Tuesday
June 22
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2493


fundamentals...where are they?


If you ever wanted to see a no-hitter in person, you might want to try and get to Camden Yards tonight when Zack Greinke takes the mound for the Astros.

The Birds didn't muster a hit last night until the bottom of the 8th, as they were no hit for seven innings by Jake Odorizzi and Cristian Javier. It took a Maikel Franco homer in the 8th to break up the no-no in an eventual 10-2 loss to the Astros.

No hitter tonight? Seriously?

Sure, maybe. I mean, Greinke is still an elite arm in the A.L. and the O's don't have many "elite bats" to offset his quality.

Jim Palmer has been brutally honest over the years, including a spat a few years back with O's power hitter Chris Davis, who took exception to some of Palmer's on-air commentary about his hitting slump.

But it wasn't getting blown out at home or nearly no-hit that had O's TV analyst Jim Palmer's hair on fire Monday night. It was the team's continued lack of baseball IQ that had him spitting nails throughout the game.

For what seemed like the 3rd or 4th time in recent memory, Austin Hays missed the cutoff man. I was only half-watching at that point, but I heard Palmer light him into him for his failure to apply the correct fundamentals in that situation. "This isn't the first time I've seen it," the Hall of Famer said.

These are, truly, the worst days for a team broadcaster, particularly the ones involved in television broadcasts. How do you ignore basic mistakes and Little League-like errors from (supposed) big league ballplayers? How do you watch losing baseball day after day and not eventually snap and say something that might sound over the top and harsh, but is really just fair and accurate analysis?

This is what faces guys like Jim Palmer, Scott Garceau, Geoff Arnold, Kevin Brown and any other O's broadcaster. You know, in your heart, how flawed some of the players are. And you know, as you watch it in front of you, how many basic mistakes they continue to make game-after-game. But you're also keenly aware who pays you and you most certainly know that "ownership" in Baltimore has a long history of issuing directives to team broadcasters and expecting them to be followed to the letter.

"I understand a broadcaster has to explain to the listeners what's going on," O's owner Peter Angelos once said about popular play-by-play man Jon Miller. "But I also expect them to bleed a little black and orange when we're losing."

Prior to the team going back to having "Baltimore" across the front of their road shirts, the O's were involved in a massive campaign to draw fans from Washington D.C. and its suburbs, which necessitated a more regional approach to the team's marketing efforts. Angelos instructed broadcasters and team staffers to refer to the team only as "the Orioles" and abolished any mention of the word "Baltimore" in broadcasts, publications, etc.

You either followed the letter of the law or you were gone. Miller, of course, was the most well known termination of them all because he was in people's ear 162 games a year. When he wasn't able or willing to bleed orange and black, he was shown the door.

And, so, that's what faces team broadcasters now in what has morphed into one of the most forgettable seasons of the last 20 years. After last night's loss, the club is 23-49. The most pressing question about the team isn't "how many games are they going to lose?", rather, it's "how did they manage to win 23 so far?"

The radio and TV voices have a huge challenge ahead of them. How do they maintain their journalistic integrity when, as an example, Austin Hays is patrolling right field and doesn't know where to throw the ball to after it's hit to him? What do you say when Pedro Severino lets another ball get past him behind the plate?

You can hear an obvious effort on their part to balance the ledger if you listen closely enough. Melanie Newman does an excellent job of pointing out the positives, even when the team is trailing 8-0.

"And that's a called strike 3 on Ryan Mountcastle," Kevin Brown might say. "Mountcastle strikes out for the 3rd time today."

"He had some good swings in that at bat, though," Newman will add. "You can just tell that Ryan Mountcastle is getting more and more comfortable with major league pitching with every game."

I suppose if we all were getting $150,000 a year to fly around the country and call baseball games on the radio or TV we'd probably subject ourselves to some home cooking as well. It's hard to say until you're in that position.

Palmer, though, doesn't need the money, which is probably why he's never been one to shy away from throwing out daggers when someone isn't performing to a certain standard.

He was one of the only team broadcasters to openly criticize Chris Davis during his struggles of 2018 and 2019. "He's just not willing to change his approach," Palmer once said. "Which explains why he's not making contact regularly. You would think for the kind of money he's getting he'd be willing to listen to the advice of his coaches and instructors." Ooooof.

Who can forget the way he blasted Dylan Bundy in the last season of his O's career? Or how he constantly crushed Sidney Ponson because the erstwhile Oriole once dismissed some casual, professional advice Palmer was trying to provide to him after a rough start? It's easy to do that when you don't really need the money the club is paying you. For Palmer, calling baseball games on TV is a labor of love. You can tell he loves pitching and loves baseball.

What he doesn't love, though, are fundamental mistakes like Hays made (again) last night. And when people are watching the same game you're analyzing, how do you not speak the truth and tell them what they just saw?


There have been gay NFL players in the past, but until yesterday, we never really knew who they were. That all changed when Carl Nassib of the Raiders published a social media message and announced to the world that he is, in fact, gay.

Nassib also donated $100,000 to the Trevor Project, a non-profit group that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to the LGBTQ+ community.

I was sitting with a friend having an iced tea yesterday afternoon when the news flashed across the bottom of the ESPN screen.

"Well, this will get very interesting now," he said.

I took it hook, line and sinker.

"How so?" I asked.

"I just mean, it will be interesting to see how his teammates react now that he's come out," my friend replied.

I don't like getting involved in those types of discussions because I'm fairly certain once people have an opinion on something, they're rarely willing to change midstream.

But I got involved anyway.

"I would assume his teammates already knew," I suggested. "I can't imagine they were shocked today when they heard the news."

"But what if they didn't know? Now what?" my friend asked. "Will they be comfortable with him?"

I laughed.

"Comfortable?" I replied. "What the heck are you talking about? Of course they're going to be comfortable with him. He's a football player. That's what he's there for. I can't imagine there's one player on the Raiders who cares in the least whether Carl Nassib is gay or straight."

"Maybe so," my friend said. "Just seems like there's more to unpack than that."

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm always a bit curious when someone high profile "comes out" publicly. I do understand the value of trying to normalize sexual preference. It's really no one's business but the person who is detailing his/her sexuality. I remember when U.S. women's soccer player Megan Rapinoe announced she was gay. I think the entire world said, "we knew that already...what else do you have for us that we care about?"

In 1981 in Glen Burnie, "gay" was a big deal. It was probably a big deal where you grew up as well.

Here's some breaking news: It's 2021 and gay is no longer a big deal. Or, at the very least, it shouldn't be.

I'm personally proud of our nation's growth in that area over the last 40 years. Are we a perfect society? Of course not. That's why organizations like the Trevor Project exist in the first place. People still need support and guidance.

I do occasionally wonder why anyone feels compelled to announce their sexual preference to the world. Nassib very easily could have just donated the $100,000 and kept his personal life private, the same way some folks are willing to admit they've been vaccinated for Covid and others would rather not disclose their vaccination record. Your life is...your life. I couldn't care less who in the room is straight, gay, etc. You do you.

But I do admire Nassib for his decision on Monday because, as he noted, there comes with it a certain risk, even in 2021. He's now "the gay football player" until another guy or two or three comes along and opens up as well. Eventually, it won't be a front page headline -- as it is this morning -- when an athlete, actor, etc. announces he or she is gay.

At some point, we're just going to know them as people. Let's hope it doesn't take 40 more years to get to that moment.


In the wake of the U.S. Open, I thought I'd throw out a few points to consider with three of the four major championships in golf now in the books.

The U.S. Ryder Cup team stayed relatively the same, order wise, with Harris English moving up a few spots after his solo third finish. The guy who really could have used a solid tournament to boost his chances was Xander Schauffele, who could have sealed a spot on the team with a win. Alas, like a lot of guys, Schauffele fired and fell back on Sunday and didn't do much to draw the interest of Steve Stricker over the weekend.

How about Ian Poulter as an early British Open betting favorite? Could this be his year, finally?

We've all shot 44 on the back nine in our life. That Bryson DeChambeau did it on the final nine holes of the U.S. Open is definitely worth examining. It's time for the ultra-talented TOUR star to put as much focus on his wedge game as he did on his driver game in 2020. DeChambeau is costing himself major championships by not being able to hit his wedges close to the pin.

Once again over the weekend, DeChambeau bombed it all over the golf course. For the most part, he didn't encounter much trouble. No matter what anyone says, the guy in the rough 110 yards out has an advantage over the guy in the fairway who is 150 yards out. But you also have to be able to hit the shot from 110 yards into the middle of the green, which is not something DeChambeau can do with any kind of reliable accuracy these days.

Even worse? DeChambeau's wedge game from the fairway isn't very good. He was 56th in the field in "proximity to the hole from 100 yards and in" over the weekend at Torrey Pines. I think 65 guys made the cut? Math and stats were never my strong suit at Glen Burnie, but 56th out of 65 when you're a top 10 player in the world is pretty lousy.

DeChambeau is extraordinarily talented. But his wedge game is clearly holding him back. If he can't dedicate himself to fixing it, there will be other back-nine 44's in the future.

The other guy who must be reeling from Sunday's final round is Rory McIlroy, who once again put himself in position to win a major but came up short. People like to pick on Rory's putting, but his mediocre work with the flat stick wasn't all that cost him at Torrey Pines. Like DeChambeau, McIlroy didn't have his wedge game engaged. And over the final 18 holes, he wasn't good enough from 125 yards and in. Plain and simple.

Amateur golfers face a 125 yard shot, look at the pin, and generally end up happy if the ball is on the putting surface and they have a reasonable effort at birdie forthcoming. TOUR players and major winners like McIlroy know where to put the ball in relation to the flag itself. Take Jon Rahm's first hole on Sunday for instance. He left his approach shot to the right of the hole, which provided a relatively easy 12-foot uphill putt for birdie. He rolled it in. That same putt 12-feet left of the hole would have been a tricky, delicate slider that plenty of other players actually missed.

McIlroy wasn't able to get the ball into the right spots on the greens. His wedge game isn't nearly as spotty as Bryson's, but it's not all that great, either. There's something missing with Rory. He still looks like Rory. The golf swing, particularly with the driver, is still as good as anyone on TOUR. But he's just not the same guy who feasted on major championships a decade ago.

Speaking of McIlroy and Rahm, the thought from this author is Rahm will eventually wind up with more major victories than Rory. McIlroy will win one (or more) again. He's not going to finish his career stuck on four.

But Rahm's game is so tight and his strengths are so well connected to major championship golf that I can see him winning 6 or 8 of them before his career is over. He's a legitimate threat to win all four majors, particularly now that he has the hardest one of them all under his belt.

So now that Rahm has his major title secured, who is the proverbial "best player without a major?". I still contend it's Patrick Cantlay, but England's Tommy Fleetwood would definitely get some votes. So, too, would the aforementioned Xander Schauffele, who hasn't won a regular TOUR event in two years now. Tony Finau is also a terrific "major-less" player, but Finau's reputation as a Sunday slogger is starting to stick to him. He just needs a win of any kind at this point, let alone a major title.

Early British Open favorites? I'm looking at these five guys: Patrick Reed, Tyrrell Hatton, Francesco Molinari, Garrick Higgo and the aforementioned Jon Rahm. The last two times the Open was held at Royal St. Georges, a couple of upstarts held the Claret Jug; Darren Clarke in 2011 and Ben Curtis in 2003. You want one of those names to wager on right now? How about this one: Ian Poulter.

BARCS banner ad
Freestate banner ad

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner


#dmd comments








Joe     June 22
@ Chris K is sorely mistaken if he thinks Camden Yards attendance is not tied, in part, to the safety conditions in the City. The last I looked, the Ravens have empty seats at most of their games, over the past 2-3 years, even if the seats are sold. Wonder why this is happening? The City is worse off today than during the 90's...period.

Brian Jessup     June 22
I rest my case.



NCAA penalizes Creighton basketball program for violations tied to former assistant coach in FBI probe

A former Bluejays assistant accepted $6,000, and the school now faces sanctions though he never kept the money

Matt Norlander



By Matt Norlander

1 hr ago

3 min read

creighton-court-logo.jpg

Getty Images

The NCAA Committee on Infractions handed out six penalties against Creighton's men's basketball program Tuesday, announcing it was punishing the school alongside issuing a two-year show-cause penalty against former Bluejays assistant Preston Murphy.



Creighton is not being punished with a postseason ban. Instead, its most severe sanctions are tied to recruiting visits, all of which were self-imposed by the school and subsequently accepted by the COI.



Creighton had been subject to a years-long probe by the NCAA, though the school never publicly acknowledged that reality. The case was tied to the federal government's investigation into fraud and bribery in college basketball, which led to five people being sentenced to federal prison.



Murphy is not explicitly named in the Committee on Infractions' report, but he was the subject of the probe due to his relationship with convicted felon Christian Dawkins. Murphy left Creighton in November 2019 after being put on a months-long leave. He was captured on surreptitious FBI video in Las Vegas in July 2017, in a posh hotel suite, accepting $6,000 from undercover FBI agents. Murphy was never charged with a crime, and Dawkins testified that Murphy never kept any of the money, which was offered under the guise of helping to funnel players to Dawkins' company.



Despite an absence of proof that Murphy kept any of the money, the captured-on-video act of initially accepting the payment in the hotel suite was enough for the NCAA to issue him a two-year show-cause penalty, which means a school would have to "show cause" why Murphy should not be subject to the ban. The NCAA states Murphy "provided false or misleading information about his actions during the investigation."



Here is what the NCAA is serving to Creighton, which has the option to appeal if it so chooses.



Two years of probation.

A $5,000 fine plus 1% of the men's basketball program budget.

A reduction of men's basketball scholarships by one per year for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 academic years (self-imposed by the university).

A reduction of men's basketball official visits by six during the 2021-22/2022-23 rolling two-year period (self-imposed by the university).

A reduction in the number of men's basketball recruiting person days by 10% from the previous four-year average for the two-year probationary period (self-imposed by the university).

The university will prohibit complimentary admission to home games for all prospects and coaches in November 2021 (self-imposed by the university).

A two-year show-cause order for the former assistant coach. During that period, any NCAA member school employing him must restrict him from any athletically related duties unless it shows cause why the restrictions should not apply.

"Although the committee found that the assistant coach did not take any further action following the meeting, the meeting violated NCAA rules because the receipt of money formalized a business relationship between the assistant coach and the management company for the purpose of using the coach for access to student-athletes," the Committee on Infractions (COI) said in its release.



Creighton athletic director Bruce Rasmussen also failed to report the "potential violation," according to the COI. Rasmussen knew months before that Murphy had accepted the $6,000 in cash but did not report the violation formally because Murphy satisfied his then-boss in proving he never kept the money.



No one at Creighton was ever arrested in connection with the federal government's case. Murphy was one of a few assistant coaches to accept money from undercover agents; USC's Tony Bland, Oklahoma State's Lamont Evans and TCU's Corey Barker were others.



Creighton was initially pulled into the case because, in a separate trial, on Oct. 14, 2018, Brian Bowen Sr. said under oath that Dawkins indicated Creighton was willing to pay the Bowen family $100,000 and a offer "good job" if his son played for Creighton. It was when that happened that Rasmussen reviewed his men's basketball program, in an informal capacity, but it wouldn't be until the spring of 2019 -- when the video of Murphy was played in court -- that Creighton would be put on the path to the punishment it was delivered Tuesday.




Tom J     June 22
If you want to watch this same baseball, just go to your local ballfield and watch an 8-10 Rec league game. You'll see the same missed cut off man, passed balls, botched run downs etc. Of course they are losers, they have inferior talent. But these guys have been playing ball for what, 20 plus years and still don't know basic fundamentals???? It's not that they lose, it's HOW they lose that makes people nuts.



Good for the football player. Still not sure why he has to announce to everyone he's gay. His teammates and the fans only really care about can he get to the QB and get a sack or tackle the RB for a loss in the backfield, not who he is having sex with. Says it "wasn't for attention".....sure it wasn't......

BW     June 22
I'd be surprised if Rahm gets too many more than 4 majors...he may get 5 or 6...he may only get 2 or 3. Winning 5% of the majors one plays in is HOF worthy. That winrate % puts the player at roughly 15th place...ALL TIME. Tiger has skewed the expectation to an unrealistic level.

Another issue is the depth of fields is just becoming more and more of an issue. Sure, the same 15-20 guys are the expected winners before each major but there are prob another 40+ that COULD win if the stars align now. That was NOT the case when Jack played and likely wasn't the case early in Tiger's career.

But it should be interesting. Rahm could certainly be an all time great and blow through the 5% win rate. He certainly has all the tools and seems to have solved the blow ups that used to plague him a few years ago.

Mark S.     June 22
Wouldn't watch the O's games if Palmer was not there! I miss him when he takes a few games off! @UnitastoBerry pretty much covered it all.

Greg     June 22
Palmer is the best. Never minces words. And unlike your former boss, he has a baseball pedigree that people respect.

Delray RICK     June 22
GAUSMAN..9-1 ERA 1:50. Was asked if he missed DEM O'S...BEST THING THAT THEY SENT ME HERE.

chris k     June 22
for all of these people blaming the city as part of the reason for pathetic attendance, how do you explain the ravens selling out whether its a night game or day game. its the same city. I think entirely because the team has told fans and media they have purposely not been trying to win for the last 3 years and expect it to continue for another 3-5 years. They have lost the trust of the majority of fans and many probably wont return even if they are competitive for a year or two. attendance is 100% the team's fault, not the city's fault. they had great attendance in the 90's when the city still had 350+ plus murders a year.

charmcitydeac     June 22
Fair points, however I'm not sure that the missed cut-off was Hays' fault. I think it was either Franco or Galvis for not being in the right position to cut the throw (or Severino's fault for not lining them up properly or telling them to cut it). The throw was certainly low enough to cut and was (more or less) on-line with the plate. If Hays is coming home with that throw, his only job with an on-line throw is to make sure its low enough to cut it, but its Severino's job to line the infielders up and his job to tell them to cut it or let it go through. And its the infielders job to be in the proper position to be able to cut it off.

Brian Jessup     June 22
Noticed lately this has become the golf channel but since there's not much going on here in Baltimore it's understandable.



It took the SCOTUS to wake the NCAA up. They should have made adjustments the last decade or so maybe then "some" of the cheating might have subsided. So instead of under the table money your local car dealership, hamburger franchise, soft drink company will now pay "over the table" money to the athletes. Transfer portals, "sponsorship $'s" we are living and watching in real time the demise of college sports. Don't get me wrong athletes should be able to transfer just like coaches get to leave but both "should" have some obstacles otherwise 33% of the kids will be transferring, oh we're already there. And kids "should" have been able to make some money while the schools and coaches reaped billions from their talents. I believe there was a better way but now, the door is cracked and John Smith will be saying how much he loves his Ford F-150 he got from Koons Ford for large sums of money. Oh well I guess that's better than cash in a Fed Ex package. The AAU pimps will now become marketing guru's. What a wonderful world.

unitastoberry     June 22
Jim Palmer knows more about baseball than pretty much anyone involved with the current Orioles on or off the field. He's the last of the flag bearers left in the public eye from this teams glory days. Missing a cut off guy in the majors is beyound excuse. Loved it when he would go after Manny for dogging it etc. If ownership goes after Jim that will be the last straw for many. Please don't bring up Jon Miller again that triggered me.That wrongful act was the equivilent of say firing Chuck Thompson in say 1967. Go Os!

Michael Creese     June 22
Hey Drew.



I'm just getting back from 17 glorious days in Europe but wanted to send along my heartiest congratulations to you for your U.S. Senior Open qualification. You've sure come a long way from crushing me in the Public Links tournaments every year! Fairways and greens my friend. And roll in some putts out there as well!!

Ray     June 22
Funny, DF, I said the same thing to a friend of mine last night. "Greinke might no hit us tomorrow night." Go O's!!!

Jacob     June 21
@DELRAY RICK



Your predictions are so spot on! they caught me! 5IP, 1H, 2BB 6K OR .5 ERA overall


larry     June 21
Great points on Beasley by @David. Beasley can have his own opinion for sure, but hardly a PSA. Love the "might as well tweet you're having pizza for dinner" analogy.

@Joe had some nice points to make, except "have not tried to win for last 40 years". That's just flat out wrong, unless you are a short/bitter local media wanna be who thinks he got screwed out of 10k one time 20 years ago. Not saying they've tried all those years, certainly not trying now, but not true for all 40 lol.

Hey, anyone else notice @Herman has disappeared and suddenly @MFC is back? Coincidence???

BW     June 21
There are narratives and there are incorrect narratives:

@MFC Bryson ranks 1st in SG off the tee. 2nd place is nearly .3 shots per round behind. That difference is larger than the difference between 2nd and 16th. So the offline stuff people constantly cite is not nearly as relevant as they think it is. Also he hit more fairways than the average this past weekend. If your argument is that he needs to improve his wedge play you are probably correct. But citing "offline" drives is simply an incorrect application of what is happening.

@Delray It's true Rory is a rather pedestrian T31 on par 5 scoring average this season. However, the difference between Rory and no. 1 is less than .12 shots/par 5. He is 12th in total strokes gained this season.

Chris in Bel Air     June 21
Guys like Rahm and Oosthuizen are the ones that make it really easy to root for. They showed true professionalism, humility and sportsmanship. Plus, Oosthuizen's swing is so effortless and smooth. Koepka and his demeanor? No thanks.

Regarding the O's and Severino, "don't they have someone else then can use?" Drew, outside of Mullins, Mancini, Means, Mountcastle (the 4 Ms), maybe Galvis and 2-3 relievers - you can say that about the entire rest of the roster!

Delray Rick     June 21
JOE...IF and I mean IF DEM O'S get at least a .500 team me thinks fans will not follow. The city is so bad off decent families ain't coming no mo. PALMER doing

this AAA team has got to be demoralizing for him. For me its been over 60 years and to think the 50's team had heart. Anybody disputed this just look at the record. Can't believe ARIZONA is worse.

JerryH     June 21
With the limits on tickets/crowd size over, are the O's still on the No Food brought in policy? And No cash? And spaced out seating? And Masks? And is the Dean Wormer "No fun of any kind" seems to be the order of the day.



I have not gone this year but have been planning to. I will not, however, go to an outdoor event with a mask. The pandemic is over.



I just checked the O's website and they have either not updated the restrictions or they haven't lifted any, other than selling[or not selling] more seats.



Anyone who has been there recently, please provide a 1st hand report. Thanks

MFC     June 21
Agree 100% with the host today how refreshing to hear those comments from both players.



Reaction:

Bryson- maybe hitting it a country mile, off line, isn't the answer

Louie- one of the guys who finds the fairways didn't on 17 and 18 and it cost him- but a champion with his words

Rory- becoming one of my favorite people but please start taking putting lessons

Brooks- you show up in the majors no doubt- now try being a decent human being

Torrey Pines- for whatever reason didn't seem to have the pizzazz- something was missing and no it wasn't just Tiger





On another note my Comets men's lacrosse got thumped by a really good Severna Park team, great year sometimes the other team is better but you played hard to the end. Our girls softball team won the championship in one of the most exciting games ever. Too long to describe but it was a thriller and if it were college on ESPN would be an instant classic.

Congrats to the Hereford Bulls on their championship and to Towson who lost in the championship. A good spring for the Baltimore County schools.



Note filed under WHAT? I'm told there were 4 boys on Catonsville and 6 on Dulaney's boys team that thought going to beach week was more important than playing for a state championship. The schedule was out in advance, I don't have facts but truly believe deposits could have been recouped. I just don't understand parents or kids thinking that going to OC ( probably drinking- again no hard facts just surmising and looking for love in all the wrong places) is more important than being on a team that is playing for a state championship. Whether you're a starter or not. You joined the team back in March/April and now you're just discarding them. Wow, good luck in life hope it was worth it. If I were the coach and administrators I'd re-take the team photo.

unitastoberry     June 21
@Joe you know saying the truth about the Orioles and the city will score points with me but it may be hazardous to your online health lol.

Joe     June 21
Camden Yards attendance easy to figure out....mix in a pathetic franchise that hasn't tried to win for the past 40 years with a City that is falling down around itself and you get the results seen every game. Fans are bored with the product on the field and apathetic in general with yearly excuses. The City is not safe to bring your family downtown to the games. They say the Orioles will never leave, didn't we hear that about the Colts and the Bullets too?

Kenny G     June 21
David - why is healthy eating and exercise important? 80% of COVID hospitalizations are overweight people. People who are out of breathe walking up steps can not overcome the strain COVID puts on their respiratory system. While you cant do much about age and pre-existing conditions, you can stop smoking and loss weight. Then again, after 15 months of a serious respiratory virus people have not changed their habits, I guess nothing will. (BTW the other 20% are probably old and there will be occassional healthy or young person to hospitalized - that's life).



This is the biggest failure of our leadership in this crisis. Its not one solution for all. Risk factors are different.

David Rosenfeld     June 21
Note: Jumped the gun on the 76ers winning yesterday. Congrats to the Hawks and Kevin Huerter, who scored 27 points. He's the real deal...

Delray Rick     June 21
Winning doesn't seem to be on RORY'S plate anymore. He is a very rich man and a lot more going in he's life instead of golf. Yesterday was set up for him perfect but didn't take advantage of the opportunity. He once was a sure thing on par 5's but now just making par is hard enough. On DEM O'S, HARVEY is done on this team .

Ben S.     June 20
DF. Didn't you hire a guy to delete comments from people like JK?

Jk     June 20
LOL at "Tom". What a snowflake.

unitastoberry     June 20
Chance Sisco DFA. Guy was supposed to be something 5 years ago. Second round pick 2013. Was this one was on McPhail? How do you stay around getting pay checks that long if you stink? Oh well. Good luck to him.



Career 2017- 2021 508 AB BA.199 H 101 HR 16 RBI 53


tom     June 20
We still get snarky shots on attendance after every home game, anyone see attendance figures in Tampa? And they are leaders in the AL East.

As they say, it is what it is, my point is you knew attendance would be low, and will stay low, until/if this "rebuild" works.

If it works as planned, and that does not result in uptick in attendance, then we got a problem worth criticizing.

Eric in Gaithersburg     June 20
As for the vaccine debacle we have? Perfect storm of a corrupted politicized media and gullible and panicky American public. Put me down as a vaccinated right winger who doesn't understand why people would bet their life that they are right and doctors and scientists are wrong. Could the vaccine have long term effects? Maybe. But we know what the COVID effects are- death. We take many vaccines as children that we have no say on. Selfish panicky people ruining it for the rest of us

Eric in Gaithersburg     June 20
Terrific article by K Rosenthal today on the coming clown show tomorrow of untrained umps being asked to differentiate between legal and illegal sticky substances being used by cheating pitchers like G Cole, T Bauer etc. Rosin and sweat? Legal. Rosin and suntan lotion on a 100 degree day? Suspension. Meanwhile offense is up and strikeouts down in June since league announced this was coming

unitastoberry     June 19
If your getting paid mega millions to play in the NFL and your not vaccinated and miss a game because you tested positive for covid you are doing a disservice to your team and fans.

Howard     June 19
It would be great if every Raven were vaccinated against COVID-19. This would reduce the risk that players would miss games with positive tests or due to illness

Eric in Gaithersburg     June 19
Athletic reports Os not interested in trading Means Mancini or Mullins but are willing to listen just in case

tom     June 18
Made fun of an eye injury? Where? When? How? Maybe took a shot at another poor #DMD pick but certainly did not make light of Hovland's eye injury at all

Brett     June 18
Wow, Rob Really making fun of a guy who suffered an eye injury. Classy stuff there, bubba.

Rob Really     June 18
Drewski, I finally managed to get my money down on Victor Hovland today. Thanks for the great advice. Anyone know how he’s doing today??

ed     June 18
Tony Dungy is a good man ..God bless us all ..

DJ     June 18
@MFC, Amateurs can't wear corporate logos.

KJ     June 18
Here's a cure for the insane Lamar vs Baker twitter nonsense - stay off twitter lol. Seriously, while there is a case to be made that twitter enhances "coverage" of sports in real time, by paid professionals, anyone else with a twitter account and an opinion is mostly a moron right? Or the kid of idiot who calls into a radio station and suggests firing this coach, or that coach. I might scan twitter for coverage of teams or games, not random strangers opinions.

Speaking of coaching, what responsibility does Hyde have for Valaika being a poor defender, a guy who can play "anywhere" but basically is hired to be a moderately competent hitter at times. That whole play was on him. And players like him, ok hitters who can sort of play most positions, get jobs. Plenty of stellar defensive players out there who would never make such ludicrous mistakes, but can't hit .150. Those guys are never offered jobs in the bigs, they just aren't.

Valaika knows if he does not hit when he plays, he is out of a job. So think he works on his fielding much? Fat chance.


MFC     June 18
Watching the US Open and some of the amateurs get TV time. Hope you get some TV shots as well. Suggestions:

1. Where a DMD hat

2. Logo up the shirt with Glory Days, Royal Farm etc.

3. Hope your son is on the bag

4. Pull a Tin Cup but lay-up.



I know it's not the MIAA or the IAAM but Catonsville Girls softball plays for the state championship today versus a tough North County squad. The Comet boys lacrosse play always tough Severna Park tomorrow night for the 4A championship. Two championships games, don't think that's ever happened in school history. I also think Towson boys are in the finals as well.

Congrats to these outstanding public schools.


Tom J     June 18
Hyde has certainly been dealt a losing hand but at what point does he and his coaching staff take some sort of responsibility for the bonehead plays like the rundown? that's fundamentals. Like Jim Palmer said the other night when both the O's and Cleveland were playing like the Bad News Bears with their mishaps, "Did either of these teams have Spring Training"...????

Pauly Dee     June 18
Tony Dungy's witness is inspiring. Thanks for sharing this Drew. I can attest that our expectations v. what happens can be the source of much heartache. However, at the end of the day, God is God, and we are not.

Part of all of our lives: disappointments, a feeling that, 'this isn't fair,' and even suffering.

He knows what's best for us, and we don't comprehend everything. This is difficult to accept, but we move toward being at peace when we do accept it.

unitastoberry     June 18
"I hate to be Debbie Downer, but the chances of the Birds going 38-56 are just a shade better than David Lee Roth re-joining Van Halen for a massive summer tour and all the band members getting along for the better part of 6 months."



Neither is going to happen because the King of Six Fingers passed last October and Daves voice sounds like a cat in heat now. Kids put those cigarettes down!

If the Orioles fire Hyde midseason now they are true idiots.They have no pitiching talent minus Means,no hitting,and no fielding.The good thing is at rock bottom they have no place to go but up.

Delray Rick     June 18
You didn't mention the "out law of green book" which I'm glad to see. These players take up so much time to take their shot. Which I understand has "grid" of the greens. Don't remember JACK using the them. They have have to rely on the caddies


Vince Fiduccia     June 17
This blog is outstanding Drew. So happy for you. Enjoy the ride. God is good.

Jeffrey “Fireball” Roberts     June 17
I know nothing about golf but I do know that God is great. Congratulations and good luck.

Bob S. (AKA: Idiot Caller)     June 17
Why?

Well...why not?!

Congratulations and good luck Drew!

Keith Merrill     June 17
First of all, Drew, congratulations on getting to the Senior Open. What an amazing accomplishment. I first met you in 2006 when I introduced you to my son who was taking up the game and I remember you said something to him about his grip, which was very odd and ugly. "The golf ball doesn't know what kind of grip you have. If it works for you, keep it."



He's 29 now and still has that ugly grip but he just won his club championship in Rhode Island last weekend. In some small way he might owe that to you.



Your lead column today about God's grace was so poignant it brought tears to my eyes. You are right. This is something that can't be explained now, but in the years to come it will all unfold for you and you'll understand it. Just enjoy it and have fun and make some great memories with your friends and family.



Happy for you, my friend -- Keith

Hal     June 17
Your best column ever, Drew. That was an incredibly touching column.

Monday
June 21
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2492


the right way to win...and lose


I certainly get the notion that golf's pedestrian nature makes it hard for non-golfers to watch, understand and appreciate.

I've never taken in one second of a live MMA/UFC fight, for example, so I simply have no clue what goes into appreciating that sport. It just looks like two people in a bar fight to me, but I respect the fact that there's much, much more that goes into it than squaring off on the sidewalk after one guy looks at another guy's girl the wrong way.

So when I brag about the way Jon Rahm and Louis Oosthuizen conducted themselves after yesterday's final round of the U.S. Open, I totally understand that some folks simply won't understand. And I'm also the first to say -- and this is a point that should be emphasized -- that it's almost wrong to applaud both of them for their in-round and post-round conduct on Sunday because that's precisely the way you're expected to behave in the first place.

The great Bobby Jones once said about a player who calls a penalty on himself and then expects to be congratulated for that: "It's similar in nature to expecting praise for not robbing a bank."

Jon Rahm's 18-footer at t 72nd hole was the difference on Sunday as he became the first-ever Spanish player to win the U.S. Open.

But on this occasion, I'll praise both Rahm and Oosthuizen, because their composure and response to both victory and defeat are messages we should be absorbing and, more importantly, showcasing for our younger generation.

Oosthuizen has finished as a runner-up in six different major championships in his career. Sure, his British Open victory in 2010 might make it a tad easier to swallow another close-call with grace and dignity, but the reality is Oosthuizen has always been a classy guy, both before he won that major championship and afterwards as well.

So there he was yesterday, after missing the fairway by 2 feet on the last hole and having no real shot at a game-tying eagle, saying all the right things and handing out compliments to everyone he could.

"I can't say enough about the score Jon shot today," Oosthuizen said after his own final round 71 left him at 5-under par, one stroke too many as it turned out.

"I'm really happy for him. He's one of the bright young stars of the game for sure."

A reporter went back to Oosthuizen to ask him about his round and his finish but the South African wanted to dole out more praise. "I thought Mackenzie Hughes really handled things well out there even though he hit a bit of a rough patch to start the day. I kept telling him to just plug away and stay as close to the top spot as possible because the last four holes are going to play tough and anything can happen. He's got some real talent."

Finally, Oosthuizen addressed his own play.

"I don't feel like I lost the golf tournament," he said. "I just needed one more putt to fall in somewhere over four days, I guess. Or two. The drive at 18 was one of the best I hit, but it must have got caught up in the rough near the bunker and never made it to the fairway. If it makes the fairway, I probably have 225 to the hole and maybe I could get it on the putting surface and make eagle like I did on Saturday. When it didn't hit the fairway, I just couldn't get the ball on the green from there (247 yards away). That was probably the toughest 180 yard lay-up I've ever hit, because I knew what it meant to the golf tourament."

No whining, no complaining. No offers for free beer to his legion of supporters in exchange for heckling another player. He didn't blame anything or anyone else. As he stood near the 18th green afterwards to accept his runner-up medal, Oosthuizen smiled and looked satisfied, even though it's highly unlikely he was happy to be in that position once again.

When asked in his press conference about his calm and stoic demeanor, Oosthuizen summed it up nicely.

"I was brought up to understand that you're going to get good things come your way and bad things come your way and it's how you deal with them that matters. I've had plenty of success out here and I've come up short, too. I think I have a lot of good golf ahead of me. I'm happy for Jon and I'm pretty happy with the way I played other than the drive at 17 and 18."

Rahm, meanwhile, was the feel-good story of the day, particularly after he was forced to withdraw from The Memorial a couple of weeks ago after building a six-shot lead through 3 rounds. A positive Covid-19 test was revealed to him next to the 18th green after Saturday's round and he was then placed in Covid-protocol, putting his U.S. Open appearance in jeopardy in addition to robbing him of (most likely) another TOUR win and a lucrative $1.6 million payout.

Like Oosthuizen, Rahm was all class after the win. He said the right things, thanked the right people, spoke glowingly about the tournament and the USGA, and checked off every box a U.S. Open winner should check off after a career-changing victory.

When asked what message this sends to the rest of the TOUR, Rahm didn't wag a finger at the camera and say, "Watch out for me, DJ, Brooksie, J.T., Bryson and the rest of you! I'm the man now!"

"I hope it shows everyone that you can win at anything if you put in the work and believe in yourself," Rahm said. "I see how hard all the guys work at their games and it definitely makes me work just as hard on my own. I can't really explain why I play so well here, but I just do. I wish I knew why. There's just something about San Diego and this course that eases me. If other guys can find their happy place there's no reason why they can't win tournaments like this too."

And then, on his very first Father's Day, Rahm held his newborn son and spoke the truth.

"Don't get me wrong, I wanted to win one of these majors. I want to win a lot more of them. But looking over at my wife and son today reminded me I've already pretty much won. Sometimes you have to remember that. It helps drive you to get better."

The record will show Jon Rahm won the 121st U.S. Open, but he wasn't the only guy we should remember from Sunday's epic final round. The leaderboard was filled with great players, some who rose up the board and some who fell down the board. In the end, nearly all of them demonstrated a kindness for one another and a genuine appreciation for the competition itself that should be recognized by athletes and enthusiasts of any sport, anywhere.


If you didn't giggle a little bit when yesterday's crowd of 14,917 at Camden Yards was announced as "the largest of the season to date", I can't help you.

Now, let's make sure we point this out right away. That crowd at OPACY on Sunday won't wind up being the team's largest attendance of the season. I think we all know that. Right? And it's fair to point out that the first two months of the 2021 campaign were played with attendance restrictions in place.

And I also realize people here seem to get very skittish about attendance commentary these days. I'm not sure why so many folks get wigged out about it, but I've seen enough commentary here to know that I'm opening up Pandora's box by even remotely hinting about the team's lethargic attendance figures thus far.

Maybe we should just poke fun at Tampa Bay or Pittsburgh instead.

Anyway, more important than 15,000 folks going to the ballpark on Father's Day was the 7-4 loss to the Blue Jays, which was actually not even that close. The O's closed the gap in the bottom of the 8th, cutting a 6-1 deficit to 6-4 on the heels of a Pedro Severino solo homer and a Trey Mancini 2-run shot. True to form, though, the Birds gave up an insurance run in the top of the 9th and dropped to a woeful 12-23 at home this season in the process.

Speaking of Severino, it's hard to believe the O's can't find someone else of "Major League caliber" to sit behind the plate and hit .236.

It's almost an every-game-occurrence now that Severino botches some kind of defensive play. I realize when you're 23-48 that mistakes seem to blend in with the overall dismal nature of the losing, but Severino's catching skills are so sub-par it's hard to watch. It would be totally different if he could hit .270 or get on base at a .350 clip. Alas, he's "just OK" with the bat, and that's being kind. But his work with the glove is minor league'ish. And, that, too, is being kind.

This is not an effort to campaign for Adley Rutschman's call-up, even though I'm not certain that would be a bad thing at this point. I totallly understand the "service issue" situation. I do. You're only going to have that guy for six years before he signs with the Yankees or Red Sox or Dodgers as a free agent, so you have to maximize his contribution to the franchise. I can sign off on that with ease.

But there's zero chance that Rutschman is worse defensively than Severino. And I mean -- ZERO. And I have no idea what he would hit in the big leagues right now, but he wouldn't hit .200 or worse, I'd bet that. He might struggle at the plate and "only" hit .210 or .220, but that's one less hit every week than Severino's getting right now.

I know it looks I'm camaigning for a Rutschman call-up, but I'm really just trying to point out just how inadequate Severino is. A minor-leaguer could do a better job over the last three months of the season. Don't the Orioles have someone else they can use? Besides Chance Sisco, that is. They've finally figured out he can't do it.


A few quick hits that have been in storage for the last few days.

The NBA playoffs have actually been pretty daggone good, in case you haven't been watching. I'm the first to admit that I'm not a huge fan of the league, but that's mainly because 50% of the games are seemingly blow outs. I can't tell you how many times in the middle of January I'll flip to a game at 9:40 pm and the score is 89-70 to start the 4th qurater or 101-84 with five minutes remaining.

These playoffs have been very captivating, including both Eastern Conference semifinals, which were won in Game 7 by the road team.

The Western Conference Final between Phoenix and the L.A. Clippers should be awesome. Phoenix is up 1-0 in that series, but you can just "feel" like it's going to be an epic 7-gamer.


The Olympic swimming trials were televised over the last few days and a 15-year old American named Katie Grimes made the 2021 team that is headed to Tokyo next month.

15 years old.

Unreal.

We have an Eagle's Nest swim meet tonight at the club and several of our young swimmers are in the 14-15 age range. It's almost unfathomable to think about it -- a 15-year old is going to swim in the Olympic games!

What a great, great story. They say "nothing beats experience" but "youth" is a pretty distinct advantage as well.


A bunch of you have written me over the last few days with kind words about the U.S. Senior Open and asked questions about the tournament, preparation, etc.

I will try and get to all of them tomorrow or Wednesday in a Q and A segment here. Thanks again to everyone who has reached out. I've read every single one of them, even if I haven't been able to churn out replies to everyone. It's been a crazy, crazy six days, but I'm starting to get back to normal, thank God.

BARCS banner ad
Freestate banner ad


"The Keen Eye" of
David Rosenfeld

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


consider this


Hey Cole Beasley. Live your life, buddy. You guys have a real chance up there in Buffalo these days, something that hasn’t been the case since the early 1990s. The Bills are lucky to have you.

It’s really funny, though, that you labeled your recent tweet about COVID-19 vaccinations as a “public service announcement.”

For one thing, saying you’re going to “live your one life like you want to, regardless” is a private service announcement about you, and offers no help whatsoever to the people you’re tweeting at. It’s no different than announcing on Twitter that you’re gonna have pizza for dinner.

Besides that, the things you said in your tweet are actually dangerous to the public to whom you insist your serving. The point of a PSA is to offer something of intelligence that’s going to help a large group of people. You’re failing there. Big time.

You say that you may die of COVID, but you’d rather die actually living. Great. I have a better idea. Do something completely safe and free—not that the price really matters to you—and you won’t die of COVID, which I’ve heard kinda sucks. Also, there would be almost no chance that you’d inadvertently pass something on to someone who doesn’t feel the same way.

You say that you’d rather eat better, drink water, exercise and do what’s necessary to be a healthy individual. Great. In that, you are a terrific role model, and I hope that you give that message to children with whom you come in contact in the community. I wasn’t aware that doing any of that kept you from getting COVID, though. Do you need people to send you thousands of stories about young, healthy, in-shape people who’ll never be the same?

You tell people that if they’re scared of you as an unvaccinated person, then steer clear or get vaccinated. I assume you actually graduated from SMU, a fantastic school, so I can’t believe you’d actually say something so stupid. And mean. And such a 180-degree flip from what you want, which is for people to stop telling you to get the vaccine.

But here’s the main question I have, and I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s going to ask you. Exactly how does getting a brief stab in the shoulder with a vaccine keep you from living your life? Oh, and here’s another good question, I think. If you’re so keen on living life with no fear, than why are you so afraid of getting the vaccine?

It’s true, though. You’ve got the right to feel that way. Nobody can do anything about it. You’re just not a very smart guy, and what you’re saying is the polar opposite of a “public service announcement.”


It goes without saying that it’s silly to have an obsession with winning championships at most levels of sports. That starts with T-ball and should go pretty high up the competitive chain, if you ask me. Sometimes, it even needs to go to the highest level.

On Saturday, the Bucks and Nets played Game 7 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference semifinals in Brooklyn. The game, by all accounts, will be seen as one those “instant classics” by NBA fans; the Bucks managed to win in overtime and will face the 76ers in the conference finals.

If you watched the highlights, you saw that the Nets’ Kevin Durant sent the game to overtime with a long jump shot with one second left in regulation. If you watched the replay of that replay, you saw how close Durant came to doing something even greater.

Maybe an inch-and-half of his left shoe touched the three-point line as he shot. When the ball went in with 1.0 showing on the clock, he had tied the game at 109-109. I’m sure that he thought he had just won the game, 110-109, and that the Bucks would have had only a desperation attempt at the buzzer.

An inch or two. Because of that, the Nets aren’t playing for a championship in 2021. Because of that, the “what do the Nets do now?” with their expensive trio of Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving has already started. Because of that, fans are all over social media giving the Nets grief because another “superteam” has fallen short of a title.

Can we really be critical of a team like the Nets in this situation? I find it hard to say yes. They were matched up against another team of equal quality, and a seven-game series came down to an overtime in the final game. Brooklyn won’t win the NBA championship, which I’m sure is a disappointment to its fans. I just don’t see how you can call what happened overall to the Nets this season a disappointment.

I think fans can be really odd about this stuff. I’m certain there are Ravens fans who consider all but two of the team’s 25 seasons in Baltimore to be bitter disappointments. There are college basketball fans who don’t think anything matters to a program besides its performance in a single-elimination neutral-site tournament in March and April.

And players don’t always help when it comes to this. I once saw a joint interview with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson where David Letterman asked, somewhat jokingly, who each of them thought was the better player of the two. Bird, usually the quiet one, was quick to answer. It was Johnson, he said, because his Lakers won more championships.

I understand where Bird was coming from. He was in the arena, playing at the highest level with great teammates, and that’s all he cared about at the time. All these years later, though, it’s the quality of the games themselves that stands out.


A lot of my recollections about my father have to do with sports. It’s been four years since he passed, and I think back to those happy remembrances way more than I do to his final days.

When we’d attend a sporting event, we’d pull into the parking lot, or maybe a side street near Memorial Stadium. He’d get out of the car, and as soon as everyone else was out he’d look at us and say “oh God. I forgot the tickets.” He did this almost every time, even after we were old enough to know that he hadn’t actually left the tickets at home.

I thought about that recently when I read that all 32 NFL teams had now officially dispensed with any paper tickets, even the ones you can print out from home. What kind of a world is it that makes it impossible for you to forget the tickets, right?

For various reasons, I drive on the west side of the Beltway more often than any other part of the I-695 loop. When I do, on either side of the road, I pass nearby where I grew up, generally the area close to the Beltway between I-795 and Liberty Road.

95 percent of the time I’m looking straight ahead, I suppose. Every once in a while, though, perhaps when traffic is backed up a bit, I’ll look to the side and see the traffic light at the corner of Scotts Level and Milford Mill roads, down a steep hill from what is now called Milford Mill Academy.

It was that hill that we careened down during an ice storm on the way back from a hockey game downtown one night. My father kept screaming that the road was a “sheet of ice,” and it must have taken us 15 minutes to get down the hill.

To this day, someone in my family brings that night up several times a year, especially during snowstorms and/or ice storms. My father liked to drive in snow and ice, for some reason, even though he never had a car that was particularly equipped for that weather.

During the pandemic, when pro and college sporting events went on with nobody in the stands watching, I thought about my father quite often. Though he was in no way a social butterfly, he loved talking to the people sitting next to him at the game. Even if they looked like people others might avoid, or were trying to avoid talking to others, he never did. He would talk about the team and the game to anyone who was there, and I always admired that.

The family Father’s Day gathering returned yesterday after a one-year hiatus. As I walked around not avoiding people, I laughed when I thought about how frustrated he got every year when he wanted to do anything besides watch golf. Wherever he is right now, I hope he’s someplace where he wasn’t forced to the watch the U.S. Open yesterday.

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner
SAFFER banner


Sunday
June 20
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2491


sunday stuff


Before we start, I'd like to recognize all the fathers out there. Today is your day!

My dad has been gone since 2003, but there's a hardly day that goes by where he doesn't somehow enter my mind. This weekend, in particular, always brings up memories of him because the very first time he ever offered commentary on golf to me was still one of the funniest exchanges we ever had.

It wasn't U.S. Open weekend, rather the 1997 Masters. I was at his house in Glen Burnie on Wednesday of Masters week and we were watching the par-3 tournament. My dad happened to be paying attention during a segment on Tiger Woods and asked me about him.

"He's going to be huge," I said. "He won three straight U.S. Junior and three straight U.S. Amateurs. No one has ever done that before. He's going to be a massive star on TOUR," I concluded.

Editor's note: I had no idea he'd actually grow up to be the version of Tiger Woods we saw until 2020. I knew he'd be really good, but had no idea he'd do what he did.

The next day, my phone rang. My dad was laughing on the other end. "Your guy Woods ain't doin' so hot there, son," he said. He is already 4 over par. Seems like he might need some more........seasssooonnnning." My dad loveed to draw out words he was emphasizing.

The way he said "seasoning" irked me for some reason.

But I got the last laugh, of course.

Halfway through Saturday's third round the phone rang again. It was my dad. "Nobody's beating that kid," he proclaimed. "This is a slaughter."

My dad went from laughing at Tiger to conceding his greatness...all within 48 hours.

I remember once we were watching another golf tournament and a player missed a fairly routine 6 foot putt. My dad said, "Heck, I could make that."

When I explained it was a tough, right to left putt and had 2 cups of break, he asked me to explain what "2 cups of break" meant and I told him.

"So if it's two cups of break why didn't he hit it there to start with?" my dad asked. He clearly didn't understand putting and the nuances of speed vs. break when you're trying to make a putt. He just saw a six foot putt and assumed it was easy to make.

Even now, occasionally, when I'm reading a putt, I'll remember he said that. "If it's 2 cups of break to the left, why not just hit it 2 cups to the right and make it?"

I hope you all have a great Father's day, whether you're still celebrating with your dad or being the subject of a celebration with your own children. Enjoy your time together today.


OK, so this is setting up to be a really captivating final round of the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines later today. Three players share the lead at five under -- Russell Henley, MacKenzie Hughes and Louis Oosthuizen -- and several other big names are lurking just two or three shots off the pace.

The two most intriguing names at 3-under are Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy. Both players have done just enough to stay alive in the tournament, yet they're both one really good round away from winning their second U.S. Open title respectively. DeChambeau has continued his "bomb and gouge" style this week, hitting his drive on virtually every non-par-3-hole and simply trying to outmuscle the golf course. McIlroy looks more comfortable this week than in recent memory and his short game has been sensational through three rounds.

Can Bryson go coast-to-coast? He won last year's U.S. Open in New York and now he's in contention in San Diego.

The golf course has held up magnificently. Perhaps the best thing about the tournament to date is no one is whining or complaining about the course, the length of the rough, the speed of the greens, the narrow width of the fairways, etc. The USGA has done a fabulous job of presenting a difficulty-yet-playable course where every facet of your game is tested.

Can't hit the fairway? Better be able to muscle it out somewhere near the green.

Can't hit the putting surface? I hope your short game and pitching skills are gold standard this week.

Finally got it on the green but have 40 feet to navigate? I hope your nerves are good and your stroke is steady, or you'll be four jacking from 5 feet like Brian Harman did on Saturday.

The golf course is precisely what it should be. Difficult but fair.

And because no one is bellyaching about the conditions or the greens or the impossibilty of a hole or three, the tournament is giving off the impression it's not a true test. That's far from the truth. The USGA has finally put all the pieces into place to create and maintain a civil event without driving people to the brink of madness.

But that doesn't mean today's challenge won't be tough -- or memorable. Torrey Pines has dried out nicely this week and, as they say on TV, it's starting to "brown up" to the point where it's playing fast and furious. Fairway accuracy will be key today, I'm thinking. Any ball coming out of the rough won't be able to stay on the putting surface.

In addition to the three players at 5-under and the aforemtioned two at 3-under, you have Matt Wolff, Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler at 2-under par. The TV talking heads are saying anyone at 1-under or better still has a chance, which would bring into play the likes of Collin Morikawa and Dustin Johnson as well, but I'm thinking only the 2-unders, 3-unders and 5-unders are in the mix. Out of that group, I'm probably "pulling" for Rory or Wolff. I see great merit in either of those guys winning.

McIlroy has made a lot of money over the last five years but his golf game has been more up and down than the Orioles bullpen in 2021. He hasn't won a major since 2014, which, for him at least, is a golfing eternity. He's never really complained all that much and he's been open and honest about his struggles during that time. If he wins today, I'd be fine with that. McIlroy has been a great ambassador for golf throughout his career.

Wolff is an American, of course, so I'm naturally inclined to root for him. A victory today might also point him in the direction of this September's Ryder Cup team, which, I believe, needs a few new shots in the arm. I also know -- as does everyone else who has watched the last few days -- all about Wolff's mental health crisis earlier this year and it seems reasonable to think if he's able to win this one today that his victory will shed light on a growing issue in our country.

I wrote during my preview of the U.S. Open that I thought this year's event would not be won by a "household name". Henley and Hughes would certainly describe that kind of player to a tee. They're both good players, of course, and golf nuts know about both of them, but they are, for history buffs, this year's version of Rocco Mediate in 2008. They're two guys who weren't on anyone's radar to win who just might do it.

But ultimately, I'd probably love to see DeChambeau win. It's selfish and petty, I know, but the Koepka-DeChambeau rivalry has forced me to pick sides and I can't come close to rooting for Koepka. Great player and all, for sure, but not a guy who is representing the sport in an admirable way right now. If DeChambeau finishes this off today, it would potentially remove Brooks from the spotlight for a while, which would be well deserved in my opinion.


So that, last night, was a pretty ugly loss authored by our Baby Birds down at Camden Yards. The good news? Only 10,721 braved the 83 degree afternoon to check out the game, so it's not like the O's left a whole lot of people disappointed.

Entering the 9th inning with a 7-4 lead, the O's, statistically, had a 98.5% chance of winning, according to fancy data supplied to ESPN.com. The stats machine forgot they were dealing with the Baltimore bullpen. Toronto erupted for a 6-run 9th inning off of Paul Fry and Tyler Wells to win in improbable fashion. Well, not much is "improbable" with the O's this year, if we're being honest.

The loss spoiled a decent start by Dean Kremer, who pitched 6 innings and allowed just 2 runs while striking out 6 and walking 3. Kremer has been mostly lousy this year, so anytime he works 6 innings and keeps the O's in the game it's a "win" for him. The Baltimore bats also hit six home runs during the game, including three from Ryan Mountcastle, who is on pace for a 25-30 home run campaign at this point. I'll continue to say about him what I've been saying all along: That kid is going to be a very good professional hitter in his career. He can't field worth a lick, but that guy can swing the bat.

When you're 23-47 you can't get too worked up about one loss, but that one, on Saturday, was pretty awful. You can offset the defeat by focusing on Mullins (2 more home runs) or Kremer or Mountcastle and that's all well and good, but nothing good ever comes from gagging away a 3-run lead in the 9th inning. You just have to close those kind of games out.

My friend who says he hears from someone in the know that Brandon Hyde's tenure in Baltimore might be on shaky ground sent me a text after the 9th inning collapse.

"Tick, tock, tick, tock...it's almost time."

I've never met Brandon Hyde in my life so I don't have a personal horse in the race, but I sure hope they don't fire the guy over this fiasco-of-a-season. Did you watch that rundown in Cleveland the other night? How on earth is that Brandon Hyde's fault?

BARCS banner ad
Freestate banner ad

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner


#dmd comments








Joe     June 22
@ Chris K is sorely mistaken if he thinks Camden Yards attendance is not tied, in part, to the safety conditions in the City. The last I looked, the Ravens have empty seats at most of their games, over the past 2-3 years, even if the seats are sold. Wonder why this is happening? The City is worse off today than during the 90's...period.

Brian Jessup     June 22
I rest my case.



NCAA penalizes Creighton basketball program for violations tied to former assistant coach in FBI probe

A former Bluejays assistant accepted $6,000, and the school now faces sanctions though he never kept the money

Matt Norlander



By Matt Norlander

1 hr ago

3 min read

creighton-court-logo.jpg

Getty Images

The NCAA Committee on Infractions handed out six penalties against Creighton's men's basketball program Tuesday, announcing it was punishing the school alongside issuing a two-year show-cause penalty against former Bluejays assistant Preston Murphy.



Creighton is not being punished with a postseason ban. Instead, its most severe sanctions are tied to recruiting visits, all of which were self-imposed by the school and subsequently accepted by the COI.



Creighton had been subject to a years-long probe by the NCAA, though the school never publicly acknowledged that reality. The case was tied to the federal government's investigation into fraud and bribery in college basketball, which led to five people being sentenced to federal prison.



Murphy is not explicitly named in the Committee on Infractions' report, but he was the subject of the probe due to his relationship with convicted felon Christian Dawkins. Murphy left Creighton in November 2019 after being put on a months-long leave. He was captured on surreptitious FBI video in Las Vegas in July 2017, in a posh hotel suite, accepting $6,000 from undercover FBI agents. Murphy was never charged with a crime, and Dawkins testified that Murphy never kept any of the money, which was offered under the guise of helping to funnel players to Dawkins' company.



Despite an absence of proof that Murphy kept any of the money, the captured-on-video act of initially accepting the payment in the hotel suite was enough for the NCAA to issue him a two-year show-cause penalty, which means a school would have to "show cause" why Murphy should not be subject to the ban. The NCAA states Murphy "provided false or misleading information about his actions during the investigation."



Here is what the NCAA is serving to Creighton, which has the option to appeal if it so chooses.



Two years of probation.

A $5,000 fine plus 1% of the men's basketball program budget.

A reduction of men's basketball scholarships by one per year for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 academic years (self-imposed by the university).

A reduction of men's basketball official visits by six during the 2021-22/2022-23 rolling two-year period (self-imposed by the university).

A reduction in the number of men's basketball recruiting person days by 10% from the previous four-year average for the two-year probationary period (self-imposed by the university).

The university will prohibit complimentary admission to home games for all prospects and coaches in November 2021 (self-imposed by the university).

A two-year show-cause order for the former assistant coach. During that period, any NCAA member school employing him must restrict him from any athletically related duties unless it shows cause why the restrictions should not apply.

"Although the committee found that the assistant coach did not take any further action following the meeting, the meeting violated NCAA rules because the receipt of money formalized a business relationship between the assistant coach and the management company for the purpose of using the coach for access to student-athletes," the Committee on Infractions (COI) said in its release.



Creighton athletic director Bruce Rasmussen also failed to report the "potential violation," according to the COI. Rasmussen knew months before that Murphy had accepted the $6,000 in cash but did not report the violation formally because Murphy satisfied his then-boss in proving he never kept the money.



No one at Creighton was ever arrested in connection with the federal government's case. Murphy was one of a few assistant coaches to accept money from undercover agents; USC's Tony Bland, Oklahoma State's Lamont Evans and TCU's Corey Barker were others.



Creighton was initially pulled into the case because, in a separate trial, on Oct. 14, 2018, Brian Bowen Sr. said under oath that Dawkins indicated Creighton was willing to pay the Bowen family $100,000 and a offer "good job" if his son played for Creighton. It was when that happened that Rasmussen reviewed his men's basketball program, in an informal capacity, but it wouldn't be until the spring of 2019 -- when the video of Murphy was played in court -- that Creighton would be put on the path to the punishment it was delivered Tuesday.




Tom J     June 22
If you want to watch this same baseball, just go to your local ballfield and watch an 8-10 Rec league game. You'll see the same missed cut off man, passed balls, botched run downs etc. Of course they are losers, they have inferior talent. But these guys have been playing ball for what, 20 plus years and still don't know basic fundamentals???? It's not that they lose, it's HOW they lose that makes people nuts.



Good for the football player. Still not sure why he has to announce to everyone he's gay. His teammates and the fans only really care about can he get to the QB and get a sack or tackle the RB for a loss in the backfield, not who he is having sex with. Says it "wasn't for attention".....sure it wasn't......

BW     June 22
I'd be surprised if Rahm gets too many more than 4 majors...he may get 5 or 6...he may only get 2 or 3. Winning 5% of the majors one plays in is HOF worthy. That winrate % puts the player at roughly 15th place...ALL TIME. Tiger has skewed the expectation to an unrealistic level.

Another issue is the depth of fields is just becoming more and more of an issue. Sure, the same 15-20 guys are the expected winners before each major but there are prob another 40+ that COULD win if the stars align now. That was NOT the case when Jack played and likely wasn't the case early in Tiger's career.

But it should be interesting. Rahm could certainly be an all time great and blow through the 5% win rate. He certainly has all the tools and seems to have solved the blow ups that used to plague him a few years ago.

Mark S.     June 22
Wouldn't watch the O's games if Palmer was not there! I miss him when he takes a few games off! @UnitastoBerry pretty much covered it all.

Greg     June 22
Palmer is the best. Never minces words. And unlike your former boss, he has a baseball pedigree that people respect.

Delray RICK     June 22
GAUSMAN..9-1 ERA 1:50. Was asked if he missed DEM O'S...BEST THING THAT THEY SENT ME HERE.

chris k     June 22
for all of these people blaming the city as part of the reason for pathetic attendance, how do you explain the ravens selling out whether its a night game or day game. its the same city. I think entirely because the team has told fans and media they have purposely not been trying to win for the last 3 years and expect it to continue for another 3-5 years. They have lost the trust of the majority of fans and many probably wont return even if they are competitive for a year or two. attendance is 100% the team's fault, not the city's fault. they had great attendance in the 90's when the city still had 350+ plus murders a year.

charmcitydeac     June 22
Fair points, however I'm not sure that the missed cut-off was Hays' fault. I think it was either Franco or Galvis for not being in the right position to cut the throw (or Severino's fault for not lining them up properly or telling them to cut it). The throw was certainly low enough to cut and was (more or less) on-line with the plate. If Hays is coming home with that throw, his only job with an on-line throw is to make sure its low enough to cut it, but its Severino's job to line the infielders up and his job to tell them to cut it or let it go through. And its the infielders job to be in the proper position to be able to cut it off.

Brian Jessup     June 22
Noticed lately this has become the golf channel but since there's not much going on here in Baltimore it's understandable.



It took the SCOTUS to wake the NCAA up. They should have made adjustments the last decade or so maybe then "some" of the cheating might have subsided. So instead of under the table money your local car dealership, hamburger franchise, soft drink company will now pay "over the table" money to the athletes. Transfer portals, "sponsorship $'s" we are living and watching in real time the demise of college sports. Don't get me wrong athletes should be able to transfer just like coaches get to leave but both "should" have some obstacles otherwise 33% of the kids will be transferring, oh we're already there. And kids "should" have been able to make some money while the schools and coaches reaped billions from their talents. I believe there was a better way but now, the door is cracked and John Smith will be saying how much he loves his Ford F-150 he got from Koons Ford for large sums of money. Oh well I guess that's better than cash in a Fed Ex package. The AAU pimps will now become marketing guru's. What a wonderful world.

unitastoberry     June 22
Jim Palmer knows more about baseball than pretty much anyone involved with the current Orioles on or off the field. He's the last of the flag bearers left in the public eye from this teams glory days. Missing a cut off guy in the majors is beyound excuse. Loved it when he would go after Manny for dogging it etc. If ownership goes after Jim that will be the last straw for many. Please don't bring up Jon Miller again that triggered me.That wrongful act was the equivilent of say firing Chuck Thompson in say 1967. Go Os!

Michael Creese     June 22
Hey Drew.



I'm just getting back from 17 glorious days in Europe but wanted to send along my heartiest congratulations to you for your U.S. Senior Open qualification. You've sure come a long way from crushing me in the Public Links tournaments every year! Fairways and greens my friend. And roll in some putts out there as well!!

Ray     June 22
Funny, DF, I said the same thing to a friend of mine last night. "Greinke might no hit us tomorrow night." Go O's!!!

Jacob     June 21
@DELRAY RICK



Your predictions are so spot on! they caught me! 5IP, 1H, 2BB 6K OR .5 ERA overall


larry     June 21
Great points on Beasley by @David. Beasley can have his own opinion for sure, but hardly a PSA. Love the "might as well tweet you're having pizza for dinner" analogy.

@Joe had some nice points to make, except "have not tried to win for last 40 years". That's just flat out wrong, unless you are a short/bitter local media wanna be who thinks he got screwed out of 10k one time 20 years ago. Not saying they've tried all those years, certainly not trying now, but not true for all 40 lol.

Hey, anyone else notice @Herman has disappeared and suddenly @MFC is back? Coincidence???

BW     June 21
There are narratives and there are incorrect narratives:

@MFC Bryson ranks 1st in SG off the tee. 2nd place is nearly .3 shots per round behind. That difference is larger than the difference between 2nd and 16th. So the offline stuff people constantly cite is not nearly as relevant as they think it is. Also he hit more fairways than the average this past weekend. If your argument is that he needs to improve his wedge play you are probably correct. But citing "offline" drives is simply an incorrect application of what is happening.

@Delray It's true Rory is a rather pedestrian T31 on par 5 scoring average this season. However, the difference between Rory and no. 1 is less than .12 shots/par 5. He is 12th in total strokes gained this season.

Chris in Bel Air     June 21
Guys like Rahm and Oosthuizen are the ones that make it really easy to root for. They showed true professionalism, humility and sportsmanship. Plus, Oosthuizen's swing is so effortless and smooth. Koepka and his demeanor? No thanks.

Regarding the O's and Severino, "don't they have someone else then can use?" Drew, outside of Mullins, Mancini, Means, Mountcastle (the 4 Ms), maybe Galvis and 2-3 relievers - you can say that about the entire rest of the roster!

Delray Rick     June 21
JOE...IF and I mean IF DEM O'S get at least a .500 team me thinks fans will not follow. The city is so bad off decent families ain't coming no mo. PALMER doing

this AAA team has got to be demoralizing for him. For me its been over 60 years and to think the 50's team had heart. Anybody disputed this just look at the record. Can't believe ARIZONA is worse.

JerryH     June 21
With the limits on tickets/crowd size over, are the O's still on the No Food brought in policy? And No cash? And spaced out seating? And Masks? And is the Dean Wormer "No fun of any kind" seems to be the order of the day.



I have not gone this year but have been planning to. I will not, however, go to an outdoor event with a mask. The pandemic is over.



I just checked the O's website and they have either not updated the restrictions or they haven't lifted any, other than selling[or not selling] more seats.



Anyone who has been there recently, please provide a 1st hand report. Thanks

MFC     June 21
Agree 100% with the host today how refreshing to hear those comments from both players.



Reaction:

Bryson- maybe hitting it a country mile, off line, isn't the answer

Louie- one of the guys who finds the fairways didn't on 17 and 18 and it cost him- but a champion with his words

Rory- becoming one of my favorite people but please start taking putting lessons

Brooks- you show up in the majors no doubt- now try being a decent human being

Torrey Pines- for whatever reason didn't seem to have the pizzazz- something was missing and no it wasn't just Tiger





On another note my Comets men's lacrosse got thumped by a really good Severna Park team, great year sometimes the other team is better but you played hard to the end. Our girls softball team won the championship in one of the most exciting games ever. Too long to describe but it was a thriller and if it were college on ESPN would be an instant classic.

Congrats to the Hereford Bulls on their championship and to Towson who lost in the championship. A good spring for the Baltimore County schools.



Note filed under WHAT? I'm told there were 4 boys on Catonsville and 6 on Dulaney's boys team that thought going to beach week was more important than playing for a state championship. The schedule was out in advance, I don't have facts but truly believe deposits could have been recouped. I just don't understand parents or kids thinking that going to OC ( probably drinking- again no hard facts just surmising and looking for love in all the wrong places) is more important than being on a team that is playing for a state championship. Whether you're a starter or not. You joined the team back in March/April and now you're just discarding them. Wow, good luck in life hope it was worth it. If I were the coach and administrators I'd re-take the team photo.

unitastoberry     June 21
@Joe you know saying the truth about the Orioles and the city will score points with me but it may be hazardous to your online health lol.

Joe     June 21
Camden Yards attendance easy to figure out....mix in a pathetic franchise that hasn't tried to win for the past 40 years with a City that is falling down around itself and you get the results seen every game. Fans are bored with the product on the field and apathetic in general with yearly excuses. The City is not safe to bring your family downtown to the games. They say the Orioles will never leave, didn't we hear that about the Colts and the Bullets too?

Kenny G     June 21
David - why is healthy eating and exercise important? 80% of COVID hospitalizations are overweight people. People who are out of breathe walking up steps can not overcome the strain COVID puts on their respiratory system. While you cant do much about age and pre-existing conditions, you can stop smoking and loss weight. Then again, after 15 months of a serious respiratory virus people have not changed their habits, I guess nothing will. (BTW the other 20% are probably old and there will be occassional healthy or young person to hospitalized - that's life).



This is the biggest failure of our leadership in this crisis. Its not one solution for all. Risk factors are different.

David Rosenfeld     June 21
Note: Jumped the gun on the 76ers winning yesterday. Congrats to the Hawks and Kevin Huerter, who scored 27 points. He's the real deal...

Delray Rick     June 21
Winning doesn't seem to be on RORY'S plate anymore. He is a very rich man and a lot more going in he's life instead of golf. Yesterday was set up for him perfect but didn't take advantage of the opportunity. He once was a sure thing on par 5's but now just making par is hard enough. On DEM O'S, HARVEY is done on this team .

Ben S.     June 20
DF. Didn't you hire a guy to delete comments from people like JK?

Jk     June 20
LOL at "Tom". What a snowflake.

unitastoberry     June 20
Chance Sisco DFA. Guy was supposed to be something 5 years ago. Second round pick 2013. Was this one was on McPhail? How do you stay around getting pay checks that long if you stink? Oh well. Good luck to him.



Career 2017- 2021 508 AB BA.199 H 101 HR 16 RBI 53


tom     June 20
We still get snarky shots on attendance after every home game, anyone see attendance figures in Tampa? And they are leaders in the AL East.

As they say, it is what it is, my point is you knew attendance would be low, and will stay low, until/if this "rebuild" works.

If it works as planned, and that does not result in uptick in attendance, then we got a problem worth criticizing.

Eric in Gaithersburg     June 20
As for the vaccine debacle we have? Perfect storm of a corrupted politicized media and gullible and panicky American public. Put me down as a vaccinated right winger who doesn't understand why people would bet their life that they are right and doctors and scientists are wrong. Could the vaccine have long term effects? Maybe. But we know what the COVID effects are- death. We take many vaccines as children that we have no say on. Selfish panicky people ruining it for the rest of us

Eric in Gaithersburg     June 20
Terrific article by K Rosenthal today on the coming clown show tomorrow of untrained umps being asked to differentiate between legal and illegal sticky substances being used by cheating pitchers like G Cole, T Bauer etc. Rosin and sweat? Legal. Rosin and suntan lotion on a 100 degree day? Suspension. Meanwhile offense is up and strikeouts down in June since league announced this was coming

unitastoberry     June 19
If your getting paid mega millions to play in the NFL and your not vaccinated and miss a game because you tested positive for covid you are doing a disservice to your team and fans.

Howard     June 19
It would be great if every Raven were vaccinated against COVID-19. This would reduce the risk that players would miss games with positive tests or due to illness

Eric in Gaithersburg     June 19
Athletic reports Os not interested in trading Means Mancini or Mullins but are willing to listen just in case

tom     June 18
Made fun of an eye injury? Where? When? How? Maybe took a shot at another poor #DMD pick but certainly did not make light of Hovland's eye injury at all

Brett     June 18
Wow, Rob Really making fun of a guy who suffered an eye injury. Classy stuff there, bubba.

Rob Really     June 18
Drewski, I finally managed to get my money down on Victor Hovland today. Thanks for the great advice. Anyone know how he’s doing today??

ed     June 18
Tony Dungy is a good man ..God bless us all ..

DJ     June 18
@MFC, Amateurs can't wear corporate logos.

KJ     June 18
Here's a cure for the insane Lamar vs Baker twitter nonsense - stay off twitter lol. Seriously, while there is a case to be made that twitter enhances "coverage" of sports in real time, by paid professionals, anyone else with a twitter account and an opinion is mostly a moron right? Or the kid of idiot who calls into a radio station and suggests firing this coach, or that coach. I might scan twitter for coverage of teams or games, not random strangers opinions.

Speaking of coaching, what responsibility does Hyde have for Valaika being a poor defender, a guy who can play "anywhere" but basically is hired to be a moderately competent hitter at times. That whole play was on him. And players like him, ok hitters who can sort of play most positions, get jobs. Plenty of stellar defensive players out there who would never make such ludicrous mistakes, but can't hit .150. Those guys are never offered jobs in the bigs, they just aren't.

Valaika knows if he does not hit when he plays, he is out of a job. So think he works on his fielding much? Fat chance.


MFC     June 18
Watching the US Open and some of the amateurs get TV time. Hope you get some TV shots as well. Suggestions:

1. Where a DMD hat

2. Logo up the shirt with Glory Days, Royal Farm etc.

3. Hope your son is on the bag

4. Pull a Tin Cup but lay-up.



I know it's not the MIAA or the IAAM but Catonsville Girls softball plays for the state championship today versus a tough North County squad. The Comet boys lacrosse play always tough Severna Park tomorrow night for the 4A championship. Two championships games, don't think that's ever happened in school history. I also think Towson boys are in the finals as well.

Congrats to these outstanding public schools.


Tom J     June 18
Hyde has certainly been dealt a losing hand but at what point does he and his coaching staff take some sort of responsibility for the bonehead plays like the rundown? that's fundamentals. Like Jim Palmer said the other night when both the O's and Cleveland were playing like the Bad News Bears with their mishaps, "Did either of these teams have Spring Training"...????

Pauly Dee     June 18
Tony Dungy's witness is inspiring. Thanks for sharing this Drew. I can attest that our expectations v. what happens can be the source of much heartache. However, at the end of the day, God is God, and we are not.

Part of all of our lives: disappointments, a feeling that, 'this isn't fair,' and even suffering.

He knows what's best for us, and we don't comprehend everything. This is difficult to accept, but we move toward being at peace when we do accept it.

unitastoberry     June 18
"I hate to be Debbie Downer, but the chances of the Birds going 38-56 are just a shade better than David Lee Roth re-joining Van Halen for a massive summer tour and all the band members getting along for the better part of 6 months."



Neither is going to happen because the King of Six Fingers passed last October and Daves voice sounds like a cat in heat now. Kids put those cigarettes down!

If the Orioles fire Hyde midseason now they are true idiots.They have no pitiching talent minus Means,no hitting,and no fielding.The good thing is at rock bottom they have no place to go but up.

Delray Rick     June 18
You didn't mention the "out law of green book" which I'm glad to see. These players take up so much time to take their shot. Which I understand has "grid" of the greens. Don't remember JACK using the them. They have have to rely on the caddies


Vince Fiduccia     June 17
This blog is outstanding Drew. So happy for you. Enjoy the ride. God is good.

Jeffrey “Fireball” Roberts     June 17
I know nothing about golf but I do know that God is great. Congratulations and good luck.

Bob S. (AKA: Idiot Caller)     June 17
Why?

Well...why not?!

Congratulations and good luck Drew!

Keith Merrill     June 17
First of all, Drew, congratulations on getting to the Senior Open. What an amazing accomplishment. I first met you in 2006 when I introduced you to my son who was taking up the game and I remember you said something to him about his grip, which was very odd and ugly. "The golf ball doesn't know what kind of grip you have. If it works for you, keep it."



He's 29 now and still has that ugly grip but he just won his club championship in Rhode Island last weekend. In some small way he might owe that to you.



Your lead column today about God's grace was so poignant it brought tears to my eyes. You are right. This is something that can't be explained now, but in the years to come it will all unfold for you and you'll understand it. Just enjoy it and have fun and make some great memories with your friends and family.



Happy for you, my friend -- Keith

Hal     June 17
Your best column ever, Drew. That was an incredibly touching column.

Saturday
June 19
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2490


just needed that home cookin'


So, you see, the Orioles can play winning baseball after all.

It just took returning to Camden Yards for the Birds to get their chakras in line. And a little Cedric Mullins help didn't hurt, either.

A 3-for-4 night and 4 RBI from Cedric Mullins helped the O's beat Toronto on Friday night, 7-1.

Mullins hit 2 homers last night as the O's clobbered the Toronto Blue Jays, 7-1. Someone named Tyler Wells got the pitching victory. I'd make a quip about the Birds needing to "go back to that same well today" but...it's not really all that funny.

13,284 jammed their way into Camden Yards on one of those gorgeous Chamber of Commerce nights in Charm City. There's nothing much else to say about that crowd. There was a time a while back when a mid-June home game on a Friday night would have resulted in a crowd of 30,000 or 35,000. Sadly, those days are gone.

But the winning returned last night, which is far more worthy of discussing here. Mullins -- now hitting .322 -- continued his outstanding 2021 season and will almost certainly be an All-Star in July. And the really good news about Mullins is that Mike Elias will not be fielding trade calls for him as the deadline approaches. That O's are keeping that Baby Bird, for sure.

There's no telling what will happen, roster wise, over the next five or six weeks. The club really only has four decent players (on the 25 man roster, that is) and there's no indication from Elias on their availability at the deadline. Means, Mancini, Mullins and Santander are the only guys anyone would want at this point, although I suppose someone might take Freddy Galvis in a pinch if their starting shortstop suffered a July injury. But the O's aren't getting anything of substance in return for Galvis.

I'm still of the mindset that I'm not good with trading any of the other four I listed unless the O's are able to fleece someone at the deadline, and I just don't see any team giving away the farm for any of those four.

Keep everyone and continue the rebuilding, I say. I realize the record doesn't matter this year and it probably won't matter next year, either. (Editor's note: It sure will be good to have the games matter again someday soon.) But I would hate to see the Birds ship three of those guys out at the deadline and then watch the team totally fall apart in September and finish 47-115. Nothing good comes from losing that much. Keep everyone and let's try and get better.


Here's a request from the peanut gallery: Can we please stop worrying about which athletes have or haven't been vaccinated? Maybe I'm not seeing the ball clearly on this one, but what business is it of mine (or yours) who has or hasn't elected to get the Covid-19 vaccine?

Lamar Jackson commented earlier this week that he's not going to discuss whether or not he's been vaccinated. Right away, people in Baltimore jumped down his throat.

"Well, when someone says they don't want to discuss it, we know they haven't been vaccinated," is the go-to-line for most folks.

Maybe that's true.

Or maybe people just want their personal business to be their personal business.

Either way, why on earth do I care if Lamar Jackson got the Covid vaccine? Why do I care if you got it? I don't, frankly. If you got it, great, and if you didn't, that's fine by me as well.

It's remarkable how our country has shifted to this culture of "we can't delve into anyone's personal life" until a point comes along where our agenda conflicts with that theory and then we let loose. How old are you? Can't ask that. What's your sexual preference? Can't ask that. What's your political affiliation? Can't ask that. Did you get the vaccine? Oh, we can ask that. And if it's not the answer we want -- either way -- we suddenly have the right to offer a critique.

Whether Lamar Jackson felt it necessary to get the vaccine is none of my business. I just don't understand these witch hunts people produce for topics that shouldn't be of any concern to us.


It's interesting that a guy named Richard Bland is co-leading the U.S. Open because that's sorta-kinda what the golf tournament has been thus far...bland. But I suspect that will change over the weekend, as Torrey Pines starts to round into the kind of condition USGA officials were hoping for.

Can Matt Wolff return from a lengthy absence on TOUR and win this week's U.S. Open?

Bland and Russell Henley share the top spot at 5-under. Bland is a 48-year old journeyman from England. Henley is a 32-year old former college hotshot from the University of Georgia who has made a nice living playing on the TOUR for the last decade but is still looking for that breakthrough major victory. He has won three times on TOUR, but the U.S. Open is a totally different beast. This would be huge for Henley if he can somehow navigate the last 36 holes successfully.

Matthew Wolff is one shot back at 4-under par. His story has been well-circulated this week and will become even bigger if he can put it all together and win the golf tournament. Wolff has openly discussed a battle with depression this week, as the former Oklahoma State All-American has been mostly absent from the TOUR in 2021 while going through some serious mental health issues. He was the 3rd round leader at last September's U.S. Open at Winged Foot before falling to a hard-charging Bryson DeChambeau on the last day.

A win for Wolff this weekend would offer some significant exposure to the subject of mental health in our country. Looking for someone to pull for over the next two days? Wolff's your guy.

Phil Mickelson offset an opening round 75 with a much-needed 69 on Friday, finishing at 2 over par and making the cut by two shots. Mickelson's much-improved play on Friday gets him to the weekend and still gives him a shot at completing the career grand slam.

There's really no telling what the final score might be on Sunday night, but it's shaping up to be somewhere around 8 under par. I can't see it being much better than that. And I can see Torrey Pines toughening a bit over the weekend and, perhaps, something like 5 or 6 under winning it. If that happens, Mickelson's +2 score through 36 holes has him well in the mix.

As weird as it sounds, I'm just not sure Torrey Pines has enough teeth in her this week to make the best players in the world pull their hair out. There are lots of good golf holes there and "the test" itself is more than fair, but I'm not seeing any super difficult holes and the conditions are perfect, but far from dangerous. If there's no wet weather over the next 48 hours things might change a bit, but right now, the golf course is holding its own, but not much more than that.

The USGA has apparently learned from some of their past mistakes at places like Winged Foot and Shinnecock Hills. This week, at least, they're not taking the course to the edge of lunacy like they have on occasion in the past.


On a personal note, I wanted to just take a minute this morning to thank all of you who have passed along kind words and well wishes this week. It has meant the world to me. My e-mail inbox had 94 unread messages at one point on Tuesday night, but I got the chance to answer everyone and say "thank you" for reaching out with your support.

This experience of qualifying for the U.S. Senior Open has shed new light on how difficult it is to prepare for and play in a major golf championship. It's a lot of work. Perhaps because I'm new at the whole thing it's been particularly exhausting for me, but I have a new level of respect for TOUR players and professionals in general who play golf for a living.

I've spent most of the last three days trying to take care of all of the details for my trip to Omaha in two weeks. Airfare, hotels, credentials, tournament passes, etc. There are daily memos from the USGA and gobs and gobs of information on what you need to do to play in the U.S. Senior Open. Believe me, it's not something where you just show up and play golf. The information for amateur golfers is particularly lengthy, because we are under different guidelines than professionals. The USGA tells us what we can and can't wear, for example, plus they provide detailed information on what you can and can't accept from club manufacturers, apparel companies and so on.

Aiden McKinney sent me an e-mail earlier this week and wondered if I was going to turn professional for this event and chase the $630,000 first place money.

The quick, easy answer to that is "no". I'd sure love to get my hands on $630,000, but I'm remaining an amateur for the U.S. Senior Open. I realize there's lots of money to be made in a professional golf tournament, but I'm also keenly aware of who and what I am. I'm an amateur golfer who got into a professional event. I'm going to stay that way.

Next week I'll start working on certain aspects of my golf game that need to be fine tuned for the CC of Omaha. I've been fortunate over the last two days to speak to a number of Champions Tour players who have played there previously (they had the Senior Open there in 2013) or are playing there this year on July 8-11. They've all pretty much echoed one another with the same general advice: Work on your wedge game, your chipping and pitching around the greens, and your putting. So that's what I'm going to do over the next 13 days before I leave for the event.

Thanks again to all of you who have reached out or posted comments here. I've read them all. And I appreciate all of them.

BARCS banner ad
Freestate banner ad

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner


Friday
June 18
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2489


so many nuggets


So, yeah, the Orioles lost again on Thursday. This time it was a 10-3 shellacking in Cleveland, although at least the O's didn't author a Keystone Cops moment like they did on Wednesday evening when they botched a rundown and Maikel Franco forgot to cover 3rd base.

But they did manage to lose on the road for the 19th straight time yesterday, which, yes, is a franchise record. Looking for some good news? You've come to the right place. The Orioles are home tonight against the Blue Jays, so the stumble-and-bumble act away from Camden Yards is tabled for now.

Is everyone in Baltimore still comfortable with Brandon Hyde at the helm of the Orioles?

The O's are now 22-46. I'm going to do some simple math for a second, the summary of which should really make you look forward to watching baseball for the rest of the season.

In order for the Orioles to finish the season at 60-102, they'd have to go 38-56 to close out the 2021 campaign. I hate to be Debbie Downer, but the chances of the Birds going 38-56 are just a shade better than David Lee Roth re-joining Van Halen for a massive summer tour and all the band members getting along for the better part of 6 months.

In order for the Orioles to finish at 55-107, they'd have to go 33-61 to close out the season. I mean, I guess there's a way they could go 33-61 if both the Red Sox and Yankees forfeit 8 or 10 games to the O's over the next three months. But, yeah, 55-107 looks like it's not going to happen.

In order for the Orioles to finish at 50-112, they'd have to go 28-66 from here to the finish line. That seems low to me, honestly. I know you're probably laughing by now. Of course they can finish 50-112, they're the Orioles. But I really believe they'll figure out a way to win more than 50 games. 52 or 53? Maybe. But more than 50. So they have that going for them......which is nice.

I'll go ahead and say it now, because, well, anything is possible. 28-66 seems like a reasonable goal for the O's, but let's be honest. They might have a hard time going 28-66. It seems like a no-brainer to say "Come on, man, of course they're going at least 28-66", but I surely wouldn't bet the house on it. Neither would you, I assume.

I honestly haven't had much time to listen to sports radio this week, but I had a half-hour in the car on Thursday and listened to the local FM station and they had two callers suggest that it might be time to part company with Brandon Hyde. I simply don't get that. Sure, under "normal circumstances" a record of 22-46 might be cause for mid-season dismissal, but this 2021 campaign and the roster are far from "normal".

If the Orioles fire Brandon Hyde and (insert name here) takes over, are the players really going to perform better between now and the end of September? I don't think so. The roster isn't good, plain and simple. Firing the manager would be unwise, to me.

I'll put the 2 by 4 away now and stop beating the bloodied horse. The team stinks, obviously, and there are no real signs it's going to get any better between now and October. Just settle in and watch the games and soak in the good and the bad. At least we have a baseball team, right?


I'm constantly amazed at what kind of things on the internet rattle people's cages. Over the last few days, my Twitter timeline has been filled with Ravens fans arguing with Browns fans about Lamar Jackson. In my best Gene Hackman voice from the great movie, The Birdcage, "I don't understand".

What on earth could motivate anyone to get drawn into a Twitter fight over Lamar Jackson throwing passes in mini-camp? Who. Freakin'. Cares?

Browns fans, of course, know precisely how to lather up Ravens fans with mean-spirited commentary about Jackson and his passing skills. Because Ravens fans lose their minds anytime someone criticizes Lamar, they battle back with their testimony about Cleveland's signal caller, Baker Mayfield.

What's wrong with people? The season doesn't start until SEPTEMBER, folks. Sep-tember. It's the 9th month of the year. We're in the 6th month of the year right now. Get it? There's a long way to go between now and when the games matter.

But yet, on a daily basis, Ravens fans are fighting with people about Lamar Jackson. His record speaks for itself. He's been outstanding in the regular season and just OK in the post-season. That's it. That's the summary. You don't need to break down his passing skills or the spiral he throws or whether he leads a receiver too far -- not now, anyway. It's June. No one is actually playing "real" football. These mini-camps have the energy level of a goldfish tank.

Please, those of you who are guilty, stop arguing with other football fans about Lamar Jackson when the season doesn't begin for three more months. If he stinks in the season opener or in week 3 or in week 7, you'll get plenty of Twitter heat and you'll have to somehow defend him. But when he misses Miles Boykin in June on a crossing route, don't let the trolls from Cleveland wind you up.

The optics of this look terrible, I have to say. Arguing with football fans in June -- particularly fans of a team that haven't won anything that mattered in ----- ummmmm ----- forever -- is really a terrible approach. Who cares what happens in mini-camp? NO ONE.


Russell Henley is the clubhouse leader at the U.S. Open, with a 4-under par round of 67 on Thursday. Louis Oosthuizen is also 4-under par, but he wasn't able to finish his first round due to a fog delay on Thursday morning that pushed tee times back a couple of hours.

Torrey Pines certainly held up well on Thursday. Francesco Molinari and Rafa Cabrera-Bello both shot 68 and Brooks Koepka, Xander Schauffele, Hideki Matsuyama and Jon Rahm were in at 69. That was pretty much it in terms of really good scoring.

Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott were both 1 under par, as was Matthew Wolff, who had a bizarre scoring round. He made 8 birdies, along with two double bogeys. He made a grand total of 5 pars on the day. But Wolff sits at 1-under and is very much in the hunt, as is Rory, who is looking to regain his long-lost form in major championships.

All in all, the course was the winner on Thursday. The fairways were almost the perfect width and the rough was enough to create some wacky shots but not "unplayable" or a menace to the competition. The greens were almost flawless as well, although they did get a bit bumpy in the afternoon as the poa annua started to pop.

8 under par -- give or take a shot either way -- figures to be the winning score on Sunday, as long as rainy weather doesn't soften up the greens. That means anyone at 4 over or better still has a chance, although the guess here is that your winner will come from the group of players at even par or better through round one.


I don't have a crystal ball or anything, but I think you're going to see some "control problems" in Major League Baseball over the next week or two.

The reason?

Pitchers are going to band together and safely and carefully hit a batter or two every start in an effort to prove that not allowing them to use a gripping-aid (also known as "foreign substance") is only endangering hitters.

They'll hit a batter or two every game and then be able to say, "You see, we told you that punishing us for using a tacky substance to grip the ball better was only going to lead to more hit batters and, potentially, more injuries."

That, of course, isn't totally true. There is truth to it, for sure. But it's not the sole reason why pitchers want or need to use a substance on the ball.

They pitch better when they can doctor the ball. That's the part they're not really willing to say. But everyone who pays attention knows it's true. Sure, they grip the ball better with a substance on it, but they also throw better pitches with a substance on it and they get more outs with a substance on it.

And so, now that Major League Baseball has decided to suspend guys who are caught with a foreign substance, you're going to see more pitchers showing some puzzling wildness over the next couple of weeks.

If I'm wrong, I'll say so by the end of July. But I don't think I'll be wrong on this one. Pitchers aren't going to lose this fight without trying to prove a point. Watch and see. Batters are going to get pinged every night. By accident, of course.

BARCS banner ad

faith in sports


One of the most inspirational coaches of our generation was Tony Dungy, who won a Super Bowl with the Colts and now serves as a lead analyst on NBC's Sunday Night Football.

Dungy's love for the Lord is featured in today's "Faith in Sports" video, where he talks about a dramatic moment in his coaching tenure.

Thanks, as always, to our friends at Freestate Electric for their support of our Friday feature, "Faith in Sports".


Freestate banner ad

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner
Thursday
June 17
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2488


how do you explain it?


I haven't slept much since Monday night, so please forgive me if this is a little too deep for a Thursday morning.

One and a half hours on Monday evening...

Three and a half hours on Tuesday evening...

And a whole four and a half hours last night...

Yes, I'm starting to get back to normal but I would certainly be fibbing a smidgen if I said "Oh, qualifying for the U.S. Senior Open didn't rock my world at all." It has rocked my ability to sleep, that's for sure.

Anyway, a lot of my idle time over the last two days has been spent wondering "why?".

Why, now, at age 58, did this happen to me?

Why, of the 2,999 people who entered to play in the U.S. Senior Open, did I wind up being one of the 156 who made it into the field?

Why, after several close calls but also plenty of not-so-close-calls, did 2021 happen to be my year?

I realize there's a golf component to it. The simple answer to "why?" is that I played really well on the day I needed to play really well. There have been, of course, plenty of other occasions in my life when I needed to play really well and didn't, such as the Maryland Open qualifier at Prospect Bay in late May when I got off to a horrendous start, scraped my way back into it with six holes to play, then couldn't make a good golf swing for the last 90 minutes of my round.

So, sure, the "golf answer" to the question of why? is very obvious. I played well and I made some putts when I had to make them.

But I can't help but think there's far more to it than that. In fact, I'm thinking the actual golf part is about 10% of the "why?"

I'm not dumb. (Please, no jokes or funny quips needed.) I realize God and faith are touchy subjects these days. I'm not really sure why that it is, but our country has definitely become skittish about faith over the last, oh, 30 or so years.

I shared this story, briefly, when I wrote about my qualifying experience on Tuesday morning, but it's worth elaborating on today. I'm seeing the ball more clearly now, I think, if that makes sense.

Prior to going out for the playoff on Monday, I sat in a chair and just tried to relax, breathe, and drink some water. They were shuttling some marshals out to the playoff hole to help look for golf balls, if necessary, and I had 3 or 4 minutes to myself before the playoff commenced.

For reasons I can't explain, really, I scrolled through my phone and found the team prayer we say at Calvert Hall before every match. We've been doing this since I started at the school in 2013. My first-year team recited the prayer and my 2021 team recited the prayer. It's what we do.

Father, we gather today in your name.

Respecting each other.

Supporting our teammates.

Appreciating our parents and coaches for their efforts in helping us compete to the best of our abilities.

Give us all strength and courage, Father, and know that we're competing today in your glory and to honor your son, Jesus Christ.

When we win, give us humility.

When we lose, give us peace.

Please return us and our opponents and their families home safely today.

And in all that we do, let our lives and our performance today show our love and praise for you and all that you do for us.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle.

(Pray for us)

Live, Jesus in our hearts.

(Forever).

I read that prayer right before the playoff and then just whispered to myself, "God, please just take care of me. If I win, take care of me. If I lose, take care of me. I'm cool either way. Just please take care of me."

And something happened at that point. I can't explain it, really. I've just never felt calmer in my life about something that, well, I probably shouldn't have been all that calm about.

I literally stood up from the chair to go to the first tee and had zero fear or tension or worry. Something happened.

"Faith", they say, is the ability to believe in something when there's no tangible evidence in place to support that belief.

You just "believe", in other words.

And as I got to the first tee, I was overwhelmed with this incredibly weird and distinct feeling that I was going to be the one guy (out of three) to come out of the playoff. It was as if I "knew it", even though, as a golfer, you never, ever, ever really know what's going to happen.

I've played in close to 500 golf tournaments of some kind in my life. I've won 28 of them and lost all the rest. In baseball, that average would get me a year or two in the minors and then I'd be a conversation piece at holiday parties.

"Wasn't he a really good baseball player at one point? I think he even played in the minors!"

But in all of those 28 tournaments I won, I never, ever, ever had the feeling that I had on Monday at 6:30 pm.

I'm not here to explain it. I can't. My buddy Moose Brown from Rolling Road sent me a congratulatory text on Monday and I said that very thing to him. "Thanks pal," I wrote to him. "It was just my day. Hard to explain."

But even if I can't explain it, I can certainly remember the process and the impact saying that prayer had on me. I got up from the chair and I felt like I had never felt before.

I'm not saying at all that God "chose" me to win. Someone here noted the other day about the imbalance of God when you win vs. God when you lose. I've never believed that God says, "Oh, they need to lose today..."

I do believe, though, that God gives something to people for a reason. You might not believe that. And, if you don't, I'm not going to spend any time convincing you otherwise. That's for you to solve -- or not -- on your own terms. Either way, you're still good with me.

But I can't help but believe that God is looking for much more from me than just playing in the U.S. Senior Open. And that's why this is happening to me.

Is this experience going to be what puts my son's love for golf into overdrive? Is that what God's doing? My 13-year old son is "dating" golf right now, which is to say, he plays it, hits some good shots along the way, and shows signs of gaining an affection for it that he didn't have this time two years ago.

But he's definitely not ready to propose to golf. Not yet, anyway. He's still very much in the "dating" portion of his relationship with competitive golf.

He will be going to Calvert Hall this September and next spring he'll try out for the JV golf team. Someday, maybe, he'll play for me on the varsity team, but he knows -- because we've talked about it -- there are no free rides when it comes to making my team. He'll either be good enough or he won't be good enough.

Is God going to use me and my experience at the U.S. Senior Open to push my son to become better at golf and, maybe, someday surpass all of my modest golfing accomplishments? I'd be eternally grateful if that happens.

Might my son abandon golf someday but take up something else and excel at that, in part because he sees how hard I worked to play in a national golf championship at age 58? Is that what God's doing for him? I don't know.

Is this God's way of helping my Calvert Hall team and the student-athletes I coach? Might they take the sport more seriously now? Might they upgrade their own dreams and aspirations because of my experience in Omaha?

Could this experience be the catalyst for some of my talented golfing friends to work harder to achieve their golf dreams? Is that what's happening? I have a lot of friends who are outstanding players. I have a lot of friends who have much better golf swings than I do, truth be told. What they need, though, is to believe they're really good. And what they need, too, is to understand that anything can be accomplished if you really put your mind to it.

Is this the moment they say, "Gee, if Drew can do it, so can I!"? Is that what God's doing? If so, that would be really cool as well.

I remember once, a long, long time ago, playing a U.S. Open qualifying round with a TOUR player named Jeff Brehaut. Ironically, the round we shared was at Eagle's Nest, 15 years before I'd become a member at that club.

Brehaut was a "'regular" guy on TOUR, trying to make a living at playing golf. He didn't win events or anything like that. In fact, the mere idea that he'd be playing in the local qualifier in Baltimore showed how little status he had on the PGA Tour. He was hanging on, basically.

Long story short, Brehaut shot 68 that day and advanced to the next stage and I shot 72 and didn't advance.

On the ride home, I tried to figure out the difference between Brehaut and I. I went through the scorecard and realized we shared the same exact score on 14 of the 18 holes. On the other four, though, he beat me by one shot.

That round of golf gave me some clarity. I didn't win or beat Jeff Brehaut, but it showed me that I was capable of beating him. Now, over the long haul, he was a much, much better player than I was. He played on TOUR and I played on Saturday mornings at Clifton Park. But watching Jeff Brehaut up close and personal did something for me. It gave me hope.

A good friend of mine for the last 20 years, Brian Woods, had an exemplary competitive golf record a decade or so ago. Life and children and business changed his direction a bit and golf wasn't as important to him as it once was, and that's totally fine and understandable. But he was an outstanding player when he was "into it".

Maybe God pushed me on Monday in an effort to push Brian to get back into the competitive arena? I'm sure Brian is thinking, "Gee, if that bum can play in the U.S. Senior Open, I'm sure I can if I put my mind to it!" If so, that's totally fine by me.

I'm hoping anyone reading this has something in their life they'd like to accomplish and that my recent success reminds them that "anything can happen". If you work hard enough at something, you have no idea what might come of it. It doesn't have to be golf, by the way. It might be bowling. Or long distance running. Or it could be business related, etc.

I don't know the answers, but I have a weird, weird feeling that God is doing this for a lot of reasons and none of them are really about me. And that's awesome. Whatever good comes out of this, I'm totally cool with it.

My friend Larry Moody, the longtime Champions Tour chaplain, set up a Monday, July 5th practice round for me with 2-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer. Bernhard and I exchanged brief texts on Wednesday afternoon and he suggested I call him in the next few days to chat about the tournament in advance of arriving on July 3rd.

My first question for Bernhard, who is a devout Christian, will be the one I'm asking myself. "Why do you think God has graced me with this opportunity?" I'm excited to hear his answer.

It's an open ended question.

"Why?"

With a lot of potential answers.

BARCS banner ad

"The Keen Eye" of
David Rosenfeld

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


fore!


The other day I was watching golf on television, which is unusual for me besides the majors. They were playing at this cool course in South Carolina; for the second year in a row because of COVID, there was no Canadian Open, so this was the replacement.

A guy named Chesson Hadley, the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 2014, was on his way to victory. It would have been his first PGA Tour win since that year. And he blew it, plain and simple. It led to that weird situation where the guy who won, South African Garrick Higgo, found out about Hadley’s 18th-hole bogey from a cameraman while pretending to practice on the range.

To be honest, I was about ready to forget the whole thing when I saw what Hadley said afterwards. He hadn’t just bogeyed 18 but also 16 and 17, and he hadn’t looked so professional while doing it.

“I can only imagine what it looked like on TV because it looked freakin' awful from my view,” Hadley said.

And then, according to press reports, he left the course and headed to Bojangles. If you were watching, you’d have noticed he wears the logo on his collar, and there are probably 50 of them on the four-hour drive from the course to his home in Raleigh.

How great is that? I don’t know about you, but I wish everybody was like that. Hell, I wish I was like that, and not about golf. The guy could have changed the direction of his career and his life just by hitting a couple fairways and greens and there he was half-joking about it 30 minutes later.

We get trained as sports fans to love winners. We’re told that the goal is to be the ultimate competitor—maybe not to Michael Jordan standards, but pretty close. We’re supposed to be critical when a PGA Tour player leads by four strokes heading into Sunday and shoots a 75 to finish second.

I just think it’s ok to love the guy who doesn’t win, too. In fact, that guy—Hadley, in this case—is much more like you and me than Tiger or Phil or Rory. And he’s probably a better example, too, because he doesn’t walk around expecting to win, or expecting to get anything unless he deserves it.

Instead of trying to speak around what happened to him when asked, he told you exactly what he felt—that he was having trouble keeping the ball on the planet, as golfers would say. He wasn’t defensive or filled with pride; instead, he was almost apologetic to the people that were watching back home.

And sure, maybe he got that Bojangles for free. But I’m guessing his deal with them isn’t exactly like Tiger’s with Buick and Tag Heuer and whoever else. Like a lot of golfers, he was looking for some comfort food after finishing his round, and as a local he knew exactly where to get it.


Here’s a question. Why would it be a big deal to have Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka (and someone else) play together for the first two rounds of the U.S. Open? Why would it be a big deal to have anyone play with anyone?

You’re not playing against them; if you are thinking that way, it’s probably a mistake. You’re concentrating on your own ball, and the only thing you’d expect from the people playing with you is that they follow rules and etiquette.

There’s a famous story about Ben Hogan, a taciturn guy if there ever was one. He was playing in The Masters in a group with Claude Harmon, Butch’s dad. On the famous 12th hole over Rae’s Creek, Harmon made a hole-in-one. Hogan, meanwhile, hit a good shot to about 10 feet and made the putt.

Walking off the green, according to Harmon, Hogan said “that’s the first time I’ve ever made a birdie on that hole. What did you have?” Hogan, sincerely and honestly, did not know that Harmon had aced the hole.

Certainly most people would be more aware of their surroundings than Hogan, if that story is actually true. But I don’t understand any expectation that a player would be paired with other players that they’d prefer to play with. That’s for practice rounds and maybe the Ryder Cup.

I do understand that the tour and the USGA and whoever else runs tournaments do not choose threesomes randomly. I joked with Drew the other day that he should be paired with two of the six Masters Champions in this year’s Senior Open field, knowing full well that he will instead likely be paired with two other amateur players. There are world rankings to consider, and television is a big deal too. Some of the best coverage of golf tournaments these days are the “featured” groups webcasts, where one group is followed for every shot of 18 holes.

I also understand that it’s probably comfortable for Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth when they play together. They can talk about what they might want for dinner or what they did on their off week. But both of them are going to play far more professional rounds with people who aren’t their best friends than they will with their buddies. That’s for playing back home or in some charity tournament. In the U.S. Open, how can there be any expectation that anything will be comfortable?

Now, I don’t think that the USGA should have felt compelled to bend to social media pressure or just tried to be cheeky by putting Koepka and DeChambeau together specifically because of some silly back-and-forth or because Brandel Chamblee was talking about it. At the same time, I also don’t think they should intentionally do other things, like place three South African golfers together to make a story as they’ve done this year.

In the end, whoever wins the thing won’t have any recollection of whom they played with on Thursday anyway.


There continues to be talk about greens books and anchoring putters. Rory McIlroy says the books should go away post haste, even though he uses them. I don’t think that the aforementioned DeChambeau would be able to make a two-footer without one. Meanwhile, the anchoring debate is no longer about the chest/torso and has transitioned to the “arm lock” style. The player is just anchoring his putter to a different part of his body.

My opinion—and I admittedly don’t play well enough to have an important opinion—is that all of it should be allowed. The player still has to follow through on his knowledge and “advantage” by making the putt, right?

To me, the problem with the books is not the books themselves but how the players are using them. They’re a great thing for caddies; no need to spend hours stalking every green developing their own notes for their player. The issue is that the players aren’t spending enough time studying them beforehand and too much time studying them once their ball is on the green.

As for anchoring, I’ve never understood why it was banned. It’s fine if there are rules about golf clubs and how they must “conform.” After that, it shouldn’t make a difference how a player uses those conforming clubs. Stick your eight-iron against your arm if that helps!

If the governing bodies decided that putters can only be a certain length or shorter, then players would have to adjust to that decree or be penalized for breaking that rule. If a putter of a certain length is allowable, though, how the player decides to use it should be immaterial.

As a side note, I think that the face-on “croquet-style” method of straddling the ball, long ago banned, should be completely legal. Is the point of putting a contest to see who can best get the ball in the hole while standing to the side of it, or simply to see who best can get the ball in the hole?

At the 1967 Masters, Bob Jones came up to Sam Snead and told him that what he was doing “didn’t look like golf.” That set in motion the ban—as Sports Illustrated wrote in 1967, “for the first time in golfing history, the game’s ruling bodies were telling a man how he had to hit the ball.”

Webb Simpson uses the arm lock method. The last time I checked, he doesn’t win every tournament in which he competes. He also has to hit other shots in order to get to the green. I’m sure he thinks that it’s an “advantage” for him to putt that way, but it’s really just something that he feels is better for him than the traditional style. Those are two separate things.

Anyway, I guess the point is this. Good luck with that long putter in Omaha, Drew, and tell Bernhard that I don’t understand why they made him change what he was doing a few years ago.

Freestate banner ad

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner
Wednesday
June 16
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#2487


"your brand...is chaos"


Just for kicks yesterday afternoon, I threw a ball down on the practice green at Eagle's Nest and lined up a 15-foot putt. I missed the first one. And the second one. And I also missed the third one.

On the fourth attempt, I turned the putter around and hit the next putt with the back edge of the putter. That one also missed.

I then turned the putter so the forward part of the toe was facing the ball and hit that putt, the way you would, perhaps, if your ball was nestled against the collar of the rough. That one also missed.

Finally, I closed my eyes. And I hit the putt. And...it went in.

Moral of the story? At some point, you're bound to make it, no matter what method you choose. It's just inevitable that you'll make the putt eventually, somehow.

So how on earth can the Orioles lose 17 straight road games? That was the point of the putting exercise, by the way. Just to prove a point that, somehow, you wind up beating the odds and being successful.

The O's dreary 7-2 loss in Cleveland last night was the team's 17th consecutive defeat away from Camden Yards. I would say it's impossible to be that bad until you realize the Diamdondbacks gave up 4 runs in the bottom of the 8th last night in San Francisco to lose, 9-8, and drop their 21st straight road game. Heck, the O's have lost 17 in a row on the road and they're not even the worst team in the league!

I realize wins and losses don't matter in this season of "Unconcerned Losing" but anyone who doesn't grimace with each passing game when the Birds can't play Major League caliber baseball is ignoring reality. It's awful to lose this much and with this degree of regularity and embarrassment.

17 straight road losses.

At some point, doesn't the other team have a hangover from a night out on the town? Or don't they all get the flu at one time? Or, perhaps, do their chakras all not line up right on the same evening? I mean, you just can't lose every night in baseball. The other team is only half-interested about 35% of the time as it is.

Maybe the Birds should try closing their eyes. It certainly can't yield a worse result than the one they're already producing night in and night out.


My friend Kevin Van Valkenburg of ESPN.com wrote a compelling piece two days ago urging the USGA to pair Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau together for the first two rounds of the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.

Van Valkenburg's main points of emphasis were all rather legitimate. "Your brand...is chaos," he wrote about the U.S. Open and the USGA's quest to create an incredibly difficult golf course once a year that tests every fiber of a player's ability level. The USGA is the United States Golf Association, the governing body of the U.S. Open and other national golf championships in our country.

Van Valkenburg was correct there. While TV announcers over the years have probably stayed away from using the word "chaos", that's precisely what the USGA has created from time-to-time in places like Shinnecock Hills, Oakmont, Winged Foot, Southern Hills and the most memorable recent fiasco, Chambers Bay in 2015.

They don't say it publicly, of course, but the USGA works hard to sift through the field and drive everyone completely nuts until only one poor soul is left standing on Sunday night with the trophy in his hands. The golf course is always "right on the edge", with high rough, crazy-fast greens, torturing pin positions and, of course, the lure of winning the national golfing championship and having your life changed forever.

His other point was that a Koepka-DeChambeau pairing was precisely what the fans wanted, including, he surmised, the fan bases of both competitors. I see the merit in that argument, too, but I steadfastly disagree that it should have been a produced, organized pairing by the USGA. If the two wind up paired together somehow because the scores yield that grouping, it will, without question, make for remarkable sport. This is not a wrestling gag where Greg "The Hammer" Valentine vows to choke Bob Backlund to death in the ring. Koepka said on Tuesday, "We just don't like one another, it's that simple." It's a "real" feud, if that makes sense.

But putting them together for purposes of fanning the flames of what has become a childish, middle-school episode doesn't really do anything at all for the sport. It showcases two jerks and allows fans of either or both players to also act like lunatics, but in no way, shape or form is it "good" for the sport. Increasing social media content is good. Getting above-the-fold coverage of the U.S. Open is certainly favorable. Being the lead story on the sports networks can't be bad.

However, it's not good if the fans can't control themselves -- which, for sure, we already know they can't and they won't. And it's not really all that good for the 3rd guy in the group, whomever that might be. He has to deal with nitwits in the crowd yelling and screaming all day and he has to play in the middle of self-produced tension that certainly can't be ignored.

And here's the other thing: both players are in bad positions here. The USGA released the pairings on Tuesday afternoon and, per recent tradition, DeChambeau (the reigning U.S. Open champ) is paired with the reigning U.S. Amateur champion (Tyler Strafaci) and the current Masters champion (Hideki Matsuyama). The USGA, answering to media inquiries, didn't say anything about a proposed Koepka-DeChambeau pairing, but both players said on Tuesday they were not contacted about the possbility of the much-discussed grouping for rounds 1 and 2.

That said, DeChambeau was on the record as saying he "welcomed the opportunity" and Koepka, on point with his silly brand, shrugged his shoulders and mumbled something about "not caring what they do" and so on and so forth. I tend to lose interest rather quickly when I see or read something from Koepka.

Both players had to play that role on Tuesday. If DeChambeau would have whined about a potential pairing with his nemesis, Koepka would have given out more free beer to his frat boy following. And if Koepka would have said, "I don't want to play with that creep ever again," he would have been going so far off-brand his throng of supporters might have unfollowed him on Snapchat. And, you know, we can't be getting unfollowed on Snapchat these days.

Golf is better off without those two knuckleheads getting intentionally paired with each other. As Justin Thomas said on Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Open is about the golf tournament itself, not those two players and their petty squabble. I couldn't agree more. If you're a Brooks Koepka fan, go watch and support him. If you're a Bryson DeChambeau fan, go watch and support him. But pairing those two guys together in an effort to create "chaos" is just asking for trouble.

Maybe, as my friend Van Valkenburg noted, that's what "the people" want. And, someday, they're bound to get it through the natural pairings of score-related groupings. For now, though, just let everyone go play golf and try and beat the chaotic golf course.

The USGA got this one right. And I'm sure their Snapchat account numbers diminishing in droves proved that they got it right.


Charles Barkley is fed up with not being able to blast the women of San Antonio any longer and he's not holding back.

The popular -- and, if you ask me, excellent -- NBA analyst blasted the folks at Turner on Tuesday after, he says, they instructed him to discontinue his long-running joke mocking the women of San Antonio.

"You can't even have fun nowadays without these characters trying to get you canceled," Barkley said. "I'm trying to hang on for two more years until I'm 60 and then they can kiss my a**."

It's fair to note that much of Barkley's on-air shtick about the women of San Antonio concerns their weight, which, of course, is an incredibly touchy subject. The NBA Hall of Famer has called them "the big ol' women of San Antonio" throughout his TV career and has generally picked on them in a way that has made network officials take notice and issue a warning to him.

"All we ever talk about behind the scenes now is, 'Yo man, be careful going in this direction,' Barkley told 106.7 FM in Washington D.C. this week. "We can't even have fun anymore. We've had fun together all these years, and now all of a sudden in the last year and a half, everybody's trying to get everybody fired and it really sucks."

Barkley then slam dunked the media interview with this gem: "A lot of our bosses are cowards."

I can't imagine that one went over well with the higher ups at TNT. It's one thing to have a popular on-air host throw a veiled swipe or two at the executives. It's another to call them cowards. At least he didn't mention them by name. Not yet, anyway.

The guess here is there will be some sort of rebuttal by the folks at TNT today. I'm not sure they'll suspend Barkley, but they're also not going to take being called "cowards" by a well-paid employee very well.

BARCS banner ad

#dmd's u.s. open top 12


A lot of things about the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines will be different than the annual January TOUR event played at the outstanding La Jolla, California venue.

For starters, the January tour stop uses both the North and South Course. The U.S. Open on June 17-20 will only use the South course.

Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California will host this year's U.S. Open golf championship.

In January, the fairways are typically 40-44 yards wide, with some holes stretching out to 55-60 yards wide.

At this year's U.S. Open, they'll be more like 26-32 yards wide on virtually every hole.

A typical winning score at Torrey Pines in January is somewhere around 15-under par for four days.

In 2008, when Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate finished tied after 72 holes, they were both 1-under par.

I suspect this year's winner of the U.S. Open will be in the 6 or 7 under par range.

Who will the winner be?

That's why we're here! We'll go through our 11 favorites for the 2021 U.S. Open before giving you our projected winner on Wednesday, June 16. We've gone back and done some fairly extensive research, not only on the last 12 January events played at Torrey Pines, but we've also reviewed the last six years of events at Pebble Beach and Riveria as well. Those facilities are similar in nature to Torrey Pines and you can find some good trends and patterns by looking at those two courses along with Torrey.

So let's look at our list of 12 favorites, shall we?

#DMD says Viktor Hovland is the man to beat this week at Torrey Pines.

At #12, we started off with Marc Leishman. #11 was Phil Mickelson. #10 was Kevin Streelman. #9 was Akshay Bhatia. #8 was Paul Casey. #7 was Jordan Spieth. #6 was Billy Horschel. #5 was Matt Kuchar. #4 was Bryson DeChambeau. #3 was Patrick Cantlay. #2 was Jason Kokrak.

#1 Viktor Hovland ---I can give you fancy stats if you want them. 5th in FedEx Cup points. He drives it 300 yards on average. Hits 68% of the greens. Makes tons of birdies per-round.

If you want stats, they're all there to support Viktor Hovland. The kid is a legitimate star in the making, and the thought here is that Torrey Pines will be his ultra-official coming out party. People who follow golf know about the 23-year old Norwegian. He won the U.S. Amateur and followed that up by being part of the NCAA Champion Oklahoma State golf team. He then came out on TOUR in the summer of 2019 and won right away. He's a baller.

With the thick rough at Torrey Pines presenting a unique challenge, it's reasonable to conclude that a player with a steeper golf swing -- like DeChambeau at Winged Foot last year -- has a solid chance of being able to more easily move the ball out of the rough. That's where Hovland gets his edge. He's a big, strong kid and his steep golf swing should give him an edge when he doesn't find the fairway.

He does have a blemish, as most young players do. He's not a great chipper of the golf ball. But his numbers in that department have improved dramatically in 2021 and the thought here is when you hit 68% of the greens, chipping loses its value at some point.

Hovland is our predicted winner this week. We love his golf game, his approach and his experience in significant U.S. tournaments. It's his time to shine.

Freestate banner ad


SUCH
a sports fan

MARK SUCHY is a lifelong Baltimore sports fan, youth basketball coach and father of three athletic sons. A former weekend sports radio host in Baltimore, "Such" offers his memories and insights on sports related topics each Wednesday here at #DMD.


35 years


It was Tuesday afternoon, and I was at my desk working on a proposal, when the text from my son came through. All three of my sons are avid basketball fans. They play the game, they watch college and professional basketball, and they read and follow the history of it. Some of our roadtrips consist of listening to different podcasts on basketball. We’re a little dorky about the sport.

The text ringer sounded and I picked up my phone. It was from Mark.

Him: You should check this out. (Sends me a screenshot of The Ringer podcast, Bill Simmons and The Book of Basketball 2.0, Introducing “What If? The Len Bias Story”)

Me: I will. Coming up on the anniversary of his death. 35 years.

Him: Old head.

Me: All our funny debates about Lebron and MJ always makes me think of Lenny (crying single tear emoji).

Him: I believe you.

Me: Plus he was our guy.

Him: I’m well aware.

Me: That’s because I’m a great father (laughing tears emoji).

Him: Hahaha yah that’s why.

I stopped working for a few minutes and sat in silence. I looked at our text exchange again. Had I really typed thirty-five years? Thirty-five years?

Yes. Thirty-five years.


I’m a big fan of Bill Simmons’ work. To me there’s no current writer who loves the game of basketball and has chronicled its modern history as thoroughly and as accurately as him. His Book of Basketball is outstanding; it’s so deeply researched and so well laid out that I think it’s a true masterpiece that any fan of the game should own.

Simmons has a deep appreciation for the history of the NBA and the men who play the game. He grew up a fan of the Boston Celtics, and he was fortunate enough to have witnessed the Larry Bird era Celtics firsthand. When he writes or discusses those Celtics teams, I pay attention. It’s akin to hearing stories about the Johnny Unitas era Baltimore Colts from the people who saw those teams play.

I will admit to having a tinge of jealousy towards Simmons’ formative years as a sports fan. By the time I was coming of age in Baltimore, the Bullets had already headed south to the Capital Center. As a basketball-obsessed kid, I never really had a team to call my own. I loved the game, but it was always easier to find a college game on television than a pro one in the mid-1970’s in Baltimore.

It must have been thrilling to grow up as a fan of a legendary franchise like the Celtics during a run of excellence like they enjoyed with Bird.

I’ve heard Simmons, and lots of other NBA pundits, write and talk about Len Bias over the years. It’s always speculation and conjecture. But that’s all it can ever be, because Len Bias died. He died before anyone would even see him on a practice court in the NBA. So why go through any exercise about what he could have been, what he might have accomplished, how he would have kept the Celtics atop the league?

This, of course, is directly related to the fact that it was the Boston Celtics who picked him second overall in the 1986 NBA Draft. If Bias had been selected by the Sacramento Kings or the Indiana Pacers or the Milwaukee Bucks, I think it’s highly doubtful that his death would still resonate so deeply thirty-five years later. But when royalty calls on you, you’re forever knighted.

And so Len Bias will be basketball royalty as long as people who remember June 19, 1986 are still alive to tell stories about that day and that man.

But no matter how much people assume and project, it always bothers me a bit. No matter how much a die-hard Celtics fan wants to say Bias’ death was painful for them, it can’t measure up to what I felt, and what I still feel, thirty-five years later.

Because I saw him play. I will always remember how it felt when he made another extraordinary, unthinkable move, or just floated above everyone else and feathered in a jumper, or made it seem as if the rafters were shaking at Cole Field House when he soared and hammered home another gravity-defying dunk.

Because that was Len Bias. And Len Bias was forever a Maryland Terrapin.


Len Bias exploded into my basketball consciousness in February of 1983. It was a Saturday afternoon, and my father and I were watching the Maryland Terrapins play at Georgia Tech on the Raycom/Jefferson Pilot Game of the Week. (Quick sidenote: Damn, I loved the ACC).

Sometime in the second half, in a relatively close game, Maryland’s Adrian Branch lofted up what looked to be an errant pass from the left elbow. What nobody saw, especially the Georgia Tech defense, was a freshman forward for the Terps streaking from the corner along the baseline to the rim.

As the ball approached the corner of the backboard, Len Bias soared, caught it two-handed, and threw down a vicious dunk. His head was literally at the rim as he finished the flush. I can still see the Maryland bench erupting in the background.

That was it for me. I was sold. All in. Give me more, please. Lots more.

My earliest sports memories are centered on Maryland basketball. I grew up on the early 1970’s teams with Len Elmore, John Lucas, Tom McMillen and Mo Howard. In 1976, my favorite Terrapin at the time, Steve Sheppard, made the U.S. Olympic team, and I watched every minute of every game that summer from Montreal just to see him play.

When Lefty Driesell lured Albert King from Christ the King High School in New York City to College Park, I had a new favorite. King was a consensus All-American, and he would be the centerpiece of a team that had all the parts to win a National Championship. That, obviously, was not meant to be.

But I loved watching King play. He was long and rangy, and he had a soft, almost silky touch on his mid-range jumper. He seemed to elevate effortlessly, and he always dunked with a flourish. He might have been thin, but he was tough and clutch and always on the floor at the most important moments. I used to try and imitate King’s floating foul-line jumper while shooting around on my driveway hoop, but I knew I could never match his gracefulness.

From February of 1983 until March of 1986, I sort of forgot about Albert King.

As Bias matured physically and developed his offensive game, it became clear rather quickly that there had never been a player quite like him in Maryland basketball history. He had every skill a great player needed, and he just kept improving. Maryland always had great players on their teams, but the idea that the very best player in the country was a Terp seemed impossible before Bias.

After their 1984 ACC Tournament title, though, I had no doubts. I would tell anyone whenever college basketball discussions arose that Len Bias was the best player in the country. The fact that he was only a junior made me positively giddy with anticipation for the next two seasons.

And that was the thing about Len Bias that I will always remember above everything else: He never disappointed us. He never failed to not only live up to such high expectations, he typically went beyond them. He never got hurt. He never got into any fights. He just led, and the rest of his teammates followed, eager to see how far they could go together.

Everyone who watched Bias play has their own favorite memories. I wrote “memories” intentionally because it’s fairly impossible to pick just one. The steal and reverse jam against Carolina in the Dean Dome? The showdowns against Michael Jordan? The MVP performance during the weekend of the 1984 ACC Tournament? The way he seemingly held his body in midair before releasing his jumper?

How about the night against Duke at Cole when he started the game with four consecutive alley-oop dunks? I was there, and it seemed as if Keith Gatlin was farther away from the basket with each successive pass. I swear Gatlin threw the last one from midcourt.

Watching Len Bias play basketball, especially if you were fortunate enough to see him in person, stretched the limits of credulity. Every time he did something you couldn’t quite believe was possible, there was an encore. He really was that good, and he made every Terps fan feel that good.

And he was ours.


June 19, 1986 dawned like a thousand other summer days. I was 19 years old, rapidly and willingly falling farther behind my peers academically and professionally thanks to my own self-destructive behaviors. It would take me a very long time to finally and ultimately admit my weaknesses.

I spent that summer working on the grounds maintenance crew at Towson Golf & Country Club. It was a good job for an undisciplined boy like me. I had to wake up before dawn and head over to the course to help set up for the day. Somehow, even though I knew very little about the game of golf, I was tasked with setting the pin placements each morning.

I thought I was doing a great job until the day I set a cup three feet from the collar of a green. Apparently that was a little too close for the members’ liking. I received a rather firm lecture on the standards of pin placements from the superintendent. Live and learn, I suppose.

It was sometime around the middle of the morning, and I was working inside of a greenside bunker on the 3rd hole. We were rebuilding it after it had washed out. It was hot. I was digging and shoveling sand out of the trap and into a utility cart when our assistant superintendent drove up to check on our progress.

“Hey Such,” he called out. “I just heard on the radio that the basketball player we were talking about yesterday died this morning.” We had been discussing the NBA Draft during breaks over the past few days, and I had told him excitedly about the great Len Bias and how he was going to be a superstar and help the Celtics win lots of championships.

I was slightly puzzled. Sweat was pouring down my face as I looked up out of the bunker. “Who?” I asked him, “Chris Washburn?” I was certain that if anyone from the Draft had passed away, it would have to be the immensely talented but troubled N.C. State star. Washburn already had some run-ins that past winter involving discipline and drug use.

“No, no,” he replied, “It’s the guy from Maryland. Why can’t I remember his name? You’ve been talking about him for days.”

“Not Bias,” I asserted firmly. “There’s no way.”

“Yep, that’s it. They found him in his dorm room. They’re saying it was a heart attack. It’s all over the news, on every channel,” he said flatly.

Len Bias? Dead? Heart attack? What?

I continued working, picking up my pace feverishly, as if somehow by digging faster the lunch break would arrive sooner, and I could go to the barn and confirm my suspicion that my friend was mistaken. It had to be Washburn. There was no way someone as physically fit and as physically gifted as Len Bias had died of a heart attack. No way.

I don’t remember much about that lunch break, or the rest of that day, to be honest.

I do remember coming home and picking up The Evening Sun at the end of my parents’ driveway and seeing the huge headline. Maybe I watched a little bit of the evening news, maybe not. I’m not one to overindulge in tragedy and the overwhelming media coverage of it. I don’t need videotape of the suffering of others to confirm that something terrible has occurred.

After all, my own heart was broken. That was more than enough.


Part of the reason I don’t engage in speculation about what Len Bias would have achieved as a professional basketball player lies in the careers of the players picked in that 1986 NBA Draft.

The two players who had the longest careers from that draft were Dell Curry (you might have heard about his sons), who was picked 15th overall by the Utah Jazz, and a guard from the University of Richmond named Johnny Newman, taken 29th by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Both of them enjoyed 16 seasons in the league.

John Salley and Mark Price, both from Georgia Tech, were picked 11th and 25th, respectively. Baltimore’s own David Wingate was chosen 44th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers, and he had a 15-year NBA career. With the 27th pick of the first round, the Detroit Pistons drafted a guy nobody who followed college basketball had ever heard of named Dennis Rodman. I can’t recall ever seeing a Southeastern Oklahoma State game on television.

Obviously, any draft in any professional sports league is full of unknowns. But I bring up these names to prove just how futile it is to imagine what Bias would have accomplished as a pro. Washburn, taken right after him at #3 by the Golden State Warriors, was out of the NBA after two seasons and just 72 games played.

Two of Bias’ competitors for National Player of the Year in 1985-86, Walter Berry of St. John’s and Pearl Washington of Syracuse, were both done professionally after only three years. They were both wonderful college basketball players.

For me, any automatic assumption about Bias becoming a dominant pro is fundamentally flawed when you look at those players I mentioned. He could have had nagging injuries that would have curtailed his career. He could have had off-court issues personally or domestically that would have detracted from his on-court performance. He could have been bad at managing his money and gotten mixed up with shady agents or hangers-on. There’s simply no way to rubber stamp his ticket to Springfield and The Basketball Hall of Fame.

In no way am I attempting to cast aspersions on Len Bias the person or Len Bias the basketball player. Unless one of my sons magically appears in a Maryland uniform, Len Bias will always be my favorite Terp. There are others in the history of the program who come close for me, but Bias will always hold the top spot.

Maybe the reason that Simmons and other Celtics fans like to project Bias’ career is because it was right there in front of them, the whole dream of this incredibly talented young player joining a championship team, and then it wasn’t. That’s disappointing and understandable.

The difference for me is that I already knew. I knew he would be great because I saw every second of his greatness at Maryland. And it honestly hurts too much to ponder what could never be, because it hurts too much to remember that awful day. I still haven’t listened to that podcast. I don’t know if I will.


Thirty-five years is a long time, longer than many people are blessed to live, Len Bias included.

A lot has happened in that time. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life thirty-five years ago, and I’m still working on figuring that out. Nineteen-year-old me could have never envisioned having three sons and buying each of them a custom-made Maryland basketball jersey with “Bias 34” stitched on it. They still wear them occasionally, and invariably people stop them to ask where they got them. They’re really sharp, I have to admit.

Thirty-five years later I still feel a mix of pride and sorrow and warmth and melancholy whenever I think about Len Bias. I never blamed him for the circumstances surrounding his death. How could I? That would have been the height of hypocrisy given my own issues. I loved basketball and yet I had quit on trying to improve as a player. Len Bias never quit. I paid attention to that, mixed-up as I was.

I stopped trying to figure out the vagaries of life and death a long time ago. I think we’ll drive ourselves mad if we linger on questions that will never have answers. Thirty-five years ago we know the how about Len Bias’ death, but none of us will ever know the why. That’s as unknowable as what he would have accomplished as a Boston Celtic.

This Saturday I’ll pause and reflect on all of the joy that I knew because I was fortunate enough to watch Len Bias play basketball. This year, though, this particular anniversary, I’ll be sure to remember his parents, James and Lonise. Because thirty-five years later I’m a parent of three young men who are Len Bias’ age.

When Larry Bird was informed of the death of Len Bias, he said, “That’s the cruelest thing I’ve ever heard.”

I don’t think he was talking about basketball.

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner
I Am Catholic


#dmd comments








Joe     June 22
@ Chris K is sorely mistaken if he thinks Camden Yards attendance is not tied, in part, to the safety conditions in the City. The last I looked, the Ravens have empty seats at most of their games, over the past 2-3 years, even if the seats are sold. Wonder why this is happening? The City is worse off today than during the 90's...period.

Brian Jessup     June 22
I rest my case.



NCAA penalizes Creighton basketball program for violations tied to former assistant coach in FBI probe

A former Bluejays assistant accepted $6,000, and the school now faces sanctions though he never kept the money

Matt Norlander



By Matt Norlander

1 hr ago

3 min read

creighton-court-logo.jpg

Getty Images

The NCAA Committee on Infractions handed out six penalties against Creighton's men's basketball program Tuesday, announcing it was punishing the school alongside issuing a two-year show-cause penalty against former Bluejays assistant Preston Murphy.



Creighton is not being punished with a postseason ban. Instead, its most severe sanctions are tied to recruiting visits, all of which were self-imposed by the school and subsequently accepted by the COI.



Creighton had been subject to a years-long probe by the NCAA, though the school never publicly acknowledged that reality. The case was tied to the federal government's investigation into fraud and bribery in college basketball, which led to five people being sentenced to federal prison.



Murphy is not explicitly named in the Committee on Infractions' report, but he was the subject of the probe due to his relationship with convicted felon Christian Dawkins. Murphy left Creighton in November 2019 after being put on a months-long leave. He was captured on surreptitious FBI video in Las Vegas in July 2017, in a posh hotel suite, accepting $6,000 from undercover FBI agents. Murphy was never charged with a crime, and Dawkins testified that Murphy never kept any of the money, which was offered under the guise of helping to funnel players to Dawkins' company.



Despite an absence of proof that Murphy kept any of the money, the captured-on-video act of initially accepting the payment in the hotel suite was enough for the NCAA to issue him a two-year show-cause penalty, which means a school would have to "show cause" why Murphy should not be subject to the ban. The NCAA states Murphy "provided false or misleading information about his actions during the investigation."



Here is what the NCAA is serving to Creighton, which has the option to appeal if it so chooses.



Two years of probation.

A $5,000 fine plus 1% of the men's basketball program budget.

A reduction of men's basketball scholarships by one per year for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 academic years (self-imposed by the university).

A reduction of men's basketball official visits by six during the 2021-22/2022-23 rolling two-year period (self-imposed by the university).

A reduction in the number of men's basketball recruiting person days by 10% from the previous four-year average for the two-year probationary period (self-imposed by the university).

The university will prohibit complimentary admission to home games for all prospects and coaches in November 2021 (self-imposed by the university).

A two-year show-cause order for the former assistant coach. During that period, any NCAA member school employing him must restrict him from any athletically related duties unless it shows cause why the restrictions should not apply.

"Although the committee found that the assistant coach did not take any further action following the meeting, the meeting violated NCAA rules because the receipt of money formalized a business relationship between the assistant coach and the management company for the purpose of using the coach for access to student-athletes," the Committee on Infractions (COI) said in its release.



Creighton athletic director Bruce Rasmussen also failed to report the "potential violation," according to the COI. Rasmussen knew months before that Murphy had accepted the $6,000 in cash but did not report the violation formally because Murphy satisfied his then-boss in proving he never kept the money.



No one at Creighton was ever arrested in connection with the federal government's case. Murphy was one of a few assistant coaches to accept money from undercover agents; USC's Tony Bland, Oklahoma State's Lamont Evans and TCU's Corey Barker were others.



Creighton was initially pulled into the case because, in a separate trial, on Oct. 14, 2018, Brian Bowen Sr. said under oath that Dawkins indicated Creighton was willing to pay the Bowen family $100,000 and a offer "good job" if his son played for Creighton. It was when that happened that Rasmussen reviewed his men's basketball program, in an informal capacity, but it wouldn't be until the spring of 2019 -- when the video of Murphy was played in court -- that Creighton would be put on the path to the punishment it was delivered Tuesday.




Tom J     June 22
If you want to watch this same baseball, just go to your local ballfield and watch an 8-10 Rec league game. You'll see the same missed cut off man, passed balls, botched run downs etc. Of course they are losers, they have inferior talent. But these guys have been playing ball for what, 20 plus years and still don't know basic fundamentals???? It's not that they lose, it's HOW they lose that makes people nuts.



Good for the football player. Still not sure why he has to announce to everyone he's gay. His teammates and the fans only really care about can he get to the QB and get a sack or tackle the RB for a loss in the backfield, not who he is having sex with. Says it "wasn't for attention".....sure it wasn't......

BW     June 22
I'd be surprised if Rahm gets too many more than 4 majors...he may get 5 or 6...he may only get 2 or 3. Winning 5% of the majors one plays in is HOF worthy. That winrate % puts the player at roughly 15th place...ALL TIME. Tiger has skewed the expectation to an unrealistic level.

Another issue is the depth of fields is just becoming more and more of an issue. Sure, the same 15-20 guys are the expected winners before each major but there are prob another 40+ that COULD win if the stars align now. That was NOT the case when Jack played and likely wasn't the case early in Tiger's career.

But it should be interesting. Rahm could certainly be an all time great and blow through the 5% win rate. He certainly has all the tools and seems to have solved the blow ups that used to plague him a few years ago.

Mark S.     June 22
Wouldn't watch the O's games if Palmer was not there! I miss him when he takes a few games off! @UnitastoBerry pretty much covered it all.

Greg     June 22
Palmer is the best. Never minces words. And unlike your former boss, he has a baseball pedigree that people respect.

Delray RICK     June 22
GAUSMAN..9-1 ERA 1:50. Was asked if he missed DEM O'S...BEST THING THAT THEY SENT ME HERE.

chris k     June 22
for all of these people blaming the city as part of the reason for pathetic attendance, how do you explain the ravens selling out whether its a night game or day game. its the same city. I think entirely because the team has told fans and media they have purposely not been trying to win for the last 3 years and expect it to continue for another 3-5 years. They have lost the trust of the majority of fans and many probably wont return even if they are competitive for a year or two. attendance is 100% the team's fault, not the city's fault. they had great attendance in the 90's when the city still had 350+ plus murders a year.

charmcitydeac     June 22
Fair points, however I'm not sure that the missed cut-off was Hays' fault. I think it was either Franco or Galvis for not being in the right position to cut the throw (or Severino's fault for not lining them up properly or telling them to cut it). The throw was certainly low enough to cut and was (more or less) on-line with the plate. If Hays is coming home with that throw, his only job with an on-line throw is to make sure its low enough to cut it, but its Severino's job to line the infielders up and his job to tell them to cut it or let it go through. And its the infielders job to be in the proper position to be able to cut it off.

Brian Jessup     June 22
Noticed lately this has become the golf channel but since there's not much going on here in Baltimore it's understandable.



It took the SCOTUS to wake the NCAA up. They should have made adjustments the last decade or so maybe then "some" of the cheating might have subsided. So instead of under the table money your local car dealership, hamburger franchise, soft drink company will now pay "over the table" money to the athletes. Transfer portals, "sponsorship $'s" we are living and watching in real time the demise of college sports. Don't get me wrong athletes should be able to transfer just like coaches get to leave but both "should" have some obstacles otherwise 33% of the kids will be transferring, oh we're already there. And kids "should" have been able to make some money while the schools and coaches reaped billions from their talents. I believe there was a better way but now, the door is cracked and John Smith will be saying how much he loves his Ford F-150 he got from Koons Ford for large sums of money. Oh well I guess that's better than cash in a Fed Ex package. The AAU pimps will now become marketing guru's. What a wonderful world.

unitastoberry     June 22
Jim Palmer knows more about baseball than pretty much anyone involved with the current Orioles on or off the field. He's the last of the flag bearers left in the public eye from this teams glory days. Missing a cut off guy in the majors is beyound excuse. Loved it when he would go after Manny for dogging it etc. If ownership goes after Jim that will be the last straw for many. Please don't bring up Jon Miller again that triggered me.That wrongful act was the equivilent of say firing Chuck Thompson in say 1967. Go Os!

Michael Creese     June 22
Hey Drew.



I'm just getting back from 17 glorious days in Europe but wanted to send along my heartiest congratulations to you for your U.S. Senior Open qualification. You've sure come a long way from crushing me in the Public Links tournaments every year! Fairways and greens my friend. And roll in some putts out there as well!!

Ray     June 22
Funny, DF, I said the same thing to a friend of mine last night. "Greinke might no hit us tomorrow night." Go O's!!!

Jacob     June 21
@DELRAY RICK



Your predictions are so spot on! they caught me! 5IP, 1H, 2BB 6K OR .5 ERA overall


larry     June 21
Great points on Beasley by @David. Beasley can have his own opinion for sure, but hardly a PSA. Love the "might as well tweet you're having pizza for dinner" analogy.

@Joe had some nice points to make, except "have not tried to win for last 40 years". That's just flat out wrong, unless you are a short/bitter local media wanna be who thinks he got screwed out of 10k one time 20 years ago. Not saying they've tried all those years, certainly not trying now, but not true for all 40 lol.

Hey, anyone else notice @Herman has disappeared and suddenly @MFC is back? Coincidence???

BW     June 21
There are narratives and there are incorrect narratives:

@MFC Bryson ranks 1st in SG off the tee. 2nd place is nearly .3 shots per round behind. That difference is larger than the difference between 2nd and 16th. So the offline stuff people constantly cite is not nearly as relevant as they think it is. Also he hit more fairways than the average this past weekend. If your argument is that he needs to improve his wedge play you are probably correct. But citing "offline" drives is simply an incorrect application of what is happening.

@Delray It's true Rory is a rather pedestrian T31 on par 5 scoring average this season. However, the difference between Rory and no. 1 is less than .12 shots/par 5. He is 12th in total strokes gained this season.

Chris in Bel Air     June 21
Guys like Rahm and Oosthuizen are the ones that make it really easy to root for. They showed true professionalism, humility and sportsmanship. Plus, Oosthuizen's swing is so effortless and smooth. Koepka and his demeanor? No thanks.

Regarding the O's and Severino, "don't they have someone else then can use?" Drew, outside of Mullins, Mancini, Means, Mountcastle (the 4 Ms), maybe Galvis and 2-3 relievers - you can say that about the entire rest of the roster!

Delray Rick     June 21
JOE...IF and I mean IF DEM O'S get at least a .500 team me thinks fans will not follow. The city is so bad off decent families ain't coming no mo. PALMER doing

this AAA team has got to be demoralizing for him. For me its been over 60 years and to think the 50's team had heart. Anybody disputed this just look at the record. Can't believe ARIZONA is worse.

JerryH     June 21
With the limits on tickets/crowd size over, are the O's still on the No Food brought in policy? And No cash? And spaced out seating? And Masks? And is the Dean Wormer "No fun of any kind" seems to be the order of the day.



I have not gone this year but have been planning to. I will not, however, go to an outdoor event with a mask. The pandemic is over.



I just checked the O's website and they have either not updated the restrictions or they haven't lifted any, other than selling[or not selling] more seats.



Anyone who has been there recently, please provide a 1st hand report. Thanks

MFC     June 21
Agree 100% with the host today how refreshing to hear those comments from both players.



Reaction:

Bryson- maybe hitting it a country mile, off line, isn't the answer

Louie- one of the guys who finds the fairways didn't on 17 and 18 and it cost him- but a champion with his words

Rory- becoming one of my favorite people but please start taking putting lessons

Brooks- you show up in the majors no doubt- now try being a decent human being

Torrey Pines- for whatever reason didn't seem to have the pizzazz- something was missing and no it wasn't just Tiger





On another note my Comets men's lacrosse got thumped by a really good Severna Park team, great year sometimes the other team is better but you played hard to the end. Our girls softball team won the championship in one of the most exciting games ever. Too long to describe but it was a thriller and if it were college on ESPN would be an instant classic.

Congrats to the Hereford Bulls on their championship and to Towson who lost in the championship. A good spring for the Baltimore County schools.



Note filed under WHAT? I'm told there were 4 boys on Catonsville and 6 on Dulaney's boys team that thought going to beach week was more important than playing for a state championship. The schedule was out in advance, I don't have facts but truly believe deposits could have been recouped. I just don't understand parents or kids thinking that going to OC ( probably drinking- again no hard facts just surmising and looking for love in all the wrong places) is more important than being on a team that is playing for a state championship. Whether you're a starter or not. You joined the team back in March/April and now you're just discarding them. Wow, good luck in life hope it was worth it. If I were the coach and administrators I'd re-take the team photo.

unitastoberry     June 21
@Joe you know saying the truth about the Orioles and the city will score points with me but it may be hazardous to your online health lol.

Joe     June 21
Camden Yards attendance easy to figure out....mix in a pathetic franchise that hasn't tried to win for the past 40 years with a City that is falling down around itself and you get the results seen every game. Fans are bored with the product on the field and apathetic in general with yearly excuses. The City is not safe to bring your family downtown to the games. They say the Orioles will never leave, didn't we hear that about the Colts and the Bullets too?

Kenny G     June 21
David - why is healthy eating and exercise important? 80% of COVID hospitalizations are overweight people. People who are out of breathe walking up steps can not overcome the strain COVID puts on their respiratory system. While you cant do much about age and pre-existing conditions, you can stop smoking and loss weight. Then again, after 15 months of a serious respiratory virus people have not changed their habits, I guess nothing will. (BTW the other 20% are probably old and there will be occassional healthy or young person to hospitalized - that's life).



This is the biggest failure of our leadership in this crisis. Its not one solution for all. Risk factors are different.

David Rosenfeld     June 21
Note: Jumped the gun on the 76ers winning yesterday. Congrats to the Hawks and Kevin Huerter, who scored 27 points. He's the real deal...

Delray Rick     June 21
Winning doesn't seem to be on RORY'S plate anymore. He is a very rich man and a lot more going in he's life instead of golf. Yesterday was set up for him perfect but didn't take advantage of the opportunity. He once was a sure thing on par 5's but now just making par is hard enough. On DEM O'S, HARVEY is done on this team .

Ben S.     June 20
DF. Didn't you hire a guy to delete comments from people like JK?

Jk     June 20
LOL at "Tom". What a snowflake.

unitastoberry     June 20
Chance Sisco DFA. Guy was supposed to be something 5 years ago. Second round pick 2013. Was this one was on McPhail? How do you stay around getting pay checks that long if you stink? Oh well. Good luck to him.



Career 2017- 2021 508 AB BA.199 H 101 HR 16 RBI 53


tom     June 20
We still get snarky shots on attendance after every home game, anyone see attendance figures in Tampa? And they are leaders in the AL East.

As they say, it is what it is, my point is you knew attendance would be low, and will stay low, until/if this "rebuild" works.

If it works as planned, and that does not result in uptick in attendance, then we got a problem worth criticizing.

Eric in Gaithersburg     June 20
As for the vaccine debacle we have? Perfect storm of a corrupted politicized media and gullible and panicky American public. Put me down as a vaccinated right winger who doesn't understand why people would bet their life that they are right and doctors and scientists are wrong. Could the vaccine have long term effects? Maybe. But we know what the COVID effects are- death. We take many vaccines as children that we have no say on. Selfish panicky people ruining it for the rest of us

Eric in Gaithersburg     June 20
Terrific article by K Rosenthal today on the coming clown show tomorrow of untrained umps being asked to differentiate between legal and illegal sticky substances being used by cheating pitchers like G Cole, T Bauer etc. Rosin and sweat? Legal. Rosin and suntan lotion on a 100 degree day? Suspension. Meanwhile offense is up and strikeouts down in June since league announced this was coming

unitastoberry     June 19
If your getting paid mega millions to play in the NFL and your not vaccinated and miss a game because you tested positive for covid you are doing a disservice to your team and fans.

Howard     June 19
It would be great if every Raven were vaccinated against COVID-19. This would reduce the risk that players would miss games with positive tests or due to illness

Eric in Gaithersburg     June 19
Athletic reports Os not interested in trading Means Mancini or Mullins but are willing to listen just in case

tom     June 18
Made fun of an eye injury? Where? When? How? Maybe took a shot at another poor #DMD pick but certainly did not make light of Hovland's eye injury at all

Brett     June 18
Wow, Rob Really making fun of a guy who suffered an eye injury. Classy stuff there, bubba.

Rob Really     June 18
Drewski, I finally managed to get my money down on Victor Hovland today. Thanks for the great advice. Anyone know how he’s doing today??

ed     June 18
Tony Dungy is a good man ..God bless us all ..

DJ     June 18
@MFC, Amateurs can't wear corporate logos.

KJ     June 18
Here's a cure for the insane Lamar vs Baker twitter nonsense - stay off twitter lol. Seriously, while there is a case to be made that twitter enhances "coverage" of sports in real time, by paid professionals, anyone else with a twitter account and an opinion is mostly a moron right? Or the kid of idiot who calls into a radio station and suggests firing this coach, or that coach. I might scan twitter for coverage of teams or games, not random strangers opinions.

Speaking of coaching, what responsibility does Hyde have for Valaika being a poor defender, a guy who can play "anywhere" but basically is hired to be a moderately competent hitter at times. That whole play was on him. And players like him, ok hitters who can sort of play most positions, get jobs. Plenty of stellar defensive players out there who would never make such ludicrous mistakes, but can't hit .150. Those guys are never offered jobs in the bigs, they just aren't.

Valaika knows if he does not hit when he plays, he is out of a job. So think he works on his fielding much? Fat chance.


MFC     June 18
Watching the US Open and some of the amateurs get TV time. Hope you get some TV shots as well. Suggestions:

1. Where a DMD hat

2. Logo up the shirt with Glory Days, Royal Farm etc.

3. Hope your son is on the bag

4. Pull a Tin Cup but lay-up.



I know it's not the MIAA or the IAAM but Catonsville Girls softball plays for the state championship today versus a tough North County squad. The Comet boys lacrosse play always tough Severna Park tomorrow night for the 4A championship. Two championships games, don't think that's ever happened in school history. I also think Towson boys are in the finals as well.

Congrats to these outstanding public schools.


Tom J     June 18
Hyde has certainly been dealt a losing hand but at what point does he and his coaching staff take some sort of responsibility for the bonehead plays like the rundown? that's fundamentals. Like Jim Palmer said the other night when both the O's and Cleveland were playing like the Bad News Bears with their mishaps, "Did either of these teams have Spring Training"...????

Pauly Dee     June 18
Tony Dungy's witness is inspiring. Thanks for sharing this Drew. I can attest that our expectations v. what happens can be the source of much heartache. However, at the end of the day, God is God, and we are not.

Part of all of our lives: disappointments, a feeling that, 'this isn't fair,' and even suffering.

He knows what's best for us, and we don't comprehend everything. This is difficult to accept, but we move toward being at peace when we do accept it.

unitastoberry     June 18
"I hate to be Debbie Downer, but the chances of the Birds going 38-56 are just a shade better than David Lee Roth re-joining Van Halen for a massive summer tour and all the band members getting along for the better part of 6 months."



Neither is going to happen because the King of Six Fingers passed last October and Daves voice sounds like a cat in heat now. Kids put those cigarettes down!

If the Orioles fire Hyde midseason now they are true idiots.They have no pitiching talent minus Means,no hitting,and no fielding.The good thing is at rock bottom they have no place to go but up.

Delray Rick     June 18
You didn't mention the "out law of green book" which I'm glad to see. These players take up so much time to take their shot. Which I understand has "grid" of the greens. Don't remember JACK using the them. They have have to rely on the caddies


Vince Fiduccia     June 17
This blog is outstanding Drew. So happy for you. Enjoy the ride. God is good.

Jeffrey “Fireball” Roberts     June 17
I know nothing about golf but I do know that God is great. Congratulations and good luck.

Bob S. (AKA: Idiot Caller)     June 17
Why?

Well...why not?!

Congratulations and good luck Drew!

Keith Merrill     June 17
First of all, Drew, congratulations on getting to the Senior Open. What an amazing accomplishment. I first met you in 2006 when I introduced you to my son who was taking up the game and I remember you said something to him about his grip, which was very odd and ugly. "The golf ball doesn't know what kind of grip you have. If it works for you, keep it."



He's 29 now and still has that ugly grip but he just won his club championship in Rhode Island last weekend. In some small way he might owe that to you.



Your lead column today about God's grace was so poignant it brought tears to my eyes. You are right. This is something that can't be explained now, but in the years to come it will all unfold for you and you'll understand it. Just enjoy it and have fun and make some great memories with your friends and family.



Happy for you, my friend -- Keith

Hal     June 17
Your best column ever, Drew. That was an incredibly touching column.






breakfast bytes


MLB umpires begin checking pitchers for foreign substances in between innings.

NFL: Chiefs' Clark arrested; cops say gun spotted in car.

NHL: Tampa Bay blasts New York Islanders, 8-0, to take 3-2 series lead.

Washington Spirit soccer player, Kumi Yokoyama, comes out as transgender man in YouTube interview.



O's SCOREBOARD
Monday, June 21
Orioles
2

Astros
10
WP: J. Odorizzi (2-3)

LP: K. Akin (0-3)

HR: Franco (9), Alvarez (10)

RECORD / PLACE: 23-49 / 5th