Sunday
February 17
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#1637



a hall of fame "bad beat"


I can give you lots and lots of reasons not to gamble on sports.

Sure, the thrill -- and profit -- of winning when you bet on a game is intoxicating. But the simple credo is this: Don't Gamble On Sports.

Yesterday's Duke vs. NC State basketball was expected to be a snoozer. Duke (11-1 in ACC) is perhaps the best team in the nation and NC State (6-7) can barely play .500 basketball in the ACC. The line was Duke (-17).

There's a relatively new thing in gambling called "live betting", where the line floats at several points during a game and you can "re-bet" the game or bet it for the first time, even. It's a little bit like a "press" in golf. If, say, you took Duke (-17) before the game, you could potentially bet NC State during the game if you thought things were swinging in their favor. Or, you could bet more money on Duke during the game.

It's just another way to get you to -- wait for it -- bet more money. Gambling houses figured it out a long time ago. People will bet on anything. So "live betting" is a great feature. It really works well in golf, actually, where you can see a guy get hot with the putter late on the front nine and bet him all the way to the trophy presentation behind the 18th green.

Yesterday, there was a live-betting "bad beat" for the ages in Durham.

Zion Williamson and Duke beat up on NC State yesterday, but it was how the game finished that drove some fans crazy.

At the TV timeout in the first half, with 9:45 remaining, a new line for the game came out and it had Duke a 14.5 point favorite. At the time, Duke was up by eight points.

Let's pretend you liked what you'd seen early on with the Wolfpack. Let's further pretend you liked it enough to wager, say, $500 on North Carolina State to cover the "new line" of 14.5 points.

OK...here's what happened.

Duke toyed with NC State the whole game, basically. The Blue Devils went up at the half, 48-40, and then led by a dozen or more points thoughout most of the second half. NC State tried to hang in there, but they just couldn't do it. The game was a foregone conclusion, when, with two minutes to go and trailing by twelve points, NC State called a time out.

With 0:40 remaining and still down by a dozen at 90-78, NC State called timeout again.

Coach K went to the clipboard and immediately started drawing up a play. He was still coaching. Duke players looked interested in the huddle. I glanced at a friend who was watching the game with me in a sports bar and said, "What the heck is going on? Why are these two teams still calling timeouts and drawing up plays with forty seconds left in a 12-point game?"

Duke inbounded the ball with 40 seconds remaining, milked 23 seconds off the shot clock, like they're supposed to do, and attempted a shot with 17 seconds left that was no good. But Tre Jones was there for the put-back, and Duke was up by 14 points with 14 seconds left. Game over, right?

NC State could have just dribbled out the clock. That would have been the prudent thing to do, although there's no harm in trying to go down and score a garbage time bucket, right?

That depends, I suppose, on which team you wagered on earlier in the game during that live-betting opportunity.

NC State's Markell Johnson brought the ball to midcourt and went to squeeze his way through a couple of Duke players. He lost the ball with six seconds remaining. A tussle ensued and Tre Jones was on the floor with the ball in his hands. Game over, right?

No. Game not over.

Duke, already up 14 at 92-78, wasn't finished. Jones somehow slipped the ball to Jordan Goldwire, who drove unattended to the basket and laid in a 2-pointer at the buzzer to finalize the scoring at 94-78.

Huh?

Why wouldn't Goldwire just run to the corner with the ball?

Note: These are the questions you scream at the TV if, in fact, you had NC State (+14.5) on the live-betting line earlier in the game.

Why did NC State insist on calling a timeout with 40 seconds left, down 12 points?

These questions, and many like them, are always left unanswered.

If you had NC State (+17) at the beginning of the game, you still won, by the way. But if you live-bet the Wolfpack at (+14.5) and thought you stood to win two wagers instead of one, you wound up not winning anything at day's end.

It's much better to write about gambling and snicker about these bad beats than it is to actually bet on the games, trust me.

If you have a particularly bad beat you'd like to share in the Comments section below, please do.

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DALE WILLIAMS returns for his fourth season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2018-19 season.


terps' road woes continue in loss to michigan


Thirteen first half turnovers, Bruno Fernando’s early struggles, and some horrid Terp guard play dug a hole for Maryland that proved far too deep to overcome as the Michigan Wolverines beat the Terrapins on Saturday, 65-52, in a game that was much closer than the final 13-point margin of victory, but one in which Maryland never had a chance to lead.

Michigan stormed to an 8-0 lead to start the game and never trailed. Their largest lead was 15 points and they had that lead on three separate occasions in the opening 20 minutes.

The Terps had one chance to tie the game in the second half, but an Anthony Cowan three-point attempt missed its mark with 9:29 left in the game and the Terps trailing 42-39. It was their only chance to tie or lead. Another Cowan miss, this time on an uncontested layup, could have cut the Wolverine lead to 3 with 6:55 left. After that miss, Michigan’s Ignas Brazdeikis hit a transition that all but drained the energy from the Maryland team.

Maryland followed perhaps their best half of basketball (the second half against Purdue) with what may be their worst half of the season. The Michigan pressure, combined with some shaky Terp ball handling, led to 13 Maryland first half turnovers and some head scratching shot selections.

In the early parts of the half, Michigan’s transition game was in full effect as the Terps failed to get back quickly enough after their turnovers and Michigan repeatedly made them pay. For the game, Michigan enjoyed a 14-2 advantage in fast break points.

Eric Ayala has now gone scoreless in two of Maryland's last three losses, including yesterday's loss at Michigan, where he failed to score in 33 minutes of action.

Fernando really struggled in the first half. He was able to get position down low, but was stymied when trying to work and score against Michigan’s Jon Teske. The resulting shots by Fernando were highly contested and of the low percentage variety. Most were from awkward angles and never had a chance of success.

Fernando was 0 for 4 from the floor in the opening half and turned it over twice. Things went so badly for the Terp center that he spent much of the later part of the half riding the bench. He logged just 10 first half minutes.

Darryl Morsell added 4 turnovers in the half, as he and his teammates never looked comfortable against an aggressive Wolverine defense contesting most passes and putting constant pressure on the ball.

Although they built a formidable first half lead, Michigan was far from spectacular on the offensive end. They made just 3 of 15 shots from the three-point line and hit just 37.5% from the field. The Michigan half-court offense produced very little, but the breakaways and transition buckets carried the Michigan offense to their 27-18 halftime lead.

In the second half, Maryland just couldn’t get enough stops to overcome their first half deficit. Although they put up 34 second half points, they surrendered 38. Transition defense was still an issue, but the larger issue was Terp fatigue from struggling to get back into striking range and then the emotional cliff from which they fell after the two Cowan misses.

The Maryland guard trio of Cowan, Darryl Morsell, and Eric Ayala once again were outplayed in a Terp loss. During the tell-tale first half, those three players, collectively, had four points and seven turnovers. For the game, they shot 5 of 20 from the field, 2 for 12 from the 3-point line, and turned it over 8 times. Their Michigan counterparts posted 34 points against just 4 turnovers. It was the difference in the game.

Guard play is tremendously important in college basketball and the Terp guards frequently get outplayed against the best teams in the country. In the 7 Terp losses this year, Cowan has hit just 25 of 75 shots from the floor (33%) and only 13 of his 47 three-point attempts (27%). He’s averaged just 9 points in the Terps last 5 games. That’s not good enough from the guy who takes the most shots on the team.

Morsell found the going so tough yesterday that he only managed to get 15 minutes of court time. He had 1 rebound, 2 points and 4 turnovers in yesterday’s loss to Michigan. His defensive skills are strong enough that he needs to be on the court at times, but he’s not much of a threat offensively and when he turns the ball over like he did yesterday, his net effect is negative.

Ayala has gone scoreless in 2 of the last 3 Terp losses and has proven he can’t check quicker 2 guards. He has made dramatic improvement over the season and made significant contributions to the team’s success, but if Maryland wants to compete with, and beat, the elite Big Ten teams, he’ll need to up his consistency. He’s just a freshman, and it might be asking for more than he is capable of delivering right now.

Guard play has proven to be the separator between where Maryland is and where they want to be.

The Terp guards are capable of some quality games, but not against the top tier teams. I don’t want to beat this group up because I believe they have accomplished so much this year and they have a chance to win a few NCAA tournament games this season. However, guard play separates Maryland from the Michigans, Michigan States, and Virginias of the college basketball landscape.

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#dmd comments


Mount Realville     February 17
Gamblers are the biggest conspiracy nuts ever. At the track you find guys who EVERY race is fixed except for the ones that they figure out and get right or they stumble upon the right bet. Mutterings of failure and set ups and other absurdities. I tell guys often if you think these things are fixed and out of your control you should never bet again. If you do you see the very definition of a fool

Just this week a jockey at Tampa Bay Downs fell off 50 yards from the finish, the horse was tired and veered out to the right suddenly. That his horse was even money and the horse that ended up winning was 99-1 had all of Twitter abuzz. At least the horse racing part.... If you think a guy would jump at 40mph with 10 other horses right behind him, you are nuts. He got dinged by a trailing horse but almost got stepped on.... that is when jockeys die. People should be ashamed for calling for an investigation.....kind of like all those who thought that "Empire" was telling the truth

George     February 17
@DF – Funny you should feature an article on bad beats today. You’ve got plenty to groan about in a follow-up piece tomorrow about Xander’s tire tracks all over Kevin’s back at Riviera.

And the rout begins!

unitastoberry     February 17
I knew a guy who told me when he was young he was a jockey and paid to fall off certain horses in the early 1960s all over the USA. He says he was one of the best at it too was paid royally until injuries and Vietnam ended it. He told me this in 1996 that 3/4 of horse racing is fixed.

I told him I don't bet except on Wall St. He was an employee of mine and he was an insane hard worker we got to be friends. One day he comes up to me and says boss there's a sure thing going off at Laurel. I said forget it. He said couple hundred will probably win you double or triple. I told him tell me the horse and I will check the paper . Next day I looked and this horse wins.

A few months go bye and he comes up to me and says I got another sure thing for you. So I made my first and only bet on horses in my 65 years and tripled my money. I celebrated later that day with a steak dinner at the inner harbor then bought more shares of a mutual fund that pays sweet dividends to this day.

A few months later he told me he left to work as a manager on a race horse breeding farm and I have never seen or heard from him again. True story.

Delray Rick     February 17
Years ago in VEGAS, ( I very seldom bet pro bb and after this I do not) I took the BULLS laying 6. That's right, MICHAEL JORDAN had the ball with 15 seconds left and up by 5!!! What did he do was stand there and dribble the ball and not shoot while everybody in the SPORTS CLUB yelled " shoot the ***** ball. They won by 5.

HERMAN     February 17
I'm not saying there was an issue with that particular Duke game, only that in human history anything humans can find a way to cheat to win cash, they will cheat. From sports gaming to insider trading, to the poker room at the casino, and even at the old Tuesday night club poker game, I've seen it.

I loaded up on chalk once on a Pimlico race where only two horses in the eleven horse field had any chance. One threw the jockey coming out of the gate, another came up limp and the jockey jumped off. Leaving me to watch the two minute race with nine horses and zero chance. I don't load up on chalk anymore.

Chris     February 17
I had Seattle the year they didn't run the ball to win the Super Bowl. That's the worst bad beat of all time. Period.

Regis     February 17
I live bet Maryland earlier this season against Minnesota and lost because a stupid kid from MINN missed two foul shots in a 12 point game with something like 15 seconds left. If he makes either one of them I win.

Dennis     February 17
Definitely a "strange" end to the Duke-NC State game. Makes you wonder sometimes.

Corn on the Cobb     February 16
My top 4:



1. Gerry with a G

2. Anita Marks

3. Thryll

4. Jenn Royale- “she smelled nice”

John S. Cobb     February 16
The Kuchar story shows that guys can be greedy, tone-deaf pigs no matter how much they are worth. And that Kuchar's 'people' are dumb as dirt. Only two real choices: Pay the guy what you would have paid your Tour caddy, or pay him what you agreed on, and WALK. Paying him $50k proves what? You think he's half the man your regular caddy is? He did 10x the job you thought he'd do? And, don't forget, the caddy turned down $20,000.00 and told everyone it 'wasn't enough'. Unreal PR fiasco, for nothing.

Brien Jackson     February 16
@RJ



Because the bar for proving collusion is REALLY high, it makes no sense for the NFL to avoid a hearing that they would win. Don't be as ridiculous as the Kaepernick defender who spent hours trying to tell me that he's not helping the NFL cover something up last night: It's obvious that Kaepernick had the goods on the league and they're paying to make sure that whatever it is isn't made public.

Neutral Observer     February 16
Mount Bushmore should stick to politics.



He left off two guys who would make the Mount Rushmore of Baltimore sports TV.



Must not really be from Baltimore if he doesn't know those two.




Mount Bush..more     February 16
A Mount Rushmore of TV guys...in this town?

Vince Bagli may have been a nice guy, but he was below average on TV. Lots of ums, clunky words and not very smooth...and I knew him pretty well. FOLKSY.

John Buren? He was a clown. I think he "got it" in that sports wasn't very important, and his delivery was always joking and non serious. TIRESOME.

Jack Dawson? Oh..was he a bore. SNOOZY

Randy Blair? He was the weekend guy...and is most famous for dropping dead. AVERAGE

John Saunders? So plain and ordinary. tough to be called vanilla when you are a black guy.

Nick Charles. Pretty good, Pretty Boy...was more famous in another role nationally.

Garceau..... a pro's pro. But as a Mount Rushmore. Just not enough pizazz. Like him a lot.

Viviano...Okay, male model. Again, good for this city, but the tale of Baltimore Sports TV could be written w/out him.

Bruce Cunningham? Nope. Done a ton of good work in mentoring. But is just so-so.

Keith Mills....more impact on Radio. tough to look at.



Tough to put anyone else in the last 15 years as local TV devotes about 2 minutes to sports coverage., sometime less.

Take your sculpting tools, dynamite and guys willing to do super dangerous work and erect another Mt. Rushmore of something worthy....like the Four Faces of the LF.


Delray Rick     February 16
Here's hoping JIM PALMER comes back to liven the broadcast


RJ     February 16
@Brien says the NFL settling is"a straight-forward admission that Kaepernick's lawyers had the goods on them and could prove, conclusively, that they were guilty"

Then later admits that without knowing the $ amount involved, we have no idea why either side agreed to the settlement.

The second sentiment is the correct one.

The NFL could have felt the amount paid was less than lawyers fees and continued loss of "goodwill", and had nothing to do with the other side "having the goods". @Brien even admits, if Kap had the goods, why settle?

The NFL wanted this to go away, that they paid for that is in no way an admission of anything.

But Brien does bring up a good point, Kaepernick has likely made way more money from this than he ever would from a career in the NFL, there is no doubt about that. Kind of makes that whole "sacrifice everything" marketing plan a little odd, eh?


unitastoberry     February 16
Who in their right mind gets rid of Jon Miller? The same guy who got rid of Davey Johnson. The stench of both those moves still resonates with the old timers. Just like the Colts trading Ted Hendricks and putting Mike Curtis on the expansion draft list.

HERMAN     February 16
While Chuck Thompson was absolute broadcasting perfection, and we were blessed to have him as our local announcer, no one could entertain and keep you glued to a game like Jon Miller. I recall a game we were losing by 11 by the fourth inning but his stories and humor made it impossible to turn off the game.

That current ownership ran him off for not being enough of a "homer" is on the laundry list of reasons I have no interest in the team any longer.

Who in their right mind gets rid of Jon Miller?

The man was an absolute treasure.

Ian     February 16
Drew,



Can you clarify the criteria of your latest Mount Rushmore? You seem to be limiting it to sportscasters who were or are part of the daily local TV news. But, from the responses, people are including play-by-play announcers and even sportswriters.



By the way, if it's limited to TV news sportscasters, my votes are: Vince Bagli, Chris Thomas, John Buren and Randy Blair.

H     February 15
John Steadman, Chuck Thompson, Vince Bagli, John Miller

H     February 15
Drew: Is it possible for a PGA tour pro to win a tournament with a lousy caddie?

MicMac     February 15
Well, C.J. called it. Kuchar is apologizing and paying the caddie the $50k he requested. He said he was going to call him tonight to let him know. Of course he issued a official statement which can be read on ESPN.com. Kuchar is also making a donation to the organization that is sponsoring this week's golf tournament.

clayton     February 15
i think your spot on. kuchars team already hired a crisis management firm and they will probably offer the caddie 50k if he goes on air and says kuchars a warm and wonderful fella. it doesn't take much to move a star worshiping and adoring public who believe kuchar cares the slightest bit about what they think except how it affects shoe sales.

C.J.     February 15
Prediction: Kuchar will give the guy a $50,000 check sometime soon and his sponsors and PR firms will broadcast it everywhere.

Chuck Petty     February 15
Are people here really defending Matt Kuchar?



I'm sure glad I don't work for you.

Blue Tee Golfer     February 15
Kuchar will never be viewed the same by golf fans and / or sponsors that's for sure. He's made his bed on this one.

Neutral Observer     February 15
FYI there was no "signed legal contract" between the player and caddie. So you can throw that out @Roo. They had an agreement that the caddie would get $3,000 and then an additional $1,000 if Kuchar made the weekend cut. There was no discussion about a "winning bonus". Kuchar decided himself that giving someone $1,000 after winning $1.3 million was the right thing to do. There was no contract.

ROO     February 15
@ K.A. Hey BRO, you are what's wrong with this country if you think that ignoring a signed LEGAL contract, refusing additional compensation when offered and then crying about it for not getting more is perfectly O.K.. If Ortiz wasn't happy with the amount of contract offer why did he sign it in the first place and THEN turn down the bonus.

clayton     February 15
when the terms of the contract were met, there's no right or wrong to it. its only a personality indicator. is kuchar a generous man or is he a cheap stiff? the records clear.

K.A.     February 15
@Roo, You are WRONG bro. DEAD WRONG. There's only one side right in this story and it's NOT MATT KUCHAR. If you think Matt Kuchar was right to give that caddy $5,000 you are what's wrong with this country bro.

ROO     February 15
@ Biff Exactly my point to Drew. NONE of that scenario stuff matters so why try. Anybody can create a scenario to strengthen their position but that still doesn't make either side right. Also, RIGHT is abiding by a contract that you signed and agreed to no matter what the outcome and THEN if offered bonus compensation for the better than expected outcome accept it without malice but with gratitude.

Biff Cantrell     February 15
@Roo....You breaking down the Nixon tapes. None of that scenario detail stuff matters. What’s right, what’s not? Kucher was wrong. Soulless or stupid. He’s one of them. He’ll be reliving it at every tournament this year. The gallery will make sure.

Josh     February 15
Never been a Kuchar fan. Still remember the celebration incident his dad was involved in. TECHNICALLY- he did nothing wrong. But wow! How out of touch can you be? 20K and probably nobody says a thing....



One time a broke John Daly gave 30k of his 230k ‘91 PGA winnings to the family of a fan killed on course during tournament week.



Some people just love money... Can’t let it go

Jason M     February 15
I've always felt it's very important to spread good fortune around. I'll never forget watching a guy walk away from a craps table after winning 5,000 or so. Not a single chip passed. Sure enough I saw the same guy later losing it all on a black jack table. Quit a winner and tip your dealer and the cocktail waitress commensurate to your winnings.

Coleen Deems     February 15
I volunteered at Caves Valley in 2017 when they hosted the Constellation Senior Players. McCarron's caddie had to leave because his father passed. The sub caddie got 10%. Classy.

Luskin     February 15
Funny story about a safety we know. Wasn't this the same guy who had a bag of money...if memory serves it was about 40k stolen from the front seat of his car?

Might have cured him from carrying cash

John L.     February 15
Poor George.



Xander Schauffele is 3 over after 15 holes in the first round.


H     February 15
@Lee in CAnton, Funny story. ER didn't have a 20 on him even?

Lee in Canton     February 15
I know a local football safety that you all might have heard of recently who tipped his Caves caddy $10 last year. A whole $10. Ten dollars. He must not have had a 50 dollar bill on him.

K.A.     February 15
If any of you defend Matt Kuchar in this story you suck. You're the worst of the worst. He gave someone $5,000 after winning $1 million. And you think that's right? You suck. A lot.

DF     February 15
I don't have "an agenda". I never really even came out to say what I think Kuchar should have done. You folks are funny sometimes.

The other guy     February 15
@Roo Great points

Delray Rick     February 15
JIM PALMER told Dan Shaughnessy bout FRANK in BOSTON one night when he hit a line drive he thought was a homer and did not run to first. It hit off of the wall and YASZ held FRANK to a single. When WEAVER got to his office there was several 100 bills on his desk with a note from FRANK. "I embarrassed myself. It will not happen again". How's that MANNY?

BO     February 15
@Boo, I think @Drew covered your qualms.



He wrote, "In closing, here's the one thing I haven't heard anyone discuss and it's at least worth mentioning. Did Ortiz do a good job? Was he a solid caddie? It's not nearly as easy as you think. In fact, when someone like me writes "bag carrier" to describe a caddie, it's a massive disservice to the job as a whole.



If Ortiz gave Kuchar some bad information (he was, after all, mostly hired because of his famililarity with the course) over the four days or wasn't able to read a few tricky putts, I could see Kuchar thinking to himself, "No way this guy deserves anything out of the ordinary this week. He gets his $3,000 and that's that."



But I haven't heard or seen anyone write or comment about that topic, so I'm assuming Kuchar got along well with Ortiz and was happy with his work over that week in Mexico.




ROO     February 15
@Drew Sorry but you can't just create a specific scenario to fit your agenda and expect everything to work out in black and white. It just doesn't work that way. There are way too many variables involved. Unless you are Matt Kucher or the hypothetical couple in your story you have absolutely no idea what actually happened to cause the different reactions. Did the caddy or the server give the same exceptional service or advice above and beyond what the regular caddy or server did?? I can't imagine that Ortiz could give Kucher any where near the subtle information that someone who has been with him for years could give. That goes the same for a server who has never met you before. There is no way that they will have the inside and personal knowledge about you and your personal tastes that a regular server would have that would make you want to call ahead and request them specifically.





If we are not there to observe a situation personally we shouldn't be making assumptions on how, why or what should have occurred in the aftermath. Ortiz seemed to be quite happy with his payday until the media got a hold of the story and started to make a big deal out of it. Surprise!





And lastly, 15% is pretty weak on a $200.00 dollar check with exceptional service. If you would have said 20% or 25% would that have been fairer. Would the server and the critics be happy then?


Fat Frankie     February 15
Mount Rushmore of local sports Broadcasters? There's only room for one Oriole Broadcaster: Jon Miller. He didn't bleed "orange and black" , but he was the best and there won't be anyone like him.

Tom J     February 15
"Kuch" just doesn't get IT.......again, if he didn't win the tournament, whatever the fee agreed to was would have been fine. But then he went out and WON the tournament and the caddy should have been paid the standard 10 percent, period, end of story. I'm sure he won't lose sleep over this because he has no conscience. That phony "good guy" act has been exposed. I hope he gets ripped at tournaments now.........

chas     February 15
Chuck Thompson, Vince Bagli, Jim Carvellas & Jon Miller.



For those with short memories....Carvellas was a truly great Bullets radio play by play guy "back in the day".

Alan     February 15
Did Mike just put Nestor Aparicio in the same category with Chuck Thompson, Vince Bagli and Keith Mills? That's like putting Luke Scott in an Orioles "best of outfield" with Adam Jones, Paul Blair and Frank Robinson.

JohnP     February 15
My bad, this is only TV.

HERMAN     February 15
Sure it's easy to spend other people's money. And Kuchar has every right to spend his as he sees fit. But to earn 1.3 million in a week and drop 5 grand to the local that lent some assistance is just an awful gesture.

Over at Deadspin they are roasting Trump for spending 50 grand on a golf simulator for the White House. For Trump 50 grand is last week's interest check, it's nothing to him.

Same with Kuchar, as an adult he never spent one minute looking at the right side of the menu and wondering if he could step up to the $34 grouper, or save $12 and get the cod.

I'll never understand how people with tens of millions don't spread some love around but it's been my experience they don't. Some of the wealthiest men I know are also the tightest with the dollar. It's sad.

One of the reasons I've always rooted for Lefty is that I read a story that walking to the course every day he passed a girl with a lemonade stand trying to make a dollar off of passing fans entering the course for the tournament. He bought a glass every day with a hundred, and took no change. Class move. Endeared Phil to me.

Kuchar doesn't get it.


Saturday
February 16
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#1636



saturday musings


Orioles first baseman Chris Davis think it's time for a change.

He said it himself on Friday at spring training in Sarasota.

Finally, right?

My stance is too upright. He's finally figured it out. And making a change.

Been trying to hit it to left field to beat the shift. Just go back to pulling everything now. Need to make that change, too.

Gotta stop looking at strike 3 so much. Start going up there with "just make contact" being the objective. That's another good change.

Chris Davis is making some changes.

He's on the record.

Actually, that's not true.

Davis did say "It was time for a change" on Friday when someone asked him a question. But it wasn't about his own performance. Instead, he was commenting about the departures of Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette.

"It was time for a change," was part of his response when asked about "new management" in the Orioles clubhouse.

“I’ve always held myself to a really high standard, maybe in some people’s eyes, an unrealistic standard at times. I think, as far as having a new staff, having a new voice in the clubhouse, it was time for a change. I said it at FanFest. ‘I was very appreciative and grateful for everything that Buck and Dan did here.'"

Just in case the "I'm glad Buck's gone" sentiment wasn't clear with that statement, Davis doubled down and kept on rolling. “We had a lot of good memories and a lot of good times that we can look back on. For the future, for the present, it was time for a change. I think it’s going to be good. I think it’s going to be good to hear a new set of pipes in the clubhouse, to see a little different landscape, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Interesting.

I think a lot of people around Baltimore agree with Chris Davis. It is indeed "time for a change".

How about you change your batting average from .168 to .268?

How about you change your home run total from 16 to 36?

How about you change your WAR from -2.8 to 2.8?

Talk about making changes. Those sure would be nice, chief.


Matt Kuchar got smart on Friday and "made good" with caddie David Ortiz after a week's worth of media and internet scorching about his $5,000 payment back in November when Kuchar won $1.3 million at the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico.

While he didn't say specifically how he paid Ortiz, Kuchar issued a statement on Friday, apologizing for his earlier comments about the situation and stating he has, in fact, paid Ortiz the initial sum he wanted ($50,000) in exchange for being on Kuchar's bag when he won in Mexico.

This was the best thing Kuchar could do at this point. It would have clearly been better to take care of this issue a month ago when it first perked up. By letting it flap in the breeze, it only fueled the story even more. And then this week, Ortiz was again critical of Kuchar for not giving him a more fair bonus for being the "winning caddie".

Kuchar then said, "A $5,000 week is really good for someone who's used to making $200 a day."

And that got non-golfing media types interested. As is usually the case in situations like these, things started to get overblown. The whole story became an indictment of rich, wealthy golfers and not just a cheap PGA Tour player who thought he'd get by without having to pay a fill-in caddie a reasonable bonus for being part of his victory.

So with the media vulture'ing away (vulture'ing? - not sure it's really a word) at Kuchar and weighing the relationships he has with some significant companies like WorkDay, Skechers and Bridgestone, the veteran move was to cough up $50,000 and try and get everyone to move on to wondering if Tiger really has a chance at Augusta this year.

But this is now Kuchar's "Wiki moment". He can win a Masters or a British Open someday, maybe both, like Mark O'Meara did in 1998. He could put together a great August this summer and wind up winning the FedEx Cup. He might someday be a Ryder Cup captain, even.

He can do all of those things, but the David-Ortiz-got-stiffed story will always appear on his Wikipedia page. It's "on the record", so to speak.

Six weeks from now, most of the golf world will no longer care about this story.

Six weeks ago, though, Kuchar could have handled the whole thing the right way and saved himself a lot of embarrassment. And brand damage.

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the terps spotlight

DALE WILLIAMS returns for his fourth season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2018-19 season.


michigan hosts terps today


There will be some intriguing matchups on the floor today when Maryland tries to hand the Michigan Wolverines their first home loss of the season. At every position there exists a question as to what player has the advantage. These matchups could go either way.

Game time is at noon and the contest will be broadcast by FOX.

Let’s start with the small forward position and the battle of Jalen Smith vs Michigan’s Ignas (Iggy) Brazdeikis. Both are freshman, but contribute greatly to their team’s success.

While Smith comes at you with length and finesse, Brazdeikis plays a more driving, physical game and is also a better outside shooter. Iggy leads Michigan with 14.6 points-per-game, but is subject to the occasional klunker. In his last two Big Ten games he is 4-13 from the floor with just 8 points scored.

Iggy is a plus defender, but can he handle the long arms and height of Smith? There just aren’t many guys like the Terps' Smith. For Smith, the defensive question is: can he defend the perimeter game, movement, and penetration of Brazdeikis? It’s a toss-up to me, and a part of the game that I’m really anxious to see.

Maryland could use a big game today from guard Anthony Cowan, as the Terps try and hand Michigan their first home loss of the season.

At the center spot, 7’1, 260 pound, Jon Teske will lock horns will Bruno Fernando. Teske leads the Big Ten in blocked shots and is a proficient defender on the low post. Penn State neutralized his defensive skills by going at him with the smaller, but much quicker, Lamar Stevens.

The result was a big game from Stevens and a Penn State win.

The Terps won’t (and shouldn’t) do that, and it will up to Fernando to put pressure on Teske at both ends of the court. Teske gets 9 points per game and leads the Wolverines with 6.5 rebounds per contest. The matchup questions here revolve around Teske’s ability to handle Bruno down low, compared to Fernando’s ability to stay with Teske’s movement off of set screens.

My guess is that Michigan coach, John Beilein, will elect to let Teske handle Fernando without double teams, but will be forced to reconsider that plan after Fernando proves he can score on Teske. Advantage Maryland.

I will spend some time today not following the ball, but watching Charles Mathews and Darryl Morsell. Mathews is only the second leading scorer on the Michigan team, but he is the one who, offensively, scares me the most.

Mathews is a 6’6” transfer from Kentucky and can take over a game at crunch time. He is the “go-to” guy for the Wolverines when they absolutely need a bucket. He is a quality slasher who can finish at the rim. Mathews will take a few threes, and hits 33% of them. He is really tough to guard one-on-one.

Morsell has his hands full trying to check this guy. Morsell plays tough defense, but I expect Mathews to exceed his 13.2 points-per game average. Advantage Michigan.

Zavier Simpson mans the point guard position for Michigan and I expect him to be joined at Anthony Cowan’s hip for most of the day. Simpson (and his 3 o’clock hook shot) only gets 9 points per contest, and hits just under 28% of his three points attempts, but he is quicker than Cowan and has an assist to turnover ratio of almost 3 to 1. He is a tenacious defender and could give Maryland’s offense some trouble with his ball pressure.

My main concern with this matchup is that the turnover-prone Terps could have issues getting into their offensive sets consistently enough with Simpson pressuring the ball. Maryland has had issues with teams that play deny defense and pressure the ball. They could see a bunch of that today. Advantage Michigan.

Each team’s best three-point shooter will try to shut down the other when Jordan Poole (39%) takes on Eric Ayala (47%). On shooting percentage alone, one might conclude that the advantage here would go to Ayala. However, Poole possesses a more complete offensive arsenal and like the rest of his teammates, defends his position extremely well. Because he can get into the lane and score off of the dribble, I’ll give Poole and his defensive ability a tiny edge here.

Unless Michigan sees foul trouble, most of their bench players will only get up to cheer. The lone exception to that is Isaiah Livers. Livers gives the Wolverines decent production off of the bench. He is the best Michigan three-point shooter (44%) and also grabs an average of 4 rebounds per game.

When Livers finally hits the court he can’t be left alone. He must be guarded closely or he’ll be instant offense for the Wolverines. If I had to rate the benches, clearly the advantage goes the Maryland. However, our bench will be playing against their starters. I expect each Michigan starter to get well over 30 minutes of action.

Michigan is back at home at the Crisler Center after getting beat by a Penn State team that had only one conference win. I expect the Wolverines to be hungry and they’ll have the advantage of a loud home crowd. Maryland’s lack of success against ranked teams on the road is well documented, and the defensive pressure they’ll see tomorrow will cause some problems.

Penn State had some success slowing-down Michigan with a 1-2-2, three quarter court, press. I’d like to see Maryland incorporate some of that on made baskets. Penn State also has success taking the ball right to Michigan. I think that would be wise for the Terps to do as well. Whenever an opening exists, they need to penetrate strongly and look to work the offense from inside.

The more time Maryland spends on the perimeter, the more chance for a mistake to happen. Get the ball inside ASAP by either dribble penetration, or by dumping it low to either Fernando or Smith.

If Maryland can do all of the above, and shoot well, they might make this game interesting.

If they don’t, they could suffer a bad loss. The line currently has Michigan as a 6-point favorite. Personally, a short-term investment seems less than prudent here. But, if forced to, I’d grab the six points and hope that Bruno Fernando gets 20 points and keeps Maryland within striking distance. In a low scoring affair, I see the Wolverines holding on for a 63-60 victory.

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from the desk of
brien jackson

BRIEN JACKSON's work at #DMD promises to provide some of Baltimore's best sports insight and commentary, brought to you by SECU, the official credit-union of Drew's Morning Dish. Brien has done sports-media work with ESPN, CBS, and NPR. His contributions to #DMD will focus on the Orioles, the Ravens, and national sports stories.



In a major and shocking development that I never saw coming, it was announced mid-afternoon on Friday that the NFL had come to agreement with Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid on a settlement of their pending grievance against the league for illegally colluding against them.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed due the parties agreeing to a non-disclosure agreement, which is interesting in its own right (and I'll get to later).

There's multiple levels of interest to the information we do have, but here's what we can absolutely say for sure: The very fact that the NFL settled the case is a straight-forward admission that Kaepernick's lawyers had the goods on them and could prove, conclusively, that they were guilty.

Collusion is a very specific action with a very specific threshold for proof that is very hard to meet. The most likely outcome of the case was always that Kaepernick's lawyers could build a good circumstantial case for their claims but wouldn't be able to come up with enough straight forward evidence of an "agreement" by the teams to blacklist him, in which case he'd lose his grievance.

The deck was heavily stacked in favor of the league, so the only reason to even entertain settling before a hearing is the knowledge that you've been caught red-handed and were going to lose.

What exactly is in the settlement would matter a lot, obviously, but we can't know that for sure now. We won't know how much the NFL agreed to pay Kaepernick and Reid, although at least one report says that league sources "speculate" Kaepernick got something in the $60-80 million range. We'll also never know what evidence Kaepernick had against the NFL, or why the league was so eager to suppress that information.

And since Kaepernick pursued his grievance with outside counsel rather than the NFLPA, the union won't know that either. I strongly suspect that that's not an accident here, and from the outside looking in it sure appears as though the NFL is buying the silence of Kaepernick and Reid, and the players who drew notoriety, fame, and infamy for "speaking out against injustice" are happily clamming up for the right price.

It might surprise you, but I don't have a particularly high opinion of Kaepernick. In fact, I can't shake the impression that he's a bit of a huckster.

I'm not going to say that he deliberately and consciously concocted all of this in order to make himself a boatload of money, but if he had, how much different would it have turned out? Kaepernick's Nike contract was not only an endorsement deal, it included his own line of branded apparel and a top-tier contract with Nike. Think LeBron or Jeter level stuff. That's a level of money he was never going to make as an otherwise generic NFL quarterback.

Moreover, the fact that Nike had apparently entered into the deal with him soon after his protest began, only waiting years to launch the line but paying him all along, rendered the entire campaign a fraud from the beginning: Kaepernick hadn't sacrificed everything for his beliefs, he'd gotten fabulously rich for them.

And along the way, for as much as Kaepernick became a cultural touchstone of sorts, he completely hijacked a nascent movement to protest police brutality against people of color, and more specifically police immunity for that brutality, and turned it into a national controversy about him.

Almost immediately the entire discussion around "Black Lives Matter" shifted away from police interactions with communities or the fact that cops could kill completely innocent people like John Crawford or Tamir Rice with impunity and centered on Kaepernick's "right to protest."

His supporters would typically remind everyone that it "wasn't about Kaepernick," but rather police brutality, but at the same time never seemed to grasp that the fact that they had to say that over and over was itself proof that Kaepernick's actions had done more harm than good to the cause of bringing awareness to the problem of police brutality.

Meanwhile, the Kaepernick story blew up big time. It dominated not only sports talk media, but hard news programming as well. It was a flashpoint issue in a Presidential election. The President of the United States addressed Kaepernick by name at a press conference from the G20 summit!

Almost overnight, a guy who was previously most notable for signing a precedent setting terrible contract and pouting about it (or maybe for doing a McDonald's commercial with Joe Flacco) was one of the most recognizable faces in sports.

I guess that's fine. It's not really my place to say whether Kaepernick championed Black Lives Matter and the larger movement ir embodied....or if he exploited it. Or even if he did both simultaneously. It's not really my concern either.

But something doesn't add up about the end to this story. There simply wasn't any real reason for the league to settle this case. Maybe they think they're settling for a lower number than they would have had to pay, but if Kaepernick would agree to that then you'd wonder how strong his evidence really was, wouldn't you?

If his case was really airtight, why wouldn't he take the NFL to the cleaners? And why agree to keep your evidence a secret through a non-disclosure pact?

I don't want to speculate too much given the circumstances, but my strong suspicion is that Kaepernick's lawyers obtained evidence of something that the league doesn't want to be publicly known, or maybe specifically known by the NFLPA.

The settlement essentially amounts to the league buying the silence of Kaepernick and Reid....and the two of them going along with it for the right price. Which, good for them I guess, but it doesn't do much to alleviate my skepticism about their status as true warriors of social activism.

In any case, maybe now that this process is over and Kaepernick is riding off with even more money from this saga the whole story will finally end. Probably not, but we can hope right?

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breakfast bytes

College lax: Loyola wins Charles Street showdown, 18-12, at Hopkins; Pat Spencer scores 4 times for Loyola.

College hoops: #1 Tennessee gets blown out at #5 Kentucky, 86-69.

Towson gets 26 points from Tobias Howard, improves to 6-8 in CAA play with 92-77 win over visiting Drexel.

PGA Tour: Tiger starts third round with three birdies and an eagle to get to -6 at Genesis Open; Justin Thomas (-13) still leads early in the 3rd round.



SCOREBOARD
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 14
CAPITALS
5
AT SAN JOSE
1
CAPS GOALS: Oshie 2 (18), Vrana (18), Ovechkin (39), Wilson (15)

GOALTENDER: Holtby

RECORD/PLACE: 32-19-6 (2nd, Metropolitan)

NEXT GAME: February 17 at Anaheim



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