that went mostly according to script. Villarreal set up in a well structured defense and frustrated Liverpool throughout the first half, taking a scoreless draw into halftime.

In the second half the dam broke when Liverpool got a fortunate bounce, with Jordan Henderson overlapping and hitting a cross that deflected off a defender and looped over the keeper into the goal.

With a lead finally secured, Liverpool amped up the pressure and doubled the lead just two minutes later. Mo Salah found space at the top of the box and slipped a deft pass in for Sadio Mane, who poked it past the onrushing goalie. At 2-0 Liverpool was able to control the game and maintain the lead to take with them into the second leg.

The Liverpool midfield was the key to this game with Thiago and Fabinho combining with Henderson to consistently win the ball back quickly and dictate the possession and tempo. Liverpool held 73% of the possession and limited Villarreal to zero shots on target.

In the second leg this week, Villarreal will have no choice but to come out of their shell and go on the attack to get back in the matchup. This could leave big gaps for Liverpool’s talented attackers to exploit and close out the win. Villarreal will hope to get back star striker Gerard Moreno, who was injured for the first leg, as they try to pull off the comeback.

England –

Nothing changed at the top of the English Premier League this weekend. Both Manchester City and Liverpool won over the weekend, City with a dominant 4-0 win over Leeds and Liverpool with a hard fought 1-0 win over Newcastle. The results maintained City’s one point lead as they head into the final four games of the season.

In the battle for the final Champions League spot, Tottenham and Arsenal both won as well. Tottenham with a 3-1 win over Leicester City with two goals from Korean attacker Son, and Arsenal with a 2-1 win over 7th place West Ham. The win preserved Arsenal’s two point lead in fourth place.

Italy –

The race for the Italian title began to tip toward the red and black side of Milan. On Wednesday Inter Milan was upset in a 2-1 loss to Bologna. Inter went up early but Bologna came back to tie and then won on a horrific goalkeeping error. The Inter keeper attempted to clear a ball passed back to him and completely whiffed, allowing the ball to roll right into the net.

The loss squandered the game in hand that Inter had on AC Milan, then over the weekend both teams won. AC Milan played first and got a dramatic late game winning goal from Rafael Leao to secure a 1-0 win over Fiorentina. Later in the day Inter booked a 2-1 win over Udinese on goals from Ivan Perisic and Lautaro Martinez. The results leave AC Milan with a two point lead with three games remaining.

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#dmd comments








unitastoberry     May 20
The 2 best punters ever in Baltimore football history. Sam Koch and David Lee. Glad there's no pressure on the kid from Pedo St....lol

Ricky     May 20
I don't understand the Site Owner's fascination with Adam Jones. I admit, Jones was a very good player here and represented the city well, but so did plenty of other Orioles. If you're going to "retire" Jones' number, then I believe you should also "retire" Boog Powell's (#26), Mike Cuellar's/Mike Mussina's (#35), Dave McNally's (#19), Mike Flanagan's (#46), and Ken Singleton's (#29) numbers. IMHO, they were also very good players that represented the city and franchise very well and contributed more to the franchise and fanbase (World Series, anyone?) than Adam Jones did.

Also, the Preakness is all but gone. I'd love to know what the actual crowds are for Black Eyed Susan and Preakness Day are, and not the Propaganda that the Maryland Jockey Club announces. My guess is that it's a fraction of what it was 30, 20, and even 10 years ago.

TJ     May 20
There is some rich irony in that comment from Herman.

Pokey     May 20
What a guy Garry is. Just like the frosted one, name dropping. 'I sat with two people from the Racing Form, look at me.'

Gary must be related to LF.

Delray RICK     May 20
Love to see LUCAS win with the FILLY.

Greg     May 20
Here's a fun fact for "Garry".



My wife works for a Baltimore Sports apparel company. Her boss sent an e-mail yesterday that said the company has 120 tickets to their tent and the race. Guess how many they originally had? 150.



The e-mail said "We kindly ask that you bring 3 guests if you plan on attending. We need to fill the tent. The food and beverage has been ordered for 150 people."



I just asked her how many are left. "105".They can't even give the tickets away tomorrow.

JK     May 20
You know what else is weird?

@Garry and @Monk are the same person.

How weird is it that @Garry says "I met Monk" when he is in fact, @Monk? So strange. His other moniker "@JerryH" hasn't been heard from here in a while.

Garry     May 20
Weird that this site and the radio empire are singing the same tune about the Preakness. We were out there yesterday. Met Monk, whose best bet of the day of the day took a lot of late money(6-1 as the gate was loading, won easy at 3-1). Monk was sitting with 2 DRF(Daily Racing Form) columnists. Pre-sale tickets are very brisk. Expecting 55k today and over 100k tomorrow. The box seats we were in are sold out both days at 600 dollars a piece.

I guess that two social media influencers like the 2 Baltimore sports icons with less than 10k combined Twitter followers know more about a sport that they ignore 50 weeks/year than the folks who promote it.

Horse racing has plenty of problems. But to just crap all over it fits the mindset. The O's are another whipping boy. Terps, D and O coordinators, fans, players.

Negativity sells and that is where we have lost our way. Joy is missing.

Fast facts. Saudi Arabia allows abortion..if the life of the mother is in jeopardy. They average about 25/year. USA kills over 600,000 a year. Who are the barbians?

Tom J     May 20
That's fine if the O's never issue #10 again but in no way should it be officially retired. That honor is reserved for the HOF'ers and the greatest Orioles ever. Jones was very good but certainly not in that class.....

Herman     May 20
Why doesn't the site owner use my name in his commentary? I do have a name, you know? Geez, is it that hard?

Rich     May 20
Love the video today for Faith in Sports! My favorite DMD segment of the week. Thanks Drew and thanks Free State for supporting it. God Bless!

Jason M     May 20
Maybe tonight is the night for Adley at the plate. We could use some joy in Mudville. A 95 degree Preakness is tough on everyone from the people working at the track to the horses and the spectators - hope everyone stays hydrated. I'll be watching and betting from home, my wife is nuts enough to run a Spartan race tomorrow.

Erick     May 20
Great work by Unitas below- enjoyed that

JohnInEssex     May 20
Drew, your description of Lorenzo Sanz Jr. regarding his demeanor doesn't surprise me. He's just like his Dad, in a good way!

hal     May 19
Fake Herman is a total embarrassment.

Agree that Judge crying is total non-story. And Mancini did not "make a statement", he was asked about the whining from the Yankees.

Saban is right, the NIL cat is out of the bag and will damage the game eventually. I do agree big time players ought to get paid, so just pay them and stop pretending it's being done in a good way. Develop a pay scale and make the pay the same across the board. Pay to play or play amateur football like D II or D III. With gambling no longer considered "bad" for any sport, not sure why college athletes getting paid is a big deal any more.

stardust     May 19
Tiger tied with Garrett Higgo in 123rd place.

unitastoberry     May 19
We don't need no Trey Mancini. We don't need no Elias control. No tons of fans in the stadium. All in all it's just another Angelos in the wall.

Ricky     May 19
Uh, oh...

Looks like the Site Owner, the SOD, and the SOT (generally the same people) are NOT going to be happy.

Their hero Tiger Woods shot +4 today and is in danger of missing the cut at the PGA.

In all seriousness, Tiger has made great progress coming back from his serious injuries, but he might not be ready yet for major championship play.

Chris in Bel Air     May 19
Aesthetically, I don't like the hard, 90 degree corner wall by the bullpens. I would have preferred to see it more angled. Nevertheless, I don't think the concerns are just the wall. Batting totals are down to start the year across the league. The top team BA for the AL is Cleveland (.248). Not one AL team above .250. For reference, 5 teams ended last year above .248. There were 4 in 2020 and 8 in 2019. So while it may be a little early to completely state, and it may be a little more of a poke to hit it out at the Yard, the league isn't exactly tearing the cover off regardless.

Buckie (C.S.)     May 19
Why does anybody here care what Aaron Judge thinks about the new dimensions? He shouldn't be so shocked that not everyone is on his side. We sure have our nerve, not acting in the best interests of Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees. I haven't heard him mention anything about the cheap homers he has gotten from the little league dimensions at his park. People do pay to see the games for reasons other than him, not that the, dare I say, "crowds" at Camden Yards support that statement very well.



As for Mancini, the Orioles have made it obvious that if he hits well enough, they will trade him out of town. Plus they have made his job more difficult with the dimensions. So if he doesn't feel the warm cocoon of love coming from the warehouse, I get it. He deserves a shot to play in the playoffs. With any luck we will get someone back who we will someday hear of.

Hank     May 19
I love the new wall! These coddled athletes are bigger and stronger than ever before. They don't have to sell shoes in the off season like former Baltimore stars once did. A home run is not the be all end all and at age 53 I could reach the old power alley (on a batting practice pitch). So shut shut up buttercups and adjust your game.

HERMAN     May 19
Once again an "imposter post". I don't bet chalk. And I don't put much stock in touts.

Please allow me out of the posting game and stop posting using my name. It isn't amusing nor does it demonstrate class.

Herman     May 19
I won't vomit if Rory wins. I put a Benjamin on him to win when the site owner picked him. I'm no dummy.

DJ     May 19
LOL, Rory gonna run away with this and Herman is gonna vomit.

Delray RICK     May 19
Check out prices at PGA this week. $19 dollars for beer!!

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
As for N Saban its amazing the media cant see whats really going on....these coaches understand that if all these boosters and schools spend more and more for players its gonna eventually hurt coaches salaries

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
What did people expect? Either hitters or pitchers will be mad. I thought it was foolhardy. Didnt have trouble attracting J Key D Wells K Brown and other pitchers when you were good and had payroll second to Yanks from 93 to 98. Never heard Mussina mention dimensions as reason for leaving ...was the lowball offer. Spend it and they will come. Dimensions are meant to distract us from their cheapness and lazy media fell for it

Hal     May 19
Take a bow yourself, Drew. You have done an outstanding job with those young CHC golfers. Three straight wins in three years is impressive. Well done to you and the CHC golfers.

Frank P     May 19
Got word from Monk last night. He will be at Pimlico on Thursday. Told me that #10 Berks in the 5th is a bet if he looks good in the paddock. I'll meet him there, we sit in the boxes overlooking the finish line.

Brett B.     May 18
This KJ character is quite the boot licker for Herman. Talk about carrying someone's water for them.

Pauly D     May 18
Happy 85th Birthday Brooks!

kj     May 18
Love the geniuses with the "if you have different opinion than Drew" that must equate to "disdain for Drew". Brilliant take!

But best part was right after this trash take on Herman, we get "I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy....".

SOD is right, can't buy this comedy on the street (huh??) and my all time favorite: "must be a plant" lol




Delray RICK     May 18
MY comments on DEM O'S wil be posted at the 1/3 mark which is a true evaluation and not a silly 20 game start. And it an't going to be good.

Mark in Perry Hall     May 18
Herman doesn't post any longer because "someone is using my name." Then suddenly out of nowhere he starts posting again and on his first post back he craps on DF to stir the pot.



But he's not a plant, right? Sure.

Don from Catonsville     May 18
Why some people post in the comments here when they seem to have such disdain for Drew is beyond me. Herman for example or he who claims to be Herman. Just move on to some other sports site.

At the same time I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy with the outrage over the Saudi Golf league. The NBA and life in general is wrapped around depending on China . China makes the Saudi seem like just schoolyard bullies IMO

Biff H     May 18
Here they come to save the day. SOD….SOD….SOD…..SOD…..

GM     May 18
Larry with the home run comment of the day. "I've stopped posting, but here's a post."

Larry     May 18
LOL.

Herman writes: Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting.

And then he posts 1,000 words anyway.

You can't buy this comedy on the street. It's priceless.

HERMAN     May 18
Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting. That along with the ridiculous takes by both the site owner and majority of commentators. The holier-than-thou pontification about the new Saudi league, and joy found over the trials and tribulations of Phil and Ricky are not just sad to read but a bit disgusting. The ways in which your daily life is intertwined with both the Saudis and China, two abhorrent governing bodies, is so pervasive as to make each of us complicit. Every visit to the pump places you in direct connection with the Saudis. Every visit to any market puts you in touch with China. This idea that the Saudi League is "tainted" by association is completely ridiculous. Drive a gas powered vehicle you enrich the Saudis, an electric you enrich the Chinese. So woven are they both in our daily lives. The Saudi money is involved in just about every venture, the Musk buy of Twitter revealed them to be a major investor. Has that stopped our "Hooded4Iron" site owner from posting on Twitter?

Spare me the outrage over Phil's dance with them. Competition is good, just the threat has already influenced purses and compensation from the PGA. Why the hate for an organization shoving extreme amounts of cash into the game you love? From our government, to our major companies, to the pump the Saudis touch everything, and thereby touch you. You'd have to be monastic to avoid it.

And the Ricky Fowler bashing, Good God. He made it to the show, he competed at the highest levels, got rich doing it, lives a life here in nearby Jupiter that would be the envy of all. If his career is "done", and he goes the way of so many others that saw only brief success on tour, so be it. But he got there, he tried, he succeeded against the best in the world. Every blue tee I know would kill to have his life and lifestyle. Yet guys not fit to shine his golf shoes seem to revel in his struggle. It's ridiculous.

Who the site owner picks to win a major means no more to me than the next guy I pass on the street. His love of the Messiah is well documented here. As is my own disdain.

Enjoy the tournament.


Eric in Gaithersburg     May 18
I love how the expert throws out Aberdeen record cause it doesnt fit his narrative lol. He will make a great employee at PMSNBC ot FoxNews. Or the fact that Adley has had 30AB or that many of Norfolk best have been up with Os or that minor league records are useless. The fact that Grayson, Prieto, G Henderson and many others are playing well or that Stowers and Westburg are struggling are what matters.

Paul T.     May 17
They had 12,200 in the stadium last night to see the O's? I'd call that a miracle based on the 4,000 crowds they had earlier in the season. Business is picking up.

Lee     May 17
I agree with JP that it would be really funny to see Herman's head blow off if he saw Drew pick Tiger to win in tomorrow's edition of the Dish.

Jon     May 17
Unless he changes his mind, Drew said on his golf radio show last Sunday that Rory is his pick to win the PGA.

TimD in Timonium     May 17
Rickie's crossed the $40M threshold in career earnings on the PGA. Nice work."He is the Mercedes Benz global ambassador since 2016 after being their brand ambassador in the US since 2013. Fowler is also associated with other top companies like Cobra (Puma), Rocket Mortgage, and Farmers Insurance." So, do your sponsors follow along to the Saudi tour? Maybe Mercedes does.

CIK     May 17
My source tell me DF picks Rory to win

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Drew is picking Spieth to win.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Frew is picking Spieth to win.

kj     May 17
Poor @JP. Guess it's just me, can't see any reason why anyone would care a) who DF picks and b) what Herman's reaction might be. But hey, whatever floats your boat right?

I get the disdain for this league that is "doing business with the Saudis", but if somehow this format was put together without involving despots and murderers, would it be viewed more positively as an alternative to the current PGA Tour format? Perhaps that is not viable without oil money or China, just wondering if the "improvements" Phil and now Fowler reference have some legs on their own merit.

I get not wanting to support Saudis, not questioning that at all. Just wondering if this different pay for play model might be an improvement over the current setup, from a financial standpoint, for most players? Or not really?

BTW, finishing T33 every week seems like a good living to me, where can I sign up for that lol??

J.P.     May 17
If @DF picks Tiger Woods to win the PGA just to dig at @Herman, I'll laugh all day tomorrow.

Chris     May 17
Great article on Fowler today. Seems like you've hit it right on the head. If he still wants to make $$ playing golf he'll probably have to jump to one of those renegade groups to do it. So long Ricky!

Monday
May 2, 2022
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2807


notes from the weekend


The NFL Draft has come and gone which means, in Baltimore at least, we're starting to enter a bit of a dull period in sports.

The Capitals are in the playoffs, but their upcoming series with Florida should be over before anyone gets too interested in it. The NBA post-season is well underway but the Wizards didn't make it.

Oh, sure, the Orioles are playing and all, but despite their modest 2-game winning streak, there isn't much in the way of "fandom" connected with the local nine these days.

It's a shame they don't host the Yankees and Red Sox every weekend. If they did, the Birds would average 22,500 fans per-game.

Alas, the Minnesota Twins are in town for a 4-game series starting tonight and the O's will be hard pressed to draw 48,000 for the four games. Erstwhile Oriole Dylan Bundy is on the mound Wednesday evening for the Twins. Maybe that will get a few extra hundred folks to come out to the ballpark.

Anyway, now that the NFL Draft is complete, we're forced to follow baseball for a few months. Who knows, maybe the O's will win half their games in May and be just below .500 by the time June 1st rolls around. Anything to keep things interesting until football training camp starts, right?


We mentioned Dylan Bundy above, but there's another former Oriole who is off to a pretty good start with his new team.

Kevin Gausman has made five starts thus far with the Toronto Blue Jays. Are you ready for these numbers? They're pretty freakin' staggering.

Kevin Gausman is off to a great start for the Blue Jays.

Gausman has thrown 31.2 innings in 2022. He's allowed 31 hits. In those 31.2 innings, he's surrendered just 8 earned runs. Insert your Mike Baumann quip here.

But here's the most eye-opening stat of them all for Gausman. In 31.2 innings pitched this season, he has 41 strikeouts and ZERO walks. You read that right. ZERO (0) walks in 31.2 innings.

The O's will see the Blue Jays on six different occasions this year, so they'll get two or three looks at Gausman over the next five months.

Let's hope the baseball gods don't do something goofy like order him to throw a no-hitter against his former team. That's the kind of thing that would only happen to the Orioles.


I don't know what to make of the Trevor Bauer story, honestly, but I do believe a 324 game unpaid suspension from work was a tad overboard.

I totally understand the legal, criminal result favored Bauer. There are still civil liabilities he'll be fighting in court, but the criminal side of the story went his way, which is probably what concerns him the most.

And I also get the whole idea fostered by Major League Baseball that players are ambassadors and "evangelists" of the sport and that inappropriate conducts needs to be addressed and, in some cases, punished. Bauer missed more than half of last season, remember, once the story broke in early summer.

But a two-year suspension? Seems a bit much.

Two adults consenting to have sex in a way that might be deemed "unusual" by most people is the issue no one is really willing to address. Why did Rob Manfred decide that two years without pay was a fair punishment? Because of the unusual nature of the sexual encounter between Bauer and his lady friend and the embarrassment the story caused Major League Baseball? Two years away from work is fair? I don't know about that one.

I'm assuming Bauer's going to appeal the suspension and I'll further assume he won't actually be away from the game for two years. Perhaps the suspension gets reduced to one year. Frankly, that still seems a bit excessive, but one year is certainly far easier to digest than two years.

I don't know how Major League Baseball finds it within their guidelines to punish someone who was not formally charged with a crime. It's a messy situation, as I noted above, and I'm certainly not saying Bauer should skate through without any sort of punishment. But a two-year suspension creates a very significant precedent that Manfred and MLB will be forced to follow in the future.


Jon Rahm got back in the winner's circle yesterday with a one-shot win at the Mexico Open. It was Rahm's 7th career win on TOUR and his first since capturing the U.S. Open last June at Torrey Pines.

Patrick Reed, back in the news, but not for all the right reasons.

Rahm took full advantage of a fairly weak field in Mexico. When the first page of the leaderboard contains names like Brandon Wu, Davis Riley, David Lipksy and Alex Smalley, you know the field wasn't all that great. But a win is a win for Rahm, who wasn't necessarily "suffering" through a bad start to his 2022 campaign, but he also wasn't looking like a guy who was less than a year removed from winning a major championship.

But the big stir over the weekend wasn't Rahm's re-entry into the winner's circle. The Twitter account "@useGolfFACTS" created a buzz early Sunday morning when they posted a photo (originally published by the PGA Tour) of Tiger Woods sharing notes and consulting with the Director of Golf at Southern Hills CC, site of this month's PGA Championship.

Along with the photo, @useGolfFACTS also added this commentary: I wonder what it’s like to have the Director of Golf at Southern Hills give you ALL the course notes you need for the upcoming @PGAChampionship. Do all players get this treatment @PGA? For @TigerWoods this is just embarrassing that @PGA posted this photo & it’s very telling.

Woods played Southern Hills this past week and was joined for part of his practice round with Cary Cozby, the club's Director of Golf.

So what's the big deal, you wonder?

Well, the Twitter account @useGolfFACTS has been doxxed in the last few months and it's believed to be run by the Father in Law of....Patrick Reed.

It's not a new endeavor from @useGolfFACTS to create issues within the TOUR. The Twitter account has taken on the Commissioner (over preferred tee times for players NOT named Patrick Reed), tournament organizers ("How come so many hole locations in today's final round favor players who fade their irons? They don't want draw players to win today, that's why." - Patrick Reed is a player who favors hitting right-to-left draws with his irons), and fellow players.

Now, apparently, the account believes Tiger Woods is receiving special treatment by showing up at a course three weeks early and getting notes from the club's Director of Golf. Any player in the PGA Championship field is allowed at Southern Hills within 30 days of the tournament's starting date and, it goes without saying, any player who showed up at the course and wanted to speak with the Cozby or any member of his professional staff would be allowed to do so.

The Patrick Reed camp is nothing if not entertaining. That Reed himself allows this sort of embarrassing behavior from an extended family member is perplexing. He certainly knows it's going on. Why he doesn't put a stop to it is anyone's guess, but it's an awful look for a guy who doesn't really need "awful looks" added to his arsenal.

Meanwhile, it would appear Woods is all-systems-go for Southern Hills later this month. He won't be one of the top 10 favorites, but it's worth remembering he did win the PGA Championship at Southern Hills in 2007. The layout has since undergone a fairly massive renovation and a number of the holes will play differently in 2022 than they did in 2007, but Woods does have positive memories from the Tulsa, Oklahoma course.


Quick notes --

The Cincinnati Reds are 3-19 to start the season. It's May 2nd and they're pretty much done for 2022. Holy cow.

Right now, you have to figure they'll be hard pressed to win 55 games. If they finish May with anything less than 15 wins, they'll be on a 46 win pace.

Oh, and the Reds just lost one of the few guys on their team who can actually play baseball; Jonathan India. The second baseman is suffering from a hamstring strain.


Don't look now, but the Yankees and Mets are both tied for the lead in wins in MLB with 16. The Yankees have won 9 straight games, you might have heard over the weekend. Oh, and Gerrit Cole had a nice start on Saturday in Kansas City and that "soiled spot" (also known as "sticky stuff" he rubs on the baseball) on his pants' right butt cheek wasn't there this time around. Hmmmmm.

That begs the question, of course: Where did Cole hide the substance he uses to doctor the ball on Saturday night?

The Mets and Yankees. On a collision course for October baseball? I'm sure we'd all be tired of hearing the words "Subway Series" by the 2nd inning of Game 1.


The Capitals playoff season begins tomorrow in Florida and I suspect this one probably ends in five or six games. And it won't end well for the Caps.

Part of the negativity stems from the fact that it's the Caps and, other than one glorious 6-week run in the summer of 2018, they've almost always figured out a way to gag in the post-season.

But the real reason I'm not expecting much from the Caps is because I don't think they have the goods in goal to beat quality teams like Florida, Carolina, Toronto, the Rangers or even Boston. I assume Ilya Samsonov will be the go-to-guy in the net to start the Panthers series, which is neither here nor there, to me. If they go with Vitek Vanecek instead, their fate likely doesn't change at all.

I'd love to be wrong on this one. It would be awesome for the Caps to shock the Panthers and begin another successful playoff run. But having watched them play hot-and-cold hockey for the better part of the last six months, I see a 4-1 or 4-2 series loss for Washington.

At the beginning of the season, you might recall I picked Toronto to beat Colorado in the Stanley Cup Finals. Those two teams are indeed alive and well and could meet in June with the Stanley Cup on the line.

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#dmd comments








unitastoberry     May 20
The 2 best punters ever in Baltimore football history. Sam Koch and David Lee. Glad there's no pressure on the kid from Pedo St....lol

Ricky     May 20
I don't understand the Site Owner's fascination with Adam Jones. I admit, Jones was a very good player here and represented the city well, but so did plenty of other Orioles. If you're going to "retire" Jones' number, then I believe you should also "retire" Boog Powell's (#26), Mike Cuellar's/Mike Mussina's (#35), Dave McNally's (#19), Mike Flanagan's (#46), and Ken Singleton's (#29) numbers. IMHO, they were also very good players that represented the city and franchise very well and contributed more to the franchise and fanbase (World Series, anyone?) than Adam Jones did.

Also, the Preakness is all but gone. I'd love to know what the actual crowds are for Black Eyed Susan and Preakness Day are, and not the Propaganda that the Maryland Jockey Club announces. My guess is that it's a fraction of what it was 30, 20, and even 10 years ago.

TJ     May 20
There is some rich irony in that comment from Herman.

Pokey     May 20
What a guy Garry is. Just like the frosted one, name dropping. 'I sat with two people from the Racing Form, look at me.'

Gary must be related to LF.

Delray RICK     May 20
Love to see LUCAS win with the FILLY.

Greg     May 20
Here's a fun fact for "Garry".



My wife works for a Baltimore Sports apparel company. Her boss sent an e-mail yesterday that said the company has 120 tickets to their tent and the race. Guess how many they originally had? 150.



The e-mail said "We kindly ask that you bring 3 guests if you plan on attending. We need to fill the tent. The food and beverage has been ordered for 150 people."



I just asked her how many are left. "105".They can't even give the tickets away tomorrow.

JK     May 20
You know what else is weird?

@Garry and @Monk are the same person.

How weird is it that @Garry says "I met Monk" when he is in fact, @Monk? So strange. His other moniker "@JerryH" hasn't been heard from here in a while.

Garry     May 20
Weird that this site and the radio empire are singing the same tune about the Preakness. We were out there yesterday. Met Monk, whose best bet of the day of the day took a lot of late money(6-1 as the gate was loading, won easy at 3-1). Monk was sitting with 2 DRF(Daily Racing Form) columnists. Pre-sale tickets are very brisk. Expecting 55k today and over 100k tomorrow. The box seats we were in are sold out both days at 600 dollars a piece.

I guess that two social media influencers like the 2 Baltimore sports icons with less than 10k combined Twitter followers know more about a sport that they ignore 50 weeks/year than the folks who promote it.

Horse racing has plenty of problems. But to just crap all over it fits the mindset. The O's are another whipping boy. Terps, D and O coordinators, fans, players.

Negativity sells and that is where we have lost our way. Joy is missing.

Fast facts. Saudi Arabia allows abortion..if the life of the mother is in jeopardy. They average about 25/year. USA kills over 600,000 a year. Who are the barbians?

Tom J     May 20
That's fine if the O's never issue #10 again but in no way should it be officially retired. That honor is reserved for the HOF'ers and the greatest Orioles ever. Jones was very good but certainly not in that class.....

Herman     May 20
Why doesn't the site owner use my name in his commentary? I do have a name, you know? Geez, is it that hard?

Rich     May 20
Love the video today for Faith in Sports! My favorite DMD segment of the week. Thanks Drew and thanks Free State for supporting it. God Bless!

Jason M     May 20
Maybe tonight is the night for Adley at the plate. We could use some joy in Mudville. A 95 degree Preakness is tough on everyone from the people working at the track to the horses and the spectators - hope everyone stays hydrated. I'll be watching and betting from home, my wife is nuts enough to run a Spartan race tomorrow.

Erick     May 20
Great work by Unitas below- enjoyed that

JohnInEssex     May 20
Drew, your description of Lorenzo Sanz Jr. regarding his demeanor doesn't surprise me. He's just like his Dad, in a good way!

hal     May 19
Fake Herman is a total embarrassment.

Agree that Judge crying is total non-story. And Mancini did not "make a statement", he was asked about the whining from the Yankees.

Saban is right, the NIL cat is out of the bag and will damage the game eventually. I do agree big time players ought to get paid, so just pay them and stop pretending it's being done in a good way. Develop a pay scale and make the pay the same across the board. Pay to play or play amateur football like D II or D III. With gambling no longer considered "bad" for any sport, not sure why college athletes getting paid is a big deal any more.

stardust     May 19
Tiger tied with Garrett Higgo in 123rd place.

unitastoberry     May 19
We don't need no Trey Mancini. We don't need no Elias control. No tons of fans in the stadium. All in all it's just another Angelos in the wall.

Ricky     May 19
Uh, oh...

Looks like the Site Owner, the SOD, and the SOT (generally the same people) are NOT going to be happy.

Their hero Tiger Woods shot +4 today and is in danger of missing the cut at the PGA.

In all seriousness, Tiger has made great progress coming back from his serious injuries, but he might not be ready yet for major championship play.

Chris in Bel Air     May 19
Aesthetically, I don't like the hard, 90 degree corner wall by the bullpens. I would have preferred to see it more angled. Nevertheless, I don't think the concerns are just the wall. Batting totals are down to start the year across the league. The top team BA for the AL is Cleveland (.248). Not one AL team above .250. For reference, 5 teams ended last year above .248. There were 4 in 2020 and 8 in 2019. So while it may be a little early to completely state, and it may be a little more of a poke to hit it out at the Yard, the league isn't exactly tearing the cover off regardless.

Buckie (C.S.)     May 19
Why does anybody here care what Aaron Judge thinks about the new dimensions? He shouldn't be so shocked that not everyone is on his side. We sure have our nerve, not acting in the best interests of Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees. I haven't heard him mention anything about the cheap homers he has gotten from the little league dimensions at his park. People do pay to see the games for reasons other than him, not that the, dare I say, "crowds" at Camden Yards support that statement very well.



As for Mancini, the Orioles have made it obvious that if he hits well enough, they will trade him out of town. Plus they have made his job more difficult with the dimensions. So if he doesn't feel the warm cocoon of love coming from the warehouse, I get it. He deserves a shot to play in the playoffs. With any luck we will get someone back who we will someday hear of.

Hank     May 19
I love the new wall! These coddled athletes are bigger and stronger than ever before. They don't have to sell shoes in the off season like former Baltimore stars once did. A home run is not the be all end all and at age 53 I could reach the old power alley (on a batting practice pitch). So shut shut up buttercups and adjust your game.

HERMAN     May 19
Once again an "imposter post". I don't bet chalk. And I don't put much stock in touts.

Please allow me out of the posting game and stop posting using my name. It isn't amusing nor does it demonstrate class.

Herman     May 19
I won't vomit if Rory wins. I put a Benjamin on him to win when the site owner picked him. I'm no dummy.

DJ     May 19
LOL, Rory gonna run away with this and Herman is gonna vomit.

Delray RICK     May 19
Check out prices at PGA this week. $19 dollars for beer!!

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
As for N Saban its amazing the media cant see whats really going on....these coaches understand that if all these boosters and schools spend more and more for players its gonna eventually hurt coaches salaries

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
What did people expect? Either hitters or pitchers will be mad. I thought it was foolhardy. Didnt have trouble attracting J Key D Wells K Brown and other pitchers when you were good and had payroll second to Yanks from 93 to 98. Never heard Mussina mention dimensions as reason for leaving ...was the lowball offer. Spend it and they will come. Dimensions are meant to distract us from their cheapness and lazy media fell for it

Hal     May 19
Take a bow yourself, Drew. You have done an outstanding job with those young CHC golfers. Three straight wins in three years is impressive. Well done to you and the CHC golfers.

Frank P     May 19
Got word from Monk last night. He will be at Pimlico on Thursday. Told me that #10 Berks in the 5th is a bet if he looks good in the paddock. I'll meet him there, we sit in the boxes overlooking the finish line.

Brett B.     May 18
This KJ character is quite the boot licker for Herman. Talk about carrying someone's water for them.

Pauly D     May 18
Happy 85th Birthday Brooks!

kj     May 18
Love the geniuses with the "if you have different opinion than Drew" that must equate to "disdain for Drew". Brilliant take!

But best part was right after this trash take on Herman, we get "I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy....".

SOD is right, can't buy this comedy on the street (huh??) and my all time favorite: "must be a plant" lol




Delray RICK     May 18
MY comments on DEM O'S wil be posted at the 1/3 mark which is a true evaluation and not a silly 20 game start. And it an't going to be good.

Mark in Perry Hall     May 18
Herman doesn't post any longer because "someone is using my name." Then suddenly out of nowhere he starts posting again and on his first post back he craps on DF to stir the pot.



But he's not a plant, right? Sure.

Don from Catonsville     May 18
Why some people post in the comments here when they seem to have such disdain for Drew is beyond me. Herman for example or he who claims to be Herman. Just move on to some other sports site.

At the same time I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy with the outrage over the Saudi Golf league. The NBA and life in general is wrapped around depending on China . China makes the Saudi seem like just schoolyard bullies IMO

Biff H     May 18
Here they come to save the day. SOD….SOD….SOD…..SOD…..

GM     May 18
Larry with the home run comment of the day. "I've stopped posting, but here's a post."

Larry     May 18
LOL.

Herman writes: Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting.

And then he posts 1,000 words anyway.

You can't buy this comedy on the street. It's priceless.

HERMAN     May 18
Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting. That along with the ridiculous takes by both the site owner and majority of commentators. The holier-than-thou pontification about the new Saudi league, and joy found over the trials and tribulations of Phil and Ricky are not just sad to read but a bit disgusting. The ways in which your daily life is intertwined with both the Saudis and China, two abhorrent governing bodies, is so pervasive as to make each of us complicit. Every visit to the pump places you in direct connection with the Saudis. Every visit to any market puts you in touch with China. This idea that the Saudi League is "tainted" by association is completely ridiculous. Drive a gas powered vehicle you enrich the Saudis, an electric you enrich the Chinese. So woven are they both in our daily lives. The Saudi money is involved in just about every venture, the Musk buy of Twitter revealed them to be a major investor. Has that stopped our "Hooded4Iron" site owner from posting on Twitter?

Spare me the outrage over Phil's dance with them. Competition is good, just the threat has already influenced purses and compensation from the PGA. Why the hate for an organization shoving extreme amounts of cash into the game you love? From our government, to our major companies, to the pump the Saudis touch everything, and thereby touch you. You'd have to be monastic to avoid it.

And the Ricky Fowler bashing, Good God. He made it to the show, he competed at the highest levels, got rich doing it, lives a life here in nearby Jupiter that would be the envy of all. If his career is "done", and he goes the way of so many others that saw only brief success on tour, so be it. But he got there, he tried, he succeeded against the best in the world. Every blue tee I know would kill to have his life and lifestyle. Yet guys not fit to shine his golf shoes seem to revel in his struggle. It's ridiculous.

Who the site owner picks to win a major means no more to me than the next guy I pass on the street. His love of the Messiah is well documented here. As is my own disdain.

Enjoy the tournament.


Eric in Gaithersburg     May 18
I love how the expert throws out Aberdeen record cause it doesnt fit his narrative lol. He will make a great employee at PMSNBC ot FoxNews. Or the fact that Adley has had 30AB or that many of Norfolk best have been up with Os or that minor league records are useless. The fact that Grayson, Prieto, G Henderson and many others are playing well or that Stowers and Westburg are struggling are what matters.

Paul T.     May 17
They had 12,200 in the stadium last night to see the O's? I'd call that a miracle based on the 4,000 crowds they had earlier in the season. Business is picking up.

Lee     May 17
I agree with JP that it would be really funny to see Herman's head blow off if he saw Drew pick Tiger to win in tomorrow's edition of the Dish.

Jon     May 17
Unless he changes his mind, Drew said on his golf radio show last Sunday that Rory is his pick to win the PGA.

TimD in Timonium     May 17
Rickie's crossed the $40M threshold in career earnings on the PGA. Nice work."He is the Mercedes Benz global ambassador since 2016 after being their brand ambassador in the US since 2013. Fowler is also associated with other top companies like Cobra (Puma), Rocket Mortgage, and Farmers Insurance." So, do your sponsors follow along to the Saudi tour? Maybe Mercedes does.

CIK     May 17
My source tell me DF picks Rory to win

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Drew is picking Spieth to win.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Frew is picking Spieth to win.

kj     May 17
Poor @JP. Guess it's just me, can't see any reason why anyone would care a) who DF picks and b) what Herman's reaction might be. But hey, whatever floats your boat right?

I get the disdain for this league that is "doing business with the Saudis", but if somehow this format was put together without involving despots and murderers, would it be viewed more positively as an alternative to the current PGA Tour format? Perhaps that is not viable without oil money or China, just wondering if the "improvements" Phil and now Fowler reference have some legs on their own merit.

I get not wanting to support Saudis, not questioning that at all. Just wondering if this different pay for play model might be an improvement over the current setup, from a financial standpoint, for most players? Or not really?

BTW, finishing T33 every week seems like a good living to me, where can I sign up for that lol??

J.P.     May 17
If @DF picks Tiger Woods to win the PGA just to dig at @Herman, I'll laugh all day tomorrow.

Chris     May 17
Great article on Fowler today. Seems like you've hit it right on the head. If he still wants to make $$ playing golf he'll probably have to jump to one of those renegade groups to do it. So long Ricky!

Sunday
May 1, 2022
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2806


what, exactly, are they grading?


Man, I just don't get it.

The draft grades, I'm talking about.

Look, I totally understand that the NFL Draft has morphed into this incredible cottage industry. Everywhere you look, someone has a mock draft, a projection on who should go where, and then, when the picks are actually made, they even "grade" the team's performance.

Many of the national draft experts gave Eric DeCosta and the Ravens an A+ for their 2022 draft.

A friend of mine texted me early Saturday evening with a screenshot of someone -- an "expert" on the draft -- who gave the Ravens an A+, along with the Lions and Eagles.

One of only 3 teams to get an A+! EDC just crushed fools for three days!", the text read.

I'm an Eric DeCosta fan, so I'm thrilled that the Ravens apparently had a great draft. Eric gets the heat when things don't go well and he gets the credit when draft picks, trades and signings work out favorably. On top of being an excellent talent evaluator, Eric's a good man, too, if that matters to you.

But I'm really perplexed at this whole "grading" thing.

What, exactly, are people grading teams on? The Ravens took Kyle Hamilton in the first round. He was clearly an outstanding player at Notre Dame. Draftniks gave the Ravens an "A" for selecting him. Wouldn't, say, the Titans or Cowboys or Chiefs also receive an "A" if they, instead of the Ravens, drafted Hamilton?

In other words, no matter where Hamilton went, the grade would have been "A", right?

I saw one "expert" on Twitter give the Ravens a "B", mainly because they took a player (Ojabo) with an achilles injury and a punter in the 4th round. Far be it from me to argue about grades based on the fact I'm the one here telling you how silly it is to grade a draft in the first place.

But the Ojabo pick, in particular, should be exempt from any grade until he returns to the playing field and either becomes a legitimate contributor in the NFL or doesn't pan out. The punter in the 4th round? Well, if he's the next Sam Koch, I'd give that one an "A" for sure. Koch might gain entry into the team's Ring of Honor someday. He's a top 10 punter in modern football history, I'm guessing.

The rush to grade everything and provide those much needed "hot takes" is what drives everyone to the internet immediately after the draft concludes.

How can you grade Kyle Hamilton, Tyler Linderbaum or David Ojabo until -- wait for it, here comes the logic -- they've actually played a season or three in the NFL?

This A+ grade the Ravens received...how did they get that in late April?

I'm not trying to be a party pooper and denigrate the Ravens' draft efforts. They might have picked two rock stars in Hamilton and Linderbaum. But the organization also felt that Hollywood Brown was a rock star in April of 2019 and, well, you know how that ended.

I just don't understand how folks hand out grades on draft picks that haven't yet yielded a morsel of "real" football production. Is it based on what they did in college? The combine? Some other "trait" the experts see that the rest of the great unwashed don't?

No matter what, I just don't get the hype, more hype and overhype of grading the NFL Draft. I certainly understand the draft is the primary way you build your foundation and all. And I do understand its importance. But I don't get the grading and the "winning" and "losing" part. Not now, anyway.

Oh, and speaking of Hollywood, I'm hearing from someone in the know that the Brown trade demand stemmed from the team's continued employment of Greg Roman.

Brown essentially said, "If he stays, I want out."

And the Ravens responded by saying, "OK, then, you're out."

It's also completely fair to wonder if the Lamar Jackson contract situation isn't also somehow tied into Roman's return as the team's offensive coordinator? Could it be that Jackson is waiting things out...to see if, by chance, Roman is the one who gets shown the door if the offense sputters in 2022?

I haven't heard anything official, but I'm just putting one and one together and figuring, if Hollywood was unhappy with Roman, Lamar probably isn't far behind.

And I don't think it's far-fetched in the least to be concerned that if Roman does indeed return in '23 that perhaps this time, it's the quarterback who has the stones to tell DeCosta next January, "It's either him or me."

Meanwhile, the grades continue to pour in. The Ravens are getting beat up a bit for not selecting a wide receiver over the three day draft. Someone just gave them a "B".

I'm sure DeCosta won't sleep well tonight.

On second thought, based on what Mel Kiper thinks, DeCosta will sleep like a baby.

All you have to do is keep perusing the grades; eventually you'll find one you like.

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kevin's draft review


DMD's NFL draft analyst, Kevin Constantine, chimes in with his thoughts on the Ravens draft.

Kyle Hamilton -- Thought this pick was good, but I have to wonder if Trent McDuffie or Jermaine Johnson would have been smarter selections, especially if the Ravens could have traded back to 20 or somewhere around there.

#DMD's Kevin Constantine says the Ravens should have considered Jermaine Johnson over Kyle Hamilton of Notre Dame (above).

Tyler Linderbaum -- I would have gone with Karlaftis (Purdue) here and chased a center in the 2nd or 3rd round. I think Linderbaum was a decent pick but passing on Karlaftis will be something the Ravens regret in the future.

David Ojabo -- This was a big reach. Ojabo could have been had 10 or 15 picks later, I bet. The achilles injury chased a lot of teams away. I'm anxious to see how he plays against the run in the NFL. Ojabo wasn't good at facing the run in college.

Travis Jones -- The Ravens got their groove back with this pick. Travis Jones is a combo Brandon Williams-Michael Pierce kind of player. He will fill up the gaps nicely on the defensive line. Watch this guy become a starter right away.

Daniel Faalele -- I watch a lot of Big Ten football and this guy was a beast for a pretty bad Minnesota team. I don't know that he'll be a starter right away but he's got a lot of upside.

Jayln Armour-Davis -- I have no idea how this player was passed 118 other times before his name finally got called. I thought he was a 1st or 2nd round talent when I saw him play a number of times at Alabama.

The rest of the draft picks:

Didn't think the punter selection was necessary, but if they can save $2 million by cutting Koch and this new guy from Penn State can basically do the same job, why not? The biggest issue will be on field goal and extra point attempts. Can Stout pick those things up right away so that Tucker doesn't miss a beat?

We took two tight ends but didn't draft a wide receiver? That's the biggest "oops" moment of the draft for Eric DeCosta and his staff. No wide receivers? A real head scratcher to me.

Overall I thought the Ravens draft was solid, but not getting at least one wide receiver in the top 100 picks seems odd to me.

I just hope Jermaine Johnson doesn't turn into the defensive end some people say he will or we will regret taking Hamilton at 14 and passing on Johnson.

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Saturday
April 30, 2022
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2805


saturday mailbag


We'll handle a full Ravens draft summary here at #DMD tomorrow.

I should warn you all in advance, mainly because he playfully suggested I do it, our #DMD draft guru Kevin Constantine is "less than thrilled" with the David Ojabo selection in last night's second round. Those are his words -- "less than thrilled". He'll explain more tomorrow, he says.

Once all the picks are in today, we'll get a full player-by-player capsule from Kevin and, yes, his Ravens draft grade. Believe me, I think it's silly, personally, to grade a draft before the players ever step foot on the field, but that's apparently what draft people do these days.

Look for Kevin's analysis here tomorrow.


And now, to the Saturday mailbag, where we astutely give you the answers you're looking for. You want the truth? Here it is.

Paul T. asks -- "I asked a friend at work about this and thought I'd run it by you as well. Is it me or does it seem like there's far less attention in the media about college lacrosse these days? Maybe it's just the saturation of social media and the schools doing their own stuff, but I don't feel like I know anything about college lacrosse any more. Scores and highlights used to be on TV every Saturday."

DF says: "I think you're on to something. I would tend to agree. For whatever reason, it does feel like we're seeing less and less about college lacrosse. Maybe that's because no school in the Baltimore area stands out? I'm just guessing, of course. But in the "old days", Hopkins and Loyola were both really good and they'd snag some headlines. Towson would have years where they were also very strong. All three of them are down a notch or two, so maybe that explains it somewhat? But I would agree. Lacrosse doesn't seem to garner the early spring media attention it once did."


$390 to see Bruce? Sure, if I get to sing a song or two with him.

Craig E. asks -- "Hey, Drew, my wife and I just spent $390 each on seats to see McCartney at Camden Yards. We were torn over that purchase but decided to do it. I know you're not a McCartney fan so I'll ask you the question a different way: Would you ever spend $390 to see Bruce Springsteen live in concert?"

DF says -- "I suspect part of the thought process behind forking over that kind of (senseless) money to see and here McCartney's voice crack for 2 hours is because there's a good chance this will be his last concert tour, right? I get it. Every time I see Bruce in concert (27 times thus far) I feel a little bit the same way. "This could be the last time." I have never paid $390 to see Springsteen or any concert, for that matter. I did have the chance to see him on Broadway in New York for $750 but turned it down. I'm a huge fan, but $750 is too much even for Bruce. I don't know what my limit is, but I'm guessing $390 would be right around the most I'd ever spend, and I'd either have to be really close to the stage or brought up on stage to sing "Bobby Jean" with Bruce and the band."


Mike P. asks -- "A question for your Q&A segment at DMD. Now that ESPN has done a 30-for-30 on Greg Norman and his collapse at the Masters, what's the next golf story ESPN should try and cover in that 30-for-30 series? Tiger? Phil? Someone else?"

DF says: Gary Player won the 1974 British Open at Royal Lytham. That's what the records say. But there is a story about the 71st and 72nd holes that has never really gone away. Player hit his drive left on the 17th into a brushy, high grass area. Several minutes went by without anyone being able to find the ball. Finally, just as he was about to go back to the 17th tee and play another ball, his caddie found the original one. Player went on to play 17 and 18, but the 18th wasn't controversy free either. Video clearly shows Player moving sand on his practice swing before his 3rd shot on the final hole. Back to that 17th hole story -- the next day, a member hit his tee ball on that hole left into the grassy area and found a ball -- "a Titleist 8" -- that people believe was Player's ball from the day before to its identifying marks. Player was once asked about the incident and bristled at the question, but the story has never gone away. I would love to see a full 30-for-30 on that British Open win and whether there is enough evidence in place to confirm the accounts of both the 17th hole and 18th hole "incidents".


Eric P. asks -- "Hi Drew, my 16-year old son and I were talking about a golf problem recently and I thought I would e-mail you to try and get an answer. How often should clubs get new grips? His are worn down but he says he likes the thinner feel. Thanks. Love your new golf show on The Fan. Keep up the good work."

DF says: "Thanks, Eric. I should remind everyone here at #DMD they can hear "Fairways and Greens" every Sunday from 12-1 pm on 105.7 The Fan. Back to your question. Grips should be changed, I think, at least once per-year, if not twice. Some of that depends on how much you play, of course. For the standard golfer who might play once or twice a week, I think changing your grips every spring should be more than adequate. For someone like me who is generally hitting balls or playing nearly every day from April through October, you might need to re-grip in the early spring and then again in, say, late July. If your son likes his grips worn down and "thinner", you can put a thin, ladies grip on one club and see if he likes that. Let him hit balls with it and see if he prefers a thinner grip and if he does, go ahead and put the ladies grip on all of them. Some people prefer a thinner grip and that could be perfect for him."


Rich S. asks -- "I was at Camden Yards for an Orioles/Yankees game and got to thinking about overrated and underrated for some Yankees and wanted to run those names by you. I have my feelings on all four. Was wondering what you think about: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo and Aroldis Chapman. Overrated or Underrated?

DF says -- "Let's start with the easiest one. Stanton is vastly overrated. You can have that guy. The over/under on consecutive games he'll play before landing on the DL is 39.5. I'll take the under. Judge is an interesting one. He strikes out a lot, which all power hitters do, but he seems more reliable to me than most guys who just bomb home runs. But if you made me choose one or the other, I'll say Judge is overrated (but I think I'd take him on the Orioles). I think Rizzo and Chapman are both underrated. I've always liked Rizzo's game. He's a career .280 hitter, I think, and has good power and on-base-numbers. (Note: I quickly looked it up because I was curious -- he's a career .269 hitter with a career OBP of .369). In his prime, he was Mark Teixeira without the injuries. Chapman is a once-a-decade phenom who can throw 100 mph and generally get the ball on or near the plate every time. Rizzo and Chapman are both underrated."


Dan K. asks -- "A group of guys in my office are pooling together money ($50 each, nothing crazy) and making one bet on a NFL team to win the Super Bowl in '22. (Note: Dan gave me the web address of a gambling site with "futures" wagering available). Can you take a look at the odds and give us one team that's a bit of a longshot that we can put our $300 on and hope for a big return? Thanks!"

DF says -- "Geez, this is a lot of pressure, although it's a bit easier since it's not my $300. I would say the Raiders at 35-1 look pretty inviting right now. They added Davante Adams and Chandler Jones, both of whom should be Hall-of-Fame worthy once their playing days are complete. If you don't think Derek Carr is good enough to win the Super Bowl, just keep in mind that guys like Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Foles and Matthew Stafford have played in the Super Bowl in recent years. I'm not saying the Raiders are going to make it or win it, but I think they look pretty good at 35-1."


Will C. asks -- "I heard you talk about putting while you're looking at the hole on your golf show last week and then I saw Jordan Spieth doing it at a tournament on TV and I was just curious why you think it works? Thank you."

DF says: "As I always tell junior or beginner golfers, golf is an "aim sport". You have an intended direction on every single shot you hit. It doesn't always go in that direction, but you're always "aiming" for it to go there. Putting is no different, except because of the contour of the greens, you occasionally (or often times) actually aim off the hole to get the ball to take the break you see. To me, looking at the hole when you putt just reinforces in your brain that you're trying to make a stroke to get the ball to end up there. Putting, to me, is far too "results oriented". People stand over a putt and say, "I have to make this." Actually, what you need to do is read the break correctly, judge the speed correctly and make solid contact with your putting stroke. If it goes in, it goes in. But you have to do all that other stuff correctly first. Looking at the hole helps me, at least, take "the result" out of it and just allows me to aim and putt the ball. Spieth has had a lot of success with it over the years, but not many players trust the process enough to do it in tournament play."


Don J. asks -- Hi Drew, a Q & A submission for you to consider. One month into the season, what's your biggest surprise and biggest disappointment, player wise? Thanks."

DF says -- "Biggest disappointment is easy so far: Cedric Mullins. He's hitting .200 (actually .195) and hasn't looked anywhere near as confident at the plate as he was in 2021. I'm sure it will turn it around at some point, but he's off to a terrible start. Anthony Santander is a surprise. Not because he's doing well, but more because he's taking walks (16 thus far) and generating power numbers from both sides of the plate. I know his average isn't great (.222) but his on-base-percentage is way up there (.410). If Santander can stay healthy, play a full season and hit .260 with 25-30 home runs and 90'ish RBI, the O's might have themselves a legit offensive weapon."

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Friday
April 29, 2022
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2804


a safety and a center (!) (?)


We scouted and studied film for an entire year and that's the best we could do? A safety and a center?

I saw that line, or a variation of it, making the rounds on social media late last night after the Ravens completed their first round with 2 picks; safety Kyle Hamilton of Notre Dame at #14 and center Tyler Linderbaum of Iowa at #25.

A safety and a center? That's the best we could do?

Don't forget, they had to give up Hollywood Brown to get the center.

The Ravens went with Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton with their first round pick (at #14) last night in Las Vegas.

But there were folks who liked what Eric DeCosta and Company did on Thursday night.

We got the best overall player in the draft and 10-year starter at center!! We fleeced 'em again.

That could be true. If you believe what the streets have been saying for the last week or three, the Ravens had zeroed in on Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis. Once the Eagles snagged him with the 13th pick, the wheels started to spin for DeCosta.

"If we couldn't get the guy we absolutely, 1 million percent wanted, how do we turn this first round into something really worthwhile?"

It was obvious by Hollywood's appearance at a Cardinals draft party last night that the trade was completed well in advance of yesterday. That it remained a secret is an utter shock.

So, knowing he had the 23rd pick -- which eventually turned into the 25th selection -- DeCosta went with Hamilton first and then waited to see where the chips would fall before making the Linderbaum pick at 25.

My opinion?

You know what I'm going to say before you ask, but I'll repeat what I say every year the morning after each round of the draft.

"I have no idea if that was a great draft. Come and see me in 3-5 years and I'll tell you."

I have no way of knowing how Kyle Hamilton pans out. We all jumped around like Kevin Bacon in Footloose when the Ravens drafted Matt Elam and he turned out to stink.

The Ravens don't draft players with the thought they'll underachieve, obviously, but sometimes it just works out that way.

Here's what one national scouting firm wrote about Hamilton: Hamilton is widely regarded as one of the best players at any position in the nation. While the safety position might not be held in the same esteem as some others, Hamilton’s ability is undeniable. He brings a rare blend of size, athleticism, football IQ, instincts, and technique to the field, giving him an incredibly diverse skill set. Hamilton was a game-changing player for Notre Dame, and he could have an immediate impact in the NFL.

Everything about Hamilton says he'll be a solid NFL player, but they also said that about Elam. So, I'll just wait.

The same for Linderbaum. Definitely looks the part, right? I mean, if he showed up in your yard and said, "I'm a NFL player, what positon do I play?", I think you'd take about two seconds to say, "Center!"

Here's the scouting summary on Linderbaum: One of the most well-rounded and polished center prospects to come out in quite some time, Tyler Linderbaum has a skill set that should make his transition to the NFL fairly smooth. Linderbaum excelled in multiple varsity sports while in high school, including wrestling; he pinned NFL offensive tackle and former Iowa teammate Tristan Wirfs as a junior in regionals.

I think the center is a critical position. I like the fact the Ravens were willing to go against the grain a bit and take a center with the 25th pick. But it probably only makes sense if Linderbaum is a "lifer" in Baltimore. If he goes through two or three contracts, using a first round pick on him will turn out to be wise. Other than that, you could have improved the center position in, say, the 2nd or 3rd round.

But on the surface, I like the Linderbaum pick. If you gave me the Meet-The-Fockers-truth-serum-needle-in-the-neck, I'd even tell you I like the Linderbaum pick more than the Hamilton pick. But, again, that's just me saying that. The only way of knowing if I'm right is to come back around in 3 or 4 years.

Four years after the Ravens chose him in the first round, Hollywood Brown was swapped for a first-rounder last night.

As for Hollywood Brown and his departure, I see both sides of that as well.

On a team already starved for talent at wide receiver, the Ravens just gave away their most experienced guy who still apparently has plenty of good football in front of him. That does seem odd, to say the least.

But by doing so they also avoided having to give him a big (second) contract. And there's definitely a debate about the worth of Brown, who was a tad too hot-and-cold for the Ravens, I'm guessing.

And the trade also tells me there's something else unknown behind the scenes that was in play for DeCosta and perhaps Harbaugh and the coaching staff.

Was moving Brown to Arizona part of the team's master plan for re-signing Lamar? Did the organization become a little leery of their off-field activities? I don't know anything specific and I haven't heard any rumors or anything of that nature. I'm just looking at the pieces of the puzzle and trying to fit them in where they belong.

Perhaps it's as simple as the Ravens gave up on Brown once that 5th year salary came upon them and they did the math. "Just not worth that kind of money..."

I definitely see the logic in that. Brown is a good receiver, nothing more than that, really. And if you think he's "good" this year, what are the chances he's "great" next year, when you have to give him the big free agent, second-contract?

I assume the Ravens looked at the entire scenario in front of them and said, "Why just get a comp pick after we let him walk in 2023 when we can trade him for a first round pick right now and get someone we really like?

They might have also grown tired of some of the off-field and social media stuff authored by Brown. One would assume they know a lot more about Brown off-the-field than do we. Maybe there was a build-up in that area they were growing concerned with as well.

A college center for a 4-year veteran wide receiver (who wasn't a bum, either, let's keep that in mind) seems odd, but at 35,000 feet, you see the landscape in total. The Ravens had likely already decided Brown wasn't going to be re-signed in 2023 and they figured it was best to part company now.

The big question, of course, is this: What does Brown's departure do for Lamar and his future in Baltimore?

Their relationship is quite close, as we all know. But Jackson also has to know "business is business". The Ravens can't let personal friendships and brotherhood stand in the way of compiling the best roster they can.

Lamar did post a very vague social media message late in the first round last night: WTF?

But there's no telling at all what that was supposed to mean. Jackson did go back to Twitter a while later and write, "That was not about my new center...", so at the very least he cleared that up for everyone. But what exactly did "WTF?" connect with and why post that on draft night?

Kyle Hamilton and Tyler Linderbaum, welcome to Charm City.

As they say to rookies in the NFL: "Keep your head on a swivel." In Baltimore, you can add to that: "and lock your doors."

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faith in sports


On the heels of our successful Maryland FCA golf clinic this past Wednesday night, I wanted to show a short (less than 4 minutes) video that gives you a great summary of what FCA is, does and believes in.

For those who don't know or would like to learn more, please watch the video below, featuring FCA's Shane Williamson.

One of the biggest reasons why I enjoy coaching within FCA is that you never really know when the work you're putting in might bear fruit. It could be the next day, the next week or the next year when someone says, "That FCA golf clinic really opened my eyes and ears."

While you're enjoying your morning coffee, please watch the video below and learn more about what FCA is and does.

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


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"Regular Joe"
on the 2022 Orioles and their minor league teams


"Regular Joe" has been following the Orioles for the better part of four decades. He'll be our eyes and ears in 2022 on both the Orioles and their various minor league teams as the Birds look to rebuild a winner in Baltimore.


end of april – an early report card


It is hard to believe but we are already reaching the end of April on Saturday.

The Orioles sit in last place in the AL East, at a not surprising record of 6-13. Their best starting pitcher had Tommy John surgery Wednesday, so we won’t see him until next summer. They have only won one series, taking 2 of 3 from the Angels in Anaheim last weekend.

To be fair, the Birfds have been competitive in almost all of their contests, but lately they have had to battle back from several large deficits to do so. They are 20th in the league in ERA, and 22nd in OPS.

Let’s make a quick assessment by each position group – my grades are relative to the rest of the major leagues, and not to expectations, which is important:


Starting Pitching – C+

The Orioles for the most part have kept the games competitive, which is MORE than I expected at this point in the season. I could have easily seen a “D” here before they threw the first pitch four weeks ago.

Bruce Zimmerman has been outstanding and is clearly our ace so far. Spenser Watkins has been better than expected, especially since he wasn’t in the plans three weeks ago.

I will give Connor Wells a pass, given he looked good Wednesday night and was clearly rushed into starting at the end of spring training.

Jordan Lyles has been as expected – an innings eater who will likely give up 40 home runs if he pitches the whole season.

Chris Ellis’s injury will also hurt, since he could have fallen into the Lyles category. This group will need some reinforcements, and Kyle Bradish will get a start in the big leagues very soon after a good start at Norfolk.


Relief Pitching – B

The bullpen has been a pleasant surprise, and close to an “A” relative to expectations.

As I have mentioned before, it is so nice to see most of these guys throwing strikes and pitching with pace. I do worry a lot that the overwork will cost them, and soon. I don’t think there are relievers at Bowie or Norfolk knocking the door down.

The positives here are many. Jorge Lopez has been solid, and even dominant at times. Keegan Akin and Dillon Tate seemed to have heard Mike Elias’s message to the mid twenties age pitchers that it was time to get your act together.

Newcomers like Joey Krehbiel, Felix Bautista, and Cionel Perez have been great in more limited roles.

On the not great side, Mike Baumann and Paul Fry may end up on the outside looking in. I know Baumann’s stuff looks good, but he has little command and that doesn’t happen overnight. Fry may need a month in the minors to get his confidence back – he looks lost after another bad outing in the Bronx yesterday.

Bryan Baker and Travis Lakins are likely shuttle guys (notice no “Sr.” for Lakins – he needs to earn that …).


Catchers - C

Robinson Chirinos has been ok defensively, with a decent OBP. He needs to get some credit for the improved pitching. This grade isn’t bad when they are getting by with a backup and a double A player until Adley Rutschman arrives.


Outfield – B-minus

I was hoping for more from the outfield. Defense has been ok, but the batting averages and power have been poor. If not for Anthony Santander with his .400+ OBP and monster home run Wednesday night, this group would be a D.

Cedric Mullins now needs to prove last season was not a fluke. I am less worried about Austin Hays, who seems to be hitting in bad luck, and has stayed healthy. We really need a competent fourth outfielder – Ryan McKenna should be DFAd and let’s see if Kyle Stowers can play.


Infield/DH – D

I would have expected more from Ryan Mountcastle and Trey Mancini. They are off to extremely slow starts, and in Mountcastle’s case especially, are chasing balls they can’t reach and striking out far too much for their abilities.

Jorge Mateo and Ramon Urias are performing about at expectation – Mateo has 7 steals to lead the league – but both are not great defensively, and Mateo pretty much handed the Yankees the game yesterday.

Roughned Odor, Chris Owings and Kelvin Gutierrez are not major league talents, and are all hitting .200 or worse.


Manager/Coaches – C

These guys are probably all placeholders for a veteran leader at some point in the next two years, but are doing a decent job. Chris Holt deserves some credit for the early pitching success for sure.

The only thing I would say about Brandon Hyde is that he should hold the players more accountable with the press – these guys are paid to play professionally, and when a guy has a bad game, it doesn’t hurt once in a while to mention that.

Saying that he liked the way the pitcher threw, despite that person getting lit up, is not either helping the pitcher, nor helping the club establish a more winning culture.

More on the minors coming soon, including a fun trip to Bowie to see the Baysox. Hopefully a ten game homestand against the Red Sox, Royals and Twins will help the Os get back to competitive baseball. Enjoy the better weather coming, and let’s hope the Ravens get some impact players over the next few days.

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Open Again
Thursday
April 28, 2022
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2803


"and with the 14th pick, the Ravens select..."


The time has come.

It's NFL Draft night.

And what better place to host the ultimate "gamble" on college football players than Las Vegas, right?

What will the Ravens wind up doing?

Will they stay at #14 in the first round? Take a couple of extra picks and move back into the later stages of the first round? The answer to that question lies mostly on what the team's draft board looks like, one would assume. If several of their top rated players still remain at #14, the temptation to trade back and stockpile additional picks will undoubtedly be strong.

Kevin Constantine will handle our mock draft duties below. We'll let him serve as the "official" voice of #DMD on the '22 Draft.

Me, personally? I think the Ravens trade back and take a player like Kayvon Thibodeaux of Oregon. But Kevin's on the clock and ready to go round-through-round with what he thinks the Ravens will do tonight.


Kevin's Mock Draft


As a preview on what I think we'll see from the Ravens, I'm thinking most of their focus will be on players who won't need to step in and make an immediate impact. I do think they'll take bonafide college stars, but I also believe they'll draft heavily in positions where current veteran players can help mentor the new guys for a year.

But their first pick will be someone who steps in immediately and plays from day one.

Round 1, #14 -- Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

Round 2, #45 -- Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Penn State

Round 3, #76 -- JoJo Domann, LB, Nebraska

Round 3, #100 -- Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati

Round 4, #110 -- Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati

Round 4, #119 -- Rasheed Walker, OT, Penn State

Round 4, #128 -- Verone McKinley III, S, Oregon

Round 4, #139 -- Dameon Pierce, RB, Florida

Round 4, #141 -- Ben Brown, C, Mississippi

Round 6, #196 -- Jalen Nailor, WR, Michigan State


I should say, here, that it's almost a 100% certainty that the Ravens will trade out of several picks over the next few days. Those five picks in the 4th round should come in very valuable for Eric DeCosta, especially if he wants to trade up in either round 2 or round 3.

Welcome to the best day of the spring! The NFL Draft! Go Ravens!

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maryland fca golf clinic


Despite the chilly late April temperatures last night, we had an awesome evening at the first Maryland FCA Golf clinic of 2022 at Pine Ridge Driving Range.

The Maryland FCA Golf Clinic was held at Pine Ridge Driving Range last night.

Eight local junior golfers came out to hit balls and learn the basics of the game. I brought along my Calvert Hall assistant coach Brian Hubbard and my 4-year Calvert Hall starter, Lorenzo Sanz, who is headed off to Loyola University to play college golf next fall.

We worked on the basics of the golf swing, namely: grip, stance and posture. Each of the eight students in attendance have golf experience through the middle school program currently being run by Rick Mellendick.

Sanz talked about his development in golf, which started in the Baltimore First Tee program and continued with Coach Julieta Stack at Pine Ridge. He also showed the key swing thoughts he has used to rise to the top of the amateur rankings in the state of Maryland. Sanz was the MIAA Individual Champion last year at Eagle's Nest CC (72-68).

We finished the night with a long drive contest, won by Dylan Mellendick at 207 yards!

Students from Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Ursula and Loyola (Middle) were in attendance last night.

At the conclusion of the clinic, we spent 15 minutes discussing FCA and the "three pillars" of successful golf; physical, mental and spiritual.

Our next free clinic will be held on Wednesday, May 25 (6-7:30 pm) at Pine Ridge.

We'll be doing a fund-raising event in the near future here at #DMD to try and raise some modest funds for our endeavor. We'd like to provide those who attend with golf balls, a Maryland FCA Golf shirt and a training aid they can use at home to better ingrain the basic fundamentals of the golf swing.

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The Stats Nerd
And His Numbers


Contributed by #DMD's data and numbers analyst
The Stats Nerd


ravens draft preview


Back in early February I wrote a column projecting the Ravens expectation for the 2022 Draft which starts tonight in Las Vegas. Thankfully, I couched my “prediction” with this caveat:

Of course, it’s virtually impossible to know what the Ravens draft (or any team’s draft) is going to look like with more than 2 months until it happens. Between free agency, cap casualties, draft combine, pro days, etc. there is just so much left to happen before the draft commences on April 28 in Las Vegas.

Lo and behold a heck of a lot has changed. The Ravens signed a RT (Morgan Moses), they resigned Patrick Ricard, Calais Campbell and Josh Bynes and signed Michael Pierce. Their biggest move, from a dollars and cents perspective, was signing former Saints safety Marcus Williams to a 5 year deal.

They also saw a bunch of players walk, most notably, Bozeman, Young and Elliott. There are still several unsigned free agents from last year’s team and it remains to be seen how those will be handled.

But all of these moves do seem to have solidified the consensus of the Ravens needs through this weekend. The expectation is that Defensive Line (particularly rush Edges), Cornerback and Offensive Line will be the focus, at least in the first round. I think that was the focus back in February as well but the failure to sign Za'Darius Smith shines a light on the need for an Edge rusher.

Draft Board –

The draft board (at least among pundits and analytic types) has changed a good bit in the last 60-75 days. Several players have rocketed up the board and are now projected to be unavailable at 14 when the Ravens pick. That obviously means that several players that previously were thought unlikely to be available at 14 now may just be available at that spot.

Risers –

Back in February, Edge rusher Travon Walker (Georgia) was projected as a selection in the 15-20 range (even lower in some cases). And then he simply destroyed the combine/pro day measurements. He is now projected as high as #1 overall. So forget about him wearing purple and black.

Cornerback Sauce Gardner (Cincinnati) was expected to be selected in the 10-15 range. Same story. Measurements proved he was a freak athlete and his name will be called potentially as high as 4. Not going to be a Raven barring a move up from EDC.

Edge rusher Jermaine Johnson (Florida State) was a marginal first round projection who now seems unlikely to get out of the top 10. If he does last until, say, 11th I could see EDC trying to jump up to grab him.


Fallers –

Of course if guys are moving into the top 10 someone has to move out of the projected top 10. The fallers include the following players:

Center -Tyler Linderbaum (Iowa) was being projected as potentially top 10. That always struck me as odd for a center and I never believed that would actually occur. He still seems to be something of an enigma but the consensus now is he will be selected somewhere in the 20’s Thursday night.

Edge - Kayvon Thibodeaux (Oregon) was considered to be a potential #1 draft pick after the college football season. Now his stock is all over the place from 5th to 12th that I’ve seen. Ultimately, I don’t think he drops to 14th and probably lands in the bottom part of the top 10.

Edge - David Ojabo (Michigan) was a likely Ravens target back in February. Unfortunately, he tore his achilles at the Michigan Pro Day and will fall considerably because of that. Could he be a luxury pick in the 2nd round though?

But the two oddest fallers that I’ve seen are Cornerback Derek Stingley (LSU) and Safety Kyle Hamilton (Notre Dame). These two were virtual top 5 locks 2 months ago and now opinions vary WIDELY on both. Suddenly both seem a possibility to fall somewhere near 14 when the Ravens select. I don’t think they are LIKELY to fall that far but at this point it seems a possibility. Hamilton, in particular, could really land anywhere. If he is available at 14, I’d have to think that EDC thinks long and hard about selecting him. In the end, I think someone grabs both before 14.


Ravens –

(Full Disclosure: I wrote all of this on Monday and Tuesday BEFORE Drew and Kevin’s columns in yesterday's issue of DMD. Some of the language is similar but I had this written before reading their input)

So what the heck do the Ravens do at 14? As Drew said yesterday, the Ravens are pretty consistent in their adherence to the Best Player Available (BPA). I would ever so slightly adjust that to BPA+ with the + accounting for positional value. I’ve discussed that previously but essentially certain positions have more value than others. This value is amplified early in the draft and the Ravens have adhered to the positional value thesis, at least recently.

Given that and assuming they stay put, a consensus seems to be forming that they select Defensive Lineman Jordan Davis (Georgia). If this is the pick (and it is my guess) I would be ok with it.

The dude is a freak athlete for a 6’6” 340 pound man. He ran a sub 4.8 second 40 at the combine. He also long jumped over 10 feet, bench pressed 225 lbs 44 times and registered a 34 inch vertical jump. A man of that size with those numbers is unheard of.

If you aren’t moved by the numbers take a look at his tape. While he swallows up offensive linemen, he also gets a decent amount of QB pressure up the middle and generally wreaks havoc in the offensive backfield. He gets double teamed a fair bit and while he is no Aaron Donald (no one is…perhaps ever) he does a good job at a minimum freeing up teammates to go unblocked.

If there are concerns it is that he is likely only a 2 down lineman and he has a tendency to play a bit upright. These are legitimate issues but you can’t teach the mayhem that Davis creates when he is on the field. For a team that LOVES to blitz like the Ravens, a player that is often unblockable 1v1 in the middle just seems like a perfect fit. He is, in fact, often compared to Haloti Ngata.

Positional value analysis would discourage taking an interior defensive lineman this high in the draft. But this specific player is more than just a space eating defensive tackle. Would I prefer one of the top 4 Edge rushers? Yes I think so but my gut is that they will not be available at 14.

I guess the question is will Davis be there at 14? We shall see on Thursday night.


Rest of the Draft –

There is something of a butterfly effect throughout the draft. It is so hard to predict because it is impossible to know what each team will do. There are always curveballs from some teams (Cowboys, Seahawks, Jets) and each of those curveballs will impact other teams selecting after them.

What I do expect to see from the Ravens is an Edge rusher (or two), an offensive lineman (or two) and a cornerback (or two). Beyond that I think the Ravens are famous for simply taking the best player available (BPA). I would expect them to live up to that reputation throughout the weekend.

Next week I’ll recap their selections and also provide a dose of reality for what a draft typically means in terms of roster construction.

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#dmd comments








unitastoberry     May 20
The 2 best punters ever in Baltimore football history. Sam Koch and David Lee. Glad there's no pressure on the kid from Pedo St....lol

Ricky     May 20
I don't understand the Site Owner's fascination with Adam Jones. I admit, Jones was a very good player here and represented the city well, but so did plenty of other Orioles. If you're going to "retire" Jones' number, then I believe you should also "retire" Boog Powell's (#26), Mike Cuellar's/Mike Mussina's (#35), Dave McNally's (#19), Mike Flanagan's (#46), and Ken Singleton's (#29) numbers. IMHO, they were also very good players that represented the city and franchise very well and contributed more to the franchise and fanbase (World Series, anyone?) than Adam Jones did.

Also, the Preakness is all but gone. I'd love to know what the actual crowds are for Black Eyed Susan and Preakness Day are, and not the Propaganda that the Maryland Jockey Club announces. My guess is that it's a fraction of what it was 30, 20, and even 10 years ago.

TJ     May 20
There is some rich irony in that comment from Herman.

Pokey     May 20
What a guy Garry is. Just like the frosted one, name dropping. 'I sat with two people from the Racing Form, look at me.'

Gary must be related to LF.

Delray RICK     May 20
Love to see LUCAS win with the FILLY.

Greg     May 20
Here's a fun fact for "Garry".



My wife works for a Baltimore Sports apparel company. Her boss sent an e-mail yesterday that said the company has 120 tickets to their tent and the race. Guess how many they originally had? 150.



The e-mail said "We kindly ask that you bring 3 guests if you plan on attending. We need to fill the tent. The food and beverage has been ordered for 150 people."



I just asked her how many are left. "105".They can't even give the tickets away tomorrow.

JK     May 20
You know what else is weird?

@Garry and @Monk are the same person.

How weird is it that @Garry says "I met Monk" when he is in fact, @Monk? So strange. His other moniker "@JerryH" hasn't been heard from here in a while.

Garry     May 20
Weird that this site and the radio empire are singing the same tune about the Preakness. We were out there yesterday. Met Monk, whose best bet of the day of the day took a lot of late money(6-1 as the gate was loading, won easy at 3-1). Monk was sitting with 2 DRF(Daily Racing Form) columnists. Pre-sale tickets are very brisk. Expecting 55k today and over 100k tomorrow. The box seats we were in are sold out both days at 600 dollars a piece.

I guess that two social media influencers like the 2 Baltimore sports icons with less than 10k combined Twitter followers know more about a sport that they ignore 50 weeks/year than the folks who promote it.

Horse racing has plenty of problems. But to just crap all over it fits the mindset. The O's are another whipping boy. Terps, D and O coordinators, fans, players.

Negativity sells and that is where we have lost our way. Joy is missing.

Fast facts. Saudi Arabia allows abortion..if the life of the mother is in jeopardy. They average about 25/year. USA kills over 600,000 a year. Who are the barbians?

Tom J     May 20
That's fine if the O's never issue #10 again but in no way should it be officially retired. That honor is reserved for the HOF'ers and the greatest Orioles ever. Jones was very good but certainly not in that class.....

Herman     May 20
Why doesn't the site owner use my name in his commentary? I do have a name, you know? Geez, is it that hard?

Rich     May 20
Love the video today for Faith in Sports! My favorite DMD segment of the week. Thanks Drew and thanks Free State for supporting it. God Bless!

Jason M     May 20
Maybe tonight is the night for Adley at the plate. We could use some joy in Mudville. A 95 degree Preakness is tough on everyone from the people working at the track to the horses and the spectators - hope everyone stays hydrated. I'll be watching and betting from home, my wife is nuts enough to run a Spartan race tomorrow.

Erick     May 20
Great work by Unitas below- enjoyed that

JohnInEssex     May 20
Drew, your description of Lorenzo Sanz Jr. regarding his demeanor doesn't surprise me. He's just like his Dad, in a good way!

hal     May 19
Fake Herman is a total embarrassment.

Agree that Judge crying is total non-story. And Mancini did not "make a statement", he was asked about the whining from the Yankees.

Saban is right, the NIL cat is out of the bag and will damage the game eventually. I do agree big time players ought to get paid, so just pay them and stop pretending it's being done in a good way. Develop a pay scale and make the pay the same across the board. Pay to play or play amateur football like D II or D III. With gambling no longer considered "bad" for any sport, not sure why college athletes getting paid is a big deal any more.

stardust     May 19
Tiger tied with Garrett Higgo in 123rd place.

unitastoberry     May 19
We don't need no Trey Mancini. We don't need no Elias control. No tons of fans in the stadium. All in all it's just another Angelos in the wall.

Ricky     May 19
Uh, oh...

Looks like the Site Owner, the SOD, and the SOT (generally the same people) are NOT going to be happy.

Their hero Tiger Woods shot +4 today and is in danger of missing the cut at the PGA.

In all seriousness, Tiger has made great progress coming back from his serious injuries, but he might not be ready yet for major championship play.

Chris in Bel Air     May 19
Aesthetically, I don't like the hard, 90 degree corner wall by the bullpens. I would have preferred to see it more angled. Nevertheless, I don't think the concerns are just the wall. Batting totals are down to start the year across the league. The top team BA for the AL is Cleveland (.248). Not one AL team above .250. For reference, 5 teams ended last year above .248. There were 4 in 2020 and 8 in 2019. So while it may be a little early to completely state, and it may be a little more of a poke to hit it out at the Yard, the league isn't exactly tearing the cover off regardless.

Buckie (C.S.)     May 19
Why does anybody here care what Aaron Judge thinks about the new dimensions? He shouldn't be so shocked that not everyone is on his side. We sure have our nerve, not acting in the best interests of Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees. I haven't heard him mention anything about the cheap homers he has gotten from the little league dimensions at his park. People do pay to see the games for reasons other than him, not that the, dare I say, "crowds" at Camden Yards support that statement very well.



As for Mancini, the Orioles have made it obvious that if he hits well enough, they will trade him out of town. Plus they have made his job more difficult with the dimensions. So if he doesn't feel the warm cocoon of love coming from the warehouse, I get it. He deserves a shot to play in the playoffs. With any luck we will get someone back who we will someday hear of.

Hank     May 19
I love the new wall! These coddled athletes are bigger and stronger than ever before. They don't have to sell shoes in the off season like former Baltimore stars once did. A home run is not the be all end all and at age 53 I could reach the old power alley (on a batting practice pitch). So shut shut up buttercups and adjust your game.

HERMAN     May 19
Once again an "imposter post". I don't bet chalk. And I don't put much stock in touts.

Please allow me out of the posting game and stop posting using my name. It isn't amusing nor does it demonstrate class.

Herman     May 19
I won't vomit if Rory wins. I put a Benjamin on him to win when the site owner picked him. I'm no dummy.

DJ     May 19
LOL, Rory gonna run away with this and Herman is gonna vomit.

Delray RICK     May 19
Check out prices at PGA this week. $19 dollars for beer!!

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
As for N Saban its amazing the media cant see whats really going on....these coaches understand that if all these boosters and schools spend more and more for players its gonna eventually hurt coaches salaries

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
What did people expect? Either hitters or pitchers will be mad. I thought it was foolhardy. Didnt have trouble attracting J Key D Wells K Brown and other pitchers when you were good and had payroll second to Yanks from 93 to 98. Never heard Mussina mention dimensions as reason for leaving ...was the lowball offer. Spend it and they will come. Dimensions are meant to distract us from their cheapness and lazy media fell for it

Hal     May 19
Take a bow yourself, Drew. You have done an outstanding job with those young CHC golfers. Three straight wins in three years is impressive. Well done to you and the CHC golfers.

Frank P     May 19
Got word from Monk last night. He will be at Pimlico on Thursday. Told me that #10 Berks in the 5th is a bet if he looks good in the paddock. I'll meet him there, we sit in the boxes overlooking the finish line.

Brett B.     May 18
This KJ character is quite the boot licker for Herman. Talk about carrying someone's water for them.

Pauly D     May 18
Happy 85th Birthday Brooks!

kj     May 18
Love the geniuses with the "if you have different opinion than Drew" that must equate to "disdain for Drew". Brilliant take!

But best part was right after this trash take on Herman, we get "I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy....".

SOD is right, can't buy this comedy on the street (huh??) and my all time favorite: "must be a plant" lol




Delray RICK     May 18
MY comments on DEM O'S wil be posted at the 1/3 mark which is a true evaluation and not a silly 20 game start. And it an't going to be good.

Mark in Perry Hall     May 18
Herman doesn't post any longer because "someone is using my name." Then suddenly out of nowhere he starts posting again and on his first post back he craps on DF to stir the pot.



But he's not a plant, right? Sure.

Don from Catonsville     May 18
Why some people post in the comments here when they seem to have such disdain for Drew is beyond me. Herman for example or he who claims to be Herman. Just move on to some other sports site.

At the same time I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy with the outrage over the Saudi Golf league. The NBA and life in general is wrapped around depending on China . China makes the Saudi seem like just schoolyard bullies IMO

Biff H     May 18
Here they come to save the day. SOD….SOD….SOD…..SOD…..

GM     May 18
Larry with the home run comment of the day. "I've stopped posting, but here's a post."

Larry     May 18
LOL.

Herman writes: Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting.

And then he posts 1,000 words anyway.

You can't buy this comedy on the street. It's priceless.

HERMAN     May 18
Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting. That along with the ridiculous takes by both the site owner and majority of commentators. The holier-than-thou pontification about the new Saudi league, and joy found over the trials and tribulations of Phil and Ricky are not just sad to read but a bit disgusting. The ways in which your daily life is intertwined with both the Saudis and China, two abhorrent governing bodies, is so pervasive as to make each of us complicit. Every visit to the pump places you in direct connection with the Saudis. Every visit to any market puts you in touch with China. This idea that the Saudi League is "tainted" by association is completely ridiculous. Drive a gas powered vehicle you enrich the Saudis, an electric you enrich the Chinese. So woven are they both in our daily lives. The Saudi money is involved in just about every venture, the Musk buy of Twitter revealed them to be a major investor. Has that stopped our "Hooded4Iron" site owner from posting on Twitter?

Spare me the outrage over Phil's dance with them. Competition is good, just the threat has already influenced purses and compensation from the PGA. Why the hate for an organization shoving extreme amounts of cash into the game you love? From our government, to our major companies, to the pump the Saudis touch everything, and thereby touch you. You'd have to be monastic to avoid it.

And the Ricky Fowler bashing, Good God. He made it to the show, he competed at the highest levels, got rich doing it, lives a life here in nearby Jupiter that would be the envy of all. If his career is "done", and he goes the way of so many others that saw only brief success on tour, so be it. But he got there, he tried, he succeeded against the best in the world. Every blue tee I know would kill to have his life and lifestyle. Yet guys not fit to shine his golf shoes seem to revel in his struggle. It's ridiculous.

Who the site owner picks to win a major means no more to me than the next guy I pass on the street. His love of the Messiah is well documented here. As is my own disdain.

Enjoy the tournament.


Eric in Gaithersburg     May 18
I love how the expert throws out Aberdeen record cause it doesnt fit his narrative lol. He will make a great employee at PMSNBC ot FoxNews. Or the fact that Adley has had 30AB or that many of Norfolk best have been up with Os or that minor league records are useless. The fact that Grayson, Prieto, G Henderson and many others are playing well or that Stowers and Westburg are struggling are what matters.

Paul T.     May 17
They had 12,200 in the stadium last night to see the O's? I'd call that a miracle based on the 4,000 crowds they had earlier in the season. Business is picking up.

Lee     May 17
I agree with JP that it would be really funny to see Herman's head blow off if he saw Drew pick Tiger to win in tomorrow's edition of the Dish.

Jon     May 17
Unless he changes his mind, Drew said on his golf radio show last Sunday that Rory is his pick to win the PGA.

TimD in Timonium     May 17
Rickie's crossed the $40M threshold in career earnings on the PGA. Nice work."He is the Mercedes Benz global ambassador since 2016 after being their brand ambassador in the US since 2013. Fowler is also associated with other top companies like Cobra (Puma), Rocket Mortgage, and Farmers Insurance." So, do your sponsors follow along to the Saudi tour? Maybe Mercedes does.

CIK     May 17
My source tell me DF picks Rory to win

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Drew is picking Spieth to win.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Frew is picking Spieth to win.

kj     May 17
Poor @JP. Guess it's just me, can't see any reason why anyone would care a) who DF picks and b) what Herman's reaction might be. But hey, whatever floats your boat right?

I get the disdain for this league that is "doing business with the Saudis", but if somehow this format was put together without involving despots and murderers, would it be viewed more positively as an alternative to the current PGA Tour format? Perhaps that is not viable without oil money or China, just wondering if the "improvements" Phil and now Fowler reference have some legs on their own merit.

I get not wanting to support Saudis, not questioning that at all. Just wondering if this different pay for play model might be an improvement over the current setup, from a financial standpoint, for most players? Or not really?

BTW, finishing T33 every week seems like a good living to me, where can I sign up for that lol??

J.P.     May 17
If @DF picks Tiger Woods to win the PGA just to dig at @Herman, I'll laugh all day tomorrow.

Chris     May 17
Great article on Fowler today. Seems like you've hit it right on the head. If he still wants to make $$ playing golf he'll probably have to jump to one of those renegade groups to do it. So long Ricky!

Wednesday
April 27, 2022
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2802


best player available or fill the need?


I've always marveled at the drafting philosophy of NFL teams, but in particular, the Ravens.

All in all, they've been pretty doggone good at that draft thing since 1996.

Sure, there have been some whiffs along the way. I don't need to rattle off guys like Matt Elam, Travis Taylor or the latest casualty, Miles Boykin, who only made it in Baltimore for three years before being shown the door earlier this month.

But for the most part, the Ravens have been on point at the draft table.

Are the Ravens going to take Jordan Davis at #14 if he's still available?

They're also one of the franchises that generally believes in "best player available" in the first round.

Now, obviously, if a quarterback was the BPA at #14 tomorrow night, they wouldn't be taking him. It's probably also safe to say they won't take a tight end at #14, either. Those two positions are in pretty good shape for the Ravens, if you didn't know.

I can't imagine the Ravens would take a running back at #14, either, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't take one with a pick in the 30-50 range.

Every other position is worth scrutinizing, though.

Offensive line? Sure. You can't ever have enough quality at that spot, particularly when you don't *really* know if Ronnie Stanley is ever going to return to All-Pro form.

Wide receiver? You bet. We're annually starved at that position as it is and 2022 isn't much different. Hollywood Brown, Rashod Bateman, Devan Duvernay and James Proche make up that unit right now.

Bateman could turn into something special, but the rest of them are pretty much "just guys". Brown, of course, is a former #1 pick who has shown flashes of brilliance in his career but has yet to really look the part of an elite receiver.

The entire defensive side of the ball could use a quality player. Rush end, defensive tackle, linebacker, secondary. If someone at #14 can "plug and play" right away, that might be the way to go tomorrow night.

Most of the 374 mock drafts you see circulating on the internet have the Ravens going "defensive" with their first pick at #14, for what that's worth. None of those people have any kind of real information from the organization, of course. The Ravens are experts at the draft game, what to tell folks, what not to tell folks, and how to posture themselves to get the best player when their time comes.

I recently -- within the last month -- had a "bird in Owings Mills" tell me the team is very interested in defensive tackle Jordan Davis, but even I know that might not necessarily be true. I pass it along as information that was shared with me, but I'd always put an asterisk on it as well.

Someone associated with the Ravens tells me the team would love to take Jordan Davis at #14 if he's still on the board*.

* - indicates team source might not be telling the truth because, in all reality, why would the team tell anyone about their draft plans are one month in advance of the big night?

But I hear they really like Jordan Davis, if that matters at all.


Our friend Kevin Constantine follows the draft far more than I do and lists five players he believes the Ravens will consider at #14 below:

Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia -- Two words best describe Davis. He is an "athletic freak". At 6'6", 340, Davis is a run-stopping machine. If the Ravens wants to be able to deny opposing offenses the ability to run the ball, Davis should be the pick here. He's a monster.

Jermaine Johnson, Edge, Florida State -- The best thing about Johnson is he can play the run or chase the quarterback. He's one of the more versatile edge guys in the entire draft. If the Ravens are looking for a player to fully compliment what they're trying to do on defense, Johnson might be a better pick than Davis, if he's available at the #14 spot.

Derek Stingley, CB, LSU -- If injuries wouldn't have nicked him in college, I think Stingley might have turned out to be a top 5 pick. He's that good. As it is, someone's taking him in the first 20 picks and it might be the Ravens, who know they now have to deal with Joe Burrow and Deshaun Watson for the next several years at the very least. He could be a first-round steal, especially if the Ravens can move back 4-5 spots and still get him.

Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State -- If the Ravens are privately worried about the long term health of Ronnie Stanley, they might have to consider taking Cross at #14 if he's still on the board. Nearly everyone thinks he's the 3rd best OT in the draft, behind only Ekwonu and Neal. If they're going to give Lamar his boatload of cash, they need big bodies on the line to keep him healthy. Cross would be a great pick at #14.

Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama -- This one comes with a note attached. I don't think the Ravens would take Williams at #14, but I do think they would consider trading back to the mid 20's and snagging him there. Williams hurt his knee in January and might not be ready to go by September, but that shouldn't hurt him on draft day. Someone is taking him early and it might be the Ravens, who have a thing for Alabama players.

I'll provide Drew with my full Ravens 7-round mock draft on Thursday morning. I think there's too much talent in the first 15 picks to trade back. I see them sticking at #14.

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six years later, we find out...


For a team that "didn't really cheat", the Yankees sure were nervous about Rob Manfred's 2021 letter to the organization that detailed his findings of an investigation into pitching sequence decoding in 2015 and 2016.

The Yankees were fined $100,000 by Manfred as a result of the investigation by Major League Baseball.

In the letter, which was made public yesterday after a battle in court, Manfred informed the Yankees that MLB's investigation found that Yankees players watched monitors in 2015 and 2016 to discern pitch-sequence information that was then relayed to baserunners in the hope that they could communicate this to the batter.

Yankees gazillionaire pitcher Gerrit Cole was caught cheating (again) this past Sunday in a start vs. Cleveland.

The letter also notes that former Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild called the team's replay room to ask about pitch identification, which was against the rules.

"At that time, use of the replay room to decode signs was not expressly prohibited by MLB rules as long as the information was not communicated electronically to the dugout," MLB said in a statement Tuesday.

Rothschild's use of the dugout phone to obtain information from the relay room was the key violation.

The Yankees, of course, were quick to point out their form of "gathering information" wasn't anything like what the Astros did in 2017 when they used monitors and cameras to pick up signs from opposing catchers, which would then be transferred in real time to batters at the plate.

"As the facts of the letter again show, the Yankees were not penalized for sign stealing but were penalized for improper use of the telephone in the replay room," the Yankees said in a statement Tuesday. "At that point in time, sign stealing was utilized as a competitive tool by numerous teams throughout Major League Baseball and only became illegal after the Commissioner's specific delineation of the rules on September 15, 2017."

One big difference, of course, came in the results column. The Yankees didn't win a World Series as a result of their shenaningans, but the Astros did.

Earlier this week, Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole was the subject of social media scrutiny after it appeared he was wiping a substance from the back right pocket of his uniform pants after every pitch.

We'd show you the video here but about 10 hours after it started circulating, it was made "unavailable" by Major League Baseball.

You can still find it in some isolated spots on the web, though. Just put "Gerrit Cole pants" or "Gerrit Cole cheating" in the search bar.

By the way, when you type "Gerrit Cole cheating" into your search bar, be prepared to watch about 45 minutes worth of video evidence that shows Cole -- well -- cheating. He's been doing it his entire career. Substance on his glove. Substance on his belt. Substance on his hat. He's a career "substance" guy, for sure.

And, now, substance on his rear end. It was very obvious this past Sunday that he was wiping *something* from his pants in his 9-strikeout-start vs. Cleveland.

Here's how you will know for sure that Cole was wiping a substance off of his pants last Sunday. When he makes his next start this Friday, he won't be doing it this time around. The internet has betrayed him and Cole will have to figure out a different way to get the substance onto his right hand and fingers.

The pitch-sequence stuff and Gerrit Cole all prove one thing: Baseball teams and players are always going to circumvent the rules. They just are.

They'll call it "competitive advantage", which is code word for: cheating.

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#dmd comments








unitastoberry     May 20
The 2 best punters ever in Baltimore football history. Sam Koch and David Lee. Glad there's no pressure on the kid from Pedo St....lol

Ricky     May 20
I don't understand the Site Owner's fascination with Adam Jones. I admit, Jones was a very good player here and represented the city well, but so did plenty of other Orioles. If you're going to "retire" Jones' number, then I believe you should also "retire" Boog Powell's (#26), Mike Cuellar's/Mike Mussina's (#35), Dave McNally's (#19), Mike Flanagan's (#46), and Ken Singleton's (#29) numbers. IMHO, they were also very good players that represented the city and franchise very well and contributed more to the franchise and fanbase (World Series, anyone?) than Adam Jones did.

Also, the Preakness is all but gone. I'd love to know what the actual crowds are for Black Eyed Susan and Preakness Day are, and not the Propaganda that the Maryland Jockey Club announces. My guess is that it's a fraction of what it was 30, 20, and even 10 years ago.

TJ     May 20
There is some rich irony in that comment from Herman.

Pokey     May 20
What a guy Garry is. Just like the frosted one, name dropping. 'I sat with two people from the Racing Form, look at me.'

Gary must be related to LF.

Delray RICK     May 20
Love to see LUCAS win with the FILLY.

Greg     May 20
Here's a fun fact for "Garry".



My wife works for a Baltimore Sports apparel company. Her boss sent an e-mail yesterday that said the company has 120 tickets to their tent and the race. Guess how many they originally had? 150.



The e-mail said "We kindly ask that you bring 3 guests if you plan on attending. We need to fill the tent. The food and beverage has been ordered for 150 people."



I just asked her how many are left. "105".They can't even give the tickets away tomorrow.

JK     May 20
You know what else is weird?

@Garry and @Monk are the same person.

How weird is it that @Garry says "I met Monk" when he is in fact, @Monk? So strange. His other moniker "@JerryH" hasn't been heard from here in a while.

Garry     May 20
Weird that this site and the radio empire are singing the same tune about the Preakness. We were out there yesterday. Met Monk, whose best bet of the day of the day took a lot of late money(6-1 as the gate was loading, won easy at 3-1). Monk was sitting with 2 DRF(Daily Racing Form) columnists. Pre-sale tickets are very brisk. Expecting 55k today and over 100k tomorrow. The box seats we were in are sold out both days at 600 dollars a piece.

I guess that two social media influencers like the 2 Baltimore sports icons with less than 10k combined Twitter followers know more about a sport that they ignore 50 weeks/year than the folks who promote it.

Horse racing has plenty of problems. But to just crap all over it fits the mindset. The O's are another whipping boy. Terps, D and O coordinators, fans, players.

Negativity sells and that is where we have lost our way. Joy is missing.

Fast facts. Saudi Arabia allows abortion..if the life of the mother is in jeopardy. They average about 25/year. USA kills over 600,000 a year. Who are the barbians?

Tom J     May 20
That's fine if the O's never issue #10 again but in no way should it be officially retired. That honor is reserved for the HOF'ers and the greatest Orioles ever. Jones was very good but certainly not in that class.....

Herman     May 20
Why doesn't the site owner use my name in his commentary? I do have a name, you know? Geez, is it that hard?

Rich     May 20
Love the video today for Faith in Sports! My favorite DMD segment of the week. Thanks Drew and thanks Free State for supporting it. God Bless!

Jason M     May 20
Maybe tonight is the night for Adley at the plate. We could use some joy in Mudville. A 95 degree Preakness is tough on everyone from the people working at the track to the horses and the spectators - hope everyone stays hydrated. I'll be watching and betting from home, my wife is nuts enough to run a Spartan race tomorrow.

Erick     May 20
Great work by Unitas below- enjoyed that

JohnInEssex     May 20
Drew, your description of Lorenzo Sanz Jr. regarding his demeanor doesn't surprise me. He's just like his Dad, in a good way!

hal     May 19
Fake Herman is a total embarrassment.

Agree that Judge crying is total non-story. And Mancini did not "make a statement", he was asked about the whining from the Yankees.

Saban is right, the NIL cat is out of the bag and will damage the game eventually. I do agree big time players ought to get paid, so just pay them and stop pretending it's being done in a good way. Develop a pay scale and make the pay the same across the board. Pay to play or play amateur football like D II or D III. With gambling no longer considered "bad" for any sport, not sure why college athletes getting paid is a big deal any more.

stardust     May 19
Tiger tied with Garrett Higgo in 123rd place.

unitastoberry     May 19
We don't need no Trey Mancini. We don't need no Elias control. No tons of fans in the stadium. All in all it's just another Angelos in the wall.

Ricky     May 19
Uh, oh...

Looks like the Site Owner, the SOD, and the SOT (generally the same people) are NOT going to be happy.

Their hero Tiger Woods shot +4 today and is in danger of missing the cut at the PGA.

In all seriousness, Tiger has made great progress coming back from his serious injuries, but he might not be ready yet for major championship play.

Chris in Bel Air     May 19
Aesthetically, I don't like the hard, 90 degree corner wall by the bullpens. I would have preferred to see it more angled. Nevertheless, I don't think the concerns are just the wall. Batting totals are down to start the year across the league. The top team BA for the AL is Cleveland (.248). Not one AL team above .250. For reference, 5 teams ended last year above .248. There were 4 in 2020 and 8 in 2019. So while it may be a little early to completely state, and it may be a little more of a poke to hit it out at the Yard, the league isn't exactly tearing the cover off regardless.

Buckie (C.S.)     May 19
Why does anybody here care what Aaron Judge thinks about the new dimensions? He shouldn't be so shocked that not everyone is on his side. We sure have our nerve, not acting in the best interests of Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees. I haven't heard him mention anything about the cheap homers he has gotten from the little league dimensions at his park. People do pay to see the games for reasons other than him, not that the, dare I say, "crowds" at Camden Yards support that statement very well.



As for Mancini, the Orioles have made it obvious that if he hits well enough, they will trade him out of town. Plus they have made his job more difficult with the dimensions. So if he doesn't feel the warm cocoon of love coming from the warehouse, I get it. He deserves a shot to play in the playoffs. With any luck we will get someone back who we will someday hear of.

Hank     May 19
I love the new wall! These coddled athletes are bigger and stronger than ever before. They don't have to sell shoes in the off season like former Baltimore stars once did. A home run is not the be all end all and at age 53 I could reach the old power alley (on a batting practice pitch). So shut shut up buttercups and adjust your game.

HERMAN     May 19
Once again an "imposter post". I don't bet chalk. And I don't put much stock in touts.

Please allow me out of the posting game and stop posting using my name. It isn't amusing nor does it demonstrate class.

Herman     May 19
I won't vomit if Rory wins. I put a Benjamin on him to win when the site owner picked him. I'm no dummy.

DJ     May 19
LOL, Rory gonna run away with this and Herman is gonna vomit.

Delray RICK     May 19
Check out prices at PGA this week. $19 dollars for beer!!

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
As for N Saban its amazing the media cant see whats really going on....these coaches understand that if all these boosters and schools spend more and more for players its gonna eventually hurt coaches salaries

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
What did people expect? Either hitters or pitchers will be mad. I thought it was foolhardy. Didnt have trouble attracting J Key D Wells K Brown and other pitchers when you were good and had payroll second to Yanks from 93 to 98. Never heard Mussina mention dimensions as reason for leaving ...was the lowball offer. Spend it and they will come. Dimensions are meant to distract us from their cheapness and lazy media fell for it

Hal     May 19
Take a bow yourself, Drew. You have done an outstanding job with those young CHC golfers. Three straight wins in three years is impressive. Well done to you and the CHC golfers.

Frank P     May 19
Got word from Monk last night. He will be at Pimlico on Thursday. Told me that #10 Berks in the 5th is a bet if he looks good in the paddock. I'll meet him there, we sit in the boxes overlooking the finish line.

Brett B.     May 18
This KJ character is quite the boot licker for Herman. Talk about carrying someone's water for them.

Pauly D     May 18
Happy 85th Birthday Brooks!

kj     May 18
Love the geniuses with the "if you have different opinion than Drew" that must equate to "disdain for Drew". Brilliant take!

But best part was right after this trash take on Herman, we get "I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy....".

SOD is right, can't buy this comedy on the street (huh??) and my all time favorite: "must be a plant" lol




Delray RICK     May 18
MY comments on DEM O'S wil be posted at the 1/3 mark which is a true evaluation and not a silly 20 game start. And it an't going to be good.

Mark in Perry Hall     May 18
Herman doesn't post any longer because "someone is using my name." Then suddenly out of nowhere he starts posting again and on his first post back he craps on DF to stir the pot.



But he's not a plant, right? Sure.

Don from Catonsville     May 18
Why some people post in the comments here when they seem to have such disdain for Drew is beyond me. Herman for example or he who claims to be Herman. Just move on to some other sports site.

At the same time I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy with the outrage over the Saudi Golf league. The NBA and life in general is wrapped around depending on China . China makes the Saudi seem like just schoolyard bullies IMO

Biff H     May 18
Here they come to save the day. SOD….SOD….SOD…..SOD…..

GM     May 18
Larry with the home run comment of the day. "I've stopped posting, but here's a post."

Larry     May 18
LOL.

Herman writes: Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting.

And then he posts 1,000 words anyway.

You can't buy this comedy on the street. It's priceless.

HERMAN     May 18
Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting. That along with the ridiculous takes by both the site owner and majority of commentators. The holier-than-thou pontification about the new Saudi league, and joy found over the trials and tribulations of Phil and Ricky are not just sad to read but a bit disgusting. The ways in which your daily life is intertwined with both the Saudis and China, two abhorrent governing bodies, is so pervasive as to make each of us complicit. Every visit to the pump places you in direct connection with the Saudis. Every visit to any market puts you in touch with China. This idea that the Saudi League is "tainted" by association is completely ridiculous. Drive a gas powered vehicle you enrich the Saudis, an electric you enrich the Chinese. So woven are they both in our daily lives. The Saudi money is involved in just about every venture, the Musk buy of Twitter revealed them to be a major investor. Has that stopped our "Hooded4Iron" site owner from posting on Twitter?

Spare me the outrage over Phil's dance with them. Competition is good, just the threat has already influenced purses and compensation from the PGA. Why the hate for an organization shoving extreme amounts of cash into the game you love? From our government, to our major companies, to the pump the Saudis touch everything, and thereby touch you. You'd have to be monastic to avoid it.

And the Ricky Fowler bashing, Good God. He made it to the show, he competed at the highest levels, got rich doing it, lives a life here in nearby Jupiter that would be the envy of all. If his career is "done", and he goes the way of so many others that saw only brief success on tour, so be it. But he got there, he tried, he succeeded against the best in the world. Every blue tee I know would kill to have his life and lifestyle. Yet guys not fit to shine his golf shoes seem to revel in his struggle. It's ridiculous.

Who the site owner picks to win a major means no more to me than the next guy I pass on the street. His love of the Messiah is well documented here. As is my own disdain.

Enjoy the tournament.


Eric in Gaithersburg     May 18
I love how the expert throws out Aberdeen record cause it doesnt fit his narrative lol. He will make a great employee at PMSNBC ot FoxNews. Or the fact that Adley has had 30AB or that many of Norfolk best have been up with Os or that minor league records are useless. The fact that Grayson, Prieto, G Henderson and many others are playing well or that Stowers and Westburg are struggling are what matters.

Paul T.     May 17
They had 12,200 in the stadium last night to see the O's? I'd call that a miracle based on the 4,000 crowds they had earlier in the season. Business is picking up.

Lee     May 17
I agree with JP that it would be really funny to see Herman's head blow off if he saw Drew pick Tiger to win in tomorrow's edition of the Dish.

Jon     May 17
Unless he changes his mind, Drew said on his golf radio show last Sunday that Rory is his pick to win the PGA.

TimD in Timonium     May 17
Rickie's crossed the $40M threshold in career earnings on the PGA. Nice work."He is the Mercedes Benz global ambassador since 2016 after being their brand ambassador in the US since 2013. Fowler is also associated with other top companies like Cobra (Puma), Rocket Mortgage, and Farmers Insurance." So, do your sponsors follow along to the Saudi tour? Maybe Mercedes does.

CIK     May 17
My source tell me DF picks Rory to win

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Drew is picking Spieth to win.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Frew is picking Spieth to win.

kj     May 17
Poor @JP. Guess it's just me, can't see any reason why anyone would care a) who DF picks and b) what Herman's reaction might be. But hey, whatever floats your boat right?

I get the disdain for this league that is "doing business with the Saudis", but if somehow this format was put together without involving despots and murderers, would it be viewed more positively as an alternative to the current PGA Tour format? Perhaps that is not viable without oil money or China, just wondering if the "improvements" Phil and now Fowler reference have some legs on their own merit.

I get not wanting to support Saudis, not questioning that at all. Just wondering if this different pay for play model might be an improvement over the current setup, from a financial standpoint, for most players? Or not really?

BTW, finishing T33 every week seems like a good living to me, where can I sign up for that lol??

J.P.     May 17
If @DF picks Tiger Woods to win the PGA just to dig at @Herman, I'll laugh all day tomorrow.

Chris     May 17
Great article on Fowler today. Seems like you've hit it right on the head. If he still wants to make $$ playing golf he'll probably have to jump to one of those renegade groups to do it. So long Ricky!

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Tuesday
April 26, 2022
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2801


hate to say "i told you so", but...


A few weeks back, when it became apparent that Phil Mickelson was going to miss the Masters, someone here at #DMD asked me a question for the "Mailbag" feature we occasionally run.

"What do you think Mickelson will do in 2022?"

"He'll eventually wind up settling back into bed with the Saudi Golf League," I predicted.

I said the same thing last week on "Fairways and Greens" on 105.7 The Fan.

"When it's all said and done, the money from the Saudis will be too tempting for Phil. He'll wind up playing in their events this summer, even after that supposed heartfelt apology of his back in late February."

Two months after apologizing for praising and promoting the Saudis, Phil Mickelson asked for a release on Monday to play in a tournament run by...you guessed it...the Saudis.

Well...

I hate to say "I told you so", but I'm here to tell you: I told you so.

Mickelson's agency confirmed yesterday he has asked the PGA Tour for a release to play in the first Saudi-run golf event, June 1-3, in London.

The agency was quick to point out that filing the release with the TOUR does not necessarily mean the 6-time major champion is actually going to play in that tournament. It's more "protocol" than anything, they're saying, since the Tour deadline for filing a release waiver was yesterday.

Sure thing, Phil. We believe you.

No, really, we do.

Lots of people file release waiver requests even though they don't intend on using it to actually play in the tournament.

Oh, wait, no one does that.

Mickelson filed the release request because he is either, A) intending on playing in the June 1-3 tournament or B) he just wants to stir the pot between the TOUR and Greg Norman, who is the guy running the new golf circuit for the Saudi government.

Either way, Phil is once again showing his true colors.

Perhaps he'll take the next few weeks to reflect on what it would actually mean to his career to hop into bed with those disgraceful people. Maybe he'll wise up and realize the message he sends by cashing their check.

Phil is *this close* to ruining his legacy already; if he eventually does follow through and tee it up with the Saudi golf circuit, his career will be forever blemished.

There's a train of thought that says all Phil wants is a scuffle. He's asked for the release, knows it won't be approved, and will then fight the TOUR in court "on behalf of his fellow players" and blah, blah, blah.

That's probably Plan B for Phil, who would much rather be the smartest guy in the room rather than the guy in the room with the most integrity.

Once you sign on the dotted line with the Saudi government, your integrity is all gone.

A report out of London on Monday says Norman and the Saudis have 15 players in the top 100 ready to play the June 1-3 kick-off event.

Rumored to have agreed to play: Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Louis Oosthuizen and Lee Westwood. One American-born player has confirmed he's asked for a release to play in the June 1-3 event; Robert Garrigus.

I know what you're thinking: "I can't wait to clear my entire Sunday schedule to watch Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood go toe-to-toe on the back nine in the final round."

The Saudis say they have 15 of the top 100 players. That's sorta-kinda true. What they actually have are 15 players ranked between 40 and 100. They don't have any marquee names or drawing-card-superstars playing in their event.

My guess? The 15 players they have contain 7 players you've heard of and 8 players (all ranked 80-100) that you wouldn't know unless you watch The Golf Channel at 6:00 am on Saturday and Sunday to see some obscure European Tour event.

Oh, and they have soon-to-be 52-year old Phil Mickelson, who just two months ago issued a social media statement expressing his sorrow at comments he made promoting the Saudi regime, calling his own words "reckless" and saying, "I know I have not been my best and desperately need some time away to prioritize the ones I love most and work on being the man I want to be.”

Then the Saudis called and reminded Phil about that June 1st tournament in London and suddenly $5 million or $10 million for showing up to play golf didn't seem so reckless after all.

I called it from jump street.

Mickelson can't say "no" to money, even when it's coming from a government that murders people who don't agree with their policies.

"I still think when it's all said and done, Phil will wind up taking that Saudi money," I predicted.

Bingo.


We're two nights away from the NFL Draft and the Ravens are in a unique position at #14.

They can most certainly get a high quality player in that spot, or they can trade back into the 20's and still get someone that will make an impact right away.

But what if they stay at #14? Over the years, what kind of player has that particular spot produced?

You asked...

We'll show you.

2021, NY Jets - Alijah Vera-Tucker (OL)

2020, San Francisco - Javon Kinlaw (DT)

2019, Atlanta - Chris Lindstrom (OL)

2018, New Orleans - Marcus Davenport (DE)

2017, Philadelphia - Derek Barnett (DE)

2016, Las Vegas - Karl Joseph (DB)

2015, Miami - DeVante Parker (WR)

2014, Chicago - Kyle Fuller (DB)

2013, Carolina - Star Lotulelei (DL)

2012, L.A. Rams - Michael Brockers (DL)

That's the last ten years of #14 first-round picks.

Others before that who went at #14 include Earl Thomas, Darrelle Revis, Jeremy Shockey and Eddie George.

The Ravens have several glaring needs; a rush end on the defensive side of the ball, a wide receiver, defensive secondary help and, potentially, more athleticism on the offensive line.

There will be a lot of quality available when that 14th pick gets called on Thursday night. Whether the Ravens are the ones who will be doing the picking is another question entirely.


I have no idea if Eamon Lynch of Golfweek writes his own headlines, but here's what it looked like when Lynch's story appeared this past Sunday afternoon: As Greg Norman's clown show continues, his Saudi bosses can't be laughing

Ouch.

Oh, and the headline was actually one of the kinder parts of the piece from Lynch, who eviscerated Norman for his dealings with the Saudi golf league.

I'll do something I rarely do here at #DMD and link the article in the event you want to click-and-read.

You don't have to read it. But you can click here and check it out if you so wish.

I should warn you though. The details are graphic. Norman gets annihilated by Lynch. There's blood everywhere.

"Norman was announced as the CEO of LIV (Saudi) Golf in October and has beclowned himself with his every public utterance since, cementing a reputation that will encompass not only his inability to finish big tournaments but his ineptitude in starting them too. What was promised as a seismic shake-up of global golf is looking more like a bonanza for washed-up also-rans. Consider what Norman has presided over since the Saudi ambitions in golf came into focus and all you’ll find is backtracking."

Wow.

Greg Norman was roasted by Golfweek writer Eamon Lynch on Sunday.

"What was promised as a seismic shake-up of global golf is looking more like a bonanza for washed-up also-rans."

That left a bruise.

Lynch wasn't finished. He went for the jugular a few paragraphs later.

"Norman’s disregard for established rules and norms might endear him to his employers, but even the Saudis must now be weary of their water carrier’s unquenchable thirst for publicity, his intemperate and ill-considered public comments, his lack of peripheral vision, his unpopularity in the locker room and his stupefying ability to snatch defeat when victory seemed not only possible but likely. Norman’s temperament was often a liability on the closing stretch of majors, but his bosses will know that it’s an encumbrance even before they can get a ball in the air."

He even brought up Norman's habit of choking in the final round of major championships. Yikes.

Lynch even uncovered something that wasn't really discussed much three weeks ago when the Masters was played at Augusta National.

The club annually invites all former winners of major championships to Augusta National for the tournament itself. Those men receive "status" that includes tickets, meals and the ability to utilize the club early in the week for entertainment and business purposes. Mysteriously, Greg Norman wasn't invited in 2022. They don't miss much at Augusta National.

The final blow from Lynch was a doozy:

Despite all the bluster and promises of riches, the Saudis must finally understand their project is piloted by a man more inflated with hot air than the Hindenburg, and seems destined for the same fate, even as he artlessly tries to coax gullible passengers aboard.

Game, set, match.


Just a reminder that tomorrow night, Wednesday, from 6 pm to 7:30 pm, I'll be hosting a free golf clinic in conjunction with the Maryland Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Pine Ridge Driving Range.

We're hopeful of setting up on the far left side of the range, but in any case, look for the FCA banner. That's where we'll be.

Bring your clubs along and come out to hit some balls, talk golf, visit with a couple of my Calvert Hall golfers and take in a short testimony about Maryland FCA and what it's all about.

Everything is free tomorrow night. All we need is for you to show up and have fun.

Adults and junior golfers are welcome to attend.

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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 Tuesday here, he looks at recent performances of American players and highlights upcoming games of importance.


u.s. and international soccer report


This week was punctuated by two USMNT stars who were called on in crucial moments for their clubs coming off the bench, with wildly different results.

Injuries continued to be a theme as another US starter went down, while one more returned to the field to help his team secure a title. A pair of Americans contributed to a big win in Germany and one striker candidate continued to pour in goals for his club.

Aside from the Americans, the title races in England and Italy remained tight at the top, while the race for Champions League in Germany got more congested.

American Christian Pulisic, "on again, off again" with his Chelsea team, was "on" last weekend when he scored a critical goal against West Ham in a 1-0 win.

The highlight of this week from an American perspective came from Christian Pulisic. After seeing a drop in his playing time since the last international window, Pulisic started out on the bench in Chelea’s crosstown London showdown with West Ham on Sunday. With the game scoreless late in the second half, he was called upon off the bench to help Chelsea secure a victory in the final fifteen minutes, and that is just what he delivered.

With the final seconds of regular time winding down, Pulisic found open space in the middle of the box and got on the end of a low cross from Marcos Alonso, hitting a well placed first time strike with his left foot to beat the keeper to the far post. The goal put Chelsea up 1-0 with just a few minutes of injury time remaining and the win solidified their hold on third place and a Champions League spot.

Another American starter was not so lucky in his appearance off the bench. Yunus Musah subbed on in the 100th minute, in overtime of the Spanish Copa del Rey final. The cup final between Valencia and Real Betis was tied 1-1 at the end of regulation.

Musah entered late in the first overtime period and provided a solid midfield presence, but neither team could break the tie and the game headed to penalty kicks. It was there that Musah had a crushing moment, skying his penalty as the fourth taker for Valencia. Musah was the only player to miss and Betis subsequently made their penalty to win 5-4 and take the cup title.

In a bit of good injury news for the US, Brenden Aaronson returned to the field for Red Bull Salzburg for the first time since the latest international window. Aaronson delivered a good performance in a blowout 5-0 win over Austria Wien, setting up several chances and scoring a penalty kick goal in the second half. The win clinched a ninth straight Austrian Bundesliga title for Salzburg. Aaronson was one of the key players in the title winning season and has likely played his way off the Salzburg team with a move to a bigger club likely this summer.

In order to balance out the good injury news, there was some bad news from Spain. Sergino Dest started at right back in Barcelona’s 1-0 loss to Rayo Vallecano this weekend. It was a tough day for Dest, who gave up too much space defending the goalscorer in the game’s only goal. He was then subbed out at halftime and reportedly has a hamstring injury that will force him to miss the last month of the season.

It’s a sour note to end a season that had its ups and downs for Dest. This summer will be interesting for him as he has been rumored to be on the move to other teams, but recently had seemed to win back the trust of his coach, Xavi. With an aging Dani Alves the other right back, he may have a good chance to stick around and get significant playing time for an improved Barcelona next season.

In Germany, both John Brooks and Kevin Paredes helped Wolfsburg to a dominant 5-0 win over Mainz. Wolfsburg enjoyed a man advantage for much of the game after a Mainz red card and put it to good use, dominating the possession. Brooks won all six of his duels and added six recoveries and four clearances. He had a huge amount of touches, completing 91% of his 120 passes and five of eight long balls. The teenage Paredes came on as a late sub on the wing for a short cameo.

Finally, in Switzerland, Jordan Pefok continued his stellar season with Young Boys, adding two more goals to his league leading tally in a 3-1 win over Servette. Pefok scored both goals on headers from crosses from the left wing. He added two key passes and won nine of his fourteen duels. It will be interesting to see if Pefok makes a move to a bigger league this offseason after leading the Swiss league in scoring. If he keeps putting in the goals, he will keep his name in the hat for the US striker.


England --

In the English Premier League both Manchester City and Liverpool won to keep pace at the top. Man City maintained their one point lead with a convincing 5-1 win over Watford behind four goals from attacker Gabriel Jesus.

Liverpool struggled in the first half but put in two second half goals for a 2-0 win over local rival Everton in the “Merseyside Derby”. Left back Andy Roberston broke the deadlock and then substitute Divock Origi sealed the victory with a late headed goal.

In the battle for fourth place, Arsenal got a big 3-1 win over Manchester United while Tottenham took a disappointing draw with Brentford. The results move Arsenal two points ahead in fourth place.


Italy --

In the other thrilling European title race, both Milanese clubs won to maintain their spots at the top of the table. Inter Milan produced a dominant 3-1 win over fifth place Roma with goals from Denzel Dumfries, Lautaro Martinez, and Marcelo Brozovic.

AC Milan topped the other big Roman club, sixth place Lazio, with a dramatic injury time goal from midfielder Sandro Tonali for a 2-1 win to keep them top of the table.


Germany --

The top two in the German Bundesliga went head to head this weekend in “Der Klassiker”. Although the title was a foregone conclusion with Bayern Munich’s large lead, they got a 3-1 home win over Borussia Dortmund that officially clinched their unprecedented 10th straight league title. Bundesliga scoring leader and top candidate for player of the year, Robert Lewandowski added another goal in this one.

In the battle for the third and fourth place Champions League spots, RB Leipzig gave back the advantage they gained last week. Tyler Adams started in center midfield for Leipzig and played a solid game, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a 2-1 loss to Union Berlin. The loss dropped Leipzig to fourth place with Bayer Leverkusen moving up to third after a 4-1 win over Greuther Furth. Leipzig remains two points ahead of fifth place Freiburg who tied 3-3 with Borussia Monchengladbach.


Champions League --

The Champions League semifinals begin this afternoon with Spanish league leaders Real Madrid traveling to take on the reigning English champions Manchester City. The English side are nearly 3-1 favorites to advance from the two-legged matchup.

This will likely be a clash in styles, with Man City favoring heavy possession to work the ball into key areas in attack and Real Madrid looking to soak up pressure and spring direct counter attacks through speedy winger Vinicius Jr. and star striker Karim Benzema.

That attacking duo has been one of the most potent in Europe this season and has carried the Madrid team through the Champions League and on their title winning quest in La Liga. They are supported by a savvy veteran midfield trio of Casemiro, Toni Kroos, and ageless wonder Luka Modric.

Man City boasts stars up and down the field with midfielders Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva two of the key cogs in their dynamic attack. They have multiple dangerous options on the attacking line, including Gabriel Jesus who bagged four goals in their win this weekend.

They will likely be without starting right back Kyle Walker due to injury, which could make them vulnerable to the attacking pace of Vinicius Jr. down the wing. They also have the only American remaining in the competition, though Zack Steffen won’t see the field unless starting keeper Ederson is forced out with an injury.

In the other matchup it's the Cinderella story Villarreal traveling to take on Liverpool. Again the English team is heavily favored to advance with 7-1 betting odds. That didn’t stop Villarreal against a stacked Bayern Munich team in the last round however.

Villarreal will likely employ similar tactics against Liverpool, trying to clog up space in the middle and force Liverpool to find their way around them. The English team is better when they can get in behind the defense on the break, so playing against a disciplined defense could pose a challenge.

Liverpool had issues breaking down a defensive Everton for the better part of an hour this past weekend. They are better suited to serving up crosses into the box than Bayern was, thanks to their outstanding fullback duo of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson.

Ultimately the immense attacking talent of Liverpool’s Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Luis Diaz and Roberto Firmino is likely to shine through. However, the key player could be midfielder Thiago. After a slow start to the season the veteran central midfielder has been playing his best ball over the past few weeks. He possesses the poise on the ball and intricate passing vision to break down any defense and may shoulder the creative burden against Villarreal.

It seems as though another rematch of the top two English teams who have been the class of Europe this season is written in the stars. However, the two Spanish teams would beg to differ and should pose worthy tests on the way to the finals.

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#dmd comments








unitastoberry     May 20
The 2 best punters ever in Baltimore football history. Sam Koch and David Lee. Glad there's no pressure on the kid from Pedo St....lol

Ricky     May 20
I don't understand the Site Owner's fascination with Adam Jones. I admit, Jones was a very good player here and represented the city well, but so did plenty of other Orioles. If you're going to "retire" Jones' number, then I believe you should also "retire" Boog Powell's (#26), Mike Cuellar's/Mike Mussina's (#35), Dave McNally's (#19), Mike Flanagan's (#46), and Ken Singleton's (#29) numbers. IMHO, they were also very good players that represented the city and franchise very well and contributed more to the franchise and fanbase (World Series, anyone?) than Adam Jones did.

Also, the Preakness is all but gone. I'd love to know what the actual crowds are for Black Eyed Susan and Preakness Day are, and not the Propaganda that the Maryland Jockey Club announces. My guess is that it's a fraction of what it was 30, 20, and even 10 years ago.

TJ     May 20
There is some rich irony in that comment from Herman.

Pokey     May 20
What a guy Garry is. Just like the frosted one, name dropping. 'I sat with two people from the Racing Form, look at me.'

Gary must be related to LF.

Delray RICK     May 20
Love to see LUCAS win with the FILLY.

Greg     May 20
Here's a fun fact for "Garry".



My wife works for a Baltimore Sports apparel company. Her boss sent an e-mail yesterday that said the company has 120 tickets to their tent and the race. Guess how many they originally had? 150.



The e-mail said "We kindly ask that you bring 3 guests if you plan on attending. We need to fill the tent. The food and beverage has been ordered for 150 people."



I just asked her how many are left. "105".They can't even give the tickets away tomorrow.

JK     May 20
You know what else is weird?

@Garry and @Monk are the same person.

How weird is it that @Garry says "I met Monk" when he is in fact, @Monk? So strange. His other moniker "@JerryH" hasn't been heard from here in a while.

Garry     May 20
Weird that this site and the radio empire are singing the same tune about the Preakness. We were out there yesterday. Met Monk, whose best bet of the day of the day took a lot of late money(6-1 as the gate was loading, won easy at 3-1). Monk was sitting with 2 DRF(Daily Racing Form) columnists. Pre-sale tickets are very brisk. Expecting 55k today and over 100k tomorrow. The box seats we were in are sold out both days at 600 dollars a piece.

I guess that two social media influencers like the 2 Baltimore sports icons with less than 10k combined Twitter followers know more about a sport that they ignore 50 weeks/year than the folks who promote it.

Horse racing has plenty of problems. But to just crap all over it fits the mindset. The O's are another whipping boy. Terps, D and O coordinators, fans, players.

Negativity sells and that is where we have lost our way. Joy is missing.

Fast facts. Saudi Arabia allows abortion..if the life of the mother is in jeopardy. They average about 25/year. USA kills over 600,000 a year. Who are the barbians?

Tom J     May 20
That's fine if the O's never issue #10 again but in no way should it be officially retired. That honor is reserved for the HOF'ers and the greatest Orioles ever. Jones was very good but certainly not in that class.....

Herman     May 20
Why doesn't the site owner use my name in his commentary? I do have a name, you know? Geez, is it that hard?

Rich     May 20
Love the video today for Faith in Sports! My favorite DMD segment of the week. Thanks Drew and thanks Free State for supporting it. God Bless!

Jason M     May 20
Maybe tonight is the night for Adley at the plate. We could use some joy in Mudville. A 95 degree Preakness is tough on everyone from the people working at the track to the horses and the spectators - hope everyone stays hydrated. I'll be watching and betting from home, my wife is nuts enough to run a Spartan race tomorrow.

Erick     May 20
Great work by Unitas below- enjoyed that

JohnInEssex     May 20
Drew, your description of Lorenzo Sanz Jr. regarding his demeanor doesn't surprise me. He's just like his Dad, in a good way!

hal     May 19
Fake Herman is a total embarrassment.

Agree that Judge crying is total non-story. And Mancini did not "make a statement", he was asked about the whining from the Yankees.

Saban is right, the NIL cat is out of the bag and will damage the game eventually. I do agree big time players ought to get paid, so just pay them and stop pretending it's being done in a good way. Develop a pay scale and make the pay the same across the board. Pay to play or play amateur football like D II or D III. With gambling no longer considered "bad" for any sport, not sure why college athletes getting paid is a big deal any more.

stardust     May 19
Tiger tied with Garrett Higgo in 123rd place.

unitastoberry     May 19
We don't need no Trey Mancini. We don't need no Elias control. No tons of fans in the stadium. All in all it's just another Angelos in the wall.

Ricky     May 19
Uh, oh...

Looks like the Site Owner, the SOD, and the SOT (generally the same people) are NOT going to be happy.

Their hero Tiger Woods shot +4 today and is in danger of missing the cut at the PGA.

In all seriousness, Tiger has made great progress coming back from his serious injuries, but he might not be ready yet for major championship play.

Chris in Bel Air     May 19
Aesthetically, I don't like the hard, 90 degree corner wall by the bullpens. I would have preferred to see it more angled. Nevertheless, I don't think the concerns are just the wall. Batting totals are down to start the year across the league. The top team BA for the AL is Cleveland (.248). Not one AL team above .250. For reference, 5 teams ended last year above .248. There were 4 in 2020 and 8 in 2019. So while it may be a little early to completely state, and it may be a little more of a poke to hit it out at the Yard, the league isn't exactly tearing the cover off regardless.

Buckie (C.S.)     May 19
Why does anybody here care what Aaron Judge thinks about the new dimensions? He shouldn't be so shocked that not everyone is on his side. We sure have our nerve, not acting in the best interests of Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees. I haven't heard him mention anything about the cheap homers he has gotten from the little league dimensions at his park. People do pay to see the games for reasons other than him, not that the, dare I say, "crowds" at Camden Yards support that statement very well.



As for Mancini, the Orioles have made it obvious that if he hits well enough, they will trade him out of town. Plus they have made his job more difficult with the dimensions. So if he doesn't feel the warm cocoon of love coming from the warehouse, I get it. He deserves a shot to play in the playoffs. With any luck we will get someone back who we will someday hear of.

Hank     May 19
I love the new wall! These coddled athletes are bigger and stronger than ever before. They don't have to sell shoes in the off season like former Baltimore stars once did. A home run is not the be all end all and at age 53 I could reach the old power alley (on a batting practice pitch). So shut shut up buttercups and adjust your game.

HERMAN     May 19
Once again an "imposter post". I don't bet chalk. And I don't put much stock in touts.

Please allow me out of the posting game and stop posting using my name. It isn't amusing nor does it demonstrate class.

Herman     May 19
I won't vomit if Rory wins. I put a Benjamin on him to win when the site owner picked him. I'm no dummy.

DJ     May 19
LOL, Rory gonna run away with this and Herman is gonna vomit.

Delray RICK     May 19
Check out prices at PGA this week. $19 dollars for beer!!

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
As for N Saban its amazing the media cant see whats really going on....these coaches understand that if all these boosters and schools spend more and more for players its gonna eventually hurt coaches salaries

Eric in Gaithersburg     May 19
What did people expect? Either hitters or pitchers will be mad. I thought it was foolhardy. Didnt have trouble attracting J Key D Wells K Brown and other pitchers when you were good and had payroll second to Yanks from 93 to 98. Never heard Mussina mention dimensions as reason for leaving ...was the lowball offer. Spend it and they will come. Dimensions are meant to distract us from their cheapness and lazy media fell for it

Hal     May 19
Take a bow yourself, Drew. You have done an outstanding job with those young CHC golfers. Three straight wins in three years is impressive. Well done to you and the CHC golfers.

Frank P     May 19
Got word from Monk last night. He will be at Pimlico on Thursday. Told me that #10 Berks in the 5th is a bet if he looks good in the paddock. I'll meet him there, we sit in the boxes overlooking the finish line.

Brett B.     May 18
This KJ character is quite the boot licker for Herman. Talk about carrying someone's water for them.

Pauly D     May 18
Happy 85th Birthday Brooks!

kj     May 18
Love the geniuses with the "if you have different opinion than Drew" that must equate to "disdain for Drew". Brilliant take!

But best part was right after this trash take on Herman, we get "I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy....".

SOD is right, can't buy this comedy on the street (huh??) and my all time favorite: "must be a plant" lol




Delray RICK     May 18
MY comments on DEM O'S wil be posted at the 1/3 mark which is a true evaluation and not a silly 20 game start. And it an't going to be good.

Mark in Perry Hall     May 18
Herman doesn't post any longer because "someone is using my name." Then suddenly out of nowhere he starts posting again and on his first post back he craps on DF to stir the pot.



But he's not a plant, right? Sure.

Don from Catonsville     May 18
Why some people post in the comments here when they seem to have such disdain for Drew is beyond me. Herman for example or he who claims to be Herman. Just move on to some other sports site.

At the same time I'll give him a bit of credit for pointing out the hypocrisy with the outrage over the Saudi Golf league. The NBA and life in general is wrapped around depending on China . China makes the Saudi seem like just schoolyard bullies IMO

Biff H     May 18
Here they come to save the day. SOD….SOD….SOD…..SOD…..

GM     May 18
Larry with the home run comment of the day. "I've stopped posting, but here's a post."

Larry     May 18
LOL.

Herman writes: Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting.

And then he posts 1,000 words anyway.

You can't buy this comedy on the street. It's priceless.

HERMAN     May 18
Having someone comment here using my name has caused me to stop posting. That along with the ridiculous takes by both the site owner and majority of commentators. The holier-than-thou pontification about the new Saudi league, and joy found over the trials and tribulations of Phil and Ricky are not just sad to read but a bit disgusting. The ways in which your daily life is intertwined with both the Saudis and China, two abhorrent governing bodies, is so pervasive as to make each of us complicit. Every visit to the pump places you in direct connection with the Saudis. Every visit to any market puts you in touch with China. This idea that the Saudi League is "tainted" by association is completely ridiculous. Drive a gas powered vehicle you enrich the Saudis, an electric you enrich the Chinese. So woven are they both in our daily lives. The Saudi money is involved in just about every venture, the Musk buy of Twitter revealed them to be a major investor. Has that stopped our "Hooded4Iron" site owner from posting on Twitter?

Spare me the outrage over Phil's dance with them. Competition is good, just the threat has already influenced purses and compensation from the PGA. Why the hate for an organization shoving extreme amounts of cash into the game you love? From our government, to our major companies, to the pump the Saudis touch everything, and thereby touch you. You'd have to be monastic to avoid it.

And the Ricky Fowler bashing, Good God. He made it to the show, he competed at the highest levels, got rich doing it, lives a life here in nearby Jupiter that would be the envy of all. If his career is "done", and he goes the way of so many others that saw only brief success on tour, so be it. But he got there, he tried, he succeeded against the best in the world. Every blue tee I know would kill to have his life and lifestyle. Yet guys not fit to shine his golf shoes seem to revel in his struggle. It's ridiculous.

Who the site owner picks to win a major means no more to me than the next guy I pass on the street. His love of the Messiah is well documented here. As is my own disdain.

Enjoy the tournament.


Eric in Gaithersburg     May 18
I love how the expert throws out Aberdeen record cause it doesnt fit his narrative lol. He will make a great employee at PMSNBC ot FoxNews. Or the fact that Adley has had 30AB or that many of Norfolk best have been up with Os or that minor league records are useless. The fact that Grayson, Prieto, G Henderson and many others are playing well or that Stowers and Westburg are struggling are what matters.

Paul T.     May 17
They had 12,200 in the stadium last night to see the O's? I'd call that a miracle based on the 4,000 crowds they had earlier in the season. Business is picking up.

Lee     May 17
I agree with JP that it would be really funny to see Herman's head blow off if he saw Drew pick Tiger to win in tomorrow's edition of the Dish.

Jon     May 17
Unless he changes his mind, Drew said on his golf radio show last Sunday that Rory is his pick to win the PGA.

TimD in Timonium     May 17
Rickie's crossed the $40M threshold in career earnings on the PGA. Nice work."He is the Mercedes Benz global ambassador since 2016 after being their brand ambassador in the US since 2013. Fowler is also associated with other top companies like Cobra (Puma), Rocket Mortgage, and Farmers Insurance." So, do your sponsors follow along to the Saudi tour? Maybe Mercedes does.

CIK     May 17
My source tell me DF picks Rory to win

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Drew is picking Spieth to win.

Bob S. (aka: Idiot Caller)     May 17
@J.P.: No fear of that. Frew is picking Spieth to win.

kj     May 17
Poor @JP. Guess it's just me, can't see any reason why anyone would care a) who DF picks and b) what Herman's reaction might be. But hey, whatever floats your boat right?

I get the disdain for this league that is "doing business with the Saudis", but if somehow this format was put together without involving despots and murderers, would it be viewed more positively as an alternative to the current PGA Tour format? Perhaps that is not viable without oil money or China, just wondering if the "improvements" Phil and now Fowler reference have some legs on their own merit.

I get not wanting to support Saudis, not questioning that at all. Just wondering if this different pay for play model might be an improvement over the current setup, from a financial standpoint, for most players? Or not really?

BTW, finishing T33 every week seems like a good living to me, where can I sign up for that lol??

J.P.     May 17
If @DF picks Tiger Woods to win the PGA just to dig at @Herman, I'll laugh all day tomorrow.

Chris     May 17
Great article on Fowler today. Seems like you've hit it right on the head. If he still wants to make $$ playing golf he'll probably have to jump to one of those renegade groups to do it. So long Ricky!

Monday
April 25, 2022
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2800


mistreating adam jones? #bushleague


In February of 2008, with the Orioles going nowhere, general manager Andy MacPhail somehow pulled off a trade that brought highly touted Adam Jones -- and four others -- to Baltimore in exchange for pitcher Eric Bedard.

Jones arrived during what could only be summarized as the worst-of-the-worst-era in modern franchise history.

Adam Jones told 105.7 The Fan the Orioles haven't reached out to him once since the club didn't re-sign him after the 2018 season.

They won 68 games in '08, 64 in '09, 66 in '10 and 69 in 2011. Jones was there, front and center, for all of those dark days.

Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette were eventually hired, pieced together a decent roster and, guided by Jones' leadership, the Orioles shocked the baseball world in 2012 and made the playoffs with a 93-win season.

Two years later, they won the A.L. East at 96-66 and advanced to the ALCS before buzz-sawed by the Kansas City Royals in a 4-game sweep.

In 2016, they again made the post-season. In that five-year span, the Orioles were the winningest team in the American League.

Adam Jones was the heart and soul of those teams.

He was there when the roster was a farce. And he was integral to the team's rebirth under Showalter. By the time Mike Elias took over in Charm City after the 2018 campaign, the O's had already jettisoned Jones, who would go on to sign with Arizona for the 2019 campaign.


My old radio friend Glenn Clark and his sidekick Reeta Hubbard celebrated their first show on 105.7 The Fan yesterday in grand style, as they were joined by three prominent Baltimore names: Mayor Brandon Scott, journalist Justin Fenton and the aforementioned Adam Jones, who spent 11 seasons with the Orioles.

The news Jones delivered was shocking to say the least: The former Orioles All-Star told Clark and Hubbard on Sunday's show that since the conclusion of that 2018 season, the Orioles haven't uttered a word to him. Nothing at all.

Prior to the trade deadline in 2018, the Orioles wanted to send Jones to Philadelphia. Like a lot of significant veteran players, Jones had a no-trade clause in his contract. He used that luxury to tell the Orioles he wouldn't approve a trade to the Phillies. Players earn that right through years of service and hard work.

The organization and/or current ownership group, if you put two and two together, apparently remains miffed at him for not accepting the trade to Philadelphia in 2018.

How is that even possible?

The Orioles haven't talked at all to Adam Jones in four years? Not one phone call? That can't be possible.

"One of the things I learned to appreciate so much about Adam Jones -- early in his career -- is how honest and matter of fact he was," says Glenn Clark. "His life will be fine if he somedown doesn't reconnect with the Orioles in a meanginful way. But I also sense that hurts him."

Clark says he and Hubbard had already booked Jones for their inaugural show when he learned that Jones mentioned during an interview last week in Las Vegas that the Orioles hadn't reached out to him since 2018. "I think he wanted to talk about this to someone in Baltimore, though," Clark states. "It clearly bothers him. And it should."

"Adam Jones never won a World Series here but he deserves to be treated like a champion. He shouldn't just be back for an anniversary celebration, he should be part of the organization's inner circle. I hope this gets fixed. Soon."


Things we saw back then now start to make a lot more sense in 2022. Jones' departure in 2018 was oddly lacking the sort of fanfare a player of his quality and service would typically receive.

If you recall, at his last game as an Oriole at Camden Yards, the club didn't do anything special to recognize the veteran team leader. His teammates, knowing what was to come in the off-season, organized a special salute to Jones by essentially forcing him out to center field by himself, where the crowd rose and gave him a raucous standing ovation.

The club? They didn't do a thing for Jones, even though they knew, without question, that was his final game in Baltimore.

Jones also confirmed on Sunday's show that the organization has yet to reach out to him this year to include him in the team's ongoing 30th anniversary celebration of Camden Yards.

The Orioles have done some incredibly dumb things since 1993.

If the shoe fits...

The list of those mistakes is far too lengthy to include here today.

But disassociating with Adam Jones and not making him a central figure in the team's 30th anniversary of the ballpark is the worst thing the franchise has done in three decades.

The worst.

By far.

It's so bush league that bush league called and was offended at being used to define what the Orioles have done to Adam Jones.

Right on cue, of course, an Orioles spokesperson jumped in early Sunday evening and confirmed that the team does have plans for Jones later on this season.

That it took Jones speaking publicly about his disappointment was enough to get the Birds' brass moving in the right direction.

But shunning Adam Jones is a scarlet letter the Orioles will wear for a long, long time.

#clownshoes


The oddest part of this fiasco is that the organization has actually improved in their marketing and promotional endeavors over, say, the last five years.

Maybe they got tired of 15,000 people showing up to watch the games.

One would assume they also got tired of getting pounded on by the local and national media. The O's were consistently criticized as being one of the worst franchises in all of sports, let alone Major League Baseball. I guess that kind of treatment eventually forces you to take stock in what you've done.

Perhaps they realized the easiest way to calm down a bee is with honey. There was a time, circa 2006, when the organization wasn't very nice to people. It took a while, but they changed their ways.

Or so we thought.

How can an organization who is indebted beyond belief to Adam Jones treat him like the Orioles have treated him?

He endured the darkest period in team history, represented the organization and city with pride, performed at a high level on the field and, in summary, was a "franchise player" when you frankly didn't deserve to have one.

And now you're going to shun the dude like an Amish girl who got caught kissing a boy behind the barn?

This would be akin to the Ravens somehow getting into a scrap with Joe Flacco and not recognizing him as part of the team's history from 2008 through 2018.

The Ravens, of course, would never do something that silly.

The Orioles? It appears they done just that with Adam Jones.

It's beyond belief.

Adam Jones should have been involved with opening day two weeks ago today. That he wasn't there, in some capacity, is an embarrassment beyond words.

There's no way to sugarcoat this. The Orioles have mistreated Adam Jones. And they should be ashamed of themselves in the biggest of ways.

The organization owes Adam Jones a public apology.

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at the 10% mark

So nearly every team has played 16 games thus far in the 2022 Major League Baseball season.

That's 10% of the schedule out of the way.

So what's happening thus far? We're glad you asked.

Vlad Guerrero Jr. and the Blue Jays are off to a good start in 2022.

A.L. East --

Toronto and the Yankees are leading the way at 10-6. No surprise there. The Orioles are 6-10. No surprise there, either.

Fortunately, these games -- win or lose -- "don't matter" for the Orioles in 2022. You might not know that, but it's true. Next year, apparently, they'll matter and we have to resume caring.

The Yankees have only allowed 44 runs (lowest in the A.L.) in 16 games. That's pretty good pitching.


A.L. Central --

The first three weeks have produced nothing except a bunch of mediocrity. Minnesota (8-8) leads the division. The biggest shocker thus far? The White Sox are 6-9 and have a minus-18 run differential.

Erstwhile Oriole pitcher Dylan Bundy is having a dream start with the Twins. Bundy is tied for the MLB lead in wins (3) and is 3rd in ERA at 0.59. Who didn't know that would happen, right?

The Royals (5-8) are the only team in baseball to have not yet recorded a road win in 2022. They're 0-3 away from home thus far.


A.L. West --

Seattle has the early division lead at 9-6 and are second in the American League in fewest runs allowed (55). The Angels are in second place at 9-7 and lead the American League in runs scored with 79. In case you missed it on Saturday night, Mike Trout hit a pair of home runs against the Orioles that were absolutely roasted off the bat.

If the games involving the Orioles "don't matter", what does that say for two long home runs by Trout? Do they still count?

Ty France of the Mariners leads all of baseball in hits with 24.

The Rangers (5-10) have the worst record in the American League and are 1-5 at home. They'll be eliminated from the playoffs by Memorial Day.


Clayton Kershaw already has 3 wins for the Dodgers in 2022, including a near perfect-game in Minnesota.

N.L. East --

The Mets are running away with the division at 12-5. Yeah, I know, it's April 25. I'm just saying, they're 4 games ahead and rolling along nicely.

I heard a rumor the Mets have a new club rule: No cots allowed in the dugout for Buck. Those pesky in-game naps sometimes get in the way, apparently.

No other team in the N.L. East is .500 or better, but by the time we do the 20% review, Atlanta should be back in the thick of the division title race. They have too much talent to wallow around .500 for long.

Believe it or not, the Nationals might not win more games than the Orioles this season. The Nats are lousy.


N.L. Central --

The Cardinals lead the division at 9-5 and the Brewers are on their heels at 9-6. Despite losing 21-0 on Saturday, the Pirates are actually at .500 with an 8-8 mark.

The worst team in baseball? That would be the Cincinnati Reds at 3-13. Math wasn't my strong suit, but 3 wins at the 16 game mark is basically a 30-win pace. I don't see the Reds going 30-132, but I also think a 3-13 start means they could wind up being a 50-win team.

But wait -- there's good news in Cincinnati. Football season is right around the corner!!


N.L. West --

The best record in baseball thus far? Who else? It's the L.A. Dodgers at 11-4. They've also scored the most runs (82) and allowed the least (38). The Dodgers are good. That's for sure.

Perhaps the biggest surprise at the 10% mark of the schedule is in this division, where the Colorado Rockies are 10-5. They're only plus-one in run differential, though, so don't expect 10-wins-out-of-15-games to continue for much longer.


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Sunday
April 24, 2022
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2799


yankee stadium ne'er do wells


I don't even remember the year this happened, although I'm sure I could look it up and figure it out if it were actually *that* important.

I recall the Orioles lost, maybe by the score of 6-2, and Luke Scott hit a means-nothing homer in the 9th inning. I'm fairly certain the game was on a Thursday in June, perhaps, likely around 2008 or 2009.

Why do I remember that Luke Scott hit a 9th inning home run? Because I was sitting in a bar with Glenn Clark about four blocks from Yankee Stadium and I watched it unfold on a TV screen while enjoying a $12.00 Red Stripe beer.

Clark, for reasons I don't recall, was enjoying a $5.00 bottle of water at the same time.

Why were we there?

We both got kicked out of Yankee Stadium that day.

We'll get back to that in a minute.

I bring up that memory this morning because Yankee fans and Yankee Stadium are in the news this weekend. And it's not good.

For whatever weird reason up there, the lower right field seating section has turned into lunch time at a juvenile detention center. Fights have been breaking out in the stands on a regular basis early in the season and, more recently, knuckleheads in the right field seats have started throwing objects on the field at visiting players.

Rowdy Yankees fans created chaos on Saturday by throwing objects at Cleveland players after a New York walk-off win.

After Saturday's walk off win over the Cleveland Guardians (nee: Indians), people pelted Cleveland players with anything they could get their hands on. Yankees players went out there to try and keep the peace, which tells you just how bad it was.

Oh, and don't look now, but the Orioles are headed that way (Tuesday) as soon as they finish off a 3-game sweep of the Angels this afternoon in Anaheim.

Editor's note: Yep, the Birds won again last night, this time by the score of 5-4. I know you're not following whether they win or lose so I'll keep you abreast of those developments here at #DMD. In a losing effort, Mike Trout hit two home runs for L.A., including one that landed at LAX airport.

Anyway, the league is going to need to step in sooner rather than later and start imposing some stiff penalties on the Yankees if this kind of trashy behavior continues from their fan base.

Is there any way Rob Manfred would order a forfeit loss if New York fans continue throwing objects at visiting players? I saw that idea floated yesterday afternoon on social media by a respected veteran baseball writer.


So the boss came to Clark and I and asked us to "chaperone" a group of listeners up to Yankee Stadium for an afternoon game. It was the first or second year of the new ballpark and Clark and I agreed, for some bizarre reason that escapes me now.

We got to the ballpark around 11 am and went upstairs to our seats in the upper right field corner.

It felt like it was 105 degrees up there. You could have cracked an egg on a seat and fried it. Seriously. It was hotter than Scottie Scheffler that day.

Just before first pitch, I said to Clark, "Let's walk around and check the place out and get out of this sun." So we did that.

In the bottom of the first inning or thereabouts, I suggested to Glenn that we sit down in the right field bleachers, under the overhang, out of the sun, and relax and watch an inning or two before going back upstairs.

The stadium was fairly empty that afternoon, or at least the right field corner was. The crowd might have been 18,000 or so, I don't really remember, but I definitely recall sitting in the last few rows of the right field bleachers and there pretty much being no one in our midst.

Glenn and I were both sporting Orioles jerseys. I guess we stuck out like a sore thumb, because an inning or so after we sat down, and just as I was about to take one of those awesome in-game naps on a warm summer day, an usher bounced down the steps and moved into our row.

"Youze guys got tickets?" he said.

For the record, I was the guy who didn't want to show our tickets, because I knew that was basically admitting guilt.

"We're good," I said as Clark and I stood up. "We were just relaxing for a minute. We'll head back to our seats."

"Where are youze guy's tickets?" he said again.

I tried to walk past him and he abruptly put his arm out and stopped me.

"I want to see your ticket," he said.

"We're leaving," I replied. "We're sitting upstairs."

"You're not going anywhere until I see your ticket," the usher stated.

I showed him my paper (internet) ticket and he folded it in two and tore a small slit in the crease.

"Youze guys have been caught seat flopping," he said. "If you get caught again, that tear in the ticket will tell the next guy who catches you that you've already been caught once and you'll be thrown outta da ballpark."

"Gotcha," I replied. "No trouble here. We'll head back upstairs."

Clark and I climbed the steps and made a left and walked down a section or two and stood in the concourse to gather ourselves and figure out what to do next. We didn't really want to go back upstairs and bake in those upper deck seats.

"What do you think?" Glenn asked me. "Should we just walk around, eat, watch the game from this level?" The stadium configuration at Yankee Stadium is pretty cool in that you can watch the game from the concourse between the upper and lower level.

"Yeah, let's do that," I said. A few seconds later, the same usher and another usher approached us.

It was, honestly, no more than two minutes since our "ejection" from the right field bleacher seats. Maybe even 90 seconds.

"OK, that's it," the usher said. "Youze guys are gone."

"Gone?" I asked. "What did we do now?"

"Seat flopping," he said. "I told you to get out of here."

"We're just standing here trying to figure out what to eat and we're going to use the bathroom," I replied.

"You're out...both of ya," he said.

Now I was getting agitated. I didn't mind getting harrassed the first time around. I've been to Oriole Park enough to experience maniacal ushers who yell at you in the bottom of the 7th inning of a 9-1 game on a Tuesday night in July. They yell, you move, I know the drill.

"We weren't doing anything wrong," I replied with a heightened volume to my voice.

"Seat flopping!" he barked. "Out!"

I didn't know what to say at that point and I don't really know how *this* came to me, but I calmly said, "I want to talk to your boss."

And much to my shock, he replied, "OK, let's do that."

He and the other usher who was standing there with him conferred for a moment and then got on the walkie talkie. "Yeah, John, this is Marco, I got some seat floppers up here behind section (X) and they wanna speak to the man in charge. Can you come up?"

So we stood there, the four of us, for roughly 20 minutes, waiting for "the boss" to get there. No, not Bruce Springsteen, a different kind of boss.

Meanwhile, Clark and I got to enjoy the 3rd inning of the game from the exact spot where the dumb usher chased us down after we left the right field bleacher area.

Eventually, John showed up.

"How you doin?" he asked. "Youze gotta go."

"Gotta go?" I replied. "You haven't even heard our story."

"Don't need to hear anything," John shot back. "Youze were seat floppin. That's grounds for ejection. Youze gotta go."

My agitation level was now at "5".

"No, it doesn't work like that," I said. "This is wrong. You're not even willing to listen to our side of the story?"

"Nope," he countered, pointing to an exit door. "There's the door. Youze need to leave."

"That's not happening," I said. "I want to talk with your boss."

He rattled off the name of someone that sounded important. "My boss is (name) and he runs the whole friggin' stadium, pal."

"Perfect," I said. "Get him over here so I can find someone to listen to our side of this."

Again, much to my shock, the ploy worked.

"He'll be here shortly," the supervisor nitwit said.

The game was rolling along nicely. Clark and I watched the 4th inning. And the 5th inning. And there was no sight of the "big boss" at all. As the O's took the field to start the bottom of the 6th inning, he finally showed up.

He conferred with the other two ushers and the supervisor (great use of three key stadium employees, eh?) and approached us. "I'm sorry, but you have to leave the stadium."

"This is unreal," I said. "No one is willing to listen to what happened."

"What happened is you got caught seat-flopping and it says right on the back of your ticket that you can be ejected for that," he replied.

"This is a joke," I said. I was thinking, honestly, that we were only about 25 or 30 minutes away from stringing this whole thing out long enough to maybe get to the 8th inning where they might just say, "Oh, just forget about it."

"Maybe it is a joke," the big boss said. "But you have to go."

Clark was ready to give up the fight. "Let's just go, Drew," he said, worn out.

"No, we're not leaving," I stated. "I want to talk to your boss."

A few seconds later, two New York City police officers strolled up to us.

"My man," one of them said to me. "You got a second?"

I remember looking at him and thinking, "Finally, a decent person to deal with."

He was young, probably in his late 20's, and it struck me that his family was probably very pround of his