Wednesday
January 29
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#1983



now what?


We used to playfully refer to January and February as the "dog days" when I was on the radio.

In Maryland and throughout states where there's hot, humid summer weather, "dog days" are more known for July and August, when there's not much wind and the heat and humidity seemingly threaten 100 for eight straight weeks.

But in sports, that period from the Super Bowl until the first baseball pitch are lean, indeed. College basketball sort of saves us in mid-March, but if you don't have at least one school from your state playing in the NCAA tournament, it tends to lose a bit of its luster.

Once the Super Bowl comes and goes, we're in the dog days.

For me, personally, I have something that interests me every weekend. The PGA Tour plays a full schedule over the next couple of months and several events are of the marquee variety. This time around, there's also the added intrigue of Tiger Woods chasing the 83rd win of his career, so there's even more to anticipate from a golf standpoint. But if you're not a golf fan, what good does golf on TV every weekend do you, right?

Let's first get to the Super Bowl, though. The Chiefs and 49'ers are set to play for the NFL title this Sunday. Hey, I know we're bitter about the Ravens not being there, but at least it's not the Patriots -- again -- getting shoved down our throats for 3.5 hours on February 2nd.

I feel like San Francisco's going to win the game, but I haven't really thought that much about it, frankly. I think they'll do enough to slow down that Kansas City offense, which is going to be critical if the 49'ers hope to win.

I'll circle back on Sunday with an official prediction. But I'm feeling San Fran at this point.

Towson head coach Shawn Nadelen has his Tigers prepared for the upcoming NCAA Division I lacrosse season. They'll get an early test on February 8 when they host Johns Hopkins.

Maryland basketball will help get us through the next six weeks or so, as frustrating as they might be. The Terps are going to the Big Dance in March, likely as a 4 or 5 seed, I'd guess, and there's always a chance they could win a game or two in the tournament, particularly if Jalen Smith continues to play like he's been playing of late.

I don't think Maryland is all that good. They've recently emerged as one of the four best teams in the Big 10, but some of that has to do with Michigan and Ohio State completely collapsing over the last month. But if the Terps can cobble together some decent guard play and if they get a break or two with tournament seeds above them losing early, who knows? Do you remember who the Final Four teams were last March? Think about it for a second, without the use of Google.

If high school basketball is your thing, the next few weeks will wrap up the local season in both the public and private sectors. If you're an MIAA hoops fan, this season has showcased St. Frances and Mount Saint Joseph as the best teams in the area, with several others -- including Boys' Latin, Loyola and Gilman -- making somewhat surprising runs over the last few weeks. Both the MIAA and Baltimore Catholic League are up for grabs.

College lacrosse is on the horizon. I almost forgot about that. Because that sport caved in to TV a decade ago, college lax is no longer a "spring" sport. They play in January and February now. Towson, in fact, opens its season on Saturday, February 8, when they host Johns Hopkins. It's such a shame NCAA lacrosse and the schools involved haven't paid attention to lacrosse for, oh, the last 40 years or so. The marquee match-up for Towson lacrosse is ----- yes, Johns Hopkins. So why on earth would you have that game on Saturday, February 8? This isn't Tampa, Florida. It's Baltimore. It's still winter, here.

But...if you're looking for something to help get you through the dog days, college lacrosse can help do that. Just wear your ear muffs and thick gloves if you go to the games.

The Blast are in the midst of their indoor soccer season. While the team isn't as good on the field as they've been in the past, the move to the SECU Arena has created a much different pace about the game. Think ice hockey on a rink half the traditional size! That's what indoor soccer is like in the confines of the small building on the campus of Towson University.

The Capitals are flying high. If you're a hockey fan, you know who they are. They play in Washington DC, but they're the closest thing we've ever had in Baltimore to a NHL team.

And this Caps team, perennial post-season heartbreakers except for that glorious run in April, May and June of 2018, could very well be a title contender in the spring. On paper, they look a little thin at the defensive position, but they somehow continue to win despite that issue. And they're getting some terrific production from sources other than Alex Ovechkin. Jakub Vrana (23 goals) is having an excellent year and Tom Wilson (15 goals) is now scoring roughly one-goal per cheap shot he hands out, so that's a good thing.

We'll hopefully be able to put together a Caps playoff trip if they wind up facing the Flyers, Penguins or Islanders in the post-season. It just depends on the scheduling, of course.

Oh, and don't look now, but spring training is right around the corner. The Orioles even signed a pitcher yesterday, someone named Wade LeBlanc. My guess is his agent didn't tell him it was the Orioles who wanted him. Either way, he's heading to Baltimore.

I don't see much reason to anticipate anything about the upcoming Orioles season. We all know they're going to stink. They know it, too. It's fun to see the other teams come into Camden Yards, and I still say nothing beats a warm, 90 degree night in July or August when you sit virtually anywhere you want, put your feet up on the rails in front of you (until they tell you to take them down) and enjoy a hot dog and a beverage while watching a baseball game.

Perhaps some interest on the team will be connected to their record, whether they have 39 wins heading into the second week of September or 59 wins at that point. By then, though, the Ravens will be back in full swing and we won't be thinking much about the baseball team.

I don't have my official prediction made out yet, but this an O's team that will be really hard pressed to win more than 55 games. Baseball's weird in that it doesn't really matter if you win 55 or 75...both records are terrible. But I'd still rather see them win 75 than 55 just because.

So, hang in there with us for the next few weeks. We'll try to make it fun in these parts. The past few days haven't been much fun, obviously, as the nation mourns the death of one of our country's most popular sports figures, but time heals all wounds.

Super Bowl, golf, Tiger, college lacrosse, March Madness, indoor soccer, spring training......hey, it's not as bad as maybe I thought it was, after all.

Oh, one last thing. Last year's NCAA hoops final four was Virginia, Auburn, Michigan State and Texas Tech. No reason to think Maryland couldn't be this year's upstart if things go their way. OK, probably not. But you get the point. You just never know...



 Drew's Morning Dish

#DMD Poll

Question: What sport mostly gets you through the next six weeks?
College lacrosse
PGA Tour, lead in to the Masters
Terps, college basketball
Orioles, Spring training
NBA and/or NHL
Name
Email address

My RideMyCause banner ad

mercy/ind continue their tradition this friday


The Mercy/IND varsity basketball game is as old as the Super Bowl! That's true!

The annual clash attracts the largest crowd for a high school girls' basketball game in the State of Maryland. Often referred to as THE GAME, it began in 1967 as a pre-game to the Baltimore Bullets, Baltimore's former professional basketball team.

One of the longest sports traditions in Baltimore continues this Friday night when Mercy and IND play for the 54th time.

First played in the Baltimore Civic Center, now known as the Royal Farm Arena, THE GAME moved from there to Mt. St. Joseph High School, then to Loyola Blakefield. Each year's growing number of spectators caused THE GAME to be moved to various college venues, including UMBC and Loyola University Maryland. THE GAME is now played at Towson University's SECU Arena, which can accommodate over 4600 spectators.

This friendly rivalry pairs two premier Catholic educational institutions and offers alumnae, students and supporters a unique opportunity to share and celebrate their storied histories.

More than just another game on the schedule, there is competition between the teams, the cheerleaders, the pep squads, and the students. The players, cheerleaders, pep squads and coaches have a college-level athletic experience, playing in front of thousands of spectators and on a college campus. And it is a chance for alumnae of both schools to make it a homecoming.

The players see themselves as part of an athletic legacy in Baltimore. They are following in the footsteps of 53 years of athletes who were proud to represent their schools. It's very meaningful to the players, students, parents and alumnae. It's the only girls' athletic event of its scope in Maryland.

There are special ceremonies before and after the game. The choirs of both schools will sing their Alma Maters. The players will be announced and cheered onto the court. The cheerleaders and pep squads of both schools will perform. Well-known local sportscaster Keith Mills will emcee activities before and after The Game.

There is a trophy ceremony at the end of the game. The winning school receives a trophy which stays with the school until the next Game. Trophies are also awarded to the MVP from each team.


FACTS AND TICKETS --

Mercy holds the all-time lead in the series, 30-23.

The 2020 Game is this Friday, January 31. Doors open at 6 pm, pre-game activities start at 7 pm and tip-off is at 7:30 pm.

Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 at the door. Tickets may be purchased online or at Mercy High School through January 23. Tickets may be picked-up at Mercy beginning January 27 from noon to 4 pm, January 28 and January 29 from 8 am to 4:00 pm, or at will-call at SECU Arena on January 31.

For more information, visit www.mercyhighschool.com

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner

we're heading to new york!


We have 14 people signed up for this trip so far!!! It's going to be a blast!

Maybe the O's aren't going to be all that good in 2020. We know that going in. But what you might not know is how much fun a #DMD road trip can be in the summer! And what better place to visit and take in a couple of games than New York?

Join us in NY on June 23-24 to see Trey Mancini and the O's take on the Yankees.

We're going to the Big Apple to support our Birds, June 23 and 24. And we've love to have a bunch of O's fans join us in the Bronx for a couple of days in New York and two baseball games.

We'll leave on Tuesday, June 23 around noon and check in at our Manhattan hotel sometime around 4 pm. The game that night is at 7:05 pm. We'll have upper deck seats for that, with unlimited food and drinks for everyone in our group.

The next night, June 24, we'll have a pre-game bullpen party and awesome left field seats close to the field.

Once the game's over, we'll head back home, arriving in Baltimore after midnight.

If you're interested in going on the trip, send me a quick email so I can start building the trip list: 18inarow@gmail.com.



#dmd comments


M.M.     January 29
@PLB



Towson is the only local men's team with even a shot at winning their conference tournament. Morgan and Coppin are middle of the pack and no one is beating Norfolk State in the MEAC. UMBC is really down, as you noted. I think they're 2-4 or 2-5 and Vermont is definitely the class of AE conference. I don't think Loyola has a conference win yet. I know you asked @Drew for a report but I think that sums it up. Towson U. definitely has a chance in the Colonial.

Blue Tee Golfer     January 29
If you guys think Tiger is a has been you should see @Herman play golf!!!!! Talk about a has been with no game.

Monk     January 29
I am still here.



Was NEVER banned.



Just a lurker/reader now.

PLB     January 29
Also, Drew, I'm going to the Masters on Wednesday and Thursday this year and would love an article about what to expect and any tips for viewing, attending and so forth!

BO     January 29
I don't know what "Chas" means by "different direction" of the site but I guess the question always is: If you don't like the direction or the writing's or the subject matter why come here in the first place? Just to stir the pot? If so, do something better with your day.

George     January 29
A terrain-warning-system on an aircraft flying at low altitude and descending at 4,000 feet per minute in heavy fog would be called the "Duh Device."

PLB     January 29
Hey Drew, would love to know what you think about the local college basketball teams and their shot at making the NCAA tourney. I know UMBC is having a down year. Towson? Morgan? Coppin State?

Chris     January 29
I'm not a big NBA fan but I do think Kobe's unfortunate passing will make the Lakers "America's team" for the last half of the season and that could be something people get behind. Wouldn't it be something if Lebron and the Lakers win the NBA Championship?

chas     January 29
Chiming in on the perceived excessive religious overtones of the site owner as he removed a comment I had last week encouraging his readers to become fully informed on issues/sponsors.

It's his prerogative to take the comment down but does say something about wanting to stick his head in the sand on real ethical matters people deserve to be aware of.

I love the site for sports and the numerous good deeds done by DF but he's headed down a dark hole with the recent direction.

Here's hoping that this comment does not getting buried.

G. Gordon Liddy, Jr. (The Real G-Man)     January 29
@"G-Man", Yeah I guess every time someone doesn't like (worship?) someone, it immediately makes them a "racist"or "homophobic", right?

That is such childish thinking that it is not worthy of posting in these comments. Grow up.

The guy     January 29
With this column DMD does a preemptive strike and announces a slump in advance.

What happened to guest contributors?

Time to unban those banned.

What happened to that ex-ref, Such, that Oriole season ticket holder who liked going to games? Or that horse race guy?

All chased by the Leader and SOD?

Fire the customer is radio station unbuilding block.



And the moralizing of not pointing out facts about a sports legend

The Real Some Guy     January 29
Maryland will need to make the B1G semifinals to get a 4 seed in the tournament. Otherwise they'll be a 5 or 6. Big difference there.



Agree on the Caps having a chance this spring but Tampa is coming on now and you know Trotz and the NYI would love a crack at DC in the playoffs. If I'm betting, I bet the Caps are out in the second round.



Not a golf expert but anything @Herman says about Woods almost immediately means the opposite (to me). If he says "Woods sucks" I know that means he just had a great tournament finish. If he says "Woods is a has been" I know that must mean he's back on top of the rankings.



My neighbor's daughter is on the Mercy hoops team. Thanks for highlighting the game on Friday.

Mark in Perry Hall     January 29
lol at G-Man.

I understand Herman is the leader of the Tiger hate club and that calling him a "Has Been" is clearly just trolling. But If anything he's more relevant now than he was 10 years ago.

G-Man     January 29
It's such a shame Herman can't somehow attach a Confederate Flag on his postings here!

HERMAN     January 29
I was looking forward to the golf season. But this weekly coronation and complete slobber fest over an aging, past-his-prime, record seeking PED questionable has been is ruining telecasts. 2006 is a few hundred women, and at least two rehabs ago. A lot of blood spinning through the machine as they say. Let's not ruin telecasts overly focusing on some old playful fist bump storyline, let's focus on all this new blood coming up. Reed can play the villain, with a whole new crop of fresh faces to get to know and root for.

The list above from the site owner is like a Sesame Street skit, which one doesn't belong?

Chris in Bel Air     January 29
What will I watch? Terps and Caps.

I've spent most of the year looking at the Terps as glass half empty. Perhaps their top 10 ranking to start the season is the reason - even though I wasn't really buying in at that time. Their offense also looks unimaginative and lost too often. On the other hand, they seem to be relying more on Smith instead of Cowan lately and that is a good thing. Cowan just doesn't seem to have progressed all that much after 4 years. Also, looking at the Terps losses so far, maybe they are not that bad of loss. Seton Hall is now ranked #10. Iowa is #18 and PSU and #24. Wisconsin is at least a respectable team. Terps next 5 are #18 Iowa, #25 Rutgers, @#19 Illinois, Nebraska and @#14 MSU. Which Terps will show up for them? The 2nd half of NW and IU Terps or the lack luster one prior? For me to really believe they can win some games in the big tourney, they will need to win each of those home games and swipe a game at MSU or Ill.

Caps have played well from the start. In addition to Ovie and Vrana playing well, Carlson and Samsonov have also been steady contributors. Here's hoping they don't pull a Ravens and go one and done in the playoffs.

H     January 29
Feel sorry for you Drew after reading your sports interest hierarchy. We have no local PGA tour stop, no NHL franchise, and no major league baseball team.

Mark in Perry Hall     January 29
I'm interested to see what Dale thinks about Maryland's chances. I see them as a 6 or 7 seed. When they lose to Rutgers and some other team they shouldn't lose to their stock will drop big time.

Jeff P.     January 29
Thanks for the pub for Mercy/IND this Friday night. 4,000 expected!! (I'm a Mercy dad, FWIW)

Murph     January 29
In the case of Towson v JHU specifically, they are 100% playing that game on Feb 8 because of TV. They could play that game on a Tuesday late March or early April but the NCAA men's lax committee asked them to play on 2/8 because ESPN put it on their wish last back in October when the schedules were presented to ESPN. I'm tangentially connected to the committee through one of the local schools.

Idiot Caller     January 29
It's really too bad that over the years the school's have folded to political correctness and changed their nicknames. The Mercy Sharpshooters are now the Mercy "Magic", and the IND INDians are now the IND "Penguins".

They're both terrible replacements. First of all, should a Catholic institution's teams really be called the "Magic". Isn't that at least blasphemous if not outright satanic? And the "Penguins"? Really??

David Rosenfeld     January 29
Though there are lots of lacrosse games on TV now (a good thing), the earlier season doesn't really have anything to do with that.

Lacrosse is no longer a game of independents that can pick and choose their schedules. There are 12 Saturdays to play on before conference tournaments, the 2nd half of the season is reserved for conference games, and teams don't want to play a lot of midweek games anymore.

Was it better when Towson and Loyola were the last 2 games of the season for JHU, as opposed to the first two? Maybe. But it's not possible anymore.

Mercy Booster     January 29
Parent of a 2019 Mercy grad here. I watched The Magic get beaten soundly during the four years my daughter attended the school. This year looks different based on performance to date. The Penguins streak of six straight wins ends Friday.

Hey Now     January 29
@ Steve Hey, at least he didn't mention his 13-game plan when he talked about the O's this time.

Delray RICK     January 29
After the SB (COULD CARE less who wins) it Wil be golf,golf on TV and playing til DERBY,PREAKNESS . THEN!!!! OPENING OF FOOTBALL PRACTICE!!!

Biff Cantrell     January 28
The person behind this, and the other fake names I use here, is agnostic. The site owner's expression of faith doesn't reduce my clicks. Funny it would bother anyone. But the internets isn't happy unless it's complaining.

Delray RICK     January 28
POLITICS AND RELIGION always brings up disagreement so why not just keep it a SPORTS SITE!!! When I see DREW start preaching I move on to the next day waiting for sports reporting. I THINK that's what this site was supposed to be. Hey MFC remember "4 more years"

That Guy     January 28
I've noticed a growing religious undertone to a lot of Drew's writings and podcasts over the last year but just assumed he was entering a new phase of life. We all get there in various stages. I assumed his connection to Calvert Hall was part of the change.

C.J.     January 28
I wondered when the first "opposed to God on a sports website" comment would come in. It took longer than I suspected it would. Maybe that's out of respect for Drew's work here or maybe we just don't like poking the bear. I'm not the religious type but it doesn't bother me to see Drew's Faith on display here. I guess others feel differently.

Brien Jackson     January 28
https://images.app.goo.gl/bRHBhqrUuDvNxojC8

Cash Is King     January 28
@Brien

You seem to answer everybody else, but not me? Tell me why you would be published at that monster ESPN in 2011, knowing what you know about this case and the way ESPN “smeared the victim”.



BJ & MFC are “cut from the same cloth”. Hypocrisy at it’s finest. God Bless both of your souls.

Brien Jackson     January 28
@Al



Well I guess by your meaningless "formally introduced" bit we've definitely determined that you are, in fact, an attorney. Congratulations on the time spent defending a rapist in a case you know "little" about on the internet this morning, I suppose.

Tom     January 28
Hey Steve, how are you "uncomfortable"?

Steve     January 28
Waaaaaaay too much god talk on a sports website. It used to be occasional but now it’s every day. Bible verses, links to churchy articles - come on Drew - while many who visit share your worldview, you’re making the rest of us uncomfortable.

AL     January 28
I don't have to Google it. The case was settled with prejudice, I believe, and the defendant is now dead. There's no trial forthcoming and any opinions we render on the case are moot. Like you, I was merely attempting to make 'public record'. A. You are not an attorney. B. No evidence was ever formally introduced, only questioning and testimony from the two people involved.

Brien Jackson     January 28
@DJ



Nothing as far as I know. "Ex ante" means "from before," so by ex ante evidence I meant evidence available at the time of trial (i.e. before the subsequent statement Al objected to). I'm surprised our purported lawyer seems to not know the meaning of a very common Latin phrase though.

Brien Jackson     January 28
@Al



1. There is no standard that you can't call a person a criminal unless they have been convicted. You absolutely can acknowledge overwhelming evidence of their guilt and respond accordingly.



2. The rest of this is just gibberish. Again, as a matter of public record it is indisputable that a)the victim had significant physical injury, b) said injuries were inflicted by Kobe, c) the medical professional who examined the victim determined that the injuries were caused by a sexual assault and "not consistent" (a direct quote) with consensual sex. If by your own account you don't know much about the case it might behoove you to Google it.

DJ     January 28
I guess I could look this up but what is ex ante evidence in court?

Cash Is King     January 28
@ Brien

So when you wrote the blogspot for ESPN, you didn’t have a problem with their journalistic standard? Hypocrisy at its finest.

AL     January 28
Brien, paradoxically you might be right. But paradox doesn't work before a judge and jury. You yourself have already claimed the defendant to be a rapist. You wrote that yourself, although I believe you're smart enough to know one isn't a rapist unless they're a convicted one. But you're going for big points and what I call 'impact impression' by calling him a rapist. I learned long ago to never enter into a case concerned with ex ante evidence. That term in and of itself doesn't exist. Nothing is actual 'evidence' until its been entered as such and both parties and the judge agree that its admissible. From what little I know about the case, I believe the prosecuting attorney would have had a hard time obtaining a guilty verdict. Evidence from both sides might have made that verdict easier or more difficult to obtain. From what the initial questioning of both parties revealed, I'd say the rape verdict would have been difficult to generate.

Comment Police     January 28
@MFC can't help himself. Like a cat waiting to pounce. He has violated the rules of the memo yet again. Let justice be served.

Brien Jackson     January 28
@Al



Of course not. That went more to the point about how we as society obviously don't care if he did in fact rape her.



Now maybe address the rest of the ex ante evidence available at the time of trial?

Rich     January 28
@AL, prepare for @Brien to come around in a few minutes and tell you that you're wrong.

AL     January 28
Brien isn't a lawyer but I am (American University, 1988). He is flatly incorrect with the statement below.



7. After the civil settlement Bryant issued a statement in which he acknowledged that while he thought the interaction was consensual he recognized that she did not. Now given the basic nature of how consent works, taking that at face value is an admission of non-consent and, therefore, an admission of rape.



Bryant's admission after the fact that he believed the encounter to be consensual but NOW recognizes she did not believe it was consensual is not proof that he believed at the time of the incident that it was not consensual.



At the time of the incident, the defendant (Bryant) might not have realized it was not consensual. Later, after hearing testimony and an account from the victim, the defendant then might have realized it was not consensual.



This admission after the fact would never yield a guilty verdict in a court of law. Only evidence that shows the defendant knew it was not consensual at the time the act was taking place would there be a consideration of rape. The defendant never admitted to raping the victim at the time of questioning. He admitted to having what he believed to be consensual sex.


mike from catonsville     January 28
There are definitely 2 Americas, unfortunately. Folks want to bring up Kobes' horrible decision in Colorado and hold that against him for a lifetime when there are 17 credible women, one case which is working it's way through the courts accusing the orange man of sexual misconduct yet that goes by without a wimper. Two Americas.



Kobe shouldn't get a pass on that but from all indications he changed his life around. His story was that it was consensual, only two people in "the room where it happened" so who really knows. And neither should orange get any passes but he does daily and no one is saying his life was turned around or changed. Two Americas.



It just depends on the lense you decide to look through.


Brien Jackson     January 28
It's probably worth laying out the verifiable facts of the rape case for clarity's sake:



1. The "rough sex" was such that it left blood not only in the victim's underwear but on the t-shirt Kobe was wearing.



2. He choked her so hard that the bruising was easily visible when she was examined the next day.



3. Kobe admitted to the "rough sex" and the choking, so these aspects are not in dispute.



4. The medical examiners report was emphatic and direct that the victim's vaginal injuries were not consistent with consensual sex.



5. The charges were not dropped as part of the civil settlement. Rather, after Bryant's lawyers leaked her name she was flooded with harassment and death threats. At least one person went so far as to attempt to hire a hitman to kill her. At that point she refused to testify publicly and the case had to be dismissed.



6. The behavior of Kobe's defense team was so outrageous that Colorado and multiple other states almost immediately updated their rape shield laws to prevent it from being repeated.



7. After the civil settlement Bryant issued a statement in which he acknowledged that while he thought the interaction was consensual he recognized that she did not. Now given the basic nature of how consent works, taking that at face value is an admission of non-consent and, therefore, an admission of rape.



This isn't Tiger Woods cheating on his wife or Pete To see betting on baseball or, arguably, even Ray Lewis being accused of murder considering that a jury heard that case and determined the self defense claims credible. This was a serious, violent, criminal act with a victim whose life was changed forever. And furthermore Bryant was at the very least complicit in an attempt to harass, humiliate, and threaten her into silence.



And the more important part is all of the other people who were complicit in that. ESPN in particular enthusiastically amplified the smears against the victim, and society as a whole essentially decided that we didn't care how overwhelming the evidence was, and we were just fine with letting him get away with it. And that's why even though it's fine to have admired Love as a player or a father and to be saddened by his death....society simply can't be allowed to decide we're just going to agree to keep ignoring that Bryant was a rapist who got away with it. Because that same scenario keeps playing out with basically the same results. Ultimately we either have to confront it or we have to just admit that as far as we're concerned rich and famous people who we admire/cheer for have a license to commit sexual assault and as a society we're just fine with that.

J.R.     January 28
Brien Jackson

@Brien_Jackson



Jan 26

Kobe Bryant was a rapist whose defense strategy was leaking his accusers name for his deranged fans to harass and threaten into dropping the case.

Some guy     January 28
Agree with @Idiot, no one here seemed to be disparaging Kobe at all.

If you want to see the 5% (and these days that might be a low estimate), go see #Brien Jacksons posts on Kobe. That kind of vitriol in the aftermath of this horrible tragedy is sub'human. Perhaps that is why he is no longer a contributor here.

Idiot Caller     January 28
I honestly don't believe that anyone has a problem with Kobe himself. I think some people have a problem with the over the top media coverage of Kobe's unfortunate death.

Tim     January 28
Couldn't have said or thought it better Drew.

Tuesday
January 28
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#1982



more on kobe...


I received an email on Monday afternoon from someone. I assume he ("Brent") is a #DMD reader but he didn't clarify...and I didn't ask.

"The trolls are at it again," he wrote. "I wish you could stop them. Let Kobe and his daughter rest in peace. Celebrate the millions of kids he impacted and forgive him for his passed (sic) mistakes."

By the time you read this on Tuesday, I will have participated in a regular Tuesday morning men's fellowship group that meets in Timonium starting at 7 a.m. My topic this morning will be on forgiveness. And mercy.

The subject at my fellowship group won't be about Kobe Bryant, but more just about us as humans and our day to day duties to be compassionate people.

I thought the clip you'll see below was an extraordinary example of compassion, albeit an event that took place on a basketball court. Watch it for yourself. It's a special moment, one that might have gone unnoticed to most, but it's compassion personified nonetheless.



#DMD HD-TV


Asking for forgiveness and mercy and giving both are equally important. They are critical qualities of human nature. It's not always easy to ask for forgiveness or mercy and it's not always easy to return it to someone who has done you wrong. But forgiving is a gesture by which we're both judged and saved.

This subject isn't specifically germane to Kobe Bryant, for we -- you and I -- have nothing at all to forgive him for, personally. I'm referencing it today because I think it's an important trait that is inside all of us. Some people are better at utilizing it than others, but I believe God put ample amounts of kindness and mercy in every person he created.

I have never been a massive NBA fan. Without question, it's my 5th favorite sport/league. In case it matter, the order goes PGA Tour/golf, NHL, MLB, NFL and NBA. That's not to say I dislike the NBA or basketball, because I most certainly don't. I follow it, somewhat closely, but I've never been a diehard fan.

But even I know the greatness and the importance of what Kobe Bryant did for basketball and the NBA. He was, without debate, a generational icon, in the same way Gretzky was in hockey, Jeter was in baseball, and Peyton Manning was in football. Kids all over the country -- and the world, for that matter -- grew to love basketball because of Kobe.

There's talk all the time in sports about athletes who "move the needle". Those are very rare individuals. Tiger moves the needle. LeBron moves the needle. Serena moves the needle. And Kobe, for sure, moved the needle.

"Love for the game" seems like an innocuous term, but it's at the very core of what coaches hope to pass on to players, and players hope to pass on to youngsters. There's a cycle that exists there, in the same way a gardener plants new seeds every spring.

Every year at the end of the high school golf season, I ask my outgoing senior players one question: Do you love golf now more than you did when you first started at Calvert Hall?

If their answer is "yes", then my job with them in the 4, 3, 2 or 1 year(s) that I coached them was a success. Winning and losing isn't nearly as important as that answer. They can only play golf at Calvert Hall for a maximum of four years, but they can play golf for the rest of their life.

Kobe Bryant made people love the game of basketball. In much the same way that a starving actor in New York City wants to be the next Denzel Washington or Tom Hanks because of Training Day or Cast Away, kids all over the world wanted to be basketball players because of Kobe Bryant.

There are countless 23-year olds in the NBA today who first got the hunger to be great by admiring and following Kobe. Without him, they'd likely be elsewhere in their lives.

And therein lies the reason why Kobe's death on Sunday was so extraordinarily painful. No one was prepared for it. No one thought it was imminent. And most importantly, no one got a chance to say "thank you".

That he perished doing something that nearly all of us do -- or have done -- was equally unsettling. It was for me, at least. How many of us have bounded out of the house with our kids in tow, headed for a sports practice or match? All of us, by God's grace, have returned home safely from those travels. Kobe and his daughter did not.

I read the internet enough to know there's hatred and a mean-spirit-lurking, no matter the person, topic or moment. Give someone a keyboard and they'll hate on the beauty of a waterfall, cardinal or sunset, just because they're free to do so. "Balance" they'll call it.

So it wasn't surprising to see small patches of vitriol pop up on Sunday and Monday as people demonized Bryant for some of his earlier mistakes in life. That, very simply, is called "human nature". Nothing more, nothing less. Some people look past someone's sins and transgressions and honor the good they did while on earth and some people don't. It is what it is.

In general, I think we tend to overreact to the minority and in this case, it's probably no different. Kobe Bryant's life positively impacted 95% of the people. The other 5% who resent him or otherwise try and tear him down? Human nature. And not really worth worrying about.

As I wrote here yesterday, Kobe Bryant need not concern himself in the least with what Twitter, the New York Times, CNN and Facebook thinks about him, good or bad. There's only one judge he needed to impress and satisfy by the time his life ended on Sunday.


Sportscaster Tony Reali offered something exceedingly poignant on Monday afternoon. I've republished it below.

It’s OK to be affected by the passing of someone you didn’t know personally.

In someone’s passing, part of you can pass too. Part of your childhood goes along. We all remember where we were when Kobe had 81. You remember that trip you took to the game with your parents where he didn’t flinch...when Barnes checked the ball, or how every time you threw out a piece of paper you yelled “Kobe!”

Tony Reali discussed Kobe Bryant's life in a passionate way on Monday afternoon.

I remember how Kobe’s Instagram page recently turned into a love note for his daughters. It all left an imprint on your life, it is a part of your life.

To be affected by someone’s passing is compassion in its most pure form, “to suffer with”, quite literally.

And in that way we think of Vanessa and Natalia and Bianka and Capri. And the Altobelli, Chester, Zobayan and Mauser families. We walk with them in the suffering...we share their path. It’s in that way we carry forward Gigi. It’s in that way we carry all we have lost. 13 years old, her story was just being told. It’s heart stopping in every measure.

Vanessa’s life today, and all the families, just heart stopping. Life questioning...

The ones left behind are in an indescribable position. The heart needs help to restart, it needs others’ hearts. Let it be yours, and let it help others.

Because the fact is no one’s path is there’s alone. No one’s life was ever about just one thing, served for one purpose...

Kobe Bryant is again exceptional in this regard, in the ways he touched people, motivated people, united people, encouraged people, provided an aspirational beacon...a mentality. Also in the way his life had complexities and tribulations and what that did/does to others.

We consider his death and his life and we can speak of the fullness of it - the ‘angels and devils’ in all of us, as Kobe said and all those who were part of it and affected by it. We do this as grace. It amplifies the best of our ourselves.

You can’t live a life untouched by grief. You can’t live a life untouched by tragedy. These are feelings you never want to feel, feelings you will never forget, But they are feelings you must feel and giving voice to them might be the best tool we have to process.

It might be counterintuitive, but embrace that vulnerability. I heard it said by some, it feels so much worse today. It's a key point in recovery: it doesn't get better with time, it gets better with time and work.

Consider letting your work be in how you voice your feelings, talk with other people, talk about people’s lives in full, and carry forward their spirit.

Most importantly be with the ones in your life - truly be with them. Allow them to be full, amazing, complicated, flawed humans. Allow them, even in loss, to always be with you.

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tiger's report card: a solid "B"


Number 83 will have to wait. Tiger didn't get it done at Torrey Pines over the weekend, despite being two shots out of the lead at one point early in Saturday's third round.

But all was not lost. Tiger played good golf for four days, as he kicked off the 2020 portion of his schedule at a familiar venue.

Tiger didn't have enough fist pumps in his bag to win at Torrey last weekend but his game is starting to take shape...just in time for Augusta National.

He drove the ball about as well as you could expect for someone who hadn't played a competitive round in six weeks. He worked both sides of the fairway, crunched a few 320 yard drives when needed, and all in all was in command of his game off the tee.

His iron game was both superb and erratic. He stuffed a couple for kick-ins, had a handful of sensational short shots, and was fairly consistent around the greens. But he also misplayed several "simple" shots within 130 yards of the putting surface and seemed a smidgen off on his distance control, which has long been one of his callings. When the caddie says, "it's 99 to the pin", Woods can typically hit it 97, 98 or 99 yards. There were occasions on Friday and Saturday when he hit it 93 or 103.

Depending on the day, his putting was a thing of beauty or a round killer.

He didn't putt particularly great on Thursday, then started his Friday round with that horrible 4-putt, which was more a case of not paying attention than faulty nerves or technique. He then putted well late in the round on Friday and again on the front nine on Saturday.

One good putting sign for Tiger is that his misses were mainly on the high side of the hole, which means he was accelerating at impact and typically hitting the ball a hair too hard. Misses on the low side of the hole usually mean a player is not making solid contact and/or "quitting" on the putt at impact. A miss is a miss, but you'd always rather miss high of the hole than low.

Over his last 27 holes, Tiger's putter went mostly cold, which is how he fell out of contention and ended the 72 holes at 9-under par, six shots behind eventual winner Marc Leishman.

If not for a couple of long par saves on the back nine on Sunday, he wouldn't have finished in the top 10, even.

For Woods, though, every tournament he plays now is a success based on one thing; health. If he got through four days of play at Torrey Pines and woke up Monday refreshed and not sore/stiff, that's a win for him. The more golf he plays without injury incident, the easier it will be for him to really let loose when the time arises.

Tiger's next event will be at Riviera CC in three weeks when he hosts the Genesis Open. That course has never been particularly favorable for Tiger, even dating back to his junior golf days. But before the Masters in April, he'll visit a couple of places where he has enjoyed success; Bay Hill in Orlando and TPC Sawgrass.

#83 might be just around the corner...

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Monday
January 27
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#1981



kobe


One of the greatest basketball players to ever step on a court died yesterday, at age 41, leaving behind a wife and three daughters and a lasting legacy on the community.

Kobe Bryant's reach was so extensive that just saying "community" is good enough. Kobe didn't just touch the sports community. He was a hero everywhere he went, from the posh suburbs of Los Angeles to the projects of Chicago, Philadelphia and any other major city in America.

Few athletes earn the distinction of being known only by their first name. Admittedly, some of that is due to its unique nature, but in some ways it becomes their brand. Through their stardom, you learn to identify with those athletes on a single-name basis. They're the truly great ones. The icons, if you will. Kobe. Tiger. LeBron. Arnie. Magic.

Kobe Bryant - 1978-2020

There have been but a few deaths over the last 60 years that have shook our nation. President Kennedy, Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Princess Diana. And, now, Kobe Bryant. My guess is, like the others (if you were alive for all of them), you'll remember precisely where you were when you first learned the sad news.

I was playing golf with my high school team yesterday afternoon when I went to my phone to check on the Maryland basketball score. I simply saw, "Kobe RIP", and knew. I didn't know the details, but I knew. I quickly went through my timeline and discovered the breaking news. I was so unsettled by it that I ducked out after 7 holes and headed up to the clubhouse to watch the coverage. I wouldn't have been able to focus on golf anyway.

That Kobe's last moments were spent with his daughter offers me the slightest morsel of comfort. Knowing he was there with her, protecting her, and embracing her in those final few seconds, while tragic, reminds us all that love conquers all in the best of times and the worst of times.

Our friend George McDowell handles all of the heavy lifting (below) with regard to yesterday's tragedy that took the life of Kobe, his daughter, and seven others. It's important in times like these to remember that nine people perished yesterday. Yes, one of them was a Hall of Fame (to be) basketball player and, thus, the story is presented with the attention you would expect, but families lost fathers, mothers, sons and daughters on Sunday morning in Calabasas, California.

Psalm 34:18 -- The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

I found two pieces of writing on Kobe to be particularly interesting yesterday and wanted to share them with you today. If you didn't know Kobe, you will get a better idea of the man he had become if you'll take a few minutes to read these stories today.

The first story comes from the Catholic News Agency and goes into great detail about how Kobe's faith carried him through difficult times. You can find it here.

The second one was authored by Jemele Hill, who initially met Bryant through a disagreement, as you'll see in the story. She does an excellent job of pointing out Bryant's basketball greatness and his efforts to learn and grow from both things he did and said. You can find Hill's story here.

I believe it's an important distinction to present Kobe Bryant in a light of "the man he had become", because he, like the rest of us, had made mistakes in his life. There was a run-in with a NBA referee a few years back that included a homophobic slur. And then there was the much publicized sexual assault case in Denver, Colorado that was settled out of court.

Bryant made an effort to better himself after those two incidents. His ultimate judgement will fall not at the hands of people on Twitter, the New York Times or CNN, but with God.

The same fate rests with the others who died yesterday. They, too, will face judgement. While their lives weren't as "public" or, perhaps, "celebrated" as Kobe's, they will get the same opportunity as Kobe to enter into God's eternal kingdom.

May they all rest in peace.

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NOTES & COMMENT
George McDowell


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


Initial Anatomy of a Tragedy


On Sunday, January 26, Kobe Bryant and seven other passengers and the pilot were killed when the helicopter in which they were traveling crashed and burned in a field near Calabasas, California. There were no survivors.

Early reports state that Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gigi was on the aircraft, as was Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli.

Their helicopter took off from Long Beach Airport (LGB) at 8:29 am and landed eight minutes later at John Wayne Airport (SNA). At 9:06 am it took off again [probably after boarding Kobe and the rest of the passengers] and headed northwest. Unofficial reports suggest the destination was somewhere near Thousand Oaks, California, where Gigi Bryant’s junior basketball team had a scheduled game.

Kobe Bryant's Sikorsky S-76

At about 9:44 am the sound man at a church in Calabasas, California heard the helicopter overhead and sensed it was in trouble. He reported that it seemed to be hovering and [or] making a slow left turn, as if looking [in his opinion] for a place to land. He heard but did not see the crash, and thought that the helicopter’s rotor blades made the first impact with the ground. He called 911.

The sheriff’s deputies and firefighters who responded at first drove past the crash site, unable to see it because of heavy fog.

The aircraft was a Sikorsky S-76B, tail number N72EX. The S-76 model has been in commercial production since 1977. This particular aircraft came off the assembly line in 1991. In 29 years of service, it had not been involved in an accident or incident. It was fully certified for Instrument Flight Rules operations, meaning that it was equipped with radios and other navigation electronics that allowed it to be flown in low- or no-visibility conditions – that is, in fog and clouds.

It appears from evidence that the S-76 pilot intended to pick up his eight passengers at John Wayne Airport (SNA), then fly northwest following Interstate 5 until he approached the Hollywood Burbank Airport (AKA Bob Hope Airport; BUR). Once near that airport's Control Zone, he would contact ATC for instructions for flying through or around it. Once through it, he would pick up the Ventura Freeway, turn west [right] and continue toward his intended landing spot near Thousand Oaks. Please see Figure #1. (BUR is just south and west of the map sign for I-405.)

The weather was bad around Burbank, and getting worse. ATC transmissions indicate that Van Nuys Airport (VNY; a smaller airport without major commercial service) had been declared IFR [Instrument Flight Rules, which means that aircraft on Visual Flight Rules flight plans may not land there until conditions improve. An exception to this ban is made for aircraft operating under Special Visual Flight Rules, as was Mr. Bryant's aircraft.] Soon after the announcement that Van Nuys was IFR came the ATC announcement that Burbank Airport was also IFR.

As Kobe's aircraft approaced the Burbank Control Zone, it was given instructions to hold just south and east of it. Please see Figure #2 for the aircraft's path as it flew its holding pattern, waiting for further ATC instructions.

After about 15 minutes the helicopter was given permission to cross the Control Zone. Figure # 3 shows that it did so successfully. ATC then hands off Kobe's aircraft to Van Nuys ATC. There is no recording of any conversation between N72EX and Van Nuys ATC. [There may be such a recording, but it hasn't been released as of this report.]

Figure #3.

The next image shows [reasonably] that N72EX picked up a visual on Rt. 101 (Ventura Freeway) and followed it for a bit, but then loses it by crossing over it and heading to the south. The helicopter then begins a turn to the left, gains altitude [as shown by the accompanying chart], but doesn't get high enough quickly enough, and crashes violently into a hillside.

The chart/graph below shows both the altitude and airspeed of N72EX through its final 38-minute flight on January 26. Both pretty clearly show the pilot was "dodgin' and duckin'," trying to stay clear of fog and clouds that would obscure his vision. What will be important to the NTSB investigators who will deliver the final report on this tragic crash will be the holding-pattern path depicted in Figure #2. Most holding patterns consist of flying a one-minute downwind leg followed by a three-degrees-per-second 180-degree turn to the upwind path. When the aircraft arrives at the start of the upwind path, it is flown on that heading for one minute, then another three-degrees-per-second turn for one minute puts the aircraft on a course parallel to the downwind leg. The record of this flight shows that the pilot not only turned abruptly [at several places, about 90 degrees] in his pattern, and that he also changed directions of his holding pattern from right turns to left turns. The reason for these decisions will be important in determining why the helicopter crashed.

Below we have put the recordings of ATC contacts with N72EX. There are two files. Each file is a 30-minute recording. We've truncated these files so that you don't have to endure the silence between transmissions, which can sometimes be as long as two minutes. There is nothing suggesting the catastrophic nature of the flight in the recordings. The pilot's voice reflects confidence in his ability to accomplish his mission, and betrays no hint there might have been pressure applied from passengers to ignore weather and get to where the flight was scheduled to land on time.

Note that Kobe's aircraft's call sign is "Two - Echo - Xray," but is sometimes stated as "November-Two-Xray." These professionals, of necessity, speak fast. You must listen carefully to pick up the relevant transmissions. There is nothing here that gives a clue to the cause of the accident, but it is all we have.

We don't by any stretch suggest the cause of this crash was the pilot's inability to transition from flying VFR to IFR. That requires drawing a conclusion we aren't willing to make. That transition is both dramatic and traumatic, and comes on without warning. The pilot goes from keeping his/her aircraft on its intended path based entirely on visual-sensory input to an instant change that requires disregarding all sensory input and trusting that the aircraft's navigation instruments readings are valid. Let us see what the investigaors conclude.

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"The Keen Eye" of
David Rosenfeld

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


consider this


Maryland somehow beat Indiana in Bloomington Sunday. The Hoosiers played great in the second half; they barely missed a shot, even the difficult ones. Then they got a fantastic opportunity to win the game at the buzzer, only to throw up a brick on a two-foot shot. The Terps won the last 1:27, so they won the game.

It’s been exceedingly difficult to win on the road in the B1G this season. Entering Sunday’s action, the road team was 12-47 in conference games, and more than half of those 12 wins had come against bottom-feeders Nebraska and Northwestern.

Would Gary have apologized for Jalen Smith's behavior yesterday?

Throughout the game — when the Terps got off to a hot start, and when it seemed certain they’d lose the game — I kept thinking about something off the court, however. There were 17,222 fans at Assembly Hall—certainly a sellout—and they were loud and made a big difference. It was the kind of atmosphere you just don’t see in College Park anymore.

I know what you’re saying. It’s Indiana basketball, and there’s no fanbase in the game that cares more about its team. The Hoosiers haven’t been the great program of memory very often in recent times, but that hasn’t really changed the interest in the program. And all that’s true, probably.

That used to be the case here, too, and the Maryland program has honestly been better than Indiana’s since the 2002 NCAA championship game between the two teams. But the enthusiasm isn’t the same as it still is out there.

I’ve said this before here, and I’ll say it again. When Maryland played in the ACC, every conference game was legitimately sold out. It didn’t matter whether the Terps were having a great year, a good year or a mediocre year. It didn’t matter whether it was Clemson or Duke, though the crowd was certainly crazier when it was Duke.

The Terps play Iowa at Xfinity Center on Thursday. Iowa is a good team, one that just spanked Maryland a couple weeks ago. It’s a ripe opportunity for a real sellout. And it won’t happen…


I thought CBS had an interesting production decision to make yesterday. Though Kobe Bryant’s fatal helicopter crash apparently occurred at about 1 p.m. ET, official word didn’t really start trickling in until close to 3 p.m. In fact, I got an alert about it in the final minute of the Maryland-Indiana game.

Regular-season college basketball, even between two big programs like those two, isn’t exactly a ratings bonanza. I’m sure that the network wanted to cut in immediately, but it was a one-point game in the final seconds. It wasn’t a good time, no matter how famous Kobe Bryant was and how tragic his manner of death.

And then CBS got “lucky,” I guess you would say. The game ended quickly, and the broadcast could then immediately transfer to the studio to Adam Zucker for the news and then head to the golf course at Torrey Pines in San Diego, where the gravitas voice of Jim Nantz could take over.

The gold standard for sports reporting in tragedy has to be the legendary Marylander James McManus, known better as Jim McKay, who was on ABC’s air for 14 consecutive hours throughout the terrible hostage situation and eventual murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. That situation was terrorism, not an accident, and isn’t really analogous to any other tragedy in modern history that relates to sports. Still, it’s always worth repeating the words that McKay used on the air that day, some of the most eloquent and tragic ever used on television.

“When I was a kid, my father used to say that our great hopes and our worst fears are seldom realized,” he said. “Well our worst fears have been realized tonight. They’ve now said that there were 11 hostages—two were killed in their rooms yesterday morning, nine were killed at the airport tonight. They’re all gone…”


Back in Bloomington for a moment, apparently the aftermath of the Maryland-Indiana game featured a keyed-up Jalen Smith doing a lot of yapping at the fans sitting near the court at Assembly Hall. Before yanking him off the court, Mark Turgeon gave his sophomore star an earful about his behavior. Then Turgeon apologized for Smith to open his post-game remarks, followed by an apologetic tweet from Smith himself a bit later.

I wasn’t in the building, of course, to know the exact situation at that point. And in general, I think that players ought to take the high road, no matter what the fans are saying, and even if a fan says something that’s “over the line.” That’s why security and police are present.

You know what, though? I bet Gary Williams would have been over there joining in with Smith. That’s why people loved Gary Williams. He was willing to fight for his team. I mean this sincerely — he never would have publicly apologized for Smith’s behavior. If anything, he might have brought up what was causing Smith to act out in the way he did, because that isn’t normal for him at all.

Maybe that was the old way and this is the new way. You can’t do anything now because social media will have your head on a platter in five seconds. Fine. But it’s Turgeon’s job to be on his team’s side, not to apologize for his players. He doesn’t have to act like Gary Williams, but it would be nice if his team showed the kind of guts that Gary’s teams usually did…like the Terps finally did yesterday at Assembly Hall.

Smith didn’t do anything outrageous, like run into the stands. At one point, he looked at Turgeon almost as if he was saying “okay, Turge. Just relax. I’m having a little fun here.” Why can’t the coach realize that and just kind of smile and tell him to knock it off?


And getting back to Kobe Bryant, the basketball greatness is obvious from the statistics and the championships — five of them, including three straight in the first three years of the 21st century. He played all 20 of his seasons for the Lakers, unusual even for the best players.

In Los Angeles, he was as much of a cultural icon as any actor or entertainer. He had an interesting love-hate relationship with Philadelphia, where he was born and then came of age as a basketball phenom.

What makes Bryant stand out in basketball history, I think, is that he was really the first player to actually be ready to be an NBA star immediately after graduating high school. Kevin Garnett had made the jump before him, but he wasn’t a transcendent player until a little bit later.

Bryant was only 17 years old when he was drafted — his parents had to co-sign his first contract with the Lakers — but he was preternaturally mature for a 17-year-old. His basketball-playing father had moved the family to Italy when Kobe was six years old, and not returned to Philadelphia until Kobe was 13, which gave him a different life experience than most Americans. He still spoke fluent Italian as an adult.

Though he was mature beyond his years, Kobe was famously difficult to play with, in the same way Michael Jordan was. He seemed willing to criticize his own teammates as much as his opponents, once saying (publicly) of his team’s point guard, “Smush” Parker, that “he shouldn’t have been in the NBA, but we were too cheap to pay for a point guard.”

Like most great players, even the ones that are only great at lower levels, Bryant enjoyed playing the villain. He was willing to put it all on his shoulders, and he deserved that respect. It would be between him and Jordan as to whom you’d like to take the last shot in any hypothetical game.

As an athlete, like LeBron after him, Kobe lived up to his hype. Whether he was your favorite player or not, he was never disappointing.


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terps spotlight

DALE WILLIAMS returns for his fifth season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2019-20 season.


smith leads terps past hoosiers


The Maryland Terrapins squeezed out a rare Big Ten win on the road on Sunday as they rallied from 7 down with 2:37 left, then held their breath while watching a last second Indiana shot from point blank range bound off of the rim.

It was a sweet win for Maryland, and in a way equalized the heart-breaking last second road loss to Wisconsin last week. The Terps celebrated their 77-76 win as they exited the court.

Jalen Smith put together another performance that surely turned NBA-scout heads. His career high 29-point effort featured 4 of 6 shooting from behind the three-point line and 11 rebounds. Smith also scored the winning Terp bucket from close range with 16 seconds left after receiving an Anthony Cowan pass on a pick-n-roll play.

The game was truly a tale of two halves. Maryland had a 14-point lead at one time in the first half. They led by 9 after the first 20 minutes but saw that lead evaporate quickly in the second half. At several junctions in the second half, the Terps trailed by 8. It was a very late 7-point Maryland run that salvaged the win.

29 points from Jalen Smith, including the late game-winning bucket, gave Maryland a huge road win at Indiana on Sunday.

There was no slow start for Maryland yesterday. They came out shooting threes and the shots were falling. The Terps hit their first 4 three-point shots and 6 of their first 9. The early bombing raid was led by Smith who went 3 for 3. All five starters hit a three in the first half, as did Ricky Lindo and Aaron Wiggins off of the bench.

Indiana’s bench also came to play. Their reserves outscored the starters 20-16 in the first half.

Indiana head coach Archie Miller called a timeout with 12:31 remaining in the first half after Maryland had built a 10-point lead, 24-14. The stat sheet at that point would show the Terps were 6 of 10 from behind the three-point line, and Indiana was 3 of 4.

Maryland used several zone defenses in the first half, as well as their standard man-to-man, but Indiana kept hitting shots regardless of the defensive scheme.

Offensively, Maryland played with 5 men on the perimeter and no post players. This was a tactic they used to come back against Northwestern. They put up 45 first half points against Indiana and led 45-36 at the half. It’s hard to evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy because everything looks good when your team is hitting 9 of 17 three-point shots like Maryland did in the first half.

As good as Maryland looked in the first half, that’s how bad they looked to start the second. Indiana started scoring inside to begin the second half and they chiseled the Terp lead down to just 2 points, 45-43, after only 2 minutes were played in the second half. Maryland’s offense dried up as they missed 5 straight three-pointers.

The Hoosiers eventually took the lead on a Joey Brunk layup at 16:02. The Terps had played 4 minutes without making a single field goal. The tide had turned. Maryland couldn’t buy a shot, and Indiana was scoring both inside and out.

With 11:37 left, Indiana had made 62% from the floor (24-38) and 66% from the three-point line (8-12). The Terps were having trouble even converting foul shots, making just 4 of 9 and they had only made 1 of 7 threes. Things looked bleak for Turgeon’s Terps at that point.

The Hoosiers would grow the lead to 8 and it was still 7 with 2:37 left after Indiana’s Jerome Hunter made 1 of 2 foul shots. This is when Maryland started their 10-2 run that would give them the win.

Anthony Cowan got things started with a three-point shot from just right of the top of the key. Each team then missed a three, before the Hoosier’s Devonte Green made a runner in the paint to extend their lead to 6. Only 1:25 remined.

After Smith scored in the paint, the Terps full court pressure resulted in a steal by Smith on a pass that appeared to be tipped by Darryl Morsell. Seven seconds later, Aaron Wiggins hit a three from the left wing, and just like that the lead was a scant 1 point and there were 55 seconds left for Maryland to finish the comeback.

Green would next miss a short jumper and Wiggins would grab the rebound, setting up the winning bucket. Without a timeout to use, and just 27 seconds on the clock, Cowan and Smith ran their high pick-n-roll with Smith becoming wide open in the lane. The high pass was caught by Smith who avoided a charging foul right in front of the basket. One quick move later and Maryland would have a 77-76 lead. The drama was far from over however.

The Hoosier’s attempt to win rested with Trace Jackson-Davis’ fantastic look from about 4 feet away on the left side of the lane. The shot had all of the earmarks of a Terrapin dagger, but it was just a tad off of the mark and Jalen Smith batted the rebound away sealing the Terp win.

Maryland, who had been one of the Big Ten’s top defensive teams this season, didn’t play like that on Sunday. While the tempo of the game was going to result in more shots for each team, and more points, Maryland gave up way too many easy baskets yesterday. At one point in the second half, Indiana had scored on 14 of their 17 possessions. Too many of those scores were easy points in the paint.

I’ll give some credit to Archie Miller for instructing his team to pound the ball inside and hit the boards, but Maryland started to look like a team being affected by the crazy Assembly Hall crowd. After watching their lead slip away, Maryland also focused more on their inside game. This meant multiple touches for Smith, and he responded in a big way.

Outside of Smith, the Terps had a hard time finishing inside. Eric Ayala and Cowan each missed a couple of short chippies at the rim despite being able to get inside frequently.

Turnovers were not an issue for either team as Maryland had only 5 and Indiana turned it over just 6 times. The Terps handed out 14 assists while Indiana logged a whopping 22 assists.

In the end, it was the three-point shot that gave Maryland their early lead, and it was the three-point shot that allowed them to come back and win. And, they also had a little help from a Baltimore kid named Jalen Smith.

Enjoy him while you can. After the last three games, all doubts have been removed. Smith is gone after this season.

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Sunday
January 26
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#1980



any win over the sockers is a good one


Prior obligations kept from making it to SECU Arena last night, but just because I wasn't able to attend the Blast-San Diego game in person doesn't mean I didn't smile when the final score came across my phone around 8:30 pm.

Blast defeats Sockers, 9-5.

Anytime the San Diego Sockers lose, it's a good thing. It's not quite as good as a loss by the Philadelphia Flyers, but it's in the same neighborhood.

In the heyday of the Blast, the Sockers were our nemesis. Heck, they were everyone's nemesis for that matter. We weren't the only team who couldn't beat San Diego in the post-season. If my memory serves me correct, I think Tacoma beat San Diego one year in the post-season, then lost to Dallas in the finals ('86-87). Other than that, at least until the league disbanded in 1992, no one beat San Diego in the playoffs. Ever.

They called Steve Zungul "The Lord of Indoor Soccer".

Our first go-around was in the '82-83 championship series. Back then, indoor soccer shutouts were rare. You could go years without recording a shutout. San Diego recorded shutouts in the first two games of the final series, beating us 6-0 and 7-0 in Southern California. Not only did we not win a game out there, we didn't even score.

Back in Baltimore, the Blast won Game 3, 4-3, the pulled off a stunning 7-6 overtime win in Game 4 after Petar Baralic tied the game on a shorthanded goal in the final minute of regulation. Joey Fink's odd-angle shot somehow slipped past Alan Mayer in overtime, and the Blast had forced a decisive game 5 in San Diego.

We lost that final game, but at least we scored a goal in San Diego. But by the time we did, the Sockers had already built a 3-0 lead. I don't remember the exact time of the goal, but I think it was well into the second half before Fink -- again -- was able to score and avoid a third consecutive shutout.

San Diego left the league for a year and the Blast won its first MISL title the next season, beating the St. Louis Steamers in 5 games, including a dramatic 10-3 home win to clinch the title on June 8, 1984.

The next season, this time with league MVP Stan Stamenkovic in tow, the Blast again met San Diego in the finals. The Sockers had rejoined the league and we were ready for our revenge.

San Diego won the first two games out there to take a 2-0 lead. Yes, we scored in those games, in case you were wondering. Back in Baltimore for Game 3, we pounded the Sockers, 10-6, as Stamenkovic had a huge night with 4 goals. Game 4 was on CBS Television on a Saturday afternoon. This was the Blast's chance to inflict damage on San Diego on national TV!

The Sockers won Game 4, 14-2, in what would be the most embarrassing loss in Blast franchise history.

Predictably, the series ended a few days later in San Diego, as the Sockers won the 5th game to win the series, 4-1.

It would be a few years before we got our crack at the them again, but in the '88-89 season, the Blast won the regular season title and had home field throughout the playoffs. The Sockers worked their way through the west and the stage was set for the third meeting between the two teams in the finals.

The Blast won Game 1 and was on the verge of winning Game 2, both at home, before San Diego rallied for a 4th quarter goal to tie the score at 4-4 and send it to overtime. After David Byrne missed a chance to win the game early in OT for the Blast, Steve Zungul rolled a close range shot past Scott Manning to give San Diego the 5-4 victory. The replay would show that Zungul knocked the ball to his feet with a flick of his hand as it came off the boards and into his hip area. But the refs didn't see it.

Zungul gave it away when he ran immediately into the dressing room after the goal instead of celebrating with his team or shaking hands at midfield. But the damage was done. San Diego had evened the series.

In that series, the format was 2-3-2, so the Sockers enjoyed the next three games at home. They had the chance to wrap up the title in Game 5, having won Games 3 and 4 comfortably, but the Blast pulled off a 6-3 win behind a huge night from Carl Valentine, and the series was going back to Baltimore. I remember a distinct feeling of "this is our year, finally" as we left the San Diego Sports Arena that night. We hadn't ever won a playoff game in San Diego before that night. With that demon exorcised, we were on our way.

We drew one step closer by winning Game 6, 7-0, as Scott Manning shut out the Sockers. It as all down to one game now.

Game 7 was a classic. San Diego built a 6-1 lead in the fourth quarter. Kenny Cooper went to the extra-attacker with 11 minutes remaining in the game. Incredibly, Domenic Mobilio scored three goals and Kai Haaskivi added another and it was 6-5 with five minutes left in regulation. The Blast peppered the goal, but couldn't get the tying tally past Victor Nogueira. The Sockers won the title with a 6-5 victory.

If the 14-2 loss in 1985 was the most embarrassing in franchise history, the 6-5 home defeat in the 1989 Championship Series was the most painful loss in that era of Blast soccer. To come that close and fall short was hard to swallow.

One year later, though, we'd meet again in the finals. The Blast had the best regular season record in the league at 27-17 and the Sockers finished under .500 (21-23) but still managed to sneak into the playoffs. Predictably, they figured out a way to turn it on in the post-season and they we were, again, meeting in May to decide the league title.

We split the first two games in Baltimore, of course, and San Diego won Game 3 and Game 4 back home to give themselves a chance at winning the crown in their building. But Scott Manning was superb in Game 5 and the Blast ruined the celebration with a 3-2 win. Game 6, though, went to San Diego, as they again captured the league title in Baltimore, winning 6-4.

For good measure, the two franchises would meet a 5th and final time in the playoffs in the '91-92 season, although it was a first-round playoff encounter this time around. The Blast won Game 2 out there, 7-6, to even the series at 1-1, but the Sockers would capture the next three games in Baltimore to win that series, 3-1.

Five playoff meetings with the Sockers. Five losses.

We came close a couple of times, but we weren't ever able to get over the hump with those guys. Some of the best indoor soccer players to ever play the game toiled in San Diego; Steve Zungul, Branko Segota, Juli Veee, Kaz Deyna, Jean Willrich, Kevin Crow and Brian Quinn. And those were just the superstars. San Diego's talent laden roster was filled with outstanding complimentary players. And they always had great goalkeepers and an outstanding head coach in Ron Newman. They might not have always been at or below the salary cap, by the way, but that's water under the bridge, now.

So, when that score came across my phone last night and I saw the Blast had bettered the Sockers, I smiled.

It's not quite as good as beating them in the playoffs, obviously, but a win over San Diego is a win for indoor soccer mankind.

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terps spotlight

DALE WILLIAMS returns for his fifth season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2019-20 season.


terps visit indiana today


The Indiana Hoosiers will be seeking redemption today at Assembly Hall for their January road loss to the Maryland Terrapins. In that earlier matchup, Maryland used a late first half run, and a huge second half run, to win going away, 75-59. It was a blow-out win for Maryland, who at one point in the game led by 30.

Maryland won that match-up, and scored 49 points in the second half, by getting to the rim in every way possible. They were able to dribble penetrate at will, beat the Hoosiers downcourt, and made some nice interior passes. Meanwhile, Indiana had a tough time getting shots to drop until late in the game.

I expect things to be much tighter today for this 1pm game broadcast by CBS. With Indiana winning 4 of their last 5 games, including their recent home victory over Michigan State, you can expect this iconic gym to be rocking for the nationally televised game against the 17th ranked Terps. Road wins in this conference are hard enough, but winning in this environment will be especially difficult. The oddsmakers have established the home Hoosiers as a single point favorite.

Maryland's counting on a huge day from Jalen Smith when they take on the Hoosiers in Indiana this afternoon.

I’m sure Indiana head coach Archie Miller will be emphasizing transition defense when devising his game plan for toady’s contest. Three weeks ago, the Terps put up 49 second-half points against an Indiana defense that lacked the speed and hustle displayed by Maryland. Points in the paint were plentiful and run-outs were a big part of that. Of Maryland’s 49 second half points, only 6 came via the three-point shot. The Terp guards were too quick and ran too hard.

In the first game, Indiana held a slight advantage in rebounds, and I look for them to really attack the glass today. With Justin Smith, Trace Jackson-Davis, and Joey Brunk, Indiana has a noticeable size advantage which they will use to pound the offensive boards.

I also expect the Hoosiers to focus on getting the ball inside. They are the worst three-point shooting team in the big Ten, but are 7th in scoring. They can score inside and will give numerous touches to their bigs.

Both teams will shoot better than they did in their first game, and both will look to push the tempo. This game won’t be a track meet, but the over/under of just 133 will be surpassed.

Offensively, If Maryland’s guards can push the tempo but still play the relatively error free game they enjoyed against Indiana (just 3 turnovers from the starting lineup) on January 4th, the Terps have a decent shot at moving to 6-3 in the Big Ten.

On defense, the Terp guards have two big jobs. First, they need to prevent fast break points. Secondly, they need to pressure the ball, making it hard for the Hoosier playmakers to get the ball inside to their post players.

Maryland’s Jalen Smith did manage to alter several shots during the first game against Indiana, but there were many other instances when he, and his front court team-mates, were pushed out of position and gave up easy buckets. Smith has been playing fantastic ball lately, but with the Hoosiers being able to put so many big bodies in the game at one time, it will be up to the Terp guards to lead the Terps in the hostile environment that is Assembly Hall.

There is one intangible, one other factor, that could play large in this game. Indiana is coming off of Thursday’s emotional win against the Spartans. Maryland hasn’t played since Tuesday. I’m sure Indiana will be fired up early, but if Maryland can survive that initial energy, then I like their chances.

It may take a late rally, but I think the Terps can prevail in a relatively high scoring game for these teams. Anthony Cowan’s 22-point performance, along with 20 from Jalen Smith will propel Maryland to a 74-73 win.

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we're heading to new york!


We have 14 people signed up for this trip so far!!! It's going to be a blast!

Maybe the O's aren't going to be all that good in 2020. We know that going in. But what you might not know is how much fun a #DMD road trip can be in the summer! And what better place to visit and take in a couple of games than New York?

Join us in NY on June 23-24 to see Trey Mancini and the O's take on the Yankees.

We're going to the Big Apple to support our Birds, June 23 and 24. And we've love to have a bunch of O's fans join us in the Bronx for a couple of days in New York and two baseball games.

We'll leave on Tuesday, June 23 around noon and check in at our Manhattan hotel sometime around 4 pm. The game that night is at 7:05 pm. We'll have upper deck seats for that, with unlimited food and drinks for everyone in our group.

The next night, June 24, we'll have a pre-game bullpen party and awesome left field seats close to the field.

Once the game's over, we'll head back home, arriving in Baltimore after midnight.

If you're interested in going on the trip, send me a quick email so I can start building the trip list: 18inarow@gmail.com.

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Saturday
January 25
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#1979



this, that and the other


I don't know how much you follow the NBA, but here's a nugget for you this morning.

The worst team in the Eastern Conference has 11 wins. They are.....the Atlanta Hawks.

The worst team in the Western Conference has 10 wins. They are.....the Golden State Warriors.

Injuries to Steph Curry and others have rendered the Warriors the league doormat in 2019-2020.

"Wait," you say. "You have that wrong. You must mean Sacramento or Phoenix or Seattle."

Well, first off, there is no team in Seattle. The NHL will have a team in Seattle next year. The Seattle basketball team -- once called the Supersonics -- is long gone. They're now in Oklahoma City.

And, second, I did mean Golden State. Yes, that Golden State. The NBA's darling over the last five years. They have 10 wins on the season.

There's obviously something going on. That "something" is injuries. Steph Curry has been out since the opening game with a hand injury. Klay Thompson suffered a knee injury in the championship series last June and is still out. Kevin Durant ruptured his achilles in that same series and then bolted for an off-year and the comfort of Brooklyn in the off-season. Andre Iguodala was traded to Memphis in the off-season. Those four players are gone. So, too, is winning.

Here's the funniest part: Golden State has 10 wins on the season and four of them came during a holiday week homestand in December, when they rattled off victories over New Orleans, Minnesota, Houston and Phoenix. For a week, or thereabouts, the Warriors were actually the Warriors again.

Steph Curry is due back in a month or so. There's no reason for him to return, obviously, as this season is done. But Curry says he's coming back and playing. "I have a duty to the Warriors," he said last week. Lots of players and experts are telling him to pack it in and come back fresh October. Curry, apparently, isn't going to do that.


Tiger Woods opened the 2020 portion of his schedule on Thursday at Torrey Pines in San Diego. It took him 19 holes to do something he did just once all of last year.

On the first hole of Friday's round, Woods -- at 3-under par -- had himself a nice 25 foot birdie putt. He rolled it well, just missing the edge of the hole. It stopped about 3 feet past the hole. No worries there. A tidy little par to start the day never hurt anyone. Except Woods didn't make a tidy little par. His short putt never threatened the hole, racing past and stopping five feet away from the cup. He had that one left for bogey. And......he missed that one, too. Finally, he was able to coax in a 14-inch effort for a "6" on the first hole.

A four-putt. From 25 feet. Woods would go on to gather himself and actually put together a solid round, shooting 71 on the much-tougher South Course at Torrey Pines. He sits six shots behind second round leader Ryan Palmer, who posted an even par round on the South Course on Thursday and then blasted the North Course for a 10-under par round of 62 on Friday. In case you're wondering, the tournament plays the South Course the last two days.

Now, back to the four-putt. Seve Ballesteros once suffered the same humiliating moment at the Masters. He hit his 2nd shot on the 13th hole to the back right part of the green, with the flag situated in the lower front left of the putting surface. Ballesteros had some 70 feet to navigate on the first putt, and anything hit too hard and coming down the hill with speed could have raced off the green and into Rae's Creek.

Not surprisingly, Seve nursed the first putt down the hill and it stopped way short of the hole, much to his amazement. He flung his arms around in disgust, had some choice words for his caddie, and was obviously bewildered at how that putt could stop 20 feet short of the hole. His next putt, for birdie, raced 8 feet past the hole. His par putt never threatened the cup. He tapped in for a bogey-six and a four-putt.

Like Tiger, he was able to collect himself and play the last five holes in two under par. He wasn't in the greatest of moods when he got to the press tent, but he wasn't fuming, either.

After a few easy-to-handle questions about course conditions, what clubs he hit into certain greens, and so on, a media member finally had the courage to bring up the four-putt.

"Seve......just wondering.......ummmm......at 13......you've played this event 10 times.....you've won twice.......you're known as one of the game's greatest putters. How did you wind up four-putting that hole today?

There was silence in the room. Someone had to ask the question, but the person who did risked getting raked over the coals by Ballesteros, who was a prideful man. Four-putting a hole in front of the world is one thing. Being forced to discuss it is far worse.

Ballesteros finally broke the silence.

"How did I do it?" he asked.

There was another few seconds of silence as Seve seethed.

"I miss. I miss. I miss. I make. Four putts. There you go."

Someone asked Tiger about it yesterday and he said, "Just got sloppy there. Didn't really get reset. Just thought it was a routine 3 footer. Hit the putt, it caught some of the poa and shot off to the right. The next one was a tough one. Down the hill. I knew that one was dicey. Missed that one too."

Fair enough. Those things happen. And anyone who ever putted at Mount Pleasant at 4:30 pm on a sunny summer afternoon knows all about the freaky nature of poa annua greens.

But I wish Tiger would have brought out the Seve explanation. "I miss. I miss. I miss. I make." I love it.


I don't know exactly how to do it, but I'm aware that you can block certain words on Twitter and if someone uses those words, the tweet will not appear on your timeline. I am really close to figuring out how to perform that little trick and blocking anyone who uses these four words over the next few days.

Lamar Jackson.

Pro Bowl.

There are people out there who really believe Lamar Jackson's performance in the Pro Bowl matters.

I've never seen a group of people more whiny about something like I am Ravens fans who are agitated about the way Lamar Jackson is being portrayed at the Pro Bowl.

Please, give it a rest.

In case you missed it this week, Jackson's performance at the "skills events" hasn't been all that great. In the world of "nobody really cares", this is the leader of it all. Nobody really cares at all about the Pro Bowl or the skills events.

But media folks -- and bloggers and other internet "experts" -- have seized this opportunity to pile on with more "I told you so's" as it relates to Jackson and his skill set. With every missed pass, someone chimes in on Twitter with a clip of it and a comment about his lack of accuracy.

And right on cue, Ravens fans get in and start the inevitable back-and-forth. It's maddening.

You had to know, if you're a Jackson/Ravens fan, that his performance in the playoff loss to Tennessee was going to be off-season fodder for everyone out there who thought Jackson was a regular season flash in the pan. Just like Ravens fans used the regular season to trumpet how wrong the experts were who suggested Lamar turn himself into a wide receiver or a running back, his detractors have used the shoddy performance against the Titans to try and even the score.

It's part of the game.

But the overbearing nature of Ravens fans who engage with these social media trolls is shockingly dumb. It would be akin to me involving myself in a discussion with some nitwit who wants to downplay Tiger's career. Knock yourself out with your opinion. But these are the facts: He has 15 majors, the career Grand Slam (3 times) and 82 wins. You can suggest or say anything you want about him, but nothing you say or write changes those three facts.

You can say or write anything you want about Lamar. He's going to be the MVP of the league and led the Ravens to their best regular season record in franchise history. Could he have played better in the playoff game against the Titans? Of course. News flash: He'll have a dozen more chances in his career -- at least -- to get the playoff routine straightened out. Let's see where he is, record wise, in 2027.

In the meantime, Ravens fans, stop embarrassing yourselves with the constant defense of him. It is what it is. You had the last laugh in the regular season. The trolls got the last laugh in the playoffs.

The Pro Bowl means nothing. Zero. Zilch.

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we're heading to new york!


We have 14 people signed up for this trip so far!!! It's going to be a blast!

Maybe the O's aren't going to be all that good in 2020. We know that going in. But what you might not know is how much fun a #DMD road trip can be in the summer! And what better place to visit and take in a couple of games than New York?

Join us in NY on June 23-24 to see Trey Mancini and the O's take on the Yankees.

We're going to the Big Apple to support our Birds, June 23 and 24. And we've love to have a bunch of O's fans join us in the Bronx for a couple of days in New York and two baseball games.

We'll leave on Tuesday, June 23 around noon and check in at our Manhattan hotel sometime around 4 pm. The game that night is at 7:05 pm. We'll have upper deck seats for that, with unlimited food and drinks for everyone in our group.

The next night, June 24, we'll have a pre-game bullpen party and awesome left field seats close to the field.

Once the game's over, we'll head back home, arriving in Baltimore after midnight.

If you're interested in going on the trip, send me a quick email so I can start building the trip list: 18inarow@gmail.com.

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner

Friday
January 24
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#1978



welcome aboard, archdiocese of baltimore!


I'm very excited both personally and professionally to announce a new partnership with the Archdiocese of Baltimore, which began last week with a "soft opening" and starts to take full shape today here at Drew's Morning Dish.

Throughout 2020 -- and beyond, hopefully -- we'll be working in partnership with the AOB to bring you unique and interesting sports stories from the general Baltimore area, focusing mainly on the high school level. We'll look at programs, players, coaches and accomplishments and how they tie into the Archdiocese of Baltimore and the Catholic faith.

I'm constantly looking for new things to dive into here at #DMD. While I enjoy following the Ravens, Orioles and Terps, I also find great joy in having others opine on those teams and players. I'm a big fan of David Rosenfeld and Dale Williams here and read their work(s) thoroughly!

My personal and professional interests have changed a lot over the last few years. I have no problem at all admitting that. Coaching, golf and faith are more important to me than whether the Ravens or Orioles win. That doesn't mean I don't watch the games (I do) or I don't have an opinion on it (I do), it just means my personal interests have broadened quite a bit in recent years.

I'm launching a high school golf coaches conference in March, I'm preparing for my own upcoming MIAA golf season at Calvert Hall, and I'm getting more and more involved with the Maryland chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. These are the things that are really important to me.

And my local parish and school -- Immaculate Heart of Mary -- is also very important as well. Thus, by extension, I'm personally excited about this partnership with the Archdiocese of Baltimore. I'll be supporting their work and efforts on social media and helping them promote the good things they're doing in the Catholic community and in the general community as well. The AOB doesn't just serve Catholics. They serve everyone.

We formally kick things off today by spending 20 minutes with Sean Caine of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, who gives us an overview of what the Archiocese is all about. We'll have several other podcasts with Sean throughout 2020 and in April I'll be privileged to welcome Archbishop William Lori to the world of Drew's Morning Dish, as he'll appear on our podcast to celebrate the Easter holiday.

Over the next couple of weeks you'll start seeing stories about coaches and athletes from various Baltimore area schools, plus podcasts with coaches and athletes as well.

The general website for the Archdiocese of Baltimore is: www.archbalt.org

Our opening podcast with Sean Caine is below. There's also an accompanying video that gives some more insight into the AOB and some of their initiatives. I hope you enjoy them.



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friday things


I wish I knew a way to get interested in the Pro Bowl. But even 12 (or is it 11? or 13?) Ravens players can't do it for me.

I saw on Twitter last night something about a NFL "skills challenge". Every league has one of those kind of things. Baseball's Home Run Derby is best of them all, followed by the NBA Slam Dunk competition and the NHL skills challenge.

I don't see the point of a quarterback throwing a ball through a tire, but I understand what they're trying to do. By the way, I don't even know if throwing the ball through the tire is what they do in that particular challenge, it just seems like a footbally-thing to do.

I fully realize they're trying to do something to jazz up the Pro Bowl. Good on them for trying. But the fact is, players just aren't interested in playing a real game after all the other meaningful games have already been played. It just doesn't work.

Every sport has this sort of issue, although I'd guess that baseball comes the closest to mimicking the real thing in their All-Star Game. There's almost no defense at all in the hockey or basketball All-Star games. The Pro Bowl will have tackling and hitting at about 20% of their real level of intensity.

I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. The Pro Bowl stinks. It's not real football. It's some other game that looks a lot like football, with the same football players you see in the season. But there's just no way to turn it into a real game.

Let me know who wins on Saturday. Or is it Sunday?


Tiger got off to a good start on Thursday, but his 3-under score on the easier North Course at Torrey Pines has put him in a tough spot in search of his 83rd career win. Not that he can't play the South Course decently......he's done pretty well there over the years, as you probably know. But getting off to a big start on the North Course yesterday was paramount, and 3-under was just an OK score there.

Woods looked great off the tee, sporting his new Taylor Made driver and shaping tee balls in both directions. He was a little sloppy with his iron shots, which is how he only made five birdies on the day.

But if Tiger can put together a round of 3 or 4 under on the South Course today, he has a shot at getting in the hunt over the weekend.

Keegan Bradley came in at 6 under to share the first round lead. Rory McIlroy, Sungjae Im and Ben An pieced together nice rounds of 5-under 67 on the North Course, which is what they needed. Bubba Watson's round of 5 under 67 on the South Course could be the start of a big weekend for him.

All eyes, though, will be on Tiger for the next (hopefully) three days, as he looks for career win #83 at a course he dominated both in junior golf and on the PGA Tour. He's always used this event in San Diego as the kick-off to his season, which makes it even more remarkable that he has 7 January victories at the course.

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner

we're heading to new york!


OK, maybe the O's aren't going to be all that good in 2020. We know that going in. But what you might not know is how much fun a #DMD road trip can be in the summer! And what better place to visit and take in a couple of games than New York?

Join us in NY on June 23-24 to see Trey Mancini and the O's take on the Yankees.

We're going to the Big Apple to support our Birds, June 23 and 24. And we've love to have a bunch of O's fans join us in the Bronx for a couple of days in New York and two baseball games.

We'll leave on Tuesday, June 23 around noon and check in at our Manhattan hotel sometime around 4 pm. The game that night is at 7:05 pm. We'll have upper deck seats for that, with unlimited food and drinks for everyone in our group.

The next night, June 24, we'll have a pre-game bullpen party and awesome left field seats close to the field.

Once the game's over, we'll head back home, arriving in Baltimore after midnight.

If you're interested in going on the trip, send me a quick email so I can start building the trip list: 18inarow@gmail.com.

I Am Catholic


#dmd comments


M.M.     January 29
@PLB



Towson is the only local men's team with even a shot at winning their conference tournament. Morgan and Coppin are middle of the pack and no one is beating Norfolk State in the MEAC. UMBC is really down, as you noted. I think they're 2-4 or 2-5 and Vermont is definitely the class of AE conference. I don't think Loyola has a conference win yet. I know you asked @Drew for a report but I think that sums it up. Towson U. definitely has a chance in the Colonial.

Blue Tee Golfer     January 29
If you guys think Tiger is a has been you should see @Herman play golf!!!!! Talk about a has been with no game.

Monk     January 29
I am still here.



Was NEVER banned.



Just a lurker/reader now.

PLB     January 29
Also, Drew, I'm going to the Masters on Wednesday and Thursday this year and would love an article about what to expect and any tips for viewing, attending and so forth!

BO     January 29
I don't know what "Chas" means by "different direction" of the site but I guess the question always is: If you don't like the direction or the writing's or the subject matter why come here in the first place? Just to stir the pot? If so, do something better with your day.

George     January 29
A terrain-warning-system on an aircraft flying at low altitude and descending at 4,000 feet per minute in heavy fog would be called the "Duh Device."

PLB     January 29
Hey Drew, would love to know what you think about the local college basketball teams and their shot at making the NCAA tourney. I know UMBC is having a down year. Towson? Morgan? Coppin State?

Chris     January 29
I'm not a big NBA fan but I do think Kobe's unfortunate passing will make the Lakers "America's team" for the last half of the season and that could be something people get behind. Wouldn't it be something if Lebron and the Lakers win the NBA Championship?

chas     January 29
Chiming in on the perceived excessive religious overtones of the site owner as he removed a comment I had last week encouraging his readers to become fully informed on issues/sponsors.

It's his prerogative to take the comment down but does say something about wanting to stick his head in the sand on real ethical matters people deserve to be aware of.

I love the site for sports and the numerous good deeds done by DF but he's headed down a dark hole with the recent direction.

Here's hoping that this comment does not getting buried.

G. Gordon Liddy, Jr. (The Real G-Man)     January 29
@"G-Man", Yeah I guess every time someone doesn't like (worship?) someone, it immediately makes them a "racist"or "homophobic", right?

That is such childish thinking that it is not worthy of posting in these comments. Grow up.

The guy     January 29
With this column DMD does a preemptive strike and announces a slump in advance.

What happened to guest contributors?

Time to unban those banned.

What happened to that ex-ref, Such, that Oriole season ticket holder who liked going to games? Or that horse race guy?

All chased by the Leader and SOD?

Fire the customer is radio station unbuilding block.



And the moralizing of not pointing out facts about a sports legend

The Real Some Guy     January 29
Maryland will need to make the B1G semifinals to get a 4 seed in the tournament. Otherwise they'll be a 5 or 6. Big difference there.



Agree on the Caps having a chance this spring but Tampa is coming on now and you know Trotz and the NYI would love a crack at DC in the playoffs. If I'm betting, I bet the Caps are out in the second round.



Not a golf expert but anything @Herman says about Woods almost immediately means the opposite (to me). If he says "Woods sucks" I know that means he just had a great tournament finish. If he says "Woods is a has been" I know that must mean he's back on top of the rankings.



My neighbor's daughter is on the Mercy hoops team. Thanks for highlighting the game on Friday.

Mark in Perry Hall     January 29
lol at G-Man.

I understand Herman is the leader of the Tiger hate club and that calling him a "Has Been" is clearly just trolling. But If anything he's more relevant now than he was 10 years ago.

G-Man     January 29
It's such a shame Herman can't somehow attach a Confederate Flag on his postings here!

HERMAN     January 29
I was looking forward to the golf season. But this weekly coronation and complete slobber fest over an aging, past-his-prime, record seeking PED questionable has been is ruining telecasts. 2006 is a few hundred women, and at least two rehabs ago. A lot of blood spinning through the machine as they say. Let's not ruin telecasts overly focusing on some old playful fist bump storyline, let's focus on all this new blood coming up. Reed can play the villain, with a whole new crop of fresh faces to get to know and root for.

The list above from the site owner is like a Sesame Street skit, which one doesn't belong?

Chris in Bel Air     January 29
What will I watch? Terps and Caps.

I've spent most of the year looking at the Terps as glass half empty. Perhaps their top 10 ranking to start the season is the reason - even though I wasn't really buying in at that time. Their offense also looks unimaginative and lost too often. On the other hand, they seem to be relying more on Smith instead of Cowan lately and that is a good thing. Cowan just doesn't seem to have progressed all that much after 4 years. Also, looking at the Terps losses so far, maybe they are not that bad of loss. Seton Hall is now ranked #10. Iowa is #18 and PSU and #24. Wisconsin is at least a respectable team. Terps next 5 are #18 Iowa, #25 Rutgers, @#19 Illinois, Nebraska and @#14 MSU. Which Terps will show up for them? The 2nd half of NW and IU Terps or the lack luster one prior? For me to really believe they can win some games in the big tourney, they will need to win each of those home games and swipe a game at MSU or Ill.

Caps have played well from the start. In addition to Ovie and Vrana playing well, Carlson and Samsonov have also been steady contributors. Here's hoping they don't pull a Ravens and go one and done in the playoffs.

H     January 29
Feel sorry for you Drew after reading your sports interest hierarchy. We have no local PGA tour stop, no NHL franchise, and no major league baseball team.

Mark in Perry Hall     January 29
I'm interested to see what Dale thinks about Maryland's chances. I see them as a 6 or 7 seed. When they lose to Rutgers and some other team they shouldn't lose to their stock will drop big time.

Jeff P.     January 29
Thanks for the pub for Mercy/IND this Friday night. 4,000 expected!! (I'm a Mercy dad, FWIW)

Murph     January 29
In the case of Towson v JHU specifically, they are 100% playing that game on Feb 8 because of TV. They could play that game on a Tuesday late March or early April but the NCAA men's lax committee asked them to play on 2/8 because ESPN put it on their wish last back in October when the schedules were presented to ESPN. I'm tangentially connected to the committee through one of the local schools.

Idiot Caller     January 29
It's really too bad that over the years the school's have folded to political correctness and changed their nicknames. The Mercy Sharpshooters are now the Mercy "Magic", and the IND INDians are now the IND "Penguins".

They're both terrible replacements. First of all, should a Catholic institution's teams really be called the "Magic". Isn't that at least blasphemous if not outright satanic? And the "Penguins"? Really??

David Rosenfeld     January 29
Though there are lots of lacrosse games on TV now (a good thing), the earlier season doesn't really have anything to do with that.

Lacrosse is no longer a game of independents that can pick and choose their schedules. There are 12 Saturdays to play on before conference tournaments, the 2nd half of the season is reserved for conference games, and teams don't want to play a lot of midweek games anymore.

Was it better when Towson and Loyola were the last 2 games of the season for JHU, as opposed to the first two? Maybe. But it's not possible anymore.

Mercy Booster     January 29
Parent of a 2019 Mercy grad here. I watched The Magic get beaten soundly during the four years my daughter attended the school. This year looks different based on performance to date. The Penguins streak of six straight wins ends Friday.

Hey Now     January 29
@ Steve Hey, at least he didn't mention his 13-game plan when he talked about the O's this time.

Delray RICK     January 29
After the SB (COULD CARE less who wins) it Wil be golf,golf on TV and playing til DERBY,PREAKNESS . THEN!!!! OPENING OF FOOTBALL PRACTICE!!!

Biff Cantrell     January 28
The person behind this, and the other fake names I use here, is agnostic. The site owner's expression of faith doesn't reduce my clicks. Funny it would bother anyone. But the internets isn't happy unless it's complaining.

Delray RICK     January 28
POLITICS AND RELIGION always brings up disagreement so why not just keep it a SPORTS SITE!!! When I see DREW start preaching I move on to the next day waiting for sports reporting. I THINK that's what this site was supposed to be. Hey MFC remember "4 more years"

That Guy     January 28
I've noticed a growing religious undertone to a lot of Drew's writings and podcasts over the last year but just assumed he was entering a new phase of life. We all get there in various stages. I assumed his connection to Calvert Hall was part of the change.

C.J.     January 28
I wondered when the first "opposed to God on a sports website" comment would come in. It took longer than I suspected it would. Maybe that's out of respect for Drew's work here or maybe we just don't like poking the bear. I'm not the religious type but it doesn't bother me to see Drew's Faith on display here. I guess others feel differently.

Brien Jackson     January 28
https://images.app.goo.gl/bRHBhqrUuDvNxojC8

Cash Is King     January 28
@Brien

You seem to answer everybody else, but not me? Tell me why you would be published at that monster ESPN in 2011, knowing what you know about this case and the way ESPN “smeared the victim”.



BJ & MFC are “cut from the same cloth”. Hypocrisy at it’s finest. God Bless both of your souls.

Brien Jackson     January 28
@Al



Well I guess by your meaningless "formally introduced" bit we've definitely determined that you are, in fact, an attorney. Congratulations on the time spent defending a rapist in a case you know "little" about on the internet this morning, I suppose.

Tom     January 28
Hey Steve, how are you "uncomfortable"?

Steve     January 28
Waaaaaaay too much god talk on a sports website. It used to be occasional but now it’s every day. Bible verses, links to churchy articles - come on Drew - while many who visit share your worldview, you’re making the rest of us uncomfortable.

AL     January 28
I don't have to Google it. The case was settled with prejudice, I believe, and the defendant is now dead. There's no trial forthcoming and any opinions we render on the case are moot. Like you, I was merely attempting to make 'public record'. A. You are not an attorney. B. No evidence was ever formally introduced, only questioning and testimony from the two people involved.

Brien Jackson     January 28
@DJ



Nothing as far as I know. "Ex ante" means "from before," so by ex ante evidence I meant evidence available at the time of trial (i.e. before the subsequent statement Al objected to). I'm surprised our purported lawyer seems to not know the meaning of a very common Latin phrase though.

Brien Jackson     January 28
@Al



1. There is no standard that you can't call a person a criminal unless they have been convicted. You absolutely can acknowledge overwhelming evidence of their guilt and respond accordingly.



2. The rest of this is just gibberish. Again, as a matter of public record it is indisputable that a)the victim had significant physical injury, b) said injuries were inflicted by Kobe, c) the medical professional who examined the victim determined that the injuries were caused by a sexual assault and "not consistent" (a direct quote) with consensual sex. If by your own account you don't know much about the case it might behoove you to Google it.

DJ     January 28
I guess I could look this up but what is ex ante evidence in court?

Cash Is King     January 28
@ Brien

So when you wrote the blogspot for ESPN, you didn’t have a problem with their journalistic standard? Hypocrisy at its finest.

AL     January 28
Brien, paradoxically you might be right. But paradox doesn't work before a judge and jury. You yourself have already claimed the defendant to be a rapist. You wrote that yourself, although I believe you're smart enough to know one isn't a rapist unless they're a convicted one. But you're going for big points and what I call 'impact impression' by calling him a rapist. I learned long ago to never enter into a case concerned with ex ante evidence. That term in and of itself doesn't exist. Nothing is actual 'evidence' until its been entered as such and both parties and the judge agree that its admissible. From what little I know about the case, I believe the prosecuting attorney would have had a hard time obtaining a guilty verdict. Evidence from both sides might have made that verdict easier or more difficult to obtain. From what the initial questioning of both parties revealed, I'd say the rape verdict would have been difficult to generate.

Comment Police     January 28
@MFC can't help himself. Like a cat waiting to pounce. He has violated the rules of the memo yet again. Let justice be served.

Brien Jackson     January 28
@Al



Of course not. That went more to the point about how we as society obviously don't care if he did in fact rape her.



Now maybe address the rest of the ex ante evidence available at the time of trial?

Rich     January 28
@AL, prepare for @Brien to come around in a few minutes and tell you that you're wrong.

AL     January 28
Brien isn't a lawyer but I am (American University, 1988). He is flatly incorrect with the statement below.



7. After the civil settlement Bryant issued a statement in which he acknowledged that while he thought the interaction was consensual he recognized that she did not. Now given the basic nature of how consent works, taking that at face value is an admission of non-consent and, therefore, an admission of rape.



Bryant's admission after the fact that he believed the encounter to be consensual but NOW recognizes she did not believe it was consensual is not proof that he believed at the time of the incident that it was not consensual.



At the time of the incident, the defendant (Bryant) might not have realized it was not consensual. Later, after hearing testimony and an account from the victim, the defendant then might have realized it was not consensual.



This admission after the fact would never yield a guilty verdict in a court of law. Only evidence that shows the defendant knew it was not consensual at the time the act was taking place would there be a consideration of rape. The defendant never admitted to raping the victim at the time of questioning. He admitted to having what he believed to be consensual sex.


mike from catonsville     January 28
There are definitely 2 Americas, unfortunately. Folks want to bring up Kobes' horrible decision in Colorado and hold that against him for a lifetime when there are 17 credible women, one case which is working it's way through the courts accusing the orange man of sexual misconduct yet that goes by without a wimper. Two Americas.



Kobe shouldn't get a pass on that but from all indications he changed his life around. His story was that it was consensual, only two people in "the room where it happened" so who really knows. And neither should orange get any passes but he does daily and no one is saying his life was turned around or changed. Two Americas.



It just depends on the lense you decide to look through.


Brien Jackson     January 28
It's probably worth laying out the verifiable facts of the rape case for clarity's sake:



1. The "rough sex" was such that it left blood not only in the victim's underwear but on the t-shirt Kobe was wearing.



2. He choked her so hard that the bruising was easily visible when she was examined the next day.



3. Kobe admitted to the "rough sex" and the choking, so these aspects are not in dispute.



4. The medical examiners report was emphatic and direct that the victim's vaginal injuries were not consistent with consensual sex.



5. The charges were not dropped as part of the civil settlement. Rather, after Bryant's lawyers leaked her name she was flooded with harassment and death threats. At least one person went so far as to attempt to hire a hitman to kill her. At that point she refused to testify publicly and the case had to be dismissed.



6. The behavior of Kobe's defense team was so outrageous that Colorado and multiple other states almost immediately updated their rape shield laws to prevent it from being repeated.



7. After the civil settlement Bryant issued a statement in which he acknowledged that while he thought the interaction was consensual he recognized that she did not. Now given the basic nature of how consent works, taking that at face value is an admission of non-consent and, therefore, an admission of rape.



This isn't Tiger Woods cheating on his wife or Pete To see betting on baseball or, arguably, even Ray Lewis being accused of murder considering that a jury heard that case and determined the self defense claims credible. This was a serious, violent, criminal act with a victim whose life was changed forever. And furthermore Bryant was at the very least complicit in an attempt to harass, humiliate, and threaten her into silence.



And the more important part is all of the other people who were complicit in that. ESPN in particular enthusiastically amplified the smears against the victim, and society as a whole essentially decided that we didn't care how overwhelming the evidence was, and we were just fine with letting him get away with it. And that's why even though it's fine to have admired Love as a player or a father and to be saddened by his death....society simply can't be allowed to decide we're just going to agree to keep ignoring that Bryant was a rapist who got away with it. Because that same scenario keeps playing out with basically the same results. Ultimately we either have to confront it or we have to just admit that as far as we're concerned rich and famous people who we admire/cheer for have a license to commit sexual assault and as a society we're just fine with that.

J.R.     January 28
Brien Jackson

@Brien_Jackson



Jan 26

Kobe Bryant was a rapist whose defense strategy was leaking his accusers name for his deranged fans to harass and threaten into dropping the case.

Some guy     January 28
Agree with @Idiot, no one here seemed to be disparaging Kobe at all.

If you want to see the 5% (and these days that might be a low estimate), go see #Brien Jacksons posts on Kobe. That kind of vitriol in the aftermath of this horrible tragedy is sub'human. Perhaps that is why he is no longer a contributor here.

Idiot Caller     January 28
I honestly don't believe that anyone has a problem with Kobe himself. I think some people have a problem with the over the top media coverage of Kobe's unfortunate death.

Tim     January 28
Couldn't have said or thought it better Drew.


Thursday
January 23
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#1977



why do we do this?


I read a lot.

You probably do, too. We're in a time where reading is part of our every day routine. "Reading", of course, means different things to different people. In my world, reading comes in a variety of sources.

For the last few weeks I've been hooked on reading Paul's letters to the Corinthians and the Romans in the Bible.

I read a lot about sports, too. The internet provides us with unlimited material, as I'm sure you know. My guess is this website isn't the only sports reading you do on a daily basis.

When I read something, I go into it assuming the person who authored the work is smart. In fact, in general, I assume everyone is smart. I get it, there are levels to human intelligence. I can talk you through the golf swing and give you lots of science and physics as to how and why you make a good swing, but I can't do my son's 7th grade Algebra homework without guessing at a lot of it.

But for the most part, when I start reading something someone writes, I go into it presupposing the author is smart.

And then, occasionally, I get shocked.

11 green jackets between them...

Earlier this week, Jack Nicklaus celebrated his 80th birthday. It happened to come on the same week that Tiger Woods makes his 2020 debut, so, naturally, the writer tried to connect the two.

"Jack and Tiger made a career out of dominating at one place," a lunatic wrote as he offered a preview of this week's PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, where Woods has won an astonishing eight times.

"Take away Jack's six wins at Augusta and he only has 12 majors. 33% of Jack's major wins were on one course. Tiger has 82 wins and 10% of them have come at the same venue," the lunatic continued.

Rather than laud the two of them for dominating, he turned it into a dissecting criticism of their careers.

Where do people come up with this kind of stuff?

Jack's career is somehow diminished because he won the Masters six times? Tiger's career is blemished because he won eight times at Torrey Pines?

It used to be that someone was tarnished when they couldn't do something. Arnold Palmer's black mark? He never won the PGA. Lee Trevino's career flaw? He never won the Masters. Phil Mickelson's career scar? He never won the U.S. Open. Rory McIlroy is still chasing a green jacket. If he doesn't win one, ever, that will be his scarlet letter.

Jack and Tiger won everywhere. Nicklaus won something called the Sahara Invitational four times and won at Pebble Beach four times as well. 20% of Jack's wins came at three different places, if you include Augusta National. Guess what? Who cares.....

Woods, of course, is on the verge of winning more PGA Tour titles than anyone else, having long ago dusted Jack's career 73 win total and now just one win away from putting Sam Snead into second place on the all-time wins list. Tiger needs one more Masters title to tie Jack for the all-time lead at that venue. He won regularly at Bay Hill and Firestone and, while we're at it, let's remember Woods has 15 majors and 33% of them have "come at one venue" -- Augusta National.

Somehow, though, all that winning isn't good enough for people who think it's devalued because they won so often at particular venues.

Australian Peter Thompson won the British Open five times. He didn't factor in any other major, ever, and won six times total on the PGA Tour. Does anyone Down Under ever say, "Well, you know, that Peter Thompson...all he ever did was win British Opens."?

Nick Faldo won 3 Masters and 3 British Opens. I don't remember anyone in England saying, "How come Faldo couldn't win any other major?"

But for some reason here in the U.S., we have this bizarre tendency to point out successes and try and diminish them.

Back before the holidays, I read a national writer's opinion about Omar Vizquel's potential Hall of Fame selection and the story including a damning reference to Cal Ripken's streak.

"It's a shame Vizquel didn't do something specific we could all remember him by, in the way Cal Ripken Jr.'s consecutive games streak pushed him into Cooperstown. Without that streak, Ripken probably doesn't make the Hall of Fame."

Without those 5714 strikeouts, Nolan Ryan doesn't make the Hall of Fame, either.

Why is Cal's streak a footnote to damage him? You mean to tell me that if Ripken would have sprained his ankle after 2013 games, missed three games, and then returned to action, that he wouldn't have been selected to Cooperstown?

To borrow a line used by Mr. Hand in Fast Times at Ridgemont High: "What are you people...on dope?"

Our very own David Rosenfeld handles Derek Jeter's career in his Thursday column below. In it, you'll find plenty of compliments for Jeter and his career and two instances where Jeter made plays that turned out to be bigger -- legend wise -- than they probably deserved. In no way, though, did David attempt to disparage the career of the Yankees' shortstop. I call that: good writing.

But on the other hand, I saw this one yesterday when some goof opined about Derek Jeter.

"If he would have played for Kansas City or Cincinnati, he would have been a career .250 hitter with average defensive metrics and no World Series appearances."

Why do people insist on trying to diminish someone's accomplishments like that?

We have no idea, none at all, what Derek Jeter's career would have looked like had he played in Kansas City or Cincinnati. And so we certainly can't "move him over" to the Royals and Royals and then trample on what might have been.

"If Joe Montana would have been drafted by the Jets instead of the 49'ers, he wouldn't have put up those numbers and wouldn't have gone 4-0 in the Super Bowl..."

I assume you heard the one about my aunt and how she'd be my uncle if --- you know the rest.

Derek Jeter's career is what it is. He played for the Yankees. He did what he did with the Yankees. Trying to somehow minimize his career by suggesting it would have been worse with other (lesser) teams is like saying Tom Hanks' career wouldn't have been as great if Robert DeNiro would have been tabbed for the lead role in Forest Gump or Brad Pitt would have been left alone on that island in Cast Away.

We'll never know what might have happened, but we know for sure what did happen, because Hanks got both of those roles, killed them both, and they're part of his acting legacy.

People write so much dumb stuff these days.

"If Jeter would have played in Kansas City..."

"If Cal wouldn't have broken Gehrig's record..."

"Jack won 33% of his majors at one venue..."

"Tiger has 82 wins and 8 of them have come at the same place..."

All of it, every single word of it.......just dumb.

Please stop writing dumb stuff.

Or, as I'm sure someone will suggest, perhaps I should just stop reading it.

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jeremy giambi was safe...


Derek Jeter had nearly 2,600 singles in his 19-plus seasons in the Major Leagues. Outside the 19th century and the Dead Ball Era, only Pete Rose had more. Jeter was really good at that, and for that alone he should have been elected to the Hall of Fame.

Jeter played in 158 postseason games, an astonishing number. On a smaller scale, his statistics in the playoffs were quite similar to his numbers in the regular season. Maybe he wasn’t as “clutch” as his legend would have it, but he was just as good in October as he was in May.

Sabermetricians like to wax poetic on Jeter’s defensive liabilities, which is fine. I’m not sure he was much different than many veteran fielders; as time went on, his athleticism waned, his range shrunk, and he had to pay more attention to being practical than spectacular.

Jeter was actually a workmanlike player, despite all those years in the big city and all the models he dated and eventually married. There was nothing mythical about him…

Which gives me the chance to talk about two plays that, after all these years, are actually myths. Well, they did happen. But the way they get talked about, and their relation to Jeter’s great career, borders on embarrassment.

Let’s start with this one. Jeremy Giambi—aka Jason’s younger brother. The thing is…he was safe at home plate.

And the legend begins to grow even more...

The date was October 13, 2001. Oakland led the ALDS against the Yankees two games to none after a sweep in New York, needing just one win to advance to the next round. In the bottom of the seventh inning, with his team trailing 1-0 and two outs, Oakland’s Terrence Long scalded a line drive (off Mike Mussina, in his first year as a Yankee) into the right-field corner. As Giambi rounded third, a terrible throw from right fielder Shane Spencer missed both cut-off men and bounced into the infield.

That was when Jeter, quite famously, tracked the ball down near the first-base line, cradled it and shoveled it in the direction of home plate, where Jorge Posada slapped a tag on Giambi, who for some reason had neglected to slide.

After the game, Jeter admitted that the Yankees had been practicing for this type of play all season. He also admitted, quite honestly, that the usual point of the cutoff was to throw the ball to third base. His desperation flip to Posada was simply a reaction in the moment, and it was a hell of a reaction.

Here’s the thing, though. It was a great play, a Hall of Fame play. I don’t know what other shortstop in 2001 might have made that play. None of that takes away from the fact that Giambi was safe. He was safe then, and he was safe each of the other 5,000 times I’ve watched the replay. Umpire Kerwin Danley called him out, probably because Giambi didn’t slide, or Danley was astonished at Jeter’s play, or some combination of both.

That play, “The Flip,” the subject of so many fawning articles and documentaries and great memories for Yankee fans, should have instead been lost to history. Posada missed the tag on Giambi’s right leg, and by the time he slapped the tag on his left leg, Giambi’s foot was on the plate. It’s plain as day.

Here’s a second thing about Jeter, in case you didn’t pay that much attention to his career. Despite what you’ve read and heard, he never made an incredible play by diving into the stands at Yankee Stadium to catch a foul ball at an important moment in a big game against Boston.

The game took place on July 1, 2004, actually. At the time, New York held a seven-and-a-half game lead in the AL East. The important games between the Red Sox and Yankees came that October, when Jeter’s team famously blew a 3-0 lead in the ALCS to Boston, which would go on to win its first World Series since 1918.

The ball, when Jeter caught it, was a fair ball, of course. He was several steps inside the foul line, maybe ten feet from the wall surrounding the field. If it was a foul ball, why would it have been such a big deal if he didn’t catch the ball? The runners would have just returned to where they were in that case.

Anyway, that’s the point. When you watch the play in full speed, it’s an outstanding play. Jeter was shaded toward second base, and he made a long run to get to the ball, the kind of play he could make when he was a younger player.

The “dive” Jeter made, however, came after he caught the ball. It was a “fight or flight” reaction. When he looked up after the catch, he had a quick decision to make…he could either collide with the wall with the force of his momentum, or jump over the short wall in the hope that the cushion would be a bit softer.

He chose the latter, which was probably smart. By doing so, he ended up a little bloody; if he had pulled up and hit the wall, he might have been injured more seriously. He did what he did as a way to contain damage, and that’s all. If he’d made the same catch in the Oakland Coliseum, the wall would have been 50 feet away.

This was not a “diving” catch. This was not a play that required Jeter to reach into the stands or over a wall to “steal” a ball from the fans. And yet…

In 2004, MLB.com chose the play as it’s “Play of the Year.” They described it this way: “Derek Jeter dives into the stands to rob Boston’s Trot Nixon in the 12th inning of a huge midsummer game.”

Sorry to be truculent, but that’s not what happened. It’s a lie. The play always sits atop the list of Jeter’s most memorable moments, but the memory of it is usually wrong. Think about the three most famous plays in Derek Jeter’s career…

A great defensive reaction in Oakland, ruined by the wrong call. If Giambi is called safe, the A’s tie the game, and maybe they win it in walk-off fashion a few innings later. They advance to the ALCS, not the Yankees.

A catch that shortstops make every year, in a game in July. Jeter caught the ball in fair territory; he was simply trying to avoid injury after that, not ham it up for the cameras by laying prone in the stands with a bloodied lip.

And a 1996 playoff “home run” that was only a home run in the mind of Rich Garcia. Even the 11-year-old kid who caught the ball knew that.

Look, the moron who didn’t vote Derek Jeter into the Hall of Fame the other day ought to be stripped of his or her vote. If you asked me to choose one modern player to step into the batter’s box if my team needed to get a hit, I’d pick him. But I’m hoping that his induction is the end of his myth, both for his sake and ours.

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner

we're heading to new york!


OK, maybe the O's aren't going to be all that good in 2020. We know that going in. But what you might not know is how much fun a #DMD road trip can be in the summer! And what better place to visit and take in a couple of games than New York?

Join us in NY on June 23-24 to see Trey Mancini and the O's take on the Yankees.

We're going to the Big Apple to support our Birds, June 23 and 24. And we've love to have a bunch of O's fans join us in the Bronx for a couple of days in New York and two baseball games.

We'll leave on Tuesday, June 23 around noon and check in at our Manhattan hotel sometime around 4 pm. The game that night is at 7:05 pm. We'll have upper deck seats for that, with unlimited food and drinks for everyone in our group.

The next night, June 24, we'll have a pre-game bullpen party and awesome left field seats close to the field.

Once the game's over, we'll head back home, arriving in Baltimore after midnight.

If you're interested in going on the trip, send me a quick email so I can start building the trip list: 18inarow@gmail.com.

I Am Catholic


Wednesday
January 22
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#1976



these baseball writers...


Derek Jeter wasn't a Hall of Fame baseball player.

So said one loon on Tuesday when the 2020 Hall of Fame class was announced.

And Larry Walker, 15 years removed from the game and 10 years after he first became eligible, finally was a Hall of Famer.

Oh, and Scott Rolen received 35% of the votes, falling woefully shy of the 75% he would have needed to gain entry into Cooperstown.

All three of those things were head scratchers on Tuesday when the class was unveiled. If you owned a Hall of Fame vote and didn't put a check mark next to Jeter's name, you're a clown. Now, thankfully, only person actually exercised his or her clown rights, but one, still, is too many.

Derek Jeter now ranks as the highest voted position player in baseball Hall of Fame history after accumulating 99.7% of the vote in his first-year of eligibility.

The argument surrounding Jeter was this silly notion that it matters at all if someone is selected unanimously or not. Somewhere, someone said, "I'll be the answer to the trivia question and I won't vote Jeter in the first time around."

People will say "Maddux wasn't unanimous, Mantle wasn't unanimous, Cal Jr. wasn't unanimous" and somehow weave that into a discussion about Jeter, or anyone else they elect not to vote for in light of the topic of unanimous selections.

Just because some moron didn't vote Greg Maddux or Cal Ripken Jr. into the Hall of Fame the first time around doesn't mean you have to follow suit and be the moron who didn't vote for, say, Ken Griffey Jr.

But these baseball writers are nothing if not unoriginal.

Larry Walker was never good enough to get in once he became eligible. In fact, one year he received 12% of the vote. Last year, he picked up just 54% of the vote in his penultimate year of eligibility. Yesterday, we learned he made it to Cooperstown by a mere six votes.

How does a guy go from 54% in 2019 to 75% in 2020, having not played a game, hit a home run or fielded a grounder in that time? Bizarre...

If your argument is in favor of Larry Walker being a Hall of Famer, why wasn't he a Hall of Famer in 2010 when he was first eligible?

Once upon a time, someone decided not to vote for Ken Griffey Jr. for the Hall of Fame! So it's not like we haven't been down this Jeter-road before, only this time it ended up that one person apparently "saw the light" and realized Derek Jeter is not a Hall of Fame baseball player.

I wish I were smart enough to understand how this logically plays out in people's minds. The ballot comes to you. You read the names. Is Manny Ramirez a Hall of Famer? Yes or No? Is Omar Vizquel a Hall of Famer? Yes or No? Is Curt Schilling a Hall of Famer? Yes or No?

It shouldn't have anything to do with how some dummy voted in 1987, 1997 or 2017. You have the ballot and the smarts (insert punch line here) to make the right decision. If a guy wasn't a Hall of Famer in your mind in 2015, how on earth could he be a Hall of Famer three years later?

This is far, far more frustrating than the NFL's in-game replay system.

Derek Jeter was a Hall of Fame baseball player. Period. Not voting for him exposes you as a fraud. Even if it's just one person, you're a fraudulent "one person".

And this nonsense about only being able to vote for ten guys and so on? Stupid. So stupid.

So is waiting around for five years after a guy retires to put him on the eligibility list. That's also dumb. But we'll concede on that one and move ahead to fixing the way the voting should go.

Here's how it should work: The ballot should contain the names of the players who have reached eligibility status. In order to protect against personal voting bias, a player remains on the ballot for five years. Over that five year period, you must receive 75% of the hightest total number of eligible voters. So this would act as a running total, since voting totals could change from year to year. One year 350 people might vote, the next year, 353 people might vote, and so on. You have to receive 75% of the highest figure. If 373 people voted in year 5 of your eligibility, you have to receive 75% of 373 in order to qualify. These votes would include all the votes you received in the five year period, but you'd be getting only one vote per-writer.

Remember, as a voter, you are able to only vote for someone in the first year of your voting privilege. That way, if new writers come on board and are eligible to vote in years 2, 3, 4 and 5 of your eligilibity, a player might still receive enough votes to get to Cooperstown.

This eliminates the silly 10 year eligibility period and gives someone who didn't get in the first time a reasonable chance of still being selected if, say, they received 65% of the vote in year one.

In other words, you must vote for people in year one of their eligibility or you can never vote for them again. However, if you're a new addition to the writer's association within a player's five year window, you can vote for him in your first year (only) of voting.

Think of it like this: In 2024, Adam Jones becomes eligible. You are not yet a writer with a vote. Jones is eligible for five years. In his first year, he receives 50% of the vote. He's not in. But in year two of his eligibility, you and any other new writers who are casting a vote for the first time get the opportunity to vote for Jones, as he's in his five-year voting window. But you have that year and that year only to vote for him.

We'd do it this way to simply protect against personal bias. If you could only get in on the first year of your eligibility, 20 guys/gals could get together over cocktails at the World Series and effectively determine your Hall of Fame status by agreeing not to vote for you. There's a difference between being eligible one year and one year only and a writer being allowed to vote for you in your first year of eligibility.

Editor's note: By the way, this method could have potentially helped Art Modell make the Hall of Fame. Tony Grossi in Cleveland would have one had opportunity to vote "no" for Modell and that would have been it. There wouldn't have been a need for him to get up every February and grandstand against Modell. His vote would have already been cast. But that's a story for another day...

One might wonder why on earth we have to protect against personal bias with these baseball writers. Ummmmmm, hello, one of those nitwits just left Derek Jeter off of his/her ballot. Case closed.

This "new way" ties everything up neatly. It reconfirms to all of the voters that they are given the privilege of casting a vote in an effort to get people into the Hall of Fame, not make a name for themselves as some kind of baseball savant who believes in his heart Derek Jeter or Ken Griffey Jr. or Greg Maddux wasn't a Hall of Famer.

Imagine having a vote and sitting around at the pool during the summer with your friends and laughing about the fact you left Ken Griffey Jr. or Greg Maddux off of your Hall of Fame ballot.

If you're a writer and you get the ballot, you should know from the beginning you have one chance to vote for these players. One chance. Study hard. Sharpen your pencil. Make the right decision. It's a very simple game, as Charles Markwood Eckman would have said.

Oh, and to really put a bow on all of this: Why wouldn't you come up with a way to have the -- wait for it -- baseball players somehow participate in the voting? No disrespect intended to any of our great national media members, but 90% of them never played in the big leagues. The guys that faced Larry Walker or Ken Griffey Jr. should have a say in it, don't you think?

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terps spotlight

DALE WILLIAMS returns for his fifth season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2019-20 season.



second half surge lifts terps to rare road win


The Maryland Terrapins finally won a Big Ten road game last night as they took down the Wildcats of Northwestern, 77-66. It was a tale of two halves, as Maryland played what was arguably their worst half of the season, followed by a complete reversal in the second half.

The Terps (15-4 overall, 5-3 conference) used the foul line and the three-point line to erase a 40-26 halftime deficit, and pull out the win.

In a statistical anomaly, the Terps scored 39 points from behind the three-point line, 26 from the foul line, and just 12 points in the paint. It was a late run of second half threes, and some stellar foul shooting, that propelled Maryland to the win.

If you see the 11-point margin of victory and think Maryland dominated the game, think again. The Wildcats stormed out to a 10-0 lead and were still up by 10, 53-43, with just 12:25 left in the game. Things looked bleak for Maryland’s chances to move to 5-3 in the conference.

Two Aaron Wiggins foul shots, a three by Donta Scott, and two more foul shots by Jalen Smith cut the lead to just 3. After Pat Spencer got into the paint for a bucket, back to back 3’s by Wiggins and Anthony Cowan gave Maryland a 1-point lead, 56-55.

25 points from Mount Saint Joseph grad Jalen Smith led the Terps to a come-from-behind 77-66 win over Northwestern on Tuesday night.

Eric Ayala hit a three with 7:01 left to put Maryland back in front, 61-59. Another Spencer bucket tied the game at 61 all, but that’s where the Wildcat hopes died.

With the Terps up by 2, 65-63, Jalen Smith took over. He poured in 7 straight points to put his team up by 9 with 1:57 left in the game. A Wiggins three-pointer at the 1:16 mark was the dagger that put Maryland up by 11. The outcome had been determined.

The first half was perhaps the worst of the season for Maryland. That’s saying a lot considering some of the awful starts they have endured this year. In past games, even though the Terps offense has stalled, the defense usually performs well. Last night in the first half, the Terrapin defense was nonexistent.

In the first 20 minutes, Maryland gave up 40 points, allowing Northwestern to hit 60% from the floor and make 66% of their threes. By contrast, Maryland hit 24% of their first half shots including 5 of 17 from behind the three point line. The first half Terp defense was always a step too slow and a bit lethargic.

The Northwestern numbers returned to form in the second half. The Terps made some adjustments that led to fewer easy buckets around the rim. As a result, The Wildcats hit just 39% from the floor in the second half. Their deep shots stopped going too, as they made just 3 of 10 second half tries from beyond the arc.

Maryland won’t win many games when 62% of their shots taken are from behind the three-point line. They made just 6 field goals in the first half (5 threes and 1 bucket in the paint), but connected on 8 threes in the second. Northwestern’s defensive plan forced Maryland to shoot from the outside. Whether it was the man-to-man defense, or the frequently employed zones, Northwestern often had three guys around the foul line extended just daring Maryland to attempt to penetrate. The strategy worked until Northwestern got a step slower in the second half and the Terps started to get a step ahead of their defenders.

The result was a steady supply of Wildcat fouls and a steady diet of Terp made free-throws. For the game Maryland made 26 of their 29 foul shots. Jalen Smith hit all 9 of his attempts while Cowan made 7 of his 8 attempts from the charity stripe.

I wrote that Smith played his best game of the year a few nights ago against Purdue. Last night he was even better. Maryland had no shot of winning this game without his 25-point, 11 rebound performance. Aaron Wiggins put together another solid performance by making 5 threes while putting up 17 points and grabbing 5 rebounds.

Cowan, again, struggled from the field (2 for 10) but had 6 assists against just 1 turnover. Turnovers were not an issue last night as Maryland had just 6 for the game.

In beating Northwestern on the road, the Terps took what Northwestern gave them, and managed to wrestle away a victory that looked likely to be handed to the home team. The glass half empty people will lament the slow starts that seem to be common for Mark Turgeon’s team this year, while the glass half full crowd will note the half time adjustments that led to a 51-26 advantage in the last 20 minutes and ultimately allowed Maryland to move into fourth place in Big Ten with 5-3 record.

The road show continues on Sunday as Maryland travels to Indiana for a nationally televised game (CBS, 1pm) against the Hoosiers. Indiana first has to host Michigan State this Thursday night.

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we're heading to new york!


OK, maybe the O's aren't going to be all that good in 2020. We know that going in. But what you might not know is how much fun a #DMD road trip can be in the summer! And what better place to visit and take in a couple of games than New York?

Join us in NY on June 23-24 to see Trey Mancini and the O's take on the Yankees.

We're going to the Big Apple to support our Birds, June 23 and 24. And we've love to have a bunch of O's fans join us in the Bronx for a couple of days in New York and two baseball games.

We'll leave on Tuesday, June 23 around noon and check in at our Manhattan hotel sometime around 4 pm. The game that night is at 7:05 pm. We'll have upper deck seats for that, with unlimited food and drinks for everyone in our group.

The next night, June 24, we'll have a pre-game bullpen party and awesome left field seats close to the field.

Once the game's over, we'll head back home, arriving in Baltimore after midnight.

If you're interested in going on the trip, send me a quick email so I can start building the trip list: 18inarow@gmail.com.



#dmd comments


M.M.     January 29
@PLB



Towson is the only local men's team with even a shot at winning their conference tournament. Morgan and Coppin are middle of the pack and no one is beating Norfolk State in the MEAC. UMBC is really down, as you noted. I think they're 2-4 or 2-5 and Vermont is definitely the class of AE conference. I don't think Loyola has a conference win yet. I know you asked @Drew for a report but I think that sums it up. Towson U. definitely has a chance in the Colonial.

Blue Tee Golfer     January 29
If you guys think Tiger is a has been you should see @Herman play golf!!!!! Talk about a has been with no game.

Monk     January 29
I am still here.



Was NEVER banned.



Just a lurker/reader now.

PLB     January 29
Also, Drew, I'm going to the Masters on Wednesday and Thursday this year and would love an article about what to expect and any tips for viewing, attending and so forth!

BO     January 29
I don't know what "Chas" means by "different direction" of the site but I guess the question always is: If you don't like the direction or the writing's or the subject matter why come here in the first place? Just to stir the pot? If so, do something better with your day.

George     January 29
A terrain-warning-system on an aircraft flying at low altitude and descending at 4,000 feet per minute in heavy fog would be called the "Duh Device."

PLB     January 29
Hey Drew, would love to know what you think about the local college basketball teams and their shot at making the NCAA tourney. I know UMBC is having a down year. Towson? Morgan? Coppin State?

Chris     January 29
I'm not a big NBA fan but I do think Kobe's unfortunate passing will make the Lakers "America's team" for the last half of the season and that could be something people get behind. Wouldn't it be something if Lebron and the Lakers win the NBA Championship?

chas     January 29
Chiming in on the perceived excessive religious overtones of the site owner as he removed a comment I had last week encouraging his readers to become fully informed on issues/sponsors.

It's his prerogative to take the comment down but does say something about wanting to stick his head in the sand on real ethical matters people deserve to be aware of.

I love the site for sports and the numerous good deeds done by DF but he's headed down a dark hole with the recent direction.

Here's hoping that this comment does not getting buried.

G. Gordon Liddy, Jr. (The Real G-Man)     January 29
@"G-Man", Yeah I guess every time someone doesn't like (worship?) someone, it immediately makes them a "racist"or "homophobic", right?

That is such childish thinking that it is not worthy of posting in these comments. Grow up.

The guy     January 29
With this column DMD does a preemptive strike and announces a slump in advance.

What happened to guest contributors?

Time to unban those banned.

What happened to that ex-ref, Such, that Oriole season ticket holder who liked going to games? Or that horse race guy?

All chased by the Leader and SOD?

Fire the customer is radio station unbuilding block.



And the moralizing of not pointing out facts about a sports legend

The Real Some Guy     January 29
Maryland will need to make the B1G semifinals to get a 4 seed in the tournament. Otherwise they'll be a 5 or 6. Big difference there.



Agree on the Caps having a chance this spring but Tampa is coming on now and you know Trotz and the NYI would love a crack at DC in the playoffs. If I'm betting, I bet the Caps are out in the second round.



Not a golf expert but anything @Herman says about Woods almost immediately means the opposite (to me). If he says "Woods sucks" I know that means he just had a great tournament finish. If he says "Woods is a has been" I know that must mean he's back on top of the rankings.



My neighbor's daughter is on the Mercy hoops team. Thanks for highlighting the game on Friday.

Mark in Perry Hall     January 29
lol at G-Man.

I understand Herman is the leader of the Tiger hate club and that calling him a "Has Been" is clearly just trolling. But If anything he's more relevant now than he was 10 years ago.

G-Man     January 29
It's such a shame Herman can't somehow attach a Confederate Flag on his postings here!

HERMAN     January 29
I was looking forward to the golf season. But this weekly coronation and complete slobber fest over an aging, past-his-prime, record seeking PED questionable has been is ruining telecasts. 2006 is a few hundred women, and at least two rehabs ago. A lot of blood spinning through the machine as they say. Let's not ruin telecasts overly focusing on some old playful fist bump storyline, let's focus on all this new blood coming up. Reed can play the villain, with a whole new crop of fresh faces to get to know and root for.

The list above from the site owner is like a Sesame Street skit, which one doesn't belong?

Chris in Bel Air     January 29
What will I watch? Terps and Caps.

I've spent most of the year looking at the Terps as glass half empty. Perhaps their top 10 ranking to start the season is the reason - even though I wasn't really buying in at that time. Their offense also looks unimaginative and lost too often. On the other hand, they seem to be relying more on Smith instead of Cowan lately and that is a good thing. Cowan just doesn't seem to have progressed all that much after 4 years. Also, looking at the Terps losses so far, maybe they are not that bad of loss. Seton Hall is now ranked #10. Iowa is #18 and PSU and #24. Wisconsin is at least a respectable team. Terps next 5 are #18 Iowa, #25 Rutgers, @#19 Illinois, Nebraska and @#14 MSU. Which Terps will show up for them? The 2nd half of NW and IU Terps or the lack luster one prior? For me to really believe they can win some games in the big tourney, they will need to win each of those home games and swipe a game at MSU or Ill.

Caps have played well from the start. In addition to Ovie and Vrana playing well, Carlson and Samsonov have also been steady contributors. Here's hoping they don't pull a Ravens and go one and done in the playoffs.

H     January 29
Feel sorry for you Drew after reading your sports interest hierarchy. We have no local PGA tour stop, no NHL franchise, and no major league baseball team.

Mark in Perry Hall     January 29
I'm interested to see what Dale thinks about Maryland's chances. I see them as a 6 or 7 seed. When they lose to Rutgers and some other team they shouldn't lose to their stock will drop big time.

Jeff P.     January 29
Thanks for the pub for Mercy/IND this Friday night. 4,000 expected!! (I'm a Mercy dad, FWIW)

Murph     January 29
In the case of Towson v JHU specifically, they are 100% playing that game on Feb 8 because of TV. They could play that game on a Tuesday late March or early April but the NCAA men's lax committee asked them to play on 2/8 because ESPN put it on their wish last back in October when the schedules were presented to ESPN. I'm tangentially connected to the committee through one of the local schools.

Idiot Caller     January 29
It's really too bad that over the years the school's have folded to political correctness and changed their nicknames. The Mercy Sharpshooters are now the Mercy "Magic", and the IND INDians are now the IND "Penguins".

They're both terrible replacements. First of all, should a Catholic institution's teams really be called the "Magic". Isn't that at least blasphemous if not outright satanic? And the "Penguins"? Really??

David Rosenfeld     January 29
Though there are lots of lacrosse games on TV now (a good thing), the earlier season doesn't really have anything to do with that.

Lacrosse is no longer a game of independents that can pick and choose their schedules. There are 12 Saturdays to play on before conference tournaments, the 2nd half of the season is reserved for conference games, and teams don't want to play a lot of midweek games anymore.

Was it better when Towson and Loyola were the last 2 games of the season for JHU, as opposed to the first two? Maybe. But it's not possible anymore.

Mercy Booster     January 29
Parent of a 2019 Mercy grad here. I watched The Magic get beaten soundly during the four years my daughter attended the school. This year looks different based on performance to date. The Penguins streak of six straight wins ends Friday.

Hey Now     January 29
@ Steve Hey, at least he didn't mention his 13-game plan when he talked about the O's this time.

Delray RICK     January 29
After the SB (COULD CARE less who wins) it Wil be golf,golf on TV and playing til DERBY,PREAKNESS . THEN!!!! OPENING OF FOOTBALL PRACTICE!!!

Biff Cantrell     January 28
The person behind this, and the other fake names I use here, is agnostic. The site owner's expression of faith doesn't reduce my clicks. Funny it would bother anyone. But the internets isn't happy unless it's complaining.

Delray RICK     January 28
POLITICS AND RELIGION always brings up disagreement so why not just keep it a SPORTS SITE!!! When I see DREW start preaching I move on to the next day waiting for sports reporting. I THINK that's what this site was supposed to be. Hey MFC remember "4 more years"

That Guy     January 28
I've noticed a growing religious undertone to a lot of Drew's writings and podcasts over the last year but just assumed he was entering a new phase of life. We all get there in various stages. I assumed his connection to Calvert Hall was part of the change.

C.J.     January 28
I wondered when the first "opposed to God on a sports website" comment would come in. It took longer than I suspected it would. Maybe that's out of respect for Drew's work here or maybe we just don't like poking the bear. I'm not the religious type but it doesn't bother me to see Drew's Faith on display here. I guess others feel differently.

Brien Jackson     January 28
https://images.app.goo.gl/bRHBhqrUuDvNxojC8

Cash Is King     January 28
@Brien

You seem to answer everybody else, but not me? Tell me why you would be published at that monster ESPN in 2011, knowing what you know about this case and the way ESPN “smeared the victim”.



BJ & MFC are “cut from the same cloth”. Hypocrisy at it’s finest. God Bless both of your souls.

Brien Jackson     January 28
@Al



Well I guess by your meaningless "formally introduced" bit we've definitely determined that you are, in fact, an attorney. Congratulations on the time spent defending a rapist in a case you know "little" about on the internet this morning, I suppose.

Tom     January 28
Hey Steve, how are you "uncomfortable"?

Steve     January 28
Waaaaaaay too much god talk on a sports website. It used to be occasional but now it’s every day. Bible verses, links to churchy articles - come on Drew - while many who visit share your worldview, you’re making the rest of us uncomfortable.

AL     January 28
I don't have to Google it. The case was settled with prejudice, I believe, and the defendant is now dead. There's no trial forthcoming and any opinions we render on the case are moot. Like you, I was merely attempting to make 'public record'. A. You are not an attorney. B. No evidence was ever formally introduced, only questioning and testimony from the two people involved.

Brien Jackson     January 28
@DJ



Nothing as far as I know. "Ex ante" means "from before," so by ex ante evidence I meant evidence available at the time of trial (i.e. before the subsequent statement Al objected to). I'm surprised our purported lawyer seems to not know the meaning of a very common Latin phrase though.

Brien Jackson     January 28
@Al



1. There is no standard that you can't call a person a criminal unless they have been convicted. You absolutely can acknowledge overwhelming evidence of their guilt and respond accordingly.



2. The rest of this is just gibberish. Again, as a matter of public record it is indisputable that a)the victim had significant physical injury, b) said injuries were inflicted by Kobe, c) the medical professional who examined the victim determined that the injuries were caused by a sexual assault and "not consistent" (a direct quote) with consensual sex. If by your own account you don't know much about the case it might behoove you to Google it.

DJ     January 28
I guess I could look this up but what is ex ante evidence in court?

Cash Is King     January 28
@ Brien

So when you wrote the blogspot for ESPN, you didn’t have a problem with their journalistic standard? Hypocrisy at its finest.

AL     January 28
Brien, paradoxically you might be right. But paradox doesn't work before a judge and jury. You yourself have already claimed the defendant to be a rapist. You wrote that yourself, although I believe you're smart enough to know one isn't a rapist unless they're a convicted one. But you're going for big points and what I call 'impact impression' by calling him a rapist. I learned long ago to never enter into a case concerned with ex ante evidence. That term in and of itself doesn't exist. Nothing is actual 'evidence' until its been entered as such and both parties and the judge agree that its admissible. From what little I know about the case, I believe the prosecuting attorney would have had a hard time obtaining a guilty verdict. Evidence from both sides might have made that verdict easier or more difficult to obtain. From what the initial questioning of both parties revealed, I'd say the rape verdict would have been difficult to generate.

Comment Police     January 28
@MFC can't help himself. Like a cat waiting to pounce. He has violated the rules of the memo yet again. Let justice be served.

Brien Jackson     January 28
@Al



Of course not. That went more to the point about how we as society obviously don't care if he did in fact rape her.



Now maybe address the rest of the ex ante evidence available at the time of trial?

Rich     January 28
@AL, prepare for @Brien to come around in a few minutes and tell you that you're wrong.

AL     January 28
Brien isn't a lawyer but I am (American University, 1988). He is flatly incorrect with the statement below.



7. After the civil settlement Bryant issued a statement in which he acknowledged that while he thought the interaction was consensual he recognized that she did not. Now given the basic nature of how consent works, taking that at face value is an admission of non-consent and, therefore, an admission of rape.



Bryant's admission after the fact that he believed the encounter to be consensual but NOW recognizes she did not believe it was consensual is not proof that he believed at the time of the incident that it was not consensual.



At the time of the incident, the defendant (Bryant) might not have realized it was not consensual. Later, after hearing testimony and an account from the victim, the defendant then might have realized it was not consensual.



This admission after the fact would never yield a guilty verdict in a court of law. Only evidence that shows the defendant knew it was not consensual at the time the act was taking place would there be a consideration of rape. The defendant never admitted to raping the victim at the time of questioning. He admitted to having what he believed to be consensual sex.


mike from catonsville     January 28
There are definitely 2 Americas, unfortunately. Folks want to bring up Kobes' horrible decision in Colorado and hold that against him for a lifetime when there are 17 credible women, one case which is working it's way through the courts accusing the orange man of sexual misconduct yet that goes by without a wimper. Two Americas.



Kobe shouldn't get a pass on that but from all indications he changed his life around. His story was that it was consensual, only two people in "the room where it happened" so who really knows. And neither should orange get any passes but he does daily and no one is saying his life was turned around or changed. Two Americas.



It just depends on the lense you decide to look through.


Brien Jackson     January 28
It's probably worth laying out the verifiable facts of the rape case for clarity's sake:



1. The "rough sex" was such that it left blood not only in the victim's underwear but on the t-shirt Kobe was wearing.



2. He choked her so hard that the bruising was easily visible when she was examined the next day.



3. Kobe admitted to the "rough sex" and the choking, so these aspects are not in dispute.



4. The medical examiners report was emphatic and direct that the victim's vaginal injuries were not consistent with consensual sex.



5. The charges were not dropped as part of the civil settlement. Rather, after Bryant's lawyers leaked her name she was flooded with harassment and death threats. At least one person went so far as to attempt to hire a hitman to kill her. At that point she refused to testify publicly and the case had to be dismissed.



6. The behavior of Kobe's defense team was so outrageous that Colorado and multiple other states almost immediately updated their rape shield laws to prevent it from being repeated.



7. After the civil settlement Bryant issued a statement in which he acknowledged that while he thought the interaction was consensual he recognized that she did not. Now given the basic nature of how consent works, taking that at face value is an admission of non-consent and, therefore, an admission of rape.



This isn't Tiger Woods cheating on his wife or Pete To see betting on baseball or, arguably, even Ray Lewis being accused of murder considering that a jury heard that case and determined the self defense claims credible. This was a serious, violent, criminal act with a victim whose life was changed forever. And furthermore Bryant was at the very least complicit in an attempt to harass, humiliate, and threaten her into silence.



And the more important part is all of the other people who were complicit in that. ESPN in particular enthusiastically amplified the smears against the victim, and society as a whole essentially decided that we didn't care how overwhelming the evidence was, and we were just fine with letting him get away with it. And that's why even though it's fine to have admired Love as a player or a father and to be saddened by his death....society simply can't be allowed to decide we're just going to agree to keep ignoring that Bryant was a rapist who got away with it. Because that same scenario keeps playing out with basically the same results. Ultimately we either have to confront it or we have to just admit that as far as we're concerned rich and famous people who we admire/cheer for have a license to commit sexual assault and as a society we're just fine with that.

J.R.     January 28
Brien Jackson

@Brien_Jackson



Jan 26

Kobe Bryant was a rapist whose defense strategy was leaking his accusers name for his deranged fans to harass and threaten into dropping the case.

Some guy     January 28
Agree with @Idiot, no one here seemed to be disparaging Kobe at all.

If you want to see the 5% (and these days that might be a low estimate), go see #Brien Jacksons posts on Kobe. That kind of vitriol in the aftermath of this horrible tragedy is sub'human. Perhaps that is why he is no longer a contributor here.

Idiot Caller     January 28
I honestly don't believe that anyone has a problem with Kobe himself. I think some people have a problem with the over the top media coverage of Kobe's unfortunate death.

Tim     January 28
Couldn't have said or thought it better Drew.


Tuesday
January 21
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#1975



the cost of a loss


That was one expensive egg the Ravens laid back on January 11.

In a lot of ways. For a lot of people.

Let's start with the obvious: Ticket sales. This is about the only area where losing to Tennessee didn't directly impact the Ravens. Home (and away) teams get none of the money from ticket sales for post-season games. All ticket revenue for the playoffs goes to the NFL.

But the home teams do get to keep everything they make in the playoffs on food, drinks, merchandise, parking and just about any other revenue source they can dream up. And they can also sell their suites and various rental tents and party areas for revenue that falls under "sponsorship" rather than ticket sales.

Do this math: The Ravens were selling party tents for the AFC title game for $12,500 and they had 20 of them to get rid of...and sold them all out in advance. Of course, all of that money got refunded after the Titans came to town. But that was a huge bonus (potentially) for the team that got to host the AFC title game.

Parking was one of the biggest hits, because it was mainly "free money". There's not much expense, in other words. The Ravens control roughly 15,000 parking spots themselves, which would generate about $350,000 per-game.

Steve Bisciotti's wallet would have been much bigger if the Ravens would have hosted the Chiefs on Sunday in the AFC title game.

Revenue for food and drink ranges anywhere from $1.5 million to $2.5 million per-game depending on opponent, weather, attendance and time the game is played. This, of course, is revenue, not profit. But the Ravens likely lost roughly $2 million in revenue and somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,000,000 in profit by not hosting the AFC title game on January 19.

Merchandise adds up to between $200,000 and $350,000 per-game, again depending on circumstances like weather and time of game.

All of the revenue items are subject to tax, of course, but just losing out on food, beverage, parking and merchandise cost the Ravens somewhere around $2.5 million, roughly $1.75 million of which could have been profit.

But lots of other people lost money when the AFC title game was in Kansas City instead of Baltimore.

Airlines lost whatever money the Kansas City folks would have spent to fly to Charm City for the game. Let's pretend it would have been 5,000 people. At roughly $600 per round-trip ticket, that's a $300,000 loss for Southwest or any of the carriers who service BWI Airport.

Baltimore area hotels suffered, too. According to data from 2018, a Ravens home game means an additional 1,500 rooms being used in/around downtown at an average room rate of $275, plus tax.

Uber and ride sharing services suffered. Imagine how many people would have used a ride sharing option on Saturday night and all day Sunday.

Bartenders, servers and restaurants were dramatically impacted. Think of how many establishments in the general Inner Harbor area lost thousands of dollars on Saturday and Sunday because of no football game. One restaurant owner in Federal Hill told me a Ravens home game generally nets him an additional $8,000 in before and after business. Consider how many bars and restaurants there are within a 15 minute walk of the stadium and measure the impact if each of those places would have made just $4,000 in additional revenue on January 19.

The Ravens also lost considerable sales momentum in addition to money. An AFC Championship Game in Baltimore would have given them more exposure in the business community and could have created further goodwill (which turns into dollars) with their current stable of corporate sponsors. By winning the game and advancing to the Super Bowl, the Ravens would have taken thousands of people to Miami and created sales and ticket packages of their own to help further boost their revenue stream.

There's also the subject of future revenue lost. A trip to the Super Bowl would have given the team freedom to raise ticket prices, media rates and corporate sponsor packages. How much they lost is anyone's guess, but a 5% hike in those areas might have resulted in an additional $12-15 million in 2020.

They can still raise prices, if they like, and might not be met with much objection. Had the Ravens made the Super Bowl, though, no one in the community would have batted an eye when they were hit with a price increase in 2020.

The generous total? The Ravens themselves would have likely profited to the tune of somewhere around $5 million by hosting the game. Baltimore, the city, would have probably generated something approaching $15 million over the weekend had the Ravens hosted the Chiefs on Sunday.

It was, in a multitude of ways, a very costly loss to the Titans on January 11.

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dale williams aims the
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DALE WILLIAMS returns for his fifth season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2019-20 season.



terps seek first big ten road win tonight


The group of players that Northwestern coach Chris Collins has assembled will win their fair share of Big Ten games. Unfortunately, for this talented group of young players, it probably won’t happen this year.

The young Wildcat front court of freshmen Ryan Young (6-10) and Robbie Beran (6’9”), along with sophomore Pete Nance (6’10) is long and talented. They all need to get stronger and more mature before they are ready to lead a Northwestern basketball resurgence, but those days are coming.

Starting three bigs may not have been the first choice for Collins. Injuries to guards Anthony Gaines and Boo Buie (remember this name – he’s going to be good) have not only forced the Wildcats into going big, but it also forced lacrosse star, Pat Spencer, into extended action.

From lacrosse to basketball within eight months, Pat Spencer is doing just fine at Northwestern, even if the Wildcats are struggling.

Spencer is a grad transfer from Baltimore’s Loyola University. After 4 years as a Greyhound, where he earned an NCAA Lacrosse Player of the Year award, he moved on to Northwestern to play hoops. NCAA rules allow a grad transfer to play one year of a different sport, at another school, if you graduated in 4 years and did not red-shirt.

Spencer is making the most of it, playing a gritty 27.5 minutes per game while averaging just over 10 points. I like the way he effortlessly glides on defense, and he’s not shy of contact on the offensive side. Like the rest of this team, Spencer is steady, but not flashy. There will be occasions where Spencer will post up down low, looking to use his physicality. Anthony Cowan will have to be ready for that.

Despite all of that size, Northwestern doesn’t rebound particularly well. They rank in the bottom third in Big Ten rebounding and look for Maryland to exploit this tonight at 7pm in The Welsh-Ryan Arena. Outside of Spencer, this isn’t a physical bunch and they don’t have great leapers. Athletic players like the Terps Darryl Morsell and Aaron Wiggins could come up big tonight.

I’d expect Northwestern to utilize various zone defenses in an effort to force Maryland to shoot from long range. That zone could also help neutralize the decided advantage in quickness that the Terps will have. Iowa had success with that strategy and I’d be shocked if Northwestern played man-to-man all night.

Offensively, the Wildcats will give you a lot of motion and a bunch of screens, but everything really depends on the ability of Spencer to draw attention and dish to the open man. He’s the leading assist man on the team and he really controls the action.

For Maryland to pick up their first in-conference road win, they need to guard the three-point line, keep Spencer in front of them, and crash the boards. This won’t be an easy win for the Terps, as Northwestern plays hard every night.

Despite their early-season woes, the Wildcats are smart and don’t beat themselves. Three of their conference losses have been by 5 points or less, including a 77-72 loss to Michigan State. This isn’t a bad team, but they lack the guard play and athleticism to beat Maryland.

Tonight’s line has the Terps as a 7-point favorite, I don’t often exactly agree with the posted spread, but tonight will be an exception. Maryland will have a double-digit advantage on the glass, and hold off a game Wildcat team, 70-63.

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we're heading to new york!


OK, maybe the O's aren't going to be all that good in 2020. We know that going in. But what you might not know is how much fun a #DMD road trip can be in the summer! And what better place to visit and take in a couple of games than New York?

Join us in NY on June 23-24 to see Trey Mancini and the O's take on the Yankees.

We're going to the Big Apple to support our Birds, June 23 and 24. And we've love to have a bunch of O's fans join us in the Bronx for a couple of days in New York and two baseball games.

We'll leave on Tuesday, June 23 around noon and check in at our Manhattan hotel sometime around 4 pm. The game that night is at 7:05 pm. We'll have upper deck seats for that, with unlimited food and drinks for everyone in our group.

The next night, June 24, we'll have a pre-game bullpen party and awesome left field seats close to the field.

Once the game's over, we'll head back home, arriving in Baltimore after midnight.

If you're interested in going on the trip, send me a quick email so I can start building the trip list: 18inarow@gmail.com.



Monday
January 20
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#1974



dilfer vs. rodgers and other weird things


So it's going to be Kansas City vs. San Francisco in the Super Bowl. I'm OK with that. I mean, I guess I have to be, right? But I think it stands to reason that two really good teams worked their way through the regular season and won twice in two home playoff games to get there...and thus, they deserve to be in Miami in 13 days fighting it out for the title.

As the early moments of the Titans-Chiefs game unfolded yesterday and Tennessee jumped out to that 10-0 lead, all I kept saying was, "There's no way a 9-7 team is going to the Super Bowl." There for a while, I was starting to wonder, especially when it was 17-7. Tennessee looked like everything was falling into place for them, the same way it did in Baltimore on January 11. "A 9-7 team isn't making it to the Super Bowl," I kept mumbling to myself.

It just seems like that's virtually impossible, unless, say, you start the season 8-2, your #1 quarterback gets hurt, and you limp to the finish line from there to finish 9-7, yet still sneak into the post-season. And then your #1 quarterback returns in the playoffs and you're humming again, just like you were before he was injured. Under that scenario, a 9-7 team making it to the final game of the year is at least semi-plausible.

But 9-7 teams are just generally not good enough to navigate three straight road playoff games. The Titans navigated two of them this year, just like the Ravens did back in 2008 when they won twice -- including shocking the #1 Titans in the Divisional Road in Nashville -- but couldn't pull off the final one yesterday.

I like the general make-up of Tennessee's team. They're good on the offensive and defensive line, which is crucial. They have a good-to-very-good array of pass catchers. If they're able to re-sign Derrick Henry, they'd have one of the premier backs in the league locked up. Quarterback is obviously an issue for them. And I also like their coach, Mike Vrabel, who seems like one of those guys who gets the best out of his players.

David Rosenfeld handles a Titans prediction below, so I won't spoil that. I'm not convinced Tennessee is going to be a Super Bowl threat next season or anything like that, but pending the re-signing of Derrick Henry and getting their hands on a legit quarterback, I could see the Titans playing meangingful January football again sometime soon.

Aaron Rodgers and Trent Dilfer both have a Super Bowl ring. That's what I was thinking to myself on Sunday evening as I watched Rodgers and the Packers sleepwalk through an embarrassing first half where they sputtered and stumbled their way to a 27-0 halftime deficit.

How can Aaron Rodgers have just one Super Bowl ring? That's easy. He's never actually been all that good on the road in his career. In fact, he's 45-46 all-time on the road in regular season and 5-6 away from Lambeau Field in the playoffs.

Aaron Rodgers still only has one Super Bowl ring. And only one Super Bowl appearance, too. Hard to believe.

Yesterday's performance by both Rodgers and the Packers was laughly inpet, even though his final numbers (31/39, 326 yards) looked decent. But that's not taking into account the two interceptions he threw, the fumble he was a part of, or the sacks he took when he wasn't able to read the play and escape the pocket. A friend of mine had a great analogy: Rodgers is on the 17th hole of his career and just looking to go par-par and finish tied for 33rd and make one final paycheck.

I always thought Rodgers would win at least two, but more like three Super Bowls. He's obviously a Hall of Famer. There's an argument he's a Top 25 quarterback of all-time, maybe even Top 20 if you want to really dig into it.

But Sunday's performance was about as ragged as you can get from a guy who is supposed to be one of the game's best signal callers. Sure, that San Francisco defense is really good, but Green Bay didn't fluke their way to the NFC title game. They were good, too, and even though San Fran clobbered them 37-8 earlier in the season, there was reason to think yesterday might have been different. It's Aaron Rodgers vs. Jimmy Garoppolo. One guy throws the ball ten times a quarter, the other guy throws it ten times a game.

In "Rodgers vs. Garoppolo", the Green Bay quarterback wins every time. Right? Wrong.

Green Bay's offense wasn't able to do anything and their defense was completely gutless. San Francisco ran the ball at will, whenever they wanted, for whatever amount of yards they wanted or needed.

A few people trying to troll the Ravens on Twitter harkened back to last Saturday and compared Baltimore's performance to the one authored by Green Bay on Sunday. They. Weren't. Even. Close.

Green Bay was out of the game by halftime, trailing 27-0. The Ravens were trailing 14-6 in the middle of the third quarter. Neither team -- Baltimore or Green Bay -- lived up to its billing, obviously, but the egg the Packers laid on Sunday was an all-time stinker.

The Astros are nothing if not polished and steadfast in their cheating ways. The organization held its annual off-season FanFest type event this past weekend and two players in the crosshairs of the sign-stealing scandal, Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, seemed completely unfazed by it all.

"Believe me, in the end of the year, everything will be fine," Altuve said. "We're going to be in the World Series again. People don't believe it, we will. We will. We made it last year, we were one game away of winning it all."

But, Jose, what about the sign stealing stuff? What is your reaction to the Commissioner's report, the firing of your manager, and the general speculation around baseball that you guys have been cheating for three years or so, including wiring yourselves to receive pitch selections electronically?

"You know, we all know that some people made that up," Altuve continued. "And, the best thing to happen to me was the MLB investigate that and they didn't find something."

At least Altuve answered questions. His answers were intentionally vague, but he did at least confront the cheating scandal. Now, Alex Bregman......that's a different story.

"The commissioner made his report, made his decision, and the Astros made their decision," he said. "And I have no further comment on it."

There you go. Nothing like one of those "everyone made their decision and now we live with it" quotes.

I'm not even 100% sure what I wanted Altuve or Bregman to say. I thought about that on Saturday as I watched the TV clips of the interviews. I guess I wanted one or both of them to at least look nervous, twitchy and apprehensive. I wanted their voice to sound shaky. I wanted the look on their face to say it all. I wanted, I suppose, for us to know that they know we know that they know we know. Get it? Read it again, it makes more sense the second and third time.

Instead, both players pulled it off almost perfectly. Their voices were calm. They appeared to be unbothered. It was -- wait for it -- almost as if they knew the questions were coming ahead of time.

Oh, right. They did know the questions were coming ahead of time. See how much easier it is to handle stuff when you know what's headed your way?

Lee Westwood is still winning golf tournaments. He won a fairly important early-season tournament on the European Tour schedule yesterday when he captured an event in Abu Dhabi, the 25th win of his European Tour career.

Lee Westwood's win in Abu Dhabi on Sunday was the 25th victory of his illustrious European Tour career.

Westwood has now won a tournament in four different decades, which is quite a feat. But he still doesn't have a major title. That's the only thing left for him to capture to complete an otherwise exceptional career.

He'll get four more chances this year, as his win on Sunday wrapped up the qualifying for the Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open and British Open. His two best bets? Augusta National (Masters) and Royal St. Georges (British Open). The length of the U.S. Open and PGA Championship courses might be too much for him now.

The Masters actually seems like it would be his best chance given his recent track record. Westwood logged five, top 10 finishes in eight tries from 2010 through 2019, including a 2nd place finish in 2010, a T3 in 2012 and a T2 in 2016. He's been close. He's led at one point on Sunday in the past. But he hasn't been able to pull it off.

Oddly enough, Westwood's two biggest career problems -- chipping and putting -- have never seemed to impact him at Augusta National. Poor chippers and putters have rarely fared well at the Masters, but for some reason, the Englishman's iron game and knowledge of the course allows him to work his way around the layout without putting a lot of stress on his otherwise-mediocre short game.

If you're looking for an off-the-radar wager on a guy who would return a healthy profit on your investment in April, you might want to lay a few "quid" on Lee Westwood. I still contend he can win a major title, even at 46. And his track record at the Masters is definitely interesting.

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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


How far will they go? -- The Terps went to 4-3 in the Big Ten with a win against Purdue on Saturday in College Park. Mark Turgeon’s team gets a lot of love from KenPom (#12) and the NCAA’s NET rankings (#15), even if it doesn’t get a lot of love from its own fans.

The biggest problem with the Terps’ prospects as I see them? The fact that they have to play road games. Seven more of them, in fact. They’ve yet to win on the road (0-4), and played really terribly in three of those four games. I wonder how many chances like last Tuesday’s shoulda-been-a-win against Wisconsin are going to come along.

There’s only one obvious one. That’s tomorrow, against Northwestern, in last place in the league because the Wildcats don’t have anywhere near the talent of the other 13 teams. Their best story is Pat Spencer, one of the greatest college lacrosse players ever, who’s spending a graduate year playing basketball in Evanston. Spencer is leading his team in assists, which isn’t surprising.

Otherwise, two teams that Maryland might have been confident in beating on the road in recent years, Illinois and Rutgers, are simply better than they’ve been in many moons. They are postseason candidates, maybe even NCAA candidates. Michigan State and Ohio State also await, though with a home game against the Spartans, the Terps will at least have a chance to get a split there.

Now, except for maybe Tom Izzo’s team, none of these teams are in any way unbeatable on their home courts, but they are if the Terps continue to play the way they’ve played on unfamiliar courts. Remember that Iowa debacle?

The good news? I do think that Turgeon’s team will win the rest of its home games, assuming it plays the same way at home as it has since the New Year.


How far will they go? -- The Tennessee Titans saw their postseason run end at the hand of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC championship game, but not before taking a 17-7 lead and briefly looking like they had in Foxboro and Baltimore.

If the Titans don't re-sign running back Derrick Henry in the off-season, things could go south for the Titans in a hurry.

What do the wins against the Patriots and Ravens in these playoffs mean going future for Mike Vrabel’s team? I really don’t think they mean anything. The Titans were a 9-7 team in 2019, for the fourth year in a row, and I don’t see any reason to believe they’ll be any better than that going forward.

Ryan Tannehill took over for Marcus Mariota midseason, and his success certainly means that the former Heisman winner is gone, and maybe that Tannehill gets signed long term. But Tannehill isn’t Lamar Jackson or Patrick Mahomes. He had a nice stretch, and seems to be a better player than he was in Miami, but in general his only proven commodity is mediocrity.

The Titans aren’t a particularly good offensive team except for Derrick Henry, who can’t lead a team to 11 or 12 wins by himself. They aren’t a particularly good defensive team either, at least against the best teams in the league. Which makes last week’s Ravens’ performance even that more surprising and upsetting…unless you simply look at the amount of yards gained, which was a lot.

Tennessee went to New England and probably ended a dynasty, which is a hell of thing to accomplish, even if the Patriots weren’t such a great team since November. Then they went to Baltimore and did enough to win, which nobody did anywhere for three months. For those things and more, the Titans should be commended.

Looking forward, however, I don’t think Tennessee is any kind of great bet at all for the postseason in 2020. I wouldn’t say the same about the team here.

How far will he go? Well, I still think Lamar Jackson can go a long way from where he is now. As hard as it is to believe that he can improve as much from Year 2 to Year 3 as he did from his rookie season to this one, I’m willing to give it a chance.

For instance, I don’t agree that Jackson doesn’t have the arm strength to be a consistent thrower outside the numbers. I just think he needs to concentrate on the things that will make him better doing that than he’s been before, such as being confident in throwing the ball earlier.

There is one unfortunate thing, or at least a mildly frustrating one. No matter how good Jackson gets, I don’t think he’ll ever be as good as Patrick Mahomes.

On his ESPN Radio show, Trey Wingo likes to jokingly refer to the Kansas City quarterback as “future Hall-of-Famer Patrick Mahomes.” He is only 24, of course, and this year is only his second as a starter. Wingo, though, is by no means wrong.

Mahomes is the most unique quarterback I’ve ever seen. Like most great ones, he sees the field well, but he also sees the game from a different perspective. There are angles and openings and opportunities for him that don’t exist for other quarterbacks, even Jackson. And Mahomes is fortunate to have a head coach in Andy Reid that celebrates all that he can do, no matter what you think of Reid’s career.

In 2019, Jackson became the first NFL player to record 3,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing in a single season. I suppose he could do that again, which would obviously add to his legend. Somehow, though, I believe that Mahomes will continue to find ways to one-up Lamar. I wouldn’t be too embarrassed if were Jackson, however. Mahomes might eventually be the best to ever play the position.


How far will it go? -- The scandal involving the Houston Astros using technology to steal the signs of opposing teams, which has also affected the Red Sox and Mets more tangentially, doesn’t seem to be over, no matter what those clubs would like.

The idea that players wore some type of “buzzing” device on their person is almost too silly to believe, yet practical enough to make you wonder if it’s true. Astros’ players have publicly denied that —and forcefully — but those stories aren’t going away anytime soon. I hope the team has a good PR strategy on this once Spring Training begins in a few weeks.

I was most intrigued by a quote from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, in reference both to the sign stealing and the behavior of the team’s former assistant GM, Brandon Taubman, who directed profane remarks to female reporters about pitcher Roberto Osuna during last year’s playoffs.

Manfred said, among other things, that “the culture of the Astros’ baseball operations department, manifesting itself in the way that its employees are treated, its relations with other teams, and its relations with the media and external stakeholders, has been very problematic.”

Honestly, that kind of public rebuke of a single team by the league commissioner borders on stunning. It’s one thing—and an obvious one—to punish a team for blatant rule breaking over a two-year period. It’s another to use that as a jumping-off point to comment on a team’s culture, which is usually a much more insular and protective thing.

I was also intrigued, of course, because the Orioles’ general manager, Mike Elias, spent many years working in…um…the Astros’ baseball operations department. And as progressive as that department has been when it comes to its use of analytics, what if Elias wasn’t a great choice when it comes to people. Last time I checked, players and managers and front office types were people.

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we're heading to new york!


OK, maybe the O's aren't going to be all that good in 2020. We know that going in. But what you might not know is how much fun a #DMD road trip can be in the summer! And what better place to visit and take in a couple of games than New York?

Join us in NY on June 23-24 to see Trey Mancini and the O's take on the Yankees.

We're going to the Big Apple to support our Birds, June 23 and 24. And we've love to have a bunch of O's fans join us in the Bronx for a couple of days in New York and two baseball games.

We'll leave on Tuesday, June 23 around noon and check in at our Manhattan hotel sometime around 4 pm. The game that night is at 7:05 pm. We'll have upper deck seats for that, with unlimited food and drinks for everyone in our group.

The next night, June 24, we'll have a pre-game bullpen party and awesome left field seats close to the field.

Once the game's over, we'll head back home, arriving in Baltimore after midnight.

If you're interested in going on the trip, send me a quick email so I can start building the trip list: 18inarow@gmail.com.

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Sunday
January 19
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#1973



it feels weird


There's a strange feeling in the air on this Sunday morning. At least in Baltimore, that is.

For the first time since early September, we sit here on Sunday and football doesn't mean anything. Even when the Ravens had their bye week or didn't play on Sunday after a Thursday night game, what happened on Sunday still interested us.

I don't really care at all what happens today in Kansas City or San Francisco. Not in the least.

I'm over what happened last Saturday, but that doesn't mean today matters to me. It doesn't. I guess I'd "like" to see Kansas City and Green Bay win simply because I'm an Andy Reid fan and an Aaron Rodgers fan. And I think the historical perspective of Green Bay-Kansas City meeting in the Super Bowl in two weeks would make for some good reminiscing.

But I don't care what happens today, in all honesty. It just feels really weird not having football to care about.

This place was supposed to be filled up today...not empty.

The Ravens are going to have some questions to answer in the short term. Some of them are crucial, some are worth pondering and others will work themselves out over the next month or so.

Armed with plenty of cap space for 2020, the Ravens can use that to reward guys like Michael Pierce, Matthew Judon or, perhaps even Ronnie Stanley, who will play next season under his fifth year option. There have been rumors recently that the Ravens are working on a new deal for Stanley given their abundance of cap space.

There are also free agents out there -- A.J. Green, Amari Cooper and Yannick Ngakoue being the names you'll likely hear the most -- who could be swayed to move to Baltimore with the right amound of money waved in their direction.

One would think, though, if the Ravens were interested in overpaying someone like Ngakoue or even Pittsburgh's Bud Dupree or New England's Kyle Van Noy that they'd simply save that money for their own guys and reward the likes of Judon instead of letting him escape and then replacing him.

Other questions are important.

What happens if Marshal Yanda retires?

Is Jimmy Smith staying or going?

What free agent linebackers can help or should the Ravens look to beef up that area via the draft?

And if Judon isn't franchised or otherwise retained, how do the Ravens get a rush end who can hassle the quarterback the way Judon did in 2019?

These problems would have existed no matter if the Ravens defeated Tennessee last week or lost and they would have been there if the Ravens won the Super Bowl for failed to get there. We're just talking more about them today because, well, we don't have a football game to care about this afternoon and tonight.

Speaking of the games...

TENNESSEE AT KANSAS CITY -- The Titans' formula is presumably the same as it was last week in Baltimore. Use Derrick Henry, get a lead, take the air out of the ball as much as possible, and try to limit the amount of times Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs' offense gets on the field. If the Titans get a handful of good bounces, a fortunate call or two, and a few big plays along the way, they can stay in this one. But my guess is their luck runs out this week and Kansas City plows them. The Chiefs offense is just too good, too multi-dimensional and too full of confidence to get shut down like the Ravens got squashed last week.

I certainly wouldn't mind seeing Tennessee win today. It's a good reminder that all you have to do is get into the playoffs -- in any sport -- and anything can happen after that.

But I don't see it happening. This one's over at the half, as the Chiefs are up 23-10 at the intermission and cruise from there to a 37-17 win at Arrowhead.


GREEN BAY AT SAN FRANCISCO -- I haven't seen many people picking Green Bay today. I guess that mid-season thumping the 49'ers handed the Packers in San Francisco still lingers with a lot of people, and rightfully so. The 49'ers appear to be the best team in the NFC. Record aside, their final weekend win at Seattle pretty much stamped that, I thought. Green Bay, meanwhile, has been "good" all year but never really approached the status of being a "great team". Their win over Seattle last Sunday was well earned. Green Bay showed something by hanging on in the fourth quarter despite getting everything Russell Wilson could throw at them.

Maybe it's that I haven't fully bought into the 49'ers yet. Or perhaps it's just that I feel like Aaron Rodgers is due for another Super Bowl visit at some point. Either way, I'm taking Green Bay in an upset this evening, 23-20 in overtime. Rodgers throws a late touchdown pass to tie the game at 20-20, then engineers a drive in overtime that leads to the game winning field goal.

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dale williams aims the
terps spotlight

DALE WILLIAMS returns for his fifth season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2019-20 season.


terps start fast, turn back purdue, 57-50


There was no slow start for Maryland yesterday, as they raced out to an early 9-0 lead, built the advantage to as much as 18, and then held on for a 57-50 win over Purdue despite a lackluster effort in the second half.

Maryland won this game even though they scored just 21 second half points.

They won even with Anthony Cowan having a miserable outing with 5 turnovers and 1 for 8 shooting.

They won with Eric Ayala looking lost and at one point turning the ball over on three consecutive possessions. Those negatives usually spell defeat for Maryland, but not when Purdue shots as poorly as they did in the XFINTY Center yesterday.

Jalen Smith and Donta Scott had no problem making shots and both played what I thought was the best game of their careers. Smith’s numbers were staggering. He had a game high 18 points on a very efficient shooting display, going 7-13. He drained 2 of his 5 three-point shots, collected a game high 10 rebounds, and blocked 4 shots. The Mount Saint Joseph grad was active inside and dominated the game.

Terp guard Eric Ayala had a lousy day on Saturday, scoring twice and turning the ball over four times.

Scott hit 5 of his 8 shots, good for 13 points. He also grabbed 6 rebounds.

The Terp 1 and 2 guards, Cowan and Ayala, were just awful. Cowan did post 7 assists, but 5 turnovers and 1-8 shooting is not what you expect from the Maryland senior guard.

Ayala’s struggles continue. Bringing the ball up court yesterday was a real adventure for him. He was credited with 4 turnovers, but I had him with 5. He made just 2 of 6 shots and failed to grab a single rebound. He played like a guy that no one would take on their squad in a pick-up game at the local YMCA. I’ll take that back, he played like that offensively. Defensively, Ayala played fairly well, as did his teammates.

Only 14 of Maryland’s 57 points came from players other than Smith (18), Scott (13) and Aaron Wiggins (12). Purdue did all that they could to help the Terps get a “W” by going 3 for 17 from the three-point line and hitting just 35% from the field overall.

The Terps, after knocking down 7 threes and hitting 54% of their first half shots, went 0-9 from beyond the arc and made just 28% of their second half shots.

I certainly didn’t see Maryland winning the inside battle with Purdue, but they did in a big way. Tevion Williams has played like a beast lately, and Matt Haams has always given the Terps some trouble. Haams may have still been bothered by his recent hip injury, and that could have slowed him down.

Purdue's Williams however, played some uninspired basketball. Smith had a lot to do with that though. Williams was bothered by Smith’s length all day long, and even opted to kick the ball out on several occasions, instead of working one-on-one against Smith.

The Boilermakers did manage to stage a rally and narrowed the Maryland lead to 3, 53-50, on three Sasha Stefanovic foul shots with 3:52 remaining. Howebver, the rally fizzled out as Purdue would not make another field goal for the rest of the game.

It’s very hard to come from behind when you go the last 6:01 without making a field goal. Lucky for Maryland, that is exactly what happened, and as a result, the Terps ran their Big Ten record to 4-3 while Purdue dropped to 3-4. Neither team has won a road game or lost a home game this season.

The Terps will look to end their 3-game road losing streak when they face Northwestern on Tuesday night at 7pm.

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner

we're heading to new york!


The greatest irony of it all? The story above tells you how creepy Major League Baseball players are. And here, we're urging you to go with us to New York in late June to watch our Orioles take on the Yankees.

Join us in NY on June 23-24 to see Trey Mancini and the O's take on the Yankees.

Weird...

But we're going to the Big Apple to support our Birds, June 23 and 24. And we've love to have a bunch of O's fans join us in the Bronx for a couple of days in New York and two baseball games.

We'll leave on Tuesday, June 23 around noon and check in at our Manhattan hotel sometime around 4 pm. The game that night is at 7:05 pm. We'll have upper deck seats for that, with unlimited food and drinks for everyone in our group.

The next night, June 24, we'll have a pre-game bullpen party and awesome left field seats close to the field.

Once the game's over, we'll head back home, arriving in Baltimore after midnight.

If you're interested in going on the trip, send me a quick email so I can start building the trip list: 18inarow@gmail.com.

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Saturday
January 18
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#1972



saturday things


Did you hear what Jose Altuve's favorite TV show of all-time is?

The Wire.

Too soon?

Indians pitcher Mike Clevinger was the latest major leaguer to rip into the Astros on Friday for their electronic sign stealing scheme.

Things simmered down a bit on AstrosGate on Friday, unless you count Cleveland pitcher Mike Clevinger's torrid response that circulated on social media, where he blasted the Houston organization and its players and hinted (well, strongly hinted) that there might be some spring training chin music in March just to remind the Astros what's in store for them throughout the 2020 season.

Nothing spices up mid-January like baseball players threatening one another three months in advance of the season, right?

In all serious, that likely is going to be a problem in 2020. Pitchers, in particular, aren't happy, ranging from guys like Trevor Bauer and Chris Archer, both of whom expressed their disappointment on social media, albeit not quite as aggressively as Clevinger voice his opinion.

And sometime soon, let's say within a week or two, the same story is going to come out about the 2018 Red Sox. The story, of course, is already legit. Alex Cora lost his job over it last week, as he brought the electronic sign-stealing art from Houston to Boston, where he skippered the Red Sox to the title.

The Astros weren't the only team using the electronic sign-stealing system. They were just the first. Boston's up next. There will be others, too.

The 2020 season will be nothing if not interesting as we try and keep track of which players throw at which players.

John Harbaugh walked back a few decisions he made both late in the season and in last Saturday's home loss to the Titans during his season-ending press conference on Friday.

No one made mention of it, but it was interesting that Friday at 11:00 am was the selected date and time for the much-anticipated presser. As everyone knows, Friday is the big "news dump" day of the week. If you want someting buried or, at the very least, circulated on a smaller scale, you throw it out there on Friday and it gets lost in the end of week stuff and the busy weekend sports schedule.

I realize there's a lot to do in the week after the season ends -- in any sport -- but I found it curious that no one in the media chattered a bit about the press conference's date and time.

Anyway, Harbs made a couple of interesting statements on Friday.

John Harbaugh mentioned the history of resting starters in week 17 on Friday and hinted he might do it differently "next time".

He was asked about resting players in the final game against Pittsburgh and the accompanying rust that went with those guys not playing for three consecutive weeks, basically. "Going forward after this, I might go the other way, you know?" Harbaugh said. "Right now, if I had to do it today, and it's next year and we're in this situation, God willing we're in the same situation, we'll probably go the other way in all honesty."

Harbs did his research of course. Or someone in the football ops department did and presented it to him. "You look at the history, and I did that, went back and looked at the history," Harbaugh stated. "And the history is about 50/50. You know, teams have held their guys out and won and then won the Super Bowl. Teams have held their guys out and lost. It's gone both ways. We held our guys out and won and we won the Super Bowl (2012). I was probably leaning on that."

Looking back, three of the six starters Harbaugh rested were likely not going to play anyway. Only Lamar Jackson (flu) might have been able to go by Sunday. Mark Andrews (ankle) and Mark Ingram (knee) would not have played against the Steelers. The others who sat out the final game, Earl Thomas, Brandon Williams and Marshal Yanda, all earned that reprieve mainly based on their veteran status, one would assume.

Harbaugh can believe what he wants. As he mentioned Friday, he's now seen both ends of the spectrum. He held guys out in 2012 and it didn't hurt in the playoffs. He held guys out in 2019 and it might have hurt last Saturday.

Ultimately, at least to most people, the only reason you hold someone out of a game that doesn't matter is so said player doesn't get hurt in a game that doesn't matter. In that regard, Harbaugh was doing the right thing by sitting those six players, some of whom couldn't have played anyway. The Ravens didn't lose last Saturday because of rust. They lost last Saturday because everything the Titans needed to go their way went their way -- calls, catches, bounces, 4th and 1 situations -- and their strength on offense (running the ball, chewing up the clock, wearing down the other team's defensive interior) was showcased once they were able to get out to an early 14-0 lead.

Harbaugh doesn't often make public comment on players and their impending free agent status, but he did so on Friday when asked about defensive end Matthew Judon, who is soon going to be free to seek out a massive payday somewhere. The Ravens can franchise him to the tune of $18 million or so if they want, but it's more likely Judon will be a free agent and able to sign with the higest bidder.

It doesn't sound like Harbaugh expects Judon back. "We'd love to keep him, but it's going to be very hard to re-sign him," Harbaugh said on Friday. It's rare the coach speaks about a player's status like that, but perhaps the organization is sending a message to Judon in advance of the upcoming free agency period.

Maryland basketball gets back home today to take on Purdue at 2 pm. Dale Williams does all of the heavy lifting for us in his Terps/Boilermakers preview which you can find below.

This one, today, is a pretty big game for the Terps. And for Turgeon. It's one thing to drop road game stinkers at Penn State, Iowa and Wisconsin. It's another thing, entirely, to lose to Purdue in your building. In fact, it's been a crazy year across college basketball. No one can win a conference game on the road, it seems. Anywhere. This week alone, ranked teams like Kentucky (at South Carolina), Oregon (at Washington State), Auburn (at Alabama) and Michigan (at Iowa) all got clobbered on the road against inferior teams.

In the Big Ten alone, Maryland, Michigan and Indiana are a combined 0-12 on the road this season. It's important to note those numbers indicate "true" road games. All three of those teams won neutral court (away) games earlier in the season.

Purdue was good a couple of years ago. Really good, actually. They've won at College Park recently, in fact.

But Turgeon and the Terps can ill afford an upset today. It's certainly not "must win" time for them. You know how I feel about the use of that term. The Ravens were in "must win" territory last Saturday because, when they lost, their season was over. Maryland's season wouldn't be over with a loss today. But it would be a hard one to take, that's for sure, particularly on the heels of the way they lost on Tuesday night at Wisconsin.

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terps spotlight

DALE WILLIAMS returns for his fifth season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2019-20 season.


purdue visits college park today


The Purdue Boilermakers arrive at the XFINITY Center today as the only team in college basketball to have beat two top ten teams by 29 points. Earlier this year they destroyed Virginia (ranked #5 at the time) 69-40, and just last Sunday, they humbled Coach Izzo and the Spartans of Michigan State, 71-42. This team is explosive….at home. The road hasn’t been as kind to the Boilermakers, as indicated by their 0-3 Big Ten record away from Mackey Arena.

Just as Maryland has won 3 at home and lost 3 on the road, so too has Purdue. Besides having identical home and away conference records, there are so many statistical similarities between these two teams that I can’t list them all. The names of “Maryland” and “Purdue” show up next to each other in numerous offensive and defensive statistical categories. Its probably of more value to see where the differences lie, instead of listing the similarities.

Purdue has the best turnover margin in the Big Ten with +3.2. If you follow Maryland basketball even a little, you know how bad they have been with turnovers. Purdue’s defense forces the opponent into a bunch of errors, while the Boilermaker ballhandlers are pretty careful with the ball.

Mark Turgeon needs his Terps to respond in a big this afternoon against Purdue after squandering a late lead at Wisconsin last Tuesday night.

On the negative side, Purdue’s 62% effectiveness from the foul line places them dead last in the conference.

Much of the foul shot frustration can be placed on their leading scorer, Trevion Williams. The husky 6’9”, 270 pound forward has attempted the most foul shots on the team, but only knocks down 45%. Williams has seen his minutes double from last season (from 10 to 20 minutes per game) and his productivity has responded in kind. He leads a very balanced Purdue team by scoring 11.4 points-per-game.

The Purdue lineup is so balanced, scoring wise, that only 1.6 points-per-game separates the top scorer on the team from the lowest scorer of the starting five. In addition to Williams, Eric Hunter gets 10.8, Matt Haams averages 10.4, Jahaad Proctor scores 10.2, and Sasha Stefanovic adds 9.8.

Stefanovic (42.5%) and Hunter (40.0) are the main 3-point threats. Aaron Wheeler joined the starters for a spell, but his 2-30 shooting in his Big Ten games will most likely have him on the bench for the opening tip of this afternoon's important game.

Purdue doesn’t do anything fancy or unusual. They play hard and rely mostly on Williams, Stefanovic, and Hunter. Williams is their down low, in the paint guy. He’s tough on the blocks. He has a real nimble flow to his game, and can create and hit shots in the paint. If he gets significant court time with 7-foot Haams, the matchups become problematic for Maryland and you can pencil him in for 20 points. Hunter is a nice point guard who can get to the rim. He’s a good matchup for Anthony Cowan. Stefanovic has good fundamentals and the solid floor game that goes along with it.

Off the bench, the Terps need to be aware of Isiah Thompson. Thompson can get hot and put up points in a hurry.

This game should be tight throughout. Maryland needs to do a few things well to come out on top. First, they must keep Purdue off of the offensive glass. Second chance points will spell doom for Maryland.

Next they must double down on Williams. Maryland has no one on the roster that can contend with Williams, especially if Haams is on the court. The Terps simply can’t let Wiliams operate one on one in the paint. That philosophy will get them burned. Double him and make him give up the ball.

Lastly, the Terp defense must keep Hunter out of the paint. Sounds easy? It’s not.

I so often read opinions about Maryland that state the Terps have so much talent, yet they can’t put it all together. They say Turgeon can’t coach (yes, he had a major blunder against Wisconsin). The fact of the matter is that on most nights, the talent level is even, or, Maryland has less talent on the floor than their opponent. Tonight is an example of that. Purdue has a significant talent level advantage with the big men, and the guard play between the two teams is about even.

I’m going way out on a limb here when I say that the difference makers tonight will be Darryl Morsell and....wait for it....Chol Marial. Morsell has had good games, offensively, when he can get inside off of the dribble. I see him being able to do that today. Marial will see minutes because Haams and Williams will play together and Smith and Donta Scott can’t handle that load. Marial has to step up today.

Maryland is an early 5-point favorite, which I just don’t understand. I figured the line to be 1.5 or 2 points. The books are giving a lot a credit to the home court. Probably rightfully so considering the success that Big Ten home teams have enjoyed so far this year.

I think the Terps can hang on for a win here. Maybe Coach Turgeon plays a bit of “Hack-a-Shaq” and puts the poor foul shooting Williams on the line. I think Morsell can score and I think Jalen Smith can continue to provide offense away from the hoop.

With two poor shooting teams hooking up, I don’t look for an explosive offensive game, but I do see Maryland escaping with a 65-64 win.

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner

we're heading to new york!


The greatest irony of it all? The story above tells you how creepy Major League Baseball players are. And here, we're urging you to go with us to New York in late June to watch our Orioles take on the Yankees.

Join us in NY on June 23-24 to see Trey Mancini and the O's take on the Yankees.

Weird...

But we're going to the Big Apple to support our Birds, June 23 and 24. And we've love to have a bunch of O's fans join us in the Bronx for a couple of days in New York and two baseball games.

We'll leave on Tuesday, June 23 around noon and check in at our Manhattan hotel sometime around 4 pm. The game that night is at 7:05 pm. We'll have upper deck seats for that, with unlimited food and drinks for everyone in our group.

The next night, June 24, we'll have a pre-game bullpen party and awesome left field seats close to the field.

Once the game's over, we'll head back home, arriving in Baltimore after midnight.

If you're interested in going on the trip, send me a quick email so I can start building the trip list: 18inarow@gmail.com.

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Friday
January 17
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#1971



there's a buzz about the astros


On Friday, former A.L. MVP Jose Altuve vehemently denied the rumors that he has worn an electronic device during games that provided him with intel on what to pitch to expect next.

So, if Altuve denied it, I guess that story gets put to bed and we can move on.

How about that White Sox off-season, huh? They sure are making strides.

But wait -- what if, I mean, just maybe -- what if Altuve isn't telling the truth? What if, as the rumors go, Altuve was one of many Astros who wore a "wire" and a device that would buzz with the incoming pitch selection having been detected by outfield cameras who were stealing signs from the opposing catcher. One buzz for a fastball. Two for a change-up. Three buzzes for a slider. Four buzzes for a curve ball.

How much help would that provide?

All of those good times in Houston...suddenly tainted.

Someone with professional baseball experience told me this on Thursday. "If an average major league hitter knew what pitch was coming every time the ball was thrown from the mound, he would hit .500."

Instead of 2.5 hits every 10 at bats, he'd get 5 hits, in other words.

It's been said that hitting a baseball is one of the hardest things to do in the world of sports. But in part it's that way because you don't know what pitch is coming at you from 66 feet, 6 inches away.

"If a hitter knows you're throwing him an off-speed pitch, the advantage goes to him. When he doesn't know, the advantage goes to the pitcher. Big difference," the baseball pro told me on Thursday.

There's no telling where this mess with the Astros -- and other teams, too -- is going to end up. It started off as chicanery, like throwing a spitball. It's now a full-blown cheating scandal. The Astros cheated to win the World Series. They did. Period. What baseball does about that is unknown, but that's a fact, now. The Astros cheated to win the 2017 World Series.

Baseball is nothing if not inventive.

They haven't been able to "just play baseball" for 50 years or so.

Speed, greenies, amphetamines in the '70s. "It gives you an edge," they'd say.

Cocaine in the '80s. "It gives you an edge," they'd say.

Steroids in the '90s. "It gives you an edge," they'd say.

Pine tar on the ball in the '00s. "It gives you an edge," they'd say.

And now we're starting to learn all about the ways teams would set up elaborate systems to steal signs in their home ballpark in the 10s.

Hey, they call it home field advantage for a reason, right?

By the way, you should take a few minutes today to look back at this year's World Series and see how the Astros did in their building when they didn't have the "comfort" of knowing the pitches that were coming their way from Nationals pitchers.

The Nats knew the Astros were cheating and designed a complicated way of changing their pitch signals from hitter-to-hitter, inning-to-inning. Without the comfort and aid of knowing what was coming, the Astros fizzled at home. You might have heard about it. The Nationals won Games 1 and 2 in Houston, lost the next three in D.C., then rallied to win Games 6 and 7 in Houston. The poor Astros were lost without their sign-stealing system in place.

It all makes sense now. And it's really funny.

If you want to peek into the catcher's mitt when you're on second base and try and ascertain what pitch is coming next, knock yourself out. Anyone on second base can do that at anytime.

When you set up an electronic system in your stadium that gives you information that the visiting team has no access to, you are now, flat-out, cheating.

It's hard not to think baseball players are creeps. You often hear them say something poignant like, "It's hard to believe I get paid like this to play a kid's game." But the reality is.....they aren't playing a kid's game at all.

A "kid's game" was the one we all used to play on Little League fields or fields at the local school or park. We'd get together and throw the ball from a makeshift mound with a soda can as the rubber. The bases were pizza box tops. Right field was "dead" if you didn't have enough guys.

No one cheated. No one drank three Mountain Dews to have an edge. We didn't rub the ball with baby oil that we stole from our family's medicine cabinet.

We just played baseball. I threw it. You hit it.

These guys with the Astros and all the others -- and there are plenty more -- who have allowed the game to face such damaging speculation and scrutiny are creeps to the highest degree. All of them.

You can put them all in the Hall of Fame if you want. Bonds, Clemens, A-Rod and, someday, Altuve, Springer and any other Astros who were part of that 2017 team and go on to make it to Cooperstown. Put them all in the Hall of Fame with a note on their plaques: *Couldn't do it the right way when he played so he resorted to cheating.

And to think that we judge people like Clayton Kershaw based, in part, on his inability to get people out in Houston during the 2017 World Series. Oddly enough, he got everyone out in Los Angeles in that series. But for some "weird" reason, the Astros had his number in Houston.

It must have been the hotel food that didn't sit well with Kershaw, huh?

I read Altuve's denial yesterday.

I knew it was coming and I still laughed.

I wouldn't believe anything he or any other member of the Astros says about this.

For that, they can thank the guys from the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s and 10s. They've been creating suspicion in baseball for 50 years.

And, right on cue, along comes this story to get us into a new decade, where, you can bet everything Pete Rose would allow you to bet there will be new ways to cheat and gain an advantage by the time the All-Star Game rolls around in July.

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we're heading to new york!


The greatest irony of it all? The story above tells you how creepy Major League Baseball players are. And here, we're urging you to go with us to New York in late June to watch our Orioles take on the Yankees.

Join us in NY on June 23-24 to see Trey Mancini and the O's take on the Yankees.

Weird...

But we're going to the Big Apple to support our Birds, June 23 and 24. And we've love to have a bunch of O's fans join us in the Bronx for a couple of days in New York and two baseball games.

We'll leave on Tuesday, June 23 around noon and check in at our Manhattan hotel sometime around 4 pm. The game that night is at 7:05 pm. We'll have upper deck seats for that, with unlimited food and drinks for everyone in our group.

The next night, June 24, we'll have a pre-game bullpen party and awesome left field seats close to the field.

Once the game's over, we'll head back home, arriving in Baltimore after midnight.

If you're interested in going on the trip, send me a quick email so I can start building the trip list: 18inarow@gmail.com.

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner
Thursday
January 16
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#1970



tainted? sure


We profiled a reader's poll here over the last couple of days that included several national and local storylines that have been making the rounds since the disappointing end to the Ravens season on Saturday night.

I used to host a radio show in town called "The Morning Reaction". Let's just call this "5 Days Later Reaction", shall we?

Most of the leftover complaining on sports radio still centers on the Ravens' offensive game plan on Saturday night and how Greg Roman "abandonded the run" at some point in the 28-12 loss to the Titans. That's what most of the folks around town are most agitated with, it seems.

We didn't have that as one of our poll options, though, mainly because we've hashed that out enough over the last few days and most reasonable understand it for what it was. The running game didn't really get "abandonded". Lamar Jackson ran with the ball a lot. The two primary running backs certainly didn't run it very much but that was mostly a by-product of falling behind 14-6, 21-6 and 28-6.

The official poll results were interesting: 44% of you believe none of the storylines had truth to them.

The second biggest "winner" if you will was "season taints Lamar" at 21%.

Anyway...let's tackle the storylines from the poll we published and see if any of them do have credence.

My line of thinking is much different than those of the poll results.

The Ravens weren't tough enough -- There's almost no doubt this one has some legs. The most obvious comparison we've heard is Tyson vs. Douglas in 1990. Tyson got his head knocked off by Douglas in a stunning reversal of supposed-toughness. The Ravens were the 14-2 team with the big talkers, big social media accounts and tee shirt slogans. Earl Thomas put his foot in his mouth midweek by talking about the Patriots and how "they didn't want to tackle Derrick Henry, (but that's not something we'll have a problem with on Saturday.)" Thomas, in one of the mostly widely published clips and memes this week, was shoved around like a rag doll by Henry on one downfield run.

And the mere fact that the Ravens were outmuscled on both sides of the line of scrimmage speaks mainly to toughness, to some degree. Either Tennessee just "wanted it more" -- a phrase that is incredibly difficult to measure, even if true -- or the Ravens eventually grew weary of the Titans' muscle and threw in the towel. Either way, toughness mattered on Saturday night and the Ravens got "Tyson'd".

Ravens saftey Earl Thomas talked a big game last week but then didn't back it up on Saturday night against the Titans.

Pees was the X factor -- This one also has some truth to it. Players play and coaches coach, of course. But Pees and his staff sniffed some things out on film and used a hybrid of what the Chargers employed last January to maximize their potential on defense depending on down and distance.

On first down, they stacked the box with 7 players and essentially dared the Ravens to run the ball. Once the Ravens only picked up a couple of yards on first down and were faced with 2nd and 9, 2nd and 7, etc., they then moved a couple of guys into a tight end coverage scheme and took away the short throw across the middle to Andrews, Hurst, Boyle, etc. And finally, on "obvious" passing downs, they again crammed the middle portion of the field with players and asked Jackson to make throws to the sideline, which game film showed them was his weakest throw. The 3rd quarter interception to the sideline was the best example of Tennessee's game plan working to perfection.

Pees, of course, was the longtime defensive coach in Baltimore who was often times much maligned for playing a soft, prevent defense when trying to hold a lead. He made no secret about his basic coaching philosophy: "Don't give up the big play." And other than a couple of big pick ups to Marlon Brown and Willie Snead, the Ravens were unable to hit on a big play Saturday night. Pees and his staff put together a terrific game plan and the players executed it to near-perfection.

Ravens were too full of themselves -- This one can easily be argued now. It's mainly a subject given the score and opponent. Had the Ravens lost, say, to Houston, 24-21 because Deshaun Watson had a big game and DeAndre Hopkins made 6 circus catches and hauled in 139 yards of receiving, you might look at things differently. But this was a pretty mediocre Tennessee team, who went 9-7 in a relatively benign division, and their quarterback was essentially Trent Dilfer-lite (or so most people thought). Did the Ravens take the Titans too lightly? Maybe. This one is hard to say an affirmative "yes" to, but all signs would point to at least some degree of bravado coming back to haunt John Harbaugh's team.

It's fair to remember that "bravado" might also be a reason why they wound up 14-2 in the first place. Around mid-season, the Ravens' swagger really picked up. It reached full height in late November when they smashed the Rams in Los Angeles on Monday Night Football. They dismantled team after team along the way to 14-2. So, it's completely normal to think you're the big man on campus.

The loss taints Lamar's season -- If the poll question would have allowed enough characters, we would have actually made the question: Did the loss taint Lamar's and the Ravens' season? Because, in truth, that's really the topic. After a 14-2 season, did Saturday's loss to the Titans taint the 2019 campaign for Lamar and the Ravens? You bet it did. In fact, it will be the number one thing people remember about the 2019 season.

Let's remember that "taint" doesn't mean "ruin". The Ravens season wasn't ruined by the loss to the Titans. They still went 14-2, still had the MVP and still made great strides on both sides of the ball.

"Taint" is defined as: a trace of a bad or undesirable quality or substance.

That loss was bad. And undesirable. And it will leave an asterisk of sorts on the season: 14-2*

* - denotes team lost by 16 points at home to a 9-7 team in the first round of the playoffs.

In 2027, someone will say at the water cooler. "Remember what happened back in 2019, right?"

"What's going on here?"

And you'll say, "I think so. The years all run together as I get older. Wasn't that the season we lost at home in the playoffs against the Titans when we were the number one seed?"

It's how you and everyone else will "define" the 14-2 season. It was great and all. Right up until the loss at home to a 9-7 team who punched us in the mouth and might have cost us a trip to the Super Bowl in Miami.

Jackson, of course, will have to deal with his 0-2 playoff record until next January. And, should the Ravens make the post-season in 2021, he better hope beyond all hope that he doesn't lose -- especially at home -- to fall to 0-3. If you think people's fangs are out now after 0-2.....holy cow......wait until you see the repercussions of going 0-3.

Despite his spectacular 13-2 "record" in 2019, Jackson's detractors got the last laugh, sadly. The only thing any of them had in November and December was the obvious: "Yeah, he's beating up on Cincinnati and Pittsburgh and Arizona and Miami...big deal. Let's see him win a playoff game."

And his performance on Saturday night was so "off" and so "different" that it most certainly taints what he was able to do in the four months prior to the loss to Tennessee.

Everything is presented - and remembered - in context. If Jackson and the Ravens beat the Titans and then lose a thriller at home to Kansas City this Sunday, 35-31, the whole season looks, feels and gets filed away historically in a different manner.

"We're getting there. We're really close now," is what most folks would have said if that scenario would have played out.

Even if the Ravens lose to the Titans 30-27 but Jackson has a steady, "Lamar like game" and it's simply a defensive breakdown that costs the Ravens a victory, things might have been different from a public perspective. Jackson piled up some gaudy stats on Saturday night, of course, but that's mainly because the situation of the game handed them to him. Everyone knows he played his worst game of the season on Saturday night. That's not an attempt to pile on. It is what it is.

It's a shame one slice of sixty minutes can do this to someone, but it can. Especially in the high profile position of quarterback, where you get far more of the credit than you deserve and far more of the blame than you deserve. It works both ways.

The sting of Saturday night's loss will fade over time, but the Ravens will have to play a lot of football, win a lot of games and, ultimately, be successful in the post-season in order to move past what happened against the Titans.

And 2019 will always be there. Just like 1979 is still there, 41 years later, with the Baltimore Orioles.

People do not forget that stuff.

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"The Keen Eye" of
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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.



will this s**t work in the playoffs?


“My sh** doesn’t work in the playoffs. My job is to get us to the playoffs. What happens after that is f***ing luck." Billy Beane, Oakland Athletics general manager

That’s my favorite passage from Moneyball, the 2003 Michael Lewis book on the subject of Beane, sabermetrics and the early 21st century Oakland A’s. Beane was only talking about the first few postseason chances for the A’s under his watch, but his frustration has continued since.

His teams have lost an American League Division Series in the full five games six(!) times now. Since the introduction of the one-game wild card playoff in 2012, the A’s have appeared in the game three times…and lost each time. In 2006, the one time in the last 27 seasons the A’s have reached the ALCS, they were summarily swept in four games by the Detroit Tigers.

So, what of the Baltimore Ravens, winners of 20 of their last 23 regular-season games, the kind of stretch previously reserved for Bill Belichick and the Patriots? In those 23 games, the Ravens have outscored their opponents 707-430.

And yet…by the fourth quarter of their last two playoff games, both played in front of raucous crowds at home in benign conditions, those same Ravens have trailed by three touchdowns in each game.

A playoff chance is “luck,” as Beane suggests, simply because it’s one game — in football — and just a few games in baseball after a six-month almost-daily slog. The 1983 Orioles twice lost seven games in a row during the season. Why did such weeks of poor play happen in May and August and not in October? There’s no certainty that one game or one series will be representative of an entire season.

The coach and QB have enjoyed a healthy 2-year regular season run but they're now 0-2 in the playoffs together.

As for whether it’s the job of the front office and coaches to simply get their teams to the postseason, there’s a lot of truth to that. A team can’t win the Super Bowl without making the playoffs first…like the Dallas Cowboys, who gained more yards than even the Ravens this season but didn’t even get the chance to perform poorly in the playoffs.

Does this sh** work in the playoffs, though?

I mean…it better. Right? This is what we’ve got.

We’ve got a guy who’s just turned 23 years old and is one of the best football players we’ve ever seen. He’s a star unlike the team has ever had, because real stars in the NFL play on offense. He’s going to be a big reason why the team will make the playoffs when it does, even if it’s not as top seed. He may never win the MVP award again, but he’s QB1 as long as he wants to be.

If you're taking all that into account, and still find yourself wishing for the mythical centaur who’ll at least have the Ravens ahead 9-3 at halftime of a playoff game, then you’re just being silly.

As for whether an offense that’s dependent on the quarterback running the ball works in the NFL playoffs, it would be easy to say “not yet.” But it would be just as easy to say “why not,” wouldn’t it?

A playoff game may be a more important game than Week 10 in Cincinnati, or even a late-season game against a good team, but it is a football game, isn’t it? 60 minutes. Four quarters. Touchdowns are worth six, field goals are worth three, and you need ten yards for a first down, even in Green Bay.

Jackson and the Ravens had six drives the other day of 50 yards or more. The next time they do that in a playoff game, I bet they win, unless they get outscored by a better offense. I’d say it’s entirely possible that the Ravens might win a playoff game when they play worse than you’d like, or lose a playoff game when you think they played pretty well.

Yes, a playoff game is subject to Beane’s “luck,” profanity or not. That works for both teams, I would think. I’m positive that a Ravens’ playoff opponent will play in an unrepresentative fashion at some point.

I would never compare Lamar Jackson to Peyton Manning. They aren’t the same kind of player, obviously, and the likelihood that Jackson will have a career that approaches that of Manning is slim. I don’t think he’ll get anywhere close when it comes to longevity, but few players have or will.

Manning was already in his fifth year when he led the Colts into the Meadowlands to play the 9-7 Jets in a Wild Card game. That was the 2002 season when Jets’ coach Herm Edwards famously said midseason that “YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!” and his team sure won that one. It was 41-0. Manning completed only 14 passes and threw two interceptions. It was his third playoff loss in three tries, and it was his worst—an even bigger blowout than the 43-8 loss to the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII when he was starting for Denver.

I know what you’re saying. Manning may have struggled to win in the playoffs as a young player, partially because of his own play and partially because the team around him wasn’t there yet. But you knew it would happen for him eventually, because he was the prototype—the son of a quarterback, the king of the audible, maybe even a bit of a savant.

You don’t feel the same way about Lamar Jackson, I bet. This year, anyway, he had a team around him that seemed to mesh (no pun intended) with him perfectly. He was still facing teams that hadn’t seen him except on film, including the Titans. He’s proven to be plenty smart and that he mostly makes good decisions, but it’s his athletic genius that will always be the story.

Manning’s record as a starting quarterback in the playoffs was 14-13. He won the Super Bowl twice and reached it two other times, but all of that came after his ninth year in the league. Prior to his 30th birthday, he was 3-6 in the playoffs.

I wonder if Jackson will even get nine years in the NFL. In that way, his time is short, and the pressure seems greater, especially after flops in his first two tries. It’s very possible he won’t be the same player after his 30th birthday, and by that time the team around him will probably have turned over twice.

Still, I’m not going all the way to Billy Beane and stuff that doesn’t work in the playoffs. If a team can beat the Patriots and Ravens on the road by throwing for less than 100 yards in each game, then a team led by Lamar Jackson can win any game it’s healthy enough to win. I’m looking forward to the next chance, despite what happened in the first two.

JERRY'S TOYOTA banner



breakfast bytes

NTSB Report: Kobe's helicopter lacked proper terrain warning system.

Australian Open: Top-seeded Nadal ousted by Thiem; Zverev reaches semi's with easy 4-set win over Wawrinka.

NFL: Chiefs say they won't give Mahomes a new contract this off-season, but they're "preparing to get it done soon".

Local hoops: Loyola surprises #10 Boys' Latin, 65-54.



SCOREBOARD
Monday, January 27
AT CANADIENS
2
CAPITALS
4
GOALS: Vrana (23), Wilson (15), Boyd (3), Backstrom (10)

GOALTENDER: Holtby

RECORD: 34-11-5, 1st place

NEXT GAME: 1/29 vs. Nashville