Saturday
April 30
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXI
Issue 30
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if your opinion isn't a fact, it's just an opinion


FACT: Yet another baseball player was suspended this week for using steroids, as Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon tested positive this time around. He'll miss 80 games.

OPINION: For years, I've been hearing baseball fans say, "But our sport is clean now, we have testing...". Yes, that's correct, there IS testing in baseball now. But the sport is FAR from clean, kids. Far from clean. My guess is a few guys in Baltimore get nervous when the bottle-guy comes around.

FACT: Laremy Tunsil isn't the first 18 year old kid to smoke marijuana and he's also not the first 18 year old kid to have a friend take a photo or video of him while he smokes marijuana. But he's the first college football player to have his world blown up in front of the whole country on the biggest night of his young life. And he handled it all pretty well.

OPINION: It takes a unique franchise to select Tunsil in the wake of the photos that appeared minutes before the first round of the draft on Thursday night. Frankly, it takes a team like the Miami Dolphins, who might be one of the least followed franchises in all of sports. If the team moved to Las Vegas tomorrow, South Florida would hardly notice. So, they'll face almost no backlash at all for taking Tunsil, which is probably the best thing in the world for him.

FACT: The Capitals have played the Penguins on eight occasions in the playoffs. The Capitals are 7-1 in Game 1 of those respective series'. They are 1-7 overall in eight playoff match-ups with the Penguins. Game 1 evidently doesn't mean much when it comes to the Caps and Penguins.

OPINION: I don't think Pittsburgh can win this series with that guy they're playing in goal. Washington's netminder is so much better, it's not even funny. This is probably a true sign that I'm nuts, but I actually think the Caps are going to pull off a Game 7 triumph at home, 3-1, to win the series and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

FACT: The Nationals are now 15-7 and in first place in the N.L. East after Friday night's 5-4 win in St. Louis.

OPINION: The Nats will have to get past Jake Arrieta and the Cubs in the National League -- which won't be easy by any means -- but if the Orioles can do their part and zip through the American League playoffs next October, we might actually have a legit chance of a "Beltway World Series". I'm serious...

FACT: The Rams and Eagles each took quarterbacks with the first two picks of Thursday's NFL draft, and neither kid selected was on the NFL radar 18 months ago.

OPINION: As the Bengals, (Dalton), Ravens (Flacco) and Seahawks (Wilson) have showed within the last several years, your quarterback doesn't have to be high-profile, Heisman Trophy winner in order to be a success in the NFL. If I had to make a guess, I'll say Goff turns out to be "just OK" in Los Angeles and Wentz becomes a legit, franchise-type quarterback in Philadelphia.

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Jake Arrieta is now 25-1 in his last 26 starts with an 0.89 ERA. That would rank as the greatest season ever if it weren't stretched out over 12 calendar months.

FACT: Jake Arrieta is currently 5-0 with a 1.00 ERA on the season.

OPINION: Barring injury, he'll make 33-34 starts this season. I'm guessing he finishes at 24-5 with a 1.88 ERA. And a second straight Cy Young award. How's Scott Feldman doing?

FACT: The Warriors will start their upcoming playoff series with Portland without the services of Steph Curry, who was injured in Game 4 of their series with Houston.

OPINION: Curry will miss the first four games of the series with the Trailblazers. If Golden State can split those four games -- at the very worst -- they'll be OK without Curry. But if he misses four and Portland's up 3-1, Golden State's hopes for a repeat are cooked, even if the Great One can make it back for Game 5.

FACT: Pearl Jam played in Philadelphia last night and, borrowing from a Bruce Springsteen tradition in recent years, took to playing their awesome album "Ten" in its entirety, in order, start to finish.

OPINION: If I went to see Pearl Jam and they didn't play "Corduroy" or "Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town", I'd feel let down as I left the arena.

FACT: Dylan Bundy is pitching for the Orioles. Remember him? He was supposed to be the stud starting-pitcher for the O's, and is now a back end of the bullpen guy trying to work his way up to get consideration as a starter at some point in the future.

OPINION: He hasn't been all that bad this season, even though allowing 11 hits in 9 innings of work and owning a 1.667 WHIP isn't anything to write home about. You can see he's actually starting to develop a little bit. I'm not sure he can start this season, but don't be surprised if he's in the rotation in 2017.

FACT: The Ravens are in MUCH better shape offensively right now than they were on April 30, 2015.

OPINION: Some of their offensive pieces have rough edges, like Mike Wallace, Kamar Aiken and Ben Watson, each of whom has "something" to offer, even if they're not Pro Bowl candidates. But those three guys -- along with new OT Ronnie Stanley -- give Baltimore an outstanding chance to return to the post-season in 2016.

FACT: Jamie Lovemark and Jhonattan Vegas are tied for the lead at the PGA TOUR event in New Orleans through 36 holes. Both are at 11-under par.

OPINION: The guy to watch who is four shots back is Patton Kizzire. Keep your eye on this kid, he's gonna be a legit winner on the TOUR real soon. Oh, and don't be at all surprised if he puts together enough points in the next four months to sneak in and make the U.S. Ryder Cup team that plays later this year in Minnesota.


I had the pleasure of teeing it up with my friend Dan Murtaugh yesterday at the Boys Hope Girls Hope charity golf outing at Sparrows Point. They had a packed field and raised lots of money for their facility on Fleetwood Avenue in Baltimore. Boys Hope Girls Hope is an awesome organization and the people in Baltimore are doing God's work with their efforts to educate and enrich the lives of the young men and women who are housed at their two facilities just off Walther Avenue.

If you're interested in knowing more about what they do, here's their website: www.bhghbaltimore.org

Thanks to Dan for his hospitality on Friday morning and congratulations to all of the participants yesterday who made the event a whopping success for Boys Hope Girls Hope.

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from the desk of

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, Ravens and national sports stories of interest.


ravens add defensive help in rounds two and three


If Ozzie Newsome missed out on the defensive player he wanted to get in the in the first round of this year's draft, he made up for it on the draft's second night, taking a couple of edge defenders in the second and third round. He also picked a couple of extra picks for Saturday's finale, but probably didn't do much to mollify fans who weren't happy about drafting an offensive tackle in round one.

Things got interesting for the Ravens right away when linebacker Myles Jack, widely viewed as a top 5 talent and openly coveted by a lot of fans and bloggers in town, fell into the team's lap at 36 due to his knee condition that reportedly has teams worried he might not be able to play more than 4 or 5 years.

Passing on Jack had folks in Baltimore howling

Rather than jump on the super athletic, playmaking linebacker, Ozzie opted to trade down two spots, picking up a fifth round pick in the process, and Jacksonville promptly snagged Jack.

The Ravens then moved down again, picking up a fourth round pick from Miami as the cost of dropping down to the 42nd pick. One pick later, Eastern Kentucky/Ohio State linebacker Noah Spence, who I viewed as the draft's best pure edge rusher, went to Tampa Bay and my Twitter feed exploded.

The Ravens did end up with Boise State outside linebacker Kamalei Correa and, go figure, word immediately leaked that this was the player they had been targeting all along.

That's easy enough to see: Correa is a pure 3-4 rusher at this point with a good motor and the capability to set a hard edge in the running game, though he struggles to come off of blocks and make plays against the run.

He has good moves and good athleticism, and he should be a chore to block in obvious passing downs if he comes in to spell Terrell Suggs or Elvis Dumervil this year.

In the third round, the Ravens went with Bronson Kaufusi, a long, lean, defensive end from BYU. At 6'7" Kaufusi brings the long arms and leverage that makes him a natural interior pass rusher, and he's clearly pegged as an eventual starter at 5 technique.

At the moment, however, his 285 pounds don't really fill out his frame well and he doesn't generate much power at the point of attack. That should change as he grows, but for now he'll struggle to generate inside pressure and likely be a non-factor in run defense.

Chasing the quarterback is very important in the NFL

Let me say up front that I like both guys the Ravens picked, and in two or three years they could represent a dangerous pass rush tandem from both the inside and outside in a 3-4 scheme.

But right now, tonight, I don't really understand what the Ravens are trying to do. The obvious question that needs to be asked is why the Ravens passed on Jack.

I haven't seen his medical reports, obviously, but while he may need microfracture surgery yet this offseason, there seems to be a high degree of confidence he'll be 100% ready for this year. If the concern is he won't make it past his rookie season that should definitely push him out of the first round, but I don't see why that should be a concern at all in the second.

The Ravens, in particular, have structured their cap approach in a way that basically leaves them not even really trying to re-sign second round picks who perform well, with Torrey Smith, Paul Kruger, and Kelechi Osemele being major examples of the trend.

Put simply, it wouldn't really be their problem if he didn't play beyond his rookie contract. Correa is a solid player, but he's clearly a notch below Spence, well below Jack, and the additional draft picks acquired strike me as being almost meaningless.

The team now has five picks in the fourth round alone and, frankly, I thought that meant they were going to move up at some point in the third round with that excess value. As it stands now, they simply have more picks than they can realistically get onto the roster this year, which makes them borderline useless.

The Ravens got a really good player that I like a lot in round one, and then a couple of nice prospects who could be good pass rushers eventually tonight. They'll add some intriguing players who might contribute this season (like Buck Allen or Za'Darius Smith last year), but so far it's hard to escape the feeling that the Ravens aren't really finding the impact players you want to see a team drafting in the top six picks land, at least not after round one.

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reimold's big blast pushes o's past chicago, 6-3


Nolan Reimold's third home run of the season with two on in the bottom of the 7th inning gave the Birds their third straight win and second in a row over the White Sox, as Buck Showalter's team improved to 14-8 on the year with a 6-3 win at Camden Yards on Friday night.

They announced the attendance at 19,912, but they must have been counting mittens and winter hats in addition to bodies in the seats.

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A month into the season -- almost -- and Nolan Reimold has been able to stay healthy. That, and his 3-run homer on Friday night, are encouraging signs.

Reimold's homer broke a 3-3 tie and made a winner out of Brad Brach, who actually gave up a run himself in the top of the 7th, a solo homer from Brett Lawrie that knotted things up at 3-apiece.

The O's fell behind early for the second straight night, as Chicago scored a run in the 2nd inning on a RBI triple from Avisail Garcia.

But a two RBI single from Jonathan Schoop and run producing ground out from Joey Rickard in the fifth inning put the Birds up 3-1.

Reimold and Manny Machado were the only Orioles with two hits on the night. Rickard, Mark Trumbo and Adam Jones were each held without a hit, as the Birds generated only eight hits in total.

Mike Wright was decent on the mound, going six innings and allowing just five hits and two earned runs while striking out six and walking two.

Darren O'Day struck out two in a clean-sheet eighth inning and Zach Britton threw a perfect ninth to earn his 6th save of the year.

The White Sox send Mat Latos to the mound tonight against Baltimore's Kevin Gausman.

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hopkins vs. maryland showcases big saturday in local lacrosse


Game of the Week: #8 Johns Hopkins vs #3 Maryland (Sat 2pm)

What else but one of the best rivalries in the sport? Today marks the 114th meeting between the two teams and it always seems to be a contest no matter the records.

Both teams rely on slow-down ball control offense (which this game has the high probability of setting the shot-clock record) and stifling defense to gradually wear down and slowly pull away from their opponents. Question is -- who will do it better?

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Hopkins needs a big game today from scoring star Ryan Brown, as the Maryland Terps come to Charles Street for a 2pm showdown with JHU.

From a scoring standpoint, Hopkins appears to have a clear advantage producing 2.5 more goals per game (13.0) than Maryland (10.5). Earlier in the season, the offense seemed to go by how well Shack Stanwick and Ryan Brown did. But in the last few games, Hopkins midfielders have joined the party party as John Crawley and Holden Cattoni keeping defenses honest. Of note, 55 of Hopkins 157 goals came against Princeton, UMBC, and Michigan who have a combined record of 10-26.

The Terps have been fairly balanced all year and received game winning production from Matt Rambo, Colin Heacock, and Dylan Maltz on attack as well as Bryan Cole, Connor Kelly and Henry West at midfield. Thus opposing defenses have been forced to pick their poison all year.

Defensively, Maryland continues its tradition of shutting teams down, holding them to just 7.8 goals a game with Kyle Bernlohr saving at 53.6%. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays are allowing goals at a very un-Hopkins-like 11.0 per game. A young defense and young netminder, Brock Turnbaugh, saving at a below average 48.2% share the blame in this regard.

So, as previously asked, who will control the game and eventually start to pull away? Whoever does forces the other to speed up the game which should make things much more interesting.

With that said and looking at some of the other stats, I'm expecting a slow first half in which Maryland builds up a little lead getting more shots by Turnbaugh than Hopkins can get by Bernlohr. I then expect some fireworks later in the game in which Hopkins will take some more chances on both sides of the ball. I see this helping Hopkins, but expect the Terps to keep pace, holding on to win 11-8 at Homewood Field.

Other Locals:

#13 Towson @ Hofstra (Sat 1pm) - This game will decide the host of the CAA tourney, either Towson or Fairfield if Hofstra wins. Should be a great game as the Pride features 4 20+ goal scorers. Hofstra is on a 3 game win streak while Towson came up with a statement bounce-back win against Fairfield the week after losing to Delaware. Should be an exciting season ending finale.

#5 Albany @ UMBC (Sat 3pm) - The Retrievers last and probably toughest game of the season against conference leading Albany who will most likely be a seeded team in the NCAA tourney.

#10 Loyola vs Army (Sun 1pm @ Navy) - The Greyhounds face the Black Knights in the Patriot League Conference final after a sloppy double-OT win against Bucknell. The Greyhounds appeared to take the Bison lightly after destroying them a month ago and almost paid the price. They'd better not do the same against an Army team riding high after downing Navy 9-3 last night in a much easier game. Hopefully the Greyhounds have some gas left in the tank for this one.

The Big Picture:

#7 Syracuse vs #14 Duke (Sun 12pm) - The two lower seeds of the ACC tournament find themselves in the ACC Championship game. This game, like the first match, should also see a total of 30 goals and should be a fun one to watch.

#1 Denver vs #18 Marquette (Sat 3pm) - Hopefully, Marquette was looking ahead to this match-up when it only put one whole goal up on the board vs Duke last weekend. Trap game for the Pioneers? Possible, but not likely.

The Top 8 (time to start listing the top seeds for the NCAA tourney) - Brown, Denver, Maryland, Albany, Yale, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Duke

#DMD's lacrosse coverage is written and provided by John Pusateri.


looking for that perfect mother's day gift? our adele bus trip is on sale!


#DMD has put together a bus trip to Philadelphia on Friday, September 9 to see Adele perform at the Wells Fargo Center. I don't think you're going to say, "Adele? Who the heck is that?" but just in case you do, you can watch the video below for a glimpse of her and her music.



Her 2016 world tour is expected to smash a bunch of records (in terms of tickets purchased, revenue generated, etc.) and she'll be coming to the area next Fall. Our bus on September 9 will take 40 Adele fans to Philly, complete with dinner on the bus ride, beer and wine, plus Adele trivia (with a cash prize to the winner).

That's the good news. We have tickets to the show in Philly and we have an awesome luxury motor coach. It's going to be a great night.

The bad news...sort of. It's not cheap. Ten million people hit the TicketMaster website on the morning the seats went on sale in December. They were all gone in minutes. My ticket guy in New York City was able to get his hands on a hundred or so at various venues around the country, with Philadelphia being one of them. There are two shows in Washington DC, but as he said to me back in December when I was pondering whether to buy Verizon Center tickets or Wells Fargo Center tickets -- "Just be warned -- you're gonna pay DC prices, which are generally 20 to 25 percent higher than Philly."

So Philly it is. Honestly, the ride up I-95 to the Wells Fargo Center is only about 35-45 minutes further than getting to DC. We made it from Baltimore to the stadium complex in Philly for the Army-Navy game in 75 minutes back on December 12. And if the ticket prices are cheaper in Philly for me, they're also less expensive for you.

And let me pass this along, too: This is very much one of those things you can purchase for your significant female and she can absolutely board the bus "solo" and still have a great time. She'll no doubt be spending the evening making new friends on the bus and sitting with others in the arena and on the #DMD trip who are also there on their own. So, sure, you can pass this Adele trip info on to a friend and perhaps you both send your respective significant females so they share the night together; or you can send her as a "single" on the trip. Either way, she'll have a great night.

The other note to share from the outset is this: The seats for this show in Philly aren't in the front row or anything. Right now, a seat on the floor would run you anywhere from $800-$2,000. (I know what you're thinking at this point -- "That girl can sing, sure, but for $2,000 she better be belting out "Rolling in the Deep" in my living room."). Our seats for the September 9 show are upstairs on the side of the stage. Interestingly, unlike some performers who will sell the entire venue, including seats BEHIND the stage, Adele has opted not to do that on this tour. She will only sell tickets with a front or side of the view stage.

In my history of organizing and running sports and concert trips, I've found most people are mainly interested in getting in the building at a (somewhat) reasonable price and sharing that experience with others on the trip with them. The location of the seat is secondary to spending a memorable few hours with friends and and getting to and from the venue safely. Our policy at #DMD is that we don't put people in single seats or break up groups of four, six, etc. who are traveling together for the event. If you go to a game or a concert with three other friends, you'll all want to be sitting together. We understand that.

Let me also say this just to be clear: This trip ISN'T for females only. I know of one guy (me) who has been an Adele fan since she arrived on the scene six years ago and he'll definitely be on the bus trip on September 9. If you'd like to accompany your significant female on the trip, you're more than welcome to come along. We'll be departing from somewhere in the Towson area at 4 pm on Friday, September 9 and returning right after the show.

How do you get her a seat on our "Adele bus"? Just go to the main header of the website above and click on "Adele Trip" for all of the payment processing. If you'd prefer to pay by check, e-mail me and we'll make arrangements: drew@drewsmorningdish.com

One last thing: We'll also send you a special "Adele Concert Mother's Day Gift Card" you can give her on May 8th, complete with details about the trip you purchased for her.


Friday
April 29
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Issue 29
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tunsil (and his stock) takes a hit, ravens go with stanley


The Ravens, in my opinion, were always going to take Ronnie Stanley before Laremy Tunsil in last night's first round of the NFL draft.

At least that's what my "bird in a tree" told me a couple of days ago, which is why I had the Ravens selecting Stanley in my brief-but-accurate mock draft in yesterday morning's edition of #DMD.

That said, the pick became much easier for the Ravens to make after the gas-mask photo of Tunsil started circulating on social media just minutes before the draft commenced on Thursday night in Chicago, with the Rams selecting quarterback Jared Goff from California.

It turned out to be about a $7 million picture (the difference between going, say, #6 and going at #13, which is where Tunsil was selected in the first round) and paved the way for the Ravens to go ahead and choose Stanley over the likes of DeForest Buckner and Vernon Hargreaves III.

They figured all along Stanley would be there at #6

My sources say that Ozzie Newsome desperately wanted to select a defensive player first and the rest of the scouts and front office folks with draft authority wanted to take an offensive tackle to both solidify the protection for Joe Flacco and put the wheels in motion to ease the team away from Eugene Monroe.

Newsome wanted Jalen Ramsey.

But once he went to the Jaguars at #5, it was always going to be Ronnie Stanley.

And so it went, with Stanley becoming the no-brainer pick, a decision made all that more easy once the marijuana smoking photo of Tunsil hit Twitter just before 8 pm last night.

A few national media folks around the country opined last night that the Ravens were prepared to select Tunsil until that mess hit everyone's phone and computer, but I was told differently this week. I'd use the term "smoke screen" here -- I know, it sounds like a bad pun -- because that's precisely what it became for the Ravens as mock drafts all over the country had Baltimore choosing Tunsil over Stanley.

The Ravens like Stanley's overall game more, although it's fairly well known his run blocking still needs some work.

The NFL, though, in case you haven't noticed, is a pass-happy league these days, and with Steve Bisciotti backing up yet another Brinks truck in Joe Flacco's driveway earlier this year, it's super important for the franchise to give him the most protection possible.

Stanley will offer that -- and hopefully stick around a little longer than Michael Oher did when the Ravens used their first pick on him back in 2009.

And there aren't any embarrassing photos of him circulating all over the world this morning, either.

Tunsil apparently had lots of issues that were slow to bubble to the surface, including the now-famous gas mask photo and a NCAA rules violation involving receiving money from Ole Miss. But the Ravens, and other teams who vetted him thoroughly, learned about them in the weeks before the draft and turned their attention(s) elsewhere.

The Dolphins finally gave in last night and took Tunsil 13th overall, a reasonable place for him to go, since no one really cares that much about sports in South Florida and very few people will care at all that a teenager used a gas mask to smoke marijuana.

It's not the greatest of starts to a budding professional career for Tunsil, who will now be under great scrutiny, even if the claims are true that the photo which surfaced last night is nearly three years old and was taken when he was a senior in high school.

The last thing the Ravens wanted was a "sideshow"

Look, I get it, it's 2016, and we've become much more liberal in this country with regard to recreational drugs over the last couple of decades, but there's something distinctly odd about that photo. It's the sort of thing that nearly every company in America would shy away from if they were holding a job fair and 30 applicants with equal degrees of talent showed up and one of them had that picture on his or her Facebook account on the morning the hiring decision needed to be made.

It's really that simple.

Most teams in the NFL probably believe every first round player sampled or used marijuana at some point in their life (even though, I'm sure, not all of them have...), but that photo, much like the Ray Rice video a couple of years ago, is irrefutable evidence. It's what every newspaper in the country will display today when they write about the Tunsil story and his fall from grace.

Thankfully, though, it didn't cost him a chance at living out his dream, and the Dolphins are probably the best, safest destination for him at this point.

Meanwhile, the Ravens did it again, or at the very least, got one of the two players they were targeting on the draft board since it started getting put together in earnest three months ago.

It's probably pretty easy to come out smelling like a rose when you're picking at number six, but once those five picks were in, Baltimore was going to get one of their featured hopefuls.

Believe it or not, the Ravens also considered taking Ezekiel Elliott with that sixth pick in the weeks leading up to the draft, I was told, but that option wasn't available to them after the Cowboys chose him at #4.

It was always going to be Ramsey or Stanley, with Elliott the third choice, and when Ramsey went to the Jaguars, Ozzie and Company stuck with their guns and took the big offensive tackle from Notre Dame.

Trading out of the pick was an option, too, but the Ravens weren't overly enthused with anyone else, or at least not enough to pass on the likes of Stanley and take a second-tier player somewhere later in the first round.

It turned out, oddly enough, to be a stress-free situation at number six and lacked any real drama at all once Ramsey was selected by the Jaguars. The pick was almost made for them, in reality.


part 5 of "hard questions" will appear on monday, may 2nd

My apologies.

I should have thought this through a little more.

With the NFL draft, Caps-Penguins hockey, and our regular Friday features like English Premier League and College Lacrosse on tap for today, I've decided to go ahead and run the final segment of "Hard Questions" on Monday, May 2nd.

For those interested, please come back on Monday and check it out.

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caps win game one in overtime on oshie's 3rd goal


When he was in St. Louis, T.J. Oshie was known as a guy who put up great regular season numbers and then vanished in the post-season.

And, honestly, through six games thus far in his playoff career with Washington, not much had seemingly changed with him.

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Held to just one goal in the first 19 periods of playoff hockey this April, T.J. Oshie erupted for three goals in three periods last night against the Penguins.

But three goals in three periods of last night's playoff opener with the Penguins might change people's tune, as Oshie scored in the second and third periods, then stuffed in the game-winner in overtime, as the Capitals jumped out to a 1-0 series lead over Pittsburgh with a 4-3 win at the Verizon Center.

It wasn't pretty -- as TV analysts Mike Milbury and Jeremy Roenick pointed about 89 times afterwards -- but a win is a win in April. As they say in golf, "there aren't any pictures on the scorecard, just numbers".

Last night's numbers that mattered? The Caps had 4, the Penguins had 3.

Andre Burakovsky finally got on the scoreboard with a first period goal, but fellows Russians Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov were held scoreless and both squandered glorious scoring chances late in the game and in overtime.

Kuznetsov's play in the post-season thus far has been particularly troubling. It's either the moment is too big for him or he's not willing to upgrade the physical level of his play, but either way, he's not the same player he was in the regular season when he led the Caps in scoring.

You always know what you're going to get from Ovechkin, and he generally delivers it, even if he fails to connect on a handful of optimum scoring chances in every post-season game, it seems.

Oshie, though, came out of nowhere last night to score his three goals. Other than a single tally in Game 4 of the Philadelphia series, he was almost non-existent thus far. And with Justin Williams, Mike Richards and Jay Beagle offering little goal-scoring potential in these playoffs, someone, anyone needed to step up and be a surprise contributor in one or more of these games with the Penguins.

Three goals and the game-winner in overtime classifies as "stepping up", I'd say.

Game 2 is set for Saturday night at the Verizon Center. The winner of this Caps-Penguins series will face the Tampa Bay-New York Islanders winner for the right to go to the Stanley Cup Finals.

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from the desk of

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, Ravens and national sports stories of interest.


So, after months of rumors, far too many mock drafts, and plenty of drama on the opening night of 2016 NFL draft, the Ravens ended up with the guy most people, including Drew, have had them picking all along, Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley.

Getting there was quite a ride, however.

The Chargers, who have been linked to offensive tackles all winter, gave us a mild surprise by drafting Joey Bosa instead, and then Dallas threw everything for a loop by picking running back Ezekiel Elliot at fourth overall.

Cowboys, Jags paved the way for the Stanley pick

Reports had the Ravens trying to move up to that spot to draft Jalen Ramsey, but for some reason the Cowboys decided not to risk losing their guy, even though Jacksonville probably would have gone with a lineman at that point, and ultimately saved Ozzie Newsome from himself by drafting Elliot and leaving Ramsey for the Jaguars to pluck up at fifth overall.

That left Stanley, DeForest Buckner, and Laremy Tunsil as the most obvious choices for the Ravens, if they couldn't trade down, and...well let's take a second to talk about Tunsil, shall we? What a night that guy had, huh?

Just before the draft began, someone hacked Tunsil's Twitter account and posted a video of him smoking marijuana with a bong and a gas mask. Tunsil would later claim the video was several years old, but it precipitated a fall all the way back to the 13th pick for the guy who, not long ago, was widely regarded as the most likely first overall pick.

The Titans, who were linked to him until trading out of that first pick, even moved back up and picked a different offensive tackle over Tunsil.

The Ravens reportedly took Tunsil off of their board completely after learning of the video, although they claim to have had Stanley ranked above Tunsil on their board anyway.

The bad night didn't end there either, as later on someone also hacked his Instagram and posted images of text messages between Tunsil and a coach at Ole Miss in which they discuss an arrangement to have the coach pay for Tunsil's mother's electric bill.

But back to Stanley. A lot of fans haven't been excited about the prospect of drafting him with a rare top ten pick, but I'm a huge fan of the selection.

Stanley is an incredibly polished pass blocking tackle who already executes all of the techniques you need to control edge rushers in the NFL, and he'll fill a premium position on the roster from day one. He does struggle in run blocking, but I think he'll do well in the Ravens' run blocking scheme thanks to his instincts, awareness, and ability to turn his body to meet defenders.

Most of all, the pick fills a big need and represents tremendous value in this draft.

The Ravens have had wobbly line play over the past few years, and that's led to an inconsistent offense more often than not. But when the line has been able to give Joe Flacco time, he's been able to make plays. That's coincided with a lot of turnover at left tackle, and Stanley should change that.

Stanley's been durable so far, playing in 39 straight games to end his college career, and I think he's going to be a Pro Bowler and All-Pro contender pretty soon.

Flacco has to be feeling pretty good right now, and this will likely increase the effectiveness of a solid, and deep, group of skill position players. And while I could have easily made an argument that DeForest Buckner is the better player/prospect and has a higher ceiling, good draft managers recognize depth and consider how the rest of the draft should shape current picks.

Plenty of good defensive players still available

Put simply, there's still a number of very good edge defenders available as we head into the second round, but literally all of the top offensive tackles were off the board in the first half of the first round once the Lions picked Ohio State tackle Taylor Decker at number 16.

You simply don't get the chance to draft a prospect like this who clearly profiles as a natural left tackle if you're picking later in the first round, and the Ravens grabbed the opportunity to get a potential cornerstone of their offensive line while also filling one of their biggest immediate needs.

Moving ahead to Friday night's action, there's a lot of good options left available for the Ravens. It's a bit of a bummer that there aren't any potential big time cornerbacks left, but the Ravens are all but guaranteed to get a really good pass rushing prospect if that's where they want to go.

Clemson's Kevin Dodd, Eastern Kentucky's Noah Spence, and Oklahoma State's Emmanuel Ogbah lead the group of edge defenders, and Alabama defensive tackles A'Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed are both highly regarded interior linemen who are still on the board. Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander could also be in play, but he's got a lot of issues and wouldn't necessarily excite me, even as I see a major positional need there.

And then there's the big wild card; UCLA linebacker Myles Jack.

A guy who was pretty consistently rated as a top five player in the draft (I had him 9th myself), the recent disclosure of a knee condition significantly impacted his draft value and pushed him all the way out of the first round.

Some reports claimed that teams were not confident that Jack's physical condition would even allow him to play all the way through his rookie contract. Still, the athletic and playmaking ability is undeniable, and the prospect of getting someone who seemed like a slam dunk top 10 pick in the second round is downright mouth watering.

The Ravens were said to be very high on Jack at one point, and with four fourth round picks at their disposable, it's absolutely not beyond the realm of possibility that the Ravens do their best to move up from 36 and snag Jack which, depending on how well his knee holds up, could easily be the steal of the entire draft, for whichever team lands him at this point.

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#dmd's local lacrosse preview


With most regular season conference games wrapping up, it's time for the all-important conference tournaments. The Patriot League has already started and the semi-finals feature two local teams, as #1 Navy will face #4 Army and #2 Loyola faces #3 Bucknell at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Both games make for a great reason to spend the evening down in Annapolis. Let's take a quick look at each match-up.

#1 Navy vs #4 Army (Fri. 4:30pm) - This great rivalry provided one of the more exciting games of the season that occurred less than 2 weeks ago at West Point. Navy pulled the game out in OT, led by their midfield with Casey Rees and Kevin Wendel scoring 3 goals each, and outstanding goalkeeping from John Connors saving 14 of 24 shots (58.3%).

Since that game, both teams have struggled somewhat as Navy has only managed to score 12 goals in its last two games scoring just 5 in a loss to Maryland and just 7 in a win over Sacred Heart.

Likewise, Army came to Loyola and was man-handled as the Greyhounds continued to steadily double up the Black Knights en route to a 12-6 win. However, Army was able to have a strong showing the other night against Lehigh. In Navy's recent games, it seems Maryland and Sacred Heart held Midshipmen offensive stars Rees, Wendall and attackman Patrick Keena in check. I'm thinking Army tries the same strategy, but won't be as successful on the road as Navy wins 9-7 in another great battle. Whichever team wins this one will have little in the tank for Sunday's championship.

#2 Loyola vs #3 Bucknell (Fri. 7:30pm) - Interesting match-up between two of the Patriot League's hottest teams right now, with Loyola on a 6 game win streak and Bucknell on a 5 game losing streak.

Of course, the last time Bucknell lost was the recent trip they made to Baltimore where they were dominated by the Greyhounds 14-3 back on March 26th. In that game, Bucknell committed a sloppy 18 turnovers, only cleared 11 of 18 attempts and lost 13 of 21 face-offs. Christian Klipestein also had a tough day in the cage saving only 8 of 21 shots on cage (38.1%).

The Bison have gotten better goalie play since that loss at Loyola and maintain a respectable 60.2% shots on goal percentage. However, Bucknell is allowing opponents a 59.7% shooting percentage and still have issues with clearing (76.6%).

Meanwhile, Loyola's offense has continued to play well in their current 6-game win streak, average 12 goals a game while their defense has been holding teams to 6.7 goals durint the same time. While Bucknell is playing better, they're routinely giving teams extra possessions and quality shots on goal which is something you don't want to be doing against a hot team like Loyola. Given this, I see another Loyola victory over the Bison, as the Greyhounds will prevail 12-9.

The Big Picture

The ACC tournament also takes place tonight with both games on ESPNU.

#1 North Carolina vs #4 Syracuse (Fri 6pm) - So which Tar Heel team will show up? The one that took down #1 Notre Dame last weekend or the one that got their butts handed to them in The Dome two weeks ago by the Orange, 13-7? Let's split the difference and say this will be a better match-up than the one played two weeks ago at Syracuse.

#2 Notre Dame vs #3 Duke (Fri 8:30pm) - Duke appears to be on their usual late season run but they'll be facing an angry Notre Dame team who gave up a big 5 goal lead late to UNC just last week. Notre Dame won the previous match-up with Duke 8-6 just three weeks ago, but can they slow down Miles Jones and Deemer Class outside of Indiana?

The #DMD lacrosse preview was written and provided by John Pusateri.


THIS WEEKEND IN ENGLISH SOCCER
Contributed by #DMD's EPL Reporter

MATTHEW CARROLL

Following the results of Matchweek 35, the race for the Barclay’s Premier League title could be coming to a pre-mature conclusion this weekend in Matchweek 36, with Leicester City now on the verge of the first league title in the 132-year history of the club. Catch all of the action this weekend as the Foxes continue their march towards history live on the NBC family of networks or online at NBC Live Extra.

Saturday, April 30 (all times eastern)

10am – Crystal Palace @ Newcastle United – St. James’ Park, USA

After falling behind 2-0 in the first half, Newcastle United improbably stormed back at Anfield to earn a precious point in a 2-2 draw with Liverpool. With the result, and the draw the week before on the road at Manchester City, the Magpies are now unbeaten in their last three league games (W1 D2) and continue to pick up points when it matters the most as they continue to try and stave off relegation. They are now only a point from safety behind Sunderland and Norwich City and will welcome Crystal Palace, along with former manager Alan Pardew, to St. James’ Park on Saturday.

It has been a tale of two seasons for Pardew and the Eagles, who have managed only seven wins in the New Year, six of which have been in the FA Cup, to freefall down to sixteenth in the table after a stellar first half of the season had them sitting in sixth place on Christmas Day. They still need one more positive result to guarantee a fourth successive year in the top flight, and although they have beaten Newcastle only once in their last twelve meetings (D3 L8), enter the matchup on a positive note after last weekend securing a place in the FA Cup final for the second time in the club’s 111-year history.

Sunday, May 1 (all times eastern)

9:05am – Leicester City @ Manchester United – Old Trafford, NBC Sports Network

With their leading goal scorer watching from the stands due to suspension and the rest of the football world waiting for the ultimate underdog to finally begin to crack under the pressure of chasing their first Premier League title Leicester City, a 5,000-1 shot to win the title at the start of the season, kept on rolling right along and easily dispatched of Swansea City 4-1. The Foxes are now seven points clear at the top of the table, needing just three points from their final three games to seal their first league title when they visit 13-time league champions Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

They will however once again be without Jamie Vardy for the trip who has been handed an additional one game ban from the Football Association (FA) for improper conduct following his sending off against West Ham United two weeks ago. They will have to rely on Riyda Mahrez, who this week was named the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year, and Leonardo Ulloa (2 goals last week) to pull them through against a United side who have taken all three points from the Foxes in ten of the last twelve meetings (D1 L1) between the clubs.

Monday, May 2 (all times eastern)

3pm – Tottenham @ Chelsea – Stamford Bridge, NBC Sports Network

After making his return to the starting lineup for the first time in over a month following a hip injury, Eden Hazard’s double, which remarkably were the first two goals of the season for the reigning PFA Player of the Year and in a nut shell sums up the yearlong struggles of the defending league champions, helped ease Chelsea past Bournemouth 4-1 and back into the top half of the table. They will welcome Tottenham to Stamford Bridge for a London Derby on Monday Night Football, with the Spurs title hopes suffering a major setback when they drew 1-1 with West Brom the week before.

Tottenam was once again unable to match the blistering pace that Leicester has set all season long, and now find themselves needing to rely on other results to keep their increasingly slim title hopes alive. That could very well be a moot point depending on the Foxes result at United the day before, as well as the fact that despite losing just one of their last ten London Derbies (W5 D4 L1), Spurs have not won a league game on the road against Chelsea since February of 1990, losing seventeen and drawing eight of their last twenty-five meetings at Stamford Bridge.


looking for that perfect mother's day gift? our adele bus trip is on sale!


#DMD has put together a bus trip to Philadelphia on Friday, September 9 to see Adele perform at the Wells Fargo Center. I don't think you're going to say, "Adele? Who the heck is that?" but just in case you do, you can watch the video below for a glimpse of her and her music.



Her 2016 world tour is expected to smash a bunch of records (in terms of tickets purchased, revenue generated, etc.) and she'll be coming to the area next Fall. Our bus on September 9 will take 40 Adele fans to Philly, complete with dinner on the bus ride, beer and wine, plus Adele trivia (with a cash prize to the winner).

That's the good news. We have tickets to the show in Philly and we have an awesome luxury motor coach. It's going to be a great night.

The bad news...sort of. It's not cheap. Ten million people hit the TicketMaster website on the morning the seats went on sale in December. They were all gone in minutes. My ticket guy in New York City was able to get his hands on a hundred or so at various venues around the country, with Philadelphia being one of them. There are two shows in Washington DC, but as he said to me back in December when I was pondering whether to buy Verizon Center tickets or Wells Fargo Center tickets -- "Just be warned -- you're gonna pay DC prices, which are generally 20 to 25 percent higher than Philly."

So Philly it is. Honestly, the ride up I-95 to the Wells Fargo Center is only about 35-45 minutes further than getting to DC. We made it from Baltimore to the stadium complex in Philly for the Army-Navy game in 75 minutes back on December 12. And if the ticket prices are cheaper in Philly for me, they're also less expensive for you.

And let me pass this along, too: This is very much one of those things you can purchase for your significant female and she can absolutely board the bus "solo" and still have a great time. She'll no doubt be spending the evening making new friends on the bus and sitting with others in the arena and on the #DMD trip who are also there on their own. So, sure, you can pass this Adele trip info on to a friend and perhaps you both send your respective significant females so they share the night together; or you can send her as a "single" on the trip. Either way, she'll have a great night.

The other note to share from the outset is this: The seats for this show in Philly aren't in the front row or anything. Right now, a seat on the floor would run you anywhere from $800-$2,000. (I know what you're thinking at this point -- "That girl can sing, sure, but for $2,000 she better be belting out "Rolling in the Deep" in my living room."). Our seats for the September 9 show are upstairs on the side of the stage. Interestingly, unlike some performers who will sell the entire venue, including seats BEHIND the stage, Adele has opted not to do that on this tour. She will only sell tickets with a front or side of the view stage.

In my history of organizing and running sports and concert trips, I've found most people are mainly interested in getting in the building at a (somewhat) reasonable price and sharing that experience with others on the trip with them. The location of the seat is secondary to spending a memorable few hours with friends and and getting to and from the venue safely. Our policy at #DMD is that we don't put people in single seats or break up groups of four, six, etc. who are traveling together for the event. If you go to a game or a concert with three other friends, you'll all want to be sitting together. We understand that.

Let me also say this just to be clear: This trip ISN'T for females only. I know of one guy (me) who has been an Adele fan since she arrived on the scene six years ago and he'll definitely be on the bus trip on September 9. If you'd like to accompany your significant female on the trip, you're more than welcome to come along. We'll be departing from somewhere in the Towson area at 4 pm on Friday, September 9 and returning right after the show.

How do you get her a seat on our "Adele bus"? Just go to the main header of the website above and click on "Adele Trip" for all of the payment processing. If you'd prefer to pay by check, e-mail me and we'll make arrangements: drew@drewsmorningdish.com

One last thing: We'll also send you a special "Adele Concert Mother's Day Gift Card" you can give her on May 8th, complete with details about the trip you purchased for her.


Thursday
April 28
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXI
Issue 28
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let's hope ravens have "luck of the irish" tonight


If you're an everyday reader of #DMD, you've noticed how many mock drafts I've posted over the last several weeks as the NFL Draft approaches.

That would be zero.

I like the draft. However, let's be honest, it's way, way, way overblown.

But it's fun, and it comes at a time of the year when not much else is happening to get our blood going.

March Madness is behind us.

The opening of baseball season is in the rear view mirror.

The Masters has come and gone.

So the NFL Draft gives us something to get worked up about.

You're guaranteed a good player tonight

The Ravens, as you know, have the 6th pick in tonight's first round. It's a lucrative spot for them, a very small reward for a season gone bad in 2015. They're not used to this kind of good fortune on draft day, so I expect they'll take full advantage of it.

Nothing would surprise me tonight.

The Ravens have a history of trading picks in the first round, so if they were to move back and swap picks with someone who was itching to move up to the #6 spot, that wouldn't shock me at all.

If Laremy Tunsil is there at #6, I imagine they'd take him.

DeForest Buckner would look awfully good in purple, too. The Ravens once took a defensive lineman from Oregon in the first round and he turned out pretty good, too, so there's a bit of a track record already in place.

Joey Bosa might very well be available at #6. "I like guys who touch the ball and touch the quarterback" is one of Ozzie Newsome's themes, so Bosa fits that criteria quite well, obviously. I'm just not 100% sure he "plays like a Raven" though.

So, without further adieu, here's #DMD's mock draft, 1.0, for picks one through six.

The Rams take QB Jared Goff and the Eagles, of course, grab their own QB, Carson Wentz.

There you go, I'm 2-for-2 already and just as solid as Kiper, Mayock, et al.

Next, unfortunately for many of you who breathe and bleed purple, Laremy Tunsil goes to the Chargers. Philip Rivers is happy, so the Chargers have that going for them, which is nice.

The Cowboys are the trump card holders. Will they do something dumb -- like pick a running back -- or stay the course and grab a bonafide player who can help right away? Sadly, they get smart as the clock winds down and they select Jalen Ramsey, the cornerback from Florida State. Our own Brien Jackson is saddened by this turn of events.

Now, it's the Jacksonville Jaguars who will determine the Ravens' fate, and they go ahead and tab Bosa, the mercurical but highly touted defensive end from Ohio State.

Protecting Flacco is a no-brainer decision

And with the sixth pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select -- offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, from Notre Dame.

Joe Flacco is happy.

You might be, too.

Ronnie Stanley will be thrilled. He'll finally get paid for his work, something he's become very outspoken about now that his days at Notre Dame are complete and he can lament about the fact that playing college football is worthy of a paycheck.

He'll get paid, big time, to play left tackle for the Baltimore Ravens.

The pick makes sense for the Ravens on a variety of levels, but the most obvious one is simply this: They're DONE with Eugene Monroe.

That's not to say they're releasing him -- they're not "done" with him in that way -- but they're finished with relying on Monroe to do anything for them on the field.

Monroe had his chance and has simply ignored the responsbility that comes with the lucrative contract he signed a couple of years back.

These days, he's more interested in tweeting silly things about medical marijuana, pain killers, and how nasty and mean the NFL is to the players. He's no longer all that interested in playing football, so the Ravens are no longer all that interested in having him in the huddle every Sunday.

So, Ronnie Stanley it is.

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"hard questions" -- part 4

When #DMD reader and former radio listener Mark Emerson contacted me to get answers to what he termed “hard questions”, I put the idea on the back burner for a few months while I figured out if I really wanted to go through with it.

I’m not sure I ever actually decided, definitely, that this was something I wanted to do, but I decided I’d follow through and meet with him at the very least. Once the meeting and the Q and A period was over, I could then go ahead and publish it or put the whole thing in the dark corners of the #DMD archives somewhere.

We met in late February and took over two hours to go through all of Mark’s questions. I eventually edited the 19 answers (but the questions will remain) down to 16, which will appear here at #DMD over the next five days. A few of the questions -- including some today -- were follow-ups to the actual questions, so you'll likely see far more than 16 actual questions over the next five days. But I answered everything thrown my way, mostly.

Why did I wind up doing this? I guess mainly because I’ve heard from a lot of people over the last 20 months who have shared heartfelt private messages about the on-air relationship we had as “listener” and “host”. Sometimes, when you’re doing the hosting, you’re not really connecting to how many people out there really ARE listening and really ARE with you.

So, for all of you who used to get up with me at 6:07 am, Monday through Friday, or spent part of that time from 6 am to 10 am listening to my show, this trip down memory lane is for you, mainly.

Thursday, April 28 --

Mark: "How shocked were you when you let go?"

DF: "Very. I think everyone was. Radio has a history of firing people that way, though. It's always done on a Friday, there's never any kind of "going away show" or anything like that. Management comes in, tells you it's over, and it's over. So, in that sense, the whole thing followed the typical way it happens in radio. But I think in this case everyone probably deserved something better than what they got that day, that's for sure."

Mark: "Deserved better in what way?"

DF: "Like, not getting fired at all, for starters. That would have been good. Those other four people worked like dogs for that station. I mean, blood, sweat and tears kind of work. It wasn't a sweat shop there, but it smelled like one, I guess you could say. Long hours, lots of work, not paid all that great. I guess a lot of people in the country have the same sort of work environment, though. Everyone is overworked and underpaid to some degree, in their mind, probably. But to go in there and sweep them out like that...tough to see.

Mark: "Who did you feel for the most?"

DF: "That guy Drew, ha ha. Actually, I was probably the one least damaged by it all.

Honestly, I felt bad for the rest of them because I think every single of them had their own "story" so to speak.

Paul, the station manager, had basically put a pretty good side business on the back burner to concentrate on the station. Ashley, his assistant, had just leased a new place in Federal Hill or Canton, somewhere downtown, I don't remember. Same thing for Ryan, the producer...he was just getting out on his own and had signed a lease with some other friends.

I guess the person I felt the worst for, honestly, was Glenn Clark. He had a baby on the way, for starters, and he was serving a sort of dual role there as both an on-air show host and the program director. And only a few months before, after building a pretty decent afternoon show from 2-6 pm, he was shoved into the 12-3 pm shift or something like that, I don't remember, honestly. He was a really good team player, I mean a REALLY good one, and to see him get the short end of the stick was really disappointing."

Mark: "Me and a lot of people that I know who were listeners to your show have often said they wished they could have been a fly on the wall when you got handed the news."

DF: "They wouldn't have seen much. It was over in about 25 seconds. He said, "We're parting company today" and started talking about wanting to be happy and he hadn't been happy and it was time to get happy and I said, "OK, well, take care" and I got up and left. As long as it took me to say that just now was about how long it took to go down. No yelling or screaming. I just got up and left."

Mark: "And no hard feelings?"

DF: "Not really. I had a great run there. You're always going to harbor a little bit of ill will. That's just human nature. But I've tried really hard to just let it all go and move on. I did something no one else in town was doing at the time. I was doing a 4-hour show and also contributing revenue to the station by selling advertising and sponsorships. I more than paid for myself. It actually paved the way for Drew's Morning Dish to take off. So, it all turned out OK.

You always wish it would have gone down differently and that you would have been treated better, but in the end, you're fired, so the manner in which it's done sort of doesn't even matter. If you let that bother you, you're just spinning your wheels. Jack Welch said, "Deal in reality as it is, not as it was or you wish it to be" and that's a pretty good quote for just about everything."

Mark: "Does it disappoint you to see how the station has turned out now?"

DF: "Yeah, that's a good question, I guess it does. It's funny you say that, because I just said to someone the other day that it always makes me feel good to see the Blast franchise still cooking and still being successful and they might even win another championship this year (note: the Blast did win the championship two weeks ago). So, having spent 17 years of my life working for that team and working in that building, it warms my heart to see that those efforts of mine were a small part of a 35-year run of indoor soccer in Baltimore.

I didn't have a 17-year investment at the radio station, but twelve years is a pretty long time. I was definitely "invested", that's for sure. I turned down a couple of other job offers when I was there, things that would have paid me more, frankly, but didn't interest me the way radio interested me. Like any job, there were things about the place I liked and things about the place I didn't like. Everyone has that. But, all in all, I'd like to see the station do well and get back to where it was at one point about ten years ago, just to be able to say, "Hey, I was part of that once."

Mark: "And you don't think it can?"

DF: "It's a tough business. A lot of competition now, not just from the local radio standpoint but also satellite radio. And there's no staff there anymore. There's no diversity in the programming to bring listeners in and out all day long. In the old days, they might not been early risers or might not have liked Drew's show, but they liked Bob, so they tuned in at 10. Or maybe they didn't like Bob, but they liked Rob. And so on. There was always a reason to listen, at some point, throughout the day. The programming doesn't lend itself to that anymore."

Mark: "How about some word association? Give me a sentence on all of these people."

DF: "I like this. Let's go.

Mark: "Peter Angelos"

DF: "Deserves a championship for all the good things he's done for our city. Might not have been the greatest baseball owner, but has done a lot more for Baltimore than people know."

Mark: "John Harbaugh"

DF: "Outstanding coach and one of the best men I've ever met. Can't stress enough how much of a quality guy he is."

Mark: "Joe Flacco"

DF: "Very interesting guy. Terrific quarterback. Extremely confident. Much more aware of what's going on than he shows."

Mark: "Your old competition, Norris and Davis"

DF: "A good fit for each other. I like Ed's style. Straight shooter, not afraid to say what's on his mind. I like Steve, too. They're a good team."

Mark: "Scott Garceau"

DF: "A pro's pro. He's got it all down to a science."

Mark: "Glenn Clark"

DF: "Extremely talented. Will be in sports media forever if that's what he wants to do. Wouldn't shock me at all to see him doing some sort of national gig someday."

Mark: "Another one of your former co-hosts, Luke Jones"

DF: "The best writer the station has ever had. Outstanding person. He'll write for a major newspaper or website someday, maybe even soon."

Mark: "Bob Haney"

DF: "The best sports memory of anyone I've ever met. A complete sponge. Amazing what he knows and remembers.

Mark: "(your former boss and station owner)"

DF: "Birthed a lot of careers in Baltimore."

Mark: "Drew Forrester"

DF: "Needs to work on his short game and putting."

COMING FRIDAY, PART FIVE -- THE FUTURE OF SPORTS RADIO, BEST CALLERS OF ALL-TIME

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rickard leads birds to 3-1 win over rays


Joey Rickard's 3-homer against his former team in the 5th inning was all the Birds needed last night as they snapped a 3-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

They also needed a good starting effort from Chris Tillman, and he delivered one, going 6.2 innings and allowing just two hits on the night while striking out nine and walking two.

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Coming back to haunt his old team was Joey Rickard, who belted a 3-run homer for the Birds last night in their 3-1 win.

It was one of Tillman's better starts over the last two seasons, as the Birds improved to 12-8 with the win.

Oddly enough, Tampa Bay -- with four hits on the night -- had one more hit than the Orioles. Rickard's 3-run home run and singles from J.J. Hardy and Jonathan Schoop were the only hits recorded by Buck Showalter's team on Wednesday night.

Tampa Bay's only run came in the 9th inning, as former Oriole Steve Pearce nicked Zach Britton for a RBI single to close out the scoring.

11,850 people showed up in St. Petersburg last night. At least that's what they announced.

Manny Machado is now in an 0-for-17 rut after going hitless in four at-bats last night. And don't look now, but Adam Jones is hitting .196 after an 0-for-4 evening.

The Birds will host the White Sox tonight to begin a 4-game series with the current Central Division leaders.

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from the desk of

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, Ravens and national sports stories of interest.


ravens top draft need: cornerback


With the NFL draft beginning tonight, it's time to unveil the team's top roster need...but you probably already knew it was the cornerback position.

There's certainly no doubt that the Ravens are a mess at the position, and have been struggling to find consistent, healthy, talent here at least since the season they won Superbowl 47.

Jimmy Smith has begun to emerge as a quality player since then, but he looked to be showing the signs of a lisfranc injury most of last season and was far from consistently good.

And beyond that, the position is a legit dumpster fire. Lardarius Webb's knee injury sapped a lot of his effectiveness and now he's set to move to safety, and the only other corners of note on the roster right now are Shareece Wright and Kyle Arrington. The less said about that the better.

You have to be able to stop the pass

This is an especially acute problem because cornerback is arguably the most important defensive position in the game right now.

Pass rushers get a lot of love, especially in the wake of Von Miller's dominant performance in last year's postseason, but the actual common denominator of recent championship defenses, and especially great defenses, is the secondary play, with a special emphasis on having a bona fide top-notch corner.

Denver had Chris Harris Jr, who might have been the best corner in football last season (and paired him with Aqib Talib). New England had Darelle Revis for their Superbowl championship. And of course, Seattle had Richard Sherman leading the Legion of Boom.

Simply put: If you want to build a dominant defense, you need to start with at least two good-to-great cornerbacks.

It's not all that hard to figure out why this is, either. Pass rushers are great and walloping the quarterback is fun, but as the Ravens have seen in recent years, even a very good pass rush can be completely neutralized with simple, quick, passes that just don't allow your linemen time to get to the quarterback.

This puts the pressure on your corners to cover these short routes or tackle receivers quickly to prevent quality gains and force dropback passes. This is, in a nutshell, the exact formula by which the Patriots beat the Ravens so soundly in the second half of their most recent playoff game, and it's going to be the team's biggest liability until you add at least one corner who can consistently cover every route and play at a tippy-top level.

The problem for Ozzie Newsome is that, ironically, by slotting in at the sixth overall pick he's not well positioned to end up with this kind of player.

Lots of cornerback help is available tonight

Florida State's Jalen Ramsey is almost universally rated as a top five draft prospect, but even his proponents generally concede that he'll probably have to play safety at the NFL level.

You can imagine his size and physicality playing well in tight coverage, but he has poor technique and footwork, and he could just as easily be burnt consistently by more proficient professional receivers.

The Ravens could certainly draft Ramsey and assume he'll be a free safety, in which case they may well have the best safety tandem in the league between Ramsey and Eric Weddle, but that also forces Webb back into a corner role where he's been a major liability at times recently.

Beyond that, the cornerback options are a mix of players who are good prospects, but probably a reach at #6. I like Vernon Hargreaves more than most these days and think he'll be a great cover corner, but he probably wouldn't be any better than the fourth of fifth best player available when the Ravens get on the clock.

Other guys like Ohio State's Eli Apple, Virginia Tech's Kendall Fuller, and Houston's William Jackson III are all very good prospects and provide nice depth at the position, but none of them are likely to drop to the Ravens in the second round, in my opinion, and Apple and Jackson could both easily come off the board in the top 20 picks.

The second and third rounds look pretty barren in terms of cornerbacks, and Clemon's Mackenzie Alexander may be the only meaningful prospect at the position after the top five. Ohio State safety Von Bell could be tantalizing if he falls down into the late second round or early third round as well but, again, this doesn't really help the situation at cornerback whatsoever.

The Ravens love to talk about "best player available" and it's a common mantra that you "can't draft for need," but I'm a firm believer that sometimes you need to do that.

Everyone agrees that you can't win without a good quarterback, for example, and so no one thinks you're crazy if a QB-needy team prioritizes a good quarterback prospect over a great offensive lineman or linebacker.

In the contemporary NFL, cornerback is a similarly important position, and the Ravens are just AWFUL at the position. It's a big reason their defense isn't as good as we all expect it to be, and you won't see the team clearly in the league's top five defenses again if that's not addressed.

An apple a day...

So with that in mind, I'll lay out my ideal draft scenario for tonight: The Ravens entice the Titans to move back up from the 15th pick, giving up at least one of their second round picks in the process, and draft Apple.

That gives them two second round picks to work with, and with the defensive line depth in this draft there's a good chance they'd have a shot at a REALLY good shot at getting a very good edge prospect like Robert Nkemdiche, Noah Spence, Kevin Dodd, or Emmanuel Ogbah. Heck, it may even give them a shot at a lineman expected to go in the first round like Taylor Decker.

The extra second round pick gives them another chance to pick up a playmaker on either the offensive on defensive side. Most of all, however, working a trade down gives the Ravens a chance to add more depth, and that may actually be the biggest need they have to fill.

And if you're into that sort of thing, I plan to live Tweet at least most of the first round tonight. You can follow along at @Brien_Jackson, and check back here on Friday for a full write up on whatever the Ravens end up doing.


looking for that perfect mother's day gift? our adele bus trip is on sale!


#DMD has put together a bus trip to Philadelphia on Friday, September 9 to see Adele perform at the Wells Fargo Center. I don't think you're going to say, "Adele? Who the heck is that?" but just in case you do, you can watch the video below for a glimpse of her and her music.



Her 2016 world tour is expected to smash a bunch of records (in terms of tickets purchased, revenue generated, etc.) and she'll be coming to the area next Fall. Our bus on September 9 will take 40 Adele fans to Philly, complete with dinner on the bus ride, beer and wine, plus Adele trivia (with a cash prize to the winner).

That's the good news. We have tickets to the show in Philly and we have an awesome luxury motor coach. It's going to be a great night.

The bad news...sort of. It's not cheap. Ten million people hit the TicketMaster website on the morning the seats went on sale in December. They were all gone in minutes. My ticket guy in New York City was able to get his hands on a hundred or so at various venues around the country, with Philadelphia being one of them. There are two shows in Washington DC, but as he said to me back in December when I was pondering whether to buy Verizon Center tickets or Wells Fargo Center tickets -- "Just be warned -- you're gonna pay DC prices, which are generally 20 to 25 percent higher than Philly."

So Philly it is. Honestly, the ride up I-95 to the Wells Fargo Center is only about 35-45 minutes further than getting to DC. We made it from Baltimore to the stadium complex in Philly for the Army-Navy game in 75 minutes back on December 12. And if the ticket prices are cheaper in Philly for me, they're also less expensive for you.

And let me pass this along, too: This is very much one of those things you can purchase for your significant female and she can absolutely board the bus "solo" and still have a great time. She'll no doubt be spending the evening making new friends on the bus and sitting with others in the arena and on the #DMD trip who are also there on their own. So, sure, you can pass this Adele trip info on to a friend and perhaps you both send your respective significant females so they share the night together; or you can send her as a "single" on the trip. Either way, she'll have a great night.

The other note to share from the outset is this: The seats for this show in Philly aren't in the front row or anything. Right now, a seat on the floor would run you anywhere from $800-$2,000. (I know what you're thinking at this point -- "That girl can sing, sure, but for $2,000 she better be belting out "Rolling in the Deep" in my living room."). Our seats for the September 9 show are upstairs on the side of the stage. Interestingly, unlike some performers who will sell the entire venue, including seats BEHIND the stage, Adele has opted not to do that on this tour. She will only sell tickets with a front or side of the view stage.

In my history of organizing and running sports and concert trips, I've found most people are mainly interested in getting in the building at a (somewhat) reasonable price and sharing that experience with others on the trip with them. The location of the seat is secondary to spending a memorable few hours with friends and and getting to and from the venue safely. Our policy at #DMD is that we don't put people in single seats or break up groups of four, six, etc. who are traveling together for the event. If you go to a game or a concert with three other friends, you'll all want to be sitting together. We understand that.

Let me also say this just to be clear: This trip ISN'T for females only. I know of one guy (me) who has been an Adele fan since she arrived on the scene six years ago and he'll definitely be on the bus trip on September 9. If you'd like to accompany your significant female on the trip, you're more than welcome to come along. We'll be departing from somewhere in the Towson area at 4 pm on Friday, September 9 and returning right after the show.

How do you get her a seat on our "Adele bus"? Just go to the main header of the website above and click on "Adele Trip" for all of the payment processing. If you'd prefer to pay by check, e-mail me and we'll make arrangements: drew@drewsmorningdish.com

One last thing: We'll also send you a special "Adele Concert Mother's Day Gift Card" you can give her on May 8th, complete with details about the trip you purchased for her.


Wednesday
April 27
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXI
Issue 27
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"hard questions" -- part 3

When #DMD reader and former radio listener Mark Emerson contacted me to get answers to what he termed “hard questions”, I put the idea on the back burner for a few months while I figured out if I really wanted to go through with it.

I’m not sure I ever actually decided, definitely, that this was something I wanted to do, but I decided I’d follow through and meet with him at the very least. Once the meeting and the Q and A period was over, I could then go ahead and publish it or put the whole thing in the dark corners of the #DMD archives somewhere.

We met in late February and took over two hours to go through all of Mark’s questions. I eventually edited the 19 answers (but the questions will remain) down to 16, which will appear here at #DMD over the next five days. A few of the questions -- including some today -- were follow-ups to the actual questions, so you'll likely see far more than 16 actual questions over the next five days. But I answered everything thrown my way, mostly.

Why did I wind up doing this? I guess mainly because I’ve heard from a lot of people over the last 20 months who have shared heartfelt private messages about the on-air relationship we had as “listener” and “host”. Sometimes, when you’re doing the hosting, you’re not really connecting to how many people out there really ARE listening and really ARE with you.

So, for all of you who used to get up with me at 6:07 am, Monday through Friday, or spent part of that time from 6 am to 10 am listening to my show, this trip down memory lane is for you, mainly.

Wednesday, April 27 --

Mark: "So, are we ever going to hear you on the air again?"

DF: "Maybe, but I would say my days of getting up at 4:30 am to do a radio show are over. I'm just not that interested in doing that anymore unless something came along that really, really blew me away.

I remember having a conversation once with Brian Billick and talking to him about coaching in the NFL again, after the Ravens let him go. He basically said, "It would have to be the job of MY choosing the next time around. I'd need it to be perfect. Great owner, great fans, team with a solid infrastucture...I'm not going to go coach somewhere and inherit a train wreck of a situation just to say, "Hey, look at me, I'm coaching in the league again."

I thought that was a perfect way to sum it up. I guess getting $18 million from Steve (Bisciotti) helps you see things a little more clearly like that, but I love the idea that just coaching to coach isn't really what he is looking to do. Bill Cowher probably turned down a half-dozen coaching jobs after he retired. My guess is he's dealing with the same thing. Why would I go beat my head into the ground to coach when I've already made a gazillion dollars and I'm still making millions doing TV?"

Now, by no means am I so wealthy or well off that I can simply "not work", but doing radio just to do radio doesn't interest me anymore. It would have to be the perfect situation, the perfect shift, with some degree of flexibility from a content standpoint to allow me to do whatever I wanted. I could probably get the "radio bug" again, but right now, I don't have it, at least not from the standpoint of doing a show every single day for three or four hours."

Mark: "Sounds like it's more about the shift and not so much about radio."

DF: "Yes and no. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't do an early morning shift anymore. I grinded that out for 12 years. I'm not sure what shift I'd actually like, because I see reasons to not like any of them from a timing standpoint. Wouldn't want to do something in the middle of the day and don't know that I'd like something late afternoon, either. Maybe I can do 9:15 to 11:15 pm after my kids are in bed and right before I turn in the for the night. I'm kidding...sort of.

I have a lot of respect for Steve Davis and Ed Norris and anyone who does early morning radio in a major market like Baltimore. Those guys are probably waking up at 3:00 am and getting to the station by 4:30 or so. That just wrecks you, personally. You're probably trying to get to bed by 9:00 pm most nights, but if your job is to talk sports, a lot of the stuff you might want to talk about the next morning is happening at 9, 10 or 11 pm at night. And none of us are getting any younger.

I get up every morning at 5 am now to put the finishing touches on Drew's Morning Dish and get it published by 7 am every day, so I'm still getting out of bed at an early time, just like I did in the radio business, but I'm in the kitchen with my wife and children when they get up every day at 7 am. That's become very important to me over the last 20 months."

Mark: "What about your podcasts? We don't hear those anymore."

DF: "Yeah, sadly they've gone away for now. I say "for now" because I always have the means to start it up again and I'm sure I'll be doing more of them in the future.

But, I said all along that I was trying to figure out how to do a great podcast and, honestly, I never quite figured it out. So, until I do, the podcasts are on hiatus.

I don't want to do something that lacks in quality and I felt over time like the podcasts just weren't all that compelling. I listen to a lot of podcasts, most of them center on either golf or music, and I'm connected to them mainly through my interest in those two subjects. But what I was trying to do, sort of a hodge-podge, audio version of Drew's Morning Dish, where I cover four or five different topics in 45 minutes...that just wasn't good enough for me. I wouldn't have listened to it.

So, the podcasts will return at some point, and maybe even soon, but when they do, they'll probably have a much different sound and direction."

Mark: "I have to ask you about (your former boss at the radio station). He's quite the lightning rod."

DF: "Well, if you're in the media, and particularly in sports talk radio or TV, even, you have to be somewhat of a lightning rod.

The days of being Vince Bagli and doing a radio talk show and say, "Hey there, Baltimore, how's it going? Let's talk some sports tonight" are long gone. So, you have to be a lightning rod in some way to get enough people to tune in to see what you're saying that day.

That was always his (station owner) thing, he wanted to be a topic of conversation on the street or at the water cooler or in the tailgate lot. And give him credit, he didn't shy away from it, either. He certainly wasn't afraid to make a stand and put himself out there, but knowing him like I did for so long, I knew most of it was -- in his mind, at least -- very well organized. He became a master at it over time."

Mark: "Was he hard to work for?

DF: "At times, yes, but everyone can probably say that about their boss, supervisor or business owner. But, I think we all knew what to expect from him on a daily basis and we were able to handle it pretty well.

Look, I can say for sure as a golf coach, I'm not the easiest guy in the world to play for, even at the high school level. I'm pretty tough. I'm demanding. I have high standards, maybe some people would say the standards are too high given that it's "just high school golf". But I don't know any other way to do it.

He kind of fits that same mold, I guess.

I mean, he doesn't really have any formal training at all in management or corporate leadership. He's just learning as he as goes, which sometimes isn't a bad way to do it, either. Not everyone can graduate from The Wharton School and start their own Fortune 500 company. Sometimes guys from Dundalk or Glen Burnie come along and roll up their sleeves and do it their own way and there's something to be said for that. His management blemishes are probably the same ones lots of folks make who don't have any formal training or teaching in how to run a corporation.

He was only hard to work for if you allowed it to get that far. I had, or thought I had, a decent relationship with him over twelve years. We didn't really do much socially together, hardly ever, actually, because we didn't have any common interests away from the station. But, at the station, we got along well and I worked hard for him in those twelve years. We had our ups and downs, but I think the good far, far outweighed the bad.

Other than the day I got fired, I can say just about everything else was easily tolerable. At least for me it was, anyway."

Mark: "I assume you two don't talk?

DF: "No, we don't. That's sad, but it's part of the landscape of what happened, I guess. I mean, I don't think Brian (Billick) and Steve (Bisciotti) would talk anymore if Brian wasn't involved in NFL media and wasn't occasionally hanging around the Ravens as part of his duties. It's not like those two plan twice-a-year dinners to catch up on things. There's something about a person firing you -- they're basically saying, "I don't want you around me anymore" -- that has sort of a permanent closure to it.

Mark: "What would you say to him if you saw him?"

DF: "I'd probably just ask him how his wife is doing and leave it at that. If she's doing OK, his life is fine. There's nothing I need to ask or say to him that's more important than the health of his wife, so I'd ask how she's doing and that's about all I'd need to offer."

Mark: "No hard feelings about getting fired? No harsh words for him?

DF: "Well, there are always hard feelings about getting fired. I mean, that leaves a scar no matter what line of work you're in. But there wouldn't be any harsh words or anything like that. I'm not seeking him out to yell at him for getting fired. That ship has sailed.

I reached an amicable settlement with the station after all that went down and I moved on. No reason to get pissed off about it again or bring it up again with (him). It's done. All good."

COMING THURSDAY, PART FOUR -- WORD ASSOCATION, TALENT AT THE FORMER STATION, HOW IT ALL ENDED

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birds drop third straight, 3-1 to tampa bay


On the bright side, Pedro Alvarez had two hits and upped his average to .186 on the season.

And Chris Davis didn't strike out last night in four trips to the plate.

Heck, even starter Ubaldo Jimenez danced around a few tricky situations early on and gave Buck Showalter six almost-decent innings.

X
Another RBI from Mark Trumbo on Tuesday night...but it wasn't enough as the O's fell to the Rays, 3-1.

Unfortunately, none of that mattered on Tuesday night in St. Petersburg, as the Birds opened up a 3-game series with the Rays by losing, 3-1.

The Orioles are now 11-8 on the year, which isn't all that bad until you remember they started the season at 7-0.

Baltimore had nine hits last night, but none of them belonged to Manny Machado. He's now gone hitless in his last three games and his batting average is "all the way down" to .342. It's called market correction, of course, but seeing Machado go three games in a row without a hit is like going 30 minutes on pop radio without hearing an Adele song. It's weird...

Tampa Bay only had seven hits on the evening, but the big blow -- a two run homer from Kevin Kiermaier -- came with two outs in the sixth inning and proved to be the difference in the game.

Mark Trumbo plated the only Baltimore run in the 4th inning with an RBI single. Here's an odd stat. Trumbo now has 17 RBI on the season. All of them have come on the road.

Let's hope he continues that trend tonight and tomorrow as the road trip concludes at Tropicana Field.

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from the desk of

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, Ravens and national sports stories of interest.


Ravens Draft Need #2: Offensive Tackle

The first two parts of this series have focused on groups (offensive player and pass rushers, respectively) that I think are "quasi-needs" for the Ravens.

That is, they would definitely benefit from adding an upgrade if the value is too good to pass up, but they'll probably be okay if they don't make any substantial additions there between now and the end of the season.

Today, however, we begin looking at a couple of areas that are MUST address areas for Ozzie Newsome, and if no significant changes are made to roster groups, either in the draft or free agency, they will represent MAJOR liabilities for the team once the season starts.

Monroe on the hot seat?

First up, offensive tackle, and one could make an argument that the Ravens actually don't have a single dependable tackle on the roster.

I've got it ranked second only because both Eugene Monroe and Ricky Wagner have both shown they can be good, but I have very little faith are they WILL be good next season.

In Wagner, you have a sixth round pick who turned in a solid season under Gary Kubiak and Rick Dennison in 2014, but was really bad last year. Given those coaches' track record of getting good performances out of their lines, you have to be very strongly worried that the good season was a product of coaching, and the bad season more indicative of the kind of performance you should expect to get.

On the left side, Monroe is a bit more of a conundrum. He's a talented, mostly above average player at a premium position...when he's healthy. And that's the big caveat: Monroe hasn't been able to stay on the field, in large part by choice. Monroe simply isn't willing to play through the kinds of injuries most NFL players do as a matter of routine, and doesn't want to pump himself full of the drugs it takes to make that doable.

I want to be very clear: Given what we're learning everyday about what playing high level football does the human body, I completely respect Monroe's position and will not criticize it in the slightest. However, from the team's standpoint, it makes it really hard to depend on the guy at such an important position, made all the more important by the investment the Ravens have made in their own quarterback.

I can respect Monroe not being willing to take heavy risks with his health while also realizing that the Ravens can't afford to pay him/count on him given the circumstances. Main backup James Hurst is...better left undiscussed here.

Further, I'm singling out the tackle position here because I think that the Ravens are pretty set on the interior line. Marshall Yanda and Jeremy Zuttah are clearly above average players at their position, and Ryan Jensen and John Urschel are quality depth players who have both played well at the guard position.

Depth at guard is a big bonus

Losing Kelechi Osemele is unfortunate, but I think Jensen/Urschel will pick up a big chunk of the slack at the left guard position, and the Ravens will be more thank okay here.

Drafting a tackle in this year's draft might be tough, however, especially if you're keeping an eye towards pleasing a fan base that, based on some venues, seems nearly ready to revolt if the Ravens draft a lineman (or trade back).

The Titans big trade out of the first pick has eased this somewhat, as there does seem to be a broad acceptance of the idea of drafting Laremy Tunsil, the consensus best lineman in the draft, if he's available at the sixth pick. Tunsil would indeed figure to be the Ravens' starting left tackle from day one, and as the most talented/polished lineman to come out in a while he would be a home run pick if that's the way Ozzie and Co. decide to go.

However, if he's not on the board (and personally I think he'll be picked 3rd overall by San Diego), things start to get messy.

Other than Tunsil, the only other top 15 talent I see on the offensive line is Notre Dame tackle Ronnie Stanley. Stanley has been lined to the Ravens in several mock drafts...a fact that has drawn the ire of a lot of fans and commentators.

Simply put; Stanley is a very controversial prospect. His detractors see a non-impact player who wouldn't justify the sixth overall pick.

Tunsil, Stanley or someone else?

People who are more bullish on him, including me, see an exceptional pass blocker who brings a lot to the table and fits seemlessly into the modern game. Yes, Stanley needs some work in run blocking, but running the ball really is getting less important every year, and Stanley may well be the best pass blocker coming out of college I've seen since Jake Long. If the Ravens pick him at number six I think it will be an imminently defensible choice, no matter who else is on the board.

What really makes these two guys stand out is the rest of the draft board. They're the only two clear tackles who are top of the first round material.

The next best offensive linemen are Michigan State's Jack Conklin and Ohio State's Taylor Decker, both of whom will probably end up playing guard at the next level. While there are players at the Ravens' other areas of need who could present very good value in the early 2nd/late 1st round of the draft, it's pretty much "top ten or bust" for the offensive tackle position. And that's an aspect of "best player available" that could tip the scales Thursday night.

Tunsil may be a no-brainer if he's there, but the difference maker in favor of drafting Stanley as well.

It might not be as sexy a pick as drafting a premier collegiate pass rusher, wide receiver, or someone who's combine numbers raised eyebrows, but given the balance point of the team's need and the available talent in the draft, there's a very strong argument to be made that coming away with either Tunsil or Stanley presents the biggest opportunity for return on investment for the Ravens in 2016.

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looking for that perfect mother's day gift? our adele bus trip is on sale!


#DMD has put together a bus trip to Philadelphia on Friday, September 9 to see Adele perform at the Wells Fargo Center. I don't think you're going to say, "Adele? Who the heck is that?" but just in case you do, you can watch the video below for a glimpse of her and her music.



Her 2016 world tour is expected to smash a bunch of records (in terms of tickets purchased, revenue generated, etc.) and she'll be coming to the area next Fall. Our bus on September 9 will take 40 Adele fans to Philly, complete with dinner on the bus ride, beer and wine, plus Adele trivia (with a cash prize to the winner).

That's the good news. We have tickets to the show in Philly and we have an awesome luxury motor coach. It's going to be a great night.

The bad news...sort of. It's not cheap. Ten million people hit the TicketMaster website on the morning the seats went on sale in December. They were all gone in minutes. My ticket guy in New York City was able to get his hands on a hundred or so at various venues around the country, with Philadelphia being one of them. There are two shows in Washington DC, but as he said to me back in December when I was pondering whether to buy Verizon Center tickets or Wells Fargo Center tickets -- "Just be warned -- you're gonna pay DC prices, which are generally 20 to 25 percent higher than Philly."

So Philly it is. Honestly, the ride up I-95 to the Wells Fargo Center is only about 35-45 minutes further than getting to DC. We made it from Baltimore to the stadium complex in Philly for the Army-Navy game in 75 minutes back on December 12. And if the ticket prices are cheaper in Philly for me, they're also less expensive for you.

And let me pass this along, too: This is very much one of those things you can purchase for your significant female and she can absolutely board the bus "solo" and still have a great time. She'll no doubt be spending the evening making new friends on the bus and sitting with others in the arena and on the #DMD trip who are also there on their own. So, sure, you can pass this Adele trip info on to a friend and perhaps you both send your respective significant females so they share the night together; or you can send her as a "single" on the trip. Either way, she'll have a great night.

The other note to share from the outset is this: The seats for this show in Philly aren't in the front row or anything. Right now, a seat on the floor would run you anywhere from $800-$2,000. (I know what you're thinking at this point -- "That girl can sing, sure, but for $2,000 she better be belting out "Rolling in the Deep" in my living room."). Our seats for the September 9 show are upstairs on the side of the stage. Interestingly, unlike some performers who will sell the entire venue, including seats BEHIND the stage, Adele has opted not to do that on this tour. She will only sell tickets with a front or side of the view stage.

In my history of organizing and running sports and concert trips, I've found most people are mainly interested in getting in the building at a (somewhat) reasonable price and sharing that experience with others on the trip with them. The location of the seat is secondary to spending a memorable few hours with friends and and getting to and from the venue safely. Our policy at #DMD is that we don't put people in single seats or break up groups of four, six, etc. who are traveling together for the event. If you go to a game or a concert with three other friends, you'll all want to be sitting together. We understand that.

Let me also say this just to be clear: This trip ISN'T for females only. I know of one guy (me) who has been an Adele fan since she arrived on the scene six years ago and he'll definitely be on the bus trip on September 9. If you'd like to accompany your significant female on the trip, you're more than welcome to come along. We'll be departing from somewhere in the Towson area at 4 pm on Friday, September 9 and returning right after the show.

How do you get her a seat on our "Adele bus"? Just go to the main header of the website above and click on "Adele Trip" for all of the payment processing. If you'd prefer to pay by check, e-mail me and we'll make arrangements: drew@drewsmorningdish.com

One last thing: We'll also send you a special "Adele Concert Mother's Day Gift Card" you can give her on May 8th, complete with details about the trip you purchased for her.


Tuesday
April 26
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXI
Issue 26
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#dmd is cruzing along nicely, but still trying to trump the competition


No, the headline isn't an endorsement of any kind given that Marylanders will be out (hopefully) voting today.

It was just a catchy headline. Or maybe not.

I wanted to take just a minute or two today to update everyone on what's happening here at #DMD. It's been a while since I've done that and it's something I like to do every month or so.

I like keeping people in the loop, especially those of you who come here regularly.

We're still doing our thing here at #DMD

First, as a matter of record, I remain delighted with the progress we've made. Our visits-per-day numbers are 23% higher today over this time last year and April will be our 2nd busiest month of 2016, traffic wise, as long as we somehow don't stumble badly over these last few days.

So, for that, I thank all of you.

Our corporpate partners here at #dmd remain steadfast in support of my venture. One look at the top of the site and along the right side of this page will give you an indication of the many local businesses and companies that endorse my product. All I've ever asked in return is that you consider our partners if you're in need of a service they provide.

All you need to do is let them know you're a #DMD reader and you'll get the red-carpet treatment. It helps me and it will help you, too, when you let them know you've come to them via their support of Drew's Morning Dish.

We'll be making some structural changes to the website as we lead up to football season. I'd rather not go into all of those right now simply because I'm not prepared to make a full announcement on what we'll be doing differently, but the site will look and operate a tad differently within the next few months.

Yes, it will still be free to access. That's not changing.

Yes, it will still feature new, fresh content every morning. That's not changing, either.

We'll just be making some structural changes to the way you read the content, a necessity, really, in today's hyper-competitive world of websites, blogs, etc.

More on that in a month or so.

One small change we made last week was in the "Comments" section below. This was, literally, the first of the "structural changes" I referenced above.

I enjoy having you read #DMD and then offer an opinion, statement, counter-point, etc. That's part of our mantra, as you've seen in the logo: Sports, Insight, Opinion

If I didn't want a "Comments" section attached to #DMD, I'd simply take it out. Most websites in the country allow for reader communication, but some don't. I enjoy, and prefer, having our readers participate in timely, intelligent and meaningful commentary.

I'm not a big fan of "trolling", as it's known in the internet world, and thankfully we don't have many of those type of people lurking around here. I pride myself on having an " open forum" and allowing for free discourse, even if those opinions aren't lock-step with mine, even. All I've ever asked is to keep the dialogue clean and somewhat relevant to the point of the day's topic at hand.

In 20 months of operation, I've removed three comments (out of almost 7,000) from the section and all three were for foul/abusive language or insults to other readers. That means 99.5% of the comments since August 25, 2014 have remained up for all to read.

That's a pretty strong track record, I'd say, but I'll let you be the judge of that.

We're always looking for ways to improve

We're asking for your e-mail (when you comment) not to monitor you in any way, but to have direct access to you so we can do a better job of providing you with information that might interest you in terms of trips, contests and other services we're creating for future use.

It will also allow us to someday e-mail you #DMD each morning (if you prefer that method of delivery) rather than have you actually come here to get the day's content.

Your e-mail will NEVER, EVER (EVER) be sold to anyone. That simply won't happen. There are three certainties in life: Johnny Manziel is finished as a NFL quarterback, Jake Arrieta will someday no-hit the Orioles, and #DMD will NEVER sell your e-mail to anyone.

For those who object to giving us your e-mail as a mechanism for commenting on our content, please keep in mind nearly every other mainstream website in the country makes you "register" in some way, whether it's via your Facebook page or a verified e-mail that includes having you create a log-in username and password.

We're not doing that. We're simply asking for your e-mail if you want to comment so we can continue to build our data-base, one that will service all OF you in the future.

If we've come this far in our "relationship" since August 25, 2014 and you don't trust me with your e-mail address, I haven't done a very good job of convincing you that I'm legit.

And if you think I'm using it to monitor or censor you, well, then, you haven't been paying attention very much when you've been around these parts. I wish I knew a nicer way to say that, but I don't.

This product has been built solely on reader involvement, whether that's viewing the actual content, participating and enjoying one of our trips or special events, and patronizing our corporate partners.

We value you and hope you keep coming back every day.

Thanks for your continued support of Drew's Morning Dish.

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"hard questions" -- part 2

When #DMD reader and former radio listener Mark Emerson contacted me to get answers to what he termed “hard questions”, I put the idea on the back burner for a few months while I figured out if I really wanted to go through with it.

I’m not sure I ever actually decided, definitely, that this was something I wanted to do, but I decided I’d follow through and meet with him at the very least. Once the meeting and the Q and A period was over, I could then go ahead and publish it or put the whole thing in the dark corners of the #DMD archives somewhere.

We met in late February and took over two hours to go through all of Mark’s questions. I eventually edited the 19 answers (but the questions will remain) down to 16, which will appear here at #DMD over the next five days. A few of the questions -- including some today -- were follow-ups to the actual questions, so you'll likely see far more than 16 actual questions over the next five days. But I answered everything thrown my way, mostly.

Why did I wind up doing this? I guess mainly because I’ve heard from a lot of people over the last 20 months who have shared heartfelt private messages about the on-air relationship we had as “listener” and “host”. Sometimes, when you’re doing the hosting, you’re not really connecting to how many people out there really ARE listening and really ARE with you.

So, for all of you who used to get up with me at 6:07 am, Monday through Friday, or spent part of that time from 6 am to 10 am listening to my show, this trip down memory lane is for you, mainly.

Tuesday, April 26 --

Mark: "I wasn't there, but the Free The Birds event was a huge success. In hindsight, what do you think the impact was on the Orioles?"

DF: "That's hard to say, really. They were obviously outraged by it. That much was a given. I think they were much more mad about it than I thought they would be.

It was, for a fleeting moment, anyway, a "national story". Fans gathered at the stadium and showed their discontent for the team by walking out in mid-game, parading around the lower bowl of the ballpark in mass exodus form. It was pretty good "theater" for news agencies.

But as to what impact it actually had on the franchise? I'm not sure it did much of anything. They hired Andy MacPhail a short time later, so there have been some people who connected the Free The Birds event with MacPhail's hiring, but I doubt seriously whether the two were in any way connected.

I think Peter Angelos just got tired of seeing the team lose 100 games a year and, with the Nationals coming to D.C., he realized for the first time ever, perhaps, that in order to keep the Orioles a viable product and worthy of people's money, the club needed to start winning on the field. Hence, the hiring of MacPhail."

Mark: "You talked a lot on the air about your testy relationship with the Orioles, so I guess Free The Birds didn't help?"

DF: "It definitely didn't help. It was probably the beginning of the end, from a media standpoint, although I still have friends who work in the front office to this day and I'm a mini-plan holder again this season, so I'm supporting the team with my wallet.

But the relationship with the team back then -- 2007, 2008, 2009 -- wasn't very good, to say the least. I beat on them relentlessly about putting the word BALTIMORE back on the road jersey. So much so, in fact, that one of their top PR people labeled it a "crusade", which I kind of took as a positive because that's actually what it was, in all reality.

They took my media credential away at one point, then gave it back to me, then took it away again. I don't remember all the circumstances, honestly, but it was their way of dragging me around a little bit and embarrassing me after Free The Birds and some other contrarian moments.

Truthfully, I liked it when they took my credential away. I came across as aggravated, frustrated, even offended, but in all honesty, having them not allow me in the stadium to cover the games was sort of like a badge of honor for me.

I was actually a little disappointed the one year when they gave it back to me. That's the truth."

Mark: "So, in retrospect, you think the station was the winner in that fight with the Orioles?"

DF: "Are you talking about specifically through Free The Birds?"

Mark: "Yes, sorry. I meant do you think Free The Birds was a "win" for the station?"

DF: "With almost a decade of reflection now, I'd say it probably wasn't a win. In some ways, it fractured the station within the listening community. We became the station "that hated the Orioles", which wasn't really true, but I can definitely see how people would perceive that to be true.

So, if you were an Orioles fan -- a die-hard -- you probably didn't listen to the station anymore. It would have been against your principles as a fan of the team to support the station that was so publicly fighting with them. If you were a Ravens fan and didn't care all that much for the Orioles, our position against them didn't bother you, so you likely kept on listening.

There were also some advertisers who had to make a choice, too. We had clients who either worked with the Orioles or had a personal relationship with Peter Angelos who basically said, "We can't support the station if you're going to publicly go to war with the baseball team. That would be bad for OUR business.

Look, we were standing up for what we believed in, and there's something very noble about that, but purely from a business standpoint, the whole Free The Birds campaign and the unrest we caused with the team was a bad move. From a business standpoint, it was a mistake, in my opinion.

Of course, it's easy to say that now. It's almost ten years later and I have the benefit of clearer vision, too.

From an on-air content point of view, it might have made for some decent radio for a few years, since we were definitely the only station in town willing to call out the organization for their ineptitude, but railing against them like that most certainly didn't pack the station's coffers with advertising revenue. Good for radio content, but bad for ratings and bad for business is how I would sum it up now."

Mark: "You were also very outspoken about The Fan, the FM station in town."

DF: "Sure. I figured that topic was coming up at some point. It wasn't anything personal, really. I know 10-15 people there, still call a lot of them friends, in fact. I've played golf with the station manager, Bob Phillips. I know them. They're all good people.

What went on back then between us and them was a lot like professional wrestling, frankly. They were the good guy, we were the heel, or at least in most people's eyes it went that way. They were the big, powerful, stocked-full-of-money corporate monster and we were the small, not-well-funded AM station who harbored a lot of jealously that the playing field wasn't exactly level.

They weren't always allowed to speak their mind on the air due to restrictions placed upon them by the teams they partnered with and we were the loudmouth rebel-rousers who could just say whatever we wanted and criticize whomever we wanted.

Ultimately, they were always going to win because they had more money, more staff and a bigger signal. But we nipped at their heels enough to remind them we were there and some people in Baltimore -- lots of people actually -- prefer to favor the underdog. It's part of the make-up of the city.

And with only two of us in town really doing sports radio, it made sense to go head-to-head with them as much as possible. I think we cared about competing with them much more than they cared about competing with us. But we had to do it that way."

Mark: "And then the station had the Jen Royle situation and that was a big deal at the time, too, right?"

DF: There's nothing to say about it that hasn't already been said. I'm not dodging the question, but nothing REALLY happened. She filed a lawsuit, tried to score an easy settlement, the station didn't give her a nickel, and her lawyers called about four months later and said, "OK, we're withdrawing the lawsuit." And that was that.

The only thing I'll still say about the whole thing is this: On the day the lawsuit was filed, TV stations all over town had it on the news and the Baltimore Sun ran a huge piece about it the next day. On the day she withdrew the lawsuit, no one covered that element of the whole thing. Nothing on TV, nothing in the newspaper...nothing, nothing, nothing. I thought that was reprehensible."

Mark: "Did you ever see her and talk to her about it?"

DF: "Oh, sure, I saw her, but I never had a conversation with her about it. What could she have said? Everything was right there in front of us. She was looking for a big payout and when her lawyers advised her one wasn't coming, she backed away. I think anyone else would have done the same thing, though."

Mark: "This might be personal, but did you make a good living doing radio?"

DF: "I guess that depends on what your standard of a "good living" is. Look, everyone always thinks they should be making more money than they're making. I don't know what you do for a living, but I'm sure you feel underpaid. We were all underpaid at the station, but we chose to work there. That was on us, not them.

For me, I was able to elevate my income by selling, which frankly was the only way I could stay there. Without that, I wouldn't have been able to do it, not full-time, anyway. But by having the freedom to sell advertising and generate clients for the station, I was able to greatly enhance my deal with the station."

Mark: "Wasn't that unique though? Stations don't typically have on-air staff selling advertising do they?"

DF: "No, they don't. I'm not sure why that is, either, because I think the people on-the-air are infinitely more capable of creating great relationships with clients and businesses.

Hey, in the end, learning how to sell radio and doing it for the better part of a decade is what has helped make this website more viable for me, personally. A lot of the clients you see at Drew's Morning Dish are relationships that started when I was on the air.

I did a lot of selling when I worked for the Blast and Spirit soccer teams, so selling hasn't ever been foreign to me. I know how to do it. It wasn't always easy in the radio business because of a lot of the external obstacles we had there, but I was able to do it and cultivate some great relationships along the way.

It's never lost on me that the reason I'm running this website today and have developed this "bucket list sports trips" piece of the business -- here's pulling back the curtain a little bit -- and making a better living for myself now then I did back then, is because of the sales and the contacts that I made when I was with the station for twelve years. There's some irony in there somewhere, I'm sure.

But I've worked really hard at this. None of it has come easily. None of it was easy at the station and none if it has been easy since I started Drew's Morning Dish on August 25th, 2014. I call it "fun-hard-work". It's hard work, but it's fun."

COMING WEDNESDAY, PART THREE -- RELATIONSHIP WITH THE STATION OWNER, GETTING BACK INTO RADIO

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o's bats go silent in 2-0 loss to tampa bay

You want the good news first?

The Tampa Bay Rays only produced five base hits on Monday night at Tropicana Field.

The bad news?

They scored two runs on their five hits, while the Orioles didn't score any runs while also recording just five hits.

That's a 2-0 win for Tampa Bay if you're scoring at home.

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Kevin Gausman came off the disabled list on Monday and was promptly put to work, allowing just one earned run in five innings of work.

Chris Archer was superb for the Rays, finally picking up his first win of the season after starting out 0-4 on the year. He struck out 10 and walked none in 6.2 innings of work.

Monday's five hit night gives the O's just nine hits -- total -- in their last two games, both losses, as the Birds are now 11-7 on the year.

That 7-0 start is looking more and more like a blessing now, huh?

Kevin Gausman made his first start of the season last night and was more-than-acceptable, striking out 7, walking 2, and allowing just one earned run in five innings of work.

And Pedro Alvarez had two doubles on the night, lifting his average all the way up to a robust .150 on the season. Adam Jones, Mark Trumbo and Matt Wieters had the other hits for Baltimore in Monday night's loss.

Unfortunately, the good news ends there.

Chris Davis whiffed three more times and Manny Machado went hitless (0-4) for the second straight game.

Machado, I'm not that worried about. He's still hitting .360 and he'll hover around .300 all season, I'd bet.

Davis, other than the power he continues to produce, is off to a slow start at the plate, hitting just .215 through 18 games. He's never going to be a .300 hitter, obviously, but something in the .260 range would be super-nice.

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from the desk of

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, Ravens and national sports stories of interest.


ravens draft need #3: pass rush


With the offensive playmakers behind us in an ongoing series on the Ravens' biggest needs heading into the draft, we get into what I think are clearly the standout areas of the roster that need an infusion of talent. First up: the pass rush.

The Ravens' pass rush has been fairly hard to grade out over the past few seasons.

When they've been good, they've been really good, seemingly able to dial up pressure at will. Dean Pees is very adept at designing and calling good blitzes, and the Ravens' coaching staff continues to churn out success stories in developing defensive linemen who have been able to flourish when opposing lines are focused on stopping stud rushers like Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, and Pernell McPhee.

But at the same time, the pressure has been inconsistent at some times, especially down the stretch run of games, and the team has finished in the middle of the league in sacks most years under Pees.

But yet, the Ravens had the best pass rush in the league in 2014 according to Pro Football Focus, and a good chunk of he decline last year can be pinned on missing Suggs for basically the entire season (though letting Pernell McPhee, the league's best pass rusher according to PFF, walk without an offer certainly hurt a lot).

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Ohio State's Josy Bosa will almost certainly be on the board Thursday night in round one when the Ravens pick in the #6 slot. Will he wind up in purple in 2016?

Still, the Ravens certainly aren't barren in this department by any means. Suggs should be back, and that will push Dumervil back into a more limited pass rushing role. Timmy Jernigan has been a pleasent surprise with his ability to get after the quarterback in the interior, and Brandon Williams is a budding Pro Bowler.

If Za'Darius Smith and Carl Davis Jr. continue to develop, the Ravens have a really solid group up front, and picking up an edge rusher becomes more of a "can't have enough of a good thing" kind of option.

But the strength of this draft is definitely in the defensive front, and that makes it a very real possibility that's where the Ravens could well focus their selections.

With quarterbacks now certain to go with both of the first two selections, the Ravens could well end up with their pick of Ohio State's Joey Bosa and Oregon's DeForest Buckner, who I think are the two best prospects in the draft.

Both would be tremendous additions to the current roster, but Buckner in particular seems an almost perfect fit for the Ravens. As a natural five technique player in a 3-4, Buckner would slot immediately as a replacement for Chris Canty and, most enticingly, you can easily get him on the field at the same time as both Suggs and Dumervil in passing downs.

I also think Buckner has the highest ceiling in the draft as a physical specimen whose biggest drawbacks are largely addressable with coaching, and the Ravens' defensive line coaches have consistently proven to be the class of the league recently.

Bosa's a more proficient player now and the best all around player in the draft, but the gap may not be big enough to make up for the way Buckner fits in with the scheme and roster immediately.

The Ravens could also go with Myles Jack here if they think he can make it as an outside linebacker, or even if his tremendous athleticism translates to plus pass rushing ability as a middle linebacker.

Where the possibilities really become endless are down the draft board.

If the team decides they can get max value by moving down in the first round, they can still pick up a quality pass rusher anywhere.

Guys like Leonard Floyd, Shaq Lawson, Kevin Dodd, Emmanuel Ogbah, Robert Nkemdiche, and Noah Spence should all be on the board anywhere from picks 13-15 through the first round and possibly into the second round.

With the exception of Floyd, I've seen mock drafts that have one or more of all of these guys going undrafted into the second round. There's also the tantalizing option of swiping Jaylon Smith, the Notre Dame standout who may have been a top 5 or 10 pick but will now have to sit out a whole season with a serious knee injury, at some point as well.

And, of course, as noted before the Ravens have been as good as anyone in the league at developing defensive linemen they've picked up in the mid and later rounds.

All of which means that, if you're talking about pass rushers, there's a lot of options at hand for Ozzie Newsome.

The current roster and success with development leaves open the option of waiting until the third round or later to address the defensive front, but at the same time, given the sheer depth of the draft in this area, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Ravens first two picks came from this group.


looking for that perfect mother's day gift? our adele bus trip is on sale!


#DMD has put together a bus trip to Philadelphia on Friday, September 9 to see Adele perform at the Wells Fargo Center. I don't think you're going to say, "Adele? Who the heck is that?" but just in case you do, you can watch the video below for a glimpse of her and her music.



Her 2016 world tour is expected to smash a bunch of records (in terms of tickets purchased, revenue generated, etc.) and she'll be coming to the area next Fall. Our bus on September 9 will take 40 Adele fans to Philly, complete with dinner on the bus ride, beer and wine, plus Adele trivia (with a cash prize to the winner).

That's the good news. We have tickets to the show in Philly and we have an awesome luxury motor coach. It's going to be a great night.

The bad news...sort of. It's not cheap. Ten million people hit the TicketMaster website on the morning the seats went on sale in December. They were all gone in minutes. My ticket guy in New York City was able to get his hands on a hundred or so at various venues around the country, with Philadelphia being one of them. There are two shows in Washington DC, but as he said to me back in December when I was pondering whether to buy Verizon Center tickets or Wells Fargo Center tickets -- "Just be warned -- you're gonna pay DC prices, which are generally 20 to 25 percent higher than Philly."

So Philly it is. Honestly, the ride up I-95 to the Wells Fargo Center is only about 35-45 minutes further than getting to DC. We made it from Baltimore to the stadium complex in Philly for the Army-Navy game in 75 minutes back on December 12. And if the ticket prices are cheaper in Philly for me, they're also less expensive for you.

And let me pass this along, too: This is very much one of those things you can purchase for your significant female and she can absolutely board the bus "solo" and still have a great time. She'll no doubt be spending the evening making new friends on the bus and sitting with others in the arena and on the #DMD trip who are also there on their own. So, sure, you can pass this Adele trip info on to a friend and perhaps you both send your respective significant females so they share the night together; or you can send her as a "single" on the trip. Either way, she'll have a great night.

The other note to share from the outset is this: The seats for this show in Philly aren't in the front row or anything. Right now, a seat on the floor would run you anywhere from $800-$2,000. (I know what you're thinking at this point -- "That girl can sing, sure, but for $2,000 she better be belting out "Rolling in the Deep" in my living room."). Our seats for the September 9 show are upstairs on the side of the stage. Interestingly, unlike some performers who will sell the entire venue, including seats BEHIND the stage, Adele has opted not to do that on this tour. She will only sell tickets with a front or side of the view stage.

In my history of organizing and running sports and concert trips, I've found most people are mainly interested in getting in the building at a (somewhat) reasonable price and sharing that experience with others on the trip with them. The location of the seat is secondary to spending a memorable few hours with friends and and getting to and from the venue safely. Our policy at #DMD is that we don't put people in single seats or break up groups of four, six, etc. who are traveling together for the event. If you go to a game or a concert with three other friends, you'll all want to be sitting together. We understand that.

Let me also say this just to be clear: This trip ISN'T for females only. I know of one guy (me) who has been an Adele fan since she arrived on the scene six years ago and he'll definitely be on the bus trip on September 9. If you'd like to accompany your significant female on the trip, you're more than welcome to come along. We'll be departing from somewhere in the Towson area at 4 pm on Friday, September 9 and returning right after the show.

How do you get her a seat on our "Adele bus"? Just go to the main header of the website above and click on "Adele Trip" for all of the payment processing. If you'd prefer to pay by check, e-mail me and we'll make arrangements: drew@drewsmorningdish.com

One last thing: We'll also send you a special "Adele Concert Mother's Day Gift Card" you can give her on May 8th, complete with details about the trip you purchased for her.


Monday
April 25
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXI
Issue 25
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and the flyers are right where they belong...on the golf course

Better than beating the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

Better than beating Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Better than beating the Yankees in New York.

Eliminating the Flyers in Philadelphia is the greatest contribution a sports franchise can make to the citizens of our great nation.

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The presentation of the off-season golf bag was made at center ice for the Flyers on Sunday afternoon. On the tee...

The Caps secured their trip to the Eastern Conference semi-finals with a 1-0 win yesterday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center. Nicklas Backstrom scored Washington's lone goal in the second period and the sparkling netminding of Braden Holtby was enough for the Caps to advance.

Sending those creeps in orange home sad yesterday was a wonderful, wonderful sight. It almost made losing two straight games to the Flyers all worth it in the end.

It wasn't pretty, though, and if you're one of those folks who takes what you saw in the most recent series and connects it with what you're likely to see in the next series, this probably won't end well for the Caps in the next round.

The Penguins are a much better team than the Flyers.

But, as I noted from the outset, Philadelphia was a bad match-up for Washington and would likely present problems for them. I didn't get it exactly right when I made my series prediction back on Thursday, April 14, but I did correctly pick a 4-2 series triumph for the D.C. team.

I wrote: The Flyers will steal one of the first two in D.C. because that's the way it goes with the Caps -- nothing in the post-season is easy -- but Washington will rebound to eventually take a 3-2 series lead and win Game 6 in Philadelphia to sew things up and advance to the next round.

I'm not ready to make my call on the Penguins series just yet, but I was pretty much spot-on for the Flyers tussle.

Nothing is easy for the Caps, particularly when almost every offensive player not named Ovechkin, Johansson or Backstrom failed to make a worthwhile contribution in the Philly series.

At some point vs. the Pens, Washington will need step-up performances from Kuznetsov, Burakovsky, Oshie, Richards and Williams. Those five were remarkably silent against Philly, with the highlight of the group being the fight T.J. Oshie picked with Brayden Schenn to start Game 5. When the only noteworthy contribution from five offensive players is a rare tangle at center ice, you know there's a problem.

But the Flyers have been sent packing for the summer and that's a glorious thing.

Nothing will ever make up for that bum Joffrey Lupul beating Cristobal Huet on the power play in Game 7 in Washington in 2008, as the Flyers won the series in OUR building and their scores of fans paraded around Chinatown afterwards like they had just won the Cup.

You can never fully erase a loss like that.

But eliminating them in Philadelphia is pretty darn close.

Everything else after this is gravy. The Flyers have been -- as Morgan Freeman said in the movie Lean on Me -- expurgated.

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"hard questions" -- part 1

When #DMD reader and former radio listener Mark Emerson contacted me to get answers to what he termed “hard questions”, I put the idea on the back burner for a few months while I figured out if I really wanted to go through with it.

I’m not sure I ever actually decided, definitely, that this was something I wanted to do, but I decided I’d follow through and meet with him at the very least. Once the meeting and the Q and A period was over, I could then go ahead and publish it or put the whole thing in the dark corners of the #DMD archives somewhere.

We met in late February and took over two hours to go through all of Mark’s questions. I eventually edited the 19 answers (but the questions will remain) down to 16, which will appear here at #DMD over the next five days. A few of the questions -- including some today -- were follow-ups to the actual questions, so you'll likely see far more than 16 actual questions over the next five days. But I answered everything thrown my way, mostly.

Why did I wind up doing this? I guess mainly because I’ve heard from a lot of people over the last 20 months who have shared heartfelt private messages about the on-air relationship we had as “listener” and “host”. Sometimes, when you’re doing the hosting, you’re not really connecting to how many people out there really ARE listening and really ARE with you.

So, for all of you who used to get up with me at 6:07 am, Monday through Friday, or spent part of that time from 6 am to 10 am listening to my show, this trip down memory lane is for you, mainly.

Monday, April 25 –

Mark: “Let’s start with an easy one, but something I always wanted to know and never heard you discuss. What was the significance of using Raised on the Radio to start your show every morning?”

DF: “It was the perfect song. Because I truly was raised on the radio. From the time I was about six years old – or as long as I can remember – I was shaped by what I heard on the radio.

My mom and I used to listen to Casey Kasem’s Top 40 Countdown and we would predict the order of the songs and see who was right. My mom was really good at it. She could almost do the Top 10 songs in exact order every week. It was on WCAO back then. I can remember hearing Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock” and being blown away. That must have been, what, 1971 or so? And I became a huge Elton John fan, mostly because of the radio.

And when I got a few years older, I listened to Orioles baseball every single night on the radio. Back then, it was a real treat to have the games on TV. There might have only been 25 or 30 games on TV in any given season back in the 1970’s. So, listening on the radio was the only way to follow the team.

And then, I grew up with Ron Weber calling Capitals games on WTOP and that’s when the “radio bug” really hit me. I wanted to be a hockey play-by-play guy, truthfully. That was my career ambition when I was 16 years old.

I even listened to hockey games out of Detroit and Boston on my AM radio because their signal boomed south late at night. I was a complete radio junkie, whether it was music or sports.

And my first job in radio was doing high school football and morning sports for WJRO in Glen Burnie, which used to be known as WISZ. I got $75 a week in 1982 for doing the Friday night football game-of-the week and 7:20 am and 8:20 am 3-minute sportscasts on that station. I thought I had hit the motherlode with that job.

Calling a Friday night football game between Glen Burnie and Severna Park? The only thing better to me at that point in my life would have been doing Capitals play-by-play.

And “Raised on the Radio” had a Baltimore connection, too, because Rob Fahey and The Ravyns wrote it and made it into a hit.

Rob would go on to become a friend and played both in studio several times and at my charity golf outing on a couple of occasions as well.

I loved the song, musically, and of course those of who were kids back in the 1980’s remember it from the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

It was just the perfect start to the show. It was sort of an ode to my mom, who passed away in 1987, and a nod to my youth and the way we were brought up back then – the radio was king. And I loved the fact it was a “Baltimore song”, so I started every show with it.”

Mark: “I never knew you wanted to do hockey play-by-play. Do you regret never having got there?”

DF: “Not at all. It was an ambition, but one that I didn’t take all that seriously. I just loved the idea of the story-telling that was associated with radio play-by-play, with any sport.

That’s basically what you’re doing. You’re painting the picture for those people who are listening. It’s a story, about the game, that you’re telling. And sports talk isn’t all that much different. Neither is mainstream journalism, whether it’s newspaper, radio or magazine writing. Music falls in the same category. It’s all story telling.

If you’re a good story-teller, you can be a good journalist. Or a good radio DJ. Or a good sports play-by-play voice.”

Mark: “So how much do you miss doing the show? I know a lot of people who miss riding into work with you every morning.”

DF: “I don’t miss doing radio. But I miss the listeners, that’s for sure. The show really was for them. I miss the callers. We had a lot of great callers…Jerry in Timonium, Tony in Owings Mills, Steve in Park Heights, Nick in Govans, Miles in Owings Mills, Bob in Hereford, Lou in Phoenix, John in Towson…I almost hate to mention people specifically because I know I’m leaving out a bunch of folks.

So, I miss them, yes.

But I went from 2007, when my son was born, until August 22nd, 2014, never once being with him when he woke up. Never made him breakfast. Never got to see my wife in the morning before she left for work. And then the same thing happened when my daughter was born in 2010.

I never got to take them to school or do anything with them in the morning because I was out the door at 5 am.

So, now I can do all of that stuff, and it’s well worth the trade-off, even though I definitely miss talking to the callers on a daily basis.

But actually sitting there from 6 am to 10 am and doing radio? I don’t really miss that all. My current schedule is far more pleasing for me, personally."

Mark: “Do you still listen to your old station and how much sports radio do you listen to in general these days?”

DF: “I don’t listen to the old station at all because it’s not a format that interests me. There’s nothing about it that’s captivating, at least not to me anyway. Others might find it interesting, but I don’t. Radio is about having something different every 15 or 20 minutes to keep you there. If what I'm hearing isn't different, I wouldn't stay long.

I’ll flip on the FM station in town every few days, particularly if there’s a big story and I want to hear the “local reaction” so to speak, but most of my radio listening these days is centered on the Springsteen channel on Sirius/XM.

Going back to my point from a minute ago, if I'm in my car every morning from 9:10 am to 9:35 am and "Hungry Heart" plays every single day at 9:25 am, I'd probably get tired of hearing it. Break it up a little, play "Thunder Road" one day, then "Roll of the Dice" the next day, then "Bobby Jean" the following day.

The former station's format just isn't compelling enough for me. Others might like it. That's why your radio has a bunch of different buttons and stations they connect with. There's something on the air for everyone.

In general, though, I don't listen to local sports radio anymore, not as a "regular listener" anyway. I think the guys on the FM station are good sports radio hosts, don’t get me wrong. But it’s just one of those things where it’s sort of in my past now and it takes a lot to get me to switch patterns. But when I do listen to them, I’m impressed with how much they know about sports.

I think the sports radio business as a whole has really been marginalized over the last five years with the development of social media as a means for breaking and sharing information. It’s not dead, by any means, but I think to do it right you have to really figure out what it is, exactly, that you’re trying to accomplish.”

Mark: “I heard you say a number of times that Terry Ford knew more about sports than anyone you ever met.”

Drew: “Correct. He and Bob Haney both, actually. Those two guys know so much about sports, it’s completely nuts.

I remember once Terry and I were doing a show and we had a guest on who was talking about some NBA players and Terry said something like, “Yeah, I remember when he hurt his shoulder at Ohio State back in the late 1990’s, no one even knew if he’d ever be any good at the next level.” I looked over at him, like, “Dude, how the hell do you know that kind of stuff? First off, it’s the NBA. No one cares. Second of all, it’s Ohio State basketball and it was like six or seven years ago. Who knows that kind of stuff?”

Haney was like that too, especially with Baltimore and University of Maryland sports teams and athletes. His brain is just filled to the brim with incredible knowledge about the teams of the last thirty or forty years.

You have to own an uncanny ability to remember a lot of what we all might perceive to be “useless” stuff when you’re doing sports radio because you never know when you’re going to be able to to use it during a call or an interview. But those two guys…they know so much it’s scary.”

Mark: “Did the split up of you and Terry bother you?”

DF: “In some ways it did, because I felt like we had developed a pretty good rapport with one another.

It took a while for us to figure it out. He ran the board, so he was the lead guy, and I had to follow the flow of his style and know when it was a good fit to interject or add my opinion. Over time, I think we figured it all out pretty well and we had a good thing going. He was sort of the funny guy who would say anything and I was the overly protective big brother who had to keep him in line occasionally.

Just when we really started to get it going, as a team, doing what we perceived to be the kind of show we wanted to do, they pulled the plug on Terry and that was the end of it.

One thing I learned through those four years with Terry is that it takes hard work to master the art of doing a show with a co-host. It’s not nearly as easy as you’d think it is. I think that helped me later on when I teamed up with Glenn and Luke.”

Mark: “The station experienced a lot of turnover in your time there.”

DF: “Yeah, that’s probably the most regrettable thing about it all. We had a lot of really good people there who got squeezed out for a variety of reasons.

When you look back at who came through there, it’s pretty amazing. I think we all knew what our limitations were – signal wise – but that didn’t stop us from making an impact in the market. The people on the air there and even the front office staff poured their heart and soul into that place. There was never, ever a lack of effort from anyone.”

Mark: “Was there any one thing or one person in particular that kept the station from being a leader in the market?”

DF: “Yeah, probably the signal strength. It affects everything you do.

I mean, there was no getting around the fact that the station’s signal wasn’t all that strong to the south or west. My Dad lived in Glen Burnie and he couldn’t hear my show. But people in Southern Pennsylvania called in or e-mailed all the time. We just didn't reach far enough around the Baltimore market to make the kind of impact we were capable of making.

The signal was definitely a hindrance when it came to sales, too. If you owned a company or business in Anne Arundel County, for example, there was no use at all for you to advertise with us. Same thing in Howard County.

Given the signal issues, I think what the station accomplished from a listener standpoint was remarkable. I mean, we were basically catering to Baltimore County, Harford County, Cecil County and some parts of Baltimore City.

We tried to establish the fact that with your cell phone you could listen to the station anywhere, anytime, but that’s not a habit that people are willing to form. And even if they did, it wasn’t measureable, so you didn’t get any benefit from it anyway. It didn’t add to your ratings or anything like that.

The radio is the radio and your phone is your phone. No one is conditioned to listen to the radio through their phone, even though you’re able to do it.

I listen to podcasts on my phone occasionally, but live radio? I don’t even consider doing it – and I’m probably someone who would actually do it quite a bit given my love for radio.

So, we tried that tactic, I mean, getting people to listen to the station on their phones as a way of beating the signal strength issue, but I don’t think it gained much steam.

My internet streaming numbers were pretty decent during the latter part of my run when people starting using their computers more for media programming, but I still go back to what I said before: The radio is the radio. When you’re in your car, you want to hear the radio THROUGH the radio. And I still think, by and large, 80% of the people listening to any radio programming are doing it in their vehicle.”

COMING TUESDAY, PART TWO: QUESTIONS ABOUT “FREE THE BIRDS”, COMPETITION IN THE MARKET, FRUSTRATIONS, AND SELLING ADVERTISING.

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from the desk of

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, Ravens and national sports stories of interest.


how has arrieta pulled this off?

I probably don't need to start a column on Jake Arrieta by summarizing his amazing run of success over the past year plus worth of baseball; it seems Orioles fans are plenty familiar with it at this point.

But nonetheless, just to drive the point home a bit, here's the rough overview: In 2015 he went 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA over 229 innings in a CY Young campaign, had a historically good second half of the season, and in his last 16 regular season games he's 15-0 and has thrown two no-hitters in that span.

That's the sort of performance we usually associate with guys who came up as highly touted, can't miss prospects who seemed destined for greatness early on, but of course Orioles fans know that definitely does not describe Arrieta's path to the top of the baseball world.

Quite to the contrary, he was an inconsistent pitcher who struggled to get good results, couldn't definitively stick in the majors, and often seemed to frustrate his coaching staff.

Sometimes a good player just gets away

Now I'm certainly not going to tell you that Orioles' fans need to gnash their teeth and wail everytime Arrieta takes the mound for the Cubs.

These things happen in baseball, and it's generally pointless to try to go back and try to rewrite history. Besides, you're just as likely to benefit from it as suffer.

For example, while he might not bring the same impact as Arrieta, the Orioles are currently enjoying the stellar production of Mark Trumbo simply because he didn't fit Jerry Dipoto's ideal type for a hitter, and the O's ironically picked him up for the same guy they got in return for Arrieta.

It's small consolation, but for the moment the team looks like legitimate contenders anyway and Trumbo is a big part of that thus far.

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Who knows if he could have done it in Baltimore, but Jake Arrieta has turned into one of the game's best pitchers in Chicago.

That said, the Orioles franchise should be very concerned about the Arrieta situation, and someone needs to start asking some really uncomfortable questions of the relevant actors in both the decision to trade him and the failure to get anywhere near his full production while he was with the franchise.

Generally I would say that's judging people with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, but consider this: Far from being a major reclamation project, Arrieta's turnaround in Chicago was very nearly instantaneous. He might not have been turning in Hall of Fame worthy performances right away, indeed he went to the minors for a bit right after the trade, but he still ended up making nine starts for the Cubs in 2013 and pitching to a 3.66 ERA.

That's not super impressive...until you compare it to his 7.23 ERA in Baltimore that season, and 6.20 ERA in over 100 innings in 2012.

By 2014 all of the signs were there that Arrieta might really be something special, as he logged 25 starts and 156.2 innings with a 2.53 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.07. Those are fantastic numbers, and indeed Arrieta finished ninth in Cy Young balloting that year.

All of which is to say that the idea that Arrieta got a total overhaul in Chicago or "something just clicked" thanks to the old change of scenery routine seems unlikely.

In reality, the stuff and potential was sitting there the whole time, and the Orioles were simply unable to even begin harnessing it for whatever reason.

Paul Sullivan wrote an "inside story" on the trade for Sunday's Chicago Tribune that, though it's entirely focused on the Cubs/Arrieta's side of things, begins to shed a little bit of light on how the Orioles whiffed so badly.

"He obviously had top of the rotation potential, but we weren't even sure if he would command enough to be a starter or would have to go to the pen," Theo Epstein is quoted as saying, summing up what I think was a pretty broadly shared consensus of Arrieta for quite a while.

So what did they do differently than the Orioles?

Changing Arrieta's mechanics started all of this

Sullivan, and Arrieta, place the blame squarely on the Orioles for trying to overhaul the basics of Arrieta's delivery, eliminating the "crossfire action" they blamed for his lack of command.

Arrieta, for his part, clearly didn't agree with or appreciate the Orioles plan, and Sullivan recounts a quote Arrieta gave Sports Illustrated in Spring Training that implied the Orioles weren't looking out for his "best interests."

Cubs' scouts, meanwhile, felt that Arrieta might still have dominant stuff and simply needed some minor mechanical adjustments to improve his command and harness that raw stuff.

Chalk this one up to the Cubs.

Now, it would be a stretch to put all of the credit on minor mechanical adjustments. If it were that simple there isn't a pitching coach in baseball who couldn't have succeeded.

But it does seem as though the Orioles tried to reinvent the wheel a bit here which, while it might have worked in some cases, early had no chance to succeed if Arrieta wasn't buying in to the approach.

A lot of times teams (and by extension the media and fans) respond to situations like that by branding the player as "uncoachable" or otherwise putting the blame on them, but it's important to remember that these guys are professionals with a huge vested interest in their performance as well, that their own knowledge base in terms of their craft is far beyond that of a Little Leaguer or high school player and, oh yeah, that Arrieta was right and the Orioles were incredibly wrong.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a call for someone's head or blame assigning.

I'm not demanding the team figure out whose fault this is and hand them their pink slip or anything like that.

Don't let this sort of thing happen again

But it is crucially important to figure out how they went so drastically wrong and take steps to correct the problem, because developing pitchers like Arrieta is still crucially important to the team's future success.

Chris Tillman, for example, has not been very good for the past year now, but the talent (and previous results) are definitely there, and turning him back into the kind of pitcher he was in 2013/14 is crucially important if this team is actually going to contend for the entire season.

Ditto for Kevin Gausman, another super talented youngster who has yet to put it all together, though to be fair he has yet to be nearly as bad as Arrieta was at the end of his tenure with the team (and also, there's a lot in his performance last season that makes it look much better than his 4.25 ERA, like his very good K/BB ratio).

You simply have to develop starting pitching to be legitimate, consistent contenders in MLB today, a fact that even the big market teams are finding out.

The Orioles also lack the high end minor league talent to make a trade for someone else's excess talent or bargaining chip. There simply is no alternative to getting the most out of the existing talent.

They whiffed with Arrieta, and can't afford another similar miss now.

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#dmd's weekend in lacrosse review


Game of the Week: #12 Towson 18 - Fairfield 11

After a little back and forth in the first 5 minutes, Towson went on an 8 goal run before the Stags caught their breath and finally answered at the end of the half to make it 10-3.

Then both teams decided to continue the crazy offense trading 8 goals a piece for the final tally. Not much deep analysis necessary here. When you score 18 goals on anybody, you are usually winning the game and doing so comfortably. The Tigers usually need 2 games to put up those numbers.

But Saturday, Tiger shooters were on fire as junior midfielder Mike Lynch lead the way with 5 goals, followed by Spencer Parks with 3 goals and 2 assists and Ryan Drenner with 3 goals. Even goalie Tyler White got in on the action at the end of the game with a goal.

All that remains for Towson is a showdown with Hofstra for the CAA title next week and a chance to host the CAA Tourney again.

Local Games:

#5 Maryland 10 - Ohio State 8 - The Buckeyes go up early 5-3, then Terps woke up to take the lead before half 6-5, then go use a big 3rd quarter to go up 10-5 cruising the rest of the way. A balanced Terp offense featured 7 different goal scores with 6 of the 10 goals assisted. Of note, the Terps are down to their 3rd face off specialist as Andrew Walsh had to fill in for injured Will Bonaparte.

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Wilkins Dismuke scored four times for Hopkins on Saturday in their 19-13 win over Michigan.

#10 Johns Hopkins 19 - Michigan 13 - If anybody had told me Michigan was going to put 13 on Hopkins, I would have considered that a Blue Jay loss. Crazy defense and goalie optional day as every shot seemed to be finding the back of the net. The "other guy" on Hopkins attack, Wilkins Dismuke lead the Blue Jays with 4 goals as Hopkins had a total of 9 scorers which made Michigan's defense almost look like the club team that it was just a few years ago.

Mt St Mary's 7 - Wagner 3 - In one of the rare defensive battles this weekend, Mount goalie Frankie McCarthy comes up huge with 13 saves as the Mt. St. Mary's holds Wagner to just 25 shots total. Wagner almost had as many turnovers, 21, as shots. (Correction from the preview: Mt. St. Mary's cannot make their conference tourney and will play league leader St. Joes next week, not Robert Morris)

UMBC 9 - UMass Lowell 8 OT - Down 6-3 at half, the Retrievers come up with a big 2nd half comeback to force OT, then win in the extra period with Max Maxwell hitting the game winner.

The Big Picture:

#6 Albany 14 - #4 Yale 13 OT - How the mighty fall quickly as 1 week is all it took for once undefeated Yale to suffer 2 heartbreaking losses. Great win for the Great Danes who will jump into the Top 5.

#13 North Carolina 17 - #1 Notre Dame 15 - As predicted last week, this was a trap game and actually a trap 4th quarter for the Fighting Irish. Up 15-11 with 9 minutes left in the game, the Tar Heels go on a 6 goal run to seal the upset and take the #1 seed in the ACC tourney.

#9 Air Force 9 - Richmond 8 - The Falcons go up 8-3 midway through the 3rd, then survive a 5-1 run to get the road win and seal the SoCon regular season title.

Offensive Eruption - Crazy weekend games with several high scoring affairs, including those noted in this review. Credit a lot of pinpoint shooting or blame ball-watching defenses or goalies who would have been better served with rakes in their hands instead of goalie sticks. Either way, several teams wore out the nets this weekend.

Conference Titles Up for Grabs - Parity continues and conference leaders are by no means assured to win their tournaments. Brown (Ivy), UNC (ACC), Denver (Big East), Maryland (B1G), Navy (Patriot), Towson (CAA) and others could all be beaten. Gonna be some heartaches come NCAA tourney selection time as some known at-large bids will lose in their conference tourneys.

The Top 5 - Brown, Denver, Notre Dame, Maryland, Albany


looking for that perfect mother's day gift? our adele bus trip is on sale!


#DMD has put together a bus trip to Philadelphia on Friday, September 9 to see Adele perform at the Wells Fargo Center. I don't think you're going to say, "Adele? Who the heck is that?" but just in case you do, you can watch the video below for a glimpse of her and her music.



Her 2016 world tour is expected to smash a bunch of records (in terms of tickets purchased, revenue generated, etc.) and she'll be coming to the area next Fall. Our bus on September 9 will take 40 Adele fans to Philly, complete with dinner on the bus ride, beer and wine, plus Adele trivia (with a cash prize to the winner).

That's the good news. We have tickets to the show in Philly and we have an awesome luxury motor coach. It's going to be a great night.

The bad news...sort of. It's not cheap. Ten million people hit the TicketMaster website on the morning the seats went on sale in December. They were all gone in minutes. My ticket guy in New York City was able to get his hands on a hundred or so at various venues around the country, with Philadelphia being one of them. There are two shows in Washington DC, but as he said to me back in December when I was pondering whether to buy Verizon Center tickets or Wells Fargo Center tickets -- "Just be warned -- you're gonna pay DC prices, which are generally 20 to 25 percent higher than Philly."

So Philly it is. Honestly, the ride up I-95 to the Wells Fargo Center is only about 35-45 minutes further than getting to DC. We made it from Baltimore to the stadium complex in Philly for the Army-Navy game in 75 minutes back on December 12. And if the ticket prices are cheaper in Philly for me, they're also less expensive for you.

And let me pass this along, too: This is very much one of those things you can purchase for your significant female and she can absolutely board the bus "solo" and still have a great time. She'll no doubt be spending the evening making new friends on the bus and sitting with others in the arena and on the #DMD trip who are also there on their own. So, sure, you can pass this Adele trip info on to a friend and perhaps you both send your respective significant females so they share the night together; or you can send her as a "single" on the trip. Either way, she'll have a great night.

The other note to share from the outset is this: The seats for this show in Philly aren't in the front row or anything. Right now, a seat on the floor would run you anywhere from $800-$2,000. (I know what you're thinking at this point -- "That girl can sing, sure, but for $2,000 she better be belting out "Rolling in the Deep" in my living room."). Our seats for the September 9 show are upstairs on the side of the stage. Interestingly, unlike some performers who will sell the entire venue, including seats BEHIND the stage, Adele has opted not to do that on this tour. She will only sell tickets with a front or side of the view stage.

In my history of organizing and running sports and concert trips, I've found most people are mainly interested in getting in the building at a (somewhat) reasonable price and sharing that experience with others on the trip with them. The location of the seat is secondary to spending a memorable few hours with friends and and getting to and from the venue safely. Our policy at #DMD is that we don't put people in single seats or break up groups of four, six, etc. who are traveling together for the event. If you go to a game or a concert with three other friends, you'll all want to be sitting together. We understand that.

Let me also say this just to be clear: This trip ISN'T for females only. I know of one guy (me) who has been an Adele fan since she arrived on the scene six years ago and he'll definitely be on the bus trip on September 9. If you'd like to accompany your significant female on the trip, you're more than welcome to come along. We'll be departing from somewhere in the Towson area at 4 pm on Friday, September 9 and returning right after the show.

How do you get her a seat on our "Adele bus"? Just go to the main header of the website above and click on "Adele Trip" for all of the payment processing. If you'd prefer to pay by check, e-mail me and we'll make arrangements: drew@drewsmorningdish.com

One last thing: We'll also send you a special "Adele Concert Mother's Day Gift Card" you can give her on May 8th, complete with details about the trip you purchased for her.


Sunday
April 24
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Issue 24
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baseball's backwards thinking needs to change


In yesterday's #DMD, I suggested that O's pitcher Yovani Gallardo was one bad start away from a trip to the disabled list.

He didn't even need that bad start, as it turns out.

Gallardo, on the heels of a poor 2-inning outing on Friday night in Kansas City, was sent to the DL yesterday with "shoulder issues".

Anyone who has watched him pitch this season can't be surprised by the move. Whether or not he really IS hurt is anyone's guess, of course, but there's enough evidence in place to suggest something's bothering him physically. Gallardo can't throw two pitches in a row at 90 MPH or better, a sure sign that he's ailing.

This should remind us all that the Orioles and Gallardo had a bit of a tug-of-war back in February when the Birds signed the free agent pitcher.

It should also remind us that the Birds played hardball and changed the deal at the last minute when something came up on Gallardo's physical that they didn't like.

Right now -- having seen all of this unfold over the last two months -- it looks like the Orioles were right.

Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Major League Baseball is run by the Player's Association. That's not really a secret. It's the most powerful union in the entire country and even though the 30 owners SHOULD run the league, it's really the players themselves who are boss. Whatever they want, they get. Or bargain for, as it is.

One of their demands that needs to change at some point in the future is this silly rule that says the team can't subject a free agent to a physical until AFTER the player has agreed to a contract.

That's precisely how the O's got themselves in hot water with Gallardo.

Instead of being able to give him a thorough physical BEFORE the deal was consumated, they had to negotiate with him first, agree to the contract terms, then bring him to Baltimore for the examination.

It's completely backwards, if you ask me.

Yes, yes, I know, the teams and agents always announce deals with the qualifier of "pending the passing of a physical", but for the most part we all look at that as eye wash. It's a given that the player will "pass the physical", even though players sometimes don't.

In Gallardo's case, he passed the physical, technically, but the Orioles saw something on a MRI that concerned them enough not to want to invest in him for three years.

So, they changed the deal after the fact, offering him two years instead of three.

In some ways, it's slimy and bush league to pull that stunt, particularly with a future employee you're trying to impress. This wasn't the first time the Orioles did it, either, which created even more of a buzz when the Gallardo deal was in limbo for a few days.

Once word gets out that there's a problem with a player's physical, his bargaining power with any other team is gone. He's damaged goods, or seen that way, right or wrong, and in Gallardo's case, he had no option but to take the Orioles new offer of two years.

It's highly likely the team themselves leaks out the information that the player's physical came back with a concern or two attached to it. It's behooves the club to have that word get out, as the player is then much less attractive to any other team should he want to go back on the market and peddle himself to the highest bidder.

Like I said earlier, it's pretty slimy out there in the real world of professional sports.

But the reality is this: If the club was allowed to give the player a physical BEFORE he signed a contract, no one would get butt-hurt when the findings weren't favorable for the player and the deal could then get put together with both parties having full knowledge of the employee's health.

It's weird that the owners haven't joined together at some point over the last 20 years and made this a sticking point in negotiations with the Player's Association.

The guaranteed contract is also to blame.

It's also strange that baseball guarantees a player's contract for the length of it, which, to me, is probably the single biggest faux pas made by the owners. I can see having to guarantee an 8-year deal for two years at a time, maybe three at most, but to say to an owner who just signed a player to an 8-year contract for $200 million that he's now obligated to pay that $200 million no matter what production he gets from that employee is just asinine.

That's another reason why the Orioles were forced to pull themselves out of the initial Gallardo deal. They didn't want to sign off on giving a guy $33 million that might not even pitch for all three of the years he was signing on for, let alone do it well. And, now, who can blame them?

All of it, though, comes back to the common theme of having a player pass his physical AFTER the contract is agreed upon.

At this point, I'd probably be concerned -- if I'm the Orioles -- that Gallardo might not be able to live up to his two year contract, let alone that three year deal he agreed to at first.

His velocity has diminished with alarming regularity over the last three years and his outings in 2016 were marginally effective at best and certainly not productive enough to give the Orioles any confidence at all that he'll make 64 starts over the next 18 months.

I don't think we've seen the last of Yovani Gallaro, per se, but would anyone be surprised if the O's announce next Wednesday that he's done for the season? I sure wouldn't be.

And so it goes when you're not allowed to give a pending employee a physical before he/she begins said employment. It opens up a messy can of worms once you agree on the contract terms and then have to change them mid-stream.

At some point -- soon, hopefully -- baseball has to figure out a better way to do it.

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davis, trumbo power birds to 8-3 win

The O's bats were so hot on Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City that even Hyun Soo Kim got in the act and had two base hits.

But it was the dangerous duo of Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo who went bonkers, going 7-for-10 and driving in six runs between them as the Birds improved to 11-5 with an 8-3 win over the Royals.

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How's Steve Clevenger doing out in Seattle?

Tyler Wilson looked the part on the mound, going five innings (of course) and allowing three earned runs to get the win.

Kansas City, the defending World Series champs, didn't look the part, as their typically-sound defensive unit fell apart in the 4th inning when the Birds scored four runs to extend a 3-2 lead to 7-2.

The Royals would load the bases with one out in the bottom of the sixth but Mychal Givens came in and stuck out the next two batters to foil the rally and the game was in the bag at that point.

Davis went 4-for-5 on the night and belted his 6th home run of the season in the 2nd inning. He went from hitting .188 to .246 in three hours of work at the plate.

Trumbo was 3-for-5 at the dish with 4 RBI, giving him a team best 15 runs batted in through 16 games to date.

Manny Machado (2-for-5) now owns a 16-game hitting streak and leads the American League with a .397 average.

Heck, even Jonathan Schoop had a base hit last night, breaking an 0-for-17 slump in the process.

Everything was just peachy on Saturday night in Kansas City.

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as the "post" suggests -- here we go again

You know it's bad when the hometown newspaper is picking on you with headlines on a Saturday morning.

The Caps woke up yesterday morning, opened up the Washington Post, and there it was, telling the story in just four words.

Here we go again.

Maybe.

I mean, facts are facts. Washington was up 3-0 in the series and now it's 3-2. It sure looks like "here we go again".

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T.J. Oshie was known in St. Louis as a guy who fizzled in the post-season. Not much has changed thus far in five playoff games for the Caps.

But the Caps didn't win the President's Trophy by accident this season, either, so this little bump in the road -- otherwise known as a 2-game playoff losing streak -- can easily be repaired today with a series-clinching road win over the Flyers (12 noon start).

If Washington doesn't win today, I'll officially be nervous.

Conventional wisdom suggests if they don't win today, there's no way -- given their proclivity for post-season gagging -- the Capitals could win Game 7 on Tuesday night.

I'd probably agree with that, except this is the Caps we're talking about. They've never been "normal" in the playoffs. It would be just like them to choke away a 3-0 series lead and then win Game 7 at home, 5-0.

Or, lose Game 7, 5-0.

I keep saying this over and over and it's probably what has kept me sane over the last few days. Nothing the Caps do surprises me. I don't expect them to surrender a 3-0 series lead, but I surely won't be shocked by it if they do.

If we're self-scouting Barry Trotz's team, the recipe for beating them (in this series, at least) is pretty obvious. Keep the Caps off the power play and you immediately have a 50% chance of winning the game.

Score the game's first goal and your chances of beating the Caps go up to 75%, particularly if you follow the directions above and don't give them more than a couple of power plays in the game.

Lastly, and I know this isn't very cool, but it's the playoffs. If you want to increase your chances of winning to 90%, take a run or two at Braden Holtby and see if you can nick him up, somehow. Without Holtby, the Caps are done.

They might be done WITH Holtby, though, unless the likes of Ovechkin, Kuznetsov and Burakovsky get going today in Philly. It would also be good if Oshie, Williams and Richards showed up, too, but those three have largely done nothing for five games.

I have no idea what's going to happen today. Nothing would surprise me.

When you're talking about the Caps, you better be prepared for anything.

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looking for that perfect mother's day gift? our adele bus trip is on sale!


#DMD has put together a bus trip to Philadelphia on Friday, September 9 to see Adele perform at the Wells Fargo Center. I don't think you're going to say, "Adele? Who the heck is that?" but just in case you do, you can watch the video below for a glimpse of her and her music.



Her 2016 world tour is expected to smash a bunch of records (in terms of tickets purchased, revenue generated, etc.) and she'll be coming to the area next Fall. Our bus on September 9 will take 40 Adele fans to Philly, complete with dinner on the bus ride, beer and wine, plus Adele trivia (with a cash prize to the winner).

That's the good news. We have tickets to the show in Philly and we have an awesome luxury motor coach. It's going to be a great night.

The bad news...sort of. It's not cheap. Ten million people hit the TicketMaster website on the morning the seats went on sale in December. They were all gone in minutes. My ticket guy in New York City was able to get his hands on a hundred or so at various venues around the country, with Philadelphia being one of them. There are two shows in Washington DC, but as he said to me back in December when I was pondering whether to buy Verizon Center tickets or Wells Fargo Center tickets -- "Just be warned -- you're gonna pay DC prices, which are generally 20 to 25 percent higher than Philly."

So Philly it is. Honestly, the ride up I-95 to the Wells Fargo Center is only about 35-45 minutes further than getting to DC. We made it from Baltimore to the stadium complex in Philly for the Army-Navy game in 75 minutes back on December 12. And if the ticket prices are cheaper in Philly for me, they're also less expensive for you.

And let me pass this along, too: This is very much one of those things you can purchase for your significant female and she can absolutely board the bus "solo" and still have a great time. She'll no doubt be spending the evening making new friends on the bus and sitting with others in the arena and on the #DMD trip who are also there on their own. So, sure, you can pass this Adele trip info on to a friend and perhaps you both send your respective significant females so they share the night together; or you can send her as a "single" on the trip. Either way, she'll have a great night.

The other note to share from the outset is this: The seats for this show in Philly aren't in the front row or anything. Right now, a seat on the floor would run you anywhere from $800-$2,000. (I know what you're thinking at this point -- "That girl can sing, sure, but for $2,000 she better be belting out "Rolling in the Deep" in my living room."). Our seats for the September 9 show are upstairs on the side of the stage. Interestingly, unlike some performers who will sell the entire venue, including seats BEHIND the stage, Adele has opted not to do that on this tour. She will only sell tickets with a front or side of the view stage.

In my history of organizing and running sports and concert trips, I've found most people are mainly interested in getting in the building at a (somewhat) reasonable price and sharing that experience with others on the trip with them. The location of the seat is secondary to spending a memorable few hours with friends and and getting to and from the venue safely. Our policy at #DMD is that we don't put people in single seats or break up groups of four, six, etc. who are traveling together for the event. If you go to a game or a concert with three other friends, you'll all want to be sitting together. We understand that.

Let me also say this just to be clear: This trip ISN'T for females only. I know of one guy (me) who has been an Adele fan since she arrived on the scene six years ago and he'll definitely be on the bus trip on September 9. If you'd like to accompany your significant female on the trip, you're more than welcome to come along. We'll be departing from somewhere in the Towson area at 4 pm on Friday, September 9 and returning right after the show.

How do you get her a seat on our "Adele bus"? Just go to the main header of the website above and click on "Adele Trip" for all of the payment processing. If you'd prefer to pay by check, e-mail me and we'll make arrangements: drew@drewsmorningdish.com

One last thing: We'll also send you a special "Adele Concert Mother's Day Gift Card" you can give her on May 8th, complete with details about the trip you purchased for her.


Saturday
April 23
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXI
Issue 23
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you can't possibly be surprised the caps are doing this


With about seven minutes left in last night's Caps-Flyers game -- with Washington trailing 1-0 -- my friend Mike Hartman came over to me during an event at Eagle's Nest Country Club we were both attending and said, simply, "If the Caps lose this series they should just fold the franchise."

He's right.

That's probably a tad too harsh, but then again, maybe not. I'm not sure the franchise could recover from this meltdown.

Once up 3-0 in the series, the whole mess is now heading back to Philadelphia for Game 6 tomorrow night after the Flyers won Game 5 on Friday evening in the most improbable fashion.

The Flyers recorded 11 shots on goal.

And won.

Washington outshot their visiting punk-friends from Philadelphia 44-11 -- and lost. That's akin to outgaining a team 440 yards to 110 yards in the NFL and yet still losing, 6-0.

I've been saying this all series and it played out again in high-definition on Friday night. The Capitals haven't been all that good in 5 on 5 situations against the Flyers. The first three games -- all wins by Washington -- were made possible mainly through Washington's effectiveness on the power play. In regular, even strength hockey, Barry Trotz's team just hasn't done much of anything, which is why the series is headed back to the Wells Fargo Center.

All the offensive players have tightened up

No one in particular has played all that well for Washington throughout the series if you discount the power play situations.

Alex Ovechkin hasn't stunk, but he hasn't been great either.

Evgeny Kuznetsov has dazzled but failed to deliver, with one goal in five games thus far.

T.J. Oshie was known in St. Louis as a guy with terrific regular season stats and cement in his skates come playoff time. Not much has changed with him, it would seem.

Justin Williams -- the owner of three Stanley Cup rings -- was brought to DC specifically to keep this sort of thing from happening. And, yet, it's happening.

Andre Burakovsky doesn't have a point in the series thus far, power play included.

The Caps signed Mike Richards in mid-season with the hope he'd be that sliver of difference they might need in the post-season. He has as many points in five games as I do.

This, of course, is what happens to the Caps.

Guys who skate around like Guy Lafleur in the regular season suddenly become bums in in April.

Smarter people than me have tried to figure this out, but to date, it remains a mystery why the Capitals can't stand prosperity when the playoffs begin. It's funny, sad and a horror show, all wrapped into one.

Both teams have history on their side

The reality, of course, is that the Flyers still face a major uphill climb to pull this off.

Only four teams in the history of the NHL have rebounded from a 3-0 deficit to win a series.

Unfortunately, the Flyers are one of those four. Back in the spring of 2010, Philly roared back from 3-0 down in the Eastern Conference Finals to beat Boston, winning Game 7 in Boston and, get this, trailing in Game 7 by a score of 3-0 heading into the 3rd period.

Yes, I know, different players, different coaches, different everything. This Philly team isn't that Philly team. I get it. But, still, the Flyers have done this before.

The Capitals, meanwhile, haven't yet done something as shocking as coughing up a 3-0 series lead, but they've thrown away a bunch of 3-1 series leads in their playoff lifetime.

Just last year, in fact, Washington led 3-1 against the Rangers before their seemingly annual bout with the playoff flu hit and they threw up for a week en route to eventually losing Game 7 at the Garden in New York.

Different players, new coach, same result.

This time around, though, the Caps are entering territory even they've never encountered.

For starters, they've never before led a series 3-0. They had a bunch of 2-0 series leads -- yes, they lost a few of those, too -- and once went up 2-0 in a 5-game series against the Islanders and lost the next three. But they've never known what it was like to lead a series 3-0 until this week.

That means, of course, they've also never lost a 3-0 series lead.

And because they're the Caps, that's still possible in this series with the Flyers.

This is all going to turn out OK

If you believe in market correction, which I do, the Capitals will get a couple of lucky breaks tomorrow night in Philly and come away with a win. In some ways, I almost prefer that Washington wins the series in their building up there -- just to rub it in -- but now, having seen what's happened over the last two games, I don't care if it takes four overtimes in Game 7 as long as the Caps win the freakin' series.

If the Capitals blow this thing and wind up losing, it would be the worst playoff loss of any team I've loved and supported -- ever. And, yes, that includes the Ravens losing to the Steelers in the AFC title game in Harbaugh and Flacco's first season and the Orioles getting ripped apart in four straight by the Royals in the ALCS two seasons ago.

This would be much worse. Much, much worse.

For now, I'm going to simply assume the Caps are winning Game 6 tomorrow at 12 noon in Philadelphia.

I'm not going to think about Game 7 and what it would mean and how it could shape the respective franchises for years to come.

I'll just assume the Caps are winning tomorrow and leave it at that.

And no, before you ask, I'm not going to Game 7 in D.C.

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gallardo roughed up in o's 4-2 loss at k.c.


We're still a long way from me being able to say "I told you so", but after watching him make just two regular season starts I opined that O's pitcher Yovani Gallardo won't make it to August 1st.

Maybe I should have said June 1st.

Gallardo lasted all of two innings last night in K.C., giving up four early runs, and yeoman's work from T.J. McFarland and Vance Worley kept the O's in it before they eventually fell, 4-2 to the Royals.

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O's slugger Chris Davis went 0-for-4 on Friday night in K.C. and struck out three times as the Birds fell, 4-2.

After recording the first two outs in the 2nd, Gallardo issued a walk and then a double to make it 4-0. He didn't come out for the third inning.

Manny Machado hit his 6th home run of the season and J.J. Hardy was the only Oriole with more than one hit. In all, Baltimore had just five hits last night.

The Birds struck out ten times last night, including three whiffs from Chris Davis, who is now hitting .192 in his first year as a $23 million baseball player.

Oh, and don't look now, but the internet is already starting to buzz with dialogue about shipping Pedro Alvarez out of town.

Alvarez went 0-for-2 last night in the DH spot and is now hitting a paltry .118 on the season. Worse, though, is the fact that he has one extra base hit and no home runs in 34 at bats thus far in 2016.

Much like Gallardo, it's time to be concerned about Alvarez and his lack of production.

He wouldn't be the first guy to come over from the National League and find himself in-over-his-head with American League pitching. But that's neither here nor there as far as the Birds go. They brought Alvarez here to hit and it's starting to look like maybe he can't.

And it's definitely starting to look like something's amiss with Gallardo. His velocity is down and he's now routinely topping out at 88 MPH with his fastball. That's a recipe for failure in the major leagues, which is one of the reasons why folks like our own Brien Jackson were concerned in spring training when his numbers weren't looking all that hot in Grapefruit League action.

At this point, my guess is Gallardo is one bad start away from stepping in that Camden Yards parking lot pothole that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to the disabled list a couple of summers ago.

You simply can't keep trotting him out there every 5th day if he's going to continue to be this ineffective. He's either hurt -- which is reason enough to give him some time off -- or he has entered that period in his career where the decline almost becomes meteoric. Either way, it's not good.

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#dmd's weekend lacrosse preview


Game Of The Week : #12 Towson vs Fairfield

This matchup pits the undefeated 1st seed against one of the teams tied for 2nd in the CAA. Unfortunately, the undefeated team in the conference is the upstart Fairfield Stags and not my Tigers. After a rough 0-3 start against solid competion, the Stags have worked their way back to a 7-6 record and have won 3 straight CAA games against Hofstra, Drexel and UMass. Towson was clicking on all cylinders until last week's letdown to Delware. Here are a few things to watch for that should factor into the final outcome.

Tough to score on - Unfortunately for Towson, Fairfield seems to play a similar defensive game plan as Delaware, who just knocked off Towson last week. The Stags also rely on solid defense and great goaltending, which is exactly how the Stags has beat Hofstra, Drexel, UMass in the last 3 weeks as Tyler Behring has been on fire in the cage saving 39 of 60 shots on cage (65.0%). Towson will need to work to get quality shots and not settle for long range bombs. On the flip side, Towson continues to play solid defense with a 7.33 goals allowed average, although off their game last week giving up 10 to Delaware.

Not So Clear - Surprisingly, Fairfield is only clearing at 82.7% while allowing other teams to clear at 93.1%. Towson is tough on other teams only allowing teams to clear at 83.0%. While the Stags may make a lot of saves, they tend to give the ball back a few more times which could make the difference in a close game.

Intangibles - Today's game will be Towson's Senior Day and potentially the last home game for several regular producers including Tyler White, Ben McCarty, Dan Carder, and others who will no doubt want to play at least one more if not more home game in the CAA Tourney. In addition, the Tigers should come out with a bit more purpose after last week's unexpected loss to Delaware.

Prediction - If last year's contest, a Towson 8-7 win, is any indication along with this year's performances, this should be a low scoring affair featuring great defense and goalie play. Fairfield might have a slight face-off advantage but that should be nullified by their clearing game. Towson has only had to come back off one loss and came out on fire against Ohio State before running out of gas against later in that mid-week game. Look for the Tigers to do the same only finish a little stronger having a full week's rest. Prediction: Towson 10 - Fairfield 7

Other Locals

#5 Maryland vs Ohio State (Sun 7pm) - The Terps are flying high after two quality wins against Rutgers and Navy in the last week. They've slowed it down enough against Navy to be fresh for this one on Sunday night.

#10 Johns Hopkins @ Michigan (Sat 5pm) - Although Michigan is the doormat of the B1G, they play tough at home (just ask Maryland). The Blue Jays cannot take this one lightly.

Mt St Marys vs Wagner (Sat 12pm) - The Mount battles Wagner for 5th place in the NEC a chance to make the conference tourney if it wins this one and against 4th place Robert Morris next week.

UMBC @ UMass Lowell - (Sun 1:30pm) - Both teams are get the chance to get their first win in the America East conference. The Retrievers have been playing stronger recently and have a good chance to win.

Friday Night Lights

#9 Loyola 12 #20 Army 6 - Zach Herreweyers and Patrick Spencer have a field day while Jacob Stover and the Greyhound D build a wall in front of the cage. The Black Knights looked a little flat compared to their emotional OT loss to Navy last weekend.

#7 Navy 7 Sacred Heart 1 - The Midshipmen bounce back nicely after a tired mid-week showing at Maryland.

The Big Picture

#4 Yale vs #6 Albany (Sat 12pm) - Doesn't get much easier for Yale after a heart breaking loss to Brown. Another great defense vs great offense matchup and Albany's offense can be just as potent as Brown's.

#1 Notre Dame @ #13 North Carolina (Sat 12pm) - Might be a trap game for Notre Dame who's been squeaking by tough teams lately and could be ripe for the take down vs a Tar Heel team still sore from the egg they laid in Syracuse last week.

#9 Air Force vs Richmond (Sat 1pm) - Battle for first place of unbeatens in the SoCon. Both teams beat Duke this year.

The Top 5 - Notre Dame, Brown, Denver, Maryland, Yale

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tiger returning soon?


It looks like Tiger Woods is just about set to return to action on the PGA Tour.

Woods hit over a hundred shots at a junior clinic yesterday and, get this, encouraged people in the audience to record it and "send it all over the place", which everyone then did, naturally.

Tiger wouldn't have done that unless he was comfortable with what they were going to show, of course.

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Tiger was all smiles on Friday at a junior clinic in South Carolina on Friday, hitting shots in public for the first time in nearly ten months.

So, with that, his first public golf exhibition since last year, Woods appears ready to return to the PGA Tour sometime soon.

Well respected veteran golf journalist Tim Rosaforte believes the 14-time major champion will return on May 5-8 when the TOUR plays in Charlotte at Quail Hollow CC. The following week is The Players at TPC Sawgrass, so if Woods is going to play there, it's likely he'd want a warm-up event, so the tournament at Quail Hollow clearly serves that purpose.

Woods has undergone two back operations in the last ten months. He hasn't won a golf tournament since he won five times in the 2013 season. His last major championship was all the way back in 2008 when he won the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.

This, most people feel, is his final comeback attempt.

Based on the video footage published from Friday's junior clinic, where Woods hit every club in his bag, it appears he's ready to play again. Whether or not he can still score and put himself in position to win is a whole other story, but golf-swing-wise, at least, Woods looks like he's ready to roll.

Golf will be the winner, of course. With Woods playing -- regardless of his condition or level of play -- more people are interested, more are watching on TV, and the players themselves probably feel like the competition level is heating up, even though it might not be in all reality.

Try as they might, the likes of McIlroy, Spieth, Day, Fowler, Bubba, etc., have never come close to matching Tiger's marquee value from a marketing standpoint. Nice kids, terrific players, but simply not global needle movers. Woods still gets people talking about golf, even as a hobbled, weary 40-year old man looking for one last shot at glory.

Friday
April 22
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXI
Issue 22
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it's time to answer those "hard questions"

Just before Christmas, 2015, reader "Mark", who says he was a devoted listener to my radio show for the better part of a decade, reached out to me with an idea.

He wanted to present a list of what he called "hard questions" about my days in radio -- many of which involved the station itself, along with management, other employees, etc. -- and wondered if I'd be willing to answer them and publish them here at #DMD.

At the time, I tabled the idea, mainly because the holidays were approaching and I just didn't feel like getting wrapped up in a project like that. And, well, I still wasn't 100% sure I really wanted to go down that road. I had intentionally distanced myself from the radio since departing the scene in August of 2014 and wasn't certain I wanted to answer a bunch of questions, even though I know there are lots of people who are probably still curious to this day about a number of things relative to my time at said station.

I told Mark to get back to me in the spring and we'd talk about it then. Frankly, I was kind of hoping my stall tactic might be enough to get him to forget about it. But, I also said to myself at that point back in December that if he did get back in touch with me I'd go ahead and sit down with him and answer the questions.

He didn't forget.

So, about a month ago -- it was the day Maryland played at Purdue, a Sunday, I believe -- Mark and I met for coffee and he presented me with 19 questions he said "have been bugging me for a long time".

Some of them were, for sure, "hard questions". A couple were softballs, but interesting nonetheless. I wound up answering 16 of the 19. Technically, I answered all 19, but three of them met the cutting room floor and were edited out because I simply decided they were not subjects I felt comfortable addressing at any point, publicly, so they'll go unpublished.

But the other 16 questions that Mark presented to me were answered and will be published here at #DMD next week.

It just so happens that next week might be a good time to talk about radio, so the whole thing winds up being a really segueway...completely by accident.

So, for those of you who have been chasing after me for a while to address my days on the radio and talk about the business in general, you'll get your wish starting on Monday.

And I might even have another treat for you (or, at the very least, those of you who previously enjoyed listening to me) next week as well.

Before I get to Conor McGregor, Tiger Woods and other sports stuff, I'd be remiss this morning if I didn't mention the untimely and sad death of musician Prince yesterday.

As the coming days will no doubt show, he was truly a musical icon, someone that scores of young men and women followed and emulated as they tried to make themselves a success in the music industry.

Perhaps the best thing you can ever say about someone's career is that he or she was an innovator. In whatever field, be it music, business, medicine, etc., if you're someone who changed the game, you're a step or two above the rest of the herd.

Prince was an innovator of the highest kind.

Much of what we hear today from 20-somethings who are coming out on the entertainment scene isn't "really" music. Artists would debate that with me, saying if it makes a sound, it can be interpreted as music, but I disagree. Much of what we hear today is just that...sound.

Prince made music.

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o's win, arrieta throws no-hitter (unfortunately, the two aren't related)


The Birds rallied from an early 2-0 deficit and improved to 10-4 on the season with a 3-2 home win over the Toronto Blue Jays last night before 17,644 at OPACY.

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Another big night at the plate for Manny Machado on Thursday evening improved the O's home record to 7-1 in 2016.

Manny Machado drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the eight inning. Manny is now hitting .407 on the year and plated his 8th and 9th RBI of the season in last night's win.

Toronto only had four hits on the night, with two of those coming in the first inning when the Blue Jays scored twice off of Baltimore starter Chris Tillman.

Tillman went six innings, struck out four, walked three, and lowered his era to 4.42 on the season.

Dylan Bundy (7th), Darren O'Day (8th) and Zach Britton (9th) shut down the powerful Toronto lineup over the last three innings.

In Cincinnati last night, Jake Arrieta threw his second no-hitter in less than two years as the Cubs pounded the Reds, 16-0.

Arrieta, the former Oriole, is now 4-0 this season and 15-0 in his last sixteen starts dating back to last season.

Last night, he struck out six and walked four, lowering his ERA to 0.87 on the year.

Like most everyone else, I cringe every time I see Arrieta on the mound for the Cubs.

He might be, right now, the best pitcher in all of baseball.

That's not Drew saying that -- that's the stats saying that.

It's tough to watch.

Unless you're a Cubs fan, that is.


conor mcgregor produces a true knockout blow


It's no secret that I'm not a follower or fan of the MMA, UFC, etc.

I wrote a piece on Ronda Rousey a few months back when she lost to Holly Holm, but, honestly, I haven't thought about the MMA or UFC since that day.

Until yesterday, that is.

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Conor McGregor told the world yesterday why he isn't going to share in the promotion of his next fight. It was a knockout.

I know absolutely nothing at all about Conor McGregor, with the exception, of course, that he's a fighter -- and apparently a pretty good one -- who recently retired.

Earlier this week, McGregor sent out a rather vague tweet that appeared as if he was calling it quits on the heels of suffering an embarrassing loss earlier this year.

Except he didn't actually retire. It turns out he just needed a day or two get himself together before embarking on a training regimen for an upcoming championship fight.

Yesterday he addressed it all in an unbelievably poignant "public letter" that disclosed why he's making the changes he's making and how it all gets tied together nicely as he kicks off the training for his big upcoming fight.

It's lengthy, but presented here in its entirety because every word matters:

Conor McGregor, April 21, 2016 (via his Facebook page)

I am just trying to do my job and fight here.

I am paid to fight. I am not yet paid to promote.

I have become lost in the game of promotion and forgot about the art of fighting.

There comes a time when you need to stop handing out flyers and get back to the damn shop.

50 world tours, 200 press conferences, 1 million interviews, 2 million photo shoots, and at the end of it all I'm left looking down the barrel of a lens, staring defeat in the face, thinking of nothing but my incorrect fight preparation. And the many distractions that led to this.

Nothing else was going through my mind.

It is time to go back and live the life that got me this life.

Sitting in a car on the way to some dump in Conneticut or somewhere, to speak to Tim and Suzie on the nobody gives a fu** morning show did not get me this life.

Talking to some lady that deep down doesn't give a fu** about what I'm doing, but just wants some sound bites so she can maybe get her little tight ass a nice raise, and I'm cool with that too, I've been giving you all raises. But I need to focus on me now.

I'm coming for my revenge here.

I flew an entire team to Portugal and to Iceland to make my adjustments in preparation and fix my errors I made with the weight and the cardio prep.

With the right adjustments and the right focus, I will finish what I started in that last fight.

I will not do this if I am back on the road handing out flyers again.

I will always play the game and play it better than anybody, but just for this one, where I am coming off a loss, I asked for some leeway where I can just train and focus. I did not shut down all media requests. I simply wanted a slight adjustment.

But it was denied.

There had been 10 million dollars allocated for the promotion of this event is what they told me.

So as a gesture of good will, I went and not only saved that 10 million dollars in promotion money, I then went and tripled it for them.

And all with one tweet.

Keep that 10 mill to promote the other bums that need it. My shows are good.

I must isolate myself now.

I am facing a taller, longer and heavier man. I need to prepare correctly this time.

I can not dance for you this time.

It is time for the other monkeys to dance. I've danced us all the way here.

Nate's little mush head looks good up on that stage these days. Stuff him in front of the camera for it.

He came in with no sh** to do that last one. I'd already done press conferences, interviews and shot the ads before RDA pulled out.

Maybe I'll hit Cabo this time and skull some shots pre-fight with no obligation.

I'm doing what I need for me now.

It is time to be selfish with my training again. It is the only way.

I feel the $400 million I have generated for the company in my last three events, all inside 8 months, is enough to get me this slight leeway.

I am still ready to go for UFC 200.

I will offer, like I already did, to fly to New York for the big press conference that was scheduled, and then I will go back into training. With no distractions. If this is not enough or they feel I have not deserved to sit this promotion run out this one time, well then I don't know what to say.

For the record also - For USADA and for the UFC and my contract stipulations - I AM NOT RETIRED.

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the best tiger woods story you'll ever read


Lord knows the big sports monster in Bristol, Connecticut doesn't need any free promotion or advertising.

They're awfully, awfully good at promoting themselves.

But on this occasion, I'm giving in.

Lots of media folks over the years have written pieces on Tiger Woods. Many of them glowing (when he was winning), many of them damning (when he fell from grace) and many of them untrue and filled with inaccuracies.

The latest piece at ESPN.com by Wright Thompson is, simply, the best thing that anyone has ever written about Tiger Woods. Ever.

http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/15278522/how-tiger-woods-life-unraveled-years-father-earl-woods-death

They've never directly linked MY work at ESPN.com, so I'm not in the business of directly linking their work, either.

But if you simply highlight and copy that URL (in bold) above, just paste it into your browser and you'll be taken directly to the piece.

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He's been the subject of a lot of scrutiny, but never before has someone captured Tiger Woods like Wright Thompson recently did for ESPN.com.

I still have my integrity -- sort of -- and you'll get direct access to Wright Thompson's powerful insights on Tiger and his fall from the world's #1 ranked golfer.

For those of us who have followed Tiger closely over the last twenty years, nothing in the piece is overly alarming, yet all of it is presented in such a way that it really sheds light on how Woods ruined himself over a decade long period, not all of which involved Tiger's various dalliances with women.

Thompson doesn't touch, reference or even hint at Woods' physical breakdown and his relationship with Dr. Anthony Galea, the subject of which has been hotly discussed within the close-knot professional golfing community.

But Thompson hits the rest of it, and he hits it in a way that is remarkably eye-opening.

If you're a father, it's a great read.

If you're a son, and your father is still living, it's a great read.

If you're a golfer or a sports enthusiast, it's a great read.

It's the best thing anyone's ever written about Tiger Woods. Period.

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THIS WEEKEND IN ENGLISH SOCCER
Contributed by #DMD's EPL Reporter

MATTHEW CARROLL

With several makeups games played over the past three days, a hectic week in the Barclays Premier League will finish with an abbreviate slate of games for Matchweek 35, as four teams continue their pursuit of the FA Cup trophy this weekend at the new Wembley Stadium. There will be plenty of soccer available to choose from, so tune in to catch all of the FA Cup action live on Fox Sports or all of the Premier League action live on the NBC family of networks or online at NBC Live Extra.

Saturday, April 23, 2016 (all times eastern)

10am – Newcastle United @ Liverpool – Anfield, NBC Sports Network

Newcastle United followed up their first win in three months, and their first under new manager Rafa Benitez, with an impressive 1-1 draw against Manchester City in the mid-week, with the four-point haul over a three-day span moving the Magpies now just two points from relegation safety with four games left to play. They will visit Anfield and red hot Liverpool on Saturday, who extended their unbeaten run against cross town rivals Everton to sixteen matches as they eased to a 4-0 victory in the 226th Merseyside Derby, likely signaling the end to Roberto Martinez’s’ tenure as Everton manager.

The victory capped off a memorable week for the Reds, as they took all three points against Bournemouth last weekend after overturning a 3-1 second half deficit against manager Jurgen Klopp’s former club Borussia Dortmund to advance to the semi-finals of the Europa League. Liverpool have now lost only once in their last fifteen matches across all competitions (W9 L1 D5) and if Newcastle are to have any hopes of avoiding the drop will need to overturn the poor run of form on the road, where the Magpies have lost nine in a row and seventeen of their last twenty at Anfield (D3).

Sunday, April 24, 2016 (all times eastern)

9:05am – Arsenal @ Sunderland – Stadium of Light, NBC Sports Network

A late equalizer from Yannick Bolasie officially ended any hope that Arsenal may have had at making a late season run at the league title in a 1-1 draw at home to Crystal Palace last weekend, but yesterday’s comfortable 2-0 win over West Brom moved the Gunner’s back up into third place and solidify their bid for a finish in the top four for a twentieth consecutive season. They will travel to the Stadium of Light to face a desperate but dangerous Sunderland side, who are seemingly back from the dead following their somewhat surprisingly comfortable 3-0 win over relegation rivals Norwich City the last time out.

The victory moved the Black Cats to within a point of the Canaries in the table and with a game still in hand, as well as a superior goal differential tie-breaker, they once again look to be doing just enough to guarantee another season in England’s top flight. The slightest slip up however could prove disastrous, and with the visit from Arsenal, who have not lost in their last twelve league meetings with the Black Cats and who are unbeaten in their last five league trips to the Stadium of Light, winning the last four in a row, will have to avoid any hangovers following their massive three points last weekend.

11:15am – Swansea City @ Leicester City – King Power Stadium, NBC Sports Network

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On the verge of an EPL title, Leicester City will have to beat Swansea City without the services of their leading scorer, Jamie Vardy, who misses this Saturday's match due to a red card in last week's action.

The soccer gods continue to smile down on Leicester City as they were awarded a penalty in the final seconds of injury time, which they converted with the final kick of the game, to save a point in a 2-2 draw with West Ham to remain unbeaten in their last eight league matches (W6 D2) and maintain a five-point lead over Tottenham, who cruised to a 4-0 victory a day later over Stoke City. They will welcome Swansea City to the King Power Stadium for the final game of Matchweek 35 but when they do, they will be missing a familiar face that has led the line for them all season long.

Striker Jamie Vardy, the league’s second leading goal scorer who has not been absent from the squad for forty-seven consecutive matches, will be watching from the stands after his second yellow card for diving meant red in the meeting with the Hammers. To make matters worse, Vardy’s outburst following his dismissal led to a conduct charge from the Football Association (FA) and an additional game ban, meaning he will miss out on the teams trip to Manchester United the following weekend as the resolve of the potential league champions is truly tested entering the final weeks of the season.

Wednesday
April 20
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXI
Issue 20
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there was only one landslide winner last night


The Orioles won by a run, the Capitals lost by a goal, and Bruce Springsteen was a blowout winner on Wednesday night.

That's how the record will reflect the happenings of April 20, 2016.

The Birds coughed up an early 3-0 lead before winning in extra innings, 4-3, as the Blue Jays bullpen imploded in the bottom of the 10th after getting two quick outs. A Caleb Joseph double, a Joey Rickard infield single, a walk to Manny Machado and, then, a wild pitch -- that's how Toronto unraveled last night.

Because the Caps just despise prosperity, they couldn't put away the Flyers last night in Philadelphia, losing Game 4 of their playoff series, 2-1. Game 5 is tomorrow night in D.C.

And The Boss and his E Street Band showed up in Baltimore on Wednesday evening, playing before a sold out crowd of 14,000 at the Royal Farms Arena.

Springsteen won -- and they had to invoke the mercy rule. That's how much of a blowout it was in his three and a half hour show.

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Bruce Springsteen (right) and Jake Clemons (left) teamed up for several memorable moments together in last night's show in Baltimore. Clemons is the nephew of former E Street Band member, Clarence Clemons, who passed away five years ago.

I was at the show, and didn't see the actual crowd at the baseball game, but the announced attendance at Camden Yards (15,404) tells me that more bodies were at the Arena watching the legend from Freehold, New Jersey than made their way into the ballpark for the O's-Blue Jays game.

That's not a criticism, per se. Just an interesting observation.

Bruce or a baseball game?

Hey, you can either trade in those tickets to a future game, StubHub them, or just eat 'em for a night and take the loss.

The Boss only comes around once every half a decade or so.

Last night was the first time Springsteen played in Baltimore since 2009.

It was a show to remember, that's for sure, and I've now seen 24 of them since my Springsteen fandom began in 1977 at age 14.

Among the highlights were spot-on, scorching renditions of "Out In The Street", "Badlands", "Because The Night" and "Rosalita".

But the winner on Wednesday evening was a rare concert appearance of "My Love Will Not Let You Down", a powerful five minute bundle of energy that never made it onto any of Springsteen's "formal" albums but is a glorified piece of Springsteen's archives that longtime fans adore.

It's probably only the second or third time he played "My Love Will Not Let You Down" when I've seen him, and a quick check of the setlists from his most recent ten shows on this tour shows he hasn't played it anywhere else recently.

I'm always intrigued about song selections and remain curious why he picked last night -- in Baltimore -- to play that great song?

I can't imagine he's a #DMD reader and decided to sing an ode to his critics in yesterday's edition. But that song sent a message nonetheless, one which could be interpeted in a variety of ways, whether you are a diehard fan of Bruce's music and 45 year career, a romancing couple attending the show (more on that in a second), or the people in North Carolina who are affected by the passing of the (short version) "bathroom law" that Springsteen protested two weeks ago by canceling a show in Greensboro.

Maybe Springsteen figured "My Love Will Not Let You Down" is a great message to send to everyone.

Or maybe he just likes the song and wanted to play it.

Either way, it was the high point of the night, in my opinion.

A close runner-up came early in the show when a young couple approached the stage prior to the band's version of "I Wanna Marry You" from "The River" album. Bruce welcomed them up on stage, gave the guy a mic, and he promptly proposed to his girlfriend right there, in front of the entire crowd, lights on and all.

In case you're keeping score at home, she said "yes", of course.

Bruce ushered them off with a hug and a kiss (yes, he even kissed the guy on the cheek, and a stranger, no less...) and a memory that will last a lifetime.

I always wind up feeling the same way in the final twenty minutes or so of a Springsteen concert, or at least the last five or six that I've attended over the last half dozen years. I remind myself that this COULD be the last time I ever see Bruce (and the band) at a live show.

Who knows what tomorrow brings, for anyone, really, and even though we all think Springsteen will still be making records and touring the world playing live music in 2020, there's always the possibility that he won't be, too.

So, these days, I soak it all in a little "harder", if you will, once the encore begins, knowing we're in the home stretch and this could be the last time.

If last night was, in fact, the final time I'll see Springsteen live, it was a helluva way to put a cap on my 24-show record with Bruce.

But, God willing, if he's still doing this in a couple of years and I'm still around to enjoy it, I'll be there for number 25.

And beyond.

Maybe that's the other side of the powerful message Springsteen sent last night with the playing of "My Love Will Not Let You Down".

Springsteen's legion of fans, all those people around the world who have made him rich and famous -- both beyond his wildest dreams, I'm sure -- have never let HIM down, just as he's never let US down as well.


Our #DMD pre-show party at the Sheraton was a whopper, too! Our packed room of guests enjoyed dinner, drinks and a very spirited Springsteen karaoke contest, won by Anna Lybrook and Lucia Sperato, who teamed up for a great version of "Glory Days".

Our friend Bill Bolander from Jerry's Toyota even got up and belted out a couple of songs as well!

Big thanks to our buddy "Billy Legend" (Dale Williams in real life...) for his DJ work and to Greg Marsh of Marsh Insurance and Financial, who served as our "celebrity judge" for the contest. Greg's part of Baltimore's best and hottest '80's band, The New Romance.

And thanks to all of the party-goers who came out for a couple of hours of pre-show fun and made the whole night that much more memorable!

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from the desk of

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, Ravens and national sports stories of interest.


Some things in life aren't rocket science, and this is one of them: When you earn the sixth overall pick in the NFL draft, you have a roster with a lot of needs to be addressed.

The Ravens are arguably in a better position than most teams on this front, but the point remains that there are many areas of the team that need a major infusion of talent.

It's hard to address them all, however, and there are always "best player available" concerns to keep in mind, but at the high end of the draft a big part of what constitutes best value involves what player will address your deficiencies to the highest degree. So, with that in mind, I'm going to begin a series of posts previewing the Ravens' draft by focusing on specific areas of need.

I've got them ranked by the degree of need for each area, and we'll analyze the four main areas individually, beginning with what I think is the least pressing of these and ending next week with the biggest area of concern on the roster. So, without further adieu:

Ravens' roster need #4: Offensive playmaker

By the end of the season last year, this was a major area of concern for the team.

Kamar Aiken was the number one receiver on the roster, the running backs were a fourth round rookie with a fumbling problem and a castoff from the Browns(!) with a local tie, and three of the top four tight ends on the depth chart were either hurt or suspended.

However, most of that was a factor of injuries, and between getting people healthy and some value signings in the free agent market, the Ravens already have a much better looking group of players on the roster now than they did five months ago.

The Ravens' receiving corps might actually be good

This is most evident at wide receiver. Despite the "wait, what?" factor of his prominence on the team in the season's last few weeks, Aiken really seized a hold of the opportunity and showed that he's a quality receiver who's capable of really producing when called upon.

Aiken finished the season with 75 catches for 944 yards, had at least five catches in each of the team's last nine games, and had eight catches in the games against Kansas City and Pittsburgh. Now, he could very well be the fourth guy on the depth chart with Steve Smith Sr. and Breshad Perriman healthy and Mike Wallace signed as a free agent.

This is, in my opinion, a very capable receiving group.

They don't necessarily have a dominating presence who can consistently take over a game, but they're very strong in their depth, and they bring a nice balance with Wallace and Perriman as burners and Smith and Aiken bringing above average route running skills.

The situation looks even better when you add in the tight ends, as Crockett Gilmore proved himself a capable playmaker who has good chemistry with Joe Flacco last year, and Maxx Williams showed enough flashes of his ability and athleticism that I still honestly believe we're going to see him begin to blossom into one of the league's very best tight ends this year.

Heck, even Dennis Pitta is back, and while you can't count on him, obviously, the mere possibility that Pitta, Gilmore, and Williams will all be available has to have Marc Trestman salivating at the possible route combinations he can draw up with this group.

Is running the ball still important these days?

The running backs aren't nearly as flashy, but here again, I think they're perfectly sufficient. Everyone they have on the roster right now has shown plenty of ability for their roles, and it would be pretty hard to argue that bad running back play is going to be the difference maker for this team.

Plus, running the ball is still increasingly less important in the NFL every year, and having a productive running game is much more dependent on having a good offensive line than a stud running back.

And it's certainly a good thing that the Ravens have already improved here, because there's not a lot of high end talent in this area in this year's draft.

There aren't any wide receivers who would be a defensible pick at sixth overall this year, though the Ravens could definitely find too much value to resist in their next few picks. Josh Doctson, for example, is viewed by many as the draft's best receiver but may still be on the board when the Ravens pick in the second round. Notre Dame's Will Fuller and Ohuo State's Braxton Miller would likewise have to get serious consideration if they fall into the high third round.

And there's always the possibility that trading a pick or two might put someone like Laquan Treadwell or Corey Coleman in play.

The only player who seems like a real possibility in this area is Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliot, but this ought to be completely out of the question.

Don't get me wrong, I'm an Ohio State fan and I love the guy. I'll argue with anyone that, in terms of pure talent, he's the best running back in school history, and Ohio State has five Heisman Trophy winning backs, a number that doesn't count Keith Byars, Jim Otis, or even Maurice Clarett.

Elliot really does have everything you could ask for: explosive speed, outstanding balance, great power, and his hands and blocking ability are advanced for a college player as well. But...he's still a running back, and drafting a running back sixth overall in today's NFL is simply inexcusable.

If the Ravens do something like, say, trade with Tennesee and move down to 15th overall, it may be an option if he's still there, but anywhere in the top ten Elliot shouldn't even be a consideration.

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never fight with a pig -- he loves the mud and you wind up getting dirty


The Caps are in a fight now. With a pig, no less.

Not that anyone figured Washington would actually go ahead and finish off that 4-game sweep of the lowly Flyers last night in Philly, but it sure would have been nice nonetheless.

Alas, those of us who assumed the Caps would find a way to make things difficult for themselves were throwing bullseyes again, as the Washington offense stalled in even-strength situations (which, honestly, they've been doing almost all series) and the Flyers scored a 2-1 victory to stave off elimination.

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T.J. Oshie scored his first goal of the series last night in Philadelphia but the Caps lost 2-1.

While I was completely expecting a Caps loss last night -- it's the playoffs, after all, and the Capitals have a long history of throwing up on themselves in the spring -- I am absolutely assuming they'll win on Friday night and end the series in D.C.

If they don't -- well, then, it's time to start getting nervous.

The Caps were only afforded two power play opportunities on Wednesday night, which is Exhibit A of why they didn't win. If the Caps can't coax five or six penalties out of the other team, the game is a crapshoot.

Back in Washington tomorrow night, the Caps will get some good home cookin' from the refs, I'd bet, and those extra-man opportunities will result in a couple of goals and 4-2 win.

That's what I'm hoping for, anyway.

I can't stomach the thought of the Flyers winning on Friday in D.C., then somehow pulling off the miracle of all miracles and winning Game 6 in Philly on Sunday to even the series at 3-3.

Remember back at the beginning of the series when I jokingly remarked that if the series somehow goes to seven games, I would just pre-suppose at that point that Ovechkin misses a penalty shot in the first overtime, Oshie misses one in the second sudden death frame, and then the Flyers win the game -- and the series -- on a shorthanded goal in the third overtime that bounces off the side boards and somehow goes through the legs of Braden Holtby.

I sure hope we don't get to a Game 7...

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looking for that perfect mother's day gift? our adele bus trip is on sale!


#DMD has put together a bus trip to Philadelphia on Friday, September 9 to see Adele perform at the Wells Fargo Center. I don't think you're going to say, "Adele? Who the heck is that?" but just in case you do, you can watch the video below for a glimpse of her and her music.



Her 2016 world tour is expected to smash a bunch of records (in terms of tickets purchased, revenue generated, etc.) and she'll be coming to the area next Fall. Our bus on September 9 will take 40 Adele fans to Philly, complete with dinner on the bus ride, beer and wine, plus Adele trivia (with a cash prize to the winner).

That's the good news. We have tickets to the show in Philly and we have an awesome luxury motor coach. It's going to be a great night.

The bad news...sort of. It's not cheap. Ten million people hit the TicketMaster website on the morning the seats went on sale in December. They were all gone in minutes. My ticket guy in New York City was able to get his hands on a hundred or so at various venues around the country, with Philadelphia being one of them. There are two shows in Washington DC, but as he said to me back in December when I was pondering whether to buy Verizon Center tickets or Wells Fargo Center tickets -- "Just be warned -- you're gonna pay DC prices, which are generally 20 to 25 percent higher than Philly."

So Philly it is. Honestly, the ride up I-95 to the Wells Fargo Center is only about 35-45 minutes further than getting to DC. We made it from Baltimore to the stadium complex in Philly for the Army-Navy game in 75 minutes back on December 12. And if the ticket prices are cheaper in Philly for me, they're also less expensive for you.

And let me pass this along, too: This is very much one of those things you can purchase for your significant female and she can absolutely board the bus "solo" and still have a great time. She'll no doubt be spending the evening making new friends on the bus and sitting with others in the arena and on the #DMD trip who are also there on their own. So, sure, you can pass this Adele trip info on to a friend and perhaps you both send your respective significant females so they share the night together; or you can send her as a "single" on the trip. Either way, she'll have a great night.

The other note to share from the outset is this: The seats for this show in Philly aren't in the front row or anything. Right now, a seat on the floor would run you anywhere from $800-$2,000. (I know what you're thinking at this point -- "That girl can sing, sure, but for $2,000 she better be belting out "Rolling in the Deep" in my living room."). Our seats for the September 9 show are upstairs on the side of the stage. Interestingly, unlike some performers who will sell the entire venue, including seats BEHIND the stage, Adele has opted not to do that on this tour. She will only sell tickets with a front or side of the view stage.

In my history of organizing and running sports and concert trips, I've found most people are mainly interested in getting in the building at a (somewhat) reasonable price and sharing that experience with others on the trip with them. The location of the seat is secondary to spending a memorable few hours with friends and and getting to and from the venue safely. Our policy at #DMD is that we don't put people in single seats or break up groups of four, six, etc. who are traveling together for the event. If you go to a game or a concert with three other friends, you'll all want to be sitting together. We understand that.

Let me also say this just to be clear: This trip ISN'T for females only. I know of one guy (me) who has been an Adele fan since she arrived on the scene six years ago and he'll definitely be on the bus trip on September 9. If you'd like to accompany your significant female on the trip, you're more than welcome to come along. We'll be departing from somewhere in the Towson area at 4 pm on Friday, September 9 and returning right after the show.

How do you get her a seat on our "Adele bus"? Just go to the main header of the website above and click on "Adele Trip" for all of the payment processing. If you'd prefer to pay by check, e-mail me and we'll make arrangements: drew@drewsmorningdish.com

One last thing: We'll also send you a special "Adele Concert Mother's Day Gift Card" you can give her on May 8th, complete with details about the trip you purchased for her.

Wednesday
April 20
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Issue 20
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there's only one boss in baltimore tonight


With all due respect to reigning American League MVP Josh Donaldson, he's not the top dog in Baltimore on this day in history.

He'll have to play second fiddle tonight as his Toronto Blue Jays take on the O's at Camden Yards.

The Boss is in town.

And by that, I mean, the real Boss.

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Bruce Springsteen plays Baltimore's downtown arena -- now known as Royal Farms Arena -- for the third time in his career this evening.

Bruce Springsteen plays the Royal Farms Arena this evening and my attendance at that show will mark the 24th time I've seen Springsteen and his E Street Band.

It's my consolation prize for losing out on the Pulitzer. I'd say that's a pretty good way to console yourself, wouldn't you?

Springsteen wasn't originally slated to play Baltimore on this tour, aptly named "The River Tour" because for the first time ever -- in concert -- Bruce and the band are playing The River album from front to back. But in late January, a second group of dates were released and the Boss was able to squeeze Charm City into the schedule.

14,000 of us will show our gratitude tonight by singing along with every song.

And Drew's Morning Dish is throwing a pre-show party at the downtown Sheraton, where a room full of Bruce-nuts will eat, drink and share Springsteen stories before heading over to the Royal Farms Arena for the 7:30 pm concert.

Seeing Springsteen live in concert and the Caps winning tonight in Philadelphia to sweep those gutless Flyers would make for an awfully memorable April 20, 2016 for me.

I'm well aware that the Freehold, New Jersey native isn't the most popular guy in the country these days in the wake of his decision to cancel a recent show in Greensboro, North Carolina. Springsteen and bandmate Steven Van Zandt were opposed to a recent law passed in North Carolina that requires people in that state to use the bathroom associated with the gender of their birth, so The Boss pulled the plug on a previously scheduled April 10th show at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Honestly, to put my cards on the table for everyone to see, I don't have an opinion at all on Springsteen's decision to cancel that show. It certainly doesn't change my affection for him or his music, which is why I'll be there tonight -- and any other time he comes to Baltimore or DC.

Rock-n-roll stars, athletes, actors and actresses...they're all entitled to their own opinion on "things" that go on in our country, as are you and I. That they have a bigger, broader scope from which to make their appeal is something they've worked for and aren't afraid to use to send whatever message it is they want to send.

I'm a Springsteen fan because of his music, period. Whether or not I agree with the law in North Carolina doesn't in any way change my opinion of Springsteen, who obviously DOESN'T agree with it.

I'm not listening to Bruce's music any less today than I did two weeks ago. I didn't throw all of my CD's away in protest of his protest. I'm a Springsteen "music" fan. That's all I concern myself with when it comes to him.

PayPal doesn't agree with North Carolina's new law, either. They recently announced plans to scrap a $200 million project in Charlotte that ultimately would have employed 400 people in a regional headquarters facility. I'm not going to stop using PayPal just because they pulled out of North Carolina in response to the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act.

I applaud people, anyone, who has an opinion, states it, and fights for it. If Springsteen believes that strongly in opposition of the law in North Carolina, then he has the ability to make a stand.

As someone who has been the victim of four Morrissey concert cancellations in the last 20 years, I can say, with great certainty, that I'd rather see a musician cancel a show as a public form of protest over something they believe in than to have a guy say "I have a runny nose and can't sing for you tonight."

It's probably much easier for me to show this carefree attitude about Springsteen's political beliefs because I have none, myself. I'm neither Democrat or Republican. I'm not "left" or "right". I'm not conservative or liberal. I'm a mutt, I guess.

I think everyone running for President this November is useless. I've read up on all of them, watched a great number of the debates, and have come to the same conclusion this year that I came to four years ago, eight years ago, and so on. The system is broken in our country -- term limits or lack thereof, compensation and benefits, lack of disclosure -- and until we fix that, first, nominating someone to run the country, particularly these goofs that are in place to run this time around, is a futile endeavor.

So, with little to no interest at all in "choosing a side", it's easy for me to applaud the likes of Springsteen and PayPal for making a stand in North Carolina. Maybe if I were more politically connected, I'd have a different opinion. But I'm not -- so I don't.

I'd rather just sing along to "The Ties That Bind" tonight, or "Hungry Heart", or "Badlands".

All the rest of it -- bathroom laws and such -- is something for people much smarter than me to dissect.

I'll be in the Royal Farms Arena tonight, seeing Springsteen for the 24th time, and enjoying every second of it.

That said, if Bruce doesn't freakin' play "Bobby Jean" this evening, I might have to protest HIM.

Thanks to all of you who are attending our pre-show party at the Sheraton! It's going to be a real blast.

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wait ‘til next year!


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Farah Stockman of The Boston Globe, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary.

The 2016 Pulitzer Winners were announced on Monday, and sad to say, the Pulitzer Committee's long-running snub of sportswriting continues.

Neither Mr. Forrester nor #DMD were among the winners. Drew was put up for the Prize “for distinguished commentary, using any available journalistic tool.”

The cash award for this category is only $10,000, a mere bagatelle to #DMD—only slightly more than it pays for website management each month—but it’s not the money that matters. It is the competition that counts, that expense of sweat and tears required to get up earlier than a cow farmer every single day, march down to a basement arena, and pound out the truth as one sees it (opening a vein and bleeding, as Red Smith described it) on a second-hand keyboard using a free and open-source operating system—worrying all the while that some contemporary columnist might be writing more floridly on a more compelling topic, and with access to a more up-to-date thesaurus.


Bingles and Bunts

Hope springs eternal in the baseball breast;
              Until July,
When in six towns, hurled backward from the crest,
              Passes by;
And, stilled at last beyond the pennant gate,
              The ringing cheer
Fades to a curse—and then the cry: "Just wait
              Until next year."

~Grantland Rice

The cry was, and still is, the motto of Chicago Cubs fans. A Mets fan showed up at Shea on Opening Day in 1966 with a sign that read, "Wait 'Til Next Year." Miraculously, and sadly for Baltimore, they only had to wait three years. The sign's words became the title of a book by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. Grantland Rice never won a Pulitzer Prize. Neither did Dr. Goodwin for her book.

The 2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Commentary is Farah Stockman of The Boston Globe.

Ms. Stockman’s commentaries put forth the proposition that court-ordered forced busing of school children in the U.S. had been a total, colossal social failure, and that the children so moved were no better prepared to succeed in a multiracial society because of it. We suspect that the Pulitzer was awarded not for the conclusion she reached, but because of the courage she displayed in publicly stating it in this politically-correct society.

The two Finalists for the Commentary Prize are Nicholas D. Kristof of The New York Times and Steve Lopez of the Los Angeles Times. We doff our cap to both the winner and the finalists. Well and truly done!

However grating it is when writing for one’s favorite periodical to give credit to, or even mention of, a sister publication, decency, good sportsmanship, and professionalism, require it. Therefore, if DF doesn’t edit this out, we give heartfelt congratulations to Andrew Green, Tricia Bishop, Peter Jensen, and Glenn McNatt of The Baltimore Sun who shared Finalist honors with the Editorial Board of The New York Times in the Editorial Writing category. In the Breaking News Reporting category, The Baltimore Sun Staff shared Finalist honors with The (Charleston, SC) Post and Courier Staff. Also well and truly done!

This editorial piece was written by George McDonnell, who put Drew and #DMD up for a 2016 Pulitzer award when nominations were accepted in January.

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Drew's Fantasy Golf Guide

Every Wednesday here at #DMD, Drew will provide his top picks for this week's PGA Tour event in his "Fantasy Golf Guide", all brought to you by Glory Days Grill. If you're looking for a place to relax and watch this week's golf tournament, try any of the Baltimore-area Glory Days locations, including Drew's favorite on East Joppa Road in Towson.


Three of my six players played the weekend at the RBC Heritage, so I'm still looking for my first 6-for-6 event of the year (not counting the World Golf events, where there is no 36-hole cut).

That's how tough it's been in Fantasy Golf, across the board.

I almost nailed the winner last week until Charley Hoffman took a snooze on the back nine in Sunday's final round. I'm going to give him a second chance this week in San Antonio, as you'll see below.

TPC San Antonio rewards long hitters. But it's also a course where outstanding putters have also flourished. I guess it's not that much different than any other event on the TOUR. The guy who hits it the longest and straightest and who putts well has a great chance of winning. So, here's my six man team for this week's Valero Texas Open.

I'm going with three "big boys" and three "middle of the pack'ers", you might say. The total cost for my 6-man roster is right at the $50,000 limit.

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Coming off of a nice finish at the Masters and finishing T11 or better in five of his last seven starts, it's time for J.B. Holmes to find the winner's circle.

As I noted above, I'm going back to the well with Charley Hoffman again this week. Hoffman tends to play well in spurts and he's developed a habit of turning a near miss into a win or a top finish in his next event. He's never finished worse than T13 in seven trips to TPC San Antonio. (Cost: $9,600)

You need to go with one of the long hitters this week, so I'm putting my faith in J.B. Holmes. Holmes finished T4 at the Masters and has now recorded five finishes of T11 or better in his last seven starts this season. Has a decent history at the course, which is also important. I'm taking Holmes to win the tournament this week in San Antonio. (Cost: $10,100)

Billy Horschel tends to "play up" when the courses are bigger, longer and stronger, so I'm taking him at TPC San Antonio. His form hasn't been great in 2015-2016, but he acquitted himself well at the RBC Heritage last week and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see him blossom this week in San Antonio. He's too good not to get back in the winner's circle sometime soon. (Cost: $9,400)

In keeping with the theme of long hitters, I'll thrown John Senden into the mix this week. Senden played well in the wind last week in Hilton Head and with the early forecast calling for rain and wind in San Antonio later this week, I'm thinking Senden might handle that adversity well. (Cost: $6,700)

Kyle Reifers is just one of those guys who is making a helluva living playing golf on the PGA Tour. Sometimes, plucking one of those guys out of the Top 125 and using him for a while is the way to go. I did that last year with William McGirt, George McNeil and Daniel Summerhays, among others. Reifers is a nice player who makes a lot of cuts. And cut-makers get you four days worth of points. (Cost: $7,500)

We haven't heard much from Chad Campbell over the last five years, but he's still out on TOUR trying to win some tournaments and re-establish himself. This could be a good week to go with Campbell, who grew up in Texas and, like I noted with Senden, played the winds and the bad weather better than most last week in Hilton Head. (Cost: $6,700)


if you've never been to augusta, here's a treat for you


We planned on producing and publishing a "video series" on Augusta National, but rules prohibiting video cameras on practice days eliminated that idea when #DMD as at the Masters practice round back on April 5.

So, we've done the next best thing. Below is an awesome slide-show of Augusta National, taking you to places on the course you've never been able to see on television.

I hope you enjoy this virtual walk through Augusta National. If you're so inclined, please join us in 2017 for our 7th trip to the Masters in April.

#DMD-HDTV

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looking for that perfect mother's day gift? our adele bus trip is on sale!


#DMD has put together a bus trip to Philadelphia on Friday, September 9 to see Adele perform at the Wells Fargo Center. I don't think you're going to say, "Adele? Who the heck is that?" but just in case you do, you can watch the video below for a glimpse of her and her music.



Her 2016 world tour is expected to smash a bunch of records (in terms of tickets purchased, revenue generated, etc.) and she'll be coming to the area next Fall. Our bus on September 9 will take 40 Adele fans to Philly, complete with dinner on the bus ride, beer and wine, plus Adele trivia (with a cash prize to the winner).

That's the good news. We have tickets to the show in Philly and we have an awesome luxury motor coach. It's going to be a great night.

The bad news...sort of. It's not cheap. Ten million people hit the TicketMaster website on the morning the seats went on sale in December. They were all gone in minutes. My ticket guy in New York City was able to get his hands on a hundred or so at various venues around the country, with Philadelphia being one of them. There are two shows in Washington DC, but as he said to me back in December when I was pondering whether to buy Verizon Center tickets or Wells Fargo Center tickets -- "Just be warned -- you're gonna pay DC prices, which are generally 20 to 25 percent higher than Philly."

So Philly it is. Honestly, the ride up I-95 to the Wells Fargo Center is only about 35-45 minutes further than getting to DC. We made it from Baltimore to the stadium complex in Philly for the Army-Navy game in 75 minutes back on December 12. And if the ticket prices are cheaper in Philly for me, they're also less expensive for you.

And let me pass this along, too: This is very much one of those things you can purchase for your significant female and she can absolutely board the bus "solo" and still have a great time. She'll no doubt be spending the evening making new friends on the bus and sitting with others in the arena and on the #DMD trip who are also there on their own. So, sure, you can pass this Adele trip info on to a friend and perhaps you both send your respective significant females so they share the night together; or you can send her as a "single" on the trip. Either way, she'll have a great night.

The other note to share from the outset is this: The seats for this show in Philly aren't in the front row or anything. Right now, a seat on the floor would run you anywhere from $800-$2,000. (I know what you're thinking at this point -- "That girl can sing, sure, but for $2,000 she better be belting out "Rolling in the Deep" in my living room."). Our seats for the September 9 show are upstairs on the side of the stage. Interestingly, unlike some performers who will sell the entire venue, including seats BEHIND the stage, Adele has opted not to do that on this tour. She will only sell tickets with a front or side of the view stage.

In my history of organizing and running sports and concert trips, I've found most people are mainly interested in getting in the building at a (somewhat) reasonable price and sharing that experience with others on the trip with them. The location of the seat is secondary to spending a memorable few hours with friends and and getting to and from the venue safely. Our policy at #DMD is that we don't put people in single seats or break up groups of four, six, etc. who are traveling together for the event. If you go to a game or a concert with three other friends, you'll all want to be sitting together. We understand that.

Let me also say this just to be clear: This trip ISN'T for females only. I know of one guy (me) who has been an Adele fan since she arrived on the scene six years ago and he'll definitely be on the bus trip on September 9. If you'd like to accompany your significant female on the trip, you're more than welcome to come along. We'll be departing from somewhere in the Towson area at 4 pm on Friday, September 9 and returning right after the show.

How do you get her a seat on our "Adele bus"? Just go to the main header of the website above and click on "Adele Trip" for all of the payment processing. If you'd prefer to pay by check, e-mail me and we'll make arrangements: drew@drewsmorningdish.com

One last thing: We'll also send you a special "Adele Concert Mother's Day Gift Card" you can give her on May 8th, complete with details about the trip you purchased for her.

Tuesday
April 19
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXI
Issue 19
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nba's uniform advertising deal is good for business


The NBA made big news last week when it announced that teams will be permitted to sell advertising space on home and away uniforms beginning with the 2017-2018 season.

It's not only big news, it's good news.

As long as leagues continue to develop and implement new marketing ideas that net them -- and their players -- more money, the less of it that has to come out of the fan's pockets.

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The NBA first toyed with uniform advertising at this year's NBA All-Star Game, where KIA bought the patch on the left shoulder.

It's not surprising that the ultra-liberal NBA, with their relaxed recreational drug rules among other things, is the first league to formally dip their toe into the uniform advertising waters. NBA players sported a KIA logo on their left shoulder during this year's NBA All-Star Game in Toronto, a precursor to last week's announcemenet that opened the door for all member teams to sell that same space on their own jerseys in 2017-2018.

Very quietly, Major League Baseball has allowed its teams that open the regular season in Japan to wear uniform advertising on four occasions since 2000. NFL players have allowed teams to wear advertising patches on their jerseys in pre-season practices for the last five years.

Don't worry, the NHL will come around too, sooner rather than later.

There's nothing at all wrong with this sort of advertising on game jerseys. It's commonplace in the world of professional soccer -- has been for decades -- and PGA Tour players and NASCAR drivers are walking billboards with their use of corporate logos.

All it takes is one trip through Oriole Park at Camden Yards or one circle around the lower concourse of the Verizon Center to see that everything is for sale in those buildings. Logos, advertising and corporate "partnerships" are everywhere, each of those companies looking to remind you -- not so subtly in most cases -- that you should support THEM because they support YOUR favorite team.

It's not all that different than what we do here at #DMD. Those ads you see on the right, and above, and below? Those are companies who want you to know they support ME and this sports website and they hope, when you need a service in their category, you'll use their product or business.

There's nothing to be afraid of, which is why the reaction to last week's news about NBA uniform advertising was sort of puzzling. People were upset, agitated, concerned, etc. I'm not sure why, but they were.

I heard one caller who chimed in on national talk show say he "wants to go to the games and not have to worry about whether or not he supports the company that supports his favorite team."

That's a noble thought from "Jeff in Minneapolis", but that ship sailed two decades ago, my friend. Teams have sold almost everything they can, including the naming rights to their stadium, the outfield wall, the dasherboards around the rink and even their "Ring of Honor" program. Heck, one team in Major League Soccer sold their freakin' team name to Red Bull.

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European soccer teams have been using uniform advertising like the one pictured here, raising upwards of $150 million per-league on an annual basis.

Ask yourself this if you're a fan of the NBA. Would you rather have your tickets go up by $10.00 per-game in 2017-2018 or have to deal with seeing a patch on the left shoulder of your favorite player?

Right, I'm the same way: Give me the patch and let me keep my $10.00 per-game.

Don't worry, the uniform advertising idea won't take long to find its way to baseball, football and hockey. You can bet that's coming soon, probably in baseball first, where their Player's Association is always looking for more money and better deals for their guys. The NBA deal, I should let you know here, calls for the club's to keep half of the money they generate for the uniform patch and the other half goes in the player revenue pool that gets distributed amongst the players every year.

Once NFL, MLB and NHL players find out how much more money the guys in the NBA are making, they'll put the heat on their respective leaders and the doors will swing open for uniform advertising.

I'm not sure we'll see full-fledged "soccer like" advertising on team jerseys in the NBA, MLB, NHL or NFL anytime soon, but the patch is happening in the NBA in two seasons and my guess is it will be used in the other three sports by 2020. It's happening, folks, it's just a matter of when.

Truth of the matter -- and maybe this is because I sold uniform advertising in 1992 when I was running the local indoor soccer team -- is seeing a logo on a player's jersey doesn't offend or bother me in the least. It's certainly not worth barking about on a national radio show or, as one fan suggested, "re-thinking my loyalty to the team if they're going to shove this advertising down my throat."

Honestly, I'd rather see a patch on the left shoulder of a football player than have to write "M&T Bank Stadium" every time I want to correctly make reference to where the Ravens play their home games.

But that's just me...

There wasn't anything at all distasteful about the KIA patch worn on the NBA All-Star Game uniforms this past February in Toronto. The game itself -- where no one really tries at all -- was far more unsettling and disinteresting than a simple, 2.5" by 2.5" logo stitched on each jersey.

I honestly wouldn't care one iota if the Orioles came out tonight with a huge "JERRY'S TOYOTA" logo on the front of their game jersey and a small Orioles logo -- similar to what you see in European soccer -- but I understand how old school folks would look at that and shudder.

Those same folks will be shuddering in 2019 when the Orioles have to raise ticket prices by $12.00 a seat across the board to pay for Manny Machado's $360 million contract.

Which would YOU rather have? Ticket prices stay relatively the same for the next decade or the Orioles put a big GLORY DAYS GRILL logo on the front of their home and away uniforms?

I love Glory Days...there's my answer.

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If the NBA went to full-fledged uniform advertising, here's a sample of what Golden State's jersey might look like.

I'm so used to the world of professional golf, where players sell their bag, hat, collar, left chest, right chest, left arm and right arm, that nothing about sports advertising bothers me at all. I couldn't care less who sports what logo, where it's placed, how many there are, the size, the color, or anything else.

It is what it is.

As long as the NBA's program is successful -- and there's no reason at all to think it won't be -- and all of the teams can generate $3 million to $5 million a year with their own individual logos, you'll see the other sports follow suit fairly soon.

Let's be honest. If NFL teams started wearing uniform patches this season, you wouldn't stop going to the games.

You might not care for it, but you'd still be there on Sunday.

And to the NBA and the other leagues, that's all they really care about.

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put this one in the "sports talk radio hall of fame"


I stumbled across my old radio buddy Terry Ford pulling an evening shift on 105.7 last night and wound up having to pull over on Goucher Boulevard because I was literally crying with laughter.

Ford was taking calls on the Orioles when "Dave" called in to voice his displeasure about Saturday night's 8-4 loss in Texas in which the Birds coughed up a 4-1 lead.

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Tommy Hunter is still the topic of conversation in Baltimore, eight months after his departure.

Here's how the call went...

Dave: "I just don't understand Showalter. And this isn't the first time he's taken too long to pull the starting pitcher. He does it all the time. Saturday night would have been a great time to bring in Hunter once Gallardo walked that first guy."

Ford: "Yeah, Buck's been known to do that."

Dave: "Hunter would have been perfect there. He throws hard, which would have been good because Gallardo doesn't throw that hard, so the speed of the pitches would have been thrown off the Texas hitters."

Ford: (now realizing that Dave is saying "Hunter", has nothing to add at this point)

Dave: "Bring Hunter in there, let him try and get a couple of guys out, and if you need to go lefty-lefty later in the inning, you go ahead and do that. But bringing McFarland in right away was dumb in my opinion. That's the spot where you bring in Hunter."

Ford: "Dave?"

Dave: "Yeah?"

Ford: "Hunter's not on the team anymore."

Dave: "What? When did that happen?"

Ford: "Last year."

Dave: "Oh, I must have missed that."

Evidently so, Dave. Evidently so...

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stick a fork in the flyers (except...)


OK, so with last night's 6-1 win for the Capitals in Philadelphia, the series is done, right?

After all, the Caps are up 3-0 in the best-of-7 series.

It's over, isn't it?

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Caps goalie Braden Holtby has been outstanding in three games vs. Philadelphia, allowing just two goals in 180 minutes of action.

Based on Monday evening's debacle, it sure looks like the Flyers have packed it in. Once it got to 3-1 in the third period, they started doing what they always do when they're losing...gooning it up, trying to start fights, cheap shot after cheap shot, etc.

It got so out of control in Philly on Monday night that the crowd actually picked up a 2-minute delay of game penalty for the Flyers for throwing stuff on the ice in the aftermath of another scrum started by the team in orange.

On the ice, it was 6-1 in favor of Washington, with Alex Ovechkin scoring twice and the Caps power play scoring a team record five goals with the extra-man.

You would think that Philly would have learned by now -- stay out of the penalty box and you might actually be competitive. In fact, Monday's game was 1-1 in the 5 vs. 5 portion. But it was 5-0 for the Caps if you factor in the power play goals. And they count, too.

Philadelphia barely squeaked into the post-season in the first place, so this 3-0 deficit isn't all that shocking. They're a pretty incomplete team, without a great goaltender, and their top offensive players have been woefully inept in the three games thus far.

But because this is the Caps we're talking about -- and April (and May) has routinely produced heartbreak after heartbreak -- the series isn't actually over until the fourth win is in the books.

Look, I don't think Barry Trotz's team is barfing up a 3-0 lead to a bad team like the Flyers. My guess is they'll finish it off on Wednesday night in business-like fashion and that will be that.

However, if you sent me an e-mail and said, "Pssst, Hey Drew, I saw the script. You're not going to like it, but Philly wins the next three games to set up a winner-take-all Game 7 in Washington next week", I'd say, "Yeah, that seems about right."

The Caps are experts at not finishing what they started, which is why they've only been to one Stanley Cup Final since 1974.

This team, though, appears to be different. They steamrolled through the regular season, have one of the best trios of offensive players in the league (Ovechkin, Backstrom, Kuznetsov) and their goalie is arguably the best in the entire league. That's a great recipe for playoff success.

Let's go ahead and rid ourselves of these pesky Flyers and move on quickly, so "new history" can start to be made with this year's edition of the Capitals.

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#dmd's weekend-in-lacrosse review


Midweek Game of the Week: #5 Maryland vs #7 Navy (Tues 7pm)

How about the leader of the B1G vs the leader of the Patriot League? This game deserves to be on a Saturday night and will have big implications come tournament time in terms of seeding. More so for Navy who could really use a signature win against a Top 10 opponent out of conference. It's a shame a game like this will be played on short rest for both teams and given the scrap that was the Army-Navy OT thriller, the Midshipmen might be the ones a little worse for wear in this one with Maryland having earned an "easier", slower paced win on Saturday. The Terps will be at home where they've been at their best. Both teams rely primarily on great defense, good face-off units and ball control on offense so the score should be low. Given these factors, I'm feeling the Terps gritting out an 8-7 win over the Midshipmen.

Review time -- Games of the Week

As noted from the preview, several great games over the weekend that were very tough to predict. And while I was correct about them being close and fun to watch, I whiffed on the actual winners. Let's take a look...

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Maryland's Matt Rambo had three goals in the 11-8 Terps win over Rutgers on Saturday.

#5 Maryland 11 - #18 Rutgers 8 -- After 2 nail-biting B1G 1-goal wins, the Terps come away with their best B1G performance of the season due in large part to an 8-goal second half. A big key to the 2nd half was winning 10 of 14 face-offs, in which the credit goes to FOGO Will Bonaparte but mostly Maryland's wings who usually came away with the ground balls. All but 1 goal was scored by the attack with Dylan Maltz scoring a game high 4 goals followed by Matt Rambo and Colin Heacock, each with 3 goals. The win puts Maryland in the driver's seat for the B1G tourney with a conference record of 3-0.

#10 Navy 11 - #20 Army 10 OT -- Truly a great battle to watch with lots of action, hits, and selling out for loose balls. Army pulled ahead early in the 2nd half 7-4. But Navy never quit and kept plugging away to eventually take the lead 9-8 by the end of the 3rd, insuring a great finish. Army eventually caught up then took the lead later in the 4th, but Navy put the game into OT, when midfielder Casey Rees scored his 3rd goal for the game winner. Navy goalie John Connors did his part to keep Army within reach in the 2nd half, in which he recorded 8 of his 14 saves. Navy locked up the #1 seed and will now host the Patriot League semi's and final which is good news for us.

#15 Johns Hopkins 12 - #14 Penn State 11 OT -- Another great B1G contest and another OT loser for the the Nittany Lions against a Maryland-based team as Johns Hopkins brings back the W. Blue Jay midfielders finally help carry the offense as Holden Cattoni and John Crawley come up big with 3 goals a piece with Crawley scoring the last 3 Hopkins goals including the game winner in OT. Penn State is now 1-2 in the B1G and faces Rutgers next week which will be another great contest. The B1G tournament, also local at Hopkins, is shaping up to be one of the best.

Other Local Matchups

Delaware 10 - #6 Towson 7 -- The "cleat of reality" did visit a Maryland team. Unfortunately for me, it was my Tigers. If you said to me Towson would win 15 of 21 face-offs, win the ground ball battle 40-24 and out shoot the Blue Hens 46-24, I would have predicted an easy 15-8 Tiger victory. The Tigers shot plenty, just not at the net with attackmen Joe Seider and Spencer Parks scoring only 2 goals on a combined 18 shots. The Blue Hens also had a similar victory against UMass.

#13 Loyola 13 - Boston University 12 -- As predicted, the Terriers came to play and were up by as much as 4 (9-5) late in the 3rd quarter. But the Greyhounds reeled off 8 goals with 4 coming from Zach Herreweyers including the game winner with 9 seconds left to seal the comeback. The Patriot League tourney will be one to watch in the next few weeks in Annapolis.

Vermont 14 - UMBC 10 -- The Catamounts get 10 goals in the 1st half and cruise to victory over the Retrievers. UMBC's bright spots were Nate Lewnes and Max Maxwell each with 3 goals and 2 assists. Face-offs continue to be an issue with UMBC, only winning 10 of 28.

Hobart 12 - Mount St. Mary's 4 -- Game was close in the 1st half, then Hobart gets 8 in the 2nd half to cruise to victory. Tough day for the Mount goalies Vierheller and McCarthy who only manage 5 saves while Statesman goalie Jackson Brown comes up big with 13 saves.

The Big Picture

#4 Brown 14 - #2 Yale 12 -- Entertaining game as adverstised started with Yale up 9-6 at half. But great players play big in great games and the Bears went on a tear behind Tewaarton candidate Dylan Molloy who scored 4 of his 5 goals in the 2nd half as the Bears dissected Yale's D. Brown also racheted up the intensity getting out ground balling Yale 22-11 in the second half. Hopefully, there's a rematch in the Ivy League tourney.

#9 Syracuse 13 - #11 UNC 7 - The 'Cuse takes out its frustration from a bad mid-week loss to Cornell by beating up on the Tar Heels and lifting themselves off the NCAA tourney bubble.

Conference Tourneys Up For Grabs - Can't think of a single conference that doesn't have at least 2 to 3 teams who could walk away with the AQ. Hello parity. The selection committee is gonna earn their pay this year.

The Top 5 - Brown, Notre Dame, Denver, Yale, Maryland


TODAY AT 3 PM IS THE LAST CALL FOR OUR SPRINGSTEEN PARTY ON APRIL 20!!


If you're going to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band on Wednesday, April 20 at Royal Farms Arena, you might as well go in style, right?

How many more times will "The Boss" come through Charm City?

So, #DMD is hosting a private party on April 20 from 5 pm to 7 pm at the downtown Sheraton (Conway Street) which promises to get you primed for an amazing night with Bruce and the band as they take you "down to the River" in what has turned out to be perhaps his most critically acclaimed tour ever.

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Heading to the Springsteen show on April 20? Join #DMD's private party at the Sheraton, where parking, food, drink and Bruce music are all included!

Warning: This party is for die-hard Springsteen fans only!!!

Here's the nuts and bolts:

The party is going to be held at the Sheraton, five blocks from Royal Farms Arena. It's an easy, 10-minute walk to the facility. Your admission to our "Bruce party" includes complimentary parking at the Sheraton. Park there for the party, leave your car there for the show!

The Orioles play at home that night against Toronto, so downtown parking will be at a premium. Not for you! You'll have a parking spot in the Sheraton and it's FREE!

Now that parking's taken care of, we have to feed you, right? So, we'll be providing everyone with a full dinner buffet that you can eat at your leisure upon arrival to the party.

Drinks? That's handled, too. Everyone attending our party receives two complimentary drinks (beer/wine), plus unlimited soda, water and tea. We'll also have a "happy hour pricing" bar set-up in the room with our bartender and servers.

Wait, there's a lot more.

We'll be cranking out the Bruce tunes all night long too, with one of Maryland's top DJ's, Billy Legend. He'll be spinning Springsteen music and we'll do our best to feature stuff you likely WON'T hear at the show later in the evening.

Of course, we WILL play Born To Run before we leave and we'll take a video of the whole place singing along!

There's still more. For those who are courageous enough to participate, we'll have a Springsteen karaoke contest from 6:15 pm to 7 pm and award a cash prize to the winning singer! We plan on having a celebrity judge in the house to help us do the scoring!

At 7 pm or thereabouts, we'll shut it down and head to the arena for the concert. Bruce goes on at 8:15 pm.

The per-person cost is $59.00. We're limiting the party capacity, so get in now to guarantee your spot. All you have to do is click on the "Springsteen" tab at the top of #DMD and you can buy tickets right there. And, please, bring some friends or co-workers! The more, the merrier.


Monday
April 18
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXI
Issue 18
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in wake of flacco injury, expect ravens to take tunsil if available


As we saw last week when the Titans and Rams swapped first round picks, the NFL draft can be turned upside down in a heartbeat.

But unless the Ravens themselves trade out of their current spot at number six, they figure to get a pretty darn good player on April 28.

For starters, the idea of moving out of that sixth spot and gaining a haul of additional picks is likely not of interest to the Ravens this time around. True, they've been known to trade their first round pick, but they haven't been in their current drafting slot in a long, long time. They're in the garden spot in 2016.

The fact that two of the teams ahead of them -- Los Angeles and Cleveland -- are both expected to take a quarterback, helps the Ravens tremendously. That leaves just three "field" players to be selected before Baltimore's pick at number six in the first round. When you're getting the fourth best non-quarterback in the draft, you're almost guaranteed to have an opportunity to select an elite player.

Now, just don't foul it up.

Baltimore's front office has a good track record

In this case, I trust that Ozzie Newsome, Eric DeCosta and the rest of Baltimore's staff can get it right. The talent is wildy abundant at #6 and with Baltimore's history of "getting it right" with their first round pick, I'm assuming the Ravens hit the bullseye until I see otherwise.

My guess is if Laremy Tunsil, the offensive tackle from Ole Miss, is available with that sixth pick, the Ravens are going to choose him.

I'm well aware of Newsome's sage philosophy when it comes to choosing between players, whether that's on draft day or via free agency: "Give me the player who touches the ball or touches the quarterback," Newsome likes to say.

Tunsil, of course, doesn't do either of those. He protects the quarterback, but as we saw in Baltimore for over a decade, getting an offensive left tackle who can keep the quarterback upright is a huge step in the right direction for your team's offense.

If only Jon Ogden would have had an elite (oh boy, look what I've started) quarterback like Joe Flacco to protect in his Hall-of-Fame career, just think how much more his outstanding play would have mattered to the Ravens from 1996 through 2007.

There's no telling if Laremy Tunsil is going to be the next Jon Ogden, but the necessity to protect the quarterback hasn't changed in the last twenty years and this season, with Flacco returning from a serious knee injury, it's more important than ever to give him a safety net for sixteen weeks.

I think we'll all agree that Eugene Monroe is not the man for that job.

And with no offensive tackles -- significant ones, at least -- available via free agency, the only reasonable way to get one is on draft day.

Sure, the Ravens could go with Oregon's DeForest Buckner at number six and complete Ozzie's quest to find someone who "touches the quarterback". But given the chance to find an all-world offensive tackle or all-world pass rusher, I think Newsome's going with the offensive player.

Get Flacco some protection

It's a quarterback's league, remember. And even though the Ravens weren't doing all that hot WITH Flacco in the lineup last season, we saw the obvious drop-off in talent when the likes of Schaub, Clausen and Mallett took over in November and December.

A high-quality left offensive tackle is a must (assuming your QB is right handed), which is why the Ravens will go with Tunsil at six if he's still there.

Some draft experts think the Chargers are primed to take Tunsil, and if that happens, Newsome, DeCost and Company will have to quickly re-think their strategy.

It would mean, most likely, that a host of quality defensive players would be on the board for Baltimore at number six, including Buckner and perhaps even Joey Bosa, Myles Jack and Vernon Hargreaves III.

All of those defensive players will go at some point in the top 10 picks unless a trade occurs that throws the first round for a loop. The Ravens need defensive help, for sure, and Buckner in particular seems like a worthy selection at six if Tunsil is already gone.

Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame's highly touted offensive tackle, is also likely to be available at number six, although that lofty drafting slot might be a tad too high for him.

The Ravens are well-known for their scouting and drafting due diligence, although these days it's hard to find any top college player coming out who is "clean as a whistle" and free of some sort of personal or on-field issue as they're leaving college.

One thing for certain: With that sixth pick, the Ravens are in prime position to obtain a high quality, impact player. The thought here is that player is Tunsil if he's available.

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o's face two roster moves with gausman, matusz returning


As we've seen time and time again in the Dan Duquette era, the 25-man roster at the major league level is really something more like a 40-man roster. Duquette, if nothing else, is ultra-creative when it comes to shuffling players in and out of Baltimore.

He'll get two more chances to fiddle with the roster this week when pitchers Kevin Gausman and Brian Matusz are (likely) shipped back up to Baltimore after injury rehab assignments.

But who goes down?

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Kevin Gausman's imminent return spells the end for someone on the Orioles' pitching staff. But who goes?

The easy answer in Matusz's case is T.J. McFarland, and that's not just because he played a prominent role in Saturday night's loss in Texas.

Matusz for McFarland seems like the reasonable choice, although the one benefit -- albeit small -- of McFarland is that he can start a game in a pinch and give you 50 or 60 pitches. But with the spotty early-season schedule and inclement weather playing a bigger role now than in the summer, having someone in the bullpen who can double up as a starter on a one-off basis isn't all that important.

Gausman's anticipated return is a little more dicey, though.

He'll be coming up as a starter, we think (with the Orioles and Gausman, you never know...), but the solution of just swapping starter-for-starter isn't the obvious answer.

Options abound in this case. Gausman comes up and Vance Worley gets sent packing. Easy enough. But they'd have to pay Worley a couple of million to cut him loose. Not so easy after all.

Gausman up, Tyler Wilson or Mike Wright heads back to Norfolk. But is that what you want to do with one of those two kids? Are they now renters in Norfolk, never quite knowing where they'll be next week or next month?

Has Mychal Givens done enough to secure his spot in the bullpen? Could he be the one who heads to Triple A, with Wright or Wilson assuming his role? It looks like Brad Brach is now the 7th inning guy, which means Givens is fighting for a job with the rest of the right handed arms in the bullpen.

I'm guessing McFarland and Worley are the two who get the tough talk from Buck when Gausman and Matusz are ready to return this week.


schoolnick heading to fenway!


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Bradley Schoolnick holding his lucky entry form that earned him a trip to Fenway Park this summer, courtesy of Glory Days Grill.

Our friends at Glory Days Grill in Towson are sending one lucky Orioles fan and his guest to Fenway Park in June for a 3-game Orioles series against the Red Sox.

The drawing was held yesterday and Bradley Schoolnick was the winner!

Schoolnick and his guest will be going to Boston with two dozen other #DMD Orioles enthusiasts June 14-17.

The trip, sponsored by Kelly Payroll, includes round trip airfare, three nights hotel in downtown Boston, plus tickets to all three Orioles-Red Sox games at Fenway Park.

Congratulations Bradley! And thanks to Glory Days Grill in Towson for their involvement in the trip give-away and their continued support of Drew's Morning Dish.

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Drew's Fantasy Golf Update

Earlier this week here at #DMD, I gave out six fantasy-golf picks for this week's PGA Tour event. Let's look at how those six players are faring in the tournament.

If you're looking for a place to relax and watch this week's golf tournament, try any of the Baltimore-area Glory Days Grills, including Drew's favorite on East Joppa Road in Towson.


grace wins at harbour town


I was all over Branden Grace at last week's Masters. Turns out I was one week too early on him.

Grace fired a final round score of five-under par 66 on Sunday to leap past a handful of players and win his first-ever event on the PGA Tour. It came one week after missing the cut at Augusta National in the Masters.

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A final round 66 helped Branden Grace earn his first-ever PGA Tour win on Sunday at the RBC Heritage.

Third round leader Luke Donald produced an even par round of 71 on Sunday to finish tied for second with Russell Knox. It marked the third time in Donald's career that he owned the lead at Harbour Town heading into Sunday's final round and couldn't produce a victory.

Making his professional debut, Bryson DeChambeau shot 68 on Sunday and finished in a fourth place tie at 5-under par, earning him nearly $260,000 and 122 FedEx Cup points, both of which are important as DeChambeau attempts to gain his PGA Tour card before the end of the season. He needs to win somewhere in the neighborhood of $750,000 or accumulate roughly 360 FedEx Cup points in order to do that.

As for my week in fantasy golf, I was in great shape until Charley Hoffman couldn't buy a putt on Sunday.

Hoffman started the day one shot out of the lead but spiraled down the leaderboard with a final round 75.

Two of my other six selections made the cut and played the weekend; Billy Horshel and Kevin Kisner.

But three of my six players played 36 holes and headed home, which means my coffers are empty from this weekend's event at Harbour Town. Paul Casey missed the cut by a shot, while Blayne Barber and Sung Kang also failed to get underneath the cut line after two days.

I was poised to finally pick a winner with Hoffman in terrific position after 54 holes, but his poor Sunday play left me without a victory yet this season.

The TOUR moves to the Valero Texas Open this week, with Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka and Matt Kuchar in the field, among others.

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LAST CALL FOR OUR SPRINGSTEEN PARTY ON APRIL 20!!


If you're going to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band on Wednesday, April 20 at Royal Farms Arena, you might as well go in style, right?

How many more times will "The Boss" come through Charm City?

So, #DMD is hosting a private party on April 20 from 5 pm to 7 pm at the downtown Sheraton (Conway Street) which promises to get you primed for an amazing night with Bruce and the band as they take you "down to the River" in what has turned out to be perhaps his most critically acclaimed tour ever.

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Heading to the Springsteen show on April 20? Join #DMD's private party at the Sheraton, where parking, food, drink and Bruce music are all included!

Warning: This party is for die-hard Springsteen fans only!!!

Here's the nuts and bolts:

The party is going to be held at the Sheraton, five blocks from Royal Farms Arena. It's an easy, 10-minute walk to the facility. Your admission to our "Bruce party" includes complimentary parking at the Sheraton. Park there for the party, leave your car there for the show!

The Orioles play at home that night against Toronto, so downtown parking will be at a premium. Not for you! You'll have a parking spot in the Sheraton and it's FREE!

Now that parking's taken care of, we have to feed you, right? So, we'll be providing everyone with a full dinner buffet that you can eat at your leisure upon arrival to the party.

Drinks? That's handled, too. Everyone attending our party receives two complimentary drinks (beer/wine), plus unlimited soda, water and tea. We'll also have a "happy hour pricing" bar set-up in the room with our bartender and servers.

Wait, there's a lot more.

We'll be cranking out the Bruce tunes all night long too, with one of Maryland's top DJ's, Billy Legend. He'll be spinning Springsteen music and we'll do our best to feature stuff you likely WON'T hear at the show later in the evening.

Of course, we WILL play Born To Run before we leave and we'll take a video of the whole place singing along!

There's still more. For those who are courageous enough to participate, we'll have a Springsteen karaoke contest from 6:15 pm to 7 pm and award a cash prize to the winning singer! We plan on having a celebrity judge in the house to help us do the scoring!

At 7 pm or thereabouts, we'll shut it down and head to the arena for the concert. Bruce goes on at 8:15 pm.

The per-person cost is $59.00. We're limiting the party capacity, so get in now to guarantee your spot. All you have to do is click on the "Springsteen" tab at the top of #DMD and you can buy tickets right there. And, please, bring some friends or co-workers! The more, the merrier.


Sunday
April 17
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXI
Issue 17
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caps up 2-0 after 4-1 win over flyers on saturday night


Truth be told, the Washington Capitals haven't largely outplayed the Philadelphia Flyers thus far in the opening round playoff series between the two teams, which now has the Caps up 2-0 after Saturday's 4-1 win at the Verizon Center.

But the better team is ahead 2-0 for the reasons most of the experts assumed would favor the Caps in this best-of-7 series.

Washington's power play has been effective, with 3 goals in 8 extra-man situations.

The Caps' penalty killers are a perfect 7-for-7, including a huge 5-on-3 "kill" on Saturday night.

And Braden Holtby has been outstanding in goal thus far, completely outplaying his counterpart, Steve Mason, through 120 minutes of the first two games.

Special teams are critical

It's not over yet, because the Caps are the Caps and, historically, they haven't handled this kind of good fortune very well, but the Flyers are in big trouble heading home to Philadelphia for games three (Monday) and four (Wednesday).

Saturday's win over the Flyers showed the biggest differences between the two teams and served to also send notice around the league that special teams can make you or break you if you earn the luxury of facing Barry Trotz's team this spring.

While Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov have been neutralized in even-strength situations so far, one can expect the two of them will have some sort of breakout game at some point soon. Philadelphia has done a good job thus far of keeping Ovechkin as wide as possible, which limits his ability to get in the middle of the ice where his all-world wrist-shot can create havoc for opposing goalies.

Kuznetsov, the team's leading regular season scorer, was dazzling at times with the puck on Saturday night but didn't put his stamp on the game like he did so many times during the regular season.

Still, if you would have told me before the series started that Washington would get one point -- Ovi's goal last night -- from those two players in the first two games in D.C., I would have assumed the Caps were heading back to Philly at 1-game apiece or, perhaps, even trailing 2-0.

Instead, it's Marcus Johansson (4 assists) and Nicklas Backstrom (1 goal, 3 assists) leading the team in playoff points through two games and the Caps make the trip up I-95 up 2-0 in the series.

The Caps have also stayed away from gooning it up with the Flyers, who were far more physical in the first game than in last night's Game 2. Washington, in fact, seemed to be the aggressor on Saturday evening and it appeared to wear down the Flyers as the game went on. Maybe that's the secret...

But it's the work on special teams that has truly separated the teams so far.

John Carlson (1st period) and Alex Ovechkin (2nd period) connected on power play goals for the Caps last night. In all, three of the team's six tallies in the series-to-date have come with the extra man, which bodes well for a team that finished the regular season in an 0-for-15 tailspin and went just 3-for-28 in fourteen playoff games a year ago.

The tide of the entire series might have shifted in the opening twenty minutes of Thursday's series opener when the Flyers were handed three power-play chances and didn't once find the back of the net. In all, they're now 0-for-8 in man-up situations, as the Caps penalty killers continue to set the tone in front of Holtby.

Game 2 turned on two events; Washington's ability to kill off a one minute, seven second two-man power play for Philly late in the first period, coupled with a fluke goal surrendered by Flyers' netminder Steve Mason early in the second stanza.

Those two moments changed Game 2, for sure.

Washington's goalie is better than Philly's

Holtby was especially magnificent on the two-man penalty killing situation, making several close-range stops to keep the Caps ahead 1-0. He did the same thing on Thursday night in Game 1, keeping the game scoreless long enough to frustrate the Philly goal scorers until the Caps finally solved Mason.

On Saturday night, it was Holtby's great play (41 saves) coupled with a major gaffe from Mason that told the whole story.

Mason misplayed a center-ice dump-in from Jason Chimera, who moments before had just exited the penalty box and was heading to the bench when the puck bounced to him and he harmlessly sent it in on net to start a line change.

The puck somehow slid -- from 100 feet -- through Mason's legs and into the cage for a 2-0 Caps lead and that was the end of the Flyers. They did manage to connect on their first goal of the series a little while later in the second period, but those kind of goals almost always turn out to be game-changers and last night was no different.

So, the two teams head to the Wells Fargo Center for Game 3 on Monday night, which figures to be an ultra-emotional evening for the Flyers, as they'll honor their longtime owner, Ed Snider, who passed away last week.

As if they needed any extra help getting motivated to try and climb back in the series, the Flyers will undoubtedly have a little extra pep in their step on Monday night in memory of Snider.

The Caps, meanwhile, just have to continue taking whatever the game and the refs give them. It would be good to see Washington flourish in even-strength situations a little more, but if this series is going to hinge on special teams, Washington should be advancing to the next round sometime later this week.

And if goaltending continues to play a critical role, which it almost always does in the post-season, the Caps have a decided advantage there, too.

There's still lots of hockey left and one game can swing the momentum, for sure, but at this point the Capitals are proving why they're the #1 seed in the East and the Flyers are #8.

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birds cough up 4-1 lead in 8-4 loss at texas


Home runs from Manny Machado, Chris Davis and Adam Jones weren't enough for the O's on Saturday night, as the Rangers erupted for six runs in the 7th inning and went on to beat the Birds, 8-4.

The loss dropped the Orioles to 8-3 on the year, with the seven-game road swing that started in Boston last Monday coming to an end with today's 3:05 pm contest in Arlington.

The O's pounded out 10 hits on Saturday night, with every starter except Jonathan Schoop (0-for-4) recording at least one base hit.

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Manny Machado's 4th home run of the season in the 1st inning last night gave the Birds an early lead -- but they couldn't finish it off in an 8-4 loss.

The top four guys in the batting order struck out twice for the Birds (Rickard, Machado, Jones, Davis), but they still led 4-1 in the 5th inning and appeared headed to their 9th victory in 11 tries.

But Yovani Gallardo wore down quickly in the 7th, surrendering a lead-off walk and a double that brought T.J. McFarland in from the bullpen to try and hold the Rangers at bay.

McFarland, as it would turn out, didn't do much of anything, giving up three earned runs while recording just one out. The Birds entered the 7th leading 4-2 and ended the inning down 8-4.

We're only 11 games into a 162-game season -- not even 10% of the way through the 2016 campaign -- but some things are fairly obvious two weeks into the season.

The Orioles, as we anticipated, are going to be home-run-happy for the next six months. I hope Major League Baseball plans on re-stocking the shelves in Baltimore on a monthly basis, because there will be a lot of empty baseball boxes in the Baltimore storage closets at OPACY.

But, the need for replenishing the baseball stock in Charm City might be due in part to the fact that the other teams wind up scoring a lot of runs, too.

The Birds' starting pitching has been less than stellar thus far and Gallardo in particular seems to be an issue-waiting-to-happen. His velocity hasn't picked up yet, which isn't all that surprising given the data on him from the last couple of years, and teams are just waiting him out, like the Rangers did on Saturday night.

Baltimore's going to be involved in a lot of 9-6 games in 2016. Let's just hope they win a lot more of those than they lose.


today's the day! glory days is sending someone to fenway park in june!

Our good friends at Glory Days are overflowing with Orioles excitement. So much so, in fact, they're going to send two people to Fenway Park in Boston this June absolutely FREE OF CHARGE!

Glory Days will be sending one lucky winner on our #DMD trip to Boston this June 14-17, and everything associated with the trip is included in the Glory Days give-away. There's round trip airfare from Baltimore to Boston, three nights of lodging at the Buckminster Hotel just four blocks from Fenway, and tickets to all three Orioles-Red Sox games that week.

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Is Fenway Park on your bucket list? If so, Glory Days would like to send you there this June 14-17!!

How do you win this awesome trip?

Show up at Glory Days in Towson TODAY, Sunday, April 17, when the Orioles take on the Texas Rangers at 3:05 pm.

We'll be holding a special raffle -- no purchase required to enter -- during the game. You simply fill out a form, drop it in the box, and we'll eventually draw five names out. Those will be our five finalists. One-by-one, we'll draw names and eliminate finalists until we finally get down to the lucky winner.

It's that simple. And the winner gets the FREE trip. The four finalists all get $50 gift cards from Glory Days.

Spread the word to your friends who dig the Orioles that #DMD and Glory Days have a great Sunday afternoon of baseball watching in store this coming Sunday when the O's and Rangers play at 3:05 pm.

And then come on out to Glory Days in Towson (East Joppa Road) and enter to win the contest that might send YOU and a friend to Boston to see the Birds in person this June.

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luke donald leads in hilton head, hoffman on his heels


I don't really care all that much who wins today's PGA Tour event at Harbour Town, but Luke Donald or Charley Hoffman would be just fine with me.

Donald -- at 7-under par through 54 holes -- enters today's final round with a one-shot lead over both Hoffman and Jason Kokrak, and a two-shot edge over Patton Kizzire.

Donald hasn't won on TOUR since 2012 and has experienced several heartbreaking defeats at Hilton Head over the last few years, so it would be great to see him finally break through and get back in the winner's circle.

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Charley Hoffman sits one-shot behind Luke Donald heading into today's final round at Harbour Town Golf Links.

I picked Charley Hoffman to win the tournament in my Fantasy Golf Guide, presented by Glory Days Grill, in last Wednesday's edition of #DMD.

I like winning, so a Hoffman victory would make me happy.

But if Donald wins, I'm cool with that, too. He was one of the game's up-and-comers not even a decade ago, but never quite fulfilled his promise after briefly rising to world number one in 2011. Somewhere along the way, he lost his trademark ability to hit fairways and greens and the putter became his bread-and-butter -- and that wasn't a good combination for him.

A slew of Americans are perched three or four shots behind Donald and ready to leap over him in today's final round if the Englishman can't get the job done. Zach Johnson and Chris Kirk are at 4-under par, while Matt Kuchar, Bill Haas and Kevin Na are lurking at 3-under.

Reigning U.S. Amateur and now-newly-minted-professional Bryson DeChambeau will make a nice check in his pro debut if he can hang on and play well in today's final round. DeChambeau is currently at 2-under par and in a tie for 13th place after scores of 70-69-72.

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LAST CALL FOR OUR SPRINGSTEEN PARTY ON APRIL 20!!


If you're going to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band on Wednesday, April 20 at Royal Farms Arena, you might as well go in style, right?

How many more times will "The Boss" come through Charm City?

So, #DMD is hosting a private party on April 20 from 5 pm to 7 pm at the downtown Sheraton (Conway Street) which promises to get you primed for an amazing night with Bruce and the band as they take you "down to the River" in what has turned out to be perhaps his most critically acclaimed tour ever.

X
Heading to the Springsteen show on April 20? Join #DMD's private party at the Sheraton, where parking, food, drink and Bruce music are all included!

Warning: This party is for die-hard Springsteen fans only!!!

Here's the nuts and bolts:

The party is going to be held at the Sheraton, five blocks from Royal Farms Arena. It's an easy, 10-minute walk to the facility. Your admission to our "Bruce party" includes complimentary parking at the Sheraton. Park there for the party, leave your car there for the show!

The Orioles play at home that night against Toronto, so downtown parking will be at a premium. Not for you! You'll have a parking spot in the Sheraton and it's FREE!

Now that parking's taken care of, we have to feed you, right? So, we'll be providing everyone with a full dinner buffet that you can eat at your leisure upon arrival to the party.

Drinks? That's handled, too. Everyone attending our party receives two complimentary drinks (beer/wine), plus unlimited soda, water and tea. We'll also have a "happy hour pricing" bar set-up in the room with our bartender and servers.

Wait, there's a lot more.

We'll be cranking out the Bruce tunes all night long too, with one of Maryland's top DJ's, Billy Legend. He'll be spinning Springsteen music and we'll do our best to feature stuff you likely WON'T hear at the show later in the evening.

Of course, we WILL play Born To Run before we leave and we'll take a video of the whole place singing along!

There's still more. For those who are courageous enough to participate, we'll have a Springsteen karaoke contest from 6:15 pm to 7 pm and award a cash prize to the winning singer! We plan on having a celebrity judge in the house to help us do the scoring!

At 7 pm or thereabouts, we'll shut it down and head to the arena for the concert. Bruce goes on at 8:15 pm.

The per-person cost is $59.00. We're limiting the party capacity, so get in now to guarantee your spot. All you have to do is click on the "Springsteen" tab at the top of #DMD and you can buy tickets right there. And, please, bring some friends or co-workers! The more, the merrier.


Saturday
April 16
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXI
Issue 16
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spieth's reaction to masters collapse is great lesson for all


A few years ago, back when I was still doing a daily sports radio show in town, I authored a piece on the station website in which I indicated I wouldn't mind if my young son grows up to be just like Tim Tebow.

If I'm allowed to amend that statement, I'd like to add Jordan Spieth to the (very) short list of professional athletes that I'm perfectly fine with my son emulating, either athletically or personally.

Spieth's reaction to his shocking loss at last week's Masters is one of the greatest examples of dealing-with-adversity that I've ever witnessed. Particularly so when you take into account his age and lack of true experience in facing such scrutiny in the wake of coughing up a 5-shot back-nine lead on Sunday at Augusta National.

It's one thing if Spieth, the defending Masters champion, would have entered the final round with a one-shot lead and fired a perfectly-acceptable final round of 70, only to have someone from off the pace go bonkers with the putter and roll in six birdies and an eagle en-route to a 65 that helped him by-pass Spieth for the win. But that's not what happened. Spieth handed the title over to Danny Willet with a 5-5-7 start to the back nine, including that quadruple bogey seven at the 12th hole when he dumped two balls into Rae's Creek.

But what happened afterwards was the true teaching moment, particularly for a high school coach like your's truly who is constantly scanning the sports landscape for examples of "how to lose" so those occasions can be passed along to my young student-athletes, some of whom aren't particularly adept at handling defeat.

Explaining to people what they just saw isn't always easy

In the immediate aftermath of the loss at Augusta, Spieth growled at a TV camera-man for CBS who was following the dejected loser and his caddie as the two trudged up the hill from behind the 18th green and headed to the locker room.

"Hey guys, not in the face," Spieth said. "Not now...just not in the face."

His caddie obediently tried to quickly toss a towel over the camera lens but, by then, that moment had been secured for everyone to witness.

Spieth was cracking. And taking it out on the media.

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Thanks to some helpful interaction from his caddie, Jordan Spieth was able to face the music after last Sunday's Masters loss and offer a great teaching moment for all of us.

Not so much...

Less than ten minutes later, though, the embattled 22-year old collected himself and stood with CBS's Bill Macatee in the locker room and started to face the music.

The only obvious question anyone would ask is the one Macatee asked: "Jordan, what happened?"

And thus began two hours of Spieth handling his loss with the sort of grace and dignity that we can only hope our sons and daughters (and ourselves, too) display one of these days when things don't work out well for them.

It's not easy to try and explain to people what they just saw -- mainly because what they just saw is what happened. How do you explain how you just frittered away a 5-shot lead on the back nine?

"How did I lose a 5-shot lead? I made bogey, bogey, quad, that's how," might be your reply.

Someone once asked Seve Ballesteros how he 4-putted a hole during the U.S. Open.

"I miss, I miss, I miss...I make," he said. And that was it, really. He missed the hole three times and then finally made a putt. That's four putts.

While it's the athlete's job to explain to the media what happened or what they were thinking, sometimes the easiest thing to say, frankly, is this: "You saw it. What happened is exactly what you saw happened."

In Spieth's case, though, because the collapse was so out of character for him, further explanations were needed, and rightfully so.

Spieth didn't run from the fact that in 2014 he was in the hunt on the back nine of Sunday's round and dumped a ball in the water on the 12th tee in almost the exact same fashion he did in 2016.

"Did you think about 2014 when you were standing on the tee (today)?" he was asked.

"Not at all," Spieth said, "but I probably will next year. I don't like to spend time thinking about two years ago, last year or last month, even. I'm just thinking about right now. But I obviously need to re-think how I approach that tee shot on Sunday."

That response is precisely why Spieth is one of the sport's greatest players right now. The cream-of-the-crop only concern themselves with this shot and this moment, not the one that happened to them two years ago or two holes ago.

But, as Spieth noted afterwards, there's nothing wrong with changing the way you think, either.

"If I would have been thinking more clearly and given some real thought to 2014, I would have just aimed left -- way left -- and made three or maybe four and still had the lead," he said. "But I felt like I could just bump a 9-iron up there somewhere near the flag and maybe steal one after making bogey on the last two holes. I'll learn from this one, for sure."

Spieth's reaction put Newton in the spotlight, again

In the first sixty minutes or so after last Sunday's Masters, social media gridlocked with comparisons between Spieth and Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who was less than impressive in his post-game press conference following his team's loss to the Broncos in February's Super Bowl.

Those comparisons were unfair, though.

For starters, Spieth already has a Masters title to his credit, along with a U.S. Open win as well. This was the first time he ever threw away a prominent tournament, yes, but that fact is balanced with the idea that it's easier to accept a crushing loss when you already have a couple of eventful wins to fall back on.

Newton's Super Bowl loss was his first ever defeat "on the big stage". And he did answer questions, remember, he just didn't answer them with the sort of analysis that everyone wanted from him.

Golfers are also, by nature, much better at what I call "immediate reflection" because they spend a great deal of time talking to themselves while they're actually playing the sport and competing.

It's far easier for Spieth to tell Bill Macatee "what just happened" because Spieth probably already had that exact same conversation with himself as he made the 400-yard walk from the 18th green to the locker room.

"Holy crap, Jordan, you just threw away the Masters," he likely said to himself. "How could you do that?"

Then the internal discussion begins and the rehearsal for what he's about to face commences as well. "You lost your golf swing on that 10th tee and it took the better part of one hour to find it again," Spieth might have said to himself. "The swing on the 12th tee was bad, but the real damage there was dumping that second shot into that water. Probably should have just gone to the drop zone and played it from there, you big dummy."

Newton -- and football players in general -- don't get that sort of opportunity for a peaceful discussion in the immediate moments following the end of a big game. There's a lot more testosterone flowing in a NFL locker room, a lot more media coverage, and it's all happening in a whirlwind.

Football's just different, that's all.

It's also worth noting that because you lose at golf far more than you win (unless you're Tiger Woods, circa 2000-2008), you're used to dealing with the let down of defeat.

And that's very much true. If you're a young man (or woman) who doesn't handle losing very well, you should either NOT play golf or play golf and be prepared to learn a little something about yourself.

Spieth hadn't thrown away a Masters before, but he had lost enough in golf to know a moment like the one he experienced on Sunday was inevitable. It's akin to being a circus worker and having the daily task of feeding the lions and tigers. At some point, most likely, you're going to get bit. Either don't work with the animals or be prepared to have one of them snap at you when you're tossing in a large chunk of meat.

And when Spieth's moment came calling, he handled it with the sort of grace we'd like to see our children handle their adversity, whether that's related to school, sports or just plain old "growing up".

I was a Jordan Spieth "fan" before last weekend, but I'm even more of one now.

More good things will come his way, for certain, and when they do, I'm quite certain he'll respond to the winning in the same way he reacted to the losing.

He'll be gracious and diplomatic, mostly because he knows winning AND losing are all part of the cycle.

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#dmd's local lacrosse preview


Games of the Week

Now that colleges are deep into conference play, there are several great matchups this weekend requiring teams to bring their A games or suffer a loss (and impact their NCAA hopes.) So let's take a quick look at each rather than a deep dive into just one.

#5 Maryland vs #18 Rutgers (Sat 4pm)- This is a showdown of the top B1G teams and another classic game of great offense vs great defense. Rutgers continues they show they're for real this year with a dominant win over Hopkins and a follow-up victory over Michigan. Meanwhile, the Terps are starting to show cracks having to scratch and claw their way out the past 2 weeks on the road with 1-goal wins against Michigan and Penn State. Rutgers may have the best attack trio (Bieda, Charalambides, Heningburg with combined 79 g, 43a) in the country along with a solid face-off unit. So Maryland can't afford lapses in play like they did against Penn State. Maryland definitely plays better at home and it may well come down to how well Rutger's goalie plays, who rose to the occasion against Hopkins and could very well do so again against the Terps. Given all this, I'm thinking the "cleat of reality" pays a visit to College Park this weekend with the Scarlet Knights taking down the Terps 12-9.

#10 Navy @ #20 Army (Sat 12pm) - Truly one of the better lacrosse rivals and very fitting for these military academies to battle for Patriot League supremecy as both share the conference lead with Loyola with only one loss. So the loser drops to 3rd. Both teams have played similar solid schedules and have played all teams hard all year with only a few close losses for each. Navy beat Army last year 10-7 in Annapolis and the rosters are very similar for this matchup, but for a few important differences. Army has improved in goal with hot freshman goalie AJ Barretto, sporting a 56.7% save percentage. Army has also been using Alex Daly in addition to Dan Grabher on face-offs, who appeared to wear down in last year's contest losing 6 of 8 faceoffs in the 4th quarter of that game. Given these changes and the defensive nature of both, we'll give Army the 9-8 victory at home over Navy.

#15 Johns Hopkins @ #14 Penn State (Sun 7pm) - Another great B1G contest featuring teams with 1-1 conference records who don't want or need loss #2. The Blue Jays who are usually hitting their stride this time of year have run into some injuries. They are playing well, but not as dominate as they usually play in mid-April. Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions have started to figure things out after a slow start and have shown they can play with anyone. Just ask Top 5 teams Denver and Maryland. B1G freshman of the week Kyle Marr helped pick up the scoring slack from the injuried Drew Supinski, helping the Blue Jays to a bounce-back win over Ohio State last week after losing to a hot Rutgers team the week before. Will Supinski be back to add more scoring options at midfield to an already strong attack of Brown and Stanwick? No one's talking, but I'm thinking by the way he reacted coming off the field against Rutgers, he'll be out a little longer. Hopkins definitely feels the pressure on the road, so in another coin-flip battle I'll give this one to the home team with Penn State pulling out the 10-9 victory over Johns Hopkins.


Other Local Matchups

#6 Towson vs Delaware (Sat 12pm) - The Tigers look to continue their march through the CAA. This time at home against a Blue Hen team that surprised UMass a few weeks ago, but came back to earth against Hofstra last week. Look for a low scoring but dominate win for Towson.

#13 Loyola vs Boston University (Sat 12pm) - Another great Patriot League match-up for the Greyhounds against a very good Terrier squad whose has been in and out of the Top 20 this year with a current record of 8-4. Boston is currently on a 2 game losing streak that includes a thrashing from Army last week, 15-4. Something tells me the Terriers are still sore from that one.

UMBC @ Vermont (Sat 12pm) - The Retrievers have their best game of the year in a win against an improving Mount team this past Tuesday behind 6 goals from Nate Lewnes. UMBC travels to Vermont in attempt to get their first conference win against a beatable 5-7 Catamount team currently on a 2 game losing streak.

Mt. St. Marys vs Hobart (Sat 12pm) - Northeast Conference foe Hobart makes the trip to Emmitsburg this Satruday in what should be a good game for both teams trying to conference tournament hopes alive. Perhaps the Mount was looking past UMBC to this game this past Tuesday.


The Big Picture

#2 Yale @ #4 Brown (Sat 1pm) - One of the games we've all been waiting for all season and preview to the probable rematch looming in the Ivy League final. Yale's biggest test of the year, even having already played Maryland. However, this Brown seems to be the team to beat and it will probably take an extraordinary performance in goal like Bryant had from Gunnar Waldt to take down the Brown Bears in OT a few weeks ago.

Mid-week Mayhem Strikes Again! - #9 Syracuse falls to a somewhat down Cornell and faces a hot #11 UNC on Saturday. #8 Stony Brook trips against an OK Marist team? Both losers could be looking at the conference AQ as their only NCAA tournament hope. #1 Notre Dame needs overtime to take down #17 Marquette at home. Will Top 10 teams even schedule mid-week games next year?!?

Best Conference? - It used to be the ACC, a big gap, then everyone else. Not so much these days. Notre Dame and a suddenly hot UNC should be OK to make post-season. But Syracuse, Duke and Virginia need to do work and get some help. The B1G also has 4 ranked teams including Maryland, Penn State, Hopkins and Rutgers. The Ivy League boasts 2 of the top 5 teams in Brown and Yale and 3 others (Harvard, Penn, Cornell?) that no one wants to face. The Big East features 3 ranked teams including Denver, Villanova, and Marquette. The Patriot League is even looking at 2-3 teams making the tourney out of Navy, Loyola and Army.

The Top 5 - Notre Dame, Yale, Brown, Denver, Maryland

#DMD's local lacrosse content is written and provided by John Pusateri.

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orioles score 9 times in the 7th to beat texas, 11-5


Well, that escalated quickly.

The Orioles entered the 7th inning of last night's game in Texas trailing 5-1 and looking like they were about to suffer a third straight loss.

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Mark Trumbo is welcomed to home plate after one of his two 7th inning home runs in Friday's 11-5 win at Texas.

Twenty five minutes later, it was 10-5 in favor of the Birds and that was that.

Mark Trumbo homered twice in the inning while Jonathan Schoop and Nolan Reimold hit round-trippers as well, as the O's scored nine runs in the 7th to overcome that 4-run deficit with ease.

Schoop added a solo home run in the 8th to finalize the scoring at 11-5.

Every Orioles starter had a hit on Friday night except Chris Davis (0-2) and Caleb Joseph (0-4).

Vance Worley got the win, going six innings and allowing four earned runs while striking out six and walking two.

Darren O'Day (7th), Brad Brach (8th) and Zach Britton (9th) worked the final three innings for the O's, who improved to 8-2 with the win.

The series in Texas continues tonight (8:05 pm) in Arlington with Yovani Gallardo facing Colby Lewis. Gallardo pitched for the Rangers in 2015, you'll recall.

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glory days grill is sending you to fenway park this summer - free!

Our good friends at Glory Days are overflowing with Orioles excitement. So much so, in fact, they're going to send two people to Fenway Park in Boston this June absolutely FREE OF CHARGE!

Glory Days will be sending one lucky winner on our #DMD trip to Boston this June 14-17, and everything associated with the trip is included in the Glory Days give-away. There's round trip airfare from Baltimore to Boston, three nights of lodging at the Buckminster Hotel just four blocks from Fenway, and tickets to all three Orioles-Red Sox games that week.

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Is Fenway Park on your bucket list? If so, Glory Days would like to send you there this June 14-17!!

How do you win this awesome trip?

Show up at Glory Days in Towson this Sunday, April 17, when the Orioles take on the Texas Rangers at 3:05 pm.

We'll be holding a special raffle -- no purchase required to enter -- during the game. You simply fill out a form, drop it in the box, and we'll eventually draw five names out. Those will be our five finalists. One-by-one, we'll draw names and eliminate finalists until we finally get down to the lucky winner.

It's that simple. And the winner gets the FREE trip. The four finalists all get $50 gift cards from Glory Days.

Spread the word to your friends who dig the Orioles that #DMD and Glory Days have a great Sunday afternoon of baseball watching in store this coming Sunday when the O's and Rangers play at 3:05 pm.

And then come on out to Glory Days in Towson (East Joppa Road) and enter to win the contest that might send YOU and a friend to Boston to see the Birds in person this June.


LAST CALL FOR OUR SPRINGSTEEN PARTY ON APRIL 20!!


If you're going to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band on Wednesday, April 20 at Royal Farms Arena, you might as well go in style, right?

How many more times will "The Boss" come through Charm City?

So, #DMD is hosting a private party on April 20 from 5 pm to 7 pm at the downtown Sheraton (Conway Street) which promises to get you primed for an amazing night with Bruce and the band as they take you "down to the River" in what has turned out to be perhaps his most critically acclaimed tour ever.

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Heading to the Springsteen show on April 20? Join #DMD's private party at the Sheraton, where parking, food, drink and Bruce music are all included!

Warning: This party is for die-hard Springsteen fans only!!!

Here's the nuts and bolts:

The party is going to be held at the Sheraton, five blocks from Royal Farms Arena. It's an easy, 10-minute walk to the facility. Your admission to our "Bruce party" includes complimentary parking at the Sheraton. Park there for the party, leave your car there for the show!

The Orioles play at home that night against Toronto, so downtown parking will be at a premium. Not for you! You'll have a parking spot in the Sheraton and it's FREE!

Now that parking's taken care of, we have to feed you, right? So, we'll be providing everyone with a full dinner buffet that you can eat at your leisure upon arrival to the party.

Drinks? That's handled, too. Everyone attending our party receives two complimentary drinks (beer/wine), plus unlimited soda, water and tea. We'll also have a "happy hour pricing" bar set-up in the room with our bartender and servers.

Wait, there's a lot more.

We'll be cranking out the Bruce tunes all night long too, with one of Maryland's top DJ's, Billy Legend. He'll be spinning Springsteen music and we'll do our best to feature stuff you likely WON'T hear at the show later in the evening.

Of course, we WILL play Born To Run before we leave and we'll take a video of the whole place singing along!

There's still more. For those who are courageous enough to participate, we'll have a Springsteen karaoke contest from 6:15 pm to 7 pm and award a cash prize to the winning singer! We plan on having a celebrity judge in the house to help us do the scoring!

At 7 pm or thereabouts, we'll shut it down and head to the arena for the concert. Bruce goes on at 8:15 pm.

The per-person cost is $59.00. We're limiting the party capacity, so get in now to guarantee your spot. All you have to do is click on the "Springsteen" tab at the top of #DMD and you can buy tickets right there. And, please, bring some friends or co-workers! The more, the merrier.


please click here to see previous issues of #dmd.

O's SCOREBOARD
Wednesday, August 16th
Orioles
6

Mariners
7
WP: T. Zych (6-3)
LP: U. Jimenez (5-8)

HR: Beckham (17), Alonso (23), Martin (3)

RECORD/PLACE: 59-62, 4th place
RETRIEVER ROUND-UP

UMBC baseball fell to in-state rival Maryland, 6-2 on Tuesday afternoon in College Park. The Retrievers fell behind early, but got a two-run home run from Hunter Dolshun to take the lead. However the Terps scored four runs in the sixth to take the victory.

The Retrievers fall to 18-20 on the year while Maryland improves to 32-15 in 2017.