Sunday
May 20
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issue 20
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celebrating because...we should


My Calvert Hall varsity golf team had its season-ending party last night. It was hosted by the parents of one of our players, complete with with everything you could possibly want; food, drinks, sports on TV, an indoor putting contest and basketball outside under the lights.

We have the event every year on Preakness Saturday because that also happens to be the championship match of the MIAA A-Conference at Caves Valley. My first year at Calvert Hall, 2013, we won the title over Gilman at 4:30 in the afternoon and just rolled right into the team celebration thereafter.

So, it's just become the easy, normal thing to do. Plan the season ending team party for Preakness Saturday and just turn it into a championship celebration if we're fortuate enough to win the whole thing.

That didn't happen for us this year. St. Paul's won the championship for the third straight year yesterday, beating Gilman at Caves, 15-6.

But we still celebrated last night. Had you flown in from Pluto at 6:30 pm and wandered into our event over in Glen Arm, you would have thought that we won the title.

We finished the campaign at 5-7, missing the playoffs by inches. And when I say inches, I mean it.

The 2018 Calvert Hall varsity golf team.

Back on April 12 in a home match vs. Loyola, we narrowly missed par putts at #8 and #10, both from inside four feet. Little did we know it then, but had both of those putts gone in, that 12-9 loss to Loyola would have been an 11-10 win for us and that victory would have been the margin we needed to make the post-season a month later.

Four weeks later, we were faced with winning three of our last four matches to make the post-season. At Spalding on May 8, we needed to make an 8-foot birdie putt on the last hole to earn a 10.5-10.5 tie. That tie, as it turned out, would have also been enough to get us in the post-season given the other results that followed later in the week. It missed by an inch or so. And we lost.

Speaking of "inches", the day before our loss to Spalding, they played host to McDonogh. On the final green of that match, a McDonogh player had a 3-foot putt to give them the win, which -- you're seeing a pattern here -- would have also put us in the playoffs given what happened in our final four matches. The putt didn't go in, the match ended in a 10.5-10.5 tie, and that deadlock, as it turned out, is what got Spalding in the playoffs over us.

Following our own loss to Spalding on May 8, we played and beat St. Joe and Spalding at home on May 9 and 10 to set-up a "win and we're in" scenario vs. Loyola on May 14.

Things started well for us in that match vs. the Dons, but their experience and some great play at the 6th hole sealed our fate. We lost our final regular season match to miss the playoffs.

Inches. Hold your thumb and index finger an inch or two apart...that's how close we came to making a couple of putts that would have sent us to the post-season. All that work, from January to May, and that's what it ultimately came down to for us.

The funny part of it all is that's one of my favorite sayings with the team: "It's a game of inches".

You can miss a few putts by several inches over a round and go from shooting 74 to 78.

You can hit the ball out on the toe and mishit a shot...but if that ball was hit an inch (or less) more toward the middle of the club, you'd have a perfectly struck shot.

Your ball can travel 325 yards and come to rest in a fairway divot, leaving you with a difficult approach shot given your lie. If that ball travels one inch less, or one inch more, you're sitting up in the short grass with a standard, easy-to-play shot.

So last night we celebrated the fact that in a game of inches, we came up short. And we handled it with great humility and peace.

In the team prayer we recite prior to each match, there's a sentence that says, "When we win, give us humility, when we lose, give us peace."

In short, we're asking God to give us balance. Anyone that's ever played sports knows that's a difficult thing to achieve. You're sky high when you win and low, low, low when you lose.

We handled all of our outcomes the same way in 2018. We just moved on to the next match.

At our season-ending exit meeting last week, I wrote my favorite Bible verse on the white board in a Calvert Hall classroom. It's Corinthians 4-16:18.

(16) Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (17) For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (18) So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

That verse perfectly fits our 2018 team at Calvert Hall.

We will not lose heart. Our team this year contained just two seniors. We return five of six starters, plus we have several other young players ready to step in and compete for playing time. We are already into "next season". A friend of the program was at the team party last night and asked me what our record was this season. "We're 0-0," I replied. "Last season, we were 5-7."

What happened to us in the 2018 campaign, while disappointing, was truly a light and momentary trouble. Real trouble exists in our country every day, including on Friday in Texas and Georgia where high school events included shootings of teachers and students. Missing the playoffs by a couple of inches? That was troubling, sure. But it was "light" and "momentary".

We fix our eyes not what was seen, but what is unseen. What was "seen" about us in 2018 was our 5-7 record. What was "seen" about us was having a chance to make the playoffs on the final day of the regular season and coming up short. What was "seen" was a putt here or there that could have changed our fortunes. But all of those things that were seen were temporary. Brief moments. Here and gone.

What's unseen is what motivates us. The 2019 campaign is what we're focused on now. We can't see it, but we're fixed on it.

I shared that with the team last week in an effort to help them deal with missing the playoffs. It turns out, it helped me, too.

At the beginning of the year, way back in January, I met with the ten players who would comprise the roster for the 2018 season and asked them how they would define "success".

They each listed various things, most of them similar in nature, centered on things like winning (important), playing time (important), individual success (important) and improving their game (important).

"Here's the number one goal for each of you," I said.

"If you love golf more at the end of the season than you did at the beginning of the season, the season has been a success." That's what I told them.

My job, of course, was to help them do that. My job was to help them learn more about themselves and the great game they play.

Last night's celebration told me they all reached that goal.

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r.i.p. mike bowers


I was saddened on Saturday morning to learn of the passing of a longtime friend of mine who was a P1 listener of my old radio show and a frequent caller as well.

Mike Bowers -- "Mike in Fallston" -- passed away on Friday after a battle with cancer.

When #DMD went to a Caps-Flyers playoff game a few years ago, the bus was filled with red...until Mike walked on with his orange Flyers jersey. "Bowers, you're awfully lucky I like you," I teased.

On mornings after the Flyers would win the night before, he'd often call my show and ask a general sports question and we'd banter back and forth for a few minutes. Just prior to the call ending, he'd quickly throw in "Flyers 4, Bruins 2 last night" and then hang up. It was all good fun. Mike was a good man.

We played together once in a charity event and he was having a tough time getting off the tee. "Your grip is too weak," I told him. I moved his hands into a different position and he started hitting long, straight drives.

Nine holes later, he had reverted back to his old grip, somehow, and was again hitting weak pop-ups to the right. "Well, there goes that $100 I was going to give you for the lesson," he deadpanned.

I used to see Mike a lot when I was a member at Mountain Branch. Since leaving the air in 2014 and moving over to Eagle's Nest Country Club a short time later, I hadn't seen nearly as much of him in recent years. But we still communicated via Facebook and I knew he was battling cancer.

And battle he did.

May God grant him eternal rest.

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a night of losing


The early part of Saturday evening started off decently. For me, anyway. I had the $1 trifecta in the Preakness (7-8-6), but I shelled out $108 worth of bets to collect the $148 trifecta wager. I guess winning $40 is better than losing $40. And I didn't have to go to the track to place the bet. That's a win right there.

The Orioles and Caps, though. Not so lucky.

Roughed up again last night in Boston, Dylan Bundy fell to 2-6 on the season after the 6-3 loss to the Red Sox.

In Boston, the O's were again victimized by Mookie Betts, who clobbered a 2-run home run off Dylan Bundy in the 5th inning that helped pave the way for a 6-3 Red Sox victory.

The O's are now 14-31 on the season. They're 4-18 away from Camden Yards.

It was another night of listless offense for the Orioles, who managed just six hits on the evening. Last Sunday, the O's scored 17 runs vs. Kansas City. In the four games since, they've scored 13.

David Hess, who beat the Royals last Saturday in Baltimore, will get the start for Buck Showalter's team today at Fenway Park.

The good news? The O's have just one more visit to Boston this season. And they're headed to Chicago after today's game to take on a team -- if you can believe this -- that has a worse record than they do. The White Sox are 12-30.

Surely we can win three of four in Chicago, right? Right?

Down in Tampa Bay, the Capitals dropped a 3-2 decision to the Lightning that puts Barry Trotz's team in a must-win situation tomorrow night at home. Tampa Bay now leads the series, 3-2.

Things started poorly last night. The Caps gave up a goal just nineteen seconds into the game and trailed 2-0 before the first period reached the halfway point. Tampa Bay eventually extended the lead to 3-0 before a couple of Washington goals narrowed the gap to 3-2.

In the game's final fifteen seconds, John Carlson had a glorious scoring chance eight feet from the net but couldn't produce the game-tying goal. Had that same chance fallen to Ovechkin or Oshie, the contest might have gone to overtime. Alas, it didn't.

The Caps aren't dead yet, though.

You have to win four games, not three. And while the Lightning are an exceptional team, one Washington victory and it's back to Tampa Bay for a decisive game 7 -- in a building where the Caps have historically played well, including victories in Game 1 and Game 2 of this series.

Someone needled me on Twitter last night and wrote, "This has to be the Caps biggest choke job ever, right?"

"Not yet," I wrote. "They haven't lost the series."

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#dmd comments


ray b     May 20
@Radio Gal

How could you miss the main sponsor of that dumpster fire? All of the programming is brought to you by the word "Literally" they get their moneys worth as he says it at least every two minutes. And the capper? He uses it wrong almost every single time. 9 times out of 10...the word should be figuratively. But Literally spends way more ad dollars....literally

eta     May 20
Sins of omission? Whywas Donna Brothers not on the track like she always is? Was NBC scared that Mike Smiith might praise Jesus again?

And Eddie O. Sure can handicapp. What an upgrade from CHALK eater Mike Battaglia(terrible race caller) and that othe big headed fool who would pick weird ones. Bob Nuemeir?

And can Tirico have been what Charles Schultz had in mind when he was shaping Charlie Browns head? Perfect circle on that dome.

Loved Baffert's quote about horses "the best quality of good horses is speed,in great horses ,even more speed" that race seasoned him,he knows how to fight

radio gal     May 20
If the LF was trying to be funny,he wouldn't as he is a humorless,hateful,indulgent kook. But that radio station is just too funny. The ads continue to mesmerize,as we get all ginned up to go to the Lyric to see William Shatner,alas, the ad was read with great fanfare and exuberance, I waited with baited breath this afternoon to finally findout when he was coming to Baltimore????? THURSDAY May SIXTEENTH!!!!!Can Scotty beam me back to that?

And there was discussion on this board about the use of flowery language,there is no one who talks like that small intellect. He was talking over one of his guests about some band he wants to see "I've threatened to go to Paris,I've threatened to go to London to see (whoever)" threatened? What does that mean? Isn't that a crime?

Listening to 10 minutes of that "best work of my career" is all of these things: hilarious(but he is serious about it,which makes it funnier) confusing(all things have already happened that he and his guests speculate about)boring(he over talks every guest) delusional(what pluck,if he breaks double digits in "views", it is A huge thing) laughably produced(college radio laughs at the spots).

But the ADS continue to "shine" as the true beacons for his incompetence. He is like "one take" Frank Sinitra,but without any talent. With some of those reads why wouldn't the GM or other trusted executive say "why don't we try that ad read again?"

A pro's pro

Steve in Hunt Valley     May 20
Thanks for sharing the story about your team and the party. I love your line when someone asked you what your record is this season. "0-0".




DELRAY RICK     May 20
JUSTIN---You must a youngen

George     May 20
@Herman. I'm wit' ya. The difference is the same as the difference between sex and porn.

HERMAN     May 20
@George

Did you hear that George, Ruth's Chris.



I can only pity anyone who has grown up in Baltimore who did not enjoy the experience of eating Haussner's strawberry pie, the greatest dessert ever created, and worth driving over 20 miles to pick-up for that special occasion.

The entire country has been homogenized in our lifetime. These days the only way you notice you're down south is when you find grits on the breakfast menu.

I spent hundreds of days, great days, at Pimlico. Came to love the place because of her faults, not in spite of them.

But Pimlico belongs to a Baltimore that is gone, erased.

Better to take it to a track that sits next to a Panera, Starbucks, Denny's, and Applebee's.

No one under 40 will know the difference.


Justin     May 20
George. Streaming media is the wave of the future. We have every event everywhere in the world at our fingertips and we watch it whenever we want. DelRay Rick. Who cares about mom and pops restaurants when you can go to a Ruth Chris anywhere in the country.

Davey     May 20
Heartwarming story about your golf team. They are very fortunate to have you as their coach.

DELRAY RICK     May 20
HAUSSNERS,MARCONIS, THE ORIGNIAL OBRYCKI'S, MILLERS,PIMLICO (OLD HILLTOP)HOTEL, IS THE SIP AND BITE STILL THERE,CHESAPEAKE

George     May 20
George -- @Herman. You're so right. Civic and business leaders have let the town down.

Baltimore is the only major city to have had at the same time a major-league baseball team, and NFL franchise, and NBA team, a PGA Tour stop, and one of the Triple Crown races.

Your description of Pimlico in fact describes the whole city today. They can deride us for being old and living in the glory of the past, and they are right, because who cares what the city looks like when you have cell phones.

HERMAN     May 20
The inclement weather and fog made Pimlico look even older and more faded than usual, the placed looked beyond tired. And whoever painted the place that awful red should be fired, the yellow of old was a far more dignified look.

I'm convinced more than ever that Pimlico's grasp of the Preakness is done, and it's just a matter of time before they move the race elsewhere. The only benefit to staying is that the place can pack in the people and hold quite a crowd.

When you host a world-class race and your drainage system in this day and age is channeling the mud every few yards to siphon off the moisture, well, it's not exactly Augusta technology.

Until this year I thought the race would stay in Baltimore forever, but the place looked so out-of-date, so decrepit and sad, I can't see ownership making any long term commitment. Haussners is gone, Memorial Stadium is long gone, corned beef row is a distant memory. And someday very soon so will the Preakness and it's association with Baltimore.


DELRAY RICK     May 20
GEORGE---I am sure there are plenty of stories bout the PREAKNESS. . I went for 49 straight years til i moved outof state. 1973 wil always be my favorite. Went there in later years when the lights went out and bet by phone and people coming up to me to bet becauses no machines were running. Felt like the bookies in ENGLAND. Even when i goto the BREEDERS CUP IN SANTA ANITA that place is old and they have oldest toilest in the country.

Steve of Pimlico     May 20
Perhaps DF and John Harbaugh both having won championships are in danger next year if they don't make the playoffs.

George     May 20
@DelRay - I too was there in 1972 when Bee Bee Bee romped home in the slop. My racing buddies remembered him from Tiemonium the year before, so we had to bet on him. Maybe you and I were in the same line to cash winning tickets? I think my $20 returned about 800 in 1972 dollars.

DELRAY RICK     May 20
AMAZING! !!!! That 137,000 were at the PREAKNESS on such a rotten day is testament what the biggest sport day in this state and city holds. And all they talk bout is moving this historic race. Been their when we had that kind of weather (BE BE BE ) and it an't fun. About JUSTIFY, is he getting worn down. Two more jumps and LUCAS horse was the winner. Would not be surprised if he does not run in BELMONT. ARRAGATE he an't. The chalk player's had a field day. A poll in NEW YORK PAPER today had people vote for greatest playersin different sports. JORDAN came out on top BB. NICKLAUS, GRETZKY,PHELPS AND WILLIE IN BASEBALL.

unitastoberry     May 20
RIP Mike in Fallston. Drop a few bucks to cancer research today because there's about a one out of three chance you will get it too.

Sid the kid     May 20
Too funny, Caps with another soft and lazy game and crack NST hockey guy blames it all on the refs!

Rory from DE     May 19
Drew,

Great stuff today. "But Duquette specializes in walking that fine line between baseball savant and baseball idiot." That was DMD gold!

Funny and True

Mike P.     May 19
Spot on article about Duquette.

RJ     May 19
While I agree DD is half savant/half idiot, not sure anything he says matters since a) we know nothing is totally up to him (I mean they would not even let him sign Flaherty all by himself!), and b) why should he show his cards at all (ignoring the first point for argument's sake)?

I suppose you can try to influence through the media, but I don;t think that's in DD's wheelhouse at all, so I'm fine with his just muttering nonsense whenever he speaks publicly

DELRAY RICK     May 19
WHIZ---Give up your sinful ways and repent .

Ghost of JROB     May 19
@Wiz...don't let the curmudgeons spoil your fun. Your prognostications have more fans than detractors. Give us your picks!



I think it's funny that some bemoan a lost bet on a horse race, yet Drew's long documented history of poor football predictions is celebrated as remarkable success.



The SOD are an interesting group! May they live long and prosper!








the wizard     May 18
No picks for the rest of the card. This room is too dark ansd gloomy

the wizard     May 18
@Connie.

Super solid analysis. I've watched the KD a few times and Bravaso was really moving fast at certain parts. I think if he uses his burst at the right time, he could run big. I am having a real hard time getting past the favorite. Baffert is 4 for 4 with Derby winners in the Preakness. That is the big number. And D.Wayne thinks he is very tough. Lots of folks trying to figure out a way to put together a scenario to beat him. I will try to beat the second choice. And for strategy I will play this Preakness small even though my roll is large. $19 exacta 7/8. $11 exacta 9/1

Lots of other good races tommorrow.

judge smells     May 18
@delray

Two blind squirells??? Best bet also hits at a juicy price. But let's keep trolling

RJ     May 18
If you ask me. @Ghost made a valid point, guess that makes me a trolliest troll too lol

DELRAY RICK     May 18
JUDGESMELLS----EVEN A BLIND SQUIRREL ---------

judge smells     May 18
@PB

What was your kick to the Wizard when he gave out that 25-1 on Thursday?

DR     May 18
That comment from Ghost of J Rob might be the trolliest thing ever written here. And that's quite a feat.

Laurel     May 18
In fairness, "Wizard" isn't anonymous. He's the self proclaimed DMD racing expert. That's how I read his work anyway.

Ghost of JROB     May 18
PB makes a bet based upon an anonymous recommendation found on the internet. The bet loses. PB demands a refund from the anonymous source found on the internet. Makes perfect sense to me.

PB     May 18
Thanks for nuthin' Wizard. You "loved the 9" in the Black Eyed Susan. She's still running. You owe me $20 ATB.

George     May 18
@ Connie Deere -- Great article on the Preakness. Thanks! And special thanks for the clear, unequivocal, and unqualified pick of Bravazo to win.

I respectfully ask you to send in another article for the Belmont Stakes. You probably won't get the $5,000 per article that we regular and semi-regular contributors command, but you should be able to get DF to dish out enough for a respectable bet on the Belmont.

The Wizard     May 18
More plays



3rd #7 ...but not strong...hate the race

4th #10 Not in Jeopardy

5th Huge swing against the odds on favorite(#4) and strong on #8 Vertical Oak

6th #6 Berks County

7th # Good Move

8th #4 Jump Jive and wail

9th #8 good price for the best horse in the race....the big horses trained by Motion and Pletcher are not as good.

10th scratch city...#1

11th Black Eyed Susan Love the #9

12th #10

13th #5 Best Bet....trainer told me, been bringing this one around slowly....tons of talent.

14th #15....another sitting on ready.

The Wizard     May 18
There must be another level of sloppy.....and this is it.

Just as predicted all NON stakes races off the turf....and this turf course is not like Laurel. It doesnt drain as well. And just from appearances the main track COULD show an outside bias.....according to a highly successful who has been at PIMLICO for decades. We will see.

One MTP for the 1st Have the 1,3,5,6 with the 1 in the DD.



Spot plays

2nd #1

More later Race 1 is going off

RJ     May 18
@Rich Have you been watching the Caps games? Ovie is there front and center, if you think he is their problem, not sure what to say.

The Ravens miss one of the top 5 best ever LBs to play the game? Who'd a thunk it! I'm wondering if that team up in NE is gonna miss that Brady guy??

@MFC, you have contact info for this "BJ" guy you think you have a "bet" with? People steal fake names out here all the time, but good luck with that. Maybe "BJ" can pay you off for the great Trumbo prediction too

Jason M     May 18
Ravens did the right thing, just like the Orioles did the right thing with the kids policy for the upper deck tickets this season. However..as DF notes, the fan experience is primarily set on the field.



I really think the Ravens need a superstar to emerge...that what we have been missing in our fan experience since 52 and 20 had their last ride. Like DF has written many times, and to his credit wrote years before 52 retired when we went through his free agency...Ray Lewis will be and has been missed. He was a once in a generation player that put our franchise on the map.



So that's all DeCosta...Newsome et. al...just produce another once in a generation player on either side of the ball so we fix the franchise and not talk about PSL's and kneeling any more.

mike from catonsville     May 18
BJ, start saving now Biffs charity is going to get a nice check from you in September or will you weasel out of it.

TimD in Timonium     May 18
@JohnInEssex, but the BEST part was this: "When approached before Thursday’s game in Boston about the purchase, Jones said, “It’s not a story. I’m rich. I can buy houses if I want.” Jones declined to comment further." LOL.

TimD in Timonium     May 18
That's a good move by the Ravens to enhance the game-day experience, even if social media seems to be the channel for complaining about any move like this, short of free tix or free beer. Interestingly, the Falcons found that total revenue actually went UP after lowering concession prices. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/25/sports/football/nfl-concessions.html

unitastoberry     May 18
I'm so sick of the Orioles getting pushed around in Boston. Amazing how the Yankers and Bean Sox can find talent and not just free agents. I don't know how Rick Dempsey keeps from exploding after loses. If you really want to see some tounge biting watch him and Tom Davis following a blowout loss its great theater.

DELRAY RICK     May 18
How can GARRETT keep his job after 1 playoff. CALEB is terrible. Good that O'S bring somebody else from minors.After all could not be worse, could it ? Got that feeling JUSTIFY an't going to do it. Only 2 horses that finished second in DERBY in last 20 years finish at least second again in PREAKNESS. I wil box 3 and leave out the chalk. Still looking over the 3 but GOOD MAGIC IS OUT.

K-Dog     May 18
I didn't see the Buck thing live so I just looked it up. What was he doing there? Was he pissed at Gausman? Usually the manager takes his time to get to the mound. That was really a weird moment.

JohnInEssex     May 18
@ I Bleed Orange - is it possible that Buck still has a job because of fiscal issues with the Orioles? Make everyone work until their contract is up so as not to have to hire and pay more staff? Or maybe they are penny pinching all they can to give it all to Manny? :O)

seer     May 18
@ron mexico

You nailed it. PSL's were the greatest/dumbest idea ever. Short term: extorted money from a ginned up fan base,who were made to feel that they were doing their civic duty.

Long term: PSL's age horribly(kind of like Tawny Kittean). The fan base never turned over, never got into the routine of attending.

Very tough to sell the dream again.

sAm g     May 18
Why is DMD the greatest?

The comments section

The Wizard gave out a 25-1 Winner yesterday. Along with his other follow along picks.

Thanks Wiz and keep them coming

I bleed orange     May 18
How does Buck still have a job at this point?

Rich     May 18
Felt bad for the Capitals last night. Clearly the better team. Where's Ovechkin been the last couple of games?

Ron     May 18
@TJ, before August? Are you kidding? They'll have 70 losses by the All-Star break.

Saturday
May 19
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issue 19
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duquette continues to amaze us


The Orioles won a game last night. On the road, even.

Yes, yes, you read that right.

The Birds are now 14-30 on the season after a 7-4 win at Fenway Park on Friday evening. Good fortune even smiled down upon Buck Showalter's team in the bottom of the eighth inning when Brad Brach was able to retire Mookie Betts with the bases loaded and two outs.

Betts was 3-for-5 last night and is hitting a scorching .371 on the season. Earlier in the game he hit his 14th home run of the campaign.

If Betts is the American League's top hitter, the guy who is a close second was also a factor in Friday's game at Fenway Park. Manny Machado went 3-for-5 to raise his average to .347 on the year.

Machado, in case you haven't noticed, is having a mammoth season thus far. It's early, of course, but Machado (and Betts, too, to be fair) has a legitimate shot at chasing baseball's Triple Crown this season, which is to lead the league in batting average, home runs and RBI. It's a feat accomplished just 17 times in the history of the game, most recently back in 2012 by Detroit's Miguel Cabrera.

Machado is also without a contract for the 2019 season. He becomes a free agent next November and is expected to be rewarded with an over-the-top contract once he can peddle himself to the highest bidder.

Speculation abounds that the Orioles will ship Machado to a contending team at the trade deadline. But Dan Duquette continues to say goofy things when asked about Machado and the potential to move him in July.

Whether it's with his glove or bat, Manny Machado is showing teams who might be interested in him in 2019 just how good he can be with a red-hot start to the 2018 campaign.

This is real head-scratching stuff if you ask me. But Duquette specializes in walking that fine line between baseball savant and baseball idiot. So when he speaks, you're never quite sure what he's really trying to say.

Take, for instance, an interview Duquette had with MLB Radio on Thursday of this week.

"If you're going to revamp your club and get better for the future, as an organization, you might want to take a look at all the options and players that are valuable to you who might be more valuable in the trade market," Duquette said. "I don't know. We haven't really made that determination. That's another consideration."

That, of course, is a head nod in the direction of the "Memorial Day" comment Duquette made a few weeks back when the O's started their season at 8-27. Duquette mentioned at that point he wouldn't really start thinking about trading players away and breaking up the team until they had a reasonable amount of evidence to weigh. He pointed to Memorial Day as an occasion when he and the organization might evaluate trading Machado and others.

Silly? Yes. You can wait until Memorial Day if you like, but the idea of not evening thinking about it until then is kind of goofy. The team started 8-27.

But there's more...and this is where it gets a little strange.

"The other consideration is: What if Manny Machado is having an MVP season and he's on his way to the Triple Crown? Is that a player that a club wants to trade? Even though their season may not be a championship season this year? So, there's a lot of different questions for the organization to answer, but it's really about timing. How many good players can you have together at the same time? And can you keep them together for a period of time to give yourself a chance to go again for the playoffs?"

"What if Manny Machado is having an MVP season and he's on his way to the Triple Crown?" If the club had a 30-14 record instead of a 14-30 mark, that might make a lot of sense.

But given the team's last place position in the A.L. East and what appears to be a 90-loss campaign on the horizon, does Duquette really think the pursuit of a Triple Crown is a reason for keeping Machado around? The issue of a player winning the MVP award or chasing the Triple Crown shouldn't have any bearing at all on trading that player, assuming he's a free agent at season's end like Machado is in 2018.

Not one person in Baltimore cares at all about trading away a guy "chasing the Triple Crown" if that player isn't going to be with the team the following season. Well, someone might care. But they don't know baseball in that case.

Here's where Duquette misses the boat every single time he speaks about Manny Machado.

He should openly put the burden on Machado. Every time.

"We'd obviously love to have Manny finish his career in Baltimore." Duquette should say that every time he speaks.

"But that's ultimately not up to us. It's up to Manny. We'd sign him tomorrow and keep him here forever if we could do that. But Manny wants to explore free agency." Duquette should also say that every time he speaks about his shortstop.

"The only reason we're going to explore our in-season options with Manny is because we can't get a long term commitment from him now." Duquette should repeat that phrase over and over.

Now, we also know the dirty little secret about the whole thing. If Machado walked in tomorrow and said, "OK, give me $250 million for 6 years and I'm yours", the Orioles would most likely balk at that offer.

Fortunately, the O's don't have to play that game because Manny isn't going to do that.

But this constant waffling by Duquette is maddening.

Stop trying to save face, Dan. We know it's not your fault that Machado is leaving for the Yankees. Heck, in that regard, it's not even the fault of Peter Angelos that Machado wants to be in pinstripes so bad he can taste it.

Machado is leaving because he wants to leave.

And good for him, too. He earned his big payday. Let him go enjoy it, wherever it might take him.

I'm not even mad at Manny. It is what it is. He's a free agent. He wants the big money and the spotlight. It's part of being in the game.

But I wish the Orioles would stop trying to make us all feel like they owe it to the community to keep Machado around as long as they can.

No. You don't owe the fan base that in any way.

You owe it us to improve the organization from top to bottom. You owe it to us to move forward, not backward. You owe it to us to be better in 2019, 2020 and so on.

Keeping Manny Machado around because we might get to see him win the Triple Crown is laughably dumb. We couldn't care less, really.

Here's what we'd all rather see: Winning.

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john pusateri
on lacrosse

Covering local college lacrosse for #DMD is an important task, and JOHN PUSATERI is more than capable of handling the job! His keen eye breaks down teams, players, tendencies and key statistical data that all fits together for outstanding coverage of college lacrosse. When it comes to covering local lacrosse, #DMD does it better than anyone around!


ncaa tournament 2nd round preview


Last weekend featured some great games. But nothing will top this weekend, with four toss-ups in store for the quarterfinals.

Indeed, all remaining 8 teams have a legitimate chance to win the title. Likewise, it wouldn't surprise me if any of these teams lose. So all games could very well come down a key play or key mistake.

Let's take a crack at what factors could decide each game. As with last week, we'll list teams by tournament seeds proceeded by national ranks. Also, all games will be broadcast on ESPNU, although Sunday's games will be at Navy-Marine Corp Stadium, which is a great venue for any sporting event if you have nothing to better to do on Sunday.

3-Yale(#4) vs 6-Loyola(#6) (Saturday 12 pm, Hempstead, NY)

Loyola needs a big game from Pat Spencer today if they hope to advance to next weekend's NCAA Lacrosse Final Four.

Strengths - Both have superstars on offense who can take over a game; Ben Reeves(53 goals, 43 assists) for Yale and Pat Spencer (33 goals, 58 assists) for Loyola. Both are great on offense averaging almost 14 goals per game and great on defense, allowing under 9 goals per game. Loyola is averaging 51.6% save percentage. The Greyhounds also force 10 turnovers per game. Yale is winning 61.4% of their face-offs.

Weaknesses - Tough to identify significant flaws for these two. But Yale turns the ball over 13.4 times per game and is only saving shots at 47%. The Greyhounds are only winning 43.2% of their face-offs and are only converting 27.4% of their man-up opportunities.

Outcome - It's a shame this game won't be played in Annapolis and might be the best of the weekend. Yale will definitely win more possessions in face-offs. But their turnover rate and Loyola's knack for causing turnovers should cancel out the possession advantage. Heck, they even lost to a common opponent, Bucknell, by one goal so we can't compare schedules. About the only thing to factor in is historical big game performance. If we consider that, Loyola has won it all and plays well in the tournament while Yale has historically underachieved in May. In a toss up, I see Loyola winning 12-11.


2-Albany (#2) vs 10-Denver (#9) (Saturday 2:30 pm, Hempstead, NY)

Strengths: By far the best two face-off specialists in the game will square off in this match when Albany's TD Ierlan (80% winning pct) takes on Trevor Baptiste (75% winning pct). The face-offs alone may be worth watching this game. Both teams have great defense, allowing less than 8 goals per game (Denver - 7.4 goals allowed, Albany 7.7). Of note, Albany's JD Colarusso has been great in the goal, saving 59%. Albany also has a clear advantage on offense scoring 14.6 goals per game while Denver scores 11.3 goals. Their offense is led by Tewaaraton candidate Connor Fields who averages 5.6 points per game (2.2 goals, 3.4 assists).

Weaknesses: Denver has struggled with goalie play only stopping 48.3% on the season, splitting time between Alex Ready and Josh Matt. While Albany has compiled a great record and held the #1 spot in the rankings this year, they've clearly played the easier schedule in the America East, which is much less challenging than the Big East for Denver.

Outcome: As I hinted last week, Albany was one of the teams I had flagged for an 'upset alert'. This game will go as the face-offs go. While TD Ierlan has the better winning percentage, Trevor Baptiste was the #1 overall draft pick in the MLL as he has been the best in the game over the past 3 seasons. Ierlan's poor performance in last year's playoff against Maryland's Jon Garino also has me concerned. In addition, Denver has played the tougher schedule overall. With this in mind, I'm thinking Baptiste will dominate the face-off X and limit Albany's possessions. Great Dane goalie JD Colarusso will limit Denver scoring. But I'm feeling a Pioneer upset, as Denver wins 11-10 over Albany.


1-Maryland(#1) vs 9-Cornell(#7) (Sunday 12 pm, Annapolis, MD)

Strengths: Offensive masters for both teams. Connor Kelly for Maryland (44 goals, 33 assists in 16 games) and Jeff Teat (37 goals, 60 assists) of Cornell are two of the best in the game. Teat is so effective he has been locked off the last few games by opposing defenses. Both teams also enjoy great goal tending. Maryland's Dan Morris is saving 53.1% while Cornell's Christian Knight has stopped 57.4% of shots on cage. Cornell overall has the 3rd ranked scoring offense in the nation, scoring 13.9 goals per game.

Weaknesses: Not much on either side. Cornell on the season has only won 44.7% of face-offs which could be trouble against the Terps two-headed monster of Justin Shockey and Austin Henningsen. Both of which could be a starter for almost any other team in the country. The Terps have a great record, but have struggled down the stretch (2-3 over last 5 games) and seem to play to the level of the competition.

Outcome: This game could very well be a final four game and should be an exciting one to watch. It will pretty much be a home game for the Terps who are only a 35 minute ride away from Navy-Marine Corp Stadium. However, its worth noting 2 of Maryland's 3 losses were at home. But Cornell is going to be traveling a long distance and gametime temps could be pushing the mid 80s, which isn't exactly upstate NY weather. I've gone back and forth on this game, but I'll give this one to the defending champs who will barely edge out Cornell 11-10.


4-Duke (#3) vs 5-Johns Hopkins (#5) (Sunday 2:30 pm, Annapolis, MD)

Strengths: Plenty of offense on both sides with Duke possessing the #4 scoring offense in the land, scoring 13.8 goals per game and the Blue Jays #9 in the nation, scoring 11.9 goals per game. Duke's Justin Guterding is one of the best attackmen in the country with 58 goals and 41 assists. The Blue Devils are converting an astonishing 53.1% of their man-up opportunities. And they also have the 10th ranked scoring defense only allowing 8.4 goals per game. Hopkins' Hunter Moreland has steadily been steadily improving in face-offs and currently holds a 58.4% winning percentage.

Weaknesses: Both teams are very solid. Hopkins is a slow starting team and often trails significantly to teams in the first half. While Blue Jay goalie Brock Turnbaugh has been playing well down the stretch, he might have returned to his old sub-.500% ways last weekend against Georgetown only saving 4 while allowing 9 goals. Duke has only won 50.5% of their face-offs all season which isn't exactly comforting in the playoffs.

Outcome: As with the Terps, Navy-Marine Corp Stadium is also a short drive way from downtown Baltimore. So the Blue Jays should enjoy a nice home crowd. As noted before, Hopkins often starts slow, then makes great adjustments in the 2nd half. Unfortunately, Duke could put the game away in the first half with all their offensive fire power if the boys from Homewood start off slow. Hunter Moreland should help limit Duke possessions and slow down their offense some. But this battle of the Blues will go by the way of the Blue Devils, who'll win 14-12 over the Blue Jays.

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final call for our u.s. open golf trip


#DMD is putting together a special one-day trip to the U.S. Open on June 15 at Shinnecock Hills GC on Long Island (NY) and we'd love for you to be part of it with us!

This is our final call for those interested in purchasing tickets. We will not take any more reservations after this Sunday, May 20.

We're billing it as a "Day with Dad", but you certainly don't have to bring your father along. We just think it will be fun if you do!

Defending champion Brooks Koepka will be in the field at Shinnecock Hills on June 15 when #DMD travels to Long Island for the second round of this year's U.S. Open.

We're heading to Shinnecock Hills to see the second round of the 2018 U.S. Open, departing Baltimore at 5:00 and arriving at the course roughly around 9:00 am. We'll spend the whole day on the course watching the best players in the world play on one of our nation's most iconic golf courses.

If you've never seen Shinnecock Hills in person, this is a must-do opportunity to experience one of our nation's most breathaking and scenic courses.

Our luxury motor coach will be limited to just 40 passengers, giving everyone room to spread out and enjoy the ride to Long Island. We'll enjoy breakfast, drinks and snacks on the ride to the course and we'll have more food and drinks for everyone on the ride home.

Oh, and there's U.S. Open trivia as well! A $100 cash prize is available for our trivia contest, so brush up on those needless facts about the U.S. Open.

Bring Dad along for a truly special day together at the U.S. Open. All of the best players in the world will be there...and the two of you can watch the tournament on Saturday or Sunday with the experience of having just walked the famous layout.

#DMD golf trips like this one are also excellent for employee and client reward. If you have a golfer or two that work in your business or if there's a special client you'd like to treat, we promise we'll great care of them on the trip to Shinnecock Hills!

For pricing and payment details go here.

Friday
May 18
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issue 18
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o's magic number is now 44


It seems a bit early to be in this kind of predicament, but the O's have put themselves there.

With last night's 6-2 loss in Boston, the Birds are now 13-30 on the season.

Baseball nerds use a bunch of fancy data, throw it into a computer, and out spits some forecasts for the season, including how many wins it will take to make the playoffs.

This season, in the American League, those projections have the second wild card winner needing to post a record of 88-74 to qualify for post-season play.

That seems about right. One of the wild card teams will win 90-something games and the other will need at least 88 wins to get in.

So, with their current mark of 13-30, the Orioles can only afford to lose 44 more games for the rest of the season.

That puts their awful 8-27 start into perspective, I suppose. It was over before it really got started.

After several strong starts in succession, Kevin Gausman was lousy on Thursday night in Boston, giving up six runs in five-plus innings of work as the O's lost 6-2.

The Orioles have done some strange things this season, starting way back in the winter when they pussy-footed around with Andrew Cashner and Alex Cobb. Both of those pitchers weren't signed until spring training was well underway, and neither broke out of the gates with their best stuff. They have a combined record of 1-10 thus far in 2018.

The dedication to keeping Rule 5 players around was silly, but the O's have been oddly connected to that endeavor for a half dozen years now. Only one of the three remains with the big-league team (Araujo) and his performance (6.86 ERA) isn't nearly good enough to warrant a spot on the 25-man roster. Yet, he's still with the club.

Signing a bunch of has-beens like Alvarez, Valencia and Rasmus didn't really surprise anyone. Dan Duquette has enjoyed the art of finding a needle in a haystack over the years. Too bad he didn't find any who made an impact.

But the decision on Thursday to send Caleb Joseph to the minor leagues and recall Andrew Susac is the head-scratcher of the season to date. It wasn't puzzling because Joseph is an established major leaguer and Susac isn't. Joseph's offensive performance this season was dismal, to say the least.

No, it was a head scratcher because the Birds opened a 4-game series in Boston on Thursday night and Joseph, if nothing else, has seen the Red Sox lineup on numerous occasions over the last few years and he's been an effective battery-mate for Kevin Gausman during that time as well.

If you want to call up Susac and give him a shot, fair enough. But doing it prior to a series at Fenway Park and shipping Joseph down to Norfolk? It makes no sense at all.

The Red Sox stole five bases off of Gausman last night. Prior to Thursday's game, no one had tried to steal a base off of Gausman all season. Read into that what you will.

For what it's worth, the O's complained about the strike zone last night. A lot. Time and time again, you could hear chirping from the dugout on close calls that went against the Birds and Gausman was noticeably irritated on several occasions, snatching the ball thrown back to him in a manner that suggested he wasn't happy with the strike zone.

"I'm very biased, but I didn't think he got a fair shake tonight," Buck Showalter said. "There were a lot of pitches that could have and should have gone his way."

Showalter was also the subject of a breach of baseball's silly unwritten rules on Thursday evening. After Xander Bogaerts hit a 3-run homer off of Gausman in the 5th inning, Showalter hustled to the mound, crossing the third base line just before Bogaerts himself reached third base.

Admittedly, you don't see the manager do that much. I'm sure the Red Sox will overreact to it. They have a tendency to do that.

All in all, it was just another lackluster performance from an O's team that has mastered the act of looking uninterested throughout the first eight weeks of the season. They were in danger of being shut out on four hits until Manny Machado's 2-out homer in the top of the ninth finalized the scoring at 6-2.

"Everyone in that locker room knows we need to win games," Showalter said afterwards. "That's the thing I like about those guys. They're not hiding from it. They're frustrated as they can be, but they'll come back tomorrow and be ready to play."

I'm comforted in knowing that. I'm sure you are, too.

Guys who make ten, fifteen and twenty million dollars will "come ready to play" tonight in Boston.

So -- we have that going for us. Which is nice.

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will justify have (good) magic in the preakness?


Tomorrow's running of the Preakness at Pimlico offers a variety of interesting angles for racing enthusiasts and the casual fan.

#DMD reader and former trainer Connie Deere offered to share her wisdom on what might happen on Saturday afternoon in the second Triple Crown race of the 2018 calendar.

Her analysis is below.

Let's first establish that there's a really good chance the horses will run on an "off" track tomorrow. Unless the weather predictions are completely off base, the facility will take on more rain both Friday and Saturday.

While it can't get much more sloppy than it was on Wednesday and Thursday, the more it rains over the next couple of days the less chance they have of racing on anything but mud and slop on Saturday.

The favorite Justify ran an outstanding race on a muddy, off track at Churchill Downs two weeks ago, but that doesn't automatically mean he'll duplicate that effort on Saturday.

Can Mike Smith and Justify make it 2-for-2 and win the second leg of horse racing's Triple Crown tomorrow at Old Hilltop?

He was able to run that race without any interference and never experienced the distraction of having mud kicked in his face. I bring that up to remind everyone that horses react differently to every race and every situation. Just because Justify ran well in the mud two weeks ago doesn't mean he'll automatically do the same on Saturday if the track conditions are similar to the ones he experienced at the Derby.

I know he's raced four times in 2018 but that's not much of a concern. It might be if he had four or six races as a two-year old, but that wasn't the case with Justify. He's as fresh as a horse can be who has raced four times in five months time.

There are also rumors about a hind leg injury but the horse has trained well this week and shows no real signs of an injury.

If you believe in numbers and past history, neither of those bode well for Justify. Five of the last seven Preakness favorites have lost, including last year's even money favorite, Always Dreaming.

A lot of people are high on Good Magic this week but I'm not one of them. My eyes and ears at Pimlico say he didn't travel well and hasn't taken to the sloppy track the last couple of mornings.

More importantly, the 2nd place runner in the Derby has rarely factored in the Preakness. I can't put my finger on why that is, but only 2 of the last 24 second place Derby runners (Exaggerator in 2016, Prairie Bayou in 1993) have gone on to win at Pimlico. I might feel differently about Good Magic if the reports I've been hearing were more favorable. In this case, I don't think we'll see much from him.

Quip is a horse that could jump out early and make some noise. On an off track, that sometimes makes a difference, like it did with Justify at the Derby. But I don't see Quip having enough in the tank to run the entire race out front.

Lone Sailor hasn't preferred the early pace in his career. There's no reason at all to believe that will change on Saturday. My guess is he falls behind early, sees he's out of his element, and doesn't pose a threat.

Tenfold has showed the ability to lead early and follow through, but none of that was ever on the kind of track we're going to see on Saturday at Pimlico. The same goes for Sporting Chance, who doesn't have a history of breaking fast out of the gate.

The horses I'm keeping my eye are on Diamond King and Bravazo, who ran gamely at the Derby.

I hear Wayne Lukas likes the way this horse has recovered from Churchill Downs and has quietly talked up his chances to those in his inner circle this week.

I liked Bravazo before I heard the whispers from the Lukas camp. I like him a little more now.

The race will ultimately come down to the first 20 seconds. If Justify breaks clean and quickly moves across the track to grab the lead, it could be over before it starts. This horse could win the race by ten lengths on Saturday.

But if there's any trouble at all, and Justify is forced into a position he isn't familiar with, that could unsettle things just enough to make it a horse race that we weren't expecting. I'm sure Mike Smith will do everything he can to be ahead at the first turn, but it doesn't always work out that way.

I'm going against the grain and picking Bravazo to win on Saturday, with Diamond King running second and Justify closing fast for third.

My heart wants to see a Justify victory so the Triple Crown possibility lives on, but the weather, history and my head say otherwise.

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kudos to the ravens


Given our choice, I think we'd all rather see winning football than reduced prices at the concessions stands, but the Ravens can only impact winning so much. The other team tries, too.

But on Thursday, the Ravens handled their own business and did it well, announcing a large-scale reduction in concesssion prices for the 2018 season.

The Atlanta Falcons did something similar prior to last season and actually experienced an overall increase in sales, which greatly helped offset the deficit caused by the price reduction.

Ravens President Dick Cass said on Thursday the club is expecting (and willing) to absorb a loss in revenue of $1.5 million dollars through the concession reductions.

When he met with the media in February, Steve Bisciotti mentioned he'd be willing to consider a reduction in concession prices for the 2018 season. Yesterday, the Ravens did just that.

In general, the team is reducing several items by 50% and reducing nearly all items by a total of approximately 30%. A 12 ounce beer will now be $5.00. That's almost a "bar price". More than fair, I'd say.

"We surveyed our customers and this was one of the things we heard consistently from them," Cass said in reference to the concession prices. "The more we studied it, the more we were determined to do something that would make our customers happy."

And that they've done.

It hasn't been the best of times for the Ravens over the last twelve months. The team lost out on a playoff spot by giving up a 4th and 12 touchdown pass to the Bengals in the final minute of the last regular season game on December 31.

A dozen players took a knee during the national anthem prior to the 44-7 drubbing in London last September, a moment that caused a season-long wave of discontent from a large portion of the fan base.

Attendance dipped throughout last season, with no-shows galore at several home games, including a December contest against the Lions and the aforementioned December 31st home loss to Cincinnati.

The Ravens have always been willing to listen to the fans.

Thursday's announcement about the reduced concession prices shows they're still paying attention.

Now, if they can just get those new wide receivers to catch the football...

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Thursday
May 17
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issue 17
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retire #10? it has merit


Last Friday during my weekly appearance on Glenn Clark Radio, the show's host and my former on-air partner brought up an interesting idea connected to Orioles center fielder Adam Jones.

Clark believes the Orioles should retire the #10 jersey worn by Jones when his playing days in Baltimore end, which could be as early as this July if the Orioles trade him away (and Jones approves it).

Over the last few days, I've seen lots of social media banter about the idea of retiring number 10. If nothing else, Clark has stoked the fire of an interesting discussion.

My initial reaction when Clark asked me about it last Friday was that retiring the number was probably "too much".

It's here, though, where I should note that Jones is potentially my favorite Oriole of all-time. For decades now, that honor, if you will, has belonged to Eddie Murray. He was always my favorite. But I think Jones has passed him by. I wrote the word "potentially" above because I haven't really given it all that much consideration.

But if you press me to make a choice, I might go with Jones.

Yet, still, I'm not sure retiring his jersey number is the right thing to do.

I'll make the argument for the idea by simply noting that Jones has become an iconic player in Baltimore. Not only for what he's done on the field, but for what he's done in the community as well. In a day and age where players are apt to do less, Jones has actually done more.

The "number" itself isn't all that critical. If you walked through the mall today and asked people what number Jon Ogden wore, they might not know. If you ask them what number Jim Palmer wore, they might not know that, either. Ogden played a position "out of the limelight" and Palmer was on the field every fourth day. It wouldn't say anything less about those two if people didn't realize what number each of them wore.

What's important is that you recognize, by retiring the jersey number of a player, that it's unlikely anyone could ever wear that number again and surpass the contribution made by the player who previously wore it.

That's why you retire someone's uniform number. "No one will ever do it better than you did it," is what the club is saying.

To wit, no one could ever wear #52 again for the Ravens and be better than Ray Lewis. (Note: The Ravens, oddly, don't actually "retire" numbers. They simply say no one will wear #52 again.)

No Oriole could wear #5 and be better than Brooks Robinson.

That's where the argument begins against Jones and retiring his #10.

He's been an excellent major league player. But he won't go to the Hall of Fame. He might have to battle hard just to make the Hall of Very Good, if one existed.

For all that Jones has done in Baltimore, there's definitely a possibility the O's could give someone #10 in a few years and that player could put together a better career than he did.

But is that the final straw of the argument?

Aren't we also retiring numbers because we don't want anyone else to wear that number?

That's where the argument could circle back in favor of Jones. He's meant so much to the city of Baltimore that we don't ever want anyone to wear that number again as a tribute to the effort he's given over the last decade or so.

I offered a reasonable compromise last week on Glenn's show and I'm still inclined to stick with it today.

How about we simply say "No Ten For Ten" if Jones is traded this year? In other words, the Orioles agree to not let any newcomer wear the #10 for ten years.

It's not a jersey retirement, which is typically saved for Hall of Fame players. But it's a jersey "hiatus" that at least acknowledges how much the club appreciates the production and impact that Jones created while in Charm City.

I'd love to see the Orioles retire the number 10. Maybe if he decides to stick it out here, re-signs in the off-season, and plays four more years, retiring his number will make a little more sense to everyone.

But failing a scenario where retiring his number is the reasonable thing to do, why not consider my "No Ten For Ten" idea?

I think we'd all agree the Orioles haven't had a player since Cal Ripken Jr. who deserved to have their uniform number considered for retirement except for Jones. Right? So, if he's that close (discussing it means he's "that close"), at the very least let's not let anyone else wear it for a decade once he's gone.

I'd sign off on that.

But if the Birds retire Jones' number, I surely wouldn't argue against it, either.

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no, it's not "must win" tonight


I've seen it a lot over the last thirty six hours or so but they're wrong.

Those saying tonight's Caps-Lightning game is a "must win" for Alex Ovechkin and Company are incorrect.

It would be "nice" to win tonight, for sure. A Washington victory and they're up 3-1 and need just one more to reach their second ever Stanley Cup final.

But it's not "must" win.

The Capitals need a superb night in goal from Braden Holtby this evening if they hope to take a 3-1 series lead over Tampa Bay.

I get it. People consider it a "must win" because they're afraid of the Caps' post-season history, which suggests they're always on the verge of a collapse at any point in a playoff series.

Yep, history isn't on the side of the Capitals if they lose tonight, that's probably true.

But they've had plenty of resolve in this post-season, starting with when Columbus won the first two games of the opening series in D.C., only to have the Capitals rebound and win the next four games.

The Penguins won Game 1 in Washington, remember, and the Caps won four of the next five to claim that series in six games.

The Caps even showed some true resolve in the regular season. They were up, down, up, down and finally up again near the end of the 82-game campaign. They played some of their best hockey in late March and early April.

The Tampa Bay team we saw in Game 3 was the one we expected to see in this series. Lots of speed, precise puck movement and passing, solid transition from their end, and excellent goaltending.

That the Capitals beat the Lightning twice in Tampa Bay to open the series says more about the Caps than the Bolts, I think. But Tampa Bay didn't finish as the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference by accident.

If things don't go well for the Caps tonight, the series is still very much alive. "It's over" will be the favorite Twitter message if Tampa Bay wins this evening, but it won't be "over". Not by a longshot.

You have to win FOUR games. Not two. Not three. And sometimes, the fourth victory -- as the Caps have found out a bunch over the years -- is the hardest one to get.

This Caps team isn't the same one we've seen time and time again over the last ten years. There's something "different" about this group. That's why they have a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals, actually.

Game 4 is critical, for certain. But it's not "must win". Not with this group.

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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.


"and away they go…"


My grandmother, 100 years old, lives near Pimlico Race Course these days.

Twenty years ago, my other grandmother lived at what’s now called Weinberg Place, across Preakness Way from the backstretch. If you have a window facing west on a high floor, you can watch the race for which that street is named. Our version of Waveland Avenue, I guess, but only for two minutes every year.

As for me, you might be surprised to learn that I’ve never attended the Preakness. Some of my prime drinking years were spent out of town, and other times I was probably busy with a lacrosse game. By the time I had the time, the thrill was gone.

My greatest memories of Pimlico, ironically, have to do with an American racetrack that might be the polar opposite of Old Hilltop. For six weeks one summer, 25 years ago, I’d get to the decrepit old oval in Northwest Baltimore sometime after 5 p.m. a couple times per week and turn my attention to what had to be the most beautiful track in the world.

Del Mar. San Diego County. Where the turf meets the surf, they still say. The grandstand basically backs up to the crystal blue Pacific Ocean, for god sakes.

I still hear the unique voice of the track announcer, South African Trevor Denman, as he began the call of every race from a small claimer to a Grade 1 stakes. He’s retired now from Santa Anita, but still does the Del Mar meet every summer.

“And away they go…”

An overhead view of Del Mar race track in San Diego County, where "surf meets turf".

There was definitely something about the California setting that appealed to me. The Del Mar summer meet, which begins in mid-July and ends around Labor Day, coincides with the dog days of the Mid-Atlantic summer. When I walked into the Pimlico clubhouse, I was transformed to a place where air conditioning wasn’t necessary.

And the timing was just about perfect. When the Orioles play on the West Coast on a weekday, good luck staying up past midnight. Every day at Del Mar began at 2 p.m. sharp Pacific Time, about the time I was released from my boring summer job at a bank in Hunt Valley, where I used an electric typewriter (!) to complete property deeds.

So, away I went. I was usually met by brother, in his final summer of bachelorhood and the holder of a full-time job at a bank that was likely more boring than my summer job.

The best part of the Del Mar meet was, and I assume still is, the quality of the horses. The Southern California tracks always had the best, but the six weeks just north of San Diego took it to another level. The place was a showcase, and not just for the celebrities in the crowd. There was a great race every day, sometimes two or three.

I was never a great bettor, and I wasn’t the student of handicapping that my brother was. I never spent money I didn’t have and never got addicted to the track in any way.

But the greatest successes I had at the track came during the Del Mar meet. Quality makes handicapping easier, and it also means that a semi-longshot at a decent price might be a real winning possibility.

I always did poorly at Aqueduct and Belmont Park. I had no chance on the lousy third race at Laurel or Penn National. At Del Mar, though, I really paid attention.

I gave myself more time to think about combinations. I had real conversations with my brother about every race, as if we really knew what we were discussing. We thought we did, which was a lot of fun.

With the unknowns surrounding the Preakness and Pimlico after next year’s race, it’s interesting to see what a racetrack can be if it’s in the right place.

Del Mar is famous for its Opening Day festivities, which include a contest for the best hats in the crowd. The crowd is big every day there, but the first day is an event that’s been part of the social scene in Southern California for many years. The grandstand seats 44,000 and it’s full.

On Fridays during the meet, there’s a concert series at the track. As long as you pay admission before the last race, the concerts are free. You can buy a general admission ticket to stand on the stretch run for $6 and, immediately following the last race, see some pretty good acts.

The track does a “Family Fun Day” every year, with all the inflatable slides and trampolines you could ask for in the infield. Kids can also get their pictures taken with jockeys prior to the beginning of the day’s races.

My favorite promotion? It has to be “Camp Del Mar,” where for $24 a parent can drop off a child for a day of typical camp activities with trained counselors and teachers moonlighting for the summer.

Meanwhile, Dad or Mom, or both, heads to the track for a day of racing.

Say what you want about dumping your kids off for a few hours so you can gamble, but at least it encourages adults to patronize the meet. And I love the idea of parents getting to play at the same time as their kids do, with all of them doing it at the same place.

It’s not that Del Mar isn’t facing the same struggles that others in the industry are. Interest and attendance are down, even there, though I’m sure most places would kill for what Del Mar thinks is a bad year.

There’s a way to make horse racing about, well…horse racing, while at the same time offering other reasons for people to come. Thanks to its setting and timing, its history, its racing quality and, I assume, great management, Del Mar sets the standard for that model. I’m sure it’s been studied by every racing organization outside of California.

Beginning in 2014, Del Mar began hosting a late fall meet in addition to its summer showcase. That came about with the closing of Hollywood Park in Inglewood, a site that will soon host a 70,000-seat football stadium for the Rams and Chargers.

I was a little sad to read that Del Mar had another meet on its schedule, though I’m guessing it does little to make the summer meet less special.

Back in 1993, with my brother inside of a decaying track in a decaying part of my hometown, Del Mar seemed like the coolest place in the world. It turns out that, for years now, the track has been using another slogan besides “Where the turf meets the surf.”

Del Mar, says the marketing campaign, is “Cool as Ever.” Sounds right to me.

I’ve never seen the track except on those screens at Pimlico. The closest I’ve ever gotten was Torrey Pines Golf Course, but I was there in June well before the meet started. The place is still special to me, though, thanks to the boredom of a hot Baltimore summer all those years ago.

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final call for our u.s. open golf trip


#DMD is putting together a special one-day trip to the U.S. Open on June 15 at Shinnecock Hills GC on Long Island (NY) and we'd love for you to be part of it with us!

This is our final call for those interested in purchasing tickets. We will not take any more reservations after this Sunday, May 20.

We're billing it as a "Day with Dad", but you certainly don't have to bring your father along. We just think it will be fun if you do!

Defending champion Brooks Koepka will be in the field at Shinnecock Hills on June 15 when #DMD travels to Long Island for the second round of this year's U.S. Open.

We're heading to Shinnecock Hills to see the second round of the 2018 U.S. Open, departing Baltimore at 5:00 and arriving at the course roughly around 9:00 am. We'll spend the whole day on the course watching the best players in the world play on one of our nation's most iconic golf courses.

If you've never seen Shinnecock Hills in person, this is a must-do opportunity to experience one of our nation's most breathaking and scenic courses.

Our luxury motor coach will be limited to just 40 passengers, giving everyone room to spread out and enjoy the ride to Long Island. We'll enjoy breakfast, drinks and snacks on the ride to the course and we'll have more food and drinks for everyone on the ride home.

Oh, and there's U.S. Open trivia as well! A $100 cash prize is available for our trivia contest, so brush up on those needless facts about the U.S. Open.

Bring Dad along for a truly special day together at the U.S. Open. All of the best players in the world will be there...and the two of you can watch the tournament on Saturday or Sunday with the experience of having just walked the famous layout.

#DMD golf trips like this one are also excellent for employee and client reward. If you have a golfer or two that work in your business or if there's a special client you'd like to treat, we promise we'll great care of them on the trip to Shinnecock Hills!

For pricing and payment details go here.

Wednesday
May 16
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issue 16
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cano's suspension likely ends his cooperstown bid


Nothing surprises me in sports anymore, including baseball players who are on the juice. In fact, it doesn't shock me in the least when we see the blurb at the bottom of the screen that tells us another major leaguer has been suspended.

But daggone it, I always liked Robinson Cano's game. So yesterday's news about his 80-game suspension is a bit of a bummer.

I'm not shocked, though. Just disappointed.

The 80-game ban will likely end his chances for a spot in Cooperstown someday. And that's too bad, because he was just about a sure-fire Hall of Fame addition.

I often wonder why baseball players insist on leading the dirty life. Why can't they stay away from PED's? Are their bodies that brittle and broken down that they need something to help get them through the latter part of their career? Or is that smidgen of extra confidence they derive from using a PED that can't be ignored?

Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano was suspended for 80 games on Tuesday.

I'll follow protocol and mention that Cano's positive test and ensuing suspension were for Furosemide, a diuretic that is not considered a performance enhancing drug. However, Major League Baseball believed -- and apparently had some kind of proof -- that Cano was using Furosemide as a masking agent for a PED on their banned substance list.

Cano offered the obligatory statement about "respecting the integrity of the game" and some other garbage that essentially served to remind everyone he'd never do anything to knowingly break the rules.

Yeah, sure, Robinson. You'd never use PED's. Right...

How many other players in baseball have used the masking-agent-trick since testing became part of the league's drug and PED policy fifteen years ago?

Too many to count, I'd bet.

And now we've just lost a potential Hall of Famer from it.

I gave up a long time ago letting these suspsensions diminish my enthusiasm for baseball. These days, I just sort of assume they're all on "something", some of which we might consider worse than other stuff. I'm disappointed in the players, but I still watch the games anyway.

Maybe that's why I wasn't shocked yesterday when I heard the news about Cano.

"They got another one," I said to no one in particular as the message trickled across the bottom of the TV screen.

Indeed, it's sort of like fishing. All those guys in the water...you're bound to hook one every now and then. Occasionally you're going to reel in a big name.

Selfishly, I continue to hope that none of our Orioles get nabbed. My 10-year old son would have a lot of questions.

It wouldn't surprise me, of course. I've had my suspicions about a handful of guys in orange for a while now, including some who have already been popped. But I'd be forced to have "that talk" with my son about why one of his favorite players isn't in the lineup for the next month or longer.

In the end, perhaps the Hall of Fame didn't matter all that much to Cano. Maybe that's why he was willing to risk that kind of legacy in the first place. No matter his stance, though, it's sad to see what was a terrific career now fall under the category of "Yeah, But..."

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birds whiff on tuesday night rain-out


I know the O's are used to striking out a lot, but they didn't have to go out of their way to do it on Tuesday night.

The Birds waited three hours to cancel Tuesday's scheduled game with the Phillies, even though every responsible weather professional (it's OK if you laugh) in the area was telling us the rain and storms that reached the area around 8 pm were likely going to stick around throughout the evening and well into the morning hours.

Earlier this season, the club called off a home game with Tampa Bay at 4:30 in the afternoon. That was a moment of sound decision making.

Last night...not so sound.

I don't know how many tickets were sold for the game, but acknowledging that the crowd might have been boosted by a decent amount of Phillies fans, it's fair to guess somewhere in the 15,000 range at the very least.

That was a bad way for 15,000 folks to spend their Tuesday evening, that's for sure.

The weather pattern for Tuesday -- and the rest of the week, really -- has been in play since the weekend, when the forecast started to take shape. In other words, the Orioles kind of knew two or three days in advance that there was a potential issue for both games against the Phillies.

I definitely realize this is easier said than done, but why not move Tuesday's game to a 4:05 pm start? Sure, it would have required some cooperation between both teams and that's not always easy to get, but it seemed like the logical thing to do.

Editor's note: Maybe the Phillies wanted to watch the Flyers in the NHL playoffs on Tuesday night. Wait, no, that can't be it. The Flyers were eliminated in the first round four weeks ago. Never mind...

We all know the most important part about every game is that it's played on the day it's scheduled. No team likes a rain-out. Off days, particularly in the summer months, are extremely valuable.

Now, the two teams have to play a game in Baltimore on July 12 -- a day they previously both were off.

Couldn't the teams have agreed sometime on Monday to play Tuesday's game at 4:05 pm? Or couldn't they have met earlier on Tuesday to come up with a game plan that would have saved everyone a trip downtown?

Yes, a game time change might have inconvenienced the fans. What stinks more? Finding out the game has been moved UP three hours or sitting in the rain for three hours only to find out the game isn't going to be played after all?

It's not like seats at Camden Yards are at a premium. The O's could have given everyone a voucher for another game to make up for the inconvenience and still allowed them into the adjusted Tuesday game if they could make it.

Ticket holders can, of course, come back on July 12 if they want.

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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.


the wit and wisdom of paul goydos


Paul Goydos won twice on the PGA Tour: at Bay Hill in 1996 and at the Sony Open in 2007. He won five times on the Senior Tour, the last in a playoff at the 3M Championship in 2017. He never played on a Ryder Cup team. His best finish in a major was T12 at the 1999 U.S. Open.

Paul appeared to be a shy man, one who enjoyed plying his occupation but was a little unsettled that it was played in the public eye. He never did master the art of trading blather with sportscasters who asked stupid questions and expected similar responses. It appears he assumed that if a reporter asked a question, that he truly wanted an answer to it, and Paul's responses over the years were memorable. We've collected Goydos quotes, and present them for the enjoyment of #DMD readers with droll senses of humor. Please to enjoy!

When it was pointed out in an interview that he had played a better round than defending champion Bernhard Langer, Goydos replied, "I'm Paul Goydos. I'm not Bernhard Langer, as I've proved over and over and over and over again."

One year Goydos held the 54-hole lead at the Players Championship. Bob Costa asked if had ever before held a 54-hole lead. Goydos said, "No, but I've only been on Tour for 16 years."


Goydos with interviewer Jessica Marksbury


At the same tournament [won by Kenny Perry], an announcer prefaced a question to Paul with the observation that those at the top of the leaderboard were veterans who were getting up in age. Goydos deadpanned his apparent agreement: Yeah, Casey Wittenberg's up there. What's he – eight, eight and a half?"

After finishing 15th at the 2017 Pure Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach during a period when many professional football players were taking a knee during playing of the National Anthem, Goydos was asked to characterize the social conscience of the Senior Tour players: "I'm middle-of-the-road politically, which makes me a pinko Communist out here."

Asked to comment on the difficulty of Oakland Hills before the 2008 PGA Championship: "This course is diabolical. It's like trying to play Scrabble without the vowels."

After losing a playoff to Sergio in the Players Championship, it was pointed out to Goydos that his name was the fifth-most Internet search-term of the weekend. Goydos said, "I'm trying to figure out what this nation is thinking about.”

When asked why he had no endorsements, Goydos replied: "I play golf for a living, I don't sell golf clubs for a living.”

When asked if there was anything at which he was better than Tiger Woods, Paul said, "I'm better at being older."

When asked why he always buttoned the top button on his golf shirts, he said, "If I didn't the shirt would slide off my shoulders."

After cashing for $936,000 for winning the Sony Open in Hawaii: "I had my best year ever today."

When asked to comment on the short-game skills of Mickelson and Ballesteros, he stated, "They are the free-hand artists in a paint-by-numbers world."

Goydos can take it as well as dish it out. After Paul shot 59 in the second round of the 2010 John Deere Classic, John Feinstein texted him and asked how many holes he had played. Goydos replied that he had played all 18. Feinstein texted back, "Congratulations on shooting your height!"

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final call for our u.s. open golf trip


#DMD is putting together a special one-day trip to the U.S. Open on June 15 at Shinnecock Hills GC on Long Island (NY) and we'd love for you to be part of it with us!

This is our final call for those interested in purchasing tickets. We will not take any more reservations after this Friday, May 18.

We're billing it as a "Day with Dad", but you certainly don't have to bring your father along. We just think it will be fun if you do!

Defending champion Brooks Koepka will be in the field at Shinnecock Hills on June 15 when #DMD travels to Long Island for the second round of this year's U.S. Open.

We're heading to Shinnecock Hills to see the second round of the 2018 U.S. Open, departing Baltimore at 5:00 and arriving at the course roughly around 9:00 am. We'll spend the whole day on the course watching the best players in the world play on one of our nation's most iconic golf courses.

If you've never seen Shinnecock Hills in person, this is a must-do opportunity to experience one of our nation's most breathaking and scenic courses.

Our luxury motor coach will be limited to just 40 passengers, giving everyone room to spread out and enjoy the ride to Long Island. We'll enjoy breakfast, drinks and snacks on the ride to the course and we'll have more food and drinks for everyone on the ride home.

Oh, and there's U.S. Open trivia as well! A $100 cash prize is available for our trivia contest, so brush up on those needless facts about the U.S. Open.

Bring Dad along for a truly special day together at the U.S. Open. All of the best players in the world will be there...and the two of you can watch the tournament on Saturday or Sunday with the experience of having just walked the famous layout.

#DMD golf trips like this one are also excellent for employee and client reward. If you have a golfer or two that work in your business or if there's a special client you'd like to treat, we promise we'll great care of them on the trip to Shinnecock Hills!

For pricing and payment details go here.



Drew Is Here.

Every Weekday.





O's SCOREBOARD
Saturday, May 19
Orioles
3

Red Sox
6
WP: R. Porcello (6-1)

LP: D. Bundy (2-6)

HR: Alvarez (8), Devers (8), Betts (15), Benintendi (4)

RECORD/PLACE: 14-31, 5th

breakfast bytes

College lax: Loyola's season ends with 8-5 quarterfinal loss to Yale.

NBA: LeBron, Cavs trim series deficit to 2-1 with 116-86 win over Celtics.

MLB: Severino improves to 7-1 as Yankees beat Royals in K.C., 8-3.

PGA Tour: Marc Leishman and Aaron Wise (-17) share 54-hole at AT&T Byron Nelson.